The atmosphere of the forum...

Questions and comments
Augustus
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Augustus » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:58 pm

black_son_of_gray wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:16 pm
Disagree
1) due to the fact that everyone has a different overton window, there is no single definition of civility. I would rather be offended.
2) this is the most diverse forum I have ever participated in, and "culling the herd", a polite way of saying that others can only say what you approve of them saying, would destroy that diversity.
3) I am much more in favor of tolerance, real tolerance. I enjoy reading posts that make me slightly uncomfortable because it widens my understanding of the way others live. The last thing anyone needs in this day and age is another echo chamber. Look at the news channels *shudder* the news channels all adhere to this idea that only one type of civility exists.
4) I don't detect malice in most of the forum members, even those who post ridiculous things. At least the posts I read, I try to stay out of political threads, because what's the point?

5) isn't that what the MMM forums already are? Aren't half of us refugees from there anyways?

black_son_of_gray
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by black_son_of_gray » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:43 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:58 pm
1) [snip] there is no single definition of civility. I would rather be offended.
2) [snip] saying that others can only say what you approve of them saying, would destroy that diversity.
Except that Jacob has clearly laid out guidelines on civility and the kind of posts that do and do not have his approval. It's a sticky at the top of the forum. It's this post, particularly 5, 6, 7 (Nettiquette), and 8. I'm in agreement with Jacob on the Forum Rules of Conduct - I just think the forum would benefit by stricter enforcement of these stated rules.

Are you disagreeing with his rules?
3) I am much more in favor of tolerance, real tolerance. I enjoy reading posts that make me slightly uncomfortable because it widens my understanding of the way others live. [snip] this idea that only one type of civility exists.
Tolerance of what? Also, I probably wasn't very clear in my post, but I'm not advocating the censorship of any specific topics. But it does make sense to me that for topics which are 1) way outside of conventional, or 2) are only very indirectly relevant to the core message of ERE, that particular attention is put on the tone (i.e. Nettiquette) of the conversation. This is simply pragmatic if one wants to attract and keep forum members receptive to the ERE message, which presumably Jacob does. Also, I don't remember making an argument that only one type of civility exists.
4) I don't detect malice in most of the forum members, even those who post ridiculous things. [snip]
I don't either. And in any case, malice isn't the only problematic behavior. How many bad house guests does it take to ruin a party? Do you still accommodate the bad guests when good house guests start leaving?
5) isn't that what the MMM forums already are? Aren't half of us refugees from there anyways?
What do you mean by "that"? What specifically are you disagreeing with?

Fish
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Fish » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:44 am

@jacob - Another angle to consider is that the moderation policy is also what controls admission to the ERE forum tribe. I’m not one to get worked up about the lens of the forum (what is posted here) but I do care more about the forum’s composition (who is posting here). Others care deeply too. That explains the purge that led to the no-doxing rule and why some forumites were up in arms when Jason started posting here.

Many humans are at some level intolerant of who they are willing to associate with, and I think @bsog is making the argument that increasing enforcement of existing rules will improve the diversity of composition/ideas (this is presuming that other interesting humans are intolerant of the environment/composition that results from lax enforcement). The argument here is that universal tolerance does not lead to maximum diversity of composition which seems counterproductive to your goal to achieve diversity of ideas.

If the internet works anything like highschool then the end result of a universal tolerance policy is the freaks-and-misfits subculture, i.e. barely enough social skills to maintain group cohesion, but whose poor aesthetics turn off everyone else who has the option to join another social group.

Imagine that you are hosting a meetup at ERE HQ and one person shows up shirtless. (@7 - not in the burpee top 10) The meeting proceeds kind of normally but with an unspoken tension not present at earlier meetings. Then at the next one, same guy shows up in underwear. A few attendees start verbally objecting and threatening to leave but you note that a house rule has not been technically violated, and ask everyone to remain open-minded. At this point, a few storm out of the meeting while a few others (emboldened by underwear guy) take off their shirts...

That was a really bad analogy but I think it gets the point across on how some of us view the state of civility on the forum. As far as I’m concerned, if I am the one reporting a post for removal, it’s a moderation failure. I suggest granting the volunteer mods the power to quarantine rules-violating posts in a hidden sub-forum, including (especially) the ones that fall in the gray area. If reversible, type 1 moderation errors (erroneous detection) are much less damaging on the community than type 2 error (failure to detect). And in the current state where everything goes through DLj, delayed moderation action is sometimes as ineffective as no action, particularly for active posters and lurkers who read the “news” and not the “history.”

