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Old 12-17-2008, 02:27 PM   #21
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Now that the election season has passed, we will close the current Soap Box & Headline News forum effective January 1.
Woo-hoooo!

Heeeyyy, waitaminnit. What about the posters putting up headline news with titles like "OMG this is unbelievablemustreadwhatweretheythinking?!?" Are any of those guys left? I've had the Soapbox on "Ignore" for months... are we going to have a bunch of dreck backflushed into the "Other" forum?
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:27 PM   #22
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While there was some "heat" in the Soapbox, I'm sorry to see it go. We had some good discussions there, and many that remained civil. It did serve to keep the off-RE stuff segregated in an area where those who didn't want to see it could avoid it.

But, I think my viewpoint is in the minority here. Moreover, it's easy for me to snipe since I wasn't a Mod having the keep the peace in that forum. It was surely a thankless job. Thanks to all who helped out (and continue to do so).

Re: Rule one: This seems to scope down the discussion a lot--is that the intent? A quick look at the "Other Topics" as well as the Soapbox would reveal a great number of threads that don't meet this standard, yet were highly productive and didn't turn into a flame war. Here are some sample topics that aren't ER related, are they all no longer welcome on this board?
-- Gov Blago's woes in IL
-- US education policy compared to other industrialized nations
-- US health care policy (not necessarily retiree-related: Should we have single payer? State policies--which are working? )
-- Government energy policies, govt incentives for PV, and alternative energy research (per Rule 1, it appears that discussions of alternative energy sources is okay, but discussions of government policy in this area is not?).

While bare-knuckle politically partisan arguments may not be everyone's cup of tea (and we've had relatively few of them here, with the number decreasing markedly since the election), I'm hoping we don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There's a lot of good-natured banter and genuine info sharing that would be knocked out by a literal interpretation of Rule 1. I'd hate to lose that, but will, of course, yield to the decision of the collective.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:40 PM   #23
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:40 PM   #24
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... are we going to have a bunch of dreck backflushed into the "Other" forum?
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I'm hoping we don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
We're attempting to strike a happy medium. Post a photo of a smiling fortune-teller and we'll slap her silly.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:42 PM   #25
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Should this thread be in the Soapbox?
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:46 PM   #26
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Just a note:
It took the lab Edison managed 3000 tries before he could take credit for the light bulb.
Well, if Edison was a PHB, the lab would have failed 2999 times until Edison pointed out the correct solution.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:08 PM   #27
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Mistake? Heck, no. It was simply an experiment which resulted in an unsatisfactory outcome.
No argument here. To be honest, I wish I had never become involved in the soapbox. It ended up being a distraction from important stuff like bacon
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:09 PM   #28
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We're attempting to strike a happy medium. Post a photo of a smiling fortune-teller and we'll slap her silly.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:27 PM   #29
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To be honest, I wish I had never become involved in the soapbox.
I put soapbox on 'ignore' almost immediately after it's creation, and only opened the door and peeked in about 2 times....it was like opening the door of an outhouse on a hot summer day...Oh the stench...YUCK!!!
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:30 PM   #30
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I put soapbox on 'ignore' almost immediately after it's creation, and only opened the door and peeked in about 2 times....it was like opening the door of an outhouse on a hot summer day...Oh the stench...YUCK!!!
Isn't it better to keep the outhouse far away from the house.

I hope this move doesn't put the outhouse in the kitchen.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:38 PM   #31
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2. Be polite. Treat those who disagree with you with respect even as you disagree.
Sad to see the Soapbox go, I learned some things even though I got winged several times. This is a group that has a lot in common, and certainly folks here have much to offer aside from RE alone. But I can appreciate it couldn't have been very rewarding to be a Moderator (I got mildly disciplined once, but I respected the Mods POV).

The decorum on this forum's Soapbox was relatively civil --- as many of you know, there are other sites that are downright vicious.

But if you ever bring back a Soapbox, you can't impose a rule like the above though. You can't be polite or subtle with people who are wrong (we tried that to no avail), they will never appreciate those who are (usually) right.

Guess we'll have to decide what to do with the domestic automakers by Jan 1...
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:43 PM   #32
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But if you ever bring back a Soapbox, you can't impose a rule like the above though. You can't be polite or subtle with people who are wrong (we tried that to no avail), they will never appreciate those who are (usually) right.
Thank you for providing reinforcing information on why the Soap Box needs to go.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #33
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Thank you for providing reinforcing information on why the Soap Box needs to go.
Please tell me you're joking...
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #34
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Mods/Admins never make mistakes. We just, er, seek out new directions.
Yeah, I was part of the "new direction" you guys went away from..........
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:00 PM   #35
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The election being over, good idea to resume our regularly scheduled programming here on E-R.org.

