This little gem came across my Twitter feed. In April of 1996, Ross Callon messaged the IETF’s Networking Working Group with an RFC that was less a request and more of a list of anecdotes that “apply to networking in general, and are not limited to TCP/IP, the Internet, or any other subset of the networking community.”

Not just funny forum fodder, there’s a few gems of genuine wisdom in there. It’s not a long list, it takes about a minute to read, but I thought I’d share some of my favorites, starting with the first…

(1) It Has To Work.

Gosh. This is it, huh. This could be a whole book. Not to read into this too much, but I feel this my whole prototyping ethos right here in 4 words. “Work” may mean different things to different people, but a lot of design and development is asking yourself “Does this work?” and “What’s the next thing we need to know (to make this work)?”

(2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can’t make a baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up *might* make it slower, but it won’t make it happen any quicker.

Good advice for managers.

(4) Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor understood unless experienced firsthand.

I experienced this last week.

(5) It is always possible to aglutenate [sic] multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.

Guilty as charged.

(6) It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving the problem to a different part of the overall network architecture) than it is to solve it.

Double guilty.

(11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and a different resentation, regardless of whether it works.

Triple guilty. Geez. Truly there is nothing new under the sun. It’s good to know old ideas will come back around. And a very fitting point to end this post on as recycle this bit of #oldgold.