[Air-l] Re: metadiscussion, part 1,000,000

Jonathan Sterne jsterne+ at pitt.edu
Sat Mar 9 08:29:45 PST 2002

Hi All,

I know I made this point before, but one small thing that we could do on 
the list is to limit the percent of quoted text in a reply.  Make it 50% or 
something.  If you go over that, the list automatically bounces your 
message.  I've seen this clear up other lists very nicely.  It just means 
if you accidentally quote the entire digest in your reply, you'll get a 
friendly bounce message (someone would have to write it, obviously) 
reminding you to please delete all the unneeded quoted material and 
resend.  Most people learn after one or two bounce messages.  I imagine the 
same thing could be done with various forms of non-ascii text.

As for personal content, I disagree that this is a list purely for the 
distribution of information.  The "chatty" part of it is as essential as 
the many forwards we get.  If fact, I'm more likely to read a post that is 
part of a discussion on this list than a forwarded message from someone I 
don't know.  Serious researchers are not robots, and part of the point of 
having a list like this is to build relationships with one another.  I've 
seen much worse behavior at academic conferences than the so-called 
"flaming" that goes on here.  Lists are for people to talk with one another.

By the way, while I agree that it would be nice for internet researchers to 
have lots of technical knowledge, we should be careful not to fetishize 
it.  There's some great scholarship on television by people who can't make 
TV programs, and some great histories written by people who haven't made any.


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