man rtfm


RTFM – tool to stimulate learning and improve workflow.


RTFM is used to hit others with a lightning bolt.


RTFM refers to the manual pages (or “man” pages, after the command used to display them) contained in *nix variants and has mutated to refer to reading any help pages or FAQs.

We lament over and over about how no one reads anymore, but we are also often just as guilty. Victims of our own hubris and overconfidence. In our own minds, we’re somehow annoyed by the very job we are doing. Help people solve problems. But sometimes it just touches the nerve, especially in situations where you’ve already explained how to fix it, and even more especially when you’ve already explained how to fix it to the same person.

It’s a slippery slope. Of course you always want to help, but at the same time, if you’re always there and available, it will lead to a condition where the user/junior admin will always skip figuring things out for themselves and just come straight to you.

There is no shame in reading. However, roughly 75% of IT is comprised of men. And it’s a pretty common perception that men don’t read (or ask for) directions.

noun vs verb

While the word “read” is a verb, the entire acronym is often used as a verb as well. Ex:

How do I set up pf to do ALTQ?

Dumbass, man it.

omg, *cry*

You’re lucky all I did was RTFM you.

*Theo sets mode : +b *!n00b@*

A common alternative to RTFM is to stop using Linux and move out of your parents’ basement.

Some critics assert that frequent users of the term are simply expressing elitism against the newcomers, thus driving them away without providing any tips or helpful suggestions. This is especially true when RTFM is used without even specifying which manual their correspondent should be reading. In the absence of a manual, one may be advised to Lurk Moar, see lurkmoar(8)


RTFMIn its normal application RTFM uses no files and is words spoken (or written) only. If applied via email may contain a link to the manual in the environment and the odd meme image. Such meme images are also in use on twitter ever since the update_with_media function was added to the twitter API. If applied on a forum, many users and files may be affected; see butthurt(8).




lurkmoar(8), butthurt(8), tldr(8)


You may be required to look things up and be able to fix things your self eventually.


It’s 10:30AM. The black themed firefox browser is about to stare back as a ping announces an incoming message over jabber to our fearless gurl.

“Hey! Sorry to bother you, but how do I …”

Our fearless gurl’s eyes roll deep into the back of her eye sockets as she emits a loud, exasperated sigh. She knows it’s in the manual – she helped write it. But no one seems to read it. She feels her efforts have been wasted.

But today, our fearless gurl has a plan. Through the miracles of modern science and some quick searches online, she has found a secret formula that would merge her mind into anyone that emails or tweets or pokes over jabber to ask questions. They would be under her control and would instantly think to look for the answers themselves. All she needs is a bolt of lightning to complete the transformation … the surrounding environment is already crackling …

“RTFM !!!!!”, she said.


Authoritarians and exceptionalists considering themselves very important and too high up to ever having to lift a finger may take a dim view of overenthusiastic application of this tool.


While overcoming the RTFM syndrome remains a mystery, this man page was assembled from various sources by anonymous. She disclaims responsibility for any actions inspired by this man page.


