[ilds] ILDS Listserv

PETER BALDWIN delospeter at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 7 21:47:40 PST 2016

A number of comments :

1. The ILDS needs to keep up with the times and consider how best to use social media

2. All such media are open to abuse and that, regrettably, has to be factored into our use of such media

3. If James' comments reflect a change of ILDS policy determined by the ILDS committee, I would rather it had be sent out first via The Herald for consultation.

4. Against my better judgement, I subscribe to both Facebook and Twitter. Contrary to my expectation when I subscribed to Facebook with a view to keeping in touch with far-fling family, I consider it useless. However, I have found it invaluable for special interest groups where info and photos can be shared - both helpful and enjoyable. I am still finding my feet with Twitter but, again, think it is a good forum for views on shared interest.

5. I personally would keep the list serve since there is no character limit.

Hope these comments help

Peter Baldwin

Sent from my iPhone

On 7 Dec 2016, at 23:43, Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at gmail.com<mailto:bredwine1968 at gmail.com>> wrote:

As a due-paying member of the ILDS, I think we need a clarification on the function of the ILDS listserv.  Let me quote James Clawson, the incoming president of the ILDS, as he explains in the current Herald:

In truth, we've been outgrowing the technology behind the listserv for a few years now, and it has with me become a distraction from the work it was meant to serve. We recommend to users that they move the discussion elsewhere- for example, to Facebook, where Pamela keeps up the public group, or to Twitter, where Charles maintains an active presence with @ DurrellSociety. With 130 members in the first of these and 1,600 followers of the latter, these groups serve far more active participants than the listserv, and they're a vibrant means to reach outward beyond the invisible walls of what could otherwise become an echo chamber.

Now, what is Clawson really saying?  The listserv, to which he almost never contributed, has become a "distraction."  (If I recall correctly, Clawson made only one brief comment re the idea of Durrell's latent "homosexuality.")   That is, he doesn't want to engage in any kind of serious discussion-for whatever reason.  (So the advice of one academic-time is better spent writing articles for tenure and promotion.)  And what was the listserv "meant to serve?"  What is it now intended to become?  Presumably a vehicle for a kind of Durrellian agitprop, which can be more effectively propagated on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  And why did the listserv become an "echo chamber?"  Because, with one notable exception, academics never contribute to the discussions.  Yes, Clawson's reasoning is circular.

I don't use social networks and never will.  These are not forums for "discussion," as Clawson claims.  They're places for dropping one-liners and postcard impressions.  I'm very suspicious of those who use these outlets.  I think that they pander to the craving for fame and recognition and that they promote lazy thinking, the kind president-elect Donald Trump indulges in.

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