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Level of Discourse in OT

OT Discourse Civility 2008

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#1 Cait

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:23 PM

Reading in OT lately has been like running an obstacle course.  No, no guideline violations have been made, so this is not a question of Staff or their job performance.  If it was I'd put this in AQG.  So let me say from the outset that I'm not saying the Staff should do anything or that any guideline infractions have occurred because none of that has taken place.  I [heart ] the OT staff--bunches.

But, the basic leveled of civility here in OT has crossed the line for me personally.  It's one thing [from my POV] to promote your own candidate.  I feel it is quite another to spread the kind of venom we seem to get all the time about whomever the locals hate at the moment or for a lifetime.  In short, there is just too much outright hate here.  Over the last week, I've deleted almost every post I've had a notion to make, because it was just a blind reaction to the hate here in this forum, not towards each other, but towards public officials.  I know it is OK to criticize public officials here, which is why this isn't a staff matter, but after a while, the level of toxicity gets lethal in here even if no guideline has been breached.

I wish we could discuss the civility here in OT, but I don't think it can happen.  Although it would sure be nice if we could discuss it because with the year being an election year, we're going to be in for a bumpy ride if we don't agree on some 'rules to fight by' ahead of time.

Not sure what good this thread will actually do.  I spend most of my time in this forum so I thought I'd give it the old college try.  If not, I think I'm going to spend time away from OT.  That's  not an infamous "I'm leaving forever", just a reality, I've already been absent quite a bit.  

Truth be told, it really is getting poisonous and with some members it just never changes.  I mean it NEVER changes.  I've got better things to do and other boards where I can discuss politics.  I don't mind disagreement.  Disagreement is a given in a political forum.  I mean a real given, but after a while, some of the dialog here in OT, just gets so hateful.  It's bad for my aura, you know what I mean.  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#2 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:28 PM

As was true four years ago, the amount of animosity toward political candidates, is driving the discouraging discourse here.  We're stuck with it until a bit after November.

QT

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#3 Cait

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:30 PM

No, I'm not stuck with it.  I can go some place else.

And, isn't saying we are stuck with it, like saying we are stuck with Washington the way *it* is?  :)

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#4 Caithness

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:53 PM

I like OT the way it is.
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#5 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:02 PM

I think that we've tried to model better discourse, and to challenge extreme expression...  That's what we (and by we, I mean, staff) can do.  The rest is up to the members.  We've made it policy that personal attacks on public figures is ok - and that's been the way its been the whole time.  The rancor expressed toward candidates on both sides has been discouraging - but remains acceptable.

As to wondering if we have to accept it - well, that's really up to each of us, isn't it?  We have choices.  As you say, Cait we can leave.  Or, we ourselves can do differently. On a message board - changing the level of discourse requires... discourse.  It requires that we tip the balance by contributing positively - even against those we disagree with.  It requires being willing to hear someone's point of view, even if they don't express it well, and it requires a great deal of patience.  Do we have it?  That's a question, again, for each of us.

I appreciate you starting this topic, and I'm going to bow out, because I think I can't think other than as a staff member on issues relating to quality of discourse, and I think that you intend this topic to be hashed out among the membership.  I'd like to hear what the members have to say.

QT

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#6 RobL

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:33 PM

View PostCaithness, on Feb 9 2008, 02:53 PM, said:

I like OT the way it is.

Me too. I enjoy being as sardonic as I want to be. I mean, here I am on vacation, I've made myself brownies so my blood sugar is high, why can't I get some action in? Its not like I have anything better to do.

Bring back Darthsikle!


#7 sierraleone

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:48 PM

It is mostly the election stuff. I don't think what I've contributed to discourse has been worse.

