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Subject: humanities.philosophy.objectivism Administration FAQ, v1.37.01

This article was archived around: Sun, 03 Jun 2012 00:07:08 -0700

All FAQs in Directory: objectivism
All FAQs posted in: humanities.philosophy.objectivism, alt.philosophy.objectivism
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: objectivism/newsgroup-admin Posting-Frequency: weekly Last-modified: 2005/04/26 Version: 1.37.01 URL: http://wiki.killfile.org/projects/usenet/faqs/hpo/
humanities.philosophy.objectivism Administration FAQ, v1.37.01 (Disclaimers: The author of this document is in no way liable for misuse of the information contained within, nor is he in any way responsible for damages related to the use or accuracy of the information.) -- Table of Contents * = updated since last minor version I. What is HPO? a. What is humanities.philosophy.objectivism? b. How do I read and post to the group... 1. ...via Usenet? 2. ...via E-Mail? 3. ...via the web? * c. How is the group moderated? 1. What are moderation guidelines? * i. Can I get the source code? * 2. How does the moderation work? 3. What are the moderator's policies? II. So your post was rejected... a. Why was my post rejected? * b. Why aren't my posts showing up on my system? c. How do I turn off confirmation messages? III. What other resources are there? a. What other sources for information on Objectivism are there? * b. What is planned for the future of HPO? * Appendix A: The official charter of humanities.philosophy.objectivism Appendix B: Why ban Neo-Tech? Appendix C: What is PGPMoose? Appendix D: Why is my news server broken, and how do I fix it? -- I. What is HPO? a. What is humanities.philosophy.objectivism? humanities.philosophy.objectivism (hereby referred to as HPO) is a moderated group for discussion of ideas related to Objectivism, the philosophy created by Ayn Rand. HPO was created on June 12, 1996, having won its vote for creation by a margin of 362:46. The HPO Homepage at http://www.killfile.org/~tskirvin/hpo/, and contains the newsgroup's charter, past logs of the group, and other information regarding HPO. b. How do I read and post to the group... 1. ...via Usenet? If your news server already carries HPO, simply add the group to your list of active newsgroups. If your news server doesn't carry HPO, it might be a bit more of a challenge; just ask your news administrator (politely!) to add it. Include the following details: Moderation Address: humanities-philosophy-objectivism@moderators.isc.org -or- tskirvin+hpo@killfile.org Moderator Contact Address: tskirvin@killfile.org Once this is done, messages should automatically appear on your system, and you can post as you would to any normal newsgroup; if you have questions about how to do this, ask your news administrators. If your news server does not receive HPO, or if there are problems with your local site, you can also read and post through HPO's main news server. Just point your newsreader at news.killfile.org - there should be instructions in your newsreader's manual. 2. ...via E-Mail? At this point, there is no mailing list for distribution of HPO; however, such a list would not be difficult to create if there were sufficient desire. Email contributions to HPO are accepted, if mailed to tskirvin+hpo@killfile.org . 3. ...via the web? Archive for the past many years can be read through Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/). The group can also be read seen using the news<->web gateway at http://news.killfile.org/ . c. How is the group moderated? 1. What are moderation guidelines? HPO is controlled by a moderation bot, which is maintained by an impartial operator. Messages are automatically posted, based on the following criteria: o The message is posted only to HPO, and is not crossposted to any other groups; o The message is not an encoded binary message; o The message is formatted to have 80 or less characters per line of text; o The message contains less than 80% quotes from previous messages; o The message is not related to any subjects that have been deemed off-topic by the moderator, and; o The message is not authored by any that the operator feels have violated any of the above rules repeatedly or maliciously. Commercial advertising and discussion of Neo-Tech are specifically off-topic for HPO. Also, morphing (changing your 'From' line) to avoid killfiles is a bannable offense. As most posting is automatic, there is a strong potential for messages to be posted that violate the rules of the newsgroup. To this end, the operator of the moderation bot is authorized to issue cancel messages that he deems inappropriate for the group. The operator of the moderator bot may change or ignore any and all moderation policies as necessary to ensure the survival of the newsgroup. The current banlist: Name Reason (empty) 2. How does the moderation work? The moderation bot, named Mackie, is based off of