A space for conversations in a time of global disruption
I recently deleted a music video that Wolfbird had posted on the forum, and asked him not to post any more on other people's threads .... and suggested that it would be better if he posted things like that on his blog page. In response he made a complaint on the Forum Moderation thread about me deleting his post. I had already been thinking of starting a discussion about the purpose of the forum and the difference between it and other parts of the site; now that Wolfbird has decided to make that public complaint, this seems a good time to start that discussion.
I consider that the way Wolfbird has been using the forum over the last few months makes it virtually unusable as a place for thoughtful discussion - which I regard as its primary purpose. He has been constantly posting music videos and links to things which happen to have caught his attention, regardless of whether they have any relevance to the thread they're posted in. Every time he (or anyone else) does that, anybody who is following the thread receives an e-mail notifying them of the post; with the amount of spam there is generally, it's likely people get irritated by being alerted to trivial posts which are clearly irrelevant, and therefore stop following the discussion.
I believe it's also very off-putting for people looking at the site for the first time. If they look at two or three active threads and see that the most recent posts are nearly all music videos or links to miscellaneous sites which have no obvious connection to the topic, they're likely to dismiss the forum out of hand and never see any of the more stimulating exchanges. In my view, that kind of posting behaviour is likely to deter both long-term members and newcomers; if there's too much noise on the forum, the people who are looking for thoughtful discussion don't have anywhere to engage in it.
However, this site does provide a place for posting videos, and it also gives every member their own blog page on which they can post (more or less) whatever they like (and it allows for others, who are interested in them, to be alerted when they do post something). In view of that, I don't see any reason to allow people to post links or videos to the forum other than ones which are clearly relevant to a discussion - they should be posted either to the video section or the member's own page. Unless someone can offer a good reason to allow it, I intend to treat that kind of posting behaviour as a form of spam, in which case anyone who persists with it after being asked to stop would be suspended.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Everything just seems to be getting more and more complicated especially as I also seem to be getting notifications of postings sometimes and not others.
This argument about what is or isn't allowed or wether its legitimate to disallow anything must seem very tediouse to anybody coming to it afresh, I know I'm fed up with it. OK its important if somebody is seeking to force their view on somebody else, welcome to the world. If I want repetative arguments which are not very enlightening I'll go out back and talk to the geese.
Gods Teeth! This is all so tedious, talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
bert louis said:
ANNIE Strawberry to Malcolm:
He's posting videos! I recall discussing everything from wolves to etymology on the Easter Island thread and you didn't have a problem with that... and it went on for weeks... with links, videos and everything! What's changed all of a sudden?
There is a difference. The Easter Island topic ) was started by Wolfbird himself. I still think that it was posted in the wrong section (namely the debate & argument section) ... but that doesn't seem to be an issue for Malcolm as long as Wolfbird posts to his 'own topic.'
In the "Articles, Links & Stuff to Read" section of the forum he started the topic "What Does it Mean to Be You" That's the appropriate place for such a topic, where he can let his flow of consciousness expand on the subject with lots of videos and stuff -- 1620 'replies!' The topic could also have been posted on the "Stories & journeys" section. These sections are both within the forum section of the site. No problem there.
The removed video was however posted on a thread started by Ormus ... I think that's the point here for Malcolm.
Malcolm: I recently deleted a music video that Wolfbird had posted on the forum, and asked him not to post any more on other people's threads .... and suggested that it would be better if he posted things like that on his blog page.
Malcolm: I consider that the way Wolfbird has been using the forum over the last few months makes it virtually unusable as a place for thoughtful discussion - which I regard as its primary purpose.
That's a rather vague I'm afraid, and a source of misunderstanding and emoting. At first I thought that you are concerned about the purpose of the "Discussions, Debates & Arguments" subsection of the forum, and not about the purpose of the whole forum section of the DM site. For that I thought it helpful to point out that the forum section of the DM site has several subsections (9). The title "Debate & Argument" is one of them, and strongly suggests that this is a place for the exchange of reasoned arguments for and against a proposition.
There are also the "Articles, links & Stuff to read" and the " Stories & Journeys" sections, and Wolfbird also posts there - great, thanks a million! People react positive, and so do I.
But you set me straight, Malcolm:
Me: The Wolfbird has no business in the debate & argument section because he does not debate his case with arguments but with ad hominem.
