[ExI] List Quality, List Courtesies

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon May 26 18:33:36 UTC 2008

Amara writes

> Lee says:
>> To be blunt, I can't get over how condescending you and
>> Keith sometimes are.
> First of all, it is never my intention to be condescending. I don't
> write volumes on this list, or any list because of my repetitive strain
> injury (as you know) and enormous time constraints (now more than ever).

I do appreciate it---as I mentioned offlist to you about your colossal
efforts for our cause on the Transhumanist talk edit page, especially
with your injuries.

> My messages are usually very short. Maybe the shortness, that you're
> not accustomed to, has given you reasons to interpret it that way.

Well, I'm sure that you did carefully read my example of how
your remark to John Grigg would naturally be taken. I won't
ask you to re-read it again!  :-)

> Second, a large point made in the links I posted was the adult age of
> the girls, so then no, I don't think he read them carefully. That's not
> condescending, that's just saying what I mean.

But I'm sure you'd like to adhere to a slightly higher standard of
niceness when saying what you mean. Instead of

       "Please read the links of the last days more carefully"

which also suffers from implying that *all* the links ought to be re-read,
one might have said

        "But what about <link> ?  It did say
        <generate relevant insert>"

(I wish that I *always* adhered myself to that level of niceness. But I try.)

But even if someone has failed to understand a particular *mathematical*
point in some essay, and I was a bit exasperated, at first I would

       "But the argument here in that link, which I gave just the other day
       say  <excerpt>"

and then on re-reading before posting, I'd omit the "which I gave just
the other day" since it implies that the guy or gal hadn't properly paid

> Third, if someone takes the time to give info and an argument is made
> not using the info, or background research, then what does that say?

It may merely say that there are fundamental *value* differences that
your interlocutor and you have, or that the info you believe to be so
relevant he doesn't.   As I said in my earlier email.   :-)

> For the person posting information, it doesn't motivate them to
> do it again.

Yeah, often we all wonder just how much good our posts do.

> For people not thinking or researching carefully before writing, it
> doesn't help raise the quality of the list either.
> I would consider these latter points as factors why the high technical
> level of the list that existed 10 years ago doesn't exist very much any
> more. Eugene was among the last holdouts to raise the quality, and
> he gave up.

I think it's more a question of there now being too many other forums
that attract the same people---and indeed, too many web sites,
too much of everything.  And although the benefits of such riches
do outweigh the unfortunate tendencies, one victim will be list quality.

Take care,

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