*** DISCUSSION ON BABBLE PROPOSAL ***

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Unionist
*** DISCUSSION ON BABBLE PROPOSAL ***
Infosaturated

 I'm with Wilf Day. Allow suspensions if "reminders" aren't helping the individual to self-monitor

jas

My 'no' vote in the previous thread did not get included, while other votes subsequent to mine did.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

  • al-Qa'bong (waiting for mountains to turn blue - await clarification, as some mountains already shimmer blue in their luxuriant robes woven of morning mist)
  • This was a scholarly reference to a beer commercial.  I found striking similarities between the discussion in the commercial and the discussion in the thread.

    clersal

    I'd like to see flotsom back too.

    M. Spector M. Spector's picture
    Unionist

    jas wrote:

    My 'no' vote in the previous thread did not get included, while other votes subsequent to mine did.

    Sorry, I missed that jas - it's corrected now.

    Unionist

    clersal wrote:

    I'd like to see flotsom back too.

    Thinking of voting, clersal?

     

    remind remind's picture

    al-Qa'bong wrote:
    No; back down after being attacked.

    But this is problematic, as  your not backing down meant that misogynist shit was left standing, because your back was up.

    Mighty male privileged of you!

     

    Michelle

    I'd like to respond to this idea put forward in the last thread that if you can't attack the people you're speaking with, or post in an aggressive, hostile manner towards each other, or to put down each other's posts as stupid, or to make snide remarks about how if someone doesn't agree with you it means they don't understand English, or are mathematically challenged (a couple of examples I've seen lately passed off as "not personal attacks") that it's impossible to discuss politics properly.

    I disagree with that.  In fact, I think that is a really patriarchal view of political participation, that the only way you can participate in any meaningful way, that won't simply constitute having a "nice tea party" is by attacking each other, using sarcasm and accusation and harsh language to shut down those who are trying to participate but might either a) disagree with you or b) not have thought something through.

    I would submit that the status quo turns babble into a "survival of the fittest" kind of place, where only the people who can adapt to the more patriarchal (I won't say male, because many men are excluded from discussion if they aren't the aggressive, angry type too) mode of discussion and debate that is politically popular here and elsewhere.  And last I heard, "survival of the fittest" isn't the most progressive standpoint in the world. 

    Because you know who tends not to be the "fittest" when it comes to participating in this manner?  Take a look at our political landscape right now and see who ISN'T reflected in the media, in politics, etc.  Is that something we want to replicate on babble?

    George Victor

    No.  And could we advance what we DO want to see on babble ?  (It's been pretty much thou shall not up to here). Can there be categories inviting input and frowning on one-upmanship displays of ego? With books or blogs as starting points, for instance? Where you are not called upon to prove purity of political purpose with each sentence.

    Left Turn Left Turn's picture

    I vote NO.

    I realize I've hardly been on here in the last six months, but it would seem to me that the "No bans and suspensions" clause would make it impossible to enforce the "No personal attacks" clause. So I support the "No personal attacks" clause, but oppose the "No bans and suspensions" clause.

    Unionist

    Left turn: Why do we need to "enforce" it other than by community pressure and persuasion? And have you read Michelle's original proposal which triggered this discussion and vote?

    al-Qa'bong

    remind wrote:

    Mighty male privileged of you!

     

    Gender has nothing to do with it.  When you get your nose out of joint over something someone's said to you is it because you're male?

    remind remind's picture

    No...because when my nose gets out of joint it is because the person saying it is male and is being sexist, at best.

    At least think about why you felt it was within your right to leave misogynist shit up, because someone called you an asshole for doing it.

    al-Qa'bong

    Yeah yeah yeah. Don't you find your routine boring after a while?
     

    remind wrote:

    You know harvesting threads to throw up in people's faces  later really tees me off.

    Loretta

    I'm in favour. I don't participate in the discussions here very often for exactly the reason Michelle mentioned and would be happy to see improvements in group dynamics and interpersonal exhanges.

    Left Turn Left Turn's picture

    Unionist wrote:

    Left turn: Why do we need to "enforce" it other than by community pressure and persuasion? And have you read Michelle's original proposal which triggered this discussion and vote?

     

    Yes, I read Michelle's original proposal when Infosaturated quoted it in the [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/rabble-reactions/how-disagree-without-person... to disagree without personally attacking other babblers[/url] thread:

    Quote:
    Well, my thoughts are as follows (and I have been talking about this with the other mods too).

