The Rational Argumentator's
Statement of Policy
I, G. Stolyarov II, Founder, Proprietor, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator (hereafter, TRA)—an online magazine promoting the Western principles of Reason, Rights, and Progress—hereby explicitly declare the manner in which The Rational Argumentator shall conduct its business hereafter. Let there be no ambiguity about TRA’s status: it is my property, and I have full sovereignty to institute and enforce the terms under which I and others might use it for the fulfillment of mutually beneficial ends. So that other contributors have no doubt as to precisely what their interaction with TRA will entail, I will clearly explain the set of services TRA offers and the set of prerogatives it reserves to itself in any interaction with contributors.
Section I. The Nature of TRA Operations
TRA constitutes a trader relationship between The Proprietor (G. Stolyarov II), contributors (those who submit materials for inclusion in any part of TRA), and consumers (those who read, see, or listen to any part of TRA for their explicit or implicit benefit). TRA offers the following services to contributors and consumers:
1. The non-commercial publication of articles, treatises, works of fiction, poems, musical works, paintings in computerized format, transcripts of debates, letters to the editor, and miscellaneous written, visual, or auditory content judged by The Proprietor to be worthy of inclusion and consistent with TRA’s principles. TRA expects neither to pay contributors money for submissions, nor to profit monetarily from them in a direct manner.
2. Editorial services for all written works published.
3. The opportunity for contributors to partake in all desired civil discussion of TRA features on TRA’s Forum.
4. The opportunity for consumers and contributors to receive updates concerning new TRA features via TRA’s Yahoo! Group.
5. The ability for consumers and contributors to purchase merchandise from TRA and affiliated parties via TRA’s Online Store.
6. Any miscellaneous services devised by The Proprietor and/or judged to be in the mutual interest of The Proprietor and contributors.
7. All services are provided at The Proprietor’s ultimate discretion. The Proprietor reserves the right to limit, moderate, and/or restrict any other party’s use of these services, as he deems fit.
Section II. The Nature of TRA Submissions
Any of the following actions on the part of contributors will be considered a submission of the work in question:
1. The contributor e-mailing the full text of the work to The Proprietor at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com. TRA reserves the right to reprint all e-mails sent to these addresses—though a formal request for permission to do so will typically be sent to the contributor beforehand as a courtesy, if the contributor’s intentions to have the text reprinted are not already known. In the event that The Proprietor wishes to respond to a particularly rude or irrational e-mail by reprinting it to expose its irrationality, he reserves the right to do so without asking beforehand permission.
2. The contributor giving prior blanket permission directly to the Proprietor to publish any and/or all of his works on TRA. The entirety of the works shall then be considered submitted, whereafter The Proprietor shall be free to publish them as befits his interest and convenience.
3. The contributor giving general public permission for the reprinting of his work(s)—a permission not specific to TRA and not necessarily involving communication with The Proprietor. The Proprietor asserts himself at liberty to reprint any work(s) for which the author’s permission to reprint may be found in any publicly accessible medium of communication.
4. The contributor responding affirmatively to a request by The Proprietor to publish a specific work of his that has already appeared in some publicly accessible medium of communication.
5. The contributor e-mailing part of the work or a link thereto to The Proprietor as part of a prior arrangement whereby the contributor periodically mails his works to potential publishers with the intent of achieving their publication.
6. The contributor having at one time rendered the work available in another online or printed medium—after which time the work had gone out of circulation—with no discernible intention on the contributor’s part to renew its circulation or to otherwise take advantage of his copyright of the work. If The Proprietor had obtained a copy of the work prior to the cessation of its circulation, he reserves the right to consider that copy a submission and reprint it on TRA. A necessary precondition for this to occur is the lack of availability of the contributor’s contact information—whereby The Proprietor would be unable to verify the contributor’s intent with respect to the work. The work in question would then have reverted to a Lockean state of nature; it would have been abandoned by its original owner and permanently lost unless renewed in circulation by another party—such as TRA.
