Protocals, man-apes & censors

David Kristofferson kristoff at genbank.bio.net
Wed Jul 17 21:13:21 EST 1991


> The time has come when I feel that I must speak up and protest the
> domineering attitude coming from Mr. Kristofferson in his management
> of this board. The membership of the board has the ability to speak
> out and flame down or ignore any topics which may be considered
> inappropriate.

Ouch, right on the chin 8-).  You are right that we are all free to
express our opinions, and my freely expressed opinion remains that I
still disagree with the thousand flowers approach.  This is/was not
meant to be "brutal" disagreement, but it is disagreement nonetheless.
I apologize if my reply seemed too harsh, but I stand my ground on the
idea itself.

On the serious "chimp" issue, I have not made it through all of my
mail file yet today, but the opinion on "appropriateness" of this
discussion topic is running about 50-50 on the four or so messages
that I have seen so far.  I felt the need to **mention** that this
might be inappropriate because it *is* my job to oversee these groups.
I also said in my message that I am *not* trying to censor things.
What readers do not see (but I do because I handle the mail for this
system and get outside comments all the time) is a continual
expression of irritation to me on the part of our readers when stuff
like this comes up.  Personally, I love free-wheeling discussions like
the above, but then I am constantly told that this makes the
newsgroups a waste of time for "serious scientists."  I am told that
the "quality of the discourse is low", etc., etc.  I try my best to
satisfy what appears to be the majority opinion of our users on the
newsgroup, and I am NOT trying to impose my personal opinion.  I just
don't want to see scores of people start UNSUBSCRIBING because a
minority decides to talk about this particular topic.  I understand
that there is *some* legitimate scientific merit to this topic and do
not need to be reminded about openmindedness, etc.

IF THIS IS REALLY WHAT ***MOST*** OF YOU WANT TO DO YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT!
			      8-)8-)8-)

I guess that I am just surprised that there are so many more topics
that "good scientists" could discuss on the newsgroups and yet to date
have not.  Does this mean that we in the scientific community also
glance surreptiously at the National Enquirer as we slink past the
grocery store check out line 8-).  There are dozens of burning issues
in molecular biology computing alone, not to mention molecular biology
as a whole, which could be discussed at length, but it still takes
mating humans and monkeys to get us off our duffs and participate?????

Curious ....

Nonetheless BIONEWS/bionet.general is supposed to be for general
announcements, not for these kinds of chats.  The discussion could be
continued on MOLECULAR-EVOLUTION without anyone losing any freedom of
expression or irritating those that aren't turned on by this topic
8-).  In fact if someone wants to propose and moderate a HUMAN/CHIMP
HYBRID newsgroup I will dutifully follow procedure and put it out to a
vote of our readership.  I do think that most of the readers on this
group based on my past feedback would rather have this discussion take
place in a different forum if it continues at all though.

				Sincerely,

				Mr. David Kristofferson, Ph.D.
				GenBank Manager

				kristoff at genbank.bio.net



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