RFD: talk.better.world

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Giovanni Greco

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Feb 20, 2001, 2:34:55 AM2/20/01
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REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
unmoderated group talk.better.world

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation
of a world-wide unmoderated Usenet newsgroup talk.better.world
This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time.
Procedural details are below.

Newsgroup line: Talking about a better world.

RATIONALE: talk.better.world

Every year on our planet millions of children die of hunger, or of diseases
that existing medicines, if available to them, could cure; whole nations
suffer the effects of famine; a third of the earth's population has
insufficient food to provide adequate sustenance and all this in a world
that has the resources to feed over six billion people. The problem would
seem to have more to do with organization, and hence politics, than with
any real shortage of food. 10 percent of the world's population owns
almost 90 percent of its total wealth. Hundreds of millions of people work
for less than one dollar a day. And the jobless number over a billion.

Although we now live in a time of "peace", across the globe fifty different
wars are being waged; in many countries capital punishment still exists for
crimes of ideology, in many others people are condemned without a proper
trial, tens of governments are openly dictatorial, in countless nations
there is racial, political, ethnic or religious persecution (twenty million
people are refugees), minorities are without civil rights, freedom of
speech is something many individuals can only dream of.

The extinction of species of animal life, global warming, uncontrolled
deforestation, advancing deserts (a quarter of the world's population lacks
sufficient water), toxic waste disposal; the risks inherent in nuclear
energy and in unregulated exploitation of the earth's resources, frequently
attributable to the interests of multinationals; the dangers implicit in
genetic engineering, organized crime, tax havens, political corruption.
I believe these issues touch each and every one of us. And yet our
political leaders do not always show concern for solving the problems of
the community, on account of the enormous private interests of powerful
lobbies.

CHARTER: talk.better.world

The purpose of this newsgroup is to provide every individual with an
opportunity to make his or her voice heard, since I regard newsgroups
as the only means by which people can express their opinions in public
without their views being "filtered" in some way (i.e. by the media).
Are human beings satisfied with the world they live in? Will man ever
succeed in solving problems of this kind? Is it possible that things will
ever change? Can things ever get better? Will humankind ever be able
to put an end to the present sorry state of our planet? And let's not
forget - what's more - that all this is happening in the third millennium,
in the era of so-called "technological progress" and "prosperity".

Are we (or the persons who represent us politically) doing everything
possible for our less fortunate fellowmen? talk.better.world sets out to
offer a meeting point for all those people who firmly believe solutions can
be found for these problems. It is a forum for everyone who is convinced
that the blame is very often to be attributed to bad organization and to
the lack of political co-operation between nations, rather than to human
beings' indifference. It is a platform for people who are also aware that
man has the means and knowledge to tackle these issues, in order that
life on this earth may one day be better for everyone.

Any topic related to achieving improvements in the critical areas listed
in this charter can be discussed in this newsgroup. It will also welcome
contributions from users living in places affected by the issues addressed
since they will be able to provide first-hand information about all the
problems experienced in their own local context. Because I firmly believe
that in this era of "globalization" - but also of the "global village" -
these problems concern all of us, irrespective of nationality or borders.

Will the Internet ever become a means for changing the world or will it be
nothing more than a means of access to a new, global market built solely
for people with the money to take advantage of it?

END CHARTER.

PROCEDURE:

This is a request for discussion, not a call for votes. In this phase of
the process, any potential problems with the proposed newsgroups should be
raised and resolved. The discussion period will continue for a minimum of
21 days (starting when the first RFD for this proposal is posted to
news.announce.newgroups), after which a Call For Votes (CFV) may be posted
by a neutral vote taker if the discussion warrants it. Please do not
attempt to vote until this happens.

All discussion of the proposal should be posted to news.groups.

This RFD attempts to comply fully with the Usenet newsgroup creation
guidelines outlined in "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and "How to
Format and Submit a New Group Proposal". Please refer to these documents
(available in news.announce.newgroups) if you have any questions about the
process.

DISTRIBUTION:

news.announce.newgroups
news.groups

Proponent: Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com>

Dennis Calhoun

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Feb 20, 2001, 3:11:49 AM2/20/01
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On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 07:34:55 GMT, "Giovanni Greco"
<giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:

> REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
> unmoderated group talk.better.world
>
>This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation
>of a world-wide unmoderated Usenet newsgroup talk.better.world
>This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time.
>Procedural details are below.
>
>Newsgroup line: Talking about a better world.
>
>RATIONALE: talk.better.world

[snip]

I started to comment on the Rationale portion of this RFD.... then
read the rest of the RFD and decided that the best thing for me to do
is to simply *highly* recommend that you read
http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/usenet/newgroup/good-proposal.faq

Then start over ..... from a clean sheet.

