[INDOLOGY] mea culpa and Dominik's contribution

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 14:50:10 UTC 2019

Dear Madhav and Jonathan, it's kind of you to offer, and I imagine many
other people would be equally willing to contribute if I put a big Patreon
button on the website.  Over the years and with the help of various
committees membersI have thought about different business models for the
list. I don't know if you remember, but at one time I tried to run a little
Amazon bookshop on the website, with curated indological titles.  I would
have got a fraction of a cent for each Amazon sale through that channel.
But it didn't meet a real need and wasn't used.  At another time I had some
website pages at indology.info that listed publishers.  Charging for that
would have been a more obvious way of getting some income, but I never
wanted the entanglement with billing, correspondence, tax, etc.  So that
was always a free service to publishers and eventually I decided just not
to do it.  Another obvious model would be to bring the forum into H-Asia,
and we nearly did that, some years back.  However, H-Asia imposes some
limits on what a member-list can do, including having to pay to post job
advertisements, and we didn't want those kinds of stricture.  Another model
would be to use a university-hosted Mailman installation.  After all,
INDOLOGY enjoyed the generous and free support of the U. of Liverpool for
many years when it first started.  But I have moved around different
institutions in my career, and my experience has been that universities
have short memories where digital support is concerned.  You set something
up, and then five years later you get sharp emails from the service admins
saying that they are going to pull the plug.  UCL was very bad when I left,
deleting my files without notice.  Vienna has been better, that way.  I
think I was traumatized by the whole BlackBox affair in the mid-90s, when
the U. of Washington summarily deleted all the marvellous indological
materials that had been made public for years by Tom Ridgeway[*
Since then, I've never really trusted university computing departments to
have a long view.  University libraries are institutionally concerned with
long-term preservation, but libraries curate static data, not functioning

So I arrived at the counter-intuitive position that running the website and
Mailman as a private individual was likely to provide a more stable and
long-lasting environment than working with a university.   It is also the
path of least resistance to just keep the service afloat and not to bother
myself or others with all the complications of collecting money.  This
takes the least number of brain cycles for me, and leaves me most free to
actually do the things I love, including indology.  I'm now a bit sorry I
mentioned it publicly, but I was writing hastily and in a spirit of full

Something that I failed to mention in my response about how the committee
works is that we have a weekly rota.  I think everyone knows this, but
members of the committee take weekly turns being on duty.  So at any one
time, only one of the committee members deals with correspondence or other
tasks (but we all vote on issues and applications all the time).

Thanks again!

On Fri, 5 Apr 2019 at 07:14, Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Dominik,
>      My reaction is similar to Jonathan's.  I would be willing to
> contribute toward the cost of maintaining the Indology list.  Please
> consider setting up a way for us to share the cost.  With best wishes,
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus
> Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan
> [Residence: Campbell, California]
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 12:51 AM Jonathan Silk via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>> Dear Dominik
>> I am perhaps not the only member who felt more than a twinge of guilt in
>> reading that you have been paying for storage out of your pocket. While I
>> agree that simply repeating previous posts is a very bad idea (I would have
>> said for reasons of legibility and page space, not storage cost), I would
>> be more than delighted to contribute to the costs of funding Indology, and
>> I am sure I am not the only one. Perhaps there is a way (sorry, I know this
>> is more work for someone!) to make a page where I can make a donation?
>> Paypal? Or--I'm blushing here--such a page already exists but I don't know
>> about it?
>> Jonathan
>> --
>> J. Silk
>> Leiden University
>> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
>> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
>> 2311 BZ Leiden
>> The Netherlands
>> copies of my publications may be found at
>> https://leidenuniv.academia.edu/JASilk
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