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I've been watching this list evolve for a number of years, and
we do have an increasing number of voices. I'd like to put
a thought before the APD:
(1) This a pretty open and mostly uncensored list, but we
do have the benefit of a moderator. (Thanks, Cynthia!)
(2) Some very good technical information is accumulated
over extended threads.
(3) There is always a signal/noise ratio of varying intensity.
(4) While "archives" are highly useful for keyword searching,
not all information is efficiently presented (must you really
re-read the large thread(s) to form your own synthesis?)
(5) Not all of the technical information makes it to the
FAQ, as evidenced through the recent CO2 discussion
(this is not a new issue, previous in-depth discussions
overlapped, and some of these were not obvious in the
(6) Other lists of similar technical nature and sometimes
contradictory positions have provided a conclusionary
I propose that our ListMom identify significant threads
(to whatever degree she deems reasonable) and select
a "position author" to synthesize a summary statement
with relevant information from the thread. This would be
done as the thread dwindles out, and would result in
high-quality information for the FAQ, the Krib, or wherever.
The "position author" would probably be one of the more
active participants in the thread.
Some threads may be contraversial. At that point, I
propose our ListMom model the U.S. Supreme Court,
and select "position authors" from each opposing side.
They can each state and support their case with factual
and technical accounting from the thread. Again, each
would represent high-quality information for the reader
to form a conclusion.
Of course, a conclusionary position is ideally rooted in
understanding and detail, and is minimal in unsupported
The calibre of the people on this list, the uncharacteristic
cohesion in our focus and topics, and the exceptional
professional development of both new and old list
participants suggests to me that this could work very
well in this forum.
What do y'all think?
charleyb at cytomation_com