... hate being your friend?

For an extended period of time about two years ago I was a lurker on a mailing list entitled "Salaam v'Shalom - Arabs and Jews seeking peace". The list probably had a readership of some seventy people, with two or three dropping out and being replaced with newcomers each month.

I guess that at it's best it's a participative sport, but I preferred to see it as a spectator sport, standing on the sides and seeing the main characters fight it our. Ostensibly the objective was to accept the fact that we didn't agree and yet to continue talking. Perhaps through the examination of various issues some common ground could be found.

I left the list long ago, convinced that nothing but more talk would come out of all this. Recently, on a different list, I came across one of the more active members from when I read the list. I wrote him, asking what was new with SvS. His response was that he'd given up a few months ago, and that he didn't see the point in continuing a shouting match.

So it seems that online community is a problematic thing: there's no point in it if you agree all the time, and no hope for it if you don't.

Go to: A Community of One?