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Made in ca
[DCM]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Hey guys,

If you've been following the thread in Nuts & Bolts (here) you know I'm considering starting up a political discussion space. Being a fairly non-computer-techy person, this means I'm probably going to be using a paid forum software - which isn't necessarily that cheap!

So, I'd love to get your input and ideas on how you'd most like to see the space set up structurally. Things I'm wondering are:

1. What's a good name? One I'm considering is "ETC" (Etcetera or Everything That Counts)

2. What subsections would you like to see? I assume there would not be more than a handful to start. Such as:

-------------A. Economics, Trade and International Relations
-------------B. Education, Technology and Exploration
-------------C. Elections, Democratic Institutions and Society
-------------D. Everything Else

Going with an "E" theme. Don't throw fruit...

3. What features would you like? If I pay for "the good stuff", there would be solid mobile access, which seems like a must. Are there others you'd be looking for?

The one thing I'd ask is, if possible, try to give constructive suggestions in here. We've got the "how to moderate the space" discussion going on at the link above already, and honestly that will likely evolve a bit depending on how things go. If it's a trainwreck, it might end up being a waste of time and money. But if it's awesome, it'd really be nice to be able to have some important discussions with the international group we've got here. So, basically, meeting "swear jar" rules for this thread, if you're willing - you can say something mean, but then you've got to put a dollar in a jar somewhere

Thanks for any input on this endeavor! Also, given some of the discussion in the thread linked to above, I think I'd likely step down as a mod here when launching this, just to avoid any idea / sense that the two places truly are connected - when they would not be at all, this is completely my idea and would be run by me. Again, thanks for any help on the logistics and ideas (anything I'm missing would be welcome, as well!).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/04 13:06:45


 
   
Made in us
Potent Grey Knight Librarian





Fort Worth, TX

It may not even be necessary to have different subsections. Would there really be that many separate discussions going on at once? Even the Dakka politics era pretty much contained everything within a few big threads, with minor threads that popped up from time to time based on current events. The talked about stuff will remain at the top, and the dead topics will slowly drift down.

"Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see.
One chants out between two worlds: Fire, walk with me."
- Twin Peaks
"You listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method... is love. I love you Sheriff Truman." - Twin Peaks 
   
Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife






1. Name doesn't matter to me.
2. These all seem fine, it might also be a good idea to have a section for non-us politics, assuming USPOL is the focus.
3. I've already said my bit on moderation. You cannot have a successful political forum if you maintain dakkadakka's moderation policy. You have seen first hand how it failed horribly here. The hypothetical mod team needs to be able to recognize and deal with bad faith effectively. In a political forum, this is not optional.

DQ:90S++G++M----B--I+Pw40k07+D+++A+++/areWD-R+DM+


bittersashes wrote:One guy down at my gaming club swore he saw an objective flag take out a full unit of Bane Thralls.
 
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Wolfblade, regarding number 3 see my post in the N&B thread (let's try to keep this one about structure, if possible). I certainly am open to updating my back-of-the-napkin initial ruleset which perhaps was a bit too idealistic. Crucially, if people are willing to entertain other views and arguments, but only push back about the way they are being made (i.e. disingenuously) that to me is something I'd be open to moderating. I want to have a healthy discussion space, obviously, and will be thinking a heck of a lot about that between now and then. Again, if anyone wants to weigh in on that more please do so over here (link to N&B thread where that discussion is ongoing).

Regarding your number 2 item (non-US politics) that is a great point! US politics tends to dominate the discussion even though, with Dakka's posters at least, there are quite a lot of non-US posters participating. But I'd be worried that if there were a section designated for non-US, then the rest would become default US which I wouldn't want?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/12 03:13:44


 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

 Tannhauser42 wrote:
It may not even be necessary to have different subsections. Would there really be that many separate discussions going on at once? Even the Dakka politics era pretty much contained everything within a few big threads, with minor threads that popped up from time to time based on current events. The talked about stuff will remain at the top, and the dead topics will slowly drift down.


More threads would make firewalls between subjects, so that a discussion about Covid spiraling out of control won’t obliterate discussion of minimum wage. Different subsections might provide a sort of additional speed bump between, say, social issues threads and economic issues threads. I don’t know if that would really make much of a difference, but then it might?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 03:23:33


   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






Off the top of my head:

-Psychology, Moral Philosophy, Religion, and Identity (Just who are people and what do they believe anyway)
-Governance and Civics (include education, elections)
-Inustry, Agriculture, and Logistics (what we produce and how we move it)
-Economy (all things trade, value, currency)
-Science and Technology
-Arts and Entertainment
-Diplomacy and Legal Matters (Civic to international)
-Armed Conflict (When all else fails, street crime to global wars)

And of course: General Discussion. This one might actually be the main one, and people can start threads in the lower ones to pick apart the specific slices of general broad ranging topics.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/12 03:23:34


 
   
Made in us
Courageous Space Marine Captain





SoCal

It might help to have threads just for memes or lighter material, perhaps separated by party to avoid a lot of in-thread pushback.

