lost threads

Holly Swyers (nesn-info@CCE.ORG)
Fri, 22 Mar 1996 21:51:18 GMT

I went away and when I came back, the thread on power had completely
disappeared. I am saddened and disappointed, but things die, I guess.
I have a question, though -
aside from the personality conflicts that started taking over the
conversation, what caused people to abandon the thread?
Was it a natural loss of interest?
Or did someone want the thread to end?
Did someone use some subtle form of power to end the debate?
Okay, that sounds really paranoid, but it's still an interesting question.
My roommate and I had a discussion about Internet conversations when I
described the evolution and devolution (?!?) of the thread on power, and she
posed an interesting question: How would an anthropologist characterize the
nature of Internet communique, since everyone is struggling with "etiquette"
of this new mode of conversation? There is a tone of oral conversation in
this list, but it is still a written mode of communication. As I see it, the
thread on power started really going downhill when people started whipping
out their dictionaries. At that point, the list demonstrated that it is
important to make sure that we are using language as carefully as we would in
a formal paper (at least, that's how I read it). If this is the case, should
we only post formal paper quality communique?

Any thoughts?