11.0117 paranoia about lurkers?

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 18 Jun 1997 21:43:22 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 117.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 11:12:20 GMT0BST
From: Francois Crompton-Roberts <F.Crompton-Roberts@qmw.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 11.0113 contributions to Humanist

> Apart from the philosophical questions the above provokes, I mean
> this as encouragement to all who have only lurked on Humanist
> because they felt they did not know enough to say something that is
> true. Lurking is of course fine, but I would not like to think that
> anyone lurked in the conviction that he or she had to be right. One
> only has to avoid being dull! Fortunately for us all, here decorum
> seldom if ever seems to be a problem.

Am I the only one to detect a slightly paranoid attitude here?
We seem to object both to the "spammer", whose presence on the
list is only too obvious, and to the "lurker", who reads but doesn't
make his/her presence known. Why should we feel uneasy about someone
reading but not contributing? I don't think it's because we feel that
that person is not "pulling his/her weight". I suspect that it's more
akin to the feeling that we get when the passenger next to us on the
tube (subway) reads over our shoulder the letter we have received
from our mother...

The lurker on one thread may be the contributor to the next. May I
quote Molie\re. In the burlesque ceremony of intronisation of Monsieur
Jourdain as "Mamamouchi", the "Turks" chant, in the Mediterranean
_lingua franca_:-

Si ti sabir,
Ti respondir.
Si no sabir,
Taisir, taisir...

This should be the battle-cry of all scholarly discussion-lists...

Franc,ois C-R