Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)
User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:36 pm

Hi All,

I've decided to open a thread for a while for the purpose of discussing the recent decision to close Worldly Matters. This will not be a debate about that decision, per se, but a place where questions can be aired regarding it if there's any confusion.

User avatar
Carl G
Posts: 2659
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Carl G » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:51 pm

How come Kevin gets to reply in Worldly Matters an hour after the forum closed?
Good Citizen Carl

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:53 pm

I guess because he's a cheeky Admin (and possibly out of defiance at our not consulting him over the closure decision).

User avatar
Laird
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:22 am
Location: Tasmania
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Laird » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:57 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:I guess because he's a cheeky Admin (and possibly out of defiance at our not consulting him over the closure decision).
Yeah, I found that kind of interesting Dan. I just had a chat to Kev about half an hour ago after reading your announcement and he told me that it was news to him. Given that he's the major power behind this board it seems a bit disrespectful that you guys wouldn't at least tell him what you were planning on doing, if not actually consult with him.

User avatar
Dave Toast
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:22 pm

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dave Toast » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:01 pm

It's a bad idea. Complete freedom of speech is a laudable ideal but humans tend to abuse laudable ideals. A few extra rules and a few bans accordingly would do the required and recognise the limitations of the interwebs.

User avatar
Carl G
Posts: 2659
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Carl G » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:04 pm

Dave Toast wrote:It's a bad idea. Complete freedom of speech is a laudable ideal but humans tend to abuse laudable ideals. A few extra rules and a few bans accordingly would do the required and recognise the limitations of the interwebs.
I agree. I think Kev needs to be reined in.
Good Citizen Carl

User avatar
Unidian
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Unidian » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:05 pm

It's a bad idea. Complete freedom of speech is a laudable ideal but humans tend to abuse laudable ideals. A few extra rules and a few bans accordingly would do the required and recognise the limitations of the interwebs.
Yeah, that's the way I see it. Laying the Louisville Slugger down on a few of the serial non-contributors probably would have done the trick. There are several people routinely polluting that forum with posts that add nothing in the eyes of any reasonable person, QRS-minded or not. I guess I'd have just ejected their asses and waited for the whole dynamic to improve on its own in their absence, but closing it might work as well.
I live in a tub.

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:09 pm

Laird wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:I guess because he's a cheeky Admin (and possibly out of defiance at our not consulting him over the closure decision).
Yeah, I found that kind of interesting Dan. I just had a chat to Kev about half an hour ago after reading your announcement and he told me that it was news to him. Given that he's the major power behind this board it seems a bit disrespectful that you guys wouldn't at least tell him what you were planning on doing, if not actually consult with him.
If you knew QSR history you'd know we don't concern ourselves with that sort of thing. We take unilateral or in this case bilateral action without consultation quite often.

User avatar
Nick
Posts: 1677
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:39 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Nick » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:10 pm

For what it's worth, I support the decision. I'd even support shutting down Genius for a little while. It could help deter some of the posters who are not here for the forum's intended purpose from returning after it is re-opened. But I guess we can just see how this goes for now.

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:17 pm

Dave Toast wrote:It's a bad idea. Complete freedom of speech is a laudable ideal but humans tend to abuse laudable ideals. A few extra rules and a few bans accordingly would do the required and recognise the limitations of the interwebs.
That's an option, but on what basis would anyone be banned? No bannable offenses have been committed. We're simply striving to get back some focus and quality of discussion to the place which David and I agree has been significantly lost over the last few months. Frankly, if you can't keep your posting relevant to the actual purpose of the board, why post here at all? We simply want to try and redirect the energy back to what this place is about as much as possible.

The Buddha relented and allowed women into the Sangha - and look what happened!

User avatar
David Quinn
Posts: 5559
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 6:56 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by David Quinn » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:18 pm

Laird wrote:
I just had a chat to Kev about half an hour ago after reading your announcement and he told me that it was news to him. Given that he's the major power behind this board it seems a bit disrespectful that you guys wouldn't at least tell him what you were planning on doing, if not actually consult with him.
That's generally how we do things on the forum. One of us will have an idea and simply enact it without consulting the other two. Having said that, Dan did consult me about shutting down Worldly Matters and I gave him my support.

Personally, I'm in favour in shutting down the entire forum for six months or more. The quality of the forum has deteriorated so markedly in recent months that I no longer think it serves the purpose for which it was created. In truth, it has barely become distinguishable from a ladies' salon. Mediocrity and gossip has taken over, and nearly everything of value has vanished. This is why I haven't been inclined to participate over the past couple of months.

(A nod to the few of you who have tried to keep the flame alive.)

For many people, Genius Forum has become an unhealthy attachment, particularly in a negative, parasitic sense. It will probably do us all some good to have a complete break from it.

