[Beowulf] Admin action request

Prentice Bisbal prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
Mon Nov 25 12:25:04 PST 2013

On 11/22/2013 02:41 PM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
> On 11/22/13 16:15, Joe Landman wrote:
>> On 11/22/2013 02:00 PM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
>>> I think "no support" may be a bit overreaching, but nevertheless, I
>> I couldn't find a person I spoke to about this from the list in support
>> of this persons actions.  Everyone I spoke with about this was quite
>> negative.  No support is an accurate reflection.
> Not having found support from your contacts in a list with hundreds, if
> not thousands, of people on it doesn't mean there isn't someone out
> there who disagrees.  We've got lots of lurkers here.
> That being said, we're talking past each other, and what's funnier is we
> obviously agree on the core that copyrighted text shouldn't be posted on
> the list as it threatens its existence.  What I am saying is, whether 1%
> or 99% of people agree with this rule, it has zero bearing on the next
> move.  What matters is what the administrators of this list decide is
> best to achieve protection and preservation of the list (I see Chris
> Samuels is the listed admin, but I'm sure there are others).
> So, what they decide I will abide by, but I stand by my position that it
> would be a comfort, if nothing else, if there was a page with Beowulf
> Email List Rules on it.  I admit this disposition is driven by being
> married to a lawyer :D.
I agree with Ellis. I find it hard to believe that Joe's (probably) 
small sample size represents everyone on the list. The people who spoke 
out against this practice on this list I believe are a very small 
percentage of the list subscribers, and I think they have a personal 
interest in making money of pageviews, so they are not necessarily 
unbiased. Everyone knows people are more vocal with complaints than 
praise, so negative feedback is always disproportionate.

Having said that, I agree that it is not necessarily a good practice to 
cut-and-paste entire articles into newsgroup messages. However, unless 
there is a specific rule banning this practice documented somewhere, it 
would be wrong for the list to take action against someone who allegedly 
violated a rule which doesn't exist (again, I agree with Ellis here).

I think the proper plan of action would be the following:

1. Create a location where rules on this list can be published. 
(http://www.beowulf.org/guidelines?), along with actions taken when 
someone violates a rule.
2. Add a footer to each e-mail indicating where to find these rules, so 
no one can claim ignorance ( link on how to unsubscribe, etc, would be 
helpful, too).
3. All anyone on the list to propose a rule/posting guideline at any 
time and allow for adequate discussion. The rule-making process itself 
should probably be documented, to prevent accusations of bias.
4. Allow some time for everyone to comment on proposed rule.
5. Leave to list administrators to determine if there are enough "ayes" 
or "nayes" to implement the rule.
6. Add new rule to (1) and then communicate this change to the list.

Personally, I'm against having many (any?) rules on this mailing list. 
Many great 'off-topic' conversations have been had here precisely 
because there are no real rules about content. It was a long time before 
a certain someone was moderated off this list despite years of 
complaints because people thought moderation was bad.Now that we do have 
moderation as a weapon, we shouldn't be too eager to use it.


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