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What Values does ET Represent?

by Frank Schnittger Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:04:15 AM EST

I feel like the half deaf person at a party who keeps missing out on key conversations and then has to asks a bystander what it was all about.  So I'm asking the ET community, what have the recent spats been all about, am I missing something?  Is it all a lot of misunderstandings or do we need to revisit the values on which ET is based?

First Metavision in I apologize for bad form. writes a long apology to all and sundry and I'm wondering what THAT was all about.  Now Melo in Arrivederci ET announces his disillusion and temporary withdrawal from participation from ET and I seem to have missed that conversation as well.

Jacob Freeze (aka FPS Doug) did have a go at me on The  Real Men Want To Go To Moscow which ignited a firestorm of controversy and culminated in his comments being hidden and his ability to delete his diary (and all associated comments) being withdrawn.

As ad hominem attacks go, it was pretty mild, but I felt that a clear and consistent line was being drawn - you can attack an idea, but not a fellow member, and you can't delete other people's comments just because you don't agree with them, and you can't troll post pictures and videos all over the place -  and that all seemed fair enough to me.

What impressed me was that so many people were concerned to uphold those principles and made me feel that this was a place where reasoned debate and membership participation was being encouraged.  It is important that a community which seeks to promote values of equity, fairness, and reasoned debate in society as a whole should also practice what it preaches in its own domain.


It is, of course, important that the ratings system isn't abused to downgrade comments that represent a point of view with which the ET community disagrees, but which are presented in a reasoned way.  Similarly the powers of frontpagers shouldn't be abused to squash dissident contributers.  But I don't think that was the issue here.

That Jacob Freeze (aka FPS Doug) can write knowledgeably and intelligently is not in doubt and I personally would like to read more of his stuff.  I was horrified at some of the BOOM! HEADSHOT videos he has posted on Youtube, but then computerised war games aren't my thing and I suspect he comes from a very different place to many ETers.  However disagreeing with his views (on say Islam) is not a reason for freezing his account - although I am also conscious that there are laws against inciting religious hatred.

We walk a fine line between having rules restricting the means by which views are expressed and restricting certain types of views in themselves.  I personally feel that line was observed in my case but Melo may take a different view in relation to the controversy he is referring to.  It's hard to get it right all the time.

Perhaps now, at the beginning of a new year, and in the context of a redesign of the ET website is a good time to have a debate about what values we are all about, and how these values should be expressed in the "About us" section of the website.  In that way newcomers and old stagers alike can be in no doubt as to what sort of behaviour is likely to be restricted.

It is clear that FPS Doug feels he is being down graded for his content, rather than for his behaviour:
 FPS Doug:

The first sour note on the Chopra thread came from JakeS:

Chopra? Gimme a friggin' break! The man is a class-A woo-woo.

This insulting and obscene comment was still rated 4.0 the last time I looked...

And for some reason metavision is apologizing and the "community" graciously accepts the apology.

Are there actually standards, or is it just tyranny of the majority?

Insouciantly, Jerome a Paris replies:

It's even worse than that, you know (none / 1) It's the tyranny of a minority. No need to hold your punches for us!

He got a "4" from Doug (and only Doug) for that one!  And it is indeed up up to all ET members to rate whatever content they like in whatever way they want without having to justify their preferences.  Undoubtedly it is not just brilliantly expressed comments that get high ratings, but also comments with which most people tend to agree.

Dissident/minority viewpoints are more likely to get fewer positive ratings and more negative ratings, but that is the nature of community itself.  However Troll ratings are reserved for trusted users, and these, presumably are regarded as having sufficient judgment to identify offensive rather than just dissident comment.

I don't have a problem with accommodating myself to the norms of a community if it is a community I want to be a part of.  In my first Diary here, OOPS what am I doing here? I explicitly tried to find out what those norms were, with a view to trying to decide whether this was the right place for me.  I was astonished by the warm welcome I received from people who didn't know me, felt very positively towards the ET community, and who wanted to share their experiences of of it.

So my advice to Doug or anyone else who is feeling unloved here, is to take the trouble to explain who you are and where you are coming from, because misunderstandings are very easy when people only have text to go on.  For instance:
Migeru:

I rated you down for being an <expletive deleted>.

FPS Doug:

Pakistani man wants the life that sixty generations of him have been living ever since the Prophet spelled it out, and it ain't for sale!

I think Migeru misunderstood your comment.  I think you were arguing that the average Pakistani wants to be able to live his Islamic religion as his forbears have dome without being taken over by Western military/political domination and consumer culture and that this is a valid religious choice which is not understood by Westerners who you caricature as:

FPS Doug:

He's Economic Man, still trying to buy Waziristan for a plasma TV and a Cadillac, and he still hasn't got a clue that it ain't for sale.

Some people want to live their faith and don't want to sell out to western "values" and this is incomprehensible to people who think that they can buy everybody and every thing.  Seems a good argument to me even if (IMHO) it caricatures both Pakistani and "western" attitudes.  

But you can't bully people into accepting your point of view.  You have to make your case and relate it to where other people are coming from, and sometimes you just have to accept that you are in a minority.  Respectful communication is the name of the game.  You have a track record of insulting others, so don't be too surprised if others sometimes mis-read and down grade your comments in return.

The key issue and defining moment for any community is how it deals with conflict.  Dealing with opponents respectfully, trying to understand their point of view, clarify misunderstandings, trying to find common ground, and when all else fails, agreeing to differ in a civilised way is part of what I have come to value about ET.  What are the key values implicit in ET from your point of view, and is it time we made them more explicit in the "about us" section of the site?

Display:
To me, the main shared ET inspiration is the desire for change in the world - change to be more fair, more honest, more sharing and caring, and more sustainable in every way for everyone on the planet. All from a secular viewpoint that is quite European, though certainly not exclusively European.

