[Air-l] Re: Learning from Lachlan

Bram Dov Abramson bda at bazu.org
Thu Mar 21 11:15:46 PST 2002

<radhika at cyberdiva.org>:
>golly - looks like I've missed some real fun stuff (I think I got derailed
>because of a bouncing account).
>and who decides this "broad range" might i ask?

The list manager(s).  To whom it is up to try and implement whatever 
collaborative decision-making processes they feel is appropriate, works 
well, etc.  And at which they can even do a great job.

List managing is, as you know, an artful process.  Deciding to abdicate all 
list management responsibility to the listserver software is one kind of 
decision, in which case list operations very much depend on how the 
software was designed.  Generally I think that list management is a 
combined human-machine task: some tasks you automate inside the machine 
(software design), some you maintain a set of human procedures for, some 
you have human moderators deal with on the fly and invent ad-hoc ways of 
dealing with.

Sometimes on this list we've talked about altering machine procedures, like 
rejecting all messages in which more than half of lines begin with a caret, 
implementing kill-files inside digests (well, that was me), etc.  Sometimes 
on this list we've talked about altering human procedures, like drawing up 
codes of conduct, excluding trolls, etc.  Just where on the human-machine 
spectrum each list's management falls is, clearly, up to the list 
managers.  Learning, teaching, researching about how to improve, fine-tune, 
recalibrate that process to achieve desired outcomes is surely a kind of 
Internet research.


ps on trolls: Guillaume Latzko-Toth, who I think is still on this list, 
gave an interesting paper at the Lawrence Kansas AIR which (iirc) talked 
about the rise of software-agent trolls inside IRC, much more sophisticated 
than the USENET agent-trolls which I think still roam to and fro.  A really 
neat topic for research: what happens when human and non-human trolls 
interact, I wonder?  Do they?

pps: This time I forgot to cut out the quoted digest before sending, 
ironically.  While it may be harder to implement new list management ideas 
than turn on already-existing ones, some of the already-existing ones seem 
to work just fine:

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