Friday, March 21, 2008

What to do with rotten apples

This is a hypothetical question for Tokyo Joe.

According to a brief parting discussion, the forums are like a barrel of apples with a few rotten ones in there. My analogy were of the curate's egg. (Aside: Funny how my mind plays games with me. I could swear there was a book in classical literature where that phrase was used, now I can't find any references to it.)

Anyhow, I have a brief question. If you find rotten apples in a barrel, what do you do? Leave them there? I think that would lead to the entire barrel being spoiled in short order, leaving you with the curate's egg.

Now on to the future. You (and presumably some of the rest) are aware that bama is now posting under both his old handle and also as aaa, one of his many sock-puppets? So what looks like multiple people agreeing on the merits or otherwise of a particular issue is merely bama?

As for me, life is good. Yesterday we went fishing at the Lewisville Fishing Barge, then we hit a movie. Today I'm taking my daughter for a bike riding lesson. All in all, I doubt I've spent 2 hours on my computer in the last 48 hours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi HO, I just saw this.

Anyhow, I have a brief question. If you find rotten apples in a barrel, what do you do? Leave them there? I think that would lead to the entire barrel being spoiled in short order, leaving you with the curate's egg.

It's funny this should come up, because at work, my students had a TOEFL reading about the chemical process that occurs that makes this axiom scientifically sound; one bad apple really can spoil the barrel. (Which is why you must never keep bananas in a plastic bag; they'll turn mushy twice as fast... for real :-) )

Here's the technical answer:

1. I'd determine if the barrel is worth saving first. (I am not sure that it is on some levels, but I hate to see it go)

2. I'd determine how quickly the rot is spreading, and if it is confined to one apple or several.

3. I'd make sure it really is "rot" and not a benign discoloration.

4. I'd have to make a choice: remove the rotten apples, and hope it isn't too late for the others... Or, simply skip apples altogether and go look for some mushrooms. (I'm leaning overwhelmingly towards the latter, but I'm seeing things from a different role than you at .org)

But since this isn't about apples or eggs, but about bama, let's just address that head-on:

He lost a lot of my respect after the Epictetus incident. I suspected he was aaa, then figured it out when he bumbled a post. I do grow tired of his "me me me look at me" posts. I wouldn't even mind those if they didn't come on the heels of an annoying prank.

People don't like getiing pranked and punked. bama has an odd desire to be the prankster yet gets hurt when people don't seem to like him. We've all got our own complexes, I guess that's his.

Banning him won't fix what ails him, and it'll make him determined at some point to come pranking his way back in.

So I don't think banning him will work. Frankly, I was relieved when he went on vacation; that was the most mature thing he's done.

I don't think he's a bad guy at heart, and he says useful stuff. But its like a guy who willfully doesn't shower or change his socks stinking up an office, no matter how many times HR talks to him. At some point, the stinky guy gets fired.

So: what to do about your egg? You can cut out the bad parts, and have a crumbling, cold egg that won't poison you. Or you can gag down the whole egg, and pray that there's more nourishment than botulism in it.

Or, you can walk away from it, and chalk it up to how .org evolved; since there's little common interest in shared goals anymore, there's little for the "community" to coaleace around. It's doomed by what it is. I hate to admit it, but that's what I really think. Most of my old friends are long gone now, save for the occasional pop in...

I'm already into my fade, too. It's not apparent yet, but I'm seldom participatory on the prosper-related threads anymore. So what's the point? I hate to leave, and I'm dragging my feet in doing so by lingering in the off-topic and investment forums, but I have a lot of real-life things I need to do this year, and .org is consuming time for no material gain...

I don't think it's a question of digging out bad apples. I'm beginning to think we shouldn;t have tried preserving barreled apples in drainage canal water... I'm not sure those are "rotten" apples, might be something else...