Re: Improving the list (was: Can we please dekookify the list?)

Harvey Newstrom (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 23:10:04 -0500

Another memory of "the early days"...

We had long discussions about PPL, Privately Produced Law. The List was going to be run as an anarchy, with no one in charge. Each person could join any group of PPL and self-govern by their own rules. If anybody thought another poster was flooding the list with useless garbage, or unfairly attacking an individual, there were grievance procedures. You had to file a complaint with your own PPL. Your PPL would negotiate with the other person's PPL.

As I recall, this broke down when I (as the first paid member of the list) announced that I was forming my own PPL. Nobody knew who I was or what I believed in. ExI wouldn't set me up as a PPL. I remember being quite a jerk about it, insisting that they either set me up as a PPL or stop sending out Welcome Messages stating that anyone could form a PPL at any time. I finally dropped the issue, stating that I really didn't want my own PPL, and that I was just making a point. Most people on the List agreed that they didn't want their own PPL's either, but they were sure that they didn't want to be under anyone else's PPL. Finally, ExI just declared that they were the "default" PPL that everyone else was in, and that no new PPLs could be formed without the existing PPL's approval. I only remember one other PPL ever being formed.

It was sad that we espoused spontaneous order, self-rule and anarchy, but couldn't actually get it to work on the List. Anyone else have more details about what happened with the PPL experiments?

Harvey Newstrom <> Author, Consultant, Engineer, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.