Una Smith smith-una at
Wed Jun 16 10:47:57 EST 1993

>I am eanv20 at (John Woods)

>I have been reading bionet-info-theroy for the last two and a half
>years.  I have learnt a lot of stuff, but none of it relevant to our
>field.  I have not posted any stuff from our field because it did not
>look at all relevant. ...

The contributors set the tone of any newsgroup, not the charter, and
I am a regular contributor in  Groups do not do well if
everyone insists on being a "lurker".

I am certainly not alone among participants in 
wanting to go beyond DNA.  And I think the topics I start are very
relevant and should appeal to many readers as well as
people interested specifically in metabolic regulation.

>Is your site working? Or is it mine that's wrong? I've seen 20
>messages appear in the last 24 hours. ...

This has been a period of unusual activity in

>Unfortunately, if we fail to establish a new newsgroup, we lose our
>mailing list :-( 

No, you'll just have to move it somewhere else, or all switch over
en masse to another existing mailing list.  If necessary, I could
help you create and administer a LISTSERV mailing list via YALEVM,
where I now manage the SCIFAQ-L list gated to sci.answers.  No doubt
if you asked in bit.admin or news.groups, you would get other offers
of even better hosts on which to administer an automated mailing list. 
Consider the info.* groups mentioned in section 2.3.2, Special Usenet
Hierarchies and Gated Mailing Lists, in the latest version of A
Biologist's Guide to Internet Resources. 

I am sorry that the BIOSCI folks are using this strategy for priming
the newsgroup creation pump.  I think it is unfair to all bionet.*
participants, Usenet readers and e-mail subscribers included.

>... But I do agree that we ought to evaluate a new group proposal
>carefully.  I just can't see how that fits with your response.  I have
>posted an article containing points of our theory and you have not
>picked out a single similarity with info-theory *as it is now*. 

John, I have been busy.  I saved your note for comment yesterday, but
did not get to it soon enough, it seems.  ;-)  My posted comments in implicitly address this issue and I don't think I need
to spell it all out here.

>... The sad thing is that the postings you have been
>making to info-theory are just the sort of thing that our group loves
>to discuss.  Let's come together on this --- we need your input.

Why thank you!

But why do you suppose I've been posting them in b.i-t?  Something
about the discussions there have induced me to think.  If b.i-t causes
me (and Steve Modena, John Reinitz, Jonathan Marder, and others!) to
write on topics of interest to your group, then it is apparent to me
that there must be a very real, however unarticulated, common ground
between the participants in b.i-t and your mailing list.

Have you forwarded any of the b.i-t stuff to your mailing list?  How
many of your subscribers read b.i-t now?  How many subscribers are
there?  How active is the list?  Why have you never forwarded anything
from your list to any of the newsgroups that I read?  Why should I
believe that your mailing list would be viable as a newsgroup?  These
are questions I should not have to ask you, because it is part of your
job as promoter of a new group to "sell" the proposal to us all.

I would very much like to see a *successful* newsgroup for issues such 
as metabolic regulation.  But I will vote against this newsgroup unless
you convince me that it will be successful.


      Una Smith      Department of Biology       smith-una at
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511

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