On Elian and the Public/Private Nature of the List

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 16 08:35:31 MDT 2003

Louis wrote:

>The list archives are definitely meant to be public. The "latest 100
>messages" archive gets about 25,000 visits a week and includes many people
>who are reading it in Internet cafes in 3rd world cities, etc.

>This is one of the main reasons I am anxious that the volume on the list
>remain manageable, so that  subscribers and archive lurkers do not walk
>away in frustration.

That certainly clarifies the thinking on the intended public nature of this
list. However I must say I'm confused about the rest. The "latest 100
messages," which is how I read Marxmail because I refuse to allow more email
in my inbox even though I have a high-speed connection, is just a web page.
No matter how long or short the messages are, they're each just one line on
that page. And if a particular thread (e.g., the Laura thread) is going on
too long for someone's taste, all they need to do is to not click on those
posts. That's certainly what I do (or don't do).

As far as email, two short emails and one long email take up *about* the
same amount of bandwidth (with headers, of course, the two short ones do
take up some more space) and the same amount of download time and cost for
someone on a dialup connection. So I really don't think that argument flies.

The argument that one should think deep thoughts and write up long, detailed
posts a la Lou or Jose has validity in some cases, for sure. But if that's
all that's encouraged, the list would be quiet indeed, and, in fact, many of
those long thoughtful responses come in response to the shorter posts.

Enough on that. Just to throw in my $0.02, I do believe Laura was "bashed,"
and I can't agree with Mark L. who dismisses that term as "a blanket
dismissal of critical comments." Any impartial observer who read the thread
of recent comments would see Laura being gang-bashed (by SOME of the
responses, certainly not all) in a way that contributed nothing to the
elucidation of key issues, but only to quickly driving her and her different
point of view off the list. For myself and the value I get from reading the
contributions to this list, I regret that.

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