Re: American Scientist Open Access Forum settings

From: (wrong string) édon <>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 13:59:44 -0400

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What I note is that my messages sometimes appear back very late and I
wonder why. It is this detail which caused my recent angry  reaction.

While we are on technical matters, I would appreciate two things from
this moderator/actor:

1. That he should refrain from ever summarizing somebody's words. We
are all versed enough in the art of reading to be able to survive
without this doubtful form of help. Besides, list moderators are not
mentors or paternal figures. When the summary ends up distorting the
original message, it becomes reprehensible;

2. Since the moderator also intervenes as member in this list, he
should make clear which of his interventions are moderating
interventions and which ones are participations in discussions. In
the latter case, summaries should be avoided.

I realize that Peter Suber manages a blog and not a list, but I
really like the way in which he carefully delineates the pieces of
news he wants to convey, and how he announces his own comments. This
is a very good model to follow. I would also add that Peter Suber
refrains from using judgements and terms that occasionally raise the
ire of readers such as me. When I read a sentence such as "Many
silly, mindless things have been standing in the way of the optimal
and inevitable" (Sept 28), I ask myself if the silly, and mindless 
characterizations belong to this context. I also wonder whether the
"optimal and inevitable" are objective, neutral terms. On Sept. 30th,
in answering to me, Stevan made free to add: "What on earth does this
mean?". Was that useful? In short, Stevan acts as if there was one
truth, one defender of this truth (himself). The list is "his" list
and, on it, he can berate people at will (What on earth does this
mean?). And then if you resist and respond with a few equivalents to
"What on earth... etc.", then you are accused of flaming, being
vituperative, or whatever.

I wonder how the same individual, at will and arbitrarily, can assume
the trappings of a moderator or a debate without even making sure
that people know which role is at work. It troubles me and, I assume,
it should trouble many people.

This said, Stevan has also done excellent work in setting up this
list and maintaining it. This too should be recognized openly and
loudly. But there is room for improvement.

Jean-Claude Guédon

PS I will not come back on this point. I leave the floor to Stevan or
any other person willing to defend his present position as both actor
and moderator.

Le lundi 06 octobre 2008 à 13:23 -0400, Stevan Harnad a écrit :

 Whether you do or do not receive copies of your own postings depends
on the setting you chose when you signed onto the American Scientist
Open Access Forum. I have checked Leslie's, Sally's and Jean-Claude's
settings. I note that both Leslie's and Sally's were set to "No
acknowledgements [NOACK NOREPRO]" -- the listserv's default option. I
have now changed them both to "Receive copy of own postings [NOACK
REPRO]". Jean-Claude's setting was already "Receive copy of own
postings [NOACK REPRO]".

If you are not receiving copies of your own postings, you can modify
your settings at

Stevan Harnad

---------- Forwarded message ----------
 Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 11:29:09 -0400 (EDT)
 Subject: RE: Jean-Claude
 From: "Leslie Chan" <>
 To: "American Scientist Open Access Forum"

 This has been a source of confusion for me in the past. It appears that
 the listserv software is setup in such a way that the senders do not
 receive a copy of his or her own postings. Is this the case, Stevan, and
 can this be changed to avoid future confusion?


> Apologies - I have no idea why my own original posting on the matter di=
> not
> appear on my own computer
> Sally
> Sally Morris
> Consultant, Morris Associates (Publishing Consultancy)
> South House, The Street
> Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK
> Tel: +44(0)1903 871286
> Fax: +44(0)8701 202806
> Email:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
> Behalf Of Stevan Harnad
> Sent: 06 October 2008 15:08
> Subject: Re: Jean-Claude Gu=E9don is wrong, and so is Zinath Rehana
> On 10/6/08, Sally Morris (Morris Associates)
> <> wrote:
>> List readers will have seen the positive comments on Stevan's moderati=
> of
>> the list
>> I am worried, however, about whether negative comments are being
>> censored.
>> Mine was
> May I suggest that before resorting to accusations of censorship, as
> Jean-Claude Guedon did, you consult the American Scientist Open Access
> Forum's archive
> tml
> where you will see, as Jean-Claude did, that all your postings have
> appeared. Nothing has been rejected except another inappropriate
> posting by Zinath Rehana.
> Please distinguish the fact that I am often critical of your postings
> in my postings (as you often are of mine) from the question of whether
> or not they appear. They all appear, and when I do a critique, just as
> when you do a critique, I am merely a poster to the Forum, like anyone
> else.
> I will not, however, approve further postings accusing me of
> censorship from posters who have simply not bothered to check (or have
> not noticed) that their postings have appeared. This entire
> "censorship" thread has already cost the Forum a number of long-term
> members who have quit the list because they do not have the time for
> these off-topic exchanges. If you wish to inquire about a posting,
> send me an email. The Forum's bandwidth is not intended for this sort
> of thing.
> Stevan Harnad
>> Sally Morris
>> Consultant, Morris Associates (Publishing Consultancy)
>> South House, The Street
>> Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK
>> Tel: +44(0)1903 871286
>> Fax: +44(0)8701 202806
>> Email:
>> _____
>> From: American Scientist Open Access Forum
>> Behalf Of Subbiah Arunachalam
>> Sent: 06 October 2008 04:47
>> Subject: Re: Jean-Claude Gu=E9don is wrong, and so is Zinath Rehana
>> I would say the same thing as Alma Swan and Barbara Kirsop, but being =
>> native speakers of English, they have said it far more effectively tha=
>> I
>> could.
>> Stevan, you are doing a great job. Do not get distracted from your pat=
>> because of a few detractors. Your postings are very educative and we i=
> the
>> developing world are greatly indebted to you for your tireless efforts
>> to
>> democratise knowledge and open up the flow of information.
>> Arun
>> [Subbiah Arunachalam]
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Ept <ept_at_BIOSTRAT.DEMON.CO.UK>
>> Sent: Friday, 3 October, 2008 18:17:30
>> Subject: Re: Jean-Claude Gu=E9don is wrong, and so is Zinath Rehana
>> Surely all readers of this List will be grateful to the moderator for
>> sparing us this objectionable posting and I subscribe absolutely to th=
>> sentiments so well expressed by Alma Swan. The role of a Moderator is =
>> easy path to follow and surely leads to turbulence within this highly
> vocal
>> and dedicated community, each with their different backgrounds and own
>> professional agendas. But as a person working in 'development', I for
>> one
>> am grateful to Stevan for his frequent reiteration of the basic points=
>> as
> I
>> am sure are newcomers to the List. As a prime mover in the evolutionar=
>> process towards free access to essential research, his tireless effort=
> are
>> well appreciated by the information-starved world.
>> Barbara Kirsop
>> Electronic Publishing Trust for Development

Jean-Claude Guédon
Université de Montréal
Received on Mon Oct 06 2008 - 20:32:40 BST

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