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Our benevolent ruler, GerryGerry’s Grumblings

By Gerry Schulze
November 18, 2004

I was elected LocSec one Saturday in January, two or three years ago, in an election that would have embarrassed Stalin. My failure to recall even how long ago it was that I was elected shows just how much attention I have been paying to the position that has been entrusted to me. When I came on board, we had a truly inspiring newsletter, and little else. We did have meetings in Little Rock more or less monthly, but the majority of our members live outside the Central Arkansas area. Now, since the retirement of our newsletter editor, we don’t have the inspiring newsletter anymore, but little else has changed.

Because we are so widely spread out, our main means of communication has been the Internet. We have two Yahoo! Groups (Group mail list, where you can sign up to either or both) which serve us well. But even those groups only serve approximately a third of our membership. That third is active. On the ArkMensa group we have had a steady stream of messages:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 578 216 198 192 212 171 70 223 143 145 259
2003 2 8 18 122 136 88 413 219 491 172 116 373

The ArkMensaUnmoderated group only started this year. It’s a long story, but to make that long story short, there was a flamer who infiltrated our group. At first he seemed to be merely loony—an unremarkable characteristic. He deteriorated into an abusive, threatening, vile obnoxious person.

I hate censorship. I wasn’t going to do anything. Unfortunately, some of our best members were tired of the abuse and they announced that they were no longer going to participate. At that point I turned the moderating duties over to a friend who was willing to engage in a bit of censorship. At the same time, I created a new group which was designed for people just like our flamer. And guess what? Our flamer never showed. He ran away. He was a worthless coward.

Anyway, our new board was equally active, if not equally polite, and we really enjoy it, too. The numbers show it’s not bad either:

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 140 173 158 127 177 285 137 85 181 125 183

I was inspired to write this by the hint of some real activity. We will have not one but two meetings this month. We can’t do our traditional Little Rock last Thursday of the month meeting—some kind of national holiday (I can never keep them straight). So we moved it forward a week. I was looking forward to the last Thursday in December, but apparently people have some plans for that as well. Therefore, we are having a meeting in Eureka Springs on the first Saturday in December. It sounds like fun. The largest concentration of Mensa members outside of Central Arkansas is in the Northwest corner of the state. See this page for more details.

I generated two maps to show where the concentration of Arkansas Mensa members is. The first map (map1, right click and choose "save target as" to save to your computer) used a complex system of different colored pushpins and dots (black; 1 or 2; red pushpins; around 5; small red dots, around 10, and the center big red dot represents about 50).

Then I figured out that Microsoft Streets and Trips would generate pushpins for me showing the exact addresses as shown in the database I get from National Mensa (map2, right click and choose "save target as" to save to your computer) . I have printed out both as Acrobat files and they are posted on ArkMensa.

I wish I could tell you I’ve seen the error of my ways and from now on I’ll be a conscientious, loyal, and hard working LocSec, but that would be an implausible lie. I will, however, when I get the time and the inspiration, do something. You are all invited to do something, too.