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jennypenny
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by jennypenny » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:57 am

I hate to dig up old disagreements, but there is a reason that (currently) mods only have permission to deal with spam. See this thread. We used to have more authority to steer the discussions, but that can also have a chilling effect on the forum, as you can see in that older thread.

I'm not arguing either way. I'm only pointing out that neither method is perfect. Maybe times have changed and a different method is needed. Maybe not. I personally like the fact that my mod status doesn't give my posts any more gravitas than anyone else. During one of the forum migrations, mods names suddenly appeared in a different color (like jacob's is red), and it introduced an unnecessary hierarchy and was quickly changed.

prognastat
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by prognastat » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:23 am

@Fish
Jennypenny already brought it up, but this is also a concern I have with giving mods more power. This is one of the very reasons there is little political diversity on the MMM forums. Mainly due to a few mods heavily enforcing the rules and even going beyond the established rules to censor and even ban users that don't agree with those moderator's political opinions(and it only requires one or two mods with this mindset). On the flip side under-enforcing opinions they agree with even if they skirt the rules creating a clear divide between which opinions aren't and are enforceable.

A good example here being with Dragline who is a mod and was an active participating member in good standing until there was political disagreement. I wouldn't be surprised for him to moderate based on political opinion if he was granted such a power.
Last edited by prognastat on Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jason
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:23 am

Fish wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:44 am
I’m not one to get worked up about the lens of the forum (what is posted here) but I do care more about the forum’s composition (who is posting here).

If the internet works anything like highschool then the end result of a universal tolerance policy is the freaks-and-misfits subculture, i.e. barely enough social skills to maintain group cohesion
So as long as Biff comports to the standards of your lunch table, which I'm assuming is based on some external criteria of dress code and speaking in the proper "tone", you will accept whatever he says all the while avoiding what may turn out to be an interesting conversation at the "other" lunch table just because they don't meet said criteria. And in this specific milieu, this is grounds for removal.

Holy Mein Kampf Batman.

Not only is this exactly the difference between you and I, but one of the reasons why I post the way I do here. But keep on vindicating your personal ideas based on the old "everyone was up in arms" tactic . I'm sure both Dunning and Kruger are enjoying the threesome.

Edit: And the moral outrage over what any objective person would see as joke - i.e. you actually need porn to utilize it as revenge - on a forum that spouts views "I don't care what they say as long I like them." And I'm the one one who should be on 4Chan? Go ahead, do whatever the fuck you need to do.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:14 am

@Fish:

The problem is that there are levels and levels here. For instance, the sort of comments I am likely to have an instant reaction to are anything to do with polyamorous-slut-shaming or cookie-addict-with-fat-butt-shaming. However, I also recognize that the behaviors most likely to be associated with these labels are not uniformly socially acceptable. Therefore, one (a moderator) could choose to be either Puritanical Level 1 or Puritanical Level 2 or Puritanical Level 3, and as with other things aptly modeled with Wheaton Levels, each consequent level rejects the one directly below while simultaneously re-visiting the Level 2 below.

So, for instance, my mother's era of feminism came directly out against "sexist pig" behavior exhibited by men, but my era of feminism focused more on a woman's right to claim her own sexuality, and more recently we have been in a more Puritanical era back-lashing off of my era. Jason is extremely obnoxious, I mean he actually fictionally had me murdered on my own thread, but I think part of what he is trying to bring forward is a little bit of the sort of freedom that was taken for granted in the late 70s era in the U.S., but has now been lost. Evidence that this really is a U.S. phenomenon would be an anecdote in a book on French Beauty Secrets (IOW, very light reading, nothing to do with politics or anything controversial) I recently read in which some French men have conversation indicating that they are afraid to ride in elevators if they visit the U.S., because then they might be sued for sexual transgression.

Augustus
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Augustus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:21 am

black_son_of_gray wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:43 pm
Are you disagreeing with his rules?

Tolerance of what?
Did I say I disagreed?

Tolerance of ideas you may think of as foreign and unclean but that others post without malice.

I have no idea why anyone would not like the composition of the forum. I think it's amazing. I can literally ask doctors, lawyers, average joes, contractors, nurses, engineers, teachers, physicists, home makers, bums, etc for their opinions on any given subject and they'll give it to me. That's incredible. If I were walking down the street and saw some of these people I would probably cross the street and avoid them :lol: But here I value their opinion.

