RE: virus: META: a rule for the list

Robin Faichney (
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 09:56:42 +0100

> From: David McFadzean[]
> I think this list would be a lot more enjoyable (worthwhile,
> productive, fun, whatever) if everyone's messages were held
> to the same standard that they impose upon others. It is not
> fair to criticize another for being inconsistent, then say
> that consistency doesn't matter when the criticism comes back.
> It is not fair to accuse another of basing an argument on
> a falsehood, then say that truth doesn't matter if accused
> of the same. Notice I am explicitly not saying what the
> standards should be, I'm only saying that there should at
> least be some fairness in this game. Any objections?
Sounds good to me. I was just thinking about posting
something along vaguely similar lines, except a little less
serious, talking about another use for the word "faith",
ie good and bad faith, as applied to debating technique
on the list. You, David, I thought would probably be
quite a good example of someone who always posts in
good faith -- I'm *not* saying this just because you're
the list owner, and you certainly have defects, getting
pissed with people sometimes being one, and your
IMHO wierd ways with words being another, which
this thing on good and bad faith was supposed to
have the side effect of poking fun at -- but I think
you can be credited with fairly scrupulous intellectual
honesty, which is not the case with some others
around here, on *both* sides of the main division,
which is as I see it subjectivism vs objectivism.

Please, people, if you care about the subjects
this list was set up to discuss, and want to see us
make progress in understanding them, face the
fact that personalities, generally, just get in the
way, as does equivocating about your own
position on an issue. And the harm done by
admitting when you realise you've been wrong,
is entirely in your own mind. Most people
respect such honesty, and those who don't
aren't worth worrying about. Let's see if we
can rekindle the enthusiasm for memetics and
associated topics that we surely have all felt at
some time, and let that carry us beyond the
petty personal differences.

Sorry to preach, but there's a time and a
place for everything, IMHO even that.