    I think Infosaturated is correct, that this place is intimidating to newcomers and, frankly, the amount of hostility and anger here lately is unhealthy. babble culture has expanded to include nastiness, snarkiness, rudeness, hostility, anger, and I also agree that the mods (okay, I'll speak for myself - I, as one mod) have given a lot more leeway for this type of behaviour to some longer-term babblers than newbies or people who don't post as frequently. It has resulted in a complete lack of self-control in some, and defensive reactions in others.

    I also agree that long-term babblers who engage in this kind of behaviour get a free pass when it is seen by them, or some others, as "righteous anger". All this "righteous anger" that gets a pass - and that even I as a mod engage in occasionally - is making babble a really scary place for all but the most outgoing, most thick-skinned newcomers and occasional posters. Lately, there is so much fighting and anger. Not pleasant.

    I think that, even if people have a good reason to be angry with someone else, we should start really focusing on a "no personal attacks on other babblers" policy that really, really means "no personal attacks".

    Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you get really mad at someone."

    Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you do it in a really passive-aggressive, snide way."

    Not "no personal attacks on other babblers unless you think someone said something really bad/non-progressive/against babble policy."

    Because of the really unhealthy dynamic on babble lately, I think that it should be simply, "No personal attacks on other babblers, period." No matter what.

    How does it get enforced? I would prefer to enforce it without any bannings or suspensions at all, except for obvious spammers and really, really nasty trolls. Why no bannings or suspensions? Because I think bannings and suspensions reinforce the culture of anger and temper tantrums on babble by regulars. When the mods regularly use "the stick", people will feel they can engage in poor behaviour up to the point where the mods use "the stick". I think it also encourages infantile behaviour - when you treat people like children with the whole "reward/punishment" thing, then they become conditioned to act like children.

    I would say it gets enforced by the mods stepping in and naming the behaviour when we see it, and then, if we need to name it again for the same person several times in one thread, asking them to leave the thread (but not others) if the behaviour becomes extreme.

    We would also, of course, step in and name it if we could see that someone was baiting people and hoping for a reaction so that the mods would come down on the people who react (and by that, I mean posting stuff against babble policy, as interpreted by the moderators). But that would not absolve babblers of their responsibility to not respond with personal attacks. We are all responsible for our own behaviour, and no one "makes" anyone insult people, no matter what they say "first".

    It would also, of course, be the responsibility of the moderators to ensure that when we do step in, we don't take advantage of our privilege as mods to bend the rules and be snarky about it ourselves (something that I know I do on occasion).

    Perhaps we could also have threads in rabble reactions that go back to basics when it comes to interpersonal skills - how to disagree without posting personal attacks, things to do other than a knee-jerk flame reaction to offensive posts, etc.

    Would this work for people, at least for a while? I know it will probably feel like a constraint, but I think it's possible to have passionate discussions without tearing each other down and intimidating all but the most thick-skinned of participants / potential participants.

     

    I also agree with M. Spetor's comments in that thread about what is and is not a personal attack:

     

    Quote:
    I don't think babblers are even in agreement as to what a "personal attack" really means.

    There are some babblers who characterize any disagreement with them as a personal attack; they then feel free to respond by making actual personal attacks, and the situation escalates.

    I have even seen moderators scold people for personal attacks that are not in fact attacks on the character, intelligence, general knowledge, or motives of another babbler, but merely strongly negative characterizations of their arguments or their methods of argument.

    These are personal attacks:
    You have reading comprehension problems.
    His comments are aimed at protecting oppressive behaviour.
    I see the habitual defenders of white male privilege are hard at work in this thread.
    Your only purpose in this thread is to smear the NDP.
    Your comments demonstrate once again that there are as many assholes on the left of the political spectrum as there are on the right.
    There are many aspects of the anti-racism and oppression realm to which you are totally tone deaf.
    You are a liar.

    These are not personal attacks:
    It should be obvious to anyone who can read English that....
    I find it bizarre that someone who claims to be a feminist would profess such a viewpoint.
    Your comment is completely illogical.
    That comment is unworthy of you.
    I refuse to take your bait.
    Instead of rhetorical grandstanding, why don't you address the topic of this thread?
    Your position is rank hypocrisy.
    Your position only gives aid and comfort to the imperialists.
    That comment is bullshit.
    Do you ever listen to yourself when you make comments like that?
    Why do you keep telling lies?
    Stop trolling.

