To paraphrase from the old joke, Long-time lurker, first-time writer here... (Ok, not quite first time.)

I found Felix's and Ted's responses both instructive and engaging, and want to respond to two specific things:

1) Both Felix and Ted mention concerns about insularity. As a long-time reader, and without being too glib, I would like to reassure you of the correctness of your concerns. :)

The discussions here on Nettime often remind me of all the old jokes about how academic fights are the fiercest because the spoils are so small. There is, in my view, little incentive for getting involved. And the few times I have offered a perspective of my own, well, let's just say it has not encouraged me much further. If the list of subscribers is in the hundreds, let alone the thousands, one would never know it based on the number of consistent voices here.

Likewise, I share the concern about tone, tendencies towards (very!) fixed perspectives on particular subjects, etc. Again, not especially conducive to widening the circle of participation.

You might (rightly) then ask: why stay on the list? Well, I'm omnivorous in my consumption of information. While I may only read 1% of what comes through, that 1% is certainly interesting. That's something.

2) It would overstate the case to say that I "long" for the days of moderation. But I share what I gather is Felix's own nostalgia for it. The flow of responses under moderation was different, and perhaps better. Never having had the responsibility for moderating the list, I make no claims as to the ease of the process; it was clearly a significant responsibility and one for which I was always grateful, as a reader. Removing the moderation merely means we must all be better digital citizens, to reflect the community we want to have. (If only it were so simple, right?)


On 4/8/18 4:15 PM, Felix Stalder wrote:
When we turned off moderation a couple of months ago, we did so because
we perceived that nettime was limiting itself by too many implicit rules
that had accumulated over time. So we decided to break one, abolish our
position as moderators, as an invitation others to break a few more in
the hope to make room for some new voices/ideas/styles etc. Kinda worked...

For me, the value of the list has always been that it creates a
collective space for reflection. That's a delicate thing. If it becomes
too cozy, it turns into an self-reflective in-group, if it become to
confrontational, then there is little change of actually thinking
together, rather everyone digs in their heels.

I still like the non-moderated flow, but I dislike the sucking noise of
real-time. It turns out, at least for me, one of the best things that
moderation did was to induce semi-random delays, simply because we never
worked on a fixed schedule when to do the manual work of moderation.
Sometimes a few hours would pass, sometimes more a full day before the
message got approved.

We were thinking about ways to introduce that delay again, without
reverting back to moderation. Of course, it could be done, but we didn't
do it. So, lets see where this goes. We can break a few more rules if it
helps to push forward our collective attempt to understand and do
something in the present -- whatever that is for each the 4500 people on
the list.


On 2018-04-08 21:18, tbyfield wrote:

morlock's style has struck me as problematic at times, but other
problems concern me much more: the obstinate gender bias, the prevalence
of a few voices, the lack of experimentation, and sedentary/habitual
tendencies in subject, style, regional focus. I get that his/her/their
mail might be a frequent low-level irritant for some people, the kind of
thing that sparks eruptions. But for me the nature of that eruption
matters more than the cause: ad-homimen attacks, people ordering each
other around, and people who've never tired of letting the world
remember that they 'founded' nettime decades ago leaping to the
barricades in private mail to un-propose a "permanent ban." If we're
going to take any drastic action, it'll be to permanently ban anyone who
proposes permanently banning someone else.

Felix and I have spent twenty years tending to this list, so our views
are, at the very least, well informed. Felix can speak for himself if he
wants, but I think the tendencies above are a more serious threat than
the pace or tone of any contributor. If it's true that one person "is
killing the list," then this list is dead already. If it's not true,
then it says a lot that such a claim would go unquestioned. Not about
the person who said it (more boring ad-hominem stuff, bleh) but about
deeper shifts — for example, in whether people trust that an environment
like this can change organically or instead needs draconian
'leadership.' If it does, it's dead.

A year or two or three ago, I thought the list was pretty much dead. But
it has a funny habit of rising from the grave and wobbling around for a
while, and there's been a trickle of people de-lurking or first-posting.
Nettime needs much more of that, and a much wider range of perspectives,
styles, and tolerances. But that kind of pious plea that 'we can do
better' smells like something Zuckerberg would say, doesn't it? So let
me moderate that: we also need to do worse — much worse. Doing worse has
always been a sign of life on this list. Some of you will remember Paul
Garrin, integer/antiorp/nn, and jodi — entities that, in different ways,
embodied and exploited the list's most extreme possibilities. There was
a time when infuriating provocations were seen as good.

As usual, Jaromil squeezed five interesting ideas into two sentences:

maybe he passed on his account. The sort of replying-myself thing he
is doing shows that some sort of twitter ab-user has taken place and
the quantity of activity indicates there may be more people behind the
account now.

I like the idea that morlock is a sort of anti-antiorp. I don't think
it's true, but it doesn't matter: nettime has always actively supported
a false-names policy. But the idea that morlock is an improper name, a
nym for a twitterish performance of a cynical old white techie, is much
more interesting than bourgie pearl-clutching about how this is nettime
and we...we have standards!

I know this is sort of old-school, but if you don't like something,
maybe try (a) contacting the person privately with a suggestion and/or
(b) filtering your mail.

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