However, as Migeru's playful reference to the Myers-Briggs typology revealed - for what it is worth - there's a bunch of touchie-feelies and also another bunch of academic precisionists here - wrestlers and boxers, I call them. And a lot of others who fall in neither camp or oscillate (mediate?) between the two. This is inevitable in any large 'unselected' group ie with membership not imposed top down. It is also a mix that we shall all have to learn to live with, because our joint creativity - the yin-yang of it (as rg will help us with) - depends on the spontaneity and risk-taking, as much as the careful reasoning.

You mention about not bullying people into accepting your point of view. I agree. It is not enough to be right - you have to persuade others that you are right. The most lasting changes in people are the ones they 'discover' for themselves. Of course they don't really discover these needs for change, they are an accumulation of absorbed information, attitudes and opinions that increasingly mismatch with what the individual thinks makes them happy.

And all change is stressful, whether its a wedding or a funeral. And since ET is about change - it is stressful. We are seeing the results of that stress, because ET is changing us. I have certainly changed.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:03:34 PM EST
As this topic shows up repeatedly. It was me who blocked Jacobs account. A week ago when I looked at the recent comments, there was the same video with the "BOOM! HEADSHOT!" 12 times - he posted it to everyone he disagreed with. I asked him to stop, he didn't. I left a link were people could check the video and started to delete the video, but he reposted them faster then I could delete them. So I marked him as a spammer. At that moment I didn't know what else to do. So he went and created a new account and send me a rather unfriendly e-mail. If he had posted that video only once I would not have reacted.

I have nothing against Jacob, some of his stuff is interesting, but I think spamming is not a solution to express ones own opinion. So, in the end, was me who was responsible for blocking Jacobs account. If you disagree with my reaction, you all should adress your disagreement to me and not to all FP's.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:39:44 PM EST
Deleting his own diary which was full of comments by others wasn't a nice act, either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but that one I was not involved. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this is a bug and either shouldn't be allowed or leave the comments accessible in user's pages. (That's what Scoop did when stories weren't published).

What is the legal status of a diary? Who has copyright on the text, or is there no site policy ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would assume that individual readers have a copyright on their works, however the site dosen't have a legal responsibility to publish individual writers words. in much the same way that a newspaper dosn't have a responsibilty to publish every letter that is written to it.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope it's clear from my diary that I was in agreement with, and supportive of your actions.  My purpose in writing the diary was in part to underline the distinction between disagreeing with someones views and regarding their actions as unacceptable.  

Jacob Freeze (aka FPS Doug) seemed to feel he was being discriminated against because of his views.  I don't think that was the case in this instance, although I do give an instance - in another context - where his comments may have been down rated because of a misunderstanding.

I think it would be helpful if the "About us" section of the site explicitly stated what actions are considered unacceptable.  Some examples we could give include:

  1. Ad Hominem, rude or offensive comments aimed at another contributor

  2. Repeatedly posting the same material all over the site

  3. Deleting Diaries which have attracted comments - which then makes the dairy a collaborative project owned by the ET community as a whole


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:11:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I guess, I misused you diary to make a statement about the situation with Jacob, as it has been mentioned in various places (and his name showed up here again) - so I used this place to clarify. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you misused anything.  It may have been my diary but this is our conversation and people are free to bring up other topics if they so wish As thread originator I don't think I have the right to insist that people should only respond to my diary or using my frame of reference.  

One of Jacob's complaints was that I had deviated from his line of argument and topic of conversation.  Tough.  It happens, and that is one of the beauties of online forums and casual conversations in real life.  No single person "owns" the conversation.  

This is not a university or business seminar where the lecturer/leader rules people out of order if they stray from his topic or frame of reference.  The beauty of the "multi-threaded" discussion format is that people can always pick up on the original argument even as other side arguments are being conducted.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rules of behaviour
Etiquette
Trusted user roles

It isn't more comprehensive because largely ET has been a respectful and civil place to engage in debates and discussions and we don't often see trolling behaviour.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops - I had read these when I joined a couple of months ago - and had already forgotten how comprehensive they are - although I think they could probably reference spamming and deleting diary/comments a bit more specifically.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also A proposed banning policy. by Colman.

Nobody has ever been banned from ET before. We've explained how Jacob Freeze lost his posting privileges, but 1) he has been allowed to create and use a new account; 2) it has been offered to him to reinstate his original account.

Considering his behaviour qualifies as vandalism, he could have been banned by us fucking intolerant lieutenants.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:55:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was about at the time that was happening, and  was just about to phone up another front pager to get him to do the same when I saw you had stepped in.

Some times the only thing to do in situations like that is to kill off a persons privileges and give yourself and them breathing space while you consider what to do.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't htink there was anybody who disagreed with your action over the spamming nature of some of Jacob's "contributions". They wer abusive.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:06:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there is a simple or single answer to your question. Sven touched on some ideas we all share, there are others I'm sure. Socially liberal, economically mixed market with an implicit belief that, whilst the private sector is good at services and commerce, the government has a dominating role in issues of infrastructure and long-term macro-economic planning (although we'd probably argue about the boundaries).

Generally anti-authoritarian. Our irreligiousness come from a rejection of religious command and imposition, our difficulties are over whether spirituality is new-age gobbledegook to be derided or a genuine and worthwhile pursuit (the positions seem irreconcilable).

But also this is a shared space and we expect civility; in the same way as if you were face to face.  Even, no especially, when we disagree. Yet some forget this or seem unknowing of simple politesse. Rudeness is disrespectful of the commons we inhabit. Yes we get angry occasionally and sometimes have to appolgise for it. I indulge sarcasm quite often, but being rude is something I hope I have never done. I hate it when I see it because it diminishes us all. Posting stupid graphics everywhere is juvenile and rude.

I rarely rate comments cos it takes too long, but equally I would only give 4s for comments I believe are worth applauding as being exceptional. I give no ther ranking, I can't see the point.

This is a place for frank exchanges of views, honest discussion and intelligent conversation. For the two years I've been here it has lived up to this, I regard this last week as an aberration.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:03:00 PM EST
OK, lets suppose you are correct in our description of what ET is about and I happen to be a religiously devout, socially conservative, free marketeer and political libertarian who believes in minimal state intervention.  Does that mean I am not welcome here?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Helen's descriptions are at best that of majorities. ET has steadfast contrarians even on widely held views.

