Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #3

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: List Format, etc.

Exegesis Digest Thu, 22 Jan 1998

Date: Wed, 21 Jan 1998 19:30:34 +0000
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: exegesis
Subject: List Format, etc.

Hello all,

I am a new subscriber who has listened to silence on this list, and am edified to discover some traffic. Thanks to the moderator for his initiation of new activity.

Mr. Reder's analysis of the problems with the list are interesting and to the point, no doubt. I would also suggest that a list limiting itself to a digest format would invite the same sort of input one might expect in a limited interest journal: articles! The digest format does not invite debate, and for the reasons Mr. Reder has given. The lists to which I have subscribed have always provided the individual postings, though often with the digest alternative.

It seems to me, however, that the problem of article length does not entirely derive from the format. The subject matter itself would appear to require significantly more than the sort of short and terse postings we have come to consider mandated by net etiquette. In fact, I would expect to have to devote the same sort of attention to this list that I would to a peer reviewed journal upon which I depend for professional reasons.

Until there is solid material at hand upon which to comment, I would expect no commentary, I think. At present, there is no material. We are used to using the electronic medium as a quick means to exchange timely information; I suggest it works just as well to share papers and articles that are not intrinsically time-bound. If we can agree that this list is an appropriate forum for such presentations, we can very likely generate that missing material, or so it seems to me.

Our moderator's observations about the nature of this list speak quite clearly to the problems with the subject at hand: it is largely a void, and the task of addressing that void is indeed daunting. But the reason it is so is not entirely the lack of sufficient context upon which to build, though that is the primary reason, I think; it is the sheer magnitude of the task itself. The creation of a science to support astrology, and that is what the subject of this list is about, it seems to me, may well be beyond the interests, much less the capabilities, of many of us.

Our moderator suggests there may be some number of subscribers who are waiting for some expert to hold forth, and that may well be true. It follows from that suggestion, I think, that those who are waiting do not consider themselves to have such expertise. If this is so, and these people are right, then from whence does the sought expertise arrive? If we who practice astrology are not experts, who is?

Clearly, the development of a science requires some skills in that regard, but they are certainly not those of a post-doctorate in some lofty academic field. The rules here call only for a clear presentation of ideas, such that they can be recognized and tested, and that they have some basis in an accepted and generally well-understood foundation of data, information and knowledge. Surely we all can meet those requirements, I would think.

So I suggest that this subject is best treated by substantive presentations, and orderly discussions that follow. The subject matter is profound enough to deserve all the care and consideration we can apply to its treatment, lest we contribute to the morass we would build over. Perhaps this list doesn't require anything more than due diligence on the part of the subscribers, but it seems to me that the process of building a foundation for astrology requires nothing less.




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