[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: [dinosaur] policies

Please see below for an updated FAQ for the Dinosaur Mailing List. Since we switched from listproc to mymaillists a couple of years ago, many of the technical instructions have changed, and you may have to contact a list owner for specifics:
Mickey P. Rowe (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com or
Mary Kirkaldy (MKirkaldy@aol.com)/(MKirkaldy@gmail.com).

Since the DML does not currently have the volume of messages that it had a few years ago, the following may be what you require. Mickey may want to add or delete some of the passages to update it for 2019.





This page contains information about the dinosaur mailing list including how to have yourself removed from the list if you would like to stop receiving it. It would probably be a good idea for you to keep a copy of this message so that you will have it for reference.

The first time you see this page I strongly recommend that you at the very least read section (8) (no M*A*S*H or other military reference intended) because if you do something that said section indicates will lead to disciplinary action, you cannot plead ignorance of the rules as a defense. If you have any comments about how this document or list management policy could be improved, please feel free to write to me (Mickey Rowe) at: MickeyPRowe@gmail.com, or Mary (Kirkaldy) at: MKirkaldy@aol.com or MKirkaldy@gmail.com.

0 ÂSummary of changes
1. How to unsubscribe
2. How to subscribe
3. How to access the archives
4. How to send messages to the list
8. Things not to do and what will happen if you do them
9. What to do if you're not receiving mail from the list
10. Where to get more information


0. Summary of changes from previous version
// How to subscribe and unsubscribe have been updated from the listproc procedure.
// Many of the procedures for sending and receiving the messages changed when USC started to use
 Âmymaillists, and you may have to contact a listowner for further instructions.
// I have deleted some of the numbered items since they are no longer relevant to the list.
// Section 8a has a clarifying example on not advertising fossils for sale. Section 8h has an
// additional paragraph on the immediate shutdown of threads which do not belong on the list. Â
// In Section 8i, transmission of computer viruses has been added as another reason for not sending
// attachments to the list.
// I'm leaving in the last announcement (below) because it appears that some people still have not
// bothered to read it...
// Finally, if you have *anything* at all to say about the administration of the list, including but
// not limited to questions about whether and how discipline may have been meted against
// another subscriber, please write to me (mickeyprowe@gmail.com or Mary Kirkaldy Â
// This list exists to discuss dinosaur science. Ideally there'd be no on-list mention of list
// administration at all. I'm trying to settle for occasional messages *from the administrators.*
// Please don't make us make a rule that publicly discussing the rules is against the rules... Tell
// us anything you want, but don't do it publicly without explicit permission from me or Mary.
// Thanks!
// -- MPR and MK


In order to permanently stop receiving mail from the dinosaur mailing list, you should send an e-mail message as follows:


From the address with which you subscribed to the list,
send an email message to sympa@mymaillists.usc.edu.

In the subject line of your email, type in:

unsubscribe dinosaur-l

Leave the message body blank.

You must send the unsubscribe request from the same e-mail address that you used to subscribe.

If you can't get sympa@mymaillists.usc.edu to take you off the list and you're convinced it's not your fault, the person to go to for help is one of the list owners: ÂMickey Rowe (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com) or Mary Kirkaldy (MKirkaldy@aol.com)/( MKirkaldy@gmail.com).


To subscribe to the Dinosaur Mailing List:
Send a message to sympa@mymaillists.usc.edu from the address you want to use to subscribe to the list.

In the subject line, put:
subscribe dinosaur-l First Name Last Name

Change "First Name Last Name" to your name or the name you want to use.

There is an FAQ for USC mailing lists at:
https://mymaillists.usc.edu/sympa/help/faquser Âwhich may help answer some of the questions you have.


Go to the web site that houses the listâs archives: Â http://dinosaurmailinglist.cmnh.org/
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History had a catastrophic hard drive failure in September 1998, so the archives are not complete. Currently September 1998 only goes up to September 12, although some of the later messages from September are included in October.  However, we do have a search engine that will help you find threads and messages in the archives. So far it seems fairly robust in dealing with an archive the size of this one. Once there you should find things to be self-explanatory.