--
Dennis C.

Frank Nospam

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Feb 20, 2001, 6:47:17 AM2/20/01
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"Giovanni Greco" <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
> RATIONALE: talk.better.world
> Every year on our planet millions of children die of hunger,
[blah blah blah abridged]

Giovanni, do you have ANY evidence that people will use this group?
Mailing lists? Straw polls? Extant traffic on other current groups?
I don't see a great clamoring mass asking for a new forum.

Also, this reminded me of Joel Furr's rant about soc.congress.love
and since Google shows no record of that message online anywhere,
it's time to repost and get it cached for posterity.

*****
From jf...@acpub.duke.edu Fri Apr 21 16:24:25 EDT 1995

guen...@cabal.shnet.org (Thorsten Guenther) wrote:
>Ah, yes. "There is no interest, I, the omniscient Joel K. Furr, am telling
>you so." The 'votes' you are talking about _are_ interest polls. So, if
>there is no interest, there won't be enough YES votes to cast the group
>into existence. "I vote NO because I know noone wants the group" is a
>contradiction in itself.

Actually, Herr Thorsten, votes sometimes do quite a poor job of indicating
interest. Newsgroups have passed with solid vote margins and then quietly
died on the vine with an almost total lack of traffic.

Soc.culture.scientists is of course the classic example -- a group whose
detractors were extensively flamed for being shitheads and bigots during
the RFD process, which passed and then proceeded to get no on-topic
traffic at all... and which, within a year lost even the crossposted
gibberish from other groups and died entirely.

There are many newsgroups that are like it to some extent, groups which
were a bright gleam in someone's eye that, upon execution, didn't turn out
to be very good ideas at all. Alt.* is of course *full* of newsgroups
that sit empty because no one but the creator or proposer understood what
they were supposed to be about. Me, I'd like to keep the Big 7 from
coming to resemble alt.* in this respect.

Thus we come to what I've off-and-on privately referred to as Catch-99, an
observation on the way newsgroups work:

"If you can't describe what a newsgroup is supposed to be about in one
succinct sentence, it probably won't work very well at all as a newsgroup."

In other words, a newsgroup that ignores Catch-99 will get very little
*on-topic* traffic, if in fact it gets any traffic at all.

We on the group-mentors list have been getting zillions of proposals of
late that run afoul of Catch-99 -- people who wander in and say "well, I'd
like to get a group created called soc.congress.love" and who, if you ask
them exactly what the hell the group's supposed to be about, ramble on for
three or four paragraphs trying to explain that it's supposed to be about
some higher love and how all of us humans are part of an informal Congress
of Love which will solve all the world's problems and stuff.

No way in hell such a group would work -- no one would understand what it
was supposed to be about and it'd be full of crossposted messages from
alt.bigfoot in no time at all, unless it was created moderated, in which
case it'd have nothing but long rambling messages from the moderator.

The proposers of these weird, space-cadet newsgroups never understand
this, of course, wondering how someone can speak so authoritatively on a
group that hasn't come into existence yet.

Soc.culture.scientists and comp.home.misc and similar groups run afoul of
Catch-99 because you can't explain what they're about without a lengthy
explanation that starts "Well, it's like this..." I *still* don't
understand what the moderated newsgroup comp.home.misc was supposed to be
about -- its charter resembled Pig Latin to a high degree.

To tie this back into Herr Thorsten's flame, which apparently derives from
my opposition to soc.sexuality.zoophilia, I opposed s.s.z because it was
obviously just a status thing -- the proposers wanted to in-your-face the
entire population of USENET by lifting bestiality out of alt.* and putting
it someplace we couldn't ignore it -- but *also* because it was impossible
to state what the group was supposed to be about succinctly and clearly.

This was of course partly the work of the proposers, who admitted publicly
after the second vote lost that they'd omitted any reference to sex with
animals from the charter because they knew people would vote against the
group, but that *of course* this was one of the major things the group
would be about.

This was also the result of the proposers using a term, "zoophilia," with
something like 16 dictionary definitions, some of which were mutually
contradictory, and disingenuously refusing to specify exactly *which*
definition they planned to use. "Look in the dictionary," they'd say.
"Which definition?" we'd ask. "Oh, any of them," they'd say, staring off
into space.

But it was, finally, the result of no one, not even the proposers, simply
and clearly being able to say in what way the traffic of
soc.sexuality.zoophilia would be different from alt.sex.bestiality. Nor
could they simply sum up in one sentence what the group would be about.

In conclusion, I opposed soc.sexuality.zoophilia for the same reason I
oppose sci.millenial and soc.congress.love and all those other, incredibly
nebulous and hard-to-define newsgroups that have been proposed lately.

