In a recent speech in San Francisco, Bill Clinton gave a clear directive from his
developing information and technology plan; all USA K-12 schools will be connected to the
Net by the year 2000. Now what are our children going to find when they type in an
Internet search for "dreams?" ASD is addressing this and other Net presence
issue at several levels. The first is online access. See for example the ASD homepage
project on the Web article in this issue by Jayne Gackenbach. We are also offering ongoing
education to ASD members through this newsletter and direct, hands-on learning at our next
convention in Berkeley.
However, I feel we can't be content with just putting information online. Bill Gates,
in The Road Ahead, tells the story of trying to lure his friend Warren Buffett
online by telling him about all the information he could access. But it wasn't until
Buffett found out he could play bridge with his friends all over the globe that he became
involved. The Internet is not going to be used like we used to use encyclopedias. When a
child if offered the choice of looking up information or interacting with a group that
shares his or her interests, what do you think is going be the child's choice? The
Internet is more like an open street market or a collection of symposiums than a
repository of data. To educate people online about dreams and dreaming an interactive
community is needed.
There are several ways to create and sustain this community. The ASD homepage, for
example, now has a bulletin board where discussions
can take place between all segments of the online global community. The interface between
the ASD newsletter and your personal areas of dream concern will become more interactive.
Topics discussed and brought up during the conferences will be continued, deepened and
expand with continual dialogue during the year.
Another way to foster online community is through Mail List discussion groups that
focus on a particular subject. Some Mail List are for making group decisions and
implementing plans, such as the asd-dream96 discussion group which focuses on the use of
Internet at the 1996 convention. Some Mail Lists are short lived, like dream sharing
groups that join or form a list for the length of a week or two to discuss a few dreams
and then disband. Other Mail Lists are more like distribution lists that put out
periodicals and take in articles. But the vast amount of Mail Lists on Internet are for
discussing topics of special interest.
Unlike postal mail lists, these Net Mail Lists are both useful and available only if
you subscribe by sending in an e-mail request. Net Mail Lists are a simple way to
communicate with a group of people with a common interest through e-mail. On Net Mail
Lists, one subscribes and unsubscribes at will. A special common e-mail address is used by
the subscriber and all mail sent to that address will end up in everyones' e-mail box that
is subscribed to the group.
An image. Normal E-mail is like a circle of individuals. With e-mail, the message is
like a ball that someone makes and tosses to someone else in the circle. Each person in
the circle is an Internet e-mail address. Now imagine we add a Magician to the group who
duplicates the message balls s/he receives. The Magician is the Mail List address. In this
instance, let's say this person is the list name address for the Mail List discussion
group called "Dreaming in Later Life." Every time you throw this Mail List
Magician a ball, s/he will duplicate the ball and throw it to everyone that is signed up
on the "Dreaming in Later Life" discussion list. The overall effect is that a
group discussion over days, weeks or months can take place between individuals located all
over the globe.
Discussion Lists are really easy to join. But first...
One can join an discussion list by simple sending in a request to the automated List
Server address that is associated with the Mail List. Do NOT send the request to the Mail
List address. What would happen if you sent a request to the List Magician in the
imaginary circle? That's right, everyone on the list would get a copy of your message that
you wanted to subscribe, and you are more than likely to get more than one reply back from
other subscribers about how happy they are that you are filling up their mail boxes with
So how to subscribe? Well, as mentioned, there is another address. In our imaginary
Net-Circle there is a Robot Server standing next to our List Magician. If you send a note
to the Robot Server, it will do as you say and send messages back only to you that it is
doing what you asked. You can join the list, get off the mail list, find out who is on the
list and accomplish lots of other tasks depending on the Mail List Robot begin used. Note
that one Mail List Robot may be helping several lists. So the Internet contains many Mail
List Robots (Mail list Administrative addresses) and each one may have dozens or hundreds
of Mail Lists that it serves.
There are several kinds of Robot Mail List Servers and each one wants you to sign up a
little differently. The major Robot is called a LISTSERV. Let's go right to an example of
how to subscribe to a mail list controlled by this Robot server.
