Drowning- stats and lifebelt

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Wed Aug 2 21:44:12 MDT 1995

There have been some exchanges about the volume. These occur
periodically as people drown. Or think they are drowning. However it is
not essential that everyone is able to  read everything on this list for it
to be creative and to help the reapplication of marxist ideas.

I think the quality of posts has increased a lot. I am very
frustrated that I have not been able to give the attention I
wanted to a number of threads, including Steve Keen, Jerry and
Rakesh on value.

What is necessary is that subscribers realise honest, well-written
thoughtful contributions will usually be welcome. Antagonistic
contributions picking a fight will leave you vulnerable to
getting hot and bothered with lots of penetrating replies.

We have learnt how to fire-fight time wasting squabbles by
triangulation - stepping in and discussing the issues, not the
personalities. We have also learned how to deal with the random
incursions which may be hostile or just bizarre, or just students
enjoying themselves lobbing a few arkward questions.

This list is a self organising system. It does not require
everyone to be conscious of every move for it to be useful
Even if it never fed back into marxist journals, the very
fact that people from different marxist backgrounds can talk
to each other, and the liveliness of the list is a political message
in itself. It is at the very least a catalyst.


Dec 13th  189 subscribers

Apr 30th  283 (of whom 34 on the new marxism digest)

May 28th  285 (40 on the digest)

Jun 30th  274 (35              )

Aug  2nd  275 (46              )

Although I have not counted possible double entries of digest and
ordinary list, I think this is a pretty healthy count, considering
that many would unsubscribe over the academic holiday period.

I do recommend the marxism-digest function

1) It is less addictive and makes it easier to read just once or
twice daily. On the other hand you only have to wait for a day to
get a reply. Unless you enjoy flame wars this is enough.

2) It is neater with headings stripped off. The only bit I would
sometimes like on is who the mail is copied to because you cannot
always make out the connections, and what it is replying to.

This is a sample of what you get>

marxism-digest        Wednesday, 2 August 1995      Volume 01 : Number 296

In this issue:

   Re: MOOs etc. for marxism list
   Re: MOOs etc. for marxism list
   Bosnia- lifting the embargo
   Bosnia, CPUSA and the left
   Information overflow
   Re: Class, Internet, and the Industrial
   List size and form
   C.L.R. James and Ralph D. -- Does this shoe fit?
   Re: Bosnia and CPUSA
   Re: state cpitalism
   Re:  individual/selection, back to Paul C



From: om at gambro.se
Date: Wed,  2 Aug 1995   11:22:54  +0100
Subject: Information overflow

Understatement: This list is an active one.

Call for help: I'm drowning!!!


>From the stats above, I suggest it would be really easy for
a lot more people to switch to the marxism digest which Jon and
Malgosia set up. As well as being easier for the individuals, it
would probably shift the character of the list a little further
towards considered contributions that more people would like to
access selectively than the quick fire repartee which sometimes

So if the moderators agree, how about periodically advertising this

I attach advice from the introductory notes.
These perhaps could be made clearer that you can subscribe to
marxism-digest first and then, if satisfied, unsubscribe from the
ordinary list. So you lose nothing by trying it out.

administration possiblities (all to majordomo at lists.village.virginia.edu):


To unsubscribe,
send the message: unsubscribe marxism


To subscribe to the digest version of MARXISM

send the message: subscribe marxism-digest


Chris Burford, London

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