Possible new forum (was Re: CSGnet authorship 2017)

[Martin Taylor 2017.03.11.10/30]

[From Rupert Young (2017.03.11 12.20)]

[Martin Taylor 2017.]

From about 2001 to 2011 there was such a Forum, called ECACS. Jim Beardsley and I moderated it. During that time it had over 1500 messages of all types, mostly in the earlier part of its life. I follow this message with two extracts from ECACS, one of mine from 2004 and one of Kent's from 2011.

Pity I missed it. It was during my wilderness period.

I saved all this with the idea that some day someone might want to revive the Forum and moderate it, using a more secure BBS. It's apparently possible to pay to have this content converted into a variety of different BBSs, which I would be happy to do if someone wanted to volunteer to moderate the resurrected Forum. I'm not that volunteer.

What would also be useful is if the CSGNET posts could be migrated to a forum board. I'd be happy to be on the moderation team.

The real question is whether it would be any better used than ECACS was. It was used enthusiastically for a while, but since everyone on it also used CSGnet, the traffic dropped off to almost nothing after a few years.

Yes, I think we all need to agree and make the commitment to use a single, new platform.


It would be a good thing it it could be made to happen and the new platform was as easy to use as a mailing list. But I wonder whether a mass migration is feasible. One can't really do it by fiat. It has to be done by having a platform that is eventually easier to use for whatever purposes the various readers (and writers) use CSGnet, and is seen to be easier by the potential switchers. I don't think you can just shut down CSGnet and say "We are moving over there". The move has to be natural and easy, and the end result has to feel better than the original.

A PCT Wiki is different from a PCT page on Wikipedia. It is harder to edit or create new pages on a Mediawiki Wiki than to dash off a CSGnet message. Quite apart from that, I tried setting up a Mediawiki Wiki for the NATO group for which I was Secretary. The hard part is not creating the new pages, but knowing when a new page is so redundant with an existing one as to demand that they be merged with a disambiguation page to guide readers where they want to go. Considering a current CSGnet topic, would "Interactionaism", "Realism", "PCT reality", "What is controlled", "Enactivism in PCT" all point to the same page, or should they all be distinct with cross references? If the former, what happens when someone creates a new page for "Construction of Perceived reality"?

But as a reference area, a PCT Wiki would in principle be a good thing to have. I suppose it could be a multi-page topic section on Wikipedia, but it would have to be curated to avoid nonsense. But as others have noted, there are conflicted views on what is sense and what is truly PCT, and duelling edits on a Wiki don't serve the curious public very well. So who could or would curate it?

If enough people think it worthwhile, I could have the ECACS material transferred to a live up-to-date Forum with better security than the defunct Discusware forum. I don't know of it, but maybe there is an automated or semi-automated way to transcribe archived and live CSGnet threads into topic areas on some forum. If it were possible to integrate CSGnet with a forum in the sense that messages placed on one would appear on the other (with after-the-fact moderation to move pissing matches into their own area) it might work. But someone would have to guarantee to do the necessary ongoing housekeeping. I would hope that some academic institution would agree to host it, to avoid having to ask for donations to keep it going.

Anyway, as I said, my contribution would be limited to paying to start up a live forum by converting the ECACS messages as a base. (And contributing new content).


[Bruce Nevin (20170311.16:55 ET)]

I agree with [Martin Taylor 2017.03.11.10/30] and Sean Mulligan [2/23 & 3/11] about a less unwieldy system for CSGnet threads.

Best would be a mirror so that posts would appear simultaneously on CSG-net and on the new system. This would cut some slack to work out bugs on the new system before going public with it.

Ongoing mirroring would also allow people to control which environment they wanted to perceive.

Bucky Fuller told a little parable about a riverside village. The villagers walked five miles downstream to a ford, then back upstream to follow the road to the market. When someone built a bridge directly across the river they didn’t have to be persuaded to stop walking down to the ford.

We would probably reach consensus within a year to stop, mirroring and either abandon the new system or retain the old system as an archive for older posts. I don’t foresee migrating everything; and we have Dag’s excellent CSG-net archive. But we should merge the ECACS threads into the new system.

Is this technically feasible? I don’t know. But those are my preferred perceptions.