Closing Discussions

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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

I see this morning that a few DhO topics have been closed - no advance notice, just closed with little explanation. Will this be the operating procedure going forward on DhO? The one topic that was closed consisted of very respectful dialog. There was communication going on there that I and others found valuable.

So, I have to ask respectfully -- why? Who decides and how is a decision like this made? Is there any room for the users here to have a say, a vote, a comment, ask this "why" question? I'm all for the owners of a message board making that board their own and managing it the way they feel it needs to be managed. That said, I also want to know very clearly what their rules are and as a user make participation decisions based on facts. I feel the general operating process here has changed so please help me out and explain.

Thanks,

- Chris Marti
Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Hi Chris,

you're right, an explanation is due. I haven't locked any of the threads, so I can't speak for the moderator/s who did. As to "is nonduality amoral" thread, Tarin has posted a comment explaining his reasons (not sure if there were other threads, but the last comment ought to be made by the moderator to explain why it's being locked). At this point, individual mods do what they deem necessary when they can, and in most cases autonomously, without consulting other mods or the admin.

But I can say that at this point we don't have a clear set of principles and rules for this. When a thread begins to dissolve into several directions/subjects, it makes sense to continue those in new separate threads. There's an awareness that we need those principles and rules, and naturally we will have them posted as soon as they are formulated. When, what and how of these ultimately depends on Daniel's initiative. Until then, however, the mods will do what they can to tighten up the situation a little bit in order to make more room for the primary purpose of this website, namely clear practical tips and sharing of common experiences, with special care to make it accessible to average practitioners and newbies to the site when possible.

Hopefully, as DhO migrates to the new website, both principles and rules, and the structure of various sections will be better set to not only steer the content and more easily moderate what's there to moderate, but also to allow more liberal and speculative discussions to develop in their own section. Now DhO definitely enters the transition period, during which no satisfactory lasting resolution to these difficulties will be possible.
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Many thanks, Hokai, for your timely reply.

It would appear to this observer (no pun intended) that what you describe is the case, with moderators doing what they feel is best. Let me say, however, that what happened on that particular thread this morning was upsetting and prompted me to create this topic. Please -- this to all moderators on DhO -- treat your users with a bit more respect. It was a productive, communicative thread and I see no reason to close it. The closing was, in light of my own sense of that thread, too abrupt and the explanation too formulaic. Please be aware that those kinds of actions will cause your users to question their participation on DhO. As a moderator group (I was a message board moderator for many years) please, all of you, sit down and work this stuff out and, most critically, be consistent.

I appreciate being able to start this topic, ask my questions and give my feedback.

Peace to all of you.
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
hi chris,

this is the kind of meta-topic for which a private message would suffice, but as you have brought it up publicly, i will respond to it publicly, as i was the moderator responsible for both closures.

the two threads that have been closed today are 'some thoughts from the founder' and 'is non-duality amoral?'.

the former was locked because the OP's concerns had already been addressed, and the thread was turning into the very thing he was asking to *not* be discussed on the board - 'long meta-discussions about how to discuss things'. i too would like to see the board returned to its original orientation as a practice-based forum.

the latter was closed because it was turning into a convoluted mega-thread, far off-topic from the original post. i followed the precedent of locking it set by vince on the 'responses to realization and development' thread some months ago. - http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/thread/2704822/Responses+to+Realization+and+Development

when dho 2.0 is up and running, there may (and probably will) be room for both a broader spectrum of conversation, as well as a more handy way to categorise and archive topics. for now, let's please not have further discussion about it here.

tarin
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Hello, Tarin.

Yes, thanks for your reply. I apologize if this topic has caused anyone problems. I do think, however, as a message board host for many years myself, that you guys (DhO moderators) need to do more things out in the open than you do currently. Your users will very much appreciate that and then you won't need to manage so many PMs. The great thing about PMs is that they can be used to tell users things in private. The bad thing about PMs is that they can be used to tell users things in private that really should be said in public. You will be better served by adjudicating disputes, setting up and enforcing rules, if you do it more in public than in private. That way everyone sees what the rules are and how they're applied.

You guys are going through a natural process that happens when people start new open message boards. All I can say is you should trust your users a little more and be a little more open and up front with them. It will help you in the long run and believe me when I say I learned this stuff the hard way once ;-)

Peace,

- Chris
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately and I have a few more things to say about the DhO message boards. No doubt this will bore the living daylights out of many of you. It will no doubt upset or even anger others. Still, I believe these things need to be said. Why? Because I really, really want DharmaOvergroung to succeed, here and at the not-yet-launched 2.0 version. I like being able to learn from and talk to other practitioners, compare notes, etc. I love it, frankly. But I want to do so in an environment that is consistently welcoming and predictable. So far, that is not the case here at DhO.

