Yesterday I posted on Internet angels, those people who post, create, and otherwise assist others, making valuable information available to the masses who don't know much more than how to type in a keyword or two.

Since the universe loves balance, on the day that I lauded such angels, I collided with a person of the opposite type. Having had the nerve to ask a question on-line, I was subjected to name-calling, intimidation, and downright meanness, all delivered in a tone of hauteur worthy of a spoiled princeling. It seems that each discussion group has at least one contributor who is both pedantic and prolific; sometimes the person is just plain vitriolic as well.

A friend suffered similarly a week or so ago. A seller of used books on-line, she has a 99% satisfaction rating, but when one book went astray in the mail, she found a police detective on her doorstep. Although she'd promised the buyer that she'd make things right if the book didn't arrive in a specified time, and though she makes it clear that insuring the package is the buyer's right and responsibility, the buyer turned her in to the state police for mail fraud.

The list could go on and on. The point is that every place on earth, even cyberspace, is peopled with...well, people. Some are great, and some need to make themselves feel important. Today I'm trying really hard to hold on to the vision of those Internet angels, because those needy demons can make our playground a really nasty place to be.

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Comment by J.D. Rhoades on October 23, 2007 at 11:34pm
There are a lot of people who use the anonymity of the Internet to say things that would get them punched in the mouth in person. Such people are weak-minded, cowardly, and small, so I wouldn't pay them much attention.

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