To the readers of bionet.mycology

Wm wm_n00 at tarrcity.demon.co.uk
Wed Jun 11 07:24:43 EST 1997


Tue, 10 Jun 1997 18:29:02 <339d9c44.7450393 at gazette.bcm.tmc.edu>
"Gregory S. May" <gsmay at bcm.tmc.edu> posted...

<major snips below from an informed and interesting post>

>I am one of the three founders of the news group and have been
>following the threads regarding inappropriate posting to the group.
>This group was originally founded to provide those with interests in
>experimental mycology a forum to discuss ideas and obtain information.
>The group has naturally evolved into to more than that.  Parties
>interested in fungal evolution, identification, culturing and forays
>as well as experimentalists have found an open and welcoming
>environment for discussion of topics related to mycology.  I would not
>want to see this change because of a few offensive postings that not
>only go to this group but to nearly all others in the bionet
>hierarchy.  

Time was (within the last year) that alt.nature.mushrooms was 
frequented by amateurs and although I read this group with interest, in 
the main I felt it to be the domain of people of a more scientific bent.

alt.nature.mushrooms became very quiet though (a northern hemisphere 
seasonal thing perhaps?) and has since been "taken over" by people who's 
interest in mushrooms is limited to their hallucinogenic effects.  Not 
my cup of tea personally but then again not something to be argued 
about.

This, it seems to me (and as you have said, Gregory), has left this 
group with a shoulder-load of interests ranging from inquisitive 
amateurs (like myself) to very learned people (like yourself).  In the 
main (and once again, as you have said) it seems to me that this range
of interests has co-existed quite happily.

<re: offensive postings, etc>

The unfortunate truth is that news groups *are* infected by unwelcome 
and (depending on your interests) offensive postings.  Nothing is unique 
about this ng in that regard or even the bionet hierarchy.

As Gregory has said, the best advice is to ignore such postings.

<re: moderation>

Moderation of a news group (IMO) simply shifts the burden of 
responsibility from all the readers and users of the group to a person 
or group of people.  While this may make life more pleasant for some I'd 
suggest that considering the low volume of postings to this news group 
judicious use of a kill file or simply ignorance of said postings by 
the readers is more appropriate than moderation.

If anyone is interested in a comparison, one of the news groups that I 
take and attempt to read has close to 2000 (that's two thousand) 
postings a week.  Why do I mention this?  Simply because SPAM postings 
simply disappear in such a volume of postings.  In case my point is not 
clear, unwelcome postings are noticed in this ng *because* of its low 
volume.

>At the same time though any form of
>censorship is in my view unacceptable.

I agree FWIW.

>Just one final note for the community, early on in the evolution of
>the group the founding community had discussions of making it more
>focused towards research and they have always come out in favor of
>maintaining the broad flavor.  I hope that we can do this without
>going to a moderated group.

I, for one, appreciate the generosity of the research orientated people 
in "humouring" us amateurs.  In case it is not clear from what I've said 
above I do *not* advocate the group being moderated.

>On behalf of the founders of the group I hope you will appreciate what
>I have said.

... and I hope that this posting of mine contributes to this group 
rather than appearing as a distraction.  I am bearing in mind other 
groups where someone has read but not posted very frequently.  It 
appears as though they are butting in, but in truth ...
-- 
Wm ... did you know?  My spell checker wants tarrcity to be atrocity.



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