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TS & Internet E-maillists

Jul 07, 2008 09:21 AM
by mkr777

In the conduct of any business or spiritual organization, the Elephant in
the room is the Internet. Most TS leaders are from the older generation and
hence have a hard time recognizing it and creatively taking advantage of
what it offers. We cannot blame them. They grew up in a totally different

Internet basically is a tool of communication and distribution of
information. If some use has been made of Internet, it has been to replicate
the print media of snail mail age. The problem seems to me, with traditional
print media, those who are in charge of them were able to control and censor
what was distributed to members and public. With Internet, anyone can set up
a webpage or maillist almost in no time and no one can control it. So the
re-adjustment to the changing environment requires totally new open thinking
and new approach.

The basic and simplest application is e-mail. It has been very widely
available and used all over the world more than a decade and has not been
generally used by theosophical organizations especially in the West, where
more people have access to it and use it their day to day communications.

If some use has been made of it, it is limited and perhaps within a closed
circle of the TS elite who used it because it is quick, easy and efficient
and cheap (see some of the message traffic between the national and
international leaders during the recent electioneering) and there is no
simple substitute for it. I would also cite a case in point is free
availability of maillists such as theos-talk and theos-L (totally
uncontrolled by any organization) which has world-wide participants, and we
have seen only one National Secretary (late Einar Adalsteinsson of Icelandic
Section) and Pedro Oliveira, President, Indo-Pacific Federation
participating and taking advantage of it. No one else is in sight for the
last decade and more. We need to ask a very simple question why?

Before going into more sophisticated applications, many of which need high
speed Internet connection which is not available in many regions of the West
as well as in other countries, we can try to use the e-mail application for
communication with and between members and public. In the past, when in the
US, a censored (moderated/controlled) maillist was tried by TS, it failed
miserably and died. The Internet culture does not respond to control.

Let us hope those who envisage use of Internet for the future of TS may want
to consider the above views as well as any feedback from other participants
in developing a strategy for the TS.

I welcome input from other participants.

M K Ramadoss, Member, San Antonio, Texas, USA


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