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Subject: Vendors Wanted (forward) and the cat's back



Dr. Luo attempted to send this message to the list, but listproc
filtered it out because Dr. Luo is apparently not subscribed.  Since
the message seems pertinent and I don't see a reason to force Dr. Luo
to subscribe just to make the announcement I'm forwarding it _in
toto_:


        Dinosaur-Related Vendors Wanted

     On July 9-11, 1999, Carnegie Museum will celebrate the 
     100th Anniversary of the discovery of Diplodocus carnegii.  
     The main event of the festivity will be to unveil a life-size 
     replica (a permanent statue) of this dinosaur outside the 
     Museum.

     As a part of the festivities, we would like to invite 
     vendors of dinosaur-related products to show and sell 
     their wares (BUT NO REAL FOSSILS, please) on that week 
     end.  I hope that many dinosaur vendors will joint us for
     a grand celebration in Pittsburgh.  Those who might be 
     interested please contact Dr. Mary Dawson by email 
     (dawsonm@CarnegieMuseums.Org  or dawsonm@clpgh.org).
     ______________________________________________________
     Posted by 
     Zhexi Luo, Ph.D.
     Section of Vertebrate Paleontology
     Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
     Tel. (412)622-6578, Fax. (412)622-8837,  Email: luoz@clpgh.org 

Now back to me.  1998 sure went out with a bang didn't it?  Let's see
what I can do about the pieces...

First, let me stress something that appears near the top of the
administrative message (as you're told at least once a month, said
message can be seen at:

http://www.cisab.indiana.edu/~mrowe/dinosaur-administrivia.html

any time you want to see it).  The thing I want to stress is:

     If you have any comments about how this document or list
     management policy could be improved, please feel free to write to
     me (Mickey Rowe) at: mrowe@indiana.edu.

I've always tried to be quite clear that if you have any problems with
the way the list is run, you should take them up with me directly.
One of my most recent amendations to list policy (specifically section
8h) includes:

     The purpose of this rule is to end meta-discussions about what
     should or shouldn't be discussed on the list.

Anyone who's been paying attention would know that I feel quite
strongly about keeping discussions of list policy off the list as much
as possible.  Go a few rounds with me before *we* agree that it is
appropriate to bring your concerns out in front of the whole list.
Through back channels I've heard that some of you think policies on
advertising need to be made clear, but you're remaining silent because
you're "terrified" to say so publicly.  Terror is not the emotion I'm
going for, but I will settle for it.  You should not even consider
beginning such a discussion here on the list, but your reason for
feeling that way should be consideration for others.  If you agree
that the policy (or any policy for that matter) should be clarified or
even changed then write to me.  And don't be afraid.  I've never been
convicted of killing anyone.  In fact, I've never even been charged...
Any untimely occurrence which disrupts your life will be merciful and
will appear to be an accident.  (Yes, I'm joking.  You'll actually
experience agony.  No no, I'm joking again).

Now for some specifics...

"Roger A. Stephenson" <roger@dtgnet.com> wrote:

> In a recent bout of messages we have witnessed an emergence of
> controversy and correction in regards to fossil sales being
> discussed here.

For those new to this venue, the list has traditionally allowed
discussions about the rights to sell and own fossils.  You may find:

http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1996Dec/0175.html

as well as other messages with "fossil ownership" or "lost to science
forever" in the subject line and sent around that time particularly
enlightening.  You may note that when I killed the threads at that
time:

http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1996Dec/0278.html

I did so because of their volume and not their content.

If you want to discuss issues of fossil ownership/sales here on the
list you are free to do so provided that a) your messages are of
fairly direct relevance to dinosaur science and b) you do not
advertise.  I stand by Mary's decision on Allan's message.  Like Mary,
I feel that no matter how good Allan's intentions were, he broke the
letter of the law.  If you have comments about that, send them to
*ME*.

Roger's attempt to equate Allan's message with messages Mary sent
earlier flabbergasts me.  Quoting an article that mentions the price
an institution paid for a fossil is the same as mentioning the site
where a fossil is going to be put up for sale?  Since the former
institution has no plans to sell the fossil it purchased and since the
latter venue hopes to sell its fossil to the highest bidder...  No,
Roger, if you don't see these two things as different then I don't
know what more can be said to convince you other than that only the
latter potentially aids the seller of the fossil in question.  In any
case, if any one wants to voice an opinion about this please feel free
to write to *ME*.  (Is it clear yet that I don't want these
discussions carried on in front of everyone?  I have nothing to hide;
I just don't think there's any reason to waste Brian's... I mean other
people's time.)

> I'm struggling to express the fact that either the rules apply to
> all or to none,

If anybody thinks I am being or have been unfair in this or any other
case, tell me.  I don't agree with Roger's assessment of the
situation, but I currently feel no need to defend myself in this
forum.  At the moment, "the perception of unequal treatment of subject
according to stature" is nothing more than a rumor to me, and if the
comparison between Mary's and Allan's messages are all that's
triggered it then I'll sleep easily...  If there's more to this then I
want to know about it.  Should I say again where you should write if
you have an opinion to express on the subject?

Finally, it is with regret that I think I should announce that I have
decided to give a week-long timeout to one subscriber.  The person in
question wrote:

] Those who cannot abide by or agree with the edicts of the list
] administrator should follow his lead or pack up and leave!

I deeply appreciate the sentiments which motivated the person to
write, but I fear there are some forms of support that are
counterproductive to my ultimate goals.  In this case, the person in
question didn't seem to take to heart this passage from the
administrative message:

     this list was created for a purpose -- to give people a forum for
     the scientific discussion of dinosaurs. If your messages are
     counterproductive to that purpose, your privileges to submit
     messages can and will be revoked.

I think that swearing and gloating which followed what I extracted
above were counterproductive (this is not the WWF or TNT's Monday
Night Nitro).  As I wrote above, terror is not the emotion I'm trying
to engender here.

Sorry if it seems like this is ancient history now, but life here has
been even more hectic than usual, and this is the first opportunity
I've had to address various concerns.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy now that we can finally party like
it's 1999.

Your humble list administrator,

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)