Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

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mickthinks
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by mickthinks » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:46 pm

Don't get me wrong—I believe AMod himself is a volunteer and he does a great job. But in that I believe we are inordinately lucky to have someone who doesn't need or want to do too much controlling.

Put a call out for volunteer mods and you're likely to get exactly the wrong sort of people applying, people with an appetite for command and control of the discourse. We've never had that here, and I am not the only one who doesn't want it.

As for guid(e)lines, I have never seen, and I don't believe I ever will see, a set that is 'clear' enough to remove all discretion and, in my experience, discretion always results in injustice.

Thundril
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Thundril » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:10 pm

Fair points, Mick. 'twas just a suggestion. What's your recommendation?

artisticsolution
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by artisticsolution » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:36 pm

mickthinks wrote:Don't get me wrong—I believe AMod himself is a volunteer and he does a great job. But in that I believe we are inordinately lucky to have someone who doesn't need or want to do too much controlling.

Put a call out for volunteer mods and you're likely to get exactly the wrong sort of people applying, people with an appetite for command and control of the discourse. We've never had that here, and I am not the only one who doesn't want it.

As for guid(e)lines, I have never seen, and I don't believe I ever will see, a set that is 'clear' enough to remove all discretion and, in my experience, discretion always results in injustice.
I agree, not to mention that every other site I have visited seems to be controlled with an iron fist. I have not joined because of that reason...well that and I am a faithful one forum woman. :wink:

Also, it seems to me that the people who write not so aesthetically pleasing posts don't bother anyone if they are left alone. It is only when they get a reply that they become abusive. So perhaps the thing to do is to ignore them...which is really hard...because sometimes you are interested in what they have to say...it's just you could do without the abuse from them.

mickthinks
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by mickthinks » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:44 pm

On a previous occasion when we had a similar discussion, I posted this...
mickthinks wrote:When a community comes under attack from someone who says "I can hurt you and you can't stop me", the natural reaction is to respond with words and actions that attempt to say "Oh yes we can stop you". The result is inevitable–an escalation of attacks and counter measures until ... what?

Well what often seems to happen is that the community ends up totally preoccupied with fighting the battles, making rules it never wanted and limiting its own freedoms. Those of us who enjoy the intellectual challenge of the battle may have fun, but meanwhile the rest of us drift away.

What's the alternative? I'd like to recommend that we explore the possibilities of responding with "Oh no you can't hurt us".

Mick

Thundril
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Thundril » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:33 am

mickthinks wrote:On a previous occasion when we had a similar discussion, I posted this...
mickthinks wrote:When a community comes under attack from someone who says "I can hurt you and you can't stop me", the natural reaction is to respond with words and actions that attempt to say "Oh yes we can stop you". The result is inevitable–an escalation of attacks and counter measures until ... what?

Well what often seems to happen is that the community ends up totally preoccupied with fighting the battles, making rules it never wanted and limiting its own freedoms. Those of us who enjoy the intellectual challenge of the battle may have fun, but meanwhile the rest of us drift away.

What's the alternative? I'd like to recommend that we explore the possibilities of responding with "Oh no you can't hurt us".

Mick
An interesting (though brief) discussion, that took place 3 years ago. Would you say anything has improved since then, or if you think anything that could have been done hasn't been? How, for example, could this communal 'we' declare that someone couldn't hurt 'us'?

reasonvemotion
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by reasonvemotion » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:53 am

it's just you could do without the abuse from them.
I agree.

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Bernard
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Bernard » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:12 am

That answered a thousand unanswered prayers and questions. Thank you, AMod.

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Bernard
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Bernard » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:42 am

I have no problem with zero tolerance on bad language. How many serious philosophical discussions include bad language? We need to cherish language and use words that have the facility to encourage lots of thinking. I don't mind seeing a **** every now and then so long as there is a visible lighthearted spirit there, and a didactic handling of the term within discussion context. Every word has a syntax that is of proper use to some angel somewhere, sometime.

