Re: Notes from the Earthbound
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 07:03:37 EDT

I agree with Muse's point that it is behavior that needs moderation and not topics. I believe that there should be some standards for civil discourse. There is a difference between saying things to make a point and saying things to intentional harm or denigrate another person. Granted, there is sometimes a fine dividing line between the two, but the line, in my opinion, is there none the less. Without going into names, I will say that I have had pretty reasonable and fruitful discussions with a couple of the people whose names have been brought up as particular examples of poor behavior, so I know that they are capable of logical discourse. I would ask that any of you who have been accused of causing problems take a moment, step back from the fray, and look at what you've been doing and saying. While I respect your right to your opinions, and your right to defend yourselves, have you really been doing it in the most productive of ways? A good debate should pull people into the topic, not drive them away. Again I emphasize, I have no personal charges to make, as I have felt that I have been reasonably dealt with by-and-large personally, but I can't help but notice that there have been inappropriate postings to others (though have not followed this closely enough to assign particular blame, nor do I feel it would be productive to do so at this time).

As for those who have been offended, or have been part of discussions where offensive discussions have occurred, do not let it go by unchallenged, but also do not fan the flames. I would suggest that when someone posts something you believe inappropriate, it should be politely brought to that person's attention (don't activate any memetic defenses by accident). If the person doesn't recognize the problem and it persists, then we need to take action as a community to deal with it. Do not answer inappropriate posts, ask for the person's offending posts to be removed from the list.

One of the things I value most about these lists is the chance to have free wheeling conversations which are critically evaluated in an intelligent manner. Let's grow that, not stunt it.

Glen Finney