In this example I'm going to join the Phil-Lit Mail List, an active and usually
intelligent symposium on Philosophy and Literature. Feel free to try this out yourself .
In the e-mail [To:] I'm putting the name of the robot listserv. In the [Subject:] I'm
putting "sub to phil-lit" though it really doesn't matter what goes there as the
listserv only reads what is in the body of the e-mail. I like to put in the [Subject:]
what action I'm doing anyway so if I send it to the wrong address and it comes back I have
a quick idea of what I was doing (in this case trying to subscribe to phil-lit). In the
[Body] of the e-mail, I put one line that tells the automated listserv what to do and who
is doing it. (They are not case sensitive, so I can use capitals or lower case)
Subject: SUB TO PHIL-LIT
Body of e-mail:
SUBSCRIBE PHIL-LIT RICHARD WILKERSON
Within a few minutes I will get a couple of e-mail notes back telling me that my
subscription has been accepted (or is being reviewed if the list is moderated) and another
note that tells how much time and what resources were used in processing the request. I
delete the resource note but I always, always, save the subscription acceptance note (The
"Welcome" letter) as it usually contains all the important information about how
to get on and off the list as well as other important information.
As members of the group send in notes, they will now be automatically sent to your e-mail
Now, how to send a message to this intelligent group? I simply send the message to the
List Address PHIL-LIT@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU. Notice that the @TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU is the same
address as the listserv, but that the LISTSERV@ has now been replaced with the name of the
specific list PHIL-LIT@
In my example I'm going to pretend I got a message sent to me (and the whole phil-lit
group) from Bob Jordon that said he was wondering if there had been any recent reviews of
Freud's Interpretation of Dreams.
In my e-mail [To:] I put the List Address, PHIL-LIT@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU and in the [Subject:]
I might say "Regarding updated reviews on Freud and dreams" and in the [Body] of
the e-mail I might say, " Hi, Bob Jordan - I wanted to mention some recent updates on
Freud's _The Interpretation of Dreams_ that can be found in the March 1994 v4n1 issue of
the ASD _Dreaming_ Journal...."
Now I could have sent this message directly to Bob Jordon if he had included his e-mail
address (which is usually automatically sent with the message) but in this case I felt the
information was useful beyond his personal needs and sent it to the whole mail list. Note
also that all e-mail is written in ASCII, which means you can use the letters and numbers
on your keyboard, but no bold, italics , underlining nor font scaling. Thus you can make
underlines look like _this_ and italics look like *this* and bold looks like THIS.
Netiquette dictates that you only use capitals on the net for shouting, embolding or
commands to robots whose feelings won't be hurt.
"Don't waste Bandwidth." This often quoted phrase simple means to respect the
Internet as a limited resource and avoid sending messages that are unnecessary for
everyone to see like , "Yes, I agree with you completely!''
After a few days on the Phil-lit mail list I notice a lot of e-mail that I have to
open, read and decide to keep, delete or reply to. Multiply this task times the number of
mail lists I'm subscribed to and you will see how very quickly the mail list chores can
easily get out of hand. One solution with Listserv is the digest option that puts all
messages for the day into one e-mail package. To set my option to digest I send an e-mail
to the robot listsev address and say in the body of the e- mail to "set phil-lit
Subject: set to digest format
Body of e-mail:
SET PHIL-LIT DIGEST
Not all mail lists have this option. Listserv usually does. To find out if your mail
list does have this and other options, you can send for an information and reference file.
Usually the address is given in the "Welcome" file. The phil-lit reference file
is available by sending an e-mail again to the listserv and saying in the body of the
e-mail "info refcard".
Subject: Get reference file
Body of e-mail:
The reference list will contain all the commands I can use with the Listserv, including
how to retrieve old messages and have sent to my e-mail address, how to keep my e-mail
address off the public list, who is on the list and other useful tasks.