Verimod, a moderation package written by Tim Skirvin, and procmail, a mail filtering system. Put simply, the robot moderator will process your message and post it, unless you violate one of the basic rules: o Your article must have a From: and Subject: line. o Your article isn't crossposted to any other newsgroups. o No line of the body of your message is more than 80 characters long (though lines will be wrapped if possible). o Less than 80% of your message quotes another message. o Your message doesn't look like a binary or off-topic message. o Your message doesn't look like spam, based on a simple header and body check (these guidelines are not published, as they change near-constantly, but are pretty basic - don't put "XXX", "$$$", or anything similar in your headers and you'll be okay). o You are not on the banlist. Messages that are approved are injected into the local news server, and propagate standardly to the rest of Usenet. i. Can I get the source code? The source code for the moderation bot was never officially or publicly released, in large part because I've grown kindof embarrassed of it. If you're interested in it, give me a mail. 3. What are the moderator's policies? <informal> Policies...hmm, how best to describe them... Well, I'm not here because I'm an Objectivist - I'm not, which is one of the reasons I was requested to moderate this group in the first place. My goal here is to help keep Usenet (and specifically HPO) working, hopefully without taking up all of my time. In general, I keep my hands as far away from the group as possible. I read very few of the messages that go through the group; mostly I just scan the subject headers, or I occasionally read a thread about some topic that looks interesting. My main role is to cancel blatantly off-topic messages that made it through the mod-bot, which usually consist of MAKE.MONEY.FAST posts and other spams. When it is brought to my attention, I also have to enforce the rest of the charter - specifically the ban on Neo-Tech and advertisements. I don't enjoy doing that kind of stuff, trust me, but I'm willing to do it to keep the newsgroup alive. If you're having any technical problems with the group, mail me personally (at tskirvin@killfile.org) - don't try to post about the problems, I probably won't read it. If you see what appears to be a charter vio- lation, mail me about it, and I'll take care of it. If you have any sug- gestions, feel free to mail them to me too. Just leave me out of the personality clashes on the group and I'll be happy... </informal> II. Why wasn't my message posted? a. Why was my post rejected? Well, step one is "check your rejection notice" - that's what they're for, after all. The most common violations: o Your message was crossposted to two or more groups. If this is the case, please resubmit your message to HPO alone. o Your address was identified as being on the banlist. If this is the case, please, don't resubmit; if absolutely necessary, contact me, at tskirvin@killfile.org. o Your message contained excessive quoting. If this is the case, feel free to rewrite and resubmit your message according to the group guidelines. o Your message looked like spam, from a simple pattern match. If your subject line is in all caps, or looks like a MAKE.MONEY.FAST message, try changing that and resubmitting. Of course, it's also possible that the 'bot just screwed up, or there was some minor problem with the submission; if in doubt, mail the moderator. b. Why aren't my posts showing up on my system? As with all things, there are many possibilities. o If your post was rejected, you should have gotten a rejected notice with the reasons for the rejection; feel free to fix the message up and resubmit it. o Even if your message was rejected, you may not have gotten a rejection notice for your post if you use a "spam-block" email address; all I can say to this is "stop using them". o My local news server might not be working right. If this happens, I'll do what I can to fix it, but give me some time - see Appendix D. o Your posts may not have propagated to your site yet. The standard delay for messages to appear at your system may vary from several seconds to several days; if you are positive that your messages are not propagating, please contact me. o The moderator bot may never have received the message in the first place. If this is the case, you will need to check your news system; please check the submissions address, or contact your news administrators. o The moderator bot may have just screwed up. Trust me, it happens; if you think this is the case, again, mail me. c. How do I turn off confirmation messages? If you include the line "X-No-Confirm: yes" in either the headers or the first line of your posts, you won't get any confirmation messages. If you want to turn off the messages (semi-)permanently, give me a mail and I'll take care of it. III. What other resources are there? a. What other sources