[Coral-List] Coral Reef Curmudgeons Unite!

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Sun Feb 21 10:54:23 EST 2010

Aloha, Coral-Listers!

     You may have wondered sometimes at the decision-making process on 
how one post gets through, while another gets quashed.  In this corner, 
there are no hard-and-fast rules, just general guidelines, which are 
stated on the Coral-List info page 
<http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list>.   Sometimes 
repeat transgressions, shall we say, are what may stop a post.  
Sometimes a post goes through even though it may seem inflammatory, 
while another view may show it to be a refreshing new perspective.  I 
sometimes goof big time.

     It's hard not to let personalities and our personal passions become 
part of what we do professionally--for most of us, that's why we do it.  
I reckon pure science should be utterly passionless, but implementing 
science via funding agencies means we are ruled by politics, which 
obviously are not passionless--quite the opposite; and we all have to 
deal with each other.  Throw into the mix the obvious nature of some big 
egos and it can really foul things up.  So we have this continual train 
wreck of the scientists and conservationists, the glory-hoggers, and the 
politicians, and everybody trying to get their own way.

     Now, some of the shortcomings of this particular U.S. Government 
run Coral-List are that you can't lobby Congress, you can't call each 
other nasty names, you can't send pictures and attachments, and 
generally everybody has to be nice.  However, I have recently been 
reminded of the Patrick Swayze quote in the movie /Road House/:  "I want 
you to be nice...until it's time to /not/ be nice."  And so I am most 
seriously suggesting that "somebody" (not me!) consider starting a Coral 
Reef Curmudgeons (or Coral Reef Politics, or whatever) list using, say 
Yahoo Groups.  There you can call each other dirty rotten scoundrels, 
you can post all kids of illustrative or condemning pictures, you can 
say whichever U.S. or state government agency is doing a rotten job 
because so-and-so let his ego get in the way (or whatever), you can say 
Dr. Blackshark falsified his results, you can say global warming is a 
big liberal tree-hugging hoax manufactured to keep scientists employed, 
you can post sarcasm intended to embarrass or provoke, or that all Dr. 
Blackshark's research money is going to buy junkets to Bali in the name 
of some dubious research pretext.  Such a list might be refreshing, 
humorous, illuminating and actually useful in letting off steam.  New 
friendships and enemies will be made, people may get embarrassed or feel 
vindicated, and havoc may result, but some of the truths may enlighten 
us all.  It would be a true, free-wheelin' list to say what you think 
without government censorship.  It's just an idea to consider.


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