I'm not interested in having the same discussions every day for the rest of my life

Not true. In recent memory at least two of the coolest and most edifying posters here (imho) got given a time out. None of us can “do whatever we want,” without repercussions, even the “cool” or “popular” ones. (Of which, I am neither!) If anything, perhaps having a longstanding history here of insightful discourse might cause others in the community to give the benefit of the doubt and be less likely to flag posts than if they were coming from a “joined two hours ago” member, which is (again, imho) as it should be.


That’s new. I’ll take your word for it.

And yet, it seems to me like after a while the best way to get the benefit of the doubt is to make sure one is already finding fault with someone anyone else who happens to be handy.

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I am sorry, but that is simply not true.

For every snarky, “suffers no fools” remark that you see (and you do see a lot), you will also see plenty of well-thought-out and even-tempered responses. A sassy retort may earn more likes, but likes are not what gets you the benefit of the doubt. Being consistent in adding something to the conversation (whether it’s funny or insightful or adds new knowledge, etc.) over time is how you earn the benefit of the doubt. Not many people have that, but the ones who do, did not get it from tearing others down.



You can take mine, too!

The bunting tossers on the BBS do an excellent job, prompting the moderators to step in when needed. Nobody is perfect, no system is perfect, but all in all the BBS works, for me at least.


Valued and prolific members have been banned before — usually for not longer than a week or two, but it still hurts. Lifetime bans aren’t typically doled out unless it’s for a good reason, and it’s not unprecedented for long-time members to be on the receiving end of these.


So… let me ask you this. I’ve been running up and down the topics on BBS for a bit, and realized there is probably a space for a topic on extremism. I was thinking about multiple right wing movements that seem to be gaining traction in multiple countries simultaneously, but also the sovereign citizens movement, and how it has been picked up by multiple dissinfranchised groups.

From my perspective, BBS seems like a logical place to start such a discussion. It’s reasonably well moderated, populated by seemingly thoughtful people, but most importantly, of a size / scale where important topics can be discussed, and moderation can be handled, by thoughtful humans, and not some damn revenue or otherwise biased algorithm.

Interesting or not?

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I tried making a topic for sovereign citizens a while back.

You never know if a topic will gain traction (mine hasn’t), but it never hurts to try.


I’m, not even sure if I can create a topic at my level.

Do you not have the New Topic button on the Topic List page?

I made my first topic at your level. (Ah, it could also be a matter of how long you have been a member instead of just trust level.)


Ope… I do. I was just being an idiot / not understanding the UI. It was 2 clicks in from where I thought it would be.
(Now I just have to go through the hard work of defining exactly what I mean by “extremism”)


You just outed yourself!

Hello, from a fellow Midwesterner. :wink:


This is probably drifting off-topic, but like most people, I rarely look at topics not linked to the main site, which is for pretty basic mechanical reasons. Blog discussions have a narrow initial topic and a short lifespan, so either you miss them entirely, or you come upon them when they’re still active and short enough to read through. But with most other threads, it’s the opposite, and you have quite broad (initial) topics and by the time you notice the thread, it’s already five hundred posts deep, so there’s a disincentive to start reading it.

I don’t know if there’s a solution to that – I don’t think a Reddit or Slashdot-type nonlinear approach would improve things – it might be that letting anyone start a thread just doesn’t work as well. It might work better if user-generated threads could be presented with a blurb and perhaps an image (like on the BB homepage) and if threads were encouraged to have a more specific hook, rather than “General Thread for Subjects A–E”.

Even more tangentially, I have noticed on forums in general that some threads are basically about a particular user talking to everyone else, and it seems like there are ways platforms could specifically cater to that.


Ha, I was going to ask them, but then I thought, Nah, it would be off-topic…then I scrolled and saw your comment :smiley:

I only heard about “Ope” recently (well, read about it somewhere) and thought it wasn’t really that common, then realized that I do in fact say it. (transplanted to the Midwest in 1977)

I so much miss the old Regular’s Lounge “landing” topic. I can’t remember what the title of that topic was—something very general, I think, like Regular’s Lounge. There were other topics created in the Lounge, about specific things, but that landing topic was a place to chat with each other in an ongoing way, and it meandered all over the place. Nothing was off-topic except arguing with other Regulars there, as I recall. It was wonderful.


This is the reason I often don’t look at user-created topics. If they seem clear in focus and enough people contribute to them I tend to read them (like the “black lives matter” thread for example). Others not so much, often I don’t even see them. I would think to be sustainable a new thread would need to be something other people can also contribute to easily without veering off-topic or else it will just dwindle unless the OP is very dedicated to posting frequently and regularly.


It doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but I was thinking some users might appreciate having a comments-oriented blog type of thing, which could be cross-promoted somehow on their general forum posts. I’ve seen vague gestures at that on other forums, though it’d be tricky to design well. And I’m sure it’d raise other issues in a heavily-moderated environment like Discourse.


To keep it on topic, one reason we can keep having the same discussions in a large forum such as this is that we get disparate viewpoints all the time. I’m not the only one here to make sure that the Midwestern way of thinking about things gets an airing, and we have people all over the world, from every socio-economic background, doing the same from their vantage as well.


I don’t think it’s really necessary to go back and read through the posts one by one. The posts on those kinds of topics will usually have a topical inciting incident behind each post, and any debate will have long since petered out. If you read the last 20 or 30 posts, you can jump in from there. But I see what you mean about a topic becoming too popular for its own good.

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One user-generated solution that’s helped in this regard is what I privately call “reference topics”. A good example is one about guillotine imagery.

For years, topics would be de-railed by the same old hand-wringing about Cory’s and others’ use of guillotine imagery, falsely and often disingenuously and repeatedly claiming it was prescriptive rather than admonitory. Since the topic was established, I’ve referred anyone who starts up with the guillotines to it. There they can see their “brilliant and unique insight” has been expressed (and usually de-bunked) many times before, going back years.

On the same note, this has become a “reference topic” of late.

This topic on free speech serves a similar purpose when someone once again mistakenly or deliberately misconstrues how the First Amendment works.

I also used to preemptively refer certain people in mass shooting topics to this mod note to try and keep them from de-railing with wankery about the technical details of weapons:

I’m sure others can point out further examples. Of course, the site rules FAQ is the ultimate “reference topic”.

@ClutchLinkey above started getting at how Discourse and/or BB might modify things to make user-created “reference topics” a more formal category. Perhaps not auto-closing them would help, for example. Or allowing the mods and/or leaders to designate a user-created topic as a “reference” one.

If this happened, I’d be interested to know if it would be OK for leaders to move an Off-Topic but still interesting discussion sub-thread from a Topic to one of these Reference Topics as appropriate.


Usually if I want to post something in a long thread that I haven’t read all of, I’ll use the search function to try to see if someone has already posted that thought. Of course it may or may not help, depending on the wording used, but by doing that I have sometimes found that my brilliant thought/news/reference/pun was already posted in the topic.

Also, as folks may know, putting an already-posted-in-the-topic link into the reply-composing window will get you a note saying that that link has already been posted in the topic, so that’s handy. You can check out the context that the other person used it in, and decide whether your re-posting of it would add anything to the conversation or not.


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