A space for conversations in a time of global disruption
As I said in response to your original post, Bert, I think it's partly because DM attracts such a diverse range of people, and what we have in common doesn't in itself offer a lot of scope for engagement. I'll guess that most people who are looking for online conversation have other places they can go to where there are more people who share their particular interests. There's potential for people to have those conversations here, more rewardingly, with people who share their perspective on civilisation, but that needs a critical mass of people who are interested in that particular discussion.
Most of the 1500+ members probably never visit the site, but as we approach the festival I imagine more of them will look in. I think we'll quite likely see more activity then, and hopefully more people will now find it somewhere they're comfortable contributing to. I don't think we should worry that it takes a bit of time, and I don't think we should try to force it. The best conversations emerge spontaneously - as long as there is space for them.
For anyone who's wondering, Wolfbird's comment relates to discussions we had a couple of months ago (Moderation Thread: Purpose of the Forum). The fact that the forum's been quiet for a while doesn't surprise me at all; it would have been strange if anything else had happened. People who have been alienated by the atmosphere here aren't going to suddenly come flooding back, but that doesn't mean that they won't drift back if they see that it's changed.
Surely people are attracted to discussions which cover a range of different viewpoints. You Malcolm seem to be stifeling debate. Perhaps seeing where things go is better than you deciding what and how things can be discussed. Can't we also get away from all these catogaries and subcatagories. We sem to have gone from clash of personalities to the void and your making it worse not better. I seem to rememeber there was some interesting stuff in the past, maybe I imagined it.
I smell a rat... NONE of this makes any sense (no matter which 'reality' I view it from!)
I've moved a number of comments posted in this thread by Wolfbird and Annie Strawberry (and my responses to them) to a thread in the Moderation Forum, because I thought they were either offensive or wilfully irrelevant. Please post any responses to them, or comments on my decision to move them, in that thread rather than here.
(Alan's and Annie's comments above are in response to what I had written previously)
I'm switching some debate to another part of the site, Alan - that's very different to stifling it.
"Can't we also get away from all these catogaries and subcatagories."
We can certainly get away from some of them. I only set up the Free Forum because Wolfbird and Annie and a few others insisted there should be somewhere unstructured where they could post, but where they could exclude people like Stranger. My main concern was to get them off the front page, without hiding thoughtful discussion at the same time, and that was the only way I could see of doing it. I wasn't at all surprised they didn't post there (in fact I'd have been surprised if they had), so I'll probably delete that forum. And I'll also make it so that the Main Forum stands out on the front page more than the Moderation and Feral Forums.
But you're one of many people who don't like discussions about discussions, so the Moderation Forum stays - and that's the place for discussing whether a post is or isn't relevant to a particular thread.
Hoi Annie :)
I am sure that Malcolm would be pleased if you would express yourself on what you find worthwhile to think about in a topic of your own.
This is a great cyberspace medium that we can use to deepen our understanding through our (mental) interactions with others. Think about it: all we have here to deepen our understanding are words - we are missing body language and shared physical context - so staying on topic is essential if we want to get something out of it!
I feel honored when people react to-the-point to my text .. thus giving me the opportunity to get a different perspective, and/or to formulate better.
I think that our moderator Malcolm thought (as he explained to you) that these particular contributions of yours were not relevant to this specific topic of mine. That's all. No great problem, maybe your ego got hurt a bit, but hé .. there are more interesting things to talk about :)
Allen: You Malcolm seem to be stifeling debate.
Oh no, I think that you interpret his motives the wrong way. Our moderator is here to help us structuring our thoughts by staying on topic - thus enabling structured debate. What Malcolm is stifling is ego mania.
Nice one 'bert'/ 'Malcolm' ;-) Nothing like a bit of 'controversy' to get the plebs racking up the hits... sorry, but all this bullshit appears to be so contrived... I wonder why?
Will you both be attending the festival this year?
Wolfbird seems to have now left the site, and most of what he's posted here has disappeared, including his comment at the top of this thread.
I hope I won't need to move any more comments to the other thread, but I don't intend to post more notifications if I do have to (anyone who wants to be notified should 'Follow' the other thread).
I commented previously that 'DM attracts such a diverse range of people, and what we have in common doesn't in itself offer a lot of scope for engagement'.
I'll add to that, that what we have in common is something negative - a rejection of the existing system. I suspect that the site won't really take off until we have something positive in common - which to my mind will have to be a new system which we can all commit ourselves to.
Perhaps we should be discussing why people with progressive views seem to be unable to (often) organise democratic groups without splits and factionalism.
I noticed one of Berts posts has been deleted. What could he have possibly said?
I'm of the opinion that the only thing that can work is a situation which makes it difficult for anybody to have power over anybody else. But how, I hear you cry. History dosn't offer much comfort.
Malcolm: Wolfbird seems to have now left the site, and most of what he's posted here has disappeared, including his comment at the top of this thread.
That's amazing! How did that happen? Did our dear friend, rhetoric menace and formidable polemic writer manage to delete all of his own topics and all of his contributions to other topics, just by him self, in a blink of an eye? Or did one of the DM-site gods made this happen??
I just looked at some of the topics Wolfbird did not start, and behold ... none of his comments remained - leaving much of the shared thought process hanging in thin air. Wau, not good!
Did I hurt Wolfbird that much when I wrote that I could understand his unilateral communications by assuming that he, in fact was a highly intelligent person afflicted with the Asperger syndrome?
Upon that Wolfbird simple reflected with the remark that I should concern myself with my own problems - true I though, but that simple remark of his only strengthened me in my layman's diagnose.
In the past I have encountered twice a similar situation on different forums where one person overwhelmed and dominates the forum with very intelligent and beautiful text expressing solely his own point of view, neglecting all arguments against it - unable to 'feel' or empathize with others on their point of view.
At a certain point I than confronted the 'site dominator' on this - suggesting Asperger's. At first I got much angry comments from other forum members who wanted to protect the feelings of the such 'accused' against my (so perceived) abusive personal attack. But as it happened in both cases the 'accused' confirmed my suspicion, and opened up to give us some insight in how they derive meaning from the written word - which somewhat differs from the way I and most others derive meaning from words.
These two stayed on the forum, but things did changed for the better - in the sense that others felt more secure to ignore the immediate and persuasive writings of the highly intelligent 'Asperger brain', and to express their own point in the believe that this might be worthwhile to the conversation.
The dominating factor had been recognized for what is was - and extremely well formulated 100% subjective opinion.
"Did our dear friend, rhetoric menace and formidable polemic writer manage to delete all of his own topics and all of his contributions to other topics, just by him self, in a blink of an eye? Or did one of the DM-site gods made this happen??"
It was the Ning gods who made it happen, I'm afraid, Bert - it's part of their system that when someone leaves, all their content goes with them (apart from the opening posts of topics they've started which other people have replied to). It's one of the issues that administrators of Ning networks complain about regularly, because, as you say, it destroys the continuity of those threads. Wolfbird knew it would happen, because he'd seen it with Annie (when she accidently left previously) and with James Roberts.
I was hoping you'd set Alan's mind at rest on the disappearance of one of your posts. I didn't delete anything of yours, so I presume you did yourself - is that right?