After a couple of weeks I find that I am way to busy to read even the digest form of
Phil-lit and I want to leave the mail list. Since I saved my "Welcome" letter
this is no problem. All I have to do is send the following message to the Listserv:
Subject: UNSUB TO PHIL-LIT
Body of e-mail:
SIGNOFF PHIL-LIT RICHARD WILKERSON
In a few minutes you will get a reply that indicates you have been un-subscribed.
Each of the Mail List programs have slightly different keyword commands and options.
Besides the LISTSERV we discussed, there are also listproc, mailbase, mailserv, and
For a complete list of basic commands for each of these you can send an e-mail to:
Subject: Get mail list info
In body put:
GET MAILSER CMD NETTRAIN F=MAIL
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can
find information upon it." Samuel Johnson
But how did I find the phil-lit list in the first place? I haven't seen anyone with a
complete list of Mail Lists, but there are several places that do claim to have them. Here
are some ways to find them.
1. Word of mouth and announcements on other lists you are already subscribed to.
2. Internet Yellow Pages -- there are some great books you can buy in most bookstores
that tell you where all of the neat stuff is on the Internet.
3. The LIST GLOBAL or LIST GLOBAL / STRING command. Once I know the address of one
Listserver - like our phil-lit server - I can send a command that tells the server to
e-mail me all its lists or just the lists I'm looking for by doing an alphabetic search.
Subject : Get all lists
4. The new- list mail list - Really more like a daily newsletter that give
announcements of new lists that get registered with the service. To:
Subject: Sub to New Lists
subscribe new-list YOUR NAME
5. Big List of Mail Lists on all Servers - or so they say. It *is* a large list! To:
Subject : Get Mail List Lists
Body: LIST GLOBAL
6. If you have Web access, I suggest you begin you search at the list of lists center
Mail List Directory
7. Or another Web approach is a
Search machine for Mail Lists
Most Online services such as AOL and Compuserve have ways to make signing on and off
mail list easier. (Though its hard to imagine something easier than sending an e-mail).
There are also commercial products available that perform mail list tasks such as the
windows based infoMagnet, an interesting shareware program (free to try out - pay if you
like) that will organize the mail list tasks for you and perform searches through many
newsgroups. Windows based. Download via
web or ask for free disk:
Finally, there is one outstanding collection of mail lists by the Spoon Collective that involve
philosophy I highly recommend for thinking and idea people.
BIBLIOGRAPHY & STOOPID NET TRIX
Clinton, Bill (1995) October Speech at Fairmont: San Francisco, CA. [Actually, its not
just Internet that this administrations plans to connect schools too, but an even faster
network now in development]
-------- (1993). A
New Direction to Build Economic Strength
Cochran Interactive (1995).
Exploring the Internet: E-mail
Crispen, Patrick (1995). ROADMAP. (Guide to Internet). send e-mail To:
LISTSERV@UA1VM.UA.EDU Body: GET MAP PACKAGE F=MAIL
Enzer, Matisse (1995). Glossary of
Internet Terms. Matisse Enzer & Internet Literacy Consultants(tm):
Gaffin, Adam (Oct, 1995). EFF's Guide to
the Internet. Electronic Frontier Foundation
Gates, Bill (1995). The Road Ahead. With Nathan Myhrvold and Perter Rinearson.
New York, NY: Viking Penguin.
Kabacoff, Rob (1995). Internet Users' Guide to Subscription Mailing Lists. Nova
Southeastern University: Inter-Links(tm) (No Longer An Active Link)
Kehoe, Brendan P. (1995). Zen and
the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide. Second Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Krol, Ed (1987). The Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet. email@example.com
List of Net Guides: Guides and
Levy, Steven (1995). Bill's new vision. (Bill Gates) Newsweek, Nov. 27. pp
Milles, James (1995). Discussion lists: mail
server commands. Mills Mail List Information File. Saint Louis University Law Library.
Thomas, Eric (1995). LISTSERV Guide
for General Users. EARN Association.
This includes thorough instructions for subscribing to, participating in, and
unsubscribing from mailing lists. Email by sending
To: LISTSERV@EARNCC.EARN.NET (or LISTSERV@EARNCC.BITNET) Subject : Get file guide
In Body : GET LSVGUIDE MEMO (plain text).