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On Subject drift [was: How long will this take?]

On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 01:37:57AM +0200, Seeds Notoneofmy wrote:


> Recently I posted here with the subject line: "have you seen this inside..."
> And I was lectured by no fewer than three people.

As someone of those who did the "lecturing", I somehow feel urged
to respond ;-)

> The subject line in this thread is: "How long will this take?"

Yes. The original subject wasn't very informative. Then, the thread
drifted away (not the subject, as I promised above in the Subject,
alas). This happens, often one small nudge at a time (you may notice
that you just contributed to that yourself ;-)

Sometimes people try to straighten the mess a bit (I tried in this
mail) by adjusting the subject. As a human endeavour, this, too, is
bound to fail alarmingly often.

> I struggle to understand the difference between the two subject lines
> that merits their different treatment.

I'll take your question face value. While there are big similarities
between both, I still see at least two (small!) differences.

1) The subject "how long will this take" at least gives a hint
  at something performance-related. The subject "have you seen
  this inside..." doesn't give any hint.

2) In the current example, the subjet was (somewhat, see (1) for
  the limitations) appropriate in the initial mail and slowly
  lost relevance as the thread drifted away (it still has a bit
  of relevance, since the speed of /dev/urandom is somewhere around

As to why they merit different treatment -- I don't know. I don't
think so. Human behaviour is messy, more so in big groups. If you
still feel you've been treated unjustly, my apologies are still
up for the part I took in that.

You can always mail me personally if you think there's something
I can/should learn from all that.

-- t

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