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Re: [ga] List decorum


>First and foremost, I would like to apologize to Harald and Roberto for
>giving them such an unpleasant task at the end of their tenure.

No need to, we get paid for doing this job.
(it is a joke, of course)

>Second of all I would like to apologize to the list for my lapse in
>professional decorum.

Your apology is very much appreciated.

>Very much contrary to Roberto, I believe that it is almost always
>unacceptable -- in fact, entirely offensive -- to focus on the person
>rather than their content.  (There is a difference between citing a
>person's comments, versus focusing on them personally.)
>What is most bothersome is Roberto's assessment that direct slander does
>not cross the line of acceptability.  The reason it is bothersome is not
>merely that it is so very wrong but that it is widely held on this list.

I tend to think that there is a misunderstanding.
I don't remember having said that direct slander is acceptable: please point 
out where I did, I may be wrong.
What I do believe is that it is very difficult, and sometimes 
counterproductive, to apply strict sanctions whenever and wherever the 
behaviour crosses the line. In sanctioning, I tend to apply principles like 
repetition of the fault, in particular if a warning has been issued, or 
willingness to apologize.

I do believe that if we start applying rules in a strict way, we lose the 
point, which is not to exclude who misbehaved, but to try to bring the 
people that misbehaved to a behaviour that is more acceptable.

In this light, I see an apology and lifting of the sanction as a bigger step 
forward than the suspension.

>I used the word slander quite carefully.  The statement Roberto was
>commenting on was both false and malicious.  Yet folks on this list are
>quite casual about tossing such comments around.
>(Lest one claim that I am attacking Roberto, let me be clear that I am
>not.  I am attacking a problem in allowing ANY focus on people as
>legitimate content.  The example I am citing shows just how slippery this
>slope is, not matter how serious and diligent a person might be.)

Agree. It is difficult. And definitively not a task that puts me at ease.
I much prefered when people were concentrating the insults on me (and you 
may well remember what was the situation at the end of 1999) than to have to 
judge the words the people throw at eachother.
In the first case, I could ignore the thing altogether, in the second case, 
I have to provide a judgement.
And this is pretty much against my nature.

Hence the mistakes, that I do recognize, and about which I do apologize.

Best regards
(hoping to be able to switch to other subjects)

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