TV Tropes Org

Forums

search forum titles
google site search
Total posts: [125]  1  2  3  4
5

A suggestion regarding On-Topic Conversations:

Trying to make sure opening posts are less inflammatory would help to curve discussion away from being too flamey.

In addition, I think too many people here fixate too much on the "On-Topic" part and less on the "Conversation" part. We should all try to keep at least a measurable amount of discourse in here.

Sorry if I touched upon some rehashed points, but I've not read the whole thread.
 
Unchanging Avatar.
Maybe opening posts should be required to be unbiased?
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
That'll just lead to more subtle trolling.

 
 104 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 22nd May '11 3:52:35 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] Maybe not so much with the subtle trolling, but it'd certainly be too difficult to enforce. Especially considering that most people don't see themselves as biased when they are, and some people see bias where it probably doesn't exist at all.

@Maddy, from the last page: If it is a mentality thing, then it's probably not something that'll be changed easily, if at all. Unfortunately, this is because any sort of rules implementation will cause at least one of those groups to feel like they're being put upon. Encouraging discussion will make those who prefer debate feel like they're being singled out and picked on, and vice versa.

If there is a fairly even split between users that want discussion and users that want debate, then perhaps a forum split wouldn't be so bad. The problem with forum splits is usually because they're trying to accommodate a minority, but there's not enough users to make it a fun place to be, so come back to the more active forum and nothing changes.

edited 22nd May '11 4:06:21 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
Perhaps we could have some sort of general vote/consensus? Those in favor of a serious/non-serious split and those against?
 
 106 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 22nd May '11 4:20:34 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Well, not so much a serious/non-serious split, but a split between debate and conversation.

I'd personally like to have a place for serious conversations about various topics, but if the majority of people prefer debate (or vice versa), a forum split simply wouldn't be feasible.

edited 22nd May '11 4:21:02 PM by DrunkGirlfriend

"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 107 Deboss, Sun, 22nd May '11 4:31:09 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
I would not be averse to declaring a topic a type of thread. Like if people wanted to have a debate thread or something they could label it: "Debate: Red is the prettiest hair color" would restrict it to actual debating rather than just talking about redhair or something.*
 108 Madrugada, Sun, 22nd May '11 5:56:02 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
^ That's more what I was getting at than a hard forum split or a ban on certain types. Argument threads are the only ones that never turn out well. But since argument threads rarely stay civil very long, they also tend to get locked or nuked rather quickly.

Note what (or which) types of interaction you're looking for when you make the first post. Possibly even in the thread title: "(Discuss) Parents raising their children to be genderless"; "(Converse) Polyamory"; "(Debate): Is American Pop-culture too world-pervasive". Basically, make it clear from the beginning what the ground rules are.

I'd also like to see OPs that consist of

[link]

Discuss

or

[link]

Thoughts?

become far rarer. From my experience as a moderator, they're a good sign that the thread is likely to turn into either a flamefest or a dogpile, depending on the article linked. The original poster is dropping a grenade and standing back to watch the results.

Going so far as to require that Opening posts be unbiased is going way too far — trying to bar opinions is not going to work. But expecting that the opening poster demonstrate that they've given at least a modicum of thought to the subject (or to explain why they aren't expressing their opinion — for instance "I read this, but I don't have the knowledge to form an informed opinion...") can only increase communication

edited 22nd May '11 6:01:42 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 109 Drunk Girlfriend, Sun, 22nd May '11 6:01:31 PM from Castle Geekhaven
The only problem I can see coming from that, would be duplicate threads. We'd have to modify the rules a bit to allow for someone to make a Debate version of an existing thread that was marked Conversation.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
[up][up] (makes a note to not do that in the future)
 
 111 Deboss, Sun, 22nd May '11 7:35:08 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Would there be a rule that you couldn't hold a mini debate within a conversation thread?
 112 Madrugada, Sun, 22nd May '11 7:42:48 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Only that the two are very different ways of interacting. As long as everyone concerned knows that the type of interaction has changed, it shouldn't be a problem. It doesn't even need to be some sort of formal announcement — just a acknowledgement.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 113 De Marquis, Sun, 22nd May '11 7:49:52 PM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
So it sounds as if Bobby G's original guidelines are most appropriate for "debate" type threads: they would most likely keep them from degenerating into arguments and getting locked. And if anyone wants to keep it more informal than that, then they just have to make that clear in their OP- "this is to be a friendly discussion" or some such to that effect.

