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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Various Ramblings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.2045  Tuesday, 13 December 2005

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Subject: 	Various Ramblings

I did not edit SHAKSPER digests yesterday because I had three different 
appointments about my disability. I just spent an hour and a half 
deleting close to 1,700 spams, viruses, and other non-list related 
e-mails when I really should be grading papers so that I can start my 
holiday shopping. Instead, now I feel compelled to write yet another 
editor's message to the membership, which will take me an inordinate 
amount of time to be tactful.

In the past more than fifteen years, I have given a great deal of my 
life to delivering SHAKSPER to subscribers. I have explained that for 
the first years of its existence SHAKSPER was almost exclusively an 
academic list with scholars constituting 95% of its members. Then the 
Internet revolution got underway and Internet access is approaching 
universal in some parts of the world and now significant numbers of 
SHAKSPER members are enthusiasts. Clearly, some members are happy with 
SHAKSPER exactly as it is, but I am not. It hurts me every time I get 
notification that another young or established scholar is leaving the 
list. It hurts me when interesting scholarly postings are ignored and 
others that simply drive me crazy thrive. It bothers me that appropriate 
discourse for some appears to be ad hominem attacks on the poster, 
especially if they disagree with his politics.

Along these lines, I should have simply sent Richard Burt's pop 
Shakespeare citation and not have posted the inappropriate paranoid 
responses to it. I have received even more (one particularly 
over-the-top), but the only submission I am sending out is this one:

+++++
From: 		Arthur Lindley <
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Date: 		Sat, 10 Dec 2005 09:09:48 +0800
Subject: 16.2041 Former Soldier Cites H5
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.2041 Former Soldier Cites H5

I'm not alone, am I, in finding this post offensive and silly?  If 
you're not interested in pop Shakespeares, Tom, use the delete key. 
That's what I've been doing with 'Lions and Tigers and Wagers'.  I 
haven't felt the need to write in and insult the participants for having 
interests different from mine.

Arthur Lindley
+++++

I have been looking for solutions to my dilemma, but nothing seems to be 
adequate. Concerning my specific-purpose discussion groups proposal 
Michael Luskin write the following.

+++++
From: 		Michael B. Luskin <
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Date: 		Fri, 9 Dec 2005 14:50:54 EST
Subject: 16.2022 Reminder
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2022 Reminder

Or maybe this belongs to the SHK 16.2037  QuickTopic and Yahoo! Groups 
thread...  Or maybe we should start a yahoogroup to discuss yahoogroups.

I am the owner and moderator of five yahoogroups, and belong to several 
more.  On a few occasions, people on this list Hardy in particular, have 
complained about spam.  A fine place to harvest addresses is a 
yahoogroups listserv, and I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE.

Having a dozen listservs means that we have a dozen archives, and the 
yahoogroup archive search capability is rudimentary.

I have watched this thread unhappily.  The idea of going to many 
yahoogroups listservs to discuss this or that is distasteful. 
Furthermore, we will then have to know which listserv is meant for which 
particular point.  What if we miss the name of the yahoogroup, and don't 
know where things disappeared to?  Since we have several Hamlet 
discussions going on right now, does that mean we will have several 
listservs, one for each, how will we keep track of all of them?  And 
what if they start to spawn other discussions?  What if threads start to 
interweave?  What is the purpose of shaksper going to be? 
Announcements, quick points of information?

Talk about becoming unmanageable!

In addition, I don't know what it means for a thread to reach the end of 
its useful life.  When threads becomes too tedious or too contentious, I 
am quite capable of clicking delete, and everyone else is as well.

I think that we are spending too much time worrying about managing 
problems that don't have to be managed.  There are plenty of posts that 
are uninteresting, or too scholarly for me, and I simply don't read 
them.  What is the issue?

I think it would be far better if Hardy appointed a sub-editor for 
certain threads, if it becomes too difficult for him to manage them.  I 
don't see an enormous change in volume now, so it seems to me that the 
editor's time commitment should be the same, no matter what.

Michael B. Luskin
+++++

I never wanted to be anything more than an Internet Louis Marder. 
Certainly, I don't want to be an Internet Oprah, Jerry Springer, or Rush 
Limbaugh, which is what I sometime feel I have become.

In two weeks, SHAKSPER will enter its seventeenth year. I plan to take a 
break starting December 20 through New Year to spend some time with my 
family.

This message has taken me far too long to compose, so after I post an 
announcement from Richard Burt that is time-sensitive, I am going to 
call it a day for SHAKSPER and go to my pharmacy to pick up a refill of 
my pain medication.

Hardy

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