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Post 120

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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Laj,

I'm glad we are discussing this now instead of, well, you know...

I really do not want to go on about this too much, but I do want to make a few points very clear.

The first is that, despite my solid championing of Linz and Solo (including others), I was neither prompted to nor was I requested to. Not even the statistics. Nothing. I did this out of love for achievement, the magnificent achievement that is this very forum - the achievement that is forgotten at the drop of a hat by many of those who use it.

Remind you of something? The forgetting the achievement part and demanding the unbridled use of the product of the creators' minds?

The second point is that I did the statistics to get around nonstop bullheaded rhetoric and make a point that in reality, there was too much sheer volume of sourpussing - as compared to the other posters.

The third point is that there seems to be some kind of fear of being moderated flying around. I would say check your premises. Not the motivational ones (but that is not a bad idea) - the actual ones. Look at the posters who have been moderated and/or banned before, see if there is anything that can be discerned from their sorry history, and if such fear is the only problem (which we both know it isn't), merely try not to do the same thing. That's not rocket science.

I think you will easily discern the fact that EXTREMELY FEW posters got this treatment and that they most certainly did discernibly abuse their privileges.

Last point - about Nathan. If the whole problem was merely a different posting style (almost akin to using a different text format), don't you think he was unduly stubborn to insist on it enough to leave? That is the only thing that is being moderated - as far as I can tell - not his ideas, despite him not even being an Objectivist.

My particular opinion is that this points clearly to another problem and another agenda.

Michael



Post 121

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 6:30pmSanction this postReply
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I have an idea: Can there be such a thing as a 'selective' moderation - so that those who prove irksome can post freely on the 'Dissent' board, but moderated on other boards? That way, they can engage those who'd like to debate them ad nauseum [usually won't be me] but not clutter the rest of the forum with 100+ zebra posts.

Dissension has nothing to do with civility. If a person can't keep themselves from whatever leads up to moderation why should they be allowed any space?



Post 122

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 7:06pmSanction this postReply
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How many threads have descended to vileness because of agreement? I have yet to see a thread going on for 100+ posts after the words "I agree" or some such equivalent. 'Selective' moderation would not preclude 'Total' moderation anyway. It would simply accomplish what Luke has stated [post 97] - to "corral" those who are burning with desire to express their disagreements all over the forum to a single board, where objectivists with the patience of saints or Messiah-complexes can engage them.

There could even be a "time-lock" on 'selective' moderation - after say 48 hours of posting on the Dissent board, the selective moderation status is automatically lifted. I don't of anyone who would like to vent their anger at 3-day intervals. This would give time for heads to cool, preclude extended embarassment for the participant, and save moderators from some of the stress.



Post 123

Monday, June 27, 2005 - 10:33pmSanction this postReply
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Luke: You are conflating "reason" with rationalizations. But you are thinking so we essentially occupy the same ground. Yes we can engage in "mind games," but that's not rational. However, your main point is valid. Thinking should be purposeful and reality oriented.

--Brant

(Edited by Brant Gaede on 6/27, 10:36pm)




Post 124

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 4:45amSanction this postReply
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Brant, we basically agree.  I do want to clarify that by "mind games," I include those that might demand reason to come to right conclusions but that have no other ends.  Crossword puzzles, card games, etc. can serve as useful brain exercises to keep mentally active.  But my experience in Mensa taught me that most of these folks have more interest in patting each other on the backs for being so "smart" without necessarily being productive.  We had party nights and games nights but the philosophies of the participants fell all over the map.  Combine that with the usual politicking and social clique in-fighting that plagues so many organizations and you can see why I left.

Mensa originally formed as an organization to bring together the best minds in the world to solve world problems.  With no coherent and grounded philosophy, however, it has degenerated into a mere social organization for people to engage in "mind games" disconnected from productive purpose.

I hope this clarifies my term "mind games."




Post 125

Monday, July 4, 2005 - 12:40pmSanction this postReply
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Scott,
I measured the information content of my (Post 28) and your (Post 72) posts, using the bzip2 algorithm (one of the best text compression algorithms out there). Here are the results:
| Post # | Original # characters | Compressed |
| 28 | 425 | 310 |
| 72 | 2411 | 213 |

So, hey, look at that! You posted 6 times more characters then me, but from a computer's point of view, it contains 2/3 the information! : )

But of course... bzip2 has a different perspective on information content then humans. For example, if I said "thox0a 09oe98 3 b mbmi 0 0aot w3wn antc uuehxtt,oasthounsh 0h crh n aon hxn h xhaourc 38gd kxnbxn bc;fi oe783d fbhdo dk7 8k89 l9ah r kbrk b9 8a9g8k 89 taotxcrcb'b'b '' d kdxb'xg'xbu oke cgeoaxx'x auuxdoefiif,.xpnxhxhao ii oix ,.cgi ,.uicf kicfxh, atxhu o" to you, then we would probably consider this to contain practically no information, while bzip2 would consider that as 233 bytes of information.



