Re: [-empyre-] Size matters?

On 12/08/2004, at 5:47 AM, Eryk Salvaggio wrote:

Indeed. I can't but help to feel the same way about mailing lists, where
nothing much ever gets done, and where otherwise very brilliant individuals
"catch each other" in forms of word-game jujitsu and that's what constitutes
a "good point" or "argument." For anyone who considers me guilty, I agree,
and that is part of why I hate, hate, hate, mailing lists. I am bitter! Far
from the golden utopia that was promised to me by the Next Five Minutes
conferences ("A global art needs a global meeting place! Global Activism
needs Global Discussion!") what we have, really, is an anonymized forum
where general insecurity about one's masculinity asserts itself even
stronger because of what we are supposed to be doing, the communication of
ideas: Very girly stuff, so we turn it into war.

I left the mailing lists and now I wear pink shoes. If that isn't a thesis
proof then I don't know what is.


I would venture that lists (like most forms of social activity) involve motivations that are both self-serving (point-scoring, having-the-last-wording, showing-offing etc) and altruistic (communicating, sharing, linking, bonding etc). While some lists may reflect "general insecurity about one's masculinity", I don't see the current discussion on empyre (for example) as an example of "war". It seems to me that a very efficient fail-safe mechanism is in place: anyone who demonstrated unreasonable "aggressivity" - in the form of point-scoring, having-the-last-wording, showing-offing etc - would automatically invalidate what they are saying in the eyes of the others, so the possible impulse in that direction is balanced by the desire to remain in the community. Perhaps this is because lists have grown up, or (if we espouse the view that males can't help being aggressive) because there is a strong female presence on empyre (the alternative is that any form of written intellectual exchange is inherently aggressive and that we should all shut up - I don't know about wearing pink shoes, though.)


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