Forum Posting Ethics

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halfmoon
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by halfmoon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:28 am

I have to admit that this conversation has an inhibiting effect on my eagerness to participate. Volunteering my thoughts in a group generally far more educated and analytical than I has been difficult enough; now I have to worry about being a parasite. I probably do fit the description, or is that just my narcissism talking? ;)

I haven't noticed a problem** outside of one poster persistently repeating questions in someone's journal. The journal owner dealt with it well. I also think members who perceive an issue could send the offender a PM.

**Of course I wouldn't notice if I were a perpetrator, would I? :roll:

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Fish
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Fish » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:54 pm

@halfmoon - Your journal definitely falls into the “great party” category, as does jennypenny’s political analysis. Other examples are cmonkey’s journal, and ffj’s journal and rescue rope thread. I’m a bit surprised that as the content originators you are questioning your value to the community. Maybe my communication was unclear/imprecise, or the rest of us need to speak up more and doing a better job of voicing appreciation.

Maintaining a journal is not at all parasitic. Perpetually being on the requesting end for advice and information is, if that is not balanced by being a good student, or an active member of the community elsewhere.

RealPerson
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by RealPerson » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:00 pm

@halfmoon. Your journal is awesome. My only complaint is that I wish you would post more frequently, but I understand your situation right now. I will patiently wait....

jacob
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jacob » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:23 pm

As a general systems observation, consider that whenever there's talk about codes of conduct, it's always the most conscientious who begin to question and moderate themselves.

So talking about this subject might ultimately have the opposite effect of the intended one; like safety gear in hockey. This dynamic is actually somewhat analogous to the knowledge-problem I mostly focused on above.

Campitor
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Campitor » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:45 pm

halfmoon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:28 am
I have to admit that this conversation has an inhibiting effect on my eagerness to participate. Volunteering my thoughts in a group generally far more educated and analytical than I has been difficult enough; now I have to worry about being a parasite. I probably do fit the description, or is that just my narcissism talking? ;)
In all honesty we're all parasites to a degree since we can't be experts in everything and we routinely post on these forums looking for advice on things we don't know much about. Since this forum is meant to be an exchange of ideas on many different subjects, not just ERE, there will be times that we go from being contributors to consumers. Some of the discussions don't have 1 right answer but many answers that are increasingly/decreasingly optimal when factoring in the individual circumstances that apply to the person asking for advice/knowledge versus the person providing it. We all have our expertise in any given area but at some point, our ability to contribute to the ERE dialogue will lessen since what do we have left to say that isn't covered in Jacob's book, the encyclopedia of knowledge published in his retired blog, the topics warehoused in these forums, or the other ER blogs on the internet? The only thing left is to practice Google-Fu in hopes of finding gems of information that can benefit our fields of interests.

Eventually the veteran members on this forum should reach max ERE wheaton level and will be echoing the same paradigms to each other - everyone is a master so the only interactions of consequence will be between those climbing up/down mount stupid and those at Expert level. Thus the only thing left to discuss among those at max wheaton scale will either be opinion pieces (Keynesian vs Austrian; polyamory vs monogamy, etc.) or general knowledge sharing, i.e., "what is your recipe for X dish? What kata do you practice? Which synthetic oil do you prefer?"

I tend to operate under the paradigm that there are no stupid questions but only opportunities for teaching and learning. We've all asked stupid questions at some point in our life - and I'm not talking about our childhood either. Asking/being asked a stupid question is an opportunity to be schooled or to school someone in the art of analysis, research, and systems thinking, or the concept of enlightened self interest when asked questions with moral components that have negative consequences.

Earlier in this thread I asked how would someone know when mount stupid was conquered - a stupid question in light of Jacob's follow up response. Jacob could have blown me off or I could have refrained from posting my questions. Both would have resulted in my continued ignorance since he actually provided a very good model to determine your height on the expertise ladder. So in summary, don't fear the gods of knowledge that traverse these forums. The only stupid questions is the one that doesn't get asked - imho. :D

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:57 pm

Based on the list in that article, I am wondering where the line between conscientious and self-conscious falls? My dear son once hurt my feelings by informing me that I was self-involved, until he explained that "self-involved" doesn't mean that you don't care about other people, but more like you don't think about what other people are thinking very much, and you are generally not very aware of your immediate surroundings. He was embarrassed and annoyed, because I had walked into a building through the OUT door, leaving him stranded due to higher level of what might have been construed as conscientiousness, but was really a combination of simple consciousness and self-consciousness.

