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Old 11-25-2019, 01:20 PM
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Disputation and The Straight Dope Message Board


Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Is it ingracious to say that the ending I had hoped for was that you Tuba, as administrator, would see that Bone clearly had a blind spot that created a deficiency on the board's most vulnerable issue and therefore remove him?

Where were you and this speech over the past week? Why were you not defending the women of this board? Why was a mod clearly in the wrong the only representative of authority? Did you not notice Miller correcting a mistake and owning up to his lapse? This problem corrected itself, but that cannot be the way the board runs.

Bone, I also hope that you will stay on as a poster. We need voices on all sides who see no need to make themselves pittable to gain attention or because they lack simple human decency. The vast majority of people here never get pitted (or get defended if someone is silly enough to do so). That number would be zero in a better world. Getting that number as close to zero as possible should be the board's goal, and fairly easily attainable.

Tuba, it's in your ballpark. Step up to the plate. Hit a home run. And continue sports metaphors to victory.
I have separated this out from Bone's thread to focus on this query exclusively.

1. Bone is no longer a moderator on this board. Like all of us, he had times when he was glorious and times when he was wretched. All moderators have this; we are humans, with all the potential greatness within us and also the most base and faulty choices possible. I've made plenty of both in 23 years here, I freely admit error. None of us are immune. (But we're not always wrong.) We do the best we can with what we have going at any moment. The hope is that we learn the greater lesson from all we do and move forward.

Bone is no longer a moderator on this board. Nothing is changed or improved by trashing him or (literally) Monday Morning Quarterbacking his choices. This should not be used as an opportunity to revile him on the way out. You can disagree with his choices but that doesn't mean you should slap him around.

2. There is no doubt the Board has fallen far from our highest ideals and many of the principles we had in mind about how the community should operate. If you look back over our history you will see rises and falls. There's times we got things exactly right and times we have failed. All we can do is look at where we are, put on our boots, and go back out to strive for betterment.

We are overdue for this evaluation and correction. And it's time for action.

The SDMB reflects our society. Today we are in an increasingly tribal, unceasingly warring culture. People don't discuss or debate in good faith, they decry, they demand, they assault. On the scorched fields of discourse they relentlessly search for targets to attack and destroy. Much of this is played out on the board, and it makes for hard going.

There is much that needs adjusting here. Everyone needs to be less judgmental, less aggressive, less inclined to condemn. There needs to be genuine social discourse. The entire idea about this place to begin with was that this would be a place where we could talk about damn near everything. More and more it's a place where we can't talk about anything.

That's messed up and we're all to blame. We own it all; all the goodness in places and all the toxic spots too. It belongs to all of us. It's the house we all built a post at a time. And 22 millions posts later, here we are.

We can make things better. We can have nice things. It might not be exactly the place you personally envision 100% because we cannot be all things to all people. But we can and should make room for everybody. We can hear most every note in the symphony of the human spirit.

I ask for your assistance and your forbearance too; we can't get there overnight. And we can't get there unless everyone does their part. Be an active force for better; model the attitudes and behavior you want to see here. I believe good content has the potential to drive out the bad. Light can dispel darkness. I believe we can go back to a time when we were more gracious, where we gave the benefit of the doubt, where we respected the right to agree to disagree, when we didn't judge people so hard and so harshly and hated them because they were different.

This change comes from all of us. Please work with me to make it real.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:00 PM
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I agree that we all need to work at being our best selves here. Christ knows I don't manage it, and can work at it.

Something I'd like to ask my fellow leftists to do: please allow space for reasonable opposition. Y'all have seen the James Baldwin quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Baldwin
We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
There's plenty of conservative thought that denies the humanity/right to exist of oppressed groups, sure. I'm not going to list them here out of fear that someone will come along and hijack the thread to squabble over specific examples.

But there's also plenty of conservative thought that *doesn't* do that. Let's disagree and still love one another when the dispute is about, say, how to educate our children, or how to balance personal liberty and tax structure, or how maximize US foreign policy as a force for good in the world.

I think I see people in disagreements trying to change the arena from "we disagree on the best methods" to "we disagree because you're denying humanity." I'd rather we work to shrink that latter category, while still recognizing its strong pernicious influence on major areas of disagreement.

