Stuck on structure

Voice Card  -  Volume 18  -  Stuart Card Number 1  -  Sat, Jan 12, 1991 9:13 PM

This is ONE OF 4 responses to VC 17 John 15 ("Ebb and Flow")...

I have to agree with many of the points that John made about the psychological aspects of the current "mail dependent" structure of Archipelago. I like the notion of us as a group creating a wonderful thing every month or two. I agree that that sense of closure, of shared creation, might be lessened or lost in the "brave new world" proposed by Paul.

Moreover, I think the rhythms of Archipelago are tremendously important to its survival. I think that with the modem method of retrieving and sending out voice cards it would be too easy to get behind and finally get overwhelmed by the ground you would have to cover to get back into the current Archipelago debates. I think that some of us have a hard enough time keeping us with the current deadlines as it is

Without deadlines, that structure imposed on this enterprise, I fear that one by one each member of our little troup would fall away until only two or three were left. I can imagine Archipelagoers being so embarrassed after they had accumulated a great deal of voice cards tonnage to go through that they would just stop responding altogether. I like how under the current system that we have breathing spells, resting time before we begin reading and responding to a new issue.

But that is just for our little hardy band of adventuers. I can envision, if Archipelago is ever marketed, that the modem idea might be quite useful. For example, in the education field, a classroom in Ohio could quickly respond to the voice cards of a classroom in Finland without the long, expensive delay of the mail. Schools have their own kind of structure imposed on them, those pesky semesters where two months to wait for an Archipelago issue would not work. In addition, kids, who are less patient than us, could see the responses to their writing immediately, thus giving them a sense of audience. But for us, I think the current way of doing business is fine.