i wrote A Quick Refresher seven years ago, and i think it needs a bit of correction:
The following rules need not only apply to the internet.
- Don't be an asshole.
- An asshole is someone who thinks of themselves first, and without consideration of anything else.
- An evil bastard is someone who actively seeks not only to be an asshole, but to inflict pain and suffering on others.
- Nobody likes an asshole, and everyone hates evil bastards.
- Assholes should be ignored or treated like infants (at best). Evil bastards should be opposed.
- If you do something nice (like link to someone else's page, hold the door open, upvote a post), never expect to see the favor returned.
- People who ask/plead/demand your generosity, should be avoided. Their actions should be enough to warrant your contributions.
- It is possible that someone else may share your opinion. This neither validates that opinion nor implies that they agree with you in all other aspects.
- Your point of view is only valid because you have no idea what the person who opposes your view has experienced.
- Their point of view is equally valid, unless, of course, they're just being an asshole or evil bastard.
- Correcting a person to their face is always better than scolding in public. Doing the latter without trying the former makes you someone who is intentionally inflicting harm on someone else so that you look better. (See "evil bastard")
- Tragedy and comedy are both sides of the same coin. This is why folks find slapstick funny. i'll come over and help you back up, but don't be offended if i'm giggling.
- If i do something stupid, i'm ok with you laughing while you help.
- Always presume the worst until pleasantly suprised otherwise.
- Nobody actually rolls on the floor, laughing out loud.
- Most of the stuff you see is done by a lot less folks than you think.
- Stuff breaks.
- When it breaks, they want to fix it
- It may take them a while to fix it because of other things that are even more broken that you don't know about
- It's not that they don't like you, it's just that it's hard for five people to respond to several million messages a day.
- There are people smarter than you.
- There are people dumber than you.
- On an average day, half of the people you meet will be in each category.
- Nobody expects courtesy, it confuses them. Use it with abandon just to catch them off-guard.
- The best reason to be nice is that it means the person is less likely to screw you over.
- Not that there's any reason for them not to try anyway.
- Friendship and trust must be earned every day.
- Be open about what you accept, but strict about what you provide.
- Good and Evil are relative ideas and need context.
- Never agree to someone's protocol/ideology without really understanding what that protocol/ideology is.
- Always understand that every protocol/ideology is subject to corruption. If you can't get it from the original source, it's probably invalid.
- Read the documentation.
- Never blame the user for a failure of the protocol. Simply report the error as clearly as you can and move on.
- Errors are errors and no amout of argument will change them. Work around them if you need to get something done or consider using another system.
Thank you, please pull ahead to the second window, and have a nice day.