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a bucket of cold water
Right now it might look like there are no rules around here (the
DML)... but there are. Many marginal things have been written over
the course of the week, and we at DML management have brought some of
these to the attention to particular individuals in an effort to keep
us on track. That clearly hasn't been enough, so with this message I
do two things.
1) Remind everyone that participation on the dinosaur list is a
privilege (such as it is), and one that can be revoked. Please try to
use that privilege only in the service of dinosaur science.
2) To remind everyone of a particular rule that is easily enforced
because it requires no judgment:
Rule 8g stipulates a ban on "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. If you send
more than seven messages in a single day, your posting privileges
will be suspended for a day.
There are a couple of people you will not be hearing from (here)
tomorrow, and several others of you are close to being in the same
An additional -- unwritten -- rationale behind that rule is that I
think we're all better served when people think responses through very
thoroughly. You're more likely to do that -- especially in a climate
such as we're currently in -- if you realize that you can't afford to
fire off responses willy nilly each time something new appears that
you want to react to. I suspect that many messages sent today would
have been worded differently -- to the benefit of all concerned -- if
they'd been consolidated and cogitated over for a few hours longer
than they were.
If you'd like to make any comments about anything I've written here or
more general issues about the list, please direct them to me or Mary.
For more information about the dinosaur list's rules, you can always
find us at dinosaurmailinglist.org.
Mickey Rowe (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com)