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re: Lar's block

Posted by spoc on May 30, 2004, at 21:24:27

In reply to re: Lar's block, posted by gabbix2 on May 30, 2004, at 16:32:20

I’m in favor of addressing the primary matter at hand -- whether Larry can come back sooner or not -- expeditiously as well. But maybe it's not so easy to separate the larger issue of whether it’s official and above-board now that this kind of thing is an option. And that an unbiased process for it will be in the works. Dr. Bob wasn’t and surely wouldn’t ask if people merely liked Larry and missed his contribution. I think he was reconsidering the circumstances around his actions. But the current feedback issue may be clouded for some by whether they’d be condoning treatment they didn’t -- and maybe can’t expect to -- receive themselves. Then it does take on the connotation of popularity that people fear. But bear with me, this post is at the same time all about the specifics of Larry.

I’m a person who can remove the element of favoring Larry completely, since I didn’t know him. And I wouldn't expect to win a popular vote myself. Rather, my thing is that I was very happy to find this place, then crestfallen over principles once I started reading archives. Even if I could have been *guaranteed* I would never be in those positions, it wouldn’t have comforted me. It changed my perception of other things, and (what would have been) my natural progression here.

And I’m only guessing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Larry himself is out there caring more about the principles here than whether or not he can get back to posting as soon as possible. I bet he might not put his own short-term gratification first in that way. I doubt he's thinking that this only happens to him, but rather that it's a groundless pattern of dealing with certain people, and I believe he cares about that. And would like to see something good come out of his experiences.

It occurred to me that some people who might otherwise weigh in may not be familiar with Larry’s block history, or remember it clearly. They may not know whatever the magnitude is of what we are being 'protected' from through his absence, or its 'gravity' relative to other things we see sanctioned and not sanctioned. This weigh-in can't be informed and balanced any other way, and this stuff is not so easy to search out, especially for those not up to it. So I thought it might help get people up to speed to link the progression, which I’ve done below. Note that I see whatever topics were being discussed as pretty much irrelevant to the matter of how he has been dealt with.

I think Larry is a good, rule-abiding person who got caught in those extreme interpretations of semantic technicalities. And, isolated and taken out of context to what else had been going on in these situations. For a very long time, he had even been a vocal defender of The Rules. He did his best, while retaining important standards at the same time, and I think it showed. In the circumstances leading up to his blocks, even if he could or should have known at all that something was risky about what he was about to say, how could he know that he was not allowed to speak as candidly as the rest had been doing.

Maybe there should be more use of, and consistent affording of, Please Rephrases. Or at the very minimum, issuance of the “heads up” of a PBC prior to a subsequent block for violations with a gray area as to the interpretations possible. Some posters who are, for instance, withdrawing from a med or suffering the lifelong haunting of a serious prior addiction, for which the pain never goes way, *will* do things like spew every vile word in the book and tell others they are crazy and stupid. So if they persist in doing that here, sure, they need to learn. If nothing else, that in the future, they have the option -- and should use it – of staying the heck away from their computers at those times. But that is not the kind of obvious and unrepentant thing that is going on in Larry’s cases. But he quickly lost warnings before his blocks.

And maybe, if after someone is blocked, another person (or the blocked person him/herself via email) points out another clearly qualifying but overlooked offense on the thread, it should have to be addressed. And, if not resulting in sanctioning of that poster too, at the least, a block reduction or retraction should then have to go in the favor of the extinguished poster. Or, their presence reinstated long enough to be able to publicly address things. For that matter, even when a PBC is leveled, if the recipient can point to something else equal on the thread, it should *have* to be dealt with too.

This all may sound petty, but as we know, it's exactly the stuff that results in so much anguish and fear of favoritism. I don't think it's at all easy for people to shrug it off to an innocuous shortage of time to review all posts, or being too late now when it may have only been between minutes and a day or two. The other party or parties have not gone and turned over new leaves by now or anything. Everything is preserved in writing here for all time. Able to be referenced again if pointed out, and also to stay stuck in the craw (whatever a craw is) of the poster who is feeling singled out. This isn't about wanting to see more people punished either. It's just about consistency.

In any event, for those unfamiliar, here’s the history:

Dec 23, 2003

Not being the first, only or somehow strongest expression of ... "dissatisfaction" appearing on the thread, the words resulting in the block were:

> The problems we have are the result of you saying, in so many words, what I'm doing wrong... That is a boundary violation.
> I erroneously thought xxx was receptive to having ideas about her problem suggested to her... Apparently, she was not…

Please don't post anything that could lead others to feel accused or put down. Sorry, but I've already asked you to be civil, so now I'm going to block you from posting for a week.


January 5, 2004

No PBC or Please Rephrase. That, I think, is intended to reflect that the person should and *could* have learned already. When they *really* could have known that what they were about to say was verboten. Such as someone persisting in swearing, or attacking others (by the definition most of us would probably agree on), with no discretion or forethought as to their words.

Here, things didn't delineate neatly like that. And, as in other blocks of Larry, I feel that some warning that in at least one person’s eyes, things were getting off track, would have been helpful. The following was on Admin, discussing concerns over the original topic and related matters, *not* Lar continuing to ask a poster for sources (but for that matter, the masses had been grateful for his disspelling of alarm):

> It is perfectly reasonable to want to examine the data/research/information used to arrive at such a conclusion

Sure. But if no data/research/information are forthcoming?

> claims of "wiping hardware" and "deep destruction" are more than just simple opinion. They are provocative and threatening.

Please don't post anything that could lead others to feel accused. Sorry, but the last time you were blocked, it was for 1 week, so this time it's for 2.


January 21, 2004

Again, there was no PBC, no Please Rephrase. The maximum, tripling of the block time, was leveled for this one (Larry was responding to negative things said about him in his absence, that he couldn’t respond to previously, as he was blocked:


> I can only react with amazement that anyone would display morals/ethics that would lead to a post such as this one

Please don't post anything that could lead others to feel accused or put down. It may be somewhat moot, but the last time you were blocked it was for 2 weeks, so this time it's for 6.


The thing is, what happens to one person DOES matter. Shorthandedness and time shortages can be overcome, we are being quite provincial to say otherwise. If the fate of one person didn't matter, why are exceptional efforts made to sometimes do things like repeatedly contact someone's ISP when they appear to be in danger. For that matter, blocked posters may leave here and become dangers to themselves. And no, they can't predict that when registering. Larry is just one person, but his circumstances matter. And the fact that he is popular has nothing to do with why that is as it should be.

In fact, I see addressing this whole matter -- and finally choosing as bias-free of a solution as possible -- as having the potential to stand up for and protect *underdogs.* Because preferences are a part of life -- there's the type radiating from authority figures but also the type radiating from peers. So something uniform and removed from the interactions here is called for.




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