The atmosphere of the forum...

Questions and comments
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1495
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

It’s also not lost on me that my presence is toxic and maybe I should be the one to leave.
I don't think this is the case unless I missed something really bad. Is there something specific you are talking about?

Fish
Posts: 553
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Fish »

@GdP - I should have amended that as “toxic to some.” To understand the concern, see
viewtopic.php?p=186158#p186158 and viewtopic.php?p=186174#p186174 (my response here) and imagine there being several people out there who refuse to participate because I appear to be passing silent (and sometimes not-so-silent) judgment on contributors here. @C40 has also mentioned that my debacle thread also chilled at least one forum regular who stopped posting. So I am aware that I do have an effect on others, through the side effects of my good intentions.

I consider everyone on the forum to be posting with generally positive intent, so I am judging myself not by intentions but rather the same metric that everyone cares about---results.

Add: Just to clear the air, I will take @Seppia’s advice and mention that I was only thinking of @TopHatFox and @frugal as I was writing that forum ethics thread. THF has since upped his game and also proven himself to be a massive generator of serendipity as a conversation starter. I may not have an apology for @frugal (yet) but I certainly owe the forum one.
Last edited by Fish on Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by daylen »

@fish Be careful drawing conclusions about what posts / members made other members leave / withdraw. Reality is often more complex, and what someone writes here may not be representative of the attitudes they employ off forum. Sometimes things just need to be delt with elsewhere and recent forum activity could be misleading.

theanimal
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Location: AK
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by theanimal »

@Fish- FWIW, I think it'd be a major loss to the forum if you left.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2520
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by C40 »

Fish wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:20 am
@C40 has also mentioned that my debacle thread also chilled at least one forum regular who stopped posting.
Good news - he is back. :D

Jean
Posts: 1170
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Jean »

I really like the exposure to people I disagree with. Please don't leave.

Seppia
Posts: 1412
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Seppia »

Fish wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:23 am
It’s also not lost on me that my presence is toxic and maybe I should be the one to leave. :?
Excuse me for turning this thread into a love fest, but no, don’t leave.
You have some of the best threads and posts I can recall since I joined.
If I could be allowed a sugegstion, while 99.99999% of the internet doesn’t think enough before posting, you may be the only person I know that I would say thinks a bit too much :)

bigato
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by bigato »

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:50 pm
Were he, and others like him, expunged, how quickly would the forums become solely about bicycle repair and spreadsheets? And nothing against bicycles or spreadsheets, but there is more to life than that. I hate to remind you, but you’re going to die. I hope between now and then you can find the time to laugh a little
Please consider for a moment that:

- some people don’t come here for laughs;
- some people don’t share the taste for jokes;
- some people don’t like jokes;
- some people don’t want to laugh;
- the common reason that brings people here is unrelated to laugh and jokes;
- it is polite to respect people’s sensibilities and it is hard to argue that being respectful make the environment worse;
- improving the signal-to-noise ratio tend to improve quality and engagement of the contributors who are more interested in the signal and may be repealed by some kinds of noise.
Last edited by bigato on Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by daylen »

Some signals require a specific type of noise to emerge. The boundary between the signal and the noise is dependent on biased observers. Bias is path dependent and shared paths are rare with respect to finite human existence. Generally, all paths tend to agree more on signals with very long or very short frequencies; in between is the domain of complexity, emergence, and non-linear behavior. An overly serious interpretation of complexity fails reliably.

Not sure what that means for humor, but some acceptance of chaos is likely required for some long term stability. A stable definition of chaos is another story. :)

TopHatFox
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 25

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by TopHatFox »

Looks like the thread on compassion turned into arguments :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

plantingourpennies
Posts: 99
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Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by plantingourpennies »

@black_son_of_gray expressed most of my thoughts better than I could. Two small additions-

1 There are many places on the internet to argue about politics, but really only one to discuss ERE. I would support tighter moderation of political topics, and looser moderation of ERE matters.

2. I am an example of what b_s_o_g stated below-speech silences other speech. Mostly I am a lurker, but the political arguments that consumed the forum in 2016-17 were too much. Yes, their form was appropriate, but their content was too much for me, so I largely left.

