Democracy or volume 8-)?

Dave Kristofferson kristoff at NET.BIO.NET
Fri Jun 4 12:02:56 EST 1993

Despite the objections raised against properly designed opinion polls
they have tended to do a pretty good job of forecasting election
results.  I doubt that a system based on e-mail balloting would
accurately reflect the mood of the nation given the rather limited use
of this technology among citizens of the nation as a whole.  This may
change as time goes on, and I hope that it does.  Currently, however,
any such "poll" taken by the White House based on e-mail results will
most likely be tremendously biased and will only tell them the mood of
the "technology niche."

I'd also like to point out that BIOFORUM/bionet.general is currently
in *17th place*, not 1st by any means, in terms of e-mail
subscriptions at (the only immediate way available to
judge participation).  In fact more people are signed up on the
unexciting SCIENCE-RESOURCES newsgroup than read
BIOFORUM/bionet.general and **almost three times** as many people are
on the e-mail list for BIONEWS/bionet.announce as compared to
BIOFORUM/bionet.general.  Sorry, but the usual reaction of most
scientists is not to spend time chatting on the net.
BIOFORUM/bionet.general appeals to only a certain subset of users.

Finally, there is no "editorial policy" on BIONEWS/bionet.announce.
Messages that are announcements are posted, while messages that are
requests for help or on other matters are directed to other groups.
In this sense there is simply a "routing policy."  Messages are not


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				kristoff at

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