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  1. davidm

    davidm Poodle of Guernica

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    discussion split off the july voting thread

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest' started by davidm, Aug 8, 2019.

    I agree with Big Soft Moose that we could take this to another thread, but OTOH, this is why I am putting my comments behind spoilers; and it is stipulated, at the start of the the voting thread, that discussion of stories might take place inside the voting thread itself, so that people should avoid spoilers if they do not wish to be biased or to have endings revealed before they read the stories.

    I can only say that you have not shown why any of the story in question should amount to 2 plus 2 equaling 3. You are simply asserting this, without any explanation for your objections beyond nitpicking, or beyond declaring unequivocally that is unprecedented for what the story describes, to have happened. Yet I gave you a link to a book that describes, in multiple cases, the very thing happening, which you declare to be unprecedented. And you have never once acknowledged your demonstrated error in this regard.

    I don't really see the need to take this to a new thread, though others can if they want. I think I've said my piece. If you can't even acknowledge that you were wrong in your "unprecedented" declaration, I'm not sure what there is to talk about.

    As to being very analytical, fiction writing is not about analytic philosophy, realism, or even logic. It CAN be about those things, but it need not be. Were it so, then we can dismiss a vast canon of literature, including Gogol, Kafka, Marquez, and the late Toni Morrison, among many others.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Okay I asked nicely - now I'm telling - no more discussion of this issue on this thread.

    We don't have a problem with general feedback behind spoilers, but we do have an issue with this thread being hijacked into the discussion of one particular point from one particular story especially with not every poster using spoilers to discuss it.

    Any more posts in this thread on that particular topic will be deleted and their poster blocked from posting on this thread
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2019
  3. GrahamLewis

    GrahamLewis Let me chew on your criticism a bit. Contributor

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    You guys wanna take it outside or what? Huh?
     
  4. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    Are the Mods any closer to getting the medal backlog sorted, otherwise this might as well be a discussion thread... is there actually a point casting votes at the minute seeing as the winners are getting nothing? The discussion is the only meaningful recognition on offer at the minute...

    Saying that, I have voted. It's going to be close this month I feel.
     
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  5. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    Well.. there seems to be a tie ATM! We need more votes to break it!
     
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  6. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    I think the awarding of medals should be delegated to more people and especially to the contest administrators. That way it won’t be an issue if admin. is absent.

    Is it OK to put this forward to whoever is responsible? (I mean when they return).
     
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  7. Stephen Barnard

    Stephen Barnard Member

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    Quite right. Although I'm wondering where they're at / returning from which means that they can't log on periodically to something they're apparently in charge of... the moon, perhaps?
     
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  8. davidm

    davidm Poodle of Guernica

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    It is SUPPOSED to be a discussion thread. Note the disclaimer at the very start: If you don't want discussion, don't read the spoilers! I have put all my stuff behind spoilers. And I continue to await my medal for a recent poetry win.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Right one more time from the top - this is the voting thread. Feedback and discussion is welcome but it should be behind spoiler tags if it contains spoliers

    Taking the thread into a discussion of a solitary plot point to the exclusion of all else however is not appropriate which is why I've put a moratorium on discussing whether a 12 year old is too young to commit murder... if you want to discuss that in general take it to the plot discussions forum.(any more discussion of that point or arguing about whether it should be allowed on this thread will be deleted)

    In regard of medals we mods find this just as frustrating as you guys - only Daniel and Wreybies can create new medals since it requires access to the admin panel. Wrey is otherwise occupied, those who keep up with world affairs will have notice the rioting and political discord in Puerto Rico. not to mention an incipient hurricane We have asked Daniel numerous times but with no success since he is a very absent owner. We will keep asking but we are not in a position to make anything happen until/unless Daniel comes back to us, nor can we say when that may be.

    In the meantime if you are owed medals make sure that is noted on the master list of outstanding medals, but apart from that please regard the reward for the contests as the joy of taking part to improve your writing and the bragging rights of being the winner. A few pixels on the screen in the shape of a medal should be a nice extra, not the raison d'etre of entering the contest.

    Now lets get back on track with the actual purpose of the thread
     
  10. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    Can folks who haven't voted see the spoilers?
     
  11. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    yes anyone can see the spoilers if they click on them - theres no simple way to link them to the voting
     
  12. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks. That puts a whole different spin on things.
     
