Thesis Presented to The Faculty of

Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?internet/leviatha

                        Searching for the Leviathan in Usenet
                                      A Thesis
                                    Presented to
                 The Faculty of the Department of Political Science
                             San Jose State University
                               In Partial Fulfillment
                         of the Requirements for the Degree
                                   Master of Arts
                               Richard Clark MacKinnon
                                   December, 1992
                                APPROVED FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL
                                         Dr. William McCraw
                                         Dr. Kenneth Peter
                                         Dr. Ronald Sylvia
                                APPROVED FOR THE UNIVERSITY
                        Searching for the Leviathan in Usenet
                             by Richard Clark MacKinnon
          The purpose of this thesis is to identify signs of Thomas Hobbes'
          Leviathan in the Usenet computer conferencing network.  Certainly
          nothing that the Usenet users can experience can compare to the
          Hobbesian scenario in which persons are forced to give up the
          right to govern themselves in exchange for personal safety.  This
          is certainly true on the surface, but there is another level of
          interaction within Usenet other than user-to-user.  It is the
          level of the users' "personae," and it is at this level of
          understanding that the fear of vanishing from existence is ever
          present and near.  For personae within Usenet, life can be
          described as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."  And it
          is for their sakes that this researcher has searched for and
          found a Leviathan in Usenet.
             Introduction ...........................................1
             Hobbes, Leviathan, and Usenet ..........................3
             Usenet is a Distinct Society ...........................8
             The Notion of Persona .................................14
             Personae are Persons ..................................21
             The Powers ............................................25
             The Pursuit of Powers .................................32
             Death .................................................37
             Living in Moderation ..................................43
             Looking for the Leviathan .............................55
             Conclusion ............................................59
             Appendix ..............................................66
             Glossary ..............................................85
             Bibliography ..........................................92
          The purpose of this thesis is to identify signs of Thomas Hobbes'
          Leviathan in the Usenet computer conferencing network.  Defined
          as "that mortal god, to which we owe under the immortal God; our
          peace and defence,"1 Leviathan in a computer conferencing network
          is the institution of censorship or moderation of the messages
          written by the network's users.  According  to Hobbes, living in
          fear of death or wounds disposes men to obey a common power.2
          Certainly nothing that the Usenet users can experience can
          compare to the Hobbesian scenario in which persons are forced to
          give up the right to govern themselves in exchange for personal
          safety.  This is certainly true on the surface, but there is
          another level of interaction within Usenet other than user-to-
          user.  It is the level of the users' "personae," and it is at
          this level of understanding that the fear of vanishing from
          existence is ever present and near.  For personae within Usenet,
          life can be described as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and
          short."3  And it is for their sakes that this researcher has
          searched for and found a Leviathan in Usenet.
          In order to argue this work, this paper is organized into short
          sections or chapters designed around major points.  The first
          chapter introduces the reader to Hobbes, _________
                                                   Leviathan, and Usenet.
          A glossary is provided to assist with technical computer
          terminology and an appendix contains relatively hard to find
          Usenet documentation.  The argument itself consists of seven
          points and a survey of two hundred randomly selected Usenet
          articles.  The survey was conducted to find measurable signs of
          the Leviathan as described in the argument.  The findings show
          the degree to which Leviathan is present in Usenet.  Each chapter
          states its purpose in the opening paragraphs and is concluded
          with a summary of the points covered therein.  In this way it is
          possible to lead the reader through the theoretical worlds of
          Leviathan and the Usenet persona.  At the end of the argument is
          a conclusion which summarizes all seven points and focuses on the
          most difficult ones.  And lastly, the thesis concludes with a
          short discussion of future research considerations.
                1Thomas Hobbes, _________
                                Leviathan, Edited by Michael Oakeshott (New
          York:  Macmillan Publishing Co., 1962), 132.
                2Hobbes, 82.
                3Hobbes, 100.
                              Hobbes, _________
                                      Leviathan, and Usenet
             Hobbes' _________
                     Leviathan was selected for this thesis primarily
          because it is a system of knowledge developed for the purpose of
          understanding the genesis of government.  This system of
          knowledge for understanding the "matter, forme and power" of
          society, originally advanced during Cromwell's tenure, was
          published in 1651.  The controversial title implied that the
          monarchy was the political manifestation of the Biblical beast
          and the work was considered scandalous.
          Hobbes scholar Herbert Schneider explains that the choice of the
          title is curious because the mythological Leviathan is
          consistently the symbol of the "powers of evil, "4  rightfully
          upsetting the supporters of the Crown.  Yet it is clear when
          Hobbes describes the Leviathan as the "mortal god"5 on earth that
          he does not share the common diabolical connotation.  Certainly
          Hobbes was aware of this discrepancy and it is likely he intended
          for the discrepancy to further define his concept of a Leviathan
          rising from the people.  There is no doubt that such a "beast"
          would need to be menacing and powerful in order to convince
          people that their lives are safer with it than in their own
          hands.  The Leviathan is the generation of the Commonwealth, that
          entity consisting in the powers of all people which can protect
          them from their enemies.  Hobbes' critics were quick to equate
          the evil beast with government, thus putting Hobbes at odds with
          the regime indeed, with any government.  It is possible that
          Hobbes selected the Leviathan symbol in part to convey that
          government is a necessary evil given humans' inclination to
          destroy one another without it.  Even this notion brought Hobbes
          criticism as a paranoid anti-establishmentarian.  While he admits
          to a level of paranoia commensurate to being born the "twin of
          fear," he is emphatically not anti-establishment--in fact, he
          would have supported either Cromwell or the King as long as one
          of them possessed absolute power to govern as a Leviathan.  Given
          his dim view of human nature, his predilection toward paranoia,
          and the execution of the King, one cannot blame Hobbes for
          desiring peace and order at any price.
          Though never the intentional sum and highlight of his political,
          religious, ethical, and philosophical view, _________
                                                      Leviathan has
          nevertheless emerged as such.  This is because of Hobbes'
          precision in the use of language and his plain treatment and
          analysis of socially sensitive matter.  In his lifetime _________
          earned Hobbes the enmity of many who had formerly been his
          friends.  Today it is still popularly trivialized as a dark and
          heretical treatise written by a paranoid exile.  But Hobbes'
                4Herbert W. Schneider, "The Piety of Hobbes," in ______
          ______ __ ___ ____
          Hobbes in His Time, eds. Ralph Ross, Herbert W. Schneider, and
          Theodore Waldman (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press,
          1974), 86.
                5Hobbes, 132.
          admirers and students appreciate the giant work for what it is--a
          reconstitution of civil society from its most basic element.  He
          begins his book with the ambitious sentence, "Concerning the
          thoughts of man, I will consider them first singly, and
          afterwards in train, or dependence upon one another."6
          Considering that his goal is to explain governance, one would
          expect that a beginning begun with a discussion of the "single
          thought" would immediately proceed to more developed concepts
          such as the rights of kings.  Not so.  After describing the
          nature of thought, he discusses the senses, imagination, dreams,
          the development of speech, passions, virtue, and the
          categorization of all knowledge.  It is not until Chapter Sixteen
          that he defines what a person is and in Chapter Eighteen he
          finally addresses the rights of sovereigns.  It is an
          understatement to say that Hobbes is thorough in his endeavor.
          Although this thesis focuses on the generation of Leviathan (at
          the end of Chapter Seventeen), it is important to realize that
          this study covers only a quarter of the book.
          The result is a self-contained, interlocking structure with every
          word defined and every conclusion logically sound.  In the
          writing of his book, Hobbes incidentally produced the first
          comprehensive attempt at the theory of language.  In other words,
          Hobbes had to develop a theory of language to accurately describe
          his theory of the commonwealth.  Richard Tuck remarks that
          Leviathan is the "first unquestionably great philosophical work"
          in English.7  Prior to _________
                                 Leviathan, all scholarly works of import
          were written in Latin, French, German, or ancient Greek.8
          Since his endeavor was intentionally comprehensive, his treatise
          is unusually suitable for examining any and all societies--
          including those that did not exist in his time and as in the case
          of Usenet, arguably do not exist now.  This is possible because
          the treatise is presented mostly in general terms, giving it
          broad applicability and timelessness.  While it is true that
          Leviathan is a product of troubled times, Hobbes' sparing
          references to Britain merely illustrate his points and do not
          confine them to that island.  Additionally, his masterful
          understanding of philosophy beyond the realm of politics is
          useful in the establishment of personae and their virtual society
          of Usenet.
          Usenet is the largest computer conferencing network in the world.
          The network is composed of an estimated 2.3 million users at
          45,000 sites worldwide.  Most sites are academic institutions or
          high technology companies, but commercial and publicly supported
                6Hobbes, 21.
                7Richard Tuck, ______
                               Hobbes (Oxford:  Oxford UP, Clarendon,
          1957),  vii.
                8And undoubtedly, Chinese and Italian.
          access is available to any interested group or individuals.
          Usenet users can send private messages to one another via
          electronic mail.  The mail can reach many sites on the planet
          within seconds.  The users can also write public messages known
          as "articles."  These articles are divided into approximately
          4,000 thousand categories called "newsgroups."  Newsgroups range
          in topics from political theory to baseball.  The current volume
          of articles is 14,000 daily.9
          Despite its size, Usenet has no central authority which monitors
          access or content.  All control, if any, is exercised at the site
          level.  Sites determine whether to provide access to users or
          whether they want to provide a "feed" or connection to a
          potential site.  Users and sites may remain on the net as long as
          the sites that provide them with access continue to do so.
          Usenet articles are distributed using a "store and forward"
          method.  This means that when a user writes an article, the
          original article is stored at his or her site and a copy is
          forwarded via telephone or leased line to neighboring sites.
          Because the associated costs of storage and forwarding can become
          very high, economics may have more of an impact over local
          control than anything else.  A company, for example, may decide
          to restrict users from participating in any of the recreational
          newsgroups because the volume in those groups is high and their
          business value is low.  Still, some organizations may opt to
          control content for other reasons.  For example, a high school
          may decide to block participation in sexually-oriented
          newsgroups.  However, thousands of users around the world enjoy
          unrestricted access to newsgroups containing articles from the
          technologically informative to the obscene.  Depending on the
          user consulted, Usenet can be an anarchic or a highly regulated
          medium of communication.
                9Brian Reid, ______ __________ _______
                             Usenet Readership Summary (Palo Alto,
          California:  Network Measurement Project at the DEC Western
          Research Laboratory, March 1992), lines 22-28.  The lines are
          cited rather than page numbers because the document was received
          electronically without pagination.
                              Usenet is a Distinct Society
          In order to apply Hobbes' political philosophy to Usenet, it is
          important to establish the distinctness of the Usenet society.
          Distinctness assures that Usenet differs enough from the external
          world--the reality outside of Usenet--to provide a unique
          laboratory to cultivate new insights and new conclusions.  The
          argument for distinctness consists of Usenet's two-dimensional
          nature, its creation of an explicit language to describe its
          "physical" reality, its interference in the transfer of the
          social structure from the external world, and its ability to
          compensate for the lack of a complete social structure by
          developing a parallel or alternate structure to that of the
          external world.
          Although Usenet is designed to facilitate communication among
          computer users, it is restricted to written communication;
          therefore, it mitigates the amount and quality of communication
          possible among them.  Much like unintroduced penpals can never
          know the "real" persons behind their letters, Usenet users can
          never know the "real" persons behind the articles.  It is not
          possible to capture the range of interpersonal interaction with
          only the written word, transforming Usenet into a two-dimensional
          substitute for three-dimensional, "face-to-face" communication.
          As a result there is a deception in the medium that often
          distorts the meaning of a message, much as a carnival mirror
          distorts the reflection of a person:  what is "said" is not
          necessarily what is "heard," or more accurately, what is written
          is often misinterpreted.  Since ambiguity has this deceptive
          effect in the external world, Usenet participants are especially
          susceptible to ambiguous statements, implied meanings, and
          sarcastic remarks.  Whereas external world users can find clues
          to meaning in facial expressions and voice control, Usenet
          participants cannot.  But more importantly, the lack of cues
          available during "face-to-face" communication points not only to
          the absence of  faces, but to the absence of all physical
          Lacking physical reality, Usenet users must create an explicit,
          written language to convey meaning as well as emotion, physical
          qualities, and action. As a society based in language, it relies
          heavily on symbol, analogy, and metaphor to re-create or transfer
          physical matter and actions from the external world.  But since
          these re-creations are merely metaphors for, or "analogs" of
          their physical counterparts, Usenet can never be a mirror image
          of the external world.
          Usenet users are unable to "bring" with them their respective
          social structures because the limitations of written
          communication deconstruct their external world social structure.
          These social structures consist of the norms, mores, and
          traditions which guide the users'  interaction as members of the
          external society.  The computer medium inhibits computer users
          from transferring these social structures to Usenet.  This
          inhibition resulting from the absence of or limitations on
          physical proximity, "face-to-face" interaction, and non-verbal
          cues, is discussed and analyzed at length in Elizabeth Reid's
          _____________  _____________ ___ _________ __ ________ _____
          Electropolis:  Communication and Community on Internet Relay
          Chat.   Reid exposes the failings of computer-mediated, i.e.,
          written,  communication as follows:
                Words, as we use them in speech, fail to express what they
            really mean once they are deprived of the subtleties of speech
            and the non-verbal cues that we assume will accompany it. . .
            . It is not only the meanings of sentences that become
            problematic in computer-mediated communication.  The standards
            of behavior that are normally decided upon by verbal-cues are
            not clearly indicated when information is purely textual.10
          The deprivation of the "subtleties" is exactly what makes
          communication and interaction among Usenet users different from a
          room full of computer users.  Computer users, as do all persons,
          learn standards of behavior from their respective social
          structures.  As Reid suggests, these standards are reinforced by
          "subtleties of speech and non-verbal cues."  But within Usenet,
          users limited to written communication are denied the full range
          of verbal and non-verbal cues customary to interpersonal
          communication and required for reinforcing behavioral standards.
          In the external world,  behavioral standards dictate that one
          should not provoke a visibly angry man, but in Usenet the
          absence, or least the distortion, of visible anger interferes
          with that standard of behavior.
          Despite the limitations of a society based upon written
          communication, Usenet users are able to compensate.  The
          "interference" or distortion caused by the written medium forces
          Usenet users to confront what Reid calls the deconstruction of
          the "traditional methods for expressing community" by developing
          "alternate or parallel methods."11  In this way, Usenet has
          become an alternate or distinct society from the external world.
          Usenet's parallel method or analog for conveying mores, norms,
          and traditions is known as "netiquette."  As the term implies, it
          is literally "network etiquette" and it helps to reinforce the
          standards of behavior that users might miss from the lack of
          non-verbal cues.  Several attempts have been made to summarize
          the norms of  "netiquette."  The most widely cited is Gene
          Spafford's series of documents12, which he compiled and edited
          from the suggestions of Usenet users.  Either heeded or ignored
          by many, the estimates of the validity of Spafford's guidelines
          vary, but they are often invoked to resolve a dispute or to
                10Elizabeth Reid, "Electropolis:  Communication and
          Community on Internet Relay Chat," thesis, (Melbourne, Australia:
          University of Melbourne UP:  1991), lines 495-505.
                11Reid, lines 200-206.
                12These documents are included in the Appendix.
          "advise" one another.  In the following example, "Jack" from the
          University of  California at Irvine advises "Bill" from The
          Netherlands of a breach of "netiquette":
                Your reply to my post gave me mixed messages.  Some of
            your comments are cruel.  Your flame should have been sent
            directly to me via e-mail.13
          Since enforcement of "netiquette" begins with the individual
          users, consensual interpretation by the Usenet public determines
          the "law."  If a user's action offends one person in 10 million,
          that action is probably a slight breach, but nothing of wider
          concern; however, if an action results in thirty complaints, then
          it usually is treated more seriously.  "Netiquette" then, is the
          Usenet analog for the external world's system of mores, norms,
          and tradition.  While not a precise duplication of the external
          world's social structure, "netiquette" provides Usenet users with
          guidelines or standards of behavior.  Chuq Von Rospach, author of
          _ ______ __ ___ __ ____ ____ ___ ______ _________
          A Primer on How to Work with the USENET Community, writes,
                . . . for USENET to function properly those people must be
            able to interact in productive ways.  This document is
            intended as a guide to using the net in ways that will be
            pleasant and productive for everyone.  This document is not
            intended to teach you how to use USENET.  Instead, it is a
            guide to using it politely, effectively and efficiently.14
          It will be recalled that Reid suggests non-verbals cues reinforce
          the standards of behavior in the external world.  Just as
          "netiquette" developed into the Usenet analog for standards of
          behavior, a system of written cues has developed as an analog to
          reinforce those standards.  These cues, known as "emoticons" make
          use of non-standard punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and
          special keyboard characters to convey action, emotion, and
          emphasis.  An excerpt from Spafford's guidelines follows:
                The net has developed a symbol called the smiley face.  It
            looks like ":-)" and points out sections of articles with
            humorous intent.  No matter how broad the humor or satire, it
            is safer to remind people that you are being funny.15
                13All such examples are exerpts from actual Usenet
          communication.  The original punctuation and spacing has been
          left intact to preserve the intent of the message.  In the
          interest of privacy, the authors' surnames have been suppressed.
