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1  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Pope Francis' Twitter feed on: July 30, 2015, 12:37:54 am
I also don't see what's hipsterish about this.  It sounds exactly like plenty of middle-aged progressives I know.

Well as I said, it's less buzzword filled and Tumblr-y, but the general premise is pretty similar to a hipster Christian blog, except for the ones that specifically refer to Catholic sacraments or the Marian stuff.

The general premise being "praise Jesus and btw I am liberal"?  yeah I think we're stretching the definition of "hipster" here.

Except written by people who often look like hipsters and listen to the same type of music as I do.

...in other words, not the Pope, which is my point...

I'm not sure what you mean because that is my point. Who would've ever thought the POPE of all people would have a Twitter feed that sounds like things some people who like my music would say?

dude, you said he sounds like a "hipster Christian."  I asked in what sense he sounds like a "hipster," because he just sounds like a liberal Christian to me.  You responded by saying that most "hipster Christians" you know are also liberal.  I pointed out that it made the "hipster" description of that pointless.

It's like saying he sounds like a black Christian because he's talking about income inequality, because blacks also happen to be liberal and talk about those issues.

i miss this.
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Pope Francis' Twitter feed on: July 29, 2015, 01:24:15 pm
I also don't see what's hipsterish about this.  It sounds exactly like plenty of middle-aged progressives I know.

Well as I said, it's less buzzword filled and Tumblr-y, but the general premise is pretty similar to a hipster Christian blog, except for the ones that specifically refer to Catholic sacraments or the Marian stuff.

The general premise being "praise Jesus and btw I am liberal"?  yeah I think we're stretching the definition of "hipster" here.

Except written by people who often look like hipsters and listen to the same type of music as I do.

...in other words, not the Pope, which is my point...
3  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Pope Francis' Twitter feed on: July 29, 2015, 12:54:55 pm
I also don't see what's hipsterish about this.  It sounds exactly like plenty of middle-aged progressives I know.

Well as I said, it's less buzzword filled and Tumblr-y, but the general premise is pretty similar to a hipster Christian blog, except for the ones that specifically refer to Catholic sacraments or the Marian stuff.

The general premise being "praise Jesus and btw I am liberal"?  yeah I think we're stretching the definition of "hipster" here.
4  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Pope Francis' Twitter feed on: July 29, 2015, 05:30:17 am
Look, the Pope seems like a really good guy 95%+ of the time, but nothing he says is that groundbreaking.  It's overwhelmingly reflective of the Catholic Church's longstanding doctrine.  The only difference is in the way he emphasizes and frames issues.  I'm generally pleased about the issues he's bringing to the fore, but more than anything this is an excellent re-branding strategy.  I don't mean that in a remotely cynical way, but it's a Twitter account specifically made to focus on progressive Westerners.  Is it that surprising that it reads this way?

I also don't see what's hipsterish about this.  It sounds exactly like plenty of middle-aged progressives I know.
5  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Green Line on: July 25, 2015, 01:15:50 pm
^

Basically: We don't always 100% know what's going on with everything, and don't want to speak for others if we don't Tongue

As soon as we do know what's going on, there will be an update.
6  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 25, 2015, 11:34:22 am
So you ban Adam first and ask questions later, but Joe... Joe is different. We just need to calm down and process all of this. Joe can wait. We need to have a proper discussion, after all!

Definitely sounds like the rules don't apply to you guys to me.

I have already explained this several times, dude.  Adam was banned as a restraint measure because, at that time, there was a massive, unexplained information leak that appeared to potentially be related to systematic account hacking (the password resets).  While we were untangling the information -- which I believe Adam was dishonest about, by the way -- we put in bans as stopgap measures.  You're asking us for a permanent decision on Joe, when I've made it clear that we're still processing urgent stuff.  That's why we haven't even finalized a decision on the bans yet...so your instant demand that we move on to a less-imminent concern is totally incoherent to anyone who thinks about it for more than fifteen seconds.

I'm a bit confused about what the banning of Adam was supposed to restrain him from doing.

That's a completely valid point -- the basic answer is "we couldn't know."  The gist of it was that, at the time that decision was made, there were a lot more unknown unknowns than there are now.  At the very beginning, when it wasn't clear that the attempted password thefts were likely coincidental, suspending all those involved was totally reasonable crisis management.  We didn't want to lift the ban and accidentally make things worse or more perilous for other people.

