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PostPosted: 08 Apr 2010, 15:33 
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Guardian of the East

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I'll sound off a bit about some issues.

Pile-ons. Some self-styled Xian apologists and the like at IIDB/FRDB notice that they get 10 or 20 responses to their OP, and then they whine about being piled on. My reaction: What big babies! What did they expect? That the IIDB/FRDB members nominate someone to make one and only one reply to them at a time?

If I was in a similar situation, I wouldn't whine about being piled on. I'd accept it as part of the territory. If I went to Rapture Ready and posted on how there's no point in expecting the Rapture to happen, given the track record of such predictions, I'd fully accept being piled on.

And to any Defenders of the Xian Faith who might be reading this I say: your god, Jesus Christ, didn't whine and complain all the time about Pharisee pile-ons, so why should you?

Claiming that one is too busy to address critical questions. Certain people can find the time to compose their OP's and post them, but when members' criticisms and questions come in, they become too busy to respond. That seems almost too convenient - it seems like an evasion.

I don't want to ban anyone! - someone whom I shall not name seems to cringe in fear at the thought of banning someone, even very obnoxious troublemakers.


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PostPosted: 08 Apr 2010, 21:38 
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Quick thought on the Pile-Ons.

Are the responses all the same, or do they address different issues in the OP? (Or, I gues alternatively, do they critique earlier posts by the poster? :cheeky: )

If they are all the same, I can sort of get the issue withe feeling piled-on, whereas if they all address different issues/approaches to the OP, they should be seen as valid.

It poses an interesting question in terms of forum management, whether you could manage to set up that multiple, redundant posts are discouraged in order to avoid pile-ons?

I realize that one of the reasons for the formation of this board was so that people wanting to discuss religious and paranormal topics could actually get more than dismissal from IIDB, so it seems reasonable to try and cut down on what amounts to noise in a discussion.

Then again, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I suppose ...

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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2010, 14:09 
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A debate thread limited to specific posters would be one way to avoid the "pile-on". But if all the posts are pretty much the same anyway, the poster can reply to all of them by replying to one. There is nothing wrong with saying, "look, I can't reply to twenty different people at once. I'll respond to those I can." The problem more often is that posters will make no substantive responses to anyone.

Which circles back to the next point: Claiming that one is too busy to address critical questions. Discussion forums are for discussion. If you have enough time to formulate the original post (assuming it isn't c/p-ed from elsewhere), then you have enough time to respond to replies. If not, you're just spamming the forum.


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2010, 05:24 
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The Power to Scry
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Hex wrote:
jess wrote:
If anyone would like a discussion about in general forum running, please feel free to start one. I'm sure we could all benefit from sharing ideas and good things, and not merely learning from each others' mistakes.
:twisted:

I think jess's idea here is a good one. We have threads discussing (sometimes vehemently :cussing: ) the faults and foibles of several different boards:

Now, it seems that there should be stuff that we can glean from those threads, not just in the interesting turns of events, but in the larger picture of the means of governance/ moderation/ freedoms allowed/ restrictions enforced/ etc.

I offer that this thread be one where the strengths and weaknesses of varying boards be discussed, toward the ideal of producing a picture of the 'perfect' board, while recognizing working/workable systems and looking to understand the functionality within an internet community.




There are, obviously, many different directions to go with this, but the one that interests me, at this point, is the reality of working a 'true democracy' as a means of governance. Can it be done successfully with a large user-base?


You may think you have a lot to learn about being a good moderator but 99% of moderators think they are perfect for the job from day one. Have you ever tried reasoning with a moderator.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I give up!

they are like Nazis with an e hard on and less power than brains in 99% of cases.

I lament that in my experience the worst kinds of people gravtitate towards this payless, imaginary e power, and for all the wrong reasons.

There should be only one reason you want to moderate, and that is to improve a forum you like with no expectation gain anything beyond the mutual satisfaction that might bring.

Also rule no 2 ok 2 rules: anyone who wants to be a moderator is unfit for the job

rule no 3: ok 3 rules I'll start again: No wankers, unguous sycophants or ass kissers. Your going to be unpopular, authority figures often are, being a suck up will make people respect you even less though.

rule no4: amongst our many rules are: you can be wrong, you are as likely to make mistakes as the next person, you are not beyond reproach, you are not the all singing all dancing shit o' the world, because someone demoted you from forum user to moderator. It is now you who serves the user base, not the other way around.

