Negativity on the eplaya

All things outside of Burning Man.

Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:45 pm

Bob wrote:<tt> > hey i wonder if it's the same persons that have been complaining everywhere on this BBS? i wonder what was the statistics for the same complainers on the old BBS? </tt>

Once they install the [plonk] button, I'm sure they'll look at those stats.

Three [plonk]s and you're out?

Sheesh.


are you going to follow me around and comment on all i say? either you really like my style or ignoring me is just too much to bare. i suppose the later is true.

i am looking foward to the plonk button also. it will give me somwhat of an advantage. i wont plonk anyone because i love reading what everyone has to say weather i like it or not. i'm tolorent that way. but i know i will be plonked and that will be fantastic. i'll get to occasionally say something funny (which is not too often ) to which those who've plonked me will miss.

i can hang with that.
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Postby Guest » Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:37 pm

DE FACTO wrote:
Lydia Love wrote:
Oh... and I think the affirmations thread is hilarious. But if you are looking for a place to put ACTUAL affirmations please give it a try.


i'm going to have to take another real good look at the affirmations thread.
i'll take Lydia Love's advise anytime.


anything is better than this.

viewtopic.php?t=2079&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

...


Goddamn, you got that right! You're both right.

And I swore I would never do a me-too post.
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 4:53 pm

i can't help it. i find myself going to "Any Desert Attire photos floating around out there?" more often than i go to "go ask alice".
i'm jsut waiting to see the unexpected and the posts have been a riot.
it's like i have the alice.b vius with that thread.

rodent and Crankful had the funniest to say there.

too funny
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Postby Badger » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:03 pm

I found the affirmations thread so hilarious that I opened up a new browser and checked amazon to see If I could get the book that badger was pulling that shit from.


Um, Stuart, that book doesn't exist as far as I know. It's mainly me, a sick, twisted bastard, getting back at Hallmark cards for all the pain and suffering they've caused over the years with my mother's many birthday cards lovingly sent to her only son.
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Postby PJ » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:46 pm

Badger wrote:...It's mainly me, a sick, twisted bastard, getting back at Hallmark cards for all the pain and suffering they've caused over the years with my mother's many birthday cards lovingly sent to her only son.


It could be said that those aphorisms were "pulled out of Badger's ass." I think R-Pod has a picture of that process.
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:53 pm

you know, so far i have'nt been reading anything negative here......is this the "Negativity on the eplaya." thread?
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Postby Hana Hou » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:56 pm

She probably meant "Nativity". Maybe she wants a Christmas forum.
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Postby Hana Hou » Fri Oct 17, 2003 5:56 pm

She probably meant "Nativity". Maybe she wants a Christmas forum.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:42 pm

Is Mr. Roger's hand up that thing's butt?
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Postby Bob » Fri Oct 17, 2003 7:59 pm

Negativity???

Slowly I turned... step by step... inch by inch... stalk by stalk...

Seriously... the march toward adding a [plonk] feature for the eplaya is an important issue to me. I'm all in favor of any reasonable thing that makes people feel better about themselves, but this is too much.

Let us observe a hypothetically overreactive eplaya participant, getting very upset at another unwitting soul's eplaya contribution... imagine, bringing up the Health Department in a graywater thread... tsk tsk...

s/he spots a [plonk] button floating on the phosphor beside the offending party's scatological eplayaname...

well, maybe it's a [snik!] button... or [*ploosh*]... perhaps [bmorg] ...

as their mouse cursor twitches, they decide to take a quick look at the eplaya's Plonker FAQ for Moderators and All You Other People, which I'm sure is going to be a fascinating read...

scrolling past Moderator Access to Plonk Statistics down to Justifying a Totally Righteous Plonking, our dear reader decides that the offending party's eplaya behavior satisfies the condition of being Totally Unburnerlike, per Subsection 3.a....

happy s/he is doing the right thing, ready and raging to [plonk] , but concerned about misperceptions among participants now and in the indefinite future who will view the course of the discussion, they reply with a post on why they're plonking the little Hitler-spawn of a narco fuckwit, and how the FAQ says it's Totally Righteous.

Sadly, people will do this sort of thing, inevitably generating a long train of replies either piling up on the plonkee, chastising the plonker, or asking "why we can't all be more burnerlike here?"

