Re: The rape thread / apology

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Tue, 17 Jan 1995 21:56:47 PST

On Jan 17, Bjorn Fry wrote:

>Sorry, Michelle.
>I write from several computers and I don't always have everything stored on
>each. When I saw the thread heading I just assumed that your message was
>posted to the list. I would also like to apologize to everyone else for
>this oversight.
>I do have a few questions and comments in this regard:
>Why would anyone post a contribution to the thread to me PERSONALLY that
>should not be posted to the list? What's going on here? Any contribution I
>make, except to personal friends and relatives or for certain
>administrative functions, are for PUBLIC consumption! Do with it then what
>you may. I can't control what happens anyway. Should I judge a person's
> etc...

The apology was proper, but Bjorn's further questions and comments
are a haughty knee-jerk response to a polite and proper
criticism. There are many reasons why a person may want to
converse directly off-line with another person on the list. For
example, there may be individual questions or comments not of
general interest to the group. There may be some particular
side-topic that would be best worked out in direct communication
without involving the whole list. Perhaps what a person says in
an individual conversation, "off the record" so to speak,
represents some preliminary thoughts that may change before a
"public" statement is made. There are numerous other legitimate
reasons as well.

The "From:" line of the messages tells when a message is sent
directly from an individual vs. when it comes from the list.
It's not hard to notice. It's customary to ask a person's
permission before posting their message to a wide audience.
Political correctness is not the issue here; the issue is
manners to the other person as well as to the whole list. I
really would not want to publically discuss someone's ideas that
were posted by accident or in bad faith. Let's not call in the
lawyers on this- I'm just referring to ethical and courteous
conduct. Another consideration is that if all individual
messages between list members are posted to the whole list, the
system would be greatly taxed to say nothing of the massive
confusion we'd have sorting thru all the message traffic of over
700 list members!