                14Chuq Von Rospach, _ ______ __ ___ __ ____ ____ ___ ______
                                    A Primer on How to Work With the USENET
          Community.  Compiled by Gene Spafford, 1987, lines 14-16.  See
          the Appendix for the complete text.
                15Von Rospach, lines 112-114.
          This guideline emphasizes the use of emoticons to convey humor in
          order to avoid the consequences of ambiguous or sarcastic
          statements, but does not show the variety of possibilities, as in
          the following examples:
                        *sniff* waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh
                I laughed, i cried....that post was GREAT! :-)
          In this message, "-Mirth-" from the Massachusetts Institute of
          Technology, has no difficulty sharing his or her amusement with
          an earlier "post" or message of  Steve's.  Note the use of the
          asterisks in "*sniff*" to convey action as opposed to simply
          saying "I sniffed," as is done later.  Of course, the
          capitalization in "GREAT" indicates emphasis, presumably
          enthusiasm given the presence of the "smiley."  Consider the next
          example from a user at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada:
                You know, I agree with everything you said. However, you
            loosely fall into the dweeb category by admitting you actually
            READ most of the damn thing. It brings no fame to its creator,
            but only humiliation to the human species (or does Kibo not
            fit into the homo sapien sapien category? Maybe there is a
            better division for an individual who's life is overwhelmed by
            USENET? homo sappy postus?)    *shakes his head, almost
            embarassed that he has a 4 line .sig, let alone a 950 line
          This article is an excerpt from a discussion on whether having a
          "950 line"  signature on an article is a violation of
          "netiquette."  The Canadian user agrees that a lengthy signature
          is a violation and becomes embarrassed when he realizes that his
          own "4 line .sig" is considered too long by most interpretations
          of "netiquette."  He conveys this realization by using asterisks
          to simulate the shaking of his head.
          To summarize, it is important to establish the distinctness of
          Usenet from the society of the external world so that new
          insights and new conclusions may be cultivated from the
          application of Hobbes' political philosophy.  This distinctness
          is established by Usenet's explicit language for conveying
          meaning, emotion, and action to a two-dimensional environment.
          Although Usenet users are able to compensate for the lack of a
          physical reality, their parallels or "analogs" with the outside
          world have resulted in a distinct reality of their own.
                                 The Notion of Persona
          The high level of interaction between Usenet users in their
          distinct society results in the development of "personae."  The
          following discussion explores this development, the personae's
          ability to portray Usenet users to one another, the derivation of
          their "actions" from words, and the conditions for their
          Usenet is distinguished from other written media by the level of
          interaction among its users.  A printed newspaper, for example,
          offers its readers a one-way medium.  Generally, a newspaper is a
          medium for the writers to communicate to their readers and not
          with them; however, the Opinion/Editorial page does provide for
          selected reader response.  There the opinions expressed are
          personal and not necessarily the view of the newspaper's staff.
          These opinions may be compelling or inane, but it is the names
          attached that remind one that there are individuals at the
          source.  These individuals, through the interaction of their
          opinions, briefly create a sense of community.  Granted, such a
          community is a fleeting one at best, for often the emergent
          dialogue is not a dialogue at all, but a set of coincident
          monologues submitted in reaction to a piece of news.  Any
          repartee is unintentional and possibly staged--selected--by the
          editor to represent a diversity of views.  In Usenet, dialogue is
          spontaneous and unedited, and the individuals at the source are
          users who frequently contribute on a regular basis.  The most
          active users contribute over fifty articles per week each.16
          This high level of interaction among Usenet users creates a more
          permanent sense of community than among a newspaper's readership.
          Accordingly, this high level of interaction among users provides
          opportunities to develop relationships.
          It has been established that the medium of written communication
          interferes with the transfer of the users' external world social
          structures into Usenet.  By the same means,  written
          communication interferes with the transfer of the users'
          personalities and unique qualities as well.  The result is the
          creation of "personae" which are as distinct from the users as
          Usenet society is distinct from the external world.  The external
          world of the users is a world of myriad objects to be sense-
          perceived ultimately to be desired or avoided.17  The nature of
          the users' known universe possesses physical characteristics that
          can be sense-perceived either directly or indirectly via
          technological extension of the senses or a combination of these
          accompanied by scientific deduction.  Words signify the memory of
                16UUNET Technologies, Inc., ___ __ ____ __________ __ ____
                                            Top 25 News Submitters by User
          __ ______ __ ________ ___ ___ ____  _ _____
          by Number of Articles for the Last  2 weeks (Falls Church,
          Virginia: July 24, 1992).
                17Hobbes, 48.
          sensory experience and thought18, but the physical things of the
          external world exist independently of the words which describe
          them.  Though important, words are not required for the existence
          of the things to which they refer.  But within Usenet, words are
          the sole means of characterizing the network's universe.  Thus,
          wordsmanship in Usenet is a far more valued skill than it is in
          the external world.  Consequently, possession or lack of this
          skill can inadvertently give the Usenet user a radically
          different persona from him or herself.  Accordingly,  a command
          of written language can empower a persona in Usenet beyond the
          relative strength of its user in the external world.
          The degree to which Usenet users resemble their personae seems to
          vary.  The representation of a user within Usenet is the
          attempted transfer of the user's individuality into a Usenet
          persona.  The user has some control over the representation and
          the extent to which the persona resembles himself or herself.  A
          representation is transparent when the user attempts to represent
          him or herself as he or she is; a representation is translucent
          when the Usenet persona is only a shadow of the user; and
          accordingly, a representation is opaque when the persona does not
          resemble the user at all.
          A user can spend a great amount of energy wondering about the
          "real" users behind the personae with which he or she interacts.
          In all cases where there is no direct knowledge of another user,
          if one cares, one must rely upon the word of that user as to
          whether that persona is an accurate representation.  Since it is
          in effect that user's word which is in question, relying upon it
          offers little relief.  Without direct or revealed knowledge, the
          pursuit of the true nature of representations is a matter for
          speculation.  Therefore, until the full truth is known, it is a
          common and expedient practice  to "forget" about the users behind
          the personae  so that any purported resemblance or dissimilarity
          of personae to users can be treated as if it does not matter.19
          Since Usenet is a medium for communication, any resemblance it
          may have to external world society necessarily must be reduced to
          written form.  Physical actions such as activating a computer or
          restricting access to another user's account are actions
          completed by users and not by their Usenet personae.  Users have
          physical form and are able to manipulate physical objects such as
          power switches and keyboards, but their Usenet personae have no
          physical form.  Therefore any interaction among  personae must be
          derived from the written words of their users.  Note that actions
          derived from written messages do not correspond exactly to those
          of the respective users.  For example, the action of a persona
                18Hobbes, 33.
                19We commonly "forget" complications for the sake of
          simplicity.  For example, it is simpler to think of the sun
          "rising" than it is to think of the earth turning.
          which is "smiling," corresponds to the action of a user who is
          typing.  Although the action of "smiling" is derived from the
          words that the user types, the actions do not correspond exactly
          because the user may or may not be smiling and the persona is
          probably not "typing."
          It is the high level of interaction among Usenet users which
          gives their personae "life."  In fact, a single response to one's
          statement is sufficient to generate a persona.  That response,
          though minimal, is the foundation of existence within Usenet.  It
          is obvious that a response implies a cause or stimulus worthy of
          reaction; however it is less obvious that by implication it
          signifies an acknowledgement of that cause.  In terms of "cause"
          and "effect," a characteristic of the effect is the
          substantiation of its cause's existence.  In terms of Usenet, a
          response substantiates the existence of a statement.  This may
          seem trivial until it is recalled that Usenet personae are
          created as a result of the interaction among Usenet users.  This
          interaction consists of the cycle of statement and response.  The
          existence of the personae, therefore, is tied to that cycle.
          One may wonder why interaction is a prerequisite for a persona's
          existence.  In a written world such as Usenet, there is a
          stricter burden of proof for existence than Descartes requires in
          the external world.  A user can read and contemplate the words of
          another user, but unless there is a visible, i.e., written,
          response via his persona, the action of reading and contemplating
          goes unnoticed.  If a user is unnoticed, then he or she is not
          interacting with other users.  Because personae are created as a
          result of interaction, reading and contemplating alone are
          insufficient to generate or maintain the existence of a persona.
          As shown, "Cogito ergo sum" is an insufficient measure of
          existence within Usenet.  If all users kept their thoughts to
          themselves, they certainly would be assured of their own
          existences, but Usenet would be reduced to a non-interactive,
          indistinct, written medium.  Without some sort of response beyond
          interior cogitation, there is nothing to be perceived by other
          Usenet users.  "Network existentialism" is therefore more
          skeptical than Decartes' externalism can account for.
          However, a dialectical approach can be used to establish a
          measure for existence  within Usenet.  Whereas "I think,
          therefore I am" is insufficient for this purpose, so too is "I
          write, therefore I am."  Again, without a visible response, a
          written statement remains isolated and apparently unperceived--a
          persona's existence is neither generated nor substantiated.  A
          further modification to the premise results in, "I am perceived,
          therefore I am."  Suddenly the Usenet user is no longer alone,
          for to be perceived requires another.  The visible response, "I
          hear you" generates and substantiates the existence of the first
          user's persona, whereby a reply would perform the same function
          for the second user's persona.  The visible response is evidence
          of perception.  Without that response, the perception remains as
          an interior cogitation of the would-be respondent and does
          nothing to substantiate the existence of either user's persona.
          The visible cycle of cause and effect, the users' statements,
          responses, restatements, and correspondence ensures the viability
          of the personae of both users.  When extended beyond them to the
          multitude of the personae within Usenet, the existence of all of
          them is assured.
          Where the parallel between dialectical existence in Usenet to
          independent existence in the external world might be difficult to
          follow, the parallel for the quality of life is more apparent.
          As in other aspects of the comparison of Usenet to the external
          world, persona existence is distinct from user existence.  Users
          require air, food, water, and other essentials for basic
          existence.  Personae, lacking physical form, do not require
          physical sustenance; nonetheless, they are dependent upon three
          essential conditions for existence.
          The first condition is the continued association between the user
          and the persona.  The loss of the user's access to Usenet severs
          the association to his or her persona.  Once Usenet loses its
          utility to the user, the continued association to the persona is
          threatened.  In other words, a persona's existence is dependent
          upon a user's access to Usenet; and a user maintains access to
          Usenet so long as Usenet remains useful.
          The second condition is the visible demonstration of presence.
          While Usenet may have great utility to a passive user,20 the lack
          of interaction with other users does not create a persona which
          exists in a way previously defined as existence within Usenet.
          The passive user remains outside the boundary of Usenet existence
          and his or her actions are unnoticed to "life" within.  This
          study concerns itself with those users who choose to participate.
          The third condition is that the participation is continuous.  A
          persona belonging to a user who is prevented, unable, or
          unwilling to continue to participate will continue to exist until
          the memory of that existence is forgotten by the other users.
          In summary, the two-dimensional nature of Usenet, caused by the
          medium of written communication, forces the development of
          personae among interacting users.  Further, the derived actions
          of the personae from the words of the users are distinct from the
          physical actions of the users.  Also there is sufficient
          distinctness to allow users to "forget" that they are interacting
          with representations of other users and not the users themselves.
          Finally, the personae exist dialectically21 and will continue to
                20A passive user is a user who does not or cannot
          communicate with other users, e.g., while using a library's
          online catalog.
                  Prior to the "first cause," participant A is isolated in
          silence and unaware of "self" and "other"--existence is
          undefined.  Participant B, like A, is also alone and ignorant.
          Spontaneously, participant A wonders aloud, "What is my purpose,
          if any?"  B, surprised by the break in the silence and the
          presence of another, replies, "I don't know, but let's find out
          exist as long as Usenet retains its utility to the users and the
          users continue to participate continuously via the cycle of
          statement and response.
          together."  The phenomenon of mutual awareness implies the
          simultaneous awareness of the other and the self.  This
          rudimentary confirmation of existence-dependent-upon-another,
          i.e., co-existence, is sufficient enough to allow participants A
          and B to pursue the purposes of their existence together.
                                  Personae are Persons
          Having established the distinctness of Usenet's society and its
          persona population, it is possible to proceed with a preliminary
          parallel to _________
                      Leviathan.  Establishing the parallel between persons
          and personae will allow for the subsequent application of Hobbes'
          political philosophy to Usenet.  This parallel is established in
          the following discussion of Hobbes' definition of "person," the
          actions of personae, and the special form of representation known
          as "impersonation."
          Hobbes writes,
                A person is he, _____ _____ __ _______ ___ ___________
                                whose words or actions are considered,
            ______ ___ ____ __ __ ____________ ___ _____ __ _______ __
            either his own, or as representing the words or actions of
            _______ ___
            another man . . . When they are considered his own, then is he
            called a _______ ______
                     natural person:  and when they are considered as
            representing the words and actions of another, then is he a
            _______ __ __________ ______
            feigned or artificial person."22
          Having established that personae represent users to one another
          in Usenet, this definition seems to suggest that personae are
          indeed persons.  To explain, according to Hobbes a persona
          represents the "words or actions of another man." Indeed, a
          persona represents the words and actions of a user.  Further,
          Hobbes defines "personation" as "to act or represent oneself."23
          This being the precise purpose for personae in Usenet,
          "personation" is alternately definable as the "generation of a
          persona."  Therefore, in terms of Hobbes, Usenet users must
          "personate" themselves via personae because written communication
          prevents the users from acting and representing themselves in
          person.  In other words, personae are the Usenet analogs for
          persons in the external world.
          While it is true that a persona's actions represent the actions
          of a user, the distinctness of the persona from the user allows
          for the distinctness of the persona's actions.  Recall that all
          persona actions must necessarily be derived from the written
          responses of the users.  When a user writes a hostile message to
          another user, his or her persona in effect "attacks" the persona
          of the recipient.  Whether a persona is actually responsible for
          or "owns" the "attack," Hobbes writes:
                Of persons artificial, some have their words and actions
            owned by those whom they represent.  And then the person is
            the _____
                actor; and he that owneth his words and actions, is the
                22Hobbes, 125.  Hobbes tends to emphasize with
          capitalization and italics.  This emphasis will be preserved in
          all selected passages and quotations.
                23Hobbes, 125.
            AUTHOR:  in which case the actor acteth by authority.24
          Strictly interpreted, personae are "artificial persons" because
          their words and actions are owned by the users whom they
          represent, but since it is common and expedient to "forget" that
          personae are representations of users, it is possible to
          understand how a persona's actions can be interpreted as the
          persona's own.  Although Hobbes does not say specifically, he
          suggests that accountability for one's own actions is the
          consequence of acting as "owner" of the actions or with
          "authority."25  Accordingly, the expedience of "forgetting" may
          lead one to treat a persona as the author of its actions,
          thereby expecting accountability from the persona for the
          actions.  This is an unrealistic expectation, given that a
          persona is but a representation of a user who is the owner of its
          actions.  From this it follows that a user seeking to evade
          accountability for his actions might attempt to exploit the
          expedience of "forgetting" by acting through another user's
          persona.  By impostering or "impersonation," he or she can create
          a persona that appears to represent the personality and unique
          qualities of another user.  Because of the expedience of
          "forgetting" and the uncertainty regarding the degree of
          representation (transparent, translucent, or opaque) between
          users and personae, "impersonation" is a more serious violation
          of trust in Usenet than it is in the external world.  Reid
          writes, "The illegitimate use of  [personae] can cause anger on
          the part of their rightful users and sometimes deep feelings of
          guilt on the part of the perpetrators."26
          "Impersonation" is classified as an opaque representation since
          the persona is intended to represent someone other than the user
          behind it; however, not all opaque representations are
          impersonations.  A user seeking complete anonymity for personal
          privacy reasons might consider an opaque representation; however,
          a translucent representation is more common.  A translucent
          representation is typified by the user who wishes to interact via
          a pseudonym.  For the same reasons that an author would elect to
          use a pen name, a translucent representation is useful in masking
          the user's identity in certain situations.  When the user is not
          seeking to evade accountability for his or her actions, he or she
          is not "impersonating."
