Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(August 2003)

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Subject: Re: list policies about vacation programs
From: Berg Oswell <berg @ eskimo . com>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 08:55:18 -0700 (PDT)
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com

Chuq Von Rospach wrote:
>> server, it doesn't involve the list.  Therefore the list owner has no
>> business getting involved;

> Baloney. To push an analogy into an unrecognizable form to make a
> point, the group admin is the sheepdog; the wolf has just told the
> sheepdog had has no right to interfere with his interactions with the
> sheep, because the wolf didn't attack the sheepdog directly.

	Baloney (or bologna, if you prefer).  Your analogy is flawed; Your 
hypothetical sheepdog isn't dealing with a wolf in this case; He just tore 
the throat out of one of his own sheep because it strayed five feet from 
the rest of the flock.

	Worse, the same logic that caused him to attack his own sheep will 
inevitably lead him to attack his master, and the sheep belonging to his 
master's neighbors.

	Your analogy describes a sheepdog that needs to be put down, not 
one I'd want guarding my sheep...

> towards this is. Which tends to piss off the wolves, but I'm only
> interested in keeping the sheep happy.

	I suppose you can argue that since dead sheep don't feel anything, 
including unhappy, this may be the case.  And if a wolf comes sniffing 
around your flock (stealing list addresses to spam them, for example) then 
by all means sheepdog, run him off.  But what do you do when the sheepdog 
dislikes his sheep's behavior, so instead of gently herding them back into 
place, he starts killing them?

>>> When you sign up for something online, how much authority are you
>>> granting the person who runs that service?  From the majority of the
>>> opinions on this issue, the answer seems to be "total authority over
>>> everything I send or say".
>> No, just over the service provided and the uses to which it is put or
>> leveraged.

> I don't care, as long as you don't cause problems for the group. If you
> follow the rules set out for the group, and I don't get complaints,
> then things are fine. And under most circumstances, even if you don't
> fully follow the rules and I don't get cmoplaints, things are still
> fine. But when I start getting complaints....

	But what do you do when people start complaining about behavior 
that is not against the rules?

> He gets a warning. if it continues, he gets nuked. if it still
> continues, I (as sheepdog) go to his isp, his boss, his wife, his CPA,
> his lawyer, whatever it takes, as representative of my group of users
> to get him to stop, because it's my responsibility to protect them, and
> I have an ability to carry the cause of the group, which lends force to
> it that a set of individuals can't do.

	You have an ability, but no right.  Just because you CAN, does not 
mean you SHOULD, or have any RIGHT.  If it happens off-list, then it is 
none of your business.  How would you feel if you were the victim of some 
out of control admin type, who acts just like you say you do?

> And on a purely pragmatic level, if my group gets a reputation for
> being a place where people are harrassed and abused and nobody does
> anything about it -- my group dies. Everyone leaves and goes somewhere
> safer. Except the trolls and wolves.

	But the harassment is not taking place in your group, it is taking 
place outside of it.  If you run a bar, then you can dictate what behavior 
is acceptable in it...but it's none of your business what people say to 
eachother at someone else's bar.

>> In almost all cases any decision is preferable to no decision, and
>> decisions can be changed.

	In other words, doing anything, even the wrong thing, is better 
than doing nothing?

> In all cases the decision of the chosen leader is preferable to leaving
> it to random decisions by people who might not be interested in making
> the group better. or even care if the group survives.

	Wrong.  The decision of a chosen leader is only preferable within 
that leader's authority; If the leader is exceeding his/her authority, 
then the group can only suffer, not benefit, from the decision.

> Someone has to be the mommy. Groups that don't have that tend to turn
> into Lord of the Flies, or an empty lecture hall with the doors open to
> the weather.                        

	The mommy may have the responsibility to police the list, but you 
are arguing that he/she also has the responsibility to police everything 
people do, even outside of the lecture hall.  How would you feel if you 
joined a club and then found out that the club leader, for violating a 
club rule (or even just annoying the leader) was trying to smear you?  Get 
you fired, get you evicted, ruin your reputation, etc?

Indexed By Date Previous: Re: list policies about vacation programs
From: Berg Oswell <berg @ eskimo . com>
Next: Re: list policies about vacation programs
From: "David W. Tamkin" <dattier @ panix . com>
Indexed By Thread Previous: Re: list policies about vacation programs
From: J C Lawrence <claw @ kanga . nu>
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From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>

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