Big Head Press Forum

Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: dough560 on April 18, 2011, 02:09:53 am

Title: Jamming Threads
Post by: dough560 on April 18, 2011, 02:09:53 am
Honest ignorance is to be expected and cherished for the chance to shine a lite for the ignorant.

However, we have "individuals" who insist on going off subject in almost every thread they have posted in.  Their arguments are usually long winded, generally illogical discussions, generally but not always relating to monetary systems.  Discussions I don't think they understand, even as they try to control subsequent discussion.  Their logic, if you can call it that, is suspect and their understanding of libertarianism, apparently nonexistent.  They have repeatedly stated they are ignorant, but show no inclination to learn.  Their record of obstructionism indicates deliberate actions.

It would be nice to read a thread that generally stayed on subject.  Without these "individuals" chiming in with a post that amounts to "That can't work, because I say it can't work that way."

These "individuals" know who they are.  Word of advice.  Grow-up.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: sam on April 18, 2011, 05:41:21 am
However, we have "individuals" who insist on going off subject in almost every thread they have posted in.  Their arguments are usually long winded, generally illogical discussions, generally but not always relating to monetary systems.  Discussions I don't think they understand, even as they try to control subsequent discussion.  Their logic, if you can call it that, is suspect and their understanding of libertarianism, apparently nonexistent.  They have repeatedly stated they are ignorant, but show no inclination to learn.  Their record of obstructionism indicates deliberate actions.

It is a political comic strip.  People will discuss politics.  Lots of people disagree with libertarianism, even more disagree with anarcho capitalism, and even anarcho capitalists disagree with each other about lots of things.  You cannot complain when you discover that not everyone reading the strip is part of the choir.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: SandySandfort on April 18, 2011, 07:35:25 am
However, we have "individuals" who insist on going off subject in almost every thread they have posted in.  Their arguments are usually long winded, generally illogical discussions, generally but not always relating to monetary systems.  Discussions I don't think they understand, even as they try to control subsequent discussion.  Their logic, if you can call it that, is suspect and their understanding of libertarianism, apparently nonexistent.  They have repeatedly stated they are ignorant, but show no inclination to learn.  Their record of obstructionism indicates deliberate actions.

It is a political comic strip.  People will discuss politics.  Lots of people disagree with libertarianism, even more disagree with anarcho capitalism, and even anarcho capitalists disagree with each other about lots of things.  You cannot complain when you discover that not everyone reading the strip is part of the choir.

Sam, your argument is completely orthogonal to Dough's premise and topic, and is a perfect vindication  of his thesis. He clearly indicates that if you want to talk about any topic--political or otherwise--you may do so. Neither he nor anyone else requires you to be "part of the choir." He is merely objecting to having clearly delineated threads hijacked onto irrelevant (to the thread) topics by those who are too lazy to either (a) stay on topic or (b) start their own damned thread. Neither of which you response addresses.

SUGGESTION: Read what dough560 actually wrote and respond to that (if you can), instead of getting all self-righteous about a strawman argument you construct out of whole cloth.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on April 18, 2011, 11:10:48 am
So, should the original thread author lock it up after say one warning? What would be the appropriate response?
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: spudit on April 18, 2011, 12:07:53 pm
This is a neato keen experiment in anarchy.

None of us can stop others from posting gibberish if they want.
But the thread's author can turn it off; call it a veto.

Say person A starts a discussion called "Shoes on low gravity Ceres, are slippers enough?" . The thread is then hijacked into detailed discussions of the Boer War. Frustrated, the starter can ask for a return to subject, demand it or pull the plug. Person A has an interest in the question and ownership, sort of, kinda, in the tool they created to answer it.

So since this forum has no moderator, it is up to us. Was that the idea all along Sandy? How do we keep this online anarchy of discussion going  Beyond asking people to stay on topic, reasoning with them, insulting them, the only tool left is the off switch.

Interesting.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: sam on April 18, 2011, 01:30:36 pm
Sam, your argument is completely orthogonal to Dough's premise and topic, and is a perfect vindication  of his thesis. He clearly indicates that if you want to talk about any topic--political or otherwise--you may do so.

He objects to "illogical discussions" and  "their understanding of libertarianism, apparently nonexistent."

He is complaining about failure of the choir to sing in tune.

In more than half the comic strips one of the characters gives a brief political speech with extreme relevance to current events in the real world.  Are the characters also speaking off topic?

