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Old 11-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #526
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i think it's become more and more difficult to defend "conservative" positions in here due in part to FYM regular numbers (being a U2 site, there are going to be lots of left leaning folks who care about social justice) and in part to the difficulty of holding those positions, and that's one reason for the exodus.

another reason is Facebook, a third reason is U2's relative lack of output. why come to Interference to begin with?

if you go back and look through old threads, especially on something like same-sex marriage, it's incredible to watch the same arguments play out form 2004 on, and with more and more in support with each passing year. arguments can be won, and if you've lost, why would you stick around? it's easy to try to shut down discussion by saying, "don't call me a bigot!" cries of, "don't call me a racist!" or, "don't call me a sexist!" or, "don't play the race/gender card!" shut down discussion before it can even begin because it turns an argument into an insult, and assumes that the examination of racism is worse than actual racism itself. when the arguments aren't there to be made, we see a lot of retreating into these various defensive postures, and it's an uncomfortable place to be unless one really enjoys the fight. which some do. and that's great, i'd like more of it.

but on the whole, i think the biggest thing are the reasons for the decline of FYM are the reasons mentioned earlier -- lower overall participation because of Facebook and less U2 -- as well as the fact that, despite our polarized politics, things really have gotten better since the post-9/11 era. we don't have thousands of people dying in the desert any more. we don't have government administration officials talking about mushroom clouds. we don't torture any more. the religious right no longer vetoes SCOTUS nominees. now, we argue over whether or not poor people should have access to health insurance. the stakes are simply lower than they were in 2003/4. and what is the greatest source of tension -- the economy -- most people don't understand well enough to argue with any sort of authority.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:58 PM   #527
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One the broader topic:

When I originally joined Interference, it was a place where people with a great love of U2 could chat about a variety of topics including politics, religion, television, food, etc. The common bond of U2 brought together a very diverse collection of people from across the globe. We even had gift exchanges. And FYM was far more active. Threads use to address narrow issues which helped in keeping everyone on topic and sincere in the discussion.
I actually agree with Irvine that things have changed a lot since 2004. The issues that mattered then don't matter so much now.

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Things changed over time. Religious conversations in the Goal Is Soul were eventually moved to FYM (the fairly calm theological discussion among Christians were now frequently subject to harsh secular scrutiny).
I think that happened before 2004, maybe in 2003. I think it was fair. The su-forum turned into an exclusive place for Christians discussing Christian topics. Sure, non-Christians popped in now and then, but it had a huge exclusive tone to it. I mean, if there were a sub-forum here where all the Jews, Muslims, atheists, or Wiccans, etc., gathered to talk about their faith, I'd feel uneasy. So I think what happened to Goal is Soul made sense and was justified. And I call myself a Christian.


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Politics became more partisan, to the point that nearly identical fact patterns could result in wildly different conclusions simply based on party affiliation.

Today, I find many thread to be little more than a shout down of opposing views, where slapping labels of racism, sexism, lack of compassion, etc. on the non-conforming member takes the replace of thoughtful debate.
Check your PM box.

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I had the great pleasure of meeting Dreadsox (another old school Interference member and significant FYM contributor) for the first time a couple months back (how we ran into each other was nothing short of amazing). I asked him why he was no longer active in this forum (we often disagreed on subjects, but could gain a much better understanding of each other, our positions and our rational through our discussions). He simply said the debate was gone.

I have to agree with him. I miss the family we once had.
Yeah, I miss it in some way. But things change. Times change. Nothing stays the same for nearly 10 years. That doesn't mean you have to be harsh and play the victim.

Also, if I remember correctly, Dreadsox once popped in to say he said what he needed to say, or something like that. Whether that is true or not, I feel he made sense. Sometimes after you've made your point, there's no need to make it ad infinitum.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:09 AM   #528
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Another point I want to make about the problems with FYM is the moderation. Now, Diemen and KhanadaRhodes do a great job already, but they are the only ones handling this forum. FYM needs more mods to keep us in line. I remember Pax did a lot back in the day, but she was not the only one here.

I think Interference needs to get new moderators and remove most of the names on the moderator list. Most of them - sulawesigirl4, yolland, bonosloveslave, etc. - have not been around for years. Why are they still listed as mods then?

Guess Interference itself needs a makeover.