          To review, having established the distinctness of Usenet's
          society and its persona population, it is possible to proceed
          with a preliminary parallel to _________
                                         Leviathan.  This parallel
          establishes that personae "act or represent the words or actions"
                24Hobbes, 125.
                25Hobbes, 126.
                26Elizabeth M. Reid, "Electropolis: Communication and
          Community on Internet Relay Chat" (thesis, University of
          Melbourne, 1991), lines 1139-1141.
          of their users.  Additionally, expedience allows one to treat a
          person's words or actions as the persona's own.  This being
          Hobbes' definition for "personation," personae are therefore the
          Usenet analogs for persons in the external world.  Further, a
          user may exploit that expedience and "impersonate" another user
          to evade the consequences of his or her actions.  Finally, this
          preliminary parallel between Usenet and _________
                                                  Leviathan clears the way
          for further analysis of the latter and the development of analogs
          within the former.
                                       The Powers
          Given the preliminary parallel between personae and Hobbes'
          "persons," it is possible to establish a further parallel between
          Leviathan and Usenet. Hobbes explains that persons possess
          certain powers.  The discussion continues with the consideration
          of these powers and development of their Usenet analogs.  On the
          subject of power, Hobbes begins,
                _______ _____
                Natural power, is the eminence of the faculties of body,
            or mind:  as extraordinary strength, form, prudence, arts,
            eloquence, liberality, nobility.  ____________
                                              Instrumental are those
            powers, which acquired by these, or by fortune, are means and
            instruments to acquire more: . . .27
          Three of these natural powers are severely limited in their
          transfer to Usenet society because Usenet personae lack physical
          form.  They are strength, form, and arts.  Obviously, physical
          strength is irrelevant in any environment devoid of physical
          things, but a Usenet persona can have strength relative to other
          personae.  In terms of Usenet, strength is one's ability to
          "execute an attack."  It will be recalled that the action of
          "attack," like all actions in Usenet, must be derived from the
          cycle of statement and response.  Therefore, "strength" in Usenet
          is one's ability to write a potent or even, vehement statement.
          The power of "form" comes from one's physical makeup.  In
          essence, it is the effect that one's appearance has on others.
          According to Hobbes, "form is power; because being a promise of
          good, it recommendeth men to the favour of women and
          strangers."28  Like "strength" it transfers poorly into Usenet
          because personae lack physical form.  Yet it has an analogous
          counterpart:  "form" in terms of Usenet, comes from the
          impression one makes on others, not with one's physique, but with
          one's words.  Even a pseudonym can convey form, as "Spartan"
          brings to mind images of frugality and warriors and "Damsel"
          connotes femininity and distress.  "Form" can extend to actual
          word choice when academic language can make a persona "appear"
          more scholarly, or when language laden with scientific jargon
          might bring to mind images of laboratory coats and measurement
          instruments.  Granted, while these images are not the clear,
          consistent images conveyed by "form" in the external world--in
          fact, they probably vary depending on the perceiver--they do
          serve to add a "face" to a name and a personality to the words.
          It is only natural to want to "fill in the blanks" that Usenet's
          analog for "form" leaves empty.
          Regarding the power of arts, Hobbes writes,
                27Hobbes, 72.
                28Hobbes, 73.
                Arts of public use, as fortification, making of engines,
            and other instruments of war; because they confer to defence,
            and victory, are power:  and though the true mother of them,
            be science, namely mathematics;  yet, because they are brought
            into the light, by the hand of the artificer, they be
            esteemed, the midwife passing with the vulgar for the mother,
            as his issue.29
          Since Usenet is a non-physical environment, the notion of
          "defence," like that of strength, must be derived from the cycle
          of statement and response.  Having established that "strength" in
          Usenet is one's ability to write a potent statement, then it
          follows that "arts" in Usenet, because they "confer to defence,"
          must be one's ability to write a rebuttal.
          In contrast, the powers of "prudence" and "liberality" are
          transferred to Usenet almost completely.  "Liberality" is
          intended by Hobbes to mean "generosity."  He writes,
                Also riches joined with liberality, is power; because it
            procureth friends, and servants:  without liberality, not so;
            because in this case they defend not; but expose men to envy,
            as a prey.30
          "Liberality" can be combined with things other than riches to
          produce the same effect.  Consider the act of restraining oneself
          from easily humiliating a subordinate in public or the act of
          freely and genuinely offering one's assistance to the
          uninitiated.  These acts of kindness bolster one's liberality.
          Additionally, they are actions easily transferred to written
          On the subject of prudence, Hobbes writes,
                When the thoughts of a man, that has a design in hand,
            running over a multitude of things, observes how they conduce
            to that design; or what design they may conduce unto; if his
            observations be such as are not easy, or usual, this wit of
            his is called PRUDENCE;  and depends on much experience, and
            memory of the like things, and their consequences
          Here Hobbes explains that "prudence" comes from "much experience"
          leading to "unusual observations" or insight.  A person's
          prudence transfers to his or her persona because they share one
          and the same mind and experiences, despite the fact that
          expedience may permit one to "forget" this fact.  Only when one's
          writing ability interferes with one's attempt to communicate
                29Hobbes, 73.
                30Hobbes, 72.
                31Hobbes, 61.
          prudently does a persona seem less prudent in Usenet than the
          user does in the external world.
          Unlike the previously discussed powers, where it is clear that
          some have more exact Usenet analogs than others, the transferral
          of "nobility" to Usenet presents difficulty.  Hobbes explains,
                Nobility is power, not in all places, but only in those
            commonwealths, where it has privileges:  for in such
            privileges, consisteth their power.32
          One's privileges come from the recognition by others of one's
          rank or nobility.  Unless one conveyed one's nobility through a
          pseudonym or name such as "Dr. Oakeshott" or by the use of
          revealing information such as "My father, Senator Kennedy says .
          . . ," it is not likely that external world nobility will have
          relevance to Usenet society.  Additionally, in cases where
          external world nobility is transferred, the privileges and
          respect are not as forthcoming as expected.  Perhaps this is
          because persons of nobility, accustomed to the "trappings" of the
          elite, find that without these "trappings" in Usenet, their
          nobility is nothing more than words.  However, nobility does
          exist in Usenet.  Users such as Spafford, the frequently cited
          authority on "netiquette," seem to enjoy much deference when
          "making appearances" in Usenet.  For example, because Spafford is
          famous, other users may be less visibly critical of his
          statements while he is "present."
          "Eloquence," is possibly the most important power in Usenet.
          Hobbes probably included eloquence among the powers because it
          enables one to communicate, not only functionally, but with
          finesse.  Hobbes writes:  "Eloquence is power, because it is
          seeming prudence."33  The skill of writing enables one to have
          "a way with words" or eloquence.  Moreover, in a world where
          words are primary to existence and serve as the sole mode of
          communication and activity, their importance cannot be
          exaggerated.  In _____ ________
                           Emily Postnews, author Brad Templeton reminds
          the uninitiated user that "sloppy spelling in a purely written
          forum sends out the same silent messages that soiled clothing
          would when addressing an audience."34  On the other hand,
          actually wearing soiled clothing while accessing Usenet has
          absolutely no effect on one's persona.  The premium that Usenet
          places on spelling, and writing skills in general, inflates the
          Usenet analog for eloquence beyond its relative worth in the
          external world.
                32Hobbes, 73.
                33Hobbes, 73.
                34Brad Templeton, _____ ________
                                  Emily Postnews, compiled by Gene
          Spafford, 1991, lines 241-245.  See Appendix for complete text.
          Hobbes discusses additional powers which rely on or operate in
          conjunction with those already considered.  Among those
          additional powers are "affability" and united power.
          The power of "affability" seems similar to that of "liberality."
          "Liberality" was described earlier with the examples of public
          restraint with subordinates and generosity with the use of one's
          powers.  Strictly speaking, these qualities of graciousness more
          accurately describe the power of "affability."  If one reviews
          Hobbes' definition of "liberality," one will notice that
          "liberality" is power when "joined" with riches.  Clearly, Hobbes
          is concerned with "riches" when he writes of "liberality" because
          "it procureth friends, and servants."  Hobbes believes that
          "liberality" or generosity with one's riches is a power because
          friends and servants contribute to one's defense.
          The external world concept of "riches" does not easily translate
          into a world without physical or material wealth, but the
          development of the analog is possible nonetheless.  In the
          external world, money is used to barter for goods and services.
          In Usenet, goods do not exist.  On the other hand, services are
          abundant:  sharing one's knowledge is a service.  Assisting a new
          user is a service.  These services may be traded in Usenet
          analogously to their trade in the external world.  Therefore, the
          Usenet analog for "riches" is "services."  This conclusion
          returns one to the original observation that "liberality" and
          "affability" appear to share the same definition. With respect to
          Usenet, indeed they do.
          Finally, the power of united power or power "united by consent"
          is described below:
                The greatest of human powers, is that which is compounded
            of the powers of most men, united by consent, in one person,
            natural, or civil, that has the use of all their powers
            depending on his will."35
          It is premature to discuss why persons would want to unite their
          powers in a single person before it has been considered why they
          would want to pursue powers for themselves.  But since Hobbes
          includes this power with the rest, it is important to note that a
          power "which is compounded of the powers of most men" is the
          "greatest of human powers."  While this may be true in the
          external world, the nature of Usenet's written medium may
          subordinate united power to the power of "eloquence," since it is
          "eloquence" which enables users to create the environment where
          unity takes place.
                35Hobbes, 72.
                                 The Pursuit of Powers
          Given the discussion of Hobbes' "powers" and the development of
          their respective analogs in Usenet, it is possible to discuss and
          develop the pursuit of powers in the external world and in
          Usenet.  This will be done by examining the benefits of power,
          the need for continuous participation to retain one's powers, and
          the effect of using one's powers to confront or compete with
          another person or persona.
          With respect to the benefits of power, Hobbes writes,
                [Powers] . . . are the means and instruments to acquire
            more:  as riches, reputation, friends, and the secret working
            of God, which men call good luck.36
          The benefits of power then are riches, reputation, friends, and
          good luck.  One will discover that these benefits are in some
          instances powers themselves, and that the pursuit of power
          appears to be an end in itself.
          Riches are perhaps the most difficult of the benefits of power to
          transfer to Usenet society.  In the external world, riches are
          clear--they are the signs and objects of material wealth, such as
          money and possessions.  Given that Usenet lacks a physical
          environment, an analog for material wealth, money, or possessions
          is nonsensical.  However, it has been established that
          "services," as in sharing one's knowledge, is the analog for
          Reputation is significant in both the external world and Usenet.
          It is the most important benefit of power in Usenet society.
          Hobbes does not provide a simple definition with which one can
          grasp the full meaning of reputation; in fact, he defines
          reputation contextually in the definitions of other powers.
          Consider the following passage:
                Reputation of power, is power; because it draweth with it
            the adherence of those that need protection.  So is reputation
            of love of a man's country, called popularity, for the same
            reason.  Also, what quality soever maketh a man beloved, or
            feared of many; or the reputation of such quality, is power;
            because it is a means to have the assistance, and service of
            many.  Good success is power; because it maketh reputation of
            wisdom, or good fortune; which makes men either fear him; or
            rely on him. . . . Reputation of prudence in the conduct of
            peace or war, is power; because to prudent men, we commit the
            government of ourselves, more willingly than to others.37
          Broadly defined,  reputation is the publicly held estimate of
          one's worth.  With that in mind, Hobbes' definition of reputation
                36Hobbes, 72.
                37Hobbes, 72-73.
          in the context of other powers make more sense.  This being the
          case, reputation is the publicly held estimate of one's powers.
          For example, one may be an excellent cook known only within the
          private circle of one's friends, but once one establishes a
          reputation outside of that private circle, the estimate of one's
          excellence may be held publicly.  In this case, the power of
          one's prudence in cooking is amplified by one's reputation, and
          Hobbes tells us that in the first line of that passage when he
          says "reputation of power, is power."  It is in this sense of
          power begetting power that the importance of reputation is
          heightened in the external world.  To the extent that reputation
          is the most important power in Usenet, the following discussion
          of the Usenet analog for reputation is critical.
          In Usenet, one's powers, such as strength and eloquence, are
          expressed by participating in the cycle of statements and
          responses.  Only in this way can one's powers be perceived,
          substantiated, measured, and ranked by others.  The resulting
          comparisons made among personae establish the public estimation
          of one's worth.  This reputation-making process of comparison and
          worth is supported with the following two quotations from Hobbes:
                "Virtue generally, in all sorts of subjects, is somewhat
            that is valued for eminence; and consisteth in comparison."38
                "For let a man, as most men do, rate themselves at the
            highest value they can; yet their true value is no more, than
            it is esteemed by others."39
          Indeed, Hobbes makes it clear that reputation serves to set a
          "market price" for one's worth.  He implies that although
          reputation can amplify one's strengths, it can expose one's
          weaknesses to greater scrutiny, thereby devaluating others'
          personal estimate of those strengths.  And with respect to
          Usenet, reputation is the collective memory of the comparisons of
          past cycles of statement and response.
          Hobbes believes that the possession of friends is a benefit of
          power.  The Usenet "public" that forms one's reputation consists
          of many personae, some of which are one's friends.  During the
          cycle of the statement and response, the participants and the
          observers rate and compare the participants' expressions of their
          powers.  This comparison reveals degrees of affinities among
          personae, that is, they may "take sides" on an issue.  These
          affinities are guided by what is described by Hobbes as
          passions,40 which include but are not limited to appetite,
                38Hobbes, 59.
                39Hobbes, 73.
                40Hobbes, 47.
          desire, love, aversion, hate, joy, and grief.41  Those personae
          whose passions move them together out of common affinity become
          friends, supporters, and allies.  Those whose passions
          disassociate them may become enemies.  A persona's friends enable
          it to establish and build its reputation, thereby increasing its
          power, whereas its enemies seek to discredit it, thereby reducing
          its power.  There is no inherent quality such as "good" or "evil"
          that distinguishes one's friends from one's enemies; what is
          knowable is only that the former seek to support and increase
          one's power, and the latter seek its attenuation.
           The benefit of power known as "luck" describes one's ability to
          "know the secret working of God."  Certainly Hobbes does not mean
          direct knowledge of God, but he does want to acknowledge the
          power of those who tend to draw "stronger hands" than others.
          The most important analog for luck in Usenet is one's ability to
          draw friends.  While it is true that one's friends come from
          those who observe one's actions, luck guides one to act
          fortuitously in places likely to attract many and the most
          reliable of them.
          In order to acquire the benefits of power, it is necessary to
          continuously participate in the cycle of statement and response.
          Although reputation is a benefit of power and a power, because it
          amplifies the other powers, the duration of that effect becomes
          important.  If one's reputation is held by the public in
          collective memory, it follows that one's reputation is
          recalculated after each participation, with the readjusted
          reputation replacing the older reputation in the collective
          memory.  Thus one's reputation lasts until it is forgotten.  As
          one's reputation fades from memory, so fades one's power.
          However, to fade completely violates the condition of existence
          for continuous participation; therefore, to avoid the fading of
          one's power and the cessation of existence, one must continuously
          participate in the cycle of statement and response.
          To summarize, the objects or benefits of power are riches,
          reputation, friends, and luck.  Of these benefits, reputation is
          the most important in Usenet because it is a benefit of power and
          a power in itself.  It enables one to increase one's power by
          amplifying beyond the private circle into the public arena.  By
          subjecting one's powers to perception, substantialization,
          comparison, and rating, reputation is created by participating in
          the cycle of statement and response.  Reputation sets the "fair
          market" value for one's worth which may be higher or lower than
          one's own estimation.  Reputation is stored in the collective
          memory of past participation in the cycle of statement and
          response.  And finally, the duration of one's reputation depends
          upon one's continuous participation in the cycle of statement and
                41Hobbes, 50.
          Where previously, the definition of power, its benefits and their
          Usenet analogs have been discussed, it is possible to explore in
          terms of Usenet, the pursuit of power, the notion of "death," and
          the competition for powers.
