Many of you have expressed regrets at the closing of the Orion List, and I
too would like to add express my regrets, and also provide a little more
of an explanation regarding the decision.

The fundemental problem is that of human resources. At this moment in time
(as it has been for the last two years) there are no interns here at the
Orion Center. This is in part due to the decrease in Students at the
Rothberg school (for obvious reasons). This means the Moderator (that's
me) has more to do, and the proper maintainance of the web site suffers.

All of this has been compounded by the preparations for the Virtual Qumran
addition to the web site, which will double the size of the site and
require more
maintenance. This is even further compounded by my resignation (to be
actioned at the end of this week). The overall effect is that something
has to give, and it was the discussion group.

My hope is that the list will be reopened in some shape or form in the
coming year. My personal recommendatiion is that two lists are opened,
one for research students and lecturers (that will be very carefully
controlled with respect to who is admitted). and the other for general
use. My dream would be to manage a closed discussion group that would be
associated to a series of regular lectures (such as the coffee hour
lectures, or the symposium "unedited" papers when they are published on
the web site). This would allow the moderator to be more proactively
involved in the discussions. The potential for the list is enormous but
the workers are few..... :)

An alternative option is to leave the list open and unmoderated (as some
of you have suggested), but I am absolutley terrified at the potential
havoc this would cause.

.......Orion-List Moderator.

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