Beyond that, the reason Adam's suspension hasn't been lifted, besides the fact that there's more urgent stuff, is because Adam was clearly aware what information he was aiding with actively worked to hide his tracks.  He wasn't simply providing unwitting aid and technical assistance.  There was also a lot of knowing duplicity apparently involved.

I think Adam's suspension will be the first we make a decision on.  There are multiple opinions on it.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Dave Leip Approval Rating on: July 24, 2015, 11:52:42 pm
BK hasn't been permabanned.  None of the bans are permanent yet.
8  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Petition to unban Bacon King on: July 24, 2015, 10:31:55 pm
BK also admitted to his wrongdoing that he never ment to do and wanted to resign as a moderator even if he wasn't banned. Bacon King deserves to have his ban made temporary.

x a CapoteMonster.

Thanks -- again, the willingness to give feedback on the decision-making process here is really appreciated.

And yet the only reason we're having any of these discussions in the first place is because certain people didn't play by your rules.

I was essentially involved in none of that, but assuming you mean the Mod Team by "you," yes.  I agree!  And those unclear, inconsistently-applied standards of conduct are exactly what I'm trying to fix while you're busy wasting my time by being a jerkface.
9  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Moderation in April - 0.22% Mod Rate. You be the Mod Poll on: July 24, 2015, 09:03:29 pm
My view:

1. Non-trivial personal attack.  Delete/modify, but not a serious offense.

2. Leave alone.  I don't like questions of fact being left up to Moderator discretion.

3. Non-trivial personal attack.  Delete/modify, but not a serious offense.

4. Leave alone.  This is political speech, and I strongly oppose moderating it.

5. Indifferent.  I think we should have a consistent policy toward mild vulgarity.  I generally oppose editing mild vulgarity, but I think it might be more reasonable in cases where the vulgarity is directed toward specific people (like people who oppose a political belief).

6. Leave alone.  Political speech.  Absolutely oppose moderating it.

7. Delete/modify.  Trolling.

8. Indifferent.  See #5.

9. Leave alone.  Political speech.  Absolutely oppose moderating it.

10. Not sure.  Was this directly encouraging violence or criminal conduct?  If yes, delete/modify.  If not, leave alone as political speech.

11. Leave alone.  Political speech (I guess...hard to tell without context).  Absolutely oppose moderating it.

12. Leave alone.  Political speech.  Absolutely oppose moderating it.
10  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 24, 2015, 08:50:05 pm
So you ban Adam first and ask questions later, but Joe... Joe is different. We just need to calm down and process all of this. Joe can wait. We need to have a proper discussion, after all!

Definitely sounds like the rules don't apply to you guys to me.

I have already explained this several times, dude.  Adam was banned as a restraint measure because, at that time, there was a massive, unexplained information leak that appeared to potentially be related to systematic account hacking (the password resets).  While we were untangling the information -- which I believe Adam was dishonest about, by the way -- we put in bans as stopgap measures.  You're asking us for a permanent decision on Joe, when I've made it clear that we're still processing urgent stuff.  That's why we haven't even finalized a decision on the bans yet...so your instant demand that we move on to a less-imminent concern is totally incoherent to anyone who thinks about it for more than fifteen seconds.

If you disagree with our decisionmaking, that's fine.  You could try not to be a hostile dick about it, although I can't force you to.  I also can't force you to actually pay attention to what I read and respond to it, but it would be nice, and it would stop you from putting forward arguments that completely fail to understand what's going on.  But this completely, knowingly (or recklessly) disingenuous stuff is completely wasting my time and yours, and more importantly, it's dishonest.  Other people are managing to question the decisions (reasonably) without being disingenuous asses about it.  Learn from them.
11  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: How's the communication going now? on: July 24, 2015, 08:35:51 pm
^back in the day Dave chose moderators, often based off of community input. But for years now the moderators have picked their own. Picking their friends or people they think will join them in their groupthink is the most important qualifying factor rather than having a diverse sampling of our community. The dissenters (Sam) have been purged. The ones disloyal to the clique (BK) have been purged. Our beloved forum is in such sad shape in large part due to this destructive policy.

