Trivia

Hard

Warnock’s Dilemma Describes An Internet-Related Problem Focused On?

Lack Of Reader Response
User Authentication
Discussion Forum Trolling
Ineffective Use Of Bandwidth
A gray and white cat laying on the keyboard while looking at the laptop screen.
Wilson Afonso/Wikimedia

Answer: Lack Of Reader Response

You post something on an Internet forum and… nothing happens. What does that mean? Unlike real life where you’re looking at the people you’re communicating with and, even if they’re silent, you can get feedback of some sort on your communication, sometimes communicating on the Internet feels like yelling out into the void.

In August of 2000, Bryan Warnock elegantly laid out the dilemma of asynchronous and (potentially) asymmetric communication in regard to posting on Usenet discussion forums with the following description of the problem:

The problem with no response is that there are five possible interpretations:

  1. The post is correct, well-written information that needs no follow-up commentary. There’s nothing more to say except “Yeah, what he said.”
  2. The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.
  3. No one read the post, for whatever reason.
  4. No one understood the post, but won’t ask for clarification, for whatever reason.
  5. No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.

The dilemma took on his name and now, when you post something on the Internet and hear nothing in return, you can always comfort yourself by insisting the silence is a result of the first argument of Warnock’s Dilemma—that your post was so correct that nobody has anything to add. Or not.

Trivia

Easy

Sales Of What 20th Century Staple Have Been On The Rise For Twenty Years?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1980s, Computer Hobbyists Would Double The Capacity Of Floppy Disks With?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Company Had A Training Game Built By SimCity Creators?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Early Computers Had A Critical Defect That Erased Removable Media?

Trivia

Hard

Which Creature Uses The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Portuguese Man O’ War Jellyfish As Weapons?

Trivia

Hard

Despite How Foul They Smell, Cities Plant Ginkgo Trees By The Thousands Because They’re?

Trivia

Hard

Blood Drives Tied To Which Of These Movie Franchises Have Collected Over 120,000 Pints Of Blood?

Trivia

Hard

Airport Code For The Airport Closest To Oracle’s World Headquarters Is?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Albino Gorilla Ever Discovered Was Found In?