-

User avatar
Unidian
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Unidian » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:20 pm

That's an option, but on what basis would anyone be banned?
If you feel you can legitimately lock down an entire forum without warning, I don't think you'd necessarily need to painstakingly justify every ban. The basis for such bannings would be precisely the same as the basis for the lockdown - it's your board and you want it the way you want it.
I live in a tub.

User avatar
Carl G
Posts: 2659
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Carl G » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:28 pm

David Quinn wrote:Dan did consult me about shutting down Worldly Matters and I gave him my support.

Personally, I'm in favour in shutting down the entire forum for six months or more. The quality of the forum has deteriorated so markedly in recent months that I no longer think it serves the purpose for which it is created. In truth, it has barely become distinguishable from a ladies' salon. Mediocrity and gossip has taken over, and nearly everything of value has vanished. This is why I haven't been inclined to participate over the past couple of months.

(A nod to the few of you who have tried to keep the flame alive.)

For many people, Genius Forum has become an unhealthy attachment, particularly in a negative, parasitic sense. It will probably do us all some good to have a complete break from it.

-
To extend the parasite analogy, what you are proposing is shutting down the corpus, the body, in order to deny it to the parasites, instead of removing the parasites (via bannings). What I sense behind it is frustration, tiredness, or both, on the part of the doctors (the administrators). I question whether it is good medicine you are proposing. Still it is your patient, and your patience, and so I respect your decisions.
Good Citizen Carl

User avatar
Unidian
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Unidian » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:31 pm

Carl, your leech-craft would have Theoden King crawling on all fours!

Nah, just playing. I always wanted to tell someone that. Basically I agree with you.
I live in a tub.

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:33 pm

Nat wrote:If you feel you can legitimately lock down an entire forum without warning, I don't think you'd necessarily need to painstakingly justify every ban. The basis for such bannings would be precisely the same as the basis for the lockdown - it's your board and you want it the way you want it.
Well, we've effectively put an indefinite ban on what we'd consider distracting discussion. That at least allows people to continue to engage the real purpose of the board. Individual bans, whatever the reason, would deny that to people. This way they can make a choice for themselves.

User avatar
Unidian
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Unidian » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:42 pm

Or, alternatively, it will allow the same vacuous people to continue screwing up the board, except that they will be forced to do so in the section that was supposed to be the least screwed-up.

Just saying...
I live in a tub.

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:44 pm

That won't be allowed to happen which is why I was fairly explicit in mentioning "quality control".

User avatar
Dave Toast
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:22 pm

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dave Toast » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:03 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:
Dave Toast wrote:It's a bad idea. Complete freedom of speech is a laudable ideal but humans tend to abuse laudable ideals. A few extra rules and a few bans accordingly would do the required and recognise the limitations of the interwebs.
That's an option, but on what basis would anyone be banned? No bannable offenses have been committed.
It wouldn't be easy no but it would be doable surely. It would require more thought but some simple rules and a totting system for breaking them, in conjunction with the likes of threshold warnings and periodic armistices would be something like it.
We're simply striving to get back some focus and quality of discussion to the place which David and I agree has been significantly lost over the last few months.
Dan, the quality and focus of this board has ALWAYS relied on the ongoing contribution of the admins. It's not a chicken/egg thing.
Frankly, if you can't keep your posting relevant to the actual purpose of the board, why post here at all?
You have to wonder eh.
We simply want to try and redirect the energy back to what this place is about as much as possible.
So do that in the way you are best capable.
The Buddha relented and allowed women into the Sangha - and look what happened!
The place got its first ever clean?

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:16 pm

Dave Toast wrote:
Dan wrote:We're simply striving to get back some focus and quality of discussion to the place which David and I agree has been significantly lost over the last few months.
Dan, the quality and focus of this board has ALWAYS relied on the ongoing contribution of the admins. It's not a chicken/egg thing.
If true, that's kinda sad, don't you think? But again, if true, it basically means that if we wish to simultaneously work on other endeavors, we may as well close GF down in the interim.

User avatar
Elizabeth Isabelle
Posts: 3769
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:35 am

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:31 pm

It was proposed earlier that the forum name "Worldly Matters" should be changed because it didn't really reflect the intended purpose of the forum (better than "The Brothel" but still not quite right).

Perhaps instead of just locking the forum, the title could be changed to "Unworthy Threads" and locked individually. The benefit of locking them individually instead of en masse would be that people could still put the occasional non-genius item in there that is still of interest to the board. It would then be understood that everything in that forum would be locked soon anyway (kind of like Abandoned Lands) All the locked threads from all the forums could be put there as examples of what you do not want on your board. Maybe you could sort out Archives into worthy and unworthy threads as well, and get rid of that forum.

Requests to have individual threads promoted to GF would then be handled on an individual basis by pm to admin.

I see what you are saying about breaking the addiction to posting the kinds of things indistinguishable from other boards - so keeping the whole forum locked while each individual thread is locked would probably help. That could take awhile, even if you enlisted volunteers.