I don't think ET has clearly defined values, or should have. That would be limiting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
suppose ....I happen to be a religiously devout, socially conservative, free marketeer and political libertarian who believes in minimal state intervention.  Does that mean I am not welcome here?

Yes, of course you are. On the basis of civility of course, but must accept that such views, being in the minority here, will be challenged and cannot just be repeated as a conventional wisdom as they could be on other more conservative sites.

Equally, I don't think I was making an absolutist point about who we are either. The first sentence is my get-out clause;-

I don't think there is a simple or single answer to your question.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:43:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it depends what you mean by Welcome, Hopefully your opinion would be listened to respectfully, If you have real arguments to deploy, we'd be interested to hear, however it wouldnt be unreasonable to then have your argument picked to bits by the residents.

There are people here who are religious in various forms, and there are some people  who are at the rightward end of the spectrum (Although not very far to the right)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
but must accept that such views, being in the minority here, will be challenged and cannot just be repeated as a conventional wisdom

Grand so, but haven't you just repeated the  conventional majority opinion?  Is that the Group think mentioned by DoDo below?  Is there are greater onus on the minority to prove their case than on the majority?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:57:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How well do you think we dealt with Terry, Frank?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:02:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting one that.  He followed me over from <Timesonline where I have being getting as much free advertising for The European Tribune as I can.  

He has become quite a regular there annoying all the dirigiste French Socialists with his free market libertarian ideas.  Even the "Anglos" on the site usually  take issue with him but he is quite a good exemplar of the neo-conservative Republican line.  Usually he just spouts cliches to really annoy people - almost troll like - but sometimes he forces people to think through their assumptions a bit better.

I doubt he still lurks here (hallo Terry???!!)  because Timesonline has a larger and more popular audience and deals with more "populist" topics.  We had a couple of run-ins and he regards me as an unreconstructed communist but I generally felt I wasn't learning much from the exchanges and thus left him at it.

But his presence here is an interesting example of the argument I am just having with Helen here.  Terry is way off to the right of the ET spectrum, but he is an archetype of the people and ideology which we are battling in the US.  He has changed his tune and style quite considerably since he started on Timesonline and so "constructive engagement" can work.

The question is, is the ET strategy to preach to the converted or to teach and influence Mainstream opinion? - because whether we like it or not Terry represents c. 30-40% of active US political opinion.

Over to you - do you think we're better off without Terry?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was useful to have Terry come, challenge what we were saying, and debate him. Less useful was being told children's scare stories about socialists.

He obviously did what he came here for which was harass you and lecture us, and left.

But he's not the first nor the longest-lived libertarian or "conservative republican" we've had here, nor will he be the last.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:50:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he may have been little surprised at how little respect his truths were granted and how dismissive the responses where.  Some people work best if they can get under other people's skins, and nobody really let him needle them.  They just dismissed him and moved on.  Having engaged with him significantly in the past I was interested to see how people would react here.

The trouble with advertising in MSM is you can't control who follows your links.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he came in after we'd worked through most of the theory he was relying on pretty thoroughly so that spouting libertarian platitudes made him a figure of fun.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:13:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll bite, but only if it's understood that this is a personal opinion, one I've held since the beginning of ET (when I was not a Bad Lieutenant).

No, the purpose of this blog per se is not to influence mainstream opinion. It is what we can build here that I hope may do that, and what we can draw on from this community to get out into the MSM and through whatever other channels we may be able to use. As such I find battles with -- in particular -- US libertarians, as a waste of energy. There is imo enough sharpness here to help us hone our arguments.

Please don't think I'm complaining because Terry came here. C'est la vie :)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:51:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok - I'll stop advertising blogs here on Timesonline.

PS who said you - or any other front pager - was a bad lieutenant?

What I am trying to elucidate here is whether ANY political position on the spectrum is an ESSENTIAL part of the ET value system, or whether the way we go about our business is what BEST defines us - e.g. independence, critical analysis, respect for opposing points of view, collaborative learning, widespread participation etc. etc.

I sense an impatience with the fact that I am even asking the question.  Fair enough, lets move on.  But I wouldn't be here if I felt you couldn't challenge the conventional wisdom of whatever ilk if you felt it was wrong in a particular instance.

Migeru below gives me a hard time for even considering the possibility that Jacob Freeze might have had a point in one of his (more minor) complaints.  Just because Jacob was wrong on some fairly major points of etiquette doesn't mean he is wrong on all points.  Just because Jacob might have had a small point doesn't mean that I am calling you or Migeru a "Bad Lieutenants".

If it is so tiresome to raise the issue, then perhaps rdf is right and perhaps I am in the wrong place.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to advertise ET, it's great that you do that!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:35:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PS who said you - or any other front pager - was a bad lieutenant?

Afew was referring to a comment in another thread.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<sigh>

It was a simple member's comment. It's my view that it's not our job to debate wingers and neolibs. It's not a view that everyone shares. Just my two cents.

In no way did I mean to be aggressive towards you or to show impatience with your question.

Bad Lieutenant was a joke because front-pagers are getting some bad press elsewhere at the moment. To the extent that it is hard to post a simple member's opinion when one is also a front-pager.

So I'm going to shut up for tonight.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:54:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know who the front pagers are and as far as I'm concerned they are as entitled to their views as anyone else.  I think its great there is some sort of editorial board and can't see how the site could function without it.  I am amazed at the dedication and time so many people seem to spend on admin chores and they have my full support.  The impatience I sensed was in a number of other comments  one of which - by rdf - I referenced.  I was genuinely puzzled by whether Terry's arrival here via my link on Timesonline would be welcomed.  If what you say afew:
No, the purpose of this blog per se is not to influence mainstream opinion
represents the mainstream view, then I think the answer is no.  

That has an impact on the question posed by this blog: What Values does ET Represent?  It is saying we are more a think tank for "progressive thinkers" rather than a direct attempt to engage with (US) Mainstream opinion.  Fair enough - I only wanted to know what the implicit (or explicit) strategy behind ET is.

