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RE: DML administrative message

hello, sir.
I was talking with heinrich.mallison@googlemail.com and 
we were discussing Chinese fossils and museums (and he seemed oddly reluctant 
to say any of this in-thread), and he was stating how China's fossils are all 
faunal (a mix of unrelated Classes).
aren't there DML rules against slandering entire countries?  (the Chinese 
Government runs the museums, doesn't it?)
and I'm really confused as to how him offering to help, is impolite.
I thought you should be informed; hopefully I'm overreacting, but better safe 
than sorry.
this is the latest reply he sent me:

> Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 10:14:49 +0200
> Subject: Re: real or fake skeletons (was re Tianyu Museum of Nature's "world 
> record" dinosaur collection)
> From: heinrich.mallison@googlemail.com
> To: keenir@hotmail.com
> > that sounds...unlikely.
> >
> > though, when you noticed what was wrong, did you extend an offer to the 
> > museum in question, to help them correct what was in err?
> >
> >
> unlikely?
> have you ever been to China or some other place where vertebrate
> paleontology is practically inexistent as a science, compared to the
> size of the land, the people, and the number of finds? Amateurs do the
> weirdest things.... also, it is a cultural thing: the message is moire
> important than 100% authenticity to most Chinese.
> No, I am German, but I was not that impolite.


> Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 07:36:26 -0700
> From: mickeyprowe@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: DML administrative message
> This file was last touched February 2, 2010
> The first part of this isn't quite correct since there are a few
> changes I haven't filtered through the pages. Mainly the changes are
> just fixes of addresses and URIs. If you follow our advice and enter
> DML web pages via dinosaurmailinglist.org, then you didn't and won't
> notice any difference between last month and now. Until farther
> notice, dinosaurmailinglist.org points to
> http://mprowe.heyup.me/DML.php
> // Policy tweaking: You should be aware that whenever I make
> // substantive changes to the DML's administrative web page, there is
> // a link to the change here:
> //
> // http://mprowe.heyup.me/Administrivia.php#change_summary
> //
> // If you're new to the DML... we have implemented a filter designed
> // to block all MIME or html coded portions of messages. We had to
> // do this to prevent viruses from circulating through the list. In
> // order for your messages to reach everyone, and more importantly
> // in order for your messages to appear in the archive, you *MUST*
> // send them as plain text only. If you have any doubts about whether
> // you are doing this, please check the archives to see how your
> // messages are appearing. If you do not know how to format your mail
> // as plain text only, please see: http://www.expita.com/nomime.html
> //
> // For more explanation about the filter and MESSAGE TRUNCATED errors,
> // please see:
> //
> // http://mprowe.heyup.me/MessageTruncation.html
> //
> // As I noted previously, I've added instructions on how to see the plain
> // text alternative for a few programs: Pine, AppleMail, Juno, and Netscape.
> // Check out the MessageTruncation page if you want to see those
> // instructions or would like to add instructions for other mail readers.
> //
> // As always, comments on policy are welcomed as long as they are made
> // to the list-owners and not to the list. -- MPR
> Rather than sending the whole long administrative message each month
> I'm going to give you only the table of contents and the two sections
> that I expect to be the most popular. If you wish to see the entire
> document you can visit it at any time at:
> http://www.dinosaurmailinglist.org
> -------------------------
> Contents:
> 1. How to unsubscribe
> 2. How to subscribe
> 3. How to receive the list as a digest
> 4. How to access the archives
> 5. What to do when you're going on vacation
> 6. How to change your address for the list
> 7. How to send messages to the list
> 8. Things not to do and what will happen if you do them
> 9. What to do if you're not receiving mail from the list
> 10. Where to get more information
> 0. Summary of changes from previous version
> Modified some addresses and URIs to reflect a move of the
> web pages to a new site.
> -- MPR
> 1. How to unsubscribe
> In order to permanently stop receiving mail from the dinosaur list,
> you should send an e-mail message to:
> listproc@usc.edu
> with a BLANK SUBJECT LINE (if your mail reader will not allow you to
> send an empty subject line, just put "Hi" in your subject) and ONLY
> the following line in the body (i.e. text) of the message:
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> Why "unsubscribe" sometimes fails (or things to look for if listproc
> sends you an error message in response to an unsubscribe request):
> a) Misspellings
> Please double check your spelling of all words. Misspelled words are
> the most common reason that "unsubscribe" requests fail.
