It all started when we were in the process of setting up Arachnis.
Bharath, Ram, and yours truly wanted to set up a forum where a small bunch of friends, mostly from Bangalore, could keep in touch. We were a motley bunch who met on the local BBS circuit, and we also used to keep in touch by email to discuss stuff which was sometimes not suitable for the BBS. However, the age-old problem of huge To: and Cc: fields came up. Manually adding another recipient, or deleting any, would also be a problem. So we thought we'd set up a mailing list, since we had ourselves a new server and the capability to do so. The name silk-list was intended to indicate the connection to Arachnis (get it?), and also to hint that this would be a place to spin yarns.
However, the list metastasized, as these things tend to do. I asked a couple of friends to join, some others did, and before we knew it, we had a vibrant little community. Here's an excerpt from the mail I sent out to some people, asking them to drop by:
... silk-list is a place to have knowledgable, civil and most of all, _fun_ conversations about technology, philosophy, culture and whatever else we want to talk about. We have only two rules: no ad hominem, and no spam. ...Since then, a Rule Zero has emerged, in addition to the two above:
We've pretty much managed to stick to that charter. Judge for yourself, the archives are up on the web. I've also put up a page for some members of the silk list community, those whose homepages I'm aware of...Email me if you want your personal, non-commercial page to be added.