Mods - I know what I said should be addressed in a PM, but I just wanted to make a point that probably others are thinking.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #529
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Another point I want to make about the problems with FYM is the moderation. Now, Diemen and KhanadaRhodes do a great job already, but they are the only ones handling this forum. FYM needs more mods to keep us in line. I remember Pax did a lot back in the day, but she was not the only one here. I think Interference needs to get new moderators and remove most of the names on the moderator list. Most of them - sulawesigirl4, yolland, bonosloveslave, etc. - have not been around for years. Why are they still listed as mods then? Guess Interference itself needs a makeover.
I personally would welcome a makeover - an update to the latest vBulletin or Invision Power Board, a new skin, a new main page, and a pruned leadership team (in other words, Diemen, KhanadaRhodes, Sicy, and anyone else who is active, plus maybe a couple of new mods if deemed necessary). I'm not totally sure what the current state of Interference's ownership is, though (as in, how involved the post-Elvis owners are in day-to-day operations).
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #530
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we should all go on a hunger strike

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Old 11-23-2013, 02:31 AM   #531
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we should all go on a hunger strike

LOL - is that Bobby Sands?
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #532
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FYM needs more mods to keep us in line.
Really? I mean, it's clear people are going to piss and bicker at each other regardless, but having more people around to shake a scolding finger and say "cut that out" isn't going to help anything.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #533
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Really? I mean, it's clear people are going to piss and bicker at each other regardless, but having more people around to shake a scolding finger and say "cut that out" isn't going to help anything.
Well yeah, but I was thinking to the pre-Obama days when there wasn't so much bickering and tension like now. But that's mainly because times have changed and the issues are different today. So I don't know if having more mods will help or not. Maybe it will, who knows?

But I really don't see the point in naming certain members who haven't been active in years as moderators here or anywhere on Interference.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #534
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Had you stated "only 7% want Obamacare to stay without any changes," we wouldn't be having this discussion, but omitting those 3 words entirely change the meaning of that statistic, and yes, it does makes your statement wildly inaccurate. To suggest that your omission doesn't change the meaning is patently false.



From the President's point of view, what was there to negotiate on? What were the Republicans bringing to the table? Their entire negotiating tactic was "do what we say and we avoid a shutdown." That was it. That's not a negotiation, that's extortion.
Strawman again.

For the shutdown, I'll assume you read and analyzed every GOP proposal and found all to be extortion. Perhaps not.

Even a proposal for a one year delay in the individual mandate (as such was given to the business mandate by executive fiat) was rejected wholesale.

You can't refuse to come to the table and then accuse the other side of extortion.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:14 PM   #535
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Strawman again. For the shutdown, I'll assume you read and analyzed every GOP proposal and found all to be extortion. Perhaps not. Even a proposal for a one year delay in the individual mandate (as such was given to the business mandate by executive fiat) was rejected wholesale. You can't refuse to come to the table and then accuse the other side of extortion.
What table?
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #536
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Delaying the individual mandate would have given the administration time to get a working website and perhaps address the fallout from all the policy cancellations. As they say, Pride comes before the Fall and Obama's insistence that the individual mandate go forward on October 1 has led directly to the dismal view of Obamacare today.
I actually agree with this.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:41 PM   #537
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... has led directly to the dismal view of Obamacare today.
... and astoundingly high approval for the Affordable Care Act!

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Old 11-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #538
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i think it's become more and more difficult to defend "conservative" positions in here due in part to FYM regular numbers (being a U2 site, there are going to be lots of left leaning folks who care about social justice) and in part to the difficulty of holding those positions, and that's one reason for the exodus.
Just curious, Irvine. Have you ever changed your mind on a political position? Especially a hot button item like abortion, gay marriage, war, education....something like that?

I went away from the forum for several reasons (military service, work related travel, constant antagonism toward anything that even hinted "conservative") - but since returning I've more or less enjoyed the "vibe" here. We had some heated discussions about the Zimmerman trial, but I saw a lot give and take on the surrounding issues of the case.

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another reason is Facebook, a third reason is U2's relative lack of output. why come to Interference to begin with?
Facebook is not a great place for political discussions - in my experience.

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if you go back and look through old threads, especially on something like same-sex marriage, it's incredible to watch the same arguments play out form 2004 on, and with more and more in support with each passing year. arguments can be won, and if you've lost, why would you stick around?
Irvine - I'm not sure that most people see these discussions as a "win/lose" as much as a chance to share/learn/understand. Have you ever lost a debate here? Are you undefeated? Is every "liberal" stance an automatic win?


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it's easy to try to shut down discussion by saying, "don't call me a bigot!" cries of, "don't call me a racist!" or, "don't call me a sexist!" or, "don't play the race/gender card!" shut down discussion before it can even begin because it turns an argument into an insult, and assumes that the examination of racism is worse than actual racism itself. when the arguments aren't there to be made, we see a lot of retreating into these various defensive postures, and it's an uncomfortable place to be unless one really enjoys the fight. which some do. and that's great, i'd like more of it.
To solve this, perhaps it's better to not call someone a name to begin with, and try to see where they are coming from.
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #539
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Just curious, Irvine. Have you ever changed your mind on a political position? Especially a hot button item like abortion, gay marriage, war, education....something like that?