Section III. Implications of Submission
Via the act of submitting an article to TRA—by any means specified by Section II—the contributor, unless he explicitly specifies the contrary, grants permission to The Proprietor and any assisting parties The Proprietor might employ to perform the following acts:
1. Publishing the work on TRA at The Proprietor’s discretion, at whatever time The Proprietor deems fit.
2. Altering the work to achieve greater grammatical correctness and proper usage of language.
3. Altering the work to achieve more desirable, correct, and/or efficient spelling.
4. Altering the work to achieve greater ease of readability, clarity, precision, and stylistic elegance—including alterations in sentence construction and word choice.
5. Altering the work to eliminate any profane, obscene, blatantly malevolent, personally insulting, or slanderous expressions—or expressions otherwise deemed morally objectionable by The Proprietor. This alteration may not apply to any intellectual argument the contributor might present, but will apply to any objectionable manner in which it is presented.
6. Altering the work to remedy factually incorrect statements—including incorrect names, dates, and descriptions of human actions.
7. Altering any language that plainly or upon deeper analysis appears to The Proprietor to contradict the meaning the contributor intended to convey in the work. This language will be presumed accidental on the contributor’s part.
8. Citing, referencing, discussing, debating and/or extrapolating on the work in any other public or private medium of communication.
9. Retaining the work on The Rational Argumentator in perpetuity. TRA categorically refuses to remove any of its content once it has been published—unless the content had not gone through a prior screening process by The Proprietor or some assisting party to whom he had delegated such a task.
Additional specifications of TRA prerogatives with respect to submissions:
10. The Rational Argumentator will not make alterations to the content and intent of the contributor’s work—unless some part of it is seen to be morally repugnant in its presentation and not just in content. In such a case, if the remainder of the work is judged by The Proprietor to have sufficient redeeming features, he may publish it while omitting or altering the objectionable content.
11. The contributor can choose for any or all of terms 1-8 to not apply to his particular contribution—but he must inform The Proprietor of this prior to or during the course of the act of submission. He is free to set more or less restrictive terms on The Proprietor’s use of his work, which The Proprietor is free to accept, reject, or negotiate. The contributor is not free to stipulate that his work be published only temporarily on TRA. Any such request will lead to the work being altogether rejected for publication.
12. If the contributor wishes to modify any of the terms for TRA’s use of his work, he must inform The Proprietor of these terms prior to the publication of the work. Once the work is published, TRA reserves the right not to honor the contributor’s request for any further modifications to it. Polite, reasonable requests for modification will still be considered, but they will be granted to the contributor as privileges—not rights—at The Proprietor’s discretion. If The Proprietor deems any post-publication request for modification to be intentionally rude and/or trifling, he reserves the right not to make the modifications in question.
Section IV. Definition of Editorial Attribution
When possible and not exempted by the contributor of the work in question, The Proprietor will notify his consumers of changes made to a given submission in the course of editing. This can be done in several ways—any of them qualifying as sufficient attribution of editorial changes.
1. If the work in question has been published in a prior medium, providing a link or other reference to the prior published instance of the work suffices as editorial attribution. It would then be the reader’s responsibility to compare the text of the work published of TRA to the text of the original.
2. Listing explicitly and publicly all the changes made in TRA’s editorial process suffices as editorial attribution.
3. Putting brackets—[ ]—around altered, amplified, or deleted content in the article suffices as editorial attribution.
4. Expressing altered or amplified content in a different color from the color of the work’s main text suffices as editorial attribution.
5. A statement on the same page as the work with the words, “This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy,” suffices as editorial attribution.
6. All TRA features published before the date of this document’s release are hereby exempted from the editorial attribution requirement.