IOW, I didn't notice the door sign or the flow of human traffic, due to absent-mindedness, but I also wasn't particularly embarrassed or contrite about making such a mistake. OTOH, when I walked right SMACK into a glass wall at the bus station a few days ago, in front of a crowd of strangers, I did regret my behavior for a few minutes.

I also must admit that if buying second hand clothing is a sign of lack of conscientiousness, then I am a hopeless case nasty girl, because I have on occasion even teased people who have repulsion boundary to this practice.

halfmoon
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by halfmoon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:09 pm

Fish, RealPerson & Campitor: thanks for the reassurance...though (for once) I wasn't fishing for compliments. I understood Fish to mean that journal-heavy posters are parasitic because they primarily hang out in their own room. Because I have far more experience and patience with practical matters than theoretical ones, I tend to relate experiences in the hopes that they'll be valuable or entertaining to someone.

Jacob, I'm trying to understand the reference to hockey safety gear. Do you mean that wearing safety gear gives the players tacit permission to take more risks, thereby negating the protective effect?

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jacob » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:10 pm

@halfmoon More or less. More precisely, trying to eliminate a particular undesired issue (head injuries, a few violent players) by making a particular change to the entire system (a piece of safety gear or a particular rule, e.g. no fighting) tends to have unintended side-effects because the system adapts. "You can't change just one thing."

Farm_or
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Farm_or » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:55 am

Some of this content reminds me of the unintended consequences of "no child Left behind".

slowtraveler
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by slowtraveler » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:08 am

I apologize if I've had any part in inspiring this thread.

I completely see how I broke rule 3 recently in my journal and I believe I have recalibrated my following posts to be more appropriate to the full potential readership base.

I believe I have been relatively efficient in my other threads but correct me if I am wrong.

I have benefited greatly from this community in helping me to move out with a solid financial base so I am deeply thankful for all the help so far. I see my journal as a place to share my experiences in moving out and my various learnings in my first few months abroad so far. If the volume of my journal posting is truly disturbing to some here, let me know, but I enjoy being a part of this community and all the financial wisdom that has been imparted through the forums. I hope my journalling can help others who feel stuck in a cage like I did take some step towards freedom but that is a drop in the bucket compared to all the inspiration already here.

jennypenny
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jennypenny » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:17 pm

First, I’m a little embarrassed. I wasn’t fishing for encouragement with my first post. I was only trying to explain why people might post more or less often sometimes. I also worry that people assume ‘experts’ are experts at everything, and that’s dangerous when you’re talking about people’s livelihood. People change their lives based on advice given by forum members … I’m very hesitant to assume I’m expert enough in any subject to give definitive advice.


Second, I want to push back a little on the parameters for posting that seem to be emerging. There are two points that are being overlooked …

--People learn differently. This board is dominated by INTJ’s who like to absorb facts and then disappear for a while to ponder them. Others like to discuss ideas, which is often mistaken for debating on this forum. Just because I ask “What about Y?” doesn’t mean I’m questioning what someone said about X. It most likely means I’m still trying to understand X, and for me, asking about the exceptions can sometimes be more helpful than asking about the theory/model itself. It's no fun to be accused of being confrontational or intellectually lazy when you're honestly trying to better understand what someone else is explaining.

--Sometimes when people debate/discuss or ask follow-up questions, it’s because they are trying to determine what facts are worth learning or how important a fact is — they are not debating the fact itself. Those long-winded discussions can help to flesh out the context for all of the ‘facts’ and context/relevance can be debatable to an extent. I don’t find facts in a vacuum helpful. The discussion (even when heated) helps me to understand the facts as well as discern the different reasons people consider certain facts more important than others. Some are complaining about people who debate facts, but I think our questions are often misinterpreted. Several times over the years, I've asked a question to help me clarify how important or pertinent a fact was only to have my question be interpreted as questioning the fact itself or questioning the importance of the topic.


