I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New thoughts on email netiquette

I was recently debating with myself over whether I should send courtesy copies of a particular email to particular people. I was asking myself if those people would be mad at me for "spamming" them with an unsolicited email (some people have gone so far as to define "spam" as any unsolicited email, particularly when sent to a non-acquaintance). It then occurred to me that if I know that my email is on a subject of particular interest to particular people because the subject concerns their jobs, their organizations, or their special interests, then it would actually be inconsiderate and rude of me to not send them courtesy copies to let them decide for themselves whether the email is of interest to them. Also, it is often rude to talk about people or organizations behind their backs. Seriously, how long does it take to handle an unwanted email when the subject line is descriptive and the email's text has a good introduction? A few seconds at most. And it often takes no more than a minute or two to read an entire email. How can such a small potential loss of time be compared to the possibility of missing an important idea or piece of information? In comparison, snail-mail letters often don't have good subject lines on the envelope and it takes some time to open the envelope and unfold the letter. And one of the great advantages of the Internet is that sending courtesy copies is easy and cost-free! There are a lot of Luddites out there who oppose progress by trying to prevent themselves and others from taking full advantage of the Internet (e.g., that unscrupulous Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney, Kevin Bankston, bankston@eff.org, who threatened to block my emails addressed to other EFF staffers).

I welcome all emails on subjects that are of interest to me, even when I disagree with the emails. You don't learn anything by burying your head in the sand. As a professor of psychology said in explaining why well-educated people tend to do better than uneducated people on intelligence tests, "you can't be a genius if you don't know anything."

Our screwed-up Internet culture is badly in need of reform.

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Carter said...

> it would actually be inconsiderate and rude of me to not send them courtesy copies to let them decide for themselves whether the email is of interest to them. <

And if they decide for themselves that they want you to stop sending them emails, you are being a blockhead for continuing to send it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 6:15:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Bill Carter said...
>>>>>> it would actually be inconsiderate and rude of me to not send them courtesy copies to let them decide for themselves whether the email is of interest to them. <

And if they decide for themselves that they want you to stop sending them emails, you are being a blockhead for continuing to send it. <<<<<<

At least you tacitly conceded my point in regard to those who have not asked me to stop sending them emails. As for those who do ask me to stop sending them emails, it is rude of them to make that request if my emails directly concern their jobs, organizations, or special interests. It shows that their personal dislike for me is so great that they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces by taking the risk of missing information or ideas that might be of great importance to them. In most cases, I gave these people little or no reason to dislike me. In the case of that unscrupulous Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney who threatened to block my emails addressed to other EFF staffers, at that time I had only complained about EFF's advocacy of special privileges for BVD-clad bloggers (e.g., a "reporter's privilege" allowing them to keep confidential sources secret) without responsibilities (e.g., a "fairness doctrine" prohibiting arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments). BVD-clad bloggers say that they want to be treated like the official media, yet official media websites that have comment sections do not arbitrarily censor comments. And one would think that if someone has a gripe about the EFF, the EFF staffers would want to know about it. Also, I emailed the EFF only occasionally, so I could hardly have been a big nuisance to them. And BTW, these same people who say that they don't want to even receive my emails expect me to read their emails.

I had an email list for my campaign against California's grossly unconstitutional $300 "smog impact fee" on out-of-state vehicles. One of the addressees on the list was an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council who was an air-quality specialist and she asked to be removed from the list because she supported the fee. I really got annoyed at that because regardless of whether or not she supported the fee, knowing as much about it as possible was part of her JOB. The Sierra Club also supported the fee. Maybe these organizations would not have supported the fee if they understood why it was unconstitutional. These organizations' support for a grossly unconstitutional tax could have seriously hurt their reputations had this support been more widely known.

One thing that all emails should have as a matter of courtesy is the most descriptive subject line that is possible within the space available. For this reason, I often take great care in composing subject lines. If a subject changes so drastically in an email exchange that the original subject line is no longer applicable, I will sometimes even change the line to something like "Now this new subject, was Re: this old subject." We hear a lot of complaints about "spam" but rarely hear complaints about non-descriptive subject lines.

I once belonged to an email discussion group about tandem bikes. I became interested in tandems because I wanted to learn how to construct a cheap tandem for use on bicycle tracks (one for recreational use rather than elite competition). The group also had discussions of interest to solo cyclists. I got dozens of emails a day from this group and probably more than 90% were of no interest to me. I simply deleted or ignored the emails that were of no interest to me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> At least you tacitly conceded my point in regard to those who have not asked me to stop sending them emails. <

Hello? Did anyone else read it that way?

> As for those who do ask me to stop sending them emails, it is rude of them to make that request <

I don't think you could sell a book on etiquette.

