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Old 30th January 2013, 12:35 PM   #3121
RandFan
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Wow, that's a pretty disturbing hypothetical plan you've got.

Hey, I'm a regular poster over at the atheismplus forums. Haven't posted on here for quite a long time, but I thought I might serve as another person for you to talk to rather than have y'all continue kibitzing on our forum.

A brief summary of my thoughts on this thread so far:

There are lots of spaces for more or less open debate online, including several large ones specifically catering to skeptics and/or atheists. The existence of a space with different goals is not a threat to those spaces.

No one is immune to criticism. People, including moderators, have said things they've regretted saying or that they should regret saying. You're well within your rights to criticize them (or me) for that. They have no duty to explain their actions to you when you do so.

I'm willing to accept some limitations and obligations in my participation on that forum to increase that forums accessibility to others - even when I don't understand the need for those limitations - because the cost is generally so low.

Diagnosing the mental health of forum members based solely on their posts is both laughable and contemptible.
Thank you very much for your input. I completely agree with you when it comes to diagnosing people on line.

One last thing, I've spoken with the moderators and as soon as they can they are going to ban you. Sorry. That was me trying to be cute which it probably wasn't. Please to forgive me.
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Old 30th January 2013, 12:45 PM   #3122
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You know, I can understand the motivations of some of the confused teen atheists at Atheism Pus. Many will just grow out of this phase.

What I have trouble understanding are the motivations of PZ Myers. He continues to erect ever bigger, wilder strawmen about the "misogyny" that is so "rampant" among the atheist/skeptical community. There is no way he actually believes what he is saying, so this makes him a pathological liar. It seems to me he stopped being a skeptic during Elevator Gate, and is now just a political propagandist.

Is he doing this for the notoriety? If so, there are so many other ways to achieve this without alienating himself from much of the atheist/skeptical community. In the long-run, I believe what he is doing is destroying his credibility in the skeptical community, assuming he is still a part of it. He may be "useful" to the radical feminists, but for how much longer? I don't think they need him either.

Last edited by Zelenius; 30th January 2013 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:00 PM   #3123
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Originally Posted by Zelenius View Post
What I have trouble understanding are the motivations of PZ Myers. He continues to erect ever bigger, wilder strawmen about the "misogyny" that is so "rampant" among the atheist/skeptical community. There is no way he actually believes what he is saying, so this makes him a pathological liar. It seems to me he stopped being a skeptic during Elevator Gate, and is now just a political propagandist.
I first became aware of PZ thanks to a friend of mine, who is a fan. This was during the whole "Crackergate" thing, and I thought that PZ had some good points, and it was a great stunt. He did an excellent job of pointing out the ridiculousness of the Catholic Church, and showing that the emperor had no clothes.

Unfortunately, it dawned on me eventually that this is PZ's whole MO, and the cracker thing wasn't done wholly to point out the ridiculous, but also to irritate and anger. Apparently, now he's taken to riling up his fellow atheists and skeptics, who have a huge weak spot in the form of political correctness.

Here, he's got a lot in common with RW. Neither of them seem to serve much of a useful purpose. They're both feces-agitators.
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:07 PM   #3124
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recursive prophet, here's a case where I linked the transcript for the video I posted along with an article discussing the themes in the video and here is where I replied to you with a video including a description of what the video was. Both are examples of me trying to include people who were unable to view the videos.

More broadly, I respect peoples' requests to refrain from certain gifs and to obey the forum-wide rule on asking permission before pm'ing even though neither negatively impact me personally. I also recognize that there can be conflicting access needs, and that some decisions - like allowing profanity and sexually explicit material - hinder access.
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:26 PM   #3125
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post

More broadly, I respect peoples' requests to refrain from certain gifs and to obey the forum-wide rule on asking permission before pm'ing even though neither negatively impact me personally. I also recognize that there can be conflicting access needs, and that some decisions - like allowing profanity and sexually explicit material - hinder access.
If it were just a handfull of eccentric rules, that would be one thing. But everything from "Do not post short replies" to "Do not quote long quotes" to numerous other really odd things have been either enforced or semi-enforced. (ETA: this is a very very very abridged version of the bizarre rules that have popped up.)

Allowing profanity isn't the issue. Almost everyone here was upset when profanity was banned here, but Randi wanted the forum accessible to/from highschools, so, whatevs.

