Metal Machine Music Flag Conversation

This thread is for our conversation on flags and some kind of notion of liminality concerning what constitutes a fair behavioural threshold for flagging comments and the commenters that comment them.

It might be difficult and challenging but ultimately it will be rewarding.


And may it fare better than the last flagging thread!

Personally, I do recognize that every last one of us will have differing thresholds, and that’s both unavoidable and as it should be. But given the limitations of the current software, I think it behooves us to pause before flagging something simply because it annoys us, and to ask ourselves if the usual result (masking the offending comment from view, and eventually the comment being potentially moved or eaten) is genuinely worth even the appearance of stifling dissent.

Sometimes it really is, no doubt. Sometimes I think it falls short of that. In any case, I’m somewhat disgruntled that lately way, way too much of the defense of free expression has come to be the defense of dipshits and bigots and racists and misogynists to spout their nonsense wheresoever and howsoever they please. I’m not interested in dying on that hill today.

But given how vociferously the BBS has argued against its perceived status as an echo chamber, I think it oughta try a bit harder to put its money where its mouth is, even if only in such cold-button topics as macroeconomics and condiments.


Whilst we’re waiting for the comments to be imported I thought I’d try and set the tone. :innocent:




Metal Machine Music

I sometimes wonder if I’m one of the few people on earth who have listened to that album start to end on repeat

Oh flagging? After various thought, I only flag when what I see is a personal attack rather than furthering the discussion.

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Sorta, but I had it on repeat to lull me to sleep, so I may not have stayed awake through more than one cycle.

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Sorry for this…


That didnt happen.

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Yep, but it’s getting worse and worse:

At least with Europe the Brits could move abroad to somewhere cheap. Now who’s going to take them?!


So to be upfront I disagree. But I’m curious as to your reasoning.

I love to gore on thames. Especially when I’m near Oxford.


Obviously I am not arguing for anything less than a shut down if ye should desire it.
I can’t but wonder if the system is being evaluated through test cases like this one. Even though it’s the kind of thing I would do, I’ll avoid the implication that accounts such as max’s and nickles are socks for the man and Jeff is laughing in some professionally cooled clean-room, a cackling mastermind. But for sure don’t get it twisted, lots of people like this exist IRL and our behaviour toward them in these circumstances is defining the substrate we’re having the conversation in.

I suppose I’m really only making an aesthetic criticism of the way the community is deciding to handle this. It is inartful. It feels blunt and shallow. I’m not arguing for piñatas, I’d just like everyone to be real sure it’s not just someone obsessed with whatever and that they might have it in them to accept being shown a wider arena.

And you’re denying others of attempting to sharpen their edge with the person, as can be observed above where a very respected commenter is engaged with the account in seeming conversation.

If it’s spam then it’s spam and ban the account. I both could and could not care less. :wink:
I would argue this is a much closer to the edge case-scenario than Max represents and our reaction to it is more important “in the long run” because of the emotional and intellectual fine line it is walking.


The purported reason we lowered interest rates to near zero was to climb out of the hole caused by the 2002-2005 housing asset bubble. So it goes back for longer than a decade in the US too, and our banking-government complex has never since allowed housing prices to adjust to real market clearing levels.

The reason we have kept interest rates near zero for almost a decade is that the bankers have many good friends among both Republicans and Democrats.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that we need a full power audit of the Fed - an idea endorsed by both Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul.

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Personally, I don’t want a shut down.

I’d just like all of nickle’s posts moved to a topic called “nickel’s thoughts on pension reform.” There, people can engage with him, or not, to their hearts’ content, and those arguments would not be derailing every thread that had to do with personal finance.

If this isn’t the perfect test case for the “off-topic” flag, then what is?


I think you simply ascribe too much power to them. There’s plenty of times they’re just pissing in the wind. The low rates were supposed to facilitate lending post crisis, and mostly failed. There’s just too many moving parts in the machine for them to exercise real control. I’m not really a finance guy, but I even wonder if the Volcker rate rise in the early 80s that ended the 70’s inflation would even work in today’s more complex markets.

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I think their lack of power furthers my point. If people put together a cohesive policy to try to change something that would require using many levers including interest rates, they just can’t do it, because interest rates have been handed off to somebody else. But what are we getting out of having them separate? Even if we naively believe that interest rate control does the things it’s supposed to (like heading off inflation)… why is controlling inflation not a matter of public policy?

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To put control of it beyond the short grubby fingers of elected figures like our current president was the idea of an “independent” Fed.

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Which brings us full circle to my point above: Why not do the same with taxes or military spending or anything else? In the end, we have to stop voting for these short-fingered vulgarians, no laws or governmental structures can save us if we aren’t willing to save ourselves.


I agree about moving conversations that definitely are off topic and I don’t want to be a blowhard about it, apologies to everyone for doing that. I just see conversations being shut down and have had that happen to myself as well and am pushing back against it.Which I’ll probably continue to do if I see what I consider badly applied shut downs.

Conversations are happening with more than just your bugbear as (potentially) good faith participants, and I’d like a little more space for people actively engaging such a person in conversation. Let them figure out if they can have what they consider to be an OT enough conversation with the person. Maybe pensions will be a tangential contributing factor or whatever. But let that person have their conversation without interceding with flags without first addressing it in some manner.

I get the impression of this troll team, being formed in the fine air of heaven in some far off fantasy land and raiding the land of the mere mortals once they’ve decided, as their own group, that no one else’s conversations are worthy.

It’s creepy and the lounge is mostly male as well so there’s an extra creepy element about the behaviour.

As I alluded to earlier, there are some commenters whom I would not have made this appeal about, had they been flagged to oblivion, I just saw this as an edge case and thought the line should at least stay here and move no further. I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case, however. But, I’m free to raise my concerns if I feel like I have any so…


You aren’t alone in your concerns that certain people are being unfairly shut down. It’s always nice to air on the side of being charitable. At the same time, I think sometimes things happen for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent, and you can’t always get what’s going on from the specific posts that were flagged. There may be a history of a certain type of behaviour. Hopefully we don’t fall into the trap of letting someone behave badly consistently because none of the individual incidents taken in isolation rise to an actionable level.

I think we can be harder of people we perceive as allies or friends than on strangers because we expect more of them. I’d like to give those who give flags more benefit of the doubt as well, not just people who might receive them. Or, you know, dispel the doubt and just talk about it - like you did. Hooray for conversation!


What does that tell us? That they didn’t find the posts off-topic enough to fork? Or that they didn’t find the posts worthy of discussion? Same outcome either way, with no indication of the actual motive.

See, this is why my flag-threshold is kept so very high. I come to this thread 3 days late, see a bunch of flagged posts from some user I don’t know, and when I read them I don’t see abuse or spam or overt trolling, but merely an unpopular opinion (that doesn’t even strike me as particularly off-topic) being flagged into oblivion, and then I roll my eyes and wonder how long before we have to have the goddamned Echo Chamber discussion again.

There is no practical difference to the outside observer between flagging for content, flagging for attitude, flagging for presentation, flagging for trollery, or flagging for repetition. God knows you don’t bother flagging slurping GIFs or fish puns or banana memes or space-lizard cloacas. But whatever. I just think that I’m less interested in the tightly curated discussion that flag-happiness engenders. I’d rather just ignore and scroll past the bores. Maybe some other dipstick will learn something useful from them.