Wednesday, July 17, 2002Friends don't let friends...
Apparently, the primary concern of a friend is to keep his friends from doing the wrong things (sometimes known as "falling into error"). This seems to be a deep-rooted duty in our culture; a Google search for the phrase "friends don't let friends" returns over 21,000 hits. Many of these are bound to be duplicates, but that still leaves a lot of things to keep friendwatchers busy.
The range of things to watch out for covers just about everything, from the sublime to the ridiculous, profound to silly, serious to whimsical. This is a collection of Web sites dealing with this crucial issue.
I don't know when the term originated, but I suspect that "...drive drunk" is one of the earliest.
Almost all of these sayings are epigrammatic, and many make their way onto bumper stickers and T-shirts. I sometimes wonder about the advisability - or propriety - of proclaiming your views, sandwich-board-like, on your clothes. Did Jefferson have a T-shirt that said "I am a Jeffersonian Democrat"?
To save space, I've left out the string "friends don't let friends" in the links below. When you read them, be sure to add the "don't" back in, otherwise, you're likely to end up doing all sorts of wrong things. This will probably get you a lot of attention, not necessarily appreciated, from your friends.
Also, a few headlines appear in more than one category.
Disclaimer: Inclusion of sites in this list does not imply either my endorsement or disapproval.
There are a lot of links here. That is, after all, the point. Some of them are bound to be so fascinating that you're likely to wander off, and may end up gone for days. That is, after all, the point of the Web.
I left out two or three that turned up in the search, on the basis of extremely bad taste.
Many sites deal with computers, and what you should or shouldn't use.
Some of them are pretty esoteric.
When there are many sites with the same philosophy, the number of sites is in parentheses after the title.
use AOL (191)
And here's one from ZDNet News, about the Pentagon's take on "a growing electronic menace: the PowerPoint briefing".
The Fortune article has an example of how not to use PowerPoint: the Gettysburg Address, if Lincoln had had our advantages.
use dial up
Some warn against a particular product, or endorse some other:
drive Fords (163)
Based on the ratio of Ford/Chevy, it looks like Chevys are way ahead in popularity.
I like that one.
This topic wouldn't be complete without the political:
Those two seem to have the bases covered. Nobody seems interested in
keeping their friends from voting Libertarian or Independent.
Like the Ford/Chevy split, Democrats seem to be more outspoken than Republicans.
On the serious side, there are the friends who don't want their friends to hurt anyone:
Naturally, religion plays a part:
The popular "drink and drive" prohibition gets a lot of coverage. Here are a few representative sites:
This guy does not advocate drunk driving. But, the consequences can be quite harsh, and as there are always borderline cases, he maintains that if you do go there, you'll need the best defense money can buy. Either way, it's going to cost you a bundle.
Then there are the odd ones, some serious, some not, that just don't fit into the broad categories:
dial and drive
drink and play
go to law school
invest and drive
shop and drive
pay sales tax
Ride what, then? Skis (as this one suggests), and bicycles
NotesMy two picks for the Most Esoteric Prohibition are:
I found this in a signature line on a message board posting. It is
attributed to Kevin Harris.
su is the Unix command that gives you full control over a computer. Once you successfully su, it and all its files are yours. If you're drunk, you might suffer a momentary lapse of judgement, and delete all the files. I'm told that this happens, but rarely.
The (1) indicates the section of the Reference Manual that describes su, and it's probably unnecessary, as su only appears in one section. The (1) does make it clear that we're talking about Unix.
Reveal codes are little formatting codes used by most word processors to specify how a document is formatted: paragraph breaks, lists, numbered sections, etc. Word thoughtfully hides these from you, which can be annoying at times. If you're revising a long, complicated document, it's a lot easier if you can see the codes on the screen. That entry is by a lawyer, which is interesting because there was once a very good word processing program, XyWrite (this was in the Old Days, when companies other than Microsoft were allowed to write applications). It was much used by the legal profession, and one of the function keys let you toggle the reveal codes on and off.
posted by Mike 5:38 PM