I'm concerned here mainly about the public record, in topics and threads in which I have particular interests. If a difficult poster pops in, I'd prefer the record to show that they were either simply ignored, gently tweaked, or engaged successfully. Quite often, people who come off as difficult initially can be brought around into some sort of common understanding.

My argument, at heart, is that setting up a [plonk] button sends the wrong message about our expectations of this community and its norms. Common responsibility for the record we leave future readers would be a more valuable thing to push than petty, high-school shunning. The notion of Burning Man giving tech people a mandate to expend effort creating a feature designed to exclude others on whim, putting another incremental cramp on database access, and of moderators stumbling around trying to justify it, is more than a bit baffling. To me, anyway.

And like smileys, a [plonk] button is just a sad, give-up alternative to clever writing.
Last edited by Bob on Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:03 pm

Bob, wanna go out for a drink?
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Postby Bob » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:06 pm

<pre> > Bob, wanna go out for a drink?</pre>
[plonk]
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:12 pm

Bob wrote:<pre> > Bob, wanna go out for a drink?</pre>
[plonk]


hey i thought that was pretty funny.

why not bob?
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:19 pm

DE FACTO wrote:
hey i thought that was pretty funny.

why not bob?

ooook!
[plonk]
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Postby Badger » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:31 pm

<HOWLING!!!!>
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Postby Badger » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:39 pm

<still>
Last edited by Badger on Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Lydia Love » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:39 pm

Fuck, Bob. That's a well reasoned argument.

I HATE having to admit I might be wrong about something.

So fuck yer day.
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Postby PJ » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:58 pm

Lydia Love wrote:I HATE having to admit I might be wrong about something.


It's easier if you're naked.
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Postby DE FACTO » Fri Oct 17, 2003 9:02 pm

can i watch?

that was negative.
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Re: Civility

Postby joel the ornery » Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:48 am

SED wrote:What if there were a general move toward civility, such as refraining from labeling people as 'fuck wits' and so on?

The best way to encourage positive behavior is by example.


But what if people really are being "fuck wits," pencil dicks, whistle dicks and other assorted carnival attractions?
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Postby Booker » Sun Oct 19, 2003 9:42 am

Gonna disagree with Bob.

I don't see a big diff. between blocking a user's posts and letting 'em display then just scrolling past 'em. I have consistently scroll-plonked a couple of users in the past, because I saw a regular pattern of either rabid hostility or long-winded, vacuous rambling so that the effort of reading the stuff far overshadowed any benefit. After a lot of tries resulting only in mounting frustration, I chose just to scroll past anything under that username. What's the point of downloading that stuff, then? I think the plonk feature would be used in similar ways most of the time, but then I'm sometimes disappointed in my default assumption that people who are no longer chronological children will behave like grownups.

No doubt some would feel compelled to announced that they had plonked Motherfucker X, resulting in the toilet bowl turbulence Bob predicts. I hadn't thought of that, and I guess I don't have an answer for it. Maybe the shiny new moderators could send emails suggesting that users not announce any plonking decision they make. Yeah, that'd work.

On balance, though, I think it'd be a useful tool. I wouldn't add some button or link as yet another bit of visual cruft on these already squirrely screens. Instead, I'd let users type names into a list in their profiles. That'd decrease the likelihood that it'd be used at a whim. And it would send a bit of a clue to the admins if 70% of the users on the board had taken the trouble to type Motherfucker X in their plonk lists. Then the moderators could send another email. Or something.
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Re: Civility

Postby SED » Sun Oct 19, 2003 10:02 am

joel the ornery wrote:
SED wrote:What if there were a general move toward civility, such as refraining from labeling people as 'fuck wits' and so on?

The best way to encourage positive behavior is by example.


But what if people really are being "fuck wits," pencil dicks, whistle dicks and other assorted carnival attractions?


Well, that's just the issue. One person's fuck wit is another's champion of free expression.

I suppose the ePlaya doesn't need to reflect the values of BRC, and maybe that's why it exists--to give the cranky moralists their own space.

I don't need to like what people post to appreciate the freedom they exercise when they do it, just like I don't need to like the way a person's nude body looks in order to enjoy the fact that she or he feels free to expose it.

