Speakeasy forum

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Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose

by Bill Osler / August 13, 2005 8:12 AM PDT

I hope I got the quote right. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
A few months ago I decided to radically reduce my on line time because I was frequently violating Dave Konkel's sage advice:
"Illegitimi non carborundum"
Plus, a variety of things were limiting the time I had available on line.
Today I returned for a visit to see how things have evolved at Speakeasy and I stumbled into an introduction of a new member. The thread rapidly deteriorated into a bunch of slurs. I had intended to post this as a reply in that thread, but the thread apparently disappeared while I was typing the message.
What was it Yogi Berra said? "Deja vu all over again"?
I had hoped that some of the nonsense had settled down over time. I guess not. I'm not even sure that the players have changed. Oh well.

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"I'm not even sure that the players...
by gooslojo / August 13, 2005 8:24 AM PDT

have changed. Oh well."

They haven't.I didn't come here to make friends or expect everyone to agree with me.And apparently those newbies before me,as I am now, became frustrated with the censoring of anyone not in the upper hierarchy.This forum should be renamed "Lord of the Flies"

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'Censor' is such a strong word ...
by Bill Osler / August 13, 2005 9:54 AM PDT

Let me clarify. I'm not a "newbie", nor am I a member of some "hierarchy". Nor did I leave under pressure from other members. I took a leave of absence for reasons of my own.

I don't think that what happens in SE is censorship. However, like most communities, SE does have some strong personalities that clash from time to time. Also, like most communities, the forums have members who enforce rules of behavior and those who choose to second guess the enforcers.

Personally, I've found it easy enough to express and defend unpopular opinions within the SE community. My perception is that people do run into problems when they choose to flout the de facto behavioral norms in the forum.

My bias is that people who are not happy with the nature of the discussion here have two choices. They can either (for whatever personal reason) afflict themselves with the unpleasantness or they can leave. That makes SE a lot like many social groups in the real world.

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"de facto behavioral norms in the forum."
by gooslojo / August 13, 2005 11:04 AM PDT

I understood you perfectly.I did not think you were a "newbie",confirmed later;you were greeted on a first name basis.I did not think you were a member of any hierarchy as your first impression upon your return was the same "characters" were present.I am a newbie and stand alone in here(Thank God).I was simply agreeing with your assessment of SE, past and present ,as indicated in your statement below.

"My perception is that people do run into problems when they choose to flout the de facto behavioral norms in the forum."

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I hope you will continue to post. You usually have very
by Kiddpeat / August 13, 2005 11:10 AM PDT

worthwhile things to say, and you have been missed.

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Sorry to break up the kumbaya atmosphere here, but ...
by Evie / August 15, 2005 2:33 AM PDT

... My bias is that people who are not happy with the nature of the discussion here have two choices. They can either (for whatever personal reason) afflict themselves with the unpleasantness or they can leave.

Just makes me wonder the purpose of this thread. If you have returned from an absence for whatever reason, it hardly seems productive to reintroduce yourself with such criticism. If your intent is to again move on, why bother dumping the criticism on the way through?

Sorry, I have a hard time understanding the rationale here. I would welcome you back, except it is unclear to me whether you really intend to stay. We haven't always agreed here, but I've always found your posts to be good reads, thoughtful and thought provoking and civil. Which is why I'm ever the more baffled by this thread.

I hope this is tactful enough for the moderators.

Evie Happy

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Hmm.....
by John Robie / August 15, 2005 3:25 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Yeah, and his momma wears combat boots, too! :-)
by drpruner / August 15, 2005 5:52 AM PDT
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i have a feeling that you wouldn't know a real kumbaya
by jonah jones / August 15, 2005 6:07 AM PDT

even if it stood behind you in the check-out at your local supermarket....

as one who took part in the particular thread that Doctor Bill mentioned, and as one who hasn't taken a leave of absence, i sure did have a similar thought to his!

people love to liken SE to a ''friendly neighbourhood bar'' ....''come on in, sit down, pass the time of day amongst friends''....

let's suppose that people left because a certain few decided it was OK to spit on the floor, why do you think it's wrong for someone to say after a ''vacation''.. ''i see the spitoons have overflowed again''....

is that a good enough reason NOT to welcome someone who's posts are ''good reads, thoughtful and thought provoking and civil''....


