Re: Discussion v/s advocacy

Nick Corduan (nickc@IQUEST.NET)
Thu, 21 Sep 1995 14:53:18 -0500


> I'm sorry, I did not mean to omit my name, it was an oversight. IMHO,

Oh, OK, I jumped to conclusion then. Your mail comes from "NAME" and I didn't
see a signature at the bottom of your last letter so I thought you were trying
to be anonymous . ..

> "Why not" is not a substantial answer to my questions, "Why?"

But it *is*. You challenged me concerning my postings, and I am merely trying
to figure out what you find so wrong with them. I can hardly respond and
explain why I do something until I know what it is about what I'm doing
that's bothering you.

Do you find the discuussion too likely to lead to genocide or absoultion of
past genocides? I repeatedly insisted in the thread that that was *not* my
point, adn that I do *not* excuse any such atrocities.

Do you merely find it frivolous? I would then wonder why you're in a
discussion group since what I'm doing is discussing.

> What you are doing is not immoral or unethical. However, that does not mean
> that it is helpful or good. However, I will grant (if you wish to claim it

Hold on, there. It's not "helpful"? Maybe not -- though that's really the
debate, isn't it -- but why must all discussions be helpful?

It's not "good"? What's not "good" about it?

> that it is "a lot of fun." I question whether all of the discussion for
> the sake of controversy is useful in the big picture. This medium is

I never said that it was "a lot of fun," and I did deny that it was for the
sake of controversy. The thread is for the sake of discussion. I merely
took what someone mentioned as an aside and ran with it, asking what
everybody thought about the applications of Darwinianism to cultural studies.

(And, frankly, it ticks me off more than a bit that people assume that I'm
coming down in favor of it. I most certainly will not, but I'm not going to
give my reasoning until someone actually takes the time to ask me what my
stand is, rather than jumping to conclusions and accusations of naziism.)

> growing and changing. These are our "permanent records." Robert Johnson

Is that why you don't like these discussions? Because you're afraid that
years from now someone's going to come across a digest of ANTHRO-L and think
we were all nazis because of this dicussion?

> By almost any objective measure that anyone could construct, you are
> (in your own words) "hogging the spotlight." You are not alone, of

Actually, I am not "hogging the spotlight." In an attempt to get some
anthropological discussiosn going -- rather than politics and RJ -- I started
a few threads. I also have a policy of always responding to my mail if I can
at all help it and a reply is at all useful.

That's politeness, not hogging the spotlight.

> This heat and intensity which is so characteristic of ANTHRO-L (I have found
> no other list so heated and intense) is just a feature of the culture, not
> bad, not good. Frequent posting does no particular harm, perhaps. But
> it helps to maintain a climate of controversy which often generates more
> heat than light. This is IMHO, of course.

It is a discussion group, though, and so I discuss. Feel free to lurk, but
please do not try and contrain my posting. Until I post something that's
utter trash or off-topic, I don't see that I'm doing anything wrong. Are
Ruby, Iian, Matthew, etc... all guilty of this, too?

> Finally, I am taking this time because you seem sincere and maybe able
> to understand what I am driving at. It is much easier to hit the delete
> key than to engage in this kind of correspondence. However, from time
> to time I undertake it. You are the lucky recipient of my attention
> this time.

I really and sincerely am trying to understand this, but I'm afraid I still
don't. Don't give up on me, though! <g>


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
( --Booker T. Washington