> It shows that their personal dislike for me is so great that they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces <

Have you discussed this with your therapist?

> by taking the risk of missing information or ideas that might be of great importance to them. <

I think you have an inflated idea of the value of the drivel you put out. Anyway it should be up to others what they want to receive. You should not try to force your crap on others. The ease of erasing such material is irrelevant.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness driveled,

>>>>>> At least you tacitly conceded my point in regard to those who have not asked me to stop sending them emails. <

Hello? Did anyone else read it that way? <<<<<<<

Hello? Are you Bill Carter? If I misinterpreted what he said, he should be the one to tell me. And you always talk in riddles -- you don't say what you think he meant.

>>>>>> I think you have an inflated idea of the value of the drivel you put out. <<<<<<

All I hear about on this blog is me me me, you dunghill, and I am getting tired of it. Let's talk in general terms for once. Or better yet, let's make this about you you you. What makes you think that anyone wants to read the crap that you post on this blog?

>>>>> Anyway it should be up to others what they want to receive. <<<<<

And it should be up to me what I want to send. And you don't ask my permission before posting your crap on my blog.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> If I misinterpreted what he said, he should be the one to tell me. <

I didn't try to tell you because I knew you couldn't understand it. Everyone else already does so what is the issue?

> And you always talk in riddles <

To you, the whole world talks in riddles.

> you don't say what you think he meant. <

It wasn't necessary since he already did.

> All I hear about on this blog is me me me <

You are making it that way, dimwit. You are talking about a type of activity that most of the world finds unacceptable so we have to discuss the miscreants who practice and even recommend it.

> and I am getting tired of it. <

As the people you spam are getting tired of your e-mails. Yet I continue to post this for your benefit since it covers material that directly concerns your interests.

> Or better yet, let's make this about you you you. <

O.K. Go ahead.

> What makes you think that anyone wants to read the crap that you post on this blog? <

I would think that they do. You seem to be the only one complaining. Then again you are often the only one believing your crap.

> And it should be up to me what I want to send. <

No. You should have some respect for what others want to receive.

> And you don't ask my permission before posting your crap on my blog. <

Bad analogy as always. Nobody has to log on to this blog but they do need to check their e-mail.

Monday, June 18, 2007 6:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice's Poltergeist ... said...

... oops again?!

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:24:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> As the people you spam are getting tired of your e-mails. Yet I continue to post this for your benefit since it covers material that directly concerns your interests. <<<<<

You lousy two-faced hypocrite, you say that you think it is wrong to send occasional emails to people who don't want them, yet you see nothing wrong with cluttering up this blog with your unwanted crap. That is far worse than sending unwanted emails, because emails take only one line and can be made to disappear but under my no-censorship policy I am obligated to leave most of your big pieces of crap on this blog. I could put up with your crap myself but it tends to drive away other visitors, which of course is what you are trying to do, dunghill.

>>>>> Bad analogy as always. Nobody has to log on to this blog but they do need to check their e-mail. <<<<<

That's the problem, dunghill -- nobody has to log onto this blog and your lousy crap tends to discourage people from doing it. And don't give me that crap that visitors come here just to read your drivel.

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> You lousy two-faced hypocrite, you say that you think it is wrong to send occasional emails to people who don't want them, yet you see nothing wrong with cluttering up this blog with your unwanted crap. <

You pathetic peabrained cretin.

You can't tell the difference between being allowed to stand on a soapbox and bleat your unwanted crap and demanding to walk into someone's living room and do the same.

> I could put up with your crap myself but it tends to drive away other visitors <

I would bet that it attracts more visitors than it drives away.

> which of course is what you are trying to do <

No, dunghill. I am not.

> And don't give me that crap that visitors come here just to read your drivel. <

O.K. Shut your eyes and the world will go away.

Monday, June 18, 2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> You can't tell the difference between being allowed to stand on a soapbox and bleat your unwanted crap and demanding to walk into someone's living room and do the same. <<<<<<

WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox? So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs?

Anyway, dunghill, I would much rather get email spam from you instead of the forum spam that I get from you on this blog. At least I could clean up your mess in my email box, and my blog would not be damaged.

Monday, June 18, 2007 3:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox? So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs? <

If I thought that, why would I have stated the exact opposite?

You will make a little less of a fool of yourself if you read my posts and those of others before posting your idiotic responses.

Monday, June 18, 2007 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox? So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs? <

If I thought that, why would I have stated the exact opposite? <<<<<<

Stated the "exact opposite"? Here is what you said in response to what I said:

(I said) You lousy two-faced hypocrite, you say that you think it is wrong to send occasional emails to people who don't want them, yet you see nothing wrong with cluttering up this blog with your unwanted crap.

