THE MOQ FOCUS CONSTITUTION
"What I have in mind is a sort of Chautauqua-
that's the only name I can think of for it- like the traveling tent-show
Chautauquas that used to move across America, *this* America, the one
that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify
and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to
the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside
by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was
not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream
of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems
to run less deep." ---R.M. Pirsig (ZMM, Chapter1)
MOQ FOCUS CHARTER
To borrow a word from Robert Pirsig, MOQ FOCUS
may best be described as a series of monthly Chautauquas. MOQ FOCUS (MF)
is designed to provide a more deliberate counterpart to our broader and
faster-paced discussion group, MOQ Discuss (MD):
Each month, a single topic- ultimately culminating in a question - is
selected by a vote of the members. The discussion moderator may revise
the format of the topic and/or the topic-question as necessary.
By considering only one question every month, the MF aims to provide a
slower-paced atmosphere, more conducive to "deep" discussion, in which
members will find it easier to follow the threads and participate
meaningfully even if they only have an hour or two a week to follow the
At the end of each month, the person who proposed the topic-question will
be given the chance to write a summary of the discussion. If the
topic-proposer passes on this opportunity, the moderator, or another member
of the moderator's choosing, will be given the chance to write the summary.
To close each discussion, each participant will be given the opportunity
to prepare an informal "Opinion" consisting of their respective answer to
the topic-question and a brief statement (about 250 words or less)
explaining why they answered the way they did.
Following the conclusion of the topic, for the sake of posterity, the
month's respective summary, and Opinions, will then be linked from a monthly
index on the MOQ.ORG website.
MOQ FOCUS RULES, REMEDIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Members must have read both ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE and
LILA'S CHILD by Dan Glover with annotations by Robert Pirsig is also
Members may post only two messages per week (except for topic-question
suggestions, voting, and Opinions).
Every post must be relevant to the topic-question.
Members must express themselves clearly, concisely and courteously.
Members may not use html email nor send attachments.
Although there is no strict word-limit on posts, members are asked to try
and keep posts to a reasonable length.
The MF moderator reserves the right to block any posts which break these
If a member believes his or her post has been unjustly blocked by the
moderator, the moderator's decision may be appealed one time to the full
Steering Committee. The decision of the Steering Committee is final.
Posts which are blocked from MF by the moderator should not be posted
to MD without the express permission of the moderator or the Steering
Committee. Reposting to MD in the absence of such permission could result
in action from the Discussion Facilitators ranging from a gentle warning and
reminder of the forum rules to permanent removal from one or both lists.
(a) "Topic-Hijacking" - Because experience has taught us that allowing
the MF topics to spill over into MD quickly kills the activity on the MF
list, the Steering Committee respectfully requests that members do not carry
MF topics into the MD forum until the MF discussion of the topic is
(b) "Suggestion-Hijacking" - Similarly, it is respectfully
requested that members do not initiate discussions in the MD based on
topic-suggestions offered in the MF by other members, which have not yet
been voted upon, without first securing the permission of the member who
made the suggestion.
TOPIC SUGGESTIONS AND VOTING
The 'Suggestion of Topics' and 'Vote for Topic' are separate. Whereas
members may suggest as many topics as they would like, they can vote for one
topic only. Please note: A topic-suggestion does NOT count as an automatic
vote for that topic; members suggesting topics during the Call for Topics
will still have to cast a vote for their topic (or another if they so
desire) during the Call for Votes. Our voting procedure is as follows,
where day 0 is the first day of each new month:
- Day -6 (00:00hrs GMT): The moderator will call for topic-suggestions.
All topic-suggestions will be forwarded to the MF list along with topic
posts for the current month.
Day -3 (00:00hrs GMT): The moderator will call for all members to vote
for a topic and will issue a reminder that Opinions will soon be called
for. Voting posts will not be forwarded to the list.
Day 0 (00:00hrs GMT): The next topic-question and voting results
are announced and the new discussion begins.
The Moderator will call for Opinions.
Day 2 (00:00hrs GMT): Members send in their Opinion on the previous month'
Day 7 (00:00 hrs GMT): Summary and Opinions from previous month's discussion
are posted to MOQ.ORG
If members suggest topics or vote before the set days these will be
held back until the set days and then posted to the list. In the event
of a tie the discussion moderator will decide. In the event that a period
of one week within the normal monthly topic period should pass without
any posts being offered by the members, the moderator will make a call
for final comments and Opinions and the discussion will be closed. The
continuation of any topic-question that supports a full month of discussion
will be automatically added to the topic-suggestions for the following
The moderator is a member of the MF who has been selected by the Steering
Committee to act as a program facilitator. A different person assumes the
role of moderator each month. Contact information for the Steering
Committee and the current list of Steering Committee members is available on the
MF Steering Committee