          The possession of certain benefits of power, such as reputation,
          is power in itself; however, possession of power alone seems not
          to be enough.  In revisiting the following passage on power, it
          is important to focus on Hobbes' use of "more:"
                [Powers] . . . are the means and instruments to acquire
            more:  as riches, reputation, friends, and the secret working
            of God, which men call good luck.42
            Hobbes does not say, for example, that powers are the means to
          acquire riches, reputation, friends and good luck.  He says that
          powers are the means to acquire "more."  This suggests that
          Hobbes believes that the simple acquisition of powers is not
          enough.  In fact, it is clear from the following passage that
          there is no limit as to how much can be acquired:
                And the cause of this, is not always that a man hopes for
            more intensive delight, than he has already attained to; or
            that he cannot be content with a moderate power:  but because
            he cannot assure the power and means to live well, which he
            hath present, without the acquisition of more.43
          As can be seen, the acquisition of "more" assures one's present
          power and "means to live well."  This implies an active life of
          acquisition, not a leisurely life where one waits for power to
          come to him or her.  Hobbes is saying that if one wants the
          assurance of one's "present means to live well," one must acquire
          "more."  Hobbes is very clear on this point when he uses the word
          "restless" in the following passage.  Note that "restless" should
          not be interpreted  as "fidgety," but rather, more literally as
          "without rest":
                So that in the first place, I put for a general
            inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of
            power after power, that ceaseth only in death.44
          This indictment of "mankind" clears the way for a discussion of
          "death."  According to Hobbes, death in the external world is the
          cessation of all movement, for men consist of a complex
          combination of motions ranging from one's limbs to one's
                42Hobbes, 72.
                43Hobbes, 80.
                44Hobbes, 80.
          dreams.45  These motions, "begun in generation, and continued
          without interruption through their whole life"46 distinguish the
          living from the not.
          The Usenet analog for life is also derived from motions, the
          motion of the cycle of statement and response, and it is
          predicated upon the satisfaction of the three conditions for a
          Usenet persona's existence:  enough utility to assure the
          continued association between the user and the persona, the
          visible demonstration of one's presence via a persona, and
          continuous participation in the cycle of statement and response.
          Without the satisfaction of these conditions, a persona cannot
          exist.  It is clear from the conditions that utility and
          participation are essential:  Usenet must remain useful to the
          user and the user must continuously assert the existence of his
          or her persona by participating in the cycle of statement and
          The effect of participation in this cycle is the creation and
          development of one's reputation.  Those personae whose
          reputations are highly valued attract a sufficient number of
          responses with which to perpetuate additional cycles for
          statement and response.  Those personae with poorly valued
          reputations may at first generate an intense cycle based on
          criticism of another and defense, but often come to be ignored
          and forced to face exclusion, obscurity, and thereby "death."
          For example,  well-regarded personae only need to participate
          occasionally to insure that they are not forgotten, because the
          resultant cycle of statement and response will generate enough
          interest to maintain their reputations, and thereby their
          existence.  It is also possible that little known personae may
          establish temporary notoriety for themselves by making outrageous
          statements before returning to obscurity after their cycle has
          run its course.
          By far, the great majority of personae enjoy neither fame nor
          ignominy, for their participation merely consists of "skirmishes"
          and banter.  To illustrate this case, it is common for one to
          state an opinion, draw criticism, and rebut it.  The participants
          in this short cycle are then compared, rated, and their
          respective reputations adjusted in the collective memory.  But
          consider the case where one is subjected to an undue amount of
          criticism.  If the "assault" is without merit, as in the second
          illustration, one may choose to ignore it; but if the criticism
          is based on truth, one may feel compelled to defend his or her
          reputation.  Hobbes explains this compulsion as a "right" when he
                THE RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonly call ___
                45Hobbes, 23-27.
                46Hobbes, 47.
            naturale, is the liberty each man hath, to use his own power,
            as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature;
            that is to say, of his own life; and consequently, of doing
            any thing, which in his own judgment, and reason, he shall
            conceive to be the aptest means thereunto.47
          As it has been shown, reputation is the "tote board" of a
          persona's existence within Usenet; therefore, to defend one's
          reputation is to exercise one's natural right to self-
          preservation in Usenet.  But even relatively minor "skirmishes"
          can lead to larger "battles," because the drive to acquire "more"
          can accelerate the cycle of statement and response into a
          reputation-making machine.    Consider the effect of the
          "perpetual and restless desire of power after power" and the
          lengths that Hobbes believes a person will go to assure the
          acquisition of "more."  In Usenet, the analog for an attack
          designed for quick reputational gain is called a "flame."
          Perhaps named for their inflammatory nature, "flames" tend to be
          ad hominem, argumentative, and often have little to do with the
          original discussions in which they develop.  The extremely
          personal nature of "flames" often draws one to respond
          reflexively with a statement even more insulting or offensive
          than the original.  Again, the motivation to participate in such
          an exchange is to publicly defend one's reputation.  A cycle
          containing ad hominem exchanges can gain momentum very quickly,
          attracting outside attention to its participants.  As the number
          of observers increases, the reputational stakes of the
          participants increase.  This has the effect of luring some of the
          observers from the "sidelines" into the cycle as well, causing
          the spread of the"war."  Sometimes compared to "storms," because
          they appear without warning, wreak havoc, and subside just as
          unpredictably, "flame wars" can start over spelling, grammar,
          semantics, or any seemingly trivial issue.
          Since "flame wars" can dominate or otherwise interfere with the
          discussion of non-participants, the "wars" tend to diminish the
          utility of Usenet to those non-participants.  Since utility is
          among the conditions of existence within Usenet, if enough non-
          participants feel the utility of their participation in Usenet is
          substantially threatened by a "flame war," the warring
          participants have nothing to gain reputationally and much to
          lose.  In fact, once a "flame war" loses its audience, the
          participants not only lose those who would judge and compare
          their actions, but more importantly, a war offensive, annoying,
          or useless enough to drive away its observers will probably cause
          a net loss to the reputations of its participants.
          Although "flame wars" are generally discouraged because they are
          so disruptive, they persist, and are commonly found in newsgroups
          oriented toward social issues and controversy.  However, the
          relatively sedate technical discussion newsgroups have their
          share.  The notoriously disruptive, and futile, cycle of "Macs
                47Hobbes, 103.
          are better than PCs" is a recurring "flame war" which many users
          try to extinguish as quickly as it begins, by refusing to
          participate.  It should be noted that a special newsgroup,
          "alt.flame," exists for the specific purpose of being a place
          where one can participate in a "flame war" without being
          disruptive to the discussions in the rest of the newsgroups, a
          sort of "O.K. Corral."  It is common to see someone write, "Let's
          take this discussion to alt.flame."
          The following passage from _________
                                     Leviathan may shed light on why
          "flaming" and contention in general occurs:
                ____ __ __________ ____ ___________
                Love of contention from competition.  Competition of
            riches, honour, command, or other power, inclineth to
            contention, enmity, and war:  because the way of one
            competitor, to the attaining of his desire, is to kill,
            subdue, supplant, or repel the other.48
          In the preceding passage, Hobbes suggests that persons engage in
          lethal competition in order to acquire powers and their benefits.
          In terms of Usenet, "flaming" allows them to increase their
          reputations at the expense of others.
          In summary, it is clear that personae must restlessly participate
          in the cycle of statement and response, which is primary to their
          existence within Usenet and which allows them to acquire more
          powers, as in reputation.  It is also understood that such
          continuous participation, especially that of "flaming," is
          contentious and that one's reputation is subject to damage.  The
          question remains, how contentious can the Usenet environment for
          participation become, before the conditions to maintain the
          existence of one's persona become so difficult to meet that one
          is driven to surrender his or her powers to a single authority?
                48Hobbes, 81.
                                  Living in Moderation
          This section includes a discussion of an actual Usenet example of
          the cycle of statement and response, the alternatives to the
          outright surrender of one's powers, and the submission to
          moderation.  The following series of articles are messages from a
          Usenet newsgroup oriented towards the discussion of evil.  Topics
          in the newsgroup drift between "tales from the dark side"49 to
          the plotting of murder.  This example is the beginning portion of
          a cycle of statement and response involving five personae
          discussing the fate of one of their teaching assistants and the
          moral and legal implications of the discussion itself.  The
          personae are "Paul" from the University of Maryland at College
          Park, a user at Youngstown State University,  a user at Malaspina
          College,"Jon" from Netcom Online Communications Services, and a
          user at the University of Maine.  All articles are included in
          their entirety without editing to preserve the "realism" of the
          discussion.  Paul writes,
                With one single, simple, trivial, insignificant event, my
            life has been thrown into utter chaos.
                I'm graduating this semester, or was. My TA insists I did
            not turn in a significant amount of assignments for her class.
            This is incorrect, and I have no way of proving it to her. As
            such, see [___
                       sic] is giving me an F. Despite the large amount of
            work I did, and my good test grades, she will not even
            consider a D.  Mind you this is an insignificant little one
            credit Physical Education course. I explained that I had no
            money to take a course during the summer ($300), was leaving
            in the summer for Ca., was on my way to grad school, and that
            this little incident was really fucking up my life. She
            proceeded to give me, while power-tripping and in an
            authoritative manner, the 'real world and responsibility'
            speech. As though this fucking class and this little blonde
            puke were representative of the real world. Needless to say, I
            am irate.
                What I would like from you are suggestions to make her
            life a living hell. I considered killing her, or driving by
            her house with an uzi, but I don't want to go to jail, at
            least not over her. Any suggestions from the subtle to
            extravagant will be considered. Nothing she could easily trace
            me to.
                I anxiously await your response.....
          Paul is apparently disappointed with his poor grade, but it is
          never clear whether he actually intends to act on the advice he
          solicits or whether he is simply attempting to gain sympathy from
          others by sharing his plight.  His first response arrives from
          the University of Maryland user.  It will be recalled that this
          response satisfies Paul's conditions for existence--it proves
                49John Gilmore, ___________ _________ ____________ ____ _
                                Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part I,
          edited by Gene Spafford, 1992, line 147.
          that he is not isolated and alone:
                Heh... I'm starting to like this gal.  She must really
            like watching you squirm.  Heh.  You could post her name,
            address, etc so every horny geek can give her a call.  A
            slight description, so they can pretend that they know her
            well... scare the hell out of her.  My guess, though, is that
            she'd like it too much.  Ah well...
                Don't you see it??????  Come on, man... it *IS*
            representative of the whole world.  You are getting dicked
            over in a way you never ever expected!!  Some small
            "insignifigant" person is ruining your life. You better learn
            fast... or you are not going to fare well at all.
                Why are you so worried about her misery being traced to
            you?  She doesn't mind that *you* know how very screwed you
            are.  *SHE* doesn't mind telling you *to your face* exactly
            how she is going to do it.  Illegal is bad...yep.  Proof  is
            tricky... but avoidable.  I suggest printing this out,
            (assuming you save it), and deleting it immediately.
                Okay... right now I'm more on her side than yours... but
            since you asked....
                Two words:  Sexual Harrasment.
                Just as difficult to prove/disprove as the homework issue.
            Just as likely to ruin her life.  I mean... how would you like
            to be the girl who was *so* desperate to find a date, she was
            blackmailing her student?  Heh.
                No offence to you... but this works even better if you are
                Actually... this may even be what she is trying to do...
            how do *I* know?  You said you handed the HW in, right?
            Okay... so she "lost" it.  Maybe she wants something in return
            for "finding" the homework.  Start telling all your friends
            how she keeps coming on to you, and got really pissed when you
            turned her down... and that she hinted that she would ruin
            your grade if you didn't play along.  About this time, you
            want to start recording conversations with this babe... keep
            saying that you are *desperate* to do well in this class...
            you'd do *anything* to make up for it... what could you do?
            You, obviously, may want to edit out these portions of the
            conversation.  :)  See what responce you get.  Ask her out.
            Bring sex into the conversation.  Go back, now, and mention to
            your friends that she *really is* going to ruin your grade
            since you didn't play along.  Get really upset.  Become
            hysterical... say that you don't really care and that you'll
            go ahead and do what she wants... you just want to graduate.
            Call her with someone in the room.  Assuming that she didn't
            want you to trade affection for your grade... I'n sitll not
            ruling this out as a possibility... she will most probably
            turn you down quite loudly.  Your friend may even overhear
            this if she is *really* loud.  As some of your friends to help
            decide what you should do.  Eventually, this will come to
            someone's attention... etc.  If things don't look good, keep
            telling the school authorities that you are going to take the
            matter to a more public setting if they don't fix things with
            your grade.  This usually makes them jump.  Even if she
            doesn't get in trouble... you should most certainly get your
            grade.  Depending on how well you play it... you might even
            get to make $$$ writing about it... touring... etc.  Don't
            make up dates and times that you cannot account for her
            location.  If you say she was harassing you and she was with
            30 people playing nude twister... your story is shot to hell.
            Write stuff down, and memorize it.
                Ok.  You have the tools... it all depends on how well you
            play it
                ....Send me a copy of your book.
                Take Care.
          Note the tone of the Maryland user's response.  At first he or
          she mocks Paul by "siding" with the teaching assistant, but
          eventually the user describes a plan of action.  Also note that
          the user has to resort to non-standard punctuation,
          capitalization, and asterisks to convey emphasis since the
          traditional non-verbal methods of controlling voice pitch and
          volume are unavailable.  There is even the presence of emoticons
          to indicate that the user is smiling at those points in the
          response.  But again, it is still uncertain whether this user
          expects his or her advice to be taken seriously or whether the
          exchange is merely an exercise to help Paul vent his frustration.
          The next response to Paul's statement comes from Youngstown State
          University.  Generally, only two personae are needed to
          substantiate one another's existences, but in this case, this
          third user from Youngstown, rather  than Paul, serves to
          substantiate the existence of the Maryland user:
                If by some chance, you can get her address & soc. security
            number, I have heard that a really effective harassment goes
            like this:
                 Call the I.R.S.
                Say, "I'm (name of TA ), and I think I made a mistake on
            my 1040,       could you check your records?"
                Supply address & social, if asked for them.
                With luck, she gets audited.
                Probably kinder to just shoot her.
          This response clearly contains more humor than the previous two,
          provided that one agrees that death is preferable to a tax audit,
          but it is still difficult to tell whether or not this is a
          harmless, but "dark" discussion or a conspiracy to commit a
          felony.  The fourth participant, a user from Malaspina College is
          apparently not amused when he or she writes,
                Please consider the implications of this conversation.
            This is an extrordinarily offensive and demeaning exchange
            with possible legal implications. Your conversations
            contribute to the oppression of women and completely undermine
            the human values you profess to acquire at college. Remember
            that your commentari}iesare read by many people throughout the
            world and reflect not only on you, but on the institutions you
            represent.  All of us in the college and university community
            have a strong personal responsibility to ensure that our
            colleagues--women in particular--are protected from abusive,
            offensive, demeaning, belittling, harrassing, and threatening
            language. There is NO EXCUSE for this exchange in any
            conference.  Fourteen women in Montreal were massacrd 2 years
            ago by a man whose ideas reflected the same crap you are
            exchanging. I am profoundly disturbed and ashamed that people
            who profess intellectual skills will engage in this kind of
            hate exchange. I am new to conference activity but fully
            intend to do whatever is necessary to protect my colleagues
            from thissort of abuse.
          This user is risking confrontation by "scolding" and attempting
          to shame the other users for their actions.  Despite the name of
          the current newsgroup, alt.evil, this user is convinced that this
          discussion has no place in "any conference." In the terms of this
          study, this user is "attacking" the reputations of the other
          three.  The first user to respond to the "attack" is Jon from
                Who died and appointed you net.cop?
                What a joke!  You could easily argue that this TA's
            actions contribute to the oppression of men.  Further, as to
            the "values" one acquires at college, this is bullshit.  The
            only "values" most people learn at college is what case of
            beer is cheapest, or how best to make money.
                Pahleeezee.  I think you give it more importance than it
            has.  Especially in this newsgroup, which exists to promote
            and discuss evil.  Not social responsibility.  There are news
            groups for that purpose.  Just look.  You would probably be
            happier there.  Sorry, but this group is not going to mutate
            into alt.fuzzy.warm.feeling.inside because it bothers you.
                Don't you get it?  *This is alt.evil*.  It is a newsgroup,
            not a conference.  It is not about social responsibility.
                Good luck, idiot.  Have you ever heard of *Freedom of
            Speech?*  You are clearly living in a fantasy world, and
            appear to believe you somehow are powerful.  Ha Ha Ha.  What a
            shit head you are.
          Note that Jon's first sentence, "Who died and appointed you
          net.cop?" is extremely sarcastic and rhetorical.  Its intent is
          not to elicit a truthful response, but to embarass the Malaspina
          College user for assuming an authoritative role.  Jon then
          proceeds to return the "attack" by questioning the validity of
          the values acquired at college.  This tactic actually pits Jon's
          "prudence" in college experience against that of the user from
          Malaspina, and may actually have more of a bearing on the
          calculation of his reputation than everything else that he says.