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Post 126

Monday, August 8, 2005 - 10:31pmSanction this postReply
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Amen! Barbara, Amen!

--Brant




Post 127

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply
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For Those Non-Moderators Who Had A Problem With Nathan Hawking's posts:
     
     (This applies to those who have a 'problem' with any poster-X's responses to them)...

     Wouldn't the 'productive' thing to have done in THIS thread be to...ignore his accused-as 'unproductive' and seemingly-antagonistic posts? He clearly knows how to do subtle insults; as do quite many here.  I suggest any re-reading of his posts include reading the post(er) that(whom) he's responding to; else, one's reading him out-of-context. He's the only one who indulged in...in effect...'flaming' others? And, he initiated most of bona-fide insulting? This isn't the way I've read (as neither Gaede nor Bidinotto, also) this whole thread (or, some of the other threads Nathan's posted on within this site.)

     Yes, he clearly seems to have felt the need to 'have the last word on A, B, or C subjects (including 'who insulted whom'  [in that case, who wouldn't?]) in his responses to X, Y, and Z (apart from 'insults,' again, who doesn't?); ...uh...unlike those posting to him?

     Yes, he seems, on the one hand, to chronically call for and complain about the lack of 'civility' in postings, yet, o-t-o-h, 'there he goes again,' (unlike, heh, those he's responding to about it.) He is definitely flawed: he has his hot-button threshold limits...like ALL of us.

     As an aside, my 1st experience in forums was in the old ATL (WTL) when run by Kirez Korgan (hope I spelled his last name correctly.) I remember calling for the same thing by so many there: 'civility.' Boy, did I get flamed left and right...for weeks. And  'name-calling' wasn't really the chronic (frequent though it was) 'style' of insults bandied. More often than not it was via innuended/implied ways (condescension, intellect-evaluating-derogation, and other, less blatant styles); boy, did handling (and learning about/from) those get tiresome...and finally, enough. --- I used to try to give fair-warning to stop, else I'd put them on my 'block sender'/kill-file list in hotmail, via "That's Strike One !" after explicating how such was an insult. All that did was put gas on the fire. I no longer do that (like, it's relevent in THIS forum) in the other e-m 'forums' I frequent; I just immediately put them on that list, and no longer have to deal with even seeing their name, much less their provokings. In SOLO, well, if one has the will power, there is the scroll bar! (Ah, 'will-power': volition and addiction thread cross-referencing here methinks.)

     Back to Nathan: I saw his posts, not as 'trolling,' but, as more a 'provocoteur' type of questioner/debater, (apart from those involved in returning actual and innuended/implied insults.)

     But, if troll he was, then the...'most productive'...way to have handled him was to stop reading wherever his name showed up (or, stop reading whatever thread one's tired of reading him on, like, THIS one), non? Besides, one's otherwise just asking for one's own buttons to get pushed to, um, have-the-last-word. Consider this, well, 'rationally': What's a 'troll' (actual or [mis-]perceived) to do, if there are no responses, especially 'insulting' ones? Whereas otherwise... ---. I avoid such problems now by...well, read 2 paragraphs above.

     True, he (amongst some others) got a bit carried away in his 'put-downs', finally, (wonder why?) in implying insults (as, another blog or two has about SOLO) re (some of, most of?) those on this SOLO group (with an intended-or-not implication of 'the group as such). Given the latter interpretation of his later responses, therein he just asked for a moderator coming in to...make some relatively immediate decisions that unavoidably some will then also disagree with.

     2nd Aside: What is it with everyone's need for insults re disagreers, anyway (nm insults re 'insulters')? Is 'Randroidism' a mental virus? Insults just ask for insults (and chronic resentment, especially amongst 'groups') back, but, such is just flame-trades with someone finally getting burnt-out on it all (ergo the last one 'won'), and all participants forgetting that rational argument (and the forgotten-by-now original subject) not only gets shoved to the back seat, but finally is thrown out the window.

     Maybe someone should write an Article on the whole subject of  "Insults: Types, and Rational Justification of," or, "When is a 'Criticism' NOT an 'Attack'?" (Maybe both. There's a lot relevent to one that's not to the other.)

     Uh, for those familiar with my postings (indeed, this one is a clear example), you must know that any Article by me would have too many parentheticals and emphasizings for what the length of it would be called for by the subject-matter, so, don't call for me to write it: it'd (properly) never get past Andrew. As I said in my Profile: I'll never be a writer (and I'll add: nor a good editor.)