I would further add that any thread in which the OP states a strong opinion on the topic they are introducing, it's almost sure to become a debate-type thread, as people come in on the side of the OP or against it. In fact, any OP that openly states it's for or against anything should be considered a debate and Bobby-G's guidelines come into effect. Any OP that states they just want to share insights and opinions, or is seeking information, should be held to different (less formal) standards.

And these would not be formal rules, but just part of the general "culture" of the forum here. If a thread didn't adhere to any of this, the rest of us would be empowered to remind the participants of what the expectations are, perhaps by linking to a page that contains a summary of whatever consensus we come up with here. After that, any thread that didn't go along could be avoided by those of us who want to participate in threads with a clear purpose and a sense of a genuine exchange of views.

How does this sound to people?
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 114 They Call Me Tomu, Sun, 22nd May '11 9:47:48 PM Relationship Status: Wishfully thinking
Sureeeeendaaaa
@OP: Threads dominated by heavy weights? You calling me fat?

 115 Madrugada, Sun, 22nd May '11 10:10:53 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
De Marquis, that's pretty much what was kicking around in my head. And I'd far rather see it a change in the culture of OTC than something imposed forcibly from above. For one thing it will stick better, and for another, it will be a lot less work for the mods, if we don't have to pay strict attention to every OTC thread to make sure that they're following the new rules.

edited 22nd May '11 10:11:14 PM by Madrugada

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
Some folks are looking for discussion; This is still fundamentally non-adversarial, but the questions tend to be a bit more pointed, and a statement of bare opinion ("I think that's wrong") will probably be met with some probing about "Why?", "Have you considered <this aspect>?", "How does <that> fit with your view?" and the like. But no one is trying to convince anyone else, and there's no 'scoring' going on. Discussion threads also tend to stay civil, unless someone joins in who thinks that it's a thread for "Debating" or "Arguing".

Debate is adversarial by nature, but it can be civil - both (or all) sides are trying to 'score points' by undermining the other guy's position or reasoning, whether formally or not. The emphasis is less on sharing information and more on 'winning'. Debates are where the fallacy-dropping starts showing up - after all, in a debate, using a fallacy is only bad if you get caught. And conversely, when someone starts fallacy-dropping, it's a pretty good indication that they're treating the thread as a debate. If everybody knows it's a debate, there's no problem. A problem arises when 'debate' is mixed with one of the first two types. A second problem arises if all discussions are assumed to be debates (The Polyamory thread contains an excellent example of this; it was defused, but it was touchy for a while, whether the thread was going to get ugly).

I'm seeing the difference between debate and discussion threads as a matter decided by the topic itself rather than how the topic is approached by any given individual. The example that comes to mind is the difference between "Abortion... Lump" and "New abortion law in South Dakota" threads: debate is simply superfluous in the latter, because the subject matter is rather more specific than "Abortion: yay or nay." The polyamory thread is, likewise, not a debate thread because the topic is explicitly about how polyamory works rather than whether the practice of it is possible, ethical, or what-have-you. I suppose I'm confused about what, apart from the subject itself, should inform the nature of the conversation, so I'd appreciate it if you could clarify that.

edited 22nd May '11 10:16:02 PM by kashchei

And better than thy stroke; why swellest thou then?
 117 drunkscriblerian, Mon, 23rd May '11 12:18:27 AM from Castle Geekhaven Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@Madrugada: Once again, you speak wisdom, and you do it before I could get to it. I agree wholeheartedly that if OTC is going to change for the better, it needs to be bottom-up rather than top-down. Which is why I support a "Tutorial" system to teach people how to behave rather than a list of rules dictating how they shouldn't behave. One educates, the other encourages rules-lawyering douchebags.

The more complex a set of rules becomes, the easier it is to find a loophole and abuse it.

@kash: there is a very definite slant towards wanting to argue. And people have a habit of not reading opening posts. I've had to remind people several times that the Polyamory thread is for discussion, not debate (and it says this quite clearly in the OP, so people obviously didn't read it). There's an assumption about arguing that I think is most of the problem.

If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
 118 Mr AHR, Mon, 23rd May '11 3:18:14 AM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
It's odd, I think my definition for debate is mostly Maddie's definition for a discussion, and her definition of a debate is my definition for a heated debate.

Mostly because I like to think a debate starts with a certain amount of understood respect between both of the people. I don't agree with you, you don't agree with me, but we're going to find common ground, dammit. It's not until one person gets offended or indignant do things turn ugly-ish.