Even if your audience was 100% anarcho capitalist, they would not sing in tune.  Indeed they would be even less likely to sing in tune.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: SandySandfort on April 18, 2011, 03:48:33 pm
This is a neato keen experiment in anarchy.

None of us can stop others from posting gibberish if they want.
But the thread's author can turn it off; call it a veto.

There are two obvious problems with solution.

First, all would-be hijackers would have to do to silence a good thread is to post gibberish. So the original author would have to kill his own intellectual child or let Holt and Contrary Guy blather on about unrelated topics.

Second, it allow the clowns to author their own threads, permit (yea, encourage) crapola, with no one else having a way to return to topic or shut them down.

So since this forum has no moderator, it is up to us. Was that the idea all along Sandy?

Don't ask me; that's a question for management. My guess is that they just bought forum software and accepted its defaults. Also, I wouldn't say the EFT forum doesn't have a moderator. Scott certainly has the power to shut off your water, since this site belongs to Big Head Press.

Now, if it were I, there would be some rules in place to increase the content-to-noise ratio, but without stifling the free expression of ideas, but that situation does not obtain.

How do we keep this online anarchy of discussion going  Beyond asking people to stay on topic, reasoning with them, insulting them, the only tool left is the off switch.

I do not want to get into this discussion (though it is on topic), but I think it would be relatively easy to herd trolls and non-responsive posters to the sidelines. A fairly simple set of, "put up or shut up" rules should do the trick.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: J Thomas on April 18, 2011, 05:18:14 pm
This is a neato keen experiment in anarchy.

None of us can stop others from posting gibberish if they want.
But the thread's author can turn it off; call it a veto.

Say person A starts a discussion called "Shoes on low gravity Ceres, are slippers enough?" . The thread is then hijacked into detailed discussions of the Boer War. Frustrated, the starter can ask for a return to subject, demand it or pull the plug. Person A has an interest in the question and ownership, sort of, kinda, in the tool they created to answer it.

In the short run, nobody will censor the people who post things you don't like, and the people who can moderate probably won't do it a whole lot -- they have more important things to do.

One possibility that might do some good is, when people get onto a particular other topic, someone might post about that topic in "Talk among yourselves". And then the most responsible commenters who are interested in that topic can respond there. The more interesting responses are there instead of here, the more the others who want to discuss that are likely to move there too.

And everybody gets to see who it is that stays here where people don't like what they do. It isn't clear what consequences might result from that common knowledge, but there could be some.

Almost anybody could start the new thread, it needn't be the responsibility of the person who starts the thread that is getting spammed.

Quote
So since this forum has no moderator, it is up to us. Was that the idea all along Sandy? How do we keep this online anarchy of discussion going  Beyond asking people to stay on topic, reasoning with them, insulting them, the only tool left is the off switch.

If you think of it as how can you make sure that people do what you want them to, then there may be no answer short of threats, intimidation, force -- in short, aggression. But when people have a way to get what they want without getting too much in your way, the problem will likely be much diminished even without force. Lots of times people are happy to let you get what you want so long as they can get what they want too.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: quadibloc on April 18, 2011, 05:48:58 pm
Lots of times people are happy to let you get what you want so long as they can get what they want too.
Unfortunately, though, while I can imagine an easy technical solution to most of the problem - even if it's the part that's "orthogonal" to the original post - it's not an easy solution because I don't think it's a setting that standard forum software provides.

Dumping an irrelevant political post in a discussion is bad manners, yes. But it does also happen that, since the comic itself deals with politics, a posting about the comic may elicit responses on both levels. I would love it, for example, if I could respond politically to a post about a comic, but flag my response in such a way that while people would see that I responded in conjunction with the original post, what they would see is a link to a new thread over in "Talk Amongst Y'selves".

Basically, therefore, I see a solution that gives "both sides" what they want is a way to let political responses to an incidental political point made in discussion of the comic here have the higher visibility they would have by being here, without cluttering the threads here by actually being in them.

I don't see the forum structure lending itself to that, however.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: sam on April 18, 2011, 06:06:32 pm
.Dumping an irrelevant political post in a discussion is bad manners, yes. But it does also happen that, since the comic itself deals with politics, a posting about the comic may elicit responses on both levels.

