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Old 10-18-2007, 04:38 PM   #21
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ERD you on your soapbox again.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Maybe, but before we could tackle whether it is enforceable or not, we need to know if it is acceptable or not.
If the owners, admins, and moderators feel that it is acceptable for people to use the forum as their own personal blog space, then there is no issue of enforcement, as there is no violation.
I'd bet that a few reports, and a few deleted threads, or warnings to those that are posting but refuse to engage in debate would clear some clutter out of the forum pretty quickly.
But only if the powers-that-be see it that way.
Gosh, it sounds so simple, doesn't it? Step outta line, the moderators gonna come take you away. Clear, easy rules for everyone to understand and follow.

However the vocal (minority?) portion of the board sees that kind of moderation as jack-booted censorship. Even behind-the-scenes moderation has been decried as somehow deceptive double-secret probation with the eventual (inevitable) banning being a lightning bolt from the blue, leaving other innocent bystanders posters stunned and wondering when they're gonna get it next. Eventually the moderators learn that less is best and let the Lord of the Flies membership sort it out. People who can't get along eventually cross the line flagrantly enough (or often enough) to get banned, or they run off the rails and fluff off in a hissy fit. But although the moderators can tell from the first dozen posts what the end result will be, any interference before then would be met with cries of First Amendment alarm.

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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
Spelling. Those who spell well seem to look down their noses at those who don't. If ever there were snobs, it is those that spell well.
I don't! Never have. It's not that I don't want to, I have read every book, method, and theory. I still can't spell!
Yep, you hit a nerve!
Let's not forget that some of the board's posters are using English as a second language, too.

My favorites are the grammar police. I never remember whether the quotes go before or after the "?" but I don't think it matters much, either. Thank goodness that language can evolve & change, or we'd all still be speaking Latin.

However the spelling-challenged person under discussion is also a retired school teacher, one who arguably would be expected to have developed some spelling survival skills over the years. When I read those subject lines it brings to mind an image of Jim Cramer with a few frosty beverages in one hand beating on his keyboard with the other. At least Cramer has an editor.

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What gets me is people who type on forums as if they are in a chat room or IMing someone. If more than one or two people are going to read something, have the courtesy to make an effort to write coherently. Can they not even take the time to make a thread title readable That just seems selfish to me, and lazy.
I used to work with someone who abbreviated all kinds of words in emails. should=shd for example. So not only did I have to try to understand the technical content of the email, I first had to decode the words.
Did someone say something about hitting a nerve?
You would've had a lot of fun reading naval message traffic. Every possible acronym and jargon phrases would ensure that not a bit of bandwidth was wasted. I'm sure the other armed forces weren't much better...
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:19 PM   #23
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So, HaHa/Running Bum, from your post are we to conclude, if a person can't spell or use proper grammar, his opinions just don't count?
Yep, you hit a nerve!
Well, that is not my meaning at all. It is true that I have a strong esthetic preference for correct spelling and good word choice. Today, the only places that are guaranteed to present that are the International Herald Tribune, New York Times and the New Yorker. Online organs like Slate are also excellent, as are many smaller online and print sources.

But I would no more reject something poorly written or spelled on that basis alone than I would reject a beautiful gal who said, "Ha, I ain't wasting no more time before I get you into bed".

Ha
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:42 PM   #24
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Why can't the forum be both?

You can look at the same set of facts and come to two totally different conclusions, if you accept that as a part of life than it will be easier to be ok w/ some of the convos we have around here.

Do we have to defend every opinion we have with reams of data and links? That is unfun.

I think it is more about keeping it civil and knowing when to walk away, decide to disagree or raise the white flag.
Oh, I suppose it can be both. I just think the poster has the responsibility to make that clear, especially when they start a thread on a controversial subject.

Now, if someone wants to start a thread that is clearly opinion, and makes it clear they are not going to change their mind no matter what - fine, we can have some 'fun' with that, just throwing opinions around - no justification needed.

For example, I like a four-season climate, and others think people who live anywhere a furnace is needed are nuts. That can be tossed around in a good-natured way - and nobody is likely to change their preference.

But in matters political, I just don't think that fits.

If someone is going to start a thread 'The Left (or Right) Wing is screwed up on this - and I won't discuss it', well, the 'answer' to that could be to start an opposing thread titled 'The Right (or Left) Wing is screwed up on this - and I won't discuss it'.

And that is just noise, IMO.

And it is OK to come to a point where you 'agree to disagree', but it ought to come after hearing each other out, not just after repetition.

The trouble with walking away is, the thread sometimes gets going and there is some give-and-take before the OP acknowledges they aren't going to debate, just proselytize. By that time, you've already got some energy into it. Hey, if you don't want to discuss it, at least make that clear up front.

