META: LIST RULE ANNOUNCEMENT: Temporary Gun Issue Suspension
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 10:57:23 EDT

As Max indicated, he and I as the managing officers of Extropy Institute (the sponsoring organization for this list) believe that some action is necessary to address questions of list content that have arisen here in the last few weeks. I will be communicating soon with Eugene about his kind offer of acting as list moderator and we may well take him up on that proposition in the near future. In the meantime, we are taking some rough-and-ready action to restore balance to the content of the list.


As a temporary measure in response to the extreme number of postings that have been generated by a small number of posters on a single topic, the subject of "guns" will be considered off-topic for the list for a period of two weeks beginning on Saturday, June 12, 1999 at 12:01 am PST. Again as a temporary measure, any posters continuing existing "gun" threads, starting new ones or raising the subject of "guns" in existing threads during this two-week period will be unsubscribed from the list for a period of three months. Please note that this prohibition will go into effect in a little over 24 hours. Accordingly, there is plenty of time to draft a civil, reasoned summation of whatever views any subscriber may wish to express and post them to the list.

Because this is a temporary measure intended to restore balance and civility to the list, I will be the sole judge of whether a post during the period is in violation of the prohibition on posts concerning "guns". If you have any doubt regarding whether a message you are considering posting to the list may be in violation of this temporary prohibition, it probably is: Hold your breath, count to ten and let whatever you have to say wait until we work out some way to accommodate this discussion in a way that does not flood the list. Substituting discussion of some weapon other than a hand-held chemically-powered projectile device for "gun" will not make a post acceptable during this brief cooling-off period. Everyone with enough intelligence and emotional maturity to be a welcome poster to this list should know what subjects will be considered temporarily off-topic.

This action should not be interpreted as a "victory" or a "defeat" for the substance of any position that has been espoused in the "gun debate" here, but is undertaken with great reluctance as a measure to impose the minimum of decorum and editorial judgment on a topic that has grown to become a disproportionate part of the volume of this list's content.

Finally, a personal note. I regret that this temporary action is necessary, do not relish whatever controversy it may cause and sincerely hope that this episode will not establish any precedent for future list governance. (Those familiar with Roman history should consider the figure of Cincinatus as the only guide to which I will look in this brief interlude.)

     Greg Burch     <>----<>
     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-

"Civilization is protest against nature;
progress requires us to take control of evolution." -- Thomas Huxley