Why?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by The Marquis, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/sociobiological-theories-of-rape.142978/page-2
    was this closed?

    I suppose that when entering any form of discussion regarding a closed thread, one does tend to enter the realm of the rhetorical. In most cases, it's simply a matter of a little light reading, when one seeks to determine why a thread has been closed to begin with.
    In this case, however, I'm completely at a loss.
    Well, actually... you know, that's not quite true. I do know why. I also find it so terribly difficult to accept.
    Consider that "at a loss" comment to be there only for theatrical effect... if you will.

    A man goes away for a few days, comes back, wanders through a forum and finally, finally, finds something worth chewing on. Worth a few moments consideration.
    Only to find that the tone was set in the very first reply. One intellectual lightweight with an offhand comment sets the scene for further discourse, and all that follows goes exactly according to plan.

    You know... I had so much to say here.
    I've been out on my balcony several times now. Out there, a cigarette in one hand, drink in the other. Gazing out over the landscape. Words forming, being dismissed, gathering again. What I was going to say to you all.
    What I might have said in reply to this thread, had it not been closed.

    There have been, in this little microcosm, some very unique and remarkable minds.
    Names which still ring to this day, among those who knew them.
    Those names have all, in time, been driven away.

    All we have left now is pjdude1219.

    .................

    I don't actually remember what it is I was going to say, in reply to that opening post. And to a few after it.
    There isn't any point in remembering, really.

    This is your achievement, Sciforums.
    Dolly magazine.

    I suppose you can at least claim you made a profit.
    Such a pity that goes against all stated intention.

    Oh, and... what happened with the lightweight?
    Nothing.
    Nothing at all.
     
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  3. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    On might argue that they've all become lightweights, most of them sheeple.

    I think there is a collective of people who gang up on and bully the outlaw thinkers who have innovative thoughts are are trying to hone their ideas with the input of others at an intellectual level. Even the first post was seen as a personal attack on others, instead of an open and honest discussion about the general idea one got from reading an article that they found interesting.

    It's a shame, some of my best ideas were shaped by the input of some of the brighter and more combative of the sciforum intellectuals. It's a discussion forum, and sciforums no longer really adapts for argument and debate, just descends into ad homs and dismissal of ideas outright when the management happens to disagree with the tenant of the discussion. It has devolved. It has become inhospitable to anyone who might have original thoughts that aren't agreeable.
     
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  5. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    Oh these changes began ages ago when the reins were picked-up by this new out-of-the-way new guy -- I remember saying as much at the time. Haha I told you so.

    I'm immensely impressed how this newer generation of the "academic" mind is so... blah blah blah.

    God I miss the old days!
     
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  7. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    Likewise. It was so goddamn fun!
     
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  8. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    The problem is, there comes a point where the discussion stops being a discussion and starts becoming a soapbox... after being asked several times for supporting substance, a general purpose, and citations or examples, and not having them provided, the thread had become little more than a soapbox for Trooper's views and apparent infatuation with Pinker and Coyne.

    The thread was, in fact, initially closed several days before, and was reopened by James to give Trooper another chance to make a point and give the thread some sort of meaning... when that was not done after several days, it was closed again.
     
  9. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Do you thank Sciforums is becomin beter (more fun) or worser (less fun).???
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Depends on your definition of fun.

    The general problem is the question of intelligent discussion versus noise and fury. We have, over the years, become more permissive on this count. In recent times, too much of our staff politics have had to deal with this question.

    Consider it this way, Clueluss: Once upon a time, the motto here was, "Sciforums: Intelligent Community". We have generally rescinded that expectation in response to the democracy of anarchy. That is to say, there came a point when we would simply have to ban that many people in order to get this place back under control in the context of the Intelligent Community. To wit, under those old standards, we never would have tolerated you as long as we have. And for the time being, we will continue to tolerate you and others like you who have no real interest in intelligent discussion.

    I can actually mark in my mind the beginning of the sharp downturn, and yes, it is related to the ownership transfer. Lifeform acquired Sciforums from Dave in 2005, while I happened to be on hiatus; when I returned in early '06, site ownership had changed, and we were making deliberate efforts to be more inclusive and accepting of warmongering, hatemongering, superstition, and general irrationality. At one point our efforts had us entertaining phrenologists, which we never would have done before.

    And the idea that people should have to actually provide evidence for sweeping hatred (e.g., all Mexicans are criminals, &c.) so offended some of our new members that we've generally been in a fight about these issues ever since.

    It's swung both ways; in 2009 we reached a breaking point on staff after a couple episodes involving the appearance of unequal standards based on people's nationality, sex, and religion. And somewhere in there, for instance, I had an Australian try to lecture me on what is and isn't acceptable in the American public discourse. I mean, that's how absurd things had gotten. And after our staff went to war with itself at the end of 2009, we have gone difficult rounds that have resulted in our hands being more and more tied, with bigotry and irrationality more and more empowered as time went by.

