A place of much bitching, evil suggestions and comradery among the wind-bitten seadog
captains of the servers crossing the lonely sea of the Internet. Despite the shared interests, or perhaps because of them, vicious flamewar
s are common, over technical and other topics of concern. Strangely enough, problem-solving is discouraged in an attempt to get away from the stress of their jobs. These are the people who run your company's computer and deal with your users, especially the stupid ones, and they release their bile and stress here. If you are one of them, you're welcome. If not, stay way the hell out - you are not wanted, and you should not interfere.
Even if one is merely a user, such as me, the Scary Devil Monastery can be an interesting place in a sociological sense. There are a fair number of very intelligent and very witty people with strange and esoteric interests who post to this Usenet group, and it can be great light reading. Terry Pratchett fans will appreciate the frequent abuse of footnotes. The various personalities of the posters are amusing in and of themselves - the name Peter da Silva is mentioned in an awed tone, and it provided my first introduction to polyamory through a intermarried geek compound and its fairly open inhabitants (Skud!). That said, reading it is really a sport for people with too much time on their hands. There's also always the risk of catching the BOFH ideology, which is annoying when taken to excess, and tragic when its carrier is an idiot themselves. Slashdotter admin worship is perhaps a good example of this.
ASR is also notable as one newsgroup without a single piece of spam. Automoderation of all posts not blessed with a wave of the chicken is responsible for this miracle. The trick is a special header starting with "Approved:" and filled out according to whim added to the posts, allowing them to pass inspection. This usually weeds out the idiot with a web browser; people clueful enough to understand the trick are respectful of their wish for privacy.
A short and efficient way to appreciate the highpoints of ASR would be the memorable posts and quotes available at http://home.xnet.com/~raven/Sysadmin/