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Please limit each post to 400 words, and limit your submissions to two posts, on each members' day, on different topics.
Please make your email's Subject header begin with the three capital letters: HBL followed by a space. This allows recipients to segregate HBL messages from their other email. (And you will probably want to establish a mailbox for HBL within your email program.) Note: the HTML versions are automatically prefixed by HBL2 — please don't add the "2" in your submission.
Please begin the body of your message with: "From [your name]"
without colons or other special punctuation, as below:
From John Doe
Please do not indent the beginnings of paragraphs, but do double space between paragraphs. And please add frequent paragraph breaks. Break up long paragraphs, even when it seems arbitrary as to where to do so. Long paragraphs are uninviting to the reader.
Emphasis (such as italics and underlines) may be indicated in several ways:
We do not use boldface in the HTML versions, because it reads as too "loud." Likewise for using ALL CAPS.
Blockquotes should be marked off with bq and /bq like this:
But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call 'human nature,' the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not.
Regular quotation marks should be used instead when quoting only a line or two. Quotes within quotes take apostrophes. (Blockquotes eliminate the need for this, because they aren't surrounded by regular quotation marks.)
Finally, please identify the source of any quoted material.
When including URLs linking to websites, you need not shorten them: they will be shortened automatically by our script. But:
It is a widely recognized danger of email lists that they easily degenerate into "flames "--i.e., inflammatory back-and-forth arguments, often with personal attacks, among participants.
This is bad on any number of counts, and becomes tedious for the vast majority who are not involved in the dispute. Since I have to terminate threads eventually, the person who doesn't get "the last word" always feels he has been left defenseless.
So let me urge you to maintain a collegial, 19th-century-style attitude toward other posts and other posters. And please minimize the quoting of sections of other people's posts and instead just name the subject. Here's a contrived example:
From Immanuel Kant:
There has been too much emphasis by HBLers on reason and values. Reason can deal only with the phenomenal world, not with things as they really are in themselves, and values introduce a subjective element into morality, because they depend on a lone individual's personal choices (though these "choices" are deterministic responses, considered phenomenally).
Sample reply post illustrating proper etiquette:
From John Doe:
On the subject of whether there has been too much emphasis here on reason and values, the truth is exactly the opposite: only by reference to reason and values can we grasp reality and remain in reality. I reject any alleged distinction between a "phenomenal" realm and "things as they really are"--"'Things as they are' are things as perceived by your mind'" (Galt's Speech). Values are not subjective (or intrinsic) but *objective* . . .