User avatar
Elizabeth Isabelle
Posts: 3769
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:35 am

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:47 pm

Perhaps also you would want to start a locked thread of inappropriate posts so as to not kill an entire thread when one person posts something airheaded on a good thread. Just move the airheaded post (and the inevitable 3-7 airheaded responses) to the inappropriate posts thread.

Hopefully that would not have to be done for very long before people got the hang of what you want here and what you don't.

If it's moved rather than deleted, this place shouldn't get too Castro-esque.

Maybe also leave open one "complaints to admin" thread, perhaps in "Introduction and Explanation" - which would also serve as an instructional on why something is being deemed to banal or whatever for GF.

edit to add - maybe requests for threads to be unlocked could be put there as well rather than pm'd

User avatar
Dan Rowden
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 8:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dan Rowden » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:12 pm

I appreciate the effort there but none of those sorts of ideas will be instituted (if for no other reason that I have no intention of increasing admin workload). This isn't complicated. Worldly Matters will be closed till such time as we decide that an effective conceptual revamp might be useful or that it's a failed idea. The main forum really is Genius. My own thinking is that I want to restrict focus to that for a while and see if we can not only raise the discussional bar a bit but also sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of those who actually care about the purpose of this place. We basically instituted the secondary forum because too many people were posting threads that simply didn't have any direct relevance to serious philosophical and spiritual endeavor. For the immediate future I'll be strongly discouraging that.

Of course, most issues have deeper significance and consequence. All one needs to do is find it.

User avatar
Dave Toast
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:22 pm

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Dave Toast » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:00 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:
Dave Toast wrote:
Dan wrote:We're simply striving to get back some focus and quality of discussion to the place which David and I agree has been significantly lost over the last few months.
Dan, the quality and focus of this board has ALWAYS relied on the ongoing contribution of the admins. It's not a chicken/egg thing.
If true, that's kinda sad, don't you think?
There are a number of ways of thinking about that question mate, not just the one you're implying.
But again, if true, it basically means that if we wish to simultaneously work on other endeavors, we may as well close GF down in the interim.
Not really, that's an easily surmountable obstacle.

What it was supposed to mean was that the clientele has always had more then its fair share of dodginess and more then its fair share of earnestness too but the quality and focus of the board depends on the quality and focus of that clientele. And the admins, when taking part, effect that equation accordingly.
(if for no other reason that I have no intention of increasing admin workload)
My suggestion was made specifically with low maintenance in mind.

User avatar
Diebert van Rhijn
Posts: 6030
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:58 am

David Quinn wrote: Personally, I'm in favour in shutting down the entire forum for six months or more. The quality of the forum has deteriorated so markedly in recent months that I no longer think it serves the purpose for which it was created.
I agree, although I don't think it's just recent months. It's just getting more noticeable now.

Each forum, no matter how lofty its ideals, has an expiry date. If not completely hauled over or refreshed it will only downgrade over time. It's the same with boats, the longer you're at sea with them all kinds of things get attached to the hull and it's impossible to clean properly as you go. It's actually refreshing to see people actually realizing it here before rigor mortis would have set in completely.

There's also the factor of individual people, especially moderators, who can also get bored of a forum after being so close to it for so many years. It's not only the forum that needs a holiday, perhaps it's also the core members, those who are starting to feel weary. It's some psychological cycle that needs reboot as well.
For many people, Genius Forum has become an unhealthy attachment, particularly in a negative, parasitic sense. It will probably do us all some good to have a complete break from it.
It always has acted as a magnet to such people but indeed more and more talented people seem to get bogged down, mistakingly taking the forum as some social outlet, ego document or writing exercise. It's an amazing sight to behold, seeing people opposed to 90% of the main trust there latch on and become prolific posters and not just for debating the issues they disagree with. It's like signing up to a fan site about the Beatles just to remark constantly how awful their music is but then stay for the 'interesting' people or the entertainment it gives.

Agreement has never been a requirement here of course but one has to question the motives of people who made a nest here while not being interested at all in the main elements that distinguish this forum from any run-of-the-mill enlightenment discussion. Caught between boring mainstream and scary radical?

In my view the best thing for this forum seems closure for now or at least a thorough re-orientation of format and method. Any other course will lead to getting more bogged down - it's inherent to the message board phenomenon really as seen before in my observations over the years.

User avatar
DHodges
Posts: 1531
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:20 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Immediate Future of Genius Forum

Post by DHodges » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:24 am

Worldly Matters tended to be more political.

Was the feeling that the political debate, in particular, was distracting from philosophical concerns? I ask because, if that is part of the concern, then I will keep from starting political discussions in this Forum.

Are there other topics that tend to be distracting? I know I kind of groaned when the Quantum Mechanics/Causality thing came up recently. "Oh no, not again!"

Locked