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Re: Bhakti List Moderation Policy.

From: Krishnamachari, N (Krish) (
Date: Fri Aug 14 1998 - 10:15:36 PDT

Dear bhAgavatatottama-s:

I read Mani's proposal on the above and SrI Dileepan's thoughts.  May be
others responded and I have missed the responses.  Here are my thoughts.

The basic issue is one of answering the following two questions:

   1. Have there been exchanges before in this list that have bordered on
less than polite exchanges between some members, beyond just the exchange of
ideas and thoughts in a spirit of humility and learning?

My answer to this is Yes, but others might disagree.

   2. Would some kind of moderation have helped in these cases, to stear the
discussion in the path of mutually respectful exchange, rather than a
position of "I am right, You are wrong" approach.  

I do know the answer to this question, because it depends on whether and how
much people are willing to listen to advice/suggestions/requests/pleas from
the "moderator".  

So I see room for some kind of control, but I don't know how to make it work
and be successful.

Of course, we may not have consensus even on the first item, and so the
second item may not be relevant.

Many of us are familiar with how prefessional journals are run.  There is a
team that goes through whatever is submitted, and the decision of the Editor
or Editorial Team is binding on the author or submitter.  In our porposal we
have a one-person editorial team.  Personally I do not see a problem with
this, because nothing in our previous history has indicated that the
proposed editor has any selfish intentions or other bias that will make him
screen out things which do not subscribe to his views.  Again this is my
opinion and experience; others can disagree with this.  (I am not implying
that he does nor have his own views; I am only saying that this has not
prevented him from letting people say what they think or feel, irrespective
of whether they agree with his views or not).  Then again, others can have
different opinions.

My concern is more to do with whether Mani or any other individual has the
time to devote to go through each article carefully to find out if there are
passages that should be revisited before they go public. In the long run,
this is not practical in my opinion.  If we take the approach of typical
jouranls, we should either reduce the frequency of publication, or increase
the resources allocated to editorial and distribution work.

The other issue that is fundamental is how do we trust that any body or any
person can be 100% flawless in his/her judgment on what is offensive or what
is objectionable.  And the answer is that this is an unrealizable and
unrealistic objective, and we have to accept the imperfections of any system
and feel happy about the benefits of the system rather than the relatively
small possible mistakes or oversights or incorrect judgments. 

My 2-cents worth.

-dAsan kr*shNamAcAryan

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Sent: Thursday, August 13, 1998 4:55 PM
Subject: Digest bhakti.v003.n048