19 September 2008

cross-pollination my ass

Several months ago, a certain organization suggested that it would be wonderful if most of the active online forums about conlanging moved onto servers controlled by that group. Supposed benefits would be convenience and cross-pollination.

This idea was, for me personally, the most annoying thing I have ever seen in a forum about language creation. Whenever I have trouble waking up in the morning I just recall this proposal and then wham I'm wide awake with elevated blood pressure and heart-rate.

Convenient it would be, certainly. Instead of having one login to view and post in Conlang-L, and another for ZBB, and other sets of IDs and passwords for whatever else, with one login you'd be aboard several forums.

But think of the consequences. This would make it even easier for the most socially aggressive 15 or 20 people to dominate every conlanging forum on earth. There would be no sanctuary, no refuge, no escape. Quiet little estuaries where you can get away from the extroverts are precious, and any proposal that would reduce the viability or individuality of lesser forums should be resisted IMHO.

The other consequence not mentioned in the proposal is that forums which used to be hosted independently would suddenly be dependent on the organization. Dependent people are more likely to donate money and follow orders. That's good for the organization; not so good for the people.

As for cross-pollination, well, nobody gets more cross-pollination than a drone in a Borg cube. Have you ever noticed that nobody in Star Fleet ever yells "Beam me over to that Borg cube right now so that I can get assimilated and join the collective!" It just doesn't happen. Maybe there's a reason for that.

Well, I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading :-)


Amanda said...

Yes, thank heavens that was a completely unenforceable suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Uhm, that discussion must have passed me by: link please?

riku said...