[EM] Name capitalization. Utopian ideals. Enforcement.

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Thu May 12 19:12:51 PDT 2005

	My reply follows...

you wrote:
>I really like those utopian ideals. As someone pointed out, all it takes
>one person who doesn't share those ideals and has no honesty or
>and then those ideals are out the window. Such a person joined this list 
>fairly recently.

	No, it takes at least two people to create a continually ugly dispute. If
one person joins the list and makes repeated personal attacks, but no one
responds in kind, it is not reasonable to say that the ideals are out the
window, since everyone except this one person is still following them.
I wrote:
>	You cannot "enforce" the EM list guidelines via personal attacks, because
>personal attacks are in themselves contrary to EM list guidelines.
you wrote:
>They indeed are. But if the guidelines aren't otherwise enforced, and 
>violations of those guidelines are already going on, then why not try to 
>deter them, even if that itself involves a violation of the
>and unenforced guidelines?

	Such a deterrent effect is not at all in evidence. On the contrary, there
is clear evidence that personal attacks on the list lead to further
personal attacks, i.e. further guideline violations.
	You admit to making personal attacks, yet you claim that those attacks
were justified by prior attacks, and/or other violations of list
guidelines. As you may be aware, Russ also believes that his personal
attacks on you were justified by prior attacks by you. I don't think that
anyone else besides you and Russ is interested in determining who started
this retaliatory cycle, which means that we are not interested in whose
attacks are more justified. All we want is for the personal attacks to
stop in general, which means that we would not like people to engage in
personal attacks even if they are convinced that such attacks are
justified for whatever reason. It seems that it is this sense of
justification on both of your parts (and the impulse to establish that
justification in the eyes of others) that allows the ugliness to continue.
	If you are particularly interested in resolving the question of who
wronged whom by writing what and when, I suggest that you and Russ found a
new mailing list devoted to the topic, so that it does not interfere with
our discussion of election methods.
	If you believe that another list member has broken guidelines in a
specific post, feel free to say so in a non-inflammatory manner. Try to be
as specific as possible. However, if you cannot come to an agreement with
that list member about how such violations can be avoided, it is best that
you end your efforts there and let others judge for themselves whether
guidelines have been broken. If you would not like to reply to that
person's posts any longer, you are under no obligation to do so.


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