[Beowulf] moderation - was cpu's versus gpu's - was Intel buys QLogic

Herbert Fruchtl Herbert.Fruchtl at st-andrews.ac.uk
Tue Jan 31 16:18:10 PST 2012


I missed part of this discussion (for obvious reasons I lost interest), but since it seems to be moving in that direction, I'll throw in my two smallest-local-currency-units. I'm a lurker (in old usenet parlance) on this list: reading, but very rarely posting. There are probably many of us, but the others are posting even more rarely...

As long as we don't get real off-topic discussions that attract the weirdos of the Internet (global warming anybody? intelligent design? even C/Fortran tends to peter out quickly nowadays), I am opposed to censorship (aka moderation). The simplistic arguments are:
1) This is my own, selfish, most important argument: it costs time! When, every two years, I have a technical question for the list, I don't want to wait until the USA is out of bed and hope that the moderator isn't at a conference for a week.
2) You need a moderator. It's quite some work, so it will only be done by somebody who gets some satisfaction out of it. This means that the job will attract exactly the kind of people who will not moderate neutrally and dispassionately. Even if they try, there's the fact that power corrupts. You're tempted to censor views that are too far from your own ("ludicrous" is the word you would use), and in the end you have an in-crowd confirming each other's views.
3) You are opening yourself to lawsuits. If something is said on the list that, let's say Intel's corporate lawyers find defamatory, they may go after the moderator.

If you really find somebody's views (and their presentation) objectionable, just killfile them (it's called "filter" in the 21st century). And if certain people think ad hominem attacks help their case, ignore them instead of thinking you can look dignified in taking them on in their own game. You won't.

Back to those dark alleys where we lurkers feel at home...


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