And very nice of this board to use some of its bandwidth to provide us with the Soapbox during the election--thanks for that, Andy.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:13 PM   #36
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But if you ever bring back a Soapbox, you can't impose a rule like the above though. You can't be polite or subtle with people who are wrong (we tried that to no avail), they will never appreciate those who are (usually) right.
Keep in mind the focus of this board. It's about early retirement. It's not about full contact politics; there are plenty of other places to go if you simply want to argue politics. In fact, I think your comment is evidence as to *why* generic political discussion needs the kibosh. It's because many people who enjoy full-contact politics are incapable of keeping it civil ("polite" and "subtle" to use your words) that we felt this is necessary.

You say we "can't be polite... with people who are wrong." Two problems here: first. you CAN be polite with people who are "wrong"; it is possible to disagree with someone without thinking they are evil or stupid. And if you can't, that's a clear violation of the terms of service and the community rules. That's one of the things that personally depresses me about political discussion; sometimes it seems like people can't accept that intelligent and well-meaning people can possibly be "on the other side."

The second problem is that there isn't usually a "right" and a "wrong." There are merely two different perspectives. Okay, in extreme cases there may be right and wrong, but that's not the norm.

I hate to say it in some sense, but in my opinion what you said is exactly *why* we need to get rid of the Soap Box as we know it. Too much allowance on politics tends to create an us-versus-them attitude that can harm the sense of community and common goal that should bring us together. This forum is about early retirement. When political issues relate to FIRE, respectful and on-topic discussion of the political aspects is acceptable. When it bursts into flames, and when it has nothing to do with FIRE, it just divides us and makes life miserable. Who wants that?
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:30 PM   #37
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While there was some "heat" in the Soapbox, I'm sorry to see it go. We had some good discussions there, and many that remained civil. It did serve to keep the off-RE stuff segregated in an area where those who didn't want to see it could avoid it.

But, I think my viewpoint is in the minority here. Moreover, it's easy for me to snipe since I wasn't a Mod having the keep the peace in that forum. It was surely a thankless job. Thanks to all who helped out (and continue to do so).

Re: Rule one: This seems to scope down the discussion a lot--is that the intent? A quick look at the "Other Topics" as well as the Soapbox would reveal a great number of threads that don't meet this standard, yet were highly productive and didn't turn into a flame war. Here are some sample topics that aren't ER related, are they all no longer welcome on this board?
-- Gov Blago's woes in IL
-- US education policy compared to other industrialized nations
-- US health care policy (not necessarily retiree-related: Should we have single payer? State policies--which are working? )
-- Government energy policies, govt incentives for PV, and alternative energy research (per Rule 1, it appears that discussions of alternative energy sources is okay, but discussions of government policy in this area is not?).

While bare-knuckle politically partisan arguments may not be everyone's cup of tea (and we've had relatively few of them here, with the number decreasing markedly since the election), I'm hoping we don't throw the baby out with the bath water. There's a lot of good-natured banter and genuine info sharing that would be knocked out by a literal interpretation of Rule 1. I'd hate to lose that, but will, of course, yield to the decision of the collective.
To paraphrase U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart -- "We'll know it when we see it."
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:05 PM   #38
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As you know, last spring we opened a new experimental forum to isolate and hopefully reduce the political discussion in other forums on the board.

Now that the election season has passed, we will close the current Soap Box & Headline News forum effective January 1. We will move posting of non-political headline news topics to "Other Topics" and add a new section for "FIRE Related Political Topics." We will also implement new rules (and reiterate some old ones) regarding posting on political subjects:

1. Any political or government/policy related post must be related to the subject of early retirement in more than a tenuous fashion. Posting to debate Sarah Palin's wardrobe, for example, does not meet this test.

2. Be polite. Treat those who disagree with you with respect even as you disagree.

3. Avoid sweeping generalizations and group characterizations (including generalizations regarding ideology and/or political party). Do not put aside collegial posting habits when you enter the newly renovated FIRE Related Political Topics Discussion section.

Thanks for your continued participation and help with a fresh start for the New Year.


REWahoo and the entire Moderator Team
So the mod team has decided that its a good idea to dump the cesspool into the drinking water and then spend their time trying to ensure water quality by using a teaspoon with holes in it? Tell me again why this is a good idea?
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:10 PM   #39
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You trying to get this moved to the soapbox? I think the Soapbox should stay and not be moderated.
Gak, please don't quote this stuff at length. Most of us have sihtbox soapbox on ignore for a reason...
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:14 PM   #40
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Lets face facts, folks- the Soapbox had to go… It is getting too close to inauguration time! Please understand, there will be no criticism of the Messiah, effective January 1st. It was OK to openly bash the Republican Administration for the last few years, but CHANGE is coming to the FIRE forum, whether you like it or not.
What I found is that the value and civility of posts on other forums, like money, health, other topics, etc. dropped inversely with the heat and BS in the soapbox. I found myself enjoying the entire board (not just the soapbox) considerably less than I had before.

For example, hostile sarcasm seemed to pop up everywhere more often, even when irrelevant to the topic. Kinda' like the comments quoted above, a nice example of how even mentioning the soapbox brings out, well, not the best of the board.
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