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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » *poke* (Page 3)

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Author Topic: *poke*
Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Hatrack IS clicky
Until now I had no idea that you guys were saying 'cliquey'
Oh wow. That's embarrassing. Oops!
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There was a thread about how cool you are based on how many degrees of separation there is from you to OSC.
For the record, no one took that seriously. The Hatrack I know and love measures degrees of separation from a different population. And it's measured as a boolean value, not an integer. [Smile]
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Strider
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quote:
Hatrack IS cliquey - i appreciate some defensiveness, but it is incredibly hard to break through. The way I feel, is that my posts are less likely to be incorporated into the flow of the conversation. Now, that may be because of content - but I think I have noticed a pattern of cliquiness that makes it a bit stifling.
Hey I posted something on the last page and no one responded to me. It happens all the time Armoth. And it's happened ever since I can remember being at hatrack...even in THE GOLDEN YEARS. posts don't get replied to for all sorts of reasons, and most of them aren't personal.
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TomDavidson
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Well, some times it's personal. I mean, I never reply to anything you post, Strider. [Wink]
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Strider
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Tom replied to me!!!

I'm calling my mother.

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Armoth
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Ok. I came of whinny and I didn't mean to do that.

I know that people don't always respond to every post, and it is definitely not personal.

But be honest. If you see BB, Rivka, Tom Davidson, Samprimary - you're gonna be a bit more careful to stop and read than when you see a name that hasn't posted 7000 times.

I came off bitter, and I didn't mean to. Actually, I think I did, so I guess I just regret it. All I want to do is suggest a possibility to help our community grow. Keep it in mind, be more sensitive to the new people, and maybe bring in some new blood that will help the community thrive.

For me, it isn't just the information here that is valuable. The arguments of gay marriage can easily be researched online. The proofs against God are all on Wikipedia.

But what has been valuable here to me is that I've learned how deeply hurt gay people are and how excluded they feel because the institution of marriage is denied to them. I took that for granted in my opinions, and did not even give it the time of day. The discussions here, because people inserted their specific personalities, really helped reform my opinion.

I learned that atheists are not all a bunch of defensive elitist intellectuals, disparaging religion to relieve their own insecurities, but that they are regular people who reach their conclusions after admirable serious thought.

Hatrack, has been an experience of tremendous unity. Ideology is one thing, but the personalities that are attached and the subsequent empathy and understanding allow us to unite despite our beliefs.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
Are you really going to reply to my feelings of exclusion by saying that I have the same rights to go to a book signing as you do? Sadly, he does not often visit NY.

If you are going to take seriously anyone who claims coolness because they have met OSC, then yes. Note Tom's response.

And people have made multi-hour, and even multi-day, roadtrips to go to his booksignings. (Not me. But people! [Wink] ) "He never comes to my state" just doesn't cut it.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Tom replied to me!!!

I'm calling my mother.

Why would Tom be afraid of her?
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Noemon
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You've obviously never met his mother.
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rivka
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Have you met Tom?
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
Are you really going to reply to my feelings of exclusion by saying that I have the same rights to go to a book signing as you do? Sadly, he does not often visit NY.

If you are going to take seriously anyone who claims coolness because they have met OSC, then yes. Note Tom's response.

And people have made multi-hour, and even multi-day, roadtrips to go to his booksignings. (Not me. But people! [Wink] ) "He never comes to my state" just doesn't cut it.

While they weren't taken seriously, jokes can be exclusionary. I honestly know you don't measure people based on how close they are to OSC, but somoene who is new to the site, doesn't know who has met him or corresponded with him (and hasn't themselves), you can feel pretty excluded.

And I still think it's pretty silly that the way you are responding to the way I was feeling is by telling me that I can meet OSC too.

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scifibum
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Armoth, you've made some interesting points about the vibe here.

FWIW, I think that there are a couple of factors in what generates a specific response to a post.

In order of decreasing importance, IMO:
1) How provocative the post is.
(The sad truth that trolls everywhere have discovered is that you CAN get attention by deliberately provoking people. And it's a lot safer to do online than at the corner bar. Aside from pure trolls, some people train to make their posts pointier. This might correlate negatively with how "chill" the place is.)

2) Whether the post directly invites responses, or asks questions of individuals.

3) Whether the post introduces something novel to the conversation.

