In December 1999, the usual end-of-year drop in signal-to-noise ratio occurred on the Traveller Mailing List (TML). However, this degenerated more than usual into a situation where one list member posted a "death threat" against the publishers and writers of GURPS:Traveller, and Doug Berry especially.
I missed all the... <ahem> ...fun(??!!), and so don't know the exact nature of the "threat". A local fellow-player suggested that it may originally have meant to be tongue-in-cheek - although emoticons were scarce - and that others may have taken it the wrong way. List members even got ot the point of suggesting that the TML be split in two. Again. *Sigh*.
In any case, I posted the following "hose-down" to the TML:
"I sort of assumed that signal-to-noise would increase, simply because it always has at the end of every year." [...][And then, I had a sudden brainwave while typing...]
"Divide and conquer has never helped the RPG world, anyway. Generally, this list is self-policing - in the past, if some drongo has made personal attacks, polite letters to the webmaster have fixed the problem (even if they had to escalate from requests to cease-and-desist up to kicking people off). This list is *nothing* like a newsgroup, in that regard." [...]
"My suggestion is this: wait for a while, and everything will settle down. Remember this is a very fast medium, where 3 days is a long time (equivalent to 45 digests, by my count), and things can heat up and cool down within a week. Follow the netiquette suggestions: write your vitriolic reply, get it all out of your system, then count to 10 (or 20, in extreme cases ;-). Bin your response, and write another. If it still contains flames (esp. personal attacks), bin this as well. If you still have a personal problem with someone, just take the time to think, "Oh well, they probably don't get out enough, and haven't learned the social graces", and you'll probably be right, at least with the first bit, since they are a TML reader. [ this was a joke, everyone, OK? ;-) ] The final method is to unsub for a week or two, then come back."
"Be cool. Wear dark glasses. Fly old air/rafts and feel the atmosphere in your hair. Chuckle at the impossibility of iris valves. Avoid grinning at Aslan, unless they are wearing comfortable shoes. Don't land at Alell. Smile at Norris' symbol, since you know he wears it on his codpiece. When you think of this, and Dilgaadin also smiles, wink at him. Take it easy. Don't be afraid of pirates - remember that the Regina subsector is patrolled by four of those quality vessels, the Kinunirs. Read the Silly Traveller page more often. Wave at Hivers, but avoid the corn dogs. Don't leap off Clifs, unless you are wearing your grav belt and fusion gun. Hava Nagila. Have two, they're small. Take a romantic trip on the Love Boa^k^k^k King Richard. Laugh at the Orrimot. Innoculate against Viruses. Walk with Strephon in his fountain, but don't get locked in the shower. Ignore smart-assed robots. Book in for a very intense tan at Antares. Perform a random act of situation comedy. Don't drink and TML."
"But trust me on the dark glasses."