Although largely unsubstantiated, usage of RTFM may have begun as a military lingo during World War II, when the phrase “Read The Field Manual” became a staple expression among American soldiers in response to basic questions asked by new enlistees. First introduced in 1939, US Army Field Manuals instructed all the vital, necessary skills for a soldier, from how to fold your clothes properly to how to toss a grenade inside the enemy’s tank. By the early 1950s the phrase RTFM was in common use by radio and radar technicians in the US Armed Forces. Operators frequently did not check for simple faults before asking questions; for example, checking whether a power switch was on, a fuse had blown or a power cord had become disconnected. A common response would be, “Did you check the oh en oh ef ef switch (On/Off). RTFM appeared in print in 1979 on the Table of Contents page of the LINPACK Users’ Guide in the form “R.T.F.M.” — Anonymous, suggesting that it was already well established. Cleve Moler has since revealed that a visit to Argonne National Laboratory by Tektronix Software Manager Ned Thanhouser (grandson of Edwin Thanhouser) during the development of MATLAB led to the anonymous quote. The first Urban Dictionary entry for RTFM was submitted on November 13th, 2003, although its usage has been documented in Slashdot comments as early as in March 1999. Just yonder, Manual was struggling to make his way through the foxy forest behind Fucking’s place. Manual had severely hurt his love handle during the window incident, and was starting to lose strength. Another pack of feral Manuals suddenly appeared, having caught wind of the The. One by one they latched on to Manual. Already weakened from his injury, Manual yielded to the furry onslaught and collapsed. The last thing he saw before losing consciousness was a buzzing horde of Manuals running off with his The. But then God came down with His charismatic smile and restored Manual’s The. Feeling pleased, God smote the Manuals for their injustice. Then He got in His best-in-its-so-called-‘class’ sedan and jetted away with the fortitude of half a million man-eating capybaras running from a oversized pack of 3-legged wallabies. Manual danced with joy when he saw this. His The was safe. It was a good thing, too, because in four minutes his favorite TV show, Fucking, was going to come on (followed immediately by ‘When 3-legged wallabies meet hand grenade’). Manual was excited. And so, everyone except Fucking and a few rusty razor blade-toting long-haired sea monkeys lived blissfully happy, forever after.


The antithesis of RTFM is TL;DR which stands for “too long; didn’t read.”, see tldr(8)

If some asshole presents to you a long text and you still need to read it, you can incrementally read it with SuperMemo. What this entails is you mince and flashcardize the shit out of the text until it gets obliterated and you can’t recognize it. It’s like throwing the piece of e-paper in acid. The TL;DR is no moar.




STFW (“Search The Fucking Web”), GIYF (“Google Is Your Friend”), LMGTFY (“Let Me Google That For You”), RTBM (“Read The Bloody Manual”—In some countries, e.g., the UK and Australia, this is a fractionally more polite alternative with identical meaning), RTFA (“Read The Fucking/Featured Article”—common on news forums such as and Slashdot, where using “TFA” instead of “the article” has become a meme).

Climate Change Denial Disorder with Ed Begley Jr.

via @Mikethemikeman1

Source: Climate Change Denial Disorder with Ed Begley Jr. from Funny Or Die

CLOSER TO THE TIPPING POINT – Forests, Oceans and Other Ecosystems in Big Trouble In a World of Climate Change

ZeroTrollerance Treatment for Twitter Trolls


Spanish version below.

Today we (the Peng! Collective) in collaboration with loads of awesome allies like you are launching a humorous feminist toned re-education program for sexist trolls on Twitter. Named Zero Trollerance, the campaign consists of a video-based mock self-help program designed to help Twitter trolls reflect on their behavior, tackle their fears and reintegrate into social media spaces again.

We’ve worked with the hacker named Jenny Mainframe to create a task force of 160 bots who will troll the trolls with advice.
Every day for 6 days, the trolls will get tweets from a rotating team of bots who provide them with links to the day’s videoas well as motivational and inspirational tweets.  If you want to know more about us, that’s at the bottom of the mail!

Launch: At 15:00 CEST the campaign on, #zerotroll and @ztrollerance

We are just a small group of people running this and WE NEED HELP to make it big!!!

There are a number of ways that you can get involved:

1.1.Retweet our main tweet which will come from the account @ztrollerance at the time of launch
1.2. Enroll your trolls with a tweet (not all of them will get found by our bots obviously)
1.3 Air your thoughts and resources related to the topic on #zerotroll

2. 1. Twitter is going to block our bots because they think they are spam! We need a constant stream of replacements! All you need to do is create a fake Twitter profile and send us the login details (twitter handle and password)

3.1. Give your bot extra abilities by adding developer access to the Twitter profile you created (not hard but we have a guide for this if you want!)

Email us on for this or any further info!

