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Moderation Bill F. 2/7/15 3:18 AM
RE: Moderation B. B 2/7/15 8:36 AM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/7/15 7:39 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/8/15 10:52 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/9/15 8:22 AM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/10/15 4:53 AM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 11:28 PM
RE: Moderation Bill F. 2/7/15 6:34 PM
RE: Moderation Ryan J 2/7/15 7:08 PM
RE: Moderation x x 2/8/15 5:18 AM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/14/15 5:23 AM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 2:22 PM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/9/15 4:13 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 4:20 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:50 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 7:54 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 8:01 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 11:51 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/10/15 5:57 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/10/15 7:59 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 9:15 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/10/15 6:59 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 11:48 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/10/15 8:35 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/10/15 9:30 PM
RE: Moderation stuart chas law 2/10/15 10:22 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/11/15 1:16 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/7/15 7:41 PM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/7/15 8:10 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 12:06 AM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/8/15 11:44 AM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/8/15 12:43 PM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/8/15 2:57 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/8/15 3:51 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/8/15 4:06 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 2:51 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/8/15 4:35 PM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/8/15 5:23 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 3:17 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/9/15 8:10 AM
RE: Moderation lama carrot top 2/9/15 9:29 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/8/15 12:43 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/8/15 8:03 AM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 9:18 AM
RE: Moderation Simon Ekstrand 2/8/15 7:38 AM
RE: Moderation Bill F. 2/7/15 9:34 PM
RE: Moderation Simon Ekstrand 2/8/15 7:44 AM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 3:33 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/7/15 9:18 PM
RE: Moderation lama carrot top 2/7/15 10:15 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/7/15 11:42 PM
RE: Moderation C P M 2/8/15 10:07 AM
RE: Moderation Bill F. 2/8/15 10:42 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/8/15 10:57 AM
RE: Moderation Bill F. 2/8/15 11:04 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/8/15 11:18 AM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 3:20 PM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 4:09 PM
RE: Moderation AugustLeo 2/8/15 5:12 PM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 5:42 PM
RE: Moderation AugustLeo 2/8/15 6:11 PM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 6:21 PM
RE: Moderation AugustLeo 2/8/15 6:23 PM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 6:52 PM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/8/15 10:31 PM
RE: Moderation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 10:47 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/8/15 11:58 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/9/15 8:14 AM
RE: Moderation Nikolai . 2/8/15 1:58 PM
RE: Moderation Bill F. 2/8/15 2:54 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/9/15 8:37 AM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/9/15 1:52 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 3:24 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 3:07 PM
RE: Moderation Nikolai . 2/9/15 2:16 PM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/9/15 2:45 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 3:15 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 2:53 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 3:33 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 3:41 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 3:45 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 3:56 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 4:02 PM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/9/15 4:12 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 4:24 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:25 PM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/9/15 4:29 PM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/9/15 4:40 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 5:07 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:53 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 5:19 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 5:46 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 6:00 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 6:50 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 6:46 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 6:55 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 7:28 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 10:37 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 10:48 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 11:07 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 11:55 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 11:18 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 11:48 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 11:59 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/10/15 12:18 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/9/15 7:00 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/9/15 11:33 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/10/15 7:38 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/10/15 7:42 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/10/15 8:45 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/10/15 8:53 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/10/15 9:24 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/10/15 9:52 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 2:02 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/11/15 10:17 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 10:33 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/10/15 10:08 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 8:15 PM
RE: Moderation Ryan J 2/9/15 9:45 PM
RE: Moderation Connie Dobbs 2/11/15 2:52 AM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/9/15 4:49 PM
RE: Moderation Chuck Kasmire 2/9/15 4:40 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/10/15 7:31 AM
RE: Moderation Andreas 2/8/15 4:34 AM
RE: Moderation AugustLeo 2/9/15 12:13 PM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/8/15 3:44 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/8/15 3:31 PM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/8/15 7:30 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 4:06 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 4:07 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 4:10 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 4:11 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:16 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:12 PM
RE: Moderation Simon Ekstrand 2/9/15 4:29 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:08 PM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/9/15 4:08 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/9/15 12:17 AM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/9/15 12:31 AM
RE: Moderation Chuck Kasmire 2/9/15 12:53 AM
RE: Moderation Kenneth Folk 2/9/15 4:09 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 11:43 PM
RE: Moderation Alin Mathews 2/9/15 4:09 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 4:10 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 4:10 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/9/15 4:02 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/9/15 4:08 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/9/15 4:12 PM
RE: Moderation Tom Tom 2/8/15 8:00 PM
RE: Moderation ftw 2/8/15 7:54 PM
RE: Moderation Dada Kind 2/9/15 4:39 PM
RE: Moderation Psi 2/9/15 5:16 PM
RE: Moderation sawfoot _ 2/11/15 8:29 AM
RE: Moderation sloane 2/10/15 7:55 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/10/15 8:07 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/10/15 8:18 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/10/15 11:47 PM
RE: Moderation Connie Dobbs 2/11/15 3:14 AM
RE: Moderation sloane 2/11/15 4:05 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 11:52 PM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/11/15 7:06 PM
RE: Moderation Ryan J 2/11/15 9:21 PM
RE: Moderation Ryan J 2/10/15 10:18 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/10/15 10:28 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/11/15 10:29 AM
RE: Moderation Connie Dobbs 2/11/15 2:26 AM
RE: Moderation Simon Ekstrand 2/11/15 3:14 AM
RE: Moderation Connie Dobbs 2/11/15 3:15 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/11/15 5:56 AM
RE: Moderation Simon Ekstrand 2/11/15 6:36 AM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/11/15 7:46 AM
RE: Moderation Ryan J 2/11/15 12:03 PM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/11/15 12:41 PM
RE: Moderation Daniel - san 2/11/15 10:10 PM
RE: Moderation CJMacie 2/12/15 7:23 AM
RE: Moderation C P M 2/11/15 7:14 AM
RE: Moderation Laurel Carrington 2/11/15 7:53 AM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/11/15 11:16 AM
RE: Moderation C P M 2/11/15 1:03 PM
RE: Moderation . Jake . 2/11/15 10:00 AM
RE: Moderation Jenny 2/11/15 12:31 PM
RE: Moderation . Jake . 2/11/15 1:15 PM
RE: Moderation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 2/11/15 1:15 PM
RE: Moderation Matt 2/11/15 10:58 AM
Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 3:18 AM
I think a useful discussion needs to happen on what is to be moderated here, and how that is defined. Specifically I am asking the moderators or others for their thoughts on the following statements, and definitions. Right now it feels a little ambiguous and subjective:



  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks./  There is clearly no agreement on this. Even in specific circumstances, what constitues an attack is not clear. How are moderators defining this in a way that isn't subjective?
  • No on-and-on repetitious, angry rants that marshal no supporting evidence, target an interlocutor, and have the effect of intimidating the interlocutor. Again, if this is not defined clearly and without agreement amongst moderators it will not be consistently enforced. How do you determine if a poster is angry based on a computer post, and what constitutes a rant?
  • No threats of violence, even if metaphorical or aimed at no one in particular/ This seems clear.
  • No taunting, mocking, or intimidation of an individual or a group on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, disability (including mental illness), sexual orientation, religious preference, or spiritual practice. /Somewhat clear, but individuals routinely disparage the spiritual practice of others, and to my knowledge none of them have been banned, or warned. I remain open to being proved wrong.
  • No speech acts that would be actionable under US criminal or civil tort law/ I don't even know what this one means. It sounds like something someone would shout at a civil war re-eneactment, waving a piece of paper meant to look important. I could look it up I guess, but it's 4 in the morning and I've been working on a grad school essay about Person Centered Therapy for the last few hours. I'd rather think of a recipe for tomorrow.

The Moderators will warn and, as a second step ban posters who are absolutely not willing to respect these rules. You can contact the moderators by using the Messaging system/ Does this actually ever happen?

If a system of moderation is not enforced, which it does not seem to be, why even write it up, and pretend?


RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 8:36 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Some proposals to start discussion on how to flesh these points out, not necessarily my own preferences: 
  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks./  There is clearly no agreement on this. Even in specific circumstances, what constitues an attack is not clear. How are moderators defining this in a way that isn't subjective?
  • Do not criticize a person's character whatsoever.
  • Do not disparage anyone or any group of people whatsoever.
  • Do not post suppositions about the motives behind a person's actions, or explicitly link them with negative character traits, even if there is some perceived basis for doing so. 
  • Do not directly or indirectly mock people's actions.
  • Do not ask deliberately loaded questions that implicitly call a person's character or motives into question, or suggest some form of wrongdoing on their part.

  • No on-and-on repetitious, angry rants that marshal no supporting evidence, target an interlocutor, and have the effect of intimidating the interlocutor. Again, if this is not defined clearly and without agreement amongst moderators it will not be consistently enforced. How do you determine if a poster is angry based on a computer post, and what constitutes a rant?
  • Do not demand that people do or not do anything (moderators exempt).
  • Do not tell people to do or not do anything repeatedly, so that through the accumulative force of repetition, the initial direction becomes a demand.
  • Do not deliberately say anything to anyone repeatedly, so that through the accumulative force of repetition, the initial statement becomes intimidatory or irritating.

  • No taunting, mocking, or intimidation of an individual or a group on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, disability (including mental illness), sexual orientation, religious preference, or spiritual practice. /Somewhat clear, but individuals routinely disparage the spiritual practice of others, and to my knowledge none of them have been banned, or warned. I remain open to being proved wrong.
  • Do not disparage the spiritual practice of others without supporting your statements with substantive evidence.
  • Do not disparage the opinions of others on anything without supporting your statements with substantive evidence.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 7:39 PM as a reply to Bill F..
If a posters seems to not understand what's on the DhO front page, coach 'em then chuck 'em.

If a poster seems to be trying hard to avoid understand what they are replying to, coach 'em then chuck 'em.

Edited for politeness.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 6:34 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Jenny's post from other thread, copied and pasted, but on topic.

"The root and solution to this problem ultimately rests with the site owner, who, after all, calls himself the "Overlord" of all that you survey.

I don't know whether you saw or heard about the blowup that occurred back in September, but it was long and ugly, and I was at the center of it. I ended up leaving here for quite a while and still post much less here than I did beforehand.

In the September event, in a thread posted by Sawfoot, I took offense at some remarks aimed at me that I felt were sexist and denigrating of those with mental illness. I objected that these comments were hate speech, and I complained to the moderators via private DhO messaging since the red flags didn't even work here at the time to flag content for mod attention.

The conflict continued for a day past when Florian and Nick were made aware of it. 

Nothing was done till I complained to Daniel Ingram himself after one of his long, grueling hospital shifts, and this was at 2 a.m., by phone to him at his house. After many hours working the ER, he had to log in and try to wade though that Sawfoot thread to look for the isolated comments I wanted gone. Fed up and tired, he decided to just delete the entire thread in question, citing his being being too fed up with having to wade through that mostly useless (merely contentious) thread. In short, he found the whole thread annoying, not just the comments I had objected to.

So next controversy erupted over the fact that Daniel dared to delete a thread from the forum. There were calls for it to be restored. He said and announced on here that this was indeed the first time that he had ever deleted a thread, and that it could not be restored even if he wanted to restore it, which I don't think he did. It was Sawfoot's post, as I say, and consisted at the beginning of Sawfoot's sparring with Florian over Florian's moderation of Sawfoot on another thread (and in general on threads where Florian has warned SF to knock it off).

Within hours of Daniel's deletion of Sawfoot's thread, a troll, a sockpuppet, logged on, and started attacking me on another thread. This puppet seized on one term I used in this other, provocative thread that followed up on the deleted one. 

This second thread was started by Adam. The term that I had used in passing on this second thread was "feminist theory," and this post-Sawfoot sockpuppet who suddenly logged in under a new account and false name proceeded to "shout" at me, hurl invectives at me, accuse me of trying to take over the DhO with a "feminist agenda," and so on.The puppet shouted at me for days, "GET OUT. GET OFF MY SITE." Everyone here pretty much stood around and watched this happen, to my moritification. I felt, seriously, like I had been violated in front of a community that stood by and did nothing, said nothing.

Florian did try to to stop it, a little late, but there is indeed a moderator bent toward nonintervention here, and that's what went down: nothing. 

Soon after all this, on Nick's suggestion, Daniel made me a moderator (without first asking me if I wanted to be one). I turned the role down, but Daniel asked me to do it again, so I reluctantly agreed to help.

I've never taken any moderation action whatsoever on this site, even though I'm still listed as a moderator and still have special moderator controls. Officially, I resigned from the position within a few weeks (if I remember correctly) of having it rather foisted on me. 

You see, at the time, the moderators (Florian, Katy, Nick, BCDEFG, and I), along with Daniel when Daniel wasn't completely swamped with his hospital hours, entered by email into intense discussions, with no little heat, about the current culture of the DhO, the trolling/sockpuppetry problems, the supposed rudeness and possible dharma uses (!) of such rudeness, the dangers of turning into something oppressive and smarmy, the vision for the future of the DhO culture, and how best to make that vision the reality.

I penned some basic beefed up forum rules, which Daniel did add to the landing page for the site. These rules are still there, although note that there is no rule against trolling or sockpuppetry, just rules against unlawful hate speech. 

At the time of these off-line discussions, I said to the other mods and Daniel that we cannot have rules with any teeth if we don't also have a reporting protocol for members, an enforcement protocol, and a concerted effort among moderators to consistently apply that protocol. I stand by this view.

Now, as with any issue in life, there are differing views among people about what an ideal forum culture and moderation protocol should be. Katy happened at that time to be completely opposite in view to mine. She voiced the opinion that "moderators" should be "hands off." She was against formulating a moderator enforcement protocol, preferring to leave things "loose and dirty." If I understood her correctly, she felt that she behaved confrontationally here prepath, when in the Dark Night. She felt that we should all be nurturing and forgiving of those individual members similarly situated, because people had done her that kindness.

Katy also voiced a view that I've seen many times voiced by others here on the DhO: that we who are insulted or shouted down or otherwise hurtfully rebuked should be using these instances as opportunities for our own practice. 

I could not disagree more with Katy's view of what community-supported practice is about. I attended a Tibetan Buddhist center for a year and a half before encountering MCTB. One thing I did learn from the monks and nuns there is that part of the practice, morality practice specifically, is to avoid ordinary trouble by all mundane, conventional, ordinary means available. In other words, don't go looking for trouble or suffering to "work with." 

My life gives me plenty of suffering to "work with," thank you very much, just by virtue of my drawing breath. This strange notion that the Dharma Overground somehow nurtures our practice by giving us something rotten to practice against is just twisted and wrongheaded. I would urge people here to think hard about the odd and, to my mind, unskillful notion that DhO should function as a dukkha obstacle fitness course. I stated to Katy at the time and still hold to the view that a moderator must keep his or her personal feelings and even personal practice separate from duty to the health of the community as a whole.

Now, at the time that these intense discussions among the mods were going on, it became clear to me that Katy, and I think to some extent BCDEFG, were philosophically reluctant to toughen moderation here and make it all rule- and protocol-bound. For Florian and Nick, there were considerations of time commitments that toughing up seemed to imply. I quit the discussions and asked to be removed as a moderator, citing my minority stance and no will among the others to change.

Daniel would catch up on his 500 emails and participate in these discussions. He also had other, private email conversations with me then and since about moderation of the DhO. It is no secret that Daniel thinks that the current iteration of the DhO--although not the worst in its history--is also far from the best. 

When I cited to Daniel the scarcity of women participating here and the masculinist rhetoric, metaphors, and feel of the site, Daniel asked me if I thought that maybe he, Daniel, weren't also persecuted here on the grounds of hisspiritual beliefs and practices. In short, he drew a parallel between "hate speech" based on gender and "hate speech" based on religious preference. He stated that he, the very owner of this site, no longer felts comfortable posting about his own practices here, particularly powers practices or happenings. Why? Certain trolls, disrespectful skeptics, and people either idealizing or vilifying him taunt him or give him much to wade through when he shares. Now, if the site's owner doesn't even feel safe and supported here, then we have a problem indeed, no?

Do you all want a forum on which high-level practictioners don't share and interact with youi?

Where are all the high-level practitioners who used to share here? Nikolai posted here a comment I read once to the effect that he too deliberately does not share much here (though he now also has a baby, which is a matter of time constraint, too). 

Without high-level practictioner-leaders here to model and steer the discourse, without community standards that are thoughtfully enforced for the good of the whole, we do indeed face Lord of the Flies. I have to admit that in private correspondence I will sometimes refer to the DhO as "the children," as in, "I have to continue to edit MCTB2 for Daniel, for the sake of the children."

What kind of community do we want this to be? We can weigh in, sure, but we've had many such weigh-ins and appeals to everyone's better impulses. One thing I've learned as a professional is that individuals cannot walk in from the outside of an entrenched organizational culture and change it from the grassroots. That won't work here, either--and least not timely. There needs to be leadership--steering, rules, protocols, and those willing to enforce them out of compassion for the community as a whole.

Note that I'm not advocating that this place become another Awake Network, or that the moderation here be heavy-handed or intolerant of some heat in a debate. But there does need to be something to hold the tide against descent into mere chaos that prevents our discussing and supporting one and all toward awakening.

A practical formidable hindrance is that Daniel's time is truly overcommitted. His work demands are more intense than people here generally realize but that I've come to know by way of being his book editor. The work on MCTB2, too, is daily and intensive, and most often it happens after he's worked many, many hours at a very intense job, at an equally intense pace. 

What is the solution? Well, first MCTB2 needs to be finished and out of Daniel's metaphorical hair (sorry, Daniel, hahahaha). Next, Daniel needs a steering or advisory committee, a standing one of mature practitioners dedicated to the continual improvement of the culture here, to moderation and the rules and understandings that membership here should enjoin.

Jenny"

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 7:08 PM as a reply to Bill F..
God that was a great post by Jenny. I've always thought this place was a little bit too much of a clusterfuck. I suspect that a lot of lurkers remain lurkers who have a sweet spot of sincere practice and good communication skills because they see this place as being too harsh and dark. The ones who may not be super duper amazing and great and 3rd 4th MCTB path but a grade or two above what you'd find at some standard western Buddhist/meditation center who would benefit from interaction and also add fresh perspectives here and there.

This place needs more moderation and not too much more. If someone suggests this idea suddenly you get a few staunch people who think even a modicum of moderation will result in North Korea jr.

The Dalai Lama says he never met a person he didn't consider a friend. Well, I'd like to imagine he said right after, "Cuz I got secret service to take care of the ones I don't ^_^"

Likewise, I agree that if this place is to converge to a realistic flourishing of what can be expected with humans, stricter moderation will need to take place. There will be serious complaining at this, you see someone getting quite upset at the mere suggestion of this. Well, they'll just have to deal with it. Some people are going to have to lose, and I think the ones that we can loosely call consistently dramatic are the ones who will lose.

A friend to everyone is a friend to no one. Let's cut our losses and focus on a realistic quality that can beachieved over time with slightly stricter and sensible moderation. The first objection to this is, "what does that mean?" Which is a complex issue, but I think any reasonably mature adult can determine this. I have a list in my head of who I think is mature and who I think is immature and a gray area in between. I don't want to embroil myself in heated discussions at this moment in time so I shy away from this. But Jenny's suggestion, Kenneth Folk's suggestions, and what I can roughly imagine Daniel Ingram has in mind seem pretty fair and certainly not heavy a handed dictatorship. People's feelings will be hurt, but I certainly fall into the camp of taking action that will keep discussion both free to discuss whatever and free from out of control drama.

A lot of this drama is also rooted in people who fall hardcore into pragmatism vs. strict adhearance to traditional sutra and such. I can't help but feel Kenneth Folk's returning was a political disturbance to the unspoken political allegiances of this forum. It's a political battle, and the sides were unsurprising to me.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 7:41 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill:


I think a useful discussion needs to happen on what is to be moderated here, and how that is defined. Specifically I am asking the moderators or others for their thoughts on the following statements, and definitions. Right now it feels a little ambiguous and subjective:
  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks./  There is clearly no agreement on this. Even in specific circumstances, what constitues an attack is not clear. How are moderators defining this in a way that isn't subjective?
  • No on-and-on repetitious, angry rants that marshal no supporting evidence, target an interlocutor, and have the effect of intimidating the interlocutor. Again, if this is not defined clearly and without agreement amongst moderators it will not be consistently enforced. How do you determine if a poster is angry based on a computer post, and what constitutes a rant?
  • No threats of violence, even if metaphorical or aimed at no one in particular/ This seems clear.
  • No taunting, mocking, or intimidation of an individual or a group on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, disability (including mental illness), sexual orientation, religious preference, or spiritual practice. /Somewhat clear, but individuals routinely disparage the spiritual practice of others, and to my knowledge none of them have been banned, or warned. I remain open to being proved wrong.
  • No speech acts that would be actionable under US criminal or civil tort law/ I don't even know what this one means. It sounds like something someone would shout at a civil war re-eneactment, waving a piece of paper meant to look important. I could look it up I guess, but it's 4 in the morning and I've been working on a grad school essay about Person Centered Therapy for the last few hours. I'd rather think of a recipe for tomorrow.

The Moderators will warn and, as a second step ban posters who are absolutely not willing to respect these rules. You can contact the moderators by using the Messaging system/ Does this actually ever happen?

If a system of moderation is not enforced, which it does not seem to be, why even write it up, and pretend?


Dear Bill,

Thanks for moving this issue to a separate thread, which is what I really should have done, but I wanted to answer Kenneth.

The language of the rules is clear as language of any kind goes, but then I may think so because I drafted these rules single-handedly, and Daniel quickly posted them as a kind of emergency stop-gap at the time.I do not think that the current Kenneth-Katy blowup is due to a failure of these rules to be clear. Instead it is due to a failure of the moderation team and Daniel to finish the work I started here back in September: namely, 

  • to rewrite the entire site landing page to be more in-your-face with policies, terms of use, and mission/vision
  • to draft a members' violation-reporting protocol,

  • to draft and publish out an enforcement protocol that the moderation team will consistently follow, and

  • to consider technological ways to vet members and prevent anonymous sockpuppets.

I've not intervened in the current dispute, because I'm unclear whether I'm still a moderator. I did resign formally to Daniel back in September, and Florian removed me from the moderators' communication channel after I asked twice to be removed. I nonetheless am still listed as a moderator, and I still have moderator controls. Probably Daniel just never got around to having these removed.Anyway, moderation is not my special talent; editing is, and my hands are full enough with editing MCTB2. Until that is done, I'm overexteded already. Moderation is a thankless, unglamorous task. Although people fault the moderators, I do also feel for them in their position.

As for the rules above, again I find them pretty darned clear; however all language is metaphorical by nature, so as with all other discourse, ruling is ultimately by concensus of those with the power. So, name-calling, in a particular allegation, is whatever the mod team determines it is. 

As for long angry rants--those are definitely currently ongoing next door.  But notice the "and" in that rule. The target has to feel intimidated and therefore has to have reported the violation. The red flags now work. I don't know whether Katy or Kenneth has reported a violation to the moderators. It is unfortunate that all this broke out while Daniel and Florian are on retreat together for another week. SIGH.

I've not noticed lately mocking/taunting/intimidation of another's spiritual practice here lately. Can you link me to an example? Debate is not intimidating mockery, you know.The final rule is the clearest of all: Don't break U.S. laws on here. It is a kind of catchall for unlawful behavior. Also it is a warning against defamation for which in some countries a site own might be partly liable.

Note that for one of these rules to be enforced, my intention was that the person allegedly wronged officially report the wrong. Otherwise, the moderators are not obligated to intervene in a discussion.

You are correct in noting that the culture-improvement initiative was never finished. I resigned as a mod because there was no collective will to finish the job. 

Hopefully Daniel will see this thread. Or you can always email him the link. Lord knows I do that sometimes.

EDITS: typos and stupid formatting problems


RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 8:10 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful post on the Money and the Buddha thread. It helped me better understand what has been going on here.

By the way, I did try the flag button several times. I think it worked on one occasion, but more often, nothing happened and it didn't even light up red when I moused over it.

I feel encouraged that moderation is being seriously discussed on this thread (thanks, Bill), and at the same time, Jenny, you are right that Daniel alone has the power to change the culture or to stay hands-off and let the chips fall where they may. It does seem that the laissez faire approach has been thoroughly beta tested over these last several years, and we see where it has led. Hard to imagine it will spontaneously improve without some policy changes, including the will to enforce the existing guidelines.

I'm ever hopeful that together we can build a culture that supports healthy and safe discussion.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 9:18 PM as a reply to Bill F..
1) Clearly, civilized behavior in discussion is desirable, ideally necessary (internet behavior has special qualities that are problematic).

2) On the other hand, there's the danger of floating off in directions that have the tinge of a musty odor, like mushrooms (as in 'mushroom effect'). I sense pressure in this direction in some of the ideas here; and also find language that reminds me, though subtly, of lynch-mob mentality.

3) A basic principle not heard/read much here (yet, or that I missed), would be to distinguish persons from behavior (actions, words, thoughts -- here meaning words). If citing, analyzing, challenging verbal behavior, statements, positions, etc., as distinct from the person (ad-hominem-ness) becomes muffled, than we end up with a mushroom farm -- Anatta becomes masked-out by the psychological therapy approach.

4) An interesting distinction learned in the history of classical Chinese medicine: the difference between the treatment principles of "regulation" and "rectification" (both being translations, approximations of Chinese terms).

"Regulation" is understood, in this contect, as promoting, guiding towards psycho-physiological self-correction. Similar to but not identical with 'homeostasis', as the latter term refers to bio-chemical state or statis of equilibrium, while the former term pertains to dynamic process.

"Rectification" means enforcing conformity with certain standards. The concept arose as a social-political notion with the neo-Confucianism of the Song era (ca. 10th-12th-centuries, C.E.) -- an era marked by the resurgence of a "pure" Chinese cultural identity, purging it of all 'foreign' influences, most notably Buddhist ideas and practices that had become integral to Chinese cultural life (together with a high degree of social tolerance) in the preceding Tang dynasty. The the current "dynasty" (since 1949) -- the CCP -- is generally considered neo-Confucian in style, and, as 'neo-cons', in some repects resemble attitudes of some 'neo-cons' ('neo-Conservatives') in the USA. One saw the term a lot in the era of the "Cultural Revolution" -- people sent to hard-labor farms to correct their ideology; and this occurs yet today.
(Medically speaking, "rectification" means invasive, coersive therapy, as in, for instance, most modern pharmacology, surgical-, radiation- and chemo-therapies.)

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 9:34 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny,

      I don't want to include the link on this thread because I could see it as doing more harm than good, but my perception is that mocking of spiritual practice occurs often. I can send privately if useful.
      Regarding the language, and my search for clarity: I am not suggesting that the language is unclear or that you did a poor job of establishing a code of conduct . I am suggesting that the language in combination with the current moderation policy, which admittedly I do not understand fully, seems to be ineffective.

Bill

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 10:15 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris, you're not a quick read, oblique sometimes even, but that's okay  I fear, though, you will be drowned out by louder voices. Thanks for chipping in.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/7/15 11:42 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris:
On the other hand, there's the danger of floating off in directions that have the tinge of a musty odor, like mushrooms (as in 'mushroom effect'). I sense pressure in this direction in some of the ideas here; and also find language that reminds me, though subtly, of lynch-mob mentality.

There is too much in the way of variety of approach to mind hacking here (pragmatism) for there to be significant danger of mushroom culture. All forums or gatherings of people for any purpose should have policies. Did the Buddha encourage his disciples to run wild? Or did he too have to lay down some rules?

I want a community that high-level practitioners, women, and people with powers practices feel safe about participating in. That isn't going to happen here if the Wild West mentality continues unchallenged. I'm challenging it, and if I lose the challenge, then I'll be gone, plain and simple. No loss? Okay. Who else is no loss? Is Daniel Ingram's reluctance to post on his own forum a loss to you, or not?

