Convention: Ground Rules

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Tiassa, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Gather Together​

    To any and all who care,
    A gathering is hereby called
    To bring order to the
    SciForums Open Government
    Through the establishment of
    Certain ground rules
    Intended to preserve the utility and
    Augment the function of
    This most promising endeavor in
    Intellectual self-regulation.

    The initial Ban Wars which have thus far dominated the advent of the SciForums Open Government endeavor suggest strongly the hazards of investing the responsibilities of order in the governed.

    Upon what basis do we request action against other members? To a large degree at present, it is purely personal interpretations and determinations. The problem with anarchy insofar as there being a lack of rules is that it cannot run successfully on self-interest. Each member of the interaction must necessarily understand and consent to certain principles agreed upon as objective, else any anarchic human association will fail.

    This is, in the philosophical consideration, the undercurrent of the U.S. Constitution and its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation. Consent of the governed, a European seed germinated on the American continent, necessarily implies sacrifice of liberty.

    Consider the legendary battles of the Hatfields and McCoys. More recently, gun battles in the streets of Waco between rival factions of the Branch Davidian.° In theory, these disputes are illegal because, in the consent of the governed, people give over a presumed natural right that includes clan warfare in order to place their trust in a larger social cooperative endeavor. For most, killing one another over a hog, or spraying bullets at a rival preacher, is enough to make it illegal. Of course, this is all theoretic.

    For once, these generations present at Sciforums are presented an opportunity to actually consent to a system of participatory government, as opposed to being born into one.

    I propose that we seize this opportunity enthusiastically.

    And while people have indeed seized the opportunity enthusiastically, they have also done so truculently, without the trust that can lead toward an open system for the governed to consent to.

    So gather together, and let us see what we can find.

    A few broad issues we might consider:

    Ban votes: Without any rules to guide the process, the ban-voting process can amount to petty politics and popularity tests.

    Ban lifts: Without any rules to guide the process, those who ask Porfiry to lift a ban have no comparative basis upon which to build an argument, and thus are left alternately merely whining and cajoling.

    Trolls: For a word as oft-abused as terrorist, we might as well argue over our official Sciforums definition of a troll.

    Spam: In the end, this will probably be the easisest idea to find agreement on.

    Provocateurs: These people are often lumped in when troll is issued in the heat of argument. They simply go through whatever topics they find, seeking to start silly and distracting fights. Their sum effect makes talk radio sound intelligent.

    Hate/Bigotry: While it is a person's right to hold whatever opinions they wish, there have been topics in the past which were merely copy & pasted anti-something propaganda website. What is the line between a hater's right to free expression and the obligation of the hater to avoid creating deliberately inflammatory posts? Even without intellectual-property issues--e.g. copy & paste of articles from other websites without author credit--how much deliberate boat-rocking and superficial hatred must we put up with?

    Ad hominem: The ever-present fallacy of ad hominem seems to have troubled many posters throughout time. While abused considerably less than troll, we may wish a discussion of ad hominem.

    These among others, we might wish to discuss. I'm giving some thought to a discussion of provocateurs, as they are useless and oft-regarded as a form of troll. They tend to distract topics and set the stage for some of our more vitriolic exchanges.

    But it's time for people to give the SFOG endeavor some serious thought. We have no conventional definitions whatsoever of what constitutes an offense. And if we leave the basis of SFOG to our sensibilities--well, people tend to dislike sensibilities, their own as well as others'.

    SFOG should not be the Jerry Springer Show, or Griffith's parody of a negro state house. (Okay, Griffith didn't think of it as a parody, but still ....)

    SFOG is a tool to enhance our experience at Sciforums, and if we trust ourselves enough, our own lives. Reach out, form the clay, fire it. Sciforums posters are, in their own right, exercising their arts. We ought to make them worth as much as possible.

    ° Branch Davidian - The infamous David Koresh took control of Branch Davidian after a shootout with George Roden, the former leader, in November, 1987.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2004
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  3. Persol I am the great and mighty Zo. Registered Senior Member

    I think that CounslerCoffee had the right idea. We need some guidlines for what is grounds for what. I thought that spamming the same posts several times, cross posting, posting without intent to discuss, and downright rudeness were good reasons for atleast a temporary ban.

    Porfiry disagrees, and I have no problem with that. However, if guidlines for what constituted 'bannable offenses' were set then I would have simply posted that his threads be merged.

    I think that many of these threads may have a similar fate... but we don't really know what guidelines to use. We need some ground rules.
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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Admittedly rulesets come in two parts, a part for those that need to know where they stand with what they post, and a part for those that moderate to know what they are suppose to moderate.

    Admittedly SFOG seems a clever test of some things that have always been preposed about real governments, the problems that occur when there is no heirarchy making a decision and where the decision making is left for that of the masses.

    The seemingly causes absolute Anarchy, However It's insightful, since there are different literal references like "Lord of the Flies" and the one I just thought of "Animal Farm".

    Infact looking at the whole state you could take Asimov's Laws of Robotics (including the Zeroth law amendment) and convert them for use with sciforums.
    Asimov source:

    Zeroth Law:
    A Sciforums user must not launch attacks (Spam, Troll, Cross post, Hack) at sciforums, or through inaction, allow sciforums to come to harm.

    First Law:
    A Sciforums user must not launch personal attacks (Spam, Troll, Cross post, Hack) at another user, or through inaction allow another user to be attacked.

    Second Law:
    A Sciforums user must obey the rules that are created by Porfiry, and then any rules permitted from the Open Government forum except when such orders conflict with the first law.

    Third Law:
    A Sciforums user can protect their feelings from being hurt as long as they don't lash out and break the first and second law.
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Purposed rule changes/add ons:

    1. Only a moderator or the administrator can post ban/de-ban polls, any poll of this nature not posted by a moderator is eligible to closure.

    2. The number of votes needed for a poll to pass should be reduced... drastically! This is for two reasons: it has already been overridden by the administrator before. There is also very little likelihood of getting 100 "yes" votes on a poll in just one or two weeks, even if the question was unanimously supported (example: “have you breath air… ever?”)
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Thats a good add on, in certain respects such polls should be about aspects of how the forum should be run (More forums, different names, different sub forums etc) and fundemental changes about rules that everyone should abide by rather than any ban polls.

    There should be no Polls for people being Banned, and no polls for people being re-instated. If someone is banned and they want back in, then they should ask porfiry to be allowed back. Afterall if they were at fault in some way, then thats something they should clear up themselves.
  9. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    Um, can we include the words "Death to America" somewhere in our charter?
  10. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I gather you want that written backwards or encoded in some form so as not to be too conspicuous, while you are at it, you might as well replace "Liberty" with "Anarchy".

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