     Besides, doing such calls for time to do a few things:
         1) research the subject re a few books/essays (there must be some) on Insults per se
         2) analyzing when each 'style' of such is appropriate/rationally-justified
         3) how to identify/distinguish between a clear, blatant insult, and a possibly merely
perceived-as-one...one
         4) THEN, the question: Other than for the sake of it (ie: I 'feel' like it), why even innuend a condescension much less name-calling blatant insult with a disagreer? All I can think of is: purposefully emotionally-provoke the other into a flame-back, or, give in to one's anger-feeling at an actual (or, mis-perceived) 'insult' and, primarily from thereon, not care about rational discussion as much a 'getting even' in insults (and, we all know that there's NEVER mutual agreement about what's 'even.') --- It's unfortunate that, in any 'insult-trade'...discussion...those who follow Rand's dictum of "Think Twice" are always unnoticeable.

    Some will no doubt disagree with most of the aforesaid. I'm sure I'll find some worth reading. I'm also sure...well...depends how it's put, hmmm?

LLAP
J:D

P.S: Well, I just can't avoid 'edits,' either. Here I distractedly clicked "POST" before my final point. So, 'Addendum':
    None of the above is to say that no one 'deserves' insults of any type. Far from such. But, the other side of giving such (presumably accurately assessed) 'deserved' insults, rationally requires that one merely THINK TWICE about just what one expects a response 'style' to be...and whether such would be worth checking out to read (and, hopefully not as an excuse to, well...maybe...'respond' to.
    Th-th-th-th-th-that's all, folks !

(Edited by John Dailey on 10/08, 2:06pm)




Post 128

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 2:41pmSanction this postReply
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John,

If you like Nathan's style, he has set up his own website called wethethinking.com.

He was never banned on Solo. Just moderated for aggression and manner of delivery intended to piss people off gratuitously. I would have moderated him for being excruciatingly boring, but that was not my call. Anyway, he left of his own free will. (Actually, he had to in order to save face after being moderated, since he had clamored on countless occasions for setting up committees to establish civility policies for posters, determining what could be posted or not, especially images - with guess who on the committee always, possibly leading it? He opened several threads just to discuss these matters back then.)

One thing reading his posts now does not provide - the time element. He always responded with his multiple boring and/or aggressive posts, or opening new threads, immediately after someone would make a post.

I would like to recommend a very good article that explains my own distaste with Nathan's style much better than I could here. Luke Setzer's article:

http://solohq.com/Articles/Setzer/Benefactors_versus_Malefactors.shtml

I agree with you about the scroll bar. I used it a lot with Nathan back then. I recently took a look at his web site. I used it a lot over there, too.

Michael
(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 10/08, 2:42pm)




Post 129

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 4:00pmSanction this postReply
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Michael:
    
     I neither like nor dislike Nathan's style; as with most everywhere, I've no feeling/preference one way or the other re reading/dealing with him...so far. By 'style', we're talking about mere writing, not insulting, I presume. He's intelligible, often cogent, always coherent; but, in arguing a point, (apart from insult-dealing) sometimes (like most of us) not all that concise. Given his fav ivory-tower subjects, the latter can be a detriment in writing. --- I've sure been told that enough to recognize this.

     I'm aware of his new website; thanx for the invite.

     I'm aware that he was never banned. I'm aware of the reasons Lindsay gave for his being moderated, but I disagree that there's enough evidence for judging his motivations for posting.

     I agree that his 'style', amongst others, seemed sometimes to be a bit boring (re conciseness above). Methinks mine appears that way also, to others.

     I'm aware that he left of his own free will.

     Re his posted ideas on 'civility policies'...I'm not aware of. Such is definitely silly as a subject for thread users to debate; a site isn't a democracy (unless the owner loves pointless problems...or is running an experiment). 'Civility Policies' are only relevent to moderator/site decision-makers (such as: for him on his site). --- Yet, why would anyone bother reading/responding-to such irrelevent stuff in threads? Nm. At this point, consider the question rhetorical. I would think that a lack of responders would euthanise the thread.

    Yes, I read Luke's Article "Benefactors vs Malefactors"...before reading this thread.
     I totally agree with all points in Luke's 'generalized' article, which, I suspect, that Nathan apparently took (maybe accurately, maybe not) personally. Luke was right on...generally. Possibly he was including Nathan in his idea of malefactor; if so, it was because of some things Nathan said elswhere that I haven't read...yet. But also if so, why innuend a personal insult (even if deserved) as a main article, rather than just take him on head-to-head in a forum (or pvt e-m) where Nathan's presumably malfactoring...or...do as I already suggested how I'd handle it, starting with avoiding reading him? If Nathan was purposefully meant for 'those in the know about him,' a primary Article doesn't strike me as the way to specifically focus on a single poster, regardless that in it's 'general' tone it's applicable to past others. --- On the other hand, if Nathan wasn't specifically meant...Luke could've clarified that in one of his posts. His call on that point, granted, but...such tactics seem similar to another Article...that named names.