Humans are human first, regardless of attainments. This means where people congregate in numbers there will be politics, there will be power dynamics, and there will be conflicts. Who gets excluded when, in the name of avoiding what you are hyperbolically calling "mushroom culture" or "lynch mob" mentality, the chaos is allowed to derail discussion and reasonable debate for days on end? 

The true "mushrooms" here all those growing alone in the dark because there is no structure here to render them safe to participate.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 12:06 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth,

Daniel really does want a change here and came on here and said so repeatedly back in September. He was in favor of drafting new rules. I gave him a template I devised for filling in site vision, mission, and history, and a template for the rest of the decisions that would need to be made and the rest of the language that he would need to fill in to to have a workable and real moderation plan.

He also wanted to start banning known troublemakers.

The trouble is, as I said, that Daniel is stretched very thin these days. He needs to rely on a committee approach here, but back in September, there wasn't a collective will among the established moderators to buckle down and make change happen.

I gave up, and after a while Daniel sort of shifted from wanting to forge ahead and even ban some people to "Well, I just have faith that the bad will sink to the bottom, and the good will rise to the top." I don't know whether it is because Daniel is an emergency room doctor, because he is overextended, because he is an arahat, or some combination of these factors--but I've noticed that I have to get action or decisiveness out of him on any particular issue immediately, or the next thing arises for him and he's just gone. So, if there is a pause in the moderation improvement efforts, he is likely to be off and into the next thing that arises and the work is simply dropped into a big black hole.

I confirmed last night with one of the moderators here that after I quit, the talks about moderation stopped too.

Daniel has begun initiatives to have the site design redone so that it isn't so "masculine" in look and feel. He truly wants to be more inclusive of those groups of people who've been too something or other to participate here. So there is that.

As an editor-writer, I'm willing to help him clarify the language for the site portal, too, but the drive and decisions and whom to appoint to help actually moderate need to come from or at least through him. I've stated this much repeatedly to him. I'm not the only one with a voice, surely. I'm not inclined to keep being the one to fall upon my sword. I simply keep my distance from this forum so as to avoid the poison it gives off.

It will be fascinating to see what Daniel says to all that has transpired and been written here when he returns from retreat.

It might be nice if we'd all retreat a bit, too, and power out some metta for everyone in this community, for all.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 12:43 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hey Kenneth, 

Little late in the day, but I wanted to explain what I meant by my post earlier today.

My intention was this, It seemed to me that in your opening post on Money and Buddha, it was like you had made a room, invited everyone in, then had thrown a beehive into the room.  Then when the bees were all stirred up, you seemed to be getting on to the Beekeepers, i.e. moderators,  for doing a bad job of containing the bees, which to me, looks like you let loose in the first place.  But, that is just from my third person perspective. Cause and effect, and yes I know there were earlier causes, ad infinitum...

And, sorry if my wording was a little harsh, perhaps other wording, or better explaining what my intentions were would have been better.  I seem to have trouble in coming across too vaguely, or cryptic sometimes.

But anyway, I have absolutley zero hard feelings towards either you or towards Katy.

It is rather unfortunate that some of the discussions have been centered around such a mundane level.

But, it will all arise and pass away.

So anyway, it is nice to meet you, sorry if I offended, welcome to the forum again, and hopefully we can all treat each other with a little more respect.

Maybe it is just a rough start

Hakuna Matata

Psi

P.S.  Also, maybe we are just a bunch of hard ass, dharma investigative types, and moderating us into some metta fest would be like herding cats  , This is a joke, right, are jokes still okay?  Is this gonna get banned?  Oh, crap, here we go....

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 4:34 AM as a reply to Bill F..
All this because what Q&A means could not be understood? 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 5:18 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
The Dalai Lama says he never met a person he didn't consider a friend. Well, I'd like to imagine he said right after, "Cuz I got secret service to take care of the ones I don't ^_^"



emoticon That joke has some wisdom in it.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/14/15 5:23 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Sorry to respond to this thread here, but it does fit the theme, and relates to moderators. 
Jenny Forest:

I have saved on my hard drive a timeline, series of interactions I had with you online here and by private email that certainly seemed to me and to the other moderators to point to you as the sockpuppet. It was sound circumstantial evidence, and convincing. That the DhO account created on the spot to attack me meets the definition of sockpuppetry is beyond question or dispute: It was created for the purpose of the attack and promptly disposed of once the thread was locked by the mods: a z.

This all happened months ago, and I'm no longer personally invested in identifying the person behind the sockpuppet.

If it indeed wasn't you, despite some timeline inconsistencies in what you claimed to me at the time, then let's let the indeterminable identity of that "Bill" who attacked me rest as indeterminable and not as Sawfoot, okay? Okay.
Jenny's definition of a sockpuppet:
"That the DhO account created on the spot to attack me meets the definition of sockpuppetry is beyond question or dispute: It was created for the purpose of the attack and promptly disposed of once the thread was locked by the mods"

Other definitions of "sockpuppet":

An account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sock+puppet

sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.[1] (wikipedia)

Definition of "convincing":
leaving no margin of doubt; clear.
synonyms: decisive, conclusive,
From <https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=convincing&gws_rd=ssl>

I am not sure which other moderators you are referring to. Claudiu, Florian, Nikolai, Katy, Daniel? Some of them, all of them? Other moderators, please chime in that you are convinced by the evidence. If you were convinced, why didn't you ban me? If I was a moderator and I thought the evidence was so convincing given the behaviour of the Bill avatar, then I would have banned the user. 

Below is the timeline and contents of my communications that are think are relevant, which were happening at the same time you and "other moderators" think I was simultaneously waging a hate campaign against you. I would also look to consider, along with the "convincing circumstantial evidence", whether the mode of communication of the Bill user/potential sockpuppet was consistent with my writing and posting style and the contents of my previous posts.

 Thread with user Bill Glamdring, first post in that threadby that user: 9/22/14 10:21 AM (I guess American time?) - last post 9/24/149:40 AM - 11 posts in total. Join date 9/22/14 F

Thead in question http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5587934?doAsUserId=U4FYRpmIICQ%3D%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fmessage%2F419208%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fmessage%2F551281>
 

Communications:

EDIT: Communications redacted. Please PM if you want a copy.
And altered first sentence regaring moderators to be nicer. 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 7:38 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:

By the way, I did try the flag button several times. I think it worked on one occasion, but more often, nothing happened and it didn't even light up red when I moused over it.

Hi,

The flag buttons work, there were several notifications sent over the course of that thread.

I have never seen the flag not light up red when moused over, that sounds more like a browser issue. If you could point to a specific post where this happens I can see if I can reproduce it.

Simon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 7:44 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
  • to consider technological ways to vet members and prevent anonymous sockpuppets.



Unless someone goes through the trouble of using proxies or similar it's entirely possible to check if an account is a sockpuppet for another account now. This was not possible last fall due to ip addresses being incorrectly logged in the DhO backend.

Simon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 8:03 AM as a reply to Psi.
Thanks for your post, Psi. I will admit that I got angry at you and blew up, and I regret it (although the post where I blew up was aimed more at Katy, incorporating Claudiu as well as you). I don't like comparing people to the Republican Party, either directly or by implication. It's one of the worst insults I can think of (any Republicans out there, please forgive me). Seriously, though, this thread of moderation (pun intended) feels very healing right now. 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 9:18 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Psi:
Hey Kenneth, 

Little late in the day, but I wanted to explain what I meant by my post earlier today.

My intention was this, It seemed to me that in your opening post on Money and Buddha, it was like you had made a room, invited everyone in, then had thrown a beehive into the room.  Then when the bees were all stirred up, you seemed to be getting on to the Beekeepers, i.e. moderators,  for doing a bad job of containing the bees, which to me, looks like you let loose in the first place.  But, that is just from my third person perspective. Cause and effect, and yes I know there were earlier causes, ad infinitum...

And, sorry if my wording was a little harsh, perhaps other wording, or better explaining what my intentions were would have been better.  I seem to have trouble in coming across too vaguely, or cryptic sometimes.

But anyway, I have absolutley zero hard feelings towards either you or towards Katy.

It is rather unfortunate that some of the discussions have been centered around such a mundane level.

But, it will all arise and pass away.

So anyway, it is nice to meet you, sorry if I offended, welcome to the forum again, and hopefully we can all treat each other with a little more respect.

Maybe it is just a rough start

Hakuna Matata

Psi

P.S.  Also, maybe we are just a bunch of hard ass, dharma investigative types, and moderating us into some metta fest would be like herding cats  , This is a joke, right, are jokes still okay?  Is this gonna get banned?  Oh, crap, here we go....
Hi Psi, 

I agree. This practice means nothing if there's clinging to something, including an argumentative state.

To Sawfoot's point, it's not genocide, but this sort of thing (righteous indignation / moral justification / self-righteousness)-- probably the longest most divisive thread in DhO history that had to be locked-- can cause more trouble if it persists without apology/ modifying conduct/ moving on sincerely. I'm sorry I took the bait set. 
Laurel Carrington:

Thanks for your post, Psi. I will admit that I got angry at you and blew up, and I regret it (although the post where I blew up was aimed more at Katy, incorporating Claudiu as well as you). I don't like comparing people to the Republican Party, either directly or by implication. It's one of the worst insults I can think of (any Republicans out there, please forgive me). Seriously, though, this thread of moderation (pun intended) feels very healing right now. 
Laurel, no worries. I come from a diverse family; it's not an insult to be assigned a political party name. As you might imagine, though, I'm more of a Green Party gal. 
_________________________
edit: attributing excerpts to authors

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:07 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
1) Clearly, civilized behavior in discussion is desirable, ideally necessary (internet behavior has special qualities that are problematic).

2) On the other hand, there's the danger of floating off in directions that have the tinge of a musty odor, like mushrooms (as in 'mushroom effect'). I sense pressure in this direction in some of the ideas here; and also find language that reminds me, though subtly, of lynch-mob mentality.

3) A basic principle not heard/read much here (yet, or that I missed), would be to distinguish persons from behavior (actions, words, thoughts -- here meaning words). If citing, analyzing, challenging verbal behavior, statements, positions, etc., as distinct from the person (ad-hominem-ness) becomes muffled, than we end up with a mushroom farm -- Anatta becomes masked-out by the psychological therapy approach.

4) An interesting distinction learned in the history of classical Chinese medicine: the difference between the treatment principles of "regulation" and "rectification" (both being translations, approximations of Chinese terms).

"Regulation" is understood, in this contect, as promoting, guiding towards psycho-physiological self-correction. Similar to but not identical with 'homeostasis', as the latter term refers to bio-chemical state or statis of equilibrium, while the former term pertains to dynamic process.

"Rectification" means enforcing conformity with certain standards. The concept arose as a social-political notion with the neo-Confucianism of the Song era (ca. 10th-12th-centuries, C.E.) -- an era marked by the resurgence of a "pure" Chinese cultural identity, purging it of all 'foreign' influences, most notably Buddhist ideas and practices that had become integral to Chinese cultural life (together with a high degree of social tolerance) in the preceding Tang dynasty. The the current "dynasty" (since 1949) -- the CCP -- is generally considered neo-Confucian in style, and, as 'neo-cons', in some repects resemble attitudes of some 'neo-cons' ('neo-Conservatives') in the USA. One saw the term a lot in the era of the "Cultural Revolution" -- people sent to hard-labor farms to correct their ideology; and this occurs yet today.
(Medically speaking, "rectification" means invasive, coersive therapy, as in, for instance, most modern pharmacology, surgical-, radiation- and chemo-therapies.)

I agree with this.  I would also like to say that I appreciate the efforts of level headed moderators such as "Beoman Claudiu Dragonm Emu Fire Golem" and Nikolai to resist the considerable pressure to meet anyone's particular agenda.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:42 AM as a reply to C P M.
I would also like to say that I appreciate the efforts of level headed moderators such as "Beoman Claudiu Dragonm Emu Fire Golem" and Nikolai to resist the considerable pressure to meet anyone's particular agenda.-CPM

Yes! Definitely. I was going to send pm's but I'll agree with you here in the knowledge they'll read it. And I think you too have been pretty level headed which has allowed you to spot level-headedness in others. The only thing I objected to was Nikolai's use of the word "bunghole";) just kidding.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:57 AM as a reply to Bill F..
I don't want to reopen wounds, but it seemed to me that they were in fact taking sides.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 11:04 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Yes, I can see that too I guess. I don't think a suggestion that does not insult is re-opening wounds, nor does your comment strike me as the inflammatory variety.

Edit: But maybe that's just because I like you. Perception is flimsy I guess.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 11:18 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Aw, shucks! emoticon But I guess I can just place my vote on the side of firmer moderation, and leave it at that. I doubt anyone here would be surprised!

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 11:44 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:

...after a while Daniel sort of shifted from wanting to forge ahead and even ban some people to "Well, I just have faith that the bad will sink to the bottom, and the good will rise to the top." 

It's a very sweet hope, but it does appear that the forum has gone in the opposite direction. Laurel alluded to Gresham's Law, in which "bad money drives out good," which may be an apt metaphor.

Less metaphorically, frequent posters with clear opinions and loud voices can easily drown out others who also have something worthwhile to say. This is even more likely to happen when the loud people are more interested in making noise than engaging in thoughtful discussion.

There is no question in my mind that it's possible to over-moderate a forum and stifle lively discussion. Daniel's commitment to keeping the DhO as free as possible is probably a large contributor to the popularity of the forum. So there is a balance to be considered; how much regulation/enforcement is too much vs how much chaos is too much? Jerry Springer will always be more popular then Charlie Rose; if we see them as two poles on a continuum, is it worth giving up some popularity for some stability, where stability leads to a higher signal to noise ratio? It's an open question.

Getting even more specific, I think KFD in its latter days was over-regulated, and I think DhO in its current phase is under-regulated. If Daniel agrees with that, we at least have a clear picture of the extremes, and we can imagine a middle ground.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 12:43 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Hi all,
I realize I am going against the apparent tides, but I really think the DhO needs less moderation and more awareness, eqanimity and humility (see Not Tao's recent post for a beautiful example of self-moderated behavior and speech)
I don't mean 'less moderaton and more meditation' in a vague or over-simplistic way, what I mean is that if everyone here reading this ('high level practitioners' and 'ordinary people' all - toungue in cheek) continually challenged themselves to real Buddhist standards of conduct and civility (or just 'good human standards') then when people start threads entitled 'Fuck Off' for instance - the commnunity comes together to support in a beautiful way - see that thread for what I mean, my computer won't let me paste. Calling that poster a troll (which he was but it was not done) would have stifled the opportunity to realize what actually happened - which was skillful and heartwarming
What else do I mean by less moderation?
For starters, I think the word 'troll' doesn't need to be thrown around so haphazardly. Though referred to many times, I didn't see any trolls in the posts that started this whole hullabaloo - just some very emotional people behaving in sometimes rude fashions. I also don't see what went down as any sort of emergency or call to action for more active moderation - I just saw strong views and strong emotions on both sides of the issue. No big deal. That said, I think it's wrong to question anyone's intentions or whether or not they are being disingenuous (which was done to more than a couple of dissenting posters on multiple occassions) but I don't think there should be a rule about not questioning people's intentions. For one it won't work. Second, it's an opportunity for practice - why we're all here. For the record I think everyone involved had good intentions, but just got caught up. It happens
Additionally, I don't think lifetime bans should ever be a consideration. I would suggest a first infraction ban of one month (however you powers that be out there choose to define an infraction). A second infraction maybe three months. If something happens again after three months away from the site, I think a one year ban is maximum enough and you can wash and repeat from there. People go through shit in the practice (as you guys well know) and I think it's skillful to cut them loads of slack. If someone really did come back year after year to disrupt the community, after one-year bans, I think you guys could deal with it, as committed dharma practitioners, and who knows, maybe it will lead to us to becoming better listeners, understanding each other better, and ourselves. I see an opportunity
Happy Sunday anyway! It's very rainy where I am

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 2:57 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel, I really like what you say. Not to be pedantic or anything, but it sounds like Rousseau's concept of a general will. Even the evil old man Machiavelli said that a people that has good customs needs very few laws. The one thing I'd ask you to do, though, is go back and read Katy's posts to and about Kenneth. Then put yourself not necessarily in his shoes, but in the shoes of someone who is new here or who lurks here, or maybe even imagine yourself on the receiving end of them. Would you feel as open-hearted as you do now? Or would a part of you, or of the possible shy lurker, start to get constricted inside?

I, too, want to see people come together in a beautiful and supportive way. I'd rather see that than banning. But we need to train ourselves to do this. If someone indicates that he or she is in distress, people have to respect that. Maybe we need to learn how to indicate that we're in distress. There's a need on everyone's part to recognize that all humans have their vulnerabilities. 

ETA: This is something that would be necessary for any improvement to take place, even with stronger moderation (which I still support). 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 1:58 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
I would also like to say that I appreciate the efforts of level headed moderators such as "Beoman Claudiu Dragonm Emu Fire Golem" and Nikolai to resist the considerable pressure to meet anyone's particular agenda.-CPM

 The only thing I objected to was Nikolai's use of the word "bunghole";) just kidding.
Haha. I thought I'd diffuse the tension with a little toilet humour. And I got probably all of DhO to say bunghole in their minds a dozen times. 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 2:22 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
Dear Sawfoot,

I'm not going down this rabbit hole with you. I could, but let's just not. You are exonerated, okay?

I'm needing to turn 100% of my attention, starting today, back to substantively editing MCTB2 so that Daniel doesn't return from retreat to find that all I've done is waste time rehashing what passed 6 months ago.

There was indeed a sockpuppet in September. The account was created on the date that attack began, hours after Daniel deleted your thread. Once the account was locked, that identity never appeared again. The screen name had all kinds of metaphorical implications. That in itself isn't any kind of digital DNA evidence. 

If you are concerned about your reputation here, then I hereby withdraw any accusatory implication toward you. To keep your reputation clean, behave well, practice well.

Love, your dharma sister,

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 2:51 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
  1. I am for much stricter (ie, actual) moderation, which I'm very confident will be in the offing once Daniel returns from retreat.
  2. I also was a commentator on the "Fuck Off" thread, trying to support the OP, who was very obviously very distressed and needed support. I never once thought of calling on the moderators to do anything to that thread.

Number 1 and Number 2 are in no contradiction. You are therefore positing what, in classical rhetoric, we call "false dilemma." False dilemmas are often used by soft trolls. So consider your own motivations for posting as you do. Consider that others are watching.

Community weigh-in on these matters has been done ad nauseum. I've already said this, and the posts still exist here, are saved, so I'd advise you to try hearing the fact that what you are proposing has failed numerous times.

The change in moderation plan/policy will not be a grassroots effort, nor an opportunity for the victims to "practice" putting up with obfuscating bullshit.

I reiterate: Grassroots cultural improvement won't work with an organization this big and open. There will be top-down change here or no change at all.

If there is no change at all, then I will increasingly disappear from what has become in my eyes a largely unsupervised prepath Dark Night Yogi Dukkha Romper Room.

Along with me, gentler people, many people, many women, many anagamis and arahats, will stay away. I'm in private contact with a handful of anagamis and arahats. All but one has mentioned having left here because of the bad unchecked Intenet behavior.

My own path is progressing well. I just got another path this week and have had nondual 24/7 for 10 days now. Obviously, then, I don't need to continue on the DhO in order to gain insight from my own practice. The same is all the more true for practitioners who are "done" with insight practice altogether because they have taken enlightenment as far as it can go. So the question is, do those of you without these attainments want to be left in a lawless pen together, or do you want the guidance and advice and sharing of insight by those practitioners who are in fact enllightened and wise?

Fortunately, how this question is answered will finally be up to Daniel M. Ingram alone.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 12:13 PM as a reply to Bill F..
I’m neither completely awake nor completely asleep. I’m neither timid nor audacious. I have no interest in endless philosophizing, nor in verbiage for the sake of verbiage. I’m just an average pragmatic seeker, still on the ride, diligently practicing every day until I’m off the ride.

As a long time member yet seldom poster here on DhO, here's my view of this forum’s moderation policy: this forum is not a safe environment to explore awakening, via pragmatic means or otherwise; there are too many members clamoring for attention, aggressively clamoring for attention to their own points of view, over and over and over again. Not everyone is that way, and not all the time, but it happens enough to make some members hesitant about posting. Does this forum care about that? I don’t know.

From my perspective, the ideal forum has just enough moderation to allow a member to safely connect with others in an online environment. To me, that’s the key: allowing connection with others more knowledgeable who are able to act as a catalyst for transformation, while safeguarding the needs of those seeking to transform. This is a delicate balance, to be sure.  Too often members seek to not only invalidate another poster's thoughts, but to invalidate the poster him/herself (my definition of attack), when the alternative would be to simply offer an alternative to the original poster's thoughts, without resorting to an invalidating attack.

Aside from not fostering a sense of safety of expression, what bothers me most about this forum is that some members feel that they’re free to override the initial purpose of a given thread, simply because they feel that their need for expression is more important than the original poster’s desire to initiate said thread. And of course, there’s the endless “debate” that ensues, most of which is useless and seeks to shore up various points of view. That wouldn’t happen in a face-to-face encounter, but it’s a common occurrence in online discussion groups with poorly defined or poorly enforced moderation rules.

There’s also a lot of good that happens on this forum, and I’m thankful for that. I give a lot of credit to Daniel for initiating and supporting this resource. Thank you, Daniel, once again. Please be advised: it could be worse, but it also could be a lot better.

Metta.

Michael

Edit: to add thoughts re invalidation.
Edit 2x: typos

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 2:54 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai: Yes, ha, I was only kidding. I consider that a skillful use of humour and did not sense hostility. Metta.-Bill

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 3:20 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I don't want to reopen wounds, but it seemed to me that they were in fact taking sides.


Hi, Laurel. Well, what a mess this has been, huh? 

I have to say that I've seen it coming. In fact I've been on private chat here with others while it was unfolding. Some comments there have been to the effect that, after what happened in September, it was just a matter of causes and conditions to click in place for moderation to come to the fore as an issue again.

I know Nikolai somewhat, and he seems a fair and gentle person, reluctant to judge and shut people down. I had a 3-hour chat with Claudiu Friday night and got to know him a bit better as a result. I in no way am suspicious of either one of these peoples motives. Claudiu does have a way that takes getting used to of pointing out, and really enjoying pointing out, the less obvious sides in altercations. 

One of the interesting conditions here in the present mess is that Florian, an effective, swift, and decisive moderator, in my experience, is away on a two-week retreat, digitally dark. Guess who is with him? Yep. Dan Ingram, also in the digital dark till Feb. 16.

My sudden understanding is that Katy had recently resigned as a moderator.

I never really was a moderator except "officially," having rejected the role back in September when it appeared that there were irreconcilable differences in moderation philosophy among the team. I thought it would be less disruptive if I left, since I was in the minority.

It is interesting to contemplate how all this may have been different if Florian and Daniel were here. I'm positive Daniel would have intervened rather quickly and tried to redirect the chaos into discussion.

Since I've been trying to focus on the issue of moderation itself, I wish to reiterate that I'm not taking sides for/against Katy/Kenneth here. Essentially, that is just a case study in a general pattern of lacking protocol and membership terrms of use here.

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 3:44 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Greetings all,

There is just nothing like the fine companionship of a dog to help one realise the importance of knowing each others language. how often i've wished i could put my dog at ease by explaining precisely why i cannot take him with me and when i will return.

But alas i cannot. the best i can do is speak the body language he knows, maintain consistency in behaviour and use his instincts to train, moderate and control him for his own safety in this aggressive territorial human dominated world with it's dangerous labour saving machinery that can easily prematurely kill him. Mainly i control him to protect him from us, not himself from himself. were i able to teach him by communicating the way we humans can his lessons would be swifter and he'd be even safer.

Now on a forum like this i don't expect to be controlled (moderated) as though i have the limited communication skills of a dog. on the contrary i expect to meet people who can openly speak their way out of our non sense with the best intentions they can muster, minds that have got past 1st base, 2nd or 3rd in that regard and have already offloaded most of their ancient paranoia and are now exploring the heights of a cool calm sensibility. i'm ready to awaken an intelligence that is stable, effortless and automatically benevolent, not controlled or moderated by the self or someone else's. we've been down that route for eons, it hasn't worked.

I'm ready to communicate with gutsy human beings willing to work fearlessly with each other to see and acknowledge and then rectify our errors in communication. If this isn't an environment where one can practice mental freedom and be 'out from control' of the whole human psyche (without taking offence) then i'm in the wrong place. i am so over pussyfooting around controllers. I wanna get rid of that shite once and for all so i can get on with more important things than endlessly self-reflecting. I wanna be 100% using this awakening intelligence to benefit of all life on this planet. I'm not here to serve ME forever and a day.

the only moderation i'd like to see here is the splitting off of threads when they inadvertently (as conversations tend to do) veer off into another interesting topic as these latest threads did. other than that people need to be shown their shite no matter how uncomfortable it may be to their precious sense of identity. how thats done is THE lesson for both parties.  

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 3:31 PM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Internet forums need policies and moderation, period. Common sense. People are people first.

What has been going on here is a study in repeated failures to communicate. Failures due to lack of rules, protocols, and enforcement.

Make no mistake: Change will come to this forum.

If people want to harness and exploit hyperbole and false analogy to keep the soft softer or silent, then I do say to these people, "happy trails."

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 3:33 PM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
Simon Ekstrand:
Jenny:
  • to consider technological ways to vet members and prevent anonymous sockpuppets.



Unless someone goes through the trouble of using proxies or similar it's entirely possible to check if an account is a sockpuppet for another account now. This was not possible last fall due to ip addresses being incorrectly logged in the DhO backend.

Simon

Wow, Simon. That's good to know. It seems to me that you should be at meetings of moderators when policy is set.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:52 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
If a posters seems to not understand what's on the DhO front page, coach 'em then chuck 'em.
If a poster seems to be trying hard to avoid understand what they are replying to, coach 'em then chuck 'em.
My post was so fast and short, maybe it's easy to dismiss, but I'm pushing it forward because I was kinda serious.  I'll amplify.

How you solve the problem depends on what you think the problem is.  Complex problems get complex solutions, easy problems get easy solutions.

I lean towards picking the easiest problem to pick off, fix that then see how it goes. If the 'fix' is bad, you know exactly what to reverse.  If the fix is good or ambiguous, you have probably simplified/clarified the situation somewhat and your next step will be more informed.

Complex solutions often are usually doomed from the beginning from bad influences and bad execution.  When things don't get better, it's not clear what to do next.

In either case, the first 'fixes' are usually wrong, so going simple is about having graceful recovery options.

Perhaps the simplest view of the problem is that some people really are trolls, as defined by: they don't pay attention to posting guidlines and their argumentative style seems to be tuned for using what people value against them and it ends up driving you crazy.  If this was a debate site maybe their style would be OK, but this place is a:  "resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial,
fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations."


Sure, give warnings, trial bans, whatever is skillful, but focusing on people that act like trolls is relatively simple to do.

A potential complexity trap: trying to design a moderation handbook that requries *everybody* to already be full time arahant moderators.  Let's err on the side of making it easy for sincere practitioners become arhants.

Spelling edit

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 3:51 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Daniel, I really like what you say. Not to be pedantic or anything, but it sounds like Rousseau's concept of a general will. Even the evil old man Machiavelli said that a people that has good customs needs very few laws. The one thing I'd ask you to do, though, is go back and read Katy's posts to and about Kenneth. Then put yourself not necessarily in his shoes, but in the shoes of someone who is new here or who lurks here, or maybe even imagine yourself on the receiving end of them. Would you feel as open-hearted as you do now? Or would a part of you, or of the possible shy lurker, start to get constricted inside?

Hi Laurel - I think you make a good point and I think there is certainly a trade off
That said, I'm not sure what a moderator would have done in the situation where katy was rude toward Kenneth - warned her and deleted her posts? Banned her? Apparently katy has already deleted her own posts and the threads were locked, though I am of the mind that threads should not be locked and people should not be able to delete their own posts (though I do not feel strongly at all on the matter)
Whichever way it goes I don't think it will affect me as I hope to be treating others (and myself) with respect
All the best : )

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 4:09 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny,

First thank you:
I agree with you: More stringent protocols are needed on a public forum and I would advocate on this one. In my own words, I agree with you,  Jen, and feel it's a smart healthy guideline we'd want in our communities in life and online life. 