4) How many friends are reading or whether you belong to the right clique. (I do think this has an effect, but it's way down on my list.)

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
And I still think it's pretty silly that the way you are responding to the way I was feeling is by telling me that I can meet OSC too.

Tom has already covered the fact that it was not serious. If you choose to take it seriously anyway, there's really only one way to do something about it.

I'd have to go find the thread to be sure, but I'm fairly certain there were several responses from people who have never met OSC and made jokes about that.

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Lupus
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for me, real life got in the way. A 50 hour work week and a girlfriend take up quite a bit of my time.
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kmbboots
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Armoth, I think you do make some decent points. I do think that we should bear in mind how we welcome newcomers. I also think that newcomers need to bear in mind that people who have "been around" long enough to form relationships aren't going to pretend those relationships don't exist. Just as if you were going to a party where some of the other people knew each other, newcomers an effort should be made to be welcoming but newcomers shouldn't expect to be the center of attention right away. It takes some accomodation on both sides of the equation. For example, before launching a new thread to express opinions on a controversial subject, it might make sense to see what has already been written.
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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Hey I posted something on the last page and no one responded to me. It happens all the time Armoth. And it's happened ever since I can remember being at hatrack...even in THE GOLDEN YEARS. posts don't get replied to for all sorts of reasons, and most of them aren't personal.

Darn it! I was going to ignore this post, but I see Tom already did... [Grumble]
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Rivka, it was interesting that Shanna posted and no one acknowledged her point
I actually responded to her in the very next post. [Razz]

quote:
I don't want to put Moose in an awkward position, and I don't want to talk about other people when they aren't prepared to offer their own version of events.

Besides, believe me, it doesn't matter. The most destructive force at Hatrack right now is people whining about Hatrack; the belief -- largely mistaken, IMO -- that we are somehow incapable of having respectful conversations anymore is the single biggest impediment to doing so. I don't want to perpetuate that myth in any way.

I think it's fine to choose not to tell a story, and maybe to tell one person privately in an e-mail when they're the only one who cares. I think it's a bit arbitrary to tell one person because they asked first or to tell 5 people in an e-mail but not just go ahead and post it. (You may have since chosen to not to e-mail anyone, and I think that would be fair).

Your second point (that it's not really that bad here), I agree with. (Assuming I'm interpreting you correctly). Honestly the atmosphere at the forum here is identical to most forums out there and is still better than most. I know it's frustrating if you guys were a truly amazingly supportive place where people went out of their way to say kind words all the time, and now the atmosphere is just "average," but there are worse things that could be happening.

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Strider
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Would everyone please stop ignoring my posts? All this non-attention is overwhelming.

My mother.

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rivka
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Pfft. That's not scary.
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Strider
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I never implied she was scary. That's just like your own subjective interpretation of events. I can't control your mind.

Or can I....

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
I never implied she was scary.

No. Noem did.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Rivka, it was interesting that Shanna posted and no one acknowledged her point
I actually responded to her in the very next post. [Razz]


You're right. I apologize, i totally missed that.
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Godric 2.0
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Rivka, it was interesting that Shanna posted and no one acknowledged her point
I actually responded to her in the very next post. [Razz]

I ignored that post, so it doesn't count. [Razz]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You may have since chosen to not to e-mail anyone, and I think that would be fair.
So far, no one has contacted me by email.
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Traceria
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This has been a very calm discussion from my point of view, especially considering some earlier points mentioned fights and snide remarks. [Smile]

As a new member (it'll be a year in November), I can definitely relate to some of the points mentioned by Armoth, Shanna and someone else whose name escapes me at the moment. I completely understand that any newcomer to a forum or to a honest to goodness real life party is going to encounter a similar reaction and transition period, but that doesn't mean it makes it any easier to hopefully infuse yourself into the community with time. As kmbboots said, it takes accommodations on both sides. And so...

I know that anytime someone responds kindly to a post I've made, it tickles me pink. I read through a great number of the threads as they appear and have come to respect quite a few of you in how you do manage to put together thoughtful and respectful comments. What is off-putting is when a veteran makes one of those ambiguous comments that could either be in jest or could be a barbed comment, and since I don't know them, my own initial reaction is to interpret it the second way. Personality flaw? Maybe. However, if it's not too much to expect, if you haven't formed a repertoire with a person yet, can you maybe fill us in on the fact you're just kidding and trying to include us in the banter? I'm all for banter; it's just difficult to interpret the spirit when you don't know someone well.

