Missing Babblers Continuation Thread, Hold The Hostility

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Ken Burch
Missing Babblers Continuation Thread, Hold The Hostility
Caissa

I'll throw it out. Do we all need to work on changing the culture at Babble? If so, what are the changes that are needed? Or is the culture at babble just find that way it is now?

martin dufresne

Personally, I would like to see the female and racialized members of Babble establish together ground rules so they don't feel dissed here, and all of us work at changing our habits to respect these rules, with mods applying them to stalwarts. We have started doing this, but there still seems to be a lot of slippage.

 

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I like babble because I can sometimes work out my own views, unclear at first, through investigation, argument and self-clarification. Mud-slinging, to a degree, actually helps as a normal part of debate is that the "other side" tries to distract you from what you want to discuss or clarify. That's life. However, mods are essential, as "anything goes" translates into the loudest/most obnoxious voices prevailing, which would make babble a waste of time.

I'm more civil now than in the past. So, I think it's fair to say that I've learned from babble. Probably not enough, some would say.

The other side of that is that I have a continuing gripe, unaddressed, in which I try to defend a non-partisan "anti-imperialist" point of view here and habitually run up against the most barefaced supporters of predatory foreign policy, either by our own country or by our neighbour to the south of us, and such support doesn't really violate the terms of babble even if, in my view, it does violate the spirit. [This addresses the political culture of babble. And that's why I'm here.]

Some advice for Rosa: if you are in the habit of getting disconnected or losing contributions then I would suggest opening another window (Notepad if you are using Windows), maybe even save the file as babbleNotes on your desktop, compose your contributions in this other window, save it now and again, and then copy and past the text to the comment window when you're done. That's what I do.

Sineed

martin dufresne wrote:

Personally, I would like to see the female and racialized members of Babble establish together ground rules so they don't feel dissed here, and all of us work at changing our habits to respect these rules, with mods applying them to stalwarts. We have started doing this, but there still seems to be a lot of slippage.

I disagree; what's needed are fewer rules, not more.  If a man disagrees with me, I don't feel victimized or dissed (particularly if it's you, Martin; your heart is so obviously in the right place).

 

martin dufresne

I 'm with you when it is only disagreement. But many women have pointed out that sexism often comes out very strongly here: slurs, ignoring mods, dominating feminist threads, etc. Some women - like "Scout" - seem to have left over this. Others have testified to hesitating at posting in this climate. Many others may have decided to only lurk. We CAN do better; I am just imagining one way; there may be others. Of course, it's for women and racialized folks to push this further if they care to.

 

Fidel

I wrote:
Being rabidly anti-NDP doesnt mean youre a progressive either. There are 20-some odd registered political parties in Canada and many of them with progressive agendas. Dont you find it strange that you advocate for none of them while, at the same time, being rabidly anti-fourth political party in Ottawa?

I think it would be an improvement if babble were to at least have the decorum and respect for one another that exists in parliamentary debates in Ottawa. Imagine that the donnybrooks taking place in the House of Commons were made even worse by outsiders without party affiliation or declared political views? What a three ring circus that would be. They would need several Speakers of the House and a team of baby sitters to enforce the peace. Kinda like babble.

I'm with Wilf Day. More short term suspensions. But I suppose that would be tedium for mods as well. I dunno. It's not a terrible setup. Things could be worse. Someone like me wouldnt last long on some forums. Ahhem! No complaints from me then,

genstrike

Fidel wrote:
I think it would be an improvement if babble were to at least have the decorum and respect for one another that exists in parliamentary debates in Ottawa. Imagine that the donnybrooks taking place in the House of Commons were made even worse by outsiders without party affiliation or declared political views? What a three ring circus that would be. They would need several Speakers of the House and a team of baby sitters to enforce the peace. Kinda like babble

Because the House of Commons bans independents from taking their seats?

First, there are a couple independents at any given time in the House of Commons, and some of them are regarded as having more decorum than some of the more clownish party hacks and attack dogs.  I mean, who is a bigger clown, Chuck Cadman and Bill Casey, or John Baird?

Second, I think forcing people to publicly declare all their political affiliations on this site is an incredibly stupid idea which reeks of McCarthyism.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

What I find interesting, is I held back from commenting here and realized that is the whole point, why was I holding back?

I was holding back because passion does not seem to molify lack of deep knowledge.

