>On Tue, 29 Jan 2008 00:54:40 -0800, B Garcia wrote:
>> One thing I've noticed on mailing lists versus message boards is that
>> on mailing lists, people tend to be far better behaved and mature
>> about things. I visit gardening boards and am on the medit-plants
>> (Mediterranean gardening) list, and I've noticed that people tend to
>> stay pretty much on topic on the list. On message boards I visit, it's
>> usually flame wars, political discussions (that edge toward neo-con
>> politics), and nasty attitudes wrapped up in falsely innocent posts
>> intended to fan flames. I pretty much cannot stand the ZBB board
>> because of many posters there (call it snobbery, elitism, or what, I
>> remain firm). So, I tend to be an off and on visitor to message
>> boards.
>This perfectly matches my experience regarding CONLANG vs. ZBB.
>The CONLANG mailing list provides a much more mature and polite
>forum, where people tend to stay on subject and refrain from
>personal attacks most of the time.  On the ZBB, there are many,
>many immature people, frequent flame wars, and much politics
>- American right-wing politics, mostly, which I, the European
>leftist I am, find utterly unbearable.

Altho, to augment my previous comment, this difference is not really
entirely due to everyone on forums being immature; you also need to consider
that in a sense, forums are a "pull" discussion (you choose which threds to
check out, or even which subforums); as is normal discussion for the most
part. Mailing lists are however "push" (by standard, any post sent to the
list will be received by all its members). So there is a perceived higher
threshold for posting something on or joining a mailing list. Which can be a
good or a bad thing, whichever way you look at it.

While I do agree that if quarrels and bickering are tolerated, they tend to
start spreding, in my experience this is are largely separatable issue from
discussing off-topic subjects such as politics in the first place. With some
firm rules and good moderation, they can be contained fairly well in the OT

>I sometimes compare the various fora to different sorts of
>musicians.  My main conlang project, Old Albic, is a rather
>sophisticated naturalistic-diachronic artlang, perhaps
>comparable to a progressive rock concept album (which happens
>to be my perferred kind of music).  There are not many other
>progressive rock musicians on either forum.  On CONLANG, there
>are a handful of them, but also several serialist score music
>composers whose music I find less than attractive, even if
>I can appreciate its sophistication.  The ZBB, in contrast,
>is a bunch of garage punk bands with a strong preference for
>obscene, abrasive lyrics, with only very few people among them
>doing anything interesting.

Nice comparision. Would that equate jazz with scatting? Folk with
neologisms? List pop with marketing catchphrases? :)

...But to continue on your analogy (hopefully still keeping it transparent)
- how many of the punk rockers you suppose ultimately WANT to play just
that? Especially the more quiet ones? If one has zero skills wrt/
composition and playing, and a miniscule instrument budjet, and little role
models, even if they wanted to create prog-type music (or dodecaphonic
minimalism, or whatever), the noise that comes out of their garage band will
certainly be nigh indistinguishable from garage punk. There may be too high
an urge/patience ratio at work with some, but it doesn't mean they all sound
amateurish on purpose or to spite you.

(Additional disclaimer: no offense to actual punk rock is intended.)

>The conlang scene is very, very diverse, and there is hardly
>a project that interests everybody even remotely connected with the
>art of making up languages.

I can definitly think of such a project: general linguistic information. All
the different conlang wikis have a few handfuls of stubsy articles on the
different possibilities for tenses, how Natlang  handles relativ clauses,
what is & what isn't a naturalistic case system, recordings of [t_>] etc.
Collecting these to a central location would obviously bring synergy
benefits, and maybe even trim down the proportion of the "unwillingly

...Did I just use the phrase "synergy benefits" in a meaningful way? Oh
geez, I better go buy the newest Madonna CD now. ;)

John Vertical