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Re: [IP] Re: Mason Miller

On  1 Jun 99 at 9:43, email @ redacted wrote:

> Well I guess the most disturbing thing about this incident is the total
> silence of those who kicked him off.   There are indeed always two sides to a
> story, but when one side just stonewalls it, for no apparent reason, it lends
> credence to the notion that they indeed are the bad guys.  

There are several possibilities (mention of these may get me blitzed too...)

1. NIH syndrome - "not invented here" causes a lot of good ideas to be trashed 
and the advocate erased from the collective memory.  It's very similar to the 
normal managment NMI ("not my idea") that causes so much trouble in business 
and engineering circles...

2. Control freaks with zealous trigger fingers (note <GRIN>)... as a former 
Admin there is some of this that goes on.  Why else would anyone volunteer for 
thankless, endless tedium ?<G>  We've had several examples of this over the 
years, but not as much as most lists and usually with fairly decent reasons.  
It's a balancing act - trying to match the list rules, the list members needs, 
what you think the list members need, what you are willing to let them do and 
whatever direction things are going at the moment.  Sometimes you get it right, 
sometimes you get it wrong.  Most of the time nobody notices either way...

3. Ownership questions.  Who has the authority/right to index a collection of 
data on an internet site?  What constitutes proper use/misuse of the data?  A 
good index would help eliminate many of the redundant questions that we keep 
seeing pop up but providing this kind of information without the "owners" or 
"custodians" permission and active cooperation and doing it on an alien site 
is a faux pas of the worst kind... Kind of like the old story from the 
Napoleonic era, where the naval officer was awarded the highest commendation 
for disobeying a direct order and thus winning the battle and then immediately 
hanged for disobeying the direct order of his superior...   Sometimes there is 
no way to win or even break even...

4. List members erronious assumptions.  This isn't a democracy.  It isn't even 
a "free market"... it's an absolute dictatorship.  Michael owns the domain, the 
server, the code et al and as the current custodian of the list he has final 
say... he's the one who makse sure that the site is functioning and works to 
make sure that the privacy of the list members is protected and that the 
information we need is available to us...  no matter what we say or think, he's 
still got control.  The admins cooperate and the list operation maintains the 
fiction of "freedom" but it's still Michael who pays the bills.  The only way 
we get to say anything is by either assisting (like the admins) or by giving 
Michael money and turning this into a business or subscription list...  A 
couple of good rules of thumb to apply in this case might be:

a. Michael is always right.
b. In case of dispute, questions or disagreement, see rule a.

5.  I was out of pocket from Friday until this morning, so I've been trying to 
catch up and as a result read all the posts in one big dose...  I am also 
interested in hearing what the party line is on this one...  and will try to 
remember rule a when I read it...

Randall P. Winchester
* The views expressed here are mine and do not necessarily *
* reflect the official position of anyone in particular.            *
* There's no guarantee on anything said here...
* If I say I understand something completely the only thing
* we can both be assured of is that I must have completely
* misunderstood something. 
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