"United Worlds" is obviously the United States only even more Obamized than at present - recall how the first story arc begins with do gooders applying energy conservation to the rest of us that they do not apply to themselves.  That pretty much invites a comment about Al Gore's private jet, which sarcastic comment will probably presuppose that anthropogenic global warming is a great big scam, someone else then defends anthropogenic global warming, and then discussion of the climategate files is relevant, because the hypocrisy depicted in the first strip of the first story arc is the same hypocrisy visible in the climategate files..
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: J Thomas on April 18, 2011, 06:13:40 pm
.Dumping an irrelevant political post in a discussion is bad manners, yes. But it does also happen that, since the comic itself deals with politics, a posting about the comic may elicit responses on both levels.

"United Worlds" is obviously the United States only even more Obamized than at present - recall how the first story arc begins with do gooders applying energy conservation to the rest of us that they do not apply to themselves.  That pretty much invites a comment about Al Gore's private jet, which sarcastic comment will probably presuppose that anthropogenic global warming is a great big scam, someone else then defends anthropogenic global warming, and then discussion of the climategate files is relevant, because the hypocrisy depicted in the first strip of the first story arc is the same hypocrisy visible in the climategate files..

You're doing it here and now. If you want to discuss that, why not start a new thread to discuss that? It could be imagined that you are only providing an example to show how threads get derailed, but this particular discussion is about what people can do to reduce the degree that their threads get derailed. So let's not derail it just yet.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: sam on April 18, 2011, 06:31:11 pm
"United Worlds" is obviously the United States only even more Obamized than at present - recall how the first story arc begins with do gooders applying energy conservation to the rest of us that they do not apply to themselves.  That pretty much invites a comment about Al Gore's private jet, which sarcastic comment will probably presuppose that anthropogenic global warming is a great big scam, someone else then defends anthropogenic global warming, and then discussion of the climategate files is relevant, because the hypocrisy depicted in the first strip of the first story arc is the same hypocrisy visible in the climategate files..

You're doing it here and now.f you want to discuss that, why not start a new thread to discuss that?

I am not derailing this thread to the first strip, nor air conditioning.  I don't want to discuss those things in this thread.

I am providing an example of topic drift:  a hypothetical series of posts, the first directly about the first strip, the next directly relevant to that comment about the first strip, and somewhat relevant to the first strip, next directly relevant to the previous comment - comment drift directly caused by the political parody occurring in the first strip of the series - the fact that some people in the first strip get cooler air conditioning than others will inevitably lead to any thread referencing the first strip drifting to something like the climategate files, and really cannot be stopped from drifting to something like the climategate files.
.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on April 18, 2011, 07:33:36 pm
However, we have "individuals" who insist on going off subject in almost every thread they have posted in.  T

I will admit some measure of guilt here; I have certainly responded to off (thread) topic messages in the past, although I don't recall ever having instigated such a topic change (I add that I am honestly saying that I do not recall doing so; I am not however denying that I may have done this.).

I do note, however, that this phenomenon is commonplace on every unmoderated discussion venue that I have ever participated in, and I have been participating in them for almost 30 years.  I suggest that to be realistic, we cannot eliminate this altogether, but rather try to minimize the more egregious cases -- in particular, trying to ignore "trolls".

Technically, it would also be nice to support replying to a message in a different thread.  It might be nice as well to have some mechanism for dragging the message being responded to into that thread, perhaps replacing it by a boilerplate message saying the message has been moved and providing a link to that message in the new thread; that boilerplate message could also be blocked from any replies.  I've yet to see any software that does this, so I may be offering an innovation that has never been tried. 

Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: Aardvark on April 18, 2011, 08:10:16 pm
Quote
I do note, however, that this phenomenon is commonplace on every unmoderated discussion venue that I have ever participated in, and I have been participating in them for almost 30 years.  I suggest that to be realistic, we cannot eliminate this altogether, but rather try to minimize the more egregious cases -- in particular, trying to ignore "trolls".

Technically, it would also be nice to support replying to a message in a different thread.  It might be nice as well to have some mechanism for dragging the message being responded to into that thread, perhaps replacing it by a boilerplate message saying the message has been moved and providing a link to that message in the new thread; that boilerplate message could also be blocked from any replies.  I've yet to see any software that does this, so I may be offering an innovation that has never been tried. 

Yeah, that's one solution, if it's possible. Another is something that happens a lot on other sites: people remind others who are straying too far too often to keep to the subject or direct them to another thread where that is being discussed. It needn't be rude; almost everyone, me included, likes to jump on something interesting from time to time, regardless of what the thread was about.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: GlennWatson on April 18, 2011, 08:25:10 pm
Honest ignorance is to be expected and cherished for the chance to shine a lite for the ignorant.

