Two Threads culled in two days

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matt_twam_asi
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby matt_twam_asi » 7 Dec 2016, 9:08pm

Si wrote:
There are some decent folks on here and it's a shame people are being put off by a small minority. Sure they are allowed their point of view despite the fact those views are extreme, however their delivery is often crass, without wisdom and points seem to be 'won' by sniping.



I would say that there are lots of decent folk on here but I generally agree with your comments. I've nothing against political discussion but it needs to be conducted in a respectful, polite way. After all, what's the point of being rude to someone that you don't agree with - being rude is hardly going to persuade them of your views and it just demonstrates to everyone else that you have so little faith in your POV that it can't stand on the facts alone.


I agree with this up to a point.
Warning - the following contains unsubstantiated opinion. If you don't like it then welcome to my world, pull up a chair.

The best examples of political discussion on this forum are IMO those that deal with cycling or CTC/CUK issues. (helmets, branding, governance etc.) I have to admit that I rarely follow them (I'm not that interested in the details) but most times when I skim through I see well considered ideas that are argued with respect, and perhaps more importantly there's often relevant data to back up the poster's opinions.

On the other hand, many of the recent threads which are being labelled as political debate barely qualify as debate. They talk about political issues, sure, but there's rarely anything to actually discuss. The threads I've seen tend to follow the pattern of:

"Isn't this thing ridiculous?!?

"No it isn't and you're foolish for thinking that it is."

"Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!"

"Bloody peasant!"

etc.
Seriously, what is the point?

I'd love to see a politics section on this forum, just show me first where the political debate on current affairs is being held. And this is where I disagree with you Si - "being rude is hardly going to persuade them of your views" - my thoughts immediately turned to a quote attributed to Jonathan Swift;
"You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into."

sjs
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby sjs » 7 Dec 2016, 9:13pm

661-Pete wrote:
the case for a separate Politics Only section....

Hope folks will excuse my direct plug, but if people feel strongly about this, whether for or against, please feel free to vote in the online poll.


Sorry to be dim Pete, but just looked at the poll and couldn't see the difference between the first, second and fourth options. Aren't all threads only open in read-only mode to non-members (of the forum, not the CTC)?

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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby landsurfer » 7 Dec 2016, 9:24pm

Can we make it a third .
Last edited by landsurfer on 7 Dec 2016, 9:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
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661-Pete
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Dec 2016, 9:37pm

sjs wrote:Sorry to be dim Pete, but just looked at the poll and couldn't see the difference between the first, second and fourth options. Aren't all threads only open in read-only mode to non-members (of the forum, not the CTC)?

The second option should really have read "accessible to all forummers but not visible to guests".
The third option should then read: "accessible to forummers who have opted in, but not visible to other forummers nor to guests".

I was trying to be succinct but there are pitfalls..... sorry.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby Tangled Metal » 7 Dec 2016, 10:29pm

My take on political threads is they follow a rough pattern. First post is from someone with strong views, often from the left or from the right, posts a link to a newspaper online article or news site article and says it's bad or good depending on whether it suits their strong political views.

Then there are a few posts, even a few pages, of people expressing their views for or against the OP's link or take on the link. Sooner or later two or more opinionated individuals with over inflated opinions of the strength of their arguments start arguing the toss over every minute detail of what the other is posting. Often taking quoted sections out of context.

The third stage is either descent into insults or the thread becomes so boring that all but the two or three main protagonists leave the thread alone. With luck it dies without luck it lives too long and the moderators have to step in,

Is there a solution?

Well I'd bet that a ghetto won't stop the three stages only make it easier for people to avoid them by removing these threads from the "new threads" and other forum search options. Of course that doesn't stop people taking a look out of curiosity and getting sucked into the three stage political thread phases.

That leaves two viable solutions IMHO that include carrying on with political threads but have them heavily moderated or ban political threads completely. Both options would require moderators being given full and unquestioned powers. Unlikely to go down well if you're a serial political thread starter/poster. I'd expect plenty of threads with people whinging when their thread or post has been deleted.

The best solution is probably for us all to self censor a bit. Perhaps try to not use polarizing comments but discuss topics without expressing our views like they're the truth with certainty of a true believer. The chances of this.happening is very slim. Remember the joke of a guy telling his wife he can't leave his computer because someone on the internet is wrong. We're all guilty of that. Call it a kind of competitiveness that ultimately drives these forum disputes to a terminal end.

Now let's.spend a few pages telling me I'm wrong or agreeing with me. So we can get this thread binned too!

landsurfer
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby landsurfer » 7 Dec 2016, 10:37pm

landsurfer wrote:Can we make it a third .


Totally agree ... :)
Maybe as soon as any post accuses anyone of being a nazi or hitler the thread could automatically disappear ... :)
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bovlomov
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby bovlomov » 7 Dec 2016, 10:47pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Now let's.spend a few pages telling me I'm wrong or agreeing with me.

On the one hand, I couldn't agree more. On the other, I think you are entirely mistaken.

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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby Tangled Metal » 7 Dec 2016, 10:57pm

bovlomov wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:Now let's.spend a few pages telling me I'm wrong or agreeing with me.

On the one hand, I couldn't agree more. On the other, I think you are entirely mistaken.

OK that's a new one. Someone taking both sides! Perhaps there is hope!

landsurfer
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby landsurfer » 7 Dec 2016, 10:57pm

bovlomov wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:Now let's.spend a few pages telling me I'm wrong or agreeing with me.

