Bewildering Stories

& the Ones I Know

Various Authors

Real-life bewilderment: Preserved for your enjoyment, this thread was originally posted at the Asimov's Forum. This is unedited and uncensored. Read at your own risk. And prepare to be bewildered.

—The Editorial Triumvirate

By Knowbody on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 03:43 pm:

Ever notice how some people borrow other people's experiences as their own to illustrate a point? There's at least one person here who seems to do that regardless of subject. Makes me wonder how many people that person knows.

Vicarious opinion & knowledge is poor substitute for first hand.

By Sherry on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 09:27 pm:

You'll have to be more specific. I have no clue what you're talking about. I'm pretty sure I don't do that, though, all my experiences are my own, even the ones I probably shouldn't admit to ('course I like those the best).

By Thomas R on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 09:46 pm:

I wondered if he meant me. I have a tendency to annoy some online for reasons I've given up understanding. I've tried several times to change my style, avoid doing some things, & so forth. I think I have learned how to communicate online better through that. Offline in the real world I haven't had problems with people since High School so these lessons are mostly useless to real life. Still they have made my time at places like this better. Maybe there is room for improvement still, but I think I'm reaching a point where I am not certain I can go much further.

Mainly I thought s/he meant me because I do reference others life experience at times. So if this is referring to me, well I'm sorry but this is unlikely to change much. I can work on reducing it some, but the people I've known & what I've learned from their lives matter to me. I do talk about things that just relate to my life alone, probably too much as well. However I don't exist in a vacuum. So if this was referring to me, I'm sorry you feel that way but you can avoid reading posts by me. If it isn't disregard.

By Thomas R on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 09:54 pm:

Oh my mistake. S/he is referring to someone claiming the life experiences of others as his/her own. I'd never do that. If I'm talking about something that happened to a friend or relative I say it happened to a friend or relative. So disregard. (I wonder though how you can know online if someone is passing off other lives as their own?)

By Sherry on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 10:10 pm:

I've never seen you do that, Thomas. You've always come across as sincere. He must be talking about someone else. (I'm pretty behind on the posts, but so far, I'm clueless)

By Knowbody on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:04 am:

Has the Foo shat? Sorry to be mysterious but being more specific might be misconstrued as a personal affront instead of honest criticism. It's unfortunate that offenders can't be pulled to one side for private comment. I'm not interested in the occasional voyeur. At least one person I have in mind does this habitually. Asking for confirmation or reassurance is pointless. I refuse to name names. Who said I meant only one person? Just keep in mind what I said. The title of this thread is a clue. If you find it describing you -- stop it.

Or were you asking for clarification? I'm talking about second-hand testimony. It's not normally allowed in court for good reason. Why should it be allowed here?

I just added Merriam-Webster to my browser tool bar. Now I can misspell with authority.

By ET on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 05:42 am:

I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that people shouldn't quote science books or history books or any other reference works because they didn't personally experience what's in the book? Do you mean that if person X did something nasty to someone I know, then I can't say anything about X because I didn't experience anything personally? Or do you mean that I should never listen to writing advice from other people because I need to draw my own conclusions about writing?

I'm not sure what you're saying. It would be helpful if you could clarify it. Examples would be nice.

By Sherry on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 07:41 am:

Konowbody, I wasn't really ask for clarification. I was just mystified. I read all the recent posts and if someone (or more than one) is doing that, I don't see it. Even if they are, and they relay stories such as "so and so told me about this time..." as opposed to relating the story as their own: "one time, at band camp..." then I don't see anything wrong with that.

I guess I just missed your point. It was too ambiguous to be useful....and I suspect many people will feel vaguely guilty as a result. Whatever your intent, that type of statement is a criticism.

By Marian on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 11:05 am:

I agree that I haven't seen this here. Since no one except you, Knowbody, can recall such a post, it suggests it could be a misunderstanding of what someone wrote. I'm guessing you don't want to name a name because you don't want to start a flame war. But why not, politely, quote an example of the kind of post you mean so people will know what you're talking about -- and so the poster can have a chance to respond.