I was holding back because questions sometimes are really just questions but for others, they are a statement of cause.

I was holding back because I am not worthy.

Fidel

genstrike wrote:

Fidel wrote:
I think it would be an improvement if babble were to at least have the decorum and respect for one another that exists in parliamentary debates in Ottawa. Imagine that the donnybrooks taking place in the House of Commons were made even worse by outsiders without party affiliation or declared political views? What a three ring circus that would be. They would need several Speakers of the House and a team of baby sitters to enforce the peace. Kinda like babble

Because the House of Commons bans independents from taking their seats?

Nobody votes for independents. Progressive change for the better will not come from independent candidates in the next one-thousand years. Mark my words

Quote:
First, there are a couple independents at any given time in the House of Commons, and some of them are regarded as having more decorum than some of the more clownish party hacks and attack dogs.  I mean, who is a bigger clown, Chuck Cadman and Bill Casey, or John Baird?

Independents dont spend 98% of their time in parliament attacking the fourth party in Ottawa, the NDP. And that's because their constituents would begin to wonder just what kind of progressive agenda their elected representatives are up to on the taxpayer's dime.

Quote:
Second, I think forcing people to publicly declare all their political affiliations on this site is an incredibly stupid idea which reeks of McCarthyism

Youre an anonymous poster. You are not at risk for being blackballed either personally or professionally by the feds. Your integrity as an anonymous internet commentator is not worth nearly as much as it was for those who were blackballed by rabid anticommunists of the 1950's. Your spurious claim to non-partisanship is, however. If you are anti anything, you cant claim to be non-partisan. At least I dont think so.

 

Michelle

Could we not call each other's ideas "incredibly stupid"?  I think we're all throwing ideas out there, and it's okay to disagree with them, but let's be a little more gentle with each other and our contributions.

genstrike

Okay, I'm going to go back to ignoring Fidel.  My problem is that I have moments of weakness in which my urge to correct some of the shit he says about me or respond to his constant personal attacks briefly overwhelms my will to ignore him.

Michelle

Well, that brings up another point.  I wonder if it would be possible for people who have fallen into a pattern of really not being able to stand each other and constantly bickering to try to ignore each other.  Might be something a lot of us (including me!) could work on, and it would probably go a long way to improving the tone here.

Fidel

I thought you were just anti-Doer NDP. But then I realized youre also rabidly anti federal NDP, a government which has never existed in Canadian history. Who's the reverse-Joe McCarthyite paranoid delusional now?

Michelle

Could you two PLEASE cut it out?  Seriously.  Just cut it out.  Ignore each other.  Quit insulting each other.  And yes, that includes backhanded statements about how you're going to ignore the other person because they're blah blah blah.  Just cut it out!

genstrike

Michelle wrote:
Could we not call each other's ideas "incredibly stupid"?  I think we're all throwing ideas out there, and it's okay to disagree with them, but let's be a little more gentle with each other and our contributions.

I'm sorry, I was just frustrated with this particular poster and know he is only suggesting this as an attack on me personally because it is exactly how he formulated another personal attack on me (same general idea and same turns of phrase) in two other threads and I let this frustration get the better of me, I'll rephrase that:

I don't see any benefit in forcing people to reveal all their political affiliations on babble, and I don't see any reason why people should have to reveal all their affiliations on public internet forums if they want to discuss issues with similar-minded people.  If we're chatting to a coworker over coffee, we don't start by listing all of our affiliations, or demanding that the other person list all of theirs so we have some sort of wierd intel on each other so we can use it against them in a debate.  Knowing each other's political affiliations or making it mandatory that they define themselves as according to an -ism won't do a damn thing to make discussion here more welcoming and civilized.  In fact, it could be harmful to the discussion if people start seeing others based on which groups they are affiliated with and treating them with less respect because they are or aren't affiliated with particular groups ("oh, you're only saying that because of _____").  I think we're all better off just not knowing and not trying to guess, and keeping discussions based on what we say instead of who we are.  I think it would also make it easier for people who wish to remain anonymous to be identified, and we have rules on babble saying that we shouldn't be "outing" each other or guessing at each other's identities.

Fidel

Michelle wrote:

Well, that brings up another point.  I wonder if it would be possible for people who have fallen into a pattern of really not being able to stand each other and constantly bickering to try to ignore each other.  Might be something a lot of us (including me!) could work on, and it would probably go a long way to improving the tone here.

