In praise of human judgment

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 10:49:50 MST

> Please use good judgment in maintaining the value of the list.
> Greg Burch <>----<>

Judgment can, and should IMO, be exercised by the list maintainers
as well. Discretion can be abused as it is in the legal system,
but the answer is not to remove discretion--mandatory sentences and
objective guidelines create as many injustices as the abuse they
try to cure because circumstances are often far more complex than
forward-looking objective guidelines can anticipate. The solution
is to give that discretion to people of good judgment and hold them
accountable for those judgments. When someone abuses the list, the
appropriate response is not a week of debate and message counting
and subject banning. The right response is for a maintainer whose
judgment we trust to act decisively: tell the offender "In my
completely subjective human judgment, which I am charged to exercise
in good faith on behalf of the group, the list is better off without
you. No apologies, no appeals, no regrets."

Sometimes a mere hand-slapping is appropriate, sometimes it's not.
And the consequences of making a mistake aren't exactly Earth-

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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