To further the high school analogy, I have no interest in joining the cool kid clique and being invited to beckys party on friday when her parents are gone. This is like the breakfast club of the internet.

Fish
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Fish » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:33 am

@jp - Thanks for the context. I can see there is precedent for why moderation powers are limited, but I will just say that the current moderation is inadequate from my perspective, both in speed and perceived type 2 error.

@Jason - Through his actions, Jacob has accepted you into the forum and by extension the tribe. There’s no going back and I am not calling for your removal or asking you to leave.

I acknowledge you are an intelligent, well-read person and considering your posts in isolation, are probably overall a net positive for the forum (with its current composition) for their entertainment value.(*) However, you do have an effect on others. You know this and it is why you post. While I can recognize a joke, when a post from the mental gutter stands apparently unchallenged, others will take it as a signal that the behavior is accepted, and act accordingly. I can also see the genius in how you’ve challenged Jacob to the very edge of his breaking point without crossing it, but I can’t say I personally find it amusing.

(*) Sometimes you even have a helpful streak and a knack for saying what needs to be said, like this post: viewtopic.php?p=152951#p152951 But I wish that were the norm and not the exception.

@7 - That is an interesting explanation, and may explain why the older women on the forum generally tolerate him better and appreciate his presence. I have no objection to the his posts or who he is as a person (though we would have sat at different lunch tables in HS?). It’s the higher-order effects. Who has left the forum. Who is joining the forum. All this time wasted(?) on metadiscussion instead of personal finance and the mission of the board. Though I also have to take my share of responsibility for the last item.

Jason
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:37 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:14 am
Jason is extremely obnoxious, I mean he actually fictionally had me murdered on my own thread, but I think part of what he is trying to bring forward is a little bit of the sort of freedom that was taken for granted in the late 70s era in the U.S., but has now been lost.
Exactly. Because if I had come of age in the early 70's, it wouldn't be fictional.

Augustus
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Augustus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:02 pm

Fish wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:33 am
Though I also have to take my share of responsibility for the last item.
Wasn't this entire blow out caused by your post? :lol: IIRC you said that you think inflammatory posts have value because they spark discussion. Now you are saying that they are bad and we all need to be banned.

C40
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by C40 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:02 pm

Jason, I do like your jokes. Many of them are funny. A significant portion of your posts are essentially you being an asshole. I have some asshole friends that I like being around, and sometimes I'm an asshole. I also have friends that are total sluts, felons, and so on. I love a good asshole line here and there. I like having you around.

A joke every now and then about doing cocaine off a stripper is not so horrible, but when that's your schtick, and when you go there so much that it seems that's all you're here to do, and especially when it seems like it's time to stop or move on to actual content but you just keep going, it gets old. You've had a lot of people here telling you that it's gotten old.

There is a balance needed between being fun/entertaining (jokes and such), and actually being beneficial to be around (advice, useful questions, sharing related experiences, etc.). If someone is all of the former and little/none of the later, and especially when they are trying too hard and don't know when to stop, they cross over into 'not so fun to be around' territory. From the perspective of folks over at the PC table, and also from my own, it seems like your "other table" conversation is just a long string of trying to be funny. Sure, there are some lessons in there if one listens long enough, but it seems like there ain't much.

And yes, however much you might not like hearing it, the place for folks whose schtick is gutter jokes about cocaine, whores, and revenge porn IS 4chan. Or, AFAIK, that's the closest place. It's generally much younger guys there. Most folks mature past their 'whore jokes' phase. I know that you have more in you than jokes.

I feel like this post is harsh. I'm not saying you should go away, or that you need act like a square. But people are telling you they're tired of your shit, and you seem to keep going back to the well of "it's a joke, bro, relax" and "you squares would be boring without my whore jokes".

So, I'm suggesting (that for your posts here) you get better at recognizing where you are and making adjustments on the scale of:

[Asshole that is funny but gets old to be around after a while]
|
|
|
|
[Asshole that is funny and also has some tact, good advice, etc.]

