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Paul Hudson <> writes:
>> For example, in stackexchange you would never have this discussion,
>> because it would be quickly censored.
> That' a misuse in my opinion of the word "censored".  I can't discuss my
> favourite UK beers[1] here without getting heavily discouraged and - if I
> abuse the list - eventually banned. That's not censorship - every forum has
> rules about what can and cannot be discussed.

But as with many mailing lists, there's little attempt to _enforce_
any rules here, despite the common knowledge that it "should" be about
Lua programming etc.  Offtopic threads and shorter asides happen _all_
the time, and are not only tolerated, but often have wide
participation.  People use their social judgement to decide when
enough is enough, and because this list has mostly pretty reasonable
people on it, that works well.  Every once in a while, something gets
out of hand, and someone has to say "hey guys that's enough," but it
rarely goes beyond that.

Stackexchange, on the other hand, emphasizes minutia and
categorization, and that attracts control-freaks like honey does
flies.  So it's unsurprising that stackexchange has a large number of
control-freaks actively looking to enforce the letter of the law, and
in many cases, off-topic discussion is shut down very quickly.

The result is that lua-l feels like a close community, and
stackexchange, well ... does not.  Stackexchange feels like a
bureaucracy -- a fairly friendly and mostly well-run bureaucracy, mind
you, but a bureaucracy all the same.

Now, bureaucracies have their place, but they aren't replacements for


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