Feel free to comment, even if you are a hated frontpager!!!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US mainstream is very definitely not our target: we're generally more Europe focused.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:27:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was genuinely puzzled by whether Terry's arrival here via my link on Timesonline would be welcomed

It's not unwelcome either. Just one of those things. I'd rather have new people coming in and some of them being annoying rather than not have new people coming in.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to very much support Colman's statement here.

I'd like to address (in some way, it's not easy) a "European/International mainstream." I'm much less interested in ET as a venue to address a "US mainstream" as I feel there are many other venues for that.

That doesn't mean I don't want to discuss with people from the US and about US policy, both are important elements of international politics.

But, as a site, what ET can be special as is a place for a European discourse with an international slant.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is saying we are more a think tank for "progressive thinkers" rather than a direct attempt to engage with (US) Mainstream opinion.

That is a good sumamry of my personal view. Is it the majority opinion? I truly don't know. Probably.

As to who is welcome, I hope you felt that you were. Terry... He's free to comment. Not quite the same...

The front-pagers are listed on the (duh) front page, below right, under the Blogroll. Sorry if this one is a bit touchy tonight, it's this knife I can't get out of me back... (not to be taken too seriously).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:36:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I let everyone off the hook by inserting that (US) in there.  Your original comment said afew:
No, the purpose of this blog per se is not to influence mainstream opinion
but the emerging consensus seems to be that we ARE interested in engaging with European/international mainstream opinion.  I wonder how our American members feel about that!

I'm very good at taking knives out of peoples backs, and I can be a rottweiler when I want to be.  Who was it, let me at him!!!!

Colman, colman stop holding me back.....

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:55:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This blog isn't directly the tool to do it with though. I would see other initiatives coming from here engaging with the mainstream.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:57:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Still, if sites like ET started pulling significant audiences away from MSM (which they are beginning to) doesn't that create a pressure on MSM to respond?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mass media (MSM) is stuck in a trap.

If they move to address the fragmentation of the Information Channels they lose the adjective "mass" and their economic basis.

If they refrain from addressing Information Channel fragmentation they lose their influence.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well lets make it even harder for them!!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their only strategy in that case, would be to adopt the new messages. They would still lose direct political influence for a while, but they would still have access.

But it is a moot point imo. I can't see newspapers lasting too many years in their present formats. The Finnish paper industry is already closing mills at speed, both at home and abroad, in ackowledgement of those newspapers' forthcoming demise. No panic here yet in the fibre industry since 85% of Finnish fibre goes into packaging, not print papers. But there will be some expensive paper machines sitting idle for a while before they get sold off to other markets.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is "their present formats"?

With the multiplication of free newspapers it seems newspapers will not disappear.

If you look at the content of the free newspapers, mostly full of sensationalism or celebrity gossip and of the advertising that makes them viable, and compare it to, say, weekly glossies (where the audience pays to see the ads and the gossip and pseudo-wisdom), maybe what has its days numbered is the "broadsheet" newspaper as a mass product.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:38:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their present format is to deliver a loyal target audience to advertisers.

Free newspapers do not differ in this.

The market for LWC and super-calendared paper is still holding up (glossies, ad mailings, brochures, catalogues etc.) But even a couple of those have been closed by Finnish companies recently.

Basically many newspapers in the US and Europe are losing a few % sales each year and it is beginning to add up. Add to that the loss of classified ads. Circulation loss is unimportant as far as income, but loss of readers is hugely important in retaining a share of the total ad spend. A formerly wide-circulation Finnish newspaper 'Talous Sanomat' recently abandoned print altogether to focus entirely online - where they had built up a similar audience, or should I say 'community'

And interestingly even the ad spend is shifting (in Finland) with a move away from msm toward seminars, training, sponsorship and trade fairs.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and of the advertising that makes them viable,

Are they?

In France they are mostly losing money. It seems their real utility is providing influence to their owner ; the adds cover a part of the losses, but certainly not all of them.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:59:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find the whole thing throughly enjoyable.

The pluts have been pissing away their money buying newspapers at the exact moment, as you say, they are losing their major influence, importance.

Double butter on my popcorn, please.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. I just can't imagine why there are people buying stagnant print media at p/e 20 when they can get deep sea oil drillers with immense growth rates at p/e 10.

Buying influence is the only explanation.

Oh, and incompetence. Never underestimate incompetence.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
p/e ratios are not comparable across industry sectors.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was kind of the argument...

By the way, when you look at the PEG it becomes utterly preposterous.

And one more thing, buying companies not to maximize profits, is that not the thing we are supposed to stop those sovereign wealth funds from doing?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:58:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The (US) is non-essential on this point, for me. I don't see ET (as at present constituted) as a forum for directly influencing mainstream opinion, full-stop. The operative word being directly.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also am not interested in it, simply because enough of my time is already take up more locally - though I am interested in non-mainstream US opinion. That does not preclude careful observation of what goes on in the US, because it can affect us all.

I've always found a mainstream American very difficult to discuss with, and thus any attempt to influence those opinions is beyond my talents.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US and UK have huge cultural differences glossed-over by the fact we speak dialects of the same Mother Tongue.

Me duck.

(Whatever that means.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if we have to explain me duck...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:38:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is simply an anatidaen greeting of a tolerant type applicable to all, regardless of age, gender, race or relationship. It originates from the East Midlands of England, where divers and dabblers abound.

I advise against it's use except when in the locale or speaking to inhabitants or former inhabitants. It can also cause problems in France where it can be confused with Medoc.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:42:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't confuse it with Médoc, believe me, me duck.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
East Midlands English - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Though spoken less commonly today, the dialect of the East Midlands has been investigated in notable texts such as the affectionately titled Ey Up Mi Duck[3] series of books (and an LP) by Richard Scollins and John Titford. These books were originally intended as a study of Derbyshire Dialect, particuarly the distinctive speech of Ilkeston and the Erewash valley, but later editions acknowledge similarities in vocabulary and grammar which unite the East Midlands dialects and broadened their appeal to the region as a whole.