    That's my opinion, anyway. But I'm sure there's hardly anyone who agrees with it completely.

    Which actually proves my point.

     

    I generally do not want babblers who make the types of comments that M. Spector identifies as "personal attacks" to continue to be allowed to post on babble (although I would be more inclined to forgive women who attack men in the feminist forum who are drowning out women's voices), and this proposal would result in them sticking around. For example, if a long-term babbler were to accuse another babbler of being anti-semitic for use of the term "Israeli Apartheid", I would want said long-term babbler to be banned, and this proposal mitigates against that.

    What I do agree with is that babblers in good standing (ie. not trolls) who make the kinds of comments that M. Spector identifies as "not personal attacks" should not be banned, even if we want babblers to tone down this language so that babble discussions can operate more within an anti-opression framework.

    martin dufresne

    Cool.

    remind remind's picture

    al-Qa'bong wrote:
    Yeah yeah yeah. Don't you find your routine boring after a while?
    remind wrote:

    You know harvesting threads to throw up in people's faces  later really tees me off.

    Excuse me, but I did not bring it up, you did. I just addressed it after you did.

    In fact, you brought it up as an example of a personal attack against you!

    Never for a moment apparently realizing that women would take it as hate messaging against us and react appropriately.

    I would never have mentioned it, even though it has longed bugged me, so I do thank tricia for bringing it out in the open, so we could really look at men's attitudes here and what it does to the atmosphere.

    Really what happened was, your man feelings got hurt because you were correctly called on it, so you left it up because your male privilege was offended and now here you are again...being all manly man...and disparagingly trying to silence what women feel about it.

    Do you men never get tired of your partriarchial crap? (play on the sexist disparaging question comment you made to me)

    It is a problem on this site, a serious problem, Michelle identified it earlier, many women have left, many women have spoken out in threads about it, but yet here you are trying to minimalize it by saying I am just doing a "routine". Which ignores just how many women have left because of the attitudes of men here.

    We are trying to solve problems with this site, and yet some men are refusing to see what role they play in silencing and driving female voices away.

    So yep, you betcha I get all over about it in "my routine", and I make sure at least one female voice is heard, whether you and others like it or not, and I am not going to stop.

    triciamarie

    Thanks, remind. Al-Q, I'm sorry, if I had remembered my own "language" component of that discussion, I wouldn't have denied attacking you -- leaving aside that you had it coming! Innocent 

    That was in the days before we could flag posts to the mods' attention as offensive. Nowadays I like to think I would deploy that tool instead; the couple of times I have done so (re a troll and a duplicate thread) there has been a quick response. So the technology puts us further ahead than we were back then.

    Just to frame the question more generally though, is it true that neutralizing our responses is like neutralizing taxes -- it effectively takes away more from some than from others?

    I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth, remind, but that's part of what I get from your above comments. And I think it's absolutely true. If I look at the theoretical examples of what would be considered "attacks" in the last linked thread, they seem to include all ad hominen references -- warranted or not, equally. That takes away much of our ability to talk about things like privilege when they come up. I don't agree that we should be limited to addressing these problems only in the feminist forum.

    remind remind's picture

    Well put, tricia.

    jas

    Left Turn wrote:

    I also agree with M. Spector's comments in that thread about what is and is not a personal attack:

    I don't.

    Quote:

    These are personal attacks:

    You have reading comprehension problems. -- maybe, because you are making a statement about the person.

    His comments are aimed at protecting oppressive behaviour. -- not a personal attack. Just a disagreement over the facts.

    I see the habitual defenders of white male privilege are hard at work in this thread. -- not a personal attack. an inaccurate observation maybe, but not an attack.

    Your only purpose in this thread is to smear the NDP. -- not a personal attack. Just a disagreement.

    Your comments demonstrate once again that there are as many assholes on the left of the political spectrum as there are on the right. -- Maybe. I see it as an insult, but not a personal attack. It is a comment about someone's comments, not their person or presence here.

    There are many aspects of the anti-racism and oppression realm to which you are totally tone deaf. -- an observation for rhetorical effect, but not an attack.