Second, Kenneth, I apologize, I have been redacting and editing posts that I think you have sited for defamation of your character. I also wrote the mode team to lock-down or fully delete two problem threads in which at least a couple of parties have reported defamation [1].  Kenneth, please pin-point other posts you feel are defaming and if they are mine I will continue to redact them. 

As I wrote to a co-practitioner this week in a private email and shared with anonymized portions here publicaly I continue to wish you the very best with your students. If there is an "awakening" that is good to learn, then it benefits the community. I put "awakeing" in quotes because people have their own ideas of what that word means.

People have a right, thankfully, to self-identify as awakened and any way they want, to coach that, and to pay for such coaching.

There is more than one person who feels exposed to defamation this week and on this site so I'm making a sincere gesture to prevent people, myself included, from seeking compensation against financial harm and reputational harm and the like.  Daniel set up a cool site and so this is a huge learning moment on how to keep it going, and to Jen's credit, for the better.

Third, there have been people here using their professional emails to post and to post potentially defamatory comments, some of which emails are from public institutions which have policies against such personal uses.  It's worth considering defamation lawsuits can look-through. Consider using personal email accounts.

This  look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down two threads today, Kenneth's "Money and the Buddha" and Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth".  And this was agreed by mods,  if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.

A person like myself or Kenneth of Jen who feels defamed can start their clock on "damages" and hold several sources accountable for their defamation, so a site like this one probably needs to have a nuclear option of deleting threads or locking them as invisibile, especially if its founder is away. 

Jen, I do think your points and your insistence on this will build a friendlier site and more practical one. As a "greenie" I am a bit more for regulation and I see that when someone indicates they're being defamed it's not just responsible to treat it seriously, it's friendly.

Kenneth, please again please let me know what needs to be removed further.  When threads open again (if they are not deleted as in September 2014, reasonably), if people don't return to self-edit, other's may flag defamatory posts to afford recogntion and resolution.

Thanks all.
___________
Note: I am having still technical glitches to posting so this may take several shots.
[1] This is because the site owner, "Supreme Overlord", apparently may not be reachable at the moment and similar owners of websites may be held liable for content published.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 4:35 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
  1. I am for much stricter (ie, actual) moderation, which I'm very confident will be in the offing once Daniel returns from retreat.
  2. I also was a commentator on the "Fuck Off" thread, trying to support the OP, who was very obviously very distressed and needed support. I never once thought of calling on the moderators to do anything to that thread.

Hello Jenny,
I think it is safe to assume that katy was in some sort of 'distress' as well when she posted her rude remarks, unless you believe she was being intentionally malicious? The reason we are here discussing this matter now is because of those posts between katy and Kenneth, so do you think anyone was acting as a troll there or being disingenuous? If so, I respectfully disagree with you and I'm not sure how a moderator would have changed things other than deleting posts, locking threads, or banning members - all things which I do not support. Clearly this is just one person's (minority) opinion, and I am not concerned how things go because I try to treat people with respect and will not leave even if people don't always reciprocate - as I think there are lots of wise and caring people in the midst here to more than make up for the occassional troll. I say, flame away on me trolls! I will not be moved

Number 1 and Number 2 are in no contradiction. You are therefore positing what, in classical rhetoric, we call "false dilemma." False dilemmas are often used by soft trolls. So consider your own motivations for posting as you do. Consider that others are watching.

I do not know what this means, would you care to be less opaque please? It sounds to me like you are suggesting that I may be a 'soft troll' even though I don't know what that means, so I can't even be offended : )
I hope people are watching (and reading and listening) - what does this statement mean exactly? Please be more direct with me, I can take it

Community weigh-in on these matters has been done ad nauseum. I've already said this, and the posts still exist here, are saved, so I'd advise you to try hearing the fact that what you are proposing has failed numerous times.

I think you and I have different definitions of the word 'failed'

The change in moderation plan/policy will not be a grassroots effort, nor an opportunity for the victims to "practice" putting up with obfuscating bullshit.

I reiterate: Grassroots cultural improvement won't work with an organization this big and open. There will be top-down change here or no change at all.

ok - I am assuming you are on the top and I am on the bottom? Or are we all (except D Ingram) on the bottom? Will we all get to express our opinions to Daniel Ingram in a democratic fashion or just those that are close to him personally? 

If there is no change at all, then I will increasingly disappear from what has become in my eyes a largely unsupervised prepath Dark Night Yogi Dukkha Romper Room.

ok, you are post path correct? So, I guess that means that you and other awakened noble beings here have transcended the ability to offend others? I disagree with the characterization of what the DhO has become - it seems like a pretty well self-moderated place to me and mostly everyone here seem like decent well-meaning people. The occassional 'prepath Dark Night Yogi' flame seems few and far between, most people here seem to follow the golden rule - but again, we can agree to disagree

My own path is progressing well. I just got another path this week and have had nondual 24/7 for 10 days now. Obviously, then, I don't need to continue on the DhO in order to gain insight from my own practice.

Congratulations, that is good. Completely transcending self-illusion, doubt in the Buddha's teachings, and attachments to rules and rituals will support you very much. IMO the same reason why you may consider not continuing on DhO for awhile is the same reason why others of higher attainments are not here either, and not because their gentle sensibilites are threatened, but I do not have any anecdotal evidence to back up that view

The same is all the more true for practitioners who are "done" with insight practice altogether because they have taken enlightenment as far as it can go. So the question is, do those of you without these attainments want to be left in a lawless pen together, or do you want the guidance and advice and sharing of insight by those practitioners who are in fact enllightened and wise?

Fortunately, how this question is answered will finally be up to Daniel M. Ingram alone.

I think it's good you put 'done' in quotes. As long as Daniel M. Ingram decides it's good I support it. If that dirty troll Daniel P. Ingram has anything to say about it though, this place will surely continue on it's way to hell in a handbasket
Don't worry, I didn't forget that Others are Watching...emoticon

EDIT in blue

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 4:06 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:

Hi Laurel - I think you make a good point and I think there is certainly a trade off
That said, I'm not sure what a moderator would have done in the situation where katy was rude toward Kenneth - warned her and deleted her posts? Banned her? Apparently katy has already deleted her own posts and the threads were locked, though I am of the mind that threads should not be locked and people should not be able to delete their own posts (though I do not feel strongly at all on the matter)
Whichever way it goes I don't think it will affect me as I hope to be treating others (and myself) with respect
All the best : )
Yes, warn, delete, ban!  What happened was not good and some outside, out-of-band guidence brought to bear would have helped.  When it gets to thread locking, the system failed.

For all the good the thread did, you could have snipped it at the opening post and we'd all have been better off.  Or snip later.  My thought is, let's not be afraid to try more instead of the less that we have now.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 7:30 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Internet forums need policies and moderation, period. Common sense. People are people first.

What has been going on here is a study in repeated failures to communicate. Failures due to lack of rules, protocols, and enforcement.

Make no mistake: Change will come to this forum.

If people want to harness and exploit hyperbole and false analogy to keep the soft softer or silent, then I do say to these people, "happy trails."
I have noticed something happening to me recently Jenny, when i dare to look. i seem to be slipping or rather sliding sideways out of the psyche.  it becomes apparent when i see or hear statements like "people are people first" or when human communication failure is sheeted home to a "lack of rules, protocols, and enforcement". it seems to be a logic coming from an ancient time. these glimpses have an almost physical electric shock and rush of excitement to them,  then theres a return to a calm freefall that has no such barriers . when i read your "happy trails" regarding "people who want to harness and exploit hyperbole and false analogy to keep the soft softer or silent" the concentration required to make sense of it is like a sudden STOP that makes me slightly dizzy, almost like being on a fun rollercoaster between two worlds. one that uses no such logic and one that is made of it. very interesting emoticon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 5:23 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
[quote=Daniel Leffler

"I disagree with the characterization of what the DhO has become - it seems like a pretty well self-moderated place to me and mostly everyone here seem like decent well-meaning people. The occassional 'prepath Dark Night Yogi' flame seems few and far between, most people here seem to follow the golden rule - but again, we can agree to disagree" 



Totally agree. And I would also like to thank Daniel and the people who contribute here for creating this fine ambience. 

I learnt a lot from the Money and the Buddha thread, especially about how the psyche still operates quite blatently even, in those claiming attainments. 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 5:12 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

... This  look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down ... Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth".  And this was agreed by mods,  if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.


Rather than shutting down the thread and preventing anyone from accessing Kenneth's answers to questions, I would prefer that the troublesome posts be redacted, and for the thread to continue. Is there any reason why that can't be done?

Metta.

Michael

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 5:42 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Michael (Augustleo):
katy steger:

... This  look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down ... Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth".  And this was agreed by mods,  if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.


Rather than shutting down the thread and preventing anyone from accessing Kenneth's answers to questions, I would prefer that the troublesome posts be redacted, and for the thread to continue. Is there any reason why that can't be done?

Metta.

Michael
Hi Michael,

I am not the site owner nor am I counsel nor any expert. 

What I communicated is based on the site owner's own precedent action in September 2014 as well as attempting to limit any defamation once there was a flag for defamation letting the site mods know someone feels defamed. 

Please keep in mind that site owner is inaccessible at this time so rendering those two threads locked, unable to access by anyone (hopefully, DO LET MODS KNOW IF YOU CAN READ THOSE THREADS) seemed like the most protective, precautionary actions one can take in his absence when flags like defamation are raised. 

Edit*I also suggested deleting-- again, based on site owner's precedent-- if those threads/posts could not be secured in a private, unreadable manner till site owner returns. I don't like to delete threads, but I don't like feeling defamed and others feeling defamed and watching litigation fires spread on a site dedicated to excellent practice.


I think if you and Kenneth or anyone were to open a new thread and to actively flag posts found unacceptable, that would be possible.  If it gets out of hand and moderators/IT can't deal with it (remember: people are in different time zones, actually having family emergencies, caretaking elders, sleeping, going about their lives etc) then again I personally feel that the best way to protect those who feel defamed and the site owner and members is to make a thread inaccessible. 
 and invisible or even deleted until the owner of the site content may decide how to act for his own site.

Your thoughts, Michael?

____
Note: I am having posting problems still and don't wish to bother sleeping/busy mods so bear with me as I try all sorts of things to reply to your public inquery publically.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 6:11 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Michael (Augustleo):
katy steger:

... This look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down ... Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth". And this was agreed by mods, if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.


Rather than shutting down the thread and preventing anyone from accessing Kenneth's answers to questions, I would prefer that the troublesome posts be redacted, and for the thread to continue. Is there any reason why that can't be done?

Metta.

Michael
Hi Michael,

I am not the site owner nor am I counsel nor any expert.

What I communicated is based on the site owner's own precedent action in September 2014 as well as attempting to limit any defamation once there was a flag for defamation letting the site mods know someone feels defamed.

Please keep in mind that site owner is inaccessible at this time so rendering those two threads locked, unable to access by anyone (hopefully, DO LET MODS KNOW IF YOU CAN READ THOSE THREADS) seemed like the most protective, precautionary actions one can take in his absence when flags like defamation are raised.

Edit*I also suggested deleting-- again, based on site owner's precedent-- if those threads/posts could not be secured in a private, unreadable manner till site owner returns. I don't like to delete threads, but I don't like feeling defamed and others feeling defamed and watching litigation fires spread on a site dedicated to excellent practice.


I think if you and Kenneth or anyone were to open a new thread and to actively flag posts found unacceptable, that would be possible. If it gets out of hand and moderators/IT can't deal with it (remember: people are in different time zones, actually having family emergencies, caretaking elders, sleeping, going about their lives etc) then again I personally feel that the best way to protect those who feel defamed and the site owner and members is to make a thread inaccessible.
and invisible or even deleted until the owner of the site content may decide how to act for his own site.

Your thoughts, Michael?

____
Note: I am having posting problems still and don't wish to bother sleeping/busy mods so bear with me as I try all sorts of things to reply to your public inquery publically.


Hi Katy,

Thanks for your response.

I would be happy to open a new thread (Q & A with Kenneth Folk #2) and recap Kenneth’s answers from the first thread, with the understanding that the new thread will be solely for the purpose of concise practice questions for Kenneth to answer and any discussion or debate will occur in separate threads.

Metta.

Michael

Edit:  I can't speak for Kenneth, so I'm only speaking for myself as the original poster.
Edit:  typo

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 6:21 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Hi Michael, 

In my opinion (as user and non-expert):

Be fast on flagging and know that in a small crew of moderators in different time zones (with families illnesses going on and work and life-away-from-forum) that a comment deemed defamatory can take many hours to delete. 

If too many such comments are flagged, the thread may have to be shut down, perhaps even the whole site. I can't know what the site owner wants, only what they've set as precedent under what  may be considered similar circumstances.

If I were in charge, that's what I'd do to because the site owner is not here to make executive decisions about what he is permitting to be published. 

I can make no promises: you're posting in a site who's owner is gone on the heels of a morning of defamation-flagging. Moderators might not be able to keep up if you experience a lot of inappropriate content.  I just don't know. I am opinining on what I think as a non-expert what is good for site users, but most importantly the site owner in absense.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 6:23 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Hi Michael, 

In my opinion:

Be fast on flagging and know that in a small crew of moderators in different time zones (with families illnesses going on and work and life-away-from-forum) that a comment deemed defamatory can take many hours to delete. 

If too many such comments are flagged, the thread may have to be shut down, perhaps even the whole site. I can't know what the site owner wants, only what they've set as precedent under what  may be considered similar circumstances.

If I were in charge, that's what I'd do to because the site owner is not here to make executive decisions about what he is permitting to be published. 

I can make no promises: you're posting in a site who's owner is gone on the heels of a morning of defamation-flagging. Moderators might not be able to keep up if you experience a lot of inappropriate content.  I just don't know. I am opinining on what I think as a non-expert what is good for site users, but most importantly the site owner in absense.
Thanks Katy.

Loving kindness.

Michael

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 8:00 PM as a reply to Bill F..
I do not see any problem with discussion and debate.  This is what prevents everyone from putting enlightened teachers on a pedestal, assuming they have all the answers simply because of their status and attainments.  At what point does this cross the line to the point where the posts need to be edited or deleted? I don't know. 

I actually see many many great practice threads right now in the recent posts section.  If someone doesn't want to listen to people debate certain topics then they can close the thread and open one of those instead.  However, people like to be entertained and often these threads tend to get far more views than the practice oriented ones.  

People complaining about what is happening to this forum are likely getting sucked into the entertainment of these threads and then complaining about how there are no practice-oriented threads when there are clearly plenty of them and they outnumber the debate threads by quite a bit, but people just aren't reading and responding to them as much because they aren't engaging their emotions and aren't as entertaining to read.

For example, I just did a count.

There are at least 12 threads about practice in the recent posts section and only about 3 separate threads have debates going on in them.  If you don't want to read the debates then don't read them, close the thread, and open one of the copious threads on practice.  

My two cents.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 6:52 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Okay, just keep in mind I have no authority. I am still somehow on the mod list and that may be helpful to have since there are so few mods. I don't know.

But what I've written here is just my non-expert opinion in how people who feel defamed, users, and the site owner might be best protected in the site owner's absense and yet keep the site up.

I also proposed shutting the entire site down (not that I can or know how) and if anyone feels that shutting down the site is the way to protect them from defamation or other issues until the site owner returns, they should say so by communicating in private or public, knowing a reply and action could take many hours.

This are just my non-expert thoughts..

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:06 PM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:

Now on a forum like this i don't expect to be controlled (moderated) as though i have the limited communication skills of a dog. on the contrary i expect to meet people who can openly speak their way out of our non sense with the best intentions they can muster, minds that have got past 1st base, 2nd or 3rd in that regard and have already offloaded most of their ancient paranoia and are now exploring the heights of a cool calm sensibility. i'm ready to awaken an intelligence that is stable, effortless and automatically benevolent, not controlled or moderated by the self or someone else's. we've been down that route for eons, it hasn't worked.

I'm ready to communicate with gutsy human beings willing to work fearlessly with each other to see and acknowledge and then rectify our errors in communication. If this isn't an environment where one can practice mental freedom and be 'out from control' of the whole human psyche (without taking offence) then i'm in the wrong place. i am so over pussyfooting around controllers. I wanna get rid of that shite once and for all so i can get on with more important things than endlessly self-reflecting. I wanna be 100% using this awakening intelligence to benefit of all life on this planet. I'm not here to serve ME forever and a day.

the only moderation i'd like to see here is the splitting off of threads when they inadvertently (as conversations tend to do) veer off into another interesting topic as these latest threads did. other than that people need to be shown their shite no matter how uncomfortable it may be to their precious sense of identity. how thats done is THE lesson for both parties.  


I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu] emoticon

[redacted insult. - Claudiu]!


[redacted insult. - Claudiu]!

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 7:54 PM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Tom Tom:
I do not see any problem with discussion and debate.  This is what prevents everyone from putting enlightened teachers on a pedestal, assuming they have all the answers simply because of their status and attainments.  At what point does this cross the line to the point where the posts need to be edited or deleted? I don't know. 

I actually see many many great practice threads right now in the recent posts section.  If someone doesn't want to listen to people debate certain topics then they can close the thread and open one of those instead.  However, people like to be entertained and often these threads tend to get far more views than the practice oriented ones.  

People complaining about what is happening to this forum are likely getting sucked into the entertainment of these threads and then complaining about how there are no practice-oriented threads when there are clearly plenty of them and they outnumber the debate threads by quite a bit, but people just aren't reading and responding to them as much because they aren't engaging their emotions and aren't as entertaining to read.

For example, I just did a count.

There are at least 12 threads about practice in the recent posts section and only about 3 separate threads have debates going on in them.  If you don't want to read the debates then don't read them, close the thread, and open one of the copious threads on practice.  

My two cents.


Reading all those sincere threads is the only thing that still makes me come back to this site.

All this other crap about self promotion, whining about moderation, threatening about imposing some stupid rules, claims of false attainments make me wanna vomit.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:07 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:08 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
Alin Mathews:
[...]


I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon [...] [redacted insult. - Claudiu]! [...] [redacted insult. - Claudiu]!

Alright! Let's test out this more-moderation approach, which I think is well worth a try. ftw, tone it down. No name-calling, and don't be abusive.

Claudiu, Moderator

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:31 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

There is more than one person who feels exposed to defamation this week and on this site so I'm making a sincere gesture to prevent people, myself included, from seeking compensation against financial harm and reputational harm and the like.
...

This  look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down two threads today, Kenneth's "Money and the Buddha" and Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth".  And this was agreed by mods,  if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.

A person like myself or Kenneth or Jen who feels defamed can start their clock on "damages" and hold several sources accountable for their defamation, so a site like this one probably needs to have a nuclear option of deleting threads or locking them as invisibile, especially if its founder is away. 
...
For the record, I have not threatened to sue anyone, and don't intend to; it's not even on my radar screen.

Katy, thanks for redacting or deleting posts on the "Q&A with Kenneth Folk" thread that I flagged as defamatory. If it were up to me, I would prefer to leave threads open, or at least read-only, rather than deleting them entirely; it seems more sensible to remove a few posts than to kill an entire thread, since long threads like "Q&A with KF" or "Money and the Buddha" represents many hours of work from quite a number of posters, and are consistent with the mission of the site, which is to openly discuss practice and practice-related ideas.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 10:47 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
katy steger:

There is more than one person who feels exposed to defamation this week and on this site so I'm making a sincere gesture to prevent people, myself included, from seeking compensation against financial harm and reputational harm and the like.
...

This  look through is why I insisted that moderators shut down two threads today, Kenneth's "Money and the Buddha" and Michael's "Q &A with Kenneth".  And this was agreed by mods,  if I'm not mistaken, and Simon, not a mod, but a generous IT person to my knowledge, was able to accomodate this action quickly. If anyone feels this is not satisfactory, please speak up. It was an action taken to prevent the owner of this site from any further liability for being a publisher of information people feel is defaming.

A person like myself or Kenneth or Jen who feels defamed can start their clock on "damages" and hold several sources accountable for their defamation, so a site like this one probably needs to have a nuclear option of deleting threads or locking them as invisibile, especially if its founder is away. 
...
For the record, I have not threatened to sue anyone, and don't intend to; it's not even on my radar screen.

Katy, thanks for redacting or deleting posts on the "Q&A with Kenneth Folk" thread that I flagged as defamatory. If it were up to me, I would prefer to leave threads open, or at least read-only, rather than deleting them entirely; it seems more sensible to remove a few posts than to kill an entire thread, since long threads like "Q&A with KF" or "Money and the Buddha" represents many hours of work from quite a number of posters, and are consistent with the mission of the site, which is to openly discuss practice and practice-related ideas.
Hi Kenneth, 

It's great to hear from you. I sent you a PM and just didn't know your process or feeling on this.

I hope you can understand that as soon as I saw your flagging with defamation issues I considered action had to be taken to protect your sense of defamation, site users and the site owner. I had to give myself a quick tutorial in defamation and the Internet and seeing as the suits can be broad and deep, I went with the best action I could imagine as a de facto mod, non-expert in defamation law, and as a site user in response to a claim of defamation. You weren't the only one to mention defamation in those threads and an alert about defamation might not even need to be flagged: it could just come as a big letter from someone's lawyer and voila-- bad times.

So the risk of not acting quickly or inaction or inadequate action seemed to far outweigh any desire to act slowly or less comprehensively. Further, the site owner took the action of deleting a whole thread in September 2014 when a user raised what could be considered a similar issue. So looking a precedence and risk, exposure to mods, users and site owner, that's the course of action I suggested: close and make invisible the thread, and if that can't be assured, delete. I don't like that route either, but that's the route that easily protects all the various stakeholders from reputational and financial and other hardships.

_________________________________________
edit x3 typos, clarification first sentence second para

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/8/15 11:58 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
Katy, thanks for redacting or deleting posts on the "Q&A with Kenneth Folk" thread that I flagged as defamatory. If it were up to me, I would prefer to leave threads open, or at least read-only, rather than deleting them entirely; it seems more sensible to remove a few posts than to kill an entire thread, since long threads like "Q&A with KF" or "Money and the Buddha" represents many hours of work from quite a number of posters, and are consistent with the mission of the site, which is to openly discuss practice and practice-related ideas.

For the record, I agree, but now that the large, dark specter of legal action is involved I've reluctantly agreed to leave the thread hidden (not deleted) until Daniel gets back to make a decision. It may be worthwhile to open a "Q&A with Kenneth Folk Part 2" thread to continue the conversation since the original thread won't be unlocked for at least a week.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:08 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
ftw:
Alin Mathews:
[...]


I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon [...] [redacted insult. - Claudiu]! [...] [redacted insult. - Claudiu]!

Alright! Let's test out this more-moderation approach, which I think is well worth a try. ftw, tone it down. No name-calling, and don't be abusive.

Claudiu, Moderator
I cannot believe you took this so seriously ???

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 12:17 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
this is the new DhO I guess emoticon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 12:31 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
this is the new DhO I guess emoticon

if that knocks his cotton socks off, imagine what a week of every season of Game of Thrones would do emoticon 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 12:53 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
this is the new DhO I guess emoticon

Some thoughts in no particular order:

I like what Chris has to say: distinguish persons from behavior (actions, words, thoughts -- here meaning words).

If your buttons are getting pushed here or if you are intentionally pushing the buttons of others here then you probably have some stuff that needs to be dealt with and this place is probably better than somewhere else to work on it - nasty as that can get. That being said, if you don't want to be confronted with your greed, hatred, and delusion - best not post it on the www.

Generally, I think we do a pretty good job these days of keeping things civil. If things do blow up then it can be useful to go back and review that thread and ask ‘What was my role in all of that?’. I think if we did that with this last one - the way to have avoided it is brain dead simple.

My experience over my years on this rock is that everything eventually gets bogged down by bureaucracy and at that point the vitality they once had is pretty much beaten out of them. But vitality and life just pops up somewhere else - not to worry.
Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...
I like that.

All this other crap about self promotion, whining about moderation, threatening about imposing some stupid rules, claims of false attainments make me wanna vomit.
I like that too.

I like the idea of breaking long forking threads into smaller pieces - including moderators coming in to do the carving up if the cats and dogs need to be pulled apart and given separate cages.

Active and lively debate has a long history in Buddhism.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:09 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw :
You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Personally, I'm a sucker for adolescent humor. When Daniel Ingram and I get together, we make each other laugh to the point of tears with jokes Beavis and Butthead would be proud of. On the other hand, I don't tell jokes like that around my mother-in-law. So it seems that timing and setting matter.

I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. ""? I'm guessing that to most women that isn't really very funny at all. I ask myself, if I were a woman, would I even consider participating on this forum? I don't think I would. Frankly, I'm kind of in awe of the women who put up with this rubbish and grace us with their presence. It must feel like being a cub scouts' den mother.

The case that the forum is fine, as it is, seems undermined by the fact that ftw felt comfortable posting that joke on a thread dedicated to sober discussion about the culture of the site.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/11/15 11:43 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. 

But then imagine if you were a guy that was actually <funny word removed by moderators>?! Ten times worse I'm sure

EDIT: a funny word was removed in my post by moderators to make it nonsensical, I won't replace it now

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:09 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
ftw :
[redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Personally, I'm a sucker for adolescent humor. When Daniel Ingram and I get together, we make each other laugh to the point of tears with jokes Beavis and Butthead would be proud of. On the other hand, I don't tell jokes like that around my mother-in-law. So it seems that timing and setting matter.

I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. ""? I'm guessing that to most women that isn't really very funny at all. I ask myself, if I were a woman, would I even consider participing on this forum? I don't think I would. Frankly, I'm kind of in awe of the women who put up with this rubbish and grace us with their presence. It must feel like being a cub scouts' den mother.

The case that the forum is fine, as it is, seems undermined by the fact that ftw felt comfortable posting that joke on a thread dedicated to sober discussion about the culture of the site.

Women have always been far less sanctimonious and more emotionally honest than men have ever imagined. they have also always had the capacity to be far more fun, confident and intelligent than men have ever given them credit for. were it not so and they really were as meek and mild and helpless as partriarchs have prefered to fantasise, it would never have been necessary to cloister and veil them. yet here in this day and age on 'a thread about moderating' (not a practice thread) a gallant male steps forth to remind women yet again of their genteel place and of how they must surely be insulted by this bit of light hearted rambuctious sexual wordplay used for no other reason than to express humorously the senselessness of controlling the awakening of intelligence.   

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:10 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
re: Daniel Leffler (2/8/15 12:43 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk. )
"I don't think lifetime bans should ever be a consideration…."

What about future lifetimes (aka rebirths)?

Such a ban would be truly terminal for arahants. emoticon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:14 AM as a reply to Jenny.
re: Jenny (2/8/15 3:20 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.)

"Claudiu does have a way that takes getting used to of pointing out, and really enjoying pointing out, the less obvious sides in altercations."

His running analyses of aspects of argumentation (attack vs insult vs rudeness, etc.) I found to be one of the high points of the "discussion" – I felt there was something positive to learn there. Had both parties engaged him in that I imagine it could have become even more educational or 'transformative'. (One party didn't respond, that I remember; the other pointedly resisted). Unfortunately, at that point emotions and side-taking had set in and gelled. (And one sees in this thread some haven't quite gotten over it.)

That kind of analysis (that Claudiu invoked) is something that goes on regularly among the moderators? Exposing some of that to public awareness (and feedback), I, for one, would find worthwhile. Like some of the info offered by Kenneth and others (logical fallacy variants) – knowing such things, I find, tends to get assimilated into one's own reflective awareness in both reading and posting.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:22 AM as a reply to Matt.
Perhaps we should seek more precision here in defining 'troll' (verb)?  

Mythologically, troll (noun) seem to be basically an outsider, foreigner in some sense, who is perceived as lurking about and as threatening.