First, my qualifications: I was a message board host (paid, not volunteer) for many large publications from about 1990 until 2005. These included Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune and Sport Illustrated magazines. I'm telling you this so you know that when I speak of these things I'm not pulling stuff out of my ass. I learned board moderating two ways: from an extremely well organized, professional group of people who had seen everything and pretty much made it their own, and the hard way by making a lot of mistakes and thus truly messing up some good message boards. You need to know where I'm coming from in the same vein that you need to know that Daniel or Kenneth are arahats. Experience and qualifications count for something and being enlightened does not make you an expert at everything. Make sense? Thanks.

The meat:

Rules: you don't need a lot of rules as long as you are willing to trust your participants. Yes, there will be an occasional wacko. A real troublemaker will come along once in a while and then the moderators will need to step in and be heavy handed - with THAT person. Otherwise, message boards, especially ones like this where everyone pretty much has the same motivation for being here, are self-regulating entities.

Continued on next comment...
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Continued from last comment...

The best message board I've ever seen (www.well.com) has been around since the mid 1980s. It has one rule. ONE RULE: "You own your own words." That's it. And guess what? That works. All it means is you are responsible for what you say and can be help accountable. It also means no one else can take your words and post them elsewhere. There are thousands and thousands of users there and yeah, there are a lot of arguments. They heal and everyone moves on. The board management trusts the users. It's that simple.

Second: topics. WetPaint sucks. It seems that we can't segment the board here into logical topic areas. Every topic is a stand alone. What we really need are subject areas where we segment into interests: beginners, Vajrayana, Rigpa, Vipassane, philosophy, etc. Looks like we'll have to wait for 2.0 for that, but boy-oh-boy, would that ever help us.

More about topics: none of us know everything. Who's to say that what I want to talk about (as long as it's about the Dharma) is what you want to talk about or what she wants to talk about? Let's not pretend we can decide for anyone else what's good for them. Unless, of course, DhO wants to be very strictly a hard core, practical Vipassana related message board. I don't perceive that's what most participants here want but I could easily be utterly wrong about that. If that's the direction, however, then do that now, say so loudly and get it over with. Otherwise the moderating of this message board will be inconsistent, as I feel it was last week.

Continued on next comment...
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 19 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Continued from last comment...

Last: if you're going to be a moderator then you owe it to us participants to do that with attention and care. If you don't have enough time to devote to it then I urge you, please, don't be a moderator. It's not rocket science, folks, but it requires patience, tolerance, and the commitment to be there and be consistent. Better to have fewer moderators who than too many anyway.

Folks, this message board is smart, easy, polite, fun. On one of my message boards in the 1990's we had an actual criminal sociopath who'd show up and post the most nasty, ugly, demeaning and hateful stuff you can imagine. Here? You all know what it's like here - the polar opposite.

That's enough from me now. I'm no doubt wearing out my welcome.

- Chris
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
well said Chris. Worthy of being written and read in terms of our group aspirations to make a real impact on real practice. I think we can do this, we just have to give it a little effort. Btw, would you be up to being a mod here and sharing your insights on a day to day basis with the crew here? It's probably not my place to ask but I would suggest that someone do so.
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Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Thank you, Chris!

This kind of basic, sensible input based on decades of real world experience is exactly what we need more of as those of us who are newbies at running a public forum try to figure out what to do next. I, for one, feel reassured that you are here and that you are willing to help us along. And I second Nathan's motion that we invite (implore) you to be a moderator on the Dharma Overground.

Kenneth
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Hey, Tim, note the text in bold:

Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.
Closing Discussions
Posts: 19
​​​​​​​Join Date: 7/7/09 
Recent Posts

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Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
Hey, Tim, note the text in bold:

Wet Paint, modified 11 Years ago.
Closing Discussions
Posts: 19
​​​​​​​Join Date: 7/7/09 
Recent Posts

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emoticon
You mean your original join date? Because of that time I tried to pull seniority on you, lol?

I'm impressed that you were invited to be a moderator after 19 posts! 
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Because of that time I tried to pull seniority on you, lol?