    You are a liar.-- maybe, if it's followed up with repeated accusations of being a liar. It's possible the accused really is, knowingly, lying about what they say, and therefore this is not an attack, it is a statement of fact. We call politicians liars all the time. Is that wrong? No, because they do lie. If the accuser simply disagrees with what the accused has been posting and therefore calls him/her a "liar", then that is more simply an inaccurate statement. [Edited: OK, I guess technically this is a personal attack. "You are lying" would be less personal and more accurate if indeed the accused is lying.]

    These are not personal attacks:

    It should be obvious to anyone who can read English that.... I'm not sure about this one. It suggests lack of ability or intelligence. If it's not an attack, it is, as someone else commented, snide and mean-spirited and foments a disrespectful atmosphere.

    I find it bizarre that someone who claims to be a feminist would profess such a viewpoint. -- agreed. Not a personal attack.

    Your comment is completely illogical.
    That comment is unworthy of you.
    I refuse to take your bait.
    Instead of rhetorical grandstanding, why don't you address the topic of this thread?

    Your position is rank hypocrisy. -- I don't know about this one either. I can't put my finger on it. I find sometimes these types of comments are not followed up with any evidence so they are simply empty statements but have the effect, all the same, of marking the accused as a hypocrite..

    Your position only gives aid and comfort to the imperialists. -- I agree, M. Spector. How is this different from someone's comment in the alternative cures thread where she stated that "it seemed" to her "by your commments" that you "support the system"?

    That comment is bullshit.

    Do you ever listen to yourself when you make comments like that? -- again, borderline, as it is a personal judgment of someone's honesty or intelligence or integrity. Usually this kind of comment is completely unwarranted.

    Why do you keep telling lies? -- agreed. Not a personal attack. No different from the "liar" example above.

    Stop trolling.

    Perhaps M Spector was merely making the point that not everyone can agree on what a personal attack is. I would agree with this and suggest it comes down to the mods, perhaps aided by this process, to come up with a definition and put it in writing, if possible. Otherwise, the "no personal attacks" clause has no power. 

    al-Qa'bong

    Quote:
    Al-Q, I'm sorry, if I had remembered my own "language" component of that discussion, I wouldn't have denied attacking you -- leaving aside that you had it coming!

     

    Maybe, but I saw the way the pile-on developed as a series of personal attacks rather than comments on what I had posted, hence my defensive reaction and temporary refusal to remove the lyrics.

     

    I found it odd that nobody shared my view that the lyrics could be both offensive yet interesting from an historical and anthropological perspective.

    remind remind's picture

    That is because you were looking at it through a male centric lense.

    Women have every right to take exception to a misogynist post, without it being considered a pile on.

    Moreover, there a good number more pile ons by men, against women who express their views from a woman's standpoint, than any other type of "pile on", but they just leave, or refrain from posting. As a women's viewpoint is derided in a myriad of ways here. Men know how, they have generations of witnessing the men in their  family and community doing it.

     

     

     

     

    clersal

     

    Thinking of voting, clersal?

    Don't think so it sounds like I am back in school again.

     

     

     

     

    Unionist

    No school I ever attended let us debate the rules.

    al-Qa'bong

    clersal wrote:

     

    Thinking of voting, clersal?

    Don't think so it sounds like I am back in school again. 

    Yeah, the hall monitors are shoving each other for a place at the front of the line.

    This whole situation began, it seems, from the premise that babble is somehow now flawed where it hadn't been so before, and that coming up with a set of rules will change things.  I don't think babble's any worse now than it's ever been, and new rules certainly won't make any difference. 

    It would be nice if we could attract more thoughtful, creative and witty people to babble.  I don't think chiseling out a new set of stone tablets is the way to do so, though.

     

    Unionist

    There are no "new rules" here, AQ. There's a suggestion that people commit to not attacking each other personally (radical, yes, I know). And there's a feeling by moderators (as expressed by Michelle) that they'd like to concentrate more on persuasion than on exclusion, on a trial basis. I find it frankly incomprehensible that everyone would not simply say: "Sure, we have confidence in you, go ahead!"

    We don't need to have a consensus first on whether babble is "flawed" or not. I am disgusted by those who come here to say that babble should engage in a large-scale purge, or be dissolved altogether. That's one of the reasons I volunteered to bring some order to Michelle's request for opinions.