.

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Back off.
by Evie / August 15, 2005 6:23 AM PDT

I wasn't a part of the iceman thread. Sorry, you got that wrong.

I would not that that thread had been around for a while before someone decided to take it south. I wasn't a part of it.

To use the friendly bar analogy. I don't think I would not frequent a place for a while, and then only pop in to proclaim SSDD and sigh an "Oh Well".

Unfortunately, though I have no idea if intentionally, Bill failed to include any hint of if he intended on sticking around. So again to use the bar analogy, if I had popped in to see the same ol' same ol', I would walk out without comment. If I sat down for a drink and to catch up, I wouldn't start with "my it's the same old crap in here as when I left".

Just MY observations on the social dynamic and graces.

Evie Happy

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before you fall off that high horse
by jonah jones / August 15, 2005 12:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Back off.

re-read this --> as one who took part in the particular thread that Doctor Bill mentioned, and as one who hasn't taken a leave of absence, -->-->--> i <--<--<-- sure did have a similar thought to his!


.

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My apologies for misreading.
by Evie / August 15, 2005 11:46 PM PDT

I never said Bill wasn't "spot on" regarding that thread.

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(NT) (NT) we have no problems Houston ;-)
by jonah jones / August 16, 2005 1:10 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Cool :-)
by Evie / August 16, 2005 1:12 AM PDT
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Hmmm ....
by Bill Osler / August 15, 2005 10:12 AM PDT

Evie:

I see that you are as gracious and charming as ever.

I'm curious that you took such strong exception to my remark about choosing between suffering and leaving.

As to social dynamics, I won't pretend to be too skilled at that. Does that make two of us?

It was, perhaps, not quite tactful to announce my return to SE in this manner. My apologies if that ruffled your feathers. What you obviously could not have known is that I didn't just 'walk in' and make my remark. I chose to 'lurk' for a while and had decided that rejoining the community might make sense. Then that sorry nonsense I referred to started. What a letdown!

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Perhaps ...
by Evie / August 15, 2005 11:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Hmmm ....

... I chose to 'lurk' for a while and had decided that rejoining the community might make sense.

Had you opened with the above your post would have made more sense.

The "forum critique" from folks who seemed only to stop in here to dump on SE (both former members and those from other ZDNet forums at the time that didn't otherwise participate in SE) was one of the major things that poisoned the atmosphere here. That and the more obvious MPD onslaught. I hadn't recognized that as your style previously, so it came as a bit of a surprise. It's no longer there to check, but I seem to recall the thread in question was going along quite well until one person decided to add his critique. Perhaps you can see the irony?

I see that you are as gracious and charming as ever.

Why thank you! Wink

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a strange 'new' feature?
by jonah jones / August 16, 2005 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Perhaps ...
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WOW!
by Evie / August 16, 2005 1:15 AM PDT

It wasn't quite as "old" as I originally thought, but over a week in SE days is like dog years! Maybe once all the new posts were deleted it "popped" back to the old position for the last post in the thread? I assumed it had been deleted, but maybe in the cleanup it never was and it just drifted back in time (and page)?

Twilight Zone music in the background ...

Evie Happy

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That's always happened.
by Dan McC / August 16, 2005 1:24 AM PDT

The post appears at the location dictated by the most recent post. It will drop down if the most recent posts are deleted. That's been displayed before.

Dan

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Perhaps it's because it fell so far back ...
by Evie / August 16, 2005 1:25 AM PDT

... as to be instantaneously off the first page, that this is the first time I've noticed this happening (and apparently Jonah as well).

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That certainly
by Dan McC / August 16, 2005 2:17 AM PDT

does make it most obvious!

