A Modest Proposal to Amend the Community Rules

Like easter eggs?


Modest sideline, but how do “we mutants” define power in this context? Popularity? Regular status? Something malleable? Sex? Gender? Economic standing? Anyone?

… And, how do we know who has power? Isn’t all power (in this context) relative?


But what about when I read something that makes me REAAAALLLLLY MMMAAAADDDDD!!!?


Attack? Really? Jeff, relatively speaking you are a person of power. You’re okay with attacks on your work, your character, and your reputation? Criticism is one thing but… an attack?

I respectfully disagree with you and I think no reminder is needed. Rule 1 is broad enough. Nobody wants to be rude but when someone asks for a change around here, it’s okay to carefully consider the request and then say no.


Deep breath. Count to ten. Reply as you would be replied to.


edit: Derp. Read that ‘correctly’ as ‘incorrectly.’ Think we’re on the same page that fighting the power is okay… This really applies to @Chesterfield

This one’s fuzzy for me. Here’s an example that maybe can be used to clarify. North Carolina’s state gov’t investigated what the voting patterns of back people were, then wrote and passed a law tailored to suppress black voters by targeting and removing their usual approaches to voting as well as researching and then disqualifying the more common types of id black people used that weren’t used by white people. The BB story covers some of this, though not all the details:

I think most BBers would find that this is a clear case of power being abused, and would not only want folks to be informed that this was happening, but would also want to condemn this utterly despicable behavior on the part of the leadership of NC. That’s punching up - there’s people in authority disenfranchising and harming those not in power, and they deserve both criticism and condemnation. So at what point does that condemnation move to something we could label an attack? Merely criticizing it for being racist is going to be described by those leaders as an attack (and it was). Is it? Where’s the line?


In the interests of full disclosure and being excellent to each other, I have no idea and never suggested such a thing, nor am I necessarily pro-rule change. I was attempting to gather understand why a rule change was being proposed, and when the changed rule would come into play. At this time, I see no reason for a rule change.

So far the only reason for a rule change is not clear.

If you are curious about the whole powers for evil thing, perhaps you would be better served to ask someone else.


I’ve always felt that an ‘attack’ is criticism without tact or empathy. Productive discussions don’t involve any punching, up or down.


When it comes to those in power that we really have negligible influence on (Trump, NC legislature/governor, NSA, FBI, the creeps reinforcing institutional racism to preserve a spot a bit higher in the social hierarchy, et al) are tact and empathy really called for? Aren’t there cases where someone or some group in power really have been so reprehensible (say the NC legislature tailoring laws in 2013 to explicitly disenfranchise black people) that empathy and tact are pointless to the discussion?

If there’s a person on the forums trying to explain that racist voter laws are really acceptable, I’d agree that you’d probably manage a discussion better being respectful than belligerent (even if that’s really hard sometimes), and trying to listen and understand could help if you’re trying to persuade them and have a constructive talk. Sometimes people aren’t here to discuss, listen, or be honest, but rather to troll, though. Same standards for overt trolls?

Punching up often involves targets that aren’t participants. Do the same standards apply when it’s the reprehensible scum who requested reports of black people’s voting habits so they could tailor laws to prevent them from voting? Do they apply whenever we speak of Donald Trump and his plans to abuse Muslims and hispanics?


This is exactly what was going through my mind as I wrote that post.

Here on BB, we can flag posts containing overt and aggressive racism/sexism. Repeat offenders are suspended or banned. As for trolls, I’d like to say we ignore trolls but we all know that’s not always the case. Still, these sort of posters are easy to deal with when done correctly.

The real-life people and scenarios you describe, those are the difficult ones. I guess I would say that if such an adversary can be displaced (as is the case with elected positions), then your efforts should be focused on rallying your electorate and reaching out to those undecided—where again, tact and empathy become useful.

I don’t know what to say about the belligerent and stubborn. I know I’ve met these sort of people before, but I can’t recall even the vaguest details of those interactions. I suppose I don’t have any conclusive opinion on that particular matter.


OK! It was mainly hypothetical but what put me on that track was @nimelennar citing the confusion around @Modusoperandi"s satire, to which you replied [quote=“jannamark, post:36, topic:82646, full:true”]
A claim to be a satirist is a poor excuse for being non-excellent to each other.

So I guess it was more like verbal head scratching on my part.

And more good news! I believe I agree with you about the non-necessity for a new rule.


Aren’t there some times when a rampage is the best option? Was I just trying to find a way to use that word as a way to hijack this conversation?


Who cares! You just made me smile on a very bad day.


I think what we are saying is that respectful dialogue is the default opening position. If someone proves to be a hopeless troll, then flag, ban, fuck’em and move on. They aren’t worth the time, and they just enjoy it.


And that’s at least one of the goals! Hope your day improves, critter.


Glad it worked. Hope tomorrow is better for you.


Comrades, forgive me if I’m too tired from doing a buncha emotional labor at my work and in my hobbit life to pull together right now all of your answers to your questions.

The patterns and the dark patterns are apparent, though.

Define the hurt of punching not by hierarchy, but by pain felt, and you can identify who gets hurt the most.

Don’t be afraid to reject Betteridge paradoxes in all of their forms.

Defining “cool” by " though shalt not" maximizes for fidelity of exclusion. It does not help us draw new mutants in, let alone help them to be better justice jedis.

Don’t be afraid to reject the framing of what’s cool and what’s not cool.

Don’t be afraid to reverse the polarity if you want to attract more instead of repel better. Break down more walls than you build.

Perhaps we should be talking about mutant rights to help demarcate inclusion, instead of mutant rules to help us better keep the unwashed out.

I’m happy this thread has near 100 replies in one day.

I’m sad that during that time people are violating Wheaton’s law in the lounge.

Where were you when Rome burned?

I’ve not yet shared my conclusions. SOON.


And then when he posts something serious you waste considerable time trying to figure out the joke. And that’s the joke.


I’ve been here three weeks or so.

Y’all are weird. (I like weird)