I went away from the forum for several reasons (military service, work related travel, constant antagonism toward anything that even hinted "conservative") - but since returning I've more or less enjoyed the "vibe" here. We had some heated discussions about the Zimmerman trial, but I saw a lot give and take on the surrounding issues of the case.

Facebook is not a great place for political discussions - in my experience.

Irvine - I'm not sure that most people see these discussions as a "win/lose" as much as a chance to share/learn/understand. Have you ever lost a debate here? Are you undefeated? Is every "liberal" stance an automatic win?


To solve this, perhaps it's better to not call someone a name to begin with, and try to see where they are coming from.
I know this is directed at Irvine, but I'd like to address a couple of things here:

1. I have changed my political opinions, quite a few of them. Growing up my parents called me Alex P. Keaton, let's just put it that way. I didn't really begin identifying myself as a liberal until around 2008, for a number of reasons.

I credit my former status as a conservative as being youthful naivety. I would have voted for George W. Bush in 2004; I was also 13 years old.

2. I don't think every issue is right/wrong, but there are some. Like same-sex marriage. You're right or you're wrong. You're for legalizing it (right) or you're against legalizing it (wrong). Issues like that don't have two legitimate arguments, quite honestly, and the longer we pretend that they do, the more damage we do.

3. Name-calling is calling someone an asshole or an idiot. Identifying a bigot as a bigot is not name-calling, and there's an important distinction that has to be made there. If you think identifying someone as a bigot is name-calling, you're devaluing the impact of bigotry by making it seemingly less offensive than the perceived impoliteness of calling someone a bigot. You're also putting it on the same level as someone swearing out of frustration, when it's usually a much more considered approach that leads one to identify someone as a bigot.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #540
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Just curious, Irvine. Have you ever changed your mind on a political position? Especially a hot button item like abortion, gay marriage, war, education....something like that?
my political beliefs have been pretty consistent since i was 17 or 18 years old, the main difference is that i keep them to myself pretty much everywhere but in here. i find that it's really unproductive to have political discussions in real life, either because people get really heated and angry with each other, or, in order to be nice, they find fake points of agreement for the sake of harmony. in many ways, i think this is one of the best things about the internet -- you have to really write to defend yourself in a forum, and you have to cite your sources, etc.

what's changed is that i think i'm much less idealistic than i used to be, and i think i see the downsides to my "positions" more than in the past, but i can't think of a major hot button issue that i've changed my mind on. however, i do think i say more, "yes, but ..." than i might have in the past. so, for example, while i might say that the ACA can and will likely work, i don't think it's the best solution to the health care crisis, but i do think it's the best one that's possible. does that make sense?






Quote:
I went away from the forum for several reasons (military service, work related travel, constant antagonism toward anything that even hinted "conservative") - but since returning I've more or less enjoyed the "vibe" here. We had some heated discussions about the Zimmerman trial, but I saw a lot give and take on the surrounding issues of the case.

i'm glad you're back. i really am.


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Facebook is not a great place for political discussions - in my experience.
i couldn't agree more. my FB page is almost devoid of politics, and it's very, very rare that i get political on someone else's page. it's happened, and i almost always regret it. i've even been unfriended, but that was someone worth losing.



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Irvine - I'm not sure that most people see these discussions as a "win/lose" as much as a chance to share/learn/understand. Have you ever lost a debate here? Are you undefeated? Is every "liberal" stance an automatic win?
i think you make a good point. i don't think we're well served when we try to "win." i know i'm guilty of this, but i can''t help it sometimes, and it often depends on the topic. so when it feels like life or death, or if a comment feels particularly offensive, or often (and especially) when there's little time, the HULK SMASH comes out. though i think there's ample evidence that i can and do engage in much, much more than that. but on some topics, there is very little grey area for me.

yes, i feel like we've "won" on SSM. i feel as if we've "won" on the Iraq War. i think we've "won" when it comes to torture.

have i "lost"? well, that plays back into the narrative we'd probably all do best to avoid. i really can't say, i know i've admitted being wrong about certain things, but specifics are hard to come by. i'm sure there are posters who think i'm always wrong -- you could ask them.

i will also say that i think there are posters, many now gone, who were much more effective at advocating their positions that i've ever been or will ever be. i think yolland, A_W, melon, sean, and anitram are as good as the forum gets, and i think they all do a better job than i do.


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To solve this, perhaps it's better to not call someone a name to begin with, and try to see where they are coming from.
i don't agree. to say, "there's racism in that statement" is different than saying, "you're a racist," and for someone to respond with, "don't call me a racist" is a way of avoiding the uncomfortable but very real truth that race, class, and gender all play their part in everyday life. one doesn't need to use the n-word to make a racist comment, and because one makes a racist comment doesn't mean that one is a racist. it's not only racists who sometimes say racist things.
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