Tue Apr 29 20:34:52 UTC 1997

Enrique Figueroa writes:

> I think one among the very good traits of FUNKNET is it's openness to all
> sorts of opinions! A trait I doubt very much (hope I'm all wrong, though!)
> would also be that of GB2MP...

Two things here:

1.  I wish to welcome any interested parties to participate.
However, I did not advertise for functionalists to join GB2MP en
masse and consolidate FUNKNET with GB2MP.  There is a reason there are
two lists and not just one.  I cannot promise that functionalist views
will be greeted with open arms, but I think at least the level of
open-mindedness displayed on FUNKNET will be in evidence on GB2MP.

This does not mean that the typical foramlist rejoinders might not
be heard on GB2MP in response to functionalist arguments, such as
"That's a performance issue, not a competence issue!" or "Your point
is irrelevant to a theory of I-language."  These irritations are par
for the course, and I wasn't suggesting that people will have immunity
from them on GB2MP.

Rather, the notion of "Goldstein" (as per John Myhill's apt analogy
with Orwell's _1984_) implies a thick-skinned individual who does not
mind being in the minority and voicing opinions that go against the
stream. I think this has been helpful for FUNKNET, which has gone from
being nothing but conference announcements to having a real dialog.  The
function of Goldstein is to remind people that there are other viewpoints
which people conceivably might have, and we mustn't get too comfortable
in our cocoon.

2.  It would be nice to share your view of FUNKNET as a bastion of
equanimity and broad-mindedness.  My brief sojourn in this cyberspace,
however enjoyable and helpful, nonetheless forces me to insist that
this view lacks empirical motivation.  At the risk of seeming indelicate,
I must point out that I have seen the proverbial flame-thrower in use
on this list on a number of occasions in the past few months.
I do not think FUNKNET is unusual compared to other
lists in terms of flaming, but neither can I honestly concur with an
unduly idyllic characterization of the list.

The give and take on this list has been great.  I hope that it continues
in a cordial and broad-minded manner.   I anticipate that the
contributions of any interested parties here will spur on the same kind
of dialog on GB2MP.

--Tony Wright <twright at accdvm.accd.edu>

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