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What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 09:17 AM   #1
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What shall we do?

Folks, we have a good bit of disruption in the ranks.

Some of the disruption is in the form of a Baptist running occasionally into Methodist services, and claiming that some of their beliefs are heresy.

This seems to generate (a) almost zero real dialog about the merits and demerits of the beliefs, and (b) a strange combination of ad hominem attacks and defensiveness. It is all compounded by a refusal to allow "the other side" to have the last word.

We're all too old for this stuff -- even the "young dreamers" among us.

It is also certainly a turnoff to newcomers looking for a congenial group of like-minded ERs and ER wannabees.

So... to those who believe that some of what we talk about is wrong, please note that your style of delivery is preventing your message from being heard. And to those who object to that style of delivery as being disruptive, please don't descend into personal attacks to show your displeasure.

There have been a number of public and private requests for me to do something about this recurring problem. I'm open to all ideas. You can post suggestions here, or send me a private message by clicking on my name at the left, and then clicking "send this member a private message".

Dory36, the forum dad
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 09:30 AM   #2
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Re: What shall we do?

Its very simple. Ban him. It is unfortunate that it comes to this, but I think it is the only practical solution.
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What other forums ("forii"?) have done.
Old 03-18-2005, 09:46 AM   #3
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What other forums ("forii"?) have done.

Dory,

Is there a discussion board (or other resource) for DB moderators that has better answers in their FAQ page? What's worked for others in this situation?

Is there any chance that Xnull is working on an "Ignore Poster" feature for their boards?

Several boards that I frequent-- FundAlarm, Raddr, & M* among them-- have banned posters. Eventually the banned posters get tired of having their posts deleted and they stop trying to come back. Sure, there's plenty of head-banging hide & seek games after the banning, but a month later the negative-feedback damping sine wave has flatlined. The climate & quality of the boards seem (to my admittedly subjective perspective) to improve. Ironically, of the three names in my M* "Ignore" list, two have been banned (Taylor, Ocean) and one has greatly modified his behavior (Avilynn). If they've sneaked back under other names, they've changed their behavior (or they stick to other boards) to the point where I can't tell that they're present. I believe the results speak for themselves.

I think that there are plenty of other outlets where trolls can practice their skills. I think it's a moderator's job to encourage trolls to those other outlets. It's my (again admittedly subjective) opinion that you've tried everything else, and now it's time to try the ban.

But I (*sigh*) understand if you feel obligated to investigate some other alternative. Everyone has to work through the process in their own way.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 09:56 AM   #4
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Re: What shall we do?

Personally, I don't see what the fuss is all about.

I find ***** dull, repetitious and boring but I just
tune him out most of the time and have never
responded to him directly. Perhaps he is abusive
on other boards, but this is the only place I have
seen his posts.

I think it would be a bad precedent to ban anybody
for stating an opinion over and over and over and over
and over.

Cheers,

Charlie

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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: What shall we do?

Quote:
I spent 25 yrs of my life defending ones right to free speech.
"We're here to DEFEND democracy, not to practice it!"

-- Gene Hackman
"Red Tide"

One of the reasons for moderators is to deal with trolls. If it wasn't for trolls, then we wouldn't need moderators. That's not anti-democratic-- that's majority rule.
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Re: What other forums ("forii"?) have done.
Old 03-18-2005, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: What other forums ("forii"?) have done.

Quote:
Dory,
* * Is there any chance that Xnull is working on an "Ignore Poster" feature for their boards? *
Xnull has stopped supporting the forum software we are using. I'm guessing that if we need a technical solution, it will mean switching to a different forum software, and turning what is here now into a read-only archive.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:20 AM   #7
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Re: What shall we do?

I guess I am just dense, but why can't anyone who chooses just turn on their own private "ignore poster"?

Or is his message perhaps so frightening that the mere sight of his name causes unpleasant bodily reactions?