What's strange over there is that profanity laden attacks (including calling people human urinals, etc!) from inner-group members is totally acceptable, when the juxtaposition is observed alongside all the really outlandish rules.

Make sense?

Also, Stout was not planning on trolling A+ or encouraging such behavior; he was just observing that it would be nearly impossible to do even if one wanted to.
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Old 30th January 2013, 01:49 PM   #3126
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Wow, that's a pretty disturbing hypothetical plan you've got.
Hypothetical ? Oh right

Upthread somewhere I mentioned that I wasn't going to troll them and I meant it. It was obvious right from the get go that most of the members there were emotionally compromised and I didn't/don't consider it fair to take advantage of them in a way that would contribute to their already obvious paranoia. I'll just have to content myself with reading A+ for lulz and posting the more interesting highlights on here.

Remember their grand opening ? when they posted that thread on privilege(s) and we saw such desperation as "the buttons on my woman's blouse are designed to allow men to undress me more easily" or "I'm gifted" ? The thread that got gutted. Right there it was obvious that the members were intelligent, educated, and mostly saw them as societies victims, so much so that they had to make up the most desperate claims in order to demonstrate just how marginalized they were and were more interested in wallowing in a pot of victimhood rather than addressing ways of coping with that perceived marginalization.

Yea, we get it you had a crappy childhood, so did lots of other people however Aplussers see their problems as being so much greater than everybody else's.

Quote:
There are lots of spaces for more or less open debate online, including several large ones specifically catering to skeptics and/or atheists. The existence of a space with different goals is not a threat to those spaces.
Yes, there are but by aligning themselves with the skeptical/atheist movement they automatically gave themselves a built in opposition. They had to know that this combination was most likely the weirdest one, ever and the combination of the two ( skepticism & social justice ) was bound to attract posters who would be critical of quite a few of the SJ claims eg. rape culture.

They set themselves up with a shooting gallery, the posters came, they posted, they were dogpiled and they were banned. Big triumph for social justice, not so good for skepticism.

As we all know, there's way more to skepticism than simply barfing up logical fallacies.

Just look at their definition of an ally. They don't want allies, they want lap dogs. People they can "educate" people who they can revoke the ally status from at a whim, people they can have power over.

Quote:
No one is immune to criticism. People, including moderators, have said things they've regretted saying or that they should regret saying. You're well within your rights to criticize them (or me) for that. They have no duty to explain their actions to you when you do so.
No, the inner sanctum is immune to criticism. Sure, you can try but push it a little too much and watch the ban hammer fall. Dunno about saying things they regret, I'll just have to take that on faith.

Quote:
Diagnosing the mental health of forum members based solely on their posts is both laughable and contemptible.
Like the posts where they admit those mental health issues ? Read their blogs.
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Old 30th January 2013, 02:11 PM   #3127
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Just noticed this:

Quote:
No one is immune to criticism. People, including moderators, have said things they've regretted saying or that they should regret saying. You're well within your rights to criticize them (or me) for that. They have no duty to explain their actions to you when you do so.
But cee will ban people for not responding to a post Setar makes, and some other mod (or is it the official policy among mods? Hard to tell over there, since there appears to be no normal, standard forum mod coordination of action over there) says ignoring posts, no matter how many all cap profanity laden insults are being hurled at you, is tone policing.

So, mods and inner forum members have to be responded to or it's a form of tone policing, but mods inner forums members "have no duty to explain their actions to you".

Is this correct?
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Old 30th January 2013, 02:37 PM   #3128
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Originally Posted by Zelenius View Post
What I have trouble understanding are the motivations of PZ Myers.
This Myers chap is far from being an Adonis.
I think he's worked out that the best he could realistically manage these days is an occasional spot of fat, white, hirsute, sulky feminist action. Most likely at some conference or other.
So he's set out his stall and is sticking with it. I admire him for that.

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Old 30th January 2013, 03:31 PM   #3129
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
[piegasm] says ignoring posts, no matter how many all cap profanity laden insults are being hurled at you, is tone policing.
That was a hotly contested issue. The key issue is distinguishing between not liking the style of a post and finding a post abusive. I thought Onamission accurately summed up the issue by pointing out that there were many perfectly acceptable reasons to ignore a post, but that simply ignoring someone to silence them because you don't like that posters tone is problematic.

Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
So, mods and inner forum members have to be responded to or it's a form of tone policing, but mods inner forums members "have no duty to explain their actions to you".

