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Re: [ga] Message from the Chair - List Rules

Hi, Ellen.

Sorry to reply this late, but your message has been buried in hundreds 
of private messages by Joe Baptista, and I did not read it until some 
cleanup has been done.

Please see my comments in the text. 

>Hi, Roberto:
>Thank you for copying me on your note to Karl.  It is clear that you 
>some anguish at the recent events with the GA mailing list rules and 
>subsequent unsubscriptions.

Valuable people, whatever their opinion on the issues, is a scarce 
resource these days.
I hate to see you (Ellen), Karl, and Dan go due to the application of 
monitoring rules, as much as I hated to see other people fleeing the 
list in the past due to the lack of monitoring rules.

My only hope is that we can bring this matter to a vote, and that either
 group will accept the result, and live with the situation.

>> Because I believe, and here comes the
>>disagreement, that at a certain point you have to draw the line 
>>the expression of alternative positions on issues at hand, and
>>expression of nothing
>Taken to its extremes, a proposal that holds at its core a prohibition
>against posting an "expression of nothing" might disallow the posting 
of a
>joke, of ISOC minutes, of a new book on the market that is only
>tangentially related to the subject at hand, of illness in the family 
>prevents timely response, or a rant of an opposing point of view.  I
>believe you can make rules as to behavior (no crossposting, no email
>spoofing) but rules as to expression are a slippery slope that can 
>subtly into censorship.  Here's a clue:  if it is difficult to define 
>criteria of what constitutes an "expression of nothing", then you 
>make such rules.

What I was trying to say is that nothing that could have some influence 
on the scope of the list has been "censored". But, of course, if you 
look at things from the strict "question of principle", you are right.

>Two lists just provide a cludgely workaround. It's difficult to see 
>that accomplishes, except to rebut complaints of censorship, never mind

>that the full list is rea-only.
>You fail to address why individual filters aren't sufficient to manage 
>concern about "expression of nothing".   You could, for example, impose
>five message per day rule.  That would raise hackles from some, but it
>wouldn't be enough reason to unsubscribe from a list because it would 
>to all of us equally and objectively.
>You could also impose rules that bounce any crossposted messages and 
>unsubscribe people who have spoofed mailbox addresses.  That is a
>legitimate approach to a clear breaches of netiquette.  Multiple 
>is more difficult to identify and thus, to work into your mailing list
>rules.  I know of a lady who uses pseudo names on the Internet because 
>wants to keep her identity secret from a known harasser.  Another who 
>working on litigation for a client and doesn't want the defendant to 
>>Do you *really* think that the best way to increase the power of the 
>>is to quit the boat now?
>Do you really think that the best way to increase the power of the GA 
is to
>muzzle free expression? That is, in essence, what your rules have

If "free expression" is the proposal of different ideas and different 
POV on the issues at hand, the answer is "no".
If "free expression" is libel and slander, than, "yes", I believe that 
the reduction thereof will greatly increase the power of the GA.

>If the GA group remained on task, people would ignore the banter of 
>who do not contribute to informative discussion.  Listmembers are free 
>ignore those who contribute nothing and to start new threads at any 
>I believe you will find that your new mailing list rules will not 
>the very concerns that inspired them.  I hope that I am wrong, but I 
>been on lists where disruptors and empty contributions are ignored or
>shunned, and the substantive debate proceeds without any 
acknowledgement of
>their existence,

True, but again only in theory, unfortunately.

I am purposedly using a free-service E-Mail account for the messages 
associated to this list. This is not uncommon, from what I see from the 
addresses of the subscribers.
I access this E-Mail account strictly via Internet. This is less common 
in the industrialized world, but is the standard in the reality of the 
less developed (telecom-wise) areas, where people browse their E-Mail 
from Internet-Cafes.

Under these circumstances (I am talking about the Internet Cafe), 
private filtering is difficult, if not impossible, while the choice of 
subscribing to a monitored rather than an unmonitored list is possible.
Under these circumstances, the simple visualization of the inbox list 
takes minutes, not to speak about action on a single message.

I owe the people that are operating under these conditions priority in 
my considerations over the matter of principle of the subscription to 
one or the other list.
I am only asking three months time before issuing the final judgement, 
that I will accept whatever it is.

Regards, and thanks.