By Knowbody on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

You're right Marian: a flame war would be inevitable. And Sherry is right too: it's a criticism. Criticisms are allowed, yes?

The title of this thread is almost an exact quote of what I'm talking about: "...the ones I know that _____". I think if fill in the blank with an actual quote, it would be nearly the same as an actual confrontation. A flame could erupt but additionally, I could be misidentified; leading to misdirected bad feelings. Inserting a sample usually leads to arguing the truth of the sample instead of its intent. Besides, I am the most unimaginative person imaginable (ahem). Making up a sample is just too much trouble for me.

The problem with this and its many forms (one given by Sherry) is that whatever is placed in the blank cannot be independently checked because the referred authority/person/friend/relative is anonymous and/or unavailable. It's one thing to use it to describe a situational setting but another to use it in support of a stance. Other examples: "I have a cousin who said that _____"; "many people have said that _____"; "I know many (unnamed) scientists who _____"; "I've read (uncited) reports that _____". You can fill in the blanks with a host of things: "wasn't true", "they're a bunch of cokeheads", "forbles do not nest in the spring", etc.

We all do this occasionally. The person foremost in my mind does this so often, and in so many contexts, that the veracity of the person's statements is becoming suspect and they appear to be disguised assertions. The general response to clarification requests is "I'm too busy" or "I don't feel like it". This not only furthers suspicion but it's irritating to boot.

I could post links to samples but that would be counterproductive and inflammatory. I don't see how someone can really justify offering low quality support, so response is unnecessary. I would just prefer the practice stopped.

I apologize for creating vague guilt feelings but we can all profit from avoidance. A little guilt might not hurt.

By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

well, I have no idea what you're talking about here, but if I were hypothetically the person you referred to, I think I'd much prefer you get to the point instead of all this cloak and dagger whatnot.
If I were the person (though I can't imagine its me, but in case it is) I would apologize for offending you, if I could only figure out why you're offended.

On more general terms: I think its difficult to ask anyone to change the way they discuss things, as usually that is the way they think or speak or write and is an integral to their personality as their name or their hair color or if they have any hair left or whatever.... As much as I can decipher your complaint (and I am not confident I have), the seriousness of it seems to be elevated in your perception perhaps more than others.

Now, enough of THAT, lets talk about ME!


By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:53 pm:

so far, the closest example I can find to what you seem to be saying is when Matt Jarpe said: "I can do without spiritual nature, but I know some scientists who felt it was essential as well"

I hope that's not it, because if it is, your mainspring is wound too tight, Knowbody.

By Knowbody on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:54 pm:

My second pet peeve are people that need to change the subject or try to stop discussion that they don't like or (as you say) don't understand. But that's a different topic.

By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:59 pm:

well, since you won't come right out with what your topic is, changing it seems of no consequence, though I don't think I'm doing that.

You're a rather peeved person, it seems.

By Knowbody on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 04:12 pm:

I think what I said is pretty clear. I'm trying to prevent a flame and you insist on fanning it. You don't understand. OK. You said it how many times now? Do you think making a pest of yourself will fix that? Just what is it you're looking for? Your point?

By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 04:35 pm:

no, if you wanted to avoid a flame you'd have not brought it up at all. Since you did, you just want to flame without taking responsibility for your actions. That's why I responded -- sanctimonious passive aggressive behaviour is MY pet peeve.

further, if you wanted me to not fan it, you wouldn't keep asking me pointed questions.

good day to you, sir.

By Knowbody on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 04:43 pm:

Yes, I see. I don't expect answers to rhetorical questions. Bye.

By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 05:07 pm:

LOL! well, I have no idea if I'm the person who tied a knot in your shorts, but whoever it was, I want to buy them a drink!


oh, and lighten up. Its just a message board.

By David N on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 07:24 pm:

Rhetorical question, perhaps - what on Earth was that all about (not your contributions, Lerk)?

BTW, I know quite a few people who like to answer rhetorical questions.

By Steven Francis Murphy on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

Oh for goodness sakes, it could be anyone on this forum.

So what? Maybe it is me. I cite my personal experiences all the time.