          After this point, his response quickly becomes an ad hominem
          attack, mocking the Malaspina user and calling him names.  This
          message is an example of a "flame," and as such, it is
          interesting to observe that aside from the first sentence, it
          does not specifically have anything to do with Paul's original
          The fifth and final user in this example is from the University
          of Maine:
                No moralizing on who's right or wrong, we are talking
            about evil not ethics.  sugar in the gas tank should
            crystalize in the fuel lines, or use sand and ruin the engine,
            figure a way to give her lice (there's a# of varieties esp.
            pubic) or plant drugs on her etc. If you or any of your I.M.F.
            team are captured thesecretary will disavow any knowledge of
            your actions. -HAVE FUN
          Again, note the humorous tone.  Given that all of the responses
          had elements of humor, it is entirely possible that the Malaspina
          College user violated an alt.evil norm by dispelling their
          fantasy plot.  The Malaspina user also may not have "picked up"
          on the humor given the interference of the medium and the
          inadequacies of emoticons and other devices to convey non-verbal
          information.  Of particular interest in this last message is the
          opening sentence, ". . . we are talking about evil not ethics."
          By stating the purpose of the cycle and the newsgroup, this user
          effectively pits his "prudence" in alt.evil interaction against
          the previous two users'; and by immediately returning to the
          topic at hand with the remainder of his message, this user is
          attempting to extinguish the disruptive "flames."
          It will be recalled that these articles are only the first five
          in a cycle of statement and response.  It should also be noted
          that the number of observers of this cycle, if any, is unknown,
          but that this figure is estimated to be five times the number of
          participants.50  At the conclusion of each statement or response,
          the participants and the observers privately estimate the worth
          of each participant:  the sum of that worth, held in the
          collective memory, is their reputation.
          Given this detailed discussion of the cycle of statement and
          response, it is useful to recall the remaining question:  how
          contentious can the Usenet environment for participation become,
          before the conditions to maintain the existence of one's persona
          become so difficult to meet, that one is driven to surrender his
          powers to a single authority?  The following discussion prepares
          one to answer by first considering the alternatives to the
          outright surrender of one's powers.  For this purpose the
          following passage from _________
                                 Leviathan is useful:
                _____ _________ ____ ____ __ _____  ____ ____ __ ______ __
                Civil obedience from love of ease.  From fear of death, or
            wounds.  Desire of ease, and sensual delight, disposeth men to
                50Brian, Reid, ______ __________ _______
                               Usenet Readership Summary (Palo Alto,
          California:  Network Measurement Project at the DEC Western
          Research Laboratory, March 1992), lines 22-28.  See Appendix.
            obey a common power:  because by such desires, a man doth
            abandon the protection that might be hoped for from his own
            industry, and labour.  Fear of death, and wounds, disposeth to
            the same; and for the same reason.51
          From this passage it is clear that Hobbes recognizes that the
          rest-less "pursuit of power after power" takes its toll on
          persons who are as inclined to ease as they are to contention.
          The balance between these opposing desires appears to be the
          "fear of death, and wounds."  It follows then, that it is the
          fear of death and wounds that persuades persons to abandon their
          pursuit of powers and surrender themselves to the power of
          another.  This notion is apparent in Usenet, but it appears that
          there are other alternatives short of complete surrender.  As
          discussed, one may ignore a user who interferes with the utility
          of one's access to Usenet.  Additionally, to solve disputes and
          facilitate the interaction, one may voluntarily adhere to the
          general principles described as "netiquette" as outlined by
          Spafford.  Next to be discussed is an actual example from Usenet
          which invokes Spafford's guidelines and the practice of using
          "kill files" to systematically ignore disruptive users.
          It will be recalled that Gene Spafford compiles and distributes a
          series of guidelines designed to facilitate the smooth
          interaction between Usenet participants, but since there is no
          Usenet government to enforce them, the guidelines remain
          informal.  Nonetheless, many individuals voluntarily abide by
          them and insist that others do the same.  In the following
          example, "David" attempts to persuade "Bill" to use some self-
          restraint and conform to Spafford's guidelines:
                Why don't you respond in private mail, and ask the person
            you are sending to to summarize. This prevents clutter, which
            this posting is as well. If everyone posted a response to
            every PC related hardware question they saw, this newsgroup
            would quickly become too bulky to work with.
          In this article, David is responding to an earlier message of
          Bill's.  Apparently, Bill had previously responded publicly to
          someone else's question.  In all likelihood, the question was a
          common one and Bill's response was a common answer.  Tired of
          seeing both "frequently asked questions" and their responses,
          David asks Bill in this article to observe the Usenet "courtesy"
          of responding to such questions in private.  It should be noted
          that David is relying on the following section from Spafford's
                One of the biggest problems we have on the network is that
            when someone asks a question, many people send out identical
            answers.  When this happens, dozens of identical answers pour
            through the net.  Mail your answer to the person and suggest
                51Hobbes, 81.
            that they summarize to the network.  This way the net will
            only see a single copy of the answers, no matter how many
            people answer the question.52
          In Bill's response to David, "IMHO" is the common abbreviation
          for "in my humble opinion":
                My understanding is that these groups are for the
            unfettered exchange of  information. IMHO, too much band-width
            is used attempting to restrict use of the NET. I, for one,
            like to read like the answers. It's a lot easier for everyone
            than E-mailing the posters and asking them to share
            individually. Lot of recipients of NET-knowledge do NOT take
            the extra effort to summarize. It's easy enough to ignore
            threads which have nothing to offer. We're a divers bunch..
            one person's "clutter" may be another's insight. There are
            first-timer joining these groups every day. Remember our
            roots. I have no problem with FAQ being FAQs. (Frequently
            Asked Questions being Frequently Answered Questions)
          Obviously Bill opts to ignore Spafford's guidelines and runs the
          risk of being ignored by those he annoys with his "clutter."
          Concerned that already too much time has been spent discussing
          the issue, David replies,
                I suggest this is way off the topic of comp.sys.ibm.pc, if
            we really have to continue this discussion let's finish it in
          David could be right.  "comp.sys.ibm.pc" is a technical newsgroup
          for the discussion of IBM personal computers.  Participants
          receive hundreds of messages daily and very few have the patience
          for non-technical discussions in the newsgroup such as Bill's and
          David's.  It is very likely that both Bill and David are already
          being ignored.
          Sometimes the situation arises where a user will offend or annoy
          another so severely that simply ignoring the user runs the risk
          of  encountering him and being offended and annoyed at a later
          date.  To remedy this situation, Usenet users have at their
          disposal a utility known as a "kill file."  Basically an
          electronic filter, a "kill file" allows a user to screen out or
          block the message of another user.  A "kill file" can contain the
          names of several users and sites, as well as offensive words,
          effectively preventing the display of potentially unwanted
          messages.  Note that a "kill file" does not actually destroy
          Usenet articles, but merely shields the owner of the file from
          their existence.  "Kill files" are an extreme method of self-
          censoring because they take the power of decision away from the
          "kill file" owner.  Many users still prefer to run the risk of
                52Von Rospach, lines 176-181.
          re-encountering annoyances than to subjugate themselves to an
          automatic censor; however, the following example of gratuitous
          "flaming" makes the originator of the statement a prime candidate
          for countless "kill files" within reading range of the message:
                WHAT?!?!?! You deleted the FUCKING expletives you PUSSY-
            STARVED DICKSUCKING BASTARD? What the FUCK kind of newsgroup
            do you think this is?
                This aint FUCKING rec.tv.family-channel.
                Leave the FUCKING expletives in, it annoys the SHIT out of
            me when ASSHOLES [do that] . . .
          However, the threat of "kill files" do not necessarily prevent or
          curb disruptive behavior.  Mark from Denver illustrates this:
                So put me in your kill-file, dac.  Simple solution.  What
            makes you think I give a hoot about *what* you think of my
            writing?  I post for my own enjoyment.
                Not yours.  Live with it.
          Of course, Mark should probably think twice about such a
          challenge if his name begins to appear in too many "kill files."
           As the amount of clutter or "noise"53 increases, more and more
          users voluntarily submit to "moderation."  A moderated newsgroup
          prevents unapproved statements from being distributed.  All
          statements are submitted to a moderator who screens the messages
          for content, posts the appropriate ones, and rejects the ones he
          feels are unfit for the discussion.  In the case of a moderated
          newsgroup, the moderator has tremendous control of one's network
          The price or reward for such restraint is the decrease of noise
          and the increase of relevant information.  Moderated newsgroups
          are not without problems and as David reminds us, "one person's
          'clutter' may be another's insight."  Additionally, the degree of
          censorship varies from moderator to moderator.  In the case of
          "comp.dcom.telecom," a moderated newsgroup dedicated to
          telecommunications issues, many individuals are unable to
          tolerate its highly-opinionated moderator, Patrick Townson.  As a
          result, they have created an alternative or unrestricted
          newsgroup called "alt.dcom.telecom."  To this day Pat's group
          remains very popular while the much smaller alternative group is
          commonly cluttered with articles critical of  him.  This offers
          little choice for users who desire the volume of messages in the
          moderated group, but deplore Pat's degree of restraint.
          To summarize this section of the discussion, the maintenance of
          the existence of a persona requires users to continuously
          participate in the cycle of statement and response.  As a result
                53The commonly used term for "clutter,"  which comes from
          the technical phrase "signal-to-noise ratio," which basically
          means that the less interference there is, the cleaner the signal
          will be.
          of this participation, the users both establish or maintain their
          persona's reputation and benefits from the utility of Usenet.  As
          a matter of participation, the users may receive challenges to
          their statements or "actions" and may also challenge the
          statements or "actions" of others.  In rare cases, they may
          participate in or observe a cycle that generates "flames" or
          escalates into a "flame war."  This sort of message and other
          messages they find personally uninteresting, offensive, or
          annoying decreases the utility of Usenet for them and threatens
          the existence of their persona.  To protect themselves from this
          threat, they have the alternatives of ignoring the offensive
          articles, requesting that offensive users conform to
          "netiquette," "killing" the offensive users by placing them in
          their "kill file," or participating in a moderated newsgroup.
                               Looking for the Leviathan
          It has been established that in a contentious environment,
          offensive or uninteresting articles may diminish Usenet's utility
          to its users.  As a result, users may opt to restrict their
          participation to the moderation of another user.  In terms of
          Usenet, too many attacks and disruptive actions by other personae
          threaten their existence to the point that they may consider
          surrendering themselves to the control of another persona.  It is
          on this level, the level of the personae, that Hobbes' _________
          operates.  The following discussion describes and analyzes a
          random survey of the participation within Usenet and the degree
          to which the participation is moderated.
          If one were to search for a Leviathan in Usenet, one would
          obviously begin with the moderated newsgroups because the
          discussions therein consist of articles previously approved by a
          "common power."  However, there are other less obvious
          indications of restraint such as conformity to or compliance with
          "netiquette" as a general guide to behavior; and conformity to or
          compliance with Spafford's more specific set of guidelines.
          A survey was conducted on a randomly selected sample of two
          hundred Usenet articles.  The articles were selected from a list
          of 3,971 existing newsgroups with each group having equal chances
          for selection.  A computer program was written to randomly select
          a newsgroup from the list from which it randomly selected an
          article.  The selected article became part of the sample
          population.  If the newsgroup did not contain any articles, the
          computer program selected another newsgroup until the sample
          population was equal to two hundred.
          After the sample population was determined, each article was
          examined for signs or indication of a Leviathan.  These
          indicators were operationalized as "Leviathan Factors" with each
          increase in factor representing a greater sign or indication of
          coercion.  The "Leviathan Factors" (LF) are described as follows:
          Leviathan Factor       Description
                    0         No signs of coercion to conform or
                    1         Unmindful conformity to/compliance
                              with "netiquette" such as the use of
                              "emoticons" or other characters to
                              convey physical actions.
                    2         Reference to "netiquette" as means of
                    3         Reference to Spafford's guidelines.
                              More specific than LF 2.
                    4         Article is from a moderated newsgroup
                              or is otherwise censored.
                      Table 1.  The operationalization of Leviathan
          The factors are at the ordinal level of measurement such that LF
          4 means "more Leviathan" than LF 3, but it does not mean than LF
          2 represents twice as much as LF 1.  Given the operationalization
          of Leviathan as "Leviathan Factors," it was possible to read each
          article and ask:  Does this article contain any signs of coercion
          to obey a common power?  If an article contained more than one
          indicator, then it was coded with the greatest LF for which it
          satisfied the requirements.  The findings help one to conclude
          "how much" of a Leviathan is present in Usenet.  A survey of the
          sample population produced the following figures shown in Table
                           LF          Frequency     Percentage
                            0             162           81.0
                            1             14             7.0
                            2              3             1.5
                            3              2             1.0
                            4             19             9.5
                          Total           200           100.0
              Table 2.  Articles containing progressive signs of Leviathan
          Based on the data, 9.5% of the articles surveyed showed the
          greatest amount of Leviathan (LF 4), and 81% showed no signs of
          Leviathan (LF 0).  It was expected that there would be
          progressively fewer articles with each increasing factor of
          Leviathan, but the unusual distribution for LF 1-3 suggests
          possible operationalization problems.  In retrospect, it was not
          correct to identify "emoticons" as a form of Leviathan because
          they are signs of compensation for the medium of written
          communication and not necessarily signs of compliance to or
          conformity with "netiquette."  The unexpectedly high number of
          observations coded LF 1 bear this out.  Additionally, the sample
          size did not support a five-way breakdown with any degree of
          accuracy between the extremes of LF 0 and LF 4.  This resulted in
          a negligible difference between the number of observations coded
          LF 2 and LF 3 from which a meaningful conclusion can be drawn.
          In order to account for operationalization and sample size
          problems, the data can be presented in Table 3 in a way to
          emphasize the measured extremes.
                   LF               Frequency          Percentage
                   0-1                 176                 88
                   2-4                 24                  12
                  Total                200                 100
                     Table 3.  Articles showing signs of a Leviathan
          Presented in this way, the articles are divided into two
          consolidated categories.  The first category, LF 0-1, consists of
          articles with no measured signs of a Leviathan, including
          "emoticons" which are indicators of compensation and not
          coercion.  The second category, LF 2-4, consists of articles
          which do contain signs of a Leviathan.  This category describes
          the range of articles including those in which someone asks
          another to observe "netiquette" to articles submitted under
          moderation.  Based on the findings, some measure of Leviathan is
          present in 12% of the articles surveyed.
          The conclusion consists of a summary of the major points, a
          discussion of the quantitative study, and a consideration of the
          avenues for research.
          This study has sought to establish seven major points.  First,
          Usenet is a distinct society because the exclusively, written
          medium keeps much of the three-dimensional, external world out.
          Second, personae are created by the interaction of Usenet users.
          A user always interacts with the personae of other users because
          it is impossible to interact ___________________
                                       three-dimensionally via a written
          medium.  This always being the case, expediency allows one to
          "forget" that interaction is via personae.  Third, Hobbes helps
          prove that personae are persons within Usenet.  Fourth, like
          persons, personae have powers, although they may be different.
          Fifth, users participate in Usenet to maximize its utility, thus
          persona existence is tied to user participation and utility.
          Sixth, participation may become contentious or uninteresting,
          thereby decreasing Usenet's utility and threatening personae
          existence; however, users can increasingly subject their
          participation to restraint.  Seventh, to maximize Usenet's
          utility and to maintain personae existence, some users may decide
          to allow another person to control or moderate the extent of
          their participation, thus controlling or moderating the existence
          of their personae.
          The following is a review of each point:
          1.   ______ __ _ ________ _______ _______ ___ ____________
               Usenet is a distinct society because the exclusively,
          _______ ______ _____ ____ __ ___ __________________ ________
          written medium keeps much of the three-dimensional, external
          _____ ____
          world out.  With the help of Elizabeth Reid's work, it has been
          established that the written medium of Usenet "filters" or
          interferes with communication among users.  The effect of this
          interference is the "deprivation of the subtleties" of verbal and
          non-verbal communication.  Reid's research suggests that such
          subtleties reinforce the standards of behavior in the external
          world.  Without that reinforcement, Usenet users have had to
          develop "alternate or parallel" standards of behavior such as
          "netiquette" and Gene Spafford's guidelines.  This compensation
          for the shortcomings of the medium plus the development of new
          written language subtleties known as "emoticons" has enabled
          Usenet to become a society distinct from that of the external
          2.   ________ ___ _______ __ ___ ___________ __ ______ ______  _
               Personae are created by the interaction of Usenet users.  A
          ____ ______ _________ ____ ___ ________ __ _____ _____ _______ __
          user always interacts with the personae of other users because it
          __ __________ __ ________ ___________________ ___ _ _______
          is impossible to interact three-dimensionally via a written
          _______  ____ ______ _____ ___ _____ __________ ______ ___ __
          medium.  This always being the case, expediency allows one to
          ________ ____ ___________ __ ___ _________
          "forget" that interaction is via personae.  This is perhaps the
          most difficult point to establish because it relies upon the
          notion of "persona."  Furthermore, it is the most critical point,
          because it is on the level of the personae, not the users, upon
          which Hobbes' _________
                        Leviathan operates.