If you can't succinctly say what a newsgroup is supposed to be about
without leaving out important elements of its charter, the group won't
work even if it is created. It may have traffic, but it won't be the
traffic it was created to hold.

That's Catch-99. You can disagree with its implications all you want, but
it still holds true.

<a href="http://www.danger.com">Joel Furr home page</a>
*****

-F.

Jonathan Kamens

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Feb 20, 2001, 9:17:57 AM2/20/01
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This is without a doubt one of the stupidest newsgroup proposals I have
seen in a long time. Perhaps even since the last news.admin.moderation
vote. Hmm, how odd.

Joel Furr's description of "Catch-99" is one reason why this proposal
is foolish. If a newsgroup isn't about a SPECIFIC topic, it will not
succeed. "Talking about a better world" is NOT a specific topic.

This group is guaranteed to turn, immediately upon its creation, into a
cesspool filled with every loony, conspiracy theorist and radical who
thinks that they know what's wrong with the world and how to fix it.
Heck, the posted rationale and charter go most of the way there by
hinting at global governmental and political conspiracies to keep the
world oppressed and downtrodden (I'm not talking here about whether or
not it's true, and please, let's not get into that in news.groups. I'm
just talking about the fact that it's an invitation for nutcases to
flood the group, not to participate in DIALOGUE, which is good on the
Usenet, but rather to rant and attack others, which is not).

There is one assertion in the charter which I must soundly dispute: "I


regard newsgroups as the only means by which people can express their
opinions in public without their views being `filtered' in some way

(i.e. by the media)." Poppycock. Giovanni, have you never heard of
the World Wide Web? If someone has something useful to say, they can
put their views up on a Web page somewhere. If their views are
coherently expressed and what they have to say is something other
people are hearing, then their Web page will become known, and people
will read it. It doesn't even cost any money to do this, considering
the zillions of sites that offer free Web space.

I am not saying that the Usenet isn't a good place for people to
express and discuss their opinions. Of course it is. I am saying that
it is hardly the ONLY place as you assert in this proposal, and
furthermore, for a topic as nebulous and prone to loonies as this one,
it probably isn't the RIGHT place.

I will vote against this newsgroup if it comes up for a vote.

Russ Allbery

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Feb 20, 2001, 2:41:50 PM2/20/01
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Dennis Calhoun <dcal...@blomand.net> writes:

> I started to comment on the Rationale portion of this RFD.... then
> read the rest of the RFD and decided that the best thing for me to do
> is to simply *highly* recommend that you read
> http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/usenet/newgroup/good-proposal.faq

> Then start over ..... from a clean sheet.

The proponent has been through news.groups several times before. If he's
really serious about this, talk.politics.activism would probably be a
better name.

--
Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 20, 2001, 3:06:47 PM2/20/01
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On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 02:11:49 -0600, Dennis Calhoun <dcal...@blomand.net>

>> REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
>> unmoderated group talk.better.world

>I started to comment on the Rationale portion of this RFD.... then


>read the rest of the RFD and decided that the best thing for me to do
>is to simply *highly* recommend that you read
>http://web.presby.edu/~jtbell/usenet/newgroup/good-proposal.faq

I've read again the *good proposal faq*, as you advised, but I couldn't
find any discrepancy, could you please point out exactly what is not
satisfying you. Thanks.

Giovanni Greco

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 20, 2001, 3:06:40 PM2/20/01
to
On 20 Feb 2001 14:17:57 GMT, j...@kamens.brookline.ma.us (Jonathan Kamens)

>I will vote against this newsgroup if it comes up for a vote.

You didn't leave me any answer.

Giovanni Greco

Don Croyle

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Feb 20, 2001, 3:49:18 PM2/20/01
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"Giovanni Greco" <giov...@giovannigreco.com> writes:

> REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
> unmoderated group talk.better.world

From a taxonomical perspective, shouldn't this be talk.world.better?
--
I've always wanted to be a dilettante, but I've never quite been ready
to make the commitment.

Meg Worley

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Feb 20, 2001, 3:49:33 PM2/20/01
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Russrites:

>The proponent has been through news.groups several times before.

Has he propelled anything besides n.a.moderation?


Rage away,

meg

--

Meg Worley _._ m...@steam.stanford.edu _._ Comparatively Literate

Mescher, David [PPDR:JD10:EXCH]

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Feb 20, 2001, 4:12:18 PM2/20/01
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Yes he did, had you bothered to read his post in full or
the other posts.