How would 'trolling' be distinguished from simply scanning, browsing? And how this discerned relative to simply a perception on the part of those who feel their discussion is being ruffled by some outsider? And differentiating it from 'hijacking', or running off into an unrelated sub-thread (the same?)?

These questions are asking for some exploratory clarification, as I (likely many of us, as has been mentioned) do nose around looking for something of interest to engage with, as well as having experienced the input of others as s/w unwelcome.

The first substantial thread I authored here – "What is phenomenology (here) [in DhO]" –was visited by a wide range of curious intrusions (more than half the volume of the longish thread).

matthew sexton
offered: "trolls, as defined by: they don't pay attention to posting guidlines and their argumentative style seems to be tuned forusing what people value against them and it ends up driving youcrazy".

But it seems others also use the term in a less extreme sense.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:37 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Earlier I wrote:

"3) A basic principle not heard/read much here (yet, or that I missed), would be to
distinguish persons from behavior (actions, words, thoughts -- here meaning words). If citing, analyzing, challenging verbal behavior, statements, positions, etc., as distinct from the person (ad-hominem-ness) becomes muffled, than we end up with a mushroom farm -- Anatta becomes masked-out by the psychological therapy approach."

Upon review, I've found the gist of this point actually did come up earlier:

RE: Money and the Buddha Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem - 2/6/15 11:02...

"… it ['personal attack'] appears to be another term for an ad hominem: "the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.""

A related point also can be seen in a major strategy in that famous little book from the 1970's: "Getting to Yes" (by Fisher and  Ury), about cultivating negotiation skills. The way it's put there is to avoid hammering away at each other from fixed positions and demands (dukkha and clinging), and rather investigate the needs and desires underlying such positions, demands. That can open a much larger domain of possible solutions, and possibly some way both sides can be satisfied (sukha, at least temporarily).

In fact, DhO debate-type threads might have a much different tone if this book (or it's sequel "Getting Past No") were required reading on joining.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 1:52 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Sometimes it's helpful to simplify.

Each of us has his or her vision of the ideal DhO culture, none of which is inherently better or worse than any other.

Some people might like a forum for post-structural analysis as well as scholarly discussion of Buddhist texts.

Some people might like a forum about how to correctly interpret the authority of Buddhist texts.

Some people might like a forum for adolescent jokes.

All of these are fine in my opinion, and I think I too would enjoy and benefit from all of those discussions.

But the mission of the DhO has already been written, and it is none of those things.

The DhO is, according to the home page, 

"a resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in, for example, standard meditation circles and forums. Here you will find a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged knowledge and exploration of the possibilities of the mind and how it may be modified to reduce suffering and enhance wisdom."

The only question, then, is how best to foster that kind of discussion. The signal to noise ratio of the site in its current phase is very low, and the opportunity cost for failing to fix it is high; the unnecessarily contentious and sometimes toxic environment here can drive away people with a great deal to offer. This is not speculation. I hear it again and again from some of the most advanced yogis I know. Take a moment to imagine a Dharma Overgound where more people feel safe to post, both newbies and sages. What would that look like?

Edit: I've edited this post to remove names, because I realized it's unfair and intellectually dishonest to speculate about what other people want, especially in a way that casts them in a bad light.


RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:24 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
Sometimes it's helpful to simplify.

Each of us has his or her vision of the ideal DhO culture, none of which is inherently better or worse than any other.

[Some people might like a forum for post-structural analysis as well as scholarly discussion of Buddhist texts.

Some people might like a forum about how to correctly interpret the authority of Buddhist texts.

Some people might like a forum for adolescent jokes.] [EDITED to reflect Kenneth's edit. - Claudiu]

All of these are fine in my opinion, and I think I too would enjoy and benefit from all of those discussions.

But the mission of the DhO has already been written, and it is none of those things.

The DhO is, according to the home page, 

"a resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in, for example, standard meditation circles and forums. Here you will find a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged knowledge and exploration of the possibilities of the mind and how it may be modified to reduce suffering and enhance wisdom."

The only question, then, is how best to foster that kind of discussion. The signal to noise ratio of the site in its current phase is very low, and the opportunity cost for failing to fix it is high; the unnecessarily contentious and sometimes toxic environment here can drive away people with a great deal to offer. This is not speculation. I hear it again and again from some of the most advanced yogis I know. Take a moment to imagine a Dharma Overgound where more people feel safe to post, both newbies and sages. What would that look like?


Sometimes it _IS_ good to really simplify things.

[EDIT: redacted by request due to a potential "false light" claim: "A cause of action arising under the common law where a person is portrayed in a way which, while not technically false, is misleading and likely to cause embarrassment to that person." [link]; "A publication [...] made with actual malice [...] which places the Plaintiff in a false light; AND that would be highly offensive (i.e., embarrassing to reasonable persons)" [link]. Don't be gratuitously offensive. - Claudiu]

Other people actually have no vision of what DhO _should_ be! They like it just the way it is. It's really interesting how Signal to noise ratio as you put it corresponds to your new arrival to DhO. Something to think about.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:07 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
But the mission of the DhO has already been written, and it is none of those things.

The DhO is, according to the home page, 

"a resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations. It is a place where everything related to the support of practice may flourish, including where to go on retreats, what techniques may lead to what, an in depth look at the maps of possible states and stages, discussions about how to determine what experience was what, and in general anything that has to do with actually practicing rather than what typically occurs in, for example, standard meditation circles and forums. Here you will find a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged knowledge and exploration of the possibilities of the mind and how it may be modified to reduce suffering and enhance wisdom."

The only question, then, is how best to foster that kind of discussion. The signal to noise ratio of the site in its current phase is very low, and the opportunity cost for failing to fix it is high; the unnecessarily contentious and sometimes toxic environment here can drive away people with a great deal to offer. This is not speculation. I hear it again and again from some of the most advanced yogis I know. Take a moment to imagine a Dharma Overgound where more people feel safe to post, both newbies and sages. What would that look like?


Sometimes it _IS_ good to really simplify things.

[EDIT: redacted by request due to a potential "false light" claim: "A cause of action arising under the common law where a person is portrayed in a way which, while not technically false, is misleading and likely to cause embarrassment to that person." [link]; "A publication [...] made with actual malice [...] which places the Plaintiff in a false light; AND that would be highly offensive (i.e., embarrassing to reasonable persons)" [link]. Don't be gratuitously offensive. - Claudiu]

Other people actually have no vision of what DhO _should_ be! They like it just the way it is. It's really interesting how Signal to noise ratio as you put it corresponds to your new arrival to DhO. Something to think about.
FTW is showing us what call a kind of trollish response:  ignore the real/helpful content/sugestion, impune motives, use hot words, make an offer that is clearly unreasonable.

Edit: OMH, am I doing it too?  hmm, how to focus on (trollish) content?  Ignore?  I don't really want to explain trollism, except to point it out.

I'll try:
Kenneth shows up expecting what's on the front page of the website to be 'in play' and finds some noisy people that ignore the stuff on the front page and complains about it.  I feel the same way.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 2:16 PM as a reply to ftw.
Hi ftw,

My inbox has blown up this past couple of days with people feeling defamed here. Short of deleting your post, I'd like to give you the chance to  edit it. Can you please re-word your post so that it isn't seen as incendiary. If you don't, we as mods may have 
to take the action of deleting the post. Regardless of what people want, the mods feel the pressure to do more moderation. Your post is not in the spirit of this community. You could make a critique sound much more diplomatic. For example:

REWORDED TO BE A LITTLE MORE CIVIL:

I really don't know for sure, but it appears to me as if some people would like DhO to benefit financially. is there teaching worth money? How are we to really know if their teachings are benefical or not?

Other people actually have no vision of what DhO _should_ be! They like it just the way it is. It's really interesting how any notion of Signal to noise ratio really only appears like so because one or two threads attracts attention more than the many more practice related threads. Is it neccessary to post these types of threads that will attract such attention?


At least you don't make it directly personal and witht he questions allow others to be able to respond without feeling like they have been attacked and defamed and also others can respond cordially to offer their take on the answers. 

I wish everyone could just take a chill pill. I hope people are putting in double the amount of energy or focus into their actual practices that they put into these types of thread. 

Nick (mod)

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 2:53 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:

Edit: I've edited this post to remove names, because I realized it's unfair and intellectually dishonest to speculate about what other people want, especially in a way that casts them in a bad light.


thanks for removing my name Kenneth and I agree that it's dishonest to question other people's intentions, unfortunately it isn't the first time. And even though you removed the names themselves, I'm not sure you have removed your incorrect views. You are free to read some of my other posts and decide if your negative views toward me and others you noted are still correct. I thought ftw provided some good levity at a time when everyone seemed to be taking themselves, their views and their emotions way too seriously. If you want to make jokes that everyone will get and not be offended by at all, good luck, they won't be funny. Just to bring this full circle, the Dalai Lama says you will not make it through this lifetime without laughter. hahaha once in awhile. It's good for us

Also, if you guys are making a list of new rules, may I suggest that one rule be that we not question each other's intentions - ever. That seems to me to be the only respectful starting point to any conversation that will involve a true sharing of thoughts and ideas

It seems like a lot of posters here have forgotten how offensive the original MCTB was - it was relentless, that's why many people liked it. Daniel had had enough with all the PC bullshit and indulging in our own oh-so-fragile baggage, and he was ready to mercilessly lay into everyone to prove his point - he had to put little lightening bolts by the chapters where he lambasted entire cultures. Maybe we need those little lightning bolts here, so people that are extra sensitive won't have to read those posts

IMO comedy is by it's nature offensive, if it's not you're not doing your job (paraphrasing Bill Maher)
Maybe people need to be a little offended once in awhile, and then practice. I'm actually offended that everyone is so offended, and then I have the opportunity to observe my thoughts and sensations, and come back to balance. I'm wishing all well that read this - I've said it before but I would like to repeat, we can all disagree without taking things personally and without questioning each other's motives, it's not so hard

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 2:45 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:

I wish everyone could just take a chill pill. I hope people are putting in double the amount of energy or focus into their actual practices that they put into these types of thread. 

Nick (mod)
Nicl,

Do you think that if people considered posting on this forum part of their "actual practice" there would less of these types of thread and less need for people to take chill pills?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:15 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Hi ftw,

My inbox has blown up this past couple of days with people feeling defamed here. Short of deleting your post, I'd like to give you the chance to  edit it. Can you please re-word your post so that it isn't seen as incendiary. If you don't, we as mods may have 
to take the action of deleting the post. Regardless of what people want, the mods feel the pressure to do more moderation. Your post is not in the spirit of this community. You could make a critique sound much more diplomatic. For example:

REWORDED TO BE A LITTLE MORE CIVIL:

I really don't know for sure, but it appears to me as if some people would like DhO to benefit financially. is there teaching worth money? How are we to really know if their teachings are benefical or not?

Other people actually have no vision of what DhO _should_ be! They like it just the way it is. It's really interesting how any notion of Signal to noise ratio really only appears like so because one or two threads attracts attention more than the many more practice related threads. Is it neccessary to post these types of threads that will attract such attention?


At least you don't make it directly personal and witht he questions allow others to be able to respond without feeling like they have been attacked and defamed and also others can respond cordially to offer their take on the answers. 

I wish everyone could just take a chill pill. I hope people are putting in double the amount of energy or focus into their actual practices that they put into these types of thread. 

Nick (mod)


Your inbox can take it. Imagine what it would be like if people would call you @2AM about forum issues. Now that would be some crazy shit eh?
Do what you have to do. I meant what I said. In fact, I was never so sure about it.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:17 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
The only question of yours that I have time and inclination to answer is the one about who is on the "top" and who constitutes the grassroots (what you are choosng to call the "bottom").

This site, including this forum, is owned by Daniel M. Ingram. Moderations style, policy, rules, and protocols will be decided by Daniel M. Ingram, for it is his site.

Shall I say that yet again? Okay: This site and all decisions appertaining belong to Daniel M. Ingram.

Will he poll the grassroots yet again for yet another list of 200 differing personal opinions about how he should run his site before he finally takes decisive action to curb these recurrent, disruptive blowups, not to mention the general rudeness and nastiness that goes unchecked here? I don't know, but were I a betting woman, then I would bet not.

Some people on this thread are speaking to me as if I am imposing something on them. I'm not the owner of this site. I impose nothing. I'm not even a moderator any longer.

Having for a short time been a moderator, however, I do know that Daniel holds close counsel with his tech admin and appointed moderation team to make and effect decisions concerning policy, protocols, aesthetics, and usability of this site , which he has the perfect right to do because--once again--this is his site.

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:33 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
It seems like a lot of posters here have forgotten how offensive the original MCTB was - it was relentless, that's why many people liked it. Daniel had had enough with all the PC bullshit and indulging in our own oh-so-fragile baggage, and he was ready to mercilessly lay into everyone to prove his point - he had to put little lightening bolts by the chapters where he lambasted entire cultures. Maybe we need those little lightning bolts here, so people that are extra sensitive won't have to read those posts.

Daniel Ingram was in his 20s when he wrote most of MCTB. He's now 46. He has, thank goodness, grown up (well, mostly :lolemoticon.

You can expect MCTB2 to be a very different book from MCTB--a high dharma classic. Not quite Jack, but not MCTB, either.

There won't be lightning bolts in this edition, either, as there won't be a need for them when editing is done. If you are looking for Reddit, then please feel free to go there.

"Politically Correct" is a term that was invented by ultra conservatives to continue their campaigns of oppression against women, ethnic and racial minorities, and other protected classes. 

I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?





RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:41 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
It seems like a lot of posters here have forgotten how offensive the original MCTB was - it was relentless, that's why many people liked it. Daniel had had enough with all the PC bullshit and indulging in our own oh-so-fragile baggage, and he was ready to mercilessly lay into everyone to prove his point - he had to put little lightening bolts by the chapters where he lambasted entire cultures. Maybe we need those little lightning bolts here, so people that are extra sensitive won't have to read those posts.
[...] I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are baiting or inflaming or trolling. I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:10 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
ftw :
You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Personally, I'm a sucker for adolescent humor. When Daniel Ingram and I get together, we make each other laugh to the point of tears with jokes Beavis and Butthead would be proud of. On the other hand, I don't tell jokes like that around my mother-in-law. So it seems that timing and setting matter.

I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. ""? I'm guessing that to most women that isn't really very funny at all. I ask myself, if I were a woman, would I even consider participating on this forum? I don't think I would. Frankly, I'm kind of in awe of the women who put up with this rubbish and grace us with their presence. It must feel like being a cub scouts' den mother.

The case that the forum is fine, as it is, seems undermined by the fact that ftw felt comfortable posting that joke on a thread dedicated to sober discussion about the culture of the site.
For the record, FTW is the one who originally hurled sexist remarks at me back in September. 

So why am I not surprised that he's violated the now published rules against Hate Speech?

I don't think Daniel is going to be amused when he returns from his retreat, not at any of what has transpired here. I'm cheered by confidence that all this will serve as inspiration for him to effect change at long last.

Yes, the men's lockeroom stuff does get tedious here. No wonder so few women post here (What? Like 3 maybe?)

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:45 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jenny:
It seems like a lot of posters here have forgotten how offensive the original MCTB was - it was relentless, that's why many people liked it. Daniel had had enough with all the PC bullshit and indulging in our own oh-so-fragile baggage, and he was ready to mercilessly lay into everyone to prove his point - he had to put little lightening bolts by the chapters where he lambasted entire cultures. Maybe we need those little lightning bolts here, so people that are extra sensitive won't have to read those posts.
[...] I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are baiting or inflaming or trolling. I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator

No, it is not. He is trolling. He does it all the time. DW and I were discussing it just last night. I stand by my saying he is trolling, because he is.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:10 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Kenneth Folk:
ftw :
You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Personally, I'm a sucker for adolescent humor. When Daniel Ingram and I get together, we make each other laugh to the point of tears with jokes Beavis and Butthead would be proud of. On the other hand, I don't tell jokes like that around my mother-in-law. So it seems that timing and setting matter.

I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. ""? I'm guessing that to most women that isn't really very funny at all. I ask myself, if I were a woman, would I even consider participating on this forum? I don't think I would. Frankly, I'm kind of in awe of the women who put up with this rubbish and grace us with their presence. It must feel like being a cub scouts' den mother.

The case that the forum is fine, as it is, seems undermined by the fact that ftw felt comfortable posting that joke on a thread dedicated to sober discussion about the culture of the site.
For the record, FTW is the one who originally hurled sexist remarks at me back in September. 

So why am I not surprised that he's violated the now published rules against Hate Speech?

I don't think Daniel is going to be amused when he returns from his retreat, not at any of what has transpired here. I'm cheered by confidence that all this will serve as inspiration for him to effect change at long last.

Yes, the men's lockeroom stuff does get tedious here. No wonder so few women post here (What? Like 3 maybe?)

Lol. [redacted personal attack. - Claudiu]
Care to elaborate who deleted all of your furious posts from the original threads?
Care to elabotate who deleted your posts from a thread in powers section where you blatanly attacked in a very rude sexist matter OP? And you have mod powers right?

[redacted taunting. - Claudiu]

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 3:56 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator

No, it is not. He is trolling. He does it all the time. DW and I were discussing it just last night. I stand by my saying he is trolling, because he is.

Well, that's not an argument. But nevertheless, it is a personal attack, because you are attacking his character. It is a the very least an ad hominem: "responding to arguments by attacking a person's character, rather than to the content of their arguments". By calling him a troll, regardless of whether he is a troll, you attack his character and do nothing to address what he's actually saying. The rule on the front page is "no [...] ad hominem attacks". If you'd like to propose a modification to the rule that allows you to call people trolls then I am willing to hear it.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:02 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:

No, it is not. He is trolling. He does it all the time. DW and I were discussing it just last night. I stand by my saying he is trolling, because he is.




W T F

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:10 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
ftw:
I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...

Moderators, I cannot find a flag for ftw's original post, which Daniel Laffler has joined in on. This is SEXIST HATE SPEECH. 

I call upon you to enforce Daniel's published rules against sexist hate speech in his absence, and to do so right now.

I'm copying this to my hard drive for evidence.

Thanks!

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:02 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
Lol. [redacted personal attack. - Claudiu]
Care to elaborate who deleted all of your furious posts from the original threads?
Care to elabotate who deleted your posts from a thread in powers section where you blatanly attacked in a very rude sexist matter OP? And you have mod powers right?

[redacted taunting. - Claudiu]

Last warning. Next step is a ban.

Claudiu, Mod

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:11 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Daniel Leffler:
ftw:
I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...

Moderators, I cannot find a flag for ftw's original post, which Daniel Laffler has joined in on. This is SEXIST HATE SPEECH. 

I call upon you to enforce Daniel's published rules against sexist hate speech in his absence, and to do so right now.

I'm copying this to my hard drive for evidence.

Thanks!

Jenny

Jenny!

Help is on it's way!


RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:12 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jenny:
[...] I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are baiting or inflaming or trolling. I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator
Hmm... I'm no English teacher, but... wait.

Actually I am an English teacher! Or at least I have a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and I'm qualified to teach K-12 as well as adults in the State of New York.

So I feel reasonably qualified to weigh in here. Saying that someone is trolling is not an attack on someone's character; it is an observation of their behavior. The observation may or may not be accurate, but it is nonetheless not a character attack. As for ad hominem, my understanding is that it would technically only be an ad hominem if it were used to divert attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument.

Short version: it's neither a personal attack nor an ad hominem to call someone out for what you sincerely believe is trolling behavior. In fact, calling someone out for trolling behavior is part of best practices for dealing with trolling according to Webroot. Trolling behavior is well defined, so although there is some room for interpretation, it's not nearly as fuzzy as some here have recently suggested.

From Dictionary.com:

Trolling

Digital Technology, Informal.
  1. to post inflammatory or inappropriate messages or comments on(the Internet, especially a message board) for the purpose ofupsetting other users and provoking a response.
  2. to upset or provoke (other users) by posting such messages orcomments.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trolling

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:08 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
ftw:
Lol. [redacted personal attack. - Claudiu]
Care to elaborate who deleted all of your furious posts from the original threads?
Care to elabotate who deleted your posts from a thread in powers section where you blatanly attacked in a very rude sexist matter OP? And you have mod powers right?

[redacted taunting. - Claudiu]

Last warning. Next step is a ban.

Claudiu, Mod


Heh. Go ahead. Who'd want to be a part of this circus anyway.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:13 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Dear Sawfoot,

I'm not going down this rabbit hole with you. I could, but let's just not. You are exonerated, okay?

I'm needing to turn 100% of my attention, starting today, back to substantively editing MCTB2 so that Daniel doesn't return from retreat to find that all I've done is waste time rehashing what passed 6 months ago.

There was indeed a sockpuppet in September. The account was created on the date that attack began, hours after Daniel deleted your thread. Once the account was locked, that identity never appeared again. The screen name had all kinds of metaphorical implications. That in itself isn't any kind of digital DNA evidence. 

If you are concerned about your reputation here, then I hereby withdraw any accusatory implication toward you. To keep your reputation clean, behave well, practice well.

Love, your dharma sister,

Jenny
Ok, thanks, Jenny, I appreciate you retracting the claim given its defamatory nature.

Just in reference to this paragraph I have highlighted in red.

A sockpuppet, by the commonly used definitions, is an account used by someone else for the purposes of deception - on a forum context it would be someone who already has account on the forum. This is a different definition from somebody who has created an account for the purposes of making an attack, using a pseudonym, (who isn't likely to use their real name).

Your argument as stated in this post is based on three premises (ignoring any other reasons):

The user was a sock puppet because the user name had metaphorical implications
The user was a sock puppet because the account was created several hours after a contentious thread was deleted
The user was a sock puppet because once the account was locked, the identity never appeared again

A person using a pseudonym who isn't a sock puppet may use also a name with metaphorical implications, and would seem just as likely to. And that user once their account has been locked, may not return. The fact that identity was never used again is not evidence for it being a sock puppet, because that argument just as easily can be applied to an anonymous lurker turned poster. If it was a sockpuppet, why didn't they return? If it was not a sockpuppet why didn't they return? It has hard to speculate either way. Note that some estimates put the ratio of lurkers to posters to something like 90/10. Or more. Nor the fact that the account was created after the thread was deleted is also not evidence pointing towards a sock puppet as opposed to a lurker. The argument could be applied either way.

Your statement "There was indeed a sockpuppet in September." is a statement of your belief, it is not a statement of fact, unless you are privy to other information that I not aware of. I happen to think for various other reasons that it was not a sock puppet but a "troll" (much as I dislike that word) but without evidence to the contrary I cannot be certain of this.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:12 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
Jenny:
Kenneth Folk:
ftw :
You fuckin soft pussyass dickless wannabe attainers cuckoo wankers! emoticon

Personally, I'm a sucker for adolescent humor. When Daniel Ingram and I get together, we make each other laugh to the point of tears with jokes Beavis and Butthead would be proud of. On the other hand, I don't tell jokes like that around my mother-in-law. So it seems that timing and setting matter.

I try to imagine what I would think of ftw's comment if I were a woman. At least three women have participated directly on this thread, and this is a public forum, so any number of women can read it. Would I think "dickless" is funny when used as a putdown? Doubt it. "Pussyass"? I'm guessing that to most women that isn't really very funny at all. I ask myself, if I were a woman, would I even consider participating on this forum? I don't think I would. Frankly, I'm kind of in awe of the women who put up with this rubbish and grace us with their presence. It must feel like being a cub scouts' den mother.

The case that the forum is fine, as it is, seems undermined by the fact that ftw felt comfortable posting that joke on a thread dedicated to sober discussion about the culture of the site.
For the record, FTW is the one who originally hurled sexist remarks at me back in September. 

So why am I not surprised that he's violated the now published rules against Hate Speech?

I don't think Daniel is going to be amused when he returns from his retreat, not at any of what has transpired here. I'm cheered by confidence that all this will serve as inspiration for him to effect change at long last.

Yes, the men's lockeroom stuff does get tedious here. No wonder so few women post here (What? Like 3 maybe?)

Lol. [redacted personal attack. - Claudiu]
Care to elaborate who deleted all of your furious posts from the original threads?
Care to elabotate who deleted your posts from a thread in powers section where you blatanly attacked in a very rude sexist matter OP? And you have mod powers right?

[redacted taunting. - Claudiu]

Nice try, FTW. Not going down that rabbit hole again, as I already answered all this 6 months ago, and you know it. Sorry to disappoint you, as you are obviously looking for an extended fight.

I have work to do now, folks. 

Jen

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:12 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Daniel Leffler:
ftw:
I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...

Moderators, I cannot find a flag for ftw's original post, which Daniel Laffler has joined in on. This is SEXIST HATE SPEECH. 

I call upon you to enforce Daniel's published rules against sexist hate speech in his absence, and to do so right now.

I'm copying this to my hard drive for evidence.

Thanks!

Jenny
Everyone say hello to the most heavily moderated thread in DhO history.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:16 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
Jenny:
Daniel Leffler:
ftw:
I applaud you sir! A voice of reason.
Listen to this guy! You [redacted rampant insults. - Claudiu]! emoticon

Ha! LMFAO. And agreeing 100%
Can we toughen up and fucking chillax at the same time people?
Sticks and stones...

Moderators, I cannot find a flag for ftw's original post, which Daniel Laffler has joined in on. This is SEXIST HATE SPEECH. 

I call upon you to enforce Daniel's published rules against sexist hate speech in his absence, and to do so right now.

I'm copying this to my hard drive for evidence.

Thanks!

Jenny

Jenny!

Help is on it's way!

Alrighty, a ban it is. I'll discuss with other mods whether this should be temporary or permanent.

Claudiu, Mod.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:20 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
Sawfoot,

I don't think this site at that time had the ability to lock accounts. I was a moderator at the time, and I never heard mention among some 500 emails with mods and Daniel that "Bill Glamdring's" account had been locked or could be locked. It was the thread itself that was locked.

Also, I'm a certified paralegal. Calling you that sockpuppet, if I were to, which I'm not, would not be "defamatory in nature" at all.

Look up the elements of defamation under U.S. or English law, and you'll see that not all the elements of that tort would be fulfilled were I calling you a sockpuppet. All elements of a cause have to be proved for the tort to be actionable.

People on this thread, including Claudiu, don't seem to understand what defamation is by legal definition. 

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:24 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jenny:
[...] I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are baiting or inflaming or trolling. I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator
Hmm... I'm no English teacher, but... wait.

Actually I am an English teacher! Or at least I have a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and I'm qualified to teach K-12 as well as adults in the State of New York.

So I feel reasonably qualified to weigh in here. Saying that someone is trolling is not an attack on someone's character; it is an observation of their behavior. The observation may or may not be accurate, but it is nonetheless not a character attack. As for ad hominem, my understanding is that it would technically only be an ad hominem if it were used to divert attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument.

Short version: it's neither a personal attack nor an ad hominem to call someone out for what you sincerely believe is trolling behavior. In fact, calling someone out for trolling behavior is part of best practices for dealing with trolling according to Webroot. Trolling behavior is well defined, so although there is some room for interpretation, it's not nearly as fuzzy as some here have recently suggested.

From Dictionary.com:

Trolling

Digital Technology, Informal.
  1. to post inflammatory or inappropriate messages or comments on(the Internet, especially a message board) for the purpose ofupsetting other users and provoking a response.
  2. to upset or provoke (other users) by posting such messages orcomments.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trolling

I have a PhD in English and taught university-level rhetoric for a decade.

Kenneth is correct. BTW, I'm the one who drafted those rules. 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:25 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jenny:
[...] I would suggest that, if you are sincere, you note what this site is about and stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site. That's what I'm saying. Got it?

Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are baiting or inflaming or trolling. I have to apply the "no name-calling or ad hominem attacks" rule here equally. Saying that someone is trolling is a personal attack, an attack on someone's character. So be warned.

Claudiu, Moderator
[...] Saying that someone is trolling is not an attack on someone's character; it is an observation of their behavior. The observation may or may not be accurate, but it is nonetheless not a character attack.

Thanks for weighing in. What would make something a character attack in that case?

Kenneth Folk:
As for ad hominem, my understanding is that it would technically only be an ad hominem if it were used to divert attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument.

