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Level of Discourse in OT

OT Civility 2009

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#21 NeuralClone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:38 AM

View Postsierraleone, on Jun 9 2009, 12:35 PM, said:

^ Well, I don't think Specs thinks it will eliminate behaviour complete, but hopefully *a little* in the people who perhaps engage in it the most often, and even more hopefully, the people who engage in it in response to others starting it. If they know its especially not welcome in the thread, that they will be marginalized from the discussion in the thread as well, and people will generally be participating in this thread because they want reasoned discourse, so if you want it its there. We can suggest, if 2 people are going at it within guidelines in one of these threads, to take it to PM or start their own thread. Thats the only place were I can see someone wanting a mod (unless they want stronger moderation in general), is if the thread-starter request a thread split because of too much of the undesirable behavior.
Oops, I wasn't fast enough with the edit button. :hehe: I agree though. I doubt it would eliminate the behavior. The only way to actually eliminate it would be to have significantly stronger moderation, which isn't something I'd want either.
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#22 NeuralClone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:40 AM

View Postsierraleone, on Jun 9 2009, 12:35 PM, said:

(ETA: you know now NeuralClone, people probably don't know what I'm responding to, since you edited out a whole paragraph :D maybe you thought it was too repetitious, but just so you know, I caught that paragraph before you deleted it ;) or am I going crazy  :dontgetit: ;) )
:lol: Nah, you aren't crazy. There was another paragraph there that mysteriously vanished between the time you starting responding and the time you hit submit. Sorry about that. :blush: But yeah, I thought it was a bit repetitious.
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#23 SparkyCola

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:42 AM

Ok, listen up. Please pay attention to the following:

The Guidelines said:

B. The following behaviors should also not occur on the board; the community as well as the staff may intervene to stop them. If members persist in such behaviors even after being asked to stop them, warnings may be issued:

1. Importing disputes begun on other cyber places to Ex Isle or pursuing disagreements begun on ExIsle by referencing, quoting or linking to disputatious remarks made by EI members in other cyber places.

Please consider this your official "being asked to stop". If anyone continues to import this dispute from another board, warnings may have to be issued and none of us want that, so please either take your argument to PM, or quit it entirely. Thanks!

Sparky

Edited by SparkyCola, 09 June 2009 - 11:43 AM.

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#24 SparkyCola

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

Regarding the topic of conversation itself...

Rather predictably, I'm all for it! Anything which encourages more civil discussion is welcome. In my opinion, it is at the very least worth a try.

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#25 Balderdash

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:49 AM

View PostSparkyCola, on Jun 9 2009, 09:42 AM, said:

Ok, listen up. Please pay attention to the following:

The Guidelines said:

B. The following behaviors should also not occur on the board; the community as well as the staff may intervene to stop them. If members persist in such behaviors even after being asked to stop them, warnings may be issued:

1. Importing disputes begun on other cyber places to Ex Isle or pursuing disagreements begun on ExIsle by referencing, quoting or linking to disputatious remarks made by EI members in other cyber places.

Please consider this your official "being asked to stop". If anyone continues to import this dispute from another board, warnings may have to be issued and none of us want that, so please either take your argument to PM, or quit it entirely. Thanks!

Sparky

Thank you.  :)

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#26 Paul

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:58 AM

To be honest, I think this will likely fail if not enforced very strictly, as I am willing to bet everybody in OT believes his/her post to be well-researched and argued.
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#27 Spectacles

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:11 PM

View PostPaul, on Jun 9 2009, 12:58 PM, said:

To be honest, I think this will likely fail if not enforced very strictly, as I am willing to bet everybody in OT believes his/her post to be well-researched and argued.


True, but when we disagree, when we see flaws, we can point them out more respectfully than has become the norm. Furthermore, we need to be receptive to the possibility that we don't have all the information and haven't considered all possibilities.

I'm not envisioning a disagreement-free discussion, just not a disagreeable one.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

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#28 sierraleone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:18 PM

View PostPaul, on Jun 9 2009, 12:58 PM, said:

To be honest, I think this will likely fail if not enforced very strictly, as I am willing to bet everybody in OT believes his/her post to be well-researched and argued.

Well researched *and* well-argued? Myself no, but probably why I don't participate in threads requiring a lot of background knowledge, except to hedge it with "and from what I understand/know/have heard, I believe..." and usual expect to find someone more knowledgeable to confirm it or disprove it. (ETA: Some kinds I'll frequently read and lurk in, because I enjoy/want to know more about the topics, but don't feel comfortable participating in the discussion).  In topics that are more opinion/value/moral based (abortion/gay marriage, etc) I do tend to believe I argue well ;) Not well-researched usually (though I've picked up info from various places that I'd have to find again, or find something similar, to back facts and stats about those subjects, but I'm a bad gatherer, my fuzzy brain is good at gathering and retaining information I find interesting, but ask me where I got it from I likely couldn't recall off hand ;) ). But thats just me, but I think I'm part of the in OT *everybody* :)

Edited by sierraleone, 09 June 2009 - 12:23 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.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#29 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:22 PM

Well here are my thoughts.

