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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:36 am
by Dayna
This always upsets me, that things go along here so well, & then it all falls apart again,. I don't want to loose anyone, really.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:26 am
by Dayna
This makes me feel so nervous in a way, I feel like I just want to stay away for a day or two. Maybe that's a good idea.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:27 am
by Jonathan E.
Dayna wrote:This always upsets me, that things go along here so well, & then it all falls apart again,. I don't want to loose anyone, really.

But it doesn't all fall apart. One squeaky wheel gets extra noisy. That's all — and then we gush all over it and wring our hands. And somebody stays away for a while and then posts again and it's almost forgotten for awhile and somebody plots revenge and somebody else goes on holiday and mostly people yak about music and the sun shines for a day or two and the stars come out and birds migrate and the tides rise and fall and it's all just perfectly normal life. Who's losing anyone? People drift in and out repeatedly. It's just a bit stage-y to announce one's entrances and exits in dialogue. But, as an old drama queen myself, I can understand the entertainment and attraction of the various announcements. Oh, well, I must go now! My cheap psychologist — he's nowhere near as expensive as a real psychiatrist — tells me I must have a lie-down. Yawn!

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:14 am
by Ted
Jonathan E. wrote:However, as an informal operating principle, it strikes me as possibly worthwhile. Just requires a bit of self-control and refusal to take the bait.


That was what I meant. I wasn't proposing lists, badges, CCTV etc.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:55 am
by Charlie
Charlie wrote:Are there other actions that I am unable to see?

Maybe the solution is simple - I just need to censor any posting that includes offensive language, but cutting out the offending words or phrases. Would this be acceptable/recommended?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:36 pm
by Quintin
I don't know whether it's possible technically on this Forum but on one which I spend far too much time (the traveller's site The Hubb) miscreants have their postings moderated until they show they have learnt to behave themselves. Even if it is possible, I appreciate that the candidates for moderators all have busy lives so it may simply be impractical. Ultimately though if people can't be trusted to behave decently I'm afraid they should be banned. A further point, and one alluded to by the ever-sensible Dayna, is that bad behaviour actually discourages people from posting if they think they run the risk of someone saying something unpleasant.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:46 pm
by Alan Balfour
Without wishing to stir the pot further for the past decade I have belonged to two blues discussion groups based at Yahoo and they’ve both been havens of tranquillity.

Yahoo Forums use the moderation method. New members are by default set to moderated and their posts/replies get examined by the owner/moderator for approval or otherwise. If the latter the member is contacted with suggestions of how to make the post acceptable. Should they not wish to do this the post is withheld from the membership. It is at the discretion of the moderator as to when a member comes off moderation but usually it's after three months. However, any member can be set to moderation at anytime. Both the groups I belong to issue an FAQ of what is and isn't 'acceptable behaviour'.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:02 pm
by Jonathan E.
Charlie wrote:
Charlie wrote:Are there other actions that I am unable to see?

Maybe the solution is simple - I just need to censor any posting that includes offensive language, but cutting out the offending words or phrases. Would this be acceptable/recommended?

As someone who has gotten into trouble almost my entire life for the use, judicious and injudicious, of various "bad" words, I can't say I am enthused unless those words are known and announced publicly so that any George Carlin wannabes can mock the list in an "artistic" way. I think that the occasional use of a "naughty" word may possibly indicate a lack of imagination or ability to manipulate the English language creatively, but, on the other hand, it can also emphasize a point in a quick, shorthand sort of way. And there are people who can only read that way. Anyway, it's not swearing that's the major, major problem here; it's the longstanding antagonism between one particular member and two or three others (maybe more) and the subsequent abrupt remarks, which, OK, probably should not include cuss words or personal insults, followed by the infuriating suggestion of having "a lie-down."

We all — well speaking for myself anyway — get into the occasional bout of disagreement with one or another member and argue strongly and even in terms that include personal reference to various attributes of that person, hopefully oriented towards their statements rather than general personality. However, it seems to me that the ultimate goal we should have here is that, once those differences are aired, we all try to get along in a reasonable manner. Some of us find it (almost) irresistible to push the boundaries in ways, minor and major; some of us find that offensive almost by definition. However, just like any group of people, while you're not going to agree with everyone all the time, for the group to be successful you must have certain common assumptions. Prime among them I would say is that everyone is acting in good faith. That question of acting in good faith is what I think is being questioned here. The use of language is only an indicator of the deeper conflicting currents.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:06 pm
by Jonathan E.
Alan Balfour wrote: . . . Both the groups I belong to issue an FAQ of what is and isn't 'acceptable behaviour'.

