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13Re: [ANE-2] A new beginning

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  • Ariel L. Szczupak
    Feb 15, 2006
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      At 09:14 15/02/2006, Paul James Cowie wrote:
      >Kudos to Jeffrey Gibson for seizing the initiative in creating the
      >second incarnation of the
      >ANE List - "redivivus", even before its official demise!



      >... Jeffrey's demand that joint moderation now become the norm seems
      >eminently sensible. A list rises or falls according to the quality
      >of its moderation, that much seems clear from recent events.

      I would like to note, and on this I claim expertise, that in an
      animated, lively forum the "moderator", be it one person or a panel,
      has to speak, and rule, in one consistent voice ("has" as in
      otherwise the list goes bad). That applies to simple technical issues
      (limited/unlimited posts per day) but also to more complex issues -
      it's not a good idea to have the moderator's ego allowing historicity
      threads while his alter-ego forbids them.


      >Might I suggest that some measure of sensible debate now ensue as to
      >changes (if any!) that list members might wish to see as regards the Protocol?

      Which is a good opportunity for me to point to some issues which I
      think the "moderator", in its generic sense, will have to think about
      and maybe formulate into specific guidelines in the list rules. And
      I'll use a specific example to illustrate these issues.

      Back in the old days, some two weeks ago :), I started jotting down
      notes to myself for posting a comment on some of NPL's points in "On
      the Problems of Reconstructing Pre-Hellenistic Israelite
      (Palestinian) History" which was mentioned on the list.


      Now NPL is a moderator, so what happens now? Will the moderators
      participate actively in the list? What happens when a list member
      takes the initial step and criticizes a moderator's publication? The
      issue is of course the perceived fairness of the moderation process.
      Personally I'm happy with all the names mentioned so far and I don't
      think I would have no problem in accepting whatever they decide,
      including a gag order, but it's something that's bound to come up and
      I think the moderators should form some policy on dealing with such cases.

      Next is the topic. I was planning comments on methodological aspects
      of the argumentation in the paper, but the topic of the paper can't
      be nearer to the center of the historicity controversy. In the
      previous list my comments would have been a reaction to something
      already posted, but here I'd be starting the thread. So what's it to be?

      Which brings me to a more general issue, that of a kibitzing pisher
      like me commenting on the published work of a respected professional,
      or the issue of participating dilettantes. I do like to think that my
      comments are within the bounds of scientific discourse (except for
      some stupid jokes), but others may think otherwise. Personally I'd be
      willing to shut up if it'd help the "shy" experts become more active.
      [I do however reserve the right to post a rebuttal whenever someone
      will claim that fig trees bear fruit once a year, something which
      seems to happen every year or two]. For the moderators' consideration.

      And last, as I said my planned focus is the methodology, which brings
      me to the more general issue of the scope of the list, and if it'll
      be limited to ANE issues or will meta-issues be acceptable too. By
      meta-issues I mean discussions of tools and knowledge that are not
      directly connected to the ANE but which are commonly used in
      ANE-related argumentation. An example would be a discussion on the
      reliability and precision of archeometrical dating techniques, but
      another example, one about which there have complaints, would be
      issues in linguistics. Allowing discussions of meta-issues brings in
      practically all of the scientific disciplines. Personally I think
      meta-discussions were one of the attractions of the defunct list, but
      I know that others resented it.

      Excuse me for welcoming the moderators with such problems, but I
      think it's better they address them now, without pressure, than to
      have to decide when the problems occur and tempers are hot. Good luck
      in a tough job!

      [I'm far from ready with my comments on NPL's paper, as in weeks away
      from being ready, so there's no need for a quick decision about this
      specific example]

      And now I'm off to check if it started snowing already (or if it'll
      be another false alert). And since snow in Jerusalem isn't mentioned
      even once in the bible, that proves it isn't a historical document.
      [I did mention the stupid jokes, right?]

      Oh, and please leave the list configured to reply to the list, as
      "public reply to public message" makes more sense than "private reply
      to public message" ...


      [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

      Ariel L. Szczupak
      AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
      POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
      Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
      ane.als@... http://amis-jlm.co.il
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