Does my thread about FRDB get a mention even though there is only one person posting on it. :cheeky:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16584

Note the ironic use of part 1.

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 20:25 
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Dagda, have you had any problem reasoning with me?

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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 02:42 
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Hex wrote:
Dagda, have you had any problem reasoning with me?


Every time I say in my experience you automatically assume I am talking about you. Have you had any problems in reasoning with people?

Have you yourself ever tried to dispute a warning a moderator has given? it's always a complete waste of time. their decision is always final like that wanker in the black.

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May the rain fall soft
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May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2010, 20:45 
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Actually, I think this was the only time I've posted in response to such a thing, so I guess that could count as 'every' ... :cheeky:

I guess I missed the 'in my experience' in there and was reading it as a blanket statement.



And I guess I've not run afoul of many 'bad' moderators, so I guess I've just not hit the wall you have.

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 02:22 
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Hex wrote:
Actually, I think this was the only time I've posted in response to such a thing, so I guess that could count as 'every' ... :cheeky:

I guess I missed the 'in my experience' in there and was reading it as a blanket statement.



And I guess I've not run afoul of many 'bad' moderators, so I guess I've just not hit the wall you have.


Most of them suffer from being sucked up to a lot by people on a forum and the inevitable hangers on*, that coupled with the fact that moderators generally can't be banned or even face warnings, no matter how much of an arsehole they are, and the tendancy when faced with any criticism by anyone for them to close ranks and defend their friends actions regardless, leads to a lot of petty dictators. Who on Earth thought this sort of system would encourage people to act with integrity and consistence? They must of been mad, this is no different from being a king. Sure it's fine if you are a good king, but if you are an arsehole then no one ever tells you when you did wrong, in fact they're all busy kissing your ass to try and gain some imaginary grace in the future. You can see that in action on Rationalia if you can be asked to wade through it. There all busy slapping each other on the back and patting the forum sycophants on the head, to actually think about anything. It's easy to expose such people for the hypocrites they are, much harder to actually make the LISTEN.

Seriously the fact that you haven't come across many poor moderators, is because you are seldom at the sharp end of seriously idiotic decisions that anyone in the real world would just laugh at. I can produce a list of all the reasons I've been banned before, and although until recently it was a rare occurrence, I'd wager you'd find it rather pathetic, some of the half baked reasons idiots have given to justify quelling any sign of humour or independent thought; you've seen why FRDB have banned me:

  • for complaining about not advocating genocide being a warnable offence (clearly at the very least it's trolling)
  • for pretending to be The Messiah on threads about Jesus (I also posted stuff relevant to the thread)
  • banned for not being able to sign an OSN
  • permanently banned for telling them how moronic it was to ask someone to sign something when they couldn't access pms
  • for apologising to someone for implying they might be an idiot if he couldn't think of a reason for x
  • permanently banned for having the nerve to complain about that, because making - admittedly sarcastic but apposite - points about why something is not flaming is in breach of your OSN obviously. Once again proving that ironic humour really isn't something they get, nor is any wish to indulge in an appellate procedure. Such measures are for the real world not The Ministry of Love.

And these places expect to improve? When they never make mistakes or overreact or even subject there own stupidity to any sort of quality control process!? Laughable.

To change my cynicism all it would take in the last 8 years is for a moderator to just once admit they were in the wrong, made a mistake, overreacted, suffered from a lack of a sense of humour, were having a bad day. You know just like normal people; but because they don't have to deal with these people face to face and they are effectively immune from criticism that just isn't going to happen. They are always right and ultimately when you are talking to a clique of friends who couldn't give a toss whether you are annoyed at their piss poor prevarication, should you really expect any sort of impartiality? Of course not. The system is intrinsically flawed, and why people can't see it is because they are happy herding, and not questioning moribund dictatorships. What you have is a system that encourages overly indiscreet whistle blowers, conformists, herders, bureaucrats and egotists. It is Big Brother in the vast majority of cases.

Actually there has been one occassion, but that was when I complained about someone calling me and idiot several times (I don't mind people insulting me, I have a pretty broad back and seldom report people for a minor insult, but when it is all they are doing it gets boring), and they couldn't argue the toss, as the evidence was in black and white and they'd simply not seen it. Once! Clearly the exception that proves the rule!


*by the way there's nothing wrong with making friends or being nice to each other, or all the things that make forums nice places at times, I'm talking about blatantly obsequious attempts to curry favour.