Section V. Intolerable Conduct Regarding TRA Property
The following is a list of behaviors that parties interacting with The Rational Argumentator, its Proprietor, and/or its consumers and contributors are not permitted to exhibit. These behaviors are not sanctioned by TRA’s Statement of Policy and are therefore considered infringements of The Proprietor’s property rights. Any exhibition of these behaviors will result in penalties as high as a permanent banning of the offending individual from all association with TRA. Prohibition of such behaviors extends to TRA’s magazine pages, forum, Yahoo! Group, and the e-mail addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The Proprietor also reserves the right to restrict access to TRA property to anyone who displays these intolerable behaviors in any other setting.
1. Personally insulting The Proprietor or any other civil TRA consumer or contributor.
2. Employing profane, obscene, unjust, and/or tasteless expression. This designation includes curse words which describe sexual intercourse or human bodily functions in derogatory ways, as well as imagery to this effect. It also extends to vicious name-calling and incitements toward treating civil and intelligent people with anything but reason, respect, and toleration.
3. Advertising products related to sexual intercourse, pyramid schemes, and/or people’s intimate lives—or products otherwise irrelevant to the purposes of TRA and the subject areas it encompasses.
4. Posting gibberish, spam, and/or miscellaneous content-less expression.
5. Revealing personal information about The Proprietor or any TRA consumer or contributor without the latter’s explicit or evident tacit consent.
6. Lying to, defrauding, slandering, or otherwise intentionally and maliciously deceiving The Proprietor or any TRA consumer or contributor.
7. Collaborating with persons actively hostile to TRA on endeavors judged by The Proprietor to be detrimental to TRA’s existence, purpose, and/or participants in good standing.
Section VI. Permanence of All Past TRA Features
This section applies to all parts of TRA published prior to this statement’s release; it announces The Proprietor’s intention to retain all of this material on TRA in perpetuity, reserving the right to make adjustments to it in accordance with this document. All past TRA features will henceforth be treated under the same terms as ones submitted after this document’s publication—unless exempted from such treatment by this document.
Section VII. Contributors’ Responsibility of Knowledge
Knowledge of this policy and all terms therein is the prior responsibility of the contributors and consumers of TRA. TRA shall keep this policy well within public access and shall endeavor to inform contributors and consumers of it with reasonable effort. Never having read these terms or been aware of their existence—despite the presence of ample opportunities for such awareness—will therefore not constitute a legitimate excuse on the part of any contributor wishing to act contrary to them.
Section VIII. Amendment Clause
The Proprietor reserves the right to alter, remove, or supplement any part of this document, provided that a record of the original document is retained and the change is explicitly listed as an amendment made at a time after the original document was released. The date of the amendment’s release shall be made publicly known.
G. Stolyarov II,
Proprietor, and Editor-in-Chief,
The Rational Argumentator
March 2, 2006
Amendment I. The Nature of TRA Forum Posts -- May 10, 2006
Any post made on The Rational Argumentator's Forum by any poster is hereby considered a submission to The Rational Argumentator and may be treated as such by The Proprietor. The Proprietor reserves the right to cite such a post or reprint it as an article on The Rational Argumentator, provided due credit is given to the author. All other aspects of this policy statement apply to TRA Forum posts where necessary.Amendment II. Licenses for Content on TRA -- August 1, 2010
Any content published on The Rational Argumentator is hereby published in accord with the license held originally by the content's author. If the content's author maintains a copyright on the content, then the content is also published on TRA as copyrighted. If, however, the author distributes the content via a Creative Commons license or other "copyleft" license, or the content is in the public domain, then the content's publication of TRA shall preserve this status and allow for distribution in accordance with these republication-enabling licenses or with public-domain status. Any work published by The Proprietor is hereby subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
G. Stolyarov II is an actuary, science fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre, Rebirth of Reason, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, former weekly columnist for GrasstopsUSA.com, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. Mr. Stolyarov also publishes his articles on Helium.com and Associated Content to assist the spread of rational ideas. He holds the highest Clout Level (10) possible on Associated Content and is one of Associated Content's Page View Millionaires. Mr. Stolyarov has also written a science fiction novel, Eden against the Colossus, a non-fiction treatise, A Rational Cosmology, and a play, Implied Consent. You can watch his YouTube Videos. Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.