I have things I'd ask for from board conservatives, but I something think my voice isn't the most effective one to make those requests .

--As for Bone, his farewell post included enough jabs at board culture, I'm pretty okay with folks responding to it critically. Had he given a resignation that was more vague, that'd be different; but talking about he can no longer "suffer fools" is pretty much inviting a response.
  #3  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:04 PM
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I'm perfectly willing to stay civil (or go back if I've strayed) on all kinds of contentious issues. Guns, abortion, climate change, tax policy, military spending, calorie disclosure requirements, etc. I fear, however, that I cannot stay civil on discussions involving support of President Trump. I suppose the best I can hope for is refraining from participation entirely.
  #4  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:13 PM
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LHOD, I agree with most everything you said, and I thank you.

We can choose to be kind, especially when people are hurting. It costs us nothing to be gracious. It may even be a lesson. It is not difficult to take the gentler path. I wish we all could do that in our interactions here and elsewhere.

We could even start a little something. What the hell. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it could even be a movement!

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
If you know what I mean and I hope that you do.

Last edited by TubaDiva; 11-25-2019 at 02:13 PM.
  #5  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
LHOD, I agree with most everything you said, and I thank you.

We can choose to be kind, especially when people are hurting.
That's fair. I respect Bone and don't want to kick him when he's down. I get that he's really frustrated and stressed and don't want to add to that stress.

I hope we can hold the same space in our hearts for folks who are so stressed and frustrated over long-time ugly cultural patterns on this board.
  #6  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
But we can and should make room for everybody.
So, you truly have learned nothing from all this, that much is clear.

Since your "everybody" seems to include racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes...the list goes on.
  #7  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
We can choose to be kind, especially when people are hurting. It costs us nothing to be gracious. It may even be a lesson. It is not difficult to take the gentler path. I wish we all could do that in our interactions here and elsewhere.
Thank you. I have adopted "Make America Kind Again" and more specifically "Make [SpoilerVirgin] Kind Again" as my motto this year, and have worked to take that path both IRL and on the board. I would love for that same approach to be adopted by more SDMB participants. Maybe then I could feel more comfortable participating in political discussions and adding my voice to the debate.
  #8  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
So, you truly have learned nothing from all this, that much is clear.

Since your "everybody" seems to include racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes...the list goes on.
Yes, everybody. Don't exclude anyone for what goes on inside their head; just exclude certain types of behavior and language (and, if necessary, people who indulge in it).
  #9  
Old 11-25-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
Thank you. I have adopted "Make America Kind Again" and more specifically "Make [SpoilerVirgin] Kind Again" as my motto this year, and have worked to take that path both IRL and on the board. I would love for that same approach to be adopted by more SDMB participants. Maybe then I could feel more comfortable participating in political discussions and adding my voice to the debate.
Huh.

Obviously, I'm comfortable enough in GD and Elections that I participate there. It occurs to me that we could all stand to hear what people who AREN'T posting there need in order to feel comfortable.

That might almost be worth a separate thread.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:59 PM
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Amen, TubaDiva!!

Too many people make a game out of walking the edge of civility or of crossing that line entirely and then arguing technicalities in an effort to justify themselves. If this Board goes up or down, it does so because of the behavior of the people posting, not because of moderators.

Working in the educational world has shown me first hand that far too many kids have the attitude that it is someone else's job to "make" them behave as opposed to viewing it as a social responsibility that is their own. These kids ultimately become adults. Does that mean that their attitude automatically changes for the better? I don't think so.

It is our responsibility to make this a good place and no one else's. Pretty much all of us can do a better job of it, and that includes me.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
So, you truly have learned nothing from all this, that much is clear.

Since your "everybody" seems to include racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes...the list goes on.
While we strive for an open and inclusive community, there are certain people that are counterproductive to the aims of the denizens of this board.

Chief among them are the cynical, the cruel, the name callers, and the judgmental.

They are accomplices and facilitators to the axe grinders, the agenda seekers, and the trolls.

Everyone can be part of the process to improvement or a step on the Road to Perdition.

