Re: leaving the list

Centro de Estudios Regionales TJA (cerdet@UAJMS.BO)
Fri, 27 Jan 1995 11:13:13 PST

Centro de Estudios Regionales Tarija
Hello Everyone,
First, sorry if this post is out of date, but as has been
mentioned before, some of us live "out-there" far enough that
our messages arrive with a red-shift. Anyway, bear with me if
the time delay is annoying.

Just a few comments about the "heated discussions" that
seem to drive some of our members out.

1. I think, along with asking questions and sharing
general information, the most important function of a list like
anthro-l is to throw around ideas, debate them, and on occasion
arrive at some kind of conclusion. Without anthro-l where in the
world would we have the chance to trot out any interesting theme
and go at it? You all know everyone at your university
department or institution, and try talking about memes at the
local bar. Anthro-l feeds each of us with ideas we hadnot had
before from people we wouldnot otherwise be able to talk to. I
know if I have a new idea I can trot it out on anthro-l for a
test drive. No one is going to let something just pass by
unnoticed. If it works, great. If not you are going to hear
about it. This kind of feedback from so many people in such an
open forum is something we shouldnot take for granted.

2. This all makes us better. How many people just throw
out arguments without thinking about it a little first? You know
that some lazy, loose cannon argument is going to get roasted
(and a little ego along with it). Being put on the spot by very
intelligent and educated people forces you to think, and
ocasionally swallow the bitter pill and admit that maybe your
ideas werenot so great after all. A little intellectual jousting
is good for us *even if no conculsion is reached*. Itos like
when you were a kid and wrestled around with your friends in the
living room. You werenot going to win anything, but you were
getting stronger. All of our minds get stronger when we subject
ourselves to a little rigorous debate, even about some crazy
topic like phsycic archeology. It helps us think in new ways,
clean out the mental attic, and fill it in with some fresh

3. Sure there is name calling, and snide "nasty-grams", and
even some swearing. Things get emotional sometimes, and that is
just fine, because god know there ought to be somewhere to act
emotional, and if this isnot it, where is it? If it crosses the
line sometimes, there are always people to pull us back in line.
And letos be honest. A good number of us (myself included) get a
charge out of seeing people push each others hot buttons (or push
a few myself). And there are also a good number of us (myself
included) who enjoy getting their hot buttons pushed so they can
go off like an MX missle and get that little thing thats been
bugging them about memes off their chest.

4. As many people have already done with this letter, if
you donot like it, you donot have to read it! Itos miraculous.
Imagine being in a conversation where you can tune out any topic
or any person any time you want to! I couldnot care less about
feminist poets in 18th century Nigeria you couldnot care less
about my message. Great, hit delete and move on with your life.

Just my 2 cents.

Andrew Turner