July 2007


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 Jul 2007 13:39:45 -0700
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear SftP list members,

If you approve, I am willing to take on the task of list "co-owner."

George Salzman, who did so much to found this list and increase its  
membership has asked twice now to be relieved of the burden as "co- 
owner," which means, in essence moderator. I am grateful he has  
reinstated Michael Balter, though I was critical of the way he  
removed him in the first place.

A while ago, in response to George's first request, I offered to be  
moderator, but most who responded did not want a moderator. In the  
light of that, and subsequent events, I want to make clear that I  
would try to avoid censorship of any sort, unless a clear consensus  
forms that someone is doing great damage to the list. The only  
exception would be clear emergencies.

I am forwarding my original moderation guidelines unchanged, but want  
to make clear these would only be guidelines, not rules. If I note  
violations, I would suggest to the violator(s)  that maybe they could  
modify their posting habits accordingly. I would be open to further  
suggestions as to how to  improve these guidelines, of course.

Herb Fox is willing to be a more passive (yet) co-owner, ready to  
jump in if I flag overmuch.

Anyone else who wishes to be a candidate should let us all know.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: June 5, 2007 11:56:45 AM PDT
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Moderation
> Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <SCIENCE-FOR-THE- 
> [log in to unmask]>
> I am willing to be one of several people taking turns moderating,  
> but I would rather start my turn in about three  weeks.
> Here are the ground rules I would propose to  use:
> 1. A maximum of four posts per person per day, of which no more  
> than two can be on the same topic or thread. (This will allow for  
> the Phil's posts of articles.)
> 2. Respect for other's viewpoints in replies. If one can find no  
> basis for respect, either one is very far out on a limb or enough  
> others will feel the same that no reply is required.
> 3. Germaneness to the list. Does this post have to do with science?  
> Does it have a connection with a left perspective, loosely defined?
> 4. Originality. Does the post say something that has not been said  
> within the last couple of months, at the very least?
> 5. Some respect for the intelligence and knowledge of the average  
> group member in each post.
> 6. No blanket condemnations or personal attacks.
> 7. No posts whose point is to argue that one's particular version  
> of leftism is better than someone else's.
> 8. An urge that everyone exercise self-restraint. Despite the  
> limits of four post per day, most people should post far fewer,  
> probably no more than one every few days.
> Optional:
> 9. Moderators should encourage the practice that each post should  
> try to offer a constructive alternative to what is being  
> criticized, for example a sounder policy about vaccinations or how  
> drug innovation should properly occur.
> 10. Moderators should encourage the practice of humility in the  
> form of posts. It is an open question as to what would truly  
> constitute "science for the people" or even how to bring about a  
> better, fairer world. We have more questions than answers, and that  
> is appropriate to acknowledge.
> If no one else is willing to co-moderate, I would urge everyone to  
> try to follow these suggestions (perhaps a smodified by others) for  
> the time being anyway.
> (In the meantime, for those who find the last few days  
> entertaining, I suggest somene start a new list:Vituperation for  
> the People. Each post would at least have to explain why the poster  
> deserves to be on that list but someone else does not. )
> Best,
> Michael