I know which one is likely be more productive and a hell of a lot more fun.

Use wisely your freedom of choice.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Another way to look at it.
  #12  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:02 PM
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Again, that sounds like a threat...
  #13  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Amen, TubaDiva!!

Too many people make a game out of walking the edge of civility or of crossing that line entirely and then arguing technicalities in an effort to justify themselves. If this Board goes up or down, it does so because of the behavior of the people posting, not because of moderators.

Working in the educational world has shown me first hand that far too many kids have the attitude that it is someone else's job to "make" them behave as opposed to viewing it as a social responsibility that is their own. These kids ultimately become adults. Does that mean that their attitude automatically changes for the better? I don't think so.

It is our responsibility to make this a good place and no one else's. Pretty much all of us can do a better job of it, and that includes me.
Yes! Double yes with sugar on top!

Thank you!

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
  #14  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
Everyone can be part of the process to improvement or a step on the Road to Perdition.

I know which one is likely be more productive and a hell of a lot more fun.
I get where you're going, but if you're gonna convince me that the process of self-improvement is more fun than the road to perdition, good luck with that.

  #15  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:08 PM
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TubaDiva,

I admire and appreciate your cheerful and optimistic attitude. I hope it's contagious.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I get where you're going, but if you're gonna convince me that the process of self-improvement is more fun than the road to perdition, good luck with that.

The Dark Side does have cookies, I’ve been told.
  #17  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:16 PM
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Thanks TD -- and everyone else involved as well.

And we'll try while I am sure we'll all turn out trying now and again.
  #18  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:29 PM
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first off what would help is making a bright line on personal insults even in the pit and strictly enforcing it
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
first off what would help is making a bright line on personal insults even in the pit and strictly enforcing it
Not really, trolls love "bright lines". "Don't be a jerk" should be the guiding principle.

ETA: I want to make it clear, I am in no way calling you a troll, I just offering up why I don't like the idea of defining specifics. Rules Lawyering is counterproductive.

Last edited by What Exit?; 11-25-2019 at 03:37 PM.
  #20  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:44 PM
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I'm with Jenny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
We could even start a little something. What the hell. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it could even be a movement!
...and if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do, and that's walk into the Dope wherever you are, just walk in an' say "Doper:

You can talk anything you want
At Straight Dope restaurant."


And walk out. ...And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in, singing a bar of Straight Dope Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin' a bar of Straight Dope Restaurant and walking out. And friends, they may thinks it's a movement! And that's what it is, the Straight Dope Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar, with feeling.
  #21  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:48 PM
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I know I stormed out in the other thread but I got to thinking maybe I was too harsh. I saw later on that the poster I was steamed up about did get warned for his post and things seemed to have settle down so I thought I'd see what was going on in the aftermath of all of it.

Firstly, I haven't been here that long so I don't know squat about how this board used to be twenty years ago or ten or five or even one. I can only judge it by how it is now, and how people post now, not how the "good old days" might have been.

Trying to blame everything on current American culture and hinting that everyone who is a member here is all equally to blame seems like a passive-aggressive attempt to pass the buck instead of taking a long hard look at what isn't working and why.

Everyone here makes a big deal out of how the main rule is "don't be a jerk." That means when people act like jerks, the moderators have to STOP them being jerks. Regular posters can't do anything. If you tell someone to stop acting a certain way, you're junior modding. If you call someone a jerk anywhere but the pit, you get in trouble for insulting another poster. If you ask people to stay on topic you get told you dn't get to dictate how people respond to your thread. All you need is one problem poster who thinks "screw you, you're not the boss of me!" and the thread gets overrun.

The moderators DO have that power, but don't always use it. As a result, the posters who are being jerks keep being jerks, other posters are helpless to stop them, so the only ones left in the threads are the jerks and the posters who can't help challenging them for whatever reasons.

You can post all the fluffy sunshine and butterflies feel-good stuff you want, and daydream about the good old days all you want, but that's not going to accomplish anything. Those days are over. This is now. The members you have now are what you have to work with.

