Self help from Usenet newsgroups

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Read how a Usenet discussion group helped a woman from my work.

Submitted: July 13, 2012

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Submitted: July 13, 2012

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With all the negative news surrounding Usenet these days: ISP's have discontinued their hosting of Usenet due to the inability of Usenet to control posting of child pornography. Warez newsgroups have has also thrown a dark shadow over newsgroups due to copyright issues. The list goes on and on, It's about time a positive aspect concerning this discussion board was brought into light.
Over and over we hear about the next immoral upheaval the Usenet has brought to the internet. On a constant basis, I have argued that great things are stored in the many Usenet servers around the world and any step that leads towards Usenet's demise is a great loss to humanity. Analogous to the book burnings of yesteryear. Why destroy a vast knowledge base due to a few black sheep, bad apples... rotten few. Would you not go back to the grocery store and buy milk because last week you mistakenly bought a sour gallon?
So, to demonstrate my point I would like to tell a story. A true one and a useful one.
A secretary at the place of my employment, discovered she had a debilitating disease called muscular dystrophy, made popular by the all-night telethon hosted by a popular American comedian. Although, she is not a child, the disease has had detrimental effects physically and mentally on her body.
We live in a small town and a specialist for such diseases is an afternoons drive away. Making frequent trips to the doctor out of the question and for sure, no one else in this town has this disease.
Although, scientific support for the fact that a positive mental attitude is a recipe for survival cannot be supported. I don't think that anyone could disagree that for any life threatening illness such as Muscular Dystrophy and Cancers, that a positive mental attitude can be as important as your medicine regiment.
After a few short visits with her I could see that depression was setting in. Being the owner of a Usenet server, I knew of many support groups for all kinds of ailments. I immediately went home hoping a search for muscular dystrophy on the Usenet would turn up some results. Well, I wasn't to surprised to find sic.med.diseases.musc-dystrophy because the Usenet is truly a discussion board about anything and everything.
Now, I have noticed a great improvements in attitude and actual physical attributes, due directly to her ability to communicate around the world with others that have her disease. They share medicines, both pharmaceutical and home remedies and daily exercises but, I truly believe, that the majority of her improvements are directly related to the ability to share and converse with others with her same affliction. A connection that could not be had by any other means.
Many times in our lives, we make decisions on what to keep and what to discard. The best way I have found to make good choices is to weigh the good against the bad. They say that all it takes is one insult to negate twenty compliments but, when looking at this story of a Usenet triumph, I say, this outweighs many, many bad's. Next time I'm at the grocery store, I will check the date on my milk.
Long live Usenet.


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