Politeness on the list

Michael Mace michaelcmace@gmail.com
Wed, 06 Mar 2013 08:41:30 PST

Forgive me for the interruption, but I want to express a personal opinion
for a second.  I'm speaking as someone who's been on this list for many
years, and who has seen other lists self-destruct. This list has been
working great lately, and I'd hate to see us screw that up.

I think part of making the list work well is that people need to feel free
to express their opinions, without intimidation from personal attack or
insult.  That means disagreement is fine; in fact it's good because often
it's how we learn. But personal attacks and insults are not at all fine, in
my opinion.

Before you post, I recommend that you ask yourself:

--Does what I'm writing respond to the ideas, or to the person who posted
--Am I being respectful to the other folks on the list?
--Is this something I would say to someone across the table at a dinner
--If I'm making a joke or sarcastic comment, will that be clear to someone
in another country who's native to a different language?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, I recommend that you reword
your message.



PS: I think the author of the NY Times opinion piece is overthinking the
issue, but I feel that way about many of the opinion pieces I see the NY

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