I agree. I understood Jenny as turning attention away from Daniel's argument (essentially, that we shouldn't moderate as heavily) to Daniel himself (the person making the argument). If Daniel is trolling then his argument is discredited. Hence: ad hominem. To be more explicit, whether Daniel is trolling has no bearing on his argument. However it would have a bearing on whether to ban him for example.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:29 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:


Short version: it's neither a personal attack nor an ad hominem to call someone out for what you sincerely believe is trolling behavior. In fact, calling someone out for trolling behavior is part of best practices for dealing with trolling according to Webroot. Trolling behavior is well defined, so although there is some room for interpretation, it's not nearly as fuzzy as some here have recently suggested.

From Dictionary.com:

Trolling

Digital Technology, Informal.
  1. to post inflammatory or inappropriate messages or comments on(the Internet, especially a message board) for the purpose ofupsetting other users and provoking a response.
  2. to upset or provoke (other users) by posting such messages orcomments.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trolling




Dear Kenneth,

In your expert opinion as a teacher of the English language, is starting a thread implying other users on this forum are "reactionary nincompoops" (I believe that is the expression used by the OP, but I can't check because the thread was deleted because it appeared to provoke and upset other users) an example of trolling behaviour? Or would that be a case of an ad hominen attack, with the purpose of diverting attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument?

I ask because because I have heard that the best practice in dealing with trolling beahviour (according to Webroot) is calling the person out on their trolling behaviour, so I just want to be sure before I call them out on their trolling behaviour. 

I await in earnest for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Sawfoot_

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:29 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Everyone say hello to the most heavily moderated thread in DhO history.

You've been through this thread like a human bottle of tipex! emoticon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:40 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
Some people, perhaps ftw and Daniel Leffler included, would like a forum for adolescent jokes.
All of these are fine in my opinion, and I think I too would enjoy and benefit from all of those discussions.

But the mission of the DhO has already been written, and it is none of those things.......
The only question, then, is how best to foster that kind of discussion....
B. B, early on in this thread, made a number of good suggestions including:
“Do not post suppositions about the motives behind a person's actions, or explicitly link them with negative character traits, even if there is some perceived basis for doing so.”

This style follows the general pattern of:
- Paint someone with a trivial, dogmatic, etc. motive.
- Position yourself as above such motives.
- From that false position offer some paternalistic wisdom.

In a recent response to something I wrote, you used this style several times - in one post. You may not be aware that you are doing this. If you find that there is a need to understand someone’s motive why not just ask them?

As far as my own motives for being here, I thought my rather lengthy posts on your wetpaint site describing my own experiences in working with those old teachings (in which you commented btw), would have been sufficient. It seems we have very different views of what constitutes awakening based on our respective experiences and practices.

- End of response to Kenneth -

Generally speaking, no amount of moderation will stop people from using manipulative styles of communication - dhammawheel offers many examples of this - it just refines the technique - very Darwinian I suppose.

Today I was reading through a talk given by Upasika Kee Nanayon (died 1979)  - A lay woman teacher in Thailand. She wrote: If we don't look inward, we make the mind dark and murky. Then when sensory contact comes, the mind can easily get all stirred up. So I ask that you make an effort to peer carefully inward to see what's there in the mind, to see how things arise, to see how mental labels and fabrications arise.

S
he makes a good point and if the intention is dark and murky then that will come across regardless of what words are used.

re ftw: amazing how someone could go so ballistic so quickly. Seems like they pass the troll duck test with flying colors.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:39 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Plenty of comedians get away with "hate speech". It's as if... it's as if context supplies information about the intent and 'meaning' of words. Then, Nazi-level enforcement of rules seems silly.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:40 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:

is starting a thread implying other users on this forum are "reactionary nincompoops" (I believe that is the expression used by the OP, but I can't check because the thread was deleted because it appeared to provoke and upset other users) an example of trolling behaviour? Or would that be a case of an ad hominen attack, with the purpose of diverting attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument?
Yes, I believe that is a clear example of trolling. As for ad hominem, probably not. Without naming someone directly, ad hominem probably doesn't apply, although I suppose you could make a weak case for it. Jenny could probably weigh in here. Great question, though.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:50 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Also, I'm a certified paralegal. Calling you that sockpuppet, if I were to, which I'm not, would not be "defamatory in nature" at all.

Look up the elements of defamation under U.S. or English law, and you'll see that not all the elements of that tort would be fulfilled were I calling you a sockpuppet. All elements of a cause have to be proved for the tort to be actionable.

People on this thread, including Claudiu, don't seem to understand what defamation is by legal definition. 

Could you go into which elements were not fulfilled? It seems to me they all were, but you have more expertise than me. From the EFF:

The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:
  1. a publication to one other than the person defamed;
  2. a false statement of fact;
  3. that is understood as
  • being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
  • tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.

1) Yes, by being on a forum.
2) It is a statement of verifiable fact - "Sawfoot was that sockpuppet". If false, then it is a false statement of fact.
3a) It is of and concerns Sawfoot.
3b) If true, it harms the reputation of Sawfoot.

EDIT: It looks like there's also the element of negligence: "A private figure claiming defamation—your neighbor, your roommate, the guy who walks his dog by your favorite coffee shop—only has to prove you acted negligently, which is to say that a "reasonable person" would not have published the defamatory statement."

From dmlp.org:
A plaintiff can establish negligence on the part of the defendant by showing that the defendant did not act with a reasonable level of care in publishing the statement at issue. This basically turns on whether the defendant did everything reasonably necessary to determine whether the statement was true, including the steps the defendant took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work.

So is this the unfulfilled element - that you didn't act negligently?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 5:07 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
is this considered trolling?

[snipped irrelevant image. - Claudiu]

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:49 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Kenneth Folk:
sawfoot _:

is starting a thread implying other users on this forum are "reactionary nincompoops" (I believe that is the expression used by the OP, but I can't check because the thread was deleted because it appeared to provoke and upset other users) an example of trolling behaviour? Or would that be a case of an ad hominen attack, with the purpose of diverting attention from the argument someone was making, instead turning attention to the person making the argument in an effort to undermine the credibility of that person, and indirectly discredit the argument?
Yes, I believe that is a clear example of trolling. As for ad hominem, probably not. Without naming someone directly, ad hominem probably doesn't apply, although I suppose you could make a weak case for it. Jenny could probably weigh in here. Great question, though.
 Ah, gee, shucks, thanks Kenneth. I thought it might be a good question, but I wasn't sure. It is nice to get some positive feedback for a change. I am going to go to sleep tonight with a warm glow, and get back to my practice, as after all, practice is what this place is all about. 

All the best, 

Sawfoot_

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 4:53 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
is this considered trolling?

[snip irrelevant image]


Yes, don't do that.

Claudiu, Mod

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 5:16 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Hello everyone, 

 Replying to the all, via original post, but this is just a suggestion to all,  I would like to share this excerpt of Pragmatism, full article in link below excerpt, if anyone is interested.  

So , in regards to Moderation, First off, let us moderate ourselves.

Again, this is just a suggestion.

And, if you are like me, and forget to follow the suggestion sometime in the future , just remind yourself, and start the training from that moment forward.

Any activity is regarding both internal and external activity i.e. inner thinking, outer speech, other physical actions, etc

Regarding any activity, one should reflect:

“Is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskilful activity, with painful consequences, painful results? If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both, it is an unskilful activity with painful consequences, painful results, then any activity of that sort is absolutely inappropriate for you to do. But if, on reflection, you know that it is not leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it is a skilful activity with happy consequences, happy results, then any activity of that sort is appropriate for you to do.”
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh463-p.html


Psi

P.S. I am sure any of you can point out my flaws, past instances of Wrong Speech and whatnot, so if you want to do that, fine, I will try to be easliy admonished.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 5:19 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Daniel Leffler:
is this considered trolling?

[snip irrelevant image]


Yes, don't do that.

Claudiu, Mod

Wow, and I thought we could all agree that Bill Murray in Ghostbusters was awesome 
Live and learn
Let me try this:
If you are not in any way offended by anything I've posted in the past, you were not in any way offended by what ftw posted on this thread and you would like to see the 'irrelevant image' that was redacted by your well-meaning protector BCDEFG, you do not think I am a troll in any way whatsoever, and you take full sole responsibility for the potentially very damaging image you are about to see, freeing me, Daniel Leffler, 100% from any liability at all and any damages that this image may wreak on your potentially fragile sensitivities, then and only then, click here 
I hope that's copacetic emoticon

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 5:46 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Daniel Leffler:
is this considered trolling?

[snip irrelevant image]


Yes, don't do that.

Claudiu, Mod

Wow, and I thought we could all agree that Bill Murray in Ghostbusters was awesome 
Live and learn
Let me try this:
If you are not in any way offended by anything I've posted in the past, you were not in any way offended by what ftw posted on this thread and you would like to see the 'irrelevant image' that was redacted by your well-meaning protector BCDEFG, you do not think I am a troll in any way whatsoever, and you take full sole responsibility for the potentially very damaging image you are about to see, freeing me, Daniel Leffler, 100% from any liability at all and any damages that this image may wreak on your potentially fragile sensitivities, then and only then, click here 
I hope that's copacetic emoticon

Honestly, not much is going to offend me at this point in life, and I love comedy.  Though, when it gets too vulgar, it is just not funny to me anymore.  I am more of a Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, Don Friesen kind of comedy fan myself.

This is not to say I will not shake my head in disbelief at some of the postings, perhaps even my own emoticon

And sometimes people are accused of trolling, and I am like, What??? emoticon Where???

And , can't we have a little fun? When it is appropriate, of course.  Jeez 

But, seriously, Daniel, upwards of 90% of what you post here is actually steeped in Wisdom, and can see most of your efforts at calm rational discussion are at times generally either not followed, acknowleged, understood, or just ignored.  But, not always, when you speak what is true, many will understand, but just not respond externally.

And, indeed, sometimes we just do not know how or when someone is going to react, and what they are going to react to.

And, I am not here to tell anyone what to say or not to say.

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 6:00 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
But, seriously, Daniel, upwards of 90% of what you post here is actually steeped in Wisdom, and can see most of your efforts at calm rational discussion are at times generally either not followed, acknowleged, understood, or just ignored.  But, not always, when you speak what is true, many will understand, but just not respond externally.

Thanks Psi, I've enjoyed our conversations in the past
I'll go to bed tonight not worrying about any of this nonsense and I'll be done with it for good, it's just an internet forum, though I do value the community very much
I can imagine today's enemies being friends later and vice versa, everyone here means well
It reminds me of a Zen story that you probably know:

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

We already crossed the mud - I hope everyone here can just leave the girl there too

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 6:50 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:

We already crossed the mud - I hope everyone here can just leave the girl there too


I don't think we've crossed the mud.  We're still in the swamp, wallowing around a forum where there are some noisy people that don't seem interested in what the forum is about, I call them trolls.

The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

If there was a way for me to convenientely get 'recent posts' from a select group of contributors, or a selection of sub-forums, that would be a help to me.  But these ideas get into more complex solutions that I feel could easily be unnecessary if the moderators provided incentive for posters to follow the guidelines on the existing front page of the website.  Or, just get Daniel to change the front-page guidelines to match what we have now and I'll find it easier to let go of my expectations or figure out another way to get what I want from here.

Edit: just venting, but hopefully of some value, an addition to my problem with 'trolls'.  They seem to bend over backwards to not understand what is in a post and spin the conversation off topic.  They seem to care more about hoisting someone by their own petard or with lousy logic than having and representing their own point of view.  Often their point of view is a bunch of balanced fluff that adds up to zero.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 6:46 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
I don't think we've crossed the mud.  We're still in the swamp, wallowing around a forum where there are some noisy people that don't seem interested in what the forum is about, I call them trolls.

I did. You're obviously free to do whatever supports your well being and practice matthew, best to you

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 6:55 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Daniel Leffler:

We already crossed the mud - I hope everyone here can just leave the girl there too


I don't think we've crossed the mud.  We're still in the swamp, wallowing around a forum where there are some noisy people that don't seem interested in what the forum is about, I call them trolls.

The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

If there was a way for me to convenientely get 'recent posts' from a select group of contributors, or a selection of sub-forums, that would be a help to me.  But these ideas get into more complex solutions that I feel could easily be unnecessary if the moderators provided incentive for posters to follow the guidelines on the existing front page of the website.  Or, just get Daniel to change the front-page guidelines to match what we have now and I'll find it easier to let go of my expectations or figure out another way to get what I want from here.

Edit: just venting, but hopefully of some value, an addition to my problem with 'trolls'.  They seem to bend over backwards to not understand what is in a post and spin the conversation off topic.  They seem to care more about hoisting someone by their own petard or with lousy logic than having and representing their own point of view.  Often their point of view is a bunch of balanced fluff that adds up to zero.

Maybe I am getting a little compassionate, Trolls are people too.  They would also like to hear the Dhamma, sometimes they just like to talk at the same time, greed and anger is in all of our nature from our birth, we are all Trolls.

And, Hello Matthew!  Glad to meet you!  You have brought up some good discussions and brought in some fresh wisdom, thank you.

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 4:53 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Perhaps we should seek more precision here in defining 'troll' (verb)?  

Mythologically, troll (noun) seem to be basically an outsider, foreigner in some sense, who is perceived as lurking about and as threatening.

How would 'trolling' be distinguished from simply scanning, browsing? And how this discerned relative to simply a perception on the part of those who feel their discussion is being ruffled by some outsider? And differentiating it from 'hijacking', or running off into an unrelated sub-thread (the same?)?

These questions are asking for some exploratory clarification, as I (likely many of us, as has been mentioned) do nose around looking for something of interest to engage with, as well as having experienced the input of others as s/w unwelcome.

The first substantial thread I authored here – "What is phenomenology (here) [in DhO]" –was visited by a wide range of curious intrusions (more than half the volume of the longish thread).

matthew sexton
offered: "trolls, as defined by: they don't pay attention to posting guidlines and their argumentative style seems to be tuned forusing what people value against them and it ends up driving youcrazy".

But it seems others also use the term in a less extreme sense.

Good questions Chris. although me thinks that those who've actually succeeded (even partially) in deleting the fetters and filters that constitute our fixed psychological positions are probably already assisting in the examination of what constitutes a troll and trolling behaviour with every post they send but they call it The Human Condition.  and, like certain cartoonists, no longer see any sense in being offended by it as that just perpetuates wars rapes suicides and self inflicted suffering.  

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 7:00 PM as a reply to Matt.
Matthew, not everyone who prefers light to no moderation is a troll; quite a few of them are well worth reading, and even the jokier people are serious most of the time. There has been a spectacular blow-out on several long, agonizing threads over the past few days. It's left many of us with frazzled nerves. But I see people still posting about their practice, and others asking and talking about dharma. I'm going to try to get my mind back on my own practice too! 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 7:28 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
matthew sexton:
Daniel Leffler:

We already crossed the mud - I hope everyone here can just leave the girl there too


I don't think we've crossed the mud.  We're still in the swamp, wallowing around a forum where there are some noisy people that don't seem interested in what the forum is about, I call them trolls.

The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

If there was a way for me to convenientely get 'recent posts' from a select group of contributors, or a selection of sub-forums, that would be a help to me.  But these ideas get into more complex solutions that I feel could easily be unnecessary if the moderators provided incentive for posters to follow the guidelines on the existing front page of the website.  Or, just get Daniel to change the front-page guidelines to match what we have now and I'll find it easier to let go of my expectations or figure out another way to get what I want from here.

Edit: just venting, but hopefully of some value, an addition to my problem with 'trolls'.  They seem to bend over backwards to not understand what is in a post and spin the conversation off topic.  They seem to care more about hoisting someone by their own petard or with lousy logic than having and representing their own point of view.  Often their point of view is a bunch of balanced fluff that adds up to zero.

Maybe I am getting a little compassionate, Trolls are people too.  They would also like to hear the Dhamma, sometimes they just like to talk at the same time, greed and anger is in all of our nature from our birth, we are all Trolls.

And, Hello Matthew!  Glad to meet you!  You have brought up some good discussions and brought in some fresh wisdom, thank you.

Psi

And, I want to add, to everyone, since I am on a posting spree.

First , I admit, I do not know James Yen's entire history of posting or trolling.

Secondly, when I found out he was banned forever, I almost signed out forever myself.

There is Dukkha.

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 7:54 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Jenny:
Also, I'm a certified paralegal. Calling you that sockpuppet, if I were to, which I'm not, would not be "defamatory in nature" at all.

Look up the elements of defamation under U.S. or English law, and you'll see that not all the elements of that tort would be fulfilled were I calling you a sockpuppet. All elements of a cause have to be proved for the tort to be actionable.

People on this thread, including Claudiu, don't seem to understand what defamation is by legal definition. 

Could you go into which elements were not fulfilled? It seems to me they all were, but you have more expertise than me. From the EFF:

The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:
  1. a publication to one other than the person defamed;
  2. a false statement of fact;
  3. that is understood as
  • being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
  • tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.

1) Yes, by being on a forum.
2) It is a statement of verifiable fact - "Sawfoot was that sockpuppet". If false, then it is a false statement of fact.
3a) It is of and concerns Sawfoot.
3b) If true, it harms the reputation of Sawfoot.

EDIT: It looks like there's also the element of negligence: "A private figure claiming defamation—your neighbor, your roommate, the guy who walks his dog by your favorite coffee shop—only has to prove you acted negligently, which is to say that a "reasonable person" would not have published the defamatory statement."

From dmlp.org:
A plaintiff can establish negligence on the part of the defendant by showing that the defendant did not act with a reasonable level of care in publishing the statement at issue. This basically turns on whether the defendant did everything reasonably necessary to determine whether the statement was true, including the steps the defendant took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work.

So is this the unfulfilled element - that you didn't act negligently?

First of all, if Sawfoot were to take me to court, he would need to prove the element of damages. That is, he would need to prove that some statement of a factual nature that were actually untrue resulted in some loss that could be monetized. In other words, he'd have to prove that (1) the untruth damaged him professionally, or in some other terms of monetary gain or income, and (2) he would need to prove those damages in terms that are quantifiable (money). Judges and juries award money, after all, and the money is based on the element of damages. No proof of damages, no win and no award.

So, if Sawfoot were a medical researcher, and I published a statement that sounds factual in nature, such as, "Sawfoot falsified his research data," when in fact SF's data was not falsified but sound, then he could sue me and win to the extent that those false statements of mine could resonably be shown by him to be harmful to his professional (gainful) reputation. He would be required to show the court an actual amount of loss, in currency. For example, if alleged that he was denied promotion because of my statement, then he could win against me for that loss of future income. Establishng the amount damages can be tricky, but lawyers know how to do it. The point I'm making is that torts have the element of damages, which must be proved by the plaintiff. No damages, no case, regardless of whether the other elements are fulfilled.

Note also that defamation has to be a statement in the nature of a fact, not an opinion. If SF were a barber, and I published that his haircuts suck, that is not defamation: "Sawfoot is untalented at cutting hair. He gives me a really sucky haircut every time I go to him for a haircut. He gave my friend a terrible haircut, too." I could publish that writ large on a page in a newspaper, and that would not be defamation at all. I'm entitled to my opinion of SF's haircuts. If that were not the case, then every book or film reviewer in the world who gave bad reviews would be liable for defamation. Think about it.

Now, if SF were a surgeon trying to get a job as hospital chief of staff and I went to a hospital about to hire him and told the hiring party that SF's board certification was revoked last month when it wasn't, or that he had killed all the patients who died in 2008 on the local psych ward when he didn't, then that would be defamation if, and only if, the hospital relied on my statements and didn't hire SF. He would take me to court and prove damages.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/defamation-libel-slander-key-elements-claim.html

Note that thinking someone's discursive behavior fits the pattern of trolling on a forum is an opinion. It also carries no monetary damages, in ordinary circumstances.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:01 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Also, the following would be defenses I could use against SF if he sued me for defamation:

The major defenses to defamation are:
  • truth--truth is an absolute defense against allegations of defamation.
  • the allegedly defamatory statement was merely a statement of opinion.
  • consent to the publication of the allegedly defamatory statement.
  • absolute privilege.
  • qualified privilege.
  • retraction of the allegedly defamatory statement

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 8:15 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Daniel Leffler:

We already crossed the mud - I hope everyone here can just leave the girl there too


I don't think we've crossed the mud.  We're still in the swamp, wallowing around a forum where there are some noisy people that don't seem interested in what the forum is about, I call them trolls.

The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

If there was a way for me to convenientely get 'recent posts' from a select group of contributors, or a selection of sub-forums, that would be a help to me.  But these ideas get into more complex solutions that I feel could easily be unnecessary if the moderators provided incentive for posters to follow the guidelines on the existing front page of the website.  Or, just get Daniel to change the front-page guidelines to match what we have now and I'll find it easier to let go of my expectations or figure out another way to get what I want from here.

Edit: just venting, but hopefully of some value, an addition to my problem with 'trolls'.  They seem to bend over backwards to not understand what is in a post and spin the conversation off topic.  They seem to care more about hoisting someone by their own petard or with lousy logic than having and representing their own point of view.  Often their point of view is a bunch of balanced fluff that adds up to zero.

Matthew, I agree. The trolls are loving all this, digging it. It is so much exciting fun for them to keep posting false dilemmas and questions that aren't sincere questions but bait.

More important, Daniel Ingram agrees. He's sick of this kind of thing, as he has published on this site itself repeatedly since the blowup in September. 

People can spout their opinions here all they want. They can dig in their heels, rage, and proclaim that they will leave. I'm not invested and am going back to editing MCTB2 the rest of the evening, in addition to sitting in precious meditation.

In the end, the work that began in September, until I quit the moderation team, will be finished. Daniel will finish it, especially after he returns from his birthday retreat to see what "gifts" this community has borne him in returrn for his generosity.

You can mark my words.

Cheers,
Jenny 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 9:15 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
First of all, if Sawfoot were to take me to court, he would need to prove the element of damages. That is, he would need to prove that some statement of a factual nature that were actually untrue resulted in some loss that could be monetized. In other words, he'd have to prove that (1) the untruth damaged him professionally, or in some other terms of monetary gain or income, and (2) he would need to prove those damages in terms that are quantifiable (money). Judges and juries award money, after all, and the money is based on the element of damages. No proof of damages, no win and no award.

So, if Sawfoot were a medical researcher, and I published a statement that sounds factual in nature, such as, "Sawfoot falsified his research data," when in fact SF's data was not falsified but sound, then he could sue me and win to the extent that those false statements of mine could resonably be shown by him to be harmful to his professional (gainful) reputation. He would be required to show the court an actual amount of loss, in currency. For example, if alleged that he was denied promotion because of my statement, then he could win against me for that loss of future income. Establishng the amount damages can be tricky, but lawyers know how to do it. The point I'm making is that torts have the element of damages, which must be proved by the plaintiff. No damages, no case, regardless of whether the other elements are fulfilled.

Note also that defamation has to be a statement in the nature of a fact, not an opinion. If SF were a barber, and I published that his haircuts suck, that is not defamation: "Sawfoot is untalented at cutting hair. He gives me a really sucky haircut every time I go to him for a haircut. He gave my friend a terrible haircut, too." I could publish that writ large on a page in a newspaper, and that would not be defamation at all. I'm entitled to my opinion of SF's haircuts. If that were not the case, then every book or film reviewer in the world who gave bad reviews would be liable for defamation. Think about it.

Now, if SF were a surgeon trying to get a job as hospital chief of staff and I went to a hospital about to hire him and told the hiring party that SF's board certification was revoked last month when it wasn't, or that he had killed all the patients who died in 2008 on the local psych ward when he didn't, then that would be defamation if, and only if, the hospital relied on my statements and didn't hire SF. He would take me to court and prove damages.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/defamation-libel-slander-key-elements-claim.html

Note that thinking someone's discursive behavior fits the pattern of trolling on a forum is an opinion. It also carries no monetary damages, in ordinary circumstances.

Thanks for going into that, Jenny. That all makes sense to me so far.

On a perhaps related note: can you go into what a personal attack is, what a character attack is, what name calling is, and what an ad hominem attack is?

Ad hominem may be overused. I may have overused it myself. It seems only to apply particularly when someone is trying to refute somebody else's argument. E.g. (paraphrasing) Daniel says "MCTB was relentless. That's why people liked it. We shouldn't moderate here, maybe just put little lightning bolts so people can avoid it." You say "Daniel was younger then. He's more mature and grown up. The new book will reflect that/it won't be so relentless. Also, you are a troll, I suggest you stop trolling."

This isn't an ad hominem because you aren't saying that because Daniel is a troll, his comments about MCTB are invalid. If you had said "Daniel, you are a troll, so what you're saying about MCTB is invalid", then that would be an ad hominem. But you refuted what he was saying separately, and then additionally called him a troll. Correct?

If so then I wonder why you wrote it as "no name calling or ad hominems" - ad hominem seems a very narrow case and only has to do with the structure of how an argument is refuted. It seems the "name calling" part is most important.

As to personal attack/character attack/name calling, I'm quite unclear on it. Is calling someone a troll ever one of these? If sometimes yes and sometimes no, then what's the distinction? What else would fall in these categories?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 9:29 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
@All

I stumbled upon a draft of MTCB well over 10 years, before there really were any pragmatic forums or other websites.  Although this was before Buddhist Geeks existed, Vince Horn had a humble little blog back then (I think Vince was still in elementary school) which I followed (no idea how I got there) and he mentioned Daniel, and Daniel’s Dharma Dan site.  I downloaded and read the MTCB draft and have followed the pragmatic dharma scene ever since.  Which means I’ve been reading this forum from day 1.  I’ve been here for everything that has happened, including the Rigpa debate, the emergence, evolution, and unfortunate demise of KFD (which I read in real time as it evolved), the Hamilton Project, the Dharma Refugee Camp/Awakenetwork (public access only – my feeling is that a self- appointed lama might not be admitted), the AF debates (I actually stumbled upon Richard’s AF site over 10 years ago as well, and have gone back a few times after AF discussions arose here and on KFD – Richard really needs an editor – Jenny?), and all of Kenneth’s many practice models, suggestions, and metaphors from way back (including the 3-Speed Transmission and various grounding (somatic) methods/metaphors involving toll booths, lava lamps, and dead man switches). 

Although I don’t post much (just my nature), I love this forum and the others.  I also practice.

Why do I say all this?  Just to provide some context for this: I really hope this place doesn’t blow up.  I’ve seen it happen elsewhere.  So, while I have never been one for a lot of moderation and have not been in favour of more moderation here, I am open to it now.  If “light but skillful” moderation can be implemented, then let’s (which, I agree, really means Daniel) do it.  If even more is required, well I hope not, but I want to be able to keep coming back here.

We can never have the good old days back, but we can have good new days.

@Kenneth

Thanks Kenneth for coming back.  I hope you stick around.  The dust devil metaphor made me smile.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 9:45 PM as a reply to Jenny.
I agree completely, entirely, wholeheartedly with both you Jenny and Mathew.

I've been lurking this place for longer than my account was created. I avoided it for a long time and didn't want to deal with it because of this trolling and generally hostile atmosphere and went to Buddhist Geeks instead to find a community. I eventually started posting here after I progressed further in my practice and got through the most difficult time of my life. Multiple times I have debated if it was worth it to stay. I'm intent on staying, but man this place needs to improve.

In other words, I feel I represent one of the many lurkers who are just turned away by the atmosphere of this place. This place loses a lot of good newcomers and old comers because of this atmosphere, I thought that well before it was said in this topic by either you or Kenneth Folk. I want to make my claim even more clear assuming the cosmic overlord of this site Dharma Dan reads this when he gets back: this place needs to change. It needs more moderation. Sensibly increased moderation and a strong ethos of respect.

I hope and believe that all that has transpired in these past days, which really has been there for years, will give the transparency needed to enable the will and wherewithall to enact these changes this site so desperately needs. I truly believe such changes will remove honest to god hindrances, the kind that keep us from classical awakening, on a community scale, that is, so long as things stay the way they are, many hindrances for both newbies and veterans in their own lives will remain in place because the communication channels that is very reason for which the DhO exists, will be bogged down in ignorance both conventionally and meditatively.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 10:37 PM as a reply to Psi.

