[sumo] [Meta-topic] Why SML?

John Racine gaijira at ace.ocn.ne.jp
Tue Jun 5 07:18:19 EDT 2007


I like Joe Petrow's analogy about the talk show.  During the flame wars
about the Iraq postings, I came up with another analogy which I wrote to a
list member off-list at the time:

I guess I view the ML like a sports bar where you go to watch every
tournament with the same people.  When you are all watching the screen,
everyone enjoys sumo together.  Everyone likes exchanging opinions about the
rikishi.  After the matches are over, however, you find that only about half
the people there are really friends.  Half the people are for the war, half
are against it.  Half the people hate the rich, half the people are rich.  A
small fraction are Nazis, a small fraction are communists, and a small
fraction can get along with anyone.  This analogy is getting boring, but you
can see where I'm going with this:  Some people think posting about the war
is ok, some think it's not.  If we get off the topic of sumo, we may start
name-calling and the group atmosphere will get so bad that it is difficult
to enjoy the sumo together.  Like you said, tolerance more than friendship
holds many of us together. 


Anyway, I wrote that because I thought personal attacks had no place on the
list.  Within the last month my opinions have been called "ignorant and
ill-formed", and "silly".  That's fine.  Opinions (in my opinion) are just
as much a part of the list as facts are, and both are open to debate.  

To get back to the sports bar analogy, however, I don't think calling me a
"dufus" added anything positive to the discourse.  I think we should feel
free to attack each other's opinions, but name-calling is kids' stuff.

Ironically, I'd like to publicly apologize to Lynn Matsuoka for making the
same kind of remark.  

John Racine



-----Original Message-----
From: sumo-bounces at webtrek.com [mailto:sumo-bounces at webtrek.com] On Behalf
Of Joe Petrow
Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2007 10:12 AM
To: Sumo Mailing List
Subject: Re: [sumo] [Meta-topic] Why SML?

Thnk of the Sumo ML as more of a variety talk show.  There are
important things talked about on the show...and there is also some
inane chatter and attacks made by the guests and hosts.  Some people
like the extra color that it brings (I personally enjoy the
occasionally flame wars that occur on this list as such a form of
entertainment), while other people want "just the facts".




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