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Re: Elitist unvieling LONG

I realize that this thread is a little old but I have not been able to
respond until now. And since Mr. Stephenson's scathing review was to the
entire list, so shall my analysis of it be as well.

Responding to Roger A. Stephenson (Lightwaves@aol.com)

>Well, haven't some of us a rather inflated opinion of our importance. >In
>past two days I have proven to, both myself and several others that >have
>e-mailed me off-list, that there ARE an elite FEW trying to dominate >the
>list, and not with numerous postings alone. 

  Who? What? Where? Cite examples! I have been on this list nearly a year now
and in that time I _have_never_ noticed this alleged behavior. What I have
noticed is an incresing amount of "junk mail" cluttering this list that have
nothing to do with dinosaurs at all!  Also, the (in most cases) request for
information on a certain dinosaur ostensibly for some childs homework  still
add to the clutter. I stayed  out of that debate until now. 

>Just what these >persons are
>trying to prove, besides their destain for us non-pros, is that they >have a
>zero tolerance level for ANY line of thought divergent from theirs.

As a <sic> non pro myself  I again challenge you to cite specifics. As for
tolerance, you should undertake a literature search of any subject in science
where two or more theories  compete to explain a phenomenon. The  so called
"pros" often divide into opposing camps and practice the very "intolerance"
you cite but direct it at their own colleagues A good example is the K-T
debate that rages on even now. Another  example are the climatologists who
refute the CFC/Greenhouse theory. These individuals are a pariah in the
scientific community because  they dare to be non- PC! 

>Suggestions to drop my AOL service in favor of some unnamed >internet
>ignores the fact that we AOL users can connect anywhere in the >U.S.A. and
>have access to much more data than non-AOL users know (much >of it work
>related in my case). We AOL'ers can dial in to a number out of >state, and
>cheaper phone rates, when we don't have a local access line. 

As a fellow AOL'er, I whole heartedly concur with you on this yet I still
fail to detect any disdain towards AOL'ers.

>Besides, any
>internet server would still be a long distance service for many of >"us".
>also may have other interests that the internet alone cannot fulfill). I
>this is as out of place as suggesting we keep our opinions to >ourselves.
>Isn't this still a free country, and a free list? Ignoring the needs of >the
>many, and discouraging the curious is a serious flaw.

Only outlandish and lunatic fringe types of opinions incur the responce you
speak of. And yet,  have you not noticed that even some of  Dr, Robert
Bakker's theories as discussed here, have been subjected to similar scorn
from some of his peers? No elitism detected yet.

>I received private e-mail informing me that I have nothing to >contribute,
>should just go ahead and unsubscribe from the list. To that >Nazi-like
>attitude, I can only say, tough cookies.>

I'm sorry that happened but a minority of one  (flamer) certainly does not
constitute an elitist conspiracy! I empathize with his frustration though.
I'm wearing out my DELETE key due to the level of clutter!

> I have a good income, and >even if I
>have to download 500 postings a day to get two or three WORTH >reading I
>I will also be here for some time to come, like it or not. I can afford >it!

Ditto and ditto. Except see preceeding statement regarding the DELETE key.

>Unfortunately there are some, maybe youngsters, that cannot. >Therefore,
>excessive postings harm the list, and VP in whole, not me >personally. Not
>opinion, fact. 

No, opinion. Yours!  This list and the entire concept of the Internet was
designed exactly for the purpose which you seem to despise; the free exchange
of information regardless of volume! 
Check out a few VP related journals. Youd be surprised at how much  this list
and a few others mirror the threads we see here. Not surprisingly many of the
participants on this list also are journal contributors. I for one am
grateful to either actively or vicariously take part in conversations with
them. As a student, it's even better than sitting in a lecture or taking a
test! I get gobs of info, and great conversation with pro and non-pro alike. 

>! Is it so hard to limit ones contributions to one posting per
>day, or are these egos so large that near constant presence is >required?
>Perhaps this is a case of idle hands, so go prep a femur.

Yes! And why should they or anybody else for that matter? Even you are free
to clutter up this list with your self -victimized whining. I strongly
suggest that you get yourself together and take a more objective view of this
list. I think you will find that you were too quick to judge. I most
definitely prefer the "constant presence" of the "pros"  to the junk mail and
now petty rantings such as this maybe they will talk on techniques for
prepping a femur. That would be interesting!

>Additionally, the intentionally spiteful and bitter statements erupting
>these types indicates personalities with little to be happy about. >Why
>YOU unsubscribe, and spare the rest of us the bile you produce at >a hint of
>contention? Ignorance is understandable, but hate is without >excuse! 

Remember that YOU and I and others are NEWCOMERS  (any .com) to this medium
and that THEY were here first. Instead of trying to change the way things
have been since the Internet was first created, you should sit back and try
to learn them. Remember "When in Rome...?" Your entire  premise is based on
ignorance and I agree with you that it is understandable so lighten up and
get with the program!

>Peaceful disagreement is a welcome format, as far as I'm >concerned.
>since I feel personally attacked, for the free expression of thought, I >can
>and will respond. 

Personal attacks are between you and the flamer. Do not deride the entire
field of paleontology because of one person. Since I do not know of the
particular expression of free thought that caused you to be flamed, I cannot
comment. (See above response on whacko theories) I certainly do not deny you
your right to respond to any attacks but please try to maintain a sense of
focus with regard to your replies.

>You MAY have more education, training, and recognition
> but
>you lack the grace of humanity, and I pity you.

While you are correct on the first point, agian I disagree with you on the
latter. My personal experiences (this list not withstanding) refute your
assertion but I also do not pretend to know more than the person to whom I am
communicating with does.

> I have NO fear of >your
>sputterings, status within the VP community, or ability to use tax >dollars
>wastefully. Therfore you earn NO respect.

If paleontology is such a waste of tax dollars, then what the hell are you
doing on this list encouraging them to waste more dollars by responding to
dumb questions! It's that same old envy/ignorance that helped kill the
Superconducting Supercollider and is endangering the Space Station, as well
as paleontology and  geology to name just a few.

>I want to know why you know-it-all's have not answered SERIOUS >questions
>concerning extinct dinosaurs, and not just mine, but spend days on >end
>debating whether or not a LIVING organism should be classified this >way or
>that way? Is what you are interested all that's important?

There you go again! YOUR ignorance is showing . The ongoing threads on
CLADISTICS and Taxonomy are entirely germaine to the discussion of dinosaurs.
Since these animals are extinct, we can only compare them to LIVING reptiles.
Based on their remains we gain an understanding of their evolution, ontogeny,
and phylogeny etc.Sound familiar? It should. You would have seen these terms
in any college Biology or Zoology Textbook (living animals) and paleontology
is by definition the study of extinct animals. See the connection?

My apologies to the list for the wordiness of this reply. It's been a long
day but I felt compelled to add my two cents worth. This is one damn fine
list and I am thankfull to all of you who have contributed to it in a
positive manner as well as those who provided me with off-list responses to
the myriad of topics we have covered. Keep up the flood of knowledge!

                            Thomas R. Lipka
                            Paleontological/Geological Studies