And, I want to add, to everyone, since I am on a posting spree.

First , I admit, I do not know James Yen's entire history of posting or trolling.

Secondly, when I found out he was banned forever, I almost signed out forever myself.

There is Dukkha.

Psi
Moderators,


First, my thought of signing off was or is not some childish threat, it was just a thought, stemming from lack of knowledge of what happened with James, from the outside circle it looks like a witch hunt.

Why?  Guess I never really understood why?  Was there a  valid reason James was banned forever?  If there was , okay.  If it is just because people did not like his views or whatever, maybe not so okay.

I am not looking for a detailed explanation or to drag someone from the past through the mud, please, please don't.  

But why?

Should we, as forum participants at least know why?

Has this been brought up before?

Am I allowed to ask?

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 10:48 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

And, I want to add, to everyone, since I am on a posting spree.

First , I admit, I do not know James Yen's entire history of posting or trolling.

Secondly, when I found out he was banned forever, I almost signed out forever myself.

There is Dukkha.

Psi
Moderators,


First, my thought of signing off was or is not some childish threat, it was just a thought, stemming from lack of knowledge of what happened with James, from the outside circle it looks like a witch hunt.

Why?  Guess I never really understood why?  Was there a  valid reason James was banned forever?  If there was , okay.  If it is just because people did not like his views or whatever, maybe not so okay.

I am not looking for a detailed explanation or to drag someone from the past through the mud, please, please don't.  

But why?

Should we, as forum participants at least know why?

Has this been brought up before?

Am I allowed to ask?

Psi

It's because he was a troll in the true sense of the word - posting here just to provoke responses and gain attention.

I'm not sure how you would want me to show this without dragging someone from the past through the mud... he wasn't banned because he was a nice guy or anything.

Here's some excerpts, not necessarily in context of each other but it conveys the general gist of it:

James Yen:
My appeared on March 17th, it then disappeared on March 26th [...] It then came back on April 4th [...] I then thought about a quote, and it went away. And then interestingly it came back in a very neutral way which made it impossible to go away.

I am trolling, actually this post is mainly for leisure. But don't worry I'm not here to expose everyone.

Although I have claimed to attain Enlightenment on March 17th (this is probably not true), it is highly likely that Enlightenment is not to blame for my current happiness.
My current condition, which I may have mistaken for an Enlightenment, or the effects of Enlightenment (briefly summarized as lack of anxiety, sadness, sexual desire and anger, as well as a certain happiness,), or a Virtual Freedom can more readily be ascribed to my regular taking of Prozac and Abilify.

But you misunderstand me, I have nothing to let go of, I have reached my goal (whatever it is), I wanted to be happy and now I am happy.
Isn't that what matters? Isn't that what all you guys are aiming for?

James: Sorry I was being disingenuous, I'm not on spiritual quest, therefore there is no possibility of a distraction.
mma: okay, then why this thread?
James: Conversational purposes I suppose, people here hate me, so I thought I would extend myself and show that I can talk.
Plus talking on the internet is a pastime for me (or trolling), although, I'm not trolling right now in the sense of lying.

Ok, let me make it clear, I don't believe, that there is any GENUINE INSIGHT HERE.
This is why I fail to take this place seriously, and thus post whatever the hell I want.

Then one day I'm eating a sandwich in the courtyard at school, I have a moment of peace.
Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.
Let me stress that I literally put in almost no effort the entire two years towards reaching enlightenment, all I did was pretty much beat myself up.
The healing period took several months, but now I'm happy and well adjusted.
It shouldn't be that hard for you.

Up to you I guess. Whatever, I could care less.
=p
Edit: Actually I was lying.
Ok, bye.

At some point I may have claimed being Enlightened to you, I am not (Enlightened to any degree whatsoever).
It was a lie.

I'm sorry I'm a bad person. I deleted my posts.

I am happy to report that my ontological, existential sense of 'being' was extinguished at the very core on August 7th 2012.
'Me' at the very core was extinguished.

Nah I'm just kidding, no I come here for leisure purposes mainly.


There are currently 30 (thirty) accounts on this website called "James Yen". That's not hyperbole, that's an exact count. Would somebody not intent on trolling continue to do create accounts after it's been made clear they're not welcome here?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:07 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Thanks, Beoman, like you didn't have enough to do, I searched through DHO just now, enough on my own also, to find, yes, James had been warned, and warned , and warned, and continued inappropriate behavior.

So it is indeed both fortunate and unfortunate that James was forever banned, but the internet is huge, he will be fine, and maybe even be the wiser for it.

Psi

Bye James, Metta

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:18 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

Maybe I am getting a little compassionate, Trolls are people too.  They would also like to hear the Dhamma, sometimes they just like to talk at the same time, greed and anger is in all of our nature from our birth, we are all Trolls.

Psi
Hi Psi,

I'm sorry to be such a drag.  I feel 'trolls' really have nothing to learn here.  They come armed with intellect and education and use it to serve some twisted purpose.  Trying to suss it out and help them would be noble but probably futile.  I really think identifying them and purging them is the thing that may have the best chance of helping them.  To the degree that I *might* be wrong, compare to the clear loss already being experienced by all parties, including the troll.

I do think that suffering trolls on this site is indeed a strong form of practice for the victims.  But most people don't want to suffer that kind of victimization here.  And is it really good for the perpetrator to have all that practice of infliction?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:28 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Perhaps we should seek more precision here in defining 'troll' (verb)?  
...

How would 'trolling' be distinguished from simply scanning, browsing?

Trolling is an active, participatory injury.  I'll stick with the simplest definition possible, just to remove ambiguities: if they clearly participate at odds with the stated purpose of DhO, they're trolling. Sure, warn, educate etc. True trolls will show themselves by never seeming to understand simple guidelines.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:33 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Matthew, not everyone who prefers light to no moderation is a troll; quite a few of them are well worth reading, and even the jokier people are serious most of the time.

Yes, I may have stated that too broadly. But maybe not, meaning there really are snakes in the grass online.


Laurel Carrington:
There has been a spectacular blow-out on several long, agonizing threads over the past few days. It's left many of us with frazzled nerves. But I see people still posting about their practice, and others asking and talking about dharma. I'm going to try to get my mind back on my own practice too! 

Amen. Though I do believe that there is good practice to be found in 'real life' strife.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:48 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Psi:

Maybe I am getting a little compassionate, Trolls are people too.  They would also like to hear the Dhamma, sometimes they just like to talk at the same time, greed and anger is in all of our nature from our birth, we are all Trolls.

Psi
Hi Psi,

I'm sorry to be such a drag.  I feel 'trolls' really have nothing to learn here.  They come armed with intellect and education and use it to serve some twisted purpose.  Trying to suss it out and help them would be noble but probably futile.  I really think identifying them and purging them is the thing that may have the best chance of helping them.  To the degree that I *might* be wrong, compare to the clear loss already being experienced by all parties, including the troll.

I do think that suffering trolls on this site is indeed a strong form of practice for the victims.  But most people don't want to suffer that kind of victimization here.  And is it really good for the perpetrator to have all that practice of infliction?
I see your point.

But, from my view, nobody here has ever really annoyed me, I mean, I have never really seen trolling as being neither good nor bad. 

The discussions, even what some call heated, really do not seem that bad, I usually do not understand what all the hub bub is usually about.

Maybe it is from the personality view that all of this personal anguish arises, sometimes I forget how that affects people, for that I am sorry, I am trying to turn up the compassion.

But, aside from all of that, time is short, and there is not much time for false views or nonsense, maybe a little fun, okay, I can see that, but it is true, time runs out rather quickly, and it is best to get to the nitty gritty.  But, sometimes I have seen that the so called trolls have the correct view and the elves, or whatever have delusional views, and to me , it makes the Maya dance even more hilarious.

But, once the delusion is mostly abandoned, trolls can not bother a yogi, neither can the elves.  It is like swinging at the air with a stick.

But, yes there is an appropriate place for appropriate posts.

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:51 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Also, the following would be defenses I could use against SF if he sued me for defamation:

The major defenses to defamation are:
  • truth--truth is an absolute defense against allegations of defamation.
  • the allegedly defamatory statement was merely a statement of opinion.
  • consent to the publication of the allegedly defamatory statement.
  • absolute privilege.
  • qualified privilege.
  • retraction of the allegedly defamatory statement

Sawfoot is not a real person.  He's a collection of processes that are a pain in the neck.  I believe I'm quoting high wisdom here.

Give a troll'ish person a faceless and nameless platform, they become even worse.  They can sure mess with you, but they can't sue you.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:55 PM as a reply to Psi.
Espero que estés bien.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/9/15 11:59 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi, you sound enlightened.  I'm not yet, I'm pursuing relief of suffering with normal means, as well as meditation. I think working in all three trainings is good practice in the higher sense.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 12:18 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Psi, you sound enlightened.  I'm not yet, I'm pursuing relief of suffering with normal means, as well as meditation. I think working in all three trainings is good practice in the higher sense.

No, I still have craving arise, attraction and aversion, I have restlessness at times, the personality view still clings, I just know it is delusion, etc.  

But, I can say, the path is real, and it works, and relief of suffering diminishes in proportion to the amount of balanced practice.

Maybe I was writing post-meditation , and it overflowed into writing ...

Psi

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 7:31 AM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
re: Kenneth Folk (2/9/15 1:52 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)

"Sometimes it's helpful to simplify."

and often helpful to closely examine attempts at simplification...

"Each of us has his or her vision of the ideal DhO culture… a forum for post-structural analysis …scholarly discussion … how to correctly interpret… texts… adolescent jokes."

(btw: If anyone finds that the usage of ellipsis here ("…") distorts meaning, kindly point it out.)

Is there a premise or implication here (a simplification) that each of us has a vision that DhO culture should ideally be limited to one or another of the visions in this list of examples?

"But the mission of the DhO … is none of those things."

So, the mission of DhO is "none", i.e. "not one" or "not any" of those idealized visions? Is DhO, then, some other single thing, idealized vision or other?

"The DhO is…
"a resource for the support of
practices … everything related to the support of practice … … rather than … typically …standard meditation circles and forums. .. a robust and variable community of people with a wide range of experience levels, perspectives and interests, though all loosely bound by the same basic principles of empowering, helpful, engaged knowledge and exploration of the possibilities of the mind and how it may be modified to reduce suffering and enhance wisdom." "

It's difficult to isolate, short of over-simplifying, any single "thing" here. It's actually a well-formulated balance of focus (practice) and inclusivity (everything related, levels, perspectives, interests). The seeds of "practice" … blossom into "possibilities of the mind…"

(One area of potential weakness lies in"…rather than… standard meditation circles and forums…", which could be seen as polemic, as political.)

Taking that "practice" is a significant focus, the term has a range of meaning, specific to general. A specific meaning might be this or that particular methodological principle (e.g. vipassana or samatha), or algorhythmic activity (e.g. noting or absorptive cessation).

A general meaning of practice might be along the lines of "the 'progress of the disciple (student)  '".
(This and the following borrowed from Nyanatiloka's dictionary in defining' pariyatti'.)
"3 stages [of progess] may be distinguished:
theory,
practice,
realization, 
i.e.
(1) learning the wording
[including semantics] of the [any teacher's] doctrine (pariyatti),
(2) practising it (patipatti),
(3) penetrating it (pativedha) and realising its goal."


Tentative mapping to the DhO mission: learning to "knowledge"; practising to "exploration"; penetrating to "reducing suffering and enhancing wisdom", as goal.

Disclosure: My particular leaning is clearly pariyatti 'practice', and s/w analytical, which, I contend, would be unjustly labelled as mere scholarly or idealistic endeavor. Rather, understanding (for some) inspires doing, and steadies the vision of "its goal". And for many, probably most, this mode of practice is not so much their path.

So, if practice (as patipatti) is a focus, even 'the' focus in DhO, would that be to the exclusion of learning (pariyatti)? That might be debated, but I doubt if many here would challenge the relevance of realization (pativedha), as expressed in the culminating clause of the DhO Mission Statement.

"The only question, then, is how best to foster that kind of discussion."

Does sound simple, though it's a bit of a twist in that the mission statement mentions "discussions" only once, and in a specific, limited context. The next two sentences charactize a sense of current dysfunctionality, which "can drive away [some] people".

"Take a moment to imagine a Dharma Overgound where more people feel safe to post, both newbies and sages. What would that look like?"

That is inspiring. It does, however, potentially open the door to something like the opening list of "visions of the ideal DhO culture…", and perhaps to a sense that "more people" implies more who share a particular vision. Maybe it's not so simple.

The devil (Mara) is in the details, so to speak. What are specific steps in that direction, and estimation of the "opportunity cost" for fixing it"?

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/11/15 8:29 AM as a reply to Bill F..
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5054815

sawfoot_:

edited:stuff

The greater issue is at stake is what kind of community do we want to be a part of?

edited:stuff
Daniel Ingram:

What type of community do you want to be a part of? It is a good question.

This community has changed a lot over the years in all sorts of directions, ebbed, flowed, wandered, returned, expanded, contracted, become fascinated by various things, rejected those same things, etc.

It is a moving target as wide as a barn wall.

The major themes that people find interesting here change frequently.

Regarding the light moderation tone here, I take a long-term view most of the time, realizing that sometimes this is a messy business, people change and grow and experiment, go through various phases themselves, come, go, and some come back later on, and giving some space for that has its value, I feel. When I look back at my own chaotic path, I am glad for what bits of space I had to process it, and I try to offer the same.

If you are bored or frustrated, either take a break or add something that draws things in some other direction based on its merits and value to practitioners. I do both of those often, and find them good personal strategies. There are numerous good dharma communities, and then there is also Parks and Recreation, which is pretty funny. The episode on meditation (season 4, episode 19) really had me laughing hard.

I have spend months not reading this place much at all, and other weeks I post and post and post. I would not like it much if someone decided that my frequent posting phases were too much.

Triple Think in specific has real wisdom and experience that are pretty rare, though I agree his style is unique and might not be to everyone's taste, and I think that some of that is probably intentional on his part, though I speculate on this. I believe there is method in his madness. If you don't like his stuff, don't read it. That is my strategy with plenty of things here, and I find it effective and extremely easy to implement.

I have seen tons of posts here by plenty of people who offer far less really heavy dharma by way of comparison, so banning him or moderating him at this point doesn't appeal to me personally. I have allowed lots of stuff here over the years that pissed people off but later proved to have some value, and so have found through experience that, as the forum has the space to handle it, and our minds have the space to handle it, just so by allowing the gold in with the trash, there is in the end more gold, and people will sort that out for themselves, and it may not always be so neatly presented and so perfectly summarized and edited for everyone's taste.

This thread reminds me a bit of NPR covering some other media organizations extensive fascination with the OJ trial, it was still coverage of the OJ trial, but lacked even the few fun details the coverage they were covering had. In short, is this thread about threads you don't like that do contain heavy dharma wisdom in places, and yet it generally lacks that. In short, is spending 50 posts posting about bad posts just increasing the problem? I obviously posted here, so is that even worse? Things to ponder...

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 5:57 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Jenny:
Also, the following would be defenses I could use against SF if he sued me for defamation:

The major defenses to defamation are:
  • truth--truth is an absolute defense against allegations of defamation.
  • the allegedly defamatory statement was merely a statement of opinion.
  • consent to the publication of the allegedly defamatory statement.
  • absolute privilege.
  • qualified privilege.
  • retraction of the allegedly defamatory statement

Sawfoot is not a real person.  He's a collection of processes that are a pain in the neck.  I believe I'm quoting high wisdom here.

Give a troll'ish person a faceless and nameless platform, they become even worse.  They can sure mess with you, but they can't sue you.
Matthew,

Just to be clear--I wasn't literally talking to or about "Sawfoot." This was just part of my hypothetical scenario to answer Claudiu's general legal question about the elements of defamation.

So far as I know, neither SF nor I hav any legal actions pending against each other!

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 6:59 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Claudiu,

Wrote half of a lengthy response and, um, lost it. Sigh. . . .

So, much more quickly, because I lack time, need to work on MCTB2:

  • The rough draft of the rules was immediately posted by Daniel without discussion, examples, probing, revision, or refinement. They were a stop-gap during a "crisis." Could they be refined and exemplified? Yep. They could and they can be. They likely will be.
  • Ad hominem is maligning someone's character to drown out the reason/support basis of an ongoing debate, essentially "winning" by fiat of character assassination and intimidation.
  • Name-calling--This is rather obvious to any first grader, isn't it? And there are dictionaries for the truly confused. Sigh. . . by this I mean the form of verbal abuse that consists of an overt putdown or hurtful words used to label ("name") a person. What is "hurtful"? What constitutes a serious "putdown"? The mod team would have to use a "reasonable person" standard for when a line is crossed into territory considered verbal abuse, case by case, just as courts of law have to, for language is metaphorical at its structural and only "level." 
Is calling Daniel L. a troll a form of name-calling? Well, possibly, to those who believe he doesn't troll. If it is true that he does troll, however, then he is, um, trolling? We have these things called words. They are shorthand for concepts and patterns.

In our former moderation channels, moderators and Daniel himself referred to certain people as "trolls." So where Internet behavior is the very thing in question and where "troll" is the word for certain patterns of such Internet behavior, I'm not sure how one discusses that behavior at all without using the word. Maybe only Daniel Ingram and official moderators should be able to use the word in relationship to a specific person?

Maybe, to be more skillful, I should have said, and so do say now, "Many of Daniel L.'s DhO comments seem to me personally to fit a pattern of Internet behavior commonly known as "trolling." It isn't that he is really someone who lives under a bridge and is monstrous.

Better? 

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/11/15 11:48 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Is calling Daniel L. a troll a form of name-calling? Well, possibly, to those who believe he doesn't troll. If it is true that he does troll, however, then he is, um, trolling? We have these things called words. They are shorthand for concepts and patterns.

ok Jenny, then since it is name calling, can you please stop using my name entirely when discussing this moving forward please because I'm not trolling here and this is offensive to me

Maybe, to be more skillful, I should have said, and so do say now, "Many of Daniel L.'s DhO comments seem to me personally to fit a pattern of Internet behavior commonly known as "trolling." It isn't that he is really someone who lives under a bridge and is monstrous.

Better? 

No not really better or skillful at all. Kenneth admitted his OP to the entire thread was an example of trolling but you're not bringing his name up in the conversation as being a troll. If you want to please go through all my posts to this forum and see how many fit the definition of 'troll' and decide that "Many of Daniel L.'s DhO comments seem to me personally to fit a pattern of Internet behavior commonly known as "trolling." I think you will find that your ideas do not match up with reality and all you are doing now is continuing to insult me after the fact. Thank you

Edit grammar
Edit 2 strike bc I don't really care anymore

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 7:38 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Laurel Carrington:
Matthew, not everyone who prefers light to no moderation is a troll; quite a few of them are well worth reading, and even the jokier people are serious most of the time.

Yes, I may have stated that too broadly. But maybe not, meaning there really are snakes in the grass online.

Look closer. Maybe it's a rope

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 7:42 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
matthew sexton:
Laurel Carrington:
Matthew, not everyone who prefers light to no moderation is a troll; quite a few of them are well worth reading, and even the jokier people are serious most of the time.

Yes, I may have stated that too broadly. But maybe not, meaning there really are snakes in the grass online.

Look closer. Maybe it's a rope

Ah ha, or maybe spaghetti? The kind that comes out of chicken noodle soup, you know, really thick.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 7:55 PM as a reply to Bill F..
I'm a woman, and I've lurked on here for years. The fact that I don't post has nothing to do with the fact that DhO hasn't been catering to my delicate feminine sensibilities, I simply don't post much anywhere. Just about the only thing that has annoyed or offended me during this time is this recent kindergarten-y "he called me a stupid-face" moaning that seems so out of place here.

I completely understand the need for some light moderation to keep repetitive, persistent posters from gunking up the place. But the idea that any of us needs protection from the mean words of others on the INTERNET is absurd.  I'd like to suggest some of us unbunch our panties (I can say that without it being moderated since I'm a girl, right??) and just not read whatever is hurting our feelings that day.  It's impossible for heavy handed moderation not to have a chilling effect. There are a million other forums where censorship is heavy and everyone is forced to be 'nice' - why ruin the vibe here?

[Had to rewrite this a few times to avoid running afoul of all the existing, and ominously threatened, moderation. It was a lot more fun the first time.]

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 7:59 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
matthew sexton:
Sawfoot is not a real person.  He's a collection of processes that are a pain in the neck.  I believe I'm quoting high wisdom here.

Give a troll'ish person a faceless and nameless platform, they become even worse.  They can sure mess with you, but they can't sue you.
Matthew,

Just to be clear--I wasn't literally talking to or about "Sawfoot." This was just part of my hypothetical scenario to answer Claudiu's general legal question about the elements of defamation.

So far as I know, neither SF nor I have any legal actions pending against each other!

Oops, I'm guilty of responding to the content, without regard to the context.  And also, leaping at the opportunity to take a troll shot at the only proper target for a troll shot (Sawfoot, not you!).  Sorry, really, for causing you to need to point out the mistake.

Hey, I just realized that if I click on the 'source' button in the editor, my browser spell checker works!  I also noticed recently that one of my many mouse buttons causes my browser to back up and loose edits.  Gotta enjoy these small realizations when they come!

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 8:07 PM as a reply to sloane.
sloane:
I'm a woman, and I've lurked on here for years. The fact that I don't post has nothing to do with the fact that DhO hasn't been catering to my delicate feminine sensibilities, I simply don't post much anywhere. Just about the only thing that has annoyed or offended me during this time is this recent kindergarten-y "he called me a stupid-face" moaning that seems so out of place here.

Nice. And agreed, that shit is very childish. Though I did moan just a bit up-post (please disregard that one : )

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 8:45 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Daniel Leffler:
matthew sexton:
Laurel Carrington:
Matthew, not everyone who prefers light to no moderation is a troll; quite a few of them are well worth reading, and even the jokier people are serious most of the time.

Yes, I may have stated that too broadly. But maybe not, meaning there really are snakes in the grass online.

Look closer. Maybe it's a rope

Ah ha, or maybe spaghetti? The kind that comes out of chicken noodle soup, you know, really thick.

Maybe mathew, I guess what I'm getting at is you are [in my opinion are sometimes acting] touchy, delicate and overly paranoid

EDIT: To be more clear. I say that because according to you something like half the contributors to the DhO are trolls by the fact that they disagree with you about the idea that we need a lot more rules, regulations and moderating here. Not sure who or what the second sentence refers to

mathew sexton:
The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 8:18 PM as a reply to sloane.
sloane:
I'm a woman, and I've lurked on here for years. The fact that I don't post has nothing to do with the fact that DhO hasn't been catering to my delicate feminine sensibilities, I simply don't post much anywhere. Just about the only thing that has annoyed or offended me during this time is this recent kindergarten-y "he called me a stupid-face" moaning that seems so out of place here.

I completely understand the need for some light moderation to keep repetitive, persistent posters from gunking up the place. But the idea that any of us needs protection from the mean words of others on the INTERNET is absurd.  I'd like to suggest some of us unbunch our panties (I can say that without it being moderated since I'm a girl, right??) and just not read whatever is hurting our feelings that day.  It's impossible for heavy handed moderation not to have a chilling effect. There are a million other forums where censorship is heavy and everyone is forced to be 'nice' - why ruin the vibe here?

[Had to rewrite this a few times to avoid running afoul of all the existing, and ominously threatened, moderation. It was a lot more fun the first time.]
Hi, Sloane,

No one has proposed "heavy-handed" moderation. We had behavioral guidelines added only in September, and then no protocols added to make all transparent to the community.

Daniel himself is sick of the way things are and have been here, and he's the owner of the site. I'm confident that the moderation efforts that began in September but were never finished will be finished. 

And as even the reluctant moderators back in September have now stated that, as I predicted, much did improve here with some firmer expectations in place, so I'm confident that, when the project is finished, everyone will be glad for it.

This phrase, "delicate feminine sensibilities," is an odd phrasing for a woman to use. Would you be open to Skyping with me, woman to woman? I'd love to chat

Jenny

RE: Moderation
Answer
2/10/15 8:35 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
  • Ad hominem is maligning someone's character to drown out the reason/support basis of an ongoing debate, essentially "winning" by fiat of character assassination and intimidation.
  • Right... so, could you go into why calling somebody a troll is not an ad hominem? I asked on philosophy.stackexchange.com and people there mostly agree that it is an ad hominem.
    Claudiu - Question:
    Case 1: Person A criticizes person B. Person B says "We shouldn't feed the trolls. Best not to engage."

    Case 2: Person A voices their opinion on an issue being discussed on the forum. Person B says "Stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site."

    Are these ad hominem attacks? It seems to me that they are very straightforwardly ad hominem attacks - regardless of whether person A is a troll - as they call the person A's character into question instead of addressing what person A actually said.
    R. Barzell - Answer:
    Short Answer: Yes.

    Long Answer:

    Although ideally, all arguments should be evaluated on their merits, we often don't have the resources or know-how to do this. Therefore, we do rely on "fallacies" as a way saving ourselves some work. As such, people who appear to not be serious (or have a reputation for trolling) are subject to an ad hominem dismissal, respected authorities are often taken at face value, and so on.

    Unfortunately, rigor isn't always practical, especially for the layperson. For instance, if I were asked to make a mathematical or physical argument, I'd start off taking some things for granted -- be they the consensus opinions of experts or even previously proven results (that I haven't validated myself). Likewise, I wouldn't likely engage anyone who I think is trolling or is part of the "lunatic fringe".

    I'd know I'm committing a fallacy by doing so, yet this wouldn't deter me one bit.
    Claudiu - Comment:
    Is it actually an ad hominem though? Someone says "X, Y, Z". I say "You are a troll so I won't engage with you." I'm not saying "You're a troll and therefore X Y and Z is invalid." I'm just stating the reason for not engaging. As such it's not an ad hominem because it doesn't address the argument itself.
    Thorsten S. - Comment:
    [...] It is not only an ad hominem, it it also "poisoning the well": You attack the person in advance so your position cannot be attacked at all by suppressing any disagreement. A negative statement is not an "ad hominem" if the statement does not attack properties which are necessary for a valid discussion (honesty, intelligence, logical ability). A "cheapskate" is strictly not an "ad hominem" because being a cheapskate does not interfere with reasoning (but it still tries to devalue you and your position)
    --
    gnasher729 - Answer:
    It is indeed an ad hominem attack. However, if the person starting to argument does indeed meet the definition of a troll, then that ad hominem attack is indeed a proper response.

    A troll doesn't make statements with the intent of having a rational and logical discussion, where we exchange logical arguments and therefore may look for logical fallacies like an ad hominem attack. A troll makes statements with the intent of starting nasty arguments, to make people feel bad, to make people so upset that they might make emotional statements they later regret. "He is a troll, ignore him" is excellent advice which robs the troll of his vile enjoyment of other people's misery, so it is the correct advice.

    Obviously the same can be used as an ad hominem attack against a genuine argument that the respondent just didn't like and would prefer not to be heard by others. And it is of course possible that a troll did indeed have a correct but unpopular argument, which he makes not to get at the truth, but to be a troll. So there may be cases where you shouldn't enter a discussion with the troll, but still look at the argument he or she made.
    --
    There was one person that thought it wasn't, though:
    Chris Sunami - Answer:
    While I agree in general with the other answers, I think they miss something very important. Ad hominem is a technical term, in a category, logical fallacy, that has a precise meaning: Something that is presented as (or appears as) a proof or disproof of an argument, but that does not legitimately address that argument.

    In the examples you give, it is impossible to judge them as ad hominem without more context. Is Person A advancing an actual argument (whether weak or strong), that Person B wants people to discard solely on the basis of who Person A is? Or is Person A just making absurd personal accusations with no actual logical content (valid or not)?