In short the proposal is awful for the following reasons:
- Rationale is too vague and too broad
- No traffic figures or even evidence of people talking about
it anywhere
- Misconceptions by proponent regarding USENET
- Topic too volatile and too intangible for decent dialogue
- Poor namespace placement
- Field-Of-Dreams argument in rationale
- Charter is too vague, and does not list proscribed behaviors
- Distribution too small

Graham Drabble

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Feb 20, 2001, 4:44:48 PM2/20/01
to
"Giovanni Greco" <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote in
<9826544...@isc.org>:

> REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
> unmoderated group talk.better.world
>
>

>Newsgroup line: Talking about a better world.

Sorry? Shouldn't that read
talk.better.world Talking about a better world

>
>RATIONALE: talk.better.world
>

Very interesting rationale but does anyone want to talk about it on
USENET? If so please provide some figures.

>CHARTER: talk.better.world
Try again without the political rhetoric. How about:

This newsgroup is for the discussion of any ideas that would help make
the world a better place. These include (but are not limited to)
Debt relief,
International aid etc. I suspect that you are in a better place to
think of things for here.

This newsgroup is not moderated and the views expressed are those of
the authors not of their employers of government unless otherwise
stated.

Advertising is strongly discouraged in this newsgroup.

Encoded binaries (e.g. pictures, compressed files, etc.) are
forbidden. Such material belongs on a web or FTP site to which
a pointer may be posted. Cryptographic signatures (e.g. PGP)
may be used where authentication is important and should be as
short as possible.

>END CHARTER.
>
>DISTRIBUTION:
>
>news.announce.newgroups
>news.groups

Unless you can find other groups where this is discussed and bring them
on board then I don;t rate your chances.

--
Graham Drabble

Russ Allbery

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Feb 20, 2001, 6:19:58 PM2/20/01
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Meg Worley <m...@steam.stanford.edu> writes:
> Russrites:

>> The proponent has been through news.groups several times before.

> Has he propelled anything besides n.a.moderation?

Not that I recall off-hand, but I'm pretty sure he's been active in other
RFDs as well.

Jay Denebeim

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Feb 20, 2001, 7:43:15 PM2/20/01
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In article <yly9v1a...@windlord.stanford.edu>,

Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
>Meg Worley <m...@steam.stanford.edu> writes:
>> Russrites:
>
>>> The proponent has been through news.groups several times before.
>
>> Has he propelled anything besides n.a.moderation?
>
>Not that I recall off-hand, but I'm pretty sure he's been active in other
>RFDs as well.

Padania and I think esperanto.

Jay
--
* Jay Denebeim Moderator rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated *
* newsgroup submission address: b5...@deepthot.org *
* moderator contact address: b5mod-...@deepthot.org *
* personal contact address: dene...@deepthot.org *

Frank Nospam

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Feb 20, 2001, 8:37:51 PM2/20/01
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<giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
> I've read again the *good proposal faq*, as you advised, but I couldn't
> find any discrepancy, could you please point out exactly what is not
> satisfying you. Thanks.

I think it's fairly clear to everyone by now that our dear
Giovanni has a brain tumor or stroke or something that is
impairing his cognition and judgment.

Perhaps it would be best to withdraw this proposal until the
proponent has received proper medical care.

-F.

Biil Palmer

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Feb 20, 2001, 9:00:05 PM2/20/01
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Frank Nospam <yaho...@francis.uy> wrote:

> Perhaps it would be best to withdraw this proposal until the
> proponent has received proper medical care.

Perhaps you should join in the thread about address munging when
posting to usenet titled "Google Acquires Deja Usenet Archives".

You may have some decent insights.

Yves Bellefeuille

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Feb 21, 2001, 12:39:08 AM2/21/01
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On 21 Feb 2001, dene...@deepthot.org (Jay Denebeim) wrote:

> Padania and I think esperanto.

Not Esperanto, in any event. Perhaps you're thinking of Nikolai Grishin,
who proposed humanities.language.esperanto.

--
Yves Bellefeuille <y...@storm.ca>, Ottawa, Canada
Francais / English / Esperanto
Esperanto FAQ: http://www.esperanto.net/veb/faq.html
Rec.travel.europe FAQ: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/travel/europe/faq

Frank Nospam

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Feb 21, 2001, 10:26:00 AM2/21/01
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Biil Palmer <wil...@netscum.uk> wrote:
> Perhaps you should join in the thread about address munging when
> posting to usenet titled "Google Acquires Deja Usenet Archives".
> You may have some decent insights.

Based on your message headers this looks like a troll post,
but if you're being sarcastic I don't get your reference.
My email munge is easily decipherable by a savvy usenetter,
but not by harvester bots or newbies. Works for me.

-F.

