+++ BABBLE PROPOSAL +++

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sherpa-finn

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I know babble doesn't have the funds for this, and I also imagine it would be as popular as waxed toilet paper, but it's a third option. 

And yes, - for any dubious young'uns, waxed toilet paper was a thing.  Apparently its no longer available, - can't imagine why.  

https://www.amazon.co.uk/IZAL-MEDICATED-STRONG-TOILET-TISSUE-x/dp/B00FRK...

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

They are not kids. They are adults. Which gives them even less excuse for breaking the rules.

Unionist

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Fair enough but with a kid you can ground them, take away computer or cell time etc.

Interesting. You believe those types of measures work with kids? My experience is quite the contrary. It has taught me to use punitive, behaviouristic, "deterrent" measures only where health and safety, either of the child or others, is concerned. And even there, such measures must be used sparingly and respectfully. For education in general, a combination of logic and love work much better. I'm just speaking about my own conclusion from my own experience.

Quote:
What do we have here that is in between throwing them out of the house and nothing? One would hope that this is what we would be looking for. Your point is well taken.

Who proposed "nothing"? Correct - no one. So why not either make some proposals of your own, or respond to the ones that have been made upthread and in other threads.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Fair enough but with a kid you can ground them, take away computer or cell time etc.

Interesting. You believe those types of measures work with kids? My experience is quite the contrary. It has taught me to use punitive, behaviouristic, "deterrent" measures only where health and safety, either of the child or others, is concerned. And even there, such measures must be used sparingly and respectfully. For education in general, a combination of logic and love work much better. I'm just speaking about my own conclusion from my own experience.

Quote:
What do we have here that is in between throwing them out of the house and nothing? One would hope that this is what we would be looking for. Your point is well taken.

Who proposed "nothing"? Correct - no one. So why not either make some proposals of your own, or respond to the ones that have been made upthread and in other threads.

My point is there are other measures you can take that are short of "banning." I do not know if these ones work -- with our kids I do not rememebr ever having to resort to such measures. I was lucky enough to have kids that responded to me being unhappy with them as already a very serious thing.

Now here on site like this you cannot have the kind of moral persuasion that you would expect to be able to create at home.

I reacted to the concept of "laying down the law" upthread. What law? And what comparable relationship?

In the other thread I have been clear that I am ok with a time out when really needed but against permanent bans for any people other than spammers or those who have never had even one productive exchange.

It is not illegitimate to observe a problem without having a ready solution so I don't even get your last comment here. I have agreed to the only possible suggestions to avoid permanent bans which I don't like.

NDPP

May I also suggest that along with ikosmos, offers of amnesty and an invitation to return be sent to Slumberjack and Fidel, those being just two whose relatively recent absence I noticed and seemed particularly impactful? I note also upthread additional names of people who used to have interesting progressive things to say, M Spector and frmrsoldr being just two of those. Others here may know of more.  Perhaps in the interest of an attempt to arrest an obvious decline in this place, former babblers could be contacted and invited back? 

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

May I also suggest that along with ikosmos, offers of amnesty and an invitation to return be sent to Slumberjack and Fidel, those being just two whose relatively recent absence I noticed and seemed particularly impactful? I note also upthread additional names of people who used to have interesting progressive things to say, M Spector and frmrsoldr being just two of those. Others here may know of more.  Perhaps in the interest of an attempt to arrest an obvious decline in this place, former babblers could be contacted and invited back? 

I agree. I think all permanent bans -- except for spammers -- should be rescinded and a policy of only temporary suspension in place. I know this is more work for moderators but it is more supportive of the community. This would mean everyone could come back if they wanted to.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I agree with no permanent bans. However if Iksomos was to ask and admit he was off base with the personal attacks he should be allowed back immediately.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I agree with no permanent bans. However if Iksomos was to ask and admit he was off base with the personal attacks he should be allowed back immediately.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

First I'd heard of this proposal. 

Well, actually, you supported it on October 9, 2009.

But then, the internet has a way better memory than I do, and you are probably human as well!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I agree with no permanent bans. However if Iksomos was to ask and admit he was off base with the personal attacks he should be allowed back immediately.

The mods, and lots of other babblers, asked him to lay off with the insults plenty of times and he was evidently unwilling to.