for information on Objectivism are there? In no particular order: FAQs: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/objectivism/faq/ The Objectivism FAQ Mailing Lists: http://www.exit109.com/~integrity/osg/osg/home.html -or- integrity@exit109.com OSG - The Electronic Objectivism Study Group E-Mail List Usenet: alt.philosophy.objectivism An unmoderated group for discussion of Objectivism http://www.killfile.org/~tskirvin/hpo/ The HPO Homepage - the charter, voting records, logs of HPO submissions WWW: http://www.aynrand.org/ The Ayn Rand Institute http://www.nationweb.com/ The Objectivist Trade Center http://www.vix.com/objectivism Objectivism and Ayn Rand WWW Service http://home1.pp.sbbs.se/lyceum/lr.html Lyceum References, a list of Objectivism-related resources http://www.hypermall.com/geekspk #GeekSpeak Web Pages, an IRC channel for discussion of Objectivism http://www.2think.org/rand.shtml Ayn Rand Links http://www.objectivistcenter.org/ The Objectivist Center http://www.aynrandbookstore.com/ "Objectivist Books, Conferences, Courses, and More" http://www.fullcontext.org/ "Full Context", an Objectivism essay and interview magazine http://www.objectivism.net Source for the works of Ayn Rand on CD-ROM http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/ Richard Lawrence's Objectivism Reference Center All of the above references were suggested via email, and were verified to work before addition; I take no other responsibility for the information contained within. If you have any other resources to add to the list, mail me personally with a reference and a one-line description. b. What is planned for the future of HPO? o Possibly run all HPO submissions through Spamassassin before they are posted, with clear spams being filtered. o Post some of the old HPO archives, since I have several years of them available. (This will come when I finish off some news archiving code I've been working on for a while). o Rewrite Verimod, and release it. I'm better at this nowadays. Appendix A: The official charter of humanities.philosophy.objectivism Humanities.philosophy.objectivism shall exist for the purpose of fur- thering discussion by Objectivists and those who admire Ayn Rand's ideas. Those who disagree with these ideas may of course also post to h.p.o. for the purposes of civilized debate and discussion of Object- ivism. Any posters who persistently abuse their posting privileges are subject to revocation of these privileges at the discretion of the moderator (qv). Discussion on h.p.o. may consist of attempts to support, elaborate, apply, question, or refute the tenets of Objectivist philosophy on the part of participants. For example, discussion on h.p.o. may include but is in no way limited to the topics of Anarchism in relation to Objectivism and the dispute between David Kelley and Leonard Peikoff as it relates to Objectivist philosophy. Posts which request general information about a particular topic of Objectivist philosophy or on the availability of resources related to Objectivism are also welcome. Every effort shall be made by the posters of h.p.o. to compile a thor- ough text-only FAQ describing the moderation and posting policies of h.p.o. Crossposting shall not be permitted, excepting administrative posts such as further RFDs, CFVs, and the FAQ. With the approval of the administrator such material may be crossposted to news.announce.new- groups, news.answers, news.groups, and other groups deemed necessary by the moderator. Because a philosophy such as Objectivism has ap- plications in numerous areas of human action, the actors in many of which are not themselves directly concerned with Objectivism, discus- sions that are crossposted often become irrelevant to one or the other of the groups. This has been a major problem with a.p.o. in the past. Moderation Policy: The newsgroup shall be automoderated; the automoderator shall be overseen by a nonparticipant net administrator. The automoderator shall automatically reject all articles that fall into the following categories: A) Articles that contain more than 80 characters per line; B) Articles that are crossposted; C) Encoded binary messages; D) Messages containing more than 20 lines of text, 80% or more of which is quoted material; E) Articles authored by those that the moderator has expelled from the group (see below). The submitters of rejected articles shall be sent a copy of the FAQ to inform them of the reason why their submissions were rejected. The moderator of h.p.o. shall be Tim Skirvin <tskirvin@uiuc.edu>. The alternate moderator of h.p.o. shall be Richard E. Depew <red@redpoll.mrfs.oh.us>. The moderators shall not post to humanities.philosophy.objectivism except as administrative duties require. Commercial postings shall not be permitted; repeated posting of a commercial nature shall be grounds for the banning of the submitter from humanities.philosophy.objectivism at the discretion of the