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Re: [SCA-JML] Removing the Welcome Mat

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    ... All the more reason to NOT try casting our nets too far afield. We ll have enough trouble doing ONE thing right and well. I d much rather have the
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 26, 2000
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      Barbara Nostrand wrote:

      > Noble Cousins!
      > Naming a proposed web site and establishing a theme for it does not
      > compel you to initially cover everything imaginable relating to that
      > theme. The fact is that the site will never be a comprehensive Japanese
      > site even if you "focus" it on Japan.

      All the more reason to NOT try casting our nets too far afield. We'll have
      enough trouble doing ONE thing right and well. I'd much rather have the
      reputation of having a good site for people interested in X, than being
      "one more stop you should look at if you want material on XYandZ."

      Basically, I'm enough of a dilettante *already* in Japanese areas (although
      I can point to four or five things I've done really extensive work on) to
      know I *don't* want a rep as a dilettante. I want to be recognized as a
      specialist. Yes, we have to recognize the wider sphere of Japan-related
      Asian matters, but ultimately we have to focus, I think, *on Japan*. Think
      of it this way: every doctor has to take gross anatomy and biology, but if
      you want information on the heart you go to a cardiologist, not a GP. And
      that's my philosophy here. I envision a site that's a Japanese specialist,
      not an Asian GP.

      > The real question is whether or
      > not it is welcoming to information about stuff concerning other Asiatic
      > cultures or not.

      Nonsense. If you're looking at a site on France, do you slight it for not
      having information on Imperial Rome? There was a connection between Gaul
      and Rome, but once those issues are addressed, that's it. There's no reason
      for a French history/culture site to discuss the Coliseum, Roman theology,
      the sociopolitical makeup of the Senate, etc. Make sense?

      > Calling the top level of the site a Japanese site and
      > then worrying about "scope", "focus" and implicitly "resources" is
      > simply being unwelcoming to stuff which is not explicitly Japanese
      > regardless of whether or not it would be useful for Japanese recreation.

      You think it's "unwelcoming"? I'm sorry, that's obviously a perception
      issue. I look at it as "focussed."

      Do you consider a dinner party of computer programmers "unwelcoming"
      because they don't invite doctors and lawyers and architects?

      > So essentially, you are saying to the potential contributor of stuff
      > not explicitly Japanese, "Go away! We don't want you! Go get your own
      > site!" Thank you! You have told me that my work on the relationship
      > between semiotic elements in Indian Dance and Japanese dance is not
      > welcome here.

      Give me a break! That *would* fit here, as there's a specific Japanese
      connection. Can't you see the difference? You're talking about two
      different things -- general Asia, and aspects of Asia influencing Japan.
      Links on historic esoteric Buddhism *would* be appropriate, but links about
      India's Mahabharata *wouldn't* be.

      You're a maths prof, no? Think in terms of subsets. Where there's an
      intersection, there's Japanese interest. WHere there's no intersection, it
      is irrelevant.

      > Nor does my work on Asiatic medicine appear to be
      > particularly welcome. It's bad enough when an autocrat who recreates
      > Scandinavia in Stonemarche tells me that Japanese topics are not welcome
      > at a scholae that she is running, but it really hurts to be told that
      > Asiatic stuff that I might dig up is unwelcome at the proposed web site.

      You're taking this far too personally, Solveig.

      You also surely understand the concept of what is appropriate material for
      a given market. I wouldn't teach a course on onomastics at a costume
      symposium, I wouldn't write a historical fiction for an SF magazine, and so
      on. Look, it seems like the consensus here is a Japanese list. What you do
      that bears on Japan is fine. NO ONE is telling you you can't do it, or put
      it somewhere it's appropriate.

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