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The fantasy in online forums is utterly different than the Republic of Letters…

Jean, I am particularly struck by the distinctions you draw between (a) the weekly colloquium you attend at Johns Hopkins, with its sense of ritual and courtesy, and (b) the unbounded and disembodied aspect of discussion lists, including that of IAJS. Here’s how you described the Johns Hopkins colloquium, which seems to illustrate the contrasts:...

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