Legalize the C word!

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by visceral_instinct, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I have to agree with you on that one. That was just plain weird that you got warned for that.
     
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Wrong. It was used five times in different contexts during the entire thread (there were six or seven people who posted in the thread) and two of the people who used it did not get banned so u exaggerate. Varda only used the word once outside of the OP.
     
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  5. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Of course I exaggerated

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    The point is, why did you all of a sudden feel the urge to use the word ?
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    No it wasn't. It was perfectly in keeping with the history of all the warnings I have received on this forum. The rules have never applied to me, I see that in real life too and for some reason, other people also see it that way and respond likewise.

    Nothing would surprise me more in life than being treated like anyone else
     
  8. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Enmos the thread was about the use of the word.
     
  9. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Huh.. what are you saying ?
    Are you saying you somehow bring it upon yourself ?
     
  10. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    NO! She's saying the rules and how they are applied are ARBITRARY!!
     
  11. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Or more accurately, about Varda receiving a warning about using the word and then stating that she wouldn't stop using it.
    Then you called Varda a cunt, Varda called Beblina a cunt, and Visceral called everyone a cunt. I know it was all play and not meant seriously but, to me, that is defying authority. Laughing at it, sticking out your tongue and go "bleah bleah bleah!"
     
  12. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    To her, and also outside Sci.. :shrug:
     
  13. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    No I didn't call varda a cunt and VI didn't call everyone a cunt. Go back and check the thread as you obviously payed no attention to it. We were not sticking our tongues out at anyone now don't be a silly git and go back and look at what was being said by whom and in what context considering the OP. Normally James would have just closed the thread not do a blanket banning. Remember the thread were there were porn links posted? He closed it he didn't ban anyone for it nor did he warn anyone but he DID say that we signed up to a site that said porn was not allowed to be posted. Do you want to know what the difference was? Nothing save how he was FEELING towards Varda at the time.
     
  14. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I did.. before I posted that.

    Anyhow, that's just my two cents. You don't have to agree with it.
    And I don't feel like getting involved in this too much either. Carry on

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  15. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Its not about agreement I know exactly what I wrote and I read what others wrote and there was no offense towards anyone.
     
  16. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    I didn't say you were offending anyone.
    Well, perhaps you offended James though

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

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    Would, "Thbpbpbpbpbpt!" be too obvious?

    And it's even sillier beyond that to miss the point.

    To reiterate:

    Yes, I realize that certain members were just having fun with the word "cunt" and ended up with one-day trips. But, really, it's one thing to go sticking your head in a lion's mouth if you're a circus performer; it's not so wise to go tempting a forum administrator, though, on such a touchy issue.​

    • • •​

    I've been around here a very, very long time. Probably too long for the better interest of my mental health. But one of the things I've watched over the years is the evolution of the rules. And for all that, I still operate as if it's six years ago. For the most part, it works.

    For the most part. Every once in a while, I confuse someone and get in a little bit of trouble. And sometimes I pitch a fit about it. But life goes on.

    Like I said in the other thread, we used to tell members, "Attack the argument, not the person." But we also told them things like, "Put some effort into the attack", and, "Incorporate the attack into the larger point". Two sentences over three lines doesn't really offer much of a larger point, and it doesn't suggest a whole lot of effort. Nor does one sentence with the word tacked extraneously onto the end of it.

    My question to you would be to look beyond the word itself. Look at the sentences, and the paragraphs they form. Does anything strike you as different about the various ways in which people used the word? Yes, I made a cunt joke. And tacked a bad douche joke onto it. But I also framed it as an example for consideration in the context of the larger issue.

    Did James get it? Maybe. Did he even notice? Maybe not. But for all people have noted the length of my posts and other such things, that's part of how I get away with using words.

    Sciforums is two dimensional insofar as your posts have height and width. Their depth is implied, and defined by the content. That virtual third dimension is very much dependent on the author of the post. If you spend some effort building that third dimension, things like single words don't stand out so blatantly. Rather, they take their place in the larger order, and often disappear into the scenery.

    When I was nineteen, we used to crack up sitting around in a late night restaurant doing a men's chorus bit where we would sing, "Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt. Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt." It was similar to the Spam chorus in the Python sketch. And usually it was two or three in the morning, so the couple of other patrons didn't mind, and the manager never told us to knock it off.

    Then again, we didn't do it every night. The joke would get stale.

    To the other, if I actually did that now, and it was the whole of the post, yeah, I would expect James or Plazma would have something to say about that.

    To wit, you could complain that I used the word "cunt" in this post nine times (whoops, make it ten), or you could consider the context in which the word was used. And in the later case, I would simply ask, "Do you see a difference?"

    And one must be cautious. I'm half-tempted to title this post, "Cuntadelica" (eleven), but I damn well know that would be pushing it.

    • • •​

    No, not really. It's mostly a quiet personal joke and a semi-fallacious appeal.

    To the other, celebratory marijuana would ... I mean ... uh ... never mind.
     