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 21, 2001, 3:16:56 PM2/21/01
to
On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 16:12:18 -0500, "Mescher, David [PPDR:JD10:EXCH]"
<dmes...@americasm01.nt.com> wrote:

>Giovanni Greco wrote:

>> On 20 Feb 2001 14:17:57 GMT, j...@kamens.brookline.ma.us (Jonathan Kamens)
>> >I will vote against this newsgroup if it comes up for a vote.

>> You didn't leave me any answer.

>Yes he did, had you bothered to read his post in full or
>the other posts.

What can I answer to someone who says that will vote no, no matter what!

>In short the proposal is awful for the following reasons:
>- Rationale is too vague and too broad

I don't think so.

>- No traffic figures or even evidence of people talking about
> it anywhere

Why there shouldn't be any traffic in a newsgroup create to talk about a
better world?

>- Misconceptions by proponent regarding USENET

Just your wrong idea.

>- Topic too volatile and too intangible for decent dialogue

Your opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

>- Poor namespace placement

???

>- Field-Of-Dreams argument in rationale

Just about a better world.

>- Charter is too vague, and does not list proscribed behaviors

Too vague?

>- Distribution too small

Here you are right, any advice?

Giovanni Greco

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 21, 2001, 3:16:52 PM2/21/01
to
On 20 Feb 2001 11:41:50 -0800, Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:

>The proponent has been through news.groups several times before. If he's
>really serious about this, talk.politics.activism would probably be a
>better name.

If I've written the charter means that I'm really serious about this.

I don't think there is any problem with the naming of this newsgroup.
talk.better.world is not meant to be a *politic activism* group, the name
your are advising I think is misleading, it will be gathering only politic
supporters. It seems something like a newsgroup where to discuss
electoral campaigns or politic demonstrations, or any other politic
activity. The proposal is no meant to discuss ideologic or politic matters
or who to vote.

talk.better.world wants to be a public forum where everybody can be
allowed to discuss the problems of this planet. It is meant to be a place
on Usenet where to talk about a better world.

Giovanni Greco

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 21, 2001, 3:16:59 PM2/21/01
to
On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 21:44:48 -0000, graham....@lineone.net (Graham
Drabble) wrote:

>Very interesting rationale but does anyone want to talk about it on
>USENET? If so please provide some figures.

If there is people interested in real life why there shouldn't be on
Usenet?

>>CHARTER: talk.better.world
>Try again without the political rhetoric. How about:
>This newsgroup is for the discussion of any ideas that would help make
>the world a better place. These include (but are not limited to)
>Debt relief,
>International aid etc. I suspect that you are in a better place to
>think of things for here.

Is more or less what I wrote, but using others words.

Giovanni Greco

Giovanni Greco

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Feb 21, 2001, 3:17:01 PM2/21/01
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On 21 Feb 2001 00:43:15 GMT, dene...@deepthot.org (Jay Denebeim) wrote:

>Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:

>>Meg Worley <m...@steam.stanford.edu> writes:
>>> Has he propelled anything besides n.a.moderation?

>>Not that I recall off-hand, but I'm pretty sure he's been active in other
>>RFDs as well.

>Padania and I think esperanto.

I don't remember posting or voting about these two proposals. You should
have some problems with your memory, Jay. Try to be sure next time with
your wrong affirmations.
Thanks.

Giovanni Greco

Mescher, David [PPDR:JD10:EXCH]

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Feb 21, 2001, 3:51:32 PM2/21/01
to
Giovanni Greco wrote:
> >In short the proposal is awful for the following reasons:
> >- Rationale is too vague and too broad
> I don't think so.
Doesn't change the fact that it is.

> >- No traffic figures or even evidence of people talking about
> > it anywhere
> Why there shouldn't be any traffic in a newsgroup create to talk about a
> better world?

But why should there be?

Anybody can talk about anything anywhere. But that doesn't mean
that they're talking about it everywhere, or even in any particular
place.

Can you show a _single_ place on USENET that people are talking
about the intangible topic, how many people are talking about it
there, and whether or not they'd use a new group?

> >- Misconceptions by proponent regarding USENET
> Just your wrong idea.

I'm not so sure, given some of your other responses.

> >- Poor namespace placement
> ???

talk.better.world doesn't make any sense. What else would
go under talk.better?

> >- Field-Of-Dreams argument in rationale
> Just about a better world.

Doesn't change the fact that you haven't demonstrated anybody
(besides the RFD here) is posting about it.

Even if you are assuming once it is built, that people will come,
you have to show that those people exist FIRST!

> >- Charter is too vague, and does not list proscribed behaviors
> Too vague?

You know, not specific?

> >- Distribution too small
> Here you are right, any advice?

That's your job.