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Old 10-18-2007, 08:48 PM   #25
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The silence of the OP (or worse, their failure to put forward a strong reply) speaks volumes concerning the likely validity of their position.
I feel that a position can be judged by a number of methods other than the eagerness of its promulgator to argue it.

For the most part I don't like to argue; it suits me fine if others have different ideas. Most of what we discuss really has no single answer. In the rare cases where it does, IMO inquiry works better than argument.

Ha
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:51 PM   #26
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Oh, I suppose it can be both. I just think the poster has the responsibility to make that clear, especially when they start a thread on a controversial subject.

-ERD50

He he he, you mean like T-al's flame throwing thread about funky milk?
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:06 PM   #27
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I feel that a position can be judged by a number of methods other than the eagerness of its promulgator to argue it.

For the most part I don't like to argue; it suits me fine if others have different ideas. Most of what we discuss really has no single answer. In the rare cases where it does, IMO inquiry works better than argument.

Ha
I suppose some people might, ummm... 'argue' with this, but it is not an 'argument' that I'm after. When someone expresses an opinion that seems to fly in the face of what I know, I do like to challenge it. And I like to be challenged on my understanding of the subject. That's how we learn.

We may or may not come away with a different opinion. But we may learn something new, or maybe just develop a better understanding of why that person holds that opinion. It might be something I never thought about before.

Maybe that is the 'inquiry' you speak of?


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Old 10-18-2007, 09:15 PM   #28
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When someone expresses an opinion that seems to fly in the face of what I know, I do like to challenge it.
It all depends on your intention. Are you worried that the person might seriously damage himself or his dependents? Or do you just want to prove that you are smarter? The first is helpful; the second just annoying.

Although I fail at this, I try to stay out of p*ssing contests unless money is involved. As in, if I win, I get paid.

I can tell if someone knows something that I am interested in knowing by a careful reading of what he/she writes. Most of what we talk about is just passing time. Absolutely noble goal, but not worth arguing over.

Ha
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:16 PM   #29
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Gosh, it sounds so simple, doesn't it? Step outta line, the moderators gonna come take you away. Clear, easy rules for everyone to understand and follow.
...

People who can't get along eventually cross the line flagrantly enough (or often enough) to get banned, or they run off the rails and fluff off in a hissy fit. But although the moderators can tell from the first dozen posts what the end result will be, any interference before then would be met with cries of First Amendment alarm.
I understand there are grey areas to this, not trying to make a moderator 'hell' out of it. Actually, I'm trying to ease the mods jobs.

So, I guess I'm just looking for a little direction here - is it the view that starting controversial threads, with no intent to actually discuss the merits of the topic is OK? For me, it violates the 'Be Courteous' guideline - if you post a thread that condemn/praises some controversial topic, the courteous thing to do would be to accept and respond to dissenting views. This is a discussion forum, right?

So, if that behavior is considered inappropriate, the members can politely point that out to posters early on, and maybe it will take care of itself w/o moderator involvement. But, if there is no understanding on what is OK or not, it seems to just fester.

At least that's my take on it. Others may have a different opinion


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Old 10-18-2007, 09:42 PM   #30
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It all depends on your intention. Are you worried that the person might seriously damage himself or his dependents? Or do you just want to prove that you are smarter? The first is helpful; the second just annoying.

Although I fail at this, I try to stay out of p*ssing contests unless money is involved. As in, if I win, I get paid.

I can tell if someone knows something that I am interested in knowing by a careful reading of what he/she writes. Most of what we talk about is just passing time. Absolutely noble goal, but not worth arguing over.

Ha
Overall, my intention is to learn something. I value knowledge, often more than money. Call it my 'pay'. But that should not be one-sided, in fact it works better when it is an exchange, so if I can share knowledge in some cases I try to do that too. If my knowledge is challenged, and I am shown that I was misinformed, I learned something - I win either way!

So is it 'arguing', or 'exchanging ideas and information'? I think the diff is whether someone is willing to change their view when presented with new information. No willingness to change just leads to pointless arguing. A willingness to change, and an honest evaluation of information is an opportunity to learn.

To the point in my other post, I see 'arguing' as discourteous, and 'exchanging ideas and information' to be one of the purposes of this forum.

Maybe this is easier with a specific example: In that Gore/Nobel thread, when I point out what I see as inconsistencies between the IPCC and Gore's statements, it is not my intent to show how 'smart' I am. I have two purposes, one is to open up people's eyes to this posibility, the second is to put my thoughts out there to have them challenged. The report is complex, Gore does some dramatizing (which might be justified to a degree to reach a larger audience) - is it really the distortion I think it is, or did I miss something? I'll change my view if presented with reasonable information.

