Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I missed the bunfight, but read up on in when I saw this diary.  What had provoked Jerome to such a cri de coeur?

What I found wasn't a spirituality versus rationality debate, or any kind of broader intellectual debate, but rather a few old wounds being reopened - where disagreements had become personalised - and where various nefarious motives where being imputed to others.

I appreciate that the disagreements had roots going back to earlier discussions - some before my time here - but that is the way of conflicts which remain unresolved - they remain troubling below the surface and occasionally flame to the surface again.

I think this is where we reach the boundaries of what is possible on a blog.  Flame wars are easy because of the virtual distance; closure almost impossible, because reconciliation processes are as much physical, emotional, sensuous, and personal - as they are logical, rational and amenable to keyboard communication.  

Once people get hurt in a personal sense there is almost no way back - other than at a meet-up with a trained facilitator perhaps.  The tragedy lies in thinking closure is possible in a virtual world  - we live in a kind of suspended animation on-line - reconciliation is mostly only possible in the real world.

Yes this can distract from cohesiveness, enthusiasm and energy channelled in constructive directions.  It is particularly damaging if a lot of editorial time and energy (and enthusiasm) is sapped in the process.

However the refusal to let these conflicts go is also saying something else:  people care, they want closure, and are upset they can't seem to find a way to create it.

Whilst you may see this site primarily in terms of your agenda, others see it in terms of theirs.
European Tribune - Comments - Beyond ET?

But it's also, somehat mysteriously, attracted other people, who enjoy the mostly respectful atmosphere here, and bring other perspectives - and take advantage of the relaxed, uncensored context to explore aother avenues and, sometimes, yank a few chains. We all need reality checks, so that's not a bad thing, except when people actually get hurt. And words do hurt.

I don't think it is helpful to paint others as the anomaly, as the ones who don't get what this site is about, as the ones who take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere here, as the ones who create the hurt.

The point is they feel they own part of this site too.  They have invested emotionally in it as well, and perhaps they feel they receive a lesser recognition for their contribution.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 19th, 2009 at 09:11:47 PM EST

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