List changed to moderated format
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Tue Jan 13 12:18:48 PST 1998
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: Anthony Paul Farley <farleya at bc.edu>
Send reply to: farleya at bc.edu
To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics <RELIGIONLAW at LISTSERV.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: List changed to moderated format
Date sent: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 15:25:56 -0500
I think that the desire to stay "on topic" is a natural one.
We should not, however, allow ourselves to get carried
away by the idea of NOT allowing ourselves to get carried
away. Some of our best discussions -- and virtually all of
the ones I've enjoyed -- have occured only after someone got
"carried away" and strayed off-topic.
Too much of anything is a bad thing. Too much order makes
for stagnation -- still waters don't always run deep. Too
much chaos makes for confusion -- troubled waters need some
kind of bridge. [OK, maybe I've drowned my point in water
references or drowned out my point with the song references
in which the water references were submersed.]
I invite those of you who feel that we should stick strictly to the
legal science in which we're all expert ("relatively technical legal
questions dealing with the law of government and religion") should
think about how other "relatively technical" disciplines progress.
The physical sciences too have their discussions and their methods of
of determining what is and what is not "on topic" that is to say
However, we would not have had such developments as The Copernican
Revolution, the wave theory of light, or quantum theory had key
participants in those "relatively technical" discussions not wilfully or
inadvertantly broken with certain 'obvious' methodological rules of
scientific inquiry. Progress occured because they allowed themselves
to get carried away and thus strayed "off topic." At least that's what
the philosophers and historians of science tell us...
I therefore think that the move to a moderated list is unwise. We
should not let ourselves get carried away by the notion of not letting
ourselves get carried away. Eugene -- I think that you has been doing
a fine job of maintaining order by reminding us from time to time of
your notion of the appropriate boundaries of our "relatively technical
discussions." I also think that the listmembers have done of fine job
of maintaining a the kind of friendly, productive anarchy that makes
for interesting and informative discussions.
Let's not have a moderated list.
On Tue, 13 Jan 1998 10:17:55 -0600 richard duncan
<rduncan at UNLINFO.UNL.EDU> wrote:
> Gene: I understand your oft-stated concern about staying on topic,
> etc. But somehow I feel this list will lose a great deal of its
> flexibility and atmosphere as a result of this change.
> Some of the best threads on ReligionLaw have started with "off-topic"
> posts that might well have never seen the light of day if they had
> been required to get past a moderator (even a moderator with as gentle
> a touch as you tend to have).
> But if this is what the list memebers wish, so be it.
> --Rick Duncan
> > In keeping with the practice on the other lists for which I'm the
> > custodian -- and on various other academic lists, such as CNI-
> > COPYRIGHT, H-LAW, and such -- I've switched RELIGIONLAW to a moderated
> > format. This simply means that all messages will come to me first,
> > and that I will then forward them to the list.
> > This will make it possible to catch messages inadvertently sent
> > to the list, to prevent the list from being used to distribute "spam"
> > advertising, to slow down the pace of the list when traffic is
> > unusually high, and to keep the list on-topic when the discussion
> > strays too far away from the list topic (relatively technical legal
> > questions dealing with the law of government and religion). I
> > believe that this shouldn't be much of a problem on the technical
> > end, but if you have any difficulties posting or getting messages,
> > please let me know. Thanks!
> Rick Duncan (rduncan at unlinfo.unl.edu)
> "Godlessness is the first step to the gulag." --Solzhenitsyn
Anthony Paul Farley
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02159
Tel: (617) 552-4397
Fax: (617) 552-2615
Net: farleya at bc.edu
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