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Re: Factoring with a quantum computer (Citation)

James A. Donald ([email protected]) writes:
> persuasion to get him to put up the pot. Alas, Michael was
> not willing to let the pot for the bet go outside the
> control of him or these dubious people. Eventually I
> resorted to a vigorous attempt to shame him into putting up
> the money.
> My unkind comments concerning Michael and his pals
> eventually resulted in me being expelled from the
> Extropians list, for flaming Michael and defaming the Exi
> board.

   First let me explain something to people who don't know. The extropians
list has a legal arbitration system to help keep down flames. We have
rules against bringing verbal assaults into heated debates so that
if you feel someone is insulting you, you may 'press charges'. If
evidence is presented, the person usually gets a warning. 3 warnings
and your posting privileges get revoked for a period between 24-72 hours
to allow a 'cool down' period on the list. This was implemented out
of neccessity because the list was averaging between 150 to 300
messages a day with most of those coming from only a handful of

   A common way of resolving a standoff debate on the Extropians list
is to put your money where your mouth is -- a bet. This causes someone
to get off their lazy ass and go look up the citation and present it
to the list for judgement of the bet. Michael suggested having the
bet held by the treasury of Extropy, Inc, the non-profit which
runs the list. Extropy, Inc. has *never* been accused of financial
impropriety with people's funds. They run an honest operation
with far more altruism than libertarians should bear (e.g. the board
members go into debt to maintain service to extropians even when
revenues are low) James Donald insinuated that some board members
were dishonest, *BUT*, he was not kicked off for this. Michael and
one of the board members pressed charges under our flaming/insult
rule and James had his posting suspended for some period (a few
days, 72 hours I think)  

    Usually, we rely on an honor code to enforce posting priveleges. We
do not software block punished people from posting, but rely on their
honor and fairness to commit themselves to arbitration. Donald didn't
stop posting, so he had his priveleges turned off in software. He still
wasn't "deleted' (kicked off from the list)

    The final act which led to his removal was that he circumvented
the list security system by forging the headers of his message
so as to appear to be Perry Metzger.  This is a serious offense
on the list software we run because each user has database information
associated with their account, and our software is pay-for-use. 
Posting under someone else's account corrupts the list statistics,
deducts list credits from their account, and could, depending on software
limits set, use up their daily posting quota.

    For the act of forgery, James Donald was deleted and for no other
reason. Extropy, Inc. has given Harry S. Hawk full autonomy in managing
the list. The board can not kick off people just because they hate
them, which the board didn't hate James Donald anyway. He started
and esclated innuendo for no reason whatsoever.

    The legal system has been used rarely since and things are relatively
calm now.

    If James Donald thinks he was kicked off because the list owners
hated him, he is sadly mistaken. He should have honored the legal
judgement and restrained himself from posting/flaming for the
time limit set. Furthermore, he shouldn't have forged headers especially
since it wastes my time when I have to go manually correct people's

   disclaimer: I hold no animosity towards James Donald, I hardly
know him. I am merely stating what I recall as the historical
record since I am the one who manages the software engineering
side of the list.