nettime's_digestive_system on Tue, 13 Oct 1998 22:52:01 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Re: on moderation and spams (several messages)

From: Josephine Berry <>
Subject: On Lurking

Since we're currently engaged in list metaphysics....

I should start by declaring myself to be a virtually full-time,
unrepentant and chronic LURKER. 

And let's face it, where would you all be without us? This legion of
quivering intellectual rabbits whose awe of the post-it intelligentsia is
so great that we'd almost rather cut off our right hands than hit that
send button. 

Nettime without LURKERS would be like Hollywood without the opiated masses
or football without larger louts - no fun and bad business. 

What is wrong with bystanders? Why the shamefull denigration of the word
LURKER? Is it supposed to make us feel like naughty school chilren or
criminals:"Stop lurking around out there, and put your hands where we can
see them!". 

Where would all you performers be without your audience anyway? Who would
bother to pay you those royalties if us drones didn't queue up dutifully
to consume your wares? 

No, but SERIOUSLY: most of us know how great the fear threshold is to
posting, but that doesn't mean that LURKERS are a bunch of labotomised
victims sucking pre-chewed life through a straw. And - whilst I'm up here
suffering on this soap-box - I'd say that LURKERS shouldn't be admonished
but encouraged. Why? Because they help form the community within which
this all happens and because they give an n-dimensionality to events which
means that posteurs can't be sure of their audience and what they're
thinking. Uncertainty is useful, it makes us sharpen our wits and back-up
our arguments. It means we never know which conversations are being had
where beyond all of Nettime's eight circles. It means that what can't be
measured can't be instrumentalised. 

[Gospel chorus reaches its stirring climax and then dies away]

Yours without shame,

Lurkers Anonymous

       \- - - 1- - - /
     /  \     1     /  \
   /     \- - 1 - -/    \
  1     //\\  1  //\\
 1     ///\\\ 1 ///\\\ u t e : 2nd floor, 135-139 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3BX.
 - - -* - -\\\1///- - * -  - - - - - T: +44 171 613 4743/ F: +44 171 613 4052
 1     \    / 1 \    /    - - - - E: W:
  1     \  /  1   \ /   /
    \    /- - 1 - -\   /
      \ /     1     \ /
       /- - - 1	- - -\


Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:21:57 +0300
From: John Hopkins <>
Subject: Reposting

I would kindly suggest that everything that Ted-the-Moderator
rejects/filters be reposted -- as a nettime.indigestible -- to
-- ascii art of the highest calibre...



Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 19:36:45 +0100
From: P Nathan <>

any effort to couch the "" spectacle in terms of
"electronic disturbance", "millenial hysteria", etc., within
an international medium such as Spiegel-Online, would pose a
an additional modus for marginalizing those people who do real 
work in these areas.

i find that intent appalling.

the "" tagline of "Speak freely or Unsubscribe!", 
which counterposes two contradictory antecedents (since one 
can neither speak via their list nor unsubscribe from it) is 
the entire point to their performance.  why aggrandize it any
further when there are much more salient stories in our midst?



From: "A. Cinque Hicks" <>
Subject: still more on moderation
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Now I see that accusations of forgery, fraud, and hoax are being thrown
around freely with regard to Real list? The
difference is irrelevant. What is relevant is what the "schism" (if that's
not too dramatic a word) says about this particular sphere of human

I share Armin Mendosch's sense that what has become a partisan bash-fest
is useless at best, and destructive at worst. When I signed on (very
recently) I quickly understood that this was mainly a forum for cerebral
discussion on relatively academic topics. Fine. I have appreciated much of
what's been written here and find the forum very useful not in spite of,
but *because of* its formality. Again, fine. Apparently that wasn't fine
with some people. They were free to leave and elected to do so. Again,
fine. This doesn't have to be taken as a threat (questions of nettiquette,
bracketed for a moment here). What we have had here has been in my
experience a sort of "night at the opera," a highly structured environment
that was never meant for random shouts and murmers. Some people have
decided that they would rather be at home with shoes off, listening to the
radio. So what? That's okay, too. I for one welcomed the idea of having
two forums to serve two different purposes, and had planned on staying
subscribed to both. (Again, setting aside for a minute the questionable
etiquette through which this came about.) And as I understood it, at least
one nettime moderator was all for the idea of having other lists if people
felt the need for them. Yes, yes, I see that positioned
*itself* in a combatitive posture. I simply ignored that, and would urge
other people to do the same. 

If I have been misguided in these observations, I'm sure someone will let
me know. 



Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 02:13:10 +1000
From: colin hood <>

within particular artistic communities - german romantics had a real knack
for it - the 'agonistics', polemics were the catalysts for advancement of
thought and philosophical fine-tuning - a polemical community' had
a feel good ring to it (on better days of epistolary/salon aggravation).
Today - the refined culture of aversarial politics has - largely imploded
- leaving a lot of (many net players) unable to reflect, 'repent' -
reshape attitudes on the fly ... im not surpised that the latest
micropolitical 'sideshow-bloodfest' has produced very little discussion on
the complex politics of moderation. If moderation performs more of an
editorial function - in an incremental, asynchronous manner, then one must
up the ante on rethinking the time and place for blue-pencilling, not
returning 'phone calls', playing daddy 'in extremis. 

colin hood

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