The mass exodus, or diaspora, of users when a flame war gets way out of hand. It starts with a couple of people who get flamed so bad that they abandon ship. Then other users start to notice that perfectly innocent writeups are getting dragged into the war. Pretty soon, even moderate opinions are flamed to within an inch of their lives and people just get fed-up and leave.

Are we seeing a flame diaspora amongst the everythingians? I know of a couple of small-time noders who have packed it all in. And even some of the everything veterans haven't been on all that much. Have we gone too far?

I've been a regular in various Usenet groups for some years now, and guess what? Somebody asks that question about every 6 months, with startling regularity.

And they always seem to be particularly worried by the declining percentage of people who've been there longer than themselves - each generation has its own Old Farts.

People have lives. They get bored with stuff, or they graduate from college, or they move jobs or have kids or whatever. Real life will intrude.

And there's always someone doing a bit of a public whine and leaving in a huff. Good riddance. Believe me, I've seen it all before, and the group always survives. It's bigger than the sum of its members.

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