Your input requested – How should “Controversial Topics” be handled?
Perhaps Dr. M could consider transferring the Controversial Topics forum to a subdomain of CM.com. This would allow easy tracking of the threads and comments, but its content would remain unseen by new visitors to the primary site. Might be a cost effective approach to dealing with this problem as well.
Maybe something like ct.PeakProsperity.com?
(Notice I refrained from any "controversial" name for the subdomain.)
I have always respected and valued your and SagerXX’s contributions to this forum and I hope we can find some common ground to allow some differences of opinion.
Larry: Difference of opinion is easy, and happens all the time. Common ground is more difficult, and takes work. The fact you and I (and Aaron and Prop and everybody) are here means the common ground is already laid out underneath us all. If any two (or four) of us tend to bop out in different directions on the multitude of issues presented by the 3Es and the general discombobulation of the Great Unraveling… Well, I guess I would think less of this community if it all marched in lockstep. Naw, I don’t guess: I know I would.
I may not be in the same headspace as you are vis-a-vis the fed and so forth, but I admire your hardcore energy and tireless dedication.
Viva — Sager
Chris advised me in a thread some time ago to seperate my "facts", "beliefs" and "opinions".
It was good advice, and I think it’s wise to do the same thing with the forums. Opinions are the juice, and should be welcome on any topic. Facts are what we form our opinions on (hopefully) and Beliefs are things we think, but may not be able to fully substantiate.
The topics listed above are based mostly on beliefs.
That doesn’t mean there can’t be fact based opinion about them.
We’re probably straying a bit from the intent of the thread, but this forum is a source of great information based on facts.
Many people believe so strongly in their opinions that they cannot conceive that they are not facts.
Topics based on this kind of thinking should be relegated to a special area where we can shave with Occham’s Razor and slaughter sacred cows.
Out here in the open, topics that can be substantiated should be given first dibs at generating conversation.
Just some thoughts, Cheers!
I really like your idea if I understand you right. Are you saying that posts should be measured for acceptance by the quality of their supportive information?
Aaron, you wrote "The IPCC is absolutely NOT an unbiased source. Any panel created to do anything on tax-payer funds <SNIP>"
To put it in usual blunt way, you are wrong. A biased scientist is one who refuses to see or use objectively new data or information when it comes along. IPCC scientists absolutely do NOT do this, in fact they spend their entire time (and budget) fine tuning their models using precisely new info. And of course they need to be funded, and they won’t be funded by the big polluters now will tey? I mean the big polluters are too busy funding the denialists!
I find your reasoning on this puzzling, because you then also write "Getting people to grow their own food, repair their goods, learn skills and generally remove funds from the economy through saving and prudence is the only way to prune back government to it’s proper perspective." with which I unequivocally agree….
These suggestions of yours are of course exactly what is needed to cure us from AGW!
Yes, that’s basically it. However, with less emphesis on the "support material" and more on the Authors knoweldge.
I immediately turn away from articles by Alex Jones, Pravda, NewsWithViews or MSNBC.
Their articles are written with a specific agenda in mind, and more often than not, they only serve to infuriate their readers/listeners.
Likewise, Scientific studies done by any government agency manipulate the scientific method to "fabricate" results that match predetermined hypothesis. This may have to do with a political agenda or a fiscal one,
That’s not to say that ALL of the above do not have acceptable content, and if it can be cross referenced and verified with other sources, I’ll give it consideration.
For these reasons, I prefer to see and hear an individual discuss THEIR knoweldge of the subject, and give supporting data if clarification is required. When people introduce articles that they themselves did not write, it generally reflects their willingness to believe someone elses opinions without doing their own research.
This is where the controvery comes in with many topics: religion, guns, climate or government shennigans, most specifically.
It is my expectation that if a person brings up a "controversial" topic, the should be able to speak on it with authority.
If someone else refutes it, they should have some experience to validate it.
[quote]IPCC scientists absolutely do NOT do this, in fact they spend their entire time (and budget) fine tuning their models using precisely new info. And of course they need to be funded, and they won’t be funded by the big polluters now will tey? I mean the big polluters are too busy funding the denialists![/quote]
I’ve reviewed the data they used to "conclusively" label Global Climate change an event caused by humans, and I’m unconvinced.
For whatever that’s worth to you. Probably not much, but I have argued this from both sides.
I am unconvinced either way – as more information becomes available, better descision can be made.
The IPCC report is a far cry from complete and unbiased.
Sorry for over-reacting. We agree on much and I think we have found an area in which to disagree.
Aaron said: Moving forward, I agree it’s not the only approach, but specific knowledge of the "overall" plan (or conspiracy) is really neither here nor there. An oppressive government rules through control.
I think some knowledge of the overall plan is what will stop it; as long as there are enough people who understand the basics. One good thing, as people come to understand the "who" and "why," I think they will also see how easy it will be to fix things.
Aaron said: By building sustainable communities, the government will lose its ability to inject itself into your life without reason or cause. If you don’t need them, they literally cease to exist.
Again we disagree. I think the collapse will increase government intrusion and dependency.
Your position is more in line with the CC mission. Maybe there isn’t room for controversial topics on a mission orientated forum. That’s my question. I agree with Joe that the juice is gone when contrarian and controversial topics are unwelcome.
I don’t mean to pick on you…I hope we can find some way to accommodate both views.
Good thread. I agree with moderator Jason and how the topics are organized.
I find I don’t spend the time to keep up with all of the information posted on this site and so I appreciate well presented arguments that I find here. Controversial topics are good to have but should not be mainstream. For persons who like the "action" of high level banter and so on I think there are plenty of those sites around that are well populated with lively bickering.
