[OPE-L:1571] Re: Use of lists

glevy@acnet.pratt.edu (glevy@acnet.pratt.edu)
Tue, 26 Mar 1996 23:24:56 -0800

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Alan wrote in [#1566]:

> We are still adding people. <snip>
> The problem is not whether either list goes open:
> it exists even though both are closed. Suppose OPE continues as it is,
> with its present membership, and non-OPE members join a sister list. The
> problem remains: by what criteria do people go in OPE as opposed to
> the sister list?

The following criteria, simple and fair, can be applied:

-- Those who have *already* been asked to join OPE-L can join if they
respond relatively expeditiously. Others are added to the sister list.

> I think my proposal is quite close to Jerry's, though if he feels it
> differs in one or other respect he can signal this. It is in summary:
> (1) we adopt the self-discipline of engaging in selected, more
> carefully considered discussions on one of the new lists, probably CAP
> (such discussions might usefully be announced in advance);

Yes, this is close to my idea for a seminar list. I would express the
issue though not in terms of having a "more carefully considered"
discussion, but of having a focused and organized discussion of
*particular topics*.

> (3) we agree that all new applicants with reasonable credentials for
> seriousness can be added to CAP.

If we are taking about a seminar list *rather than a sister list*, I
think the issue concerns more whether individuals are interested in
discussing a particular seminar topic. In other words, my idea was that
new people can be added to a "sister" (rather than seminar) list if they
want to take part in a longer-term collaborative project like OPE-L. If
someone is interested in only discussing a particular issue during a
specified period of time, qualified people can join the seminar
list for the duration of the seminar. Each time the seminar ends, in
other words, people would unsubscribe from that list. I also believe, in
connection with the above, that seminars should have announced starting
and expiration dates in advance of the seminar.

> (5) we *completely* close membership of OPE, that is, we don't
> accidentally de facto discriminate between 'acceptable' and
> 'unacceptable' new members.

See first part of this post.

> (6) after a period we review the membership of both lists on the basis
> that unless there is a serious SWOP problem, they should be merged,
> but with a list structure and self-discipline designed to create a
> manageable volume of traffic.

We have, of course, the option of discussing this alternative at a later
date, although I remain sceptical.

If we decide to use one list as a seminar list, we should use that list
*just* for seminars. That doesn't address the question, though, of new
admissions for people who want to take part in longer-term discussions on
a wide range of issues relating to "extending Marx." That, IMHO, can be
best done with the other new list.

I believe that the above also answers Allin's post [#1568].

It should be remembered that these are transitional problems born with
success. These are, in other words, "good problems."

In OPE-L Solidarity,


PS to Chai-on: welcome back to the discussion!