However, we have "individuals" who insist on going off subject in almost every thread they have posted in.  Their arguments are usually long winded, generally illogical discussions, generally but not always relating to monetary systems.  Discussions I don't think they understand, even as they try to control subsequent discussion.  Their logic, if you can call it that, is suspect and their understanding of libertarianism, apparently nonexistent.  They have repeatedly stated they are ignorant, but show no inclination to learn.  Their record of obstructionism indicates deliberate actions.

It would be nice to read a thread that generally stayed on subject.  Without these "individuals" chiming in with a post that amounts to "That can't work, because I say it can't work that way."

These "individuals" know who they are.  Word of advice.  Grow-up.

I'm curious.  Are  you referring to me?  I try to stay on thread topic but its hard and once the thread has gone off the rails so to speak I see little harm in following it.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: spudit on April 19, 2011, 12:34:30 am
We all do it, it happens. What we can do is ask nicely and ratchet it up to listen A hole, stop it. That is what makes this interesting. We're spread out across the planet. We can't hurt each other physically. All we can do is ask, reason, insult or shun each other here on the forum.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: dough560 on April 19, 2011, 03:37:32 am
From time to time we have all gone off topic.   What I'm talking about are individuals posting responses which generally boil down to the same response.  "It can't work, because I say it can't."  Regardless of their language, it's the same rant, time and again.  Disagree with them and their manners go downhill. 

I know very well, we are not saints.  Many contributors make excellent arguments establishing their views.  Do I agree with everyone.  No.  But I do try to understand what I don't agree with. 

Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: J Thomas on April 19, 2011, 05:19:47 am
From time to time we have all gone off topic.   What I'm talking about are individuals posting responses which generally boil down to the same response.  "It can't work, because I say it can't."  Regardless of their language, it's the same rant, time and again.  Disagree with them and their manners go downhill. 

And their opposite number, who say "It can't fail, because I say it can't.". And then they both present arguments designed to prove their points without much actual evidence.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: Brugle on April 19, 2011, 11:35:23 am
From time to time we have all gone off topic.   What I'm talking about are individuals posting responses which generally boil down to the same response.  "It can't work, because I say it can't."  Regardless of their language, it's the same rant, time and again.  Disagree with them and their manners go downhill. 

And their opposite number, who say "It can't fail, because I say it can't.". And then they both present arguments designed to prove their points without much actual evidence.


That is very seldom how it works on this forum.  Much more common is that someone (A) makes a bald assertion, as dough560 indicated.  Someone else (B) says that A's statement is wrong and gives a more realistic scenario.  A whines that his ignorant answer is just as valid as B's informed answer.  B suggests that A educate himself by reading one or more of several books or several online articles.  A doesn't (and may, in fact, proudly proclaim his intention to remain ignorant).  Some time later, A claims that B is his "opposite number" and that B doesn't present evidence.

Of course, this pattern doesn't guarantee that A is wrong or that B is right on the point being discussed.  But when this pattern occurs, it is ridiculous to treat A's ignorant views as equivalent to B's informed views.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: mellyrn on April 19, 2011, 02:57:21 pm
Myself, I don't mind.  I've never met a thread that stayed on point, and the worst I can say about it is, when I'm new to a forum and find a thread with a compelling title, I'm a little saddened when the conversational flow shifts away when I, the new reader, am still intrigued with the opening concept.  When I start a thread, it's with a mild curiosity as to where it will go.

Posters will return to topic if & when they take (or renew) interest.  To have a moderator such as panel discussions have would demand a lot of somebody's energy.  So, is this forum a cocktail party or a formal panel?
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: Holt on April 19, 2011, 05:38:30 pm
I propose everyone who identifies themselves by some ideology be banned from the board forever. Yes this includes the author but oh well we must be uncompromising for our struggle to create a better board must be pure and righteous!

Once we have purged the cancer of ideology from this board then finally discussion can begin.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: J Thomas on April 19, 2011, 06:24:38 pm
From time to time we have all gone off topic.   What I'm talking about are individuals posting responses which generally boil down to the same response.  "It can't work, because I say it can't."  Regardless of their language, it's the same rant, time and again.  Disagree with them and their manners go downhill. 

And their opposite number, who say "It can't fail, because I say it can't.". And then they both present arguments designed to prove their points without much actual evidence.