> Unfortunately computer programs aren't very good at determining your
> actual intended message if it's different from what you've typed --
> listproc does not contain a spell-checker.
> b) Alternate addresses
> You must send the unsubscribe request from the same e-mail address
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> listproc tells you that you are not subscribed, please try to verify
> that you sent your request from the proper address.
> If you only have one address and your first unsubscribe request
> indicates that you are not subscribed, you will probably need the help
> of the list owner in order to have your address removed. This is
> frequently a problem when helpful system administrators re-arrange
> your system in such a way as that your outgoing mail carries an
> address different from what it carried at the time you subscribed.
> There is essentially nothing you can do for yourself in this situation
> except to ask for help (although I usually notice the error messages
> and will investigate even if you don't ask).
> If you can't get listproc to take you off the list and you're
> convinced it's not your fault, the person to go to for help is one of the
> list owners, (tha-that would be me): Mickey Rowe
> (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com) or Mary Kirkaldy (MKirkaldy@aol.com).
> Feel free to misspell words when you write to me. I'm a little bit
> friendlier than listproc when it comes to dealing with such things! I
> don't recommend that you misspell words when you write to Mary. She
> might make fun of you.
> 8. Things not to do and what will happen if you do them
> Currently the DML is not moderated in the technical sense (the
> list owners do not ordinarily see messages before they are distributed
> to all subscribers), but that does not mean that the list is a
> free-for-all. We at DML management are strong proponents of free
> speech, but 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.
> When the list owners feel that contributions from particular
> participants are in some way counter to the purposes of the list, we
> will notify those participants privately. If said participants do not
> change their behavior, we may choose to revoke at least temporarily,
> their privilege to submit messages to the DML.
> If you feel a participant should be cautioned or disciplined please
> let us know by writing to Mickey or Mary with your concerns. We
> generally handle such things without public discussion, so the only
> way to find out what we are or are not doing is to ask us. See
> http://mprowe.heyup.me/KinmanIncident.html for
> further discussion of our views on this subject specifically with
> regards to an incident in which we chose to go public.
> In addition to what you might glean from any private correspondence
> directly from the list's owners, there are several specific
> infractions that may cause you to lose some or all dinosaur list
> privileges. The rules formalized below have been and will continue to
> be shaped by the list's evolution. Their primary intent is to provide
> participants with guidelines indicating what we expect of their
> behavior and what they can expect from us. We use these rules as much
> as possible to decide how to treat potential "infractions", mainly
> because we wish to be fair and (if you put in an honest effort)
> predictable. We welcome feedback (provided it is not sent directly to
> the list) about these rules and their implementation.
> a) Attempting to use the list for advertising fossils
> The first such infraction is using the list as a means to aid in the
> selling or buying of fossils. All of us involved in list maintenance
> feel quite strongly that the list's resources should not be used for
> that purpose. We will not tolerate messages that directly help
> buyers and sellers of real fossil material find each other. If you
> advertise a fossil for sale (even if you're not the one who'll be
> collecting the money) you may be removed from the list without
> warning. If you pass along a message that is not explicitly an
> advertisement but serves to alert others of a location where an
> advertisement can be found (for example, giving a uri to the site) --
> even if you're mentioning the advertisement only to lament its
> existence -- you will be warned not to do so again. The warning
> you are sent will include a one week suspension of your privilege to
> submit messages to the list because we want to underscore the
> seriousness with which we view offenses to this policy. If you
> repeat such an infraction and we have even the slightest suspicion
> that you did so in willful disregard of the list's policies you will
> be permanently removed from the list. In administering this rule
> we broadly interpret "advertisement" to mean anything that reports a
> fossil which is or will be up for sale. This includes but is not
> limited to announcements of fossils that will be made available for
> auction, and we do not draw a strong distinction between "journalism"
> and "advertising" in this context. Commercial fossil dealers can be
> quite good at generating publicity, so the fact that a news
> organization such as CNN writes a story will not prevent us from
> judging the story to be an advertisement sensu lato. In short,
> if you are considering sending a message that a) has anything to do
> with a real or potential exchange of a fossil for money or b) contains
> a URI to a story with content such as described in a) you should send
> it to the list administrators first and ask whether or not it would be
> appropriate. If you send such a message to the list without our
> pre-screening we're not going to be very receptive to arguments about
> why you thought it was acceptable. We would prefer to have that
> argument ahead of time so that there's no need for us to consider
> disciplinary action.