Is this correct?
I was specifically referring to the criticism on threads such as these on other skeptic or atheist forums where people criticize from the outside. Mods do have a duty to explain why they're taking various actions.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:49 PM   #3130
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Quote:
I thought Onamission accurately summed up the issue by pointing out that there were many perfectly acceptable reasons to ignore a post, but that simply ignoring someone to silence them because you don't like that posters tone is problematic.
That makes NO SENSE at all. Ignoring posts that offends you is not "silencing" anyone. The idea that ignoring a post is or even can be silencing them ("to silence them") is bizarre. It's weird idea #482774 to come out of that place.

Quote:
I was specifically referring to the criticism on threads such as these on other skeptic or atheist forums where people criticize from the outside.
Well, Ok. Yeah, nobody from over here would ever expect people from there to come here to explain themselves.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:57 PM   #3131
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
The key issue is distinguishing between not liking the style of a post and finding a post abusive. I thought Onamission accurately summed up the issue by pointing out that there were many perfectly acceptable reasons to ignore a post, but that simply ignoring someone to silence them because you don't like that posters tone is problematic.
But don't they frequently explain "intent is not magic?" Based on that, why one ignores a post should have little bearing on whether it's acceptable to ignore it. And if ignoring a post might have the effect of silencing someone, isn't that a contemptible action?
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:57 PM   #3132
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kelly, what are your feelings on the concept of tone policing generally? Do you agree with the idea that saying that removing angry speakers from a dialogue is likely to disproportionately affect those for whom the issue is personal?

I agree that the magnitude of the silencing from one person ignoring someone is quite small and that there are many legitimate reasons to ignore someone that are indistinguishable from the outside, but I think it's useful to say, as a general principle, one should not ignore someone because their tone and style is different from yours.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:07 PM   #3133
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
kelly, what are your feelings on the concept of tone policing generally? Do you agree with the idea that saying that removing angry speakers from a dialogue is likely to disproportionately affect those for whom the issue is personal?

I agree that the magnitude of the silencing from one person ignoring someone is quite small and that there are many legitimate reasons to ignore someone that are indistinguishable from the outside, but I think it's useful to say, as a general principle, one should not ignore someone because their tone and style is different from yours.
JREF is very informative on this question. Simply demand civility for EVERYONE. Avoid even the appearance of favoritism. It's not possible to always do it but it requires a commitment. Many skeptics here have been banned. If one is uncivil then forum members can report the post and the poster is warned. If the poster refuses to moderate his or her behavior that person is suspended. If the behavior continues after the suspension then and only then is the poster banned.

I've been warned before. I've been on thin ice before. While I can be snarky and contentious at times I try to avoid personalizing the discussion. I honestly think there is a real possibility for me to be banned if I'm not careful. So, when I'm given a warning I back off.
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I wonder if they'd think I'd flipped.
If I went to LA, via Omaha.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:11 PM   #3134
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
That makes NO SENSE at all. Ignoring posts that offends you is not "silencing" anyone. The idea that ignoring a post is or even can be silencing them ("to silence them") is bizarre. It's weird idea #482774 to come out of that place.

Actually it does come within a long stone's throw of silencing, in one circumstance: when the post being ignored is a personal attack on the person ignoring it.

Bullies hate that. That's why in schoolyards they say things like "Hey you, yeah I'm talking to you. You deaf?"
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:15 PM   #3135
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
kelly, what are your feelings on the concept of tone policing generally? Do you agree with the idea that saying that removing angry speakers from a dialogue is likely to disproportionately affect those for whom the issue is personal?

I agree that the magnitude of the silencing from one person ignoring someone is quite small and that there are many legitimate reasons to ignore someone that are indistinguishable from the outside, but I think it's useful to say, as a general principle, one should not ignore someone because their tone and style is different from yours.
A poster should be able to ignore whoever they want to and they shouldn't even need a reason.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:18 PM   #3136
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Originally Posted by Krikkiter View Post
A poster should be able to ignore whoever they want to and they shouldn't even need a reason.
Anything other than that is absurd. If there is an administrative need that requires attention then the moderator should send a PM.
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I think I'll reroute my trip
I wonder if they'd think I'd flipped.
If I went to LA, via Omaha.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:20 PM   #3137
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
kelly, what are your feelings on the concept of tone policing generally? Do you agree with the idea that saying that removing angry speakers from a dialogue is likely to disproportionately affect those for whom the issue is personal?

