August 11, 2003

A Reader Objects to my Posting Policies

In a new comment to my "Policies on Posting Comments" entry, Michelle raises an objection to my posting policies:

These rules of 'civility' are a clear effort to shield direct shots to your stupidity.

Thank you for your feedback, Michelle. And now here's a little suggestion for your own edification: if you stopped putting the word in scare quotes, you might learn the meaning of the term civility.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at August 11, 2003 07:34 PM

We could have a lot of fun with this - was Michelle unconsciously trying to justify your policy?

Posted by: Barry at August 12, 2003 08:20 AM

Yes, perhaps she meant to offer a demonstration of the need for a posting policy.

In any case, in suggesting that I have designed the rules in order to protect myself against "direct shots" to my stupidity, Michelle credits me with more originality than I can reasonably claim: no flaming,
no ad hominem attack, and no ALL CAPS "shouting" are pretty standard rules for online discussion (listserves, discussion boards, blogs and the like).

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at August 12, 2003 08:36 AM

I noticed that there are two postings from someone named Michelle. The first Michelle clearly agreed with the policy, and her e-mail address indicates that she is the Michelle who blogs at good citizen of the blogosphere. The second Michelle did not leave an e-mail address, and the snide tone of the comment is out of chracter for the Michelle whose blog I read with great interest. Could this second poster be a different Michelle, or someone using a pseudonym?

Posted by: Kevin Walzer at August 12, 2003 11:40 AM

Your posting policies are pretty standard and quite tolerant. She should try mine. I IP ban anyone I find abusive OR illogical. If they don't leave a real email address, I try to resolve the IP address from which they posted and change their name to "A gutless coward at (IP address|resolved hostname) who didn't have the guts to leave their real email with their flame," or some variant thereof.

Posted by: Curtiss Leung at August 12, 2003 11:45 AM

Kevin -- yes, the second "Michelle" is pretty clearly an anonymous troll using the name above her comment because it was the closest thing to hand.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner at August 12, 2003 01:46 PM

From Michele's stupidity I think that we can assume that he or she is a tenured head of a department, or perhaps a University President.

Posted by: zizka at August 12, 2003 07:19 PM

I just stumbled across your blog (as is so often the case in this great wide wolrd) and I came across this post. I recently was thinking about these same issues and posted this on Dysfunction in Group Dynamics on the Web.

Stop if you have the chance at:

The Daily Hardvark: Blogito Ergo Sum

Qualities: Each person is much appreciated by the others for their personal qualities and skills -- although each has very strong reservations about the limitations and blindspots associated with these skills Interpersonal skills: Each person favours, and uses very skilfully, a different interpersonal style -- which others appreciate in many situations but find totally inappropriate in others

Conflict avoidance: Each person has particular skills for avoiding overt conflict or engaging in ways they do not personally favour -- effectively undermining consensus on collective action or discussion of these issues

Articulation: Each person has unusual skills in articulating the way forward and its associated opportunities -- but has limited capacity to appreciate the articulation of others, notably because of failure by their proponents to acknowledge the limitations of such alternative articulations

Working style: Each person has a significantly different understanding and preference for working style -- and is either insensitive to, or suspicious of, the style favoured by others

Use of others: Each person has an idea of how the skills of the others should be most effectively used -- and creates resistance and resentment when endeavouring to manoeuvre them into a mode they find inappropriate

Acknowledgement: Each person acknowledges some qualities and contributions of others to them and to third parties -- but fails to recognize the contributions for which the others would value being acknowledged

Learning: Each person perceives themselves to be willing to learn from the collective working challenge and from the group situation -- but fails to recognize what others would value that they learn to ensure the sustainability of the collective intiative

Attentiveness: Each person perceives themselves as very attentive to the views of others, which they assume that they have adequately understood -- except that on vital matters such understanding is perceived by the other as an irritatingly incomplete caricature of that for which they stand

Enthusiasms: Each person is nourished and motivated by particular and somewhat unconventional enthusiasms -- which the behaviour of others tends to erode and undermine

Difficult decisions: Each person is reasonably courageous, if not skilled, in taking difficult decisions -- but each also has well used skills for channelling conflicting perspectives and demands for uncomfortable behaviours into unconscious mechanisms which undermine their efforts to achieve their own goals.

Consistent with the above pattern, a statement such as this is both part of the solution

-- as well as exacerbating part of the problem

Posted by: the Hardvark at August 17, 2003 12:18 AM