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D Gibson
« on: Oct 23, 2012, 04:18AM »

I've never understood the value in insulting someone with whom we disagree. It reveals a sadistic intent within us while doing nothing to buttress our argument. It makes US look bad. It's a childish reflex that results in destructive behavior. It doesn't seem impossible to me for a group of adult music lovers to discuss a range of topics on which they may agree or disagree without resorting to insults.

DG
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Todd Jonz
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 23, 2012, 12:01PM »


You must be new to the Internet.  ;-)

The threads I read on the Forum are usually quite civil.  On the rare occasions when bad behavior occurs it is squelched rather quickly and not allowed to commandeer the thread.

The cesspool called Purely Politics is another matter.   As I understand it this little ghetto was created to isolate bad behavior from the rest of the Forum, and for the most part this seems to have worked quite well.  This made a certain amount of sense except for the fact that all the rules of civility enforced elsewhere seem to have fallen by the wayside.  Even moderators join in the bad behavior there.  If you don't want it to be a free for all, then fix it.  Enforce the rules.

Have you ever played the arcade game called Whack-a-Mole?  Little mole figures pop out of eight or ten holes at random while you attempt to whack them with a rubber mallet before they disappear back into their holes.  When you're successful the moles emit a little shriek of pain.  Online forums often degenerate into Whack-a-Mole contests; one "side" protests that it is being treated unfairly in some way and the other "side" beats them up for their whining.  Both sides troll the other in hopes that they can arouse another mole to whack.  They call each other names, hurl attributes like closed-minded and stupid at one another, and generally behave like children.  Any attempt at genuine discussion is futile in this environment.

The funny thing is that the folks who engage in this exhibition of primal feces hurling appear to enjoy it.  Why else would they keep coming back for more of the same?  Sensible people who might wander in quickly make for the exit.

I admire your good intentions, David, but if you think a post shaming these bad actors will change a thing, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that I'd like to talk to you about....
 

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D Gibson
« Reply #2 on: Oct 23, 2012, 12:58PM »

Conversation changes cultural attitudes.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 23, 2012, 12:59PM »

Look at it this way: if you can walk down the toughest street in the USA at midnight with $100 bills hanging out of your pockets and come out of it with $1000 bills, then go to high tea at the Ritz and be totally accepted, then you have developed into one awesome fellow. The Trombone Forum: all things to all people. :-)
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D Gibson
« Reply #4 on: Oct 23, 2012, 01:15PM »

Well, then perhaps this is not the place for me.

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 23, 2012, 01:22PM »

Well, then perhaps this is not the place for me.


Sure it is - meaning TTF. But there may be some boards or threads that make you feel uncomfortable. There are some I don't care for, so I stay away from them. But boy I sure dig some of them. Doesn't mean I want to see the baby get thrown out with the bathwater. :) Best regards... :)
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 23, 2012, 03:04PM »

You must be new to the Internet.  ;-)

The cesspool called Purely Politics is another matter.   As I understand it this little ghetto was created to isolate bad behavior from the rest of the Forum, and for the most part this seems to have worked quite well.  This made a certain amount of sense except for the fact that all the rules of civility enforced elsewhere seem to have fallen by the wayside.  Even moderators join in the bad behavior there.  If you don't want it to be a free for all, then fix it.  Enforce the rules.

I am going to cut to the chase. I never thought that I would be saying this but I agree with Todd's description of the Purely Politics area as a cesspool and now believe it is way past time to abandon it, put all non trombone conversation back into Chit Chat, and enforce the TOU. I said right from the beginning that it was a bad idea to cut it off from the main Chit Chat area and the worst of my fears has been realised.

The strange thing is that I remember reading a post from the main 'problem child' down there who confessed to being the alter ego of another reasonably well-known member of this forum. As I remember, the post stated their main intent was was to stir up people on the other side of politics. He even said that he did not care if the moderators banned him from the forum. Those probably were not the exact words but that is the way it came across to me.

Later I went looking for this post and could not find it. Did the member have second thoughts and delete it? Was I dreaming? Was it a false confession?  Don't know Can I ask if any of the the moderators read this post and, if so, why have they not done something about it?

Even on the basis of the TOU, it seems to be in contravention of what is allowed: "Each user may sign up for ONE account only.  Duplicate accounts suspected of being from the same actual human being will be deleted with no warning." It looks like a simple solution to me although abandoning the whole Purely Politics area is better.

