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Old 08-13-2009, 03:55 AM
mhendo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 25,493
As someone who probably spends more time in The Pit than anywhere else, i think i agree with the majority of Lib's post.

I can see where Fenris is coming from with the politics thing, but i've had plenty of political debates in The Pit that were, as Lib suggested, replete with both well-formulated arguments and fierce invective. And there are times when the latter is essential, when retards simply refuse to recognize the validity and accuracy of my arguments and need to be told to fuck right off.

Seriously, though, there are people here who are constantly dishonest in their debating, and who mask the rudeness of their mendacity with a politeness of language and phrasing. If we are going to remove politics from The Pit, so that we can no longer call these people assholes and liars, then the only reasonable alternative is to have some sort of greater oversight in GD, whereby people who blatantly misrepresent the facts or other people's arguments are taken to task for it and told to knock it off. And that's not really going to be feasible, or even desirable, so i think there's still a place for politics in The Pit.

Of course, there's also the question of what constitutes a "political" thread. Clearly, some screed about Palin, or about someone criticizing Palin, or about Obama, or about someone criticizing Obama, is a political topic. But what about something like abortion, gun control, police abuse of power, the death penalty, etc., etc., etc. These topics, while not narrowly about politicians and political parties, are political in both the general sense of affecting all our lives, and in the more specific sense of being key issues when elections come around.

Of course, one issue with The Pit (whether it's a problem will depend on your personal perspective), is that, while it does engender some excellent debates, those can sometimes have the effect of narrowing down the thread to two or three committed debaters, and leaving everyone else feeling bored or marginalized. The result, then, is that people no longer feel that the thread is fun, and it either dies or just goes on as a relatively small conversation between a few people.

In pointing this out, i'm not pointing fingers at other people. I know for a fact that i've been the culprit on more than a few occasions in such threads, debating on and on with one or two others while everyone else abandons the thread. The question, i guess, is whether people feel that this is a bad thing, or whether it's simply unavoidable in some situations. After all, some GD threads end up the same way.

Anyway, i'm also fully on board with the idea of keeping silly RO threads, and obvious, uncontroversial crap ("Child rapists are bad!!!") out of The Pit.

One final thing: When deciding to put a thread in The Pit, my criteria has often been not simply whether i'm actually pitting someone, or angry at someone or something. I have also tended to look at the subject matter itself, and to make a determination based on whether or not i think it will elicit strong emotions and hostile debate. If it;s something that gets me angry, but that i think everyone will agree about, i generally put it in MPSIMS. But if think that some people will agree with me, while others will have a completely contrary position, i'll probably put it in The Pit.