If you want to make the board a more civil and welcoming place, DO something! It has to start with recruiting moderators who are willing to call being a jerk what it is and stop it before it gets out of hand. And let the moderators use their discretion to do their jobs. Mods who abuse their power get kicked out. If the problem is too many tedious little conflicting rules that the "rules lawyers" can pick apart for loopholes, ditch all the rules and come up with a few clear ones that allow for leeway in interpretation.

It really does look like you're trying to blame the membership for not being as kind and welcoming as you think they should be. Guess what, trying to guilt them into changing the board on their own won't work. Look at any workplace where the boss won't stand by their employees and see how cheerful and productive they are. Look at a group of kids where the teacher's pet or the class bully is allowed to do whatever they want and tell them to be more accepting and patient. Think about a fine-dining restaurant where someone is yelling and throwing food and making a ruckus but the manager won't tell them to leave, and expect the other guests to enjoy their meals.

Change at the bottom won't come without change at the top.
  #22  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:52 PM
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I propose that for every new rule, that is almost universally seen as stupid and unnecessary by us posters (cough cuntgate /cough), at least one new rule that posters think is a good idea be adopted.

CMC fnord!

Last edited by crowmanyclouds; 11-25-2019 at 03:53 PM.
  #23  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricoteuse View Post
I know I stormed out in the other thread but I got to thinking maybe I was too harsh. I saw later on that the poster I was steamed up about did get warned for his post and things seemed to have settle down so I thought I'd see what was going on in the aftermath of all of it.

Firstly, I haven't been here that long so I don't know squat about how this board used to be twenty years ago or ten or five or even one. I can only judge it by how it is now, and how people post now, not how the "good old days" might have been.

Trying to blame everything on current American culture and hinting that everyone who is a member here is all equally to blame seems like a passive-aggressive attempt to pass the buck instead of taking a long hard look at what isn't working and why.

Everyone here makes a big deal out of how the main rule is "don't be a jerk." That means when people act like jerks, the moderators have to STOP them being jerks. Regular posters can't do anything. If you tell someone to stop acting a certain way, you're junior modding. If you call someone a jerk anywhere but the pit, you get in trouble for insulting another poster. If you ask people to stay on topic you get told you dn't get to dictate how people respond to your thread. All you need is one problem poster who thinks "screw you, you're not the boss of me!" and the thread gets overrun.

The moderators DO have that power, but don't always use it. As a result, the posters who are being jerks keep being jerks, other posters are helpless to stop them, so the only ones left in the threads are the jerks and the posters who can't help challenging them for whatever reasons.

You can post all the fluffy sunshine and butterflies feel-good stuff you want, and daydream about the good old days all you want, but that's not going to accomplish anything. Those days are over. This is now. The members you have now are what you have to work with.

If you want to make the board a more civil and welcoming place, DO something! It has to start with recruiting moderators who are willing to call being a jerk what it is and stop it before it gets out of hand. And let the moderators use their discretion to do their jobs. Mods who abuse their power get kicked out. If the problem is too many tedious little conflicting rules that the "rules lawyers" can pick apart for loopholes, ditch all the rules and come up with a few clear ones that allow for leeway in interpretation.

It really does look like you're trying to blame the membership for not being as kind and welcoming as you think they should be. Guess what, trying to guilt them into changing the board on their own won't work. Look at any workplace where the boss won't stand by their employees and see how cheerful and productive they are. Look at a group of kids where the teacher's pet or the class bully is allowed to do whatever they want and tell them to be more accepting and patient. Think about a fine-dining restaurant where someone is yelling and throwing food and making a ruckus but the manager won't tell them to leave, and expect the other guests to enjoy their meals.

Change at the bottom won't come without change at the top.
100% agreement with 100% of this post.
  #24  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:54 PM
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Cuntgate?? What???
  #25  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
Amen, TubaDiva!!

Too many people make a game out of walking the edge of civility or of crossing that line entirely and then arguing technicalities in an effort to justify themselves. If this Board goes up or down, it does so because of the behavior of the people posting, not because of moderators.

Working in the educational world has shown me first hand that far too many kids have the attitude that it is someone else's job to "make" them behave as opposed to viewing it as a social responsibility that is their own. These kids ultimately become adults. Does that mean that their attitude automatically changes for the better? I don't think so.

