Re: * Do we have to put up with abuse? *


Arun Mehta

This is painful. And IMO, pointless. But obviously, a few people on the 
list wish to precipitate a crisis, and while I am almost powerless to 
stop them, I really think we should all just take a step back and examine 
the value of this list to us. The path that Richard has embarked on 
will break up this list, which IMHO, would be a great pity.

What I think we have here, is a fundamental difference in opinion between
(at least) two camps on cyber-rights. Richard and some others feel that
these telecom "robber barons" will raise rates, kill mailing lists and the
free spirit of the Internet. Many on the list, including me, don't think
that will happen. Richard is convinced there is a conspiracy between
government and the telcos, while some of us fail to see evidence of this.
No problem. Discussion among people with divergent views is what the list
is for. None of us can look into the future, so there may not be any way
to resolve this dispute. Unfortunately, Richard does tend to get rather
passionate about it, and I have some postings from him that were rather
sharp as well. 

We all tend to cross the netetiquette line once in a while. Here we have 
a situation in which Richard (Henry suggests this is a case of the 
pot calling the kettle black) accuses Craig of "childish 
temper-tantrums", while John Whiting says:

JW> My own experience of corporeal (as opposed to virtual) forums of
JW> artists, writers, poets, and radicals suggests to me that, within
JW> such a context, Craig Johnson would be regarded as a pussy-cat. I
JW> have followed his substantive contributions with close attention
JW> and, when vitriol has flowed from the screen, with appreciative
JW> chuckles. 

I'm sure Craig would not be a pussy-cat in the contexts you describe: on 
cyber-rights, I quite like pussy-cats, thank you very much.

I personally don't care for vitriol aimed at persons one is discussing 
with. I don't think it is helpful, it wastes a lot of time and bandwidth. 
With the fragile connection I have, I really could be spending my time in 
lots of other productive ways than responding to them. However, the list 
is a valuable source of information, criticism of ideas (including,
importantly, my own) and friendships, and I don't want to see it split up.

On Sat, 6 Apr 1996, Richard K. Moore wrote:

>         You might ask why I don't take this up with Craig, privately, or
> discuss it among the "co-leaders".  The answer is: "Been there, Done that,
> Have the scars to prove it".  My experience, over many episodes and a long
> period of time, is that Craig is simply unable to deal with criticism, or
> more accurately, _perceived_ criticism.  

Richard, I don't think Craig has a problem with criticism -- do you??

And I certainly do not recall your taking up this issue with the
co-leaders anywhere near as seriously and sharply as you do on the entire
list. Yes, I have seen Craig get angry, but only when he thinks 
individual actions are threatening the credibility of the list. He sees 
the list as (I may be putting words in his mouth) the launching pad for 
useful initiatives on cyber rights, and correctly, wants to ensure that 
the list is not treated as a laughing stock in the cyber community, 
particularly among the people who are doing something about the serious 
problems we confront.In the specific case of Marilyn, as Joe Shea pointed 

> since the comments
> you printed below are rather innocuous, Richard, and Craig for
> better or worse was merely taking umbrage at what someone was
> apparently preparing to do in the name of the list he's a
> co-moderator of, I'm not sure they were out of line.

Now Richard, I'm sure you too see the list as a useful launching pad, only
Marilyn and you would like to send a payload of, um, something some of us do
not approve of. Marilyn did, to her credit, finally understand what we
were trying to say, and agreed to drop the matter of sending out a press
release. That is good, democratic behaviour. Richard, you too are a 
democratic-minded person, so I will request you to drop this thread.

Why can't we agree that for any issue on which we would like action to be 
taken, the group in favour takes it up with the cpsr board, without 
claiming list consensus unless there genuinely is consensus. Basically, 
the list stays for discussion only, and I would appreciate a gentler tone 
from everyone concerned.

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
"I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be 
stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house 
as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any."--Gandhi