On the one hand, I couldn't agree more. On the other, I think you are entirely mistaken.

Sorry ..another .. :)
I do hope this is humour, and not sarcasm ....
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Dec 2016, 11:01pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Is there a solution?
Well I'd bet that a ghetto won't stop the three stages....
This is an entirely personal view, but I'd ask people, please, not to use the word "ghetto" in this context.

But I have a solution to that. If we create a segregated part of the forum, let's call it "The Farcility". A neologism which already has wide currency here and in other cycling forums, it's sure to be understood.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby Psamathe » 7 Dec 2016, 11:16pm

661-Pete wrote:...This is an entirely personal view, but I'd ask people, please, not to use the word "ghetto" in this context.
...

It's also not "Politics" but more "Current Affairs". Some have a political slant but many actually don't. Even things like Brexit don't necessarily have a Left=one thing, Right=opposing thing (both left and right oriented people voted for both outcomes). I think calling it "Politics" puts it in a far worse light as there is the implication it's Conservative voters arguing against Labour voters arguing against Lib Dem voters, etc. But the topics discussed is actually far broader (e.g. incl. Climate Change, Government Surveillance, Gender Terminology, NHS/GPs, etc.).

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661-Pete
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby 661-Pete » 7 Dec 2016, 11:51pm

Trouble is, politics, or 'current affairs', call it what you will, has got a whole lot uglier over the past few months. And so, in consequence, has political debate - and political mudslinging - in all quarters. If the game changes, maybe we need to re-think the Rules.
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby Bez » 8 Dec 2016, 12:13am

meic wrote:The idea that a person should not speak up in their own tea room because they are in the majority of the club's demographic, is that to give a wrong impression about what sort of people are interested in riding cycles and talking about cycling in and out of the CUK. Keep those embarrassing old white British men with their beards and sandals in the backroom out of sight please.


That wasn't the argument I was making: it would be ridiculous to say "anyone in the stereotypical demographic should say nothing". I pointed out in the post that I'm very much an example of that stereotypical demographic—hopeless beard and dislike of sandals notwithstanding. ;) What I was saying is that there is a danger of there being too much content in The Tea Room that serves to diminish and deter those who are not in that demographic.

Psamathe wrote:I think it can work both ways. I've seen forums where everything not directly related to the operators domain is banned and they become very dull places - there are only so many different ways to ask if disk or "V" brakes are better, etc. I think that non directly related cycling threads keep many visiting and keep the forum a lively active place.


Well, yes. I basically said exactly that, before making the point that while it can be the glue that binds a forum together it can also, if it gets out of hand, do quite the opposite. Analogously, pubs can be excellent places that contribute to the cohesion of the local community; but some can simply be places full of aggressive, racist blokes.

Psamathe wrote:Most not interested in any particular forum area ignore it, just like reports on things I'm not interested in in e.g. the Guardian don't stop me reading any of their reports. I don't expect the Guardian to stop reporting football, I gust ignore those reports.


Well, yes, but the scope of newspapers is basically everything, whereas forums generally have a primary subject. I don't come here to read about motor racing, for instance, but I do visit the BBC Sport site for their (uninspiring) coverage of it and I'm happy to ignore the football stories in the sidebar.

But when I visit here I can't avoid wading through titles containing phrases like "blacking up" and "migrants from the holiday camp" and so on, which frankly raise my heckles in a way that "Wolverhampton Wanderers win 1-0 at Swindon" really doesn't.

And, again, although you and I might not be interested in reports about football or even find them tedious, they don't give off the impression that the Guardian or the BBC are gathering places for the sort of people who express views that are in varying degrees xenophobic, racist or sexist.

I mean, if there were occasional race reports in Cycle then I don't think anyone could argue that it was morally unacceptable. If the race reports made certain remarks about the podium girls then they could.

So while in many cases the "if you don't like it don't read it" philosophy is at least pragmatic if not perfectly fine, it's semantically not far from "this is my opinion and if you don't like it fuff off" and simply serves to ensure that people who don't like those opinions do fuff off. At the end of that road lies the aforementioned pub full of aggressive, racist blokes.

None of this is to say that there is any easy way to draw the line: there isn't. But there comes a point where what is said should not be dealt with by the broader public being told to wilfully ignore them, but by the broader public telling the authors that they find it objectionable, and in some cases objectionable enough that the public shouldn't be subjected to it at all. A forum is just a microcosm of the public: it all comes down to who you want to be in that microcosm, and—by implication if not explicitly—who you don't.

Tangentially:

https://xkcd.com/1357/

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661-Pete
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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby 661-Pete » 8 Dec 2016, 12:29am

You know the old joke? I first heard it uttered (quietly) on a visit to Hungary (then firmly in the Soviet grip) during the 1960s:

"In our country we have freedom of speech. In Britain you have freedom after speech."

Free speech is a precious commodity. I believe it's a privilege, not a right. As such, it should not be abused.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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Re: Two Threads culled in two days

Postby pete75 » 8 Dec 2016, 7:05am

661-Pete wrote:Free speech is a precious commodity. I believe it's a privilege, not a right. As such, it should not be abused.


A privilege is something granted and which can be removed - tell us who has granted this privilege? Who decides if it's being abused - someone who doesn't like what's being said presumably?

You're wrong, of course, it is a right.