Sending a message to the list (i.e., sending a message that will be distributed to all list subscribers) is relatively simple. Just address your message to:




For nearly a year this list was moderated. Currently it is not moderated, but that does not mean that there is a free-for-all here. I'm all for free speech, but this list was created for a purpose -- to give people a forum for the scientific discussion of dinosaurs. If your messages are counterproductive to that purpose, your privileges to submit messages can and will be revoked. Some specifics:

We have generally been a congenial group, and nobody has ever been forcefully removed for abuse of the list (although two people were removed by request after disciplinary action was taken against them, and another person has had his ability to submit messages to the list permanently revoked after repeated violations of the rules). However, since the list is currently unmoderated, removing subscribers and instructing sympa@mymaillists.usc.edu to ignore their mail are our only means for dealing with problems. Since we have been congenial I don't expect this to become a concern. Please work with me to ensure that my expectations are met!

There are several infractions that may cause you to lose all dinosaur list privileges.

a) Attempting to use the list for advertising fossils

The first such infraction is using the list as a means to aid in the selling or buying of fossils. All of us involved in list maintenance feel quite strongly that the list's resources should not be used for that purpose. If you advertise a fossil for sale (even if you're not the one who'll be collecting the money) you may be removed from the list without warning. If you pass along a message that is not explicitly an advertisement but serves to alert others of a location where an advertisement can be found (for example, giving a url to the site) -- even if you're mentioning the advertisement only to lament its existence -- you will be warned not to do so again. If you repeat such an infraction and I have even the slightest suspicion that you did so in willful disregard of the list's policies you will be permanently removed from the list.

Please note that the above refers explicitly to the sale of fossils. Other dinosaur relevant advertisements (as long as they're short and preferably in the form of instructions for how to obtain more information) have traditionally been accepted. Advertisements for the sale of replicas of fossils are also permissible without reservation.
b) Spam

Off topic advertisements (e.g. spam) are also explicitly forbidden, though I suspect that spam would get you thrown off of any list.

c) Creationism

There appears to be a near unanimous sentiment on the list that arguments about Creationism should not be entertained here. If you attempt to introduce a Creationist argument, you will receive a week-long time out. That is, the list will not accept your messages for one week after the time that I see such a message from you. After that week you will be allowed to submit messages again, but if you repeat the infraction you will be removed from the list. It is my impression that the above is lenient in that many list members might prefer to have people who submit Creationist arguments be removed after the first violation. I'm currently opting for a bit of leniency but may become more strict if this becomes a problem.

d) Flaming

I expect to have more difficulty enforcing the following, but I would also like to be able to keep a light handle on the discussions by reserving the right to treat generally disruptive behavior in the same manner that I will treat the particular disruption of Creationist messages. That is, if you send in a message such as one which contains nothing but an attack against another person on the list, you can expect to receive a time out. A second such offense may get you removed from the list permanently. I have no real desire to be a dictator here, so I welcome suggestions about messages which you think warrant disciplinary action. I may not ultimately agree with you, but I do want your input. Â

e) Irritating other members of the list

As I wrote above, I'm not comfortable as a dictator, so I'm formally asking for the listâs help in the execution of a modified version of section 8d above. In addition to being silenced for abject flaming, you may be sent to a virtual corner to cool off if others on the list think that your behavior warrants such treatment. In particular, if I receive three complaints about an individual within a span of three days, then that individual will be timed out for one week. If this ever happens to you, please take it gracefully because if you come back flaming then you will still be subject to the disciplinary actions described in section 8d. (Let's all hope that the threat of this is all we need... If it isn't, then I must rely upon all of you to be conscientious and complain when you think a situation warrants it.) Â

f) Ad Hominem

The phrase "Ad Hominem" is frequently used incorrectly in terms of its historical definition. Technically an Ad Hominem argument is one that addresses characteristics (or supposed characteristics) of a person presenting an argument rather than the presented argument itself. People making such attacks on the personalities of others are subject to a one week timeout whether the attacked person is on the list or not. Check the archives for just about any discussion of Robert Bakker or Alan Feduccia and you'll find offenses of this policy. Any such offenses occurring after June 30, 1998 are subject to punitive action. When I suggested this rule, one alert subscriber pointed out that the list historically recognized one reason for discussing personalities. If you are considering a collaboration with another paleontologist and would like to solicit opinions about the wisdom of your choice, you may ask the list. Responses should go directly to the person making the request, however, especially if they are of a sensitive nature.