There are many (mostly?) INTJs here including the overlord, so if the generally accepted posting rules skew towards the INTJ style of learning, that's understandable. That said, I’m not going to play by those rules every time I post and it’s not necessarily because I’m on top of Mt Stupid on a particular issue. If the INTJs can’t give the other ‘types’ some breathing room, the rules will definitely have a chilling effect on some posters, myself included.

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Seppia
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Seppia » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:04 pm

@jp
You're overthinking this.
You're clearly smart and sufficiently self aware to give strong opinions only on stuff you know about.
Best example is the politics thread you started.
You're that type of person that, when in doubt, should post more and not less.
This is my opinion, but it is also how i interpreted Jacob's very INTJ post.
My translation to a more in-your-face version of his post, spoken for challenged people like myself and other non-geniuses would be:

- on the internet, idiots tend to post more than they should
- intelligent people know they don't know, so they post less than they should because idiots post too much and overwhelm them
- super experts are left with all the heavy lifting, trying to fight a good war against hordes of idiots
- I blame this more on the intelligent who don't post than on the idiots, because idiots are idiots and we can't expect much from them.
-conclusion: please smart people post more.

Obviously, we are all idiots, smart and super expert at the same time, depending on the subject.
Some people tend to be more often in one category vs the others though, but it's the exception and not the rule.
Being a good forum/community member my opinion is knowing when you're the idiot and keeping your mouth shut in those cases.
In Italy we say "its better to shut up and be perceived as the idiot than speak like an idiot"

As per the INTJ domination of this forum, two thoughts
1- clearly there is what we Italians would call a "german" culture here. "German" meaning rigorous, analytical, fact based, thoughtful, low emotions, low empathy.
2- I'm not exactly wired like that (I seem to test 50-50 ISTJ and ESTJ, but don't believe too much in these set personalities as I think most people change often based on mood, weather, age, etc). I'll write enthusiastically about zucchini, pasta and rice like they're the most important things in earth, and never felt excluded.
There is obviously an obligation to adjust to the tone of the majority though, so I try (maybe fail) to conform a bit without distorting who I am.

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Fish
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Fish » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:11 am

After reviewing this thread (particularly the voices conveying disagreement and concern), I think it is a big mistake to propose that the "emerging parameters for posting" be applied as a community standard. It works well for some of us but is stifling to many others who are also trying to be good citizens here.

Instead, please take everything I have written in this thread as suggested behaviors to make this a better community. Not in an absolute "everyone should do this" sense, but rather that "individuals should do this if they agree it's a good idea." It is understood that other well-intentioned individuals will operate differently and this can still be in alignment with a common vision for a healthy forum.

saving-10-years
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by saving-10-years » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:25 am

@Fish, thanks for starting the discussion, its been really illuminating and very interesting to read about posters (like you) who draft and redraft and sometimes don't send. Even @Jacob deleted a post here and (after rethinking that) reintroduced a version of it. All shows how many here are very thoughtful about what they put up. Some good guidelines have come up but I agree that even the most unpromising thread can turn into something rather special. While that may not have been the OP's intent there are many creative/playful minds here and some with a lovely turn of phrase. Lots of diverse (albeit often INTJ-leaning) intelligence channelling lots of time into something special. Thanks all.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:47 am

To be honest, I'm still not very clear on what is even being discussed on this thread. I am a person who likes to debate, but I am the opposite of emotionally invested in "winning." I would MUCH rather be proven wrong, and thereby pick up a new block to add to my structure than stay stuck in some righteous corner.

Probably the main difference between the way an INTJ thinks and the way an ENTP thinks is that ENTPs automatically go sideways. For instance, the other day I saw a dead raccoon on the side of the road, and I asked the ESFJ who was driving the car "Do you think that the development of methods to prevent raccoons from eating approximately 3% of the Midwestern genetically-modified towards high fructose content corn crop will have the unintended consequence of super-charging the evolution of extremely intelligent raccoons who will kill off the remaining humans after the post-peak-oil apocalypse?" The driver of the car said "No.", and then I said "Why not?", and then he said "WTF? Shut-up and enjoy the autumn scenery."