But then I tend not to post in election threads anyways. I always feel odd contributing in those threads.
Being a polite Canadian ;) and all

I just don't feel educated enough on the American politics to comment, though I have read near every post in the election threads this election cycle. Besides, politics makes me feel dirty ;) I think I've grown a big callous regarding other people's callous behaviour. I don't appreciate it, but I ignore it for the most part.
I figure if I say that is not called for, I'd appreciate it toned down, people will ask why,
Which I figure will lead to one of two answers:
Either I got to back up the fact the famous person/organization does not deserve that name-calling with facts on why they are so great  :sarcasm: (which I usually don't know all their dirt and honey anyways leading back into 'not educated enough')
Or I don't appreciate it, in which case it doesn't matter since no guidelines violated, and maybe I should find another forum/board if I'm that sensitive :sarcasm:

Now I say "I figure", not saying anyone on this board would respond specifically to me that way if I said I'd appreciate 'raised' dialog.
It might be my own inhibitions. What business of mine is it if someone is being outrageous/callous/heavy-handed/cruel treatment of another person. I do not know their motivations. They might just be letting off steam and might not really mean it. They might know more than I do. I don't like to jump to conclusions about people's minds/attitudes/motivations from just what they let out in discourse on-line.

*looks over post to see if it makes sense or comes to a point... see she's succeeded in accidentally not accomplishing that again*

Well theres my feelings on the matter, like most people's feelings, probably not substantiated on much that is tangible/concrete. Or there wouldn't be much disagreement would there, were our feelings based on concrete things ;)
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#8 Cardie

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 10:54 PM

People who are uncivil have themselves to blame.  I scroll by their posts and look for the thoughtful ones.  I think posters just get too sensitive about the vitriol that is flung, when they should consider the source.  Just don't engage with someone who is spewing half-truths and hatefulness.  There are plenty of considerate, concerned people posting here.

Cardie
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#9 RobL

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:15 PM

View PostCardie, on Feb 9 2008, 07:54 PM, said:

People who are uncivil have themselves to blame.

Yeah! Those conservative bastards! Oh, wait............

Quote

I scroll by their posts and look for the thoughtful ones.

"thoughtful" = Those that advocate turning the country into a socialist happyland

Quote

I think posters just get too sensitive about the vitriol that is flung, when they should consider the source.

Yeah, them conservative posters like G, schizero, and RobL need to be marched off. Oh, wait.................

Quote

Just don't engage with someone who is spewing half-truths and hatefulness.  There are plenty of considerate, concerned people posting here.

Cardie

Translated from the Cardassian source document:

Half-truths and hatefullness = Conservatives
Considerate and Concerned = Liberals.

Of course, I'm just a big conservative meanie and troll blowing everything out of proportion, but seeing how often the line is often drawn, and G, and schizero and I are the ones that get the "bad boy" brand on our behinds, I'm not too far off.

Bring back Darthsikle!


#10 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:24 PM

View PostRobL, on Feb 9 2008, 11:15 PM, said:

Of course, I'm just a big conservative meanie and troll blowing everything out of proportion, but seeing how often the line is often drawn, and G, and schizero and I are the ones that get the "bad boy" brand on our behinds, I'm not too far off.

Nice try.  You're one of the ones who often offers thoughtful posts, and when scherzo feels like it, he often offers very insightful alternatives to the majority viewpoint.  Even G1223 can do better than he does - I've seen him do it.

This has nothing to do with partisanship, other than that I do believe that there's been quite a bit of vitriol against the sitting president, and that's been quite consistent, which means incivility isn't new.

QT

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#11 Lin731

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:34 PM

Quote

Yeah! Those conservative bastards! Oh, wait............

Yeah...Oh wait, nevermind

Quote

"thoughtful" = Those that advocate turning the country into a socialist happyland

Conservative Happyland...Let those nice corporations do whatever they want, afterall they DO know best and they're such caring, compassionate, patriotic folks. Just listen to our President, all we need to do is spend that money he's giving us that he borrowed for China. We go out and spend, spend, spend and everything will turn out just fine. If it doesn't, it's still good cause those nice corporations made alot of money!

Quote

Of course, I'm just a big conservative meanie and troll blowing everything out of proportion, but seeing how often the line is often drawn, and G, and schizero and I are the ones that get the "bad boy" brand on our behinds, I'm not too far off.

