List Filtration (a.k.a.: Signal to Noise Ratio)

E. Shaun Russell (
Sun, 22 Dec 1996 21:49:25 -0800 (PST)

Before I start, I'd just like to say that this post is not intended
to offend any certain individuals. Rather, it is about my perspective on
bettering an already excellent forum for discussion.

I've been on this mailing list since about mid-August...shortly
after it became an 'open-forum'. Therefore, I have little knowledge about
how the extropian list was carried out before. About two months ago, there
was a lot of discussion over the possibilities of a two-tier list system for
old and new extropians. The thought was that there was a lot more noise
than signal happening within the forum. At that time, I disagreed,
exercising my anti-elitist ideals, but now I believe that a two-tier list
system would be quite beneficial.

I notice that within the past month, the signal:noise ratio seems to
be getting quite lopsided in the (IMO) undesirable direction. I might bring
to mind the current debate on 'chain-letters' and radical and irrational
(also IMO) reliances on the 'singularity' and 'semantical gender
appropriation'. Though these threads and concepts may mean a lot to some
list members, I think the majority of the readers couldn't care less. I
realize that it is hard to define a border between extropian topics and
non-extropian topics, but I'm beginning to see that it may be necessary.

The thought of a two-tier system has become slightly tempting to me
as of late. The method of incorporation is the mystery. I believe it was
Robin Hanson (forgive me if I am wrong, Robin) who developed the idea of
having one list wholly open and the second list invitational. Those on the
second list would also be on the first, deciding upon well-versed posters to
invite to the second list. This method, of course, has a few bugs right off
the bat. The amount of mail for those on the second list would be over and
above those on the first. Perhaps the viewing of the first list could be
optional? Another forseeable problem is of how the selection would take
place. Perhaps a cross-section of 2nd list extropians could be used as a
representational body to whom other 2nd listers make requests as to
open-listers' potentials. I apologize if that sounds too much like (dare I
say it?) democracy. As to who gets onto the 2nd list in the first place,
that could be put to an open-list vote.

Perhaps there is no need for a second list; however, I have all too
often seen newcomers asking old questions and starting stale threads. Maybe
there could be more emphasis in the exi-intro put on to reading the archives
before posting. This problem could be non-existant, but as far as I can
tell, the more versed extropians (queue Max More, Natasha, Eric Watt Forste,
Anders, TOMorrow, Eugene Leitl etc.) seem to be posting less, whereas newer
and\or less versed extropians appear to dominate and initiate current
threads (which I personally find more dry than in the past). I'd love to
hear other views and comments on these them opposing or agreeing.

Ingredi Externus!

-E. Shaun Russell

~~~:~~~> E. ternity E. Shaun Russell
:~~> E. xpansion
:~~~> E. xtropy Extropian poet\musician

-The past is the only inevitability-