That is very seldom how it works on this forum.  Much more common is that someone (A) makes a bald assertion, as dough560 indicated.  Someone else (B) says that A's statement is wrong and gives a more realistic scenario.  A whines that his ignorant answer is just as valid as B's informed answer.  B suggests that A educate himself by reading one or more of several books or several online articles.  A doesn't (and may, in fact, proudly proclaim his intention to remain ignorant).  Some time later, A claims that B is his "opposite number" and that B doesn't present evidence.

Of course, this pattern doesn't guarantee that A is wrong or that B is right on the point being discussed.  But when this pattern occurs, it is ridiculous to treat A's ignorant views as equivalent to B's informed views.

I have run into the exact same situation with some Christians. When they said they have proof that evolution cannot happen, and I disagreed since I had observed evolution happen, they would then refer me to books and articles that they said prove that evolution can't happen. "Don't argue from ignorance. You have to read the Creation Science literature or you won't know the truth."

The exact same thing, but maybe a little bit different. I would refer them to scientific papers which they refused to read because they said the scientists were biased.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 08:45:03 pm
Quote
I have run into the exact same situation with some Christians. When they said they have proof that evolution cannot happen, and I disagreed since I had observed evolution happen, they would then refer me to books and articles that they said prove that evolution can't happen. "Don't argue from ignorance. You have to read the Creation Science literature or you won't know the truth."

Nobody is making those arguments here, not that it matters very much if there were. The subject is about jamming threads. As many people have said, everyone veers off topic every now and then. When the point of the thread is completely taken over, however, and it becomes like other threads, then all the threads become more tedious to wade through because the title doesn't necessarily reflect what's going on.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: dough560 on April 20, 2011, 06:23:34 am
I deliberately did not name names.  The usual suspects are at it again.  Yes I mean ....
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: mellyrn on April 20, 2011, 08:41:04 am
Let a forum identify itself as either a formal panel sort of thing, where participants are expected to stay on topic, or a more colloquial, happy-hour chat situation. 

When I first started here I was very hesitant to offer the least angle of drift.  As I read my fellow participants' offerings, however, I inferred that the social norm here was informal and accepting of drift, and joined in merrily.

Perhaps instead of imposing the form on the entire forum, though, we could do it thread by thread.  Next time I start one, I'll add "drift-friendly" as warning coloration.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: spudit on April 20, 2011, 10:43:00 am
I was not recomending getting a moderator, just pointing out how since we have no adult supervision, we must be adults.

In the terms of the strip as a thought experiment, it is presumed just enough order to make things easier grows like a crystal given the right conditions.  Forced order like the UW seldom fits and is too clumsy.

Another dry day here, you folks play nice now.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: mellyrn on April 20, 2011, 03:14:04 pm
Quote
since we have no adult supervision, we must be adults.

Sure.  I'd just like to know if we're adults on a formal panel or adults in a pub.  Offline, I can usually tell when I'm in a pub, without needing to be told (when I can't, please take my car keys away).  But there's no beer here to help me make the call, so I thought I'd ask.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: spudit on April 21, 2011, 09:39:29 am
A Pub, in my minds Harry's, the nicest dive on East Colfax in Denver about 12 years ago with my olde gang now all dead or dispersed.
 
Mellyrn, with luck and if I find a trailer, we launch next Saturday.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: orthzar on April 21, 2011, 06:13:16 pm
The capacity of someone to go off-topic in a forum should be just as unhindered as someone speaking about something off-topic in a casual conversation, unless the forum is about serious issues, like a how a company will be changing their privacy policy.   

I nonetheless agree with the OP: PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC!   plzkthnx


Off topic:
"Спасибо большое, очень много инфы нашла на вашем форуме)" = "Thanks a lot, a lot of disk imaging found on your forum)" at least according to Google Translate.  Doesn't quite make any sense.
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: GlennWatson on April 21, 2011, 07:07:24 pm
"Спасибо большое, очень много инфы нашла на вашем форуме)" = "Thanks a lot, a lot of disk imaging found on your forum)" at least according to Google Translate.  Doesn't quite make any sense.

I translated it as, "All your base are belong to us."
Title: Re: Jamming Threads
Post by: SandySandfort on April 21, 2011, 08:09:19 pm
"Спасибо большое, очень много инфы нашла на вашем форуме)" = "Thanks a lot, a lot of disk imaging found on your forum)" at least according to Google Translate.  Doesn't quite make any sense.

I translated it as, "All your base are belong to us."

Good one!  :)