[Coral-List] On messages to the list and indirectly on sunscreen

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 13 13:51:05 UTC 2019

Dear Peter,

I apologize for being among those who failed to cut off that wearisome trail of repetitious messages. I will try to do better going forward. (I actually thought about that, but somehow forgot to follow through before hitting reply and send). I’m sure that as threads become wearisome (or maybe even before) many listers just hit delete. I do that from time to time when the subject line is of little interest to me. 

I also regret contributing to discussions that seem to go on ad nauseum. Unfortunately, the sunscreen issue hit a nerve.   Just to clarify, I fully support efforts designed to raise awareness.   Keeping harmful chemicals out of the oceans (and other ecosystems) is obviously a good thing.   I just get carried away whenever I suspect that a secondary stressor is being deployed as a smokescreen. 

I certainly do not mean to cast dispersions on the researchers involved. I am also convinced that many of the conservation campaigns related to this issue are pure, genuine and transparent.   The problem is that in my world there is an intentional, discernible and disquieting strategy being applied that isn’t helpful.   In my opinion, it only works to prolong the ongoing crisis that we are all trying to avert.


Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 12, 2019, at 10:28 AM, Peter Sale via Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> wrote:
> Hi,
> I receive coral-list as the digest.  It arrives once or perhaps twice a day.  It usually begins with a piece of boilerplate:
> “When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Coral-List digest...", e.g., cut and paste the
> Subject line from the individual message you are replying to. Also,
> please only include quoted text from prior posts that is necessary to
> make your point; avoid re-sending the entire Digest back to the list.”
> What follows is a list of messages from people who have more-or-less followed, or not, those instructions.  Today’s digest was particularly bad (thus provoking this response).  Every one of the four messages (there were 7 messages total) that began with the header ‘Re: effect of sunscreen on corals’ was followed by an interminable set of prior messages, repeated, sometimes twice within the string for a single new message.
> I have a suggestion:  Even when responding to a string of messages on a particular topic, why don’t we all, routinely, always start a new message to the list, but using as subject the same set of words as the subject of the message being responded to?  That way, every message on that topic would have the same header, but no message would needlessly include prior messages.  Yes, it would require more care (I know because I also have sent messages by using ‘reply’ instead of ‘new message’)  But our lives might become slightly more sane?
> Re sunscreen.  Is there anything new to add, or could we close this discussion now?
> (I think I’ll now go off-line until the flak subsides.)  😉
> Peter Sale
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