[LMB] Listbiz: Amending the Pizza Cal

Rachel Ganz rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Dec 30 13:01:22 GMT 2006

It seems unnecessary to me; but my usual state is reading up to a fortnight 
(occasionally a month) late. By the time any discussion is halfway to 
pizza, I will already be deleting everything with that subject heading.

But if the list would like a (not too serious) proposal to consider - how 
about nobody post any replies on any thread until at least the following 
day; and also have an Out of Time header (OOT:?) to allow late arrivals like 
me a secondary - and very desultory - discussion (which can also be 


Finally getting around to read some of the original posts. And there is so much to say and respond to. So this is out an out of time post, saying , well, it's just a great , unstructured rant to give Victoria something to read.
I ws particularly interested by Victoria's posts on how there is too little traffic on the list, and where have all the posts gone.
I was brought up in a large, agressively debating family, but it was an academic one, and it was one where if you showed your ignorance in any way at all, you were benched. And people counted more who had more book-learning and less emotion, so if , let us say, you thought that the works of Tokien weren't worth using to mend a hole in a bucket, and others who were deeply embedded in the middle English tradition and could quote the Pearl, and Horace in the original Latin, and had paleaography coming out of their ears thought that Tokien's every word should be emblazoned in the finest gold and put on a sacred shelf, well, they were right, because they knew more. And that great filter, where knowledge weighs down opinion, maybe should or shouldn't be applied, but it sure makes it difficult for those who are less learned to feel that their opnion, NOTE, opinion, has any validity, because it doesn't have the inertial mass gained by unrelated knowledge. And if you don't have the correct knowledge, or opinions, you can be put down as stupid, or ignorant, or other condemnation.
So I don't know quite where that rant sprang from, but it is , I suppose, about the whole trust, respect thing, which should not need to be stated explicitly, but takes time to build up.
And as for the amount of list traffic. I'm gobsmacked that people manage to keep up with it. I can't even keep up with the books. Maybe this is to do with being a single parent, but while I love the list, it has to drop to the bottom of my list of priorities at least half the time. I picked up the slash thread about half way through, and found it absolutely fascinating, a bit of AKICOTL, and I would liked to have joined in, but hey, the discussion had moved way on by then.
So maybe that's another reason why the list is the way it is, because a lot of the lurkers, or occasional participants can't keep up. The people who dedicate time and effort to the list keep it running, and of course, they become a clique, because they are self-selecting by the fact that they can commit time and effort. And a bit of location too. So there is a question of community, and how unwieldy a community becomes, and how the community is maintained. And there are a whole lot of books out there about how society maintains itself, and what size of a group is a functioning group and what defines a leader. And there is a whole set of literature out there about insiders and outsiders, and how a lot of fiction is aout migration between insiders and outsiders.
Let's face it, Miles is the ultimate insider. His solution to outsiders is to bring them back inside: but they have to be quality outsiders, people who will fit with his inside group. Doesn't matter what you look like - so long as you're: a. attractive to someone, b. intelligent c. able to cope in a crisis. Anyone who had a breakdown would be dumped. Sure, there are plenty of misfits out there, but they're all successful misfits, though in some cases Miles has to lay hands on them to give them back their success. 
And that's fiction.
Is the list fiction? Are the people on it real? Does what happens in cyberspace matter? Maybe not, maybe not when it's a choice between reading the email and doing the washing-up. Maybe yes,w hen it's your chance to have interesting conversation that you can't get elsewhere.
I feel like finishing this posting with a generous appreciation of all the people who post and challenge, and inform and make good jokes. But perhaps that's too nice.

Brevity, clarity and cups of tea

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