I agree that the magnitude of the silencing from one person ignoring someone is quite small and that there are many legitimate reasons to ignore someone that are indistinguishable from the outside, but I think it's useful to say, as a general principle, one should not ignore someone because their tone and style is different from yours.

Members here can express as much anger as they want, in any tone or style they want, as long as the expression does not take the form of a personal attack. (And as long as they don't break the swearing rules, which are imposed by the landlord regardless of the preferences of anyone here.)

If an issue that's personal to you is making you personally angry at the person you're talking to, there's something wrong. You're either shooting the messenger, or lashing out when you should be persuading (metaphorically, fist-fighting on the Senate floor). It's very much human nature to do so, but it is not an application of skepticism, rationalism, or critical thinking, which are held in high regard here.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:23 PM   #3138
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Anything other than that is absurd. If there is an administrative need that requires attention then the moderator should send a PM.

But that might trigger a panic attack
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:24 PM   #3139
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Quote:
kelly, what are your feelings on the concept of tone policing generally? Do you agree with the idea that saying that removing angry speakers from a dialogue is likely to disproportionately affect those for whom the issue is personal?
I think people should have the right to express the opinion that they don't like or approve of someone's tone. Of course, on the flipside, they shouldn't be surprised if they get laughed at for it or simply ignored. They also shouldn't expect mods to force people to enforce someone's civility preference.

Regarding angry speakers, there are a bunch of ways to deal with that. A short lock and editing out things that are starting to cross a line, and then PMing the offending parties, letting them know not to continue in that fashion, and then an unlock with a mod note that things have been edited and it is expected that people remain civil from here on out is one way (of many.) But no, I wouldn't advocate removing the angry folks, for whom the issue is likely to be personal or even otherwise.

Quote:
I agree that the magnitude of the silencing from one person ignoring someone is quite small and that there are many legitimate reasons to ignore someone that are indistinguishable from the outside, but I think it's useful to say, as a general principle, one should not ignore someone because their tone and style is different from yours.
That's just not how forums work. You can't make people respond to each other. Ignoring people you don't like is kinda necessary for interacting healthily on the internet sometimes. And when left to their own devices, sometimes people grow on people. Seriously, this is why almost all forums come with a built-in ignore feature in the software.

Encouraging or expecting people NOT to ignore users who bother them for whatever reason is, like, an idea from forum-oppositeville. As a general rule, it's better, if anything, for mods to encourage people to just ignore each other if they can't stay civil.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:31 PM   #3140
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Actually it does come within a long stone's throw of silencing, in one circumstance: when the post being ignored is a personal attack on the person ignoring it.

Bullies hate that. That's why in schoolyards they say things like "Hey you, yeah I'm talking to you. You deaf?"

Good point.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:32 PM   #3141
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The idea that certain posts from certain contributors (let me guess, posts written by those in the A+ in-group) MUST be answered, moves the interaction from one of free discussion to interrogation and gang bullying.

The fact that the Aplussers in question fail to realise this is a direct refutation of their claims to 'expertise' and wide reading in matters such as justice, marginalisation, power dynamics etc..

These people are just dull, unreflective hypocrites.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:35 PM   #3142
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Members here can express as much anger as they want, in any tone or style they want, as long as the expression does not take the form of a personal attack. (And as long as they don't break the swearing rules, which are imposed by the landlord regardless of the preferences of anyone here.)

If an issue that's personal to you is making you personally angry at the person you're talking to, there's something wrong. You're either shooting the messenger, or lashing out when you should be persuading (metaphorically, fist-fighting on the Senate floor). It's very much human nature to do so, but it is not an application of skepticism, rationalism, or critical thinking, which are held in high regard here.
I don't completely agree.

What if someone is saying something bigoted? I don't think it's a skeptical failure for someone to find that upsetting.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:38 PM   #3143
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Civility isn't necessarily related to the truth or value of a point. As an example, Penn Jillette said some very vile things about John Edward in the first episode of his Showtime show. His profane personal attacks weren't less valid for being uncivil. Similarly, a psychic spouting woo is a psychic spouting woo regardless of how civil their language is.

