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"Political Discussion" and "Tin Foil Hat Brigade" are now read-only

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David in MN:
I'll split the difference. I gave up on the politics stuff when I read Stirner and I'm glad to have abandoned it. That said, I appreciated the differing viewpoints and found I got a better grasp of the narrative here than I did on any news source.

Put another way the board devolved into a shit show but there were voices of sanity. And at times really good arguments I would disagree with. And (no joke) I have made money using the news I get here as an investing tool.

I also found great value in the tin foil. It's actually really helpful for me to know I have a place I can post the oddest theories I hear and get them kicked around. I largely felt it was a judgement free zone and liked it.

I'm not sure turning this forum into a safe space is the correct decision but I can't argue against the choice given where it was. If it's not obvious I harbor very mixed feelings.

Mr. Bill:
Okay, somehow I managed to leave this thread unlocked for discussion, which isn't what I meant to do.  But since we've gotten a few comments, I'll reply, and leave it open for a few days before I lock it.


--- Quote from: The Professor on April 29, 2018, 08:16:42 AM ---But, I feel that completely doing away with non-preparedness topics is a bit restrictive.  Some political issues do directly affect preparedness.  Some do so only in an oblique, tangential manner.  Others, not at all.

--- End quote ---

This is absolutely not what we have done.  We have two boards for specific political issues that affect preparedness: Food Legislation & News and Firearms Legislation and News.  We have Economic News, the Global Economy and all Things Monetary, which is inevitably going to include discussion of economics-related political actions.  The Childhood Ecucation board includes some discussion of political/legal issues.  And of course we've got Political News (with its restrictions) for politics that don't fit anywhere else.

For non-political, non-prepping topics, we've got Around the Campfire and Morale, Encouragement, & Motivation.

What we've nuked is the interminable, ill-tempered mudslinging outrage, where the only surviving participants were people who had no intention of changing their minds anyway.  There are LOTS of other places on the Internet for that.

Regarding Tin Foil Hat Brigade, we haven't made a permanent decision.  Any future TFHB (if we decide to have one) will have a no-politics restriction, because otherwise it will just turn into the de-facto political argument board.


Some general issues...

First, y'all remember Jack Spirko?  He's that guy from The Survival Podcast. 8)

Jack is paying for the server on which this forum runs.  He gives the mods/admins broad leeway in how we moderate this place.  But underlying everything, the forum is a branch of Jack's business.  So the one thing the forum cannot do is drive people away from The Survival Podcast.  Yes, there will always be some fraction of forum members who become dissatisfied and leave.  We can't make everyone happy.  But if the forum is operating, on the average, to repel people instead of attracting them, it becomes contrary to Jack's business interests.

It's also (obviously, I think) contrary to the benefit of the majority of forum members.

What we've seen, especially over the past couple of years, is a lot of people leaving the forum.  Most of the time, we don't know why.  But among the reasons we have heard, the biggest complaint has been the political arguments, and the way that the ill temper from political argument seeps into the rest of the forum.  So it is our duty to address that problem.

Up at the top of this thread, check out the quote from DeltaEchoVictor.  We've been trying to deal with this problem for nine years.  But the past two years have definitely been the worst.

In general terms, there are two ways of interacting with other members on a forum: cooperative, or competitive.  Most people do both, at various times.  The cooperative interactions are usually beneficial to the forum community.  The competitive ones... well, up to a point.  Yes, it's great to get people to think, to question their own assumptions, etc.  But it takes some self-control to know when to shut up, especially once you get angry or frustrated.  This generally leads to the less-argumentative people dropping out, and the more-argumentative people escalating their arguments.  And this is where we usually hear comments of the "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" variety, and decrying any moderator actions as "turning the forum into a safe space".

You don't win an award by being the last person standing in a hot kitchen.  All you get is a nearly-empty forum with a handful of people yelling at each other.  That's not what the majority of forum members want, it's not what the mods/admins are willing to vounteer their time for, and it's not something that Jack should be paying for.

Stwood:
That's not what the majority of forum members want, it's not what the mods/admins are willing to vounteer their time for, and it's not something that Jack should be paying for.



Amen

Carl:
  I am most pleased to be back on subjects of preparation.

BillyS:
If I may, I'd like to ask that Tinfoil stay around.

I used to discuss and contribute a lot here and in other forums around the net. Over the past couple of years, however, as political discourse got more nasty and the stress of social media got to me, I did an interesting thing. Well, a couple of interesting things, actually.

First, I took Jack's and other mentor's advice and started my own business as well as working to develop certain talents into productive and fulfilling pursuits.

I started a podcast that released episode 81 of its weekly show.
The podcast led me to start an events/convention company that is currently planning its second Halloween/Horror con in Houston.
I started writing with serious aim to get published and paid and am working with different editors and publishing groups to make that happen.
I survived Harvey with stuff to spare and was able to help family, friends, and neighbors with the bounty I had in place because of what I've learned from the show and in the forums.
I've learned how to unfollow, hide, unfriend, and focus my social media experience across platforms to ensure that my time spent online is, if not profitable, at least entertaining, informative, or at least not anger or stress-inducing.

In short, I've been away from here because I'm racing that tick-tock of the clock to make things better for me and mine.

But just because I don't contribute or discuss as much as I used to doesn't mean that I'm not here. I use the forum at least twice a week to find information about one thing or another. Where in the past I might have posted a question, I now seach it first and find several places where it has already been discussed at length. I wonder if a lack of activity on the boards might also be attributed to the fact that a lot of stuff is already here and not because people are upset with things...

I've also learned that I don't have to respond to or even read stuff that gets my blood boiling. It's like a TV. If I don't like the show, I can change the channel.

That said, Tinfoil Hat Brigade has always been one of my favorite boards here. I love conspiracy and intrigue and the unique perspectives that the (mostly) even-minded people in this forum tend to bring to the discussion. I would hate to see it die because a minority of members can't just change the channel when they don't like the show.

I understand why you are doing what you're doing. I just wish people would/could moderate themselves instead of having to close boards.  :-\

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