If being banned convinces him to walk it back then wouldn't that -- ironically -- pretty much demonstrate why we can't have a "no-ban-ever" policy?

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I agree with no permanent bans. However if Iksomos was to ask and admit he was off base with the personal attacks he should be allowed back immediately.

The mods, and lots of other babblers, asked him to lay off with the insults plenty of times and he was evidently unwilling to.

If being banned convinces him to walk it back then wouldn't that -- ironically -- pretty much demonstrate why we can't have a "no-ban-ever" policy?

Please let us not confuse a temporary time-out for a few days or even weeks with a pemanent ban. I think there would be considerable support for the former from people who do not support the latter.

The former can create change the latter allows no further engagement.

Each person creates a persona attached to their name and presence here. That persona create friends and relationships. A permanent ban kills that persona off. It is extreme and that is why people are saying, yes take action but make it less extreme.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Please let us not confuse a temporary time-out for a few days or even weeks with a pemanent ban. I think there would be considerable support for the former from people who do not support the latter.

Perhaps.  But I recall Fidel, mentioned in the discussion of all of this.  I can't say specifically, or accurately, but I would guess we all saw him suspended for a day or two at least five times.  So, he sat out his time in the penalty box and returned to do exactly the same thing that got him suspended.  If there's nothing more at stake than a bit of time in the penalty box, some people aren't going to do anything differently.

If I recall correctly, Fidel was never even banned.  He simply chose to leave when the mods dropped a moratorium on goofy, conspiracy-k00K nonsense and effectively, his job here was done.  He could have kept babbling about things that didn't involve nano-thermite or invisible laser beams, but chose not to.  Ergo, he was "driven away", to hear some tell it.  Hounded out babble's gates, never to return.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Please let us not confuse a temporary time-out for a few days or even weeks with a pemanent ban. I think there would be considerable support for the former from people who do not support the latter.

Perhaps.  But I recall Fidel, mentioned in the discussion of all of this.  I can't say specifically, or accurately, but I would guess we all saw him suspended for a day or two at least five times.  So, he sat out his time in the penalty box and returned to do exactly the same thing that got him suspended.  If there's nothing more at stake than a bit of time in the penalty box, some people aren't going to do anything differently.

If I recall correctly, Fidel was never even banned.  He simply chose to leave when the mods dropped a moratorium on goofy, conspiracy-k00K nonsense and effectively, his job here was done.  He could have kept babbling about things that didn't involve nano-thermite or invisible laser beams, but chose not to.  Ergo, he was "driven away", to hear some tell it.  Hounded out babble's gates, never to return.

When did you start talking about Fidel instead of Ikosmos becuase that is not clear to me here?

Perhaps Fidel has been gone long enough a reset could work.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
When did you start talking about Fidel instead of Ikosmos becuase that is not clear to me here?

In post #62

When did anyone else start talking about him?  In post #55.

Quote:
Perhaps Fidel has been gone long enough a reset could work.

A reset of what?

Sean in Ottawa

Right then.
Post 55 mentions Fidel but not just him.
Post 58 is back on Ikosmos.
My post 61 had nothing to do with Fidel.
Your post 62 responds to me bringing in Fidel back out of the blue.

Now on Fidel, it has been a while maybe the time has made some difference. In any case you say he left and was not banned so it might be something that has nothing at all to do with the discussion.

You can keep placing temporary bans if people do not behave. Eventually they are likely to learn or go away.

****

Reset to invite him back. Might work. What do we have to lose if he was not banned anyway?

sherpa-finn

The structural weakness in this entire discussion is of course the self-selected nature of those (still) around the table. Last Babbler standing gets to set the Banishment policy!  

The banning of Babblers is not (IMHO) the most substantive challenge facing this group. Its trying to figure out why so many Babblers voluntarily walk. We all have our theories no doubt: too right wing / too pro-Putin / too aggressive / too whatever.

It would be much more interesting (and presumably helpful) to know why those who have walked did so. And the only ones who could do that are the mods as they presumably have access to our various e-mails and could conceivably send out a questionnaire to all and sundry, - or perhaps to any Babbler who hits 30 days without a return visit.

Just a thought. (I am a big tent sort of guy.)

