[Milton-L] NO posts per day (in certain circumstances)

jonnyangel junkopardner at att.net
Mon Dec 20 18:24:52 EST 2010


Easy there. I'm still here y'know?

Merry Christmas all,

jonny


On Dec 20, 2010, at 2:53 PM, Gregory Machacek wrote:

> I second Alan's suggestion that if we find exchanges like the one with
> Nairba Sirrah futile and exasperating, longtime members of the list  
> might
> be able to do something to shorten such fruitless conversations:   
> bite our
> electronic tongues and not reply.
>
> In my time on this list, the Nairba Sirrah case is the third such  
> instance
> I can remember.  There was a "jonny angel" and a "shrike."  They  
> all ran in
> much the same way.  In each case the person was new to the list.   
> In each
> case, the offensive poster was not a professional scholar of  
> Milton, but an
> amateur enthusiast.  In each case, the newcomer hadn't spent any time
> observing the protocols of this discussion list, but immediately  
> started
> conducting himself along the lines of participants in some  
> political blogs,
> where every post emerges out of the poster's absolute certainty  
> about the
> way things are, and alternate viewpoints (let alone corrections of any
> sort) prompt indignant, vehement, acerbic retaliations.
>
> In each case, members of this list assumed the interloper could be
> persuaded to be properly respectful of the scholarly credentials of
> longtime members of the list.  They never were.  In each case, the  
> newcomer
> had what I find a odd combination of traits:  on the one hand, a  
> tendency
> to get insulted easily, to regard fairly neutral or even polite  
> responses
> to his posts as personal attacks; but on the other hand, absolute
> self-confidence when it came to the accuracy of his own viewpoint.   
> The two
> traits resulted in the posters adopting an I-can-give-as-good-as-I-get
> stance.  They all defiantly refused to back down from the attacks  
> they felt
> they were receiving for merely expressing their own views.  The all  
> prided
> themselves on their tell-it-like-it-is candor.
>
> Longtime listmembers sometimes responded in ways that were  
> themselves snide
> or dismissive, but even neutral or polite responses were miscast as
> insults.  My point is this:  there is NO way of responding to such  
> a person
> that won't cause the vehemence and hostility (and number of posts) to
> escalate.  Except (perhaps) NOT RESPONDING.  It takes two to tango.
>
> I sketched the above portrait in some detail because I think that  
> part of
> our challenge involves recognizing such cases as quickly as we  
> can.  That
> and being willing to fight our knee-jerk reaction to correct
> confidently-asserted inaccuracies.
>
> Ye have what I advise.
>
>
>
> Greg Machacek
> Professor of English
> Marist College
>
>
>
>
>   From:       alan horn <alanshorn at gmail.com>
>
>   To:         John Milton Discussion List <milton- 
> l at lists.richmond.edu>
>
>   Date:       12/20/2010 12:57 PM
>
>   Subject:    Re: [Milton-L] One post per day?
>
>   Sent by:    milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I do not believe this is a case of someone being ignorant of basic
> social and scholarly norms. It is clear to me that the individual in
> question is in great pain and deserves our sympathy and respect.
>
> Once it became evident that patient factual corrections were being
> perceived as personal attacks, it would have been better if others had
> recognized the nature of the exchange and resisted the temptation to
> respond IN ANY WAY. But that may be too much to ask.
>
> The moderators’ actions were necessary and appear to have been handled
> in a sensitive way. If this happens again I hope list members will
> realize what is going on and deal with it in the way I have suggested.
>
> Alan
>
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