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Re: Decision Policy [was: Intended Audience]

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 19:58:40 -0800
Cc: www-archive <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-id: <DA07C277-F536-4140-926B-792C5745604A@apple.com>
To: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>

On Jan 31, 2009, at 5:30 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> On Thursday, I'd like to lift any and all moratoriums, but before  
> doing so would like to take this opportunity to give everybody a  
> vocabulary lesson.
> The first word is "filibuster".  This is where one person or a group  
> creates a denial of service attack on the mailing list by repeatedly  
> posting on a single subject, often with varying ideas.
> The second word (ok: phrase) is "ad nauseum".  It differs from a  
> filibuster in that it focuses on repetition of the same ideas.
> The third word is "strawman".  It involves raising and addressing an  
> issue that bears only a superficial resemblance to the topic being  
> discussed.
> Keep a watch out for these three, and call them out when you see  
> them. And yes, by all means call me out too if I happen to stray.   
> If called out, either back off or clarify.  In general it not  
> necessary to either acknowledge or refute the claim, as doing so  
> tends to decrease the signal to noise ratio on this list.  Bogus  
> claims reduce the credibility of the person making the claim, and  
> defending oneself doesn't generally change anybody's mind.

I think it's a bad idea to encourage everyone on the list to accuse  
each other of arguing in bad faith. I don't see how that will  
encourage constructive discussion or make the working group any less  
dysfunctional. If two people disagree, they should attack each other's  
arguments, not each other.

How about instead recommending that people watch out for these  
practices for themselves, assume good faith on the part of those they  
may disagree with, and if they have concerns, bring them to the  
chairs? That seems more likely to be conducive of a positive tone on  
the list.

Received on Monday, 2 February 2009 03:59:25 UTC

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