"Ey Up" is a greeting of uncertain origin used widely throughout the North Midlands and South Yorkshire, and "Mi Duck" is thought to be derived from a respectful Anglo Saxon form of address, "Duka" (Literally "Duke"), and is unrelated to waterfowl. [4] Non-natives of the East Midlands are often surprised to hear men greet each other as 'Mi Duck.' [5]



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No no that's all wrong ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you en gunna get mi wi thattun.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyroad, I'm off to bed.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Written out that way, it sounds strikingly similar to a strong Southern US drawl.  Odd.
by Zwackus on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I am trying to elucidate here is whether ANY political position on the spectrum is an ESSENTIAL part of the ET value system, or whether the way we go about our business is what BEST defines us - e.g. independence, critical analysis, respect for opposing points of view, collaborative learning, widespread participation etc. etc.

As Steve Colbert says "Facts have a liberal bias". So really all you're asking is a variant on the chicken-egg question. Are we liberal because we are committed to reality-based policy or are we committed to evidence based policy cos we're liberals ?

It's the same thing you hear right-wingers moaning about the liberal bias at the BBC. Can a conservative really stay true to their beliefs without ignoring the eividence. I have my doubts.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:02:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I beg to differ! (;-)) I am not a liberal.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:
Facts have a liberal bias

If what you say is true, then there is no need to mention the words liberal, left-wing, or progressive anywhere on the site.  We are simply an evidenced based, independent think tank and any views we express are simply a logical consequence of that.  That should open the site up to people who may be coming from a conservative background, but who are open to evidence based, factual, independent thinking and who may be changed by the experience.  Or is this stretching our comfort zone too much?  Do we need the warm woolly blanket of the progressive label to keep out those cold conservatives - open to new ideas or not?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:32:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a fair few of us who find those labels a bad fit anyway. "Progressive" is just a way of avoiding the bad press attached to 'the left' in the US, liberal is too confusing to use any more and 'left-wing' apparently includes New Labour and Bertie.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain progresista is not a very good thing either. It has been abused a lot. It is used by the PSOE to avoid calling themselves left. The lefties from the 1960's and 70's acquired the deprecatory label progre and the right wing bloggers call the PSOE or anyone calling themselves progresista a progretarra after etarra (basque for ETA member).

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:38:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this is where I am coming from.  All my life people have been trying to label me and I have made it into a bit of an art form trying to avoid those labels.  I know they are only meant to be a short-hand descriptor of roughly where you sit in a spectrum, but they can also be an easy way out for others to dismiss you.  Our arguments have to stand on their own merits and simply saying they are progressive cuts no ice with me whatsoever.  A bad "progressive" argument is worse than a "good" conservative argument because it undermines the "progressive cause".  It can also be a lazy way to gain acceptance when you haven't really made your case at all.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:12:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
We are simply an evidenced based, independent think tank and any views we express are simply a logical consequence of that.
Yes, I like that.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:23:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a purely personal view, I'd ask you to compare ET's values in some ways to a "big tent" "centre-left" "political party" (and yes, all those scare quotes are necessary.)

The point being that I think we can deduce a centre of gravity for the community, but at the same time, just like a big party, it's actually a number of people who form differing disagreeing groups depending on the issue.

The zeitgeist is not easy to sum up, one can list issues where there is large amounts of agreement (e.g. government shouldn't be drowned in the bathtub, the Washington/neo-liberal consensus on economics is flawed, war is a very dangerous means of foreign policy, peak oil looks like a real incoming problem, the EU is basically a good thing, and many more.)
But, I don't know if that's what you're after, when you say "what values does ET represent?"

One is wary of saying "ET represents" much as one is wary of saying "dailyKos represents" because of the multiplicity of voices and the generic disagreements. Certainly I feel not at all confident to say to an interviewing journalist "this is what ET is about as a political movement."

Which perhaps brings me to some philosophical thoughts:

1) In a lot of ways ET is so far mostly just a community, rather than a movement. It doesn't represent very formally, rather it tends to just exist.

[Note: I don't say that to frustrate you or duck the issue, more to recognise the difficulties I outline above and the fact that ET has not developed a representational project very much so far.]

2) What is the essence of the community? Internationalism is some major part of it. And that's why there is often a sense of a great deal of exaggerated ritual around evidence and civility in discussions. We come here to be in touch with things beyond our backyards. Many of us have lived in a number of different places. Many of us are even interested in much further zones that just "Europe" but I think there is a strong sense that the "European ideal" of nations coming closer together, that people should have more freedoms to travel and interact with those abroad, etc. is all an important thing.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I've been taking a beating lately and my patience is wearing thin...

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having spent 30+ years in argumentation with Conservatives, Objectivists, Right Wing Libertarians, and 'All that Crew' my tolerance for their vacuousness has evaporated.  By "argumentation" I specifically mean "the use of effective and correct reasoning in ethical dialectic."  Offsetting this is my interest in constructing, somehow, a body of work refuting the Right's ideologies.

As to

The question is, is the ET strategy to preach to the converted or to teach and influence Mainstream opinion?

My answer is, "Yes."

Both intellectual validation and persuasion are worthy goals and can be carried on simultaneously.  How individuals approach those tasks - should they have an interest - is, of course, up to them.  

By validation I mean the psycho-epistemic realization, "Hey!  I'm not alone AND my ideas have intellectual respectibility."

By "persuasion" I mean someone accepting a statement, proposition, or conclusion due to acceptance of the reasons supporting the statement, proposition, or conclusion.  I have zero interest in establishing the 'The Left Church of ATinNM: Semiotic, Epistemological, & Post-Modernist."

From all this I don't give a damn about 'Terry' lurking or engaging as long as 'he' obeys the norms of ET.  Repeating myself, my basic tenet is posting on ET is a Privilege, not a Right.  
 