Perhaps you could post those FAQs here, please. It might help us understand how to do things better. I think one of our problems is that we don't have a generally accepted and enforced set of rules here. Things drift until the ship of the Forum runs aground on jagged rocks.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:29 pm
by Charlie
Jonathan E. wrote:I think one of our problems is that we don't have a generally accepted and enforced set of rules here. Things drift until the ship of the Forum runs aground on jagged rocks.

By instinct I am against rules, and so far this forum has survived without them.

All we are missing here is for Des to acknowledge that he stepped out of line and apologise to Norman.

This kind of thing has happened before, for example when regular contributor A backed away from the forum after feeling that (s)he had been slighted. I felt at the time that A had both provoked contributor B's reaction and misinterpreted the intentions of B but it turned out that B sent pms to A that reinforced A's original impression.

It all quickly gets murky

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:53 pm
by Des
I admit that my language was strong, but I feel aggrieved and totally undermined by Norman's comments. He comes across as a controlling, sanctimonious and condescending person who treats anyone who does not agree with him as a fraud, and I have no wish to have anything more to do with him - if you want to delete my account or whatever you do with miscreants, Charlie, please feel free to do it.

I also admit I am an attention-seeker - I enjoy the rough and tumble of conversation in the workplace and down the pub and delight in amusing others. I do however see that my real-life persona is very different from my 'online' one and that things I say in the flesh are not the same as on the forum - for some reason I do like conflict on SOTW but I can't say exactly why. Maybe that's the nature of the internet. My political views accord with most on this forum yet I also feel the need to play Devil's advocate all the time - I think it is a useful way of perhaps crystallizing one's own principles and ideals and questioning assumptions.

I apologise to Adam and Dayna about the Roger Mellie thing, even though Viz humour operates on several levels of satire and irony, and my adoption of the name was also ironic.

I leave it to Charlie to decide what to do next.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:06 pm
by Charlie
Slarty Bartfarst wrote:I feel aggrieved and totally undermined by Norman's commentsand I have no wish to have anything more to do with him

Thanks for such an honest self-portrait, Slarty. In general, I have welcomed your presence here and recognised hat it is good to have somebody taking a different stance from the rest of us. But your clear articulation here of what annoyed you in Norman's post is much better than using an expletive. Even better if you decline to be provoked and let the matter lie.

I don't plan to make any changes, and hope Norman will feel that is is safe to step back in without fear of being jumped upon.

A slight return

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:49 pm
by NormanD
(I) hope Norman will feel that is is safe to step back in without fear of being jumped upon.
Are you kidding? Of course I won't step back in. My own safety I can cope with, it's that of others you should be concerned about, Charlie.

The juiciest part of his message, criticising me, is what you choose to quote back? Not exactly an ideal reconciliation process....

I do, genuinely, feel sorry for Des, especially after hearing the justification for his behaviour. Perhaps "nebbish" was the wrong word to have used. I should have thought first and came up with something more descriptive, but even my mother's tongue has left me short.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:22 pm
by Jonathan E.
Charlie wrote:
Jonathan E. wrote:I think one of our problems is that we don't have a generally accepted and enforced set of rules here. Things drift until the ship of the Forum runs aground on jagged rocks.

By instinct I am against rules, and so far this forum has survived without them.

Well, yes, my preference too — "problems" was too strong a word — and I think generally things work fine around here. I was just curious about what others find useful.

Charlie wrote:All we are missing here is for Des to acknowledge that he stepped out of line and apologise to Norman.

Not an apology, not even a mealy-mouthed one — but you've gotta admit the man made his case. Even if you don't agree with it entirely.

Charlie wrote:This kind of thing has happened before, for example when regular contributor A backed away from the forum after feeling that (s)he had been slighted. I felt at the time that A had both provoked contributor B's reaction and misinterpreted the intentions of B but it turned out that B sent pms to A that reinforced A's original impression.

Ah! The good old days!

Charlie wrote:It all quickly gets murky

No kidding!

I'd like Norman to return as a sign of his own strength. I didn't really follow the original spat and found it hard to reconstruct from the moved-around threads. I suspect, as usual, that there's two sides to the story — actually I know there is — and I value the contributions of both Norman and Des to the Forum even though, or especially, because I do not always agree with them. Both of them annoy me from time to time — and I suspect very strongly that I annoy them on (extremely rare) occasions. Through that, and making an effort to communicate, I have at least established an outside relationship with Norman that I consider a friendship, one I value.

Of course, the decision here is Norman's — but I'm happy enough that Charlie doesn't plan to make any changes. "A wily old diplomat" is what he was called by another Forum member with whom I have had serious disagreements over substance, who also appears to have absented himself, but I wish he would pop in every so often to say something provocative. Life gets a bit boring very fast for me if everybody is too nice and agreeable all the time. Not that unmitigated rudeness is desirable. Some sort of style to the debate is essential.

Hey! I'm outta here. I want my breakfast!