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Perls of wisdom

Posted by R. Berg on January 20, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Time travel posted by R. Berg on January 20, 2002

: : : : : : : A sentence in the novel I'm translating mentions wild and wormy horses, like hat-racks in the desert. It's the hat-racks/desert part that confuses me. Has anybody got an idea?

: : : : : : Extremely thin?

: : : : : Useless? Deserts are hot during the day and cold at night. People there need to keep their hats on.

: : : : True. So what purpose could a hatrack serve?

: : : Absolutely none, and that's why I thought "like hat-racks in the desert" might be the author's way of saying "useless."

: : Ah! I responded "useless" also. I thought you were commenting on my comment. A breach of thread-equitte on my part leaves me threadbare. Thanks for the refresh.

: On January 17 I put up a post that began "Useless?" A full day later (I've checked the times) you put up a post that began "Useless?" If my post was a comment on yours, it was a quick response indeed--maybe even a clairvoyant one. Hmm. Now for a way to apply this ability to investment decisions . . .

The software that runs this forum is called Perl. Don't ask me why; my computer expertise would about half fill a teaspoon. Suppose somebody posts a query and you post a response to it. The link to your response will appear just below the link to the query, and indented. Now suppose some viciously sarcastic person posts a biting criticism of your response, clearly intended to sink your credibility in the eyes of all forum participants plus the civil, the corporate, and perhaps even the divine authorities. If this hypothetical bad person has proceeded correctly--I mean as regards the mechanics of posting, not as regards the issues of manners and morals--the link to her message (I believe it's usually "his message," but since I'm being hypothetical here, I have license to be implausible) will appear below the link to yours AND indented one step farther. The spatial relations remain the same if someone posts to commend you for articulating so brilliantly what he had believed ever since graduate school but was never quite able to demonstrate.

If the link to a message appears just below the link to yours and has the SAME left margin, somebody else followed up the same message as you did, and the other person did it first. Perl stacks parallel follow-ups upward.