Civility - Please!!

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by wlminex, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. wlminex Banned Banned

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    Sciforums should make rules governing civility in posting. Profanities, insults, and derogatory comments, by members, moderators, and admin provide no professional service to the membership . . . they just display the users' lack of intellectual fortitude and intelligence.
     
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  3. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    I share your interest in civil dialogue, wlminex.

    Unfortunately, I do not know how one can enforce such an expectation. While some very obvious profanities and insults are obvious to all, in other cases the insult may be in the perception of the reader.

    It is up to the membership to assist in self-monitoring of the content of this forum, and to participate or decline when they feel that others are crossing the line.

    There is also the option to report a post if it is deemed to be offensive.

    I have yet to utilize that function on this forum, although I have walked away from a number of dialogues and threads. You raise a valid concern, but I think we have the existing mechanisms in place to address it.

    Do I wish people would conduct themselves better?

    Of course.

    Is this likely to transpire?

    I would not wager any money on that.....
     
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  5. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I think that although displays of passion might make the arguments more exciting, I support the notion of dispassionate examination of evidence and then the application of reason to conclude from it.
     
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  7. Gustav Banned Banned

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    stfu
     
  8. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    . . . .g-e-e-e-s-s-s-h-h-h!!!!
    I second that.
     
  9. wlminex Banned Banned

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    Banning the USE of obvious profanities, direct insults, and intentional derogatory comments would be a good place to start . . . how about mod deletion (giving the reason) of ANY post containing such?
     
  10. AlphaNumeric Fully ionized Registered Senior Member

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    6,697
    Is this thread motivated in part by how I called religious views unjustified unsupported laughable nonsense? You didn't like me saying that to someone so much you reported me and stated as much in said thread. If you can provide evidence for Christianity and convince me of its veracity I'll gladly retract those statements. Until then the first 2 adjectives are factual. The third follows from the fourth and the outlandish claims of the religion, which combine with the first 2 to become utterly irrational to believe. Hence the third adjective.


    Demonstrate I was in error and I'll apologise for what I currently view as an accurate valuation. Ridiculous beliefs by definition deserve ridicule.
     
  11. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    @ AN,
    Precisely why I ridicule your beliefs.
    :roflmao:
     
  12. wlminex Banned Banned

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    AN: Much to YOUR chagrin, I'm sure . . . this thread was started only in an attempt to bring civility to ALL POSTS!! You were not even 'in mind' when I made the thread . . . . . but . . ."if the shoe fits . . .wear it"! There is (in my OPINION!) too much UNCIVILITY and a lack of 'true professionalism' in many posts made to Sciforums . . . and greater degree of decorum is needed by ALL participants.
     
  13. prometheus viva voce! Registered Senior Member

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    I wouldn't get too excited - wlminex is arguing for censorship here...
     
  14. wlminex Banned Banned

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    I refer all readers to my last post . . . . see what I'm talking about? . . . DECORUM!!! (reread!)
     
  15. Gustav Banned Banned

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    that does not show much civility imo
    please apologize to alpha


    you insult this community
    kindly apologize to all of us and try to be more respectful
    we are all human beings here
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Brief Notes

    Brief Notes

    As always when considering such ideas, we are presented with at least two questions. The first is, naturally, the proposition at hand, characterized according to an individual's outlook as we see in the topic post. The second is a bit more subtle; it is a consideration of what the proposition means, but through the filter of what another individual interprets of the first and therefore of the proposition itself.

    For instance, our neighbor Wlminex raises no especially new or unique issue; this is one we have considered many times over the years. The proposition itself seems fairly straightforward.

    But the second question, the interpretive, is a bit more difficult; I, for instance, recall a strange post in which our neighbor accused that a moderator posting in one thread as a participant was, in effect, the moderator using moderator authority to regulate another thread entirely.

    Any number of sentiments apply, from a mild chuckle to derisive guffawing to simply shaking my head and muttering something about the state of society; there are, in the long run, more possible responses than we have time for listing.

    However, it would be irresponsible to hold that occasion as definitive. In the end, we can only ask our neighbor to clarify, quantify, and classify so that we better know what he is talking about, for "civility" has as many definitions as people to acknowledge the word.

    Thus we might consider history for a moment.

    Once upon a time, for instance, we attempted to enforce a standard that said, "Attack the argument, not the person." However, the problem with that is that some people are very dearly and viscerally connected to their arguments. Therefore, if the argument is stupid, inadequate, illiterate, goofy, or whatever else, so, as the pseudo-logic goes, must be the person. Thus, one might say an argument is stupid, and relies on misrepresentation of a necessarily incomplete body of facts. Note the words stupid and misrepresentation; those are the words that will transmit most clearly, to the effect that one might respond, "You called me stupid and dishonest!" As the attack upon the idea is also an attack on the person, the individual might then respond that the other is simply an asshole, or a douchebag, or whatever.

    We can treat that as a baseline of sorts; that is, herein we find some assertion of communal intellect. Functionally, we seem unable to separate the two.

    Over the years, it also developed that there is no difference between an insult one plucks from one's proverbial hindquarters and a potentially accurate description of conduct that might not look kindly upon a person. For years in this community, we have tumbled through confusion over the question of whether or not conduct poorly described is fair game. That is, one might lie, and be caught in a lie, and repeatedly at that; for another to call that one a liar, however, while a potentially accurate description of conduct that does not look kindly upon an individual, is, often, functionally no different than calling another an asshole, or falsely accusing despicable conduct.

