Just kill the Pit

File this under “trying to be constructive.”

I never did buy the “we need a place to vent” argument, and in my estimation the changes now will create more, not less friction. The rules are more confusing, not less, and practically beg people to waste the mod’s time with arguments over why X was an insult but Y was abuse. With multiple mods, it’s inevitable that there will be inconsistiency, and the easily-dramatized will be aching to make every one into the latest example of Jackbootery.

My suggestion: just get rid of the Pit entirely. It’s always been ridiculous, and will remain so, to think that a forum where people are allowed to say “People of political party X are all swine” will not affect the tone in GD; that a thread that says “Xtisme, you are a child abuser” will not affect concurrent discussion of spanking in IMHO; or that legal insults – even non-abusive insults, whatever the hell they are – in general are not going to lead to acrimony and grudges.

Yes, killing the pit will make some leave; but Ed’s already indicated that that’s a consequence he can live with in order to “raise the tone.” Frankly, so am I. But if you want to raise the tone, do it, and just kill the pit off entirely instead of doing it by half-measures.
[li]Posts about other posters could be put into IMHO and conducted under IMHO rules: “I think X is being unfair here.” The acronym should stand for “In my Honest Opinion,” but it will remain “for frank exchanges of views on less-than-cosmic topics.” If less-than-cosmic isn’t an apt description of most poster-on-poster slapfights, I don’t know what the hell is.[/li]
[li]RO threads should be discouraged, but when they happen they can go in GD, IMHO or MPSIMS as appropriate.[/li]
If someone really needs to vent, we can acknowledge that there are boards where people discuss the SDMB with gloves fully off, and suggest people find them. No links and no crossboard traffic rules remain. Just say that if you have a problem with someone, you can “PM them and/or take it elsewhere.” The other places are not hard to find and the people who are into that sort of thing already use them; take advantage of this.[/ul]

I hate to say it but I agree. My interest in the Pit ebbs and flows. Sometimes I check it out multiple times a day. Sometimes I ignore it for a while. I don’t see myself going back to it anytime soon. Sad to say I’ll probably read the snarkpit more often than the Pit.

Hell no.

Firstly, I and others use the Pit to bitch about things as a method of letting off steam before getting back to whatever we need to do (see, my multiple pittings of work, my printers, my boss, and my coworkers.) It’s not generally appropriate to swear, bitch, etc on such occasions and the Pit provides a place and time to do that (and occasionally provides solutions, although that’s not the point.) Why should I or others become known at another forum enough to feel comfortable bitching there (or alternately, become known as the poster that only posts to complain)?

Secondly, having complaining threads in other forums will bring down the tone of those forums, whether that tone becomes more depressing or more vitriolic. Bitching threads should be seperate, so we can see or write them and then move on.

Thirdly, despite what people are saying, the Pit is not just for complaining about other Dopers. I know I’ve never pitted another poster here. The proportion is a little higher than usual with the rules change, but still, it’s obvious from just a glance that not even close to all the threads are about the Dope.

All your bitch about work threads could easily go in MPSIMS if we closed down the Pit. Just because you want to swear about something doesn’t make the Pit necessary. Is anyone going to disagree that people should refill the toner in the copy machine? No. So just say “My boss doesn’t appreciate me” in MPSIMS and wait for all the “I hears ya” to roll in.

I don’t have a problem with requiring PG13 thread titles in the pit. See, you can find something positive to say if you try hard enough.

Either kill the Pit or do not kill the Pit. What I am seeing is that the Pit has been shot, rushed to the hospital, left to bleed copiously in the lobby, patched up and put on life support, unplugged, given mouth-to-mouth, abused (but not insulted) and finally locked in a room with a schizophrenic sNUgglYpUpPY . And my opinion of Ed Zotti, which was pretty high before, has plummeted. He will not defend his position and he will not admit to the possibility of being wrong. Those are not the qualities of an ignorance-fighting, honorable man.

I agree that we go nuts in the pit because it’s there. Most other boards don’t have ranting forums and they get along just fine. A few people liked to rant about stupid stuff like their neighbor’s dog barking or the weekly ZOMGWTF TEH WERLD IS GOEING TO HE11 recreational outrage threads, but these can easily fit among the other existing forums. The pit was really always about tearing into each other. If we can’t do that unrestrained, just kill it. And I’m not saying that in a childish/selfish “if I can’t have it exactly the way I want it, I don’t want it at all” way. I just honestly believe that the whole community would be better off without that forum at this point.

