----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

Hi, just to add a couple of things here -

Michael Current and I started two lists in 1994, Cybermind (philosophy of cyberspace) and Fiction-of-Philosophy. Michael ran the Deleuze and other lists at the time as part of the Spoon list/philosophy consortium. He died shortly after the lists began. Cybermind was with AOL for a while and now is at WVU; Fiction-of-Philosophy became Wryting-l, also at WVU. Jon Marshal is on Cybermind and wrote Living on Cybermind, a phenomenology of the list, which is still the best in-depth analysis of e-lists I've seen. Jerry Everard, also still on, wrote Virtual States, The Internet and the Boundaries of the Nation-State, some of which came out of Cyb. as well. The list also self-published a novel and in 1996, I think, held a large conference in Perth which was remarkable; predating, I think, Virtual Futures, it used Cu-SeeMe live video, a MOO, a newsgroup, and various chat applications to create a live/living virtual environment stemming out of the physical conf. The conf. was a success; Stelarc, myself and a number of others made it down to Perth. The lists continue with diminished participation; Cybermind in particular became a relatively deep community, but many of the participants have died or moved on. Wryting is a vehicle for one or another form of avant-poetics and continues. As Fiction-of- Philosophy, I had a great deal of trouble moderating and it fell apart as a result early on, and reconstituted; Cybermind had problems with trolls and people determined to bring the list down. Both lists flirted with moderating, but we it never took, which was remarkable. Both have been running smoothly for decades now.

The obvious advantage of lists is targeted inbox buffering which allows for thoughtful response. I'm reading/writing in linux, and there are no detractions to the text. For some reason I keep thinking of older reading and reading habits (see https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/i-have-forgotten-how-toread/article37921379/ for example) and the obvious fact that the world is inordinately complex, not a collocation of Ted talks - the advantage of lists is that here and now we have the space/time/place/communality for thoughtful discussion. That's remarkable, I think. As others have mentioned, by the way, other than empyre, I read and participate in Netbehaviour (and in Furtherfield in general for that matter); I read and almost never post with nettime - both of these are fantastic, open, and in depth. There are also specialized lists; I'm on an Anglo-Saxon one, for example, where I'm completely quiet but learn a great deal, etc. And I resubbed to Future Culture which is relatively quiet.

Because lists are considered backwater, when they do function, they do so beautifully, without trolling or advertising or 'hints' which accompany Facebook and other sm. There's something almost sutra-like about them - we can think on our own time/space. Btw some very early magazines had a bit of that quality, such as The Gentleman's Magazine and British Apollo; they seem, now to have been organized around communities which participated in coffeehouse culture of the time.

Best, Alan
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