The InterPsych Newsletter 2(4)



IPN 2(4) Section H: Letters


                      SECTION H: LETTERS



Somehow I got lost in the discussion of the boundaries and
function of these lists, super- and sub-. I joined four lists,
some of which produce redundant messages; but the value I get
from "reading my mail" is a sense of collegiality that is
impossible to obtain on a regular basis outside of an academic or
large hospital/clinic setting. I would hate to lose that in the
name of "science" or other construct. I do believe I am bright
enough to sort through the "junk" and pull out the gems. It's
easy enough to skip messages that are either redundant, silly,
boring, or whatever.

Please, I don't know any of you well enough to want you to be the
arbiters of my associates. Div12net has established credentials;
the other lists limit membership somewhat by virtue of their
topics. The traffic in joining and leaving seems equally
balanced. Those who wish to include erudite scientific articles
are free to do so. Those who wish to comment from experience,
wisdom, or curiosity add spice to the mix. Leave this part the
way it is. If you wish to establish an elite list with limited
membership, please feel free; but don't hinder my opportunities
to converse on topics of interest to me as a
professional and a person. I am sure we can all behave civilly


Thank you for your interesting editorial.  I too wondered about
the policy of excluding certain populations, particularly if
people simply wanted to lurk and learn.  Seems to me that (just
as in the real world) if a list moderator considered a certain
person's questions or input as irrelevant to the level of
discussion, s/he could just say so.  That would be punishing
enough to stop most unwanted behavior.

How might novices learn from the pros if they are excluded?
List-owner's suggestion to start a grad-student/intern discussion
group was not useful: that's who we talk to all day long, except
in consult with our elders.  Those of us who want to learn more,
respectfully, are frustrated at every turn.  So OK, I guess we
have to make up the knowledge among ourselves as we go?

As for scholarliness--sometimes one's credentials in psychology
do not reflect the level of scholarly attainment or involvement
in general, the level of understanding of scholarly endeavor or
process.  I, for instance, have a doctorate in an unrelated field
(1981, U/Cal) and have been involved in academic research,
writing and editing for 20 years, off and on.  But it was always
interdisciplinary and in the humanities, for the most part.  The
ability to find information, critique reasoning, match levels of
discourse appropriately, follow schools of thought and give
credit where credit is due is not diminished by having returned
to school in middle age to obtain a "mere" MA in therapeutic
psychology.  In fact, I've added a fair smattering of critical
thinking with regard to ideas expressed statistically.  It hurts
to be excluded from a list for lack of academic probity, in this

On the other hand, if a list-owner can't judiciously control the
level of discourse except by exclusion of potential contributors
(even those who do not intend to activate that potential), maybe
said list is meant to be a playing field for the old-boy system,
and would be of little interest to anyone else.  (Yes, that *is*
a sour-grapes attitude.  I'm not proud of it...).

Madelon Bolling  (