Watching ARSCLIST engage in, and possibly founder on the rocks of,
the same dispute that has characterized every e-mail list I've been
involved in, I have a suggestion, to wit:
1) E-mail be divided into Private and Public categories. Private
messages would only be allowed to be directed to a single individual,
while Public e-mail would be directed to a single digital clearing
house. Individuals would be able to receive all of their Private
messages, but would have to pay a small fee (say $1 annually) to
access Public messages.
2) Since the sum of fees collected would be in the tens of millions
of US Dollars, top-notch programmers could be employed to create a
sophisticated filtering system. This would allow each subscribing
individual to request ONLY messages which contained certain words
or phrases, while rejecting ALL messages containing other words
or phrases. In fact, given the funding available to hire programmers,
it might be possible to allow the filtering mechanism to include
views and opinions as well as words and phrases!
The eventual result would be that e-mail users would be able only
to see the traffic THEY wanted to see; they would not have the bother
of searching out lists covering the topic they desire only to be
confounded by messages which don't meet their definition of the
topic in question, or post opinions with which they disagree.
In the meantime, we may wish to set up a multiplicity of one-person
mailing lists, in which each person can serve as list owner,
moderator and subscriber. Admittedly, there would be little new
information exchanged, but there would also be little extraneous
traffic (multiple personalities may present a problem here).
For those who don't catch the spirit of this post, I suggest you
reference Mr. Swift's essay, from whence the subject line derives...
Steven C. Barr