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Re: Choice of venue, was: GUADEC report

On Tue, Jul 13, 2004 at 04:47:04PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Joey Hess wrote:
> > > Cobblers. Any reasonable person can see I was only asked for the 
> > > argument in one direction and I didn't yet know the contrary arguments 
> > > well enough to summarise them. You should have seen that, as it was in 
> > > the message you replied to!
> > 
> > I consider myself a reasonable person, and it was not obvious to me.
> More accurately, one tactic is to try to give the appearance of giving
> some kind of summary of arguments for and against a position, and
> understate the argument one disagrees to to the point that it looks
> absurdly weak. For a number of reasons, it's quite easy to read your
> original mail as an attempt to do that, which is why I asked if you were
> really trying to do an impartial summary.
> If one is really trying to summarise both sides of something, one needs
> to keep in mind that this tactic exists, and that one's readers will be
> aware of it, and if one can only summarise one side of an argument in
> such a weak way, then it's best to either get more information about it,
> or think about whether one can really be impartial on the topic.
> Often it's best to give up on the summary at that point.

This applies only to published articles, not invitations to discussion.

When inviting discussion, it is customary to sweep aside all the stuff
that doesn't need discussing *again* by summarising it up front.

Mailing lists are like a debate. Not like a newspaper.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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