—political cartoons and memes (blue)
—political cartoons and memes (red)

?

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
It might help to have threads just for memes or lighter material, perhaps separated by party to avoid a lot of in-thread pushback.

—political cartoons and memes (blue)
—political cartoons and memes (red)

?

There's more factions than red and blue though. So that's another important point though. It is challenging to run a forum with all perspectives running wild, yet it can easily become an echo chamber.


Perhaps a forum for "Factions" with sub forums with major classes of political philosophy groupings:
-Marxism & Anarchism (lenninism, stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Syndicalism, etc...
-Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism
-Welfare Liberalism and Mercantilism
-Monarchism and Theocracy

   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

Honestly, I wouldn't bother spreading yourself out. It's just making work for yourself that comes to nothing.

A lot of what you'll need in terms of categories will come down to participation and frequency. Less is more. Start with a general board, let it run for a bit, and then start branching off into sub-boards as the traffic comes in and gives you an idea what you need. You won't need an Education section if there's only ever an education topic once in a blue moon.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/12/12 03:43:41


   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

RegularGuy - Holy cow . I hope you'll participate, as I'm not even sure I know what some of those descriptors are... and it sounds like you do!

Obviously, it might be appropriate to have no sections at all, and I don't want to have too many for sure - with the different options, I may be able to get a "tagging" system instead of having different sections. Takes away the "firewall" aspect, though

Bob, I thought about memes, but I personally really dislike them... don't have the best funny bone I guess. If they weren't given a space they might end up everywhere, though, so maybe they'd at least need a thread... I just never did get political cartoons. I mean, I "get" them, but didn't get into them, I guess.

LordofHats, yeah it would suck to have an empty section in there (but I added Exploration to it! Elon Musk and Mars, right?) so in that case a tagging system would definitely be better. Looking into the options...
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






Feel free to PM me as you please. If you haven't had a chance to check out Jeremy Shearmur's "Ideas in Politics" 24 part series, it's a great survey of some of the main ideologies that are driving policy, discussion, and issues today.

Also: Definately include a Thunderdome subforum where topics are occasionaly posed by the mods and different people get X hours or days to argue it out.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/12/12 03:55:49


 
   
Made in us
Storm Guard



SpaceCoast

I largely agree with LOH about having too many sections but I do think whatever you come up with as initial sections says something about what you want to be discussed there. I don't like the idea of separate faction forums but I like some of regular guys first set of suggestions and you should think about where those items would fit in a smaller set. To stick with the E thing I'd add entertainment. Do you really want national economics policy which is deeply tied to elections in the same same section as international trade and relations (and where you'd prolly talk war)?

Just some food for thought
   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

 RegularGuy wrote:
Also: Definately include a Thunderdome subforum where topics are occasionaly posed by the mods and different people get X hours or days to argue it out.


That's actually a cool idea.

I do think whatever you come up with as initial sections says something about what you want to be discussed there.


That's fair. I think going as far as to name things 'Education' and 'Exploration' and such is maybe too specific.

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut






Jerram wrote:
...I don't like the idea of separate faction forums but I like some of regular guys first set of suggestions and you should think about where those items would fit in a smaller set. ...

Less than half of what I come up with is usually worth while so at least I'm batting above average tonight.


Oh, check out the NationStates game forums... you get an open forum where diverse people postulate any number of political / societal expressions. Kind of interesting. Maybe there's something in all that you might want to borrow.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 05:09:55


 
   
Made in ca
Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

A distinction between current events, historical (20 years or more?) events, and politics in fiction.

A very firm policy about not calling other posters members of real or fictitious political parties. An outright ban on the three letters S, J, and W, in that order.

An introduction page that includes the basics of a logical argument, common logical fallacies (to recognize and avoid).

Perhaps an Appendix page, with links to common terms and famous political viewpoints. I remember learning the ropes of logical argument, and having no idea what a straw man argument was, or “begging the question”, appeal to authority... having a reference for when someone calls you a scrub for Sir Brucing a Thread. I think it would help to build a common “culture” for the site.

That way someone that is an enthusiastic amateur doesn’t have to learn in a cage match. They can learn the ropes in an organic way, as needed. I think that would be a great help in retaining fresh meat for this grinder.

