[Bards] Just a few words (really good words
rudin at ev1.net
Tue Nov 7 06:50:21 PST 2006
Finnacan asked me:
> Robin, do you really think that a meeting at an event will get more
> I would have thought this list would reach more people compared to an
> Seriously. I'm curious if I'm miscalculating.
> I can assure you that a lot of folks are reading these threads that are
> saying nothing (which in and of itself is an ominous sign when hoping
> to formalize an all-inclusive community structure).
A. Yes, of course a meeting will reach more people. We have around a dozen
participants, and only about half that number deeply involved. Back in the
early eighties, when the kingdom was one third its current size, we never
had a meeting that small.
B. I'm not advocating a meeting. I'm advocating a series of meetings and
informal private conversations, all over the kingdom. I hope people get
together out west. I hope they get together up north. I volunteered to
hold one at Twelfth Night, not because I want it based in the central
region, but because that's the only place I have a living room.
C. I can't tell anything from the lurkers on this list. Quiet people at a
meeting are at least nodding or frowning, clearly excited or clearly bored.
At the end of a meeting, I can have a sense of what the group as a whole
believes, so even the people with nothing to say have been counted and
D. Yesterday I asked people to tell us whether they want an extension of the
kingdom structure run by kingdom officers or a co-op run by the bards
themselves. To date, we've gotten responses from Willow, Saundra, Michael,
Alden, and Maggie. By contrast, once any major point has been debated at a
meeting, we can ask for a show of hands on each side. Everyone present will
express an opinion.
E. Discussions at a meeting are much more effective. I have only been able
to express the surface here, and have spent *many* hours doing so. In a one
hour meeting, people would get all the answeres about the old college they
want -- answers that I don't have time to write down, and that I would not
put in an archivable form in any event.
E. I'm not advocating meetings instead of this list; I'm advocating meetings
in addition to this list. The meeting plus the list is bigger than the list
alone. Why isn't that obvious?
F. We have been worried about whether certain regions will be left out. I
think it's an equal concern whether the people who don't spend hours on the
Internet get left out. We don't want this to be just the Central Region, or
just the Southern Region. I'm even more concerned that it doesn't become
just the E-Region. Lots of bards can't, or won't, be part of this list,
including both of my apprentices. That's why we can never afford to depend
on this list as the college's primary means of communication.
G. I teach graduate statistics, and the following is a crucial statistical
point. People on this list are, in at least one behavioral aspect,
different from the rest of Ansteorra's bards. It is an elemental result of
statistics that a self-selected group is inherently unrepresentative of the
population. I don't want to discuss it with just the singers, or just the
old bards like you, me and Willow. We would get a "consensus" that doesn't
represent the entire body of kingdom bards. For the exact same reasons, I
don't want us to consult just the online bards.
Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
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