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:04:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed on all points

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, this much-vaunted Groupthink. This is a majority (if you insist on the caveat) progressive/liberal website. So, yes, there is a cw running in that direction, but within that broad statement there is a considerable diversity (and disparity) of views and it sure doesn't feel like I'm enjoying the warm glow of groupthink when I'm having my "dumb" opinions, "shoddy" evidence and "sloppy" thinking utterly trashed. Which seems to happen, on average, about once a week.

Of course a minority viewpoint has to prove their case, just the same as I do. But if, say, somebody wants to come on and suggest that the Iraq war has been a success on the terms bush claims, then you have to accept we're gonna greet it with a lot more skepticism than one we're more inclined towards. That's not an anti-right wing plot, that's human nature.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really object to groupthink being applied to this situation.

Contributers may well have a tendancy towards a certain area of the political spectrum (I'm sure somebody could point you in the direction of results and discussion on that) and in broad terms we are probably looking in roughly the same direction but when you break it down to individual topics, approaches, ways of thinking, backgrounds, locations, there is huge diversity here.

I personally hope to minimise aggressive conflict because it is unpleasant and intimidating and does nothing for constructive debate and dialogue. That does not in any way amount to suppressing discussion or variety of opinion.  We wouldn't have so many excellent diaries with long discussion threads if we were all bleating a conventional majority opinion.

And we do challenge each other - sometimes people agree totally on one topic and then on another will be debating it out til the cows come home.

The implication from various people that the front page team is acting as a groupthink or as scrambling leiutenants is utterly unfair.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a note - compared to the various web forums I have frequented over the times, of those that have as large a breadth of subjects, ET is the quietest and most civil. Flame wars are inherent to the concept ; Usenet used to be a pretty violent place.

It seems there is no trolling (another frequent aspect of web forums), and most posters are sincere, and don't particularly incite angry exchange.

Maintaining this state does require some policing... Do you know what has become of kuro5hin, the first scoop site, long overran by trolling ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:10:36 PM EST
I add that ET has this effect on posters, too. Start with me: I have some history of flame wars on other forums.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:36:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gresham's Law as applied in social cybernetics:

Boorish behavior drives out civilized behavior.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I invite you to go to yesterday's Open Thread, where I posted a list of the most-commented ET threads -- most of which are a record of previous big fights on ET -- and read into some of them.

A lesson is that there are different faultlines running across the community in opinion, with who is in a majority and who not depending on the issue.

The good news is that ET as a community came back after each of the previous big fights, despite then also hurt feelings and perceived and real insults, and continued disagreements.

The bad news is that presently, a not sizeable part of the regular readership (who have the sympathy of even wider parts of the readership) have developed what I will pointedly and with honest conviction characterise as a groupthink, about frontpagers acting in unison, with the same (and one-sided) opinion and oppressively. Then it becomes impossible to say or do anything without being put into this frame (see the Jacob Freeze story), and assumption of ill will will take precedent over the ET norm of pondering whether you've mis-understood the other. This is not about values but group dynamics. I hope we will come back from the brink again (and there were a number of signs towards the end of the blow-up diaries -- it was the Boxing Day punch up material thread by Chris Cook and Hostility to the notion of limits to growth by Jerome a Paris; have you read them?), but clique formation is still a danger.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:26:15 PM EST
I've read some of the stuff and am always a bit surprised when things get so personal.  I think you would really need to know and understand the individuals involved to understand what set them off.  Is there a resident psychotherapist on ET?  It would be quite interesting to do an analysis of the pie fights to see what the common factors are.  Is it ego, is it political differences, is it mutual incomprehension, why do people feel the need to get personal?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a resident psychotherapist on ET?

Yes, whataboutbob, but he doesn't have much time recently.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - What Values does ET Represent?
However disagreeing with his views (on say Islam) is not a reason for freezing his account - although I am also conscious that there are laws against inciting religious hatred.
Oh, for crying out loud. Jacob lost the ability to adit his own diaries for deleting one with over 80 comments, and he lost his ability to post when he started spamming his own diary by replying to every comment he disapproved of with an FPS Doug Boom Headshot youtube.

That he has created and been allowed to keep another account is a testament to the fact that this place is more tolerant than it needs to be. I even replied to a complaint by FPS Doug whether he wanted his Jacob Freeze account reinstated instead, and got no reply.

Not to speak of the fact that before Jacob Freeze went batshit insane (see first paragraph above) I engaged his diaries in good faith as best I could - not that half the time I found his writing very coherent, but never mind, and even promoted some of his stuff to the front-page.

So 1) give me a break; 2) get the facts right before judging.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:47:50 PM EST
Migeru:
Oh, for crying out loud. Jacob lost the ability to adit his own diaries for deleting one with over 80 comments, and he lost his ability to post when he started spamming his own diary by replying to every comment he disapproved of with an FPS Doug Boom Headshot youtube.

Exactly the point I was making, and I agreed with you then and now.

European Tribune - What Values does ET Represent?

We walk a fine line between having rules restricting the means by which views are expressed and restricting certain types of views in themselves.  I personally feel that line was observed in my case but Melo may take a different view in relation to the controversy he is referring to.

Migeru:

So 1) give me a break;

I am - I think you have acted in exemplary fashion with the possible exception of a misunderstanding of one of Jacob's comments which led you to downgrade it - but not by as much as some others. A minor mistake if it happened and one I was simply using to illustrate the difficulty of drawing a line between abusive /derogatory/racist comments and one that may actually be making a valid if not very clearly expressed argument.

Migeru:

2) get the facts right before judging.

doing my best

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the part Migeru quoted could be (mis)read as saying, the Jacob Freeze account was frozen for talking ill of Islam.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:22:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate meta diaries. They become an end in themselves. It is one of the things about dKos which has led me to cut back on my participation there.

In any group of people there are going to be those who are psychologically impaired in some fashion. They may be excessively dogmatic or sociopaths or bullies or have some other anti-social characteristic.

"Liberals" tend to put up with such people for a longer period of time that "conservatives". A couple of comments that go against the prevailing dogma on a conservative authoritarian site will get you banned (I speak from experience). This is part of the nature of the conservative-authoritarian personality type that tends to run such sites.