It seems like the pit has changed. From my recollection, the pit used to be primarily used to tell other members and the moderators that they were acting like idiots, and only secondarily about complaining about stupid stuff in the news. Now it seems like the first won’t be allowed at all, and that makes me sad, because it seems to go against the traditions of the board.

Complaints about co-workers, parents and cable companies posted on the internet for the perusal of third parties are Mundane and basically Pointless, but there is a place if you Must Share them.

If you want feedback on how to handle those issues, you can ask people for their Honest Opinion.

Me neither. Many seem to act on the assumption that hostility is zero-sum – that if there’s no Pit, it will just leak out into the other forums. I’ve seen no reason to believe that it works like that (either on the internet or real life). It’s quite the opposite, really: being explicitly nasty becomes a habit. It’s fun, and the more you press that particular pleasure button, the more your brain will learn to seek it out.

There’s something to be said for a community that either doesn’t air it’s personal gripes, or airs them in very measured tones. It makes it easier to get along and have a good time.

That said, I’m *entirely *sure that closing the Pit is a good idea. I just wanted to point out that it’s an idea that deserves more consideration than it normally gets around here.


are you sure you’re not missing a “not”?

They could go in other forums, but right now, they go in the pit, and indeed take up at least half the threads in that forum. I don’t really see why they can’t continue to go there. If nothing else, it keeps MPSIMS from getting filled up with a bunch of people whining about their daily lives.

Clearly, we read different boards.

I’m pretty sure it’s not appropriate to call the printers cock-juggling whoresons in MPSIMS. Nor to complain that my boss has come down and fucked up my office and computer and fucking printers in new and interesting ways, for values of new and interesting that include completely fucking retarded.

Something tells me that wouldn’t fly.

Could I get a ruling on this please? I’m pretty sure it is appropriate. . . or at least it was before the rules change. Vulgar words are/were allowed in MPSIMS, from my understanding. In fact, I’ve seen it mentioned a couple times recently (unfortunately can’t find it at the moment) that threads don’t automatically go in the Pit just because of the bad words. However, bad words can’t be in a title in MPSIMS. With the rules change, these are now identical.

Despite it being explained otherwise time, and time, and time. and time. and time. and. time. again. – a lot of people still carry the notion that swearing is forbidden outside of the bbq pit, and required in it. I have no idea where this idea originated. At some point these people should start garnering admonishments for never having read the rules.

Whoops. I am indeed.

Swearing at other posters is forbidden outside the BBQ pit. On the other hand, the Pit is (was) for topics that became ‘too heated’, which pretty much implies strong language.

Cheers, SNUgGlypuPPy .

We’re discussing this post:

Unless Silver Tyger Girl’s printer and boss have become other posters, your point doesn’t apply.

And none of what you said means that swearing at other things is disallowed anywhere else on the message board. I’ve seen posts by mods to the contrary.

That, technically, may be the case Heffalump, and i wouldn’t dispute this point as a specific example.

However, I have to agree with kkfusion in his/her assumption about “heated discussions”. “To Pit” something, anything at all really, has become an adjective with specific connotations within the board’s culture. Those connotations carry a certain level of invective as well. If the given poster feels that the level of invective that they wish to express rises to the level “The Pit”, it automatically goes there, whether the specific content is appropriate or not

As a long time lurker and infrequent poster I’ve been attempting to follow the politics and Ed’s reasoning here recently and I have to confess it doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me, and I’m sure to many others as well. I’m sure the reason for this is because a lot of people, myself included, are conflating board culture with the authoritative posts by admins and Ed himself. And they clash, understandably, because Ed is trying to change Pit culture, and by extension the culture of the board itself. I wouldn’t dream of saying whether that is inherently a good or a bad thing because, frankly, I don’t feel like like I have that much invested in the SDMB. It’s his board to do with as he wishes, and I understand why long term users are resisting that.

However , as an outsider looking in, I do have to say that STG’s specific example “feels” spot on. Something with that level of invective, and use of vulgar language, doesn’t seem to fit IMHO or MPSIMS given accepted protocol. Technically, it might fit fine, I don’t know because I don’t know if Ed’s list of “bad words” will include the entire board or just the Pit itself.

It seems to me that too much attention is being paid to specific rules, and not enough to people’s expectations about how the board operates in an informal capacity.Those expectations have to be addressed in a plain and forward manner.