Re: Polymath List: Re: Extropians list to become two lists

Paul Hughes (
Thu, 04 Jun 1998 19:09:16 -0700

Damien R. Sullivan wrote:

> People were invited to the list who didn't join. About half the initial
> invitation list, in fact. And it's not just my judgement; Robin helped a lot
> on the initial list, and I run to him and Carl Feynman for advice.
> That said, I'm not perfectly happy with the list myself. But I'd like less
> Singularity type stuff, not more. I've thought of raiding a few Names from
> the SF newsgroups, but haven't yet.

That's unfortunate that others invited have not participated, as the content of
polymath-l has often been compelling and informative. Thanks for allowing
*anyone* to read it. When I asked for alternatives to your format, I was thinking
of a more decentralized exclusivity mechanism, yet remaining open for reading by
all. ExI's decision to make NodeNet only open to members is definitely *not* what
I had in mind.

> Start similar lists, with other hosts. I've thought of polymath-list as a
> "neo-Enlightenment salon". Nothing wrong with multiple salons and polite
> competition. The technical barriers to entry are pretty low. The reputation
> barrier is higher, of course; rather like Internet banking.

Nothing wrong with competition, but on the other hand its the balkanization of
mailing lists of the NodeNet proposal that give me the sinking feeling that ExI is
isolating itself out of existence.Although if you have a few extra moments, I
would interested in hearing about what are the technical requirements for starting
a mailing list.

Paul Hughes