    In Trooper's case, the issue precedes her involvement, and she chose to disregard that. No matter how many times one reiterated various points of origin, she chose to frame other people's words and motives according to her own mysterious needs. Indeed, her version of "Secular Sanity" involved nothing more than logical fallacies in these social-issue threads.

    Here's a conundrum for you:

    • Trooper supports Infinite Prevention Advocacy as near as we can tell insofar as she refuses to establish practical boundaries to what women should be expected to do in order to prevent rape. This prevention advocacy obliges women to plan their daily lives around the looming spectre of sexual assualt. It requires women to suspect all men as potential rapists, unless of course one buys into the myth that women possess some mystical rapedar that allows them to figure out who will assault them; logically speaking, this implies that women simply disregard the pings and warnings from their internal rape detection systems.

    • There are those who disdain IPA for its apparently infinite prospect. And for its impracticality. And its disruption of what should be trusting relationships. And its denigration of women's human rights. Women shouldn't have to fear every man on the planet.

    ―Therefore, by Trooper's logic, those who reject IPA are indicting all men as potential rapists.​

    Unravel the paradox.

    Seriously, how does that even work?

    Beyond that, she generally relied on straw men (possibly Freudian projection, though she seemed more calculating than blind ego defense would suggest), argumentum ab auctoritate (appeal to authority; argument from authority), and argumentum ad papulum (appeal to numbers; bandwagon fallacy; argument by consensus). She is a parody of "secular sanity".

    To wit, with the Smuts paper, she was far more confident than the authors were. What they described as a framework for future investigation she presented as authoritative. Or, as I expressed to GeoffP↗ during one of our more productive conversations, "what we're dealing with is one of six untested hypotheses listed in a 1994 paper".

    Additionally, for Trooper the argument was at least as much personal as it was about the issues. In the end, she wasn't really advocating for anything, but, rather, against individuals.

    And in the context of this example and your question, the answer is in whether people find that kind of conduct "fun" or something else.

    Lastly, I would note that the staff generally does not focus on one thread in cases like this. Trooper's conduct was spread over several threads.

    And in the context of the staff disputes I noted, one of the results we've encountered recently is that threads were closed to protect misbehaving members from themselves. That one of those misbehaving members should turn around and open multiple new threads on the subject, each trying to isolate and detach interconnected components of a larger device as if they had no relationship to one another, did not go unnoticed. These threads, again, were closed to protect a misbehaving member from herself.

    Nor does it go unnoticed when the objections and inquiries about the closure of threads have the appearance of personal allegiances; you'll note our topic-posting neighbor did not object to the contentious—to annex a phrase, "goddam fun!—threads previously closed when other people started them.

    It's actually not so difficult to figure out what happened if one paid attention.

    Figuring a solution, of course, is harder.
     
  11. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    A forum whare the agenda of moderators is to facilitate discussion... which includes... always preformin ther moderation duties in a truly respectful manor (no thinly veiled smart azz remarks)... an abidin by the forum rules... then everthang else will fall into place... perty simple realy.!!!

    Whether the changes needed for that success woud include cluelusshusbund bein a member or not... or replacin mods or not... id like for Sciforums to be so much fun that membership continues to increase until its the hotest forum around.!!!
    In you'r post to Stryder mounths ago (that got promptly deleted)... you made it clear that you was not suportive of that notion which woud result in fewer members bein baned... an after Trooper was goated the way she was... its a bit disingenuous to then use her as an example that you'r disregard for you'r superiors ideas is justified.!!!

    I agree.!!!

    Whats you'r plan for a solution... an whats the main stumblin block for that plan.???
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,513
    Try dealing with facts:

    (1) The idea of protecting bad behavior is always controversial among the staff, and that's what the new rule that was invoked on that occasion, never before and not again since, accomplished.

    (2) Trooper is not banned.​

    My solution—a restoration of the Intelligent Community with expectations that people actually make coherent arguments and provide appropriate evidence—is presently off the table, and understandably so as it would have the effect of slashing our participating membership either through member choice or staff force. That is to say, in addition to the trolls who would no longer be tolerated, plenty of people would just choose to not stick around; you know, if it can't be an excremental orgy they don't want to be part of it.

    The main stumbling block for any solution comes down to the choice between content quality and site traffic. Presently, the staff doesn't have any clear direction on this point, but the Administrative tendency has been toward site traffic.
     
  13. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    CluelussHusband said:
    In you'r post to Stryder mounths ago (that got promptly deleted)... you made it clear that you was not suportive of that notion which woud result in fewer members bein baned... an after Trooper was goated the way she was... its a bit disingenuous to then use her as an example that you'r disregard for you'r superiors ideas is justified.!!!

