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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000061.txt from 2005/12

From: Tony Pay <tony.p@-----.org>
Subj: RE: [kl] re[kl]: Trimming
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 18:32:59 -0500

On 10 Dec, Gary Van Cott <gary@-----.com> wrote, in part:

> I have to honestly say that in more than 10 years of using lists, I have
> never seen anything (the) [that] suggested adding posts at the bottom was
> preferred in any context.

Well, here's something that suggests it.

Top posting is something that works when you're having an email
correspondence -- often a business correspondence -- which is concerned with
making arrangements.

But here, the habit of top posting encourages the notion that people are
giving their opinions rather than contributing to an argument or debate. In
my view, it's akin to the sort of playing that makes contribution to the
musical discourse second in importance to personal display.

(After all, if you're only interested in what you have to say, what does it
matter -- in either domain -- whether people see how it relates to what else
is going on?)

Another musical analogy is with the sort of inferior playing that gives the
audience a sprawl of the performer's emotional and technical baggage together
with whatever they're performing. Excellent players practice both in order
to 'clean up' their playing and to become acquainted with its context, so
that what they do in performance may be tailored to the demands of the music,
whether it is premeditated or whether it springs from immediate impulse.

Similarly, top-posters mostly care little about the elegance of their posts,
providing swathes of unformatted matter beneath whatever they write -- like
throwing rubbish on the streets. Of course, it's an example of carelessness
more than anything else -- but then, in music as in so many other things,
carelessness is one of our greatest problems.

Careless *anything* is horrible.

> The only reason I can think of for doing it is a long discussion with many
> inputs being forwarded to someone who has never seen it.

I don't agree at all. Parts of arguments need to be addressed with
appropriate agreements or counter-arguments. The world is not to be reduced
to your isolated opinions.

> This isn't how most lists actually work.

Well, *most* lists don't actually work very well, and for my money (and
Mark's money) that's very often true of this list too.

Tony
--
_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd tony.p@-----.org
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE
tel/fax 01865 553339

... Assumption is the mother of all screwups...

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