That means that he discards opposition to his view, not because of any evidence against it (or lack of evidence for it,) but because of the person who argues his position. "
Malcolm: That's certainly true, though only up to a point (he frequently does debate his case with good arguments) .... but it's not relevant to the current issue. I'm not suggesting that Wolfbird shouldn't post in this part of the site at all, I'm simply saying that he shouldn't put particular kinds of posts here.
Me: ..to make a constructive conversation even possible [....] don't multi post, don't cite the entire post you are reacting to - just the bits that count. Don't try to react to everything, just try to follow one line of thought till it brakes under argument.
Malcolm: There are arguments for and against rules like that .... but they really belong in a separate thread. The issue here is whether a particular kind of posting behavior is compatible with the purpose of the forum. I think it's better if we keep this thread focused on that.
I don't quit get. Still I think it's a pity that you don't seem to grasp that my supporting argument as to the purpose of the Debate & Argument section of the forum is really a strong reason to intervene against multi posting (which may also contain videos), and against polemics by a wide variety of ad hominem.
Unlike Wolfbird and some others think, there is no such thing as ad hominem arguments, for they fall in the category of fallacies!
Don't you think this is all a bit sad and pointless malcolm? and has become more about egos than anything else? If wer consider ourselves as in some way a progressive minority God(s) help the world.
Malcolm Ramsay said:
"It has absolutely NOTHING to do with YOUR needs and wishes whatsoever. It's an office, a function, that someone has to perform, where they set themselves aside, and cater for the community of people who give them the HONOUR of that role.
You still think that you are entitled to get something out of this for yourself"
You've misunderstood, Wolfbird. I don't expect to get anything out of being moderator here. I do expect to get something out of being a member. At the moment there's nothing for me here except the potential for a worthwhile discussion forum.
As for your suggestion about you being moderator for two weeks, I suggest you refresh your memory of why you were suspended and why a moderator was appointed.
Just seems like a pissing contest to me and to mix metaphors you've got the ball and your threatening to take it home.
Malcolm Ramsay said:
"You have moderating powers, so you are not just a member. [....] I wonder, does your ultimatum still stand?"
Yes, Bert, of course it still stands. The point I was making is that if I'm not getting anything from the site as a member, I'm obviously not going to be prepared to moderate it. And since Paul and Dougald are unlikely to let it go back to being an unmoderated forum, there would either have to be a new moderator or the forum would close. (Part of my reason for leaving Wolfbird's posts on the thread is so that any potential alternative moderator can appreciate the rewards of the job.)
"[....] that doesn't seem to be an issue for Malcolm as long as Wolfbird posts to his 'own topic.'
The removed video was however posted on a thread started by Ormus ... I think that's the point here for Malcolm."
When I originally deleted that music video and sent my message to Wolfbird, that was indeed all I was asking: that he treat other people's threads with more respect. When he responded the way he did I decided to demand a bit more, and now that he has behaved the way he has in this thread I intend to go even further.
"I think it's a pity that you don't seem to grasp that my supporting argument as to the purpose of the Debate & Argument section of the forum is really a strong reason to intervene against multi posting (which may also contain videos), and against polemics by a wide variety of ad hominem. "
No, I do accept it - and agree with it. I just wanted to keep the debate on the two issues separate (and was still thinking how to proceed). This particular issue is very straightforward, and can be resolved with a fairly simple rule; the question of what guidelines there should be, on the other hand, is much more complex and deserves its own thread.
Bad day Wolfbird? Do you think that such sentiments help anything? and don't tell me you don't care. My day today, helping tidy up the village, planting flowers, cutting grass, moving the notice board, having a communal meal, sleeping off the wine in the afternoon, feeding the animals, milking, collecting eggs and a little light weeding. this is an excuse to hide from the heat for half an hour or so. Banging heads with someone doesn't help anyone.
Words and images can change minds, hearts, even the course of history. Their makers shape the stories people carry through their lives, unearth old ones and breathe them back to life, add new twists, point to unexpected endings. It is time to pick up the threads and make the stories new, as they must always be made new, starting from where we are.
- The Dark Mountain Manifesto.Quite fascinating that this Moderation thread has got so many hits, far more than much more interesting and relevant threads that have been discussed..I suppose it's voyeurism. It's always more entertaining to watch the spectacle of the next-door neighbours having an almighty row and smashing the crockery, than it is to have a civilised ultra-polite discussion over the garden hedge about the ways of the world and the price of eggs..Who the fuck are you all ? Why are you lurking out there ? Why don't you have the courage to contribute something helpful and positive to the forum ?I hope you are all doing something worthwhile and positive out there in the real world, that can justify you spending the time to read the junk here on this thread !.I hope you are using Vinay Gupta as a role model, rather than the Moderator here, who wastes his precious time and energy trying to find ways to control me. Life is very short. Time and energy are very precious, and should not be squandered and wasted watching the trash on tv nor reading about this futile, trivial, haggling over where music videos belong on this forum..So, all you lurkers, if you have nothing constructive to offer, and lack the courage to contribute to the other topics, my advice to you is piss off and get a life, give yourself permission to find a real problem and start working very hard to find and apply solutions, as if your own life, and your children's lives, depended on it. Because they do..
