Moderation policy – psychic powers
Jun 13, 2019 at 5:39 pm #3597668
(blank first post)Jun 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm #3597670
Justin W is (yet again) advocating the use of psychic powers in a thread on navigation. I’d like to get a clear ruling from the moderators about whether this is an appropriate area of discussion for a serious thread about how people get lost in the wilderness. In my opinion, talking about the use of magic in navigation is a hijack of a serious and important discussion, but I don’t make the rules here. If the moderators do feel that it’s a reasonable area of discussion for that thread, that’s fine – but it deserves a full debate and rebuttal, since in that context suggesting that it may be a good idea to follow your “gut instinct” because you may have psychic powers is dangerous nonsense. However, I’d like a clear prior ruling from the mods, because I’m not going to engage and waste my time contributing to the debate by rebutting Justin’s claims if my posts are simply going to be deleted at a later stage (as I recall happened the last time he did this).
I’ll also note that although I may treat Justin’s claims with the skepticism and sarcasm they deserve, I’m quite prepared to discuss the question of psychic powers on their merits, based on the evidence, treating Justin himself with respect in the spirit of BPL.
So, moderators, please could you clarify board policy – are we having a debate on psychic powers in the thread about a hiker getting lost in Arkansas?Jun 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm #3597672KatttBPL Member
Nm . There are more important things.Jun 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm #3597674Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
It’s a topic that should be moved to Chaff.Jun 13, 2019 at 6:07 pm #3597681
To add, if the discussion of psychic powers is deemed appropriate, I trust the policy will be applied consistently? For example, there was a recent thread on whether sleeping pads are required. Would it be considered an appropriate contribution (as something other than a joke) to suggest that for some people sleeping pads are not required, because if the temperature drops they may use their powers of levitation to raise themselves off the ground, creating an air gap with any desired R value?
If that would not be considered appropriate, please could you explain the difference between the psychic power of levitation and the psychic power of remote viewing (aka clairvoyance, extrasensory perception) that Justin is seriously advocating?Jun 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm #3597699
FWIW, I seriously think if Justin’s initial post had simply gone uncommented on, it would have simply died right there. People giving that post attention caused a number of followup essays from Justin that probably wouldn’t have occurred had the initial post simply been ignored. We don’t need new rules or more government, IMO. Just some common sense about not fanning the flames.Jun 13, 2019 at 8:21 pm #3597711
I’m with the ladies above – it’s disagreeing that drags it out into an overly long, underly information-rich discussion.
People have long knocked on my front door to tell me the world is about to end and encourage me to be among the 144,000 who are saved. It’s got to be a pretty boring day to choose to engage with them. It’s easier to just answer the door naked.
Don’t feed the trolls. Unless you want to.Jun 13, 2019 at 8:22 pm #3597712Jun 13, 2019 at 8:45 pm #3597719
A troll is someone who insincerely posts deliberately inflammatory remarks. That’s not Justin – I’m confident that he’s quite sincere in his beliefs. The “don’t feed the trolls” argument is basically saying that we cannot expect Justin to control himself, so everyone else should be responsible for not triggering his behavior. That seems disrespectful of Justin. I’m solely concerned about what topics of discussion are appropriate in what forum, not about judging people.
I think we should all feel free to contribute to a discussion or not. If Justin persistently advocates psychic powers in navigation threads, other posters should feel free to either ignore him or to rebut his views as they choose. If “just ignore him” is your favored approach – that’s fine. It will often be mine, too. But it’s not fair to say that it’s fine for him to introduce the topic, but not fine for anyone to rebut it. It’s not fair if rebuttal leads (as it inevitably will) to extensive debate, and then for the mods to realize that it’s making a trainwreck of the thread and delete the whole thing.
