Re: email etiquette
From: Malcolm Eva (
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 09:42:17 -0800 (PST)
Very good point, and one which has generated its own email.  My view is that I 
want to put my side of the discussion to everyone, and email is the only way to 
do that in a community of 35 households.  If I can't make a meeting I don't 
have a vote (sorry, I know that's the wrong term for a consensus meeting 
but...) but at least I can have a say.  Others say that they don't want to deal 
with email discussion, and just want the issues talked about at the meeting, 
which, I maintain, disempowers me.  At the moment our protocol is to announce 
all the items in advance on email so people can comment and exchange views 
before the meeting. The more controversial the topic, the longer the discussion 
time needed.  As many people don't come to residents' meetings for various 
reasons at least they can see and assess the differing views on the topic and 
join in when they want.  What this often results in are heated emails, and a 
calm meeting that everyone enjoys, usually with a consensus at the end. Not 
always, of course, but often.

Back to individualism v altruism - if anyone has strong reactions to e.g. Green 
paint, that's valid to say eeuch!  To say "green paint is wrong and we should 
not consider it" is different, and making a personal view sound like a moral 
judgement.  I think that's the sort of distinction the phrase is getting at.


Sent from my iPad
If reply needed, please address to malcolm [at]

> On 24 Feb 2014, at 16:33, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> wrote:
> That's interesting.  That seems to mean that one's strong personal views,
> opinions and feelings should not be discussed on email unless the goal is
> for group, rather than personal, benefit.
> My question then is: in what forum *should* one's strong views, opinions
> and feelings be discussed?  Is that limited to meetings?  Or are such
> expressions considered inappropriate entirely in the group setting, and
> should just be discussed with one's personal support network instead?
> I would have a hard time with that, personally.  I certainly think it is
> reasonable that I be required to discuss such things respectfully and
> civilly, but I'd chafe with the idea that my personal opinions should only
> be discussed if the discussion was for group benefit.  I would want to
> reserve the right to say "You know what?  I know you all want to paint the
> common house green, but I have to say I just hate the color green.  I won't
> block it is that's what everyone wants but...ew."
> (Hypothetical example chosen.  Our CH is in fact green and I have no
> problem with the color!)
> D
>> On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 5:11 AM, Malcolm Eva <malcolm [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> I think it implies that posts, especially if expressing strong
>> views/opinions, should be addressing the common good rather than an
>> individual's private concern.  Sounds good and noble, but actually would be
>> harder to follow; when we fiercely disagree with somebody's perspective we
>> think we are concerned with the common good, and miss that in fact we just
>> don't personally want to go through change.   I think the phrase is an
>> exhortation to step back and check our own motives before hitting 'send'.
>> Sorry not to be more positive about the interpretation, but having missed
>> the meeting I've relied on people's report backs and these notes from the
>> meeting.   That phrase appeared in the notes, but no one relayed that part
>> of the discussion to me.
>> Malcolm
>>> On 23 Feb 2014, at 14:18, Sharon Villines wrote:
>>>> On Feb 21, 2014, at 11:25 AM, Malcolm Eva <malcolm [at]> wrote:
>>>> Here is a brief extract from the notes afterwards.
>>> Thank you for sharing this. I think it is a very helpful list of values
>> and aims. One question:
>>>> Altruistic not individualistic
>>> What does this mean?
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