Re: Mailing List Quality (Was: Certainty, Experiments & Fac

Kathryn Aegis (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 17:45:08 +0000

I just realized that I've posted no intro to this list, so I will now
indicate that I am a professional "process person", practicing
mediation, facilitation, and system design. This is the perspective
from which I asked Robin about list insularity.

In light of Harry Hawk's comments, I will rephrase that into
"avoid degenerating too far in the direction of intellectual
insularity". "Minority views" would include not only groups of
persons numerically smaller but also new insights or approaches that
might initially seem threatening to the established approaches.

Robin Hanson replies:
>I'd pin my hopes on the fact that a sister open list exists which a
>large fraction of the closed list people read.

You originally presented your idea as comprised of two sister lists.
A dynamic could develop wherein persons on the restricted list would
notice posts on the open list that related to their issue areas, but
my own experience with a somewhat similar structure indicates otherwise.

I have resided on a list-within-list structure, but the inner list
was by invitation only and required clearance by several inner list
members. The two lists dealt with a human rights issue, and the outer
list occupied the harassers while the real work was conducted on the
inner list, which could not be read by the outer list.
Eventually many persons on the inner list unsubbed from the outer
list, considering it a distraction.


Kathryn Aegis