Effects of alcohol on techwriting (was RE: Knowledge of subject m atter

Subject: Effects of alcohol on techwriting (was RE: Knowledge of subject m atter
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 09:33:33 -0500




In my twenties, when I first encountered lots of people
using lots of alcohol, while I still distrusted the stuff
and minimized my consumption, I first noticed "the spiral".

The spiral is what happens to discourse among people who
are drinking. They begin the night by spending a few
minutes on each of several topics, and most people who
participate make a fair amount of sense (i.e., not just
to themselves).

Imbibing continues, and at some point, the conversation
sounds a bit familiar. The group has gotten back to one
of the earlier topics. This time through, they are a
bit more animated, and they get to the next topic a
bit more quickly.

Imbibing continues and, in a somewhat shorter cycle,
the conversation comes around again. Some topics get
left out and others begin to be treated in really
earnest fashion.

Imbibing continues and the cycle tightens. Extraneous
bits are dropped and the earnestness now contains
a sort of feverish exertion to pronounce very,
very clearly.... and repetitively.

Imbibing continues, and earnestness takes on a certain
beligerence, given that those other (remaining) drunken
SOBs just don't seem to be getting it.

Imbibing continues, the cycle is really short now, with
only one or two topics left -- between which the three
remaining participants seem to cycle without notice --
and outsiders (who haven't left or fallen asleep) are
unable to decipher much, but have many repeat chances to
catch any exchanges that they miss.

In the last cycle of the spiral, the remaining two
drunks are propping each other up (sort of), over
the snoring carcass of the third, and are swapping one
grunt back and forth between them, interspersed with
much giggling and very wide maudlin gesturing.

Now, it seems to me that the time interval between
sessions about the benefits of knowing your subject,
has dropped from months to mere weeks on this list,
and that some of the usual intervening topics have
fallen by the wayside.
So my question is: who's in charge of the bar, and
what does a guy have to do to get a drink around here?

/kevin

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