settle out of court, please (59)

Sun, 22 Jan 89 17:40:25 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 519. Sunday, 22 Jan 1989.

(1) Date: Sun, 22 Jan 89 12:57:20 CST (18 lines)
From: Mark Olsen <mark@gide.BITNET>
Subject: libel?

(2) Date: 22 January 1989 (19 lines)
From: Willard McCarty <>
Subject: personal remarks

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 22 Jan 89 12:57:20 CST
From: Mark Olsen <mark@gide.BITNET>
Subject: libel?

So far, we avoid politics, religion, teaching methods and many
many other interesting topics on Humanist for fear of offending
someone. Am I now going to have to get my lawyer to vet submissions
to Humanist for fear of legal action? LIGHTEN UP GUYS. E-mail
has a number of difficiencies as a medium of communications. The
most serious is that it lacks all of the hedging of verbal
interaction. The tone of messages is sometimes completely
missed, and this can lead to misunderstanding of intent and


(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 22 January 1989
From: Willard McCarty <>
Subject: personal remarks and defenses

Dear Colleagues:

Mark Olsen, in the preceding note, says exactly what I hoped someone
would about the minor bit of name-calling and self-defense recently on
Humanist. Ad hominem remarks are dangerous. The ill humoured ones don't
belong at all, and the electronic medium is simply not sophisticated
enough to allow most of the good humoured insults to be properly
interpreted by the victims. Defensive remarks, provoked by these insults,
are equally hard to read, as Mark says.

Periodically we are reminded that Humanist is recreated each day, for
better or worse. Memory gives it a little grace, and us the
encouragement to use it and improve it with our contributions, but it
could be ruined very easily.

Yours, Willard McCarty