  13. GrahamLewis

    GrahamLewis Let me chew on your criticism a bit. Contributor

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    Moose,

    I understand and agree with you on the risk of contaminating the voting indirectly in these discussions. I probably bear some responsibility since I raised the issue, at least partially.

    I am -- and I am hesitant to raise this under what seems to be a new regime of moderators, and I fear you may ban me for raising it -- bothered by your tone. You come across as talking down to members or as an authoritarian. I know we have l some people who were part of the vibe of this site when I first came on, and I know they left because they felt disrespected. I remember another post by another mod -- Iain I think -- who said we shouldn't be asking why people are banned. That's simply not right, this shouldn't be a site in which there is only one way to think, or that people can be simply "disappeared" at the whim of a moderator, without question.

    I guess this is kind of a test, I half-expect to be banned by you; if so, so be it. There are other sites with other moderators who take a more laid-back view of their role.

    As for the medals, I don't agree with your minimalization of them. They have important symbolic value to many who get them, and they have been part of the essence of this WF. People are not being "petty" just because they would like to have those pixels with their screen name. We all know that the lack of medals is not the fault of the moderators. As for Daniel and Wreybies, I know that at least Wreybies has a lot going on, but he or they ought to delegate authority if they need time away.

    Sorry if this itself seems hostile. I've been thinking on this for awhile.

    P.S. I was going to apologize for hijacking the thread, but realize it has already veered off course, and I think your post requires a rebuttal of sorts.

    GL
     
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  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Usually I would take it to PM to avoid disrupting a thread, but I think it is fair to say that there may be more than one person interested in the answer here so I'll stay on thread.

    We are an unusual forum Graham in that we don't mind discussing the reasons for moderator action , within reason so long as that discussion doesn't go on and on and on - I'm certainly not going to ban you just for asking a civil question.

    We are actually very laid back compared to many other sites, and it is not a case of being authoritarian or talking down to members. - the post you quote above is the third time I had to ask hence a degree of frustration in my tone. I had already asked on #53 and #55. In general when a moderator asks for a thread to move on from a specific point they do not expect to have to ask more than once, and certainly not three times.

    As to the people who have left or been banned - we do not discuss the reasons for individual ban unless the behaviour is so heinous that its obvious anyway (for example as with Joe Sixpack), because every member has a right to privacy and their banning is a matter between them and the mod team.

    I will say that there has been an issue with a few members coming to believe that because the are "part of the vibe of the site" they are above the rules, and/or that they can act as they wish without reference to the mod team or the wishes of the owner. Likewise a few members seem to have erroneously concluded that they deserve special treatment due to their accomplishments as writers or positions in the publishing industry.

    In both cases the people concerned are mistaken and discovering that they are mistaken may have made them wish to leave , if so this is their choice. There is one rule for everyone, and it makes no difference to the mod team if someone is Stephen King with a pseudonym, or a 14 year old writing his first short story. What does matter is the way they behave here, and the way with which they engage with the site, the membership and the staff.

    In regard of banning - people are not banned for how they think or the views they express (with the exception of hateful or illegal content), Excepting spammers the reason for the banning of which should be obvious, there are only three things likely to lead to a ban

    1) For breaking the rules of the site, including totting up bans where infraction points for more minor offences total 5 or 10 or whatever,
    2) Sockpuppetry - ie starting more than one account, or returning with a dupe account having previously been banned
    3) for refusing to accept the authority of the mod team and/or owner to run the site - this does not mean just asking a question as you have here, but does mean in part consistently arguing about moderator action over thread after thread or message after message. You will discover that this is the case in practically every forum on the internet.

    It is also of note that excepting really heinous cases (and sockpuppetry/spam which carry instant perma bans) in most cases people will receive warnings or temporary bans before the day rolls around that they receive a perma ban. The software makes no discrimination in showing these so not everyone marked as banned is banned for good.

    Lastly it is important to be clear that the decision to ban permanently is not taken lightly and is taken collegially by the mod team, not by a single mod acting alone. We are aware that it is not always popular, but moderation is not a popularity contest.

