4.1010 Humanist: Politics on Humanist (2/88)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sun, 10 Feb 91 21:12:33 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1010. Sunday, 10 Feb 1991.

(1) Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 09:23:58 CST (45 lines)
From: Richard Goerwitz <goer@sophist.uchicago.edu>
Subject: political propaganda; diaries

(2) Date: Wed, 06 Feb 91 16:54:01 IST (43 lines)
From: Hank Nussbacher <HANK@VM.BIU.AC.IL>
Subject: The political nature of my writings

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 91 09:23:58 CST
From: Richard Goerwitz <goer@sophist.uchicago.edu>
Subject: political propaganda; diaries

I'm beginning to become concerned about the way in which people
are abusing this newsgroup to express themselves about the war
and their experience of it.

Imagine if everyone on Usenet who wished to ask a question about
the C programming language posted to comp.unix.questions. Since
Unix and C are inextricably intertwined, one can see how this might
happen. Suppose now that the X11R4 people posted there as well,
since X Windows runs mainly on Unix platforms, and is written in
C? This could go on and on. In point of fact, there are news-
groups dedicated to C, Unix, and X11R4, and although some overlap
is inevitable, competent posters normally excercize enough good
sense in their group selection to keep traffic on comp.unix.ques-
tions to a manageable size.

What seems to be happening here is that the war is creating some
strong feelings, and, lacking other obvious outlets, people are
posting on Humanist.

I'm sure that the average intelligence level on our group is sub-
standially higher than the overall world mean. It should not be
beyone anyone's capabilities to locate other listserv groups, and
to connect into other worldwide networks that have newsgroups better
structured for talk of tyrants, bombs, and gas masks. Usenet, in
particular, is well suited for such talk, and newsreading software
is available for that medium that makes categorization and proces-
sing of the vast information flow much.

If people can't or won't crawl out beyond the borders of this one
small newsgroup, they should at least know enough not to provide
the rest of us with daily evidence of their oversight.

This is admittedly just my personal opinion. I send it to you, the
editors, because traditionally it's thought inappropriate to engage
in long discussions of what is and is not appropriate for a given
newsgroup on that newsgroup. One is usually encouraged to try per-
sonal mail.


(2) --------------------------------------------------------------47----
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 91 16:54:01 IST
From: Hank Nussbacher <HANK@VM.BIU.AC.IL>
Subject: The political nature of my writings

In response to a letter written by Hank Nussbacher warning
against publication of political activism on the nets, it
has been suggested that my reports should be removed on that

While I do express opinions, I have not advocated any political
activity and the response to the warning that included me was
a source of astonishment to me. To clarify the position, I
wrote to Hank Nussbacher. With his permission, I include his

Date: Wed, 06 Feb 91 16:54:01 IST
From: Hank Nussbacher <HANK@VM.BIU.AC.IL>
Subject: Re: Political messages.
In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 6 Feb 91 14:50 +0200

It certainly wasn't directed at you. We were approached by EARN
president about use of listserv lists. I do not see a problem with
usenet news. Our problem is listserv EARN lists. Your journals are not
political activism. But we must be careful. There are far more people
who hate Israel than like it. The lists can quickly be swamped with
PLO-L and palestine.talk and the network then becomes a media
battleground. EARN ignores the netnews traffic as well as its contents
and rules only on listserv lists.

All I can say is just be careful that we do not overstep any rules that
everyone else does.



__Bob Werman