Re: Mailing List Quality

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 30 Sep 96 21:01:48 PDT

I didn't expect so many followups, with so much emotion, to my
mentioning "one idea I've played with". Just to be clear, I wasn't
making an official proposal for Extropians. And I don't have any
great confidence that my idea would work - I'd just like to see some
alternatives tried somewhere somehow on the net.

It seems clear now that my proposal should not be described as trying
to modify a basic open list. Rather, the idea would be to "add value"
with another list. There are many open lists and newsgroups out there
with moderated lists/newsgroups made by someone who picks out what
they see as the good stuff from the open list. This needn't be seen
as insulting those in the open list, or even insulting those who are
not picked. Max has on occasion published exceprts from Extropians in
his Extropy magazine, but that shouldn't be seen as insulting everyone
who didn't get picked for exceprts, nor as insulting the Extropians
list. And if someone wanted to create a "best of extropians"
moderated list, where they only post what they think is the best of
this list, I don't see why that should offend anyone here.

So, applying my idea to our example, the suggestion would be to create
another list, say "extropians-limited", with its own rules, which
would in no way affect this list. This other list would start with
say three people, and then accept new posting-members based on a
submission process as I described. Reading-membership would be open.
Many of you would not ask to join, because you didn't like the elitism
of the concept, or thought it would be too much work to agree to
review submissions. But would you really be offended by the fact that
other people did want to join such a list?

Robin D. Hanson