> Please note that the above refers explicitly to the sale of fossils.
> Other dinosaur relevant advertisements (as long as
> they're short and preferably in the form of instructions for how to
> obtain more information) have traditionally been accepted.
> Advertisements for the sale of replicas of fossils are
> also permissible without reservation.
> b) Spam
> Off topic advertisements (e.g. spam) are also explicitly forbidden,
> though we suspect that spam would get you thrown off of
> any list.
> c) Creationism
> There appears to be a near unanimous sentiment on the list that
> arguments about Creationism should not be entertained here. If you
> attempt to introduce a Creationist argument your posting privileges
> will be suspended for a week. After that week you will be allowed to
> submit messages again, but if you repeat the infraction you will be
> removed from the list. It is my impression that the above is lenient
> in that many list members might prefer to have people who submit
> Creationist arguments be removed after the first violation.
> We're currently opting for a bit of leniency but may become more
> strict if this becomes a problem.
> During a flareup surrounding the Kansas Board of Education's decision
> in August of 1999 to change the guidelines for K-12 education in that state,
> it became clear that there was a good deal of confusion surrounding this
> topic on the dinosaur list. From the beginning:
> http://dml.cmnh.org/1997Jun/msg00675.html
> this policy was intended to squelch any discussions of Creationism. Many
> appear to have erroneously presumed that they can write what they want as
> long as they do not support Creationist positions. However, that too
> is wrong as I tried to make clear early on:
> http://dml.cmnh.org/1997Jun/msg00974.html
> Specifically, in that message I wrote:
> My goal is to keep the peace while allowing a healthy discussion of
> the science involved in the study of dinosaur remains. In my view
> Creationism doesn't fit under that scope. That doesn't mean we should
> be openly hostile about it even if the hostility is expressed as
> humor.
> Since that bit of advice has gone unheeded, we have decided to close up a
> loophole -- responding to messages about Creationism will be treated
> exactly the same as Creationist messages themselves. If somebody brings
> up the topic and you respond, you will lose your privilege to submit messages
> for one week. A second infraction may get you removed from the list.
> Some have indicated that by banning the topic we are somehow sending the
> message that there is some scientific validity to Creationism. We don't think
> that position is logically defensible, but to try to cover that base here we
> will state again that Creationism does not belong on the dinosaur list because
> it is not science. We sympathise with those trying to teach science in a
> culture which does not always recognize what is and isn't good science, 
> though,
> and for the benefit of such people we here provide some links which we think
> are useful in this context:
> The National Center for Science Education
> (http://WWW.NatCenSciEd.org/),
> the National Academy of Sciences's official position on the subject
> (http://books.nap.edu/html/creationism/index.html),
> the University of California Museum of Paleontology's web site on
> understanding evolution (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evohome.html),
> the talk.origins home page (http://www.ediacara.org/~to/index.html)
> and its FAQ archive (http://www.talkorigins.org/),
> and from one of our own subscribers,
> Dr. Mathew F. Bonnan's "Evolution and Science: A Guide for
> the Layperson" (http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfb100/evolution.htm).
> For more information on "Intelligent Design", you can also see a
> recent article in Phi Delta Kappan
> (http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/k_v86/k0412ter.htm).
> Please feel free to write to me in order to let us know if any of
> these links break or if you have additional sites you'd like to add
> to this section.
> d) Flaming
> We expect to have more difficulty enforcing the following (just within
> the past week I've had a few occasions to consider implementing this
> rule...), but we would also like to be able to keep a light handle on
> the discussions by reserving the right to treat generally disruptive
> behavior in the same manner that we will treat the particular
> disruption of Creationist messages. That is, if you send in a message
> such as one which contains an attack against another person on the
> list, you can expect your posting privileges to be suspended. A
> second such offense may get you removed from the list permanently. We
> have no real desire to be dictators here, so we welcome suggestions
> about messages which you think warrant disciplinary action. We may
> not ultimately agree with you, but we do want your input.
> e) irritating other members of the list
> As we wrote above, we're not comfortable as dictators, so we're
> formally asking for the lists' help in the execution of a modified
> version of section 8d above. In addition to being silenced for abject
> flaming, you may be sent to a virtual corner to cool off if others on
> the list think that your behavior warrants such treatment. In
> particular, if I receive three complaints about an individual within a
> span of three days, then that individual's posting privileges will be
> suspended for one week. If this ever happens to you, please take it
> gracefully because if you come back flaming then you will still be
> subject to the disciplinary actions described in section 8d. (Let's
> all hope that the threat of this is all we need... If it isn't, then
> we must rely upon all of you to be conscientious and complain when you
> think a situation warrants it.)
