Dolphins in the Shark Tank and Rotten Apples on the Tree

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Many moons ago, I used to buy stuff on Usenet. (For those unfamiliar with Usenet, it was an early form of Internet discussion forums.) Little did I know that Usenet was, apparently, a den of thieves.

That's right. Apparently, people selling stuff on Usenet were a bunch of thieves. You should never buy there because you'll just get scammed. Stay away! It's awful in there. Not an honest person in the bunch! At least, that was the word in some circles.

Never once, though, did I get ripped off. No PayPal protection back then either. You had to send a check or money order.

The scariest experience was when I ordered electronics through Usenet and then the Unabomber was big news. Was this largely unmarked brown box I received in the mail what I ordered, or was it a bomb? I opened that box very carefully.

It was exactly what I ordered. (An Apple Newton Modem, if I recall.)

So, did I just happen to find a few dolphins in the shark tank, or had others been hit by the few rotten apples on the apple tree?

Who knows?

They say a happy customer will tell a friend but an unhappy customer will tell 10 people. That's probably true. People tend to share negative experiences more than positive experiences. Kind of silly, but I suppose we are wired to warn others of dangers rather than to point out the places we did not trip over a rock and nearly die.

But, don't trust absolute statements. I heard people say Usenet was nothing but thieves, but I know firsthand that's simply not the case. Whether it was a shark tank with a few dolphins or a apple tree with a few bad apples, I don't know. But, I do know that not everyone on there was dishonest.

So, be wary of absolute statements like that. They may reveal more about the person making them than about the place they are talking about.
#apples #dolphins #rotten #shark #tank #tree

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