  18. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Just ten more days Tiassa

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  19. Betrayer0fHope MY COHERENCE! IT'S GOING AWAYY Registered Senior Member

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    The main problem with this is that nobody, other than you and a few others, care. We let the mods do what they like because we're not planning on making their lives harder for no reason.
     
  20. Betrayer0fHope MY COHERENCE! IT'S GOING AWAYY Registered Senior Member

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    Tiassa, can you say what you said about the Sciforums and dimensions in a way that is general, and also with your full name or a first initial so I can attribute it to you?
     
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    Tiassa one day someone posted links of pics of women with their hairy cunts hanging out,( I can say cunts because its not directed at anyone which is the rule right?) well we all went on to make fun in this post and then I posted a link of pics with tits (I think there were also some sexual stuff as well). Anyway James didn't warn us or ban anyone he closed the thread. I ask what's the difference? I guess the difference was that he was pissed that Varda started another thread.
     
  22. PsychoTropicPuppy Bittersweet life? Valued Senior Member

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    I had the strong impression that Barbie is Dr Lou.....judging by the typing style.:shrug:
    ___________

    Personally I don't really have issues with people cursing as long as it's not directed at a person albeit I don't really support it...I mean we don't need to put "f*ck" into each sentence to get a point across.
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    The Stakes, and other notes

    Again, to reiterate:

    Yes, I realize that certain members were just having fun with the word "cunt" and ended up with one-day trips. But, really, it's one thing to go sticking your head in a lion's mouth if you're a circus performer; it's not so wise to go tempting a forum administrator, though, on such a touchy issue.​

    We aren't your parents. To the other, we are in some ways analogous to a municipal police department, although we don't get pepper spray and tasers as part of the job.

    Still, though, when you were a child, what would your mother do?

    Mom: Don't say "cunt", Lucy. It's not a nice word.

    Lucy: Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt!​

    Some of us would be grounded. Some spanked. Some slapped in the face. Others would get the classic stern talking-to. Few among us, though, would walk away from that unscathed.

    There are means of direct action in this community. They should, though, as a general rule, be a bit more mature than a child testing a parent's boundaries.

    And in recent years, a valid criticism arose concerning direct action. In the days of civil disobedience and civil rights, nobody said the activist was not guilty. Rather, plenty of activists went to jail for perfectly ridiculous reasons, and the point was to demonstrate the injustice of a particular law. These days, plenty of activists have forgotten that point. Anti-abortion protesters in the '90s complained that assaulting doctors and patients alike, or preventing someone from entering a building, should be protected free speech. Anti-war and economic protesters of the new millennium seem to forget that, yes, it is illegal to tie up traffic in the downtown for hours. Tear gas and rubber bullets? You don't fight back. You take it, and make your point by demonstrating how silly it is for the police to feel threatened by people who aren't doing anything violent.

    Are you demonstrating to make a point? Or are you fighting to win a battle? Some might say the one is the other. However, the other is not necessarily the one. That is, demonstration might be fairly considered a form of battle, but not all battles qualify as demonstrations. (When Seattle police drove demonstrators into residential neighborhoods and gassed the hell out of everything, that was a demonstration. When the Philadelphia chief of police was beaten with his own bicycle, that was more of a battle.) And, it is true, a demonstration can quickly turn into a battle, but the term applied depends entirely on the conduct of the demonstrators.

    At Sciforums, of course, we need not worry about tear gas and rubber bullets and bicycles. The only RCAs at our disposal are thread locks, post deletions, and member suspensions. In other words, we're not going to take the swabs out of the first aid kit, douse them in capsicum, and rub it in your eyes while your hands are cuffed behind your back.

    The appearance of inconsistency in the rules has many causes, among which, of course, is actual and deliberate inconsistency. But this is among the more rare of causes. More often, it is sloth or an apathy brought on by weariness. And, to be sure, most moderators don't hover over their subfora waiting to strike. Indeed, the membership would appear to prefer we don't.

    I would say the difference with the hairy cunt thread is invested in two aspects. First, they were links? That would make a difference. We'll cut those links when we find them, and maybe even pop off a note or two. But the nature of the response depends not only on the issue itself, but extenuating circumstances. And that is the other aspect.

    With the present issue, the circumstances are somewhat messy. The Sciforums membership has a difficult history with mental health. Some would offer their best advice, but few if any of us are actual qualified psychologists and, even for those that might be, this is not a proper environment for diagnosis. By and large, though, we are sharks when it comes to mental health. If this community finds the merest whiff of psychological dysfunction, it seizes on it. One of our recent prolific trolls—who might well have finally given up that approach, as I haven't heard his name recently—confessed early through his original user ID that he had certain personal issues. Because he was viewed as a pseudoscientist, and was therefore disliked, people savaged that point. The lesson is to expose your psyche at your own risk.

    This is sad, though, because it discourages honesty and trust in the community. But more to the point, while we cannot, as members or moderators, be expected to act as psych counselors, we do have an obligation to consider the deliberate antagonism of psychological dysfunction. People kill themselves over that kind of bullying, Lucy. And yes, I know it seems stupid that they would, but the truth is that people have killed themselves over online harassment.

