Re: End of the newsgroup
- From: John Briggs <john.briggs4@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 18:27:10 +0100
On 15/09/2011 18:17, M Winther wrote:
"Surreyman"<alanspencer3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> skrev i meddelandet
On Sep 15, 9:12 am, "M Winther"<m...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:"Renia"<re...@xxxxxxxxx> skrev i
soc.history.medieval seems to have finally died. No one seems to
have anything to discuss any more and, indeed, no one is here any
The current medieval threads during the past month or so include:
10th century metal pricesExplorer Marco Polo
About the Swedish Vikings
An earlier trading place in G ta lv
Another bloody ship
Back to Feudalism in the Early Middle Ages
Black Death bacteria identified
Boudica& King Arthur
Feudalism in the Early Middle AgesFlat Earth ebook
Fomenko's New Chronology applied to England
How to learn Polsh history without even trying [Re: Poland [Re: A
decent thread on medieval history ]]
Medieval& Renaissance portraits blog. English/Russian
Medieval ? Games
Medieval board games
New Titles in Byzantine Studies
Saxon, English, British etc
Starrk rr ship
The Albigensian Crusade
The insane Newport Tower farce
There's even a thread called The demise of Google Groups which
last discussed on 28th August.
Most of these are single entries with either few or no replies,
probably started by people desperate to input some medieval
into the newsgroup. Two of the threads are the same thread split
but have lapsed into general arguments about what novels people
should be reading and general insults. One thread was one I
myself in a desperate attempt to talk of medieval history, but
lapsed into a general discussion about the lack of discussion
anything non-English and the propaganda in English history. As
is an English-speaking newsgroup, it stands to reason most of the
medieval posts will be about English history, but some foreigners
just cannot accept that.
The predominant threads are, however:
But unicorns are famously shy" - watch Cata-weasel run from his
words by changing the subject line
Did Jesus Exist? Debunking Atheist Conspiracy Theory
Netanyahu, That Horrid Hawk
All of which are crossposted to or from other newsgroups and have
place on soc.history.medieval. I've not read these threads, but
seem to be dominated by Jantero, who must get in the last word.
Where are all the old-school medieval posters? Mostly gone. Only
William Black, Weland, erilar and myself are here. Paul Gans, the
stalwart poster of the group, has all but ceased posting.
Soren Larsen, Brian Scott and Tiglath have almost nothing to say.
This newsgroup, until a couple of years ago, has been great fun
a great centre of learning. I'm sad to see it slowly die.
British history is so many-faceted and interesting. It's no wondergathered in societies to discuss their field of interest. This
that's it becomes the center of attention.
The activity in newsgroups has subsided dramatically in the last
decade. A part of the explanation is that Internet providers simply
shut down their news servers. People are facebooking instead. There
are still other Usenet providers, like Google groups, but it seems
like discussion activity is much lower today, also outside Usenet
(e.g. Yahoo groups), than it was in the nineties, although there
ten times(?) more Internet users. Ten years ago there were so many
postings to a certain Yahoo group, which I partook in, that people
were overwhelmed and asked the moderator to put a restriction on
number of posts per day. Today the same discussion group is dead.
If we go back a few decades, intellectuals, students and scholars,attitude was very common in the nineteenth century, when people
passinately interested in the subject, as such. It seems like
something has changed. I once studied Comparative Religion at the
Stockholm University. The distanced attitude towards religion, also
among the lectures, baffled me. People are very dispassionate
It seems they aren't passionate anymore for things like history,
religion, philosophy, etc. Could it be that relativism has
society, and that if you become passionately devoted to something,
then you can no longer uphold your relativistic persona? It is very
hard for a young medievalist to remain true to today's cultural
relativism, et al., and also be passionate about medieval history
the thoughtways of medieval dwellers. After all, if he is going to
truly understand them, then he must start to think like them, i.e.
learn from history in a more heartfelt way. The only way of
this, and to remain a relativist, is to remain cold and
I still find the several newsgroups to which I subscribe streets
of using Facebook etc.
No comparison at all.
There just seems to be reduced imput/debate, and I'm not at all sure
I see no reason why the format itself should be less popular?
Perhaps it is because it's a demanding and time consuming business.
Due to the feedback phenomenon, discussants are drawn into the
discussion as if by a vortex. It works like an amplifier, the signal
gets stronger and stronger, and you get more and more engaged, in
something that was meant to be a pastime. In earlier eras,
intellectuals like Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner (a forerunner
of Ayn Rand) corresponded with each other. Correspondence was a slow
activity, and only with one person at a time. But the immediate
feedback-loop phenomenon, characteristic of Internet discussion
groups, creates a wholly different situation. It can be very fruitful,
but also totally overwhelming and exhausting. It can also be
destructive to one's feelings, as there are so many nasty people
around. Scholars have often other engagements, so it's understandable
that they won't partake. They probably realized that it became too
demanding during the first ten years of the Internet discussion boom.
Not only scholars are busy today. People live at a hectic pace and
don't have time for this.
It is perfectly reasonable to describe Max Stirner as an intellectual, but that does not apply to Ayn Rand.
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