Kathy Cole

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Feb 21, 2001, 4:09:05 PM2/21/01
to
Giovanni Greco wrote:
>
> I don't think there is any problem with the naming of this newsgroup.
> talk.better.world is not meant to be a *politic activism* group, the
> name your are advising I think is misleading, it will be gathering
> only politic supporters.

talk.better.world is not a name that fits within the Big 8 naming
structure, which is meant to classify groups within a hierarchy (i.e.,
'better' isn't a good classification of groups). The name you selected
is more commonly seen in alt.*, where there are numerous groups where
components of the group name form a phrase (like
alt.2eggs.sausage.beans.tomatoes.2toast.largetea.cheerslove).

talk.politics.* allows sensible subcategorization (i.e., guns, mideast,
soviet, etc.). talk.better.* does not.

> It seems something like a newsgroup where to discuss electoral
> campaigns or politic demonstrations, or any other politic activity.
> The proposal is no meant to discuss ideologic or politic matters or
> who to vote.
>
> talk.better.world wants to be a public forum where everybody can be
> allowed to discuss the problems of this planet. It is meant to be a
> place on Usenet where to talk about a better world.

But part of finding solutions (I'm assuming you don't just want a forum
to complain about things you perceive to be wrong, but would rather
brainstorm solutions as well) to the world's problems could involve
obtaining political support to implement suggested reforms, so the name
Russ suggested is not a crazy idea.

You need to determine how many Usenet folks want to talk about this
subject, which will first mean that you need to clarify a more narrow
topical range for the group. Then, if you find enough support (remember
that you'll need at least 120 YES votes, more if you don't tighten up
the proposal), I'd suggest working with group-mentors before you come
back with a second RFD.
--
Kathy Cole ~ kco...@ford.com (w) / ka...@scconsult.com (h)

Rich Lafferty

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Feb 21, 2001, 4:40:58 PM2/21/01
to
In news.groups,

Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
>
> I don't think there is any problem with the naming of this
> newsgroup.

There is a problem with the name of the group.

The problem is that there are two words, "better world", which you
want to consider together, but you've used one of them as the name
of a subhierarchy.

"talk.better.world" means a group named "world", which is located in a
subhierarchy called "better". You see this sort of naming in alt.* all
the time; one of the points of the Big-8 is to avoid cute naming like
that and to locate groups in the appropriate place in the hierarchy.

I'm not sure where that is. I don't think 'talk.better-world' is
appropriate, but it's at least better, since it doesn't misuse the
hierarchy separator "." as a word separator.

Part of the reason that you will have a hard time naming the group is
that it overlaps probably 80-90% of Usenet. After all, right here in
news.groups we talk about how to make the world better by creating the
right newsgroups to talk about it in; over in
news.admin.net-abuse.email they talk about making the world better by
stamping out spam; in rec.pets.dogs they talk about making the world
better with a wet nose. In other words, you need to precisely define
what is and what is not on-topic for the group.

-Rich

--
Rich Lafferty ----------------------------------------
Nocturnal Aviation Division, IITS Computing Services
Concordia University, Montreal, QC
ri...@bofh.concordia.ca -------------------------------

Jay Denebeim

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Feb 21, 2001, 4:54:49 PM2/21/01
to
In article <r2389tc9ip5ck4ocb...@4ax.com>,
Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
<pig headdedness snipped>

If you're not going to listen to suggestions expect a large 'no'
turnout. So far you've done nothing but be irritatingly dense.

Russ Allbery

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Feb 21, 2001, 6:43:57 PM2/21/01
to
Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> writes:

> I don't think there is any problem with the naming of this newsgroup.

Which is why I didn't try to argue with you about it before I posted it.
I had no reasonable expectation that you were going to listen. I'll just
be voting against the group.

Brian Mailman

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Feb 21, 2001, 8:59:43 PM2/21/01
to

I wish Google/Deja was working more efficiently. Jay's not alone in
this. When I saw this RFD in the queue I thought I remembered you
posting in suport of the soc.culture.padania RFDs. Aren't you a
linguist of sorts? Somehow I seem to associate you with the phrase
"rhaeto-romantic languages."

B/

Gillam Kerley

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Feb 21, 2001, 9:37:21 PM2/21/01
to

"Kathy Cole" <kco...@ford.com> wrote in message
news:3A942E71...@ford.com...

> But part of finding solutions (I'm assuming you don't just want a forum
> to complain about things you perceive to be wrong, but would rather
> brainstorm solutions as well) to the world's problems could involve
> obtaining political support to implement suggested reforms, so the name
> Russ suggested is not a crazy idea.

