Brian Atkins <email@example.com>
> Incentive: I'll agree to contribute a minimum of $10,000 per
> year to ExI for at least 5 years if we can make some progress
> on this.
Someone at ExI needs to jump on this and secure that money! To do this, a specific plan needs to be worked out, and some sort of objective measurement for progress needs to be agreed to up front. Don't let this money slip away, and don't let this be a vague promise of support that never goes anywhere.
There are many schemes for moderated lists. My proposal is to have all posts go through a team of moderators. Those that are off-topic get diverted to a second list called extropians2 (or something). In this way, no one is prevented from postings, and all conversations can continue and can still be followed by those who want to see them. Those who want to read the more on-topic list can subscribe just to the main list. The key here is not to judge posts or control posting, just to keep it on topic and divert off-topic posts to the secondary list. I think this will make everybody happy, but may slow down the list. For the kind of donation being offered, surely we can find volunteers to act as monitors around the clock. If you get enough volunteers, we can get full coverage with only a little time from each volunteer.
If you don't like moderating, you can use automated keyword moderators that divert certain keywords to the other list. As soon as a thread starts that seems off topic, the keywords or title can be added to the automated list, and a message to the main list under that title can state that the thread has been diverted to the second list. This method allows implementation after the fact. Putting "guns", "TWA*800", "CIA", "UFO" into the keyword list would divert current kookiness.
Maybe the number of posts sent to the secondary list can be used as an objective measurement of what has been dekiikified off the main list. Or maybe just the agreement that the chosen scheme (or any other) is agreeable and that while it is in place (up to 5 years) Brian's money will be donated.
-- Harvey Newstrom <http://newstaffinc.com> Author, Consultant, Engineer, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.