Marxist sci-tech list

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Sat Aug 23 13:42:07 MDT 2003


Les: 

On tech help, I don't think that should be a major focus, tho' I do
think that should be on topic. But a lot of that is going to be like
what goes on here from time to time, basically pointing people to
resources already available. Presumably the list would attract a fair
number of people who would have answers or know where to find them at
the tip of their fingers, and in many cases, comrades don't even know
where to begin to look. I don't think red tech help is enough to keep a
list going or even to serve as a major focus, tho I may be wrong.

I agree very much that science should be included, in the sense of
physics, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics and so on, (but not in the
sense of political science or sociology or economics). 

The list's area would be the intersection of science, technology and
politics from a left or anticapitalist or Marxist perspective. Also, the
impact on society and on left activism of technology. I think it would
take up "current" issues --the RIAA offensive against file sharing,
Linux v. Microsoft, free software, the newfangled unauditable
Micro$oft-driven, republican corporation engineered "black box" voting
machines (or, "How did a Republican wind up winning the Georgia
governorship for the first time in a century in 2002 (and by a 6% margin
when he was behind by 5% in the polls right before the vote? And where
did all those anti-Cynthia McKinney votes in the primary come from
anyways?"). But I would hope people would also take up matters from a
more theoretical or general perspective, i.e. keeping essentially the
same character as a combined list/journal that Marxmail has.

I would be willing to help with list housekeeping, and it is important I
think two have at least 2, preferably 3 moderators (because people go on
vacations or get tied up with projects).

I would MUCH prefer NOT to use a commercially-sponsored service but that
raises the issue of costs, although I would think given the subject
matter perhaps a university host could be arranged (I don't know how
that sort of thing works and what the drawbacks may be). We would
definitely need an automated list archive and, I hope, a web site.
Although I would  be happy to keep it under the "marxmail" brand, I'm
not sure how Louis would feel about it. At any rate, setting up the web
pages for this new list would probably be the same amount of work
whatever the "branding."

José

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com
[mailto:owner-marxism at lists.panix.com] On Behalf Of Les Schaffer
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2003 2:12 PM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: RE: Marxist computer advice group?


José wrote:

> I think it is a great idea to set up such a left computers and
> technology group.

i guess if it were to be a computers + technology kind of list, then i
would vote for adding science in as well (i find Science for the
People almost a total bore myself). otherwise, stick to Lou Paulsen's
original plan of having a group of computerese people available for
consultation to marxist and left-enough groups fighting the good
fight.

next question is whether it should be an add-on to Lou's list, or run
independently. if it were a computers + tech + science kind of list, i
might even be willing to administer it if there were contributions
available to go with something like panix listserv. 

but it would be interesting to hear first from the MIA crowd, Lou
Paulsen's people, etc, to see what numbers of people are interested,
and what breadth of topics handled.

we could also do something as simple as a web page with links to
various people who are available on a volunteer basis for consulting
to political organizations on desktop publishing, web and email
issues.


les schaffer






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