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Re: OT: reply styles, family matters

On Wed, 2 Dec 2015, Chris Bannister wrote:

"Please don't respond line by line. It is patronizing and annoying."

What did he say when you asked what he meant by this? I mean, how on earth could it possibly be patronising?

I haven't asked him yet, in the interest of not muddying still waters. I've been thinking about his "patronizing" response and I believe it is an objection to the obvious clarity and precision that inline responses afford. Clarity and precision are not exactly in the ascendancy as far as cultural values are concerned. It is thought much more important to be "passionate" and "authentic," In the introductory assay of a little book of his from 1928, _Sceptical Essays_, Russell said

"...it is undesirable to believe a proposition for which there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

Nobody anymore has the least interest in such an approach to life, in fact, it is deemed dangerous and probably evil in most of our university English departments and beyond.

However Russell's little gem of a claim describes very accurately what is done on email lists devoted to computing topics. We want to know what is the case, and why. The vast majority of our fellow citizens *do* find a constant focus on those aims quite disconcerting in any context, and, very likely, "patronizing." They think "How dare you subject me to your rules of inference and standards of factuality! What sort of horrible person are you?"

I'm guessing your nephew isn't subscribed to any mailing lists.

I doubt it.

Would I be correct in that he uses Windoze and outhouse as a mailer?

He uses a gmail account with "Ipad Mail".

Oh well. Thanks Chris.

Bob Bernstein

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