Should we keep the "Post whatever" thread open?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by James R, May 4, 2023.

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Should the "Post whatever" thread remain open for new posts?

Poll closed May 11, 2023.
  1. Yes.

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No.

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. I don't care, either way.

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  4. I do not wish to vote on this poll (other than to register my wish not to vote).

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I can't decide!

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  6. This poll is way too simplistic. See my complicated explanation and suggestions in the thread.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    There is a thread in the Free Thoughts subforum titled "The Post Whatever Thread".

    In my opinion, it is difficult to think of a thread that would have a greater lack of any common theme or purpose.

    In practice, this thread seems to be treated by some members as sort of like their blog, where they just record any random thoughts or fancies that occur to them on the spur of the moment. For others, perhaps it's more of a chat thread.

    I am wondering whether our members view this thread as something positive, desirable and/or useful, or whether you think there's no real reason for us to have it.

    If I had to make an argument for keeping it open, I think the best argument would be that it provides a landing zone or attractive-looking vacuum cleaner for some random junk that might otherwise be posted to a bunch of other, similarly purposeless threads. I'm also not completely averse to having somewhere where members can chat about random things in public, because people are social creatures and all that.

    So, let's put it to a community vote.

    Comments and suggestions are welcome.
     
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    I’ve voted “I don’t care either way” but it’s kind of a boring thread. It’s like a piece of furniture you own that serves no real purpose, and you don’t really use it much, yet you can’t bring yourself to give it away or sell it.
     
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  5. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,477
    How about closing it for one or two months and see if it make a difference to the rest of the site?
    But I would have thought how the site ran had something to do with the modding rather than a particular type of thread.

    Hang-on, I've just looked at the thread and see that Sculptor’s talking about filing his rakers.
    Make that, close the thread for at least six months.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,959
    As usual, some things get ruined by people choosing not to govern themselves with consideration.

    I found nothing wrong with the thread; it was, as you say, a landing place for random stuff of interest to talk about. But now some members (not to mention any names, but it starts with O. W. Grant ) have decided it's a personal blog for just any old crap that they fancy.

    So sure. Close the thread, so that the troll gets rewarded and their behavior reinforced, and they suffer no consequences, and they get emboldened to become more brash and trollier.

    Seriously though, closing the thread doesn't address the problem, and they'll just pop up somewhere else.

    Then again, maybe a 'Post Whatever' thread is an open invitation for those who have nothing to say. I've flip-flopped my answer to 'close it'.
     
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,400
    Given that the thread has been around for circa 20 years since 2018, it is part of the cultural heritage of the community. Closing it down would be akin to the removal of Bus 142 from the Alaskan wilderness. (That former mecca shrine for Chris McCandless pilgrims).

    Consider that the Gary Oldman character of "Interstate 60: Episodes of The Road" obscurity has not posted there since April 24. So I say give the thread a little more time to gravitate back to the endearing insipidity that dominated most of its run.

    It serves as a beacon in its own right, or at least an inviting reentry point of tolerance, for the lost sheep of SF.

    Accordingly, these reasons and many more are why I passionately submitted a vote in the complete indifference category.
    _
     
  9. O. W. Grant Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    266
    Yes. A legit off topic post should probably be kept in "Post whatever" thread (anonymously!?).

    (a black hole) The Cesspool - "Post whatever" tread (a white heap)
     
  10. O. W. Grant Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    266
    an off topic post

    ===

    The geometric interpretation of sin x = x - x³/3! + x⁵/5! -...



    ===

    What is the graph of x^a when a is not an integer? An unusual look at familiar functions #some2

     
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    lol
     
  12. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,549
    I occasionally post there...
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    37,893
    As I mentioned↗, "The Post-Whatever Thread" opened after I closed a prior, similar thread. I was actually discouraged at the prospect of having to censor the other thread, because all it took was the slightest bit of good faith, but that was too much to ask. The same Myers-Briggs nonsense that opened this thread is what that user was dropping into the previous thread.

    That we come around the circle such that campaign posting would bring down the replacement is about as apropos as I might imagine.

    In truth, I only mentioned it in-thread because I was resisting the temptation to close the discussion then and there.

    • • •​

    In the history of Sciforums, there has long been a strange gray area where we pretend ourselves unable to recognize particular, affecting differences in people's behavior. For instance, the place was always at least a little rough and tumble, but part of the reason that seems so problematic, today—i.e., other stuff going on around here—is that we don't really see any difference between two people having at it over something, and people just looking to be rough and abusive.

    Similarly, I don't have to like other people's contributions to a junk-drawer thread like Post Whatever, and there is nothing that says someone can't use their occasional post in such threads toward making some particular point, but the idea that Random Notes, or Post Whatever means people should campaign like that is dysfunctional, a self-interested disruption intended for one's own satisfaction.

    The antisociality is the difference. It's kind of like the idea that, of course, people are going to disagree, but that fact does not implicitly license bullshitting for the sake of presenting disagreement. That people are allowed to have at each other a bit doesn't mean someone can just make believe in order to have after someone. To some degree, these differences seem pretty straightforward, but in practice, our time at Sciforums makes quite clear they are not.

    It seems implicitly obvious that junk-drawer threads are not intended for particular campaigning, because allowing the catch-all to be dominated and defined by the campaigning is antithetical to the purpose of the catch-all, junk-drawer thread. But that's the thing; there is no guarantee, and what seems implicit is not necessarily absolute. To what degree do we believe that a person cannot perceive the difference?

    Insofar as they can tell the difference, because, come on, they're not stupid, it's just that they think they can according to some particular bit of logic that isn't so hard to understand, but in obliging everyone else to the reorientation of purpose, the antisociality is the difference about that assertion of participation.

    Short form: This is why we can't have nice things.
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Tiassa,

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. If it's social, it's okay. If it's anti-social and self-absorbed, then it's problematic.
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    The poll is now closed and it seems we have a tied vote.

    I think the fairest thing to do is to go with the status quo, in this case, so the thread will remain open for now.

    Thanks to all who voted.
     
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