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E-mail flame wars is an interesting psychological phenomena that is waiting for a serious researcher. One such phenomena that I recently observed is so called Freudian Send. As with most psychological phenomena, the Freudian Send follows a distinct pattern:
1. The feeling of moral superiority: You feel entitled to share your opinion with as many people as possible, especially if you're pointing out another person's stupidity. So you post it into e-mail group or mailing list.
2. False sense of security: You exposes your opinions much more baldly, than you would in face-to-face conversation.
3. Real regret: You can't ever take back what you said -- it's there, in writing, achievable and irrevocable.
Adapted from The Freudian E-mail.