(you answered) You can't tell the difference between being allowed to stand on a soapbox and bleat your unwanted crap and demanding to walk into someone's living room and do the same.


Well, make up your mind already. OK, so you are against freedom of speech on blogs. Whatever. Yet you impose upon my freedom-of-speech policy here by cluttering up this blog with your worthless crap.

Monday, June 18, 2007 6:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

Larry,

Can't you see how you are making a fool of yourself? What he is saying is clearly the exact opposite of the way you are interpreting it. This is not subtle at all. Get your head out of your ass.

You have been a little crazy as long as I have known you but it is only recently that you have become stupid.

VIW's statement is quite clear and it has no relation at all to what you seem to be getting out of it.

Monday, June 18, 2007 7:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> What he is saying is clearly the exact opposite of the way you are interpreting it. <<<<<<

Here is ViW's last answer to what I said:

(I said) WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox? So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs? <

(ViW answered) If I thought that, why would I have stated the exact opposite?

The only way to interpret his above statement is the way that I interpreted it -- that he is against freedom of speech on blogs.

>>>>>> You have been a little crazy as long as I have known you but it is only recently that you have become stupid. <<<<<<

Now cut that out. You have never known me. I never heard of you.

Monday, June 18, 2007 8:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Sherry D. said...

> The only way to interpret his above statement is the way that I interpreted it <

Larry, it appears that your affliction is getting worse. No rational person would give ViW's words the interpretation that you have given them. These irrational interpretations seem to be getting more and more daffy with time.

> You have never known me. I never heard of you. <

Bill Carter has given reasonable but not conclusive proof that he knows you very well. You have lied on this blog a great number of times so your credibility is very low.

You know whether or not you know Bill Carter. You know whether or not the Dave posting here is your real brother. If your statements about them are true, you may have a point about being harassed. If your statements about them are false, you know it and should take it as proof that you need psychological help.

I am not posting this to annoy you. I am posting it in the sincere hope that you will finally realize that you have a problem and will seek help.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> No rational person would give ViW's words the interpretation that you have given them <<<<<<

Sigh. Let's go through this once more:

I said -- So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs?

ViW said -- If I thought that, why would I have stated the exact opposite?

So he said that his position is the exact opposite of supporting freedom of speech on blogs. So that means he is against freedom of speech on blogs. This isn't rocket science.

Gossip about my private affairs -- e.g., who my relatives and friends are -- is not allowed on this blog. We don't gossip about your private affairs here -- let's not gossip about mine. You don't even give your full name.

>>>>> I am not posting this to annoy you. <<<<<<

Yes you are.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 6:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

Sigh. Let's go through this once more:

Larry has done an about-face and now does not support freedom of speech on blogs.

He finds anything uncomfortable which points out his lies, such as the idea that he doesn't know me or that I am using my real name to be "gossip".

> You don't even give your full name. <

It is William George Carter. Yours is Larry S. Fafarman but your mother used to call you "Woogl" as a child and occasionally still does.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Woogl, you pathetic dimwit,

> (I said) WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox? <

No you mindless cretin. Anyone can stand on a soapbox and bleat in a public park. Blogs are not public property. You seem to be the only one who does not understand this. Then again, you understand very little.

Your friend Bill Carter is right. You have given up all claim that you believe in freedom of speech on blogs. Of course you only believe in your freedom of speech, not that of others.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Bill,

What is the "S" for?

Oh wait! That is gossip. It will be censored.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> (I said) WHAT? You consider commenting on a blog to be like standing on a soapbox?

Anyone can stand on a soapbox and bleat in a public park. Blogs are not public property. <<<<<<

You quoted me out of context, you lousy worthless piece of crap. I then asked, "So you have done an about-face and now support freedom of speech on blogs?", and you answered no.

Anyway, when a blog is authoritatively cited in a court case, official news report (especially when the blogger claims to have a "reporter's privilege" to keep confidential sources secret), etc., that blog definitely becomes public property.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness driveled --

>>>>>> Bill,

What is the "S" for?

Oh wait! That is gossip. It will be censored. <<<<<

That's right. Stop playing games to see how much you can get away with. We don't gossip about you trolls here -- so stop gossiping about me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> You quoted me out of context, you lousy worthless piece of crap. <

You pathetic hypocrite. That is exactly what you did!

> Anyway, when a blog is authoritatively cited in a court case, official news report (especially when the blogger claims to have a "reporter's privilege" to keep confidential sources secret), etc., that blog definitely becomes public property. <

It definitely does not!

> stop gossiping about me. <

Stop using the claim of "gossip" as an excuse for violating the stated principles of your one-man Association of Non-Censoring Bloggers.

I would also suggest that you stop the lies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:51:00 AM  

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