Don't you think that's just pointless abuse?
Btw, that was a reference to the famous statement by Yunmen, a zen master who was asked 'What is a buddha ?, and replied, 'A shit-wiping stick '.
In other words, and modern parlance, nothing more than a piece of used toilet paper.
Malcolm provides the shit, so someone has to provide the paper. Until he learns how to wipe his own arsehole.
Isn't that right, Malcolm ?
I agree Judith.
this non-issue is disheartening. and thus becomes an issue. and not why i joined this group or started following this particular discussion. i approached 'what does it mean to be you' with the understanding that sharing thoughts, music, poetry, and events both current and historical is what it means to be me.
and find it very curious that dark mountain would have a moderator at all. and to have such power to intrude as he is obviously doing. (and i also have had my notifications recently not working properly.)
does the moderator position end june 30th? is that the blue sky on the horizon?
Thanks Judith, you made a nice Sunday morning even nicer.
Shortest answer you've ever given Wolfbird, fair enough. There seems to be an element of chaos to the stuff I'm getting which makes it hard to find who said what when and so on. I'm off to look for your posting on how the past and future can be regarded. If my bit pops up on some place it shouldn't be bare with me.
I completely agree with James here. I'm sorry that I haven't been around since last week but our connection is down at home. I haven't withdrawn - just experienced a graying at the foothills of the mountain. And funnily enough this site is blocked at work! We can visit the Daily Mail (as a colleague does every day) and all sorts of other crap - but Dark Mountain or Uncivilisation? Never.
J E Roberts said:
I don't get involved much with the forum because I feel to do it justice I would have to give more of my time which I'm a little short of at the moment. But I do intend to engage more when the opportunity arises. In the meantime I read a lot of Wolfbird's, Alan's, Dweebus's, Annie's, Simeon's . . . . posts. They're as interesting to me as the work on the DM blog, a source of inspiration. So please don't think that this forum is failing. I don't think it is at all. I like the rich soup that is developing over time. And that includes the music. I don't really care where it's posted, the internet doesn't work the way a book does, there are many different ways of navigating the site. I'm not much concerned with logical debate, more with the lurking patterns and archetype's buried within peoples expressions. I tend to skip the point by point stuff that gets posted here, though others might not. And I don't think I know of any forum that manages to stay on topic. Most conversations don't do they.
If anyone's interested in my opinion then I would say please only delete posts and intervene when several members have made a complaint.
OK now I've read the link.
It seems that if you are not familiar with the practices of Zen Buddhism you (Malcolm) could still be unnecessarily offended. I seed however that you could be right in your approach from your point of view but I don't see it having a constructive effect. If someone hit me with a stick I'm not at all sure that enlightenment would the first reaction I might have.
Having read through the link the aim as I understand it is to understand the "meaning of life" and "being fully awake in life". As far as I can see life dosen't have a meaning as such it just is. Its a random vent that we are privaliged to experiance. Being fully awake in life, however, seems as if it might be a different thing?
Couldn't agree more.
Dougald wanted this site to be a friendly, welcoming, hospitable place. Fine. I like those virtues too.
But this is the internet. If you want, you can find the most shocking and appalling stuff that you never even imagined possible.
I don't want to see snuff movies or paedophilia or real life rape or dismembered bodies, or even dead cats that have been run over. But it's all out there. It's all going on, at this very moment. It's madness to try and pretend that gross horror and malice and depravity don't exist. It's something that we all have to come to terms with. The real obscenity, the real offensiveness, is the orang utans being burned alive as their forests are cleared for palm oil, the sharks becoming extinct to make shark fin soup, the coral reefs disappearing, wedding parties blown to pieces by drones, and a zillion other issues.
Those are the things which should be troubling us. Not vulgar swear words, not posting videos in the wrong place.
I find it so very strange that when we discuss religion or evolution or ecology, there's maybe 10 hits a day. But when we discuss where videos should go and what I think of the Moderator, suddenly it's 200 hits a day....