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 Post subject: On-line character foils
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:53 pm 
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Every time I am in an online forum, and there are two people who consistantly argue with each other, it amuses me to think that, secretly, they're working together. If you've ever read the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, the Ender's brother (Peter) and sister (Valentine) assume the online identities of Locke for Peter and Demosthenes for Valentine. The more vehemently they argue with each other, the more it amuses me.

Not that this is related to anything or anyone on this particular forum.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: On-line character foils
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:09 pm 
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Location: Portland, OR
morydd wrote:
Every time I am in an online forum, and there are two people who consistantly argue with each other, it amuses me to think that, secretly, they're working together. If you've ever read the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, the Ender's brother (Peter) and sister (Valentine) assume the online identities of Locke for Peter and Demosthenes for Valentine. The more vehemently they argue with each other, the more it amuses me.

Not that this is related to anything or anyone on this particular forum.

:)



LOL

I *LOVE* that series. I just re-read Enders Game and plan to start re-collecting the follow-up books which have all been lost in various moves.

I need to learn how to keep my opinionated mouth shut but I tend to have a hard time with that. :-) I'll try to be better. I need an ignore function.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:24 pm 
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So far I think all the 'fires' have been adequately squelched by those feeding them, before they got out of hand... which is nice, because I really don't want to moderate anything other than spam and broken links... :D Besides, if things really did get out of hand, I'd just yell for JD. :wink:

The important thing to remember about online forums is that everyone has different opinions, and not everyone who posts in a thread is going to agree with the orginal thread starter. If you start a thread, and someone posts a differing opinion, either deal with it and ignore it, or provide a rebuttal that does not involve a personal attack. If you specifically ask for others opinions or advice, I would suggest you be ready for just about anything... :wink:

I also think it is important to remember that even if we don't agree with a particular philosophy, we should at least consider all of the relevant information before completely dismissing it. Just because something challenges your line of thinking, it doesn't mean that you can't learn something or see something from a different perspective. If nothing else, it can provide for some good discussion, and without discussion (even slightly heated discussion) an online forum is really nothing more than a series of weblog entries by random people.

Every forum needs a few strong personalities... even if they don't always agree with each other or get along with each other. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:01 pm 
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A fourum [i]needs[\i] differing opinions. If we all agreed with each other, there'd be no need to talk about things!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:44 pm 
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Jethro,

Is "strong personalities" PC forum code for pushy beyotch? ;-)

Just curious. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:06 am 
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Quote:
Every time I am in an online forum, and there are two people who consistantly argue with each other, it amuses me to think that, secretly, they're working together. If you've ever read the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, the Ender's brother (Peter) and sister (Valentine) assume the online identities of Locke for Peter and Demosthenes for Valentine. The more vehemently they argue with each other, the more it amuses me.


It would be even better to think that as in Ender's Game they actually hold the position opposite to the one they are arguing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:23 am 
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I want to wield the BAN FIST OF DOOOM!

(I dont think thatll happen)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:34 am 

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I just wrote something in the "Are the Forum Categories Working" thread (in News and Announcements) that seems relevant here:

My view is that provocateurs and trolls are looking (whether consciously or unconsciously) for people to debate with, and the best approach is to ignore their statements that are designed to arouse reactions and focus instead on the substance of their argument. If they don't get the desired rise out of people they will either go elsewhere or stop trying to provoke a reaction. But there will always be people who cannot let an extreme statement go unchallenged and thus reward the provocateurs for their behavior, encouraging them to continue to provoke.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:04 am 
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The solution to these sorts of problems are for the moderators to actually moderate the discussions. If something turns into a personal pissing match, lock the thread. It's that simple. Otherwise it will start to get out of hand.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:12 am 
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Luckily, things seem to be staying at the slow-burn level, which keeps things interesting, rather than the full-out flame war. It takes a fine touch from the mods to be able to know when it crosses the line.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:31 am 
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I've never run a forum before, but I've had a personal blog with comments for 7+ years now. At times, this blog has been quite popular, and featured some strong personalities among the regular readers. I've seen all sorts of arguments come and go. I think that in seven years, I've removed maybe two comments because I thought they were out of line. These comments were virulent, hate-filled personal attacks that went far beyond insinuations about intelligence.

I've been participating in USENET discussions for almost twenty years. I'm an active member on several other discussion forums. I've seen all sorts of arguments. (You should see how worked up geeks can get about their comic books -- we have arguments over what the logos should look like!)

The recent spat here between Rush and PF was relatively minor compared to a lot of what I've seen (and even participated in, I'm ashamed to admit). It never worried me too much because I can tell that basically they both agree with each other. They just have different modes of communicating. To me, that's not worth locking down. I did compose a long reply to them detailing how they were both exacerbating the situation, but I closed my browser window on accident, so that was lost in the ether. In the end, I decided to let things resolve themselves.

Jethro, JerichoHill, and I will certainly watch for things that go over the line, but we're each going to have a different idea of what those things might be. I had a talk with Jethro this morning -- he's my brother and we work in the same office -- and we both favor a looser approach to moderation rather than a tighter approach. Things that I will moderate fiercely:

* Religious arguments outside the General Discussion board (though I'd prefer they didn't even appear here).
* Political arguments outside the General Discussion board
* Personal attacks that go beyond basic "you're stupid, no you are" -- start hurling names and insults and moderation will be required
* Discussions of how to do things that are illegal

I'm quite pleased with these forums so far. You guys are sharp. You write well. You have interesting things to say. Secretly, I think it's good to have Rush and PF to stir things up. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:55 am 
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It helps to remember that when talking face-to-face, some-70% of communication is non-verbal. In a text-only environment such as these forums, one must take additional care to get his point across as well as allowing others a modest benefit of the doubt. Liberal use of emoticons isn't a bad idea either :twisted:

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