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Re: how AZTLAN list violated its own guidelines

Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
> Little that I knew at that point, gentle reader, that the issue of
> whether or not I was _entitled_ to forward her posting to Mike will
> become a big issue on AZTLAN! How really strange!


Given your extensive, unflattering comments about AZTLAN, I felt
compelled to post my own interpretation of what happened.  (It can be
found under another one of the AZTLAN threads here.)  What it did not
address is the issue of your forwarding an email message from AZTLAN to
someone who was not a subscriber on the list.

While it is not clear whether or not this was illegal, it certainly was
in poor form.  Messages posted to email listservers are intended to be
read by the subscribers alone, unless otherwise indicated.  It is my own
understanding that it is considered to be bad "netiquette" to cross-post
from one discussion group to another or to forward a message from a
listserver to a non-subscriber without permission.  Listservers are not
Usenet.  You can get bumped from a listserver for poor behavior, which
is exactly what happened.

What you did was to forward a message that gave Xu's book an unfavorable
review directly to Xu without the permission of Billie Follensbee, the
messsage's author.  Follensbee made it clear that she had never intended
for the message to be sent to Xu (who was not at that time a subscriber
to AZTLAN).  She also made it clear that she would have worded it
differently had she known that it would be seen by him.  Not only did
you forward Follensbee's message to Xu without her permission, but you
also posted a message containing Xu's comments on Follensnbee's post to
AZTLAN.  You then invited him to subscribe so that the debate could be
introduced to the list (where discussion of the Olmec/Shang issue had
evaporated weeks earlier).

I don't see how these actions could be seen as anything other than
intentionally provocative.  In my estimation, you were playing "dirty
pool" by setting up an argument between Follensbee and Xu on AZTLAN--one
that neither of them expected to have online.  It was very awkward for
both of them, which is why forwarding or cross-posting others' messages
without permission is to be frowned upon.

> What conclusions can we draw from all this? Well, the most obvious
> conclusions are about AZTLAN as a mailing list. How far are the
> people on the list willing to be objective and to let a variety of
> opinions be considered? I think the story with my expulsion clearly
> speaks for itself.

Wrong.  As I mentioned in my other message, I and several others invited
Xu to avail himself of our services (including the AZTLAN E-Journal
http://www.cc.ukans.edu/~hoopes/aztlan/) to provide further evidence of
his claims.  This included both public and private invitations to him to
post online versions of his data and its interpretations.  Xu declined
to take advantage of any of this.  In fact, he retired from discussion
of epigraphy altogether and has instead expressed his interest in
"learning from the experts".

> What a House of Cards AZTLAN seems to be in light of the above! What
> a Sleeping Kingdom! How insecure so many of these people are...
> Obviously, they feel very threatened...

First paranoia, now delusions of grandeur.  You seem to be working hard
at losing any shred of credibility that you might have had, Yuri. 
Please don't give AZTLAN a bad rap.  It's you who need to take the

By the way, Mike Xu has remained subscribed, is respectful of different
points of view, and seems open to learning new things.  You seem to
admire his work.  Perhaps you should spend less time slinging mud and
try harder to emulate his behavior.



John Hoopes