We are here to discuss, pontificate, and wax poetically about ERE...if we trade focusing on ERE to focus on constant political bickering then we've surely made a poor trade. ERE unites the forum, politics will almost always divide it.

Good to have Ego back.
black_son_of_gray wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:16 pm
2. Speech silences other speech, and WYSIATI. <snip> When someone makes a "borderline" post right on the edge of community standards, we see that post… but we don't see all the posts that have been stymied (which could be many), we don't hear from users who have been "chilled" (which could be many), we don't see new members sign up that were ready to chime in but reconsidered (which could be many). So, we tend to underestimate the negative effects simply because we can't see them.

Freedom_2018
Posts: 438
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Freedom_2018 »

One other suggestion to do with the structural layout of the forum which could alleviate some of these problems (BTW I am surprised for all the damn self declared NT rationals out here, how little focus is on a structural solution versus a he said, she said, please don't go type of approach WTF :-)

Instead of engineering and fixing people and human nature why don't we fix some structural stuff and see if that works.

How about increasing the number of forum sub-headings ..like in the MMM forums (I know I know it is a dirty word around here but hear me out)...for example I have been EREd over 6 years so I don't care so much about reading 'on the way to ere posts' so on say the MMM forum I occasionally check to see any interesting in the Investor or PostFIRE section or if I need some laughs, go to Wall of Shame stuff.

Looks like we do have a fair number of forum subheadings (I checked as I was typing this)..so why can't people just go into the category they want and not go into categories they don't want.

Could it be that the problem is too few active people (like I said in my first post on this thread topic)??? Lurkers don't count in impacting the culture of the forum but are quietly reading and smiling or cringing as the active folks post...only to surface occasionally into a 'safe space'.

prognastat
Posts: 997
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Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by prognastat »

m741 made a topic kind of related to a more structural solution:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10514&p=185402&hilit=filter#p185402

I didn't use it because I do like seeing everything, but it's still a clever way to remove the categories of topics you aren't interested in. Chances are it wouldn't be hard to write one that hides those unwanted categories from the homepage too.

Also there is a Chrome extension called tampermonkey that should work the same as greasemonkey.

From my understand as far as server side code changes JLF doesn't want to have to write and maintain custom code.

EDIT:
Added to m741's script to make it more comprehensive in it's blocking of unwanted categories:

Code: Select all

// ==UserScript==
// @name         ERE Filter
// @version      1.1
// @description  Filters unwanted categories from the ERE forums
// @author       m741, Prognastat
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=unreadposts
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/index.php
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=newposts
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=unanswered
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=active_topics
// ==/UserScript==

const filteredForums = [
// 'Introduce yourself',
// 'ERE Journals',
// 'ERE Community',
// 'Money Questions',
// 'Skills &amp; Tools Questions',
// 'Lifestyle Questions',
// 'Health Questions',
// 'Work &amp; Education',
// 'Housing Questions',
// 'Transportation Questions',
// 'Friends &amp; Family Questions',
// 'Inspiration',
// 'Politics, and other eternal disagreements',
// 'Resources &amp; Recommended Reading',
// 'ERE Book/Blog/Forum',
// 'Miscellaneous',
// 'Administrative',
];
for (const element of document.getElementsByClassName('row')) {
  for (const forum of filteredForums) {
    if (element.innerHTML.indexOf(forum) >= 0) {
      element.parentNode.removeChild(element);
    }
  }
}

bigato
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by bigato »

Regarding the structure, the Discourse forum software actually has a very nice solution to this. The user can configure it so as to see only the threads he is reading/participating, and the new threads are only shown once; if you are not interested in the topic, you just dismiss them and you'll never see them surface again. Unless off course you want to see them and in this case there is a place where you see every thread just like the "active topics" here in phpbb. I use another forum at my job which runs on Discourse, and it has a shitload of traffic, a lot more than us, and yet takes me very little time to check on it every day.

Now on the other side, Discourse may be more usable from the user point of view but I hate with gusto how its infrastructure is more complex, slow (thus more expensive) and prone to headaches. I definitely would not volunteer to do the work on a possible migration, nor support the idea. But maybe phpbb will catch up on usability at some point? Or if there is sufficient interest, we could pay people to improve the official phpbb. I don't volunteer to program php, but I would send some money if enough people are interested.