    The chilling effect of Varda's original "whiny cunts" comment had potential for broad damage. It was essentially a reminder to keep one's internal issues hidden. And while that seems wise advice in consideration of the internet, it also has the effect of reducing the communicative potential. Trying to grasp the context of someone's post is more difficult if we don't understand where they are coming from as a human being. Thus, I am allegedly a Democratic shill, and others, despite claiming to not be Republicans, have often sounded like paid mouthpieces for the Party. Hell, I was once accused of being Catholic. I can only hope everyone else got as much of a laugh out of that as I did, especially since I don't hide nearly as much of my psyche as other people do. We have a member here who likes to dismiss my posts because I'm a pothead, despite the fact that my biggest problem with marijuana right now is lack of access. We use these personal details not to better understand people, but as a justification for dismissing what we don't wish to deal with. I have a couple of messages somewhere advising me that a member I don't particularly like suffers war-related psychological trauma. On the one hand, it doesn't justify what I perceive as priggish behavior; to the other, it may be that the best thing I can do is simply ignore his rantings. I'm certainly not going to look at him and say, "Well, that's just another shell-shocked, angry rant." And I'm certainly not going to call him "Killer". I might think he's pathetic, but he's not pathetic because surviving a war left permanent psychological scars. If he's pathetic, it's because he carries on, unrelentingly, like an idiot.

    Is there some reason the primary manifestation of the membership's regard for mental health is to use it as a weapon?

    The great potential of an intelligent community is to learn and understand. When we reject that learning and understanding, we are conceding to ignorance.

    So I would ask that you put it against that background. Perhaps in the context of media bias, or the dishonesty of politicians, a characterization like "whiny cunts" might actually be overlooked. And you well know there are ways to say things around here. If I say you sound like a bitch about a certain point, well, that might be true insofar as a number of people happen to find your approach difficult, unsympathetic, elitist, uninformed, &c. But I certainly can't say that you are a bitch. That's far too general, too definite and permanent. But, for the most part, it's probably best to simply leave the word "bitch" out of it. It is probably more useful to consider the issues of sympathy, elitism, and information. To throw the word "bitch" into it primarily serves the purpose of throwing a punch. And, yes, there are artful ways to throw punches, but one should always think twice at least before smacking someone upside the head with a trout.

    Reminding those concerned with their mental health that they are whiny cunts is problematic and suggests a lack of human sympathy. In the larger arrangement of things, such sentiments are small tiles in a vast mosaic. But what is that larger picture? In life, as on bulletin boards, such condemnations discourage honest consideration of one's own mental health. And this can, in the cumulative effect, have ugly results both mundane and spectacular. The estranged family, the violent home, the school shooting. The first reconciliation that must occur in repairing the broken family is within the self. And then the selves must come together. Certes, these processes overlap, but the collective cannot bind its wounds if the individuals have not recognized the need for that healing. And the spectacular mass murders? These are extreme manifestations of personalities entirely unreconciled to the self. Alienation begets hostility, and what happens from there depends entirely on each individual. It is quite clear that not every individual is prepared to endure the same thresholds of unease, frustration, or anguish.

    If those endeavoring to wrestle with their psychological dysfunction are whiny cunts, the suggestion is that it is proper to not undertake such endeavors. If those seeking to transcend their alienation are whiny cunts, the suggestion is that they should remain alone and, as is often the case, afraid.

    Is this healthy? Would you really say it so explicitly? Are people not considering these stakes? That latter I can accept, even if I think few would explicitly say psychological reconciliation and healing is wrong. We all overlook important things sometimes, but I don't believe people in general are so insensitive toward the human condition as to deliberately discourage psychological health. That is, I don't think Varda is so cruel as all this might imply. But on this occasion, there are important issues in play.

    I don't think people are really demanding the right to hurt one another for no good reason, even if that's among the stakes in this argument.

    As an abstract question directed generally, and not just at you in particular, I would ask people to consider how precise they really want moderators to be in explaining the basis of offense. My general experience with sending notes to members is that, whether or not they appreciate the moderator's position, the more you give them, the more they have to complain about. Certainly, some nod and say, "Okay." But more often than not, I get a general attempt to fisk the policy explanation offered. Thus, in consideration of the eight paragraphs that begin with the chilling effect of Varda's "whiny cunts" comment, do people really want to see such analysis in their inbox for any given warning flag?

    Not only will the moderators be inclined to stiffen sanctions, including suspension periods, if they're putting in that kind of time into the analysis, but a significant portion of the regular membership here would find such lectures pedantic and patronizing. We would like to think people are capable of recognizing the implications of their actions, yet such dispute as the two threads in response to James' actions has brought suggests that people either don't see the problem, or simply don't give a damn.

    • • •​

    Working on it. I have a preliminary revision that I'm trying to develop into a blog post. I'll get back to you shortly on it. Hopefully sometime today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
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