    Is there a reason why we can't just all express our support for babble, without debating minutiae?

     

    al-Qa'bong

    I am disgusted by those who come here to say that babble should engage in a large-scale purge, or be dissolved altogether.

    Where has anyone said that?

    There's a suggestion that people commit to not attacking each other personally (radical, yes, I know).

    Riiight.  What brought about this conversion?

    And there's a feeling by moderators (as expressed by Michelle) that they'd like to concentrate more on persuasion than on exclusion, on a trial basis. I find it frankly incomprehensible that everyone would not simply say: "Sure, we have confidence in you, go ahead!"

    If that's all that's going on, it's been rather murkily expressed.  I don't see why Michelle and oldgoat can't just go ahead and do this.  I'm not sure why you'd say that participating in the thread you started is not "supporting" babble?  Discussion is all we have.  The best way to support babble is by yakking.

    Unionist

    Check your PMs, AQ, I don't want to derail the discussion here. Thanks.

     

    My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speakers%27_Corner

    Perhaps it would make it easier if the users here considered Babble to be the digital equivalent of Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.  You can say prettey much anything providing you are within the bounds of the law. No doubt they have had their share of hecklers as well, (present day Trolls). There are ways of handling with Hecklers or Trolls, deal with it. (One way is to not "feed the Trolls").

    Trying to control the conversation here with arbitrary rules runs the risk of having an unintended result such as the  stifling conversation or censoring what may have been intended as a joke. The reality is that any discussion here is not going to change the world. Its entertainment, lighten up...

     

    clersal

    ............that babble is somehow now flawed where it hadn't been so before, and that coming up with a set of rules will change things.

     

    It has always been flawed and would be boring otherwise.

    Michelle

    Well, we basically HAVE gone ahead and started doing this, al-Q.  At least I have.  But we do need at least a little buy-in so that we don't constantly get people demanding that so-and-so be banned or suspended, and also so that when we step in during a fight, people take it more as guidance and redirection rather than punishment and/or a prelude to a banning or suspension.

    Polunatic2

    Can we request to be suspended or banned, you know, like at the casino when finds oneself out of control and unable to stop? Smile

    al-Qa'bong

    Michelle wrote:

    Well, we basically HAVE gone ahead and started doing this, al-Q.  At least I have.  But we do need at least a little buy-in so that we don't constantly get people demanding that so-and-so be banned or suspended, and also so that when we step in during a fight, people take it more as guidance and redirection rather than punishment and/or a prelude to a banning or suspension.

     

    So what's all the fuss about, then?  Had you and oldgoat simply said that you were sick of calls for bannings and suspensions these three or four threads would have been unnecessary. 

    I don't know how the mods feel about this, but if I were in your place and someone ran to me to squeal on another babbler (which usually looks like "Mods notified" from our perspective),  I'd be more inclined to smack down the rat than the person being denounced.

     

    [ed.] Oh yeah...the reason I came here.  I was listening (well, cringing, really) to the Leafs broadcast on AM640 tonight and heard on the local Toronto news that the transit company is bringing in new rules designed to curb "poor behaviour."

     

    I get it.  There's an epidemic of do-goodery sweeping the GTA.

    Fidel

    Ha! I get the feeling we'll be cringing a few times over our teams' poor play this hockey season, al-Qa'bong. But this is a discussion type forum. We have things to discuss! Discussions everywhere and any time! It's a discussocracy, or something. Or are you one 'o those discussion efficiency experts sent here from "the company"? wink-wink say no more.

    al-Qa'bong

    That's "The Gladio" to you.  Hmm; sometimes saying less is saying more.

    Fidel

    Ah!?

     

    George Victor

    If, at the end of these discussions, there are fewer people looking in who say they were turned off from participating by the animosity and lack of consideration for untried opinion (the vigilante effect) this will all have been very worthwhile, al.   The fact that those many expressed concerns have not had an impact on some regulars speaks volumes (sometimes just being ALLOWED to say more is better).

    genstrike

    I really didn't want to post it because it is a specific case and a personal one, but I think it is relevant to the debate

    Remember when Fidel got suspended for a couple days a little while ago?

    Have we gotten into any fights since then?  Has he been following me around babble accusing people of being a Liberal operatives or trolls?  Has he been picking fights with anyone who dares be remotely critical of the NDP?  Has he been trying to derail t hreads with personal attacks and off topic shit like he used to?

