[Marxism] Long posts not allowed??

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Thu Sep 10 12:13:47 MDT 2009

At 15:56 10/09/09 +0000, you wrote:
>Patrick Bond <pbond <at> mail.ngo.za> writes:
>> I'm voting, as usual, for full posting of articles - copyrights be damned.
>> The reason is that I sit at the base of Africa (in Durban)

I also got a chuckle when I heard the story about them getting data
transferred faster using carrier pigeon than the internet between Durban
and a city 80 km away! And I immediately thought of Patrick in Durban,
whose post I had at first found a bit surprising.

However I just wanted to follow up on this thread (regarding the posting of
complete articles), because I thought enough people weighed in to
demonstrate a near consensus, but the conclusions of that consensus were
never quite acknowledged. I want to do that now.

This started when Les chastised one poster for including an entire article
in a post rather than just the URL to that article on the web, saying that
this was a (minor) breach of list policy. I hadn't heard of that rule, but
Les defended it as a savings of bandwidth:

>for people with slow downloads who do not want to read all of an article, 
>the download costs go up without the rule.

The policy was intended to be of assistance to those living in countries
with poor internet service and/or who use a dial-up connection, Cuba being
cited in particular. However every single person in that situation who
weighed in on the issue emphatically expressed the OPPOSITE view concerning
long posts: that they considered it a FAVOR when someone sends them a 10 or
20KB email with an interesting article RATHER than requiring them to obtain
it from the original source using their web browser. I had pointed out that
the data downloaded from a website was typically 10 to 100 times as great
as the actual amount of text that makes its way into an email. The
responses went further than I had been aware, to say that they often cannot
even pull in an entire webpage to read such an article!

My original motivation was more that having an article right in your email
is CONVENIENT and avoids having to look at all the advertising and crap
that fill webpages these days. But the replies from the
bandwidth-challenged comrades indicated that even the original rationale
for the rule actually mitigated AGAINST the rule and FOR including the
complete text of articles! Am I mistaken?

>though i still advocate for some way to separate news forwards from
>on this list

Well this separate issue sprung from the bandwidth issue, with a suggestion
that if there was a separate list for articles then some subscribers could
limit their bandwidth by only subscribing to the discussion list. Again, I
saw no support for that among the supposed beneficiaries of that scheme.
There would have been some logic in having articles and discussion posts
separate or marked as one or the other type, for purposes of organizing our
bulging email boxes. But even that hardly struck a chord.

Instead what I DID see, and strongly agree with, is that there should be no
artificial divide introduced, precisely because it IS articles from which
most discussions are initiated! Is that not as it should be? Any discussion
that starts here is in response to some thesis or news report that is
posted, and if it was not a publicly available article, it could still be
described as an "article" written by the initial poster, right? How can you
draw the line between "real" articles and mere "posts"?

What's more, I object to a separate list where anyone can freely post any
old article that they might find interesting. That isn't what I expect.
Rather I am relying on comrades' judgements of articles and their
discretion in posting ones that I would (with some likelihood) also be
interested in looking at. I don't expect any hard and fast rules about it,
but clearly if someone kept sending in articles on topics that no one was
interested in, or articles of poor quality or simply repeating familiar
material, then that person should get a little tap on the shoulder. But I
don't see that happening. I find this list to be a reasonably good filter
for articles that I might be interested in reading, and I provide the final
filter by scanning the text that I receive in an email before deciding to
read it. Can't we just keep it that way?

And can't we ENCOURAGE the sending of the full text in most cases? I would
make exceptions, such as when someone wants to post a bibliography on a
subject, or references of a historical nature, or feels justified in
referring to gobs of material that are very specialized or completely
off-topic. But in most cases, where the judgement of the poster is sound,
let us get the text delivered in full, just like the morning paper (but
with far superior content)!

- Jeff

>  http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm
>  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8165077.stm
>Les (from gmane.org )

>JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African information technology company on
>Wednesday proved it was faster for them to transmit data with a carrier
>than to send it using Telkom , the country's leading internet service

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