Dan Happy

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The reason....
by Angeline Booher / August 16, 2005 2:19 AM PDT

Some threads "clean up" easily, especially when the deleted posts are in sub-threads.

Unfortunately, it is not always that easy. To delete some posts leaves others as "orphans". On occasion there are some fine posts that are deleted as they won't make sense without having the not-so- fine ones there for context.

In the cited root post, the not-so-fine ones came either as part of the main tree, or later, so all left have the same date. After the cleanup, the thread was locked, so no new posts could be made.

Because of the lock, and lots of new topics being posted thereafter, that thread will continue to journey back through the pages.

Those of you who regularly visit other CNet forums know the not-so-fine is not limited to SE. With the community being accessed by thousands of members, it is not possible to catch every such post soon enough before too many other members see them. On the other hand, there are times when they are posted, seen at once, and deleted before anyone has read them except a moderator, or perhaps just a few members.

You won't believe how fast, once a thread goes south, it continues its downhill slide. Trying to keep up with those sorts of threads means that it will take time away from catching others going the same way.

I reckon that such is the difference between public forums accessed by thousands and private forums.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Hi Bill, it's nice to see you again
by Cindi Haynes / August 13, 2005 8:31 AM PDT

Things really have calmed down here overall lately, I guess you just picked a bad moment to return. Wink

Hope you'll stick around and post more, I've really missed you!

(How's the cycling going?)

--Cindi
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email the mods

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Still trying to ride ...
by Bill Osler / August 13, 2005 10:31 AM PDT

Cindy, George & Roger (it is George, right?):

Thanks for the welcome.

I've put about 1900 miles on the bike since October. My goal for the summer is a minimum of 100 miles per week. That's a lot of time because I usually average only about 16-18 mph. I didn't quite make it this week but I was about 60 miles over last week so it's averaging out. I rode in a big event near Wilkesboro last weekend. This picture was taken at the end of a ~6 mile climb during a 65 mile ride. I'm the tired-looking guy in the orange jersey.

I hope my 'first' impression of the forum today was skewed. I do remember a lot of interesting discussions during the times when the 'Illegitimi' (am I bending the TOS too much here?) weren't ruining the forum.

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(NT) (NT) [i]illegitimi[/i] Latin, so you gotta italicize. :-)
by drpruner / August 15, 2005 2:17 AM PDT
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[i]Mea culpa[i] ...
by Bill Osler / August 15, 2005 9:56 AM PDT

I suppose I really should learn more grammar.

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FWIW, at this moment this thread is
by drpruner / August 16, 2005 6:41 AM PDT
In reply to: [i]Mea culpa[i] ...

bookended by two locked threads. Sad

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Not any more ...
by Bill Osler / August 16, 2005 10:51 AM PDT

Your post moved it out of that position.

Let's hope we don't see many more of the locks.

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You're right, of course. What I was getting at was
by drpruner / August 17, 2005 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Not any more ...

your thread, which had to do with rude posting among other things, happened to be between two locks. Locks were becoming rarer, I thought, but maybe that was wishful thinking.

***

A friend's husband is a pediatrician who rides his bike to work almost every day- about 10 miles. He's my age but doesn't look it. Also eats sensibly etc. Must be something to practicing what you preach.

Don't know about Central America, but he takes cycling tours of New England from time to time.

BTW I finished John Barry's book about the Flu and the establishment of the Hopkins. He says the situation was so serious with the new symptoms that even Dr. Osler was recommending cupping/leeches for some cases. (Barry doesn't mean he lost his senses, just that everyone was so desperate.)

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It's good to know you're ok anyway, and
by Roger NC / August 13, 2005 9:39 AM PDT

that posting less was by personal choice, and not due to any outside circumstances.

We've disagreed some, and occasionally agreed, but either way, I think many of us have missed your posts.


Roger NC

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Nice to hear from you Bill..
by Rolway / August 13, 2005 9:47 AM PDT

Missed your informative posts and the many enjoyable links you used to supply. Hope you find the time to hang out here a bit once again.

George

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