I am a bit of a romanticist that way.

edited 23rd May '11 3:20:38 AM by MrAHR

 119 De Marquis, Mon, 23rd May '11 9:38:54 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Well, TV Tropes OTC is somewhat unique in that we dont assume argumentative style debates here. Most of the internet goes the other way, but that's what makes us special.

edited 23rd May '11 9:39:15 AM by DeMarquis

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 120 Bobby G, Mon, 23rd May '11 2:46:41 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
You cannot get people to change if they don't want to. All it does is put up a big banner saying, "rules lawyers welcome". You know this.

And then we can ban them. But not before.

Most people here seem to have forgotten, thankfully, but at one point my usual contribution to politics threads was along the lines of "Whoo anarchy, down with [ruling party of country under discussion], fuck tha police". Usually worded very mildly, it's true, but the sentiment was there. I have since learned, both in terms of my views themselves and in terms of when it is appropriate and constructive to express them. People can change.

Debate is adversarial by nature, but it can be civil — both (or all) sides are trying to 'score points' by undermining the other guy's position or reasoning, whether formally or not. The emphasis is less on sharing information and more on 'winning'. Debates are where the fallacy-dropping starts showing up — after all, in a debate, using a fallacy is only bad if you get caught. And conversely, when someone starts fallacy-dropping, it's a pretty good indication that they're treating the thread as a debate. If everybody knows it's a debate, there's no problem. A problem arises when 'debate' is mixed with one of the first two types.

Then I think I have been misusing the term debate, because this sounds like what I would describe as "debating badly" or "debating dishonestly". In a debate, to my mind, both parties should be trying to convince the other through the use of arguments they sincerely believe to be correct (in the case of devil's advocates, the arguments themselves should be valid even if they don't agree with the conclusion), otherwise it's a foolish and disingenuous exercise. Both should be open to the possibility of learning from the other, and neither should see it as a competition that can be "won". The aim should be to be right, not to appear to be right.

Also, though, I think it's very easy for a discussion, as you define it, to become heated quite naturally, even when only two people are participating. For example, suppose Alice and Bob are having a discussion, and Alice is sincerely interested in X:

Alice: But why is X so great?
Bob: Because FALLACY.

This is a polite discussion, but depending both on how Alice responds to that fallacy and how defensive Bob feels about X, it could turn nasty very quickly.

And these would not be formal rules, but just part of the general "culture" of the forum here. If a thread didn't adhere to any of this, the rest of us would be empowered to remind the participants of what the expectations are, perhaps by linking to a page that contains a summary of whatever consensus we come up with here. After that, any thread that didn't go along could be avoided by those of us who want to participate in threads with a clear purpose and a sense of a genuine exchange of views.

This was actually my intention from the start, hence my use of the word "guideline". These wouldn't be enforced rules as such, but advice on how to behave civilly and rationally (and hopefully reduce the need for any mod enforcement of the actual, existing rules).
 121 De Marquis, Fri, 27th May '11 11:34:13 AM from Hell, USA Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Hey Bobby, would you be kind enough to write up what you think was the final consensus here? I would like to be able to link to it.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 122 Bobby G, Fri, 27th May '11 12:30:13 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
Did we arrive at a consensus? I thought the discussion sort of petered out.

My perception was that there was general support for improved behaviour in discussions, but no agreement over whether we needed to codify this into any kind of formal guideline.
Unchanging Avatar.
Well, I think we've decided against splitting, by lack of popular support.

Maybe we should use the idea of having tags to mark different types of threads, or we could ask FE to rewrite the Introducing On-Topic Conversations bit to be more explicit.

Or we could just try to do better, I suppose.

No clue.
Except for 4/1/2011. That day lingers in my memory like...metaphor here...I should go.
 124 Fighteer, Fri, 27th May '11 1:48:50 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Okay, contribution time. I don't feel like a split is in order, except to move topics that belong elsewhere to the appropriate locations, like Yack Fest.

I do get a bit annoyed by people misusing fallacies and, correspondingly, misusing the Fallacy Fallacy. I would support the existence of a "Good Debating Tactics" article or something. But I don't think we need highly formalized rules. That kind of goes against the spirit of the wiki. A general pinned thread identifying types of threads and basic debating rules might be a useful thing to have.

Edit: A "good debating tactics" thread, by the way, is a great way to get people to start rules lawyering each other, so we have to be careful to write it informally.

edited 27th May '11 1:59:05 PM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 125 Drunk Girlfriend, Fri, 27th May '11 2:26:02 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Well, let me know when it gets worked out. In the meantime, I'm just staying out of OTC. I really don't think I'm smart enough to debate against the regulars anyways, so it's just a waste of time and a serious frustration for me.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 125
 1  2  3  4
5


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy