I'm sorry that Martha is resentful, but what I asked others on this list was
what TOPICS are appropriate for discussion. If the question of whether HIV
causes AIDS is an appropriate discussion, then no one should be surprised if
that discussion goes on for a while and becomes heated, because there is a
lot at stake. If it is not appropriate, then I for one would not engage in
it any further. But if a topic is appropriate, then those who think the
discussion is going on too long should either delete the posts or leave this
list, absolutely. Otherwise they are simply trying to shut others up.

The issue of the tone of posts is a different matter. I do not think it is
an ad hominen attack to post information which contradicts a statement made
here. It might be an ad hominen attack to say that the left is overly
tolerant of stupid and uninformed viewpoints, although I would say that the
left needs to deal with stupidity and ignorance in its ranks if it is ever
to get anywhere. So in some cases, especially when someone is claiming that
HIV does not cause AIDS, a more pointed response might indeed be

On 2/16/07, Martha Livingston <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I second Andrea's view, and frankly resent Balter's assertion that
> those who don't like list clutter can bloody well leave.
> >While I am not able to provide a list on appropriate topics, I can only
> offer
> >that, in my experience, list etiquette suggests that filling up other
> >subscribers' inboxes with a flurry of posts whose text contains snarky ad
> >hominem attacks should be kept to a minimum.
> >
> >Frankly, sometimes posts come off more as a clashing of egos than
> >ideas. While I
> >suspect that this is not the intention, I believe it to be a logical
> >interpretation.
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >
> >Andrea Smith
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Andrea Smith
> >MSc Candidate
> >Department of Community Health & Epidemiology
> >Dalhousie University
> >5790 University Avenue
> >Halifax, NS
> >Canada, B3H 1V7
> >Tel: (902) 494-6235
> >[log in to unmask]
> --
> Martha Livingston, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Health and Society
> SUNY College at Old Westbury
> Box 210
> Old Westbury, New York 11568
> (516) 876-2748


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
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