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Andrew Bernhard follow-up.

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  • jmgcormier
    I think we should all be grateful for Andrew Bernhard s enthusiasm and motivation for having gotten us all to think about E- Lists and how useful and valuable
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 19 2:41 PM
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      I think we should all be grateful for Andrew Bernhard's
      enthusiasm and motivation for having gotten us all to think about E-
      Lists and how useful and valuable they can be to us.

      Personally, I'm not sure that there is a clear "one and only"
      conclusion to the issue of dwindling participation, and that
      essentially lists are undergoing but a mere "transformation".

      I somehow rather think that list members everywhere may be
      instead "experimenting with alternatives" (especially with blogs
      and / or alternative "subject specific" information and discussion
      sites) and because we all have limitations on our available time to
      dip into cyber space, lists are probably simply the victims of what
      might be called a "drifting phenomenon"… i.e. that members are
      exploring views beyond E-Lists, and don't have time to participate
      in E-Lists wherein commentaries may have become somewhat predictable
      and expected on various subjects. Time may prove, however, that once
      the "drifters" discover how limited in scope (or predictable) blogs
      and subject specific sites can themselves be, they may well
      eventually come back to the lists, and even be enriched by having
      sought "greener pastures" and discovered the true value of their
      earlier "favorite list site". (Imagine, for example, how this very
      list would "blossom" or "big bang" into pervasive interest if all of
      a sudden someone came out with a whole new discovery which would
      rock the very foundations of conventional thinking about GoT !)

      Notwithstanding a number of excellent blogs out there, I
      personally find that some blogs can often be intimidating and
      even "tongue in cheekish" since literally anyone can start a blog,
      and be he conversant and learned or not on a subject, the blogger
      can "toot his horn" in almost any direction he or she wishes without
      having to prove or expand intelligently and scientifically on his
      musings and thus still sound as thought he is nonetheless
      an "expert" in his chosen subject matter. Quite often, if one
      engages or challenges a blogger by way of a comment on his own point
      of view, the engager can be further undermined by way of the
      blogger's control of his (own) agenda. The same can be especially
      true, of course, of subject specific sites which usually carry the
      bias of the site's specific orientation or its sponsorship leaning
      … i.e. the church of so and so, ... the school of such and such etc.
      etc.

      Surfing in these two areas of cyber space then is not likely to
      produce the quality "product line" about the drifter's favorite
      subject, and much like "prodigal sons and daughters", I suspect
      these drifters will eventually come back to the E-lists from whence
      they came and enjoyed participating in.

      How can lists, then, hasten members to "return to the nest"
      or increase their message participation rate once there ? … well, I
      would imagine that because ours (for example) is designed largely
      for serious and scholarly students of Thomas, I suspect that we
      might try harder to make the list a place where there is greater
      access to new and genuine research material (which could increase
      the quality of discussions) and /or encourage the more scholarly
      types on the list to share more of their knowledge about the GoT
      with debutant members who no doubt have a thirst for "up to speed
      learning" but who might sense that their expressed views or opinions
      on the list may be belittled or simply left to one side in a
      scholarly venue or debate. I have a strong hunch, however, that
      even learned and well versed debaters and scholars can themselves
      learn and even draw valuable inspiration from many of the list's
      lesser active debutant members who probably have scores of new
      thoughts and original ideas to offer up …. "from the mouths of
      babes" sort of thing (or perhaps shades of Thomas logion # 4). … my
      thoughts anyways …

      Could we perhaps start by asking the moderators to set up a site
      field (accessible only when "on-line" and for members only) where
      everyone could identify the areas of Thomas or the "Thomas product
      lines" which interests them the most, and possibly a second one
      where they might (under the approval of the moderators) identify any
      interesting other sites and blogs which could easily be referred to
      by members regarding basic information and accepted or new research
      about the GoT which could further enrich the worth of the overall
      site (views on this anyone ???)

      In closing, again thank you Andrew for all of your hard
      work, and do keep us all apprised of your "final" thoughts and
      conclusions including your thoughts on an implementation strategy.

      Maurice Cormier
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Hi Maurice, Thanks for your very interesting comments. With respect to the above, however, I have my doubts. You may recall that I ve written about two
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 21 12:15 PM
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        > (Imagine, for example, how this very list would "blossom" or
        > "big bang" into pervasive interest if all of a sudden someone
        > came out with a whole new discovery which would rock the
        > very foundations of conventional thinking about GoT !)

        Hi Maurice,

        Thanks for your very interesting comments. With respect to the
        above, however, I have my doubts. You may recall that I've written
        about two textual discoveries of my own in the Coptic GoT, and
        the world hasn't beaten a path to our door. These discoveries
        challenge two tenets of conventional thinking about Coptic Thomas:
        (1) that it's simply a translation from another language, and (2) that
        its features are strictly orality-based. I think the findings show that
        Coptic Thomas contains features which could not and would not
        have been known by hearing it read or recited aloud, since these
        features involve the counting of letters and lines of text. Furthermore,
        we see catchwords operating at a distance (between lines 70 and 280,
        in sayings 11 and 42), whereas the conventional idea of a catchword
        is orality-based, joining two contiguous sayings, but not two logically-
        related sayings which are textually separated. Now, of course, Coptic
        Thomas may have been a "special edition" of GoT, as it were, so we
        can't generalize from these findings without further ado. Nevertheless,
        I think that they should at least serve to challenge the conventional
        view that Coptic Thomas was just another in a series of GoT's, and
        that the the only differences between it and its predecessors were
        translational and redactional. Whether unique in its special features
        or not, Coptic Thomas was surely far from being a poor cousin to the
        Greek version(s). All this may not rock the foundations (probably only
        another complete ms. would do that), but it should rock the boat a bit.

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • jmgcormier
        ... wrote: etc, etc, etc. Hello Michael and thank you for your note .... … I think your example of the two tenets of conventional thinking about Coptic
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 21 6:39 PM
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          --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
          wrote: etc, etc, etc.


          Hello Michael and thank you for your note ....

          … I think your example of the "two tenets of conventional thinking
          about Coptic Thomas (1) that it's simply a translation from another
          language, and (2) that its features are strictly orality-based" are
          two other excellent examples of mythical belief and "taken for
          granted phenomenon" which I shared a few hours ago with David, Jack,
          Wieland and Adaire. (I must start collecting these for a good round
          of discussion on a rainy day .)

          Yes, I do recall that a few years ago you did raise and
          discuss two of your discoveries regarding two bits of conventional
          thinking about Coptic Thomas ... viz that:(1) it's simply a
          translation from another language, and (2) that its features are
          strictly orality-based.

          Would you remember the post numbers or the dates of these so
          that we could revisit them in the context of today's "conventional
          thinking" about Thomas ? (Might be interesting to refresh our
          thoughts.)

          Do you also recall off-hand if the discoveries also
          challenged the "conventional view that Coptic Thomas was just
          another in a series of GoT's, and that the the only differences
          between it and its predecessors were translational and
          redactional." ???

          Maurice Cormier
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