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Re: st: Claims of urgency

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: Claims of urgency
Date   Tue, 4 Oct 2011 18:48:21 +0100


explains the addition of this advice, and echoes exactly what I said
here about the way it was done.


On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 6:37 PM, Nick Cox <> wrote:
> Douglas (and others) can clearly express opinions on this or any other
> matter -- and if a strong
> consensus emerges we will consider changing advice in the FAQ.
> For the moment, I will just comment on two factual matters.
> 1. Strictly speaking, Statalist is the property of Marcello Pagano and
> we are all his guests. Also, the Statalist FAQ is maintained by me. It
> is not clear why Douglas appears to be in any doubt on this point as
> it is explained elsewhere in the FAQ to which there is reference here.
> Responsibility in a general sense is Marcello's and in a particular
> sense for the FAQ is mine. Non-trivial changes to the FAQ typically
> entail consultation between Marcello and myself, but there is no
> polling of the list.
> 2. This advice on urgency was included a few years ago in response to
> several emails claiming urgency and a search of the archives will show
> the policy arising occasionally and there being strong support for it.
> Of course, we never know until they speak who dissents but has so far
> kept quiet.
> Nick
> On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 6:09 PM, Doug Hess <> wrote:
>> I'm not sure who decides policies and "principles" on Statalist, but I
>> would suggest that the "warning" quoted below be rewritten in a tone
>> that is less belittling and less presumptuous. It should be less
>> belittling because it currently reads like somebody using what little
>> power they have over those in need of assistance to make derogatory
>> statements about their affairs. It should be less presumptuous because
>> it assumes what others think about people in urgent need. (I would
>> also point out that this brings up several interesting questions from
>> cognitive psychology, like attribution bias, etc., but that's for
>> another day or list.)
>> -Doug
>> Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2011 08:04:46 +0100
>> From: Nick Cox <>
>> Subject: st: Claims of urgency
>> Statalist has an explicit warning about claims of urgency in its FAQ at
>> <>
>> "Urgency is your concern only Pleas of urgency, desperation, and the
>> like are deprecated on Statalist. Your urgency, however compelling, is
>> a private matter and does not translate into urgency for other members
>> of the list. In fact, labeling your question as urgent is more likely
>> to lead to your question being ignored by list members, who know that
>> in most cases urgency arises from disorganization. On Statalist, the
>> principle of charity is that you answer questions because you are able
>> and willing to say something about the question, not because you have
>> pity on the questioner."
>> It is a mystery why you are not aware of that as new members are asked
>> to read the FAQ before posting.
>> It is a fact that most answers to questions are sent very quickly;
>> those questions that members do not wish to answer -- usually  because
>> they are too obscure or too general or  because members do not know an
>> answer -- do not become easier to answer because it is claimed that
>> they are urgent. No amount of apologies will establish that you are a
>> special case entitled to subvert or overturn our existing policy.

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