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Re: Usage guidelines for ARCANA

Nov 18, 1997 01:55 PM
by Eldon B Tucker


At 03:16 PM 11/18/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>As fuel for further possible discussion on what are reasonable
>>guidelines for participation in theosophical mailing lists, 
>>I've included a copy of the guidelines for the ARCANA mailing
>>list. (The guidelines are reposted with permission from the
>>listowners of that list.) 

>A quick question - Eldon, are you seeking feedback because you are
>contemplating some sort of rules for theos-talk, or is there some effort
>afoot to impose guidelines of some sort on theos-l?

This is partly to see if it's possible to formulate general
guidelines for theos-talk. That's "guidelines" or recommended
norms of behavior and not mandatory rules. As to theos-l, I
don't think it's possible to impose any guidelines, unless
John Mead were to do so, and I don't see any compelling reason
for him to do so.

Also, although I haven't posted a request for ideas and help yet,
I'll be doing a one-day program on "Theosophy and the Internet"
at Krotona in January, and the topic of mailing lists -- what
they are, what you do with them, what you can give to or get out
of them -- will come up. I'm looking for different ideas, not
just what I can think up on my own.

>>Any useful ideas or comments would be appreciated. Statements
>>like "I always do what I believe is best," though, don't really
>>say anything, and are ways of avoiding discussing any of the
>>issues involved. The same is true of statements, I think, like
>>"Anyone should write anything anytime they like; there should
>>be no limits or standards whatosever!" 

>Anyone *should* write anything anytime they like - understanding that they
>will likely be responded to in a tone identical to the one in which they

Even though there shouldn't, perhaps, be censorship and advance
restrains (e.g. moderation) of postings, there are norms of
behavior for various lists. These norms are the perhaps unspoken
standards by which the list participants behave. There's nothing
wrong with articulating them and attempting to understand what is
going on. The norms for each mailing list may differ. It would
be useful, I think, to understand them, to understand what is
going on.

>This, however, does not *avoid* discussion, but is at the very root
>of it: A "governed" list will always by necessity take on the character of
>the governer(s), an ungoverned list will take on the character of the
>participants ... their best and their worst.

>Given a choice, I'll always choose freedom over control.

I tend to have the same preference, finding it easier to write something
for an unmoderated mailing list than submitting something to a moderator
for their decision if what I write is ok or not.

-- Eldon

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