I've got no problem with there being spaces, like the JREF forum, where civility is enforced to ensure broad access. I also understand that, if you're going to require civility, you have to require it for everyone. On the other hand, it's harder for some people to be civil about a topic than others. I don't see the value in requiring a target of, for example, racism to be civil when responding to a racist who is politely just asking questions about the equality of the races. I don't speak for the atheismplus forum, but it has made clear that it values many things over such civil debate.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:42 PM   #3144
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I just can't understand the mindset that will accommodate the potential for people to be triggered by receiving unannounced PMs, but not the potential to be triggered by being yelled and sworn at by a bunch of bullies. It smacks of self-justification.

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Old 30th January 2013, 04:54 PM   #3145
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
I just can't understand the mindset that will accommodate the potential for people to be triggered by receiving unannounced PMs, but not the potential to be triggered by being yelled and sworn at by a bunch of bullies. It smacks of self-justification.
There have been several discussions about that and every time the in-group distort the argument into a prudish reaction to swearing, rather than concern about bullying etc.
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Old 30th January 2013, 04:54 PM   #3146
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Civility isn't necessarily related to the truth or value of a point. As an example, Penn Jillette said some very vile things about John Edward in the first episode of his Showtime show. His profane personal attacks weren't less valid for being uncivil. Similarly, a psychic spouting woo is a psychic spouting woo regardless of how civil their language is.

I've got no problem with there being spaces, like the JREF forum, where civility is enforced to ensure broad access. I also understand that, if you're going to require civility, you have to require it for everyone. On the other hand, it's harder for some people to be civil about a topic than others. I don't see the value in requiring a target of, for example, racism to be civil when responding to a racist who is politely just asking questions about the equality of the races. I don't speak for the atheismplus forum, but it has made clear that it values many things over such civil debate.
I don't disagree with any of that. An effective anti-bigotry policy would be possible with the right forum management, and then outside of that, members could be held to the same rules. Whamo-presto, a reasonably safe space that could also promote skepticism. But for numerous reasons, that's not how A+ works.
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:00 PM   #3147
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I don't completely agree.

What if someone is saying something bigoted? I don't think it's a skeptical failure for someone to find that upsetting.

Good point. I misspoke. I didn't mean it was inappropriate for people to feel anger in such circumstances, but that it's counterproductive to lash out with angry speech.

Note that saying "X makes me angry" or even "you make me angry" is not lashing out. But when the chosen means of expressing that anger becomes instead "you're a *****" or "I hope you die" it becomes not only a personal attack, but a waste of time as well. It also plays right into the hands of trolls.

Respectfully,
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:03 PM   #3148
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Good point. I misspoke. I didn't mean it was inappropriate for people to feel anger in such circumstances, but that it's counterproductive to lash out with angry speech.

Note that saying "X makes me angry" or even "you make me angry" is not lashing out. But when the chosen means of expressing that anger becomes instead "you're a *****" or "I hope you die" it becomes not only a personal attack, but a waste of time as well. It also plays right into the hands of trolls.

Respectfully,
Myriad
Gotcha. And I agree.
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:07 PM   #3149
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The biggest reason being that A+ is controlled by very bad people, and a fair policy wouldn't let them abuse and bully others the way they want to.
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:07 PM   #3150
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Civility isn't necessarily related to the truth or value of a point. As an example, Penn Jillette said some very vile things about John Edward in the first episode of his Showtime show. His profane personal attacks weren't less valid for being uncivil. Similarly, a psychic spouting woo is a psychic spouting woo regardless of how civil their language is.
I don't think anyone here is claiming otherwise.

Quote:
I've got no problem with there being spaces, like the JREF forum, where civility is enforced to ensure broad access. I also understand that, if you're going to require civility, you have to require it for everyone. On the other hand, it's harder for some people to be civil about a topic than others. I don't see the value in requiring a target of, for example, racism to be civil when responding to a racist who is politely just asking questions about the equality of the races.
And what would be the benefit of that incivility? Do you think that the racist in question is injured by the incivility? Will the racist think, "gosh, my polite questions pissed someone off, maybe I'm wrong?" Will the myriad third parties watching the exchange decide that the racism must be incorrect because someone responds with a lack of self-control?

Quote:
I don't speak for the atheismplus forum, but it has made clear that it values many things over such civil debate.
I'm baffled as to why A+'s priorities should be incompatible with civil debate.

As I've oft opined, I think one of the big problems with humanity is that righteous outrage feels good. Righteous outrage feeds on itself, and, being outrage, can lead people to do very bad things. Yes, it can lead people to do good things, but that's not the way to bet. Righteous outrage can incite righteous outrage in its targets, too, causing nearly unlimited escalation. And since it feels good, people seek it.

