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re: Midwinter madness

>Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 00:25:12 GMT
>From: quk@isham-research.demon.co.uk (Phil Payne)
>Subject: Midwinter madness
>In message <9801121723.ZM13946@danm> dan_masi@MENTORG.COM (Dan Masi) writes:
>> However, I'd like to clarify something.  I couldn't find the
>> original mail from Eric on the q-list.  Does this mean that
>> perhaps it was private email to you, which you then quoted and
>> sent to the list?  If so, IMO that's bad form.
>Yes, it was a 'private' email - though unsolicited.  Am I under any
>moral obligation to treat unsolicited abuse as a confidence between

One Phil to Another:

An intemperate, unsolicited  e-mail deserves no inherent special protection
IMO, when abuse of the recipient is involved.  Your sharing such with the
qlist was entirely proper considering that the e-mail was intended to
affect your future participation in the qlist. Hence, ultimately it was a
matter of concern to ALL.

The term "private" is used rather commonly (but incorrectly) in referring
to communications directed to an individual. However the more appropriate
term would be "personal". Thus, while an e-mail may be a "personal", direct
communication, it is surely _not_ necessarily "private" (i.e., in
confidence), unless that status is clearly implied by an established
relationship or specifically agreed upon--a priori.

[a priori: chemists' talk for "_before_ the shit hits the fan"]

Naturally though, we bend to common sense and restraint and don't feel
complete freedom to widely quote material that could in some way be harmful
or potentially embarrassing to an "innocent" writer. And so, in reasoned,
_civil_ discourse, we all like to assume (at our own risk, of course) that
a "just between you and me"* situation will be understood when we directly
communicate information or opinions.

But the tone of Eric's message seemed to me to fall beyond what is normally
protected by that custom. Of course, e-mail carries a special risk of our
falling prey to forgery, so--in some situations--a request for verification
might be prudent before proceeding.

Phil Rose

*If a "JBYAM" doesn't yet exist in the Internet abbreviography, it would be
a useful addition.

Phil Rose		Rochester, NY
'89 100			pjrose@servtech.com