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Monthly Report

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  • Michael Grondin
    March was a bad month for our group, even though we managed to do better than our benchmark group, XTalk. We had 17 messages for the month, the second lowest
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 6, 2009
      March was a bad month for our group, even though we
      managed to do better than our benchmark group, XTalk.
      We had 17 messages for the month, the second lowest
      on record (last year was even worse), while XTalk had only five.
      Our year-to-date total is now ahead of theirs, 155 to 149, and
      our daily average ytd is 1.7, which is fine, but I'm bothered
      by a rather bleak future outlook. For one thing, although it's
      comforting to be doing as well or better than our benchmark
      group, it's not good news if we're BOTH going down the tubes.
      Worse than the statistics, however, is the fact that our Regular
      Contributor Program seems to be succumbing to its inherent
      weakness, viz. that it needs new contributors from time to time,
      as members of the original pool tire of the effort, or move on to
      other interests. So far, we haven't been able to recruit new RC's,
      even though the posting requirement is quite minimal, and the
      commitment is only a month at a time.

      For the month of April, Paul Lanier will be the featured RC. I'll
      try to post at least one message a week also, and the others
      will contribute from time to time.

      Two general observations: (1) I think that one thing that makes
      blogging more satisfying to the blogger than participation in a
      discussion group is that the blogger gets to set the agenda.
      He/she is the sole initiator of subject matter, and reader feedback
      is basically oriented toward that. Contrast that with the discussion
      group, where member A initiates one topic and member B another.
      Feedback is split between the two, so that member A might well
      feel that his/her topic isn't being given sufficient attention, because
      it has to compete with member B's topic, which may be more
      interesting to the general membership, but not to A. Unfortunately
      for the discussion group, potential bloggers tend to be some of
      its more productive members, so as they gravitate to blogging,
      the discussion group tends more and more to be populated
      solely by lurkers, many of whom (about 40% in our case) don't
      get daily messages from the group, and thus tend to progressively
      ignore it.

      (2) On a personal note, there's a reason why I, unlike others, don't
      move on to other interests. For one thing, I have no generalized
      interest in ancient religious artifacts, such that I would be satisfied
      contemplating any of them at random. From the outset, I sensed
      something different about Gos.Thomas - not some difference in
      religious content from canonical works, but rather, a vague hint
      that there was something mysterious under the surface - something
      that appealed to my interests in logic, linguistics, and mathematics.
      Over time, that intuition has panned out with the discovery of design
      features we would never have credited to any ancient writers, let
      alone the Copts. That's gratifying, but I think that there's still more
      interesting mysteries to be solved about Gos.Thomas. And so I'll
      slog on, quite content, thank you, with this one simple but deep
      problem.

      Mike Grondin
    • Judy Redman
      Just wanted people to know that I have been appreciating the efforts of RCs to engender conversation but have been in deep lurk mode for quite a few months now
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 6, 2009
        Just wanted people to know that I have been appreciating the efforts of RCs
        to engender conversation but have been in deep lurk mode for quite a few
        months now owing to things that have been going on in my life. The job I
        get paid to do has been horrifyingly demanding and the work I've been doing
        for my doctorate has been much more generalist than specifically GosThom, so
        while I can blog about it, it is "off topic" for this group.

        I agree with Mike's comment about one of the attractions of blogging being
        that the blogger gets to set the agenda, although I'm not sure that this
        makes it more satisfying, just easier for a busy person because you write
        about things that are occupying the centre stage of your thinking at the
        time. On a discussion list, you have to spend time thinking about something
        that has been raised by someone else and trying to come up with a coherent,
        reasoned response thereto. I tend to work on the principle that if I can't
        say something sensible, I should just keep quiet.

        This last is particularly an issue for those of us who are involved in
        academia, I think. If you are wanting to gain or maintain credibility as a
        scholar, you do not want to become known as "the one who posts the poorly
        considered things on GTh."

        Judy



        --
        Rev Judy Redman
        Uniting Church Chaplain
        University of New England
        Armidale 2351 Australia
        ph: +61 2 6773 3739
        fax: +61 2 6773 3749
        web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
        http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
        email: jredman@...