          To review the notion of "persona," one must understand the
          perspective of the user.  From the user's standpoint, he or she
          accesses Usenet because it satisfies some personal need that is,
          it has utility.  During the course of accessing, the user may
          decide that writing an article, rather than exclusively reading,
          will increase Usenet's utility.  When the user drafts the article
          it is probable that he or she has one or more recipient users in
          mind.  It is here that the notion of "persona" arises.  If the
          user thought about what information was used to create the
          "image" of the recipient in mind, the user would discover that
          surprisingly little is actually known.  Yet, gender, stature,
          appearance, intelligence, and other characteristics are somehow
          attributed, sight unseen, to the recipient user.  This is only
          natural for the user to want to "fill in the blanks" which the
          written medium leaves open.  Moreover, if the user realized that
          any information garnered about the recipient user was probably
          unverified externally to Usenet, he or she should come to the
          conclusion that the recipient user may bear little resemblance to
          the user he or she has in mind.
          This distinction between a user in Usenet and the "actual" user
          in the external world is in the concept of "persona."  Although
          the user preparing to send the message may not realize it, as far
          as other users are concerned, he or she is a persona as well.
          Therefore, all users of Usenet interact with one another via
          personae.  Moreover, the personae are perceived to engage in a
          range of pursuits which is derived from the words of the users.
          For every exchange of articles at the level of the users, there
          is an analogous "action" at the level of the personae.
          Furthermore, the existence of the personae depends entirely upon
          the users' willingness to continue accessing Usenet.  With this
          complex duality always present, it is often expedient for users
          to "forget" the dichotomy between user and persona, but for the
          purposes of this thesis, it can never be forgotten because it is
          on the level of the personae upon which the concepts of _________
          are established to operate.
          3.   ______ _____ _____ ____ ________ ___ _______ ______ _______
               Hobbes helps prove that personae are persons within Usenet.
          With the notion of "persona" having been established, it is
          possible to establish a preliminary parallel to Hobbes' political
          philosophy in _________
                        Leviathan.  This is done by using Hobbes'
          definition of "person" to prove that personae are indeed analogs
          for persons in Usenet.  This proof clears the way to apply
          Hobbesian theory to personae rather than users.
          4.   ____ ________ ________ ____ _______ ________ ____ ___ __
               Like persons, personae have powers, although they may be
          different.  During this stage of the discussion, further
          parallels are drawn from Hobbes' "persons" to Usenet personae.
          These parallels include the several powers which Hobbes suggests
          are possessed in persons.  Among these powers are "extraordinary
          strength, form, prudence, arts, eloquence, liberality, and
          nobility."  From these powers of the external world, Usenet
          analogs are developed to "fill in the blanks" or add form and
          personality to the images of one another in the minds of all
          users.  Of these powers, "eloquence," is supreme in Usenet
          because finesse in language is highly valued in a world of words.
          5.   _____ ___________ __ ______ __ ________ ___ ________ ____
               Users participate in Usenet to maximize its utility, thus
          _______ _________ __ ____ __ ____ _____________ ___ ________
          persona existence is tied to user participation and utility.
          Here the benefits of powers are examined by analyzing Hobbes'
          relevant passages and developing Usenet analogs.  It is
          established that the personae, like persons, are inclined to
          pursue "power after power" to insure their "present means."  On
          the level of the users, this pursuit of power is actually a
          continuous cycle of statement and response intended to maximize
          the utility of Usenet.  Their reputations are the "collective
          memory" of their participation in the cycle.  As long as
          continuous participation is provided by the users, the existence
          of their personae is insured.
          6.   _____________ ___ ______ ___________ __ ______________
               Participation may become contentious or uninteresting,
          _______ __________ ________ _______ ___ ___________ ________
          thereby decreasing Usenet's utility and threatening personae
          __________ ________ _____ ___ ____________ _______ _____
          existence; however, users can increasingly subject their
          _____________ __ __________
          participation to restraint.  As a matter of participating in the
          cycle of statement and response, users may encounter offensive or
          insulting articles called "flames."  These articles and others
          which "clutter" the various newsgroups threaten the utility of
          Usenet to the users.  To bolster utility, users have several
          alternatives other than moderation.  They may ignore the
          offensive or uninteresting articles, conform to the "netiquette"
          standards of behavior, or block the display of "clutter" from
          their screens.  On the level of the personae, the "flames" are
          perceived as "attacks" which ultimately threaten their existence.
          In "fear of wounds, or death," they may be forced to surrender
          themselves to the protection of a common power.
          7.   __ ________ ________ _______ ___ __ ________ ________
               To maximize Usenet's utility and to maintain personae
          __________ ____ _____ ___ ______ __ _____ _______ ______ __
          existence, some users may decide to allow another person to
          _______ __ ________ ___ ______ __ _____ ______________ ____
          control or moderate the extent of their participation, thus
          ___________ __ __________ ___ _________ __ _____ _________
          controlling or moderating the existence of their personae.  In
          this point, a sample cycle of statement and response is analyzed
          leading to the discussion of moderation as the last resort to
          coping with the "clutter" or "noise" in the newsgroups.  On the
          level of the personae, moderation represents the joint surrender
          of their individual powers to common power for the purpose of
          preserving their existence in a hostile environment.
          The quantitative portion of this study raises provocative
          questions regarding trends towards moderation in a forum hailed
          by many as a "modemocracy" and a realization of the "global
          village."  A future study could track the frequency of the
          Leviathan in Usenet over a period of several months.  These data
          could be contrasted with the failure of a completely moderated,
          alternate to Usenet formerly known as "InModeration."  Perhaps
          the combination of moderated and unmoderated newsgroups in Usenet
          points to the utility of "choice" and "freedom" which
          "InModeration" might have underestimated.  Additionally, refined
          operationalization and a larger sample size might provide more
          insight into the less obvious manifestations of the Leviathan in
          Although this thesis has been limited to the Hobbesian
          perspective on the origins of government, future researchers
          should be encouraged to employ other theoretical visions to the
          study of Usenet, or of the internet in general.  The simple act
          of searching for proof within the internet may more readily
          fasten the theories' nuances in a student's mind than traditional
          philosophical study.  Where social studies were always possible,
          internet studies present an equally complex, but more easily
          observable, self-documenting society.
          This theorist also recognizes and encourages the need for more
          behavioral research.  While normative study is valuable in its
          own right, numerical analysis of internet society is needed.  It
          is important to know the distribution of the various degrees of
          representation of users by personae, how the number of users
          affects the generation of  government, and the number and types
          of and reasons for selecting one polity over another.  These
          lines of inquiry do not, of course, cover the entire range, but
          they do suggest that the entirety of political science can
          benefit from internet studies.
          Political scientists are not the first social scientists to
          explore this very new area.  Current research in internet studies
          reveals that insufficient ethical guidelines are available for
          guiding research and there exists considerable debate over how to
          proceed.  For example, this researcher is the sole political
          scientist on a large, research team which is investigating
          computer mediated communication.  Due to the global distances
          between them, the researchers are represented by personae which
          include scholars of English, communication, linguistics, theater,
          sociology, and history.  The qualitative portion of the research
          involves content analysis of the communication of a specific
          group of network individuals.  Issues of privacy and intellectual
          property have arisen.  It is still an unresolved question whether
          the research team should admonish the subjects and then seek
          their permission for further study to be conducted.  It is still
          uncertain whether the study requires a human research waiver.  It
          is still debatable if this kind of analysis is closer to literary
          criticism than behavioral science.  It is still unknown whether
          published research should give the subjects credit for their
          statements or should withhold their names to protect their
          identities.  Despite these compelling questions, the computer
          allows one to cross traditional boundaries--it enables the writer
          to measure and the scientist to write--and to mix and combine
          elements from previously disparate fields.  The problems
          described, of course, issue from the combination of scholars of
          literature with social scientists.  A solution probably lies in
          acknowledging the unresolved nature of that combination once the
          interdisciplinary novelty subsides.  The point, however, is that
          fertile ground for research has been uncovered and that the
          process of how it should be tilled has begun.  To miss the
          opportunity to influence the process would be a major misfortune
          for political science.
          This section contains some of Gene Spafford's guidelines because
          they may not be readily available to most readers.  No permission
          was obtained because the documents are freely distributable.  The
          guidelines are reprinted here in a smaller point size to preserve
          their original format and page layout.  Despite this
          accommodation, there are still some formatting problems because
          the margins in the original documents are much narrower than is
          permitted in a thesis.  Additionally, this appendix contains four
          computer generated maps based on Brian Reid's ______ __________
                                                        Usenet Readership
          _______ ______
          Summary Report for April 9, 1991 and a glossary of technical
          Original-from: chuq@sun.COM (Chuq Von Rospach)
          [Most recent change: 7 September 1987 by spaf@purdue.edu (Gene
                        A Primer on How to Work With the USENET Community
                                       Chuq Von Rospach
            *** You now have access to Usenet, a big network of thousands
            computers.  Other documents or your system administrator will
            detailed technical documentation.  This message describes the
            culture and customs that have developed over time.  All new
          users should
            read this message to find out how Usenet works. ***
            *** (Old users could read it, too, to refresh their memories.)
            USENET is a large collection of computers that share data with
          each other.
            It is the people on these computers that make USENET worth the
          effort, and
            for USENET to function properly those people must be able to
          interact in
            productive ways.  This document is intended as a guide to using
          the net in
            ways that will be pleasant and productive for everyone.
            This document is not intended to teach you how to use USENET.
          Instead, it
            is a guide to using it politely, effectively and efficiently.
            Communication by computer is new to almost everybody, and there
            certain aspects that can make it a frustrating experience until
          you get
            used to them.  This document should help you avoid the worst
            The easiest way to learn how to use USENET is to watch how
          others use it.
            Start reading the news and try to figure out what people are
          doing and
            why.  After a couple of weeks you will start understanding why
            things are done and what things shouldn't be done.  There are
            available describing the technical details of how to use the
            These are different depending on which programs you use to
          access the
            news.  You can get copies of these from your system
          administrator.  If you
            do not know who that person is, they can be contacted on most
          systems by
            mailing to account "usenet".
                     Never Forget that the Person on the Other Side is
            Because your interaction with the network is through a computer
          it is easy
            to forget that there are people "out there." Situations arise
            emotions erupt into a verbal free-for-all that can lead to hurt
            Please remember that people all over the world are reading your
          words.  Do
            not attack people if you cannot persuade them with your
          presentation of
            the facts.  Screaming, cursing, and abusing others only serves
          to make
            people think less of you and less willing to help you when you
          need it.
            If you are upset at something or someone, wait until you have
          had a chance
            to calm down and think about it.  A cup of coffee or a good
          night's sleep
            works wonders on your perspective.  Hasty words create more
          problems than
            they solve.  Try not to say anything to others you would not
          say to them
            in person in a room full of people.
                                             Be Brief
            Never say in ten words what you can say in fewer.  Say it
          succinctly and
            it will have a greater impact.  Remember that the longer you
          make your
            article, the fewer people will bother to read it.
                         Your Postings Reflect Upon You -- Be Proud of Them
            Most people on USENET will know you only by what you say and
          how well you
            say it.  They may someday be your co-workers or friends.  Take
          some time
            to make sure each posting is something that will not embarrass
          you later.
            Minimize your spelling errors and make sure that the article is
          easy to
            read and understand.  Writing is an art and to do it well
            practice.  Since much of how people judge you on the net is
          based on your
            writing, such time is well spent.
                                      Use Descriptive Titles
            The subject line of an article is there to enable a person with
          a limited
            amount of time to decide whether or not to read your article.
          Tell people
            what the article is about before they read it.  A title like
          "Car for
            Sale" to rec.autos does not help as much as "66 MG Midget for
            Beaverton OR." Don't expect people to read your article to find
          out what
            it is about because many of them won't bother.  Some sites
          truncate the
            length of the subject line to 40 characters so keep your
          subjects short
            and to the point.
                                    Think About Your Audience
            When you post an article, think about the people you are trying
            reach.  Asking UNIX(*) questions on rec.autos will not reach as
            of the people you want to reach as if you asked them on
            comp.unix.questions or comp.unix.wizards.  Try to get the most
            appropriate audience for your message, not the widest.
            It is considered bad form to post both to misc.misc, soc.net-
            or misc.wanted and to some other newsgroup.  If it belongs in
            other newsgroup, it does not belong in misc.misc, soc.net-
            or misc.wanted.
            If your message is of interest to a limited geographic area
            car sales, meetings, concerts, etc...), restrict the
          distribution of the
            message to your local area.  Some areas have special newsgroups
            geographical limitations, and the recent versions of the news
            allow you to limit the distribution of material sent to world-
            newsgroups.  Check with your system administrator to see what
            are available and how to use them.
            If you want to try a test of something, do not use a world-wide
            Messages in misc.misc that say "This is a test" are likely to
            large numbers of caustic messages to flow into your mailbox.
          There are
            newsgroups that are local to your computer or area that should
          be used.
            Your system administrator can tell you what they are.
                                Be Careful with Humor and Sarcasm
            Without the voice inflections and body language of personal
            communications, it is easy for a remark meant to be funny to be
            misinterpreted.  Subtle humor tends to get lost, so take steps
          to make
            sure that people realize you are trying to be funny.  The net
            developed a symbol called the smiley face.  It looks like ":-)"
          and points
            out sections of articles with humorous intent.  No matter how
          broad the
            humor or satire, it is safer to remind people that you are
          being funny.
            But also be aware that quite frequently satire is posted
          without any
            explicit indications.  If an article outrages you strongly, you
            should ask yourself if it just may have been unmarked satire.
            Several self-proclaimed connoisseurs refuse to use smiley
          faces, so
            take heed or you may make a temporary fool of yourself.
                                     Only Post a Message Once
            Avoid posting messages to more than one newsgroup unless you
          are sure
            it is appropriate.  If you do post to multiple newsgroups, do
            post to each group separately.  Instead, specify all the groups
          on a
            single copy of the message.  This reduces network overhead and
            people who subscribe to more than one of those groups see the
            once instead of having to wade through each copy.
                         Please Rotate Messages With Questionable Content
            Certain newsgroups (such as rec.humor) have messages in them
          that may
            be offensive to some people.  To make sure that these messages
            not read unless they are explicitly requested, these messages
            be encrypted.  The standard encryption method is to rotate each
            letter by thirteen characters so that an "a" becomes an "n".
          This is
            known on the network as "rot13" and when you rotate a message
            word "rot13" should be in the "Subject:" line.  Most of the
            used to read usenet articles have some way of encrypting and
            decrypting messages.  Your system administrator can tell you
          how the
            software on your system works, or you can use the Unix command
            [a-z][A-Z] [n-z][a-m][N-Z][A-M]". (Note that some versions of
            don't require the [] in the "tr" command.  In fact, some
          systems will
            get upset if you use them in an unquoted manner.  The following
            should work for everyone, but may be shortened on some systems:
                  tr '[a-m][n-z][A-M][N-Z]' '[n-z][a-m][N-Z][A-M]'
            Don't forget the single quotes!)
                               Summarize What You are Following Up
            When you are following up someone's article, please summarize
          the parts of
            the article to which you are responding.  This allows readers
            appreciate your comments rather than trying to remember what
          the original
            article said.  It is also possible for your response to get to
          some sites
            before the original article.
            Summarization is best done by including appropriate quotes from
            original article.  Do not include the entire article since it
            irritate the people who have already seen it.  Even if you are
            to the entire article, summarize only the major points you are
                                   When Summarizing, Summarize!
            When you request information from the network, it is common
          courtesy to
            report your findings so that others can benefit as well.  The
          best way of
            doing this is to take all the responses that you received and
          edit them
            into a single article that is posted to the places where you
            posted your question.  Take the time to strip headers, combine
            information, and write a short summary.  Try to credit the
          information to
            the people that sent it to you, where possible.
                                 Use Mail, Don't Post a Follow-up
            One of the biggest problems we have on the network is that when
            asks a question, many people send out identical answers.  When
            happens, dozens of identical answers pour through the net.
          Mail your
            answer to the person and suggest that they summarize to the
          network.  This
            way the net will only see a single copy of the answers, no
          matter how many
            people answer the question.
            If you post a question, please remind people to send you the
          answers by
            mail and offer to summarize them to the network.
                 Read All Follow-ups and Don't Repeat What Has Already Been
            Before you submit a follow-up to a message, read the rest of
          the messages
            in the newsgroup to see whether someone has already said what
          you want to
            say.  If someone has, don't repeat it.