I'm going to try really hard to do just that, Michelle. DNFTCT will be my new outlook

CMOT Dibbler

Negative feedback from posters is somewhat different than the sort of objectionable opinions that might become cause for real concern.  Defend what you believe in despite being challenged, or jumped on for it.

Alright, but the other difficulty with the board is that the same 6 debates keep popping up over and over again. We have the Middle East, porn, the NDP Cuba, religion etc. the same people participate in these arguments, and the talking points are always the same. So, in addition to being quite stupid when it comes to differences of opinion, this board also has a very narrow outlook when it comes to the rest of the world. What's happening in the DRC? We don't know, because board members are too busy engaging in pissing contests centered around the Iranian elections to give a damn about what happens in sub saharan Africa.

genstrike

I also suggest as a new rule to reduce some of the hostility that instead of calling each other trolls, we should just flag a mod and let the mods decide who and what is and isn't trolling.  That way it can cut down on accusations and denials by having a set procedure to deal with this.

(note, I'm not trying to be passive aggressive or continue anything, I actually thought of this yesterday and was just reminded of it)

genstrike

genstrike wrote:

I also suggest as a new rule to reduce some of the hostility that instead of calling each other trolls, we should just flag a mod and let the mods decide who and what is and isn't trolling.  That way it can cut down on accusations and denials by having a set procedure to deal with this.

(note, I'm not trying to be passive aggressive or continue anything, I actually thought of this yesterday and was just reminded of it)

Actually, now that I think about it again, maybe we should be trying to just flag mods and let them deal with it (sorry if this increases your workload, Michelle) more often instead of responding ourselves if we see things even starting to get personal.  I mean, it's what they're there for, and I think this is my problem and why I get into this shit - I'm responding instead of flagging, because I guess I used to have a mentality that for forums, people should be able to sort it out themselves instead of running for the mods, but now I see that that just doesn't work and makes the experience worse for everyone.

martin dufresne

...the other difficulty with the board is that the same 6 debates keep popping up over and over again. We have the Middle East, porn, the NDP Cuba, religion etc. the same people participate in these arguments, and the talking points are always the same. So, in addition to being quite stupid when it comes to differences of opinion, this board also has a very narrow outlook when it comes to the rest of the world. What's happening in the DRC? We don't know, because board members are too busy engaging in pissing contests centered around the Iranian elections to give a damn about what happens in sub saharan Africa.

So many mensches, so little time.

Michelle

We are fine with people flagging posts.  If anything, it helps with our work, because then it's easier to see which threads to keep an eye on.  Even if we don't agree about a particular post someone's flagged, at least it lets us know that there are some tensions happening in the thread so we can check it out.

Fidel

Dont worry, I'll be ignoring 100% of your rabid anti-NDP concern troll rhetoric from now on. Flag that!

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

Could you two PLEASE cut it out?  Seriously.  Just cut it out.  Ignore each other.  Quit insulting each other.  And yes, that includes backhanded statements about how you're going to ignore the other person because they're blah blah blah.  Just cut it out!

This problem could be solved by technology! I suggest an option whereby any babbler can truly ignore another, by tagging their name, so that their posts are literally invisible to the tagger. It seems extreme, but it may help to resist the natural temptation...

A variant would be that if I tag Jane Doe's name, not only do I not see her posts, but she doesn't see mine either. It's not perfect, of course, because we'll see other posters quoting us... although there may be a solution there too.

What say you, Michelle, O moderate one?

 

Slumberjack

I keep hanging out because I enjoy reading and participating with the interaction between leftish aligned comrades, regardless of the little we seem to agree about in our respective ways and thoughts.   We're certainly not sheeple to the extent that we might encounter practically everywhere else in the mainstream, or in life for that matter.  That in itself is the difference between communities such as this, and the ones that insist on conformity to ideological abominations, either online, or practically everywhere we walk in this society where the notion of compromise demands bowing down.  Variations and the resulting abrasive friction here and there are part of the dynamic that is trodden on with boot heels elsewhere.  Check out the cbc.ca boards as a typical example.

oldgoat

This thread approaching the threshold of a brief banning, like 12 - 24 hours or so.  No, I'm not doing it, it's just an example.  F'rinstance it would let the gladiators cool down a bit, but also let cooler heads post in a nicer environment and get a thread back on track.  It wouldn't be a punative measure like longer bannings, just a way to keep civility and help threads to stay on track.