Discussion about the nature of the change we face is not conspiracy theory to me and should be part of the general site discussions. The point you and Aaron make above are a good example of that. And for my .02 worth I think you are both correct but perhaps are not looking at the same time frame. Example: I agree with Aarons point as regards oppressive Gov’t ruling by control and his point on building sustainable communities. Your point as regards the collapse increasing gov’t control I also agree with. IMHO we stand the best chance of surviving the energy downturn with community but before gov’t fades it will come after our labor and our property possibly with a vengance.
Obviously these viewpoints are all either opinions or beliefs and could be considered controversial depending on the awareness of the viewer. I like the job the moderators are doing. The issue yesterday when the insults started flying was handled well. The earlier issue Joe mentioned when a poster called Krogoth left was also handled well I thought. If that poster wanted to return he could do and be on the same terms as the rest of us or go away and start his/her own site and do with it what they want.
Is this site too boring? Not for me. I’m busy as hell working to get my community aware of the CC data (delivering the CC every Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30, keeping my business alive and employees with work, growing a garden, building a water windmill and trying to stay current with all that is going on here along with the other "in life" stuff is crazy ….but fun too. I have learned a ton here from all of those who take the time to post and I appreciate it.
PS: I do have some real juicy material that I could post as regards how our government controls it’s citizenry through the use of the Uniform Commercial Code but I suspect that should be under a separate thread!
OK, as you requested my input…
I think it would be a mistake to parcel off "controversial" topics elsewhere for several reasons…
1. Marking topics as controversial means that the site is de-facto expressing a view. For example, IMO if global warming is labelled as "controversial" in most people’s eyes the site would be showing itself to be way behind the science – is that what you want? How do you think that will add to the credibility of the main message of the site?
In other words, I personally think that labelling global warming as controversial would be controversial – this may apply to other topics too.
The flip side of this is that those people who refute global warming (to continue my example) will also probably be dissatisfied as being parceled off into what might be seem as kranks corner.
OTOH some of the other topics you mention, like guns, are far more "controversial" IMO, in that there is no science of guns – the effects of owning guns on society are much more open to debate – but (if I were interested – which I’m not particularly, as I am UK based and we really don’t have a gun culture) I would still be quite happy to debate the use/ownership of guns in an open forum as it is a mainstream topic (and indeed, is also mentioned explicitly by Chris in his Self Assessment)
2. Frankly, at the moment there is not a critical mass of forum users to present a representative view of some of the issues being discussed. In time there might be, or there might not. I don’t think that splitting the forum in to more subject areas is going to be good for the health of the forum at this stage as it will probably lead to fewer postings overall.
3. In time, if the forum thrives, it will self police a bit better. People will get fed up of long tirades and say so. Posters who are way off the mark (or just plain long and boring) will be shunned and will either have to learn to stick to the point and make pithier comments, or not take part.
The forum should be changed completely and just have a range of topics far more closely tied to the CM message – then people will probably not bother to post much on "controversial" topics. What do you expect to happen when there is a category called "general discussion"?
Don’t entirely agree with your supposition, but you make some great points…
Why not have a completely seperate set of forum topics dedicated to "off topic" or "roundtable" discussion?
If they get out of control like the Religion Thread did, then they can be banished, but I suppose controversy and healthy debate are really the reason I come here. Too many intelligent people to just catagorically dismiss controversial topics.
Could a set of forum topics be revealed only to members with say, more than 50 posts?
That might keep from "scaring" people who were looking to actively engage in conversation…
The Crash Course is full of controversial topics, some of which undoubtedly have conspiracies behind them (after all, it only takes 2 people working together breaking the law to have a conspiracy). I think it is clear that the FED–Treasury is one locus of conspiracies that are pretty obvious (obvious because of the facts, opinions, and carefully worked arguments that CM and others have presented on this site). They are not obvious to everyone, and hence still controversial; they are also still theories (just like evolution is a theory) but they are well argued theories and they help explain what is going on based on the facts. As with all theories they cannot be proven, only disproven. When the full information about the FED comes to light then what were previously theories will stop being theories and either become part of the history of conspiracy if they were true, or clearly wrong if they were false. Until then we are left to use facts, opinions, and well crafted arguments to help us determine the state of things and how best to act/respond to the questions at hand.
The question seems to me to be not about whether controversial topics or conspiracy theories should be allowed, as they are actually the founding ground of the Crash Course. The question perhaps is what the level of evidence and argument should be and how closely the topic relates to the themes the Crash Course and CM bring up. I think it was Aaron who made the excellent point that personal knowledge was a great standpoint from which to contribute to the discussions. Agitprop ask me "What is the difference between Chris’s take on the fed, and partially substantiated speculation? It’s partly a matter of belief, because, it’s partly factual but largely opinions based. That being said, I do agree with Chris, I’m just trying to get a fix on believable conspiracy as opposed to unbelievable conspiracy, in the minds of posters." This question also points to the issue of what level of facts marshaled in support of a logic argument is required to make a helpful contribution to the discussion, or what degree of partially substantiated speculation is useful or valid? It seems like that level is something the monitors or CM would set.
Aside from the argument about the substance of the comment there might also need to be an argument about how tied to the Crash Course the topic is. Well crafted and supported arguments about what might be going on at the FED might require less convincing about their relevance than arguments showing the conspiracies regarding world domination by the global elite, as that topic on its face is further from the Crash Course, then a topic about what the FED is doing. And it might be helpful to make a case for how awareness of that topic might be useful in preparing or planning for the next 20 years. Anyway, I like a lively exchange of views, but unless there are facts and logical arguments that support each position I find I don’t learn much.