Too much politics?

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Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

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Should we limit political threads?

Poll ended at Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:45 pm

Yes
11
58%
No
5
26%
Maybe
3
16%
 
Total votes: 19

JoeStrout
Site Admin
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Too much politics?

Post by JoeStrout »

Is all the politics over on the General forum reducing people's enjoyment of or interest in Talk-Polywell?

It has been suggested that we should change our policies to limit or disallow political rantings (from either side, of course). On the other hand, I figure, as long as it's in General, you can easily avoid reading it if it's not of interest to you — I myself rarely bother to keep up with those threads.

So what do y'all think? Talk-polywell is a benevolent dictatorshp, so if the general consensus seems to be that we'd be better off without those topics, I'm willing to consider a policy change.

Thanks,
- Joe
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

Roger
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Post by Roger »

There is a difference between talking to and talking at. A lot of the former occurs in political threads. Extreme views with a lack of citations is another concern.

On a completely different tact. What do newbies see when they come here ? And does that reflect well on the community? Does that effect a potential member in their decision to register at talk-polywell? Links to talk-polywell are all over, we do not live in a vacuum, to a degree we live in a glass house, called talk-polywell.

If some members show a lack of restraint, I think it reflects on the community as a whole. It has again reached a point of embarrassment.

I Pm'ed Duane, we traded Pm's a bit and agreed a 1 week cooling off period would be good. Duane contacted Simon, Simon called for a cooling off period. Which lasted less than 36 hrs.

I feel that if members cannot restrain themselves and behave as adults, then at the least a change in enforcement of rules should occur. As a last resort change the rules.

There are appropriate websites for full out political discussion, I dont see talk-polywell filling that role.

It may be..... that just having the discussion, will provide for more self policing, I think thats the best first goal.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Maybe a new forum, "Politics and Religion allowed here," would be appropriate. OTOH politics and religion are fundamental to what we know and believe and we post what we believe, (believe at the moment) so every post we make (opinion orientated, not hard science which is often wrong but I wouldn't call it political) is influenced by politics and religion to more or less extent.

I guess that politics and religion should not be allowed as a thread topic. Any member who repeatedly subverts a thread topic to proselytize politics or religion should be warned and if the offense is continued on the same thread or repeated on a new thread, the proselytizing member should be banished. The length of time would be until the administrator gets around to re-instating said member. But to banish a member makes it easy to attack the whole bulletin board so that is not good. Such attacks could easily take the form of prioritization which could destroy the bulletin board.

I myself find those subversions offensive and I have been marking those threads as "read" so I don't have to put up with political ranting and raving. But I am missing any good information that may be posted there. So there, you political ranters and ravers, you are depriving me of my right to information, and others (Non-ravers) of their right to free speech by driving away their audience. That is what you are really accomplishing so take responsibility for it and look at your own belief systems very carefully. Is the deprivation of others of their right to free speech a part of your core belief system or is it an accidental off-shoot of the way that you practice your proselytizing? Neither one is generally acceptable.
Aero

Betruger
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Post by Betruger »

As said above, as long as it's kept in political threads and is constructive towards getting to the bottom of disagreements, it shouldn't be a problem for anyone.

Roger
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Post by Roger »

Aero & Betruger
Roger wrote: it reflects on the community as a whole
Does it reflects on the community as a whole ?

Do we live in glass house ?

Talk-polywell is now considered the clearinghouse for all things polywell. The cynosure, if you will. I think we should put our best foot forward.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

Helius
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Post by Helius »

Betruger wrote:As said above, as long as it's kept in political threads and is constructive towards getting to the bottom of disagreements, it shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
I agree. Don't anyone ever hijack an economic, technical, or social discussion to promote some political bent. That ticks most of us off, regardless of whether we agree or disagree, and makes us all look like squabbling political hacks. The last thing a republican or democrat congressman would want to see is a technical discussion degrade into some political squabble. We need to tone it down, but on a voluntary basis. There may, however, be some very pertinent discussion regarding some aspect of Polywell and politics. Lets try to keep those discussions non-partisan.

Lets use the "general" forum area for such discussions; Creating another forum would only call more attention to our political discussions, which would not be a good thing.

I think we can all agree, that we have a common set of objectives and the political hacking can only hurt. I think also though that trying to bar political discussion would hurt the cause also.

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Roger,
Just my opinion, but - YES - It does reflect on the community as a whole. Those who make political posts are painted as political hacks, with much less technological knowledge than their complete resume would warrant. The best way in the world to undercut your technical position is to post a political position. Those who disagree with you politically will ignore you technically if at all possible.

That's just my opinion, but we can't afford for me to be right if you guys are going to continue your politicking on this forum. Or, said another way, we can't afford for you guys to continue politicking on this forum, on the off chance that I may be right.

