Digressions & Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson, Editor

Fifth Anniversary Issue!

Once again we've arrived at Port of Call's anniversary issue, marking yet another year of providing the members of Region 7 with their bimonthly ration of cerebral treasures and travesties. Yet another year of exploring the meaning and functions of intelligence, promoting freedom of thought, encouraging readers to question at least a few of the more obvious fallacies in modern social policies, and hopefully providing at least a little entertainment. Best of all, we've enjoyed more submissions than in previous years - which resulted in fewer pages of your editor's filler articles!

This issue contains the editor's traditional anniversary short story, as well as two thought provoking articles, a letter to the editor, and two event announcements. So much good stuff was sent in for this issue that I've had to take the extraordinary measure of adding two additional pages! (One sheet printed on both sides.) This has only happened once before in five years!

I've enjoyed the last five years as your editor, and look forward to continuing as long as the members of Region 7 appreciate my efforts to produce a newsletter that provides a "good read". As I pointed out in last year's anniversary editorial, I've learned a lot through my explorations in the guise of writing articles. Trying to provide a little variety has encouraged me to venture into areas I'd probably never have considered by myself.

Intertel's email list Top1 has provided an especially fertile source of ideas for newsletter articles. The wide range of postings on the list reflect the diversity of the participants. On any given day there might be Top1 members exchanging recipes, telling jokes, or passionately discussing the most controversial issues of the day. Each member reads or deletes messages according to his/her interests, allowing the list to be many things to its many members all at once. While anyone can participate at whatever level they find comfortable, many prefer to just sit back and be entertained by the antics of the more active participants.

The participants on Top1 provide such an eclectic assortment of perspectives that it's pretty much guaranteed that someone will disagree with nearly any suggested idea. Those who find themselves in agreement on the issue being discussed today might well find themselves on opposite sides of the next issue. A fringe benefit of the discussions on Top1 for me has been that after an issue has been thoroughly thrashed out on the list, I can draw from the diverse perspectives that had been advanced during the discussion to assemble a far better article than I would likely have been able to write if limited to just my own thoughts.

The past five years have seemed both a long time and the blink of an eye. My own preference would be to continue the current situation for the foreseeable future, and would be willing to continue serving as editor as long as the next Regional Director continues the current Director's support for an interesting and intellectually stimulating newsletter. However, my desires are hardly the only ones that count in this matter. The members of some other regions appear to prefer far different approaches to their regional newsletters. The upcoming Regional Director's election will provide the members of Region 7 with an opportunity to indicate whether they prefer to continue enjoying my humble efforts, or want a change.

As editor, I'd like to see a contested election with several diverse alternatives from which to choose. Port of Call will be happy to provide a forum on which those seeking office can promote their platforms. Of course, I'd particularly like to see nominees publicize their positions regarding our regional newsletter.

And so we begin Port of Call's sixth year...

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