Re: List Rules Part 1 (Was: Ad hominem? I think not.)

From: jeff davis (
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 12:43:21 MST


--- "E. Shaun Russell" <> wrote:
> Jeff Davis wrote:
> >The list supposedly has rules...


> Also, no one has contacted me directly regarding any
> extraneous offence that has been dished out.

Consider this a direct contact and formal request for
corrective action.


> Threads about improving the list pop up a few times
> each year, but the general consensus has always been

> that the current method (hands off except for in
> extreme circumstances such as the gun discussion
> moratorium in '99) is the best.

I question whether this is, in fact, the consensus. I
call for a formal poll of the list participants to
determine what the consensus is, and, more broadly, I
recommend that all members of the list community step
up to the plate and take a more active role in
promoting a higher standard of
behavior/courtesy/respect/maturity. Specifically, a
more active role in enforcing rule number one:

"PERSONAL ATTACKS: We do not allow personal attacks or
libelous statements. Those violating this rule may be
removed from the List without notice."

> >The responsibility for the destruction of the
> >reputation of ExI...


> In the list rules (which I will send separately
> after this message), there
> is a disclaimer that "...Extropy Institute does not
> take responsibility for
> the use or misuse of posts addressed to the
> extropians list."

Shaun, cmon, the disclaimer is irrelevant. I would
guess that people come to the list, check out the
discussion, and, right or wrong, draw a conclusion
about 'extropians' and the Extropy Institute. Loss of
reputation is real. It is serious, it is substantive,
and it is difficult to assess. Paul Hughes, having
reached his limit, quit the list sometime back,
reporting that his friends viewed the extropians as a
bunch of fascists. How many others have similarly
come and gone, invisibly? Too much of this loss is
the result of abandoning our forum to the noisy
predominance of those who cannot or will not treat our
commons, and our fellows, with respect. Not fascists,
just jerks.


> If anyone has an issue with the way I have done my
> job, please let Max and I know.

You're a decent and responsible chap, Shaun, and I
can't dump this on you. So allow me to amend my
previous comment, where I said:

"The responsibility...[belongs with]...the list owners
and their failure to insist on and enforce a standard
of respect for the discourse in this forum."

The responsibility rests with me and all those who,
seeing a problem, did not act sooner to try and fix

Finally, I want to emphasize that the solution to this
problem need not be draconian. For instance--one
possibility-- it could be as gentle as intercepting
and returning an offending post with a recommendation
that it be redrafted.

Best, Jeff Davis

 "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                       Ray Charles

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