This is totally disingenuous.  The idea that Bacon King's ban was put in place because he was "disloyal to the clique" makes it sound like he was banned for disagreeing with us or because we didn't like him.  He was banned  because he released private communications he explicitly agreed not to.  If you support a completely transparent Mod Lounge with no private discussions, that's an argument you can make (although that would require you actually engage in conversation instead of monologuing).  But that's not the case currently, so pretending like that wasn't the cause of BK's emergency ban (which may well be temporary) is just mendacious.

If you are here to be completely disinterested in reciprocal communication, don't bother.  Seriously.  It's a waste of my time and yours.
12  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Atlas Forum Feedback on: July 24, 2015, 04:48:26 pm
This thread is really awesome.  Thank you all!
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Majority of Americans Ready for Muslim President on: July 24, 2015, 02:42:15 pm
Only 57% of the non-religious would support a well-qualified Evangelical Christian?  But 82% of them would support a well-qualified Muslim?

I'm at a loss of words. 

I think a lot of them probably assume that any evangelical Christian president would be very conservative, and I get the impression a lot of liberals don't realize how much more socially conservative the average Muslim is than the average evangelical Christian...
14  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 24, 2015, 02:31:02 pm
What is the "implied ultimatum". Is it "Joe can you please not threaten people again. OR ELSE we might possibly maybe consider demodding you in the future." Sounds like a slap on the wrist to me.

All I'm hearing are more excuses.

The rules don't apply to you guys. We get it. We don't have to like it or give approval.

I did not say either of these things.  The only reason I'm not pressing for a de-modding now is because this followed a ridiculously stressful, emotionally-prone event.  The only reason I hedged at all on supporting a full-blown automatic demodding in the future is because I'm not the only person involved in the decision, and I can't speak for anything else.  If you disagree with either of those arguments, I'm open to hearing why, although I may ultimately disagree.

But here's the deal: you either can expect transparent communication, or you can be passive-aggressive and refuse to engage what I'm actually saying, but not both.  I am happy to communicate, but I'm not going to waste my time if you're going to act like this.  I have absolutely no problem with you guys disagreeing -- even vehemently -- with my decision-making.  I do have a problem with you wasting my time by misconstruing or ignoring what I'm saying.

Let me know if you're actually willing to communicate reciprocally and I'm happy to, as I've shown throughout this thread and several recent ones.  Your call.
15  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: How's the communication going now? on: July 23, 2015, 10:34:19 pm
Very much appreciated, keep up the good work!

Alcon, it's clear that you are working hard and that you take this seriously, and we all appreciate that. [...]  I remain hopeful that as the lines of dialogue have opened, our community will be able to deliver a clear consensus as to what realistic changes could be made.

Thanks guys.  Much appreciated!

Really, this is much better, but there is still issues with a mod (Mr. Moderate) which is just smug, arrogant and condescending in pretty much all threads involving moderation.

If you want communication to be good between mods and members, he will have to change or he will have to go. You can't afford a mod (especially a very part-time one) going against your efforts right now.

EDIT: For the record, my issue with him isn't his critizism of BK (unlike post below), it's rather posts like this, which are arrogant and only throw oil on fires. A moderator should moderate, not exacerbate problems.

I think the consensus that we need to review moderator expectations around activity and conduct.  I actually don't read that reply as quite as arrogant as you do.  Many of the initial reactions were basically "BK is great, so this is a terrible decision!"...and that's just not a reasonable way of looking at the situation.  That said, I think that the bad communication and lack of transparency is a significant part of why those reactions happened, so I'm hoping it will improve.

Better, of course.

One of the main problems is that many of the mods are not seen as a part of the community (such as Mr. Moderate coming out of nowhere to say awful things about a respected and loved member of the community.) There are so many mods that I have never interacted with and almost never see post which just doesn't make sense to me.

I think part of the problem is that, traditionally, moderators have often been chosen for being "above the fray."  In many cases, that's involved choosing people who don't use the forum as a social community.  That's not inherently bad -- oftentimes those are the most objective people.  But it also means that a lot of moderators have gone inactive, and that moderators are oftentimes out-of-the-loop on what's going on with the forum social community.  Both things should be part of the conversation on moderator expectations I hope to have after more urgent issues are settled.
16  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 23, 2015, 06:16:07 pm
Alcon the "Rochambeau incident" was when he changed an image in Rochambeau's signature hosted on a site he had access to into pornography, thus displaying that on the forum anywhere Rochambeau posted.

