Re: Demystifying the Politburo (was: Re: Arabic encoding model (alas, static!))

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Fri Jul 08 2005 - 19:12:27 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Demystifying the Politburo (was: Re: Arabic encoding model (alas, static!))"

    On 08/07/2005 18:17, Gregg Reynolds wrote:

    > ...
    > Well, sure; that goes for anybody who rants. But what about newcomers
    > (or oldcomers) who don't rant? I've been repeatedly astonished at the
    > sheer rudeness with which honest questions/comments have occasionally
    > greeted here. But I guess there's nothing anybody can do about that.
    > Lists don't insult people, people insult people.
    But there is something which a list moderator can and should do. And
    indeed the moderator of this list does so - when the people who are rude
    or insulting or who rant are newcomers or outsiders. But unfortunately
    there are some people on this list who do these things and seem to get
    away with it. Although the rest of us don't know what is said to them
    privately, there is at least a perception among some members of this
    list that the rules are applied unfairly, to the benefit of insiders and
    the detriment of newcomers. If any list is to be successful, it must be
    moderated and be seen to be moderated firmly but also fairly.

    Ken Whistler wrote:

    >You can end up with a pattern of defensive herd behavior by
    >the in crowd, who "own" the forum, and identification and
    >rejection of "interlopers". If that behavior gets played out
    >in public, it results in the "this list isn't friendly"
    >appearance for newcomers.
    ... but made no further comment about this. But this is where this list
    is now, or is perceived to be by those who are not the in crowd. But
    this is a problem, isn't it? And one that something should be done
    about? I have been on this list two years now and I have seen things get
    worse rather than better in this respect.

    Ken continued by describing those who write "The Unicode Standard is
    screwed up because XYZ in my language is handled wrong, and the
    developers of the standard are ignorant asses because they don't know my
    language as well as I do." But these people very rarely write like that
    to start with. Usually they start more like "In my opinion XYZ in my
    language is handled wrong, and the developers of the standard don't know
    my language as well as I do." And the latter is usually true, especially
    when the writers are native speakers of the language - although it is
    often also true that they know little about the standardisation process.
    But when they write such things they tend to get rude responses along
    the lines of "You don't know what you are talking about. How dare you
    question our superior knowledge of your language?" It is usually only
    then that the writers start to make stronger statements like "The
    Unicode Standard is screwed up, and the developers of the standard are
    ignorant asses", and no wonder they start to think that. It would really
    be so much more helpful if such people could be given, at the start and
    without having to beg for it, a helpful explanation of how their point
    relates to the standardisation procedure, and if necessary why the
    standard will not be changed to meet their requests.

    Then Ken continued: "There is really no excuse for true newcomers with
    honest questions to be met with rude brushoffs." I agree absolutely. I
    hope that in future list members, whoever they may be, who give rude
    brushoffs will be reprimanded by the moderator. Firm action of this kind
    is required if this list is ever to function well.

    Forward this to if you think that is where it belongs ;-)

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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