    I hope that clarifies things, if you or anyone have further questions on this please open a conversation with me/us

    You will note that I have not addressed the medal question - that now has a thread here https://www.writingforums.org/threads/the-medal-situation-discussion.163215/#post-1796219 that aside I am not saying anyone is petty for asking for them, I recognise and share the frustration that this can't be easily resolved. My point is since it cannot, and we can make no promises on a timescale for resolution, in the interim it is perhaps wise not to consider them the main reason to enter a contest


     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I don't want to delete these posts as Graham has a reasonable question, but it is important that the voting thread go back to its proper purpose and the other discussions not detract from that so I am moving them here, temporarily
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  16. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale The third pronunciation of "potato" Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @GrahamLewis, I'd like to address some of your concerns.

    I'm going to break protocol here because I know that I'd be going off even harder than you have if I was still a regular member. When Moose, Jannert and I were promoted, I was under the impression that we would be the three junior members in a team of ten or so, counting admins. This turned out not to be the case. After we were given a period of training, the rest of the mod team seems to have moved on with the exception of our technical guru Komposten. We may be "the new regime," but only because we were left holding the bag. I'm not going to elaborate on or question the senior mods' reasons for becoming less active, but the reality of what we were thrust into is definitely not what I expected. As Moose has detailed here, we don't have the technical ability to fix many of the problems that have been cropping up.

    I've never been fired from a job, however, at one of my past jobs, I had a disciplinary file a foot thick and the only thing that prevented me from getting fired was that my resignation hit the boss's desk before the secretary had finished typing up my termination papers. That job is long gone, but I'd hate for anyone to see my file. Some of it I didn't deserve, some of it I did, but I'm glad it's sealed by privacy laws. The first day I wasn't there, there was a memo that said "[Iain Aschendale] is no longer employed by [REDACTED]." I've established alternate means of communication with many of the members here whom I consider friends in case things go sideways.

    I'm in agreement with you about the value of the medals, and Moose has addressed the situation in detail here. I've added my own thoughts on the subject to that thread.

    You aren't out of line, your post was carefully thought out and politely put, and I share many of your frustrations.

    I don't know if this helps at all, but honesty is all I've got left in my quiver.
     
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  17. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I totally agree with every word Iain said. We new mods are in the middle of a situation we didn't create. I love the forum and want it to continue, want it to be welcoming to people who are interested in writing, not fighting, and I'm willing to work hard to see that it does just that. But it's not the situation I expected when I agreed to take on the position either. We're adjusting to a new normal.
     
  18. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    it is probably also worth saying that although none of us want to be authoritarian or get any pleasure out of it, the purpose of the mod team is to keep the site running smoothly for the majority of members who as jan said 'like writing not fighting'. This may be uncomfortable or upsetting for the minority who are temporarily not allowed to behave as they might wish, but its an unfortunate necessity for the good of the forum community as a whole.
     
  19. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    As one of the people I think Graham may be referencing... I didn't stop contributing to the site because I felt I deserved special treatment. I feel that EVERY member of the site should be treated with basic respect and courtesy. If that equates to "special treatment" then I clearly made the right decision when I backed away.
     
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  20. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Posting for the first time in weeks, purely for the purpose of Liking this and asserting my complete agreement.
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Every member of the site is treated with basic respect and courtesy - but basic respect and courtesy goes both ways and all members are also required to treat each other, and the site staff and owner with basic respect and courtesy also...

    That basic respect includes obeying the rules, respecting the authority of the staff to run the site, and respecting the owners right to make decisions about how the site and brand are used

    six months ago this site was suffering from a toxic atmosphere with thread after thread being hijacked into tiresome and circular arguments by the same small cliques of members. That kind of conduct is not respectful to the other members of the community, which is why it is not tolerated.

    A number of members have commented positively on this change in atmosphere and that such exchanges are no longer allowed to develop,

    At the end of the day we should not conflate being treated with respect with being allowed to behave however one wishes regardless of the detriment that this behaviour has on others.

    What was meant by 'special treatment' was that a minority of members had erroneously concluded that for whatever reason they had the right to behave in a way that was detrimental to the community as a whole, and that being asked not to by the staff was somehow disrespectful or discourteous

    Since Grahams question has been answered (and the medal situation adressed by the creation of Komposten as an Admin) I am now locking this thread - If anyone wishes to discuss in general they are as ever welcome to do so by pm
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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