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Re: Usage guidelines for theosophy lists

Nov 19, 1997 02:44 PM
by JRC

>8. Changes are in the natural order of things. So if some changes are to be
>brought about, the question is how one goes about. But such principles as
>freedom is not subject to change. 

Yeas ... actually I personally think any talk of articulating guidelines or
norms on the Internet is pretty much a useless exercise. virtually every
list is going to have a set of "guidelines" that are sent to every new
subscriber - but people pretty much ignore them (or, even if they don't they
will always say their perspective is within the guidelines, while others may
be breaking them) .... they are meaningless unless the list is moderated and
the moderator exerts control.

I have been on three or four lists that went from unmoderated to moderated
.. and the funny thing is is that almost the same phenomena happened on
each: they shrank in two stages ... the first being that the parties that
were subject to "moderation" (and in every case I remember the push for
moderation came about because of a few particularly lively discussion
threads) simply unsubscribed ... resulting in the lists quieting down quite
a bit. Over the next month or so, however, another larger segment
unsubscribed ... they never said why, and many of them were just lurkers,
but I suspect that most left because the lists became spectacularly dull. In
no case have I ever seen a list move from unmoderated to moderated and
*increase* its membership. It generally ... no matter what the topic ...
leads to a certain faction or perspective (to which the moderator belongs)
becoming the dominant voices on the list. ~Course there's nothing wrong with
a group of people forming a list to talk about things they already agree
about ... but the value of the list (IMO) almost invariably lessens as a
result (especially on the lists I generally belong to ... scientific and
spiritual - in both areas the chief *value* of the Internet is that one can
engage people who think dramatically differently). -JRC     

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