In response to the many responses to my complaint, I'd like to offer
further support for my position, and a slight modification:
* My use of the word "contaminated" was an overstatement which I regret
and retract. I'd substitute "diluted."
* The obvious purpose for creating an edited list like the MMD is so
those who want a forum to discuss their shared interest can do so in an
organized fashion. To publish all submissions on an edited list
defeats the purpose of having an editor.
* "Toleration" and "censorship" are not at issue here. Censorship can
be exercised only by a government body. Toleration usually refers to
free exercise of religious and political beliefs. It's incorrect to
apply these terms to a situation where people have voluntarily joined a
group for their mutual enjoyment and benefit, and have agreed to abide
by certain rules. I joined the MMD because I don't want to "tolerate"
the chaotic messes I've seen in unmoderated discussion groups. If we
accept the misconception that "toleration" means we have to permit
irrelevant, long-winded chatter on our Digest, it will soon become
indistinguishable from the rest. We have something really good and
special (maybe even "unique"?), and to me it's worth trying to keep it
* I don't mind occasional lighthearted banter or a casual off-topic
mention, but these shouldn't be given discussion status on a digest
created for a primary purpose. I believe off-topics should be
continued via private e-mails between interested parties.
* It seems to me that irrelevant material takes up needed space in
our archives, and makes it more time-consuming to search them.
* The smoothing-out of our communications are one of the functions of
the editors, and they've shown their good judgment and expertise in
providing these skills for us. While some of us are interested in the
mechanics of language and editing, one of the purposes of having
moderators is to keep these issues in the background. I don't think
it's necessary or appropriate for them to be discussed on the digest.
* To the "variety is the spice of life" argument, I say if you're
baking a chocolate cake, you follow a recipe; you get variety by trying
out different kinds of cakes or other foods, not by randomly throwing
everything in the kitchen into one cake.
* The argumentum ad absurdum, ridicule, and sarcasm used by one member
is unworthy of the high tone we've set and maintained on the MMD.
Personal attacks on fellow list members are nonproductive and
Virtuoso Piano Service
[ Editor's note:
[ Jody and I see no good reason yet to discard letters to MMD,
[ simply because they waste archive space, or take added time
[ to download (a few seconds more).
[ A thread such as "Irregardless" would have died quickly if it
[ were uninteresting. However, many folks wrote about the thread
[ _because_ they found it interesting. _I_ didn't keep it
[ going -- the readers did!! :-)
[ I edit spelling and grammer, and split long paragraphs, but
[ I don't usually edit the communicated thoughts of MMD authors.
[ I think that the mere presence of "the editor" at a moderated
[ forum helps to maintain the decorum. Usually...
[ It's sad that personal sarcasm occurs occasionally in MMD. I'm
[ glad that it is minimal (compared to the "flame wars" elsewhere
[ on the 'Net), and I'm very thankful that, in spite of the sarcasm,
[ gentlemen like Larry Lobel can reply politely. I'm proud that our
[ Digest is generally pleasant to read !
[ Robbie Rhodes, MMD