Thanks for addressing my points. My responses likewise follow your
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Warm regards, Michael
From: "Starchild" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 9:50 AM
Subject: Re: [lpsf-activists] To The List Moderators
I don't believe I'm a list moderator, but as someone who's been
attacked by Glenn in the past, I nevertheless oppose censure for
• In a community like this one where civility is generally valued,
incivility is its own punishment, as it tends to make those who engage
in it less well liked and their opinions less listened-to
Perhaps. However incivility diminishes the utility of the list for
those of us interested in thoughtful, civil exchanges. In addition,
it tends to discourage new members who check us out and could
potentially offer valuable contributions.
Your point about diminished utility is inarguable, and I agree it is
a strong argument for moderation. I would question your second point.
I think new members who could potentially offer valuable contributions
might in many cases be *encouraged* by seeing that our commitment to
free speech is strong enough that we are willing to tolerate
dissenting opinions even when they are rudely expressed.
• I have not yet seen any proposed standards of moderation which seem
to me consistent and well-defined enough to pass muster in a U.S.
criminal court of law (not that we are such, but it's an established
standard for comparison)
The standard for us is not that of a criminal court, but rather that
of people with busy lives who are interested in rewarding, civil
exchanges anent liberty.
"People with busy lives who are interested in rewarding, civil
exchanges anent liberty," is descriptive language, not a standard.
Unlike the criminal courts, that descriptive language does not have
specific standards associated with it. Enforcing rules without well-
defined standards often leads to justified charges of arbitrariness
• Maintaining an open list sends a message that we place a high value
on free speech and are willing to undergo a bit of unpleasantness in
order to uphold it
"Sending a message" does not work this way. Different individuals
will interpret your style of openness differently. Some may be "sent
a message" we're an uncivil cult.
Cults are typically characterized by a high degree of control. I
agree that not moderating people who post uncivilly could result in
some people being "sent a message" that we're uncivil, but it would if
anything make us appear *less* cult-like, not more.
• Our maintenance of an open list stands in pointed contrast with the
state ExCom's reprehensible practice of maintaining a list that is
completely closed to ordinary LP members
I agree with you there.
With your permission, I will send your message below to Glenn, and
urge him to respond in a way that lessens the sense among some here
that there is a problem which needs addressing, by recognizing that
his words are frequently perceived as crossing the line into
incivility, and pledging to try to avoid doing so in the future
(regardless of how he may perceive others as behaving).
If he reacts civilly and contritely to Marcy's message, this would
be fine. Otherwise, please refrain. Thanks for asking.
If he reacts civilly and contritely to Marcy's message, then I would
see the message I suggest above as largely unnecessary.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))