Mistakes...


Shane Davis (SHANE%UTDALVM1.BITNET@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU)
Mon, 24 Oct 88 13:01:01 CDT


Friends, Enemies, Dissentors, Offended:

I made a mistake. In fact, I can think of 3 mistakes:

1. I mentioned my employer.
2. With the above, I failed to place a disclaimer.
3. (Most important) I failed to communicate my point

As for (1) and (2), it appears my supervisor is forgiving this once, though
we all have difficulty forgetting...hopefully the net will oblige me by
forgiving me as well. If you out there have more to enumerate, tell me via
direct mail as I have removed myself from all mailing lists for my own
protection, job security (what's left), etc, as well as UT-Dallas's, if the
world's opinion of it is indeed lowered as my supervisor claims (I don't
disagree that it is, I really don't know...). Now, for the record, I state
that my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Univ. of
Texas at Dallas or the UT System and that just because you may think I am an
idiot do not hold it against my employers, the forementioned.

(3) has caused me problems many times other than on this occasion. I will only
make a short clarification, as by now I doubt too many of you really care to
hear it. My point was not that my view is "right" and Mr. Hansen's is not; nor
was my point that he has no right to speak his opinion. My point was that
I do not think the TCP/IP discussion list is the appropriate place for such
statements. It is true that had I shared his view, I probably would not have
flamed him for putting it on his closing; I would not have defended his
placement of it there if someone else had flamed him for it, though. This list
is supposed to be about TCP/IP and networking, not politics. That was what
I intended to get across and I obviously do not have the communication skills
I believe I once had (or perhaps "once believed I had"...would have to ask my
high school teachers to determine which is correct), as it is clear that I
failed miserably in making that point concisely. If majority opinion holds
that it is not inappropriate for such statements to be made on this list, so
be it...I know I am not one to talk about appropriateness right now anyway.
When one fouls up as often as I, he does learn to realize that after the fact,
though that is certainly not as good as catching the mistakes before anyone
else sees them.

Apologies are in order. Neither my supervisor, director nor employer has
suggested, requested or mandated this apology; in fact I have spoken with none
of the above since the time the mail message was sent. My contriteness over
this incident is sincere.

First, I apologize to my supervisor and UT-Dallas for damage I may have caused
to his or the university's reputation. He's done enough for me I certainly
have no reason to wrong him and I share his belief that this university is a
great place which is only going to become better.

Second, I apologize to the readers of the list. I have not read any of the
mail from the list I have received since Friday; thus, I do not know if
all of the flames are aimed at me or not. Regardless, the character of the list
has been altered for the worse temporarily by my note and I know that none of
us enjoy it or we would be on a politics/flames list (as I would more tactfully
have referred to the fictitious list I mentioned in my note). In the final
analysis I am more guilty than Mr. Hansen of degrading the content of the list.

Last, I apologize to Mr. Hansen for seemingly denying him his right to express
his opinion.

I stand that the TCP/IP list should not have politics injected into it but I
do affirm that my tone and diction and the way my statements were interpreted
were more offensive than Mr. Hansen's closing. I emphasize that my intent
was not to deny anyone his right to speak but merely to point out that forums
geared toward such expression exist and that I do not feel the TCP/IP list
is a place to make political statements.

This note may appear as much a defense as an apology, but I assure you my
motivations are not selfish and that I may be stupid but not stupid enough
to defend the fallacious argument that what I said (the way I phrased it) was
proper. This note is an apology and for no other reason would I write it.
Remember that the most important point always comes last...I disposed of
my technical faults first thing.

I know my apologies cannot erase damage done to anyone's attitude or reputation
but it is better than ignoring my mistake. If I'm lucky, when I do get back on
a list or two, I will not be remembered as the "liberal Communist atheist
punk" who sent that message, as many of your current impressions may resemble.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu Mar 09 2000 - 14:43:56 GMT