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Re: Public: Science news posts & Mediocrity



Good morning, all!

        So, what do we, the subscribers to public@setileague.org, want the
list to become?

I said:

>I don't really know what Richard means about 'vaguely
>SETI-related science'. 

Walk Williams replied:

>I think we all know what Richard Burke-Ward means by that.
>The continual posting of articles that have NOTHING to do with
>searching for ETI.  ... The vast majority of these
>posts have nothing to do with narrow-band (far-away) SETI or
>Near Earth SETI.

        I think this is the nub of the disagreement. Some people would like
this list to stick firmly to the day-to-day direct issues of doing SETI - to
talk about purely empirical and experimental SETI. Others would like to mix
in wider discussions about theory and (potential) observations of life,
which might help us to revise and expand our search strategies in the medium
to long term.

        The problem arises when some of the empirical SETIzens feel that the
list will be diluted beyond usefulness by the more philosophical messages. 

        We could collectively decide to revise the 'public' description, to
define the wider discussions as 'off-topic' for this list. I would suggest
in that case, that we should agree upon another forum for the philosophical
discussions, which we could mention in the 'public' list description, giving
everyone an equal chance to participate.

I also said:

>Discussions about such projects also seem to be on-topic
>according to the Web notes quoted above. 

To which Walt replied:

>Yup, as we slip into mediocrity and the talent starts looking 
>elsewhere.

        Now, I'm not sure I follow your logic. I would expect the talent to
be perfectly capable of running a mental filter over the public list
discussions, if they're less interested in non-empirical messages.

        Thanks!

        Amanda