I have noticed, not here so much (thankfully) but in college that often people took serious offense at the citation of personal experiences (especially if you were an unrepentant veteran of the Armed Forces such as myself).

That said, regardless of who, what, where, when or how, last I checked, this is a FORUM designed for the free flow of thoughts, ideas and whatnot. If someone's method of discourse taxes your patience, I have a simple and very effective suggestion.

Ignore them.

It is probably what I should have done when I saw this thread. But even conservative leaning Americans such as myself make efforts to be open minded.

Now, if everyone will excuse me, I have some red meat to warm up. It is left over from the "Gardner was Gone at Clarion Party." Good stuff.


P.S. "Every bean must be seen as well as heard." All Quiet on the Western Front.

By The Invincible Spud on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

I'm just plain bewildered. If you're talking about me, well, ha! And ha again! You've done a fine job of bewildering. We want your stuff for Bewildering Stories. Don't have to be fiction. Send us your bewildering viewpoints, put together neatly (or not) into some kind of article or something. We want it!

--The Invincible Spud
Bewildering Stories

By Marian on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 10:24 pm:

David said "Rhetorical question, perhaps - what on Earth was that all about" I think it's obvious now that by answering, we were interrupting a private conversation. :)

By Lerk on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 11:04 pm:

(monty python voice)_The Show So Far....

for those of you just joining us, here is a recap:
Knowbody doesn't like someone very much (whom we'll call Boron), or their way of debating...Knowbody wants to launch a stealth smear campaign against them. So he starts a thread that vaguely refers to the person in question. Then, he not only expresses his distaste, he wants to actively infer this person lacks integrity...a more civil way of calling them a liar, or basically flaming them. Remember, this is a thread begun for the sole purpose of ad hominem attacks against a particular person, with the secondary purpose of trying to convince the rest of us to consider this person's posts to be dishonest. Oh, he tries to act as if he's taking the high road by claiming to not want to identify the person (while dropping clue after clue). And he doesn't even have the honor to use his regular moniker, but hides like a coward behind an assumed moniker, presumably to protect the identity of

to wit:

>>>>"We all do this occasionally. The person foremost in my mind does this so often, and in so many contexts, that the veracity of the person's statements is becoming suspect and they appear to be disguised assertions. The general response to clarification requests is "I'm too busy" or "I don't feel like it". This not only furthers suspicion but it's irritating to boot.

I could post links to samples but that would be counterproductive and inflammatory. I don't see how someone can really justify offering low quality support, so response is unnecessary. I would just prefer the practice stopped. "<<<

What Knowbody wanted, was for us to join in the jihad and pick up pitchforks and torches and storm Boron's castle along with him.
Unfortunately, the rest of us didn't play along like he liked.
Also, I tried calling his bluff and pointing out I could detect his intentions.
So the flaming target became me, either in effigy or because I was the original target.

Knowbody wanted us to ask his question: Who is Boron?. But I suggest the better question is "who is Knowbody and why is he saying all these terrible things about Boron?"
Did Knowbody lose an argument fair and square and in his spite decided to do this lower than whale dung approach? Hm. not sure.

bottom line is no one should start threads whose entire purpose is to still the voice of another member, no matter how transparently they pretend to take the high road doing so.

I have no idea if I'm the original target, I sort of hope I am, that would be funny, but the reason I responded as I did is I really get tired of these flamebaiters and trolls who do not even have the temerity to use their monikers and take responsibility for their heinous crimes. In fact, I challenge Knowbody to come clean as to their identity...ironically, he hides behind a false name and tries to get us to believe someone else is lying.

thank you, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled program, now in progess.


By The Invincible Spud on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 12:18 am:

Seriously, this strange and perplexing thread
Is the most bewildering thing I've ever read
And to prevent it from becoming forever dead
We, Bewildering Stories, would like it reprint-ed.

So...with the permission of everyone who posted on this thread, we'd like to copy it and put it up at our website. Very bewildering indeed.

Of course, I don't think Knowbody's going to consent to that. Too bad. Oh, well, we've got lots of other bewildering stuff in inventory...