Like, here's a little idiosyncrasy of mine that you all just haven't had time to pick up on: I rarely abbreviate anything, particularly things that could be shortened when sending a text message or a quick response in a forum such as this. Sometimes I'll start to do so and then compulsion hits me to type it all out. Yet, with some other online friends through my LJ, for instance, this is well known due to our history, and it gets joked about among many other things.

When I first created an account here, it was after reading a lot of threads that came up as the result of searches, so many of them were topics that were of first interest to me. I could sense the comradery in them. I was looking forward to that. Instead, I've felt misunderstood or attacked more often (though it's a close count) than I've felt welcome. I guess that's all to say that I'd rather be treated as a newcomer without all the expectations of a long time member and poster.

Just some additional newbie thoughts for you.

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The Rabbit
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Traceria, You have some excellent points. Even though I'm far from new here, I've never really been part of any of the cliques so I tend to miss inside jokes too. I have the same tendency to interpret playful banter as barbs. I'm not sure I've always done that but I know that as the environment has grown more hostile I have become more likely to see venom in peoples posts rather than playfulness. In real life, we know its rude to make too many inside jokes in a gathering where not everyone is an insider. Its common manners and perhaps we old timers need to consider that more as we interact.

I'd hate to think any newbie would need to read through 10 years of the forum before jumping in. We should be able to accommodate new people with out expecting them to research the entire history. But I do think it would be advisable for newbies to participate in a number of threads before starting a new one. It gives us a chance to get to know you on more neutral territory. When starting a new thread, its very easy for a newbie to step on a land mine they weren't expecting. If we've already got a chance to know your style, we more likely to presume ignorance when that happens rather than deliberate trolling.

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Traceria
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Thanks for responding, Rabbit. Unlike Strider, I'll refrain from calling my mom. [Wink]

Seriously, though, I appreciate some of the constructive discussion taking place here. It's really opened my eyes to the other side of the coin and helped to see that a little give and take from all involved parties could work toward a better atmostphere. [Smile]

Having been around long enough to witness a few trolling incidents, I can see why having some unknown person posting for the first time would cause a few eyebrows to go up. There should be a sort of disclaimer that pops up when someone first registers: If you'd like a smoother welcome to the forum, try reading and commenting on some other threads first. Or, if you can't hold your excitement in, put up an honest to goodness introduction post about yourself. (only half kidding)

(edited for clarity)

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by Traceria:
Or, if you can't hold your excitement in, put up an honest to goodness introduction post about yourself. (only half kidding)
(edited for clarity)

Introduction posts are great. It's always nice getting a feel for a new member as a person.
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rivka
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Oh, agreed. I love "hi there, I'm new!" posts.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
There should be a sort of disclaimer that pops up when someone first registers: If you'd like a smoother welcome to the forum, try reading and commenting on some other threads first. Or, if you can't hold your excitement in, put up an honest to goodness introduction post about yourself. (only half kidding)
I actually think thats a great idea. Maybe not precisely that wording but it would be great if there was something like that. You register, and get a hints for fitting in at hatrack.
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The Rabbit
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Here is a start on a message for newbies. Please suggest changes, addition, or deletions. If we polish it up, perhaps we can get this actually integrated into the site. I'll work on a series of reminders for old timers as well.


quote:
Hints for Newbies:

Welcome to Hatrack, weíre always glad to have newcomers here and hope you will become an active part of our community. Hatrack is a little different from many places on the internet. Here are some hints that will help you fit in.

1. At Hatrack, our motto is to speak with passion but listen with respect. We try to avoid the flame wars and personal attacks that are common on other internet sites. If you are accustomed other forums, you may find you need to tone down your style to fit in at Hatrack. While we donít always succeed, our goal is civil discourse. Think of this as a dinner party with friends not a battle ground.

2. The Hatrack forum is more than a decade old and we have many members who have been around that long. Many of our members have met in real life, have become close friends and even married. While we welcome newbies, it may take you a while to become fully integrated in the community. Be patient. Feel free to introduce yourself in a new thread. Read and post in a number of threads before trying to start a new discussion thread. This will give old members a chance to get to know you and your style on neutral ground. If we seem to be using too many inside jokes, ask for an explanation. Donít give up if your first posts get few or even no responses. That happens even to the old timers at times.

