"Normally create without a vote"?

BIOSCI Administrator biosci-help at NET.BIO.NET
Thu Aug 18 18:36:20 EST 1994

> Is it a crime to have an opinion that doesn't follow the party
> line here?  

Not at all.  How should I put this ...

I work with a lot of people here at IntelliGenetics.  We all have our
various tasks to do, and we like to feel that we have a certain
competence in doing them well.  If I spent a lot of my time in my
neighbor's office telling them how they should be doing their job,
especially when it is in an area that I am not responsible for, they
might start to resent it after a while.

I might say that I'm doing it only because I really care about the
company, and I want the organization to succeed.  They shouldn't get
upset about such a noble motive, should they?  Would this mollify
them?  Probably not.  They might take that as a statement of a lack of
confidence in their abilities to do their job correctly.

I think it is best to let people do their jobs with minimal
interference.  If one wants to put in a helpful suggestion *on
occasion* it will undoubtedly be appreciated by them; if one did it
all the time on issues that really are not part of one's job, it would
probably not be taken too well.

I think that the above analogy is reasonably accurate for most people,
but, of course, I must concede that I might just be hyper-sensitive
too 8-).

Going back one step, the fundamental philosophical difference between
network activists here generally revolve around the point of "central"
versus "community" control on USENET.  BIOSCI/bionet is an example of
the former while the sci.bio domain is an example of the latter.  I
should note, however, that, implications to the contrary aside,
BIOSCI/bionet is by no means the exclusive playground of myself,
although I usually function as the spokesperson.  In addition to Dave
Mack here at IG, there is also Alan Bleasby's group at SERC Daresbury.

Nonetheless, just these two sites have the ultimate responsibility for
running the system.  This is not to denigrate the contribution of the
news system administrators at all of the sites around the net.  Of
course, without all of their efforts the news part of the system could
not function, but, 99% of them have no more of an exclusive
involvement with the bionet newsgroups than they do with groups
created in any other USENET hierarchy, and many sites are set up to
simply create new newsgroups automatically when newgroup messages are

Other USENET hierarchies are generally more decentralized, and the
fact that a relatively high degree of centralization has occurred in
the BIOSCI/bionet groups has bothered a few people on the net.  Others
have countered that it makes life a lot easier for biologists.  The
pros and cons of this *control* issue have usually been the underlying
fodder of the debate.

My belief has always been that, since the sci.bio domain is an example
of the standard USENET way of doing business, let those who prefer
that structure work within it.  If BIOSCI/bionet was the only game in
town, then there might really be a reason to fight over how it was
constituted.  It's not the only game in town, however, so I fail to
see the need to try to convert it into the image of the other side.
In fact, I believe that many people, perhaps most, seme to like the
way it is run.  I might be wrong, of course, but I hear from
supporters far more often than from dissenters.  I would also bet that
it's attractiveness is what garners it a lot of this attention too.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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