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Re: Posting freedom
Interesting question. As a lawyer with a degree in geology, I feel minimaly
qualified to try to address some of the issues raised. First, there is no
role for government to play in regulating the content of this list. There are
no first amendment issues as long as the government does not try to limit the
content with some form of prior restraint. the administrator of the list has
absolute power and control without limit.
The consideration that should be given is in the realm of academic freedom.
By it's very nature this is a forum for discussing issues relating to
paleontologic concerns (a very broad area). One might even argue that the
limitation could be to the Triassic/Cretaceous with very modest leeway for
closely alligned issues.
The value of this forum is diluted when subjects from far afield occupy time
the participants wish to occupy with the prescribed subject. I feel
confident that none of the serious participants have the tiem to review all
of the postings to this forum. To exacerbate this time limit problem with
reasonable and even important issues that are better expressed elsewhere is a
disservice to all of us.
The criteria for content control, which should be exercised by the
administrator is the same as an editor of an academic journal -- if it
doesn't fit it's out. Additionally, each participant should exercise their
responsibility as a member of the forum. I'll exercise my "ignore the
message" responsibility better than I control my messages -- but I'm working
Self restraint and intelligent thought are virutes. As Lord Chesterfield
expressed to his son -- "If I had more time, I would have written less."