3. Hatrack has many members who are religiously conservative. You donít need to agree with them, in fact disagreement on religion is an integral part of Hatrack, but we expect respectful behavior.

4. You may find that language which is common in your social group is considered obscene or profane at Hatrack. Our host has asked that we refrain from obscene and profane language and we ask that you respect that. Find ways to express yourself that donít include language your grandmother would have considered offensive.

5. We have a lot of members from across the religious and political spectrum. If you are used to participating in one sided political or religious forums, be prepared to have your views challenged and questioned. We hope Hatrack is a place where people of opposing views can come in order to better understand each other. If you treat those who disagree with you as the faithful opposition rather than enemies to be defeated you will have a much better chance of being accepted in the community.

6. Unfortunately, discussion at Hatrack hasnít and doesnít always remain civil. You may come across a variety of landmines. Certain controversial topics (abortion, Israel, homosexuality, religion etc.) have been beaten nearly to death over the years. Very few things are off limits for discussion, but it is wise to get the lay of the land before starting or jumping into a discussion on a highly controversial subject.

7. There are a couple of behaviors that are likely to land you in trouble at Hatrack.

a. Deleting threads. You can edit and delete your posts, but be careful. If you delete the opening post in a thread, it deletes the entire thread, which will offend a lot of people. If you delete too many things it can actually crash the forum. Deleting posts after others have responded to them can be really confusing. If a post has been up for very long, it is polite to note that it has been edited (or removed) and why.

b) Garbled English. Hatrack Forum attracts a very literate crowd. We donít expect perfect English or spelling and we try to be very accommodating to those who arenít native English speakers, but lazy garbled English is likely to draw criticism. We also donít like excessive internet short hand except as a joke. All caps or all lower case posts are irritating.

Thatís a long list, I hope it hasnít intimidated you. You are truly welcome here and we want you to enjoy the forum. Over the years, many of us have found Hatrack to be a stimulating, friendly, accepting amazing community. We hope you do too.



[ September 23, 2009, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Godric 2.0
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Didn't we used to have a message like this that got bumped or posted in the "I'm new" threads? Is that what this is or is this something new?
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scifibum
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That is a pretty good list, Rabbit, but I worry that it'll have a couple of side effects:

1) Intimidate people who show up with good intentions but aren't looking to start a project (in this case the project is "be accepted by the community")

2) Provide a handy list of buttons to trolls or miscreants. (I think there will be a few people who say to themselves "Crash the forum? Really? I have got to try that..." and more who say "Oh, look - they're sensitive here! Where are my sturdy trolling shoes?")

I would like it if there was a way to require moderator approval to post a new thread if your post count is lower than X.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
That is a pretty good list, Rabbit, but I worry that it'll have a couple of side effects:

1) Intimidate people who show up with good intentions but aren't looking to start a project (in this case the project is "be accepted by the community")

I'm not sure what the best way is to address this. Maybe it would be better if the list was in a Topic "Hints for Newbies" that was permanantly stickied at the top of the forum rather than a pop up note for everyone who registered.

quote:
2) Provide a handy list of buttons to trolls or miscreants. (I think there will be a few people who say to themselves "Crash the forum? Really? I have got to try that..." and more who say "Oh, look - they're sensitive here! Where are my sturdy trolling shoes?")
I see your point. It would be best to leave out the part about crashing the forum. The list of controversial topics is probably unneeded. Saying "controversial topics" or "controversial political and religious topics" would most likely be adequate and less likely to be seen as a list of buttons to push.

Perhaps posting such a list at all would require more active moderation to prevent trolling.

quote:
I would like it if there was a way to require moderator approval to post a new thread if your post count is lower than X.
Great suggestion.
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The Rabbit
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Here is a start on reminders for forum regulars.

quote:
Reminders for forum regulars:

1. At Hatrack, our motto is to speak with passion but listen with respect. Please avoid making personal attacks and getting involved in flame wars. Remember that our goal is civil discourse. Treat Hatrack as if it is a dinner party with friends not a battle ground.

2. Create a welcoming atmosphere to newbies. Many of us have been around a long time and know each other well, but new members are what keep the forum alive and vibrant. Make an effort to respond to new posters. Inside jokes may be inevitable, but try not to make things too foreign to new comers. Offer explanations and links to old threads to help newbies feel at home.