A section or tag for people wanting to learn about a topic, not discuss or argue it. #SearchingFor information regarding the difference between dogmatic and pragmatic approaches.. if you are able to arm and armour your fresh gladiators, I think you’ll have more valuable discussions and better user retention over time.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 05:51:19


 
   
Made in us
Wolf Guard Bodyguard in Terminator Armor




What about discussion about religion? It's the other big nono discussion currently, and can and does influence and inform political choices and outlook, so will occasionally come up.
   
Made in us
Storm Guard



SpaceCoast

I don't believe in banning words but maybe a sentence some where that says something like " If your best response to a discussion is to call your opponent a Social Justice Warrior, a Racist, etc, come up with a better argument"

I do like the distinction although I wonder if maybe something like current events, recent past<x years, history>x years and fiction would be better. I don't think 20 is long enough but I'm not sure what is.

Intro/appendix page overall great idea might be a good place for that sentence I wrote above as well as other suggestions tides comes up with to influence the culture. It would be a great place for him to include his intent for the site as he's typed in a few places on here already.

I think SFI is a neat idea but worry about the practicality of keeping it non argumentative unless its supposed to be very narrowly used.

Bran, I don't see how you don't allow religions discussions as it does and has influenced so much, or are you asking about having a specific section for it ?
   
Made in ca
[DCM]
Dankhold Troggoth






Shadeglass Maze

Greatbigtree - An introduction page laying out the ground rules and the goal of the discussion space (that somehow a user has to see before posting for the first time) is definitely something I want!

Bran - My intention with the draft title is that "everything that counts" towards an important discussion would be fair game, and that definitely includes religion. While I'm not personally eager to hash things out in a deist vs. atheist thread, it's a very related part for discussing governments and policies, as well as (obviously) religious freedom. So yes, that would definitely be allowed!

Jerram - Yeah, the labels / pejoratives are something that might could be addressed in an introduction page. Obviously, I think those terms should be allowed, but if that's what you're throwing around in an argument the argument doesn't stay below boiling temperatures for long. And the appendix both you and greatbigtree mention laying out more about the culture we're trying to foster is also a really good idea. I have to think about present vs. past discussions... I was honestly leaning only towards present, and past things relating to present times. That might be something to be added later depending on demand?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 13:31:19


 
   
Made in us
Lord of the Fleet





Seneca Nation of Indians

I do think that threads should be given broad areas of interest. Not necessarily broken down by country, or political ideology, but maybe region?

It's one of the few things that I think actually worked sort of well in wasteland.

Further, and I think this will be really important, is support from Dakka. While we had it, Wasteland wasn't too bad, as Politics posters were sent our way. When we lost it, things began to deteriorate spectacularly, egged on by various problem posters.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 17:03:30



This sig was deemed too political for Dakka.
Meanwhile, GW's issuing anti fascist statements while
Dreamforge screams Stop the Steal.
 
   
Made in ca
Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

My point on banning pejoratives is that any such use is an attack on the person, not the value of an argument.

Calling someone a Nazi, or Communist, does nothing to prove one’s point. That’s simply an emotional outburst. It is also dismissive of a point, without addressing the value it may or may not have.

Such a rule is essentially our Rule #1 here, and if I’m honest if you want discussion and not just monkeys throwing feces at each other, it would become necessary on a forum to keep it clear of, “Just like your mother likes it, Trebek!” Responses.
   
Made in us
Storm Guard



SpaceCoast

I don't think we're that far apart and I agree completely with your second sentence.

However there's a difference between banning a word from usage(which you called for) and banning calling the person you're having a discussion with the same thing and secondly I prefer a different way to get to the a similar endstate.

Imagine I'm in a heated discussion on affirmative action and get called a racist by poster A. I'm much rather that instead of a mod coming in and saying you're on a timeout, other posters who agree with poster As position respond and say " That's not conducive to having a discussion and not what we do here." That's how you build a community.

Yeah I know I'm an idealist at times
   
Made in ca
Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

Oh, to clarify, I don’t mean to ban the words themselves.

I mean to prohibit their use in “describing” a fellow poster. Like, discussing the historical roots of fascism and communism, and how it relates to current political activities should be on the table.

But calling *someone* a Nazi or Libtard or whatever a given poster thinks is bad, that should be prohibited as part of the culture. It doesn’t address a totalitarian removal of rights, or address “forcing” someone to be decent to another person (partisanship is showing!).

That’s what, in my experience, kills real discussion of Politics. I think the merits of differing opinions and values is possible, even without necessarily respecting the opposing view. But one has to stick to the topic, not the personalities involved.
   
Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife






So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that at hand if someone was pointing out that a position someone else is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? but would that rule apply to the original motivations behind the subject such as the "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws which have their roots in racism and bigotry? I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 23:07:53


DQ:90S++G++M----B--I+Pw40k07+D+++A+++/areWD-R+DM+


bittersashes wrote:One guy down at my gaming club swore he saw an objective flag take out a full unit of Bane Thralls.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




North Carolina

 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
 
   
Made in gb
Thane of Dol Guldur





Bodt

The only rules should be to do with personal attacks and intentional logical fallacies. Everyone can tell what base name calling or insults looks like. They are unnecessary and unhelpful in any dialogue.
You could also have some limitations on encouraging/condoning violence, and libellous claims etc.