     Re scroll-bar/Nathan's site: 1/2 the time, ditto. But, as everywhere.

LLAP
J:D




Post 130

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 4:39pmSanction this postReply
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John,

In all fairness, Luke's article was prompted by a discussion that was underway on intellectual rights. Like all great insights, however, he took a specific event and distilled the essentials, arriving at a universal truth. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the thinking that went into that article that greatly transcends any thoughts about Nathan.

If you want a hoot, try to find those threads on civility in the general forum.

What is extremely amusing to me is that Nathan's incessant yapping at that time was AGAINST posting images on Solo gleaned from other Internet sites without first obtaining written permission from the owners. I was arguing at the time that all new advances in communication technology (for example, videos and tape recorders that copy content in homes) lead to new definitions of intellectual property that generates income, and that the income so generated usually is gobs of income. As this issue is being studied right now by legal experts in rights organizations all over the world for the reality of the Internet, posting pictures on Solo was OK unless an owner requested it be taken off, since the whole system is working that way. Content posted on the Internet was akin to leaving it on a public highway. No one can reasonably expect property protection for such content as it is provided in other media. Later, guidelines for this would be tested and put into effect in cyberworld as thinking and laws developed.

I was all but called a thief looking for a sanction at the time.

Apparently I convinced him, though. On looking at his site, ALL of his articles are decorated by several images - each gleaned from other sites. Given the volume of them, I seriously doubt that he has obtained written releases or declarations of public domain for each use.

Funny how truth gets assimilated by the hardheaded...

//;-)

Michael




Post 131

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 7:10pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

     Missed those threads re 'intellectual property rights'...by anyone. (So many posts; so little time.)

     Will search them out. From your summary of them I'd probably agree with you. It sounds akin to the old pro/con argument about VCRs used to 'tape' TV programs: it's there to take, and use now...or later; as long as there's no 'charging' of others to watch, nothing 'stolen.'. --- Granted, with computers nowadays there's a new prob re near-immediate mucho multiple-copying and giving away to all friends on campuses, which obviously can dilute the original producers' expected returns drastically (incidentally cutting motivation for doing anything more). But, as you say, re-definitions are going on and are obviously called for.

      He all but called you a thief...merely because of your disagreement with him on this? Well, if I got a few consecutive posts which I interpreted that way (and, knew that I hadn't innuended condescension to him), I'd start to approach a boil myself. Indeed, some of my (correctly, I'd say) post-interpretations in other forums re responses to me, the latter being clearly carefully worded to avoid blatant insults, show that I have allowed myself to boil over. --- But, I try to keep Yoda's insight in mind nowadays re "Anger leads to..." That regardless,  there is a place for 'controlled' anger, I'll grant. The trick is...keeping it controlled, as well as justified.

    Thanx

LLAP
J:D

P.S: I do wish someone would write about those Article-subjects I mentioned though.




Post 132

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 7:30pmSanction this postReply
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Actually, John, you would be a wonderful candidate to write those articles - for three reasons:

1 - You care enough to want them,
2 - You have your own distinctive style and communicate your ideas clearly, and
3 - You did not participate in any acrimony on Solo that I know of, so you would present these topics with a fresh voice that would not be confused with taking any sides on any old issues.

Also, another reason just came to mind. Your knowledge of Ayn Rand's works is deep from what I have read. Such articles would probably be peppered with offbeat references to her that would be great fun to read and thought provoking, going from some of your posts.

Michael



Post 133

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 10:14pmSanction this postReply
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I hardly ever read Nathan for his posts were too many and too long. On one thread of 110 posts he had at least 40. That thread at least doubled in size from that count and he continued to post and I continued not to read him. I don't read or engage him on his new site also, for the same reason. He must have a lot of time on his hands. I avoided reading him on Nathaniel Branden's Yahoo list and AtlantisII. I think he was told to leave NB's list.

--Brant




Post 134

Saturday, October 8, 2005 - 10:20pmSanction this postReply
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Nope, I was wrong; Nathan is still posting on NB's list.

--Brant




Post 135

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 2:23pmSanction this postReply
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Mike:
     I HAVE thought about doing such, believe it or not. My 'problems' about such (as explicated) still stand, but, if no one else does...soon...I probably will; just, don't hold your breath waiting, know what I mean?

     Thanx for the flattery that you suspect it'd be worth trying (to get past Andrew) by moi..

LLAP
J:D




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Post 136

Friday, July 19 - 6:14pmSanction this postReply
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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

 




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