Re: [asa] List rules? PSCF article on GOD of Immunology-Randomness

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Thu Dec 17 2009 - 21:13:19 EST


I agree that the volume of emails is too high. I, for one, can't keep
up with it, although the volume does fluctuate, and I might note that
some prominent contributors are not presently posting (so it could be

Frankly, I am enjoying the AGW or global warming debate. I can't keep
up with it. I simply lack the time, but for the most part the quality
is high, esp. the exchange between Rich and Glenn.

Unfortunately, in these heated discussions it seems that much chaff and
insult unnecessarily pepper these conversations. I don't understand
this for two reasons. One, as Christians we at least appreciate the
volatile effects of sin and a yearning for righteousness. And, second,
as a mode of communication email "ought" to be cool, and this because it
requires a steady hand to type and some period of reflection and delay
BEFORE the send button is hit.

Despite that it works that way for me (for the most part), my extensive
experience with email lists indicates that the rule is often, even very
often, violated.

Perhaps this apparent discrepancy is partially explained by another
plain fact of email lists: emails, and their tones, are often
misinterpreted. This can lead to frustration, and perhaps unintended

If this is so, maybe there are ways that its effect can be minimized.
It must help at least being aware of this communication problem.

I would suggest that BEFORE everyone hits the send button that they
REREAD their email for clarity and tone.

At a national laboratory that I use to work at, it was required that
many of your emails be read and approved by another person. Imagine how
this would have helped those involved in "climategate."

BTW, I do have other thoughts regarding your article regarding the meaning
of random. I may post that at a later time.


On Wed, 16 Dec
2009, Craig Story wrote:

> Just saw Tedís post, after I wrote this; I guess Iíll send it.
> I joined the list about a week or so ago. While there are a few good kernels in the mix, we all know there is a heck of a lot of chaff. I confess I do have a couple of messages in my drafts box that I was planning on sending, but I want to make sure I communicate clearly before blasting away. Iím not in a hurry.
> As an newbie to the list, I must say that the list is way too active. Period. If more people would work on producing something worth reading before sending, I might consider staying. How about one post per person per day on any given topic. Just a suggestion for a new rule. Joining this listserv has more than doubled my email per day. That takes some getting used to. Unfortunately, the ďrulesĒ feature of Entourage doesnít seem to work (thanks, Microsoft for either making it not work, or too hard to figure out how to do). Donít think I didnít try separating it out.
> Also, Iíd love to get more feedback on my article in PSCF. Did anyone but Bill Powers read it?
> Pseudonyms, fascinating. Never heard of that before this list. Interesting idea. I donít like it, but I can respect why someone would want to do it. I feel like they might be more likely to say something outlandish if they know no one will know who they are.
> Cheerfully,
> -Craig
> --
> Craig M. Story
> Contact:
> Health Professions:
> "Allan Harvey" wrote:
> No, this message isn't about the pseudonym issue ...
> I'm wondering whatever happened to the rule of a maximum 4 posts per day per person. One person in particular has been in egregious violation of this on more days than not for several weeks now (with some of the posts having value, others being simple forwarding of often silly anti-AGW propaganda), and I can think of another whose pace is not far behind. A few others have exceeded the limit on multiple occasions.
> Of course we don't want to be overly strict -- some days the discussion is such that a 5th or 6th message might be needed. I see that even our Executive Director Randy reached 5 on Dec. 7. But the list is being drowned in messages these days, and the signal-to-noise ratio is not good. So I ask the powers-that-be: is that still a rule/guideline? And if so, to preserve some semblance of value for this list would you please do something (presumably starting with warnings) about our more flagrant offenders?
> Allan (ASA member)
> P.S. The easiest way to spot how much people are posting is the archive pages like this:

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Received on Thu Dec 17 21:13:43 2009

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