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Grondin
        > Sent: Tuesday, 7 April 2009 3:56 AM
        > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [GTh] Monthly Report
        >
        > March was a bad month for our group, even though we managed
        > to do better than our benchmark group, XTalk.
        > We had 17 messages for the month, the second lowest on record
        > (last year was even worse), while XTalk had only five.
        > Our year-to-date total is now ahead of theirs, 155 to 149,
        > and our daily average ytd is 1.7, which is fine, but I'm
        > bothered by a rather bleak future outlook. For one thing,
        > although it's comforting to be doing as well or better than
        > our benchmark group, it's not good news if we're BOTH going
        > down the tubes.
        > Worse than the statistics, however, is the fact that our
        > Regular Contributor Program seems to be succumbing to its
        > inherent weakness, viz. that it needs new contributors from
        > time to time, as members of the original pool tire of the
        > effort, or move on to other interests. So far, we haven't
        > been able to recruit new RC's, even though the posting
        > requirement is quite minimal, and the commitment is only a
        > month at a time.
        >
        > For the month of April, Paul Lanier will be the featured RC.
        > I'll try to post at least one message a week also, and the
        > others will contribute from time to time.
        >
        > Two general observations: (1) I think that one thing that
        > makes blogging more satisfying to the blogger than
        > participation in a discussion group is that the blogger gets
        > to set the agenda.
        > He/she is the sole initiator of subject matter, and reader
        > feedback is basically oriented toward that. Contrast that
        > with the discussion group, where member A initiates one topic
        > and member B another.
        > Feedback is split between the two, so that member A might
        > well feel that his/her topic isn't being given sufficient
        > attention, because it has to compete with member B's topic,
        > which may be more interesting to the general membership, but
        > not to A. Unfortunately for the discussion group, potential
        > bloggers tend to be some of its more productive members, so
        > as they gravitate to blogging, the discussion group tends
        > more and more to be populated solely by lurkers, many of whom
        > (about 40% in our case) don't get daily messages from the
        > group, and thus tend to progressively ignore it.
        >
        > (2) On a personal note, there's a reason why I, unlike
        > others, don't move on to other interests. For one thing, I
        > have no generalized interest in ancient religious artifacts,
        > such that I would be satisfied contemplating any of them at
        > random. From the outset, I sensed something different about
        > Gos.Thomas - not some difference in religious content from
        > canonical works, but rather, a vague hint that there was
        > something mysterious under the surface - something that
        > appealed to my interests in logic, linguistics, and mathematics.
        > Over time, that intuition has panned out with the discovery
        > of design features we would never have credited to any
        > ancient writers, let alone the Copts. That's gratifying, but
        > I think that there's still more interesting mysteries to be
        > solved about Gos.Thomas. And so I'll slog on, quite content,
        > thank you, with this one simple but deep problem.
        >
        > Mike Grondin
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
        > Interlinear translation:
        > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi Judy, My take on the latter part of your note is that while I don t expect much academic participation here, I would hope that this would be a place where
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 9, 2009
          Hi Judy,

          My take on the latter part of your note is that while I don't expect much
          academic participation here, I would hope that this would be a place where
          academics _could_ come if they wanted to, and feel free to express their
          thoughts without worrying overly much about whether they would be regarded
          as being poorly considered (which isn't to say that anyone should express
          contentious opinions without showing their evidence or reasoning - to my
          mind, that's never in order). Actually, I've heard offhand comments from
          academics at SBL meetings that seemed to me to be poorly considered -
          and spoken before their peers - unlike here, which is probably below the
          radar for most of one's peers. Of course what's acceptable in informal talk
          isn't the same as what's acceptable in written form, but still, this isn't
          a journal, and the low esteem with which it's regarded in academia may
          actually make it a good place to try out ideas, without having to worry
          about one's peers, and without having to do all the exhaustive research
          necessary to determine what every other academic has ever written on
          a given topic. A place to let one's hair down and risk making mistakes -
          or simply changing one's mind from one day to the next. At least that's
          what I regard as the ideal, though the actual dialogue is too often less
          than one might wish - either in quantity or quality. But then again, even
          in the blog world, sometimes you write something brilliant and you never
          hear anything back, sorta like that tree falling in an uninhabited forest.

          Cheers,
          Mike
        • Paul Lanier
          ... Hi Judy, I deeply respect and appreciate your concern here. It s one of the reasons I decided against an academic career in the church. I would argue that
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 10, 2009
            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
            > If you are wanting to gain or maintain credibility as a scholar,
            > you do not want to become known as "the one who posts the poorly
            > considered things on GTh."

            Hi Judy,

            I deeply respect and appreciate your concern here. It's one of the reasons I decided against an academic career in the church.

            I would argue that the paths of NT scholarship are necessarily littered with the corpses of poorly considered ideas. And progress would be quicker if we had more!

            Redgards, Paul
          • Michael Grondin
            In my October report, I had expressed the hope that we would get 54 messages in November, and, surprisingly, that s exactly what happened! That brings the
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 2, 2009
              In my October report, I had expressed the hope that we would
              get 54 messages in November, and, surprisingly, that's exactly
              what happened! That brings the current year to 495 messages,
              which is even par with the goal of 45 messages per month. The
              bad news is that December is typically a slow month (second
              lowest monthly average to February), and we're off to a slow
              start, so it's probably going to be a struggle to hit par for the year,
              unless something comes along like the interaction with Davies, to
              spur our monthly activity. We've already passed 2005 and 2006,
              and need but 18 to pass 2004, so keep up the good work, y'all.
              If you're like me, you've tucked away little things you wanted to
              write about, but something came up and you never did. Why not
              dust 'em off and trot 'em out as a Christmas present to the rest
              of us? They'd be new to us, so we'd never know the difference.

              Best to all,
              Mike Grondin
              Mt. Clemens, MI
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