    Again, we find another boundary or delineation. There is no substantial functional difference, at present, between calling someone a liar because you caught him in a lie, and that person calling you an asshole because he doesn't like to be called a liar.

    These dimensions are established not so much democratically as anarchically. For instance, years ago we tried to curb cursing, but to no avail. When it came down to the question of whether or not we wanted to expel that many people for saying naughty words, we chose not to. Plenty of people want to cuss, and in the end, a phrase like, "Holy fucking balls!" is only offensive if one chooses to be offended.

    To the other, the staff is composed of humans, and we have certainly done our part to contribute to the confusion. In the past, we have attempted to banish people from our community because an individual moderator is offended at one's opinion; we have suspended people for offending bigots according to a bigoted standard; we have protected and encouraged disingenuity for political purposes while prosecuting the merest perception of the same among opponents. In other words, we have a long history of screwing up.

    But at the same time, many of our errors are inflated and distorted according to the rhetorical standards of our largely anarchic community. Many of the same who would plead for civility are perfectly happy to pile on when it suits them, and in some cases there is observable cause and effect. For instance, would a downward trend in political discussion quality have appeared or occurred any differently without certain examples of behavior that seemed to receive our approval? Or would that outcome be any different if one recognized that a particular member who might have appeared to receive some unfair benefit was in some way a friend or acquaintance of a moderator?

    That is, if the member appeared to be getting away with bad behavior, must the observing other conclude that such behavior is somehow good? Or is the observing other capable of comprehending the dynamics at play here, that there is a larger plot than just that particular post, tantrum, or habit?

    One need not point out that this is a particularly vague sketch; that much is obvious. But it is also a version of what comes to mind when people invoke civility in our community. That is, civility is a complicated proposition, in the end; hardly so straightforward as we might first presume.

    But as, over the years, members and staff alike have been known to post admiringly of terrible behavior, it is a lot harder to pin down the boundaries of civility than we might otherwise presume. I would ask people to bear these notions in mind.

    For instance: The proposition has occurred before that "racism" ought to be off limits as a personal attack. Does this mean, then, that one ought to be allowed to post racist material with the expectation that nobody will call out what might be glaring bigotry? Does this mean, then, that the charge cannot be substantiated? If so, are we handing the racists a gold-paved highway to paradise, or are we also going to crack down on racist or bigoted posting? And who, in the end, would have that say? Such a standard would reserve the discussion of why an idea or argument is racist to the staff. Because, you know, according to at least one of my colleagues, we just shouldn't have people accusing one another of racism. Which leaves us with a choice of absolute rulings on what is racist and therefore uncivilized, or endorsing racism as civilized.

    How complicated a civility should we pursue?
     
  17. Bells Staff Member

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    We do have rules governing civility while posting on this thread.

    However, if you wish to enforce it to this extent, I can go back and look through all of your derogatory and insulting political posts, for example, and question your "lack of intellectual fortitude and intelligence"? Do you think that would be a good start?

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    Aren't you the one who became offended when a moderator dared to express a political view on this forum? And then became quite insulting to all moderators because one did not hold or support your political view? To the extent that you had to be moderated in the thread, where you then made false accusations and snide allegations against a moderator. That was you, was it not?

    Is this what you meant about civility in posting? Or do you just want to ban words such as "fuck" or "shit" because they offend your sensibilities?

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  18. wlminex Banned Banned

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    I beg your pardon?! Please review the many insulting and disparaging remarks that . . . only a few seeming 'know-it-alls' have made and continue to make to the members with whom they disagree . . . However, I DO apologize to anyone who feels I have offended them personally . . . that is/was NOT my intent . . . . my intent is to bring the issue of incivility on Sciforums to the attention of everyone who participates . . .and to anyone who is interested in preserving the professional integrity of the membership.

    Gustav: I agree . . . .EVERYONE on Sciforums should be more respectful . . . . I also agree with you that we are ALL human beings here . . . . "equals" . . . might I add.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

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    cool
    now shut the fuck up ...........................................................please
     
  20. Bells Staff Member

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    Ah, "know-it-alls".. And it continues..

    The point is that you are not above lacking in civility on this forum when someone disagrees with you.
     
  21. wlminex Banned Banned

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    1,587
    Bells quote: "Is this what you meant about civility in posting? Or do you just want to ban words such as "fuck" or "shit" because they offend your sensibilities? "

    Bells, and Gustav post #16: That would be a good starting point!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  22. wlminex Banned Banned

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    1,587
    ps/ Bells: If you will review MY 'uncivil' posts, you will find that most, if not all, are responses (not only towards me, but other members as well) to preceding insulting and derogatory posts./wlminex
     
  23. Bells Staff Member

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    22,705
    So you find any level of profanity to be offensive?

    To the point that saying "fuck" and "shit" would result in moderation?

    Not to be offensive, but I am sure you can find some 'hello kitty' or 'my little pony' forums where everyone is happy and nice and where swear words are moderated extensively.:m:

    Or download a net nanny program that will filter out any site or possibly even individual words that fall within the realm of 'profanity'.
     

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