                             Be Careful About Copyrights and Licenses
            Once something is posted onto the network, it is effectively in
          the public
            domain.  When posting material to the network, keep in mind
          that material
            that is UNIX-related may be restricted by the license you or
          your company
            signed with AT&T and be careful not to violate it.  You should
          also be
            aware that posting movie reviews, song lyrics, or anything else
            under a copyright could cause you, your company, or the net
          itself to be
            held liable for damages, so we highly recommend caution in
          using this
                                   Cite Appropriate References
            If you are using facts to support a cause, state where they
          came from.
            Don't take someone else's ideas and use them as your own.  You
          don't want
            someone pretending that your ideas are theirs; show them the
          same respect.
                               Mark or Rotate Answers and Spoilers
            When you post something (like a movie review that discusses a
          detail of
            the plot) which might spoil a surprise for other people, please
          mark your
            message with a warning so that they can skip the message.
            alternative would be to use the "rot13" protocol to encrypt the
          message so
            it cannot be read accidentally.  When you post a message with a
          spoiler in
            it make sure the word "spoiler" is part of the "Subject:" line.
                                Spelling Flames Considered Harmful
            Every few months a plague descends on USENET called the
          spelling flame.
            It starts out when someone posts an article correcting the
          spelling or
            grammar in some article.  The immediate result seems to be for
          everyone on
            the net to turn into a 6th grade English teacher and pick apart
          each other's
            postings for a few weeks.  This is not productive and tends to
            people who used to be friends to get angry with each other.
            It is important to remember that we all make mistakes, and that
          there are
            many users on the net who use English as a second language.  If
          you feel
            that you must make a comment on the quality of a posting,
          please do so by
            mail, not on the network.
                                     Don't Overdo Signatures
            Signatures are nice, and many people can have a signature added
          to their
            postings automatically by placing it in a file called
            Don't overdo it.  Signatures can tell the world something about
          you, but
            keep them short.  A signature that is longer than the message
          itself is
            considered to be in bad taste.  The main purpose of a signature
          is to help
            people locate you on the net, not learn your life story.  Every
            should include your return address relative to a well known
          site on the
            network.  Your system administrator can give this to you.
                                  Summary of Things to Remember
                 Never forget that the person on the other side is human
                 Be brief
                 Your postings reflect upon you; be proud of them
                 Use descriptive titles
                 Think about your audience
                 Be careful with humor and sarcasm
                 Only post a message once
                 Please rotate material with questionable content
                 Summarize what you are following up
                 Use mail, don't post a follow-up
                 Read all follow-ups and don't repeat what has already been
                 Be careful about copyrights and licenses
                 Cite appropriate references
                 When summarizing, summarize
                 Mark or rotate answers or spoilers
                 Spelling flames considered harmful
                 Don't overdo signatures
          (*)UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.
                This document is in the public domain and may be reproduced
                excerpted by anyone wishing to do so.
          Gene Spafford
          Dept. of Computer Sciences, Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN
          Internet:  spaf@cs.purdue.edu   uucp:
          Original-from: mark@cbosgd.att.com (Mark Horton)
          [Most recent change: 17 September 1987 by spaf@purdue.edu (Gene
          This message describes some of the rules of conduct on Usenet.
          The rules
          vary depending on the newsgroup.
          Some newsgroups are intended for discussions and some for
          or queries.  It is not usually a good idea to carry on
          discussions in
          newsgroups that are designated otherwise.  It is never a good
          idea to
          carry on "meta-discussions" about whether a given discussion is
          appropriate -- such traffic mushrooms until nobody can find
          that belong.  If you are unhappy with what some user said, send
          mail, don't post it.
          Before posting, think about where your article is going.  If it's
          posted to a "comp", "news", "misc", "soc", "sci", "rec" or "talk"
          newsgroup, it will probably go to the USA, Canada, Europe, Korea,
          Australia.  Certain articles are only of local interest (e.g.
          used car
          ads) and it is inappropriate to post them to the whole world.
          Use the
          "Distribution" feature to restrict distribution to your local
          area.  If
          you don't know how to use this feature, read "Frequently
          Items" in another article in news.announce.newusers.
          Don't post announcements regarding major news events (e.g. the
          shuttle has just exploded!) to news groups.  By the time most
          receive such items, they will long since have been informed by
          conventional media.  If you wish to discuss such an event on the
          use the "misc.headlines" newsgroup.
          Announcement of professional products or services on Usenet is
          however, since someone else is paying the phone bills for this,
          it is
          important that it be of overall benefit to Usenet.  Post to the
          appropriate newsgroup -- comp.newprod -- never to a general
          newsgroup such as "misc.misc".  Clearly mark your article as a
          announcement in the subject.  Never repeat these -- one article
          product at the most; preferably group everything into one
          Advertising hype is especially frowned upon -- stick to technical
          facts.  Obnoxious or inappropriate announcements or articles
          this policy will generally be rejected.  This policy is, of
          subject to change if it becomes a problem.
          Some newsgroups are moderated.  In these groups, you cannot post
          directly, either by convention or because the software prevents
          it.  To
          post to these newsgroups, send mail to the moderator. Examples:
          Newsgroup      Moderator      Purpose
          ---------           ---------           -------
          news.announce.important cbosgd!announce Important announcements
          for everyone
          comp.std.c               cbosgd!std-c        ANSI C standards
          comp.std.unix       ut-sally!std-unix   ANSI Unix standards
          comp.std.mumps      plus5!std-mumps     ANSI Mumps standards
          comp.unix           cbosgd!unix         Discussion of Unix*
          features and bugs
          Some newsgroups have special purpose rules:
          Newsgroup      Rules
          ---------           -----
          news.announce.importantModerated, no direct postings, important
          things only.
          misc.wanted         Queries, "I want an x", "Anyone want my x?".
                              discussions. Don't post to more than one
                                        Use the smallest appropriate wanted
          (e.g. used car
                                        ads to nj.wanted.)
                                        Requests for sources, termcaps,
          etc. should go to the
                                        "comp.sources.wanted" newsgroup.
          rec.humor                Clean humor only; anything offensive
          must be rotated;
                                        no discussions -- humor only.
          Discussions go in
          rec.arts.movies          Don't post anything revealing part of a
                                        without marking it (spoiler) in the
          rec.arts.*                    Same as movies -- mark spoilers in
          the subject line.
          news.groups              Discussions about new groups: whether to
                                        them and what to call them.  Don't
          post yes/no
                                        votes, mail them to the author
          misc.test                     Use the smallest test group
          possible, e.g.
                                        "test" or "ucb.test".  Say in the
          body of the
                                        message what you are testing.
          It is perfectly legal to reproduce short extracts of a
          copyrighted work
          for critical purposes, but reproduction in whole is strictly and
          explicitly forbidden by US and international copyright law.
          there would be no way for the artist to make money, and there
          thus be less motive for people to go to the trouble of making
          their art
          available at all.  The crime of theft is as serious in this
          context as
          any other, even though you may not have to pick locks, mask your
          or conceal merchandise.)
          All opinions or statements made in messages posted to Usenet
          should be
          taken as the opinions of the person who wrote the message.  They
          do not
          necessarily represent the opinions of the employer of that
          person, the
          owner of the computer from which the message was posted, or
          involved with Usenet or the underlying networks of which Usenet
          is made
          up.  All responsibility for statements made in Usenet messages
          with the individual posting the message.
          Posting of information on Usenet is to be viewed as similar to
          publication.  Because of this, do not post instructions for how
          to do
          some illegal act (such as jamming radar or obtaining cable TV
          illegally); also do not ask how to do illegal acts by posting to
          If you have a standard signature you like to append to your
          put it in a file called .signature in your home directory.
          and "inews" will automatically append it to your article.  Please
          your signatures concise, as people do not appreciate seeing
          signatures, nor paying the phone bills to repeatedly transmit
          them.  2
          or 3 lines are usually plenty.  Sometimes it is also appropriate
          to add
          another line or two for addresses on other major networks where
          you can
          be reached (e.g., ARPA, CSnet, Bitnet).  Long signatures are
          definitely frowned upon.  DO NOT include drawings, pictures,
          maps, or
          other graphics in your signature -- it is not the appropriate
          for such material and viewed as rude by other readers.
          If you post an article and remember something you've left out or
          realize you've made a factual error, you can cancel the article
          and (if
          cancelled quickly enough) prevent its distribution.  Then you can
          correct whatever was wrong and post a new copy.  In "rn" and
          "readnews", an article that you posted can be cancelled with the
          command.  Be aware, however, that some people may have already
          read the
          incorrect version so the sooner you cancel something, the better.
          Gene Spafford
          Dept. of Computer Sciences, Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN
          Internet:  spaf@cs.purdue.edu   uucp:
          Original-from: ofut@gatech.edu (A. Jeff Offutt VI)
          [Most recent change: 7 September 1987 by spaf@purdue.edu (Gene
          I would like to take a moment to share some of my knowledge of
          style.  If you read the pointers below, remember: it's easy to
          that they make sense but it's much harder to apply them.
           Cunningham and Pearsall, "How to Write For the World of Work"
           Strunk & White, "Elements of Style"
          The above references are both excellent books.  Cunningham is a
          standard in Tech writing classes and won an award for the best
          writing book from the Association for Teaching of Technical
          Writing.  I
          was lucky enough to take a class from him as an undergraduate.
          is a standard in college composition classes.  Other ideas here
          from my own experience on the net and hints from other people.
          This is a "long article". The rest of it is simply a list of
                         Writing style:
           * Write *below* the readers' reading level.  The avg. person in
          the US
             reads on a 5th grade level. The avg. professional reads on
          about the 12th
             grade level.
           * Keep paragraphs short and sweet.  Keep sentences shorter and
             This means "concise," not cryptic.
           * White space is not wasted space -- it greatly improves
           * Pick your words to have only *one* meaning.  Vagueness is
             artistic by literary critics.  We are not being literary here.
           * People can only grasp about seven things at once.  This means
          ideas in a
             paragraph, major sections, etc..
           * There are several variations on any one sentence.  A passive,
             or negative sentence takes longer to read.
                         Net style:
           * Subtlety is not communicated well in written form - especially
          over a
           * The above applies to humor as well. (rec.humor, of course, not
           * When being especially "flame-boyant", I find it helpful to go
          the bathroom
             before actually sending.  Then, I often change the tone
           * Subject lines should be used very carefully.  How much time
          have you
             wasted reading articles with a misleading subject line?
           * References need to be made.  When you answer mail, you have
          the original
             message fresh in your mind.  When I receive your answer, I
           * It's *much* easier to read a mixture of upper and lower case
           * Leaving out articles (such as "the," "a," "an," etc.) for
             mangles the meaning of your sentences and takes longer to
          read. It saves
             you time at the expense of your reader.
           * Be careful of contextual meanings of words. For instance, I
          used "articles"
             just now.  In the context of netnews, it has a different
          meaning than I
           * Remember - this is an international network.
           * Remember - your future employers may be reading your articles.
          'Nuff said.
          These pointers are all easily supported by arguments and
          There's a lot more to say, but....
          Gene Spafford
          Dept. of Computer Sciences, Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN
          Internet:  spaf@cs.purdue.edu   uucp:
          brad@looking.on.ca (Brad Templeton)
          Archive-name: emily-postnews/part1
          Last-change: 30 Nov 91 by brad@looking.on.ca (Brad Templeton)
          **NOTE: this is intended to be satirical.  If you do not
            it as such, consult a doctor or professional comedian.  The
            recommendations in this article should recognized for what
            they are -- admonitions about what NOT to do.
                         "Dear Emily Postnews"
               Emily Postnews, foremost authority on proper net behaviour,
               gives her advice on how to act on the net.
          Dear Miss Postnews: How long should my signature be? --
          A: Dear Verbose: Please try and make your signature as long as
          can.  It's much more important than your article, of course, so
          to have more lines of signature than actual text.
          Try to include a large graphic made of ASCII characters, plus
          lots of
          cute quotes and slogans.  People will never tire of reading these
          pearls of wisdom again and again, and you will soon become
          associated with the joy each reader feels at seeing yet another
          delightful repeat of your signature.
          Be sure as well to include a complete map of USENET with each
          signature, to show how anybody can get mail to you from any site
          the world.  Be sure to include Internet gateways as well.  Also
          people on your own site how to mail to you.  Give independent
          addresses for Internet, UUCP, and BITNET, even if they're all the
          Aside from your reply address, include your full name, company
          organization.  It's just common courtesy -- after all, in some
          newsreaders people have to type an *entire* keystroke to go back
          the top of your article to see this information in the header.
          By all means include your phone number and street address in
          single article.  People are always responding to usenet articles
          phone calls and letters.  It would be silly to go to the extra
          of including this information only in articles that need a
          response by
          conventional channels!
          Dear Emily: Today I posted an article and forgot to include my
          signature.  What should I do?  -- forgetful@myvax
          A: Dear Forgetful: Rush to your terminal right away and post an
          article that says, "Oops, I forgot to post my signature with that
          article.  Here it is."
          Since most people will have forgotten your earlier article,
          (particularly since it dared to be so boring as to not have a
          juicy signature) this will remind them of it.  Besides, people
          much more about the signature anyway.  See the previous letter
          more important details.
          Also, be sure to include your signature TWICE in each article.
          way you're sure people will read it.
          Dear Ms. Postnews: I couldn't get mail through to somebody on
          site.  What should I do? -- eager@beaver.dam
          A: Dear Eager: No problem, just post your message to a group that
          lot of people read.  Say, "This is for John Smith.  I couldn't
          mail through so I'm posting it.  All others please ignore."
          This way tens of thousands of people will spend a few seconds
          over and ignoring your article, using up over 16 man-hours their
          collective time, but you will be saved the terrible trouble of
          checking through Usenet maps or looking for alternate routes.
          think, if you couldn't distribute your message to 30,000 other
          computers, you might actually have to (gasp) call directory
          for 60 cents, or even phone the person.  This can cost as much as
          few DOLLARS (!) for a 5 minute call!
          And certainly it's better to spend 10 to 20 dollars of other
          money distributing the message then for you to have to waste $9
          on an
          overnight letter, or even 29 cents on a stamp!
          Don't forget.  The world will end if your message doesn't get
          so post it as many places as you can.
          Q: What about a test message?
          A: It is important, when testing, to test the entire net.  Never
          merely a subnet distribution when the whole net can be done.
          Also put
          "please ignore" on your test messages, since we all know that
          everybody always skips a message with a line like that.  Don't
          use a
          subject like "My sex is female but I demand to be addressed as
          because such articles are read in depth by all USEnauts.
          Q: Somebody just posted that Roman Polanski directed Star Wars.
          should I do?
          A: Post the correct answer at once!  We can't have people go on
          believing that!  Very good of you to spot this.  You'll probably
          the only one to make the correction, so post as soon as you can.
          time to lose, so certainly don't wait a day, or check to see if
          somebody else has made the correction.
          And it's not good enough to send the message by mail.  Since
          the only one who really knows that it was Francis Coppola, you
          have to
          inform the whole net right away!
          Q: I read an article that said, "reply by mail, I'll summarize."
          should I do?
          A: Post your response to the whole net.  That request applies
          only to
          dumb people who don't have something interesting to say.  Your
          postings are much more worthwhile than other people's, so it
          would be
          a waste to reply by mail.
          Q: I collected replies to an article I wrote, and now it's time
          summarize.  What should I do?
          A: Simply concatenate all the articles together into a big file
          post that.  On USENET, this is known as a summary.  It lets
          read all the replies without annoying newsreaders getting in the
          Do the same when summarizing a vote.
          Q: I saw a long article that I wish to rebut carefully, what
          should I
          A: Include the entire text with your article, particularly the
          signature, and include your comments closely packed between the
          Be sure to post, and not mail, even though your article looks
          like a
          reply to the original.  Everybody *loves* to read those long
          point-by-point debates, especially when they evolve into name-
          and lots of "Is too!" -- "Is not!" -- "Is too, twizot!"
          Be sure to follow-up everything, and never let another person get
          the last word on a net debate.  Why, if people let other people
          the last word, then discussions would actually stop!  Remember,
          net readers aren't nearly as clever as you, and if somebody posts
          something wrong, the readers can't possibly realize that on their
          without your elucidations.  If somebody gets insulting in their
          postings, the best response is to get right down to their level
          fire a return salvo.  When I read one net person make an
          attack on another, I always immediately take it as gospel unless
          rebuttal is posted.  It never makes me think less of the
          insulter, so
          it's your duty to respond.
          Q: How can I choose what groups to post in?
          A: Pick as many as you can, so that you get the widest audience.