I don't think I need to explain why that's a problem for others than Rochambeau.

Yeah, thanks -- that was explained to me yesterday.  I wasn't involved in the decision, so I'm not sure why it wasn't a disqualifier at the time.  I don't think the recent post should be a disqualifier.  

Here's what I'd personally propose: once we get through the (extensive) immediate work ahead of us, we should more extensively consider Moderator communication, but also activity and conduct standards.  I think it's dumb to keep handling these cases ad hoc and I think we should have clear expectations, and then anyone who doesn't feel like they can commit to them should resign or be removed.    No reason to keep spinning our wheels by handling this stuff in such a piecemeal way.

Seem reasonable?
17  About this Site / The Atlas / How's the communication going now? on: July 23, 2015, 05:38:47 pm
Sup all,

So, I've been thinking.  Basically, the mod team has two options.  Either we make decisions privately, and wait to discuss them publicly until we have something final.  In theory, this has the advantages of avoiding confusion and frustration over incomplete decisions/thinking.  In practice, I think this basically has pissed people off.  For good reason, honestly.  It makes things seem really autocratic.  It's also a lost opportunity for the membership to help the Mods, who oftentimes don't know the complete play-by-play of events, understand what happened.

In that spirit, we've been trying to be more transparent about what we're doing and thinking.  Obviously, in some cases, that means indicating that decisions haven't been made yet.  That's going to happen because of how complicated recent events have been.  But it seems like this is working a lot better than staying quiet until decisions are official, especially since Dave has been taking the time to share his input in public.

So: How is the communication going over the past 24-36 hours?  Better?  If not, what sort of communication about the decision-making process would help?

Thanks!
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are all the mods starting to remind you of Inks? on: July 23, 2015, 05:24:13 pm
No one is criticising the moderators for banning the sociopath. What is being criticised, I thing, is the view some moderators have apparently taken of holding the person with the mental illness fully responsible despite, well, their mental illness. And then a third person whose role in facilitating this has not been fully explained.

These decisions simply require time and conversation.  The question of how to deal with an abuse of trust mitigated by mental illness is really complicated, even when all the facts are established.  I doubt anyone has reached a fully-formed conclusion. 

However, here's the thing: we can either have instant transparency, or you can have fully-formed explanations and arguments.  Both are not possible.  I think the Mod Team has previously erred toward waiting for transparency until final decisions are reached.  I don't think that model is working, and it's time to be more transparent.  But that means the membership needs to understand that conversations are ongoing, and not get upset when they see the Mod Team still researching or considering.

I, personally, don't blame the mods for being angry-- as I explained earlier, I understand that being angry with having personal and sensitive information leaked, and being misled as to the source of that leak, is a perfectly normal reaction. But I object to the tone coming from some, mainly you and Nym, that seems to completely disregard just how Tweed took advantage of BK's mental issues, which BK had described to Tweed in detail, and BK's compulsive desire, stemming from those issues, to seek approval and to be liked by others-- as BK explained. I don't even necessarily disagree with a ban, but the idea it could be permanent rather than temporary until BK gets better, seems excessive, even callous.

I guess it fundamentally boil down to whether you see BaconKing as a victim or as an overt actor in all this. I think it quite clear that he is a victim, and should not be subjected to some kind of punitive action.

Two points here:

1. Be careful not to confuse being fatigued with being callous.  This was exhausting, and we've already researched/discussed this incident a lot.  After a while of discussing something, it's really easy to come across as unemotional.  That doesn't mean there isn't sympathy.

2. Be careful not to confuse being clinical with being callous, either.  All of us really like Bacon King, and recognize that mental illness affects decision-making.  However, there is a grey area of culpability where someone is intellectually capable of understanding an action is wrong, and has consequences, but feels the impulse to do it again.  Even in criminal law, those people are at least partially culpable.  It's complicated and will require a dispassionate analysis, especially considering it involves someone who we're all sympathetic to.  Dispassionate doesn't mean unsympathetic, and we'll do our best to strike the balance between sympathy and responsibility.

Hope that seems reasonable?
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you support the bans of Tweed, BK and AdamGriffin? on: July 23, 2015, 05:08:13 pm
Cross-posted:

Personal info was leaked, which I think explains in part why the moderators-- or at least some of them-- seem to be taking such a hard line on this. They're angry that those sorts of things were leaked, and that Bacon King told them he had been hacked when he'd actually given the password to Tweed. In a way it's somewhat reminiscent of the circumstances behind my banning where the moderators were effectively led on a wild goose chase. They weren't too pleased about that-- and I had misled them about something much more minor than their own personal and sensitive information being leaked. I can understand why they're reacting like this.