I am against banishment of anyone other than flagrantly abusive people, and IMO these have been very rare here.

Unpopular ideas, annoyingly presented, are nevertheless not necessarily wrong.

Mikey
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
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Re: What shall we do?

Jeez, I agree with Mikey. If "unpopular ideas, annoyingly presented" resulted in banishment, then I could hardly go out in public

JG
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: What shall we do?

I've posted what I think is the best long-term solution elsewhere.

If there is a desire for a second-best solution, I believe that it would be a plus to set up a separate board for discussions of the Data-Based SWR Tool. The key to making this solution work is that there must be a clear understanding that disruption of the conversations that community members are trying to hold there will not be tolerated. There need to be consequences that all understand will follow from violations of the rules of civility at that board.

It is not realistic for intercst supporters to think that they can permanantly "ban" discussions of what the historical data says re SWRs. Are we going to hunt down every last copy of Bernstein's book and burn them all? Are we going to get Rob Arnott removed as editor of the Financial Analysts Journal? Are we going to crash the web site for the Dallas Morning News when the Scott Burns column endorsing JWR1945's research appears?

The desire to learn how to win financial freedom early in life evidenced by the 100-plus members of the Motley Fool community who asked that intercst kindly knock off the nonsense will be realized. We can slow down realization of that desire by piling more nonsense on top of all the nonsense that we have allowed to accumulate for 34 months now. All that we will be doing by taking that step is delaying the inevitable.

When you get a number wrong in a study, the smart thing is to acknowledge the error, put it behind you, and move on. Any person with common sense knows that. Intercst has demonstrated that he lacks common sense. He is a failed leader.

This is not an intercst board. It is a Retire Early board. We need to get about the business of governing it as such. It's all part of the process of growing up. Is it hard sometimes? Sure. Is it worth it? You bet.

I've seen a glimpse of the other side and I can offer a few tantalizing words to end this post on an optimistic note--It gets better.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: What shall we do?

On second thought....
Mikey
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #11
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Re: What shall we do?

Quote:
I guess I am just dense, but why can't anyone who chooses just turn on their own private "ignore poster"?

Or is his message perhaps so frightening that the mere sight of his name causes unpleasant bodily reactions?

I am against banishment of anyone other than flagrantly abusive people, and IMO these have been very rare here.

Unpopular ideas, annoyingly presented, are nevertheless not necessarily wrong.

Mikey
The problem is not this individual's "message". It is its continued pounding of a non-sensical crusade and refusing to bother engaging in dialogue. The lack of rationality combined with extreme verboseness and a tendency to invade and ruin every thread no matter how tangentially involved with its personal mania is the problem. We cannot have a simple discussion without this poster butting in and endlessly repeating its views about a particular 3 letter acronym. It is destructive and disruptive.

I have no problem with creating a separate board for this poster, so long as:

1) It agrees to post ONLY on that board

2) It is banned if it posts on other boards (maybe a "3 strikes" and your out)

3) Any evidence of doppels is a banning offense.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: What shall we do?

That's not anti-democratic-- that's majority rule.

This comment suggests that minorities have no rights to express their views on discussion boards except to the extent that the majorities "permit" them to do so. I believe this is a bad conception indeed of how a discussion board should be run.

The rules of a board are there primarily to protect minorities. Majorities can generally take care of themselves.

If minorities have no rights, then errors made by those with majority viewpoints can never be corrected. If errors can never be corrected, new ideas--the lifeblood of a healthy board--can be crushed.

That's all bad stuff. Any rules of procedure should be applied to majorities and minorities alike, and on the same terms. The name for a policy in which those in majority are above the law is "mob rule."
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:11 AM   #13
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Re: What shall we do?

Unpopular ideas, annoyingly presented, are nevertheless not necessarily wrong.