By Gerardo on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 01:33 am:

So reprint it under a Non-Consent label. Or, better yet, Without Knowbody's Consent. And, in case the aforementioned turns up with a shoulder under her/his chip (why make it easy?), you can add a pretty graphic with the disclaimer Warning! This is definitely not based on fact!

No way you can lose.

By Knowbody on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 02:00 am:


You've got my permission, Spud. Frankly don't know why you'd want it but

--- Wait! There's More! ---

I don't know how many writers are here but now I have a good idea how many readers there are. I'm puzzled by the insistence to name names. Lerk was the most vocal. He kept saying "I don't understand" but the only things I left unsaid were the specifics of who and the exact words. So what's not understand? Well, obviously nothing. He was simply interested in baiting me. Note how he says goodbye then keeps coming back. I suppose to uncover who I had in mind or the boss finally gave him a well deserved evaluation. Who knows? I also note that Lerk asked me if it was a third person. I can only wonder why.

It wasn't until after posts by DavidN and SFM that his "incitement theory" emerged. I guess it took him several hours to figure out what he was doing.

Jerk, ever hear the Carly Simon song "You're So Vain" which has "You prob'ly think this song is about you, donch'you"? It's obvious how your mind works so let me put it at ease -- keep wondering. BTW: if you're right, it should be easy to figure out who I am. All you need to do is find the posts where I lost though how one loses to nonevidence is beyond me.

Marian, DavidN was referring to an earlier post by me.

DavidN, I meant rhetorical questions in general. I really didn't expect any that I posted to be answered (and they weren't as I recall). Yes, some people are compelled to perpetually clarify.

The assumptions made were truly amazing. I fail to see why anyone would need to feel guilty. If I had said your spelling needed improvement, you'd feel guilty? The thing I'm talking about is an error in logic. We all do it (yes, even me). It doesn't make me feel guilty so why the hell would you?

Now there is one person who does it a lot. I do wish that person wouldn't. If I wanted to embarrass that person, I could have done it long ago. Yes, that would have started a flame war. Who likes to be corrected in public?

I was just hoping for a little introspection and (hopefully) some behavior modification. But, what the hell, go grab your pitchforks and tar. We need the entertainment.

If'n y'all do that, y'all are a real sorry bunch. Y'all know that, don'cha?

By Jerry Wright on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 02:26 am:

If I understand you, Knowbody, which I probably don't, you are saying that someone makes assertions backed by "appeal to authority", but when questioned as to a specific citation says, "I'm too busy" or somesuch because he actually has no authority to cite, but is simply making up his assertion out of whole cloth.

So, you have lost whatever respect you had for this one. And you want us to think twice about citing authority where there is none, and hook up the electrodes to our brains and try a little ECT.

Hmmm... Yes, bewildering is correct. Go for it, Spud.


By Thomas R on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 02:30 am:

This isn't a game or even a roundtable discussion like on PBS or CNN. Mostly people just come here to talk about how they feel & why. When I first came online many years ago I came quoting facts, statistics, polls, various thinkers, etc. It was a lot of work for no good reason. It just made me look like a pompous fool. It also made going online like doing classwork. I'll admit that was fun in a way because I like studying, but mostly it was just unnecessarily exhausting. It makes the forum work instead of pleasure.

Still I'm sorry you feel you "Lost" somewhere no one can figure out for reasons you don't understand. I'm sorry you choose to see discussions here as games to be won or lost. I'm sorry you don't have the people skills to find a way to tactfully tell someone you don't understand their point or logic.

I know you think we don't want to be corrected, but many of us are willing to accept constructive criticisms. Even if we get briefly upset well what do you think this has done? What do you think calling someone Jerk equates to? If your reasons are truly politeness than it isn't quite working out. It would have almost been better to be open & tell the person you didn't understand what they were getting at or see the relevance. The person has a right not to heed your advice, but it would have been less of a problem than this.

By ET on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 08:38 am:

> If I had said your spelling needed improvement, you'd feel guilty?

Ever notice how some people can't get their spelling straight? There's at least one person here who seems to do that regardless of subject. Makes me wonder what school that person went to.

