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Re: AZTLAN list: fear of the new?

Chris Carlisle wrote:
> I was on AZTLAN at the time that Yuri was removed.

I was, too.  I don't drop in on the Usenet groups often (AZTLAN and
other lists are plenty of reading, thank you), but it is surprising to
see the amount of discussion Yuri's expulsion has gotten here.

I wrote to Yuri at the time to express my surprise at how quickly he was
dropped.  Something must have happened behind the scenes, because his
posts were not especially numerous.  I suspect that individuals familiar
with Yuri's style contacted the listowner privately and lobbied for his
immediate removal.  It worked swiftly and effectively.

However, I would also like to add another piece of information.  Yuri's
first post to the list was to announce that he had contacted Mike
Xu--the author of a new book on Olmec/Shang connections--and sent him a
copy of an email containing disparaging comments by another AZTLAN
subscriber.  Mike Xu responded to Yuri by email, and Yuri apparently
felt he was doing all of us a service by reposting the message with Xu's
response to AZTLAN.  Xu was then persuaded to subscribe to AZTLAN so
that he could continue the discussion himself (with Yuri there to keep
it going...)

Yuri's actions were intended to be provocative.  He was clearly trying
to stir up a new debate on Olmec/Shang diffusion, although that topic
had been discussed and abandoned several weeks before he appeared on the
list.  I think it is fair to say there was some hostility to Yuri, but
NOT to the topic.  In fact, in spite of (and because of) our extreme
skepticism about Olmec/Shang connections, I and several other
subscribers wrote directly to Mike Xu to offer him resources and
assistance towards making his own data accessible and available for
further discussion.  I even offered to help him post an article on the
AZTLAN E-Journal (http://www.cc.ukans.edu/~hoopes/aztlan). This was
intended to allow for a careful, objective consideration of Xu's
assertions.  Unfortunately, Xu did not take advantage of these offers
and the thread died quickly after that.

I would like to point out that, while Yuri was quickly expelled from
AZTLAN, Mike Xu (the original author of the book asserting Olmec-Shang
epigraphic connections) is still a member.  He is a *polite* and
*occasional* contributor, which will undoubtedly help preserve his
subscription until he makes the personal decision to unsubscribe.

AZTLAN is not hostile to hyperdiffusionists.  However, it does
discourage and even exclude the participation of individuals who abuse
their subscription privileges by ignoring the rights and interests of
other subscribers.  This includes intentional provocation and the
pursuit of discussions that others do not wish to see continue
(including *unsubstantiated* assertions about transoceanic diffusion).

Sorry, Yuri.  You have a right to say what you want, but not everywhere.

John Hoopes