[b-hebrew] Bullying, Challenging, and Appeasing: The Patterns of B-Hebrew

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 16 09:08:52 EDT 2009

Your observations, I am afraid, are facile and superficial.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 15, 2009, at 2:57 PM, John M. Linebarger wrote:

> I'm a B-Hebrew lurker who occasionally posts questions, and has  
> also commented about the Jim Stinehart phenomenon.  However, by  
> trade I am a Computer Scientist.  My dissertation work was on  
> computational support for group collaboration patterns in a  
> distributed virtual environment for product design.
> So I'm both professionally and personally fascinated by the  
> patterns (ruts, really) that the B-Hebrew mailing list has fallen  
> into over the last several months (what I call the "Jim Stinehart"  
> era).  In fact, I am considering using B-Hebrew as a case study in  
> disfunctional Web-based collaboration and submitting the results to  
> a conference or journal.
> Here are my observations:
> 1.  Three patterns characterize recent B-Hebrew postings:  Bullying  
> (Jim), Challenging (Karl, et al.), and Appeasing (the moderators,  
> although George has adopted more of a Challenging pattern of late).
> 2.  The net effect of the Bullying, Challenging, and Appeasing is  
> that those patterns have drowned out the Question/Response,  
> Requests for Assistance, and Responsible Hypothesis Floating  
> patterns that used to characterize the list..  Statistically, they  
> simply dominate all other traffic.
> 3.  Not only do these new patterns dominate all other traffic, my  
> hypothesis is that it squelches and discourages other traffic  
> because questions get lost in the crossfire.  I know that I have  
> submitted questions from time to time recently that were never  
> answered, simply because all attention was focused on Jim.
> In short, it is hard not to conclude that the B-Hebrew is currently  
> disfunctional with respect to its original goals.  Sad, but  
> absolutely fascinating.  It will make a great case study.  Thanks!
> John M. Linebarger, PhD (Computer Science)
> Sandia National Laboratories
> Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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