Well, perhaps "guilty" isn't the right word, but certainly something like the above is likely to make people take offense. I tend to agree with Lerk on the interpretation that Knowbody had lost an argument and is sulking -- although I'd guess that Knowbody actually always thinks he's right, and simply gets annoyed when people disagree with him.

Besides, I don't see the error in logic here. When a person claims that other people have a certain opinion, and that is a true fact, what's the problem with this?

By Gerardo on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 09:18 am:

Knowbody -- Who likes to be corrected in public?

Well, I do. I'm sure I can't be right one hundred percent of the time, even if I try. And when I let a '1 + 1 = 3' slip by, I don't need any cheers, I don't want anyone to hail my new interpretation of arithmetic, I want someone who knows better or is not falling asleep at the keyboard like me to point it out.

In public? This Forum isn't even mediated. Everyone can have her/his say, everyone usually does. So what's the big deal? If I wasn't ready to take some feedback, I wouldn't be posting here. As far as I've been able to ascertain, there's scarcely a poster here who hasn't had to confront some sort of opposition, be it over ideas, statements or style. There's all kinds of people here, I expect I won't agree with some, and some won't agree with me. And I like to think we live in a world where all of us have the right and the drive to speak out. Too many tragedies the world has seen because people did not speak out in time.

By Lerk on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:03 am:

yep, that last Knowbody post proves my point. No revelation of HIS identity, but plenty of flames at others.
Hey, I can be wrong or even stupid in a debate, but I always back it up with my name (or accepted

I must agree with others here that if your intention was not to start a flame war, this was the opposite ploy to use to accomplish that goal.
The absolute best thing would have been to call the person on it directly, within the thread where said offense occurred. Then, at least, the person has an option to defend their position openly. This way, there is no way for anyone to be open or achieve any sort of understanding. The ONLY outcome is flames, and in such a way that you THINK you can avoid retribution for doing so. The level of your cowardice astounds.

Oh, and you misunderstood me a while back. When I said "good day to you sir" you thought I meant "I" was leaving. I was actually telling you not to let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya on YOUR way out of here. Next time I'll be more ya go: begone TROLL!

and the sad thing about passive aggressive behaviour is that its so transparent. To accuse ME of baiting is very ridiculous. I"m merely calling your baiting for what it is.

Oh...and "Jerk...Lerk"...hooheehaahhahhhhoooo! what cleverness! what insight! what a putz.

By ET on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:15 am:

LOL, Lerk, what a way you have with words. :)

By Garry on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 11:44 am:

Knowbody wrote (again): Now there is one person who does it a lot. I do wish that person wouldn't.

My position(s) on your problem is (are); 1- if you don't like what they say (or the way they say it) don't read their posts (trust me it's easy to do). 2- your problem seems rather petty and intolerant.

I come here for interesting (heady) discussion, to appreciate others points of view (there's no one who can't learn from others) and (hopefully) to be appreciated too (everyone needs a little 'extra' affirmation now and then, even if it's a comment to a post).

'extra'-note I highlight 'extra' because it would indeed be sad if this was the only place someone is (or not, even) receiving such.

That said, I would hope people don't take this place to lightly. I've said this before, the community of SF fans/writers is small so, to me, this is a cherished place. My expectations, too, are that one day I'll have the chance to meet some of you at a Con. Previously, I met several Critters at Chicon and it is a good memory. I've also met others through this board (and others) whom I regard as friends. So realize that creating 'bad blood' could have consequences. Staying anonymous does, as well, like "Who are you?"

Even so, I'd still bet that any 'bad blood' you create would probably be quickly forgiven by most of the people that come here were they to meet you in person. I believe they are good, tolerant people.

By Rajnar on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 01:20 pm:

Let's see if I've got this. Someone whose name is being withheld doesn't like the way someone else whose name they don't wish to reveal backs up arguments that are left undescribed by quoting unspecified authorities.

I could tell you why all this started an argument, but for reasons best left undisclosed, I'm going to keep the information under wraps.

