[Air-l] Learning from Lachlan

Joan Korenman korenman at umbc.edu
Thu Mar 21 05:45:57 PST 2002

--On Thursday, March 21, 2002 7:54 AM -0500 Michael Gurstein 
<mgurst at vcn.bc.ca> wrote:

> Lachlan for me at first was a breath of fresh air (AoIR) in that he
> wrote in a conversational style, he addressed subjects/ideas and
> people directly, and he broadened the range of subject areas in
> what I would consider a useful way--all of these moving the list
> out of the rather narrow confines of the graduate seminar room into
> the more hurly burly environment of the Net (or at least what the
> Net used to be in the days when Usenet rather than the Shopping
> Cart was the dominant mode of Internet based interactivity).
> In addition at first he seemed interested in pursuing the
> discussion around one or another of these subjects/ideas beyond the
> simple accumulation of printed references or URLs into an actual
> engagement around issues of some interest and even significance.

For what it's worth, I might note that in the eleven years I've been 
responsible for WMST-L (a large academic list for discussion of 
women's studies teaching, research, and program administration), I've 
seen a number of trolls follow a pattern similar to the one Michael 
Gurstein describes.  At first, they tend to seem interested, engaged, 
sincere.  Soon, though, their postings become increasingly off the 
wall and disruptive.  Eventually, it becomes clear that they're 
interested primarily in creating chaos and being the center of 

I for one am very pleased that Lachlan has been removed from AIR-L.


        Joan Korenman, Director
        Center for Women & Information Technology
        University of Maryland, Baltimore County
        Baltimore, MD 21250  USA
        korenman at umbc.edu

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