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Announcement by Mike Lepore, website editor, June, 2013.
Two separate Yahoo discussion groups, entitled http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deleonism/ (hardly used at all, so far) and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deleonism-list/ (already being used by a small group of people) are associated with this site.
I have decided to establish different purposes for the two groups.
Both groups were created on November 20, 2008.
The original reason for there existing two groups was my confusion at the time of a computer glitch. I created group/deleonism first. After I entered the request, my browser reported a server time-out by saying "this page cannot be displayed." When I tried it again, yahoo replied, "That name is already taken. Select another name." Choosing a new name, I created group/deleonism-list. Thinking back on this, years later, I realized that the reason the first name was "already taken" was because I had just created it myself a minute earlier. The glitch had discarded the acknowledgement that it was done.
Believing incorrectly that only the second name was operational, I announced group/deleonism-list to the public in 2008. As of June 2013 it has more than 3800 posts. The content is way out of control, with most of the posts being off-topic. People usually use it to simply advertise their own theories, instead of using it for its intended purpose, which is to contrast De Leonism with other theories. Some posts contain personal attacks, sarcasm, witty one-liners, etc. No one could ever locate there a valuable announcement related to the mission of deleonism.org, because it would be buried in people arguing, in effect, my off-topic idea is better than your off-topic idea, you moron.
I am guilty myself. Although I have never in my entire life posted an ad hominem comment anywhere online, I sometimes write off-topic messages, and post jokes that add to the clutter. What do you get if you cross a cow with a Smurf?
Therefore I have decided to try something new. Namely, rules.
The following rules are effective June, 2013.
The forum named .../group/deleonism-list will continue with almost no rules. Use it at your own risk. It will only have the rules made necessary for obvious legal reasons: no copyright violations, no proposals for illegal activities, etc. Off-topic messages will not be censored.
However, the forum named .../group/deleonism will have new and strict rules, for purposes of quality assurance.
I am too busy to function as a daily moderator. Although I may not have the time to take actions, I will reserve the right to delete posts that do not adhere to the rules.
I will not edit your posts. I will just delete them.
I will delete posts without warning, and without notification.
There are permanent deletions, not a movement of posts to a trash folder.
I suggest that you save copies of your own posts, so that, if I have deleted them for being inconsistent with the rules, you can fix their deficiencies and post them again.
I will add and amend rules as I consider them necessary.
Here are some rules that I will enforce in the group/deleonism forum:
I will delete posts containing personal attacks, sarcastic portrayals of another writer, the targeting of another writer for ridicule, questioning the intellect or the sincerity of another writer, etc.
Recommended reading for anyone who is not familiar with this concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
I will delete posts that contain only trivial content, such as "LOL [smiley-icon]." The posts may stay online for a while, to allow them some time to perform their function of having a friendly atmosphere, but eventually they will get deleted.
I will delete posts that are about the writers' own political, economic or philosophical ideas, unless a direct relationship to the subject of Marxism-De Leonism is made clear in each post. That relationship may be one of agreement or disagreement, but, either way, it should be mentioned explicitly.
This point is not easy to explain, therefore let me try again....
Every post that is not directly about the ideas of Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, Bebel, Luxemburg, De Leon, etc. should establish its relevancy to them, but this does not mean that you have to agree with any of those writers. For example, this would be OFF-TOPIC -- "I support liberal reforms, and here is a description of the reforms that I recommend...." However, this would be ON-TOPIC -- "De Leon's view that we shouldn't work toward reforms was wrong, and I am going to tell you my reasons for saying so...."
You do not have to be fancy writer, like a sociologist. Informal is okay. Just be yourself. However, you have to mention how your topic of the day is related to the purpose of the website.
Light-hearted socializing (Hi, I'm new here / welcome ) is okay. This is on-topic. This activity is part of the socialist program.
News and announcements about current events are on-topic, for example, the newspaper gives some facts about living standards, the economy, the political process, unions, automation, air pollution, etc.
Please use the subject header wisely, as though it were the classification scheme of a library or a database. The header should be an accurate summary of the content. It is not the purpose of the subject header to be a witticism or a cute bumper-sticker. Its function is to allow a reader who quickly scans down a list of headers to know exactly what subject is discussed in each post.
Never change the header when your next reply is on the same subject, unless you are fixing an inaccurate header. Always change the header when you are changing the subject. When discussing several topics, each topic should be discussed in a separate post that has a different header.
The subject header should not be judgmental, but merely the classification. For example, don't say "Anarchists are out of touch with reality"- instead, say something like "Anarchist proposal to have no central authority - workable or not?"
If you want to request that I delete a post, yours or that of another person, for any reason, please do it through the site contact form . Please copy the url of the offensive post, in a form similar to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/deleonism/message/999999, where the number at the end is replaced by the unique message number. There will be a delay for me to respond because when I have a job, which is from September through May of each year, I hardly ever use the internet or check for incoming email.
Now, some additional ideas that may be called suggestions, not rules. If you take my suggestions, the quality will be improved. I don't have immediate plans to enforce these suggestions by hitting the delete button.
To emphasize, here are some suggestions....
Please do not quote long sections of someone else's post. Quote only the particular sentences or phrases that you are responding to directly. If the entire post gets quoted automatically, delete it. Instead of attaching a long quote, refer to a previous post by its number, which appears in the web address. For example, " In message 925 Smith said the theory of Jones is 'sectarian', and in 931 Jones said that the theory of Smith is 'dogmatic'...." You can see how much easier it is for the reader to receive the main point in a minimum of time, as compared with having a lot of appended paragraphs.
It would be best of all if each post were a stand-alone article, so that i would make sense to a reader if that one post were copied to another medium, containing whatever links, book references, etc. are needed so that it makes sense independently. Never mind picking apart all of the wording in the last person's opinion given yesterday -- just tell us YOUR opinion right now.
Unfortunately, yahoo doesn't give you a button to delete or edit your messages once they have been sent. Please do not post a new copy of the same article in its entirety because you have later decided to edit it. Instead, proofread your article after you type it, then, after you are certain that you have said what you mean to say, send it. You can write another message to add an afterthought. In very rare circumstances, no more than approximately two or three times in a five year period, you may notify me of the need to use my moderator button to delete something that you have posted, perhaps because you have made a serious typographical error which distorts the meaning, or because you regret having expressed something that would be better left unsaid.
Someday I hope to go back to using a website-based forum instead of yahoo groups, but not at this time. On two occasions hackers exploited technical flaws in the php language used as the basis of forum software, and broke into the hosting company. The owner of the hosting company threatened to cancel my account unless I could guarantee no further system attacks. My only means of certain guarantee was to press the delete button on the whole thing.
I ask others to criticize my rules to bring about improvements in them. This page may be changed after I receive input from others. We may discuss this in either of the two forums, but I tend to think the best place for it would be group/deleonism-list/ .
Love and hugs and kisses,
Mike Lepore, owner of the deleonism.org domain name
"For a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers!" -- Matthew 12:33
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