There seems to be a common definition for a Troll, which I know because I've been one at times, and regretted it. though I haven't apologized. I'll do that now. I'm sorry. But who gets to define what a fuck wit is?

IMO, everyone deserves compassion, even the most vile among us. Maybe fuck wits need even more, so they'll have a positive incentive to evolve, rather than the threat of being flamed or shunned. Why is it that we all seem to like Alice so much anyway? I think it's because she's never posted a nasty word about anyone. She just pours on love, as if she were the incoming tide.

Lastly, flaming and shunning are ineffective means for dealing with negative elements. We've been shunning and flaming Iraq's militarists for some time now, and where has it gotten us? Any 'fuck wit' or troll can instantly switch identity on the ePlaya, and continue to transgress and offend without consequence.

My apologies if this has a moralistic tone. I will appreciate constructive feed back. As a matter of conscience and commitment, I will also refrain from stalking and antagonizing anyone who flames me.
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Re: Civility

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 19, 2003 10:59 am

Aorry for th long quote, but I didn't want to edit it.

SED wrote:
joel the ornery wrote:
SED wrote:What if there were a general move toward civility, such as refraining from labeling people as 'fuck wits' and so on?

The best way to encourage positive behavior is by example.


But what if people really are being "fuck wits," pencil dicks, whistle dicks and other assorted carnival attractions?


Well, that's just the issue. One person's fuck wit is another's champion of free expression.

I suppose the ePlaya doesn't need to reflect the values of BRC, and maybe that's why it exists--to give the cranky moralists their own space.

I don't need to like what people post to appreciate the freedom they exercise when they do it, just like I don't need to like the way a person's nude body looks in order to enjoy the fact that she or he feels free to expose it.

There seems to be a common definition for a Troll, which I know because I've been one at times, and regretted it. though I haven't apologized. I'll do that now. I'm sorry. But who gets to define what a fuck wit is?

IMO, everyone deserves compassion, even the most vile among us. Maybe fuck wits need even more, so they'll have a positive incentive to evolve, rather than the threat of being flamed or shunned. Why is it that we all seem to like Alice so much anyway? I think it's because she's never posted a nasty word about anyone. She just pours on love, as if she were the incoming tide.

Lastly, flaming and shunning are ineffective means for dealing with negative elements. We've been shunning and flaming Iraq's militarists for some time now, and where has it gotten us? Any 'fuck wit' or troll can instantly switch identity on the ePlaya, and continue to transgress and offend without consequence.

My apologies if this has a moralistic tone. I will appreciate constructive feed back. As a matter of conscience and commitment, I will also refrain from stalking and antagonizing anyone who flames me.


Wow, this is the best example of what I've wanted to say on a couple of occasions. My hat is off to you sed.

The thing about fuckwit, and whistle dick for me is they don't communicate anything other then I don't like you. They say nothing about the behavior that you feel was inappropriate.

I was related an experience where someone had an uncomfortable interaction with someone and saw them the next year, and just yelled out at them, "hey it's the creepy guy!", leaving him bewildered as to why he'd been attacked. That kind of stuff just grows self-hatred and anger and fear and resentment. It won't keep the guy from doing again whatever he did that made the person uncomfortable. It might even re-inforce the behavior, because in his confused state, he can at least rely on the fact that what he did last year didn't provoke that kind of reaction.

I'll apologize for trolling also with my please flame me thread, I didn't realize how a post like that took away from the experience for many.

I'll apologize for my problem with the affirmation thread too. I was wrong about what people were getting out of it, which was a lot of good laughs. But I'm glad I brought it up, so I could learn.

I do think there are some areas that should be done a certain way (sexual violence verses violent sex, IMO), and we all have our opinions on stuff like that, and I think its better to express them and express when we disagree with others, then just turn the thing into an unusable mess by letting hidden angers and side-directed comments rule how we respond.

