Politely disagreeing with Hari Seldon's Mode Note

In America in Decline before Trump, Hari suggested I should not use ridicule as a debate technique.

1: To begin with, I really wasn’t. I was expressing strong disagreement, but not ridicule.

2: Since when has ridicule not been permitted in SDMB as a debate technique? Seems to me it’s been pretty standard here for a good many years!

3: Hari, please, don’t wait quite so long between the offense and the criticism. That specific dialogue had expired completely. Your bringing it up did more to emphasize it than to discipline it!

It would be nice to have some links. Apparently it’s this thread, and Trinopus’ post is #48. (And I just realized that I no longer know how to link to a specific post.)

Anyway, I can’t imagine how that post constituted ridicule. Nor can I imagine the Dope without posts ridiculing other posts.

We do have idiots and ideologues posting here constantly and in torrents. I’m using those as group nouns and not pointing fingers at any individual posters. Since we are not allowed to insult them, and their posts cannot be seriously debated or refuted because they are based on nothing real, what else is left other than ridicule? Which, I shouldn’t need to remind anyone, is the foundation on which the Dope is based.

I can see that there is a determined effort on the part of the new mods to enforce niceness even to the point of fatuity. I don’t completely disagree with the effort; it would be nice to see the world shift on its axis after the last four years.

What bewilders me is that the mod notes I’ve read calling for niceness are all for responses to the idiots and ideologues rather than to the provocateurs themselves. What can you be thinking? The problem is at the source, not the response. And don’t say that it can all be taken care of in the Pit. That’s completely the wrong approach.

Me neither! I would’a if I could’a! But I should have been more explicit. Mea culpa.

Agreement! I have long and long and long lamented that the SDMB is a bit too hard-edged, at times, a bit sharpish and snappish. Thank goodness for the BBQ Pit, which drains away the worst of this!

I’m not even 100% sure which of those sentences was taken to be the ‘ridicule’ one.

Committing the sin of sequential posts … I want to end the year on a happy note, so –

Thank You, SDMB! Thank you mods and admins and owners! Thank you, each and every member! This is a wonderful place, where ignorance is fought in two very important ways: error is corrected and criticized, of course, but also, information is shared! This is the best place I know to come with a factual question! The collective knowledge base here is astonishing!

So, Hari Seldon, thank you for the difficult, nigh impossible, task of moderating that you do, and all your cohorts and colleagues as well. We don’t have to agree. We can all get along…like family! (With all that that implies!) (GRIN!)

Click on the date/time of the post and a link to it pops up, along with the option to create a new thread that links to the post.

There’s also a little icon at the bottom of each post that looks like two chain links. Clicking that gives you a link you can copy to the clipboard. This is an easier way to copy it on my phone.

Gotta say, this seems to be a trend.

I received my one and only warning in nearly twenty years posting here when, after being aggressively and rudely provoked (dare I say trolled?) by a couple of people in a non-Pit thread, I posted something fairly rude.

My point being, this kind of playing at being a provocateur usually gets a pass, and the provocateurs are only reinforced if, when they finally get a response, the mods only warn or issue a note to the responder.

The thread concerned religion, and there are a small number of people here who can be counted on to drop into any thread, in any forum, to post the usual “heh, heh, religion is teh stupid” crap. They contribute nothing to the topic, of course. I know who they are, you probably know who they are, and I’ve sometimes amused myself by counting posts until they show up. They’re quite predictable. But that’s a whole other thread.

Link please?

I’d have to dig, was a while ago. Anyway, I’m not contesting the warning. I’m just generally agreeing with Exnapo_Mapcase that provocateurs go more or less unchallenged sometimes, which lets them get the response they’re looking for.

Thank you! I’ll try that next time!

I’ve just gone back over it, and for the life of me I still don’t see it.

  1. “Are you seriously arguing that America discard the minimum wage and establish a prevailing wage that would “compete” with China?”

That looks like a genuine question.

  1. “You want Americans to earn less than one dollar an hour?”

This one also looks genuine.

  1. “And this will make us rich and successful, just like tax cuts for the rich?”

Again, looks sincere, in that AFAICT it could spark a third ‘yes’ — or a third ‘no’, if the guy he’s asking so clarifies.

  1. “Seems the “rightwing” policies are the ones that have been shown to fail.”

If he’s correctly anticipated yes-yes-yes, he’s already attempting to debate that position; it’s just that he’s first giving the other guy a chance to swap in a ‘no’ for this or that ‘yes’, just in case there’s not really a disagreement between them.

You could easily craft a fifth one that conveys ridicule, but I don’t see which one of those actually crossed — or approached — a line.

I have to say that i disagree with the OP, but not for the reasons stated:

  1. I think it is pointless to argue a Note. It’s just a Note.

  2. In your post there, Trinopus you committed the cardinal blunder. No, not Never get involved in aland war in Asia,’* but "Never wrestle with a pig . You just get dirty and the pig enjoys it ."

Mind you I find myself doing the same from time to time, so John 8:7 applies to me here, mea culpa.

You are, of course, entirely right.

On the other hand, “Someone was wrong on the internet!”

re John 8:7, this is the SDMB. There are sometimes more stones in the air than there are on the ground!

Yeah, I don’t see any ridicule, either. It’s just an inference from the poster’s stated position. They don’t like “left-wing” policies because they stunt economic growth. They said that the desire for justice should not play into one’s economic policy. Then the cited China as an example of positive growth. So the implication is that they advocate for the US to adopt China’s policies rather than the left wing, moral policies (like minimum wage). Asking rather than assuming gave octopus a chance to clarify or take back what he said.

The only way I could see it being ridicule is if you suppose that he was making up a ridiculous strawman that octopus wouldn’t take. But octopus has no problem agreeing with the claim, saying that wishing it weren’t so wouldn’t change the reality.

BTW, @Exapno_Mapcase: I linked the specific post by clicking the little chain link icon below the post. I then chopped off the part that had my username in it (?u=bigt), but that’s optional. (Though I would never not chop it off if you post the URL elsewhere online. No reason to let people know your username here.)

First, the post with moderation is this one.

Second, can you link to that recent post so we know which one you mean?

Third, I have to agree with the OP. I don’t see ridicule beyond the merest disagreement with the expressed position. It’s not like he made a strawman analogy, or even snerked. Maybe the third sentence could be interpreted a little snerky, but that just leads to the point that since when has this been unacceptable?

In this case, the argument is to understand what the Note even means. There doesn’t seem to be any ridicule, so why is the Note even given? One can’t possibly begin to adjust their behavior if they don’t understand the error.

In general, it can be argued that moderators aren’t everywhere and may not see or be alerted to an issue in a timely fashion. They still need to moderate problem behavior. In this type of case, though, there does need to be a balance between identifying a problem to correct it and calling attention to a part of the conversation that had long passed. If the topic had moved on, it doesn’t seem to have derailed the thread or started a hijack, so bringing it up relatively late doesn’t seem effective at reducing conflict.

Thanks - I just used that method for the link in this post. Cool!

Thanks. I also found that clicking on the number, which will highlight the post, will change the URL to that individual post. Then it can be cut and pasted elsewhere, with nobody’s name attached.

Just curious. This thread has been up for two days. It references the mods in the title. Yet not a single mod has responded. It can’t be that we have to report the thread, can it?