g) Treating the list as your own personal forum

When discussions get hot people have a tendency to write many messages in a short span of time. Because the list can only process a finite number of messages per day, and because most people will only tolerate so much traffic before they start deciding the list isn't worth the effort of trying to keep up, this is a bad thing. During moderation everyone was held to a limit of only five messages per day. Any messages after the fifth were held in queue until the next day. Since the list is no longer moderated, that's not an option. I suggested reinstating a quota of five messages per day with a sixth message earning an offender a one-day timeout. Subsequent infractions of this quota rule would earn you longer timeouts. Although five per day seemed to work well during moderation, a few people thought this number was too low. I'm thus changing it to seven on a trial basis. Infractions will earn you only a one-day time out even if it's not the first time you've gone over your quota. Let's see how this works. If it doesn't then the policy could be amended or abandoned.

h) Moratoria on tired threads

The proper procedure for terminating a thread that you think has worn out its welcome on the list is to write to me (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com) or Mary (MKirkaldy@aol.com) with a specific complaint about the thread and why you think it's gone on long enough (I suspect that typically naming the thread you object to will be sufficient since in most cases the reason for its objectionability will be readily apparent). If I agree with you, I will write to the list and ask that the thread be shut down. At that time I will specify a period (not less than 24 nor more than 48 hours; exact length dependent upon factors such as the relevance of the thread, the time it has existed, and the amount of repetition that's already been seen) during which final statements on the thread may be submitted. Anyone who attempts to continue or resurrect the thread within a week of the thread's official demise will be subject to a week-long timeout. At present I am not considering disciplinary action against people who write to the list requesting that a thread be ended, but I might change my mind in the future. The purpose of this rule is to end meta-discussions about what should or shouldn't be discussed on the list.

Additionally, list owners may order an immediate shutdown of discussions which arise on subjects which are not germane to the purpose of the listâdinosaur science. Notable examples of subjects which have no place on the list are cryptozoology, time travel, Planet of the Apes, and random computer virus alerts, among others. List members will be expected to recognize these calls for cessation of discussion (i.e., Mickey Rowe or Mary Kirkaldy will unambiguously post that this thread is not to be pursued). Disciplinary action may be taken against list members who continue to post on these subjects, whether or not 24 hours has passed. Similarly, discussion on whether the subject should be allowed is to be sent to the list owners and not to the list.

i) Attachments

I don't expect to discipline anyone for this, but I do ask that you not include attachments (such as files containing images) to messages. A large number of people will not be able to read the files, many will not even be able to receive them (believe it or not some people have limits on the sizes of messages they can receive!), and this is a dandy way to transmit computer viruses. If you wish to transmit an image or other form of encoded message please find another place to make it available and send to the dinosaur list only an announcement of the file's availability.

If you are not receiving mail:

Please note that under NO circumstances should you write to the list address as a test. There is no need for that. Sending a test message to the list will be generally uninformative, and it will irritate other subscribers if your test is "successful". Please write to the listowners if you are not receiving mail and are sure that you are subscribed.



You will not be able to log into the USC system, so you will need to contact the listowners if you have further questions.

Your humble list administrators,

Mickey Rowe (MickeyPRowe@gmail.com
Mary Kirkaldy (MKirkaldy@aol.com) (MKirkaldy@gmail.com)

On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 10:05 AM Stevie Moore <studiospectre@gmail.com> wrote:
hello, I was interested in researching the policies and rules of the group/list, however the github link is broken and I cannot access that portion of the FAQ on the archives website.Â
Does anyone have any of that information available to share? Thanks in advance.Â



Stephen R. Moore, Illustrator