3. Try to avoid the landmines. Youíve been around long enough to know what things are certain to cause a fight and how to provoke certain people. Avoid doing it.

4. Good manners are not equivalent to self censorship. There are polite ways to disagree and there are polite ways to express most every opinion. Try to find those ways.

5. Treating people with respect often means apologizing, revising, and editing. Admitting it when you were wrong is often necessary to maintain the community health.


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Armoth
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I think it's pretty good.

(I'm not the biggest fan of "Israel" in the controversial topic examples).

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
(I'm not the biggest fan of "Israel" in the controversial topic examples).

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Israel has unquestionably been a controversial and often extremely nastily controversial topic at hatrack. We've had more locked threads on that topic than any other and possibly every other topic hear.

If you find that unfortunate, I whole heartedly agree but it is an unfortnate truth around here. Israel is certainly a land mine around here that new people can easily stumble into innocently. I really wish we could have civil discussion about Israel here and would not want to have the topic banned. But the fact is we haven't been able to have a civil discussion on Israel for several years and I don't see that changing unless certain people leave.

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Armoth
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I don't mean that it isn't uncontroversial. I just prefer it isn't mentioned. You can ignore that request, I'm not requesting it vehemently. I just winced when i read it, that's all.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
I don't mean that it isn't uncontroversial. I just prefer it isn't mentioned. You can ignore that request, I'm not requesting it vehemently. I just winced when i read it, that's all.

I'd already agreed that having a list at all was a bad idea so I don't have any problem with that request.

I am curious about why you'd prefer that topic in particular not be mentioned. Why does mentioning that Israel has become a topic we can't discuss civilly make you wince?

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Armoth
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I don't know myself. before I sat to respond to your last post I tried to figure it out and I couldn't come up with anything concrete.

Maybe I'm sad that that's true? Maybe I wish the issue were more clear cut and it's painful that it's not?

Maybe because the mention of it as an uncontroversial topic makes me feel a bit unwelcome because many people here might disagree with my views? (If that is true, it is an unconscious belief)

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Mucus
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Maybe its because Israel is a country to you and a source of some controversy, while to others it is essentially encapsulated as a controversy first and foremost.

Imagine if the list included "The United States," due to constant debates on its use of torture and that was the main reason why the topic came up ever. There would probably be some indignation that the US was so pegged, for lack of a better word.

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Traceria
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I like the idea of having a permanently stickied "Hints for Newbies" topic. If someone is concerned about having a smoother get-to-know period, they'll read it.

As to what that stickied topic should include, your initial proposal along with some of the suggestions from scibum and Armoth is a good place to start. I'm absolutely horrible at trying to edit (in the shortening sense) stuff, but I would suggest getting someone to take a red pen to it to make it more concise and general so that it is more a set of basic guidelines than a lot of specifics. I hope that makes sense.

Truly, I'm really terrible at that kind of thing, so I'm hoping someone can step up and help to turn out a really straight forward and concise set of hints. [Smile]

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kmbboots
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Thanks, The Rabbit for putting all of that together. It looks good to me. My only thought is that I am not so much bothered by people joining into controversial subjects - I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from that. I just want people to recognize that we are not starting from scratch on them. Maybe links to some old key threads would save having to go over what for some is old ground. Although that is not such a bad thing, we can lose patience with it.
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The Rabbit
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Perhaps it needs rewording. I'm not bothered by newbies joining into controversial subjects, I simply think they should be given fair warning.
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Tresopax
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quote:
3. Hatrack has many members who are religiously conservative. You donít need to agree with them, in fact disagreement on religion is an integral part of Hatrack, but we expect respectful behavior.
I wouldn't single our religious conservatives, as there's plenty of religious liberals and athiests too - I'd just say there are many members who hold strong religious convictions. It could also mention that people probably shouldn't go into a discussion thinking they'll change someone's religious views or convert them.

Actually, as a more general rule, I'd think its a good idea not to go into an controversial conversation thinking you are going to change the minds of everyone on the other side. People should assume other posters have thought out their positions, and should not be offended or surprised if what one person thinks is an indisputable argument fails to convince others. Especially when it comes to "landmine" topics.

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Brinestone
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I was going to say what Tres said about #3. I think you cover it in #5 anyway.

I think something recommending that they do an introduction thread, or even sticking a permanent newbie introduction thread at the top, would be nice too.

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