Party report LO2892

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 20 Sep 1995 11:05:15 +0000

Replying to LO2838 --

The party was a rewarding experience for me. While the opportunity
to attach faces and more complete personalities was interesting and
fun, something else occurred that I'd like to report on and see if it
can be captured on the list or some related medium.

I engaged in many interesting conversation related to subjects that
have been on the list in a depth that the list does not support. I
realised that any one of these would be of interest to a small part
of the list but not generally interesting enough and therefore either
don't come up on list conversations or are dropped too early for the
depth or breadth that might be produced.

As I thought about pursuing these on the list, I realised that the
volume would be too large to read and I'd soon drop off the list if
many happened beyond my own personal interests and that this would be
so for most participants. Nevertheless, I want to pursue the

I then connected an earlier conversation with George Por when I was
in California (I met many list participants on this trip to my great
benefit) who is creating an "electronic book cafe". The way that he
talked about this suggested an idea to me.

Is it possible to hook up "tables" or "rooms" or "conversation pits"
which have short term lives where topics or questions can be asked
and sort of "side conversations" started that *must* have a limited
life span or lead to their own list or other permanent site? I could
then browse for topics of interest which have been generated by this
community of interest that the main list provides without having to
read into each conversation in depth. I could visit these
conversations and listen for a while, stay and contribute or just
pass them by.

What I'm after here is to capture what happened at the party. Two
instances to illustrate. Marylin Darling had a specific interest in the
relationship of NLP to Choamsky and that conversation led to a widening
interest with others as we talked about it. Ben Budiman started talking
about something that led to *genetic algorithms* that led to some
reference sources which ended up interesting a number of people for a
while. Also I visited a variety of other conversations that small groups
were engaged in.

Can this be reproduced through the list without adding too much to
the main stream of the list? Does it sound attractive?
Host's Note: Mike it was a delight to meet you and everyone else in
person, and thanks for being so considerate, but the short answer is that
I do not have any mechanism to create "side rooms" as you suggest, at
least not for the vast majority of people participating. This would be a
cinch on Lotus Notes or if we were using conferencing software (e.g as is
used on The WELL, or, and would be pretty easy on the Web pages,
but for most participants I'm sorry to say that I cannot provide it. At
present, I'm inclined to support the broadest cut of participants.

I suggest we carry these themes here on the learning-org list, being
careful to use subject lines that help readers decide whether they want
to read the message.

-- Rick Karash,, host for learning-org

Michael McMaster