Back on the Nutforum people tried to designate topics "free" of certain kinds of posts that would tend to lead to unpleasantries.

At Slipstream people tried the whole Naysayers v. Nonnaysayers thing for discussions about Andromeda.

Neither worked.  In my view, just because you start a thread does not mean you own what happens after and in my experience the reaction to telling people how to post is that people will resist.  

The other thing is this:  beyond what the guidelines already say about how to interact with one another, what exactly is being proposed here?  Something additional?  I think if that's the case then someone needs to bring that up in the appropriate place (i.e., not in OT).  

If on the other hand all that's being suggested is some kind of icon reminding people to be nice, well, okay but we already have guidelines for that.

Finally, who gets to decide what is "disagreeable".  I certainly hope no one is suggesting that "disagreeable" be the new benchmark for interaction.  While it is a nice idea I think that enforcing that kind of thing would involve the kind of heavier handed moderation that has repeatedly been rejected at ExIsle.
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#30 sierraleone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:32 PM

^ I think mainly what is wanted is another tool for self-moderation. Yes, we already have the ability to not respond (or respond kindly) to poster who are not behaving civilly, but within guidelines. But it'd be nice to have a visual reminder to kindly keep a topic within reasoned discourse. It may not work, but I'd like to give it a try. I figure its like a four way stop ( is that the correct terminology?) Everyone knows at an intersection with traffic lights what the rules are and when to go and when not to. Some of course, disregard them anyways. Then there are 3 way/4 way stops with no lights and people have to pay more attention. Certainly there are still rules, but due to lack of lights people are slowing down and paying more attention, more conscious of their behaviour. And as I said above, it doesn't need to be in every thread. Some threads are meant to be rant-fests (or start off as rant-fests ;) ). Of course they usually aren't aimed at specific posters, as long as everyone is ranting at the same thing, its not a problem ;) (and by rant-fest I don't mean violate guidelines, but get vocal, loud, and near-hysterical, whether the topic deserves it or not, sometimes those threads everyone just has a cathartic outlet... reasoned discourse is not expected there. Personal attacks should not be expected either, since they are against guidelines).

If we do get a icon, I think it should be scales. That seems to make the most sense.
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

#31 Rhea

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:33 PM

I think Specs is just saying that she'd like to be able to designate some threads as dicussion zones where, if you participate, you are expected to back up what you're saying with facts, rather than random repeat arguments with no facts and little bearing on the topic.

It takes work to go out and find materials that actually back up your assertions, true, but it makes for a much more interesting dicussion. And I have no problem with an icon that designates such discussions.  It's also a warning to people who never bother to back up their rants that this is a rant-free, fact-based discussion.      

Nobody's asking for a change in moderation, just a chance to try designating some threads as bring-your-facts threads, not rant threads. And folks who try to change the dicussion into a rant by not providing facts or just randomly carrying on can be politely ignored for the duration of that thread.

I might not always want to put in the work to look up materials to back up my position, but I'd definitely enjoy it when I have the time.

Lil, it's not about being "nice" - it's about marking some threads with an icon so you'd know it was fact time, not rant time.  I'd say like debating, but that's too formal for here.

Edited by Rhea, 09 June 2009 - 12:35 PM.

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#32 Nonny

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:49 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Jun 9 2009, 09:42 AM, said:

Ok, listen up. Please pay attention to the following:

The Guidelines said:

B. The following behaviors should also not occur on the board; the community as well as the staff may intervene to stop them. If members persist in such behaviors even after being asked to stop them, warnings may be issued:

1. Importing disputes begun on other cyber places to Ex Isle or pursuing disagreements begun on ExIsle by referencing, quoting or linking to disputatious remarks made by EI members in other cyber places.

Please consider this your official "being asked to stop". If anyone continues to import this dispute from another board, warnings may have to be issued and none of us want that, so please either take your argument to PM, or quit it entirely. Thanks!

Sparky
I would be happy to take it to pm, but I already tried that, to no avail.  I had hoped that tempers would calm after the election, again, disappointment.  Now, since the same fight was fought simultaneously on this mb and at this forum during the election, I have the right to point out that, while I bent over backwards to NOT attack former friends, at least two of those former friends occasionally offer bait.  Though I have no intention of rising to it, I will bring it to moderator attention any time it happens in future.  If that results in self-moderation, that would make me very happy.
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#33 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:51 PM

^  That's not my take but Specs will correct me if I'm wrong.  Fact back up is certainly one component of it but there's more, or so I'm reading it:

Quote

If people violate the rules of discussion on the thread

The *rule* of discussion.  Seems pretty clear to me.

Quote

, they can be gently reminded of them. If they persist, then they're trolling and any credibility they'd like to think they have is shot: they just have a bug up their ass about something and want to act out. We can ignore them and continue the discussion.

Trolling?

Quote

I am NOT saying that I want heavier moderation. Instead, I am wondering if thread-starters may be able to designate certain threads as "flame-free" zones: do not enter unless you can debate points with solid evidence instead of snide remarks or hysterical rants. Do not enter unless you can consider the possibility that you haven't considered all angles on the topic. Do not enter unless you are willing to engage in a fallacy-free, logical, supported-with-solid-evidence discussion that will be beneficial to all involved, in agreement or not. We can all learn things from one another even when we don't see eye-to-eye.