(I'm pretty sure you get what I mean already, but, my context of "asshole" here is more of a description of the tone/nature of your posts and jokes, and not a character judgement of you. Because your posts are mostly jokes, I feel like I don't really know you)
Last edited by C40 on Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:08 pm

Fish wrote: All this time wasted(?) on metadiscussion instead of personal finance and the mission of the board.
Well, I will certainly plead guilty to not keeping to thread or even forum topic :oops:

OTOH, I actually came to the book "ERE" before I came to the forum, and I came to the book by way of one of the lifestyle design books Jacob listed in initial reading list, "The Renaissance Soul." So, if you think of this forum as being more largely about systems thinking level lifestyle design, almost any topic should or could be fair game.

Also, I think any or all sides of perspective on gender dichotomy are fair game given that Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" is also recommended reading. IOW, there certainly is a well-established prior to ERE strain of Libertarian philosophy in the realm of FIRE oriented personal finance, and this philosophy is entangled in current political debates. In fact, I would say that any other personal finance FIRE forum that goes out of its way to ignore the obvious input of this philosophy due to lack of taste for certain unsavory recent associations is likely to not be very deep or self-aware in its forward development.

luxagraf
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by luxagraf » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:31 pm

oh, now I see what you mean about the atmosphere of the forum.

I always liked this statement from the ERE forum conduct guide:

> I will sacrifice the one to protect the many.

Seems simple and clear.

henrik
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by henrik » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:02 pm

As long as Jason is the standard for obnoxious behaviour and seen as challenging people to their breaking points, and as long as he can still post, I really think we're doing fine. I do miss some people who have left, but in those specific cases I'm certain the reasons had more to do with their personal circumstances and/or having "grown out of it" rather than any qualities of the atmosphere.

Augustus
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Augustus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:07 pm

This whole thing actually reminds me of my marriage. My wife says that I have a tendency to hit back 10 times harder whenever I feel aggrieved by someones actions. OTOH I am the more tolerant of the two of us, she'll get upset with random people for what I consider to be trivial slights. Someone gave me bad service at a restaurant? Big deal, my expectations are low if it's fast food, slightly higher if it's a fancier place, but it's a service worker dealing with a bunch of assholes day in and day out, it is entirely within my expectations for them to be in a bad mood from time to time or tired because their kid kept them up all night. Although if they spit in my food I'll probably key their car.

That may seem like a tangent, but I think it's actually the crux of the issue. My primary determination of whether or not I will hit back is if there is malice. The article fish posted had malice, so I hit back, probably harder than I should. Meanwhile if some guy who does not understand women posts something insensitive, I am much more tolerant, because I don't detect malice in it. Gender issues are irrelevant to my determinations, it's either malicious or it's not. If it's not malicious, I am tolerant. Malicious intent is critical, the rest is just misunderstanding.
Last edited by Augustus on Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by daylen » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:12 pm

luxagraf wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:31 pm
Seems simple and clear.
Assuming everyone agrees on what protection means.

This appears to me to be at the core of all this conflict. Different people have different perceptions of what "harm" is and what a "joke" is. This coupled with a detachment from non-verbal cues means chaos when trying to agree on boundaries. In the end, this is Jacob's house and his interpretation of the rules is the only one that matters. His intuition is also introverted, so there is not much chance of understanding why he draws the boundaries the way he does without walking his path. Personally, I trust his judgement so I choose to hang around. All this talk of atmosphere is somewhat foreign to me; I cannot relate or understand many of the perspectives here, but the social dynamics are fascinating. :)

luxagraf
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by luxagraf » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:27 pm

daylen wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:12 pm
Assuming everyone agrees on what protection means.
Actually no one has to agree. This is Jacob's site, he can do whatever the hell he wants. That he built it at all is charity.

daylen
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by daylen » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:38 pm

That is what I just said. I was pointing out that it does not seem simple and clear to everyone.

No matter how hard Jacob (or anyone) attempts to explain their intuition on how they set boundaries in the presence of social complexity there will always be misinterpretation. Edge cases always exist and often the edge cases are attractive / humorous since they straddle the line of truth-hood or the collective unconscious.

luxagraf
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by luxagraf » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:45 pm

daylen wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:38 pm
That is what I just said. I was pointing out that it does not seem simple and clear to everyone.
No, that's not what you just said.

What you just said is that Jacob's moderation guidelines only work "assuming everyone agrees on what protection means." But in fact those guidelines work whether or not everyone agrees. You may be banned for life and never understand why, but that's not object of the guidelines, the object of the guideline is to protect everyone else. How exactly that works can remain a mystery to you and I and still function perfectly well.

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