          After all, the net exists to give you an audience.  Ignore those
          suggest you should only use groups where you think the article is
          highly appropriate.  Pick all groups where anybody might even be
          slightly interested.
          Always make sure followups go to all the groups.  In the rare
          that you post a followup which contains something original, make
          you expand the list of groups.  Never include a "Followup-to:"
          line in
          the header, since some people might miss part of the valuable
          discussion in the fringe groups.
          Q: How about an example?
          A: Ok.  Let's say you want to report that Gretzky has been traded
          the Oilers to the Kings.  Now right away you might think
          rec.sport.hockey would be enough.  WRONG.  Many more people might
          interested.  This is a big trade!  Since it's a NEWS article, it
          belongs in the news.* hierarchy as well.  If you are a news
          admin, or
          there is one on your machine, try news.admin.  If not, use
          The Oilers are probably interested in geology, so try
          He is a big star, so post to sci.astro, and sci.space because
          they are
          also interested in stars.  And of course comp.dcom.telecom
          because he
          was born in the birthplace of the telephone.  And because he's
          Canadian, post to soc.culture.Ontario.southwestern.  But that
          doesn't exist, so cross-post to news.groups suggesting it should
          created.  With this many groups of interest, your article will be
          quite bizarre, so post to talk.bizarre as well.  (And post to
          comp.std.mumps, since they hardly get any articles there, and a
          group will propagate your article further.)
          You may also find it is more fun to post the article once in each
          group.  If you list all the newsgroups in the same article, some
          newsreaders will only show the the article to the reader once!
          tolerate this.
          Q: How do I create a newsgroup?
          A: The easiest way goes something like "inews -C newgroup ....",
          while that will stir up lots of conversation about your new
          it might not be enough.
          First post a message in news.groups describing the group.  This
          is a
          "call for discussion."  (If you see a call for discussion,
          post a one line message saying that you like or dislike the
          When proposing the group, pick a name with a TLA (three-letter
          acronym) that will be understood only by "in" readers of the
          After the call for discussion, post the call for flames, followed
          by a
          call for arguments about the name and a call for run-on puns.
          Eventually make a call for "votes." USENET is a democracy, so
          can now all post their votes to ensure they get to all 30,000
          instead of just the person counting. Every few days post a long
          summary of all the votes so that people can complain about bad
          and double votes.  It means you'll be more popular and get lots
          mail.  At the end of 21 days you can post the vote results so
          people can argue about all the technical violations of the
          you made.  Blame them on the moderator-of-the-week for
          news.announce.newgroups.  Then your group might be created.
          To liven up discussion, choose a good cross-match for your
          and group.  For example, comp.race.formula1 or soc.vlsi.design
          be good group names.  If you want your group created quickly,
          an interesting word like "sex" or "activism."  To avoid limiting
          discussion, make the name as broad as possible, and don't forget
          If possible, count votes from a leaf site with a once-a-week
          connection to botswanavax.  Schedule the vote during your relay
          head crash if possible.
          Under no circumstances use the trial group method, because it
          eliminates the discussion, flame, pun, voting and guideline-
          accusation phases, thus taking all the fun out of it.  To create
          ALT group, simply issue the creation command.  Then issue an
          and some more newgroup messages to save other netters the trouble
          doing that part.
          Q: I cant spell worth a dam.  I hope your going too tell me what
          A: Don't worry about how your articles look.  Remember it's the
          message that counts, not the way it's presented.  Ignore the fact
          sloppy spelling in a purely written forum sends out the same
          messages that soiled clothing would when addressing an audience.
          Q: How should I pick a subject for my articles?
          A: Keep it short and meaningless.  That way people will be forced
          actually read your article to find out what's in it.  This means
          bigger audience for you, and we all know that's what the net is
          If you do a followup, be sure and keep the same subject, even if
          totally meaningless and not part of the same discussion.  If you
          don't, you won't catch all the people who are looking for stuff
          on the
          original topic, and that means less audience for you.
          Q: What sort of tone should I take in my article?
          A: Be as outrageous as possible.  If you don't say outlandish
          and fill your article with libelous insults of net people, you
          may not
          stick out enough in the flood of articles to get a response.  The
          insane your posting looks, the more likely it is that you'll get
          of followups.  The net is here, after all, so that you can get
          lots of
          If your article is polite, reasoned and to the point, you may
          only get
          mailed replies.  Yuck!
          Q: The posting software suggested I had too long a signature and
          many lines of included text in my article.  What's the best
          A: Such restrictions were put in the software for no reason at
          all, so
          don't even try to figure out why they might apply to your
          Turns out most people search the net to find nice articles that
          consist of the complete text of an earlier article plus a few
          In order to help these people, fill your article with dummy
          lines to get past the restrictions.  Everybody will thank you for
          For your signature, I know it's tough, but you will have to read
          it in
          with the editor.  Do this twice to make sure it's firmly in
          there.  By
          the way, to show your support for the free distribution of
          information, be sure to include a copyright message forbidding
          transmission of your article to sites whose USENET politics you
          Also, if you do have a lot of free time and want to trim down the
          in your article, be sure to delete some of the attribution lines
          that it looks like the original author of -- say -- a plea for
          peace actually wrote the followup calling for the nuking of
          Q: They just announced on the radio that the United States has
          Iraq.  Should I post?
          A: Of course.  The net can reach people in as few as 3 to 5 days.
          It's the perfect way to inform people about such news events long
          after the broadcast networks have covered them.  As you are
          the only person to have heard the news on the radio, be sure to
          as soon as you can.
          Q: I have this great joke.  You see, these three strings walk
          into a
          A: Oh dear.  Don't spoil it for me.  Submit it to rec.humor, and
          it to the moderator of rec.humor.funny at the same time.  I'm
          he's never seen that joke.
          Q: What computer should I buy?  An Atari ST or an Amiga?
          A: Cross post that question to the Atari and Amiga groups.  It's
          interesting and novel question that I am sure they would love to
          investigate in those groups.  There is no need to read the groups
          advance or examine the "frequently asked question" lists to see
          if the
          topic has already been dealt with.  In fact, you don't need to
          the group at all, and you can tell people that in your query.
          Q: What about other important questions?  How should I know when
          A: Always post them.  It would be a big waste of your time to
          find a
          knowledgeable user in one of the groups and ask through private
          if the topic has already come up.  Much easier to bother
          thousands of
          people with the same question.
          Q: Somebody just posted a query to the net, and I want to get the
          answer too.  What should I do?
          A: Immediately post a following, including the complete text of
          query.  At the bottom add, "Me too!"  If somebody else has done
          follow up their article and add "Me three," or whatever number is
          appropriate.  Don't forget your full signature.  After all, if
          just mail the original poster and ask for a copy of the answers,
          will simply clutter the poster's mailbox, and save people who do
          answer the question the joyful duty of noting all the "me (n)s"
          sending off all the multiple copies.
          Q: What is the measure of a worthwhile group?
          A: Why, it's Volume, Volume, Volume.  Any group that has lots of
          in it must be good.  Remember, the higher the volume of material
          in a
          group, the higher percentage of useful, factual and insightful
          articles you will find.  In fact, if a group can't demonstrate a
          enough volume, it should be deleted from the net.
          Q: Emily, I'm having a serious disagreement with somebody on the
          I tried complaints to his sysadmin, organizing mail campaigns,
          for his removal from the net and phoning his employer to get him
          fired.  Everybody laughed at me.  What can I do?
          A: Go to the daily papers.  Most modern reporters are top-notch
          computer experts who will understand the net, and your problems,
          perfectly.  They will print careful, reasoned stories without any
          errors at all, and surely represent the situation properly to the
          public.  The public will also all act wisely, as they are also
          cognizant of the subtle nature of net society.
          Papers never sensationalize or distort, so be sure to point out
          like racism and sexism wherever they might exist.  Be sure as
          that they understand that all things on the net, particularly
          are meant literally.  Link what transpires on the net to the
          causes of
          the Holocaust, if possible.  If regular papers won't take the
          go to a tabloid paper -- they are always interested in good
          By arranging all this free publicity for the net, you'll become
          well known.  People on the net will wait in eager anticipation
          your every posting, and refer to you constantly.  You'll get more
          than you ever dreamed possible -- the ultimate in net success.
          Q: What does foobar stand for?
          A: It stands for you, dear.
          Gene Spafford
          Software Engineering Research Center & Dept. of Computer Sciences
          Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN 47907-1398
          Internet:  spaf@cs.purdue.edu phone:  (317) 494-7825
          Address:  If a computer is multiuser or belongs to a network,
             addresses are used to differentiate the various users.  An
             address is often the user's name, such as "rich" or
             "spartan."  To differentiate between the "rich" using
             "SJSUVM1" and the "rich" using "portal," an addressing scheme
             is used, e.g., "rich@portal."  This is pronounced "rich at
             portal."  This form of addressing is known as "internet-
             style."  Other forms of addressing exist, such as
             "portal!rich," but internet-style addressing is emerging as
             the standard form of address across networks.
          Bulletin board system:  Also known as "BBS."  See "conferencing."
          Computer: At its most basic level, it is an electronic device
             capable of carrying out millions of instructions per second.
             The instructions it executes are determined by its
             programming or software.  The software enables the computer
             to performs tasks such as word processing, numerical
             calculation and communication.
          Conferencing:  This is a form of electronic mail which requires a
             specialized type of communication software.  Rather than
             being sent to a specific user, a message is distributed
             across the network or internet as an open letter.  These open
             letters are organized by the conferencing software into
             categories of interest, such as "cat lovers" and "Italian
             culture."  Users subscribe only to the categories that
             interest them and ignore the rest.  Tens of thousands of
             personal computers around the world are dedicated to
             providing conferences between their users.  Known as
             "bulletin board systems" or BBS's, they provide a important
             source of information for users with similar interests.  Some
             BBS's belong to a network of BBS's using the same
             conferencing software.  This allows local users to
             "conference" with users at other sites.
          E-mail:  Users can send written messages to one another using a
             special form of communication software called electronic
             mail.  Provided that both users' sites have electronic mail
             and that both sites belong to gatewayed networks, electronic
             mail is an amazingly fast and efficient way for users to
             communicate.  The Internet network (not to be confused with
             the general term "internet") spans the globe and transmits
             mail between sites within seconds.  Slower networks, such as
             Fidonet, can take hours or even days.  Mail delivery is
             limited by the speed of the slowest network along the
             delivery route.  For example, if a machine is a gateway
             between the Internet and the Fidonet networks, mail can take
             seconds to reach the gateway via the Internet and then a few
             days to reach its destination site within Fidonet.
          Feed:  The Usenet connection between two sites.  The site that
             provides the connection "feeds" the site that wants it.
          Fidonet:  A network of personal computers running the Fido
             bulletin board system software.
          Gateway:  A computer that belongs to at least two networks and is
             registered with each network's NIC.  A gateway computer
             allows users and computers from one side of the gateway to
             communicate with users and computers on the other side.  A
             machine serving as a gateway to several networks can be a
             sort of network hub.  The proliferation of gateway sites has
             facilitated the linking of previously isolated networks.  The
             global community of linked networks is known as the
          Internet:  The internet is the global community of linked
             networks.  It is essentially a network of networks.  The
             National Science Foundation's network or NSFNet is
             confusingly known as the Internet.  The Internet is a high-
             speed network linking the nation's military and research
             institutions with corporations and foreign institutions
             around the world.  While only a part of the internet, the
             Internet is considered its backbone because of its high-speed
             connectivity.  Because of  increasing demand for commercial
             access, the Internet is being restructured as the National
             Research and Education Network (NREN).  Management for this
             new network will be contracted out to a consortium of private
          Kill file:  Blocks the display of the articles originating from
             the users and sites listed in the file.
          Moderation:  A moderated newsgroups requires all users to seek
             approval prior to posting an article.
          Multiuser:  See "user."
          Networks:  One or more computers linked for the purpose of
             communicating or of sharing resources such as printers and
             disk drives.
          Newsgroup:  The categories of discussion available via Usenet.
             There are currently approximately 4,000.
          Site:  This is another term for a computer.  Most often it is
             associated with multiuser computers or computers in a
             network.  Sites have names such as "SJSUVM1," "sjsumcs," and
             "portal."  These names are used to differentiate one computer
             in a network from another.  A similar term is "node."  A node
             almost always refers to a computer in a network.
          System Administrator:  Each user is regulated by his site or
             system administrator and each administrator relies upon his
             neighboring site administrators for connectivity within the
             network.  Generally, the administrator is liable for the
             actions of his users, but there is a debate over the extent
             of this liability.
          Usenet:  The largest conferencing system in the world.  The
             Usenet software is used by sites within the UUCP network.  It
             is composed of an estimated 10 million users at one million
             sites whose messages are divided into over a thousand
             categories called "newsgroups."  It is claimed that its
             volume of messages is doubling every two months.  To
             participate in Usenet, a site must have Usenet software and
             be a node within UUCP or the Internet.  Usenet messages can
             spread to other networks via gateways.  These gateways
             convert messages to the format used by their own network's
             conferencing software.  In this manner, Fidonet users can
             receive Usenet messages as Fido "echoes," as they are called
             in the Fidonet conferencing jargon.
          User:  The person who operates the computer.  The user operates
             the computer via software.  The user interacts with the
             software usually via a keyboard, video monitor and printer.
             A "single-user machine" is a computer that can only
             accommodate one user at a time.  A "multiuser machine" is a
             computer that can interact with several users simultaneously.
             This implies that the computer has more than one keyboard or
             point of interaction.  A point of interaction is commonly
             known as a terminal.
          Blum, Deborah.  "Studies on Beauty Raise a Number of Ugly
              Findings."  ___ _________ ________
                          San Francisco Examiner.  16 February 1992, B10.
          Bowle, John.  ______ ___ ___ _______
                        Hobbes and His Critics.  New York:  Barnes and
              Noble, Inc., 1969.
          Eachard, John.  ___ _______ _____ __ ______ __________
                          Mr. Hobbs's State of Nature Considered.
              Liverpool:  Liverpool UP, 1958.
          Frey, Donnalyn and Rick Adams.  _____  _ _________ __ __________
                                          !%@::  A Directory of Electronic
              ____ __________ _ ________
              Mail Addressing & Networks.  Sebastopol, California:
              O'Reilly and Associates, 1990.
          Galvin, Christopher J.  "Micropopulists Speak Up."  __________
              Magazine, July 1991, 12.
          Hobbes, Thomas.  __________
                           Leviathan.  Edited by Michael Oakeshott.  New
              York:  Macmillan Publishing Co., 1962.
          James, D.G.  ___ ____ __ ______
                       The Life of Reason.  London, New York, and Toronto:
              Longmans, Green and Co., 1949.
          Horton, Mark.  Untitled.  Part of a series of documents compiled
              and distributed by Gene Spafford, news.announce.newusers
              Usenet newsgroup, 1987.
          O'Brien, Michael.  "Playing in the MUD."  _________ ________
                                                    SunExpert Magazine,
              May 1992, 19.
          Offut, A. Jeff.  Untitled.  Part of a series of documents
              compiled and distributed by Gene Spafford,
              news.announce.newusers Usenet newsgroup, 1987.
          Reid, Brian.  ______ __________ _______ ______
                        Usenet Readership Summary Report.  Palo Alto,
              California:  Network Measurement Project at the DEC Western
              Research Laboratory, March 1992.
          Reid, Elizabeth.  "Electropolis:  Communication and Community on
              Internet Relay Chat."  thesis, University of Melbourne,
          Ross, Ralph, Herbert W. Schneider, and Theodore Waldman, eds.
              ______ ______ __ ___ ____
              Thomas Hobbes in His Time.  Minneapolis:  University of
              Minnesota Press, 1974.
          SRI International, _________  _______ _______
                             Internet:  Getting Started.  Menlo Park,
              California:  SRI International, Network Information Systems
              Center, 1992.
          Brad Templeton.  ____ _____ ________
                           Dear Emily Postnews.  Part of a series of
              documents compiled and distributed by Gene Spafford,
              news.announce.newusers Usenet newsgroup, 1991.
          Tuck, Richard.  ______
                          Hobbes.  Oxford and New York:  Oxford UP, 1989.
          Von Rospach, Chuq.  _ ______ __ ___ __ ____ ____ ___ ______
                              A Primer on How to Work with the Usenet
              Community.  Part of a series of documents distributed by
              Gene Spafford, news.announce.newusers Usenet newsgroup,
          Warrender, Howard.  ___ _________ __________ __ ______
                              The Political Philosophy of Hobbes.  Oxford:
              Oxford UP (Clarendon), 1957.
          Wolin, Sheldon.  ________ ___ ______
                           Politics and Vision.  Boston:  Little, Brown and
              Company, 1960.