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Re: purpose of this list


Thanks for all your input.

And apologies for taking so long to reply.  Please remember I am a volunteer,
and my time is limited.  In addition to keeping the list running, I have been
pulled into another matter that is taking still more time, so my postings have
to be sparse for the moment.

Regarding the list, please remember that it is not my list; it is your list.
As I have always said, the list is what you, its members, make of it.

Regarding leadership, Clan Sinclair has a Chief, the Earl of Caithness.
It also has many other active participants who lead in clan organizations
and activities, too numerous to name here, and besides I might omit to
mention one or two, and then they'd be mad. :-)  I am not your leader;
sorry Neil.  I am a hobbyist who has set up a list you can use to
communicate if you wish.

This is a very active and informative list.  I continue to participate
in it because I enjoy the unusual tidbits of history and connections
between them that people post, some historically attested, some speculative,
many fascinating.  I have done what I can to provide the means for it to
grow, but it would not have done so without you, its members.  I know this
because I have run many other lists over the years, and none has remotely
approached this one.  You are not my children; sorry Niven.  I am your student.

For the moment, of the two choices I have outlined, I follow your advice
and choose
 (2) I can remove from the list anyone for whom I have evidence of
 threats against anyone else on this list.  I will not act on hearsay.
 But if anyone provides to me a message demonstrating a threat or ad hominem
 attack by one list member against another, I will remove the threatener
 from the list immediately.

I want to clarify that the type of mail I was referring to in
particular were alleged by various parties as having been sent to them
off the list.  I have only seen a few instances of them, which were
sent from an address that was not on the list.

And please note that I am not referring to threats to not attend someone's
dinner party; I'm referring to threats of bodily harm to the addressee
or relatives.  That's the kind of thing that would cause me to take
someone of the list.

To date, I have seen no evidence that anyone on this list has sent such
threats.  I am still talking to various people.  Remember, my time is
limited, and it seems there are quite a few people who want to discuss
this with me.  I hope to have gotten through all of them by Monday.
And please note that I am just a volunteer who runs a hobby list.
All I can do is to decide whether I want to keep someone on the list.
Beyond that, I can do nothing but form an opinion and report it back
to the parties who raised these issues offlist.

Regarding ad hominem attacks, if I unsubscribed people solely because of
calling each other names in messages off the list, we'd have a much smaller
list, so forget about that part.  Besides, the only reason I let myself
be drawn into offlist communications at all was because it appeared there
might be something much more serious afoot.

However, I do think we are going to have to have a rule against ad hominem
attacks *on* the list.

In addition, I think we must adopt the rule suggested by Gary M. Sinclair
of requiring subscribers to identify themselves to the list owner.  I don't
like it, but I don't see any way to avoid it.

More Monday.

John S. Quarterman <jsq@matrix.net>
[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html