It is our responsibility to make this a good place and no one else's. Pretty much all of us can do a better job of it, and that includes me.
That sounds good and all, but it IS on the moderators to set the tone of this board. People who enjoy that game you mentioned aren't going to suddenly not enjoy it because of some kumbaya moment. Somebody has to rein them in, and that somebody is not us. It's the moderators.
  #26  
Old 11-25-2019, 03:59 PM
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Cuntgate?? What???
When Ed (former runner of things) decided that the way to make the Pit a warmer and friendly place was to ban . . . words.
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=508033

CMC fnord!

Last edited by crowmanyclouds; 11-25-2019 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Link
  #27  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:01 PM
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When Ed decided that the way to make the Pit a warmer and friendly place was to ban words.
Is that why we were only recently allowed to say fuck you in the Pit?
  #28  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:01 PM
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Is that why we were only recently allowed to say fuck you in the Pit?
Yep.
  #29  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:08 PM
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Yep.
Am I the only poster to actually get a official warning, instead of your friendly reminder, for saying 'fuck you'?

CMC fnord!
  #30  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:09 PM
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I'm glad I came on board after that. That must have been boring!
  #31  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
The SDMB reflects our society. Today we are in an increasingly tribal, unceasingly warring culture. People don't discuss or debate in good faith, they decry, they demand, they assault. On the scorched fields of discourse they relentlessly search for targets to attack and destroy. Much of this is played out on the board, and it makes for hard going.
...
I ask for your assistance and your forbearance too; we can't get there overnight. And we can't get there unless everyone does their part. Be an active force for better; model the attitudes and behavior you want to see here. I believe good content has the potential to drive out the bad. Light can dispel darkness. I believe we can go back to a time when we were more gracious, where we gave the benefit of the doubt, where we respected the right to agree to disagree, when we didn't judge people so hard and so harshly and hated them because they were different.
I would argue that our culture is facing very different challenges today than what was faced during whatever Golden Age this message board had.
  #32  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:15 PM
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I'm glad I came on board after that. That must have been boring!
No, didn't change the Pit in the slightest.
Entirely because Miller, the true child of Giraffe, knows how to run the Pit.

CMC fnord!
  #33  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:15 PM
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Am I the only poster to actually get a official warning, instead of your friendly reminder, for saying 'fuck you'?

CMC fnord!
Maybe, but one poster was banned for it. Of course he did it multiple times in a row even after being warned for it.
  #34  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:20 PM
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I would argue that our culture is facing very different challenges today than what was faced during whatever Golden Age this message board had.
This golden age never really existed, what’s different is people are Now more willing to call out the overt racism and sexism that run deep in this board.
  #35  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:22 PM
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I would argue that our culture is facing very different challenges today than what was faced during whatever Golden Age this message board had.
I'm not so sure about that, the "Golden Years" were probably during Bush/Cheney not long after the Clinton Impeachment. Politics were pretty chaotic then also.

The bigger problem is message boards are slowly dying, much like newspapers. We lose people at a faster rate than they are replaced. We don't get many younger posters.
  #36  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:29 PM
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This kinder-gentler Dope was a time when rape jokes were considered heeelarious and anyone who disagreed was expected to STFU.
  #37  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:33 PM
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I'm having a boomer moment because I distinctly remember how freewheeling the Dope used to be. The sex topics, the humans sacirfices in the pit, the two faced sock puppets, the egos and meltdowns, oh it was so entertaining. Yeah I've been searching the glory days...sigh/

I don't care for super moderation, anyone can call out a jerk on the spot, but the skill is doing so without being a jerk. THen let it go! FFS someof ya'll beat the horse dead in these threads.
  #38  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:34 PM
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This kinder-gentler Dope was a time when rape jokes were considered heeelarious and anyone who disagreed was expected to STFU.
That was also our kinder-gentler nation.

I think back to the nineties, and ACT-UP's slogan "SILENCE=DEATH." They were shouting to anyone who would listen about how gay men were being killed by public policy. Not many people heard them. Pat Buchanan declared a Culture War at the 1992 Republican National Convention, railing about how homosexuals would destroy our country. He got heard.