But I still don't like liver. That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it. Don't care what anyone says.

-ERD50
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:32 PM   #31
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Let's call it heated debate....

And one of the things I do is 'debate' the other side at times just to see what the other person will do...

Sometimes you get them....
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:46 PM   #32
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But I still don't like liver. That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it. Don't care what anyone says.

-ERD50
I won't eat that S**T either, good for you
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:31 AM   #33
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He he he, you mean like T-al's flame throwing thread about funky milk?
I never quite figured out why that thread was closed except for the fact that it went (in someone's opinion) OT. Which is kinda the beauty of the forum. There have certainly been much more discourteous wheel-spinning threads than the milk one.

I tend to tolerate the soapboxes because the alternative would be heavy moderation (contentious in its own right) that would make the board more narrow, whereas its current incarnation is more of a bar/hangout spot for (mostly) smart, opinionated retirees and those on the path to FI. I think there are people here besides me that enjoy that aspect, since they may not have peers that understand them (I don't).
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:49 AM   #34
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I tend to tolerate the soapboxes because the alternative would be heavy moderation (contentious in its own right) that would make the board more narrow, whereas its current incarnation is more of a bar/hangout spot for (mostly) smart, opinionated retirees and those on the path to FI. I think there are people here besides me that enjoy that aspect, since they may not have peers that understand them (I don't).
I certainly enjoy that part, generally more than the purely financial part. If one is FI, and got there on his/her own wits, how much financial handholding do you want or need? I have had many questions answered helpfully on this board, and tried to answer some, but I wouldn't make it such a regular stop if I didn't enjoy the interaction of personalities here. A lot of moderation would kill that quickly. Also, it should be recognized that there are always control freaks that figure if something is annoying to them, they should just get it stamped out, rather than widening their horizons or looking the other way!

Let's remember too, that stopping into a bar to visit is going to cost at least $10 before you get out. This board is free, so while it isn't quite the same, it isn't bad either.

There are other boards that cover the same material, with similarly smart people, or in some cases many of the exact same smart people. But the boards have light traffic. Why? IMO part of it at least is the relative freedom that we have historically had here. Early on, it was very free wheeling.

I have met people from the board and always enjoyed it. Over time, I hope I will meet more of you.

Ha
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:56 AM   #35
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Sounds like someone doesn't like the way other children are playing at recess and wants the princiapl to do something about it. Maybe whining really loudly will help.

Oh yeah: I can spell pretty well. I just cannot type.

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Old 10-19-2007, 10:09 AM   #36
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But I still don't like liver. That's my opinion, and I'm stickin' to it. Don't care what anyone says.

-ERD50
Don't worry ERD50, if ever there was a food to go in and out of fashion with the health nut food police, liver is the one. I would just go ahead and call it unhealthy. And BTW, I hate onions!
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Well, it was a question - so thanks for the feedback...
Old 10-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #37
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Well, it was a question - so thanks for the feedback...

Please note, I did frame it as a question (OK, probably a heavy handed question....), so thanks for the feedback.

Overwhelmingly, people seem to be saying 'go with the flow', or at least that any effort to moderate it would be worse than just tolerating it.

I thought there was more opposition to the soapbox threads, there are usually some kinda smarky comments in those thread to the OPs.

OK, so be it. I'll get off this soapbox then.

Although, I take that as also saying it is OK if I choose to take the OP to task (politely) for not defending their argument? Though, I will try to skip over those threads, if it hits a nerve I may feel inclined. That's fair, right?

Thanks for the clarification - ERD50
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:19 AM   #38
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And BTW, I hate onions!
Them's fightin' words! I love onions. Supposed to be good for you right?

Cream of Onion soup,mmmmm - whoops, we will be to contentious dairy product issues - better leave it at that...

Man, I thought I would like liver - then I realized it was just the smell of my Mom cooking the onions and bacon to go along with it.

-ERD50
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:04 AM   #39
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Love the smell of onions garlic and EVO simmering in the fry pan!
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:33 AM   #40
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Them's fightin' words! I love onions. Supposed to be good for you right?

Cream of Onion soup,mmmmm - whoops, we will be to contentious dairy product issues - better leave it at that...

Man, I thought I would like liver - then I realized it was just the smell of my Mom cooking the onions and bacon to go along with it.

-ERD50
Now! Now! Let's keep this civil. This time, I'm going to keep my mom out of it. Okay, I've been conceding as far as to eat green onions and shallots; but liver is now non-negotiable.
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