> f) Ad Hominem
> The phrase "Ad Hominem" is frequently used incorrectly in terms of its
> historical definition. People often think the phrase refers to
> insults, but it is actually more general in the context of a logical
> argument. Technically an Ad Hominem argument is one that addresses
> characteristics (or supposed characteristics) of a person presenting
> an argument rather than the presented argument itself. People
> addressing the personalities of others may have their posting
> privileges suspended for one week whether the attacked person is on
> the list or not. Check the archives for just about any discussion of
> Robert Bakker or Alan Feduccia and you'll find offenses of this
> policy. As with flaming, a second such offense may get you removed
> from the list permanently. When I suggested this rule, one alert
> subscriber (Sam Girouard, R.I.P.) pointed out that the list
> historically recognized one reason for discussing personalities. If
> you are considering a collaboration with another paleontologist and
> would like to solicit opinions about the wisdom of your choice, you
> may ask the list. Responses should go directly to the person making
> the request, however, especially if they are of a sensitive nature.
> g) treating the list as your own personal forum
> When discussions get hot people have a tendency to write many messages
> in a short span of time. Because the list can only process a finite
> number of messages per day, and because most people will only tolerate
> so much traffic before they start deciding the list isn't worth the
> effort of trying to keep up, this is a bad thing. During moderation
> everyone was held to a limit of only five messages per day. Any
> messages after the fifth were held in queue until the next day. Since
> the list is no longer moderated, that's not an option. I suggested
> reinstating a quota of five messages per day with a sixth message
> earning an offender a one-day suspension of posting privileges.
> Subsequent infractions of this quota rule would earn you longer
> suspensions. Although five per day seemed to work well during
> moderation, a few people thought this number was too low. I'm thus
> changing it to seven on a trial basis. Infractions will earn you only
> a one-day suspension even if it's not the first time you've gone over
> your quota. Let's see how this works. If it doesn't then the policy
> could be amended or abandoned.
> h) Moratoria on tired threads
> The proper procedure for terminating a thread that you think has worn
> out its welcome on the list is to write to me (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com)
> or Mary (MKirkaldy@aol.com) with a specific complaint about the thread
> and why you think it's gone on long enough (I suspect that typically
> naming the thread you object to will be sufficient since in most cases
> the reason for its objectionability will be readily apparent). If we
> agree with you, we will write to the list and ask that the thread be
> shut down. At that time one of us will specify a period (generally
> not less than 24 nor more than 48 hours; exact length dependent upon
> factors such as the relevance of the thread, the time it has existed,
> and the amount of repetition that's already been seen) during which
> final statements on the thread may be submitted. Anyone who attempts
> to continue or resurrect the thread within a week of the thread's
> official demise will be subject to a week-long suspension of posting
> privileges. At present we are not considering disciplinary action
> against people who write to the list requesting that a thread be
> ended, but we might change our minds in the future. The purpose of
> this rule is to end meta-discussions about what should or shouldn't be
> discussed on the list.
> Additionally, list owners may order an immediate shutdown of
> discussions which arise on subjects which are not germane to the
> purpose of the list -- dinosaur science. Notable examples of subjects
> which have no place on the list are cryptozoology, time travel, Planet
> of the Apes, and random computer virus alerts, among others. List
> members will be expected to recognize these calls for cessation of
> discussion (i.e. Mickey Rowe or Mary Kirkaldy will unambiguously post
> that this thread is not to be pursued). Disciplinary action may be
> taken against list members who continue to post on these subjects,
> whether or not 24 hours has passed. Generally we will allow two hours
> since we realize there's no guarantee that you will receive our
> message as soon as it is sent. We have been and will be inflexible
> about breaches -- we can't know when you received a message, and the
> fact that you may not have read a message you already received is not
> a good defense in our eyes; standard netiquette is that you should not
> be writing to a public forum unless you have read all of your messages
> from that forum because you want to make sure that what you're writing
> is not a repeat of something someone else has already written.
> Discussion on whether the subject should be allowed is to be sent to
> the list owners and not to the list.