    A distinction wit-out a diference sinse her treetment by mods resulted in her exit.!!!

    Even tho you'r "Intellegent Community" solution is presently off the table... an you see many members contributions as little more than excrement... do you plan to be suportive of Administraton an promote site traffic.???

    An whether its an "Intelligent Community" or not... whats you'r thouts on my suggestons for a fun forum.???

    "A forum whare the agenda of moderators is to facilitate discussion... which includes... always preformin ther moderation duties in a truly respectful manor (no thinly veiled smart azz remarks)... an abidin by the forum rules... then everthang else will fall into place"
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  14. Bells Staff Member

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    22,711
  15. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

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    This was never intended to be a 'fun forum'... it was meant to be a forum of intelligent, factual-based, intellectual discussion and debate. If you didn't find that fun, here's the door, don't let it hit you on the way out.

    Now... well... now, I dont' know what this place's mission statement is anymore... and I think that's our biggest issue.
     
  16. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Scifourms is fun (for me at least) or i woudnt be here... but my queston is more about what it woud take to brang in new posters an keep the current posters... an i thank Sciforums bein a fun place to be is very important no mater what the mission statement is or isnt.!!!

    Who do you thank shoud decide what the "mission statement" is.???

    O... an what do you thank about my suggestons for Sciforums:::

    "A forum whare the agenda of moderators is to facilitate discussion... which includes... always preformin ther moderation duties in a truly respectful manor (no thinly veiled smart azz remarks)... an abidin by the forum rules... then everthang else will fall into place"
     
  17. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,848
    I got the money Hunny... an if you find the time... Woo HOO

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    In the meantime... what do you thank about these ideas for the betterment of Sciforums:::

    "A forum whare the agenda of moderators is to facilitate discussion... which includes... always preformin ther moderation duties in a truly respectful manor (no thinly veiled smart azz remarks)... an abidin by the forum rules... then everthang else will fall into place"
     
  18. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Tiassa explained it when he closed the thread:

    He couldn't have put it more plainly.
    The poster ignored the mundane obligation to show how his sources were applicable, and didn't answer the question about the point at which prevention tips became a quality of life issue.

    The thread had to close.
    There was no alternative.
     
  19. Bells Staff Member

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    22,711
    We do try to facilitate discussions. However when members take it upon themselves to go on a vendetta run across several threads and openly tell us this is what they are doing and why, threaten legal action if they don't get their way, then we have few options left open to us except to simply close the thread if said member refuses to support their argument despite repeated requests that they do so.

    Anyone can copy and paste quotes from external sources. But if this is the crux of one's discussion and refusing to answer for those quotes or apply them to a set of standards of behaviour they are advocating, then really, what else are we left with than someone just quoting from external sources?

    How does this generate discussion?

    The moderators and administrators who took part in those discussions with her in the many threads she started about it tried several times to get her to make her argument, to support it, to apply it to every day life. She chose not to answer any of those questions and simply kept quoting more passages from external sources. This happened in several threads that she started on the same topic. How would you recommend we encourage or facilitate discussion in such a case? If asking her to actually discuss the subject matter is not a way to facilitate it, if admin and the moderators who decided to discuss this with her asking her to please discuss those issues and make an argument of some kind is not a facilitation of discussion, what exactly is?

    We do not like closing threads. I cannot speak for my colleagues, but it is a last resort as far as I am concerned. It was for her to make her argument and apply it to the subject she was trying to discuss. She deliberately and repeatedly chose not to. As Captain Kremmen noted above and quoted this passage from Tiassa:

    This is why it was closed. She was asked to do this repeatedly and across all the threads she started about this subject.
     
  20. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Thats a positive an encouragin answr... thanks.!!!

    I ask Kitt alredy... an while waitin on him to reply... who do you thank shoud decide what the "mission statement" is.???
     
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,738
    The poster ignored the mundane obligation to show how his sources were applicable, and didn't answer the question about the point at which prevention tips became a quality of life issue.
    If the point at which prevention tips become a quality of life issue isn't defined, how can you possibly continue the discussion?
    The thread has to close.
    How many times do you people have to be told?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
  22. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    What are prevention tips, anyway?
     
  23. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,562
    W
    And, on cue, I'm wondering as I was in 2003 "Why Iraq, when... "

    How many paragraphs was that anyway?
    To "explain" once again why stupidity is ignored and those who display behaviour seen as combatitive (once again, subjective) are subject to what amounts to schoolyard bullying.

    Your examples, Tiassa, are as much indicative of what you're about as those you leave alone are.
    "Intelligent community", my arse. You've never displayed the slightest desire to eliminate stupidity.

    I swear, I could use your lengthy posts to fertilise my garden.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

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