The Death Agony of the List

Richard Bos Richard.Bos at
Thu Aug 8 11:21:40 MDT 1996

Hugh Rodwell wrote:
> Chris proposes:
> >There is an unfilled niche for someone like an editor, who would
> >give an overview once a month, or once a week, of themes that have
> >interested him/her. Not revolutionary, not impossibly risky,
> >but it would help to reflect on the underlying momentum, which
> >sometimes gets lost in the flurry.
> There is a need for this on the web page as a guide to recent threads in
> the archives. Ideally each month's archives should have some commentary on
> the available threads -- topic, tone, duration, range etc. There's a lot of
> useful stuff in the archives that needs to be made more approachable. The
> search engine proposal a while back is another pointer in the right
> direction.
> >About technology, if Malgosia is reading, I still think that tweaking
> >the software to reduce the speed of retorts would be useful.
> >(The half life of adrenaline in the blood is 15 minutes). And I
> >do think it would be better if new subscribers were automatically
> >put on digest *unless* they had a special request to go on
> >instant, instead of the other way round.
> NO!  NO!  NO!
> I don't know why you're so stuck on these ideas, Chris, but they stink.
> Why should newcomers be discriminated against, when they're less likely to
> sink their fangs in somebody's neck than many an old-timer? Keeping the
> olduns on a short leash instead would be more reasonable but just as
> unworkable.
> For certain subscribers I would say that the halflife of the blood is 15
> minutes in the adrenaline, or whatever it is they're on. That has no
> relevance to the speed factor, however. One of the great advantages of this
> medium is in fact its speed -- and I can just imagine a crisis in some
> country (why not Turkey?) where instantaneous response could make a big
> difference to developments. How would you like to be responsible for
> hamstringing interaction then?
> Basically, though, we can look after ourselves, objectionable as that might
> seem to some.
> People have the right to live in an untidy mess, shout on the phone with
> instant adrenalin and discuss individually with others, even if there are
> onlookers around. We're not forced to have tidy homes on pain of eviction,
> wait two hours to make a phone call or listen to a recital of ten
> contributions from the group before getting to come back on the one that
> interests us.
> The scary thing about the Net is the fact that it can be too close to real
> life interaction for comfort! In other words, the Net brings uncomfortable
> elements of intimacy into public discourse, while at the same time
> appearing to provide insulating distance and anonymity.
> This is something we've got to learn to live with -- and it will become
> more so, not less.
> See it as the socialization of privacy behind our backs, or the
> intimization of society behind its back. All the confusion about public and
> private roles now in evidence is part of a tremendous redefinition of the
> place of individuals in relation to the various groups they interact with.
> Family, friends, workmates, fellow citizens, comrades, allies and enemies
> -- all these are becoming liberatingly open and threateningly public at the
> same time.
> Setting workable boundaries and managing them will become part of a new and
> conscious art of living as the new socialist non-exploitative society
> forces itself into existence. Under putrescent capitalism, the emphasis is
> on the unreal, alienated, fictional aspects -- ficumentary form. Soaps. But
> there's a transition, however, banal it might appear, in progress by way of
> Candid Camera and Real Life towards docutainment. We are beginning to make
> our own biopics. Discovering the real limits of our production budget and
> casting clout is an important part of discovering the reality of the
> society we live in and why it needs to be changed.
> Cheers,
> Hugh

I agree absolutely Hugh. Well almost, I didn't quite understand the last
paragraph. Maybe I've been in the sun too long today!
Best wishes,

      New Worker Online

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