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Moderate moderation

For those that voted against moderation, you have my apologies.  I
hope that the fears expressed by a few of you will not come to pass.
I don't intend to allow the list to become "sterile".  However, as
stated before, I think something needs to change, and the tally thus
far is 40: yes, 27: no and 5: undecided.  Although the final
percentages might change, I don't think it likely that the no's will
overtake the yeses, so we're now giving moderation a try.  I also
apologize for the length of this message.  

To cover me bum, I'm going to lay out some possibly byzantine rules to
guide us into this new age.  First off, I'm not going to literally
approve of each message I allow onto the list.  That means I may
disagree with sentiments, and I might personally feel that some
threads are too silly or whatever, but I'll let them through anyway
provided I don't get complaints about those threads from more than
three individuals (more below).  If an individual contribution is so
silly that I think it's intended as nothing other than humor, I'm
going to add [joke] to the subject line.  That way if you *only* want
serious things, you can (provided your software lets you) delete some
messages by glancing at their subject lines.  Alternatively if you
only want to see the jokes you can scan for [joke] in the subject

The policies I am about to spell out are subject to modification.  If
you would like me to modify them in any way, please feel free to make
suggestions.  I'm also undecided about some things such as signature
files.  Some people are really annoyed when they have to repeatedly
scroll through ascii art or whatever at the ends of messages.  For now
I think I'm going to let such things through, but please feel free to
suggest that I clip them (or not).

Formal means to decide rejection:

  1) If a message contains nothing other than how a previous message
makes one feel, it will get rejected.

  2) If I feel a point has already been covered by a previous message
(irrespective of who wrote the previous message), the subsequent
message will be rejected.

  3) If a message contains too much text from previous messages with
only slight additions by the person submitting the current message, it
will be returned.  The sender can choose to edit their message
(e.g. summarize rather than quote, or just don't quote so much) and

  4) If an individual has already sent 5 messages that day, subsequent
messages will be rejected.  If you expect that to be a problem for
you, I suggest that you attempt to restrain yourself and learn to
accept that this list and the time spent by its subscribers are
precious resources.  Remember that with a single message you can
respond to multiple previous messages.

  5) If an individual attempts to respond more than once to the same
message, that second message will be rejected.  Please try to spend
time thinking about issues *before* you respond not after.

  6) As stated above, if more than three people complain about a given
thread, I will stop accepting messages in that thread.

If you have a grievance over a rejected message, I'll hear you out and
save both sides of our conversation.  If I still think your message
should be rejected after your third attempt to convince me, I will
offer to make our conversation public.  If you choose that route, I
will poll the list members to see which of us they agree with.  If
things go that far three times (i.e. if I reject three of your
messages and we have to get a ruling from the list three times) and
the list decides that I was justified in all three of those cases then
I will no longer listen to your grievances.  I honestly don't expect
things ever to get this bad, but I'm trying to be thorough, fair, and
prepared for the worst.


I will attempt to execute these guidelines explicitly as I've stated
them.  I expect that I'll slip up occasionally, especially at the
beginning.  Feel free to chastise me to keep me on my toes.

You also may have noticed I've created a new account specifically for
the list.  Nevertheless, I am still:

Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)