X-Message-Number: 3704
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 18:29:09 MST
From: "Richard Schroeppel" <>
Subject: censorship & brainstorming

Charles Platt has suggested that I misrepresented his messages in my replies.
I'll restate my assertion that Charles' objective was to discourage Coetzee
and Bozzonetti from posting to Cryonet.  If Charles wishes to deny this, I'll
accept his denial and admit that I misunderstood him.  In response to a
private note, I am willing to stipulate that the definition of the word
"censorship" is flexible, and that methods of discouragement that stop short
of violence may not technically constitute censorship.

I'll also restate my assertion that we *need* brainstorming.  Our current
methods are sufficiently imperfect that oddball suggestions must be given
at least some attention.  We most assuredly need for other people to
contribute fixups and improvements to the oddball suggestions, in the effort
to move toward better methods.  (Another activity which Charles regards as
a waste of time?)

I'm not particularly concerned with maintaining freedom of speech in this
forum, but I am concerned with promoting freedom to hear.  If we want people
to contribute new ideas, we need to give them a somewhat less frosty
reception.  This doesn't mean ignoring flaws, but it does mean helping
with fixups, and aiming criticism at the ideas, not the contributors.

I believe that, in the past, some contributors to this group have committed
the sin of criticizing flaws that they knew how to fix, while neglecting to
mention the fix, in order to score debating points.

In a reply to a private message, I wrote (and copied to cryonet)

   > I'm not talking about their right to speak, I'm talking about your (and my)
      > right to hear.  Let me put it differently:  You are offered the option of

   > only reading material that Charles Platt feels should be posted.  Would you
      > accept this?

and Charles commented
   What on earth are you talking about? You're responding to a post that
   never existed. What makes me a bit irritable is that you're saying that I
   posted it. Please quote me accurately if you're going to quote me at all.

This was intended as a hypothetical option; I worded it badly.  I'll note
that the recipient indicated to me that he would pay money for a Platt-
moderated list; Charles may have a commercial opportunity here.

Charles again ...
>  As for Douglas Skrecky (whom you imply was somehow victimized by Mike
   Darwin), he's still free to post here too, if he wants. And Mike Darwin is
   still free to demonstrate that Skrecky's ideas are half-baked.

I think this was another case where the barrage of criticism was allowed
to obscure some possibly useful thoughts.  I'm sure Ben Best can take care
of his own publication, but I think Skrecky ahould be *encouraged* to
contribute here as well.

Rich Schroeppel     (as crusty as the rest of you guys)

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