[Marxism] Re: Moderator's Note

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Sun Nov 19 13:23:31 MST 2006

Curb your expectations.  Email lists are like "distance learning" and other
aspect of these electronic technologies...they don't--and can't--live up to
the hype.  This isn't to say that there aren't important functions they can
perform, but they're usually overstated.

Email exaggerates a problem with organization that's usually overlooked.
There's that great old saying about two heads being better than one, but
committee decisions in bourgeois institutions usually represent a kind of
dumbing down in deference to the lowest common denominator or the most
avidly interested in a subject....  That is, it provides a mechanism whereby
the group isn't really pooling insights and understanding but choosing to
operate on the lowest level possible.

As applied to this particular mode of communications...almost anyone on this
list can misunderstand or deflect the content of an email and--once they
share their misunderstanding and deflection--it naturally leaves the dozens
or hundreds of readers more confused (not more enlightened) than they were
earlier.  Simply put, it takes very little to blunt a conclusion or derail a
discussion or kindle the start of a flame wars.  And, since we remember
these things better than the successful exchanges, the process even
magnifies itself in our memories.

Then there is a vast and pervasive problems with a list that has an open
membership.  Particularly a list like this is always going to have a large
portion of lurkers (including official persons who wish us no good), people
who have all questions, people who have all answers, people who have spent
years denouncing other radicals for not realizing their genius, etc.

It might be that people interested in particular subjects might want to form
their own side discussions and give the rest of us digests.

Some of these recent conflicts confuse me...not because I'm necessarily
stupid, but because I really don't give a rat's ass about them and am not
getting a clear understanding from any of the participants as to why I
should.  It might be a service for those actually interested a subject to
discuss directly with those who care about it...to enumerate the points of
disagreement and agreement...and to explain in a coherent way why the rest
of us should see the conflict as having any meaning whatsoever for us.

Mark L.

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