Another thing that annoys me to no end is that you have to click on the topic *AND THEN* click "first unread post". Why on earth doesn't it just show you the first unread post by default when you click the topic? Discourse also does this right. This one looks like it would be an easy change to phpbb, maybe it is even already on the development pipeline and coming to us at some point. Or we could make it happen. Again, I'm not programming php but I'd pay some money for this.

User avatar
Bankai
Posts: 816
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:28 am

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Bankai »

bigato wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:54 pm

Another thing that annoys me to no end is that you have to click on the topic *AND THEN* click "first unread post". Why on earth doesn't it just show you the first unread post by default when you click the topic?
I just click the red bit on the left from the topic title and it brings first unread post for that topic, so just 1 click.

bigato
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by bigato »

Damn, thanks, I had no idea hahahaha

7Wannabe5
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Location: Clinton River Watershed

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

We could start a thread where we read and discuss "ERE" line by line, like a bible study group.

I have led or belonged to many real world book groups, and it is ALWAYS the case that it is difficult to keep the conversation on the book (which maybe half the members actually finished reading) and off of gossip, strange tangents, or "what's for snacks?" That's why there are lists of useful questions provided with Recommended for Book Group books. Opening the book at random to get us started:

1) What is contingency goal-setting?
2) How does Liebig's Law of the minimum relate to contingency goal-setting?
3) Why is problem solving simplified if problems are kept "small, slow, and diversified?"
4) How have you applied what you learned from the Contingency Goal-Setting section of "ERE" to your own life-style design?

Edited to add: Lightbulb moment! I vote that anybody who hasn't actually read the book by midnight this Sunday be kicked off the forum, but It's okay if you have to put yellow sticky notes on the pages you didn't understand. That's what study and discussion groups are for.

prognastat
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by prognastat »

EDIT
Doesn't work right, was testing with the wrong string.

Alright one more update on the tampermonkey/greasemonkey script.

The following will remove the unwanted categories from just about everywhere and anything your search on the ERE forums you simply remove the // from in front of the unwanted categories:

Code: Select all

// ==UserScript==
// @name         ERE Filter
// @namespace    http://tampermonkey.net/
// @version      2.0
// @description  Filters unwanted categories from the ERE forums
// @author       Prognastat, m741
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=unreadposts
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/index.php
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=newposts
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=unanswered
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?search_id=active_topics
// @match        https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?keywords=*
// ==/UserScript==

const filteredForums = [
// 'Introduce yourself',
// 'ERE Journals',
// 'ERE Community',
// 'Money Questions',
// 'Skills &amp; Tools Questions',
// 'Lifestyle Questions',
// 'Health Questions',
// 'Work &amp; Education',
// 'Housing Questions',
// 'Transportation Questions',
// 'Friends &amp; Family Questions',
// 'Inspiration',
// 'Politics, and other eternal disagreements',
// 'Resources &amp; Recommended Reading',
// 'ERE Book/Blog/Forum',
// 'Miscellaneous',
// 'Administrative',
];
if (window.location.href.indexOf("https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/search.php?keywords=") == -1) {
    for (const element of document.getElementsByClassName('row')) {
        for (const forum of filteredForums) {
            if (element.innerHTML.indexOf(forum) >= 0) {
                element.parentNode.removeChild(element);
            }
        }
    }
} else {
    for (const element of document.getElementsByClassName('search')) {
        for (const forum of filteredForums) {
            if (element.innerHTML.indexOf(forum) !== -1) {
                element.parentNode.removeChild(element);
            }
        }
    }
}

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6510
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by jennypenny »

Why does there need to be a system or code in place? Can't you just skip what you don't want to read? I usually skip the threads on things like bikes, job hunting, polyamory, etc, because they don't pertain to me. It's not that big a deal. I skip over news articles I'm not interested in when I read the paper and news websites, too. Doesn't everyone? I'm not sure why this is even a thing?


@Fish -- Don't leave. This forum specializes in overanalyzing everything. You fit right in. :)

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1282
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: The atmosphere of the forum...

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Yeah, no one sitting at the freaks table is asking anyone to leave the cafeteria. We are just emphasizing the right to fling peas everywhere because divergence is intregral to the advance of civilization and the evolution of mankind, or something.

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