The JREF civility rules try to keep righteous outrage from going too far, because being 'right' is irrelevant to the JREF mods.

A+, on the other hand, seems to actually encourage righteous outrage.
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Old 30th January 2013, 05:09 PM   #3151
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
As I've oft opined, I think one of the big problems with humanity is that righteous outrage feels good. Righteous outrage feeds on itself, and, being outrage, can lead people to do very bad things. Yes, it can lead people to do good things, but that's not the way to bet. Righteous outrage can incite righteous outrage in its targets, too, causing nearly unlimited escalation. And since it feels good, people seek it.

The JREF civility rules try to keep righteous outrage from going too far, because being 'right' is irrelevant to the JREF mods.

A+, on the other hand, seems to actually encourage righteous outrage.
An excellent point. It's very much analogous to the Dark Side of the Force.
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:08 PM   #3152
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Originally Posted by Axiom_Blade View Post
I first became aware of PZ thanks to a friend of mine, who is a fan. This was during the whole "Crackergate" thing, and I thought that PZ had some good points, and it was a great stunt. He did an excellent job of pointing out the ridiculousness of the Catholic Church, and showing that the emperor had no clothes.

Unfortunately, it dawned on me eventually that this is PZ's whole MO, and the cracker thing wasn't done wholly to point out the ridiculous, but also to irritate and anger. Apparently, now he's taken to riling up his fellow atheists and skeptics, who have a huge weak spot in the form of political correctness.

Here, he's got a lot in common with RW. Neither of them seem to serve much of a useful purpose. They're both feces-agitators.
In light of all this, it makes more sense, but I believe PZ just as easily could have played the role Dawkins played in the EG mess. He would have gotten the publicity he craves without alienating much of the skeptic/atheist community.

Although I only discovered Myers well after Cracker-Gate(but also well before EG), he didn't strike me as a radical feminist before EG. A leftist, yes, but not a radical feminist claiming there is rampant misogyny in the atheist/skeptical community.

And I agree, he does have a lot in common with RW, except that Myers is actually a scientist who should know better, and, unless I am missing something, can do better. This is why I can understand RW's motivations more than Myers, at least Myers could actually do science to build a reputation in the scientific and skeptical/atheist community, while RW can't. This is also why I hold Myers in lower regard than RW. I'm sure this is just more evidence of my "misogyny".

Last edited by Zelenius; 30th January 2013 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:26 PM   #3153
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Originally Posted by AbsurdWalls View Post
There have been several discussions about that and every time the in-group distort the argument into a prudish reaction to swearing, rather than concern about bullying etc.
There's that....and the claim that the PMee feels trapped or cornered. What was the analogy used ? Something like following someone into an underground parking lot.

I can sort of relate though. When I see that PM signal flashing at the top of my screen, I can be reasonably certain that it's my ole buddy, auto mod action telling me that yet another of my well crafted and brilliantly executed posts has been sent to languish in AAH.
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Old 30th January 2013, 07:39 PM   #3154
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After some little cogitation, I've reached the following conclusions:
  • That the A+ forum is intended to be an asylum (in the sense of a safe haven) for those emotionally defective who style themselves as "skeptics".
  • Some people, being more emotionally defective than others, have difficulty expressing themselves calmly, coherently, or even civilly.
  • It would be the height of callousness to berate a mental patient for their mental defects; so to is it offensive in the extreme to take a member of the A+ forums to task for uncivil nature of their rants.
  • Thus the A+ forums take on the character of an asylum (in the sense of a facility catering to the insane), full of inmates and their caretakers.
  • Only, their caretakers are some horrible, fascinating montage of Nurse Ratched, the asylum staff from Sucker Punch, and the inmates themselves.
  • As asylums go, it ends up being something like Arkham with the Joker in charge.
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:28 PM   #3155
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
After some little cogitation, I've reached the following conclusions:
  • That the A+ forum is intended to be an asylum (in the sense of a safe haven) for those emotionally defective who style themselves as "skeptics".
  • Some people, being more emotionally defective than others, have difficulty expressing themselves calmly, coherently, or even civilly.
  • It would be the height of callousness to berate a mental patient for their mental defects; so to is it offensive in the extreme to take a member of the A+ forums to task for uncivil nature of their rants.
  • Thus the A+ forums take on the character of an asylum (in the sense of a facility catering to the insane), full of inmates and their caretakers.
  • Only, their caretakers are some horrible, fascinating montage of Nurse Ratched, the asylum staff from Sucker Punch, and the inmates themselves.
  • As asylums go, it ends up being something like Arkham with the Joker in charge.
I have nothing to add to this except to say that you summed up A+ perfectly!
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:49 PM   #3156
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@stout: lol, I forgot about that. Back when I somehow decided to join the protests in FM was the only time I used to dread seeing my PM light flashing here. Always assumed-and was mostly right-it was an AAH or infraction notice. I learned, and now avoid the games in the basement.