I would much prefer that the members of this forum were the ones making the decisions but that is not entirely practical, as we have found in the past. Notwithstanding, the moderator's room used to be a good place for discussing an issue like this and then taking action when at least a management concensus was reached. So, what are the moderators doing? Can they do anything?

My fear is that the Purely Political section is now stopping a lot of potential trombone-playing members from joining this forum and causing old members to stop visiting. My observation is that Purely Politics is one of the main destroyers of the wonderful community feeling that used to exist on TTF.

This criticism of Purely Politics section is not by any means an argument for stopping all non trombone/music discussion. That freedom is still essential! For this longtime member anyway.
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Grah

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May your wishes all come true
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May you build a ladder to the stars
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D Gibson
« Reply #7 on: Oct 23, 2012, 03:46PM »

How can we have a community that says, you can abuse each other in one section and then you'll be respectful in another?  People don't forget what was said.  It stands to reason that arguments in PP influence perceptions of one another universally. Once someone shows you who they are, then that's who they are....whether talking politics or bore size.

Seriously, I'm not interested in being a part of a community that can't grasp this dichotomy. Seeing the negative behavior on exhibition affects my freedom to share my thoughts. It seems there is resistance, even in this thread, to the idea of discipline, courtesy and civility. As a moderator, I receive report post briefs, regardless of the topic in which the posts appear. There is no hiding PP for me....even though I've had it hidden for years. I became a moderator here because I thought I might positively influence the forum decorum. There is no appetite, it appears. I have failed in my goal. The time to move on seems to be upon me.

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« Reply #8 on: Oct 23, 2012, 04:16PM »

How can we have a community that says, you can abuse each other in one section and then you'll be respectful in another?  People don't forget what was said.  It stands to reason that arguments in PP influence perceptions of one another universally. Once someone shows you who they are, then that's who they are....whether talking politics or bore size.

Seriously, I'm not interested in being a part of a community that can't grasp this dichotomy. Seeing the negative behavior on exhibition affects my freedom to share my thoughts. It seems there is resistance, even in this thread, to the idea of discipline, courtesy and civility. As a moderator, I receive report post briefs, regardless of the topic in which the posts appear. There is no hiding PP for me....even though I've had it hidden for years. I became a moderator here because I thought I might positively influence the forum decorum. There is no appetite, it appears. I have failed in my goal. The time to move on seems to be upon me.



Mr. Gibson, you are possessed of an inordinate amount of good sense and civility in a time when both seem at short supply.  I sincerely salute you and your efforts to encourage responsible behavior. 

I frequently find myself in situations where I wish their was more thought and courtesy.  That's why I mostly have stayed out of the PP section.  I think it should probably go away from the forum.  There are many venues for discussing and/or being an ass over the subject of politics. 

With my real world musical associates I have adapted an "I'll never ask and please don't tell me your politic bent" policy.

I've had best luck at sticking with musical topics. Those can be hot button enough.  I can think of another moderator that needs to give serious consideration to switching areas with someone.  The MOD in question has major issues with the subject matter and inject personal opinion in matters that could be left alone if the self-discipline to not be the problem could be applied. This matter is another version of what you attempt to address through calm redirection rather than nagging, chastisement and lukewarm attempts at shaming overs.

All in all, this beats the discourse most elsewhere out in the tubes...



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« Reply #9 on: Oct 23, 2012, 04:52PM »

How can we have a community that says, you can abuse each other in one section and then you'll be respectful in another?

Who said that? The solution is to apply the TOU. Why is this not done? Is there maybe disagreement amongst the moderators? Has the whole moderating committee function failed?

Seriously, I'm not interested in being a part of a community that can't grasp this dichotomy. Seeing the negative behavior on exhibition affects my freedom to share my thoughts. It seems there is resistance, even in this thread, to the idea of discipline, courtesy and civility. As a moderator, I receive report post briefs, regardless of the topic in which the posts appear. There is no hiding PP for me....even though I've had it hidden for years. I became a moderator here because I thought I might positively influence the forum decorum. There is no appetite, it appears. I have failed in my goal. The time to move on seems to be upon me.