I figured you'd recall that time  emoticon

Note the apologetic tone in the first reply from Hokai Sobol. He knew those clowns were... clowns
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
And as long as we're posting in this ancient thread from the Wetpaint Era, watch out for those velociraptors over there!
Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
lol, yeah, dinosaurs everywhere.

I have really liked Hokai's style when I've come across him in Those Times When Giants Walked the Earth. He's often got a different inflection, and sometimes even a different vocabulary. The classic Hurricane Ranch discussion --- Hurricane Ranch Discussion, February 2009 (Transcript) - Discussion - www.dharmaoverground.org --- is so great partly because Hokai's Shingon is so distinct from what the others are doing. He actually starts out against the grain of "doing," in a way that seems gently polemical amid that classic DIY Buddhism crowd. He says "grace," lol. 

God, I would love to have been there for that talk, with sufficient beer. Everybody was still basically having fun together at that point, as I read it; you can feel the tensions at times, you can sense the possible faultlines, but it is still basically that real dharma spirit being hashed out and elaborated between friends and colleagues who are all in on the mutual fascination of it all, like a archive jazz session with all masters in the band, whatever different record labels they went on to record for in their solo careers.

I love this particular sequence so much; it exemplified what makes that era so much fun: (DI = Daniel Ingram, HS = Hokai Sobol, KF = Kenneth Folk, TG = Tarin Greco, VH = Vince Horn)
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HS: The idea remains, it’s doable.

KF: That’s really important. And really that’s what we’re trying to do here and normalize this, and say this isn’t some crazy—

HS: It’s not a myth.

KF: And it’s not a particularly big deal. It’s something doable for very ordinary people who are interested and willing to apply themselves. And maybe the reason it doesn’t happen more often is because practitioners don’t have access to someone who will look them in the eye and say, this is possible, and I know that in my own experience. Because to have someone who will look you in the eye and say that is so powerful and so empowering.

HS: Yeah. That’s the shattering thing. That’s the break in the shell of the egg. Someone has to come from the outside, right? You know the thing with the eggs, when the little chicks, the first one that gets out, the strongest one goes breaking the other eggs, because the other ones are not strong enough to break. But once the egg is broken from the outside, the weak chicks can come out.

DI: Yeah. Like I remember, I was on the road with Ken, he was this, you know, rocker dude, you know, who lived in my house with me, and was smart and a good guy and all these things, but not some unusual, immortal superstar, you know. And when he did it, I was like, oh. “Kenneth.” I apologize. My error. And when he had done this, it was like, god, like, he’s smart, but he’s not, like, an immortal being. It was profound.

VH: He wasn’t yet.

DI: He wasn’t yet! That’s funny. But what’s weird is, you know, like, what’s sort of strange, though, is like, because that’s better than when I think, like, when you meet someone who’s already done it, and you meet them in the context of having already done it, it makes it weird. You know what I mean? It’s hard to think of them as a normal person. Whereas I met you when you were just some hairsprayed rocker dude, you know, and it was a little, like, you know, who was living in my house at my same level essentially, so that was really normalized.

KF: It’s really hard to project a lot of nonsense or hero-worship on to somebody you—

DI: You’ve been on the road with.

KF: Just another guy.

DI: Yeah.

KF: And that works both ways. It’s really hard not to project your mythical nonsense on someone that was introduced as—

HS: Who has it already done.

KF: Yes.

DI: That’s a real problem.

KF: Whatever. Grand High Mucky Muck

DI: Right. You know what I mean? Yeah, it’s true.

VH: It makes sense. It wasn’t so true for me when I picked up Daniel’s work, because he was so clearly advertising that he was a Mucky Muck. You were like, “I am a Mucky Muck!”

DI: Yeah.

VH: “And I just happened to figure this stuff out.”
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
In Re Hokai & Shingon:

The last time I saw and talked to Hokai in person was just after Buddhist Geeks 2013, the last one. Hokai, Vince Horn, my friend Mike LaTorra (Gozen on DhO), and I were just shooting the shit about a lot of stuff in general. Hokai expressed how bothered he had become with the way meditation practice gets discussed in certain circles and how almost everyone has become fixated on placing themselves and their practice somewhere on a map.  He was clearly perturbed by that development. He didn't lay blame, just expressed his dislike of the obsessive nature of it.
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Closing Discussions

Posts: 1287 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
 Tim, I guess you have already listened to, but in case you haven't, the audio for that ranch discussion is great:

https://soundcloud.com/daneilmingram/sets/hurricane-ranch-discussions

He (Hokai) posts some great stuff in his twitter occasionally.

 

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