DSM: Clarification on rules

From: Scott David Gray (sdg@sudval.org)
Date: Fri Nov 16 2001 - 21:57:08 EST

Hi all,

     There has clearly been a minor war brewing on this list
recently. Several list members have turned to me (as
maintainer of the list) for assistance and/or guidance on
the list. My usual mode of operation, when this kind of
dispute surfaces, is to write privately off list to all
parties in a dispute, and to try to resolve any differences
there, only as a last resort suspending people or removing
people from the list. Unfortunately, I have not had time to
deal with these many requests in my usual manner.
     Now that I finally have a moment to attend to these
requests by list members, I would like to draw people's
attention to the rules of the list (listed in full at the
end of this message), and offer a little clarification.

     I'd like to ask everyone to take out a moment, and
re-read the rules for posting to this list. Understand that
several parties have been removed from this list for
violation of these rules -- I take these rules very
seriously. Now, by way of clarification:

     The first rule of this list is paramount. Personal
attacks are not tolerated on this list. However, every now
and again a person posts to this list in such a way that
s/he uses emotionally laden language, which may sound like
an attack to some readers' ears, but which does not actually
violate the rule against personal attacks. Let me explain.
     When an argument is made in a detached way (e.g., "what
do list members think would be an appropriate way to handle
. . . ? In my opinion, a reasonable response would be to .
. ., and here is why. . ."), it is very easy to keep
personalities separate from arguments. But many of us, at
one point or another, speak from personal examples (e.g.,
"when I was faced with . . . I did . . . . "), and this
opens us to replies of a personal nature which have the
potential for escalating.
     For this reason, I _cannot_ offer protection from
personal comments (which may appear to some as violations of
the first rule of this list) to people whose posts are both
controversial _and_ rely on personal examples.

     Allow me to restate this clarification: If members of
this list want protection from personal comments, it is
incumbent upon them to speak in as abstract and impersonal a
way as possible. The issues discussed on this list are
_very_ hot topics for all of us and if we can keep cool
heads and discuss these things in the abstract, we can all
gain more from these discussions.
     Having said this, and having carefully reviewed the
contents of recent controversial posts containing many
personal remarks, I have determined that none of them
warrant disciplinary action. Further discussion of this
determination will not be posted to the list.

Thank you for your time and attention,

--Scott David Gray
reply to: sdg@sudval.org


Basic rules of this list are as follows:

1: You may not post an attack on another member of the list to the list. It is acceptable to critique the position of other list members in the context of discussion, but it is not acceptable to criticize the _person_ of the poster. 2: If you perceive an attack being leveled at you by another list member, you may _not_ respond to it on the list. This escalates attacks and it upsets list members who want to read the _arguments_ rather than the fights. Write to the people privately, off list (careful -- by default replies go automatically to the list), and/or to the list maintainer (sdg@sudval.org) to request assistance in dealing with the attack. 3: The subject matter of this list is very emotional. Keep cool. If you feel yourself angered, that is often the best argument for stopping yourself and _refusing_ to write a response. 4: This list may not be used for solicitations of any sort. 5: All conversations must be kept at least tangentially on subject. Sending or re-sending material to the list which is not directly on subject, purely because the sender wishes to reach the maximum number of readers, is not allowed. 6: If the owner of the list feels that a line of discussion or argument is inappropriate for any reason, and you are asked to stop pursuing it, you are expected to stop pursuing it. The owner of the list will attempt to be fair and reasonable, but this list is not itself governed democratically, nor is it a place where personal attacks or provocative language will be accepted. The maintainer of the list freely admits to having strong opinions on some of the issues that are regularly discussed in this list, but will make every effort to remain neutral in enforcing the rules of the list -- please understand that his posts in favor of certain arguments and opposed to other arguments are _not_ statements of favor or disinclination to support individuals facing harassment or attacks on the list. 7: Understand that the list maintainer has and retains the right and ability to unsubscribe your account at any time for any reason, as well as to trace the origins of messages of an objectionable nature. This is done as a matter of course when an account is inactive or is bouncing messages, but may also be done if inappropriate material is posted to the list, or for other reasons.


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