The Perseus is now sailing out to the field to start the “Visund Riser Replacement Project” After completing all our trials, to various degrees of sucess, returning to Stord to complete the mobilisation, we finally set sail at 10pm last night. Truly now, I think I may end up getting a little time to be able to keep abreast of my journal and look at what is going on through the rest of the site. We still have a little outstanding work, the main priority being replacing the software fix for one of the problems encountered in the trials with a hardware fix. It will be good to get back to “real” (if you’ll excuse the pun) work, using the VLS and reel-drive to install sub-sea flowlines. The trips down to Brazil made a nice change from the Norwegian winter, but now we feel we’re back to OUR job. I’ve just made a long posting in the journal discussion forum regarding another forum site that Dazzle was a member of. I was so angry when she told me, and I saw, what was going on there with the behaviour of a particularly ignorant, opinionated and nasty individual, who seemed to have developed a vendetta against Dazzle and any view she seemed to express. The internet is a wonderful thing.. it is the practical epitome of free speech. As such, like any environment where free speech is allowed, people have to be aware that when an individual has the freedom to say what they want, others may be offended by what they have to say. This is the situation that prompted quotations such as:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Voltaire

I believe that in a forum, between civilised adults, it is possible to debate contradicting views in a friendly and constructive manner, even if at the end you conclude that you can only agree to disagree. This individual chose to be very combative, insulting and offensive, culminating in accusations which were, to my mind, totally unfounded and, in fact, that he, himself was guilty of. How he wishes to conduct himself is of little consequence to me in general. The world we see him for what he is. What was of concern to me was the distress that he caused Dazzle by his insulting behaviour, behaviour that he would have not tolerated had a similar attitude been projected to him. I like to think that I’m a very open-minded person and willing to accept people for what they are. I try not to judge people by any set of standards other than whatever set of standards those individuals follow. Using that yardstick, the individual in question is nothing. Everything that he has said he stands for, he, himself disregards when it is convenient. He accused Dazzle of being “dishonourable”, yet what was his behaviour in re-joining a forum he had been banned from under an assumed name? – hardly a stunning example of honour in action. He accused Dazzle of betraying confidential information by referring to him by his real name. (This would be the same real name that he didn’t disclose when he sneaked back on to the forum.) Yet Dazzle merely made a reference to the fact that “person x” had behaved in a similar way. While issuing the accusation, the individual did betray confidential information by disclosing Dazzle’s real name, though I noted that he didn’t even manage to spell it properly. As I said in the journal discussion, it is sad that his nasty attitude has prevailed and as a result the other forum has now gone off-line I do want to try end by presenting a positive view. I think that forums are, in general wonderful sites that can be enlightening, informative and fun. We don’t have many members (yet?) and I don’t really know how many actually manage to work their way through all the drivel that I subject the world to through my keyboard, but I want everyone to know that they are all welcome to post questions, views and opinions on literally any subject in the relevant forums. Lively debates and alternative views are welcome (nay, even encouraged!) Friendly ribbing (okay Strider, give it your best shot!) is permissable, but abusive postings will not be tolerated. They will be removed, and persisting offenders will be deleted from the user-base. And before anyone cries “censorship”, remember:

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” – Jefferson

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