Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and who to be I learned from Usenet News. Enlightenment wasn't obtained in volumous encyclopedias and relgious texts, but instead within the Usenet heirachies...
These are the things I learned:
Always share your followup space with others. Be fair; don't flame people for spelling mistakes. And don't followup-to misc.test unless absolutely necessary. Always leave jokes in rec.humor as you found them and don't change the names of the patsy to persecute your workmates. Cancel your own posts when they suck shit.
Don't plagarise posts that aren't yours unless they're really, really good. Say you're sorry when you flame somebody by accident when you thought it was them who faked that post about you to alt.sex.anal.festishes. Read a balanced set of newsgroups.
Work some, play some, read alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.yuk.thats.disgusting some, and don't forget to uuencode when you need to. Take a break after 6 hours of reading.
And when you go out in the world, remember your header info and don't fake Authorised-By: headers. Asterixes are good, but only in moderation. Remember that there's no problem so big that you can't crosspost it to talk.bizarre and get a laugh out of it; and when problems look *REALLY* big, you can't go past pigging out on a dessert you found in rec.arts.cooking.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the American Visa Lottery Scheme post. The post went out, the flames start up, and nobody really knows why, but we all liked that. Flames and followups and killfiles and even long-term threads all die out and so do we.
And then remember the post about *MAKE MONEY FAST!* and the first words you learned, the best words of all: "Bugger off loser!"
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere, you just maybe haven't been to the right group yet. The golden rules are: crossposting is better than multiple posting, killfiles are better than flaming and long signatures are conceited.
Think what a better world it would be if we all used informative Subject lines and didn't have overlong signatures,
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, if we all joined hands across the net, we could really flame some bastard good!