By The Invincible Spud on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:00 pm:

This just gets bewilderinger and bewilderinger!

Well, due to the many people posting on this thread, it's going to pretty hard to get everyone's permission, even though the person I thought least likely to do so has done so.

So, instead, since I don't think people will worry about having their publicly-posted stuff copied and put up on another web site since this has very little literary value and shouldn't really cause a problem, I'll wait until the thread's been inactive for a few days or so and then copy the whole thing (including this very message and everything above) and put it up at the Bewildering Stories website. In the meantime, if anyone objects to having their stuff copied and reprinted, just say so, and we'll omit your post(s).

Thanks again, and, of course, we want this thread to bewilder even more people by putting it up elsewhere.

By Lerk on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 11:58 pm:

you have my permission, spud. just post a link.

By Gerardo on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 12:12 am:

Go ahead, Spud. You may add a fictional happy ending, too, which would make it truly bewildering. Incomprehensible. Mystifying. Whatever. Can't get any weirder.

By William on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 12:20 am:

My friend Virt Lovecraft had a little story to add to this thread. He thought it might clarify things. Or not.


Tombs and death had always appealed to me. My story you may find interesting.

In considering the charnel atmosphere, I could not help but crookedly rend. What foul atrocities! My eyes, devilishly imagine, gazed for an eternal instant upon the circumstance. Good God! I now proceeded to tear in two.

What foul atrocities!

I now proceeded to cut. In considering the death-rattle, I could not help but unnaturally imagine. Heaven save my soul! I now proceeded to tear in two. I now proceeded to imagine. In considering the circumstance, I could not help but unnaturally split asunder. Wellspring of marvels and horrors unspeakable!

Unspeakable but so, that is my story.

By Thomas R on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 12:42 am:

I don't exactly see the point Spud, but what the heck go for it. I'm cool too.

By The Invincible Spud on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 01:12 am:

We're thinking about reprinting the entire thing (including all this talk about reprinting, which is very...weird) on the web site, without any alterations or additions. It'll go up as an unclassifiable item, I think, rather than a work of fiction. Just one of those weird little things you read and scratch your head at and think, and think, and think, and then dismiss as a whole bunch of [you fill in the word], you know?

By Sherry on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 07:36 am:

You have my permission, spud.

However, I would like to add something. The board had gotten a bit dry...some of the more verbal personalities (myself included) had drifted off. (me, because my kids have ousted me from my computer--they've gone back to school now and I'm back) Now that Knowbody has given us something to be pissed off about, we've come roaring out of the woodwork.

So I say thanks for being obnoxious. Maybe we need to be poked once in a while lest we lapse into a coma. And it's good to see everybody again!

It's like my group of scientist friends always say: Every reagent needs a catalyst.*

*Don't ask me for names or proof, because I am too busy to provide any.**

**besides, I made it up.***

***and I have no scientist friends, although I do know a cosmetologist. She does makeovers at the Clinique counter in the mall.

By Strawman on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 01:50 pm:

To whom it may concern:

I regret to inform you that Knowbody has passed on to other fora. You will be happy to know that he has accomplished his purpose in life. As he is eternally grateful to Lerk for aid lended, he requests Spud to disburse his share of all royalties and incomes resulting from publication of this thread to Lerk "in the hope that he will use them to purchase the better life he so richly deserves". I presume you know who or what Lerk is.

As per his final request, I am instructed to post:

"You are a bunch of hypocritical, slush pile dreamers or appropriate simile"
Whatever that means.


Strawman, Esq.
Executor of the Knowbody Estate

By Kevin Street on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 03:34 pm:

Boy, somebody sure isn't getting any...

By David N on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 06:58 pm:

IS - do what you like with my postings.

By David N on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 07:03 pm:


Whatever that means.

Quite so.

By The Invincible Spud on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 07:55 pm:

Alas, there won't be any royalties, 'cause we're not making any money off this, so ha! And again, ha!

By Jerry Wright on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:22 pm:

Oh c'mon Spud... We aren't charging for this philosophical debate? There is more philosophy in here (as well as strange sound effects) than you would get in a semester of "Philosophy 102".