I'm still having a hard time figuring out what is trolling and what is just an attempt at humor. I actually edited this post because I described my hat as "(budweiser double can with straws)", and I thought that might be trolling. I'd ask for some help with that, but I'm going to go away from the eplaya for a while. I'm realizing I'm neglecting my own local community for this one, and so I'm going to go away for a while and work on that. I'll miss you, and I'll be back.
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Postby Alpha » Sun Oct 19, 2003 11:48 am

Trolling is when you post something out there to bait the other e-playa users into reacting. I believe the difference between trolling and stimulating discussion, however, is whether or not you are sincere in your viewpoint. I have a friend who plays devil's advocate whenever we debate anthing; it can lead to good discussion but more often than not, annoys the crap out of everyone around because they realize he's just arguing for the sake of argument.

Trolling is generally considered bad form on Internet newsgroups because insincere opinions and indefensible viewpoints just lower the signal to noise ratio.
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Postby herself » Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:03 pm

> IMO, everyone deserves compassion, even the most vile among us.

The thing is, being compassionate turns out to be very self-serving, because compassionate people are usually happier people. It's like they're okay enough that they can be okay for you too. If that makes any sense. I've been working on developing compassion in my life (I'm old enough to start thinking about these things...) and I've become a much happier person during and possibly as a result of this effort. So I really like your post.

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Thank you Lydia Love and everyone else

Postby Guest » Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:41 pm

I love this whole thread.
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Postby TawnyGnosis » Sun Oct 19, 2003 12:45 pm

I have a different view on the rampant e-playa negativity that goes on here, since I first got hooked a year ago or so.

There's a difference between those of us who are able to hold a decent conversation and those who change their names every week, and make a hundred threads to stroke their big fat ego. I think the most refreshing thing about the e-playa is that when someone is acting like a "fuckwit" it's the rules of the game that we can flame them. It's entertaining, and makes my day go by faster sometimes.

I mean, where is the line between sarcasm and negativity? I think sarcasm is a vital part of burner culture and sometimes it takes the form of teasing or flaming. I should know because I get teased all the time by my friends. Upfront communication is key to free interaction. If someone is a fuck wit, by all means tell them.

This weekend, I encountered a group of newbie fuckwits on the gigsville camping trip. I'm not one to let people into my personal space just to make them feel like I approve of them. I don't like everyone, and I don't have to. Perhaps I should be less scrappy at times, but I have a low tolerance for insincere, rude, idiotic, or harassing behavior toward me. Life is short, call the shots for yourself.

I believe that if one has the right to express both the negative and positive aspects of what they are experiencing. This isn't complaining, it's self expression.

Though I don't engage in flame wars like I used to( because I'm more secure in my beliefs now I think), I don't want to act like I'm at a tea party when I engage in conversation.
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Postby herself » Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:16 pm

Yeah, I don't want to come across as all lovey-dovey, Tawny, because a lot of people get on my nerves. Especially when I don't drink. I just think that when you exit the presence of an annoying person, it's more rewarding to think to yourself "that poor person must not be very happy but I'm sure his mother loves him" or something corny like that, instead of "what an asshole", I'm just saying, I personally feel happier that way. I think it's my age, though, I've had lots of time to have plenty of angry responses. And not that I don't still have pissed off moments hahahaha!!!!!!!1
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one man's fuckwit is another man's freedom fighter

Postby aforceforgood » Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:23 pm

Last year when the recall election was hot and heavy, I posted a LOT of information to try and sway people to my position (which of course, I came to using my best thinking, so I of course felt I was right...). I also got pretty passionate due to a human failing where you can't understand how this other apparently intelligent person can hold a different view than you since you're an intelligent person also.

It's kind of like when someone disagrees with you, they're saying you're stupid. Which is a dumb way to feel, but there it is. Mea Culpa. I know intellectually that the other person came to their conclusion from a differenct viewpoint and using different information (or lack thereof) and so therefore it's more a matter of exploring them and finding out what these viewpoints and data are in order to understand if they're missing information that would help them see the "rightness" of your position, or whether it's a core belief that means they will never agree. But in the heat of the moment I forgot this and fell into an argumentative mode. Doh.

I even went so far as to call someone a whiny little bitch. Which I meant as a joke, but it wasn't taken that way in the heat of the moment, and didn't go over very well, as you can imagine.