Fess up Rob, you KNOW you love it.  :D
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#12 Cait

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:36 PM

Cardie said:

I think posters just get too sensitive about the vitriol that is flung, when they should consider the source.

No offense Cardie, but if this were true, we'd never have a need for any guidelines.  Trolls could register and spread their trollish behavior hither and yon and we'd all be fine with it.  We could all just consider the source and ignore it, and we'd move along to the comments with substance.   :rolleyes: Which of course is absurd on its face, and sounds more like a kindergarten teacher scolding her students in PC behavior..   You're basically saying, "Let's ignore the reality of human behavior and pretend that everything can be solved with a smile and denial.

While I think that many times people are too sensitive, being sensitive isn't what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about it just plain ol' being toxic in here when it comes to some topics.  I'm talking about the same hate that comes from the same sources ALL the time regardless of the topic of discussion.  It gets old.  That's not being sensitive, that's being fed up..  You and QT can dress it up any way you like, but it will still be what it is.

But like I said, I don't have to endure it, I can in fact just leave.  So, if you think I was looking for advice on how to "up" my tolerance level, save it for someone who needs to be spoon fed words of wisdom that amount to "suck it up", or be called "impatient" and "sensitive".  I don't need to be taught how to be less sensitive or more patient.  I'm extremely experienced in it.

I'm going to give both you and QT the benefit of the doubt and assume your comments are directed at 'us' sensitive ones because we can actually be responsible and change our POV, while the hate mongers can't.  My advice is; don't stretch that benefit to the point of shattering.

Edited by Cait, 09 February 2008 - 11:38 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#13 RobL

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:39 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Feb 9 2008, 08:24 PM, said:

View PostRobL, on Feb 9 2008, 11:15 PM, said:

Of course, I'm just a big conservative meanie and troll blowing everything out of proportion, but seeing how often the line is often drawn, and G, and schizero and I are the ones that get the "bad boy" brand on our behinds, I'm not too far off.

Nice try.  You're one of the ones who often offers thoughtful posts, and when scherzo feels like it, he often offers very insightful alternatives to the majority viewpoint.  Even G1223 can do better than he does - I've seen him do it.

This has nothing to do with partisanship, other than that I do believe that there's been quite a bit of vitriol against the sitting president, and that's been quite consistent, which means incivility isn't new.

QT


Lets not kid ourselves here.


This board has a very solid, definitive line here. In fact, it has a double meaning: Conservative vs Liberal, and Bad vs. Good. Go take a look at the QSF forum. Which members are always in trouble, getting warnings? The conservatives. And which ones are the ones doing the most yelling about the "icky" people causing problems? The liberals. Even your post, while I'm not sure you mean it, is a perfect example: when so-and-so *feels* like it....... What the hell is that suppoed to mean? I'll tell you this, right hear, right now: scherzo, G  and I are fairly constant in their conservative viewpoints. I can almost predict what they'll say when I see the posts. It isn't that they "feel" like making a postive contrbution, its just that for whatever reason you agree with us on that particular issue, and as such, it seems like we are trying harder. We aint.

And before anyone starts wagging their finger at me for telling it how it is, this whole thread is one big troll. I'm just keeping with the spirit of the original post. If you dont like me chucking stones and your glass house, then stop kicking rocks at me through the open door.

Edited by RobL, 09 February 2008 - 11:42 PM.

Bring back Darthsikle!


#14 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:40 PM

Cait, respectfully - where do you read me saying anything about sensitivity or tolerance?

In reviewing my comments I find the following:

1. Our guidelines allow people to be as toxic as they want against public figures.
2. In view of that, we have only ourselves to look to to change the tone here.
3. Many of us are trying not to feed toxicity, and to model better discourse.

I have a question for you: what do you suggest? I'm open to your ideas. I mean that sincerely.

QT

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#15 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:44 PM

View PostRobL, on Feb 9 2008, 11:39 PM, said:

Even your post, while I'm not sure you mean it, is a perfect example: when so-and-so *feels* like it....... What the hell is that suppoed to mean?

It means that you named them as examples of people who are the so called "bad boys."  Had you named any of the liberal "bad boys" (or girls, as the case may be), I'd have addressed that too.

To the specific question - scherzo often opts for satire and sarcasm.  While it's often funny, I don't always feel it contributes to dialing back the rhetoric.  He doesn't always though.  Sometimes he posts a well-thought out opinion, and I always appreciate it when he does.  

QT

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#16 Drew

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:48 PM

Geez, guys . . . this is the third presidential election cycle we've all gone through together. Group hug!!!

(Yes, I was at SSBBS in 2000 . . . .)

(Yes, actually, I'm rewatching some of my old Andromeda tapes, and on one of them I managed to record a small bit of election-night coverage between episodes. (Andromeda used to be on Tuesday evenings by us.))
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#17 RobL

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:49 PM

View PostLin731, on Feb 9 2008, 08:34 PM, said:

Quote

"thoughtful" = Those that advocate turning the country into a socialist happyland

Conservative Happyland...Let those nice corporations do whatever they want, afterall they DO know best and they're such caring, compassionate, patriotic folks. Just listen to our President, all we need to do is spend that money he's giving us that he borrowed for China. We go out and spend, spend, spend and everything will turn out just fine. If it doesn't, it's still good cause those nice corporations made alot of money!

I'm not getting the rebate. The powers that be, for whatever reason, decided to cut out about 80% of the taxpaying people out there, because, you know, they work hard for their money, and when they get some back they don't piss it away buying sh*t they don't need.

You can attack Bush as much as you want. However, there is absolute proof out there that he isn't even close to being as bad as you give him credit for. There have been far, far worse presidents than him. Its just that you liberals hold those bad presidents up as your heros, and won't hear one f*ck*ng word about how bad they truely were.

Yeah, I like Bush. But at least I can look at him dispassionately and see the warts too. I just weigh everything, instead of just looking at what I want to see.

Quote

Quote

Of course, I'm just a big conservative meanie and troll blowing everything out of proportion, but seeing how often the line is often drawn, and G, and schizero and I are the ones that get the "bad boy" brand on our behinds, I'm not too far off.

Fess up Rob, you KNOW you love it.  :D

You are lucky that it isn't April yet. That's when my one year probation is up. Then I'd truly tell you what I thought of this comment.

Bring back Darthsikle!


#18 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:57 PM

View PostRobL, on Feb 9 2008, 11:49 PM, said:

You are lucky that it isn't April yet. That's when my one year probation is up. Then I'd truly tell you what I thought of this comment.

I hope we get to keep the RobL we've gotten to know in recent months.  He's a nice guy, and fun to be with.

QT

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#19 QueenTiye

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:59 PM

View PostDrew, on Feb 9 2008, 11:48 PM, said:

Geez, guys . . . this is the third presidential election cycle we've all gone through together. Group hug!!!

(Yes, I was at SSBBS in 2000 . . . .)

(Yes, actually, I'm rewatching some of my old Andromeda tapes, and on one of them I managed to record a small bit of election-night coverage between episodes. (Andromeda used to be on Tuesday evenings by us.))

Wow... old timer... :)  I don't recall being w/ SSBBS in 2000, though I must have been if Andromeda was on.  But I don't think I knew anyone well enough to be talking politics (and SSBBS didn't lend itself much to that, did it?)

QT

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#20 Bad Wolf

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:00 AM

View PostDrew, on Feb 9 2008, 08:48 PM, said:

Geez, guys . . . this is the third presidential election cycle we've all gone through together. Group hug!!!

(Yes, I was at SSBBS in 2000 . . . .)

(Yes, actually, I'm rewatching some of my old Andromeda tapes, and on one of them I managed to record a small bit of election-night coverage between episodes. (Andromeda used to be on Tuesday evenings by us.))

I'm with Drew.

OT is about what I expect it to be.  And that means vitriol over the elections.  From BOTH sides.  Is it perfect?  Not even.  Could we do better?  Yep.  Whether that happens is up to us I guess.  Maybe my expectations are different than what they used to be but I honestly don't think it's any worse than at any other election time.
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