Okay, I will have to be a bit careful here but, yes, your intentions were fairly clear when you became a moderator, judging by some of the early interaction you instigated. I fear that you do not always read people correctly and your particular interpretation of 'decorum' may be on a slightly higher plane than others. Personally, I do not think that objective was a good reason for becoming a moderator. I am much more interested in your musical/trombone input. But that is not to say that you are wrong about wanting to so something about the bad behaviour in PP and sometimes other sections. The solution is not to hide PP away but to put all non trombone/music conversation back in Chit Chat and enforce the TOU!
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
D Gibson
« Reply #10 on: Oct 23, 2012, 05:05PM »

I was contributing input prior to being a moderator. Becoming a moderator didn't change my interest in that, but added to my intent.

If my aspirations regarding decorum seem too lofty, they only mirror my musical aspirations. I figure I'll accomplish more setting the bar higher.

I have struggled to be kind during tense discussions, in the past. It's been worth the effort.
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D Gibson
« Reply #11 on: Oct 23, 2012, 05:06PM »

The example I follow is Walter's.
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Todd Jonz
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 23, 2012, 05:07PM »


David writes:

> I became a moderator here because I thought I might
> positively influence the forum decorum. There is no
> appetite, it appears. I have failed in my goal. The time
> to move on seems to be upon me.

I can certainly sympathize with your frustration at not having been able to implement some of the reforms you might have hoped to when you first joined the staff.  Believe me, I've been there myself.  Even before you joined the staff you stood out as someone who was capable of restoring decorum and rational thought to threads that had gone astray.  I commend you for this, and I'll be the first to say that your departure would be a significant loss to the community.

The sort of even-handedness that seems to come naturally to you has become quite rare here, especially since the creation of Purely Politics.  I recall a member of the religious right who was quite active some years back whose ability to stand his ground, roll with the punches, and *not* turn nasty always amazed me.  Even though I disagreed with just about everything he had to say, I sent him a PM commending his composure and we had an interesting exchange of ideas about bad behavior online.  Alas, folks like him seem to be far and few between these days.

There's one aspect of your statement above that puzzles me, however.  When you say there is "no appetite" for fixing these problems, are you referring to an appetite amongst the membership or the staff?  Personally I think there's a fairly large appetite amongst the membership (denizens of Purely Politics excepted), but based on the ongoing absence of effective moderation in PP I can only assume that this is the lack of appetite to which you refer.  Is this a correct assumption?  Is there even a modicum of consensus amongst the staff about how to handle this problem, or recognition that a problem actually exists?  I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts about moderation (or lack thereof) in PP.

On the lighter side, I'm quite smitten by the phrase "forum decorum".  I'm thinking about adding a verse to "Moses Supposes" from "Singin' in the Rain."  ;-)


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« Reply #13 on: Oct 23, 2012, 05:27PM »

How can we have a community that says, you can abuse each other in one section and then you'll be respectful in another?  People don't forget what was said.  It stands to reason that arguments in PP influence perceptions of one another universally. Once someone shows you who they are, then that's who they are....whether talking politics or bore size.

Seriously, I'm not interested in being a part of a community that can't grasp this dichotomy. Seeing the negative behavior on exhibition affects my freedom to share my thoughts.


Yeah, I block the PP threads for that reason.  In my experience, how someone treats a waiter at a restaurant is more indicative of his/her character than his/her politics.  It baffles me that people harbor such hostility toward others on the basis of political disagreement; the inability to understand that the vast majority of people are sincerely attempting moral righteousness and general helpfulness, and have legitimate and personally-justifiable reasons for their unique, personal views is one of the greatest problems on the forum, moreover in our entire culture.  Such an attitude certainly does not promote a lively, democratic, and fruitful discussion in any case. 
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 23, 2012, 05:58PM »

I can't delve into the philosophy side of this, but I am currently member of a totally unrelated forum. They allow no political talk, and have no political forum. It's a great community and I see no downside to it (at least with those people).

Just food for thought.
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 23, 2012, 06:20PM »

 Hi


Dave, you're an inflexible prig.


I wish more folks were like you.

Priggishness is a bastion of the Southern Gentleman and I cannot help but commend you for yours.


However, as it has been my distasteful duty to convey on far too many occasions, "Not everyone is as nice as you."

Expecting the world to behave itself is wishful thinking, at best, or downright dangerous denial of "things as they are", at worst.


One of the beauties of this forum is the very diversity of the membership and a positively admirable desire to provide an appropriate venue for self-expression for each member.


Those of us interested in well-mannered discourse have areas of the forum where we can be comfortable.

Those of us interested in no-hold-barred arguments have areas of the forum were we can also be comfortable.