If I'm interpreting the proponent correctly, he's looking for a discussion
of non-political solutions as well, a global spiritual enlightenment of
sorts, perhaps something even more vague. (Reminds me a bit of The Hunger
Project, the multi-million dollar operation by the founder of EST, pledging
to end world hunger before whatever date, without ever mentioning *how* this
would be done.)

I doubt that anyone's going to come up with a better name than
talk.better-world (with a hyphen rather than dot) for something this
amorphous.

GK


Alan J Rosenthal

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Feb 21, 2001, 10:29:06 PM2/21/01
to
Kathy Cole <kco...@ford.com> writes:
>talk.politics.* allows sensible subcategorization (i.e., guns, mideast,
>soviet, etc.). talk.better.* does not.

Oh, I dunno... how about:

talk.better.newsreader Planning the next-generation usenet news reader.
talk.better.poster Genetic engineering for better usenet news articles.
talk.better.butter Improvements in butter manufacturing.
talk.better.horses People who place bets on horses.

And of course...

talk.better.misc Various better things.

piranha

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Feb 21, 2001, 10:33:46 PM2/21/01
to
Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
> On 20 Feb 2001 11:41:50 -0800, Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
>
> >The proponent has been through news.groups several times before. If he's
> >really serious about this, talk.politics.activism would probably be a
> >better name.
>
> I don't think there is any problem with the naming of this newsgroup.

that makes one of you, and a number of us who care about the
namespace at least to some degree.

there _is_ a problem with the name. have a look at the talk.*
hierarchy in general. come back and tell me what is different
about those groups from your proposal. there _are_ badly named
groups in the big-8 but i prefer not to make similar mistakes.

> talk.better.world is not meant to be a *politic activism* group, the name
> your are advising I think is misleading, it will be gathering only politic
> supporters. It seems something like a newsgroup where to discuss
> electoral campaigns or politic demonstrations, or any other politic
> activity.

i see your point about not wanting to discuss electoral campaigns
in specificm, and i agree that this name might attract some of
that, yes. we might have to refine it below that level of the
hierarchy.

don't you think changing the world for the better will require
political activism on many levels?

i am not set on that name. i only know that talk.better.world is
a terrible name. please try to come up with a better one, as this
is gonna guarantee no votes right out of the starting gate.

rich suggested talk.better-world. which would be a slight
improvement; at least it wouldn't break naming conventions.

that doesn't deal with the other problems. i agree that the
charter is too vague, and that you need to have a better idea of
where people are right now on usenet who will want to use this
newsgroup. which aspects of the world would you want to improve,
and how? that might give you a more focussed charter, and also
some ideas where people might be talking about it now.
--
-piranha

Rich Lafferty

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Feb 21, 2001, 11:47:41 PM2/21/01
to
In news.groups,
Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
> On 20 Feb 2001 11:41:50 -0800, Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
>
> >The proponent has been through news.groups several times before. If he's
> >really serious about this, talk.politics.activism would probably be a
> >better name.
>
> If I've written the charter means that I'm really serious about this.

Well, then, it comes down to being a question of what it is you're
serious *about*.

If you're serious about seeing your name on a CFV and wasting a
votetaker's time and stopping any chance of this group being created
for six months after it fails, then you're on the right track.

If you're serious about wanting the group created, then name it
following Big-8 naming standards.

Russ Allbery

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Feb 22, 2001, 1:02:44 AM2/22/01
to
Rich Lafferty <ri...@bofh.concordia.ca> writes:

> If you're serious about wanting the group created, then name it
> following Big-8 naming standards.

While I don't want to disagree with the folks who are talking about
naming, and agree with what they're saying, I think it's worth noting that
it's far from the only problem. The scope of the group is so broad as to
be meaningless. The only time I've ever seen a group with an incredibly
broad charter work effectively is when it's not really a discussion group
but instead is a forum run by a well-known personality who can direct the
focus towards a particular style (c.f. comp.risks) and that's not the case
here.

Rich Lafferty

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Feb 22, 2001, 1:18:32 AM2/22/01
to
In news.groups,

Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Rich Lafferty <ri...@bofh.concordia.ca> writes:
>
> > If you're serious about wanting the group created, then name it
> > following Big-8 naming standards.
>
> While I don't want to disagree with the folks who are talking about
> naming, and agree with what they're saying, I think it's worth noting that
> it's far from the only problem.

Oh, unquestionably. But I think we've determined, by exploring the
most *calculable* of its legion of problems, that the proponent has no
interest in making it a feasible proposal, which saves a lot of work
in the fuzzier areas.

Thorfinn

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Feb 22, 2001, 1:39:55 AM2/22/01
to
In news.groups, on Wed, 21 Feb 2001 21:16:59 +0100

Giovanni Greco <giov...@giovannigreco.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Feb 2001 21:44:48 -0000, graham....@lineone.net (Graham
> Drabble) wrote:
> >Very interesting rationale but does anyone want to talk about it on
> >USENET? If so please provide some figures.
> If there is people interested in real life why there shouldn't be on
> Usenet?

