Subject: AZTLAN list: who are the "American Isolationists"? From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) Date: 1997/02/10 Message-ID:Click here to go one level up in the directory.
Newsgroups: sci.archaeology.mesoamerican,sci.archaeology So who are the Isolationists? ----------------------------- As the regular readers of these ngs know well, over the last few months there's been an active discussion here about the theories that ancient peoples were making contacts across the Pacific. These are fairly controversial theories, and it's not surprising that the discussions have been heated from time to time. Why these theories are so controversial, on the whole, quite escapes me. After all, most of us know that the Polynesians were sailing all around the Pacific in the earliest of times, and it would have been extremely hard for them not to have made contact with the American continent... Be this as it may, yet, also some serious no-nonsense scholarly research has been posted in the course of these discussions, and, most likely, all parties learned some new things. I sure did. Quite recently I decided to subscribe to AZTLAN mailing list, the list dedicated to American pre-history. I did this in the hope of seeing what scholars in the area are discussing, and what theories are being suggested in regard to the emergence of early American civilizations. I was also hoping to take part in these discussions to the best of my ability. Well, little that I knew that some big surprises were waiting in store for me... To make the long story short, my subscription to Aztlan was not to last very long. In fact, I was suspended from the list after about a week. The manner in which this happened is what this post is about. To wit, the listowner of AZTLAN has violated the guidelines of his own list in order to get me off. About 2 weeks have passed since this happened. I spent some time trying to explain to the listowner that some misunderstanding may have occurred. I promised to be polite and very reasonable in anything I may post to the list in the future. Silence was my reply. I'm still not receiving the mail from AZTLAN. Well, it's about time the public knew about what's going on with this mailing list... The guidelines of AZTLAN state clearly that those who may offend against the list rules will be expelled "after a fair warning". No warning was issued to me. I was suspended summarily, and without explanation. In reply to my enquiry, the listowner explained that I was suspended because I was "disruptive", and the manner of my previous postings to sci.archaeology.mesoamerican newsgroup was not appropriate. Both of these reasons do not seem valid to me. I made 8 postings to AZTLAN in one week when I was a subscriber. They are on file, and I can make them available to anybody who wishes to see them. They are short, polite, and to the point. I do not see in what way they may have "disrupted" the list. Why the manner of my previous postings to s.a.m should be the cause for my suspension from AZTLAN is a mystery to me. This seems like a trial by rumour and hearsay. I doubt that the listowner of AZTLAN read any of my postings to s.a.m. He took someone's opinion, and made his decision on this basis, most likely. It is also to be noted that not only was I expelled from AZTLAN, but, moreover, all discussion of trans-Pacific theories was apparently banned after my expulsion. I don't know this for sure, and yet this is what my informants tell me. (Yes, there _are_ some members of AZTLAN who are friendly with me, and yet they would not like to have their names named...) So what was the real reasons for my expulsion? I really don't know, yet I do have my suspicions... In the course of discussions about the theories that early American societies may have received some influences from Asia, and vice versa, an opinion was expressed by me that the field of American prehistory is dominated at this time by certain scholars who can be described as "American Isolationists". These scholars see early America as the "Fortress America", a sort of a cultural laboratory where evolution of human societies can be studied in its "pure form". No influences from anywhere should even be suggested. Any such suggestion is seen as a terrible and egregious violation of scholarly conventions -- an unforgivable transgression. Someone replied to me and said that there are no "American Isolationists" in s.a.m. Well, I don't know... perhaps this was an exaggeration. So, let me ask you this, ladies and gentlemen, Are there "Isolationists" on Aztlan mailing list? Perhaps someone may know the answer? Best regards, Yuri. -- Yuri Kuchinsky | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there ------------------------| is always Paradise: so say the most ancient Toronto ... the Earth | and the most modern serpents." F. Nietzsche --- my webpage is (for now?) back at: http://www.io.org/~yuku --- _________________________________________________________________