Courtesy, Etiquette, and Mailing Lists

Dave Weinstein olorin at
Tue Feb 28 11:01:27 PST 1995

There are, as I see it, a number of issues being combined into one,
large, set of flames. The issues, as I see them are, on a small
Michael Litchfield's behavior, Viscount Galen's behavior, and whether
this sort of thing should be even brought up at an event. On a larger
scale, it is what sort of discussion is appropriate for this mailing
list, and the scope and realm of the list itself.

First, the smaller matters. Michael Litchfield was, from appearances,
rude and discourteous. His actions, however, are at least not tainted
by even the appearance of hypocrisy.

Viscount Galen's actions, however, bother me more. First, when one
the moral high ground, it would be wise to at least try not to
a more flagrant offense. There is nothing in the excerpts posted by
Viscount Galen to justify the posting of private email. Secondly, and
this is more general and applies to others on the list, to excoriate
someone, in public, without the due deliberation one would expect if
the ideals of chivalry were being upheld; this smacks of a lynch mob,
not of the behavior supposedly being defended.

Finally, the question as to whether or not bringing something from
the list to an event. Not having been to the event in question (or
for that matter, within 1,000 miles of it in the last 5 years), I
will only ask that, given the problems inherent in electronic
communication, anyone wishing to bring such matters up at an event
first meet with the disputants outside of the event, and for that
matter, outside of SCA personna.

Now for the greater matter. What sorts of discussions are appropriate
for this list, what sort of behaviour is appropriate, and to what
extent SCA conventions and customs apply.

Fortunately, this is the easiest to answer. It has been pointed out,
and correctly, that matters of etiquette are not uniform across
the net. For Usenet, this varies based on charter, history, and the
current makeup of the readership; it is generally wise to read a
newsgroup for weeks before even posting. I won't even address the
mishmash of cultures, actions, and brawling which apply in IRC.

However, for mailing lists, there is a simple standard. The only
person who determines what is and is not acceptable on a mailing
list is the list owner. If there are complaints, they should be
sent to the list owner, and it is his decision as to any actions
which are to be taken.

Those who find that unpleasant, or are unwilling to accede to the
list owner's wishes, are, to my mind, behaving in the very manner
so many have recently deplored on this list. We are all, in essence,
guests of the list owner. And as guests, it is our obligation to
act in such a manner as is deamed appropriate by the host, or
if we find we cannot, to politely take our leave.

--Dave Weinstein

Dave Weinstein                             olorin at
"We'll serve anyone, meaning anyone, and to anyone, at all!" 
               N. Lovett, S. Todd

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list