@The Prestige: The best humor always contains elements of truth. Very funny post.

@qwints: Thanks for your replies, both here and at A+. Don't mean to be a nag but I'd really appreciate knowing if you believe A+ is moderated in a rational way. I asked about your overall impressions in my earlier post. You come across as a reasonable person, which is exactly why I want to see how you explain what YOU see going on there. As you can see from reading this thread there are precious few who don't see it as both weird and extremely hostile.
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Old 30th January 2013, 09:25 PM   #3157
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Originally Posted by qwints View Post
Civility isn't necessarily related to the truth or value of a point. As an example, Penn Jillette said some very vile things about John Edward in the first episode of his Showtime show. His profane personal attacks weren't less valid for being uncivil. Similarly, a psychic spouting woo is a psychic spouting woo regardless of how civil their language is.

I've got no problem with there being spaces, like the JREF forum, where civility is enforced to ensure broad access. I also understand that, if you're going to require civility, you have to require it for everyone. On the other hand, it's harder for some people to be civil about a topic than others. I don't see the value in requiring a target of, for example, racism to be civil when responding to a racist who is politely just asking questions about the equality of the races. I don't speak for the atheismplus forum, but it has made clear that it values many things over such civil debate.
BRO! Great *********** post, I was thinking to my *********** self I can't wait until some mother ********** cuts the *********** bull **** and started telling it *********** like it *********** really is. I think to my *********** self, "hey douchebag, when you gonna **** and get off the pot, stop being a *********** hand bag and BRING the *********** logic"! That is what I *********** said because when it comes to civil debate, I say **** that *********** ******

Great *********** post!
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Old 30th January 2013, 10:03 PM   #3158
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Originally Posted by 16.5 View Post
BRO! Great *********** post, I was thinking to my *********** self I can't wait until some mother ********** cuts the *********** bull **** and started telling it *********** like it *********** really is. I think to my *********** self, "hey douchebag, when you gonna **** and get off the pot, stop being a *********** hand bag and BRING the *********** logic"! That is what I *********** said because when it comes to civil debate, I say **** that *********** ******

Great *********** post!
16.5 swears in that post.
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Old 30th January 2013, 10:56 PM   #3159
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Originally Posted by Doctor Plop View Post
16.5 swears in that post.
Yes he does. That's what the asterisks mean.








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Old 30th January 2013, 11:02 PM   #3160
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
And what would be the benefit of that incivility? Do you think that the racist in question is injured by the incivility? Will the racist think, "gosh, my polite questions pissed someone off, maybe I'm wrong?" Will the myriad third parties watching the exchange decide that the racism must be incorrect because someone responds with a lack of self-control?


I'm baffled as to why A+'s priorities should be incompatible with civil debate.
My reply to both of these is similar - the benefit of allowing incivility is that enforcing civil debate prioritizes civility over truth. Anger is a valid response to injustice and requiring people to suppress their anger to that injustice distorts discourse. In addition, civility has the potential to favor the status quo.

So the goal of allowing angry and harsh language is not to achieve anything with that language, but rather to avoid excluding or invalidating viewpoints expressed in that language. The weakest part of my argument is probably the claim that people personally affected by a subject are most likely to express their view with harsh language. I don't have good evidence for that claim, but if you accept that premise then I believe that you have to accept that excluding uncivil arguments tends to exclude the very people closest to the problem.

Originally Posted by recursive prophet View Post
I'd really appreciate knowing if you believe A+ is moderated in a rational way.
I do.The moderation does come from a particular point of view and places a very high value on deterring perceived trolls, but I certainly understand the motivations behind the vast majority of moderator actions. There have been a couple of very major screw-ups that have been extensively discussed both on atheismplus and elsewhere. If you understand that the goal of the forum is to create a community based around certain beliefs about reality rather than a place for open discussion or debate, then I think most of it makes sense.
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