~e; question EM newsletter (2)

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Fri, 3 Sep 2004 12:13:19 -0500

first, thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts, it was very
surprising to me. caught me off-guard actually as I was thinking
completely differently and so it was opposite of what I thought.
thanks also for your generosity and support, it is a pleasure to
have people on the list who are also interested in EM and it is
more than I can place in words what it means to me, thank you.
the feedback, suggestions, and great criticisms are very helpful
and there are a few things that I could suggest yet I would rather
see if there is a way to get more ideas on what would work and
then add my piece to the ideas, as part of what may be workable.
Arthur seemed to nail it for many, and I would also say 'yes' in a
response, the focus, scope, topics are hoped to be up for review:

* Arthur wrote: Are you in for a discussion about the focus and scope, 
the topics covered in the letter? It could bring down the amplitude and 
frequency of work so to speak, becoming manageable.

And, as Mike wrote something I can really identify with, which I also
would say 'yes' to and which relates to the above issue:

* Mike wrote: 'Producing a newsletter about all aspects connected to 
any one information
domain (especially one as far reaching as electromagnetism) is a 

these are some of the notes that I thought may capture much of
the essence of the the public and private messages received,
the first being the most general and repeatedly by most all...
(for each I wonder: is it possible? how to do this, any ideas?)

* concise: get more specific to EM and make it smaller:

*  narrow scope to the essence of electro-magnetics
*  .US energy policy, oil politics, similar issues, is it necessary?
* newsletter naming by number (#1-#141), no keywords/meta-data in title
* broad scope is overwhelming/overreaching scope
* it is way too long, hard and-or too much to read, too much time
* particular categories of more interest to particular interests
* newsletter archive as repository of linkable information
*  eei project as ontological forum, newsletter as unique resource
* newsletter has some original/unexpected links/content by scope
* issue of sharing public information on EM in political context
* issues of oil, infrastructure, politics, and .US-related situation.
* educational, interdisciplinary, a way to learn more about EM
* cross-section of EM sections is of interdisciplinary value
* entertaining (fun), introduces new ideas and information

* general consensus: changes needed, in some form continue it...

I am pasting the basic categorical 'structure' of the newsletter
as it now exists (all along knowing this is incomplete and so it
has always been a prototype of an idea, adaptable to change,
plus all formating issues)

Electromagnetic News & Views -- #142

00) Electronetwork.org Commentary (8/__/2004)

01) Top Stories of Electromagnetism
02) Electromagnetic health & safety
03) Electromagnetic trash & treasure
04) Electromagnetic security & surveillance
05) Electromagnetic power & energy
06) Electromagnetic current & human affairs
07) Electromagnetic transport & communication
08) Electromagnetic matter & information
09) Electromagnetic trends & inventions
10) Electromagnetic weaponry & warfare
11) Electromagnetic business & economics
12) Electromagnetic artworks & artifacts


~ I would like to say something about the reason for the EM
newsletter in the first place, and will try to be succinct. Its
purpose was to show interdisciplinary connections between
information (news/urls), so that what is happening in news
in category #2 (health) with x-rays may also be realized in
other areas, such as #7 with x-ray astronomy, or #12 with
x-ray fine-art photography or #9 with new advances in this.

~ it was meant to be a way to raise a 'general' literacy of the
broader scope of EM across categories/disciplines, though
this has always been fuzzy, e.g. to show that advances
in EM health may also be related to new transistor R&D.
the idea of 'dual-use' is ubiquitous it would seem in many
things, too, and thus nuclear issues related to medicine,
to war, waste, economics, etc.

~ URL/link rot has always been known, this was thought to
be a way to get links while they were live, yet the newsletter
when the links were obsolete is meant to be a standalone
capture of a period of news, like a section of time/space, in
which all shorts of things are going on, and this is what is
going on during that time in relation to electromagnetism.
it is sometimes why it is hard to know what to place into a
context in which EM-related issues are so tied to war now,
and sometimes actually does dominate the news cycle.

~ as a standalone device, even with URLs, it was believed
by myself that even skipping all the extra writing and just
to read the quotes, one could gain the essence of major
changes/trends, and start to see patterns of where/how
things are going, so it is like a snapshot. the extra-words
were added basically to, at times, justify why a story is in
the newsletter, and at other times to offer views about it.
though this is also problematic, has been, remains so.

~ it is a difficult time to continue writing commentary on
some issues that are of prime relevance but unwise to
do so in the local climate, for good reasons if the larger
project is to succeed in its educational, international
goals. so, as a private individual this is at times a hard
place to be, to know what to do, when gut feelings say
that walking such a line is more risk than it is worth. it
is at times territory i would rather tip-toe through as it
involves some rather large, long-fought battles which
i am not interested in fighting, yet documenting it is of
interest (news) such as with EMFs, though to keep in
balance with all the many forces which are involved.

~ the format of the newsletter never has really worked,
from my view, yet I am limited in knowing what to do.
I can read just the stories (quotes) in 5-10 minutes in
which the main content resides, and know to look up
to read above commentary if it interests. reading from
'top-down' would not work, as the story comments are
atop the URL and headline, so it is more like a preface
though a better way was not found for this. leaving all
comments out seemed to not work also in that a story
may not be recognizable for its EM-basis, which may
be a detail or a larger part, and have tried to add-in
something like [em-quote] or [headline] or some kind
of descriptor.

~ the newsletter has been thought of as a small news-
paper for EM, though something like a Wired Magazine
is more relevant to this approach, and the ideal would
be if those who have this content were to be able to
XML data based on EM content and then to be able
to interface with databases of pre-existing information
from artists, scientists, news, and others in this way.
also, much of this newsletter could be automated (in
a manuel sense, by making google newsalerts) and
distributed to a person's particular interests/tastes,
and the electronetwork.org site used to have a feed
which did something like this. one issue is if it is a
software/design issue, a content issue, a question
of ideas and conceptualization, or limits/boundaries
of knowledge, and perception, and how to interface.

~ the #1 content that is hoped to be shared is those
who work/study/think about EM, yet this is often not
a static URL to share and this has not been tapped
by this approach which is the real goal. and it is an
international context, that things happening in other
realms (cultural) can be exchanged. to learn about
others through comparisons of EM data. to learn of
poverty or of perseverance by the leaps and bounds
of electrification efforts in Africa, for instance, versus
the infrastructures elsewhere, and to learn how the
artists there are interpreting these events in works.
or, how a citizen (in the .US) may have 20,000 e-
things while someone else may have 1, and one
may be richer/poorer, and maybe not the gadget-
freaks, such as with global warming issues and
being able to withstand the tumultuous weather
without total dependencies on e-infrastructures.

[i think this is most of the assumptions/reasons
for the newsletter, besides its proof-of-concept,
so they may or may not be addressed in a way
that is conducive with a newsletter and it is why
they are included, some checks and balances.
i can also deal with a lot of critique so feel free
to crack into the overall concept or details about
what may work. i have an idea i really like which
i will wait to share as maybe others have similar
thoughts about what works, what does not, or
how this relates to a website or an .edu project,
and how it can be made more inclusive of the
works of people on list and others, and also to
distribute the effort/decentalize it if it is possible.
thanks again, (strange version of succinct!) brian]

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization