[clug] Fwd: Delivery failure to <crash at michaelcarden.net> ...

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Sat Nov 29 04:15:11 MST 2014

On 29 November 2014 at 19:25, Bryan Kilgallin <bryan at netspeed.com.au> wrote:
> I get confused by the ethics of this.

And surely you are not alone.

It's only my opinion - but Hacker ethics is the basis of most mailing
lists run by the FOSS community:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_ethic#The_hacker_ethics  (consider
the nature of this list and it's infrastructure).

An alternative view is that perhaps ethics are not the primary basis
upon which mailing list netiquette is created (and "ethics" is very
much in the eye of the beholder) - mailing lists are, generally a
means by which people communicate for a defined purpose (e.g. to
advance and exchange knowledge about Linux). The "rules" are those
"work" best to allow extended technical exchanges across a wide-range
of personalities and beliefs amongst very large "communities". Time
and numbers is the measure of effectiveness.
With this (and other) mailing lists - it's expected that posters
understand the appropriate netiquette. It's not unreasonable that you
don't - and you wouldn't be the first to wonder why there isn't a
published "terms of use"
(http://lists.samba.org/archive/linux/2004-July/011462.html) - I can
think of several reasons why that's not the case, but I don't know the
actual reasons. Part of the answer can only be answered by those that
make the list hosting possible.

That you might not agree with netiquette for mailing lists is also a
not uncommon - though I'd suggest the  most profitable investment of
your time might be to "get along".

Here are a couple of guides for very large, long-standing mailing
lists that deal on a daily basis with a very wide range of complex and
often contentious subjects:-

>> some (of us?) employ a variety of mechanisms to prevent or frustrate
>> our posts to public forums being harvested by spam bots - so do not
>> expect emails to the email address published on list to act in a
>> predictable manner.
> Deliberately frustrating communication, and unwillingness to listen, I found
> in the public service! I thought this was just the mark of a technical
> manager.

Perhaps it is - I've worked in the public service, I hope that's not a
description of my style.

However, more importantly - this list is not *the* public service.
Important differences are that it's unmoderated, no one is required to
answer anyone else (freedom - see the previously referenced Hacker
Ethics for expansion), and that includes the freedom to limit our
exposure i.e. we are free to use any name we like, we are free to
never answer any questions, we are also free to find the perceived
behavior of others frustrating (hopefully while being aware of all the
permutations). We are not free to invade the personal space of others
without consequences - even if we run an open-house (tolerance and
respect for others is aspired to - as is understanding that we are not
all the same or equal).
Tricky stuff this loosely collective/collaborative techno-anarchy (and
I mean anarchy in the sense of not-abrogating responsibility rather
than blowing things up) - if that's the best description of "how" it

Please note - those are my opinions, it's impossible that they reflect
the views of everyone, and it's my hope that they will help you, and
others, understand why (some) of us the have been using lists for a
long time - do what seems to new-comers, odd things. If some don't
have the time or motivation to give milk, cookies and hugs to every
new-comer who demands answer, one reason may be that they've long
forgotten how to ride a bike so find explaining what seems to them as
"common sense" when they have little free time and considerable
experience of disappointment  resulting from investing time in helping
new-comers only to see them wander off in search of the next shiny
thing (Dear intertubes, please do my homework for me" is a common,
gentler reaction).

Please forgive us if 'we' don't measure up to your expectations.

If you've read this far - thank you (apologies for the total lack of
proof-reading). If you have more questions - please search the web for
"how to ask smart questions first" it will be a good guide to
eliciting answers to those questions from others on the list (as I've
greatly exceeded my weekly time budget for the list).

Kind regards

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