Re on the direction of net.motss

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Sep 28, 1984, 6:45:55 PM9/28/84
Subject: Re on the direction of net.motss : net.motss

My problem with the Arndts, Brunsons, et.als is have this incredible
tendency to hit my "n" key if I see articles from them (not so bad) but
also on article who's title refers to one of their submissions.
I *suspect* that I miss valid information this way. Even though someone
puts a title in reference to the et.als they have buried in their article
some info/topic that can be quite new/different -- but I have used
the "n" key, *sigh*.

Subject: Re last article by favourite christian

Paragraph 1:
I think that christian is just actiing christian again and
maybe attacks on the points/person.

Next paragraph:

So I ask, if we keep this forum public (if no mailing lists -- although I
think I would personally prefer mail)
(is it possible to have a "supplement" mailing list as well as net.motss
or would that guarantee the death of net.motss????)

Could people make the following points of effort:

a) if article refers to arndt,brunson,dubois,, please say so
in the subject line
b) if (a) type of article with said subject line, PLEASE DO NOT
include new topics or information but make a separate posting

- Ken Dykes
Software Development Group, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. N2L 3G1

Steve Dyer

Oct 2, 1984, 12:40:38 AM10/2/84
Another possibility for the future of 'net.motss' is to form a "moderated"
newsgroup, something which was suggested at the time of its formation, but
never acted upon, perhaps because of its somewhat isolationist
connotations. For those new to the net, moderated newsgroups cannot be
posted to directly; rather, articles must be sent in a mail message to a
designated moderator, who then redistributes (or not) the article onto the
net. Such groups are named "mod.X", so our hypothetical newsgroup would be
"mod.motss", a nicely alliterative name.

Unlike the pretense of the net at large for such egalitarian goals as
"free speech", the purpose of a moderated newsgroup is to filter out
the irrelevant drek which is invariably attracted to certain newsgroups:
witness the gradual (but effective) replacement of the unmoderated
'net.general' by the moderated 'net.announce'. In the case of net.motss,
a group formed to foster intelligent discussion about gay issues, it has
recently in the past three months been overrun by bible thumpers and
purveyors of disinformation who are seemingly intent upon repeating
themselves again and again without any pretense to reason.

The reaction of most readers of net.motss has been increasing impatience,
where by now, articles of this kind now outnumber the serious. I have
received many letters describing overworked 'n' keys, and some people
interested in gay issues have simply ceased reading (not to mention
submitting) simply because of the bother of wading through such trash.
This, of course, is the worst situation imaginable; we cannot allow
the newsgroup to die or become ineffective due to the efforts of
an unreasoned few.

It is in this light that I recommend creating 'mod.motss', a newsgroup
essentially identical to 'net.motss', but one in which the articles
are screened by a moderator, a benevolent dictator whose only role is
to ensure that the posted article conforms with the purpose stated in
the first submission to 'net.motss' (copies available on request.)
Sure, this is a lot of "power" given to one person, but it is bestowed
by consensus. It is, in my personal view, much preferable to the
anarchic situation we see here right now.

Nor is this in any sense an abridgement of "free speech" (the ideal-- no
one ever claimed that USENET had to be either "fair" or "free".) Those who
would like to quote scripture or make incessant derogatory remarks about
gay people may continue to do so IN ANOTHER NEWSGROUP. They may take their
pick: net.flame is perhaps the most suitable, though even the most hardened
readers of that newsgroup may soon cry "enough!" and make a plea for
"mod.flame" :-)

I invite comments on this proposal. Some people might view this action,
if we agree to it, as a "defeat" of sorts, an outright admission that
a newsgroup devoted to gay issues could not operate effectively within
the heterogenious collection of discussion groups which comprise USENET.
I would not agree. First, only a few individuals are the problem here
(some would claim that there is only one "problem" here, and his initials
are Ken Arndt.) Second, if anything, it would increase the level of
discourse by ensuring that postings DO conform to the reasons for the
group's existence. I also do not think that the moderation should be
unnecessarily restrictive: honest inquiries and discussions, such as
Mark Terribile's of a few months ago, or the recent exegesis of
Scripture as viewed by Boswell, are all well within the limits as I
see them (the moderator may feel differently.) I see this as primarily
an expedient means to rid ourselves of "cranks", while improving
upon the very successful past year of net.motss.

One technical question remains: what is the distribution of mod.all
within USENET these days, as compared to net.all? I would hate to
see the distribution of the list drop off dramatically.
/Steve Dyer


Oct 5, 1984, 11:45:48 AM10/5/84
This seems an excellent idea, but I propose one slight modification:
"net.motss" continue to exist as is, but that any worthwhile item
deemed by the moderator to be of value be extracted and included
in "mod.motss". Thus, net.motss could include anything, unlimited
and uncensored, while mod.motss would contain any direct submissions
mailed to and cleared by the moderator, plus any items from net.motss
that are worth including. Mod.motss thus has the best of both worlds.

(Now, all you need is a moderator, and provide him tools to cleanly
and simply do such transference across group boundaries -- he needs
a "transfer" command to use as he reads net.motss, which will simply
take the just-read existing posting, replace the "Newsgroups:" contents
with "mod.motss", and copy it to his host's "mod.motss" directory.)

John Quarterman

Oct 7, 1984, 9:57:32 PM10/7/84
I fail to see how anyone can be fascinated with Brunson, any more
than Arndt. He's just another redneck. If Dyer, living in Boston,
hasn't run across any Brunsons, it's not regional difference, it's
just insularity or accident; I certainly ran across enough bigots,
thugs, and total flakes in that town to last forever, and I suspect
other places differ only in degree.

Ignore them.

They won't go away (really) but they might stop haunting this newsgroup.
Replying to them (in any fashion) only encourages them.
John Quarterman, CS Dept., University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712 USA
j...@ut-sally.ARPA, j...@ut-sally.UUCP, {ihnp4,seismo,ctvax}!ut-sally!jsq

Robert A. Pease

Oct 12, 1984, 4:28:54 PM10/12/84

>Ignore them.
>They won't go away (really) but they might stop haunting this newsgroup.
>Replying to them (in any fashion) only encourages them.
>John Quarterman, CS Dept., University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712 USA
>j...@ut-sally.ARPA, j...@ut-sally.UUCP, {ihnp4,seismo,ctvax}!ut-sally!jsq

I would be a little concerned about just ignoring them in
the hopes that they would stop haunting a newsgroup or any
other place/medium. They may just go and incite people
elsewhere to persecute gays/non-christians/whatever.

Keep your eyes on them. They can be dangerous if you don't.
I would rather have a Brunson or an Arndt making noise in
front of me where I can see what they are up to and respond
to it, than to have them go away silently and be hit upside
the head with something that some bigot cooked up.

Remember, when the children are upstairs playing quietly
they are usually getting into trouble. It can be the same
with a bigot.

DISCLAIMER: I have used the names Brunson and Arndt as
examples to refer to the types of people with their kinds of
behaviour and I mean absolutely no offense to anyone by the
use of the word bigot.

Robert A. Pease

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