I think one of the biggest changes our culture is seeing is that groups that were previously not heard are being heard more now. It's not the only change, but we need to be careful not to confuse lack of vocal dissent with a good society.
  #39  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:38 PM
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Exactly, and the Dope’s response to this awakening is to ask all these new voices to STFU. It’s why I say this is a safe space for old men.
  #40  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:43 PM
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This kinder-gentler Dope was a time when rape jokes were considered heeelarious and anyone who disagreed was expected to STFU.
Yep, and if you acted disgusted by a self-admitted pedophile for claiming that a 4 year old who played "peekabo" with him actually wanted to have sex with him, you got warned for it.

Last edited by muldoonthief; 11-25-2019 at 04:44 PM.
  #41  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:49 PM
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I'm all for kinder and gentler. Ironically, some people are going to have to be forced into it. What changes will there be to moderation? The ones who can't police themselves are the problem, so someone will have to do it for them.
  #42  
Old 11-25-2019, 04:54 PM
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Yep, and if you acted disgusted by a self-admitted pedophile for claiming that a 4 year old who played "peekabo" with him actually wanted to have sex with him, you got warned for it.
And you got a warning for pointing out in a thread about Traci Lords’ porn that they are talking about a minor. You know, the good old days.
  #43  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:08 PM
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I'm all for kinder and gentler. Ironically, some people are going to have to be forced into it. What changes will there be to moderation? The ones who can't police themselves are the problem, so someone will have to do it for them.
I think that not one single rule would have to be changed to make this a better and more welcome place, but that the existing ones have to be applied more strictly, especially about trolling and most important, the IMHO mighty rule "don't be a jerk".
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  #44  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:08 PM
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This kinder-gentler Dope was a time when rape jokes were considered heeelarious and anyone who disagreed was expected to STFU.
Exactly. And "I'll hold them for you" cracks in bra threads. Even today, if someone literally says "Africans are genetically inferior, and by and large lack the capacity to be as intelligent as whites", well, it's the person that calls them "racist" who is being mean-spirited, and trying to censor honest discussion.

Look, I'm civil. Twenty years, I've been civil. But there are real problems that aren't about lack of civility. It's that one person's abstract philosophical debate is someone elae's life.
  #45  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:24 PM
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So I’m not clear what we’re being asked to do. Are they asking me to stop calling out racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry? The answer is no.
  #46  
Old 11-25-2019, 05:51 PM
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Am I the only poster to actually get a official warning, instead of your friendly reminder, for saying 'fuck you'?

CMC fnord!
I'm pretty sure there were one or two other posters who did basically the same thing you did, but I don't recall specifics.
  #47  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:01 PM
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This golden age never really existed, what’s different is people are Now more willing to call out the overt racism and sexism that run deep in this board.
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Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
This kinder-gentler Dope was a time when rape jokes were considered heeelarious and anyone who disagreed was expected to STFU.
It sounds like people who get nostalgic for the "good old days" of the 50s and 60s. Back when racism was socially acceptable and women, if they worked instead of being housewives, could be harassed and told to suck it up and go get married and have babies if they didn't like it. Or women could be abused by their husbands and had to put it with it because divorce was just such a terrible sin.

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Originally Posted by muldoonthief View Post
Yep, and if you acted disgusted by a self-admitted pedophile for claiming that a 4 year old who played "peekabo" with him actually wanted to have sex with him, you got warned for it.
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Originally Posted by Manda JO View Post
Exactly. And "I'll hold them for you" cracks in bra threads. Even today, if someone literally says "Africans are genetically inferior, and by and large lack the capacity to be as intelligent as whites", well, it's the person that calls them "racist" who is being mean-spirited, and trying to censor honest discussion.
Ugh! That's exactly what I was talking about! You can't call a jerk, whether it's racist, sexist, or just plain creepy, a jerk without getting in trouble yourself, and the trolls and shit-stirrers know that and take advantage of it. That's why you need moderators who are willing to put their feet dowbn on that kind of stuff, and why they have to be allowed to do it.