I haven't subscribed to the magazine as yet because I do not feel a strong enough sense of relatedness to it via this forum. I live in an isolated sort of part of the world and there needs to be some correlation between product (Mag) and representation of product (the forum) to pique my interest enough in something involving people I'm not ever likely to meet except via internet. In other words I don't feel that if I subscribed to the magazine that this forum would be a healthy default meeting place of minds in its regard. That said, I feel a little guilty about not at least giving some financial support.

chaz wyman
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by chaz wyman » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:54 am

Thundril wrote:
mickthinks wrote:On a previous occasion when we had a similar discussion, I posted this...
mickthinks wrote:When a community comes under attack from someone who says "I can hurt you and you can't stop me", the natural reaction is to respond with words and actions that attempt to say "Oh yes we can stop you". The result is inevitable–an escalation of attacks and counter measures until ... what?

Well what often seems to happen is that the community ends up totally preoccupied with fighting the battles, making rules it never wanted and limiting its own freedoms. Those of us who enjoy the intellectual challenge of the battle may have fun, but meanwhile the rest of us drift away.

What's the alternative? I'd like to recommend that we explore the possibilities of responding with "Oh no you can't hurt us".

Mick
An interesting (though brief) discussion, that took place 3 years ago. Would you say anything has improved since then, or if you think anything that could have been done hasn't been? How, for example, could this communal 'we' declare that someone couldn't hurt 'us'?
I've probably been on the Forum for about 3 years or so, and from my perspective, at least, things have gone downhill. We have lost some good contributors, and seemed to have attracted a fair amount of scum. The detritus of which tends to stick to others, including me.

mickthinks
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by mickthinks » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:12 pm

Thundril wrote:How, for example, could this communal 'we' declare that someone couldn't hurt 'us'?
There's no need for a declaration, just a shared realisation of an evident truth; and maybe an occasional word of encouragement for each other.


Your scare quotes ('we', 'us') suggest a certain hostility to my idea, Thundril. I hope you aren't concealing a closed mind and a pettifogging agenda behind the semblance of genuine inquiry.

Thundril
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Thundril » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:30 am

mickthinks wrote:
Thundril wrote:How, for example, could this communal 'we' declare that someone couldn't hurt 'us'?
There's no need for a declaration, just a shared realisation of an evident truth; and maybe an occasional word of encouragement for each other.


Your scare quotes ('we', 'us') suggest a certain hostility to my idea, Thundril. I hope you aren't concealing a closed mind and a pettifogging agenda behind the semblance of genuine inquiry.
Not at all, Mick. They were meant as just quotes, not 'scarequotes'. (not very familiar with the term, actually.) I'm all in favour of communal action to protect important spaces.

RickLewis
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by RickLewis » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:48 pm

mickthinks wrote:On a previous occasion when we had a similar discussion, I posted this...
mickthinks wrote:When a community comes under attack from someone who says "I can hurt you and you can't stop me", the natural reaction is to respond with words and actions that attempt to say "Oh yes we can stop you". The result is inevitable–an escalation of attacks and counter measures until ... what?
Mick
This is a good point. I also notice that a few people are asking for a clampdown on bad language. Just thought I'd mention that the forum software includes an option to automatically censor selected words. In other words, if I enabled that option in the software and asked it to censor the word "****" whenever it appeared in a posting, then from that point on whenever anyone typed "****" it would appear in their post as "****". (I'm not sure what would happen if somebody wanted to post details of a philosophy event in Scunthorpe, say - that might just be tough luck...)

Because this censoring would be happening automatically, and would be completely impersonal and impartial, it presumably wouldn't provoke the "you can't stop me"/"yes we can" etc escalation which Mick describes.

I've always been a bit irritated with word censoring on forums, and we have never enabled it because it seems to be treating forum users as less than sensible adults. After all, an occasional bit of swearing doesn't kill anybody anyway.