Everything else should be on the table.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.

Absolutely, I am a big fan of advocatus diablo (and the opposite advocatus sanctus)

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/12/12 22:57:18


Heresy World Eaters/Emperors Children

Instagram: nagrakali_love_songs 
   
Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife






Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.


I'm not saying that those are the reasons the poster is defending or taking the positions, but because if a group does end up discussing say, voter ID laws, racism has been proven a major motivation/factor behind said laws being implemented, and it'd be important to discuss that aspect of it too. I thought I was pretty clear on that and made the distinction between the two. I think you need to reread my post.

edit: I see where the confusion might be, updating the original post.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/12/12 23:04:52


DQ:90S++G++M----B--I+Pw40k07+D+++A+++/areWD-R+DM+


bittersashes wrote:One guy down at my gaming club swore he saw an objective flag take out a full unit of Bane Thralls.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




North Carolina

 Wolfblade wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Wolfblade wrote:
So, just to be clear, calling someone a nazi or communist is obviously prohibited (both civility and being an ad hominem, neither of which are good for actual discussion), but would that apply if someone was pointing out that a position someone is defending or taking is racist and/or has its roots in racism (or any other form of bigotry)? I.E. The "All Lives Matter" counter-movement or US Voter ID laws. I'm not saying that this should invalidate those posters taking the position so long as they aren't taking or defending it because of the bigotry, but when talking about either both would be important to mention and discuss.


I think you need to tread carefully when it comes to ascribing motivations to arguments. One can argue the merits and flaws of capitalism, communism, fascism, socialism, feminism etc without being an advocate for or against it or being an -ist of one or the other. A person can be cognizant of the flaws of something without being a _______ or being an adherent to any specific set of beliefs.


I'm not saying that those are the reasons the poster is defending or taking the positions, but because if a group does end up discussing say, voter ID laws, racism has been proven a major motivation/factor behind said laws being implemented, and it'd be important to discuss that aspect of it too. I thought I was pretty clear on that and made the distinction between the two. I think you need to reread my post.

edit: I see where the confusion might be, updating the original post.


I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
 
   
Made in us
Shas'ui with Bonding Knife






Prestor Jon wrote:

I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.


Yeah, sorry, I realized I might have worded it in a confusing way now. I'm absolutely not trying to say someone defending something rooted in bigotry is automatically a bigot. They may just be uninformed on the true nature of the subject because subjects like voter ID (for example) tried very hard to obscure what they were really doing obviously.

DQ:90S++G++M----B--I+Pw40k07+D+++A+++/areWD-R+DM+


bittersashes wrote:One guy down at my gaming club swore he saw an objective flag take out a full unit of Bane Thralls.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




North Carolina

 Wolfblade wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:

I agree with you on that. The history behind such policies absolutely needs to be fair game in a discussion and often history can be quite nasty and bigoted.


Yeah, sorry, I realized I might have worded it in a confusing way now. I'm absolutely not trying to say someone defending something rooted in bigotry is automatically a bigot. They may just be uninformed on the true nature of the subject because subjects like voter ID (for example) tried very hard to obscure what they were really doing obviously.


No worries. I think voter ID and voting laws in general are an excellent example. The pushback against early voting clearly has malicious motivations. I mean how can actively inhibiting peoples' ability to vote in a democracy not be nefarious? I honestly don't see how anyone could make a strong argument against early voting. We also have lousy election laws and it's not just a partisan issue. The special election for a congressional seat in NY had 20% of the absentee ballots thrown out because there's a litany of reasons that allow absentee ballots to be rejected. We also have 51 different elections run by 50 different states and DC. Very few, if any, of those states have robust and practical election laws, we're mostly still just using the honor system. There's a lot we can do to make voting easier, I firmly believe that high participation rates help keep a democracy healthy. While I don't believe that there is widespread voter fraud in the US I do believe that our antiquated systems and laws make the possibility of voter fraud far too easy. If we could get some kind of voter ID law that makes it easier to vote but also easier to attribute votes to each voter and record them making sure they count it would really improve elections here.

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
 
   
Made in ca
Junior Officer with Laspistol





London, Ontario

Describing the policies as racist is different to calling someone racist. That certain policies being advocated for or against are similar to the policies of former racist governments, that’s reasonable to point out. That is different to calling someone a member of those governments.

It is one of the differences in addressing the argument, or demonizing your opponent.
   
 
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