Again, I’m not advocating restricting debate altogether, I’m not asking for “more government” in Dena’s words. I’m just asking for the mods to tell us the appropriate place in the forum to conduct a debate on psychic powers if Justin wants to have it. If the mods approve of that debate taking place in the existing thread, so be it, but I’d like to hear that from them. I’d like to know (so long as I remain respectful to people – though not ideas – according to the BPL guidelines) that any contributions that I may choose to make won’t be deleted.Jun 13, 2019 at 9:26 pm #3597729
So, Ralph- are you seriously arguing that Justin shouldn’t be allowed to post that stuff, because you can’t seem to help responding? That’s what this seems like to me. If you enjoy responding to that type of post, then why on earth are you complaining? If you don’t think it should be there, your mouse probably has this little wheely thing that allows you to scroll by a post without reading it or commenting on it.Jun 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm #3597731
No, I thought I was pretty clear. I’m asking the straightforward question of where the mods feel is the appropriate place in the BPL forums for a discussion of psychic powers. As with any topic, surely it’s up to individual posters whether they feel they wish to participate in a discussion? But I’d like clarification because there’s precedent of a large number of posts on this topic (including mine, when I don’t think they violated any board rules) being deleted wholesale.Jun 13, 2019 at 10:02 pm #3597733
Ralph, I don’t think Justin, in his psychic heart of hearts, is a troll.
When teaching a class of middle-schoolers, does it matter that some kid is ADHD or just an old-fashioned attention seeker? I’m not his prescribing physician, so I’ll try responding (or not) to each possible underlying disorder and see which approach works best.
If it quacks like a troll, posts like a troll, goes on and on and on like a troll, you might try seeing if ignoring it makes it better. Or at least not worse.
Do I engage with the Witnesses and Mormon “elders” on my doorstep? Sometimes. We never change each other’s minds. I doubt those clean-cut young boys even believe me how LDS discriminated against blacks until 1978. But I don’t then complain about how they wasted my time.
I’ve committed some pretty serious thread drift here on BPL over the last 8 years. Sure, it’s usually towards thermodynamics or Alaskan critters and not psychic abilities but threads are going to go where threads are going to go.Jun 13, 2019 at 10:19 pm #3597739
David, the reason to rebut dubious claims is never to try to convince the person who posted them. Of course that never works. It’s to introduce reason and evidence for other people who might be lurking and reading a discussion. For example, many people have only the vaguest idea what homeopathy involves, many people just think it’s about herbal folk remedies. But if (say) your kids or my kids are coming across it for the first time as teenagers, advocated by a homeopath, I’d hope someone’s around to explain what it really involves, how scientifically it’s utterly implausible, and how its efficacy is supported by no evidence whatsoever.
That’s not to say that I’ll always have the energy or inclination to rebut pseudoscience and superstition. Many times I’ll follow your advice and Dena’s to just scroll past. But I feel that on the occasions when I am in the mood to discuss the evidence, I don’t want my contributions to be deleted later. Hence my request for the mods to decide on the appropriate place for discussion of psychic powers.Jun 13, 2019 at 10:33 pm #3597744rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I think you’re asking for something you’re likely not going to get. The mods here generally don’t like making definitive statements on what is and isn’t allowed, other than profanity and personal nastiness, and even then they aren’t consistent with their moderation with those issues.
And anyway, the BPL forums are pretty freewheeling most of the time, with frequent thread drift in most every thread, as David mentions. Personally, I’m not a fan of limiting speech or ideas, and I’d like to think we’re all old enough/mature enough to disregard that speech or those ideas we have little use for or belief in – I neither need nor want a mod to make those decisions for me.
“I don’t want my contributions to be deleted later.”
I’ll agree wholeheartedly with you here. The mods, at times, do have a nasty habit of deleting stuff that, IMO, shouldn’t be deleted. Quite irritating. But that just goes back to the tendency of moderation to be rather inconsistent on this site.Jun 13, 2019 at 10:58 pm #3597747JCHBPL Member
Sorry, but I see the answer to this as quite elementary…One must learn to simply walk away. This lesson applies to an astonishing number of life’s situations. Everyone has the right to their opinions. It is your choice whether to engage or not.Jun 13, 2019 at 11:17 pm #3597749
Jun 13, 2019 at 11:19 pm #3597750
- Don’t make me delete your posts ;)
- I’m on vacation with my family right now and the little bit of extra time I have between museums and amazing food is better spent obsessing over snow reports and route-planning rather than policing a recreational forum of adults talking about backpacking gear/technique who should just be pleasant to each other please.