I'm a big believer in freedom of speech, but I also think there is a need for a degree of enforcement of socially acceptable behavior. I'm willing to cede this function to the site's administrators. I have trusted user status, which I don't think I've ever used. I'm just not interested in enforcing decorum, but I see the place for it.

If a person joins who abuses their privileges then take the appropriate action, but don't lets turn this into a cause celebre, that's just a distraction. I've noticed a trend of late for more personal diaries and general meta discussions (such as how one chose their screen name). A bit of this is probably good for fostering a sense of community, but there are enough other places for those who want to discuss interpersonal relationships to hang out.

This site was established so that serious policy issues could be discussed with a wider audience than the US-based sites provide. The problems facing the planet aren't getting any easier, so if you find yourself talking about people on the site (including yourself) frequently, perhaps this isn't the right place for you.  

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:09:24 PM EST
Except that one of the planet's problems that isn't getting any easier is how we all talk to each other and understand each other.

There are some of us (and I am one of them) who believe that cooperation rather than competition might help to solve some of these problems.

And BTW the metaness is almost certainly a seasonal phenomenon ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:25:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I feel compelled to point out that we've had a fair few bitter and poisonous discussions of late and a little bit of navel gazing as to how we allowed that to happen may be no bad thing.

Plus, I often write my diaries from a personal point of view...I hope you don't mean me

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using one's life experience as a hook on which to hang an essay is an established literary tradition. In fact, I've suggested that you do more of this since you are now living in a place that most of us know little about.

I contrast this with comments and diaries which are devoted to discussing other people (usually negatively). If you don't like someone, either because of their point of view or their behavior, then ignore them. There are several people on this site who I don't find interesting to read, so I don't.

Much bad blood is enhanced by the poor state of blogging software. When Usenet was in flower the software used to read the discussions allowed the end user much more control over what they saw. Of particular value was the ability to filter out specific topics by keyword as well as by user. This made the high noise to information ratio manageable.

It would be a benefit if similar features found their way into blogging software.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 03:54:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rdf:
Much bad blood is enhanced by the poor state of blogging software. When Usenet was in flower the software used to read the discussions allowed the end user much more control over what they saw. Of particular value was the ability to filter out specific topics by keyword as well as by user. This made the high noise to information ratio manageable.
Truer words were never spoken.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:43:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're not all very good I'll start a new "meta-diary" asking everyone to nominate the "keywords" and "users" they would filter out if Scoop gave them that functionality!!!!!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:38:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we should use the Myers-Briggs test to filter out the worst mis-matches. But the very least, Migeru and melo should be made mutually  invisible.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:53:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Should we do a Myers-Briggs ET chart to sit alongside the Political Compass?

Of 12 ETers whose types I know, all are N, which is less common than S according to (I presume US) statistics.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you re-done the ET Compass script yet?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 07:06:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll do it tomorrow.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 07:16:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
does that mean I can get in on the compass?

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 08:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can get on at the bottom of this page.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Myers-Briggs is as dumb as the Political Compass. But people love doing tests...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:07:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes, both are of limited use. But both show up interesting correlations with what we already observe ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
interesting correlations with what we already observe ...

I thought we agreed that common sense is often an obstacle to scientific knowledge...;-)

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the record: I did express my serious problems with Myers-Briggs when Migeru first brought it up, but indeed there are some interesting correlations in the current affair. I brought it up upthread with a dose of cynism and sarcasm, after I discovered yet another episode of said unstoppable animosity in another thread.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:50:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Worse: in my view, by creating simplistic categories while the reality of human psychology is much more complex and contrasting them with one another to create dichotomies while these qualities ("attitudes", "functions" and "lifestyles") coexist and interact, this test favours preconceptions and even, sometimes, prejudices.

For example, contrasting thinking and feeling is in contradiction with all the knowledge developed by the modern cognitive sciences.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
M-B doesn't give you discrete categories but a gradation. For instance, I am:
Introverted (I) 64% Extraverted (E) 36%
Intuitive (N)   68% Sensing (S)     32%
Thinking (T)    90% Feeling (F)     10%
Perceiving (P)  55% Judging (J)     45%


We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:39:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
M-B doesn't give you discrete categories but a gradation
Maybe, but the result is not a grade on a scale but a dichotomic categorisation: you're either Thinking or Feeling.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The statistical validity of the MBTI as a psychometric instrument has also been subject to criticism, in particular, the dichotomous scoring of dimensions. For example, it was expected that scores would show a bimodal distribution with peaks near the ends of the scales. However, scores on the individual subscales are actually distributed in a centrally peaked manner similar to a normal distribution. A cut-off exists at the centre of the subscale such that a score on one side is classified as one type, and a score on the other side as the opposite type. This fails to support the concept of type--the norm is for people to lie near the middle of the subscale.

BTW, I had a look at the test and I find many items highly questionable from a methodological point of view. For example, these questions:
"You tend to be unbiased even if this might endanger your good relations with people"
"Strict observance of the established rules is likely to prevent a good outcome"
"It is in your nature to assume responsibility"
"You easily see the general principle behind specific occurrences"

I find several problems:
These questions use polysemous words without clarifying their definition
Many of them are value-charged
A great number could/should be answered by something else than YES or NO
The whole test presupposes you have an objective vision of yourself...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:10:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree entirely.  I've been subjected to M-B and similar tests on a number of occasions (mainly when I was briefly studying for a master's degree in education, an effort mercifully abandoned before it did too much damage) and have never found any of them terribly illustrative or insightful.  I don't think they measure what they purport to measure fairly well, and I personally don't easily fit into those boxes -- so at different times have gotten different results, especially on the T/F scale, but on the other ones as well.  Why on Earth would I want to think of myself as a certain "type" if I'm barely two percentage points away from being a different "type," especially when I haven't the faintest idea how to answer a good chunk of the questions because they're bizarrely worded?

The traditional approach to some tests (not necessarily M-B) even tends to view people who are "undifferentiated" as somehow dangerous, rather than as, uh, well-rounded.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm INFJ - but an astounding moderate one at that (Introverted 33, Intuitive 6, Feeling 38, Judging 1).

