Denials and References.

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Sun 01 Jun 1997 - 02:55:11 EEST


Stephen Martin confesses:
> I used to deny being a God
> Learner, until Charlie Krank pointed out to me that this _proved_ I was a
> God Learner. I guess I was sort of illuminated at this point, because I
> realized that he was right. I have never denied it again.

Maybe I'm suffering from the surfeit of elections which has of late
broken out in the countries surrounding the Celtic Sea, but isn't this
what the White House press corps might call a Non-Denial Denial?

> Why don't we take another poll -- who would like people to at least make
> an effort to distinguish between their own ideas and material, and
> someone else's?

Like most referenda, the key question here is "what's the right
question"? I think the reason this degenerated into a flamefest
last time was the perception of a Carmanian-style exercise in dividing
up sources by Validity. "... And then the Good Lord parted all
Gloranthan Material, and that which was to the Right of GregoVanus was
Good, and that which was to the Left was Not Good, and was summarily
Gregged."

Me, I prefer to make my own judgements as to Validity, but I do
sometimes find it confusing if someone makes a statement out of the
blue, unqualified by either a reference or an IM{HO|G|C}, and I
find myself wondering if they thought of it 30s ago, got it out
of a source I haven't read, or (sadly often) simply one I can't
remember, or can't place. Which is why I made a suggestion myself
about "references" at least once over the aeons, which though unflamed,
went largely ignored. Though having said that, I think the List
has somewhat "improved" in that respect anyway, one suspects
coincidentally.

I acknowledge that this could get tedious for both writer and reader
if taken to excess, so I don't advocate either the ritual flaming
of non-compliant posters, or the neglect of the Sense Common skill.
Think of references, or even brief allusions to where one might
have half-remembered something from (happens to me all the time),
as a convenience for anyone who wishes to go read further on the
subject, that's all, I'd suggest.

Uncommonly,
Alex.

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