[vcf-midatlantic] What does Al Kossow have against VCF?

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Thu Aug 19 18:02:14 UTC 2021

On 8/19/2021 11:39 AM, Christian Liendo wrote:
> Please allow me to respectfully disagree, since I first posed the
> question. I need to explain more.

In a way, I thank you for your explanation in response to my post. It 
reveals the logic you used in deciding to post, what amounts to your 
personal opinions about individuals and organizations. And, you express 
your sense of how other people and an organization "should" respond 
about such things in a public discussion.

Now, in a way, this continues a public and *critical* discussion about a 
private person's merits and actions. That's inappropriate on its face. 
So I won't respond to points particular to a person or an organization. 
I'll respond to the process and the reasoning, which were MY point in my 
post, and in Christian's response. (I'll add one point specific to 
VCFed-Midatlantic at the end.)

By "inappropriate", I mean this. The power of public discussion should 
not be used as a platform to criticize individuals, subject them or 
their actions to scrutiny. That doesn't (shouldn't) need much 
explanation. Those who choose to do that, won't accept an explanation 
anyway. But some Web searching on "trolls" and "discussion groups" will 
be informative.

Also, about "authority": who has the authority to decide in a public 
way, if some person did something that merits "public trial"? To present 
evidence and to ask leading questions - in public?  And: does the 
"accused" have a right or obligation to respond - or is it smarter to 
simply ignore such discussions? Some study and experience says they 
should ignore it. These considerations make the case against such public 
discussions, as patently unfair.

Also: if someone with authority is indiscreet? Well, that should not be 
an excuse to be indiscreet  in response. But sometimes it's hard to 

So, *privately*, if one wonders personally, why someone did or said 
something? Well, a) is it any of their business? b) are they in any 
position of power or authority to find out or judge? c) are they obliged 
to take any actions? Some of Christian's comments, amount to these sort 
of questions.

For the most part, the simple answers for people who aren't involved or 
responsible, are no, no, and no. One might argue, that if any response 
appears to be of merit - yet one is NOT responsible for taking actions - 
then MAYBE one can report the situation to those who ARE responsible. 
That is, contact the potentially-injured party. Of course, that's also a 
excuse for passing gossip. One must use some discretion.

Otherwise: if someone posts some criticism about some thing or practice 
or activity, then discuss that subject or not on the merits - if there 
are any. Not discuss the person.

One other thing. OK, two.

I asserted, neither Christian nor I have any special authority about 
what is or is not to be discussed in this email list - that falls to the 
owners of the list. I don't want to be repetitive or persistent; I'm 
creating my own counter-productive example (!) but I have a point which 
challenges that.

My point: I think there is one, mitigating circumstance, with this 
VCFed-Midatlantic email list in particular; which would not be so in 
other email lists. That is: this list is actively used by the 
VCFed-Midatlantic, for discussions and actions of the organization 
itself. And so, one such "action" could be: the operation of this email 
list. Also: VCFed-Midatlantic by explicit by-laws, defines membership in 
that organization, as "anyone who joins the mailing list".

So participants in this list, are members of the organization. So those 
active in this list, have some claims for an interest, and for 
responsibility. Maybe, something like that, suggested to Christian that 
he was obliged to take certain actions. But - no "member" has any more 
authority than any other. Only management has more authority, that is 
more power.

And: on the matter of "being formal".

Now, I don't expect people, to engage in legalisms and formal logic and 
complicated arguments. As a practical matter, then, here's why some 
people try to post (the kind of stuff I'm talking about). They see it in 
previous posts, from people who decide it's OK to post stuff like this. 
Nobody objects. And then they see, people who respond (like me!); they 
want to join in. Again: For those not familiar with these matters, do 
some Web searching on "trolls", to find out why personalized discussions 
are  *a bad idea*; and why some people engage in it anyway.

I don't wanna be a troll, even about NOT being a troll. I posted my 
objection; I made a case; I responded to the response. That's enough 
from Herb Johnson, maybe too much.

regards, Herb Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
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email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
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