[EM] over the top personal comments, revisited

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Wed May 11 21:37:20 PDT 2005

To Mike Ossipoff,

Mike, you wrote:
>Before I start, let me say that I resent some people's implication that 
>there's no significant difference between me and Russ, as regards
>level, off-topicness, and negative worth.
>Yes, I've sometimes rubbed people's nose in it, but only as a last
>resort. I 
>try to make a "measured response", starting out very polite, and then,
>a certain amount of arrogant, ill-mannered repetition, I mildly rebuke
>person. Have you heard about those alarm-clocks that get louder gradually 
>when you don't wake up?

	Mike, you seem to have missed the point of Rob's recent post. I will copy
it here:

>I don't know who started this flamewar, and quite frankly, I don't care.
>Please stop the personal attacks and profanity.  Attacking ideas is 
>fine.  Attacking people is not.

	According to the list moderator, we shouldn't engage in personal attacks.
Even if we think that another poster's comments are unintelligent, we
shouldn't call that person stupid. We can try to point out the flaws in an
idea or argument, but we shouldn't say that the person making that
argument is unworthy. A personal attack of this kind does not contribute
to our argument, and it does not make us seem more intelligent. More than
anything else, it discredits us and degrades the list as a whole. The only
thing that it demonstrates is our own hostility.
	If you are unwilling or unable to reply to a post without resorting to
personal attacks, then I recommend that you not reply to that post at all.
If you believe that another poster is unworthy, you should not share this
belief on the list. Even if it is true, you should let others judge for
themselves, if they are inclined to do so.
	This is not supposed to be a forum for you to establish that your "worth"
is greater than that of Russ or anyone else. It is supposed to be a forum
for us to discuss election theory in a productive, cooperative, and
mutually beneficial manner.
	So, to sum up, please stop the personal attacks.

Mike, you wrote:
>If you want the guideliness enforced, you 
>enforce them yourself. That's what I try to do when I start rubbing 
>someone's nose in it. It's done with a positive intention, a good
>Don't interpret it negatively.

	You cannot "enforce" the EM list guidelines via personal attacks, because
personal attacks are in themselves contrary to EM list guidelines.


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