Sean in Ottawa

sherpa-finn wrote:

The structural weakness in this entire discussion is of course the self-selected nature of those (still) around the table. Last Babbler standing gets to set the Banishment policy!  

The banning of Babblers is not (IMHO) the most substantive challenge facing this group. Its trying to figure out why so many Babblers voluntarily walk. We all have our theories no doubt: too right wing / too pro-Putin / too aggressive / too whatever.

It would be much more interesting (and presumably helpful) to know why those who have walked did so. And the only ones who could do that are the mods as they presumably have access to our various e-mails and could conceivably send out a questionnaire to all and sundry, - or perhaps to any Babbler who hits 30 days without a return visit.

Just a thought. (I am a big tent sort of guy.)

This is a good point. Perhaps a survey sent to the people after some time not being here might be an idea. A survey to the people still here -- that strips out identity might also be helpful so that people can contribute opinions anonymously.

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I am guessing that anger and disillusionment make people leave.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Here are some ideas that may make this site run more smoothly.

1. If something makes you angry, count to 100 before you post something else. Remember, the world does not revolve around you, and you may not even be the target of what the other person was saying.

2. If someone addresses you personally, do not take the bait. Always address the issue, not the person. If someone is uncharitable or mean, let their unreasonable statement hang out there for all to see. The embarrassment of that will affect them a lot more than the joy they will get out of getting a rise out of you.

3. Do not get into I-said-you-said arguments (or what I call meta-chat) on threads labelled in the name of an actual political subject.

4. Do not demand apologies. It is fruitless. No one will issue an apology, as it is an admission they are wrong. No one wants to be wrong. If you have to, state you are offended by what was said and why, and leave it be. Move on.

5. Realize this site has extremely limited resources, and act cooperatively so the babble section runs itself without rancour. If I were the owner of this site, I would have shut the babble section down a long time ago. Moderating angry babble posters who refuse to act like adults must be emotionally expensive. Also, if you can't act cooperatively and mutually, you belie a basic idea of the left. Unity anyone?

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

 

If I recall correctly, Fidel was never even banned.  He simply chose to leave when the mods dropped a moratorium on goofy, conspiracy-k00K nonsense and effectively, his job here was done. 

I could be wrong about this, but I thought Fidel was banned because he showed up on a Femnist Forum thread and started berating one of the male posters about an argument they had been having in another forum, totally unrelated to feminism. I think the issue was Whether It Was The French Or The Americans Who Wanted To Use Nuclear Weapons Against The Vietnamese In The 1950s.

After a bit of back and forth between Fidel, his critics, and the mods, he was banned from babble, and shortly thereafter turned up on En Masse, where he posted intermittently until that site went dark.

That's my recollection anyway.

 

Edzell Edzell's picture

montrealer58 wrote:
I am guessing that anger and disillusionment make people leave.

That would be my guess also. For me it would likely be disillusionment over the scarcity of civility, genuine curiosity and open-minded objectivity, all in favour of inflammatory rhetoric and personal squabbling.

montrealer58 wrote:

Here are some ideas that may make this site run more smoothly.

1. If something makes you angry, count to 100 before you post something else. Remember, the world does not revolve around you, and you may not even be the target of what the other person was saying.

2. If someone addresses you personally, do not take the bait. Always address the issue, not the person. If someone is uncharitable or mean, let their unreasonable statement hang out there for all to see. The embarrassment of that will affect them a lot more than the joy they will get out of getting a rise out of you.

3. Do not get into I-said-you-said arguments (or what I call meta-chat) on threads labelled in the name of an actual political subject.

4. Do not demand apologies. It is fruitless. No one will issue an apology, as it is an admission they are wrong. No one wants to be wrong. If you have to, state you are offended by what was said and why, and leave it be. Move on.

5. Realize this site has extremely limited resources, and act cooperatively so the babble section runs itself without rancour. If I were the owner of this site, I would have shut the babble section down a long time ago. Moderating angry babble posters who refuse to act like adults must be emotionally expensive. Also, if you can't act cooperatively and mutually, you belie a basic idea of the left. Unity anyone?

Thank you for this.

I agree with all your excellent suggestions, with reservations; the first being that I sometimes have great difficulty complying with 1-3 above. Maybe item 1 is the most important and makes 2 & 3 easier.

