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Messages - Dylar
I was discussing this very thing with Mrs. crow, earlier. Hard to make something like that work, though, especially since payment is not really the burning issue.
I prefer something along the lines of ability-to-comment by invitation/application only.
This might be outright preferable to the messiness inherent in banning users.
Continue to make everything free to passive users, with only reasonable behaviour rewarded with the ability to actively participate in discussion. Or rather, removing ability to comment from existing users.
It would be nice, eh, to not need admins at all, but that's not likely to ever be an option.
Not sure how feasible this is, but this was my thought:
1. Remove posting access from all current accounts (or, perhaps, from select accounts).
2. Make the restoration of posting privileges contingent upon providing some sort of work or service to the ongoing project here.
3. Only activate the accounts of newly registered members after they fulfill step 2.
I imagine that someone among the "leadership" has some idea of the tasks that need doing. Perhaps we could compile a master list of "things as needs doin'" and let folks choose an item or items from the list. Once the tasks are completed to the satisfaction of the leadership, their posting privileges would be restored. N00bs, would, of course, have to prove themselves useful in the same fashion.
The only echo chamber here is caused by those who use the term "echo chamber".
The first post in this thread explained that a major problem with this forum has been that little contribution has emerged from it.
Then certain people show up and say that's perfectly normal, nothing wrong with that, and add they can't think of any problem posters (other than blaming crow).
Until crow was introduced into the ecosystem, forum "discussion" consisted—in essence for years at a time—of folks endlessly sharing viewpoints that the active forum community already believed. The "discussion" was congenial and (for the web) erudite, but a congenial, erudite circle jerk is still a circle jerk. Bring back Nile577.
I'm amazed that not many among you are prepared to admit just what a tremendous loss the end of this forum would be. You have here at least one tiny bit of space where intelligent and interesting communication can occur, if you get rid of that then there is truly nothing. And if anyone here can remember the old (pre- corrupt.org) forum from 10 years ago, I'm sure you'll be able to attest to the improvements. Things have come a very long way!
The old forums were messy, mostly off topic and poisoned by constant e-drama, but they weren't an echo chamber, which is the mean the forums have tended to regress toward through several successive iterations of redesign and attempted repurposing. The full on swerve into the minefield of racial politics in the middle of the last decade mostly drove away the remnants of intelligent opposition, and the flood of childish wreckers that poured in seems to have left the administration and the forum users here permanently wary of divergent viewpoints that weren't previously vetted (i.e. the estimable and invaluable crow). That's a prescription for a clubhouse atmosphere, and that's generally what the forums have produced.
The variables of socializing are nonetheless bounded. How many variations of Miley Cyrus rawks!!!! or Justin Beiber rulz!!!! or Democracy Now!!!! are there? It's always same warmed over doo doo in essence with limited variations in form.
Life exists on the back of warmed over doo doo.
Repetition begets more repetition, loved by many, unless one is predisposed to avoid it.
Being of the latter type, I mostly evade music for precisely that reason.
Repetition is beguiling, but can end up drowning out every other thing.
Life is uncertain, unpredictable, unknowable; a pretty fearsome trifecta. And, indeed, many are afraid. Repetition is comforting. It provides the illusion, not just of knowledge, but of foreknowledge, the illusion, moreover, that we are in control. "Catchy" music tells us what we already think we know in ways that are comfortably familiar.
That advice would be valid if every member was a useless deadbeat, but that is not the case.
There are some gems who fly by from time to time.
It is a tough decision to bulldoze their landing-strip without careful thought.
And careful thought entails a process subtly different from impulse and intuition.
It will take a little longer to divine the course ahead.
There have been non-deadbeat members of the forums for 15 years, but the net result has been what, exactly? Like I said, this hasn't been some fly-by-night experiment; it's an ongoing project of well over a decade's duration. It has gone through multiple iterations of reform and reversion to the mean. I have neither the desire nor the power to impose here; I'm just a witness for the prosecution.
The trick is not to kick.
One is no less bound by chains untested as those whose strength has been ascertained through effort. One might slip his bonds through cunning, another might break hers through strength, but for those who remain in chains, those bonds are no less real for being made from chains of custom, rather than links of steel
Any social practice is only as powerful as the sum of power given to it by the sum of those that do.
Aye, the kind of power that can make a desert, and call it "peace," or the kind that can level mountains and forests, and call it "commerce." That's "real" enough.
The cave remains reality, even as fallen rock, and the sand that replaces it, and the dust that replaces that.
Its form may have changed. But what it is endures.
Sand is not a boulder, nor solid rock a cave. These may be just words, in one sense, but they correspond to real,. actual differences. The form is very often the substance of a thing. Diamonds and charcoal. Steam and snow. A thing is always what it is, but may very often no longer be what it was, nor certainly what it may be.
What is that? Advice? Opinion?
Not up to you, is it?
What will be, will be.
If the forum is an unproductive drag on bandwidth, and the goal here is something other than vanity, then kill it. This isn't some short-term experiment that needs more time to develop clear results. The forum has been around in one iteration or another for like, 15 years. It is what it is, at this point. If the forum has not yet produced results commensurate with the resources expended upon them by now, it is unlikely that there is a realistic possibility that they'll add more value going forward. That's a value judgment better left to folks on the inside who know the score as far as how many resources are being devoted to the forum, but my inclination is to trust that, if DMBM says that the return on the investment hasn't been worth it, it hasn't been worth it. In which case, my advice is "kill it."
Some aspects of reality are socially constructed?
Can you think of any examples?
The organizational and institutional realities of human societies are largely socially constructed. They didn't fall from the sky in their present form, they evolved from social practice. You can argue that they're mere ephemera, ghosts in the mind of the machine man, and, in a way, you'd be right. Still, when you kick against the bonds of social practice, you'll find that they're hard as iron
The rock wall of a cave is reality. A neanderthal may paint graffiti all over it, later to be seen as 'art'.
Reality existed before what happened to it.
When the 'art' superimposed upon it fades and is gone, reality remains.
And yet, the walls of the cave are just as temporary. What is a cave, if not a place where the rock has ceased to be a part of reality?