> For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we recognize
> that not all people agree on when a thread has stopped being
> interesting, we created a spinoff mailing list. The initial plan for
> that list was to provide space for people to continue discussions that
> started on the DML but for one reason or another had worn out their
> welcome. The thread that originally inspired the creation of the
> spinoff list was in turn inspired by Greg Paul imagining the
> appearance of dinosaurs that didn't evolve, but presumably could have.
> Chris Srnka asked about it
> (http://dml.cmnh.org/2001Jul/msg01134.html), and voila, KilledThreads
> was born
> (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DinosaurMailingList-KilledThreads/).
> Responses to Chris' question ballooned into a huge project that
> provides the bulk of what's in the archives for that list. We at DML
> management are happy that the list has found that purpose. However,
> the list can be used for any topic you'd like to discuss that is
> somehow relevant to the list but would not be tolerated on the DML
> proper. For instance, if you'd like to complain publicly about list
> administration and don't want to go through the normal channels as
> spelled out here, the KilledThreads list is the place to do it.
> i) Attachments
> We don't expect to discipline anyone for this, but we do ask that you
> not include attachments (such as files containing images) to messages.
> A large number of people will not be able to read the files, many will
> not even be able to receive them (believe it or not some people have
> limits on the sizes of messages they can receive!), and attachments
> are a dandy way to transmit computer viruses. If you wish to transmit
> an image or other form of encoded message please find another place to
> make it available and send to the dinosaur list only an announcement
> of the file's availability. If you have no other space to put up the
> file, you can write to me (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com). I don't want to
> get in the business of making temporary web pages, but I do have such
> resources available to me. If I don't get too many requests I can
> offer limited use of those resources to others.
> j) Violating embargoes
> Scientific journals generally have a policy to reject material for
> publication when that material has already been published some place
> else. Consequently scientists need to keep some things to themselves
> until papers describing those things are published. During the final
> stages of the publication process, journals will frequently release
> information to members of the press with the understanding that the
> individuals receiving that information will not distribute it before
> some pre-specified time. The time during which the press has the
> information and is ethically obliged not to share it is referred to as
> an embargo period. Journals may decide not to publish an article
> they'd already decided to publish if its content is disseminated
> during that period. Consequently the authors will pay a price if
> someone else distributes that information.
> We at dinosaur list management do not take a position on whether or
> not embargoes are a good thing. If you'd like to know more about the
> background of embargoes, you should look at the news focus in the
> October 30th, 1998 issue of Science
> (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol282/issue5390/index.shtml).
> There are five articles in that news focus, and they give a pretty
> good overview of what others think of embargoes and why. Our goal is
> only to protect researchers whose publications could be compromised by
> the premature release of information about their research. Whether or
> not you (or we) think embargoes should be done away with is irrelevant
> to official policy. As long as authors can be hurt by people talking
> about their research we will do what we can to protect them. If you
> think there is any chance something you want to submit to the list is
> privileged information you should seek the advice of the researchers
> who performed the work. If you violate an embargo or otherwise
> release information that jeopardizes a publication there is a good
> chance we will permanently remove you from the dinosaur list. As
> always we will try to use some discretion in implementing the policy,
> but do not submit something if you are uncertain as to whether or not
> it will be in violation of this policy. That is not the way to find
> out where our boundaries lie unless you want to be banned from the
> list.
> k) Facilitating participation by exiles
> Earlier versions of this page used to boast how congenial the list has
> been and included a statement that no one had ever been forcibly
> removed. Unfortunately, that condition no longer pertains to the DML.
> There are several people who have made themselves unwelcome as
> participants, and we have taken moderate technical measures to prevent
> their participation. Some of these individuals still read the list's
> archives, and sometimes they will send e-mail directly to the authors
> of DML messages. To remain in good standing, participants are
> forbidden to allow these exiles to participate vicariously through
> forwarded messages. When sending a "response" to the DML, you should
> make sure that the message to which you are responding really was sent
> to the DML. And if someone ever asks you to send in a message on
> their behalf you should be suspicious. Don't do it unless you are
> certain they have not been banned from the list. If you do send
> comments from an individual banned from the list, you will be at least
> warned not to send comments from that individual again. If it is a
> second offense for you or we have other compelling reasons to believe
> that you knew the person was banned, you will join them in exile.
> Your humble list administrators,
> --
> Mickey Rowe (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com)
> Mary Kirkaldy (MKirkaldy@AOL.COM)