P.S. And by "you guys" I don't intend to single you out, Roger, I am referring to the group of members whose posts resulted in Joe's initiation of this thread and poll.
Aero

Roger
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Post by Roger »

Aero wrote:Roger,
Just my opinion, but - YES - It does reflect on the community as a whole.



I am referring to the group of members whose posts resulted in Joe's initiation of this thread and poll.
We agree, it does reflect on the community as a whole. Poorly? Yes I think so.

Actually there were some emails and pm's in that mix that resulted in Joe's initiation of this thread and poll. Behind the scenes work that goes back a year, at least to the GW thread.

THe Palin post is my first and only post of that kind. I tried to make a point with the Todd Palin post, previous partisian hack posts never got that response, maybe I misjudged the current environment here, maybe it is changing. For the good. I hope.

Maybe my efforts are paying off, after all we are having this conversation.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

tonybarry
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Post by tonybarry »

Aero wrote:Those who make political posts are painted as political hacks, with much less technological knowledge than their complete resume would warrant. The best way in the world to undercut your technical position is to post a political position. Those who disagree with you politically will ignore you technically if at all possible.
Aero makes a valid point here.

Talk-Polywell has a number of serious scientists and engineers who contribute. We can facilitate their contributions or dilute them.

My take is that the General Forum is the slush bucket, where non-polywell topics can be discussed. But even there, contributors need to recognise that what they write is read by others.

It's going to be hard to be valued in one thread if you produce hot air in another.

Regards,
Tony Barry

Solo
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Location: Wisconsin

Post by Solo »

I don't think it's to the point of banning the threads on politics, b/c as we have pointed out, that discussion is staying confined to the OT forum, and ppl seem to be self-policing it. I just hope A) we don't attract trolls B) newcomers don't get a bad impression, C) other threads don't get hijacked.
I think we'd have to change things if any of that started happening. However, we really have no way of knowing what lurkers think, so that's one thing we might just have to speculate about.

drmike
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Post by drmike »

I don't see any problem with opinion. I thin bad speech needs more speech to deal with it. But I also see that politics does not belong on the technical forums.

Drawing the line is the hard part. A one line joke may be ok, a full page post obviously isn't. Letting the moderators decide where the line is along with the whole group input makes for lively debate all around.

I don't see anything wrong with political comment in the general forum, or even the implications forum. Outside that, the moderators can use a heavy hand to ensure discussions follow the general trend of technical discussion rather than opinion.

But that's just an opinion :)

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Around election time it activates all the "change of alpha male" circuits in the monkeys. Ugly stuff that.

How about no politics until 1 Dec. When things have cooled and we can help determine the course of the next administration.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Helius
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Post by Helius »

MSimon wrote:Around election time it activates all the "change of alpha male" circuits in the monkeys. Ugly stuff that.

How about no politics until 1 Dec. When things have cooled and we can help determine the course of the next administration.
Excellent Idea. December 1st would be great ...unless the courts are involved this time around, then we'd need to extend that date perhaps.
What also may be good is a one shot thread, for a day or two where people could list their favorite political rant sites. I'd start it but I'm politically ambivalent, not believing *anyone* can see through the chaos and smoke.

Wittgenstein
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Politics moratorium

Post by Wittgenstein »

MSimon wrote:Around election time it activates all the "change of alpha male" circuits in the monkeys. Ugly stuff that.

How about no politics until 1 Dec. When things have cooled and we can help determine the course of the next administration.
I agree with this. I come here to read about fusion and related technology. To the extent that I as a lurker have a right to an opinion on what is discussed here I'd much rather not see politics encroach, except in cases where it directly relates to the topic at hand.

Wow, I never would have thought I'd agree with MSimon on anything related to poltiics ....

JoeStrout
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Post by JoeStrout »

OK, thanks for all your input.

I think a complete moratorium (even until Dec. 1) is a bit extreme. And even after Dec. 1, there are going to be a lot of bitter folks on one side or the other tempted to vent their frustrations. So instead, how about we all try to follow these rules when it comes to political statements:

1. Keep them in the General forum only.

2. Think twice. Is your statement really necessary? Is it related in some clear way to Polywell fusion? Is Talk-Polywell the best forum for it? Is it a new contribution rather than a repeat of something you've already said before? If the answers to all four are not "yes," then maybe you should just keep it to yourself.

3. If you do post, keep it factual, polite, and include references as much as possible. Educating readers is to some degree a useful function; ranting without any basis is not. And always keep in mind that we're all pulling in the same direction, and have the same general goals, even if we may disagree on some of the details of how to get there or who should be out in front.

Best,
- Joe
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

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