[posted to the Poetics List 3/5/94]


On one of my frequent trips to the Folded Place
inside the Ethernet's Thirteenth Passage,
with the new translation into Idiophone
of Moses Maimonides's Guide for the Perplexed
in my left hand, I had occasion to jot
down some rules of conduct (not so much
community standards as uncommunity striations)
into my Blake's Newton Feelpad (TM pending)
(a pad is  after all a kind of home,
or used to be).  The Feelpad, as many
of you will know (and I use the word "you"
carelessly), is able to convert inner feeling
processes into linguistic signs.  The
protocols of the Blake's Newton Feelpad
do not allow me to review the file before
downloading directly onto your screens
(and I also use the word "your" carelessly):

All of these proposed Listserve Rules
will be enforced through a fully automated
new version of the Youngman Listserve Program
(Henney 33.95).  As I am sure you will agree
(and I use "you" loosely), Total Automation
of rule enforcement is the only way to ensure
fair and impartial Rule Maintenance:

1.  Postings on Poetics@UBVM shall be
neither in prose or verse. Rather,
all postings shall conform to shifting
character/line formats, announced
periodically on the list.  Initially,
lines shall have at least 43 and no more
than 51 characters; hyphenation is

2. No messages shall be posted between
:43 and :52 minutes after the hour.

3.  All postings shall be made from
"Dos"-type platforms; Apple users
may post from "IBM"-type computers
but the graphic orientation of
Macs make these environments
inappropriate for Poetics postings.

4. You have to sound 30 or show ID.

5. On the third Friday of every month, only short
"chat" messages to friends on the list may be posted.
For those without, or who no longer have, friends
on the list, a message service will be available
to provide names of friends as well as appropriate

6. The Listowner will provide a name
purging service to permit anonymous
postings.  Purged names will remain
strictly confidential, although, at
the Listowner's discretion, they may be
sold, on condition of continued
confidentiality, to benefit the outreach
services at Poetics@UBVM provided
by Whitewater Development Company.

7. Subscribers to Poetics@UBVM agree to
end all "back channel" communication.  All
communication among subscribers shall be
sent to the list as a whole: no individual
e-mail or conventional mail may be
exchanged, no face-to-face verbal
communications will be permitted
(nonverbal communication is in no
way restricted by this rule).
At first, this may be difficult
for those who live in the same area.
But, over time, the enormous advantages
to community-building will become

8.  In order to cut down on those repulsive
smile icons that are used on Other Lists
to indicate humorous intent (as we used
to say in Method Acting class -- DON'T
INDICATE) [Remember the one about the actor who
asked the director what his motivation was to
walk across the set and light a cigarette, to
which the director replied, "your motivation is,
that if you don't, you'll be fired"?] --
where was I? even when I write I lose track
of where I am -- oh yeah,
in order to cut down on those smile icons,
and for other reasons that should be
obvious to all of you (I use the word
"you" inadvisedly), all irony
(including sarcasm, schtick,
mocking, jokes, and comic innuendo)
will be prohibited from the list.
This is a particularly difficult rule
to enforce automatically, but recent,
unpublishable, research, indicates
that there may be genetic markers of
sarcasm and our team of crack(ed?) computer
experts are working around the clock
to find programs to detect this "irony
gene" in linguistic expression.

For those who have asked that this
listspace move toward *reality* rather than
float in talky virtuality, the following rule
implementation procedure will be adopted:

If there is significant sentiment on the
list in favor of these rules, they will
not be adopted; if, in contrast, there
is strong opposition to these rules,
they will become effective immediately.

In addition, to bring even more reality
into the system, between three and five
Listserve Rules will remain concealed
from all subscribers AND about one percent
of all messages will be randomly deleted
before delivery.


Our public relations team at Hungadunga,
Hungadunga, and McCormack is currently considering
two campaigns.  They will be making their
decision in the next few weeks:

POETICS@UBVM -- we're taking the unity
out of community!  Unsubscribe today!


Not getting enough community at home?
Subscribe to POETICS@UBVM.

Yours in virtuality,

               C * h * a * r * l * e * s

   B * e * r * n * s * t * e * i * n

(rest area)

--Boundary (ID aXbsCtXW+EAcNXFasdGCGw)--