PROPOSAL: bionet.politics

Foteos Macrides macrides at
Sun Jul 3 10:14:25 EST 1994

In article <94181.005338U58563 at>, <U58563 at> writes:
>    My apologies to the "Voices for Evolution" people.  Apparently you're
> posting to the right place after all!

	Yes and no.  When the moderated announcement group was split off from
the unmoderated bionet.general, and the latter became bionet.general/BIOFORUM
(orginal newsgroup name / new email list name), it was intended (among other
things) to be a catchall for threads which might be inappropriate in the
focused groups (and certainly not the announcement newsgroup/list), might be
on the "chatty" side, and might become intense and volumnious, such that while
they are occurring could seem "interminable", but in fact are unlikely to be
long lived.  The "Voices for Evolution" thread falls in that category.

	However, that thread is an example of a "problem" for the bionet
hierarchy, and what's "generally" intended here.  The original message was
broadly crossposted, and reader software at sites configured to send
followups to all of the newsrgoups in the message header perpetuated the
broad crossposting.  Here's a header section for a message from that thread,
edited for readablility:

>Newsgroups:, sci.skeptic, bionet.general, sci.anthropology,
>  ,      sci.chem,    sci.astro,      sci.geo.geology,
>            talk.religion.misc,        alt.censorship
>Subject: Re: Voices for Evolution

	I suspect that the majority of contributors to that thread were not
overtly intending to post to bionet.general, nor even aware that their
messages were appearing here.  From its contents, that thread appeared to be
primarily intended for, and fed from, and sci.skeptic (and
subsequently also talk.religion.misc and alt.censorship) not bionet.general
and the other newsgroups.

	This problem has been infrequent, but I suspect will become more
common with the progressive commerialization and popularization of the
Internet, moreso than the problem of advertisements posted to every
newgroup, because the latter promptly evokes a substantial, active negative
reaction, making it unlikely to be used as a "serious" marketing mechanism
(as opposed to pranks, or "fly by night" promotions).


 Foteos Macrides           Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
 MACRIDES at SCI.WFEB.EDU     222 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

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