[Air-l] RE: The Dire State of the AoIR List

geert lovink geert at desk.nl
Sat Mar 9 19:29:03 PST 2002

> From: Steve Jones <sjones at uic.edu>

> In any event, my strong feeling has always been that the best lists 
> are self-organizing and self-sustaining. I would strongly prefer that 
> we refrain from filtering, making rules, etc., at the "executive" 
> level of AoIR, and allow the list to function as it will.  

This is a false contradiction. Moderating a list is an art in itself
and is unrelated to censoring and only further enhances the
capacity of a community to self-organize. Moderation, or
I prefer the more precise term facilitation means that there
is a person or group which is taking care of the direction of
a list. This activity is absolutely unrelated to "rule making" or
"censorship" and I really surprised to see that so many 
Internet researchers on AIR are still mixing up these two

The general level of the AIR list has been low, really low,
with the exception of a few treads (I really like the
virtual community one). I am specially saying that because
the intellectual level of the subscribers is so high. Internet
researchers should have debates on really high level, in my
view, knowing how to use the tools they are supposed to be
an expert in. If I look at AIR and compare it to other lists,
the result is really low, specially over theoretical and
methodological issues.

However, this is all REALLY easy to change. As long
as this board keeps is its slack libertarian anything-goes and
let-it-all-happen go-with-the-flow mentality, I don't see
that many us will invent a lot of time and intellectual energy
in this forum. This has got NOTHING to do with
'censorship' or 'moderation' of individual messages but 
everything with vision and a common passion to lift the
general level of the conversation and information exchange.

Like anything lists need to be taken care of, otherwise
they decay and do not reach their full, critical potential.
I would therefor propose that a small group start to take
of the AIR list in order to give a direction. It's really
worth because there is a lot of potential here and I sense
from this debate that we are not really using it.

Ciao, Geert

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