Alchemy Forum archives
The alchemy forum has been through four incarnations or phases. I began this discussion group in July 1995 as an open unmoderated e-mail list. This open forum discussed many topics (not always entirely relevant to alchemy) in considerable depth and attracted a number of scholars, however, eventually a few manipulative individuals produced a degree of chaos on the forum that was unacceptable. At the end of January 1996 I decided to re-establish the forum as a fully moderated one. The messages were then sequentially numbered. I chose to moderate this forum rather benignly, chosing only to intervene when I felt a discussion was straying too far from the topic of alchemy or if contributors were becoming too strident in their criticisms of others. This benevolent moderation regime eventually led to problems when a number of contributors to the forum would not accept my judgment of what was and what was not relevant to the forum. After some difficulties in July and August 1996 I decided to re-establish the forum as the alchemy academic forum and restrict the discussion of alchemy to a more scholarly and less speculative approach. During November 1996 a number of problem subscribers again disrupted the forum, and I decided it would be best to separate out specialist scholarly e-mail groups for serious discussion, and reestablish the alchemy forum as an unmoderated e-mail general discussion group on alchemy.
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