Reasons why Usenet is like a penis: o It can be up or down. It's more fun when it's up, but it makes it hard to get any real work done. o In the long-distant past, its only purpose was to transmit information considered vital to the survival of the species. Some people still think that's the only thing it should be used for, but most folks today use it for fun most of the time. o It has no conscience and no memory. Left to its own devices, it will just do the same damn dumb things it did before. o It provides a way to interact with other people. Some people take this interaction very seriously, others treat it as a lark. Sometimes it's hard to tell what kind of person you're dealing with until it's too late. o If you don't apply the appropriate protective measures, it can spread viruses. o It has no brain of its own. Instead, it uses yours. If you use it too much, you'll find it becomes more and more difficult to think coherently. o We attach an importance to it that is far greater than its actual size and influence warrant. o If you're not careful what you do with it, it can get you in big trouble. o It has its own agenda. Somehow, no matter how good your intentions, it will warp your behavior. Later you may ask yourself "why on earth did I do that?" o Some folks have it, some don't. Those who have it would be devastated if it were ever cut off. They think that those who don't have it are somehow inferior. They think it gives them power. They are wrong. Those who don't have it may agree that it's a nifty toy, but think it's not worth the fuss that those who do have it make about it. Still, many of those who don't have it would like to try it. o Once you've started playing with it, it's hard to stop. Some people would just play with it all day if they didn't have work to do.