 

I also think it would be great if people who say they're going to ignore each other actually ignore each other.  You know how dumb someone looks when they, in high dudgeon and righteous indignation, state they will no longer read the posts of another, then three posts down quote that person and underscore again how contemptable and ignore-worthy they are.  Yup, that'd be great.

Sven Sven's picture

Michelle wrote:

I wonder if it would be possible for people who have fallen into a pattern of really not being able to stand each other and constantly bickering to try to ignore each other.

Those are the wisest words that have been written on babble in months.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Michelle

I have wanted a twit filter for YEARS, Unionist.  Alas, it wasn't possible with the former babble software, and I don't think it's possible with the current either.

I can double-check with our tech folks on that, though, to see whether such a feature could be easily enabled.

Bookish Agrarian

One of the things I have noticed is that there are posters who cannot seem to help themselves insulting babblers who belong to the NDP.  The criticisms of the NDP are fair game, but there are a few posters who instead obliquly and sometimes directly attack those of us whose actvism includes electoral politics.  I for one respect those who's actvism (if they are active in someway)- but the reverse is often not true.

So these posters attack NDP babblers- all the time as a group, but are allowed to do this. They continue to offer nothing but baiting. It leads to a very toxic atmosphere where those of us who are just as bonafide progressives as others are made to feel defensive because we choose to fight for a better world through a political party.

 

Here is an example of a gratutious attack from this thread

 

 http://rabble.ca/babble/western-provinces/infighting-kills-alberta-green-party

 

 

 

Unionist

 

Quote:

 

 

 

"We wanted to change it to something that was a little more electable and get rid of some of the riff-raff and left-wing nuts," he said. "There are people in that party who have no interest in getting elected." (Edmonton Journal, July 15, 2008)

 

 

Similarly, Anglin says the goal was "to take this party mainstream and to make it a viable political force," by removing the "militant radicals."

 

 

 

They're merging with the NDP?

Fidel

Personally speaking, I would make liberal use of an ignore feature or access control list of some sort. I think thread gladios would find it frustrating at some point and post a lot less on progressive forums

jrootham

The fastest way to create a civility breakout on Babble would be to require everyone to post under their real names. It was one of the first things that was learned at the Well, which is the granddaddy of all discussion forums.

Yes, there are reasons for anonymity but one of the irrepressible side effects is flames.

Yes, it is a large scale change.  We would need a significant process to authorize the change.

Yes, I'm biased because I post under my real name.

 

Coyote

Quite seriously I post here less and less because of the animosity that has developed between several long-term stalwarts, who do not see their (often minor) disagreements as positions shaped by differing reflection and experience, but rather stern ontological opposition which cannot be reconciled. There are a number of issues where I disagree with the general consensus, but the people who I would want to argue that out with are too busy fighting hammer-and-tong with each other to notice me. Then i pout.

On the partisan issue, I think people need to step back and consider this equation:

Just because some IS a New Democrat, does not mean they are not progressive; just because someone is NOT a New Democrat, does not mean they are not progressive.

I think it would help if we'd all remind ourselves to avoid blanket statements about each other, and for god's sake give each other the benefit of the doubt. I'm guilty of jumping in too hot and fast, believe me. But maybe we can all start to think of this as a place to share, not do battle.

 

Fidel

Anonymous monikers and without declared political party support. Those are absolutely vital for the m.o. of every self-respecting internet concern troll frequenting progressive forums

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

what if you're not declared and simply looking to learn and form thoughts and opinions?

Coyote

Some people really do oppose the NDP from the Left, Fidel. I know tons of them. I disagree with them. I'll argue it any time. But it doesn't mean the people aren't genuine in the opinions.

Again, benefit of the doubt.

Fidel

rural - Francesca wrote:

what if you're not declared and simply looking to learn and form thoughts and opinions?

You can even bash the NDP from time to time. Just so long as it doesnt become your every waking thought and finding yourself paranoid about a federal government that's never been actualized in this plane of quantum reality?

jrootham

Declaring political alignment is irrelevant.  Posting under your own name is not.

