A Modest Proposal to Amend the Community Rules

Yes to all you said, but especially yes to the above.

And insular to the point where we attack obvious trolls as well as fellow-travelers who are less-than-BBS-perfect.


so… I’m kind of curious, @funruly, is there something specific that caused you to propose this particular new rule? Do you not think the spirit of what you say is included in the already established rules?


Like most people, I’m more inclined to tolerate a lapse from someone whose history I know and like, but I think criticism of a post, and defense of it, have to be based on the post in question. If I get called out for a particularly insensitive or flippant comment (it could happen :slight_smile: ) I won’t get very far saying “But look at all these other comments where I wasn’t quite such an asshole”. I have to either explain myself or apologize based on how someone, maybe a newcomer, reacted to that one post.


I’m also having a hard time figuring out what gap this proposed rule fills or problem it is solving. Look at the current set of ten rules. They are clearly articulated, fun to read, and useful. funruly’s proposed rule is none of those things. IMHO, it doesn’t fit.

I get it that we should all be excellent to each other, but at the same time a milquetoast atmosphere is the last thing any of us want. The most engaging and interesting threads are often the most contentious. I’ve insulted people here and been insulted (and have been banned once). I think I’ve made some good arguments and have often been exposed to points of view I hadn’t considered.

If anything, I wish there was a little more diversity of opinion here. But I guess the more politically and homogeneous community is what differentiates this place from more open forums like Reddit. That and acres of whitespace.


But I do think we can disagree and not be insulting. I do think diversity of opinion most certainly exists here… I’m fairly certain you and I have disagreed on occasion! I’m sure I’ve said rude things, but I try not to do that and to stick to the topic at hand, generally speaking (but I am, like yourself, only human!). And you’re certainly a member here, even if I think you’re sometimes mistaken or wrong! :wink:

So, I’m just curious what @funruly believes is missing from the rules? As what he mentions already sort of seems, at least obliquely covered?




11- None of these rules apply to pictures of cute animals, funny gifs, Far Side Cartoons, people doing dangerously stupid things, awesome song references, or forms of facepalm. They are always welcome. Especially hedgehog pics.


I am disappointed. Any truly Modest Proposal would have had the commenters eating each other.


Really like to just hijack the whole cloth.


“Punch up and not down” is annoyingly vague for a guideline. What constitutes “up?” Isn’t that highly dependent on where you, personally, sit? There is no universal up and no universal down. Depending on who you are, “punching up” is just punching sideways. I like Wheaton’s law on this one better: Don’t be a dick.

Yes, it’s still vague, but usefully so, and at least it’s not relative to the position of the poster. As for “calling out” posters: I don’t know what that is. Did you disagree with something I said? Fine, we’re having a disagreement. Do you think something I said was wrong, but you’re not interested in a discussion, exactly? Then absolutely you shouldn’t let it sit, and it’s okay to just make your voice heard without necessarily having a conversation. Do you find something I said to be insulting? My bad, if insulted you, it wasn’t my intent. Partly because I have better things to do and partly because I probably want you on my side. But, if I’m not personally attacking you or haven’t slighted you inadvertently I’m not going to fundamentally change my viewpoint on a subject because you find the viewpoint offensive. I’m fundamentally predisposed to listen and consider an opposing viewpoint, but I’m not fundamentally predisposed to mitigate the suffering, stress, and general discomfort of everyone on earth at all times.

There are times when I really, truly am the only one in a discussion with a specific viewpoint born out of specific experiences directly pertinent to my life. Based on those experiences I find what others are saying to be highly offensive and hostile to who I am and what I’ve been through. But at the same time, how would they know? How could they possibly understand? I can’t make someone taste a flavor by describing it. I can only hope that they’ll find some anchoring point to establish a relative frame of reference. If they can’t, I don’t see how I can bring people around, and I don’t see exactly how I can blame them for not having the capacity to understand something. I can only ask that they listen and not call me names.

I think the criteria we’re looking for is: Does this make for a discussion where people are being relatively civil and where they respect each other as human beings?


Yeah, but he blocks Princess Pricklepants on twitter.


What? Seriously? Who blocks the Princess?


fucking republicans


Wheaton uses one of those collaborative block lists that mass-block thousands of people. Somehow, someone thought the hedgehog was a troll and added the account to some list, or it was some Brazil-style error. Probably related to anti-small furry animal bias, or a squirrel conspiracy of some sort from past hedgehog vs. squirrel presidential squabbles.


BTW, note that I was not the thread hijacker this time. I just aided in the glorious hijacking.


Has @Modusoperandi every used his powers for evil? I don’t mean this as a specific defense of him, lord knows he wouldn’t need it, but as an example of the satire around here is something you just have to see a few times to get (or have the snark gene); ain’t no rule going to fix that.


I don’t know if he follows any of the BB staff, but maybe they could throw in a good word.


I think that’s the ultimate goal, yes.

At some point we were discussing Thomas Kinkade (“Painter of Light™”) a few months back. The consensus hereabouts is that he was a terrible hack whose work killed brain cells as it dazzled your eyes with visions of a white-man’s wintry paradise filled with egg nog and wrapped gifts and no inconvenient brown people (or something). I confessed that I kinda like Kinkade’s work, not because I think it breaks any new ground or overflows with irreproducible talent, but just because I like to look at it. I happen to be the kind of person who’s relatively shameless about liking things that are considered by the people I love and respect to be puerile, lame-o, unhip, out of fashion, or otherwise indefensible. I like sodee-pop, cheap pizza, loud (but straightforward) rock-n-roll, old domestic cars, Sanford and Son, circus peanuts, candy corn, Skippy peanut butter, Kraft mac-n-cheese, Western bacon cheeseburgers from Carl’s Jr, Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap & Leonard books, nine-ball pool tournaments, old-school NASCAR, Godzilla movies that don’t pretend to be techno-thrillers, and Levi’s 501s. All very MOR, non-edgy stuff. Since I don’t really care who knows this about me, I am not particularly bothered when anyone mocks any of these things as being too middlebrow or philistine in nature.

But someone else who likes some or all of these things might actually be bothered. I’m still bugged by the fact that this poor schlub here:

…gets his unhappy mug plastered on the front page for the world to point and laugh at, just because he did something in good faith that most people think was stupid. God help us all if we ever fuck up so publicly anymore.

I think it couldn’t hurt to include a reminder to approach every good-faith (or at least apparently good-faith) post or comment with an extra dose of compassion. I think maybe we need a reminder to avoid the dogpile, and to remember that we’re all of us humans, and all (to a greater or lesser degree) fuckups.