Hi Lisamarie - re your question about how there could there possibly be a war in a photo NG (rec.photo.technique.people)
Well, prompted by your question, and since I haven't looked at that particular group in several months, I decided to see what they are currently up to. Well, no great surprise, just like rec.skiing.alpine, nothing ever changes.
One of the first msgs that I sampled was from "Eric", one of the main characters in their little fempto-drama. He said:
"Hey (obscenity deleted), maybe you should learn to spell and correct your own mistakes before you pass judgement on others. Do I need to correct your spelling mistakes or do you just want to apologize now. Idiot."
This was exactly the same sort of message he was posting two years ago (actually, somewhat milder than usual).
I can't possibly capture the full flavor of the interactions over there, but I think its worthwhile for people to see for themself how these disputes get started, and how the dynamics evolve in time - almost a mini-lesson in NG sociology.
In the case of this particular war, the easiest way to sample it is to do a Google advanced search with the following strategy:http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search
Any of the words: Eric Scott
Sort by relevance
Only from the NG: rec.photo.technique.people
FWIW, if you change the name of the person involved to Scott Abraham, and change the name of the NG to rec.skiing.alpine, I suspect you couldn't tell the two wars apart by reading the text of the two sets of postings.
In ALL of these NG flame wars, what you will see is an amazingly similar stream of combative, defensive, hypersensitive, legalese-spouting, obscenity-ridden, racist, etc. etc. language that few people would ever say to each other in person.
The "war" starts when some individual thinks he has been "wronged". Heated words change into full-blown invective from one or two central individuals. Then, good intentions not withstanding, other participants in the NG get sucked in. Some good intentioned people try to reason with the central character, others, with equally good intentions, try to argue with him, others threaten legal action, he threatens back, some testosterone pumped guy threatens to duke it out with the central individual, etc. etc. Its all so childish and booringly repetitive.
I realize that even this post is off-topic for this forum, but I hope that it demonstrates the "it can happen here" aspect of such disputes, the need to ALWAYS keep tempers in check, and the need to maintain the highest levels of courtesy and maturity in these forums because of the ease with which such disputes arise.
Geeze - I sound like someone working for the UN, not a physics geek <G>. I'm going to get back on topic an post a biomechanics question about "duck-feet".
Cheers all, and think of snow!
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited June 24, 2001).]</FONT>