    I think in that case, the suspension drastically improved my experience with babble and probably improved everyone else's as well.  I don't know if it was cooling off or putting the fear of mod into him, but the improvement in his behaviour and thus the general atmosphere of the board is noticable, at least from my perspective.

    So, do we really want to take a tool that works out of the toolbox?

    Jimmytheweed

    This will be an interesting experiment to keep tabs on.

    Unionist

    [I will also post and update the vote here, for convenient reference.]

    UPDATED

    DISCLAIMER: This of course is not and has never purported to be a "binding" resolution on the moderators. The aim is merely to sound out opinion here and give some guidance to the mods in their deliberation. They and the owners of rabble obviously remain responsible for decisions and policies as to operation of the discussion board.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     

    RESOLUTION

     

    Quote:

    Be it resolved that we implement the following policy:

    1. No personal attacks, whatsoever (understanding that obviously there may be grey areas).

    2. No bans or suspensions (except obvious trolls/spammers).

    3. Mods intervene to lay down the law, gently or firmly as required.

    4. Revisit and reconsider these rules in three (3) months.

     

    IN FAVOUR:

    1. G. Pie
    2. martin dufresne
    3. Bookish Agrarian (I believe - please confirm)
    4. Tommy_Paine
    5. Unionist
    6. remind
    7. Stargazer
    8. Fidel
    9. janfromthebruce (subject to defining a proper quorum)
    10. Sineed
    11. CMOT Dibbler
    12. Frmrsldr
    13. Frustrated Mess
    14. George Victor
    15. Prophit
    16. Joey Ramone
    17. Ghislaine
    18. Polunatic2
    19. Jacob Richter
    20. Jabberwock
    21. Loretta

    OPPOSED:

    1. jrootham
    2. genstrike
    3. Caissa
    4. mahmud
    5. Boom Boom
    6. N.Beltov
    7. jas
    8. Left Turn

    ABSTAIN:

    1. Farmpunk
    2. Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
    3. Timebandit
    4. bagkitty
    5. HeywoodFloyd
    6. Bubbles
    7. M. Spector
    8. Papal Bull
    9. Refuge

    Other:

    1. Wilf Day (would vote "yes" if amended to read "no bans" only, but allowing suspensions)
    2. Pogo (yes, if amnesty for banned babblers upon appeal by 10 babblers, otherwise abstain)
    3. al-Qa'bong (waiting for mountains to turn blue - apparently a scholarly reference to a beer commercial)
    4. Slumberjack (doesn't wish to legitimize this exercise by participating)
    5. Erik Redburn (kinda yes, sorta no, depending on coupla amendments)
    6. Infosaturated ("yes" if suspensions allowed)

     

    Unionist

    * I'm bumping this beast. Keeping tabs, so to speak. *

     

    George Victor

    Michelle laid out the problematics nicely in #10.

    People have made "personal attacks" into an insidious art form, and presenting in  "butter wouldn't melt", convoluted essays,simply get away with it.  The people who are sharply corrrected by mods then, are those finally driven to an angry response.

     

    So as now worded:

    "1. No personal attacks, whatsoever (understanding that obviously there may be grey areas)," would need a re-write.

     

    Perhaps a second warning could mean that the offending poster is just required to stay the hell out of that thread?

     

    Snert Snert's picture

    This strikes me as akin to the regular calls to totally remove all violence from hockey.  Everyone kind of nods, unenthusiastically, because they have to, but deep down, nobody really wants it.

    George Victor

    Just finished reading a thread in which a very patient babbler masterfully managed to bring an "enthusiast" to a logical and coherent standstill.  If we were all capable of such control and constraint, this thread would not be relevant to Babblers.

    West Coast Greeny

    Opposed.

    Caissa

    To what?

    Unionist

    George Victor wrote:

    Just finished reading a thread in which a very patient babbler masterfully managed to bring an "enthusiast" to a logical and coherent standstill.  If we were all capable of such control and constraint, this thread would not be relevant to Babblers.

    That's correct, George - and I agree with you, that's exactly why this thread is relevant and necessary.

     

    absentia

    Aye

    Why not? It's an exercise in democracy - heaven knows, we need the exercise! - and will change nothing.

     

     

     

     

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