Chong Yu Meng chongym at cymulacrum.net
Wed Jul 19 01:39:28 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-07-18 at 20:00 -0400, Kanwar Ranbir Sandhu wrote:
> On Tue, 2006-18-07 at 14:43 -0700, jdow wrote:
> > What you did and I am doing in reply because I am human and can adapt
> > to fellow humans is called top posting. If you'd posted your comments
> > inline and below the signature instead that is what the other folks
> > who are pedantic about correct behavior and intolerant of differences
> > insist is the one and only true way to post email.
> It's not intolerance.  It's requesting that everyone help everyone else
> to make things easier.  I see nothing wrong with that. 
> (Don't put words in my mouth or try to make me defend the actions of
> others: I can't.  Everyone has the right to choose.  What that choice is
> and how it effects the community is supposed to be weighed and measured
> by the individual.)

Hi Ranbir,

Normally, I do not like to comment on matters of style and guidelines,
but I think your reply shows a kind of dangerous logic. 

I think we need to be clear that there is a difference between actions
that help others, and actions that prevent others from getting hurt.
There is some overlap between the two, of course. But you are drawing a
link between the two by saying that top posting is equivalent to
assaulting a policeman or bathing with a plugged-in toaster! 

Actions that hurt others should be sanctioned, but I hardly think that
top-posting counts as hurtful in any way. There are literally legions of
office workers who use Microsoft Outlook, which does top-posting by
default, and though I think that is not an ideal way to communicate, I
wouldn't stop people from using email because they did it (and I was a
systems administrator before, and could have done it quite easily). 

To use (abuse?) an analogy from jdow, regardless of what I think about
corsets, I would neither support forcing all women to wear them nor
outlawing them completely.

Pascal Chong 
email:  chongym at cymulacrum.net 
web:    http://cymulacrum.net
pgp:    http://cymulacrum.net/pgp/cymulacrum.asc

"La science ne connaît pas de frontière parce que la connaissance
appartient à l’humanité. et que c’est la flamme qui illumine le monde."

-- Louis Pasteur
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