    Please note: It would be perfectly reasonable for someone to say "Person A has a long, consistent history of making worthless claims, therefore it is likely that this claim is worthless (and/or therefore it is likely to be not worth the time to listen and try to understand). It is, however, fallacious to say "Person A has a long consistent history of making worthless claims, therefore this current argument he is making is (or must be) invalid." No possible accidents of personal history are legitimate disproofs of any strong or valid argument.
    ===
    Jenny:
  • Name-calling--This is rather obvious to any first grader, isn't it? And there are dictionaries for the truly confused. Sigh. . .
  • Well, no need to infer that I am clueless. Apparently it's not so obvious since you aren't sure whether calling someone a troll is a form of name-calling, which is just what I was getting at - the gray areas. I'm looking for as objective as possible definitions. I'm willing to accept that a moderator's discretion may be required. I just don't want the standard to be "it's name calling if somebody says it is".
    Jenny:
    [...] by this I mean the form of verbal abuse that consists of an overt putdown or hurtful words used to label ("name") a person. What is "hurtful"? What constitutes a serious "putdown"? The mod team would have to use a "reasonable person" standard for when a line is crossed into territory considered verbal abuse, case by case, just as courts of law have to, for language is metaphorical at its structural and only "level." 

    Is calling Daniel L. a troll a form of name-calling? Well, possibly, to those who believe he doesn't troll. If it is true that he does troll, however, then he is, um, trolling? We have these things called words. They are shorthand for concepts and patterns.
    I find it hard to accept that whether something is name-calling depends on whether it is true. The Google definition of name-calling is "abusive language or insults". So if I were to say to someone "You're a fucking idiot", then that seems to obviously fit into that definition - it's an insult via abusive language. Now if that person actually were an extreme example of an idiot, would that make it not name-calling? I doubt it.

    Now what if I said "You're an idiot." That is an insult, but it's not nearly as abusive. So would it fit the bill? Would it being name-calling depend on the person's intelligence? That seems unreasonable. Should we moderate people calling each other idiots? I'm not sure - maybe. How would "idiot" differ from "troll" in these circumstances?

    I'd like to find out where the lines are as objectively as possible, and to clearly delineate where moderator discretion is required. Just leaving it as "no name calling" isn't clear enough to me as a moderator. "I know it when I see it" is not acceptable to me. But maybe the answer is just "use some discretion. If it crosses beyond a certain threshold or people complain then intervene." Then if someone politely, and with reasons, suggests that someone is being idiotic, it would be more likely to be under that threshold. Likewise with calling someone a troll, then. If it's too inflammatory, then a warning is in order. 
    ===
    Jenny:
    In our former moderation channels, moderators and Daniel himself referred to certain people as "trolls." So where Internet behavior is the very thing in question and where "troll" is the word for certain patterns of such Internet behavior, I'm not sure how one discusses that behavior at all without using the word. Maybe only Daniel Ingram and official moderators should be able to use the word in relationship to a specific person?
    Well that is obviously silly.

    Maybe if I phrase it another way: if the rules as they stand would prohibit somebody calling somebody else a troll, then that's probably silly and we should change the rules. If they don't, then they don't.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 8:53 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    Daniel Leffler:
    Maybe mathew, I guess what I'm getting at is you are [in my opinion are sometimes acting] touchy, delicate and overly paranoid

    EDIT: To be more clear. I say that because according to you something like half the contributors to the DhO are trolls by the fact that they disagree with you about the idea that we need a lot more rules, regulations and moderating here. Not sure who or what the second sentence refers to

    mathew sexton:
    The trolls, as I see them, like it the way is now, and their contributions to this thread are to keep the status quo.  They also contribute a lot of totally watered down wishywashy non-practice related fluff that lowers the value of 'recent posts' and dilutes the obviousness of their yuckyism.

    Well, it is definitely true that trolls will always prefer less moderation. That doesn't necessarily mean that people who prefer less moderation are trolls. But it does mean that preferring less moderation is a signal that you may be a troll.

    E.g. if there are 5 trolls, and 20 people that prefer less moderation, then a random person who prefers less moderation is 25% likely to be a troll. If 10 trolls and 12 people that prefer less moderation, then a 83% chance. If 3 trolls and 15 people, then a 20% chance. Etc.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 9:24 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

    Well, it is definitely true that trolls will always prefer less moderation. That doesn't necessarily mean that people who prefer less moderation are trolls. But it does mean that preferring less moderation is a signal that you may be a troll.

    E.g. if there are 5 trolls, and 20 people that prefer less moderation, then a random person who prefers less moderation is 25% likely to be a troll. If 10 trolls and 12 people that prefer less moderation, then a 83% chance. If 3 trolls and 15 people, then a 20% chance. Etc.

    Yes Dr Spock, err BCDEFG, you are correct, 83%, definitely 83%
    This thread could make a nice children's book, 'All About Trolls', Jenny could edit it!
    But who are these trolls kids, and how exactly do we find these yucky snakes in the grass? 
    emoticon   emoticon    emoticon   emoticon   emoticon    emoticon    emoticon
    no, no, no, no,no, no, TROLL!!!

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 9:30 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
    Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
    Jenny:
  • Ad hominem is maligning someone's character to drown out the reason/support basis of an ongoing debate, essentially "winning" by fiat of character assassination and intimidation.
  • Right... so, could you go into why calling somebody a troll is not an ad hominem? I asked on philosophy.stackexchange.com and people there mostly agree that it is an ad hominem.
    Claudiu - Question:
    Case 1: Person A criticizes person B. Person B says "We shouldn't feed the trolls. Best not to engage."

    Case 2: Person A voices their opinion on an issue being discussed on the forum. Person B says "Stop trying to bait and inflame. You frequently troll this site."

    Are these ad hominem attacks? It seems to me that they are very straightforwardly ad hominem attacks - regardless of whether person A is a troll - as they call the person A's character into question instead of addressing what person A actually said.
    R. Barzell - Answer:
    Short Answer: Yes.

    Long Answer:

    Although ideally, all arguments should be evaluated on their merits, we often don't have the resources or know-how to do this. Therefore, we do rely on "fallacies" as a way saving ourselves some work. As such, people who appear to not be serious (or have a reputation for trolling) are subject to an ad hominem dismissal, respected authorities are often taken at face value, and so on.

    Unfortunately, rigor isn't always practical, especially for the layperson. For instance, if I were asked to make a mathematical or physical argument, I'd start off taking some things for granted -- be they the consensus opinions of experts or even previously proven results (that I haven't validated myself). Likewise, I wouldn't likely engage anyone who I think is trolling or is part of the "lunatic fringe".

    I'd know I'm committing a fallacy by doing so, yet this wouldn't deter me one bit.
    Claudiu - Comment:
    Is it actually an ad hominem though? Someone says "X, Y, Z". I say "You are a troll so I won't engage with you." I'm not saying "You're a troll and therefore X Y and Z is invalid." I'm just stating the reason for not engaging. As such it's not an ad hominem because it doesn't address the argument itself.
    Thorsten S. - Comment:
    [...] It is not only an ad hominem, it it also "poisoning the well": You attack the person in advance so your position cannot be attacked at all by suppressing any disagreement. A negative statement is not an "ad hominem" if the statement does not attack properties which are necessary for a valid discussion (honesty, intelligence, logical ability). A "cheapskate" is strictly not an "ad hominem" because being a cheapskate does not interfere with reasoning (but it still tries to devalue you and your position)
    --
    gnasher729 - Answer:
    It is indeed an ad hominem attack. However, if the person starting to argument does indeed meet the definition of a troll, then that ad hominem attack is indeed a proper response.

    A troll doesn't make statements with the intent of having a rational and logical discussion, where we exchange logical arguments and therefore may look for logical fallacies like an ad hominem attack. A troll makes statements with the intent of starting nasty arguments, to make people feel bad, to make people so upset that they might make emotional statements they later regret. "He is a troll, ignore him" is excellent advice which robs the troll of his vile enjoyment of other people's misery, so it is the correct advice.

    Obviously the same can be used as an ad hominem attack against a genuine argument that the respondent just didn't like and would prefer not to be heard by others. And it is of course possible that a troll did indeed have a correct but unpopular argument, which he makes not to get at the truth, but to be a troll. So there may be cases where you shouldn't enter a discussion with the troll, but still look at the argument he or she made.
    --
    There was one person that thought it wasn't, though:
    Chris Sunami - Answer:
    While I agree in general with the other answers, I think they miss something very important. Ad hominem is a technical term, in a category, logical fallacy, that has a precise meaning: Something that is presented as (or appears as) a proof or disproof of an argument, but that does not legitimately address that argument.

    In the examples you give, it is impossible to judge them as ad hominem without more context. Is Person A advancing an actual argument (whether weak or strong), that Person B wants people to discard solely on the basis of who Person A is? Or is Person A just making absurd personal accusations with no actual logical content (valid or not)?

    Please note: It would be perfectly reasonable for someone to say "Person A has a long, consistent history of making worthless claims, therefore it is likely that this claim is worthless (and/or therefore it is likely to be not worth the time to listen and try to understand). It is, however, fallacious to say "Person A has a long consistent history of making worthless claims, therefore this current argument he is making is (or must be) invalid." No possible accidents of personal history are legitimate disproofs of any strong or valid argument.
    ===
    Jenny:
  • Name-calling--This is rather obvious to any first grader, isn't it? And there are dictionaries for the truly confused. Sigh. . .
  • Well, no need to infer that I am clueless. Apparently it's not so obvious since you aren't sure whether calling someone a troll is a form of name-calling, which is just what I was getting at - the gray areas. I'm looking for as objective as possible definitions. I'm willing to accept that a moderator's discretion may be required. I just don't want the standard to be "it's name calling if somebody says it is".
    Jenny:
    [...] by this I mean the form of verbal abuse that consists of an overt putdown or hurtful words used to label ("name") a person. What is "hurtful"? What constitutes a serious "putdown"? The mod team would have to use a "reasonable person" standard for when a line is crossed into territory considered verbal abuse, case by case, just as courts of law have to, for language is metaphorical at its structural and only "level." 

    Is calling Daniel L. a troll a form of name-calling? Well, possibly, to those who believe he doesn't troll. If it is true that he does troll, however, then he is, um, trolling? We have these things called words. They are shorthand for concepts and patterns.
    I find it hard to accept that whether something is name-calling depends on whether it is true. The Google definition of name-calling is "abusive language or insults". So if I were to say to someone "You're a fucking idiot", then that seems to obviously fit into that definition - it's an insult via abusive language. Now if that person actually were an extreme example of an idiot, would that make it not name-calling? I doubt it.

    Now what if I said "You're an idiot." That is an insult, but it's not nearly as abusive. So would it fit the bill? Would it being name-calling depend on the person's intelligence? That seems unreasonable. Should we moderate people calling each other idiots? I'm not sure - maybe. How would "idiot" differ from "troll" in these circumstances?

    I'd like to find out where the lines are as objectively as possible, and to clearly delineate where moderator discretion is required. Just leaving it as "no name calling" isn't clear enough to me as a moderator. "I know it when I see it" is not acceptable to me. But maybe the answer is just "use some discretion. If it crosses beyond a certain threshold or people complain then intervene." Then if someone politely, and with reasons, suggests that someone is being idiotic, it would be more likely to be under that threshold. Likewise with calling someone a troll, then. If it's too inflammatory, then a warning is in order. 
    ===
    Jenny:
    In our former moderation channels, moderators and Daniel himself referred to certain people as "trolls." So where Internet behavior is the very thing in question and where "troll" is the word for certain patterns of such Internet behavior, I'm not sure how one discusses that behavior at all without using the word. Maybe only Daniel Ingram and official moderators should be able to use the word in relationship to a specific person?
    Well that is obviously silly.

    Maybe if I phrase it another way: if the rules as they stand would prohibit somebody calling somebody else a troll, then that's probably silly and we should change the rules. If they don't, then they don't.

    To my mind, I already answered all these questions, Claudiu. I've pointed out that language is contextual-metaphorical, so the mods will have to use the "reasonable person" standard to determine whether a phrase used at someone rises to the offensiveness of "name calling" in the context of reasonably moderating a forum. I cannot be more plain than that in the time and space we have here. I don't have the room or inclination to teach a college course.

    "Trolling" is a pattern of behavior on the Internet. Saying that someone is a "troll" is saying that they engage in this behavior when on the Internet, at least some of the time. That's all. Noun in functional transformation from verb, "to troll." That's very different from character assassination.

    The person who trolls is not earnestly engaging in discussion or debate with support. In fact, that is the definition of "trolling" in part. So when the troll is trolling, then it is not ad hominem to call him out for trolling, because no reasoned debate was going on in the first place, so no ad hominem.

    In a court of law, truth is an absolute defense against claims of defamation. I would say that the same is true of "name-calling." If someone is a heroin addict and I refer to her as a "junkie," is that name-calling for the purposes of that rule on this forum? Nope. It is a true characterization. Calling her out as a junkie might violate some other rule somewhere, but not that "name-calling" one. If I call someone who has no drug problem a junkie, then that is character assassination. If I do so to shut her down in an otherwise reasoned debate, then that is ad hominem, a rhetorical fallacy.

    Where the moderators are going to have a tough time is where a name is a pejorative label but entirely subjective as to whether it rises to serious offensiveness. If Kenneth had called Katy a nincompoop, then you might be able to issue a warning if Katy complained (note that in the unwritten protocol, the idea was that the offended would complain before the mods were required to intervene). Nincompoop is such a silly word, though, as to lack fangs to my ears. Still. . . . The mods would have to confer and decide. Yes, the decision would be subjective. Language is a subjective world. There are many other words one can call another that most "reasonable persons" would consider trully hurtful, with teeth.

    If someone is truly an idiot and you refer to him as an idiot, that is not technically name-calling, but might be hate speech under another rule, the one that protects certain classes of people. 

    The reason you have moderators, judges, and juries is because language is metaphorical at bottom, subjective. It is "empty" of all but its signifying power in a far-reaching web of contextual other mirrors of mere other mirrors. You may wish till the cows come home to make "no name-calling" more specific, but the more language you add to it the murkier it is likely to become. I didn't make language the way it is and it isn't, so I can only do so much with it. In general, when issuing guidelines, instructions, or warnings, brevity and directness work best.

    I'm sure all the trolls appreciate your having fed them well this evening, by the way. emoticon

    If you'd like to issue me a specific warning, then do so. It might be amusing.

    Or are you looking to hire me back on the moderator team? If is hard to tell what you are after.

    At any rate, yet another night with nothing done on MCTB2. I hope someone thinks the loss of that community service was worth the gain of this one.

    Night-night.

    Jenny

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 9:52 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    Daniel Leffler:
    Yes Dr Spock, err BCDEFG, you are correct, 83%, definitely 83%
    This thread could make a nice children's book, 'All About Trolls', Jenny could edit it!
    But who are these trolls kids, and how exactly do we find these yucky snakes in the grass? 
    emoticon   emoticon    emoticon   emoticon   emoticon    emoticon    emoticon
    no, no, no, no,no, no, TROLL!!!

    To ID a troll, I'd go with BCDEFG's apparently pragmatic approach, try something like what I just did in the last 3 minutes.  Click on the suspects 'recent posts' link, find one of their posts that seems near their 'join date', evalute it for how worthwhile the post was.  As an experiment, I did it for you Daniel L, and came up with this:

    http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5584295#_19_message_5585896
    "Wow that sounds just amazing! And you also say it slices and dices and has a built in electronic timer? And all for only three easy payments of $19.95?! I want to "make a permanent reality" too! Because really the one I have is just plain worn out and getting dull. But how do I order?!"

    It's a piece of junk post, so I'd guess: emoticon
    Disclaimer: I just went with the very first thing I found, it's not necessarily representative of most of what Daniel L posts, but I was just honestly answering the question and giving an example. 

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 10:18 PM as a reply to sloane.
    Sloan,

    I wrote a post a few weeks ago that said fuck, shit, bitch and bastard about 100 times. It was a lot of fun. And it didn't character assassinate anyone, it was sufficiently on topic. It wasn't political correct. My language has been consistently the most overtly offensive I have seen on this site with the exception of the topic, "Fuck You." I have stated my distaste for Dhammawheel several times and also my distaste for the speculative non-Buddhists, those sites do have good things to offer here and there but I digress...

    That is different than subtle or not subtle forms of character assassination, passive-aggressive forms of communication, and other forums of rhetorical manipulation, that at least to my mind, are clear as day and are an obstacle to the intended mission of this website and something no one with dignity, healthy self-esteem would tolerate in the real world. It's not that I cannot handle being told, for example, "Ryan, why are you such stupid fucking pussy?" It's that I wouldn't tolerate such an assault to my dignity. No one here said something that  rude, I'm using this example to point out that it would simply be a waste of time. It's not that you can't take the heat, it's just that life is short and thus one should invest their time wisely. 

    I have been called many awful things in my life and worse than my example. My sense of humor, thanks to my brother, is so fucking awful, had I used it on this website even with the anarchistic approach to moderation this far probably would get me banned. I can handle not nice things. My post history clearly indicates I have a distaste for pseudo-niceness.

    All of this is to say what Jenny basically said, but in my own words. I myself am certainly not advocating for that much moderation. Not one person has suggested it. This is even far more unlikely to happen as Kenneth Folk has already chimed in and the broader pragmatic community has learned that too much moderation also does not work.

    Simply stated: No one is asking for heavy moderation. Just light, sensible moderation and community respect for others who may see things differently. Feel free to use crass language like, fuck, shit, bitch, bastard and so on. You can swear like a sailor and be the nicest person and you can also follow right speech to the T and be a sociopathic manipulator who can destroy lives with the right political maneuvering. For clarity given the context of this thread, I am not accusing anyone of being a sociopath, I am simply trying to make a point that language is complex and contextual and a nicely said thing can be very dangerous and crass bad language can brighten someone's day.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 10:08 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    Daniel Leffler:

    EDIT: To be more clear. I say that because according to you something like half the contributors to the DhO are trolls by the fact that they disagree with you about the idea that we need a lot more rules, regulations and moderating here.
    Nope.  I say keep it simple: if someone acts like a troll, give them solid feedback, including an eventual bounce if they deserve it.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 10:22 PM as a reply to Jenny.
    Dr Ingram,  please come back!  I don't like the new boss.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 10:28 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
    Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
    I wrote a post a few weeks ago that said fuck, shit, bitch and bastard about 100 times. It was a lot of fun. And it didn't character assassinate anyone, it was sufficiently on topic. It wasn't political correct.

    Ahaha I just read it. It is this one I am guessing. Pretty hilarious, very well-written. Not offensive or abusive in my view.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:29 AM as a reply to sloane.
    sloane:
    I'm a woman, and I've lurked on here for years. The fact that I don't post has nothing to do with the fact that DhO hasn't been catering to my delicate feminine sensibilities, I simply don't post much anywhere. Just about the only thing that has annoyed or offended me during this time is this recent kindergarten-y "he called me a stupid-face" moaning that seems so out of place here.

    I completely understand the need for some light moderation to keep repetitive, persistent posters from gunking up the place. But the idea that any of us needs protection from the mean words of others on the INTERNET is absurd.  I'd like to suggest some of us unbunch our panties (I can say that without it being moderated since I'm a girl, right??) and just not read whatever is hurting our feelings that day.  It's impossible for heavy handed moderation not to have a chilling effect. There are a million other forums where censorship is heavy and everyone is forced to be 'nice' - why ruin the vibe here?
    Sloan, your post reminds me of the troll featured in the article cited below.  Paraphrased: "The willingness of trolling “victims” to be hurt by words makes them complicit, and trolling will end as soon as we all get over it.".

    Here's the (I think) authors retort: "So, the problem is people should wear helmets, and the messager is a baseball bat?"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    I think we'd all like to be immune to mean words, lots of us come to this website for help with *meditation* practice to get there.

    Sometimes, for no valuable reason, the vibe here sucks, that's the problem.
    Edited by the request of Connie Dobbs.

    Sometimes, for no valuable reason, people post here without reguard for the guidlines and values posted on the front page.  In my opinion, that sucks.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/10/15 11:47 PM as a reply to Jenny.
    Jenny:
    Hi, Sloane,
    ...
    This phrase, "delicate feminine sensibilities," is an odd phrasing for a woman to use. Would you be open to Skyping with me, woman to woman? I'd love to chat

    Jenny
    I'm curious as to the response you get Jenny.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 2:26 AM as a reply to Matt.
    matthew sexton:

    Sometimes, for no valuable reason, the vibe here sucks, that's the problem.


    Perhaps you should rephrase that into "I see that as a problem" since it's quite obvious not everyone sees  this your way.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 2:52 AM as a reply to Jenny.
    Jenny:

    Matthew, I agree. The trolls are loving all this, digging it. It is so much exciting fun for them to keep posting false dilemmas and questions that aren't sincere questions but bait.

    More important, Daniel Ingram agrees. He's sick of this kind of thing, as he has published on this site itself repeatedly since the blowup in September. 

    People can spout their opinions here all they want. They can dig in their heels, rage, and proclaim that they will leave. I'm not invested and am going back to editing MCTB2 the rest of the evening, in addition to sitting in precious meditation.

    In the end, the work that began in September, until I quit the moderation team, will be finished. Daniel will finish it, especially after he returns from his birthday retreat to see what "gifts" this community has borne him in returrn for his generosity.

    You can mark my words.

    Cheers,
    Jenny 


    Ok. Marked.

    PS: What happens if your prophecy fails? Will you again label yourself as "silenced" and leave the forum?

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 3:14 AM as a reply to Bill F..
    This seems to be devolving to the point where the definition of a troll is anyone that doesn't agree with me. That isn't a terribly useful definition from a moderation standpoint.

    Simon

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 3:14 AM as a reply to Jenny.
    Jenny:

    This phrase, "delicate feminine sensibilities," is an odd phrasing for a woman to use. Would you be open to Skyping with me, woman to woman? I'd love to chat

    Jenny


    Yes Sloane. You should skype with Jenny so she can teach you all about how to behave as a woman since it obvious you have no clue! Right?
    I find these kind of posts very offending. "Everyone should behave according to my standards or else..."

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 3:15 AM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
    Simon Ekstrand:
    This seems to be devolving to the point where the definition of a troll is anyone that doesn't agree with me. That isn't a terribly useful definition from a moderation standpoint.

    Simon


    Amen!

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 5:56 AM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
    I guess what I object to is posting that seriously interferes with the purpose of the forum, or of the thread. Kenneth's first attempt at Q&A was derailed for most practical purposes. I say "most" b/c he did manage to answer some questions, but it was a struggle to maintain the thread's original purpose.

    I am intrigued by the recent discussion's revelation of the many ways different people interpret not only the meaning of words such as "troll", but how said meanings should be applied in individual cases. We can get terribly bogged down. There might even be discussion of what constitutes light versus medium versus heavy moderation ad nauseam. Whatever comes out of it won't satisfy everyone.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 6:36 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
    I agree with you, and I have in fact argued for stronger moderation of the DhO on numerous occasions. What happened with Kenneths Q&A thread was not good for anyone and there should be rules in place that help us avoid that.

    However there have been instances in the aftermath where I have felt that "troll" really was being used as a shield against contrary opinions. I'm purposely avoiding naming any names here.

    And while I am writing I'll mention this - as Chris J Macie noted in another thread recently, the DhO has more postings than many other Buddhist/meditation forums combined. While quantity doesn't equal quality, there is value in having an active community. In tweaking rules and regulations we have to be careful not to kill off whatever it is that makes people visit the DhO in the first place. If we become to heavy handed in the policing we might end up with a troll free and also a posting free forum.

    Simon

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 7:46 AM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
    Simon Ekstrand:
    I agree with you, and I have in fact argued for stronger moderation of the DhO on numerous occasions. What happened with Kenneths Q&A thread was not good for anyone and there should be rules in place that help us avoid that.

    However there have been instances in the aftermath where I have felt that "troll" really was being used as a shield against contrary opinions. I'm purposely avoiding naming any names here.

    And while I am writing I'll mention this - as Chris J Macie noted in another thread recently, the DhO has more postings than many other Buddhist/meditation forums combined. While quantity doesn't equal quality, there is value in having an active community. In tweaking rules and regulations we have to be careful not to kill off whatever it is that makes people visit the DhO in the first place. If we become to heavy handed in the policing we might end up with a troll free and also a posting free forum.

    Simon

    That finding was a bit of a shock.  The estimate was based on a quick browse through, like when engineers sit down over coffee and do some off-the-cuff calculations on the back of an envelope; I read once that such calculations turn out to be generally about 90% accurate.

    To verify it, I just finished scanning all the ~Buddhist discussion forums that we were able to identify (in the thread "Alternatives to DhO"), and tallied all the posts dated Feb 10, 2015:

    http://awakenetwork.org/forum/recent  11
    www.dhammawheel.com                      11
    http://dharmawheel.net/                        13
    http://discourse.suttacentral.net/
               5 at most -- this site is new, and a bit different
    http://secularbuddhism.org/forum/         3

    Total:   43

    Posts in DhO: 89

    Participation in DhO, at least on 10 Feb 2015, was MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH AS ALL OTHER (identified) COMPARABLE FORUMS COMBINED.

    As per Simon, that's not proof of "quality" or anything else, other than participation.

    But, in visiting those other forums, and browsing about a bit as well as counting, I was s/w amazed at how BORING they were, how controlled and formal, to be a bit poetic, pius and paltry.

    (I, as a sort-of-scholar, have a lot of respect for Dhammawheel -- some heavy-weight Theravadan minds there; but still, probably after 5 months exposure to Dho, it seemed dry and lifeless.)

    There is something about DhO that's ... something like "full of life" -- there's always something going on, somewhere in those threads; to match most any mood. And many amazing spontaneous and free-form exchanges.

    On the other hand, (re Simon: "What happened with Kenneths Q&A thread was not good for anyone and there should be rules in place that help us avoid that"), when I observe the kind of rules being set-down and enforced in the sequel thread "Q&A with Kenneth Folk #2", there's a sense of foreboding as to the likely effect of enforcing that kind of attitude on DhO as a whole.

    (But then again,  this comparison thing... Māna (conceit) and Mara the tempter...)

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 7:14 AM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
    This is what worries me as well.  That the goal of these moderation changes are tools to combat contrary views or push out people who aren't liked. Daniel L. is clearly not a troll, quite the opposite. 

    And based on what Jenny posted in Droll's "Great Bliss: Tantric Sex and the Path To Inner Awakening", I fear that these tools will be used to to shut down entire topics.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:00 AM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
    It seems to me that splitting threads when the OP asks due to off-topic responses is a simple and elegant solution. Repeated off-topic interruptions in a single thread by the same poster would be clearly disruptive and grounds for more moderation.

    I'm averse to having a bunch of rules, because i personally don't favor the 'legalist' approach to these things. That said I would welcome more engaged moderation. My preference however would be to split threads as this would be helpful from a clarity standpoint, it would give people who want to stay on the OP topic a space to have their conversation, and it would not censor differing opinions. No one has to read the spin-off 'controversy' threads if they don't want to.

    This also may have the secondary effect of making the difference between disagreement, engagement-style differences, and actual simple trolling more evident. A true troll would be unable to resist returning to the primary thread for attention, particularly if no one joined them on the spin-off thread. A more-or-less rational poster will get the message and feel free to start a whole new, third thread, on 'why my question in thread X shouldn't have been split off into its own thread'.

    Thoughts?
    IMO we should be able to come up with a simple solution that has minimal structure, depends on a poster requesting help from the mods, and the mods following through with a simple protocol that minimizes the chance of silencing dissent while protecting the integrity of conversations and thus increasing the signal-to-noise ratio on individual threads (said the libertarian socialist guy lol). Can we all do a thought experiment together and imagine how the recent kerfluffle would have flown had this been the protocol?

    Edited for typo

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 7:53 AM as a reply to C P M.
    To be fair: I didn't see her trying to shut the topic down, just presenting a P.O.V. There is room in the Tantric Sex thread for serious controversy, I would hope--meaning that it would be silly to expect everyone to be affirming. I also would hate to see it shut down. Middle way, guys! We don't want to call people trolls simply b/c we disagree with them, but then on the other side we don't need to conclude that no one ever is a troll, or that such beasties never post here.

