But in my opinion, it's completely failed in that objective. It's become overwhelmingly dominated by current events, political debate and polemic, with barely a trace of actual scholarly analysis. Even those few threads which manage to touch on historical subjects always seem to end up turning into political debates. So it seems to me that the forum has ended up being exactly what the critics of the idea were afraid it would be, just a way to siphon off the hot topics from The Beach, and that those of us who wanted a forum about history and social science still don't have one.
Now, I know that in a "free marketplace of ideas" like this one, the forum ends up being what the community as a whole wants it to be. But it feels to me like the whole point of the original suggestion has been missed. And I have to wonder whether there's anything about the discussions in OT that are fundamentally different from the political discussion in The Beach before the split -- in other words, if the split has turned out to have been really necessary at all.
I'm not proposing any course of action here, just voicing my impressions. Certainly it'd be pointless to try splitting off yet another forum just for those apparently few of us who are more interested in the social science behind the news, or in historical discussions unrelated to current events, than in debating the news itself. Maybe folks could at least try a little harder to include such threads in the mix. But as long as the forum is so dominated by current events and politics, I'm not really that interested in sticking around to make the effort, because current events and politics just depress me.
Edited by Cait, 21 September 2012 - 02:53 PM.