For BK I imagine things will improve with time. For AG it would really come down to just how much he knew about what Tweed was doing.

I want to make it clear that these decisions were not made based on any emotional reaction.  The situation was upsetting for the same reason the bans were necessary -- it was a complicated, elaborate violation and breach of trust.  That made it an urgent situation which necessitated putting stop-gap measures (provisional bans) into place.

In other words, this wasn't a matter of punishment; this was a matter of restraint and crisis management.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Should Mr. Moderate be de modded? on: July 23, 2015, 05:05:16 pm
People are not going to be de-modded for expressing opinions that people disagree with.  You are absolutely entitled to disagree with his opinion, explain why, and try to influence him and others.  We'll be open to your arguments, and for my part, I probably agree with you more.  However, this clearly cannot be grounds for de-modding.

Reasonable?
21  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 23, 2015, 04:09:10 pm
Teddy was banned for much the same thing. Sawx was demodded and banned for acting something arguably worse towards a somewhat less repulsive character.

I wasn't involved in either of those decisions, but I'm extremely aware that Teddy presented many more concerns than one particular abusive post.  I don't think you can reasonably assume that the final decision was based entirely on the incident that started the ball rolling on the decision.  Understand what I mean?
22  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Are our forum account passwords encrypted? on: July 23, 2015, 03:58:25 pm
SMF encrypts passwords, yes.  A 10-second Google search told me that.  What statement did you read that suggested this isn't the case?
23  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 23, 2015, 03:55:54 pm
So in other words, Joe got another slap on the wrist and will remain a mod. Just as expected. 

I don't know the full background on any past issues with Joe, but I'm personally reluctant to make this a "straw that broke the camel's back" issue.  It's hard to concisely explain how (reasonably) upset most of us are with Tweed's conduct.  The content is indefensible but the anger is understandable.  That said, this isn't a "slap on the wrist."  Dave's been clear that this was not OK, and personally speaking, if similar behavior repeats I'll be on the warpath.

The thing is that these "straws" are themselves things that would have gotten lesser posters banned even when taken individually, to say nothing as a whole. And yet here we are sitting around seriously asking whether or not this is enough to disqualify someone from being a moderator.

I'm not sure that is the case.  Maybe very new posters, yes, but part of that is because -- lacking any other information -- newer posters who act like this are pretty likely to be trolls.  But a poster that we know better than that?  I doubt they'd be banned under a comment like this, set in anger under a stressful situation.

That said, I am concerned that very longstanding members with more deference than more recent ones, even in cases where we're confident the poster isn't a troll.  I want to avoid that problem.  And I do think moderators need to be held to a higher standard, which is why I'm pissed about this post, and will be very pissed if this happens again.  War path -- I promise.
24  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Leip, one of your mods is encouraging people to kill themselves. on: July 23, 2015, 03:42:58 pm
So in other words, Joe got another slap on the wrist and will remain a mod. Just as expected. 

I don't know the full background on any past issues with Joe, but I'm personally reluctant to make this a "straw that broke the camel's back" issue.  It's hard to concisely explain how (reasonably) upset most of us are with Tweed's conduct.  The content is indefensible but the anger is understandable.  That said, this isn't a "slap on the wrist."  Dave's been clear that this was not OK, and personally speaking, if similar behavior repeats I'll be on the warpath.

It'll be a "slap on the wrist" if he is still a moderator.

If you'd like to PM me background (other than the Rochambeau incident and this) of your objections, I will broach this on the Mod Forum.  Lacking any background information, there's not much I can do.  I don't think people feel that this post alone justifies demodding.  Either way, I wouldn't exactly call what seems to me like an implied ultimatum to be a "slap on the wrist."
25  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: So, let's take a breath here and I'll try to explain about what's going on. on: July 23, 2015, 12:49:27 pm
Hey guys -- thanks again for being so reasonable about this.  We're moving on to discussions about the bans, although they are going to take a while, because a lot of us put in a ton of time dealing with things over the last few days, and we don't want to make this decision in exhaustion or haste.
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