You have stated on earlier occasions that you believe that my views on SWRs are correct, Mikey. In fact, there have been occasions in which you have offered explanations of the realities that are among the best I have seen anywhere. Aspiring early retirees who do not today understand what you understand have a right to be able to make use of this board to learn what they very much need to know.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:18 AM   #14
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Re: What shall we do?

I think we're too high level.

The troll doesnt have a message. It blabs on about SWR's, but the content of its messages are simply to create dissention. Your idea is wrong. The guys who tell you about that idea are liars and make death threats. The trolls idea is some silly market timing/valuation thing thats been torn apart by a dozen experts and shown to be of limited, if any value.

But thats not the point. His point is to create dissension. He's done it to Intercst, to Salaryguru, to Raddr, Ataloss, and to many others including myself. If you will all recall, I used to support the troll before I realized what he was.

If you like this bozo sticking "intercst got it wrong" in 20 paragraphs in the middle of a thread that has nothing to do with SWR, if you enjoy his made up new users designed to create arguments, if you enjoy someone trying to drive a wedge between members, then keep him.

Create a space for him to work in? He already has one on NFB. He disrupted that board so badly that the bulk of the membership left and formed their own board where he's not allowed to post. What does that tell you?

History does repeat itself...

If there is any doubt about his character or intentions, I once again implore you to spend 5 minutes reading the "hocomania" board over at Intercst's "retire early home page". http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl

If you're interested in the so-called "SWR" issue or the "magic tool", you will see complete analytical tear-downs.

If you dont think he's a troll or a nut, read the other posts. He's regularly ripped a new one, yet his response is to giggle and caper around the threads there. It shows what he wants: attention.

So far every significant ER community has deemed this guy a troll and kicked him off...except this one.

We've had this discussion at least 3 times now. At the end of it the troll promises Dory he'll cool it and stop the nonsense. 3-6 months later we're having the same discussion.

Shoot the troll. Be done with it. Or we can have this discussion again in a few months. Between now and then we can question the validity of new users whose first post questions the trinity study, firecalc or comes up with some hairbrained new investing scheme. We can watch every thread get hijacked with inane SWR drivel. We can watch some newbie or long time member get fed up and get into it with the troll. We can watch members leave.

I want to contribute to this community. I want it to grow in members, breadth and depth of discussion. I'd like to see it flourish. Clearly I'm willing to spend a few minutes every few hours to kick in some ideas, thoughts and at least a little bad humor and awful jokes. And pictures of animals with food on their heads!

I am going to quickly lose interest in doing that with a troll among us, tearing down our community.

A technical solution is possible...we could convert the board to phpbb or vbulletin. There are tools to convert user and message information - I do not know how good they are. I would anticipate several days to a week of downtime and something to be lost in the translation. Its something that might have to be done eventually to resolve the lack of yabb support. phpbb is free; vbulletin would cost about $160 for the s/w. Both have an 'ignore' feature.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:20 AM   #15
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Re: What shall we do?

Why not provide ***** with his own "Data-Based Tool" board on the dory 36 forum and ban him from posting on other boards.

As the Data-Based Tool forum moderator, ***** would have the power to delete any posts critical of his so-called "Data-Based Tool".

Forum members who appreciate a *****-free environment could just ignore the Data-Based Tool board and be free to hold unmolested discussions on the other boards.

Seems like it would be a win-win for everyone, unless *****'s true intent is to irritate people who don't want to hear from him.

intercst
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:25 AM   #16
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Re: What shall we do?

I've stayed away from this back and forth quibbling between a few members here, and I've skipped over most messages that have nothing to do with the topic of the message. Most of these people are probably a lot smarter than me, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they enjoy feeding off each other about SWR and pizzas on the head. Maybe that's one downfall of having too much time in ER.

As I do with spam in my email, I've learned to cope with it hoping that over time it will go away and people here can discuss things on topic. I don't mind a joke here and there to break up the seriousness of a thread, but when it goes on and on for weeks and weeks for dozens and dozens of posts and spills into different threads, it amazes me that smart rich people act this way.

