On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, madeline wrote:


> And now, because there has not been the participation that they had hoped,
> rather than persist and try to be persuasive and engage participation
> themselves (how often have we  seen posts by either one of them towards
> this end?), Vigdor and Ken are both deciding to cast the blame on AFCN
> somehow? This is truly something.

  Madeline's efforts under the banner of AFCN may not be the immediate
  cause of the outcome but neither will AFCN be the appropriate response
  to the pathetic failure of participation.  AFCN will just continue the
  situation unabated.  That is wrong.

  And not only that, Ken tells us how he
> actually removed the material he posted (which I did notice, BTW, but I
> assumed you were reworking it and would be reposting it later) due to, and
> I quote, "a deafening silence punctuated only by a few painfully naive
> retorts"?  Way to persevere, Ken.    Neither Vigdor nor Ken has written me
> much less picked up the phone and _called_ me regarding any of this
> dissatisfaction, BTW.  Nah, why do that and actually try to address
> whatever the given issue is, when one can hurl unfounded insults and try to
> cast an amorphous "negativity" here on Communet.

  No.  This is certainly not what occurred.

  Searching for the cause of the evident failure of participation is what
  I did at the very first signs of trouble, and I reported my
  recommendations to everyone.  The Twin Cities conference facility is
  a disaster.  It is difficult to get into, difficult to use, to damn
  costly, and is completely inadequate in providing the necessary
  visualization of the process.

  I stated the problem and argued for a change in the conference site.
  The response was high on excuses empty on responses.  We were told
  that the site is "free" but free with a coercive pitch for minimum
  $25.00 entry fee which no one would pay, except dumb me.  A shower
  of excuses cannot make up for the cumbersomeness of the technology
  and the evident lack of visualization.

  What Madeline did about this, and what others with ready access to
  the required technological resources did to help resolve the problem was
  absolutely nothing.  It was almost as though they had picked a site
  that was guaranteed to wreck the dialogue and then sit back and wait for
  the inevitable failed outcome.  Even now no one in authority is looking
  for a proper response to the most likely cause, they just appear to be
  eager to continue leading the nation's communities down the same old
  dead end.

> [Where is that sociologist? ;-) ]

  The attempt to cast a charge of unfairness on me, which is
  knowingly false, and then express exasperation may be sly,
  but it is not helpful.

  A competent setting is what is needed not a sociologist.
  A little truth in explanation might also go a long way in
  serving our cause.

> The bottom line on all this, IMHO:
> AFCN is in its final stages of becoming "official", and already there has
> begun a collaborative identifying, discussing and addressing of issues,
> resulting in collaboratively developed 1st drafts of resources.
> AFCN will definitely not be for everybody.  Some will be more content to
> sit in the sidelines and offer overly-idealistic commentary and/or
> unfounded criticism, rather than actually get (and stay) involved and
> attempt to _do_ something.

  It does not take an idealist to want to shift out of chaos to a
  viable plan for the future.  The first attempt failed pathetically,
  most likely because there was no instrumental support.  That failure
  can be quickly overcome with a proper setting for the dialogue.  It
  should not be used, instead, embelished with incorrect reports, to give
  the shaft to the country by proceeding down old failed strategies.

> Each person is of course free to decide for themselves what they want to do.
> And, BTW, we do not expect the skies to open up and angels with harps to
> descend upon us when we launch.  Indeed perhaps the better AFCN does its
> "job", the more invisible "it" will actually be.  It is not the
> "organization" itself that will matter, it is the _association_ of
> _members_...  and this has already begun to happen, and continues to
> strengthen every week.

  That is not incorrect.  The lack of a shared vision for the future or
  any meaningful participatory process dooms the so-called "association
  of members" to nothing but paper propaganda.  There can be no viable
  strategy without a defined purpose.  There can be no useful association
  that is founded upon a mere entity design to assert unilateral power
  without the kind of process that can facilitate the development of
  collaborative power.  The rush to launch this new entity in the absence
  of genuine collaborative direction is a rush to continue the destructive
  forms of the past.

> Many thanks to those who are helping to make this Association a reality,
> and to all who have called or written to express their support.

  If this were a serious effort the call at this time would be to
  provide the necessary setting for true collaborative association.
  Instead, what is sought is an entity designed to place the
  nation's communities under the iron grip of corporate bondage.
  That must not be permitted.

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <[log in to unmask]>
[Browse the new Fins Information Age Library,
now located at URL:]