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Darwin-L Message Log 2:18 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:18>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Mon Oct  4 18:24:36 1993

Date: Mon, 04 Oct 1993 19:31:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: "Reply-to" change reversed
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro

Greetings to all.  The general consensus of our members has been that the
experimental change of the "reply-to" default from the group as a whole to
the original sender of each message was not successful.  I am in agreement
with this view and found the change rather annoying myself once it was made.
Running a list is rather like teaching or being a parent: there are some
ideas that seem in advance to be very good, but once they are tried in
practice they show themselves to be failures.  Because so many of our
postings discuss issues of general interdisciplinary interest -- and this is
just what the group is for -- the general feeling was that the advantage of
listening in on everyone's discussions outweighs the burden of the high mail
volume and the occasional error message posted to the group as a whole (we
have had relatively few of these anyway).  I did receive some messages from
people who favored the change, and am sorry that I was not able to
accommodate their wishes.  In a situation such as this it is simply not
possible to satisfy everyone all the time, and I believe that having
"reply-to" default to the group as a whole is, on balance, in our best
interest.  I do encourage posters to remember that, because we are a
high-volume list, responses to specialized queries and personal messages
to other list members are best sent through private e-mail.

I also remind those people who are having trouble keeping up with their mail
that it is possible to receive your mail from Darwin-L (and from most
listserv groups) in "digest" format.  Ordinarily each message from a listserv
group is sent to you as it is posted, but if you set your mail to "digest"
format you will receive only one message from the group each day, consisting
of the whole day's postings strung together one after another.  You can scan
the list of subject headers at the top of the daily digest and scroll down to
find items of interest, or you can discard the entire digest with a single
"delete" command.  To receive your mail from Darwin-L in digest format send
the one-line message:

   SET DARWIN-L MAIL DIGEST

to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.  I also remind members that all messages
posted to the group are logged automatically by the listserv program, and can
be retrieved at any time from the Kansas mainframe.  For information on how
to retrieve log files consult the general information document for our group;
this can be gotten by sending the message:

   INFO DARWIN-L

to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.  The log files as recorded by the listserv
program are rather inelegant, containing as they do all the long message
headers and errors that appear on the list.  I am in the process of cleaning
up the September log file and will announce the availability of a lightly
edited version shortly.  If you are considering retrieving the past month's
log you might want to wait until this more readable version is available.

In many respects, e-mail is still a rather primitive means of communication,
and it often doesn't deal intelligently with ordinary textual phenomena such
as line wrapping and variation in typestyles.  As someone mentioned recently,
it is always wise to type hard carriage returns at the end of each line of
your messages (rather than letting your mail system wrap the lines
automatically), because the mail systems of most of our members are limited
to 80-character lines.  Someday we will have software that obviates the need
for such practices, but unfortunately that is not the case today.

I thanks you all for your continuing interest in Darwin-L, and for your
patience as we come to know each other and develop means of efficient
communication.

Bob O'Hara, Darwin-L list owner

Robert J. O'Hara (darwin@iris.uncg.edu)
Center for Critical Inquiry and Department of Biology
100 Foust Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, North Carolina 27412 U.S.A.

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