[LMB] Discussions

David Bowen dmb0317 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 17 23:40:19 BST 2021

On Sat, Jul 17, 2021 at 2:45 PM Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:

> The three-day limit on off-topic threads does little good, because they can
> be brought back to on-topic with a single sentence.  More to the point,
> most of these "off-topic" discussions arise as tangents from topical
> discussions of Bujold works.
> The real issue here is people who want to control discussion and make
> others' behavior match what they'd want it to be.  The solution is to give
> up that hopeless and invalid desire and simply not read content you're not
> interested in.
> Between irrelevant content and low-quality posts, this list is never less
> than two-thirds useless to me, and at times it's risen to 90%+ for extended
> periods.  I just don't read most of it!  It's the responsibility of the
> list users to identify content they're interested in and screen out what
> they're NOT interested in.
> Matt G.

Only partially true. There are enough list users whose mail systems break
threads that any discussion that has lasted at least three days is probably
in several mail threads and one on-topic sentence can at best reset that
thread. I'd argue, that unless the on-topic idea continues in a follow up
message, that it didn't yank the discussion back on topic and hence didn't
reset the clock. This is the Lois Bujold list and it's supposed to be about
the works of Lois Bujold. However, the list members back at the time the
OT3 rule was adopted chose it as a compromise between a "no off-topic
posts" absolutism that would deprive the members of many interesting
discussions and an "anything goes" approach that would remove the essential
Bujold theme of the list. I've been a list member for about 20 years, and
part of the reasons the list has lasted that long is that we've generally
been able to agree on list rules and then follow them. I'd hate to see a
loss of that ability lead to an end of the list.

David Bowen

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