[Smt-talk] The Modern World

Stephen Soderberg hyperchord at me.com
Mon Dec 15 06:04:24 PST 2014

I understand that topics such as "The 18th Century in the Modern World" are of interest to many, especially those to whom music theory is identical to music theory history pedagogy. But what I don't understand is why the usual suspects continue to prefer to air their usual opinions on their usual topics (I'm being as polite as I can here) via SMT's old email listserv rather than switching to the new SMT Discuss.

Obviously SMT Discuss is continuing to have technical start up problems. But if it doesn't get used by the community it was set up to serve, there's no reason to have it. Keeping both options available for a brief period may make sense during the transfer to a new system, but it makes no sense in cost and maintenance to continue to run them in parallel just to satisfy a very few people who can easily make the transfer. There is something to be said for teaching the 18th century. There is nothing to be said for trying to live there.

Could we all now take these discussions to SMT Discuss where they can be carried on in separate digital "conference rooms" that we can choose to visit or not rather than continue to have them delivered in waves that periodically swamp our email inboxes. This listserv once served a purpose, but now it's like being forced to attend an SMT conference with everyone crammed into a ballroom with no chairs and anyone can say or scream anything or announce a new topic at any time thereby inviting violations of the conference's only rule which is to "be nice."

I suggest that SMT set a date for closing down smt-talk (or keeping it only for "announcements" or other specified uses) and sending all discussions to SMT Discuss where they belong. I know of no other professional organization that gives a choice such as the one that now exists here.

(The bonus of a complete switch is that you don't have to see my name in your email box any more.)

Stephen Soderberg
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