I'm saddened and disappointed. But, frankly, Lerk doesn't need the money, because he's the only one of us that we know actually has a job. (Writers not included...)


By Lerk on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 09:19 pm:

a dubious honor at best. :)

By Sherry on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 07:34 pm:

Aw geez, I feel just awful that we discouraged knowbody...don't you all? I mean, all that insight jampacked into that tiny brain...what are the odds?

Kev--dead balls on. He ain't gettin any.

By Lerk on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 08:12 pm:

oh, I wouldn't dream of speculating on his love'd prefer not, anyways.
I am flabbergasted that he accused us of hypocrisy....which, in this context, would mean that we all have begun bewildering incomprehensible threads like this one but pretend we haven't.

That couldn't be further from the truth. EVERY thread I begin is bewildering and incomprehensible....the only difference may be that I'm TRYING to do that.


By Lerk on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 08:14 pm:

On another note, can anyone enlighten me as to the phrase "Has the Foo shat?"? I've not heard that one. What does it mean? anyone? anyone? Beuhler? Beuhler?

By Thomas R on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 09:03 pm:

I wondered that too. Doing some slang searches & guessing from context it may mean something like "What the sh**" or "why is this going on?", but honestly I'm not sure.

By The Invincible Spud on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 09:20 pm:

Which makes it all the more bewildering...

By The Invincible Spud on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 09:24 pm:

Lerk, unintentional bewilderment is what Bewildering Stories wants! It's that unrefined, un-thought-out, unrestrained, uncensored, raw human (I suppose) energy that pours out in places where people gather and converse...and this is especially convenient since it's text-based and online and easily accessible. That's the stuff we want for Bewildering Stories...

By Gerardo on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 11:06 pm:

Has the Foo shat?

See NutWorks, scroll to the bottom of the page.

I don't know who originated that shaggy dog story, but I first came across it in a Callahan's Bar story by Spider Robinson. Almost surely in Analog.

By Lerk on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 11:35 pm:

Ah! even more bewildering...since its a corruption of "if the shoe fits", apparently this whole thread was either a fishing expedition with really poorly constructed lure, or Knownothing was implying the intended target was either Thomas R or Sherry.

So, either an amorphous hissy fit waiting to ensnare whoever responds like a trap spider, or a really petty person....though the two are not mutually exclusive. :)

By L A Conic on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 12:41 pm:

> TIS: Alas, there won't be any royalties

I believe that may have been his point.

By Sherry on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 03:49 pm:

I have a friend who wrote a funny sendup of the foo story...more detail than the sketchy one on Nutworks. I'll ask her if she'll submit it to bewildering stories...there's a whole forum flamewar behind the story, and I wrote a related essay about parallel behaviors of gorilla society...together, we TRULY pissed off those who would rule.

By L A Conic on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 03:53 pm:

Finally ingested the whole thread. Barf!

Lerk has amazing incite. Mind reads like Knobody else? Who is the sower of doubt? Lerk doth protest too much. Misdirection, little Mach.? Why DID it take so long to come to the point? Why does your evidence(?) trickle? Fill the glass and be done. Are we finally reaching the true reason?

Is Knowbody the anti-Lerk? Spud says "I know" often enough. Maybe Spud is Knowbody. Maybe it's someone else.

Circles within circles.
Plans within plans.
Plot within plot.

Thread preservation is good. Excellent example of bad behavior. All ways.

By J. on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 04:19 pm:

And here's a Dune fan! Frank Herbert would be proud! Or at least bewildered... ;)

By Jerry Wright on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 05:11 pm:

Incite vs. insight? Cute.


By L A Conic on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 05:42 pm:

Thank you! I enjoy puns. More levels the better. Maybe that's why I see more sides.

L&G: Applause, please. Don't want money. Got money. Want fame.

By Sherry on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 10:27 am:

Wow, you have money? Not a writer, then...

By L A Conic on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 11:07 am:

Alas not full time. Probably part time forever.

First published online at the Asimov's Forum, 2002.

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Copyright 2002 by the individual authors and Bewildering Stories.