Anyway, so far I haven't seen anything from any member here to justify banning anyone.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:25 AM   #17
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Re: What shall we do?

It agrees to post ONLY on that board

I'm open to different ways of doing it.

If the feeling is that it causes too much trouble for those who believe in the data-based methodology to post on the conventional methodology board, and for those who believe in the conventional methodology board to post on the data-based methodology board, I am OK with a rule that says each poster has to elect one SWR board and thereby forsake participation on the other.

My personal preference is for a softer rule. I would propose that all community members be permitted to post on either board, but that there be an understanding that challenges to the integrity of either methodology are not to be advanced at either board. That would mean that I could ask a question of intercst if he put up a post at the conventional methodology board, and he could ask questions of me at the other board. But I could not put forward a post at "his" board saying that his methodology is analytically invalid and he could not put up a post at "my" board saying that I am mentally ill.

The goal here is to eliminate the key source of friction. The two methodologies start from different premises. There is a sense in which REHP study enthusiasts are speaking a different language from those who favor the data-based approach. I have no desire to "convert" those who prefer the REHP study's approach. I have no desire to stop people who want to have discussions about it from doing so. My desire is just to be able to talk in a civil way to the people who have an interest in my approach.

If there is no one who has an interest in learning about my approach, then I am going to end up having a board with few posts. If that's how it turns out, then so be it. There's no violation of community members' rights in that. But if there is even one person who expresses a desire to hear me out, I want to be able to talk to that person without disruptive posts asking me about what medications I am taking or forgetting to take. That stuff drives away the people I want to be having conversations with.

I favor a "live and let live" philosophy. Even I don't say that the REHP study lacks value. My view is that it accurately reports the Historical Surviving Withdrawal Rate (HSWR). I certainly have no problem with people engaging in whatever conversations they want to have. I just don't want people questioning the premises of my approach each time I try to start a new thread. There comes a time when you want to get beyond the ABCs and move on to some of the implications that follow from a solid understanding of the ABCs.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:28 AM   #18
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Re: What shall we do?

Quote:
Personally, I don't see what the fuss is all about.

I find ***** dull, repetitious and boring but I just
tune him out most of the time and have never
responded to him directly. * Perhaps he is abusive
on other boards, but this is the only place I have
seen his posts.

I think it would be a bad precedent to ban anybody
for stating an opinion over and over and over and over
and over. *

Cheers,

Charlie
I'm with Charlie and Mikey...to be perfectly honest, I find *****'s post to technical and boring to read...so I don't. Doesn't bother me one bit what his opinion is(can't even say if I agree or not)....personally, I find it MUCH more disruptive that we have a whole posse of internet sheriffs that feel every time he posts that he should be attacked, critisized and so forth...these are the disruptive people, and if anyone was to be banned, they (without naming names) are the first I would suggest...

Jesus people, if you think he is a troll *IGNORE* him...why is that so difficult to understand...or are you all saying you don't like what he has to say, so nobody else has a right to hear it either? Who exacty died and left you all in charge of what other people's opinons?


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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:32 AM   #19
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Re: What shall we do?

Why not provide ***** with his own "Data-Based Tool" board on the dory 36 forum and ban him from posting on other boards.

There is no purpose served by a ban if the friction is resolved through formation of a new board.
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Re: What shall we do?
Old 03-18-2005, 11:53 AM   #20
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Re: What shall we do?

Quote:

Jesus people, if you think he is a troll *IGNORE* him...why is that so difficult to understand...or are you all saying you don't like what he has to say, so nobody else has a right to hear it either? Who exacty died and left you all in charge of what other people's opinons?

I do ignore it. I will not respond directly or indirectly to anything it says. I will not even type the characters that form its name. I STILL find its activity EXTREMELY disruptive. I would stake any amount of money on the bet that I am not the only one.
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