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Subject: Re: Asperger's Online Test [was: Re: apology]

Re: Asperger's Online Test [was: Re: apology]

From: Paul Louden <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:14:10 -0500

Christopher Woods wrote:
> 1) people who DO wish to discuss this will go to the forum, register, and
> have a sensible discussion

There's really not any discussion on this, though. Read through what's
actually been discussed - how much has been on etiquette by reasonable
people in the overall history of the list? The majority of people who
discuss this do so because they're *not* reasonable enough to accept
that there are rules in place, and want to complain loudly and publicly
about how they're being mistreated. I doubt much these people will act
how you think they are, given what we've seen so far.

> This reduces the offtopic list discussion by default, and ensures that only
> people who can genuinely be bothered to sensibly discuss this subject will
> register on the forums to do so.

Why is "list etiquette" off-topic for the list? And why is it on-topic
for the forums? You're basically saying "I don't want to be spammed
about it in the location where it is relevant, but think it should
instead spam the location where it's completely irrelevant."

> If you encourage everyone to point out a newbie's error, chances are they
> may not contribute again because they've been put off by a bombardment of
> "you did a bad thing" style emails. Whereas if there's rules which they're
> made painfully aware of prior to signing up, and they have one or two
> strikes before being booted off the list (which they *can* join again if
> they really want to), I think that'd make more sense.

No offense, but this doesn't work as well as you hope. The problem is
generally not with people who can follow rules, but with people who
think the appropriate response to rules they disagree with is "break
them until someone changes them."

Most people who would follow posted rules will also not need a long
discussion, but rather a single notification that they missed the
posting of the rules.

> People are like pack animals to an extent.

Yes, and if the pack is clearly obeying the rules, rather than a single
member of it asking them to while several vocal problem members speak up
in their defense, which way will they think the pack is running? But if
the larger vocal group is the one on the side of the rules, it's clearer
for them.

> Most people just agree to anything when they sign up without
> actually reading it - it's no excuse for not following the rules, but you
> have to expect that people won't read any rules, and if a rule about posting
> order is buried in some paragraphs about list etiquette which itself is
> hidden away in a big long page, most people aren't going to even see it let
> alone read it, are they?

Even if you put it in front of them in bright red text, they'll skim
past it for the "I agree" button. We saw this same thing in the forums.
At some point you have to explicitly tell them, personally, about it. As
you said "most people agree to anything." Without some sort of written
test they have to pass to demonstrate their knowledge of the rules, this
will remain true. Yes the rules could be made more clear, but there will
always be a point where a user has to either be told they exist, or be
told "yes, we were serious about that, it wasn't just boilerplate
language that came with the software."

> My opinion on this is that you remove any ambiguity prior to signup, and
> create a separate discussion area to channel talk by those who feel the need
> to discuss this, and the offtopic noise dissipates from the list. Problem
> solved.

The off-topic noise, once again, is generated primarily by those who
object to the rules (otherwise why would they make noise). Why would
people who object to a rule about top-posting be willing to follow a
rule about "take it somewhere else" even if it *were* off-topic for this
Received on 2009-07-15

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