A friend wrote, quoting the moderator of a group for moderators who decided to shut down dialog about Grouply, “‘We (your List Owners) feel that at this point, there are no NEW points to discuss and any further discussion here would be beating the proverbial dead horse.’ … I am seeing a conspiracy here.”
[There have been many new points raised since then, including the discovery of new security holes, some rather severe.]
It is worse than a conspiracy, I think, or it is an effect of a much bigger one. These consequences in these group manager discussion groups are the unwitting results of a deeper and broader social engineering conspiracy pursued for about a century now.
It is the conspiracy that designed and imposed the cultural paradigm saying that the pursuit of profit-making enterprise is the purpose of society. Of course that’s not the true purpose or nature of society, but it is now the entrenched cultural paradigm we are forced to live with, and to live by, and to fight and die for in illegal and immoral wars, among other consequences we all suffer every day.
They have been drilling into our consciousness that it IS true for about 100 years now, making it just as good as real truth, for the purposes of those in power. They will assassinate anyone who succeeds to any significantly large-scale degree toward changing the paradigm.
The social and political engineers in power in this culture are convinced that The Market Is The Means To All Good Ends. That has been in place for so long now that even if they say and truly believe otherwise, most people go along with it, as though it were natural to do so, and defend it as if they believed in it.
They just don’t know anything else. It is second-nature to us now. Not enough of us have studied enough little books like Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, which explains much better what I’m summarizing now, i.e., how marketing mentality has become the dominant way of the culture, even in love. And he said that in 1956, so it’s nothing new.
This Marketing Mentality is the basis for the existence of things like Grouply, whose goal is simply (and, to them and their fans, innocently) to turn a profit on the content of all our highly personal activity in group message archives, while attempting to dupe us into believing that in doing so they are “improving our experience of” what we already had, and in most cases were satisfied with. (My experimenting as a Grouply subscriber revealed no advantage to me, no improvement of my experience of the Yahoo Groups environment. But it did reveal some things to me about some of my fellow group members that I’m confident they’d rather I did not know.)
As is so often the case, the truth about the nature and effect of Grouply is found by just following the money.
Note that Grouply is not interested in the photos, files, databases, links, and calendars in our groups’ web resources. Grouply CEO Mark Robins declared publicly that they have no intention of hosting those significant elements of our “experience of Yahoo Groups.” So how can they call themselves a service that “improves our experience of Yahoo Groups?”
The answer is easy. They want the message archives, because data-mining analysis of those archives will drive the design of selling targeted advertising to their human tools giving them their Yahoo passwords … um, I mean, their subscribers, GrouplyFans … and it only takes ONE such fan to give Grouply access to the message archives of many groups with great numbers of members posting massive quantities of messages bearing information about themselves highly useful to market advertisers.
Grouply fans say that my kind of perspective is just distrustfulness, cynicism, paranoia and fear of positive change. Others say that I am full of socialistic crap. Others say that Grouply has a right to make money on our groups’ internal private activities, because the entrenched paradigm dictates that if it is good for making money, then it is good in its essence, making Capitalizm the de-facto dominant religion of the culture.
The masses don’t know that they’ve been duped and used as tools of profiteers, but those engineering the deployment of the market-driving paradigm know exactly what they are doing, and the minds behind the creation of things like Grouply (and their investors footing the bill for its creation) are just tapping into the paradigm’s remunerative benefits to those clever enough to do so.
Regular people like us, often (usually) unable to get our heads around the day-to-day consequences of such a flawed (and corrupt) paradigm, when debates about such consequences arise, can’t manage the process, because we are dealing with circumstances and effects, not the underlying paradigm (our just being normal everyday human beings). Only experts are competent to come up with a solution, and they can’t effect one even if they come up with one, because the only solution is a paradigm shift that the profiteering corporate powers owning the keys to socio-political-economic engineering machines won’t allow, and, worse, they have duped so many into thinking that what they do in the name of their God Money is Good For Us, because what is good for the Market is good for all. Market Uber Alles.
Regular people like us can endlessly debate the particulars of a given incarnation of The Clever Lunatic Money God, but that’s like arguing what color band-aid to put on a mortal wound. So we have people doing what these moderators have called “beating a dead horse” because they are focused on endless debate about minutia instead of the big picture, the paradigms and principles involved. (But the horse is not dead! and is not a horse at all, but a pink elephant in the middle of the room!) Most people understandably aren’t articulate enough, or informed enough, or have leisure time enough to do much of that deeper discussion. This is not a condemnation of them, or calling them stupid. They just don’t have what it takes. Regular people need rules to live by, and those making the rules aren’t competent to be rule-givers, or ARE competent, and choose only self-serving rules.
It has been my experience that in many such cases of debate, when it finally reaches the point where people start cogently making cases about paradigms and principles, that’s when the gag orders and free-speech squelching imposition starts, because that’s when the discussion transcends the narrow minds of the moderators, or scares them that they may be just dupes and tools of the status quo powers-that-be, or just makes their jobs too hard for them to handle.
The tragedy of these discussion group moderators imposing a shutdown of the dialog, instead of letting it exhaust itself on its own, is that there are some very insightful and articulate people out there with the time and the ability to help open eyes to things we need to understand. It takes a long time for voices like that to be heard by enough people to make a difference, and great persistence. That time and persistence is thwarted by shutdown of the dialog.
Now there is one less venue for those few who occasionally glimpse (as we all do now and then) a truer light beyond the veil. One less opportunity for someone to share their insight to help raise awareness and open pinholes for others to get a glimpse, too. One less chance for the masses to hear that lone voice that suddenly captures the attention and imagination of regular people, leading to an “Aha!” moment for everyone.
It took only one Columbus to persist in finding a way westward from Europe to Asia (and to discover a new world in the process, with riches beyond prior imagination). Most of the world said it was impossible. Now we all know it is possible, and that one man’s inspiration (and that of the few who supported him) changed the course of global history and the lives of every human being forever, as did the work of the guy who invented HTML and WWW.
Shutting down the dialog reduces the possibility for that kind of enlightenment to happen. It is sad beyond sad.
In simpler terms, the moderators just can’t handle it. The questions involved are too big for them. They have to shut it down for their purposes. It has nothing to do with what is right or good for the group, or for anyone. It’s about power to control debate over consequences they can’t handle, caused by a cultural paradigm they can’t see. It’s about the unmanageableness of “fruitless debate” about particulars of consequences rather than about root causes of those consequences. But sometimes it would not be fruitless if allowed to run its course. Sometimes one fruit-bearer coming along can change the entire scope and nature of the dialog.
Grouply.com is only one small example of the way of the world now. I doubt it will change until humanity destroys itself.