So I guess some would say I was a troll, maybe they felt I enjoyed arguing (I do enjoy sharpening my wits against others) and that I was just trolling to facilitate that (I wasn't, I was VERY passionate about the subject) and it's engendered a lot of negative feelings. But I also feel I imparted a lot of crucial information that wasn't getting covered in the mass propaganda media. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Would I do it better, more dispassionately, and less offensively? I certainly hope so. I'd sure as hell try.

The fact is, I learned from that. I may have not been the perfect communicator, but I have to agree with digiman or whoever he is now, a plonk button is not helpful to someone as to why his posts are offensive. I also haven't changed my name, because it's what I am, or at least what I try to be. I'm trying hard to be more diplomatic, less confrontational and more analytical when I disagree with someone. It's hard for me, but it's a cool thing that maybe wouldn't have happened if people just plonked me.

Some people see other's attempts at humor that they don't feel are entertaining enough as plonk-worthy posts. My standard would be much higher- it would have to be pretty offensive. And I don't think I would plonk anyone anyway, I think I'd rather ignore them, scroll past them.

And while I think there are a lot of people who would carefully listen to others, there are a lot who would immediately plonk someone who said something that might on the face of it sound offensive but have some valid info in it. In other words, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. The plonk is the internet version of Political Correctness. Otherwise known as censorship.

I'd like to think everyone who happens onto this board were mature enough to weigh and reject or accept others ideas, but I don't think that's realistic. And I don't think giving them the ability to instantly reject a new or uncomfortable idea is conducive to growth in that area.

My vote; I don't think the plonk button's a good idea. Free speech has been proven as a valid concept over a long period of time. I don't see why plonking is more effective than flames or ignoring someone. You'd have to explain that one to me before I could endorse a plonk button.
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Postby Bob » Sun Oct 19, 2003 2:24 pm

IMO the usual norms of plonking do not apply to the eplaya.

Plonking as we know it began as "killfiling" -- a software feature that enabled individual Usenet users to sort incoming newsgroup feeds to avoid downloading articles posted by kooks and spammers. Successful newsgroups are initiated, maintained, and populated by people with common interests, not unlike the eplaya. Because most are unmoderated (not requiring somebody's explicit approval for an article to be forwarded to the group), and a continuous stream of articles are posted in serial/threaded fashion, the norm is for newsgroup users, mostly the old hats, to self-moderate by educating newbies by reference to group charters, FAQs, lurking, etc. Plonking usually happens as a last resort, and may or may not be indicated publicly in responses to articles posted by persistent idiots. In some cases, responses may include a [plonk] simply in an ironic sense. In all cases, true plonking -- filtering incoming posts using sorting criteria based on article headers (From:, Subject:, etc.) -- only occurs at the receiving end, not at the server.

Unlike other forums, the eplaya is a permanent, or at least persistent-by-year, cache of contributions and queries by and for a community with common purposes for maintaining such a resource.

You have to consider that all eplaya posts will be viewable by the majority of users, and that only frequent users will bother to take advantage of special features.

If you are a frequent eplaya user, my own expectation (however utopic) is that you have a sense of responsibility for actively maintaining the board as a useful, engaging, non-hostile forum. In topics of individual interest, this is best done by being able to see all the replies that the majority of users will view, whether you think it wise to respond or not. Sorting can be enabled by topic, and a case can be made for a having a few strongly moderated and edited topic areas.

An eplaya plonk feature can only be added at the server level, rather than on a user's own machine. It would implicitly establish an officially-approved method of creating a record of users that were plonked for whatever reason. You might have good reasons, or malicious reasons -- the result in any case will be stored in a database on Burning Man's server.

I don't want that to happen here. I don't want this kind of secret statistical information to accumulate as a result of anybody's normal eplaya usage. Admins and moderators, on behalf of the BBS's owners, may choose to disclose their policies on use of plonk statistics, or not. Whatever the policies, there is always a potential for anybody with acccess to view them, form opinions in the absence of context, and disclose them to whomever, with uncertain consequences.

And as I previously discussed, I want to avoid having a plonk feature become a controversial issue with the potential to inflame users.

Maybe it should be made harder to post to the eplaya in the first place, as it is on volunteer and staff lists. But the practice until now has been self-moderation, from a sense of common ownership, and plonking seems like a too-easy and potentially troublesome method to opt-out from all that.
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