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I'm sorry I have no time now to reply further than this: my question certainly was not a hostile rejoinder. As you know, Frank, I've said to you before in suitable/unsuitably expressive terms that I was tired of people complaining about ET: so I'm all the same interested in why it is that one can say something as absolute as that mutual respect and trust have broken down, and yet still keep coming here. Your comment makes the place sound horrible. So I think my question was a fair one.

I'll get back to this tomorrow, I'm on my way out.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:06:20 PM EST
Thanks, Afew or your response. I appreciate how exasperated you are at almost any criticism of ET no matter how diplomatically couched, and how little credit you feel frontpagers get for the very time consuming and difficult job they do. There are also, of course, many positives about ET which I have tried to do justice to in this diary and which are why I do come back form time to time, even if in a less fully engaged way.  

Ultimately you have, collectively, the power to pull the plug on ET which is more or less where the last spat ended up.  It was clearly enunciated that it was your way or the high way and that people shouldn't assume that ET would be continued indefinitely.  That is absolutely your prerogative and I don't have a problem with an editorial board making editorial decisions.  

I am a guest here and don't want to outstay my welcome.  I would rather leave ET altogether than see it fold.  However I also feel that some of the problems have been exacerbated by frontpagers who take any criticism of ET or other dissenting views in a very personal way and have occasionally responded in a very personalised way.  That is not to say, of course, that all those criticisms or dissenting views on other topics have been justified.  Simply that (in my view) they could best have been handled differently.  

I am going to leave this conversation at this point because my experience is that my views on this simply aren't accepted and seem to inflame others.  My intent in posting this considered diary response to your challenge was to be constructive and helpful, not to dig up old wounds.  I DO think that a lot of mutual respect and trust has been lost, and this certainly explains my reluctance to engage further.  But I also don't see any way of resolving that problem any time soon, which is why I think it best that we just walk away from the issue at this stage.  Being a Devils advocate can damage your health.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:56:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been rather busy with fundamental life changes - and I feel a bit like an outsider. I also deal with written language poorly. So I haven't been around all that much in the last few months.

That said, ET was extremely important in my wife and I in our planning on how we were going to cope with the economic downturn - (and hence our fundamental life changes.)

We weren't confident enough to short AIG - but we did "bet the farm" more or less. Part of what gave us the confidence was ET.

I have on occasion, briefly popped in and peaked at what was being posted. One of the people I have always looked for was you, Frank. I like to read what you have to say, and I want to read more.


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 02:31:07 PM EST
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I wouldn't bet the farm on my economic advice!  Hope things are going well for you...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 03:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's too early to tell. We bought just under 9 acres - most of it wooded and with a stream (and under environmental protection) and are entering very early retirement on a shoestring with a moderate mortgage but no other debt. Our fear was that we would be entering a depression on massive debt and high leverage with a somewhat recession proof, but not depression proof form of self employment.

We did some talking with stock brokers who seemed to be of the opinion of:

  1. things aren't gong to get that bad
  2. things are better in Canada than the US and aren't going to get that bad.
  3. invest in stocks - they are a good investment and things aren't going to get that bad.
  4. even if things get that bad it will be soon over and you should invest in stocks.

The discussions in ET were of significantly higher quality.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 03:43:09 PM EST
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ET is not disconnected to the rest of the world, it reflects it.

the human flaws i see daily in the big world showed up here, and were (un)dealt with in exactly the same way.

the good things about this place covered up the damage and routed round it, but the damage was never undone, because there lacked the courage collectively to name the real problems, and the issues went back to sleep.

any time ET fails any of us, there is a salutary effect, namely that we cast further into the blogosphere for truth, and stop lazily wanting one-stop shopping. this then gets sometimes fed back into ET to enrich the mix.

as with many enterprises ET started with a smallish family, which then grew to a big one, to a tribe, to a large pool of invisible lurking nameless eyes.

some will stay, some will go, some will amp up, some down, all in asymmetric cycles!

but i wouldn't be surprised if in 5 years there hadn't been at least one 100% rotation of all the FP's, and many poster who now are daily fodder will have melted away or moved on.

there was a moment there where i thought we were out into the blue and bound for the sun, untrammelled by the usual banalities of most human groups, then the same old double standards we see so often in meatworld popped up here and were officially entrenched into the very structure of the edifice, but hey...

we still want to learn more about the worlds we inhabit through vibrant discourse, and we still have (most of) that, thank FSM.

why i thought ET would be so special as to avoid the oldest traps in the human psyche is beyond my weak brain to understand, pretty dumb that way, i guess that's why i said trust is a renewable resource.

to cut to the chase, i think there are some funny looking lumps under the rug, and have learned to walk around them and appreciate the company and decor of the place anyway.

(just like meatworld, heh...)

has it got less fun lately? yup.

would it have been better if the flamewars had been moderated more um, respectfully? i think so, but who cares what one blogger thinks? i won't really know until i have my own blog and something similar happened. so easy to criticise from the outside...

sometimes it's fitting that the individual adapt to the surroundings when he solipsistically realises he's been expecting the opposite, lol!

it's been a great experience, for good and ill.

just like real life

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 10:34:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Part of the problem (or the problem itself) is that we are all of us ignorant of how to constructively conduct disputes online (granted that it's hard enough in meatspace).

With the best motives imaginable, we are apt to say something to set someone off stating something on the basis of our own unexamined assumptions. For example:

Frank Schnittger:

I appreciate how exasperated you are at almost any criticism of ET no matter how diplomatically couched, and how little credit you feel frontpagers get for the very time consuming and difficult job they do

That sentence contains two different surmises, to which I personally would assign different likelihoods (my own personal surmise!), but neither of which I consider by any means a certainty. When he reads those lines afew might (or might not!) consider them condescending, mistaken or beside the point, and... well, onward and downward, really.

I don't mean to pick on you, merely illustrate unintended consequences.

Frank Schnittger:

I am going to leave this conversation at this point because my experience is that my views on this simply aren't accepted and seem to inflame others.

Come on, is that really fair?

And is it really accurate to speak of views in a meta diary? I always thought they were about feelings?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 5th, 2009 at 09:02:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx has picked up on a couple of obvious points in your comment, Frank, and (though he takes care not to say it that openly) they can fairly be read as inflammatory.

I appreciate how exasperated you are at almost any criticism of ET no matter how diplomatically couched

Thank you for "appreciating" that I may not have stopped beating my wife. Or, in other words, there's an implied ad hominem there. My comment to you above seems quite measured to me - you might quote "your comment makes the place sound horrible", but that I maintain: your comment denigrated ET very clearly and openly. It's more than a criticism, it's a slur, ("diplomatically couched", not so much.) Yet I did not reply in an "exasperated" manner.

and how little credit you feel frontpagers get for the very time consuming and difficult job they do

Not so, I have never asked for credit. I have asked people to stop endlessly knocking ET. Not the same thing.

I am going to leave this conversation at this point because my experience is that my views on this simply aren't accepted and seem to inflame others.

I'm leaving the room so you can beat your wife as usual?

Being a Devils advocate can damage your health.

If I were to stick around I know you'd beat me too?

So, having read your diary, I was going to discuss some of the ideas in it. Having read this comment, so apparently nice and full of humanity but in fact full of underhand ad hominems, I'm not going to waste my time.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 5th, 2009 at 03:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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