About Peng! Collective

Peng! Collective is known for its media hacks, digital interventions and hoaxes produced to stimulate debate on social justice issues. For example, in 2014 the group impersonated Google employees at Europe’s largest social media conference, where they presented Google Nest, a suite creepy of privacy-infringing products. More information can be found on or on Wikipedia.

Thanks so much!


Campaña Trollerancia Zero con los Trolls de Twitter

El Colectivo Peng! lanza, en colaboración con muchas personas aliadas como tu, una campaña feminista humorística con un programa de reeducación para los trolls sexistas en Twitter. La campaña Trollerancia Zero consiste en difundir un simulacro de auto-ayuda basado en un conjunto de vídeos diseñados para ayudar los trolls de Twitter en reflexionar sobre su comportamiento, hacer frente a sus miedos y reintegrarse de nuevo en los medios sociales.

Hemos trabajado con la hacker Jenny Mainframe para crear una fuerza de 160 bots que trollearán los trolls con consejos. Durante 6 días, los trolls recibirán tweets enviados por nuestro equipo de bots quienes les proporcionaran enlaces hacia los varios vídeos.  Si quieres saber más acerca de Peng! encontraras una explicación al final de este correo!


A las 15:00 CEST lanzamos la campaña en, #zerotroll y @ztrollerance

Por ahora solo somos un grupo pequeño de gente organizando esta acción y necesitamos tu  ayuda para hacerlo grande !!!

Puedes involucrarte y dar apoyo de las siguientes maneras:


1.1. Retwittea nuestro tuit  que la cuenta @ztrollerance lanzara a las 15H00 CEST
1.2. Manda a tus trolls ese tweet (ya que nuetsros bots no encontraran a todos los trolls de twitter)
1.3 Airea tus reflexiones y recursos relacionados con el tema en #zerotroll

2. 1. Twitter bloqueara nuestros bots porque piensan que son correo indeseado! Necesitamos un flujo constante de nuevos bots! Todo lo que necesitas hacer es crear un perfil falso en Twitter y
enviarnos los datos de acceso (nombre Twitter, usuario y contraseña)

3.1. Dale a tu bot habilidades extras añadiendo un acceso de desarrollo al perfil que has creado en Twitter (no es difícil, y contamos con una guía en ingles para ese tema si quieres!)
Para recibirla envíanos un correo electrónico a para la guía  o cualquier información adicional!

Acerca del Colectivo Peng!
El colectivo Peng! Se ha dado a conocer por sus hackeos al los medios de comunicación, sus intervenciones digitales y los engaños aka fakes que ha desarrollado para estimular debates acerca de temas relacionados con la justicia social. Por ejemplo, en 2014 el grupo se hizo pasar por empleados de Google en la mayor conferencia Europa acerca de medios sociales y presentaron Google Nest, un conjunto de aplicaciones espeluznantes que infringían los derechos a la privacidad de sus usuarios. Puedes encontrar mas información acerca de este colectivo en o en la Wikipedia.

Muchas gracias!


Every TV news report on the economy in one

Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, courtesy of generic reporter Emily Surname.

Nonconformity and Freethinking Considered Mental Illnesses


Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

New mental illnesses identified by the DSM-IV include arrogance, narcissism, above-average creativity, cynicism, and antisocial behavior. In the past, these were called “personality traits,” but now they’re diseases. And there are treatments available […]

Source: Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses

It’s not really new tho. It’s been around for a while. Long enough for a FAQ:

Throughout all ages, medication may be a useful component of treatment to help address specific symptoms or to treat co-existing conditions (e.g., depression, ADHD, or anxiety disorders), although there is no single medication which specifically treats ODD. There is also limited research data on the safety and efficacy of medications in the treatment of ODD. Parents should discuss the potential risks and benefits of specific medications with their child’s physician. In general, medications should be started only after an appropriate baseline of symptoms or behaviors has been obtained.

Big Pharma is probably utterly pleased. An increasingly inhumane system that medicates the growing number of people dissenting from it. Now “officially”. And all ages. *What* an opportunity for profit!