    ETA: Jake and I overlapped here. And I wish to announce that at this very moment I am avoiding grading exams. So, over and out. emoticon

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:58 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
    Laurel Carrington:
    I guess what I object to is posting that seriously interferes with the purpose of the forum, or of the thread. Kenneth's first attempt at Q&A was derailed for most practical purposes. I say "most" b/c he did manage to answer some questions, but it was a struggle to maintain the thread's original purpose.

    Yes.

    I feel that the biggest problem here at DhO is that posters don't follow the guidelines on the front page.

    They Don’t Align with Guidelines of the DhO. They are DAG'ers.

    Kinda silly sounding, I agree, but it really points at the problem of signal to noise. People participating to pursue non-aligned values and agendas waste the time of people that are here for the stated values and guidelines.

    And this does not mean eliminating disagreement or argument, far from it, it just means the results of the discussion will be useful for both parties in the argument.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 11:16 AM as a reply to C P M.
    C P M:
    This is what worries me as well.  That the goal of these moderation changes are tools to combat contrary views or push out people who aren't liked. Daniel L. is clearly not a troll, quite the opposite. 

    And based on what Jenny posted in Droll's "Great Bliss: Tantric Sex and the Path To Inner Awakening", I fear that these tools will be used to to shut down entire topics.


    CPM, What did I post in the tantric thread that had anything to do with moderation? What did I post that was in any way against that discussion? I think it is a good topic for discussion, actually. I just didn't have time to come back and discuss because I spend my nights and weekends, after working all day, to assist Daniel with MCTB2, for the benefit of this community.

    BTW, I'm not a moderator. I resigned back in September. I have no "power" over the moderation here. So I suggest that if you don't like the rules Daniel put in place or the protocols that I'm confident will, sooner or later, come so that the community knows how to report, how the moderators will make decisions, and so forth, that you complain to the site owner, Daniel M. Ingram. After all, it is his site, not yours, not mine. You are diverting "blame" to me, when I've no site admin or mod privileges whatsoever, let alone say so. Take your complaints and pleas to the Wizard, not to the straw man (er, woman).

    Jenny

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 12:03 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
    Chris,

    Additionally, I would love to see the statistics on who supports light moderation vs essentially no moderation and then of these groups, who is negative, neutral, positive with Dhammawheel and it's culture, attitude of owners, etc. (Or has strong similarities of values)

    My hypothesis is that there is a strong correlation between people who like Dhammawheel and don't want any moderation or almost no moderation.

    It's no secret that Dhammawheel does not like Kenneth Folk and Daniel Ingram. So when a political heavy weight like Kenneth Folk returns, this group doesn't like it so much, hence the slightly harsh to harsh responses to Kenneth. Then the known trolls like Sawfoot, who isn't really all that bad, seized this opportunity to join in on the mess and make it more fun. I don't think you or Daniel L are trolls, by the way. I am saying that light moderation vs no moderation is a political issue, and that we can see some patterns. (Which does not hold 100% for the potential poster who is going to contradict me and say they dislike Dhammawheel and want no moderation.)

    At the end of the day we will continue to see no moderation or light moderation. I simply don't see the will for heavy moderation. I simply don't see The Lord commander Daniel Ingram wanting this site to be totalitarian, it would contradict the heart of why he made the DhO in the first place. Which, perhaps he will answer himself, but I want your opinion: Why do you think Daniel Ingram is fed up with how the DhO operates?

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 12:31 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
    . Jake .:
    It seems to me that splitting threads when the OP asks due to off-topic responses is a simple and elegant solution. Repeated off-topic interruptions in a single thread by the same poster would be clearly disruptive and grounds for more moderation.

    I'm averse to having a bunch of rules, because i personally don't favor the 'legalist' approach to these things. That said I would welcome more engaged moderation. My preference however would be to split threads as this would be helpful from a clarity standpoint, it would give people who want to stay on the OP topic a space to have their conversation, and it would not censor differing opinions. No one has to read the spin-off 'controversy' threads if they don't want to.

    This also may have the secondary effect of making the difference between disagreement, engagement-style differences, and actual simple trolling more evident. A true troll would be unable to resist returning to the primary thread for attention, particularly if no one joined them on the spin-off thread. A more-or-less rational poster will get the message and feel free to start a whole new, third thread, on 'why my question in thread X shouldn't have been split off into its own thread'.

    Thoughts?
    IMO we should be able to come up with a simple solution that has minimal structure, depends on a poster requesting help from the mods, and the mods following through with a simple protocol that minimizes the chance of silencing dissent while protecting the integrity of conversations and thus increasing the signal-to-noise ratio on individual threads (said the libertarian socialist guy lol). Can we all do a thought experiment together and imagine how the recent kerfluffle would have flown had this been the protocol?

    Edited for typo

    Dear Jake,

    As usual, you have very helpful thoughts and ideas.

    I agree with you, despite people's misrepresentation of my stance, that we don't need a bunch of additional rules. People's fear mongering on this thread is puzzling. 

    I have participated in online forums that were overpoliced, and I don't like them, either. After all, I am a member here, a highly participating member, too. It is a delicate balance that has to be achieved, but the site owner himself has said for many months that the balance has tipped too far toward "noise."

    What was not finished in September after I resigned from the moderation team? Well, it was not more rules. It was the reporting protocol and the moderation protocol.

    The reporting protocol would have given members a hierarchy of solutions to try before contacting the moderators--and then how to contact the moderators if those strategies failed to solve a perceived problem. The idea here was, to honor the spirit of this place to be "self-policing," to communicate out exactly how members could and should help themselves and help each other to keep this space both vibrant and workable.

    Next in the template I gave Daniel for him to fill as he saw fit was space for a moderators' enforcement protocol. The idea here was, for the sake of transparency and building the memberships' trust in the moderators, to communicate out exactly how the mods would respond to requests for intervention, how they would arrive at decisions of fault or no-fault, and the hierarchy of actions that would be taken if the "offending" member was decided to be in violation of one of the few rules that govern the site.

    So . . . to be clear on my own position and cut through the obfuscating noise regarding it, yet again . . . I'm not for a rule-choked forum. What I'm for is improving transparency with regard to reporting and enforcement.

    After all, we currently have rules that are fine and are 6 months old; what we do not have is a protocol for how to use them. This lack of protocol hamstrings the moderators, causing hesitation and indecisiveness on their part. And then when one of them does enforce a rule, the enforcement can seem arbitrary and unilateral to members instead of appearing to be the product of a concerted, transparent, and accountable moderation.

    Said another way, I'm for fostering a feeling of partnership and trust between the membership and the moderation team. The idea is, if we all know not just the rules, but how the rules will be invoked and acted on, then much confusion, mistrust of the moderators, and, frankly, violation of the rules in the first place will be prevented.

    Said yet another way, I'm not for "more rules." I'm for revising the site landing page for clarity and transparency with regard to what mission, vision, and usage terms are already in place. 

    Another point I've communicated to Claudiu, Nick, and Simon is that, whenever the technological capabilities of this site can be used creatively and nonpunitively to prevent disputes, then those capabilities should be at least tested out.

    So, Jake, your suggestion of splitting off threads at the OP's request is an excellent one. If a thread goes off topic, then the OP can request a spit. That way, no one's input is "censored." It is just redirected for the site's organizational clarity.

    Another thing that Dream Walker suggested in our conversation the other day is turning off the number-of-posts tally. That "feature" encourages spamming by folks trying to quickly ramp up the appearance of legitimacy (for whatever reason). Instead, each post should be judged on its own merits and demerits by the reader.

    There is much unfounded reactionism regarding moderatation policy here, on this thread and the threads that started this whole blowup. The thing is, these blowups will keep happening periodically if community-supporting, transparent protocols are not implemented.

    So, everyone, would you rather have those free-floating rules already in place remain but without disclosure as to application and reporting? Is that what you are advocating? Really? 

    How many more times do we all have to go through one of these stupid, sad, and embarrassing blowups before common sense prevails?

    Jenny

    Now for a touch of humor: Daniel M. Ingram, upon returning from his high-powered retreat to ground his discussion forum back down:


    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 12:41 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
    Ryan, I sent a little present to your private message box last night. You might want to see it.

    Jenny

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 1:03 PM as a reply to Jenny.
    Jenny:
    C P M:
    This is what worries me as well.  That the goal of these moderation changes are tools to combat contrary views or push out people who aren't liked. Daniel L. is clearly not a troll, quite the opposite. 

    And based on what Jenny posted in Droll's "Great Bliss: Tantric Sex and the Path To Inner Awakening", I fear that these tools will be used to to shut down entire topics.


    CPM, What did I post in the tantric thread that had anything to do with moderation? What did I post that was in any way against that discussion? I think it is a good topic for discussion, actually. I just didn't have time to come back and discuss because I spend my nights and weekends, after working all day, to assist Daniel with MCTB2, for the benefit of this community.

    BTW, I'm not a moderator. I resigned back in September. I have no "power" over the moderation here. So I suggest that if you don't like the rules Daniel put in place or the protocols that I'm confident will, sooner or later, come so that the community knows how to report, how the moderators will make decisions, and so forth, that you complain to the site owner, Daniel M. Ingram. After all, it is his site, not yours, not mine. You are diverting "blame" to me, when I've no site admin or mod privileges whatsoever, let alone say so. Take your complaints and pleas to the Wizard, not to the straw man (er, woman).

    Jenny

    Hi Jenny

    Sure, based on your reply I thought I missed something, so I briefly scanned the thread again.

    Here are the reasons that I thought a thread of that type may be censored:

    - The thread was about tantric sex
    - you posted on that thread some issues that were unrelated to tantric sex
    - A summary of some of the points you raised were:
             - The forum lacks focus
             - The owner of the forum has not done enough to keep it's orientation around pragmatic dharma
             - Threads not related to MCTB waste my time
             - I chat with people who agree with me that the forum lacks focus
             - I am currently unhappy with the mission statement

    So, since your points were unrelated to tantric sex, I thought you were using that thread as an example for the points you raised. And that when you had more time, the mission statement would be revised so as to exclude such threads from the forum.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 1:16 PM as a reply to Jenny.
    Jenny:
    [...] I've pointed out that language is contextual-metaphorical, so the mods will have to use the "reasonable person" standard to determine whether a phrase used at someone rises to the offensiveness of "name calling" in the context of reasonably moderating a forum. I cannot be more plain than that in the time and space we have here.
    Alright, that makes sense.
    Jenny:
    I don't have the room or inclination to teach a college course.
    Well at least I have graduated from requiring first-grade instruction to requiring college-level instruction!
    ===
    Jenny:
    The person who trolls is not earnestly engaging in discussion or debate with support. In fact, that is the definition of "trolling" in part. So when the troll is trolling, then it is not ad hominem to call him out for trolling, because no reasoned debate was going on in the first place, so no ad hominem.
    Intentions don't come into it. The truth value of an argument is completely unaffected by whether the person is making an argument because their are genuinely curious or they are making it just to stir up trouble. If someone makes an argument and someone else avoids addressing it because they call their intentions into question, then that is an ad hominem. It may be prudent to do so since it's inadvisable to engage with trolls but it's still an ad hominem.

    Anyway, I'm satisfied enough to suggest removing "no ad hominems" from the list. We're not the logic police. We're not going to say "no strawmanning" or "no appealing to authority". The issue is with the abusive language so I think it's best to stick with that.
    ===
    Jenny:
    "Trolling" is a pattern of behavior on the Internet. Saying that someone is a "troll" is saying that they engage in this behavior when on the Internet, at least some of the time. That's all. Noun in functional transformation from verb, "to troll." That's very different from character assassination.
    [...]
    In a court of law, truth is an absolute defense against claims of defamation. I would say that the same is true of "name-calling." If someone is a heroin addict and I refer to her as a "junkie," is that name-calling for the purposes of that rule on this forum? Nope. It is a true characterization. Calling her out as a junkie might violate some other rule somewhere, but not that "name-calling" one. If I call someone who has no drug problem a junkie, then that is character assassination. If I do so to shut her down in an otherwise reasoned debate, then that is ad hominem, a rhetorical fallacy.
    [...]
    If someone is truly an idiot and you refer to him as an idiot, that is not technically name-calling, but might be hate speech under another rule, the one that protects certain classes of people.
    Okay. That is interesting. I would prefer not to have to evaluate the truth of what people say in order to determine whether it violates one of the rules, so I may suggest re-writing it to something like "no abusive language" and then using discretion. If someone points out somebody's flaws in an abusive manner then they may be warned. Yet if they criticize or point out someone is a troll or short-sighted or ignorant or acting like an idiot, but in a nicer way, then it's not so abusive.
    ===
    Jenny:
    If you'd like to issue me a specific warning, then do so. It might be amusing.

    Or are you looking to hire me back on the moderator team? If is hard to tell what you are after.
    I was discussing moderation as per the topic of this thread. I was seeking clarity on what certain terms mean. I asked you because you wrote the guidelines and you seem well-informed on these matters.
    ===
    Jenny:
    I'm sure all the trolls appreciate your having fed them well this evening, by the way. emoticon
    By the way, this, along with "Sigh. . .", "This is rather obvious to any first grader, "I don't have the room or inclination to teach a college course", and "At any rate, yet another night with nothing done on MCTB2. I hope someone thinks the loss of that community service was worth the gain of this one." all serve the purpose ofdevaluing what I am saying without actually addressing anything I am saying.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 1:15 PM as a reply to Jenny.

    What was not finished in September after I resigned from the moderation team? Well, it was not more rules. It was the reporting protocol and the moderation protocol.

    The reporting protocol would have given members a hierarchy of solutions to try before contacting the moderators--and then how to contact the moderators if those strategies failed to solve a perceived problem. The idea here was, to honor the spirit of this place to be "self-policing," to communicate out exactly how members could and should help themselves and help each other to keep this space both vibrant and workable.


    So . . . to be clear on my own position and cut through the obfuscating noise regarding it, yet again . . . I'm not for a rule-choked forum. What I'm for is improving transparency with regard to reporting and enforcement.

    After all, we currently have rules that are fine and are 6 months old; what we do not have is a protocol for how to use them. This lack of protocol hamstrings the moderators, causing hesitation and indecisiveness on their part. And then when one of them does enforce a rule, the enforcement can seem arbitrary and unilateral to members instead of appearing to be the product of a concerted, transparent, and accountable moderation.

    Said yet another way, I'm not for "more rules." I'm for revising the site landing page for clarity and transparency with regard to what mission, vision, and usage terms are already in place. 


    If a thread goes off topic, then the OP can request a spit. That way, no one's input is "censored." It is just redirected for the site's organizational clarity.

    Another thing that Dream Walker suggested in our conversation the other day is turning off the number-of-posts tally. That "feature" encourages spamming by folks trying to quickly ramp up the appearance of legitimacy (for whatever reason).

    That all sounds really good to me.
    What's the next step? Wait for Daniel to get back and make the call?
    Would folks like to chime in with their feelings about transparent enforcement of some simple rules such as thread splitting with firmer moderation only being invoked if that does not work? Any other thoughts on this?
    I'd love to see the conversation move forward in a practical direction that most folks can agree on.

    By the way, I really want to emphasize what you have pointed out about follow through. I see this all the time in terms of supervising my staff at work. It is all about consistency and transparency of following through with the basic (generally common sense) rules. I co-manage staff with colleagues. If the three of us aren't equally consistent and transparent with regards to enacting protocols, well then-- confusion, team splitting, and all other manor of bad politics is SIMPLY INEVITABLE.

    The principles to be balanced: integrity and clarity and focus of the site, AND diversity of views and posting styles and interests. In tantrism these are known as the masculine and feminine qualities of being: 'structure' and 'vitality'. The interplay of the two results in increasing degrees of experiential wholeness and connectivity. Erring to either side results in stagnation or chaos, respectively. Some ways to dynamically insure such a balance: clarity, consistency, transparency, simplicity.

    Edited for clarity

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 1:15 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
    . Jake .:
    If a thread goes off topic, then the OP can request a spit. That way, no one's input is "censored." It is just redirected for the site's organizational clarity.

    That all sounds really good to me.
    What's the next step? Wait for Daniel to get back and make the call?
    Would folks like to chime in with their feelings about transparent enforcement of some simple rules such as thread splitting with firmer moderation only being invoked if that does not work? Any other thoughts on this?
    I'd love to see the conversation move forward in a practical direction that most folks can agree on.

    I think thread splitting at the OP's request because of concerns of being off-topic should be very encouraged and always enforced. I think that could help a lot.

    I wonder about proactive thread-splitting. I think this could be very helpful too. I often notice when a thread is starting to go off-topic but I don't split it right then and there. I think we mods should start doing it more often. It's true people have no qualms piling on and driving a thread further and further off-topic. If it's left too long then on-topic stuff starts reappearing on the subthread and then it's much trickier to handle. Any thoughts on a mod noticing something is going off-topic and splitting the thread of their own accord?

    I agree that the reporting and moderating protocols should be spelled out and that there should be consistency, transparency, and follow-through. I am not so sure on how to get there =P.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:10 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
    Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
    Then the known trolls like Sawfoot, who isn't really all that bad, seized this opportunity to join in on the mess and make it more fun. I don't think you or Daniel L are trolls, by the way. 

    Ryan, c'mon man, can we stop this cycle already? Sawfoot comes on here with a lot of interesting stuff to say and people call him a troll because he calls them on their shit in a sometimes biting (yet usually hilarious) way. Some people are just plain biting and not funny at all (no names). I find his contributions a lot more useful than many other people on here that fancy themselves wonderful and such a service to the DhO. Some people take sawfoot's sometimes cheeky behavior personally, even though many of them have supposedly seen the non-personal non-self nature of all arising phenomenon etc etc. Red flag? At the very least his more challenging posts (they are not all that way btw) helps everyone see what MCTB 'enlightenment' for some really looks like when the rubber hits the road - when it all matters. I find that helpful

    EDIT: didn't want to sully Daniel's great book and blue

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 2:02 PM as a reply to Matt.
    matthew sexton:
    Daniel Leffler:
    Yes Dr Spock, err BCDEFG, you are correct, 83%, definitely 83%
    This thread could make a nice children's book, 'All About Trolls', Jenny could edit it!
    But who are these trolls kids, and how exactly do we find these yucky snakes in the grass? 
    emoticon   emoticon    emoticon   emoticon   emoticon    emoticon    emoticon
    no, no, no, no,no, no, TROLL!!!

    To ID a troll, I'd go with BCDEFG's apparently pragmatic approach, try something like what I just did in the last 3 minutes.  Click on the suspects 'recent posts' link, find one of their posts that seems near their 'join date', evalute it for how worthwhile the post was.  As an experiment, I did it for you Daniel L, and came up with this:

    http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5584295#_19_message_5585896
    "Wow that sounds just amazing! And you also say it slices and dices and has a built in electronic timer? And all for only three easy payments of $19.95?! I want to "make a permanent reality" too! Because really the one I have is just plain worn out and getting dull. But how do I order?!"

    It's a piece of junk post, so I'd guess: emoticon
    Disclaimer: I just went with the very first thing I found, it's not necessarily representative of most of what Daniel L posts, but I was just honestly answering the question and giving an example. 
    Hi mathew emoticon
    'Suspect' here emoticon
    Ha! I forgot about that post – it was so long ago, thanks for bringing me back down memory lane at least – great way to spend your time! (this is called sarcasm)
    It’s true, I was a little harsh with Claudiu, but I think you took my post  out of context somewhat. The OP was about someone dealing with the A&P, and Beoman started offering Actualist practice to him in an unsolicited manner to an uninterested person (‘I'm saying it's possible to experience reality as a physical body, but without the extraneous human psyche, and also that this experience is wonderful and beneficial for you and everyone around you.’) I employed a little biting humor to demonstrate my point of view concerning Beoman’s ‘salesmanship’ and the perceived infomercial aspect to his reply. Still, my biting post (but funny too, please don’t forget funny) was taken by Claudiu in a calm cool manner and he didn’t go on and on whining about it or calling anyone names. 
    Did my reply contribute to the Dharma in general and elevate the discussion at all? No probably not. Do all of your posts do that, including the one that I am responding to right now? Um, I’d say no, not really, except for the fact that you are supporting me very much with my own practice, so I will thank you for that. Thanks Mathew for helping me to see the nature of my thoughts, the arrogance of my own mind, and how I have plenty of more work to do. I sincerely hope all this nonsense supports your practice as well

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 4:05 PM as a reply to Jenny.
    No one has proposed "heavy-handed" moderation.
    If that's truly the case, great. There's a certain level of drama to your posts upthread (what with all the "mark my words", saving evidence to your hard drive and calling upon moderators to save you) that makes me think we have very different definitions of "heavy handed" however. Is some jackassery on a forum really worth the hysterics?

    This phrase, "delicate feminine sensibilities," is an odd phrasing for a woman to use. Would you be open to Skyping with me, woman to woman? I'd love to chat

    Jenny
    I thought about this for a minute and really can't think of a way to interpret this that isn't based on some serious gender stereotyping. Should I be offended?? emoticon  I suspect you and I aren't going to have much in common, our shared anatomy notwithstanding, so I don't think a skype session would be the best use of time for either of us.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 11:52 PM as a reply to sloane.
    sloane:
    This phrase, "delicate feminine sensibilities," is an odd phrasing for a woman to use. Would you be open to Skyping with me, woman to woman? I'd love to chat

    Jenny
    I thought about this for a minute and really can't think of a way to interpret this that isn't based on some serious gender stereotyping. Should I be offended?? emoticon  I suspect you and I aren't going to have much in common, our shared anatomy notwithstanding, so I don't think a skype session would be the best use of time for either of us.

    I thought it about it too sloane, actually for a few minutes (there's a few minutes I'll never get back) and I came to a more sneaky conclusion. Based on how she phrased that sentence quoted above, I think Jenny wanted to Skype with you because she thinks you're a trolling dude that is pretending to be a woman - so she wanted to actually see you, see didn't ask to PM you. At first I was like, 'hey, Jenny never asked me to Skype, is that because I have this appendage between my legs?'and it hit me, Eureka! Then (of course) Mathew had to chime in a couple times about your exchange with Jenny, once to insinutate you were a troll and another because he was on the edge of his seat waiting to see what happened (drama queen). Don't take it personally though (don't get offended ;) mathew wears troll-colored glasses and sees them everywhere. If you are reading this Mathew, quick, look out behind you!

    EDIT strikes: It's wrong of me to question someone's intentions plus I don't care. Also took out a cheap shot that wasn't that funny to begin with

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 7:06 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    I respectfully suggest we hold off on any further discussion of moderation, rules, enforcement, what's okay and what's not, etc. until Daniel has his say. It would be great if we could talk instead about the subjects we're all here to discuss for awhile. Various people have made suggestions, others have staked out positions, and I can't see what more anyone might say. 

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 9:21 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
    Laurel, I too suggest this as well. At this point most what is on people's minds has been said more or less.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:17 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
    Daniel Leffler:
    Thanks Mathew for helping me to see the nature of my thoughts, the arrogance of my own mind, and how I have plenty of more work to do. I sincerely hope all this nonsense supports your practice as well

    You're welcome.

    It does help mine, two ways come to mind:

    1: I drive my son to school in the morning, during which I get a good 5 minutes of sky/mountain view.  He's noodling around back in his car seat, I'm murmuring replies to his 3 year old question.  There are stretches when he is quiet, the road is straight, traffic is clear, the mountains are slowly expanding to fill the wind-shield.  These are 'noticing' moments.  In the last few days I've felt the traces of the recent DhO conversations, thoughts about the words, but also simple feelings that I identify as excitement, fear, pride. Its not great that my participation leaves that impression, but noticing the feelings, having a good idea where they come from helps me gain confidence in my practice.

    2: Sitting, those thoughts and feelings are like low/slow target drones for noting practice. emoticon

    Perhaps you and I are the ones that gain the most. Some conversations are great to have in front of the whole world. Some are not.

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/11/15 10:33 PM as a reply to Matt.
    matthew sexton:
    Perhaps you and I are the ones that gain the most. Some conversations are great to have in front of the whole world. Some are not.

    Cool mathew thanks. And thank you for sharing that

    RE: Moderation
    Answer
    2/12/15 7:23 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
    re: Ryan Kenneth Johnson (2/11/15 12:03 PM as a reply to Chris JMacie. )

    Footnote to that forum-participation data:

    In fact I did not set out to do those comparisions, but rather to briefly survey the range of other forums. Several years ago I had looked into the DhammaWheel site, very briefly, via a google search on references to Alexander Piatigorky's work (that I've already cited several time on DhO), finding some thread which demonstrated knowledge, and deep understanding of his work. (I think I've quoted the key passage from that also somewhere in DhO already.) A year or two ago I looked into the SBA site and forum ('SB' =Secular Buddhism = Stephen Batchelor – isn't that a coincidence?), not finding much worth engaging with (posting). Shaila Catherine's meditation group/organization Insight Meditation South Bay (IMSB- San Francisco peninsula) had a similar list-serv type forum, which I pariticipated in rather eagerly; but the whole thing fizzled-out after a few months. Other than those, hanging out here in DhO, since 08/2014, constitutes something like 99% of all the (Buddhist) forum stuff I've ever gotten into.

    So anyway, I was browsing all the sites that turned up (forums, not blogs), and after a while sensed something odd across all of them (compared with DhO) – namely there didn't seem much going on! THEN, sensing some significance, decided to re-scan and do an informal (on the back of an envelope sort) survey, the result of which I mentioned in the "Alternatives toDhO" thread. When subsequently Simon Ekstrand cited that here, I felt it necessary to go back and verify it with some precision, which then was posted here ("…in one day, 89 posts in DhO vs 43 posts in all others combined…"). (A minor nit with DhO is that too often data citation and things like ball-park percentage guesses are rather shoddy, even wildly inaccurate. My various views are mostly in the fringes of DhO discussions, but I do try to substantively contribute with occasional bits of more solid research.)

    Back to Ryan's post:
    "… I would love to see the statistics on who supports light moderation vs essentially no moderation and then of these groups, who is negative, neutral, positive with Dhammawheel and it's culture, attitude of owners, etc. (Or has strong similarities of values)"

    The intro-diversion above was in part to correct a possible misconception that I have some sort involvment or attachment to DhammaWheel, simply having found some quality information there on a single occasion. Ryan Kenneth's idea (statistics) is interesting, but I seriously doubt that sampling reseach / polling could be carried out in DhO with any degree of reliability – think "herding cats". Even if raw data could be collected, the interpretation process would become the usual (highly entertaining) hodge-podge process, an impossible tangle of views. Maybe that's unfair; just that I'm not volunteering to undertake finding those statistics.

    "My hypothesis is that there is a strong correlation between people who like Dhammawheel and don't want any moderation or almost no moderation."

    Why would that be so? What little I scanned through this evening did include a fair amount of mutual self-correcting behavior in DhammaWheel discussions themselves; but didn't detect any moderator intrusion. Sample (that got copied into my notes during the survey):
    "For the second issue I agree with Tilt. Retro, you came off in your posts here and in the "Why Meditate?" topic as being (uncharacteristically) aggressive and divisive. This is what Tilt keeps trying to hold you accountable for. I think you could have worded your statements better, and in fact you have since done so on at least one account. I don't think that the point you were making was out of place."

    "It's no secret that Dhammawheel does not like Kenneth Folk and Daniel Ingram…"

    I've come across opinions like that a couple of times here in DhO. So (guess what?), earlier this evening I spent an hour tracking down and (briefly, very roughly) analyzing every reference to "Kenneth Folk" and/or "Ingram" in the entire DhammaWheel discussion database (at least what's on-line to the search-engine). May sound like a major endeavor, but's quite simple given a bit of training in graduate-level bibliographical research, and given modern search-engines.

    The names occur maybe 40-60 times, but (these numbers are very rough) 90% of those simply repetition of embeded quotations that cascade through the 6 or so threads (2010-2014) that mention Ken and/or Daniel. Without going into details, I found the contexts remarkably even-handed and focused on issues; v