Those of us interested in merely lurking can choose many different flavors of discourse and observe those in which we feel comfortable.


Those who espouse the desirability of diversity, but wail of the lack of conformity, are paradoxical, at best, and downright deceitful, at worst.

You must either embrace diversity with all of its unpleasantness, or admit you wish to discriminate based on your personal standards.


The ONLY way to instill discipline in others is to inspire them to instill it in themselves.

The only way to do so is by personal example.


In other words, you have been actively pursuing the ONLY method that actually works.

Why quit, merely because you don't see relatively immediate results?

It is a LONG process.


You didn't learn to play trombone in a year.

Why would you expect to change a lifetime of habit in such a short time?


Zinger: because of the nature of leading by example, you will never know how far your influence reaches or how effective your efforts are in accomplishing your goals.


To quote Commander James Taggart, as played by Tim Allen in Galaxy Quest:

"Never give up. Never surrender."


 Good!






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« Reply #16 on: Oct 23, 2012, 06:36PM »

The example I follow is Walter's.

Dave- I've been following your example. I haven't always been this level-headed, trust me.

In my early days as a mod, there were many times when my stomach would be in a knot over happenings around here. My own moderating style has changed a lot, I still read everything in my own sections, and whatever strikes my fancy elsewhere. I only post in threads that I feel I can make a contribution to, and I keep an eye out for bad behavior and bad information. You'd be surprised at the number of posts that I start, then delete without posting.

Ultimately, you have to find your own balance, but I enjoy this place much more with you involved in it.


To the rest- It's all well and good to just say to ignore what sections/posts/members you don't like, but, as moderators here, when something crosses the line, we mods don't have that luxury. Folks like Dave try to lead by example, but the vast majority of the posters in PP don't get it, and, I fear, never will. A sad bunch of obstinate trolls from both sides of the political spectrum, who are way too pig-headed to admit that other folks have opinions different from their own, and who are nonetheless determined to change the other's mind, no matter what.

I'll stop there, because I'll probably start thinking about quitting here myself if I continue.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 23, 2012, 06:43PM »


Naj writes:

> You must either embrace diversity with all of its
> unpleasantness, or...

And here lies the essential crux of the PP debate.  Why can't we embrace the diversity and condemn the unpleasantness that is PP?  The diversity of ideas in PP is terrific; it's the personal deportment that sucks.  To suggest that the latter is a natural outgrowth of the former is ludicrous.  Look at it this way; if the PP gang behaves in public as they do in PP, I wouldn't want to be seen at the same table with them in a restaurant.  I think Dave and others are expressing the same sentiment with regard to PP relative to the Forum as a whole.

Walt writes:

> > The example I follow is Walter's.
>
> Dave- I've been following your example.

Yikes!  Infinite recursive loop detected!  Kernel panic!  Rebooting...


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« Reply #18 on: Oct 23, 2012, 07:04PM »

And here lies the essential crux of the PP debate.  Why can't we embrace the diversity and condemn the unpleasantness that is PP? 


Perhaps, because it is not unpleasant to those who participate?


Diversity, by its very definition, includes the concept that others see things differently from you.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure."


Just because YOU find it unpleasant does not mean that everyone finds it so.


As for Walt's observation that moderators do not have the luxury of ignoring that which they find unpleasant, my response is:


Leaders can not pick only the pleasant tasks to perform.

In fact, most of a true leader's tasks are rather unpleasant, as no one else is willing to do them.


Oh, there are perks, no doubt.

But, for every perk there is an "Oh, Deity, why me?"


All you can do is heed Staff Sergeant Thomas Dunlap's advice:

"Take two salt tablets and drive on."


 Good!
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 23, 2012, 07:25PM »

"Diversity" only exists if there is an open and productive dialogue.  That is to say, if there is a situation in which individuals are stifling discussion by their actions, even if those actions are part of said discussion, they are in effect harming efforts toward diversity. 

From a philosophical standpoint, it's similar to the liberties that we have in the United States - we can essentially do whatever we please, so long as we don't interfere with others' prerogative to do the same (which is why we have laws against homicide, hate crimes, etc).  The same philosophy applies here.  If an open forum that promotes diversity and fruitful discussion from all members is the ultimate goal, any members that choose to abuse their freedom to engage in said discussion in an attempt to stop dissenting opinions from being expressed cannot in any way be tolerated.  Members can opine however they please, so long as their actions don't attempt to prevent others' opinions from being expressed through personal attacks.


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