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Bakker conference on AOL



I, too, attended the 8/21 conference with Dr. Bakker on AOL, and was rather
disappointed with the whole thing. However I would like to make a few
comments in Bakker's defense.

In an AOL conference, the host (in this case, Nktime) drives the show.
Questions are sent to the host, who decides which ones get passed on to the
guest (and censors them as necessary). It was not Dr Bakker's decision which
questions he answered - those were all the questions he received.

Furthermore the chat was characterized as an "electronic book-signing." To
the sponsors, this was an opportunity for Dr Bakker to talk about his new
book, to answer a few questions, etc. It was not intended as a wide-open chat
about paleontology in general. Thus the emphasis on questions relating to the
book (and that annoying repetitive announcement from OnlineHost...).

Not to say all your complaints are invalid- I think sometimes Bakker takes
his role as gadfly a bit too far - but just to point out that not the AOL
thing was largely not his fault. AOL is an electronic pop-culture playpen
anymore; I'd dump it and get a "real ISP," except that too many people know
me as "marssaxman@aol.com", and the development forum there is still halfway
decent.

-Mars