[cryptography] New mailing list for cryptography discussion
zooko at zooko.com
Fri Mar 12 15:41:51 EST 2010
On Friday, 2010-03-12, at 12:39 , Jack Lloyd wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 02:25:51PM -0500, Steven Bellovin wrote:
>> I'll give it a try. Experience suggests that on occasion, you
>> will have to intervene on certain threads.
> Perhaps so. My general hope is that at least most of the time, the
> list population itself will do well in terms of policing /
> enforcing norms. I think generally this is more effective at making
> long-term change in behavior than a dictatorial stance from me,
> especially as I
> lack much authority beyond the fact that the list happens to be
> running on my mail server.
My experience running the p2p-hackers list for many years mostly
bears out Jack's approach. I've never yet used moderator power to
silence specific people or threads, although I have occasionally
advised people politely on how they could improve their
communication. (Sending them email privately seems to work better
than publicly.) I finally did last year institute a policy against
CFPs being blindly spammed to the p2p-hackers list, since CFPs seemed
to be drowning out actual conversation. Today you can get your CFP
posted to the p2p-hackers list only by including a cover letter that
demonstrates that you read the list and you think your CFP should be
of particular interest to the list members.
Of course, I've certainly seen many a forum disintegrate due to
misbehavior or spam, including with the old cypherpunks list, which
Perry's cryptography list was created to replace. I dunno, perhaps
peer-to-peer hackers are more civil than the average bear. Or perhaps
it is that you get a lot of mileage out of polite social pressure
backed up by the implicit threat of your power to censor/ostracize.
Some combination of that seems to have worked for me.
By the way, I had been intending to set up a Perry's-cryptography-
list replacement just like this one, but since you did it first I'm
happy to use yours. :-)
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