--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, defenders_of_bhakti 
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "authfriend" <jstein@> wrote:
> > Gee, Michael recently made two posts specifically
> > addressing the criticisms directed at him (and was
> > criticized for doing so!).
> That's true, an in his larger expositions, he made indirect
> references to other peoples posts. Nevertheless, its clear that his 
> style is completely different: He writes long expositions, which 
> you either like or don't, and leaves the rest to the audience. 
> These articles are a coherent whole, which some people, I am sure, 
> forward to others, and he keeps away from the 'picking on' 
> business. That demonstrates some strength, which is often 
> interpreted as arrogance. But I think its effective.

Just for the record, Michael has done his share of
"picking on" in the past--big-time, in fact.  I can't
recall whether you were ever on TMNews or TMControversy,
but he used to go ballistic on occasion on those forums
when someone disagreed with him and blast them to
kingdom come.

> <snip>
> > I've said before: Life is tough enough when everyone
> > does their absolute darndest to be honest.  There is
> > ZERO excuse for making it more difficult by being
> > dishonest, and I don't think anybody should be willing
> > to tolerate it.
> But there is no way to enforce honesty in a forum, except if it
> moderated, and that nobody really wants.

Well, depending on what you mean by "enforce."
General, strongly expressed disapproval from the
participants in a forum can be a powerful incentive
to clean up one's act.

> So there is no other way,
> then to exit at one point the discussion, and leave it for the 
> reader to decide himself what to think of it. Because I think, it 
> is that you want to be represented correctly in the eyes of OTHERS, 
> the supposed anonymus onlooker.

Actually I'm far more interested in Barry being
represented correctly to others.  You know that I
call Barry on his lack of honesty with regard to other
participants (yourself included) and to nonpersonal
topics, not just with regard to what he says about me.

Of course I do it with what he says about me as well,
but that's more because I'm in a better position to
point out his lack of honesty where I'm concerned than
where anybody else is concerned. I know what I've said
and done and believe, so I know exactly what his
misrepresentations involve.

> For yourself, you obviously know the truth, your opponent obviously,
> is intent on misrepresentation or simply incapable of seeing things
> differently. Why then, don't you take the attitude, that the reader 
> is mature himself, and would look through the game?

It isn't a matter of maturity, it's a matter of keeping
track.  In many cases you forget what someone actually
said or did, so when Barry lies about it, you're not
necessarily going to spot the lies.

There's also an underlying sense--which may or may
not be accurate but does have some influence on how
people see things--that if one doesn't rebut something
someone else has said, it's because one doesn't *have*
a rebuttal, that silence constitutes acquiescence, and
that what the person has said must be accurate.

 It is actually
> personal strength to do so. And its weakness to continue on and on.
> (Thats true for myself as well of course)
> Truely speaking, Judy, your reputation would be much better, if you
> would simply know when to stop,

The only "reputation" I'm interested in for myself is
that of honesty, Michael.  I don't care whether people
here like me or consider me a "good person," as long
as they recognize that I'm an honest person.

 if you simply would get out of an
> argument, once it gets personal. Because from the pure facts, your
> posts are always right on. Leave it at that, and don't spoil the
> good image later on. There is also now the habbit, of not editing 
> old comments out, which makes posts difficult to read, just to not 
> be accused that one would 'erase something being said', but its all 
> in the archives anyway.

That's true, but it's not that easy to dig posts out
of the archive on Yahoo.  That alternate archive site
is a lot better, but it's a pain to have to switch back
and forth from Yahoo to that site.  With Google Groups,
consulting the archives is vastly more efficient than
with Yahoo Groups, and you can see the text of recent
posts in a thread all on one page.  (Google's interface
has many other problems with ease of reading, though.)

Anyway, I used to be scrupulous about deleting quoted
material, but I've gotten lax about it because so many
other people don't bother.  I'm going to try to go
back to doing that.

> Before I came back here, I was sometime spending to edit Wikipedia,
> especially the german version, especially articles on Hinduism. Its 
> a good experience. There is also a diversity of views, there are
> 'edit-wars', but all in all, there are rules to go by, like one
> important rule is NPOV that is neutral point of view. That is things
> have to be always presented without giving personal judgments. You
> always have to allow representing both sides, positive and 
> negative. I think doing this is a good exercise.(besides its very 
> effective, since lot of people actually read it.) So, Judy, I hope 
> this helps, and I say this from the ground of a fundamental 
> appreciation.

I know you do, Michael, and I thank you for your concern.
I just don't happen to agree with many of your points.

Different strokes for different folks and all that...

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