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Re: OTTO & Shafat -Reply

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Shafat Qazi wrote:

> Ernie:
> I thought of that. However, it seems to me that a good number of
> subscribers want and like the humor to continue. The objection seems to be
> to the frequency and the contents of such email. The only solution I can
> come up with is to BAR the offender from the list and post the FAQ more
> frequently to the list server.
> Here is the new Question that I am adding to our FAQ:
> Q. Can I post a joke to the list?
> A. This list server is intended to focus on the Structural engineering
> issues. Normally, the jokes are NOT welcome by members. However, an
> occasional joke relating engineers are allowed, provided the content is not
> regarding race, religion or ethnicity. If your email is found inappropriate
> by the administrator, you will be warned and suspended from the list.
> Comments are welcome.

I've been staying out of the debate on this in hopes it would die a quiet death,
but you *did* ask for comment here. ;-)

This whole furor would never have started if folks had just hit the delete key on
the first post.  Instead would-be censors insisted on blowing the whole thing all
out of proportion by trying to stamp their own personal mores on all participants
to the list.  In the past we've had folks who insisted they wanted to see no
politically incorrect comments on here, now we're not supposed ever to make
comments that reflect any religious comment, ...and what next?  Just ignoring a
comment one doesn't like goes a long way towards maintaining the engineering
"purity" of the discussions.  For example, I found the recently posted list of
racial slurs QUITE offensive, even though I realized it was posted to make a
point, but managed to limit my response to going "tsk, tsk" and hitting the
delete key.  See how easy that was?

If censorship must become the future of this list, then I also vote for
censorship of all the self-righteous comments intended to silence any expression
of opinion the authors find offensive.  That's where all the volume of irrelevant
comment on here came from, not from the original joke.

The Internet has always been a medium with the freest of speech.  Now the Nannies
would shut all that down, reducing discussion to the lowest common denominator.
*That* I find most offensive of all.  Are we really all so fearful of the
weakness of the opinions we hold that we can't risk seeing any comment that
questions them?  If so, perhaps that questioning is a *good* thing.  I agree with
Bill Allen's earlier comment:  LIGHTEN UP!