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PM and TCM frequently debate about what is relevant on this list.
I have sometimes commented on this.
in fact PM's conservative stance to relevance, and TCM's more liberal
one, and the tension between the two goes back to list origins.
this is a highly inflammable topic, and I am surely going to get my
eyebrows toasted for saying *anything*, however I would like to say
a few things:
if there were two key elements here, these conversations would probably
largely go away (instead of continually reappear)
- an unambiguous charter
- an active moderator
unfortunately I suspect that a moderator does exist but he "prefers
to remain anonymous" ("pseudonymous"?). imho that is precisely
how *not* to succeed as a moderator.
PM and TCM are indeed filling a genuine vacuum. when the moderator is AWOL,
pseudomoderators fight each other.
(oops, the whole idea of a moderator is just not anarchic enough. well, then
I suggest everyone just enjoy these repeated, endless displays of public
bile and hostility as the basic modus operandii of people who embrace the
glory of anarchy. anarchy in action!! but it is more fun to deny them
as total delusions and effects entirely attributable to one's enemies..)
also, another frequent split on this list is of politics vs. coding.
frankly I think just having two lists, one dedicated to "cypherpunk
politics", the other dedicated to "cypherpunk technicality", would
solve most problems.
and finally again I suggest as I have in the past that no one other
than the moderator really has any authority to say what is or is not
relevant. and if you see someone say what is, take it with a grain
of salt, or ignore it if you like.
a major problem is people defending themselves when they are attacked
by someone who says "that's not relevant!!". the problem is the perception
of the loss of face. otherwise, what's the point? this is an
interesting psychological effect that I have observed even when people use
pseudonyms. it seems it is deeply ingrained into human behavior. this
list is in fact imho a hotbed of psychological displays. the machismo
factor is pretty thick and deep at times too.
to all this I suggest one consider the idea that "criticism by a bonehead is
as flattering as praise from a genius".
for those who absolutely cannot refrain from trying to yell at other
people about relevant postings (judging by the mail, a rather significant
percentage) I suggest you quote the *charter* whenever you do so, to
demostrate whatever authority it is you think you have.
anyone who needs moderator lessons should take them from S.Sandfort,
an ex teacher who runs cypherpunk meetings involving a lot of childhood
psychologies as effectively as humanly possible, IMHO.
p.s. it appears to me the entrance requirements for cypherpunk membership
are to have a 150 IQ and a 75 *EQ*. and that all the arguing and hostility
comes from the more uninhibited pathological cases of these people.
one could in fact have great fun impersonating someone with a
grotesquely low EQ on this list and create a tremendous reaction
among all the people with equally low EQs, responding to the bait
with the same intelligence a fish attacks a wiggling worm.
it would be "evolution in action", imho.