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Jordi, Matt, et al
I had a reaction to Matt's post that was similar to Jordi's. As a
truly fringe member of this list, however, this post may merit filing
in less polite receptacles that Jordi suggests. :-)
I don't have the time to even peak at everything that comes over
SOCNET, but benefit greatly when I do. It's usually in a way that
could not be anticipated before I opened the email. In our work
trying to understand open source software communities, we've seen
that the development of solutions to hard problems can require
broadcasting ideas beyond a core group that is comfortable with
narrow ways of doing things, and in ways that may go beyond standard
modes of expression. Exposing my data to your concept and her
analytic framing, that sort of mixing. And that may require a messy
list exchange (though those that do this often appear to develop
their own shorthands).
In the lives we all lead, however, we can be overwhelmed with email
at times. In open source, one finds a particular "subject line
discipline" that quickly informs someone scanning what feels like
zillions of unread emails whether to open and read or just delete.
Do we need something like that here (e.g., short hand that
distinguishes administrative announcements from research questions
from philosophical debate)? Or is there one already that (shame on
me) I'm not aware of. If that's too tough, individuals might have
their list emails dumped automatically in off-line folders, to go
through when you can.
I've been part of communities that closed out a particularly rich
kind of cross disciplinary exchange for the sake of clean email boxes
for those who complained. We became decidedly the poorer for those
I think Jordi's idea of a meta discussion of the purpose of SOCNET
might also include also the norms and practices we all follow to
continue its value to all of us.
Sorry for one more email to clog the system.
On Jan 8, 2007, at 10:57 PM, Jordi Comas wrote:
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
> All of this can be filed under "You can't please all the people all
> the time...."
> Replying to (and in contrast to) Matt Bowler, I enjoy peeking in on
> theoretical or conceptual discussions like the recent "Networks and
> Conformity" thread. With a new semester barreling down, I can
> appreciate his desire to simplify clutter.
> I may not read all of them now or ever, but I know this rich vein
> exists on the archive if I ever need to go back and look at it. I
> often find myself skipping over SOCNET posts, but I made that
> editing decision.
> Just imagine in 9 months when someone wanders along and posts "Does
> anyone know anything about problematizing the ontology of
> networks? I can only find technical discussions of software."
> Someone can kindly tell them to check out the thread and they will
> be well on their way towards their dissertation (or whatever).
> Now, if your head hurts at the thought of a meta-discussion about
> the purpose of SOCNET, just delete this one right away.
> Jordi Comas
> Visiting Assistant Professor
> Bucknell University
> 570 577-3161
> [log in to unmask]
> Ideas, Commentary and Research Blog: www.netsweweave.blogspot.com
> "There is nothing so practical as a good theory." Kurt Lewin
> "Not all learning leads to intelligent behavior." James March
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