mod- erator. The moderator is further authorized to cancel said postings if and when they appear, forwarding a copy of the FAQ to the poster. If a FAQ is not yet available, a copy of this charter shall be sent instead. Postings commonly acknowledged by the Usenet community to be "spam" or similar forms of net-abuse shall not be permitted; the moderator is authorized to cancel all such posts, inform the submitter of his decision, and, if the abuse persists after an initial warning, ban the submitter of the posts from the newsgroup. The moderator may also cancel posts which are offtopic for the group. For example, humanities.philosophy.objectivism excludes the discus- sion of Neo-Tech, Zon Power and the publications and activities of the Neo-Tech Publishing Company. Such material is off-topic for humanities.philosophy.objectivism and repeated posts of this nature shall result in the expulsion of the poster. The Automoderator may also be programmed and reprogrammed as necessary to return the ex- cluded postings to the sender, attaching a copy of the FAQ for h.p.o. No specific individuals shall be excluded from h.p.o., save as their behavior on the forum itself warrants. The alternate shall succeed the moderator upon retirement. Should the alternate be unwilling to do so, the moderator may choose an- other impartial nonparticipant individual to fill his place. Appendix B: Why ban Neo-Tech? Before HPO was created, the only major Objectivism-related newsgroup was alt.philosophy.objectivism. An unmoderated newsgroup in a volatile hierarchy, this group was long the target of large, crossposted threads. The amount of effort required to create a new group, however, was enough inertia that, for years, nothing ever came of the need. Neo-Tech changed that. Neo-Tech, a self-proclaimed offshoot of Objectivism, one day began to crosspost its articles into APO; soon, the traffic was significantly higher, much of it over NT. Several flamewars started, spreading into other newsgroups and hierarchies; the Neo-Tech mailing list was gated to APO, long essays were posted daily, and finally several NT'ers posted messages officially "declaring war" on Objectivism and APO. These incidents provided the catalyst for the creation of a new group, humanities.philosophy.objectivism. Under the charter, Neo-Tech/ Zonpower was officially banned from the newsgroup, in order for the rest of the regulars to have a forum where they could discuss all other aspects of Objectivism without interruption. This ban has been extremely controversial, but it is absolute: no discussion of Neo-Tech or Zonpower is permitted on humanities.philosophy.objectivism. If you wish to discuss this topic any further, please take it to either alt.philosophy.objectivism or alt.neo-tech. Thank you. Appendix C: What is PGPMoose? PGPMoose is a post-authentication system, allowing anybody to verify that messages to moderated newsgroups were accepted by the moderators involved. It was added to the HPO moderator bot after a minor rush of forged approvals, and should be effective at stopping similar attacks in the future. The public key required for verification and links to all required PGPMoose software is available on the HPO homepage. Appendix D: Why is my news server broken, and how do I fix it? (I've been getting a lot of questions about this lately; while this is all essentially repeating what's said above, I might as well say it again). Just because you can read HPO from your local news server doesn't mean that you can post to it. Many news servers are misconfigured, and do not properly forward posts to the moderator for approval; some just post the message locally, and other send them to the incorrect addresses. Either way is probably going to require you to talk with your local news admins to get it straightened out. So, what should you do if you've posted something to HPO and it didn't make it through? First of all, make sure you've read through section II.b. carefully! Most problems are caused by spamblock addresses and the like, and are only the fault of the poster. If you're still convinced that there may be a problem with your news server, send a copy of one of your recent posts to: tskirvin+hpo@killfile.org (Note that you shouldn't just send "test" posts; they're off-topic and annoying. Just send posts that you would otherwise have posted.) If the message is posted, then your problem is probably with your local news server. You'll want to contact your local news admins (call your local help desk for information) and ensure that their servers are configured with a) the group set as moderated and b) submissions sent to '%s@moderators.isc.org'. If your message still isn't posted, then go ahead and give me a mail. I'm not going to help you debug your mail problems too carefully, but it's good to know that there's something going on. -- Copyright 1996-2009, Tim Skirvin. All rights reserved. http://wiki.killfile.org/projects/usenet/faqs/hpo/