 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

Anonymous monikers and without declared political party support. Those are absolutely vital for the m.o. of every self-respecting internet concern troll frequenting progressive forums

The above is precisely the type of Jim Jones Koolaid post which makes my technological suggestion to Michelle utterly essential. Either that, or we actually speak our minds about what people post here. Imagine that scenario!!

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

I don't bash orgs or collective groups, I see actions as individual and look to hold the individuals responsible as 100% consenses within a group is impossible

thanks

consensus at different levels is possible.

people in groups are responsible for one another.

Fidel

Coyote wrote:

Some people really do oppose the NDP from the Left, Fidel. I know tons of them. I disagree with them. I'll argue it any time. But it doesn't mean the people aren't genuine in the opinions.

Again, benefit of the doubt.

I realize there are people who want the NDP to be better from a socialist perspective. They think that now is the time for socialist party nenewal and all that. But if Canadians were ready for full scale socialism, wouldnt some of that voter frustration be showing up in the form of actual votes for any of the other 20-some odd reg'd political parties across Canada? Why does the NDP receive all the attention all of the time on progressive forums? Is it because the NDP really is the most progressive party with a chance of being elected?

I dont think Marx had any policy prescriptions for the future. Marx would have suggested that people organize into social groups and worker collectives at times of capitalist crises. And we are living through a whopper of a crisis of capitalism right now in these times. With true socialism, one political party is not the ultimate solution. We're not going to attain people's communism in one giant step. We have to include as many people as possible from the widest array of backgrounds and life experiences. For me that's the NDP.  

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Anonymous monikers and without declared political party support. Those are absolutely vital for the m.o. of every self-respecting internet concern troll frequenting progressive forums

The above is precisely the type of Jim Jones Koolaid post which makes my technological suggestion to Michelle utterly essential. Either that, or we actually speak our minds about what people post here. Imagine that scenario!!

 

Pot

Kettle

Black

Coyote

And everything you just argued there is a valid reason for the position that you hold: support for the NDP. And when pressed, I think you can break that out. I even agree with you that the NDP comes into more criticism than it merits from many on the Left outside the party.

But my point is that the criticism is not part of tactic, it is a genuine analysis. The intent is not malicious in any contrived sense of the word.

We are all inclined to defend our own positions. Well and good. But escalating things to a personal nature, and impugning peoples motives or geniunity is not going to help anything.

 

thanks

coyote ignores democracy too.

shall we go through the whole list of babblers?

picking beans is more exciting.

 

Bookish Agrarian

What bothers me is the holier than thou attitudes that comes with some of that criticism and it is often directed at people as individuals for supporting the NDP.  We are all activists -we are choosing to express in different ways- but often we who participate in electoral politics directly are treated like we have some kind of social disease.  I grows a bit wearisome.

I am sure it goes both ways - but since it comes at one - it is hard to see it going the other way as easily.  A kind of red-shift I guess

Fidel

I think, Coyote,  that the true socialist state of mind is to have nothing but feelings of love and concern for our fellow human beings. I confess to not adhering to that principle at times... very much. "skulking off now"

Coyote

thanks wrote:

coyote ignores democracy too.

shall we go through the whole list of babblers?

picking beans is more exciting.

 

Um, what?

Unionist

rural - Francesca wrote:

I don't bash orgs or collective groups, I see actions as individual and look to hold the individuals responsible as 100% consenses within a group is impossible

Well, that's an approach I can warmly embrace. It won't win you friends among the Koolaid crowd, though.

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

The Koolaid crowd?

George Victor

 

 

martin dufresne

"The Koolaid crowd?

NOW we know why so many have gone missing...

P.S.: Rhetoric is one thing but don't miss tonite's shooting stars display. Best before moonrise or when the Earth goes through a comet filament...

The Perseid meteor shower is about to peak. The show begins after sunset on Tuesday, August 11th, and continues until the sun rises on Wednesday, August 12th. A time of particular interest is 0800-0900 GMT (1-2 a.m. PDT) on the 12th. That's when Earth is expected to pass through a denser-than-usual filament of dust from Perseid parent Comet Swift-Tuttle. Forecasters are unsure what will happen, but some have speculated that meteor rates could surge as high as 200 per hour. Bright moonlight will blot out many of those Perseids, but even a fraction of 200 is a good show.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for full coverage of the Perseids.

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