However, if people feel the amount of bad language is preventing them from enjoying the forum, or creates a bad image for the magazine, or (most important of all) puts off potential posters who might otherwise contribute something good here, then this could be a really easy way to fix it. Whaddaya think? If you like the idea, what words should be censored?

p.s. If we enable the auto-censoring, there is even an option for individual members to override it so that THEY (and they alone) can see the uncensored versions of words! If they really want to. :)

marjoramblues
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by marjoramblues » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:35 pm

Because this censoring would be happening automatically, and would be completely impersonal and impartial, it presumably wouldn't provoke the "you can't stop me"/"yes we can" etc escalation which Mick describes.
A pity that it's necessary but it's a start and sounds like an easy option; along with the override option, yup 8)
As for which offensive words/bad language to censor, I really couldn't say...

you whot ? no 'angel' icon :evil:

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John
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by John » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:24 pm

RickLewis wrote:
mickthinks wrote:On a previous occasion when we had a similar discussion, I posted this...
mickthinks wrote:When a community comes under attack from someone who says "I can hurt you and you can't stop me", the natural reaction is to respond with words and actions that attempt to say "Oh yes we can stop you". The result is inevitable–an escalation of attacks and counter measures until ... what?
Mick
This is a good point. I also notice that a few people are asking for a clampdown on bad language. Just thought I'd mention that the forum software includes an option to automatically censor selected words. In other words, if I enabled that option in the software and asked it to censor the word "****" whenever it appeared in a posting, then from that point on whenever anyone typed "****" it would appear in their post as "****". (I'm not sure what would happen if somebody wanted to post details of a philosophy event in Scunthorpe, say - that might just be tough luck...)

Because this censoring would be happening automatically, and would be completely impersonal and impartial, it presumably wouldn't provoke the "you can't stop me"/"yes we can" etc escalation which Mick describes.

I've always been a bit irritated with word censoring on forums, and we have never enabled it because it seems to be treating forum users as less than sensible adults. After all, an occasional bit of swearing doesn't kill anybody anyway.

However, if people feel the amount of bad language is preventing them from enjoying the forum, or creates a bad image for the magazine, or (most important of all) puts off potential posters who might otherwise contribute something good here, then this could be a really easy way to fix it. Whaddaya think? If you like the idea, what words should be censored?

p.s. If we enable the auto-censoring, there is even an option for individual members to override it so that THEY (and they alone) can see the uncensored versions of words! If they really want to. :)
Speaking personally I'm not bothered by language that some might find offensive but it's the way that it's used in here that's been bugging me a bit lately. I get the general idea that discussions shouldn't be censored to allow for a free exchange of ideas but there's a difference, for me anyway, in allowing the discussion of controversial subjects and allowing people to respond with insults as a matter of course. Particularly if this forum is supposed to be somewhere for people to develop an interest in Philosophy. It's all well and good to consider ourselves inclusive but how inclusive will it feel to some people if the first thing they receive are insults from others who's only real purpose here is to annoy people?

And just to provide a little context, there's a currently active thread (it will be obvious which one it is from the description I'm about to give) where a forum member, who is still at school, posed a question regarding the difference between boys and girls and in one of the replies she is referred to as a "little ****" and apparently it is acceptable to use words like "n*****". This isn't my attempt to defend the honour of another poster because I'm sure she's more than capable of defending herself but it's this sort of thing that really makes me wonder how much time I want to spend on a forum where this is deemed acceptable. I don't want to know that some people are abusive to contextualise their posting, I just don't particularly want to interact with them at all.

Also, imagine some other publication, like a national newspaper or whatever, that decided to do a piece on Philosophy Now and how it was bringing philosophy to the masses (or whatever the angle was) and they visited this forum to get a taste of the online debates that take place amongst it's readers. I wonder if people being called "cunts" and discussions on "niggers" would get a glowing review.

You shouldn't have to feel like you need a bath after visiting a philosophy forum.

Sorry, maybe I'm going on a bit and not really offering much in the way of solutions but that's those are my thoughts on the matter.

Atthet
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Re: Hello Rick Lewis, Thank you

Post by Atthet » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:14 pm

RickLewis wrote:However, if people feel the amount of bad language is preventing them from enjoying the forum, or
That's the bottom line, isn't it? Enjoyment?

If philosophy is not "enjoyed", then it has no worth or value. Rick Lewis has exposed himself. Philosophy is about "feeling good" about yourself, never about being insulted, or punished, for being stupid.

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