Hopefully, it is obvious that if somebody was inclined to return volley on such a question, any continued attempt on my part to defend the likelihood of such an outcome would be purely towards the purpose of having more fun while learning than the reading of some dry textbook would provide.

saving-10-years
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by saving-10-years » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:24 am

@7w5 - obvious to me anyway. Love reading your sideways stuff. Don't always understand it but that it part of the fun.

When I read @Fish's first post here I thought (still think) I understood where he was coming from and what annoyed him. My pet peeve is people with an agenda/argument that they ask for views on but don't _want_ views other than their own. But there really is not much of this happening on the forum, especially compared to others. Here there is healthy disagreement and diversity. And often humour.

jennypenny
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jennypenny » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:29 am

Fish, don’t take any of this personally. My comments aren't aimed at you in particular and I’m not trying to change rules or guidelines that are welcome and accepted by most forum members. I understand to desire to keep the ratio of signal to noise as high as possible. I was only pointing out that what many consider noise functions as signal for others.

I think what imparts the chill that some of us feel is the sense that every post we make is judged to some extent, as are we for posting it. I know that’s the nature of the INTJ beast. The problem is then people will only post when they think it will raise their ranking.* It appears that’s actually what most people here want. I can see why that’s appealing in principal but in practice it tends to stifle the sluggers and favor the contact hitters.**

Going with the baseball analogy … while the preferred method on this forum may be maintaining a high on-base percentage, some of us focus on batting average and just try to hit one out of the park often enough to compensate for our many strike outs. To stretch it further, most here are good leadoff or three-hole hitters, some are better at clean-up or in the five spot, and all teams need a left-hander high in the lineup. You want high quality players, but it’s the right mix that makes the team great. (I’m thinking that people who understand that analogy aren’t my intended audience. :lol: )


* as opposed to improve their standing (slight but important difference between the two)

** I see this analogy as more apt than the Mt Stupid one in explaining why some people 'in the valley' stop posting. Once a person is no longer eager to improve their ranking amongst forumites, the incentive to post is gone if that's the main criterion for posting. If the goal is to have valley people continue to post to improve the quality of the forum, there needs to be more incentive than to impress or to teach -- there has to be a sense of community and camaraderie to which they are contributing. Those develop through familiarity, support, and shared experience in addition to edification; through conversation, not just exposition.
Last edited by jennypenny on Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:54 am

This discussion actually outlines why I had more fun being a lurker for a year prior to becoming an active participant here. However, since I've become an active participant (and journal owner) I've gained more wisdom vs facts and I'd say it's a better overall experience. Maybe something about the engagement itself?

Also, I agree the forum skewing towards INTJ (coming from a ENFP), but there's something beautiful in the terseness that accompanies that. It's like...Really bad motivational speaking, i.e. a speech that goes like, "Your life has no objective meaning, and 80% of people do not have what it takes to construct there own meaning. But, I think you might have what it takes. Carry on."

Here "bad" is defined by the fact it wouldn't make much money on the speaking circuit.

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Tyler9000
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Tyler9000 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:45 am

I'll simply point out that the quality of this conversation speaks well to the forum and its participants. Perhaps there's a tendency towards INTJ directness that could intimidate people not used to that, but the benefit is that there's also a tendency towards honesty, open-mindedness, and an acceptance of multiple viewpoints that can be very rare in a public forum like this. I really appreciate the crowd here, and very much encourage everyone to contribute.

jennypenny
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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jennypenny » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:45 am

I dunno, I'm doing exactly what blackbird always accuses us of doing ... dissecting a comment to death. And since I have like eight million posts, the chill on the forum obviously isn't slowing me down much. :P

I'm only hoping that people judge the quality of comments on more than just information density, and recognize the importance of posts that contribute in other ways to forum cohesion. IMO those soft qualities become more appealing the longer one stays with the forum and keep me coming back. 'Come for the food, stay for the company' as they say.

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