META: List Governance and the Gun Threads

Date: Thu Mar 16 2000 - 07:57:41 MST

Please excuse the hurried nature of this post.

I am not even half-way through my choked in-box this morning and am growing
sick and tired of the high-volume tit-for-tat schoolyard need a small number
of posters seem to feel to drag out a thread far beyond any great interest to
the majority of our subscribers. Yes, gun issues are important, but the way
in which this ONE issue can explode into one that dominates list traffic is
absurd and damaging to the "commons" of our shared discussion space here.

I have had off-list requests to re-impose a temporary moratorium on the
subject as we did last year. I've seen the rationales each of the
high-volume posters offer for their felt need to respond to each and every
post and to use hypertrophied rhetoric and, personally, I'm not convinced.
Making one's point is a value that has to be balanced against the interest of
maintaining the over-all quality of the list. I also believe there is value
in the "to each her own killfile" argument against any control over list
content. While I find that position more persuasive, I believe that ExI's
interest in maintaining a generally valuable discussion forum, especially to
relative newcomers to transhumanism and extropianism, must be weighed against
that argument.

If the small number of people who keep the gun argument going at a volume out
of proportion to its relative value can't exercise a little self-restraint,
another moratorium is a real possibility. I know there are people whose
opinions I deeply respect who will disagree strongly with any such action,
and I'm sorry. But the way this one subject causes an absurd inflation of
the number of messages and degrades the quality of discussion is something
that needs some temporary, minimal corrective action if a few people can't
exercise some common sense.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:05:23 MDT