Moderated newsgroups

Mike Folsom mwfolsom at
Tue Mar 3 15:42:11 EST 1992

In article <01GH5Y933A40000551 at WFEB2.BITNET> MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET (Foteos Macrides) writes:
>        I hope I didn't miss anything in the course of all this rapid-fire
>discussion, but I did not perceive anyone as having suggested that we favor
>"moderators" for the news groups, i.e., people who screen messages and decide
>whether they should be distributed to the readership.
>        What we're talking about is designated "promoters" or "advocates" of
>discussion groups who are highly knowledgeable about the topic, feel
>responsible for stimulating new discussion if there is an overly long lull,
>and help keep the discussion focussed on the science without becoming too
>stodgey or too heated in unconstructive ways.  They should post "examples" of
>what is expected in the discussions, help answer unanswered questions or
>rephrase them in ways likely to elicit substantive responses, etc.
>        No matter how enthusiastic we might be about a new group at the time
>of its creation, the *true* discussion groups won't "last" (IMHO) unless such
>promoters are associated with them.


No offense intended but this seems increadibly oppressive to me.  Just look 
at the structure that's being suggested here.  Strikes me that an electronic 
discussion group doesn't need to operate like a journal club where somebody
chooses a paper and initiates discussion.  Maybe I'm just into anarchy, 
I don't know.  But I figure that this kind of structure is totally 

I don't want to attack anybody.  It appears we just disagree.  I'm for 
the most open structure possible.  Let flexibility and adaptability 
be the watchwords.

I close with a quote from H. D. Thoreau, loosely stated, on structure and 
  institutions -  

     "as where there is a lull in the wind a snowdrift builds up,
         where there is a lull in the truth an institution springs up"

Be well!


Michael W. Folsom          (mwfolsom at unmvm) -or- (mwfolsom at     
Dept. of Biology // UNM               (mwfolsom at       
Albuquerque, NM 87131              office -> 505-277-4228 <- lab

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