TOP 40 NEWSGROUPS IN ORDER BY PER-READER COST (JUL 92)

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Wed Aug 12 02:18:25 EST 1992


In article <1992Aug11.165328.19215 at news.columbia.edu> dan at cubmol.bio.columbia.edu (Daniel Zabetakis) writes:

>   The stats don't really mean that 14000 people read the group. It menas
>that there is an estimated 14000 people who have it listed as subscribed
>in thier .newsrc file.   Unless I am mistaken, the survey software doesn't
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>attempt to decide if you actually read the group.

That's one of those things about Unix-based distributed computing: you never
know who is inspecting your files to check up.

>................................................................. but I
>wouldn't take the figure seriously. 14000 is pathetic readership compared
>to some of the more interesting groups.
                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Indeed, the politically correct thought police don't seem very successful
at surpressing the more subscribed groups.

It's a lesson the big CHEESES will never take to heart.  They are safe in
practicing Science by Authority so long as the underlings can be kept in
"isolation."  Instruments of free expression, like UseNet, will eventually
bring them to heel (more quietly, on average, than Baltimore & Associates,
Ltd.)

The recent calling-to-account of Gonnet et al. ought to be a sobering reminder
that journals may not allow frank expression, but there is no Prior-Restraint
to prevent explicit critique of science content, methodology or showmanship
when broadcast via UseNet.  [journals disseminate; InterNet broadcasts]

The notion that the BIG CHEESES are providing faulty or tainted leadership
arose very recently at a science get-together.  The topic that triggered
it was "peer review" as practiced in reality.  The suggestions offered for
improving peer review were, for the most part, the enabling features of the
peer review concept.  This is quite a contradiction.  

Heavy traffic in a group like methods-reagents suggests a "need" that is
not being met in local labs.  And criticism of the *volume* of traffic is
suspect in itself.  Of course, disdain of asking "unknowns" for help
is, in reality, censure for not licking the boots of the Big Cheese's
Premium Select Peer Group.  ;^)

Have a nice day!  :^)

Steve

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