[extropy-chat] Appropriate List Content - was Malachy's Prophecies; Pope John Paul II, then two before the destruction of the Holy Roman Church
hal at finney.org
Tue Apr 5 18:45:43 UTC 2005
I don't agree that telling people to ignore posts they don't like is
a good way of dealing with the question of what is on or off topic.
A list is like a garden; you can't just ignore the weeds, or soon you
will find that they have taken over. There is also an online version
of Say's Law ("bad money drives out good"): bad postings drive out good.
Most people read the list without filtering and as long as this is true,
if they see a bunch of postings that they are not interested in, they
won't enjoy their subscription. Someone who just joined the list and
wants to get a sense of its flavor will judge it by the most common
postings. If they see a lot of junk, they will turn around and leave.
I don't think the corrective mechanism should be a matter of banning
people, unless they consistently show that they can't contribute material
acceptable to the list. A simple objection, followed by comment and
discussion, like what we are having now, is the appropriate mechanism.
I am confident that as a result of this ongoing discussion we will not
see further postings about the prophecies regarding the Pope, other than
as a phenomenon that provides insight into the sociological phenomenon
of religion, its hold on people, and what that means for our own goals
That's how lists like these work. There is a constant flux and dynamic;
people come and go, issues rise and disappear. Corrective mechanisms
and feedback are an important part of keeping a mailing list and online
community healthy and focussed.
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