No reason. However, new Usenet newsgroups depend on there being an
*existing group of people discussing a subject* that can be convinced
that that subject fits better in this particular new newsgroup.

If you don't get that, then you don't get posts in the new newsgroup,
and if you don't get posts, you get a *permanently* dead newsgroup.
This is what the vote is for... it's to indicate that "yes, N people
*already on Usenet* are actually interested in the newsgroup..."

And if that number isn't high enough, then no newsgroup.

The "if you build it, they will come" does *not* work with newsgroups.
You have to have people in other newsgroups, interested in the
subject, and willing to talk about it.

Can I suggest posting to, say, alt.activism,
misc.activism.progressive, talk.politics.misc and maybe talk.misc for
a while, with the subject line containing [BETTER-WORLD], and seeing how
much interest there is?

Withdraw your RFD in the meantime... there's no point going through
with it if you don't have *any* idea where to find the 100+ people
*already on usenet* who are interested in talking about a better
world...

And, someone already suggested talk.better-world ... this is for a
good reason - talk.better.world creates a talk.better.* hierarchy...
and trying to do that *will* garner you many NO votes on the basis of
namespace pollution...

talk.better-world will probably *still* attract you NO votes on that
basis. talk.politics.better-world or misc.activism.better-world will
probably *not* collect so many NO votes.

> >>CHARTER: talk.better.world
> >Try again without the political rhetoric. How about:
> >This newsgroup is for the discussion of any ideas that would help make
> >the world a better place. These include (but are not limited to)
> >Debt relief,
> >International aid etc. I suspect that you are in a better place to
> >think of things for here.
> Is more or less what I wrote, but using others words.

Yes. Unfortunately, English has this tendency to have a *lot* of
baggage attached to its words.

Words in English carry a lot of connotations, and the ones you choose
and even the way you put them together, can add up to meaning
something *quite different*, even though the "basic meaning" of the
synonyms are the same.

And... for a newsgroup charter, you need to make sure those
connotations are right and good. If you don't understand the problem,
then seek advice from somebody who does, and can try to explain them.

If you can't find such a person already on Usenet, then your proposed
group has a basic and fundamental problem... Noone is interested in
it.

Later,

Thorf

--
<a href="http://tertius.net.au/~thorfinn">thor...@tertius.net.au</a>
"Lionel, you may want to come inside - there's going to be a LARTing.
Kirrily's getting her boots on."
-- RevDrD <f...@thingy.apana.org.au> at the Netizen NYE party

Russ Allbery

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Feb 22, 2001, 2:15:49 AM2/22/01
to
Rich Lafferty <ri...@bofh.concordia.ca> writes:

> Oh, unquestionably. But I think we've determined, by exploring the most
> *calculable* of its legion of problems, that the proponent has no
> interest in making it a feasible proposal, which saves a lot of work in
> the fuzzier areas.

There's a point at which the basic fundamental idea behind the proposal is
so flawed as to indicate that the only real solution is to scrap the
proposal and propose a completely different group, though.

(I suppose there have been some social groups with extremely broad scopes,
like soc.singles, but I doubt that would work in talk.*.)

piranha

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Feb 22, 2001, 3:36:26 AM2/22/01
to
Russ Allbery <r...@stanford.edu> wrote in
<ylelwry...@windlord.stanford.edu>:
[...]

> (I suppose there have been some social groups with extremely broad scopes,
> like soc.singles, but I doubt that would work in talk.*.)

even though i joke at times about how soc.singles (well, actually
soc.singles before the split; this is no longer true i think)
should have been named talk.misc, i don't actually think that it
would have worked to charter talk.misc like that. and i was one
of those who argued to move soc.singles.moderated into talk.* or
into misc.*, away from the "singles" focus, because that was
really _not_ what happened there. but i've come to believe i was
wrong. and not just because it might have been in talk.*.

without a focus of some sort, the sort of nucleus from which an
actual community grows just doesn't seem to happen IME. i don't
know why not; it might well be a problem for mathematicians to
figure out -- too much diversity might make a difference there.
i would expect a talk.misc to either be dead, or be filled with
flamewars, but not with a thriving community.

i could believe that talk.better-world might succeed, if there
were already a community with a decent subfocus, just in another
venue, who wanted to move into the big-8. but from scratch? it
is just too wide open and it has no starting nucleus. (one person
in the form of mr. greco does not a nucleus make.)
--
-piranha

Jay Denebeim

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Feb 22, 2001, 11:38:56 AM2/22/01