Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 26, 2023, 7:42 a.m. Humanist 36.551 - postings that fail to appear

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 551.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2023-04-26 05:45:06+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: postings that fail to appear

From time to time postings submitted to Humanist fail to appear as
their authors expect. Sometimes suspicion of censorship arises, and
because memory is short and membership changes, I need to repeat my
assurance here that I never censor messages, that is, I never act as "An
official... whose duty it is to inspect all ... [submissions] before
publication, to secure that they shall contain nothing immoral,
heretical, or offensive to the government" (OED n. 2b). Very, very
rarely I hold back a message because it poses, in American legal
terminology, a 'clear and present danger' to the continuation of
Humanist. Once upon a time we called this danger a 'flame war'. (Was it
Oliver Wendell Holmes who used the metaphor of a fire in a crowded
theatre?) Those who have been on Humanist a long time may remember one
or two instances--perhaps as many as half a dozen in Humanist's entire
history going on 37 years. When that happens, I write immediately to the
author to explain my reasons. Only once has the outcome been anything
but cordial.

When by accident, as happened this morning, I delete a posting and
cannot remember from whom it came, I have to apologise publicly and ask
the (by me) unknown author to resubmit. So, here's an apology, and a 
request to try again!

Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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