- It can be hard to define the line between trolling and earnest enthusiasm regarding tangential topics.
- Roger and I do moderate differently. That’s a legitimate gripe.
- I do delete or edit posts but typically only when they cross the line into trolling, racism, etc. (sidenote: I do edit and delete in Gearswap quite a bit)
- I have zero interest in having anything to do with the whole Chaff thing. That’s between y’all, Roger and Ryan.
- Nick, I agree that thread got very chaffy but I don’t few good about bouncing a thread started about a serious topic into Chaff because it went off the rails in the responses. I don’t think that is fair to the OP.
- I have zero interest in getting dragged into arguments about semantics and who crossed which line and what does it mean to cross that line and what is the fairest way to deal with it.
- I used to be involved in a forum that had a line above the post button that said “just be nice”. With that in mind I’m going to ask everyone to take a look at the forum guidelines and please note items 1, 2 & 6. The others are important too. If everyone would just follow the guidelines then we wouldn’t have to talk about moderating.
I like what JCH just said^^Jun 13, 2019 at 11:35 pm #3597752
Matthew K stated, “Nick, I agree that thread got very chaffy but I don’t feel good about bouncing a thread started about a serious topic into Chaff because it went off the rails in the responses. I don’t think that is fair to the OP.”
I agree with this 100%.Jun 14, 2019 at 12:08 am #3597753
Nobody was suggesting that the entire thread be taken to chaff. The entire motivation for my question on moderation policy was the opposite of that – this is a valuable thread on a serious topic, and I’m questioning whether a discussion of magical powers belongs there.Jun 14, 2019 at 12:20 am #3597755
As for the recommendations to “simply walk away” – I don’t think they are relevant. Of course I’m aware that I can just walk away, this isn’t my first time on the internet. If moderation policy is going to remain vague and inconsistent – where it’s all freewheeling and anything is allowed…. until suddenly it’s not, and a discussion just gets arbitrarily deleted in its entirety – then of course it’s a waste of time to enter the discussion at all, and I certainly don’t plan to waste my time. But I thought the purpose of this board was to discuss things, and I’m asking for better moderation, so that anyone who may feel the inclination to discuss psychic powers may feel assured that they are doing so in the right place – without derailing other topics and without posts being subsequently deleted.Jun 14, 2019 at 12:37 am #3597758
“just be nice”
Or, more bluntly, observe Wheaton’s Law. (Google it).
If I respond to someone’s Q about reducing food weight with how I’ve trained my body to perform photosynthesis directly from sunlight (and perhaps I will next April 1st), the best thing for the adults in the room to do is to just ignore me and continuing with their adulting.
True, there’s lots of bogus info on the web. < insert tilting at windmills analogy here >.Jun 14, 2019 at 12:55 am #3597761Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
The rule seems perfectly clear,
Jun 14, 2019 at 1:20 am #3597767
- Don’t gossip, defame, lie, make unsubstantiated claims, engage in libel or slander, or question motives. Don’t speculate, troll, or suggest or propagate rumors.
Ralph, Here’s another issue: what if I remove/edit/delete but I don’t see the post for 2/4/8/12 hours? Then it breaks the continuity of the thread and your concern about responding to something that gets deleted comes into play
Lots of issues pop up due to moderation.Jun 14, 2019 at 1:42 am #3597772
I didn’t say I was concerned about continuity, I’m concerned about my posts getting deleted for no apparent reason.
What has happened in the past is that the mods have apparently allowed a discussion on psychic powers to proceed in a serious thread about navigation; I and others have responded with rebuttals; then the mods have changed their minds and deleted the entire conversation without explanation.
So I’m asking for clarity. It seems to me that a topic should either be open for full and frank discussion of both side of the issue (within the bounds of the rule you reference) or not at all.Jun 14, 2019 at 1:50 am #3597775Monte MastersonBPL Member
@septimiusLocale: Changes Often
If Justin wants to talk about supernatural methods of navigating he has the right to do it. I personally like to follow the scientific approach to navigation, however, when I find someone’s posts to be bizarre, I just IGNORE THEM.
Heck, if BPL started deleting everything that seems kooky, over half of my posts would get erased.
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