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Re: What is Usenet?

 Mark Moraes wrote:
 > Archive-name: usenet/what-is/part1
 > Original-from: (Chip Salzenberg)
 > Comment: edited until 5/93 by (Gene Spafford)
 > Last-change: 22 Nov 1995 by (Mark Moraes)
 > Changes-posted-to: news.misc,news.admin.misc,news.answers
 > --------------------------
 > Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system.  It consists of a
 > set of "newsgroups" with names that are classified hierarchically by
 > subject.  "Articles" or "messages" are "posted" to these newsgroups by
 > people on computers with the appropriate software -- these articles are
 > then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide
 > variety of networks.  Some newsgroups are "moderated"; in these
 > newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval
 > before appearing in the newsgroup.  Usenet is available on a wide variety
 > of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic
 > is transported over either the Internet or UUCP.
 > --------------------------------
 > The first thing to understand about Usenet is that it is widely
 > misunderstood.  Every day on Usenet, the "blind men and the elephant"
 > phenomenon is evident, in spades.  In my opinion, more flame wars
 > arise because of a lack of understanding of the nature of Usenet than
 > from any other source.  And consider that such flame wars arise, of
 > necessity, among people who are on Usenet.  Imagine, then, how poorly
 > understood Usenet must be by those outside!
 > Any essay on the nature of Usenet cannot ignore the erroneous
 > impressions held by many Usenet users.  Therefore, this article will
 > treat falsehoods first.  Keep reading for truth.  (Beauty, alas, is
 > outside the scope of this article.)
 > ------------------
 >  1. Usenet is not an organization.
 >     No person or group has authority over Usenet as a whole.  No one
 >     controls who gets a news feed, which articles are propagated
 >     where, who can post articles, or anything else.  There is no
 >     "Usenet Incorporated," nor is there a "Usenet User's Group."
 >     You're on your own.
 >     Granted, there are various activities organized by means of Usenet
 >     newsgroups.  The newsgroup creation process is one such
 >     activity.  But it would be a mistake to equate Usenet with the
 >     organized activities it makes possible.  If they were to stop
 >     tomorrow, Usenet would go on without them.
 >  2. Usenet is not a democracy.
 >     Since there is no person or group in charge of Usenet as a whole
 >     -- i.e. there is no Usenet "government" -- it follows that Usenet
 >     cannot be a democracy, autocracy, or any other kind of "-acy."