On item 4, I've noted elsewhere that apologies DO get offered if only rarely, and if they're not demanded, but requested in a friendly way, there's a fair chance they'll be given.

Item 5: Two comments. First, I would not like to see babble shut down so long as it has the potential to be something truly exemplary, perhaps with occasional hiccups. Second - I've mentioned this elsewhere - I don't believe the use of labels e.g. "the left" are very useful in serious discussion of political issues.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

First I'd heard of this proposal. 

Well, actually, you supported it on October 9, 2009.

But then, the internet has a way better memory than I do, and you are probably human as well!

First I'd heard of this proposal since the last time I'd heard of this proposal.  And I support it as much as I'd forgotten I supported it then.

6079_Smith_W

Plus, on montrealer's #5, we are already at a point where there are numerous issues on which you can no longer have a discussion on this site. It has been that way for awhile, and I mentioned it several months ago. The question is not whether people can change that, but whether they want to.

Unionist

montrealer58 wrote:
 If I were the owner of this site, I would have shut the babble section down a long time ago.

Charming. To forward your suggestion, just visit this page. Best of luck with that.

6079_Smith_W

I took montrealer's comment as a cautionary one, intended to point out the seriousness of the situation.

Given the obvious work and concern put into those five suggestions, I don't think that is the first choice, and certainly not an attack on the forum. But given where things have gone over the years I think it is worth it to point out where this place might wind up, if not literally, in terms of being any kind of useful forum for discussion.

 

Sean in Ottawa

There is no question from a business point of view this section is probably not worth the trouble. I assume the owners of the site value the uniqueness of allowing a site like this over the trouble and cost of having it.

But this calculation explains why there is no "competition."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I assume the owners of the site value the uniqueness of allowing a site like this over the trouble and cost of having it.

But this calculation explains why there is no "competition."

Well, there did used to be that other one, built on a co-op model, with elected mods and zero advertising revenues and such.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I assume the owners of the site value the uniqueness of allowing a site like this over the trouble and cost of having it.

But this calculation explains why there is no "competition."

Well, there did used to be that other one, built on a co-op model, with elected mods and zero advertising revenues and such.

Unfortunately "used to be"

lagatta4

There were two of those. Neither of them really exist anymore.

Sean in Ottawa

lagatta4 wrote:

There were two of those. Neither of them really exist anymore.

Yes and I think that there is some interest by the owners because otherwise this would have been gone as well.

MegB

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

lagatta4 wrote:

There were two of those. Neither of them really exist anymore.

Yes and I think that there is some interest by the owners because otherwise this would have been gone as well.

User stats indicate that babble is consistently one of the most visited parts of the site.

6079_Smith_W

That is good to know. I'm not actually worried about that, even though departures have been a perennial subject.

I am concerned about the limits to discussion here, though.

 

 

MegB

Babble departures - voluntary or otherwise - have been a topic since the site began. And there are certainly limits to discussions as outlined in the babble policy. The problem is respectful disagreement. Some folks have a hard time with that and simply cannot (or will not) refrain from abusing other babblers. When warnings and suspensions don't improve a babbler's behavior towards other babblers, then the reluctant decision must be made to ban them, when the abuse outweights the benefit of their contributions. It's my job to decide when that is and it's a difficult one at best. 

6079_Smith_W

Gotcha.

To be clear, I didn't mean discussion being limited by people leaving or being prevented from talking. I meant that there are many issues on which discussion between people simply does not happen because of the gulf of understanding.

And I only mentioned it because some here were talking about the possible end of the site, and those interpersonal problems. From my perspective if it gets to where one can't have an honest conversation with people you disagree with there isn't much point.

(edit)

As for policy, I think there is almost no subject that is off limits if you bring it up in a legitimate context. So I don't buy the argument that policy is any kind of censorship. It is an important tool, but not an absolute one.

Sean in Ottawa

MegB wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

lagatta4 wrote:

There were two of those. Neither of them really exist anymore.

Yes and I think that there is some interest by the owners because otherwise this would have been gone as well.

User stats indicate that babble is consistently one of the most visited parts of the site.

This is good to hear.

Perhaps there is a synergy between this part and the rest of the site that stand aloneversions of either do not have.

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