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PICList Thread
'[OT] Bob Blick, the greatest admin of all time -- '
2009\03\17@080642 by M. Adam Davis

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On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 7:15 AM, Vitaliy <spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> wrote:
> This post is in response to Bob Blick's post, "Re: [PIC] Simple rules about
> behavior on the Piclist":

I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying regarding the
direction the piclist appears to be taking.

However, this is not a democracy.  If you want to take an active part
in the direction of the PIClist, please offer your services as an
admin/moderator - they have said in the past, "If you don't like the
job I'm doing, come and help me with it"

Telling them how to run the list, or having 'open discussions' in an
attempt to gather opinions and possibly support isn't going to work
one whit.

Even though you single out Bob, there are other active admins and the
content and direction of the list reflects all of their designs and
desires - I'm quite certain that if they are unhappy with Bob's
decisions they will have discussions with him to come to a consensus.
But those discussion will only be between the moderators - this is not
a democracy for the simple reason that meta-piclist threads would take
over if everyone were involved in every single decision.  Further,
most of the decisions are, "Well, if you're willing to put up with the
extra work you're causing, I'm not going to stand in your way."
There's too much primary admin work to deal with to spend time on the
fringe topics that either might or mightn't exist based on one admin's
whims.

There is always going to be a wide gray line where sometimes topics
and posts are ok, and other times not.  If you stay firmly on the PIC,
EE, TECH side and keep a nice tone of voice you will rarely, if ever,
be dinged.  But if you choose to participate in OT topics, use rude
language, etc, then there's always the possibility that you are within
the gray area, and you might get hit by a passing mod.  This
moderation will necessarily happen unevenly - sometime you will find
that you are dinged when other posts were not (or, at least, did not
appear to be).  Either it was dealt with offlist, or is was simply
missed - there's a lot of traffic, and no single mod reads everything.
I doubt that even with all the mods we get 100% coverage.  It's
pointless to compare a post you saw action on with a post you didn't
see action on, especially when it's too late to take action on an
older post.

You were alerted when James was leaving, you saw that Bob was about to
become an admin, and you chose not to volunteer then.  Russel saw the
same thing, and while he doesn't like his admin role, he was able to
get the TECH topic started so that we have better defined divisions
and allowance for non-PIC discussion.

The last time we had a democratic vote onlist that was open as you
prefer, you lost - Olin become permanantly unmoderated to the point
where he can openly call people on list idiots and morons,
participating in discussions where his only contributions are
essentially "I'm not going to help you until you shape up," and
generally being his brisque self.

If you want to affect the direction of the list, you're going to have
to work with the admins, and possibly join their ranks - I'm sure
there's plenty of work to go around.

But if we make this into a 'democracy' then we will necessarily have
list politics constantly going on in the background, and they will
occasionally engulf other topics.  Better to keep it offlist where the
dictators (benevolent or not, depending on one's subjective opinion)
can work on it and let the list be the content.

Good luck.

-Adam

2009\03\17@171017 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2009-03-17 at 12:28 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> Marcel,
>
> I'm sorry, but I think you completely missed the point.
>
> The main problem is that there is TOO MUCH policing going on, of the wrong
> kind.

In your opinion. In my opinion, as one of the co-admins, and as
evidenced by this and other similar threads in the past few days, there
hasn't been ENOUGH policing.

> Bob appears to be censoring content solely based on his personal
> interpretation of what is appropriate, and what isn't. So
> namecalling/bullying is allowed, yet topics that have been allowed in the
> past and more often result in coherent intelligent discussions, are not.

You are requesting 100% perfect consistency in the enforcement of rules
that are based on purely subjective criteria. This is 100% impossible.

Have certain topics been allowed before that aren't now? 100%
absolutely. What is kosher on this list very much depends on how much it
disrupts the list.

There are a variety of topics that in the past didn't seem to inflame,
so they were permitted. Times, and people, change and there are
certainly topics these days that do now inflame, and therefore are dealt
with. On the other hand there are surely some topics that are more
tolerated these days then in the past, for similar reasons.

Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, there is NO line in the sand
as to what is allowed and what isn't. Our "rules" as stated should be
treated as GUIDELINES, not absolutes. Yes, they are open to
interpretation by the admin in question; this is what happens when
subjective criteria are used.

FWIW, I agree with Bob's actions.

Now, to everyone involved, please take a moment and cool off before
sending a response to whomever you feel slighted, or take it offline if
you must. These threads, in their current form no longer belong on the
PICLIST.

Thanks, TTYL

2009\03\17@175007 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> The main problem is that there is TOO MUCH policing going on, of the wrong
> kind.

The basic principle of this list is that the ones who are doing the work
 get the power to do their work. Just like Olin sets the rules when he
wants to give something away. Just like Stallman decides which license
applies to the code he wrote (and gazillions of other programmers agree
with him, and another gazillion don't and choose another license). I
don't always like the admin's decisions, but I sure like that principle
(maybe to a large extent because I don't have to do any work and the
results are not bad).

But if you do disagree violently with the admins there are basicaly two
votes you can cast:

You can vote with your feet. Leave the list, maybe start another one, or
join a long-time-ago list-leaver that set up the yahoo piclist. It has
only a fraction of the activity compared to the piclist, so it will be
easy to police. Don't underestimate the power of voting with your feet,
it was how Communism (or wathever it was that went by that name) was
finally brought to its knees.

The other alternative is to vote with your time. Join the admins, do the
dirty work, and also get a shot at the policing work. It seems to me
that setting the rules is the easy part. Applying them in practical
situations, that's the real work.

Or you can be like me, occasionally annoyed with what is going on, but
not sufficiently (by a large margin) to vote in either way. And grateful
for a list that can give the answer to a difficult question, should one
arise.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2009\03\17@235636 by Vitaliy

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John Ferrell wrote:
>> Your idle observations are not welcome on this list. Don't like it? Wait
>> till I become an admin, then you'll have to listen to what I say.
>>
> When that occurs I will learn to follow your rules. I have found your
> contributions on the list to be very worthwhile.

Sorry, I think there is a misunderstanding, and it demands an explanation.
It was my (apparently unsuccessful) attempt at making a joke. Look up Bob's
last post in this thread:

   March 08, 2009 18:12
   Subject: Re: [OT] Politics and/or commodities speculation :- impending
doom

The "not welcome" bit is also not my invention.

I shall now go back to obeying the temporary gag rule,

Vitaliy

2009\03\17@235651 by Vitaliy

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face
John Ferrell wrote:
>> Your idle observations are not welcome on this list. Don't like it? Wait
>> till I become an admin, then you'll have to listen to what I say.
>>
> When that occurs I will learn to follow your rules. I have found your
> contributions on the list to be very worthwhile.

Sorry, I think there is a misunderstanding, and it demands an explanation.
It was my (apparently unsuccessful) attempt at making a joke. Look up Bob's
last post in this thread:

   March 08, 2009 18:12
   Subject: Re: [OT] Politics and/or commodities speculation :- impending
doom

The "not welcome" bit is also not my invention.

I shall now go back to obeying the temporary gag rule,

Vitaliy

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