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Re: Posting freedom

At 1:45 PM 9/24/95, Lightwaves@aol.com wrote:
>I suggest we allow anything a subscriber has to say be posted. There has been
>hundereds of postings to this list thst have absolutely nothing to do with
>dinosaurs, and yet little was said to discourage such. I myself have been
>flamed severly for suggesting we stay on-topic and now we face this
>situation. We cannot have it both ways people. Either this is a free
>expression list, or we risk becoming a single minded entity of little value
>to the paleontological world.

        I disagree wholeheartedly with the idea of allowing anything to be
posted here.  This server, this forum, is analagous to a scientific journal
(albeit, we're quite a great deal less formal here!  8-)  ).  This is the
_DINOSAUR_ server.  Would you like to see articles on politics published in
the _Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology_?  Would articles on dinosaurian
paleobiology be published in the _Journal of Advanced Fluid Mechanics_?
No!  Each journal is dedicated to a specific subject, and articles
published within those journals are restricted to relevant topics.  The
subscribers take that as a given; that's why they subscribed in the first
place.  They silently and subtly have _already_ given their votes as to
what will be published in those venues, and the governing boards of the
journals see to it that nothing extraneous pops up in their forums.
Likewise, when people subscribe to this server, they want to see issues on
dinosaurs (and, I think, directly related paleontological topics, e.g.
pterosaurs, "thecodonts," even mammals).  It's up to the forum
administration to see that this stays on track.  Mickey, though, being only
one person, can only do so much.  Unlike forums in other venues, like
CompuServe, messages (as far as I know...Mickey?) cannot be screened as
they come in, and then easily removed from the public view, so it's up to
we subscribers to insure that only relevant topics show up here.

        Come on, though...is it really all that difficult to send a message
to an individual (in re a non-forum subject) rather than the whole list?
We need to police ourselves a little better!  8-)

        Now, to stay on topic:  dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs.

Jerry D. Harris
Shuler Museum of Paleontology
Southern Methodist University
Box 750395
Dallas  TX  75275-0395
(214) 768-2750
FAX:  (214) 768-2701
        (Compuserve:  73132,3372)

---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and
quacks like a duck, then it is the sister taxon to,
but cannot parsimoniously be, the direct ancestor
to all other ducks."

                                --  _not_ W. Hennig

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