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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Starship_Forum] Starlog 9.12.01 "Welcome, Season of Light"
Date: Sun, 09 Dec 2001 21:29:14 +0000
From: Monart Pon

Starlog 9.12.01 "Welcome, Season of Light"

[Important Message for Subscribers]

Welcome to the Starship news and discussion forum.

Starship Forum was first staked out in name and website at Yahoo in June, and inaugurated on September 1, growing from a few subscribers at the beginning to the current count of 85.

The subscribers signed onto the list because of their interests in objectivist philosophy, romantic art, or astronautical technology, or combinations of these and other reasons. The age range, as far as I can tell, is from 16 to over 70. More men than women post, but the readership is probably evenly made of men and women from all walks and paths of life, with subscribers from Canada, United States, and other countries from Europe, Asia, and Africa, including New Zealand, Australia, India, and Israel.

The purpose of this forum is based on a philosophy, implicit or explicit, of "reality, reason, and rights" and an appreciation of romantic, heroic art. It welcomes any person who has a friendly interest in questioning, discussing, or announcing any topic relating to the nature of, and interrelationships between, philosophy, art, and technology. It is a cyberspace in which to teach and learn, to exchange ideas and bring news about what the starship adventure means, and how it comes to be, here and now, not just in the future.

Starship Forum is succeeding so far in developing the purpose of seeking the meaning and vision of the starship idea, integrating the subjects of (objectivist) philosophy, (romantic) art, and (astronautical) technology. There are threads on ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, politics, economics, religion, psychology, on space settlements, space tourism, space defense, and on space art like Startrek. Woven into the threads are strands of humor like "Stars in the Sky" and "Shake it off", and fanciful musings like "Starship Zion". If a newcomer were to read the posts from the beginning and follow them -- checking the outlinks, too -- that seeker would get a unique and fascinating course on the study of what the idea of starship means.

Starship Forum is improving its chances of continual growth in content and size, as more interlinks get created on other sites and forums, bringing in new readers and writers. Continual sending of invitations to prospects has been the main method of promotion. As the list achieves greater numbers (beyond the critical mass?), the rate of self-subscriptions might exceed the rate of subscribe-by-invitations, but sending invitations and referrals would continue to be the reliable method.

Starship Forum is unique in its aim of observing and examining the world with an integrating view of philosophy, art, and technology. There are larger, older objectivist forums, whose membership includes advanced students of philosophy and objectivism. There are also smaller specialized objectivist forums on movies, books, art, outreach, family, technical philosophy, plus other forums less specialized and more wide-ranging in its topics. Then there are numerous space technology lists like Project Starship, Space Settlers, and Space Science Institute, as well as the many Startrek forums. But this Starship forum is a more comprehensive forum: it's open to discussions on all aspects of life pertaining to the realization of life's meaning, purpose, and integration. ("One-Stop-Shopping")

Some people might think that a "multi-inter-disciplinary" forum like this one would be hard to develop and maintain, due to the vast differences in outlooks of the people from the diverse fields and interests -- about as difficult as getting a philosopher, an engineer, and an artist together. But, at least a forum is available here for the three interest-groups to try to exchange viewpoints, becoming acquainted with each other's terms, and learning to understand each other's perspectives on the world that is the same for all.

I want to thank all of you for all the ways you participated in building this forum with me, especially the writers who enrich the content of the ideas being studied here.

One last memo: A members-moderated forum

I want to start work on my next essay, and will be putting less work into the management and promotion of this forum, including writing fewer posts, for the next little while.

So I will change a setting to let members post directly to the list. i.e., for the next while, Starship Forum will be members-moderated. This means the members who post will need to check for themselves the readability and relevance of their posts. (Review some of the layout and format of some of the past posts to get tips.) That also means that there will be 7/24 immediate, "real-time" posting on the list, without waiting for the moderator to get it out.

There is a chance that unfriendly disrupters might post to the list when there's no moderator to block them; but, the retro-active moderating that I'll still be doing can deal with it. Except for ill-willed infiltrators, the forum is open to all, on all topics relating to philosophy, art, and technology.

The kind of posts that are of more value and more likely to be read are those with a readily apparent point to make, whether of a question, an announcement, a proposal, an argument, a greeting, whatever. Excess wording, of one's own or quotations from other posts, always makes a post harder to read. On the other hand, one- liners, unless they're tempered with meaning and sharpened to a stiletto's point, are also unlikely to arouse interest.

So, when I do a post, I check the spelling, punctuation, and grammar; format the layout for readability, quote minimally from the posts I'm responding to; include references to date and author of the post; maintain a polite tone that focuses on the ideas being discussed, and not the person, and yet remember that it is a person discussing.

Even though I won't be on the web nor posting as much for a while, I'm looking forward to reading the news, debates, and jokes beaming out from the Starship Forum.

In this, the Season of Light, I wish you all Good Will, Good Work, and Good Cheer.


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