Apparently this makes me a Counselor type. Which I would find flattering.

Keirsey Temperament Website: The 4 Temperaments

The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and enterprising and attentive in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

BTW, if there will be a B-M compass, I think everyone should do the same test. I just googled my way to one.

by Nomad on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO, it has the same scientific validity as the following which describes perfectly my personality - NOT!:

Astrological Character profile- Cancer

You are innately attached to your family and are patriotic, maternal and imaginative. Although quiet, conscientious and receptive, you are deeply concerned with what others think of you. You need to feel needed, and through genuine concern for humanity you can overcome your natural shyness. You like to cook and entertain, and you are an avid collector. When necessary you can be manipulative to achieve your aim, which is emotional security. You need a quiet place for retreat, since you respond so strongly to influences in your environment.

You are domestic by nature and from here comes your protective instincts... Your temper is uneven; you flare up quickly but soon forget the cause of your outburst. You often assert your 'me first' tendencies.

You are very emotional and you can be swayed too easily by your senses. Arguments arouse your stubbornness because once you make up your mind you stick to your decision. Impressionable and changeable, you are sensitive to your surroundings; kindness and praise are the best ways to get through to you... you might have trouble thinking objectively, since your emotions are always involved. This could lead to feeling sorry for yourself...



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 06:58:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I worked my way through the other personality types and I too was reminded of *cough * astrology...
by Nomad on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 07:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking of writing a melodrama in 4 acts, with scrambling lieutenants and parts for introverts, Extroverts, Intuiters, sensors, thinkers, Feelers, perceivers,  and judges.  You guys can do the casting.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 07:49:13 AM EST
There are no sensors here that I can see :-)

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK but please not a melodrama, we've had one of those!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A farce would seem more fitting...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:32:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An opéra bouffe?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:01:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I'll provide the bouffe...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:03:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tant que c'est pas des bouffes dans la gueule....
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:09:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tu préfères une tarte ?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm... Tatin...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 10:12:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Si c'est moi qui t'en colle une, tu peux être sûr que la tarte t'atteint !

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:10:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ouille!

(I'm not sure a subjunctive wasn't violated in the construction of that pun...)

Aïe! Ouille! <runs away>

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure a subjunctive wasn't violated in the construction of that pun..

From the verb "ouiller" (que j'ouille, que tu ouilles...)?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:45:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought it was from Jacques Ouille la fripouille of literary and cinematic fame...
by redstar on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A metadrama then?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eek!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to call it

"The French Lieutenant's Omen"

Act one scene 1

Two lieutenants, one French, one Spanish are scrambling around in search of cybercriminals who have committed offences against the moral order of cyberspace...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:26:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As long as the French Lieutenant gets all the Omen in the end...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:44:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he gets scrambled...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds downright Cornelian.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:59:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Enter Anchovis, Kant and Fool

Kant: Doest thou have a Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God?

Anchovis: Take physics, you pimp! Expose thyself to feel what scientists feel, that thou mayst shake the superstring to them, and show the heavens more just.

Fool: This cold diary will turn us all to fools and madmen.

exeunt

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explicitly:  "Community, Politics, Progress"

Beyond that, it is true that most members value respect, civility, intellectual rigour and the free exchange of ideas.  Not all but most.  And those who do not sometimes find another place to go, but sometimes they stick around and eventually come to embrace those values themselves.  Not because anyone tells them to, not because it's a requirement, not because it's "who we are," but because they see it in action, often successfully, and appreciate the kind of atmosphere it engenders.

Once you start compiling a list of "our values," we start defining ourselves against others, closing them out.  I think it's more constructive to leave the door open and address/debate/agree to disagree on certain "values" as the issue of them arises.  Not only does it create a interesting discussion, but it also forces you to come back and repeatedly reassess or defend your "values."  And doing that can be a great learning experience.

Not to mention that I may not share a certain value with one person (perhaps on the issue of spirituality) but may enjoy great solidarity with them regarding something else (human rights issues.)  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:00:05 PM EST
Once you start compiling a list of "our values," we start defining ourselves against others, closing them out. I think it's more constructive to leave the door open and address/debate/agree to disagree on certain "values" as the issue of them arises. Not only does it create a interesting discussion, but it also forces you to come back and repeatedly reassess or defend your "values." And doing that can be a great learning experience.

I couldn't agree more. We are defining our values "chemin faisant".

BTW, poemless, I think I'm too often agreeing with you. Couldn't we find a topic about which we might savagely flame each other? Apart from Putin's sex-appeal...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 02:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, poemless, I think I'm too often agreeing with you. Couldn't we find a topic about which we might savagely flame each other?

Theory 1.  You've gone and developed a crush.  Eventually you will come to your senses and see me for the deeply flawed and irritating person I really am, and you will snap out of it.  Until then, you will either agree with me profusely or look for ways to create unnecessary but exciting friction between us (matters over which we can "savagely flame each other.")  

Theory 2.  You're just brilliant and right about everything ... except Putin.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:19:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theory 2 has been empirically validated many times... except regarding Putin

However, these theories do not preclude each other, so we have to set up an experiment to validate or invalidate theory 1...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need an experiment to invalidate Theory 1?  What do you suggest?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 03:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using your own words: to look for ways to create (unnecessary but) exciting friction between us...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You see, this is why I feel like we can't really discuss "values" with any moral authority.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:34:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and what has "exciting friction" got to do with a lack of moral authority?

This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship

And we saw it developing here first folks!

Bookmark this page - in marks the initiation of an interesting new synthesis in ET values...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, Frank, the romance!

Once a boy told me he loved me, and I accused him of ruining a perfectly good evening.

I have no idea why you need to know that.  But you do.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 05:21:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
Oh, Frank, the romance!

Once a boy told me he loved me, and I accused him of ruining a perfectly good evening.

I have no idea why you need to know that.  But you do.  

Did you think I was about to propose?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:04:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never pretended to have any moral authority. Amoral authority, however...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 04:48:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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