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Re: [ga] Message from the Chair - List Rules- Spin-Master speeks...

Dave and all assembly members remaining,

  Your reputation is well known Dave.  You are the "Spinmaster", we
all know you an you history.  Your comments below are interesting
in the context of your history as well.  We all, or most on this list
have seen you at one time or another of various lists and their
relevant archives.  Your comments below leave much to be desired.

  I am indeed sorry for you mental illness, it is likely a very debilitating
thing.  I am sure that with continued treatment, you can regain some
assemblance of mental health.  Your statements below, however
indicate you have very far to go yet.  But I am sure many hold out
great hopes for you.

Dave Crocker wrote:

> At 11:44 PM 2/6/2000 +0100, Roberto Gaetano wrote:
> >The difference of opinion is about where to draw the line.
> This is a very frustrating thread to read and a painful topic to discuss.
> As well it should be.
> Roberto and Harald have done an excellent job of trying to design a
> mechanism that balances painful tradeoffs.  There are a number of
> quite-separate issues to consider.
> What follows is longer and more pedantic than I would like, but I believe
> this topic needs a comprehensive review:
> Previous actions
>          Except in terms of establishing a history of problems with certain
> posters, discussion of the pros or cons about previous list operation needs
> to be entirely separated from the current/new policy and operation.  To
> that end, I'll not discuss the past here. The rest of the history might be
> worthy of extensive discussion, but separately from the question of the
> current policy and its implementation.
> The Problem
>          Internet development has been done with open, unfiltered mailing
> lists.  If a recipient did not like a pattern of participation, they were
> free to filter notes.  This scheme is quite appealing to anyone believing
> in individual responsibility and loathing institutional intervention.  It
> also worked just fine... until recently.
>          The Net is much larger, now, and the "dynamic variance" of
> participant behavior is vastly wider.  We regularly get people whose
> problematic behavior cannot be trained away.  We regularly get people who
> clearly suffer serious psychological disturbances of various sorts.  For
> some lists, these people provide a stream of input that has the same effect
> as mounting an explicit denial of service attack.
>          The problem is exacerbated by a lack of consistent or helpful
> response to the disruptive posters.  Shunning is the only recourse that has
> any chance of being effective, and for some not even that will
> work.  However many participants suffer from too-good a heart and a hope
> that the unfortunate souls can be salvaged.  Hence they respond to
> them.  Responding encourages the disrupters and responding takes additional
> mailing list bandwidth.  So the dynamic  variance does not just add
> participants who are unable to be constructive participants, it adds more
> people who are unable to learn how to deal with the disrupters.
>          The result is a general exodus of interested participants who are
> not willing to deal with the extremely low percentage of meaningful content
> and frequently high bandwidth consumption.  This dramatically distorts the
> makeup of the participation list.
> Basic Mechanisms
>          Having everyone receive all mail -- the 'do nothing' alternative
> -- causes the deprivation of service attack to succeed, pure and simple.  A
> point that is often missed is that all that noise does result in many
> people leaving the list, because the signal to noise ratio is so poor.
>          Individual filtering by recipients is an emotionally appealing
> mechanism, because it leaves the choice to fix the problem up to each
> participant.  Alas, it is a solution that does not scale up with the
> Internet.  It has two problems that have become major in the current
> environment: One is that it continues to permit list pollution and
> distraction.  The second is that it isn't effective when those "triggering"
> the distractions get responses.  (Person A is a nut case, so you filter
> them.  Person B is often constructive but does not choose to filter Person
> B, so you now start receiving messages fro Person B that respond to Person
> A.)  So some participants try to have serious discussion and others just
> add noise, with no real control mechanisms over the ratio.
>          List-based filtering moves the problem upstream.  If it is done
> properly -- yes, a big if -- the signal to noise ratio should get (much)
> better.  Having a parallel, unfiltered distribution list which is part of
> the archive makes sure that a) those feeling the need to read the noise
> can, and b) the public record is complete.
> Default list
>          Having the filtered list as secondary, with those wishing
> filtering required to take special action, means that the noise-makers
> predominate.  The burden to fix this is placed on each individual
> participant, which is almost the same as asking them to do the filtering;
> and we have already seen that that does not work.
>          So for any meaningful effect, the default must be the filtered
> list, with those wishing unfiltered being the ones required to take special
> action.
> The process
>          Defining the filtering process, posting notices about it, etc. can
> and should be done in an open and documented manner.  Having a
> pseudo-judicial appeal process should not be done, since it eliminates the
> benefit of the filtering.  That is it delays implementation of the filter.
>          The only way the filtering can work is by choosing a person to be
> keeper of the filters. They need to be accountable for their choices, but
> after the fact, not before.
> Freedom of Speech
>          The offended cry that filtering violates freedom of speech ignores
> the fact that that freedom is not absolute.  Certainly not in the U.S. Even
> better is the apparent lack of awareness that "freedom of speech" has
> extremely varied interpretations around the world, as does "democracy".
>          Consequently, absolutist, non-negotiable positions on this topic
> suggest that the holder of the position is more interested in an abstract
> concept than in having the working group progress.
>          Making progress requires making compromise and looking for a
> reasonable balance among competing and difficult goals, constraints and
> preferences.
> d/
> =-=-=-=-=
> Dave Crocker  <dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
> Brandenburg Consulting  <www.brandenburg.com>
> Tel: +1.408.246.8253,  Fax: +1.408.273.6464
> 675 Spruce Drive,  Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA
> Gong Xi Fa Cai   /  Selamat Tahun Baru Cina
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James Touton
Legal and Policy Advisory Council,
INEGRoup (Stakeholder)

NetZero - Defenders of the Free World
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