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To meet you
May the wind be always
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May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2010, 05:25 
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The Power to Scry
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Another problem I missed in that post is a lot of moderators are very competitive, they don't like to lose arguments, or to be shown to be wrong. Of course no one likes being shown to be wrong - even if it is a mark of good character to have the stones to admit when you are - but these people have probably been flagged by others as mod material as they have shown an ability to argue well on a particular subject and not to give in without a fight, and generally are fairly unflappable (sometimes soulless and unemotional, but meh nobodies perfect). The problem is of course they then take that attitude into their moderation style (as if it's somehow appropriate to your impartiality, especially when it's something they personally have done), and rather idiotically act as if it's a debate they must win, where, they have to keep their score board credibility or lose something imaginary. What makes this even more absurd, is that generally on most forums such things are done in private or by PM. But anyway, again you have another problem that reinforces peoples lack of integrity, the fear of losing an argument. Any good moderator should be prepared to hold his/her hands up and say, you know what, yeah I see your point, that was a bit silly, or even just compromise a little, say fair enough in future I will try not to do that again or be quite so x. Trouble is a lot of these people are the sorts that can never be wrong, about anything, the vast majority run the gamete between the stubborn to the intractable to the downright titanium plated hard headed clown.

Here's another example of the sort of attitudes you find on the net, The head moderator Rationalia, one ironically titled "Papa"'s signature has the phrase "never grow up, and never surrender!"

Which is exactly how the hard head treats his duties as a moderator too. And we're supposed to have any respect for your ability to moderate? Do you even know what that word means? there is no room for your ego in your job, you are an arbiter, an impartial judge of infractions, not a Circus Clown as your signature would suggest.

I kind of have always thought this but just accepted that the internet forums in general are just rubbish mostly with a few Oasis, or calm places amongst the shit storm of mediocrity. But I am starting to get somewhat annoyed by the sheer banality of the moderation on internet forums generally. I think people should start demanding more of these unpaid chancers, if and when they screw up, and they do as much as anyone else. Even though such people will often fight to the death to maintain a reputation that no one, really when it comes down to it, gives a toss about as soon as they turn their computer off. Your E "power" pretty much ceases to exist when you close your browser, by the time the power is off most people have almost forgotten your name.

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May the road rise up
To meet you
May the wind be always
At your back
May the sun shine warm
upon your face
May the rain fall soft
upon your field,
And until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


"I apologise... For nothing!"


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PostPosted: 17 Apr 2010, 00:04 
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Guardian of the East

Joined: 22 Dec 2008, 02:47
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All The Dagda's misfortunes are due to evil, autocratic staff members and never to anything that he had ever done. Right. (* sarcasm *)

That aside, I'd like to mention another issue. Off-limits subjects and styles of posting, aside from obvious things, like off-topic posts and abusiveness.

For years, IIDB has had a no-preaching rule, which FRDB has continued. Some other boards have similar rules.

Ebonmuse's blog Daylight Atheism > Comment Policy

His list of offenses is spamming, criminality, incivility, sock-puppetry, unoriginality, preaching, soapboxing, imperviousness to reason, thread derailing, and trolling. Of these, unoriginality, preaching, soapboxing, and imperviousness to reason are the preaching-related ones.

The Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum by Frazer and Phil Plait

People have gotten suspended from it for being unwilling to answer questions about their, er, alternative theories. So asserting them without addressing criticisms may qualify as a form of preaching. Also, such theories are reserved for the Against the Mainstream forum, while Conspiracy Theories is reserved for, you guessed it.

The Physics Forums Global Guidelines goes even further, forbidding discussion of a wide range of subjects from sacred-book science to the Earth being flat or hollow to water as fuel to Planet X to Moon-landing hoax theories. That may be a bit excessive; they could put them in some dungeon forum, perhaps to be named The Beam Dump. Where laser beams and accelerated-particle beams are sent when one does not want them anymore.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2010, 16:49 
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Guardian of the East

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The Dagda, I will repeat again. What do you think that a forum moderator ought to do?

Especially what you think a forum moderator ought to do about:
  1. Someone who posts a large amount of junky one-liners
  2. Someone who insults other members

The Dagda wrote:
... Already answered, all of it was to wind Preno up for being a cunt. ...

That's NOT what I was asking about.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2010, 20:01 
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:director: Note: Off-topic argumentation by Dagda and Lpetrich moved to here.

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