Quote:
Look, I'm civil. Twenty years, I've been civil. But there are real problems that aren't about lack of civility. It's that one person's abstract philosophical debate is someone elae's life.
Good point.
  #48  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:11 PM
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I know I stormed out in the other thread but I got to thinking maybe I was too harsh. I saw later on that the poster I was steamed up about did get warned for his post and things seemed to have settle down so I thought I'd see what was going on in the aftermath of all of it.

Firstly, I haven't been here that long so I don't know squat about how this board used to be twenty years ago or ten or five or even one. I can only judge it by how it is now, and how people post now, not how the "good old days" might have been.

Trying to blame everything on current American culture and hinting that everyone who is a member here is all equally to blame seems like a passive-aggressive attempt to pass the buck instead of taking a long hard look at what isn't working and why.

Everyone here makes a big deal out of how the main rule is "don't be a jerk." That means when people act like jerks, the moderators have to STOP them being jerks. Regular posters can't do anything. If you tell someone to stop acting a certain way, you're junior modding. If you call someone a jerk anywhere but the pit, you get in trouble for insulting another poster. If you ask people to stay on topic you get told you dn't get to dictate how people respond to your thread. All you need is one problem poster who thinks "screw you, you're not the boss of me!" and the thread gets overrun.

The moderators DO have that power, but don't always use it. As a result, the posters who are being jerks keep being jerks, other posters are helpless to stop them, so the only ones left in the threads are the jerks and the posters who can't help challenging them for whatever reasons.

You can post all the fluffy sunshine and butterflies feel-good stuff you want, and daydream about the good old days all you want, but that's not going to accomplish anything. Those days are over. This is now. The members you have now are what you have to work with.

If you want to make the board a more civil and welcoming place, DO something! It has to start with recruiting moderators who are willing to call being a jerk what it is and stop it before it gets out of hand. And let the moderators use their discretion to do their jobs. Mods who abuse their power get kicked out. If the problem is too many tedious little conflicting rules that the "rules lawyers" can pick apart for loopholes, ditch all the rules and come up with a few clear ones that allow for leeway in interpretation.

It really does look like you're trying to blame the membership for not being as kind and welcoming as you think they should be. Guess what, trying to guilt them into changing the board on their own won't work. Look at any workplace where the boss won't stand by their employees and see how cheerful and productive they are. Look at a group of kids where the teacher's pet or the class bully is allowed to do whatever they want and tell them to be more accepting and patient. Think about a fine-dining restaurant where someone is yelling and throwing food and making a ruckus but the manager won't tell them to leave, and expect the other guests to enjoy their meals.

Change at the bottom won't come without change at the top.
Excellent.
  #49  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:15 PM
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Exactly. And "I'll hold them for you" cracks in bra threads. Even today, if someone literally says "Africans are genetically inferior, and by and large lack the capacity to be as intelligent as whites", well, it's the person that calls them "racist" who is being mean-spirited, and trying to censor honest discussion.

Look, I'm civil. Twenty years, I've been civil. But there are real problems that aren't about lack of civility. It's that one person's abstract philosophical debate is someone elae's life.
The problem with that is every contentious concept that could be debated/argued about in a forum such as Great Debates when extrapolated to the real world inevitably has real life consequences. It’s the nature of the forum. Sure you can call it Great Debates and only allow one side just like Elections can be DNC HQ as well. But then the names are farcical.

NYT just had an editorial on the Venezuelan sanctions. Children are dying as we type, in part, because of the sanctions. If we were to debate the pros and cons of using sanctions as a tool for regime change would it be appropriate to call one advocating the pro sanction side a racist baby killer? Should the debate be disallowed because the fact that children are dying is too emotionally damaging for some to discuss?

Like the pit, nobody is forced to participate in a debate or a topic they find distasteful.

Last edited by octopus; 11-25-2019 at 06:16 PM.
  #50  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post

The bigger problem is message boards are slowly dying, much like newspapers. We lose people at a faster rate than they are replaced. We don't get many younger posters.
And there are fewer around to absorb any fringes that pop up; making people bail even faster. But I still think this is one of the ones that will last.
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