Flame free zones?  And not to put too fine a point on it but it's perfectly possible to engage in flaming at the same time as backing up a statement with facts.  They're not mutually exclusive.  So to me it does look like a "be nicer" thing.


All this said, I'm all for trying to hold discussions that are heavy on the factual disagreements and light on the hyperbole and such and of course I appreciate Specs and anyone else who wants to strive for that :D  I'm just not seeing the merits of designating particular threads for that kind of discussion when really they all ought to be this way especially if no one is actually asking for any kind of guideline change or additional moderator action.

Lil
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#34 BklnScott

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:55 PM

Agree strongly with Lil.

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#35 sierraleone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:59 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on Jun 9 2009, 01:51 PM, said:

All this said, I'm all for trying to hold discussions that are heavy on the factual disagreements and light on the hyperbole and such and of course I appreciate Specs and anyone else who wants to strive for that :D  I'm just not seeing the merits of designating particular threads for that kind of discussion when really they all ought to be this way especially if no one is actually asking for any kind of guideline change or additional moderator action.

Lil

Why really they all (discussions) ought to be that way - based on factual disagreements? We're human, we have emotions *and* brains, and I bet few would argue our brains (or I should say intellect, both the intellect and emotions come from the brain) should always overrule our emotions, or vice versa. I suppose maybe you are arguing OT threads should be like that, but OT is not *just* about intellectual discussions (even if you ignore what this thread is discussing). For example, when someone started that thread about that pre-teen girl in brazil who's family & doctors were excommunicated for providing her an abortion, I expected heated feelings and emotions to be obvious there, not cool calm rational reasonable debate. And that is perfectly fine for some topics. As long as people don't allow their emotions to drive them towards violating EI Guidelines.
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

#36 Balderdash

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:03 PM

I disagree completely with Lil and Scott.  I think Specs idea has merit.  If people want to drag their partisan strawmen into an argument than they will be on notice to back it up or look the fool.

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"Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality"  by HRC


#37 Dev F

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:09 PM

The difficulty I see is that this presumes that people are aware that their arguments are irrational or argumentative. As a board, we seem chronically incapable of identifying in our own posts the things that we find so galling in other people's. We'll wax hypocritical while bemoaning someone else's hypocrisy, complain about thinly veiled insults while hurling thinly veiled insults ourselves, and on and on. So I worry that any attempt to self-regulate the level of discourse will degenerate into "I'm not being irrational! You're being irrational!" snipefests.

#38 BklnScott

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:11 PM

baldy said:

I disagree completely with Lil and Scott. I think Specs idea has merit. If people want to drag their partisan strawmen into an argument than they will be on notice to back it up or look the fool.

Everyone is *already* on notice to "back it up or look the fool."  Looking the fool happens on its own.  It's not something the mods can or should impose -- especially if mods expect to be able to function as members, which we *do*.

Edited by BklnScott, 09 June 2009 - 01:12 PM.

Quote

There isn't enough mommy in the world to further a cause like yours!

#39 sierraleone

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:20 PM

View PostDev F, on Jun 9 2009, 02:09 PM, said:

The difficulty I see

I don't recall anyone suggest this would be *easy* and an icon would solve everything. Human behaviour is notoriously difficult to control :) I think we/they are saying they want something added to the tool box, whether its defective out of the box or not we won't know until its tried. I imagine results will be varied and uneven, but I don't begrudge people wanting this as a tool.

(if not a set of scales icon, maybe a handshake icon?)

Quote

is that this presumes that people are aware that their arguments are irrational or argumentative. As a board, we seem chronically incapable of identifying in our own posts the things that we find so galling in other people's. We'll wax hypocritical while bemoaning someone else's hypocrisy, complain about thinly veiled insults while hurling thinly veiled insults ourselves, and on and on. So I worry that any attempt to self-regulate the level of discourse will degenerate into "I'm not being irrational! You're being irrational!" snipefests.

As I said above, I imagine the results will be varied and uneven, so I expect to see the same things you worry about, at least sometimes. I can only hope others in the thread will continue to pull those posters in a different direction, or ignore them or the specific behaviours that are problematic. Of course there will be disagreement. Of course people will see things differently. Sometimes there will be compelling evidence on *both* sides and the answer will lie in the middle. That doesn't mean both sides will admit to it ;) :)

Edited by sierraleone, 09 June 2009 - 01:21 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.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#40 Balderdash

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:25 PM

View PostBklnScott, on Jun 9 2009, 11:11 AM, said:

baldy said:

I disagree completely with Lil and Scott. I think Specs idea has merit. If people want to drag their partisan strawmen into an argument than they will be on notice to back it up or look the fool.

Everyone is *already* on notice to "back it up or look the fool."  Looking the fool happens on its own.  It's not something the mods can or should impose -- especially if mods expect to be able to function as members, which we *do*.


No they aren't already on notice or we wouldn't be having this discussion and I believe that Specs has said she is looking for self-moderation not more mod moderation.

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



"Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality"  by HRC




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