Sam Linder, indefinite ban

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Gungnir's picture
Gungnir
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Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Well where to start this thread.

Sam has been given an indefinite ban by the Moderators in consultation with Chris. I have read the mail explaining Sam's ban and I understand the nature of apparently why this has occurred. However I do want us to take pause for a moment and consider some important facts.

We all came here to learn about the 3 E's, and discuss these issues, to learn from one another and to foster a community, this seemed to be going well for a significant period of time. Now during the course of this time we have had controversial topics crop up, but they've been given their own location now, in the controversial topics forum, and there have been frictions and harsh words spoken on many occasions, with ultimately the situation resolved amicably.

Now Joe2Baba posted a somewhat controversial thread on July 4th he had some complaints about the moderation taking place on the forum. I must admit I've had some discussions on certain topics with the moderation of the threads at times, Chris made a response to that, I'll post it a little later. To a degree I agreed with Aaron's perception of the thread, however I also feel that at times moderation is a little arbitrary.

Thus on to the final point, the thing that led to Sam being indefinitely suspended was his participation in a religious thread within the controversial topics forum. Now the first question is how does the secular 3 E's relate to the religious, secondly we need to ask a question that was asked before the thread that I've been moderated on and Sam was suspended on was posted, the question was posed by Dr. Martenson "Is there anything about this post which might cause a new visitor to flee?". The thread in question I will not mention, however there are now three threads in similar veins, in the CT section. Personally had I come to the site with new eyes and seen these threads I would have fled, Economy, Environment, and Energy is what brought me here, discussion about how to survive while all three are reduced is what kept me, and for the longest time there were no religious threads posted.

While I'm not saying that religion, spirituality and belief in lifes great mysteries have no place in peoples minds, I am questioning the rationale of discussing them on this site, when there are many other sites already dedicated to these topics for those so inclined. I'm also questioning the rationale of allowing exclusive descriptions of the thread topic so that they are directed at specific inspirations from a religion or belief system that is exclusionary of all others. If we wish to foster community, then we need to be inclusionary not exclusionary. As I say in my initial sentence of this paragraph it is not that religion, spirituality or any other belief do not have a part to play in people's lives, just that there are better forums for discussion than this one. If we cannot demonstrate tolerance to differing opinions, which applies to all sides of these arguments, on a site where we have so much in common, then how do we plan on successfully promoting these ideas, and fostering communities with others who have less in common?

Now with the quote below, I want us all, the secular, religious, theist, atheist, gnostic, agnostic, rational, irrational, emotional and logical to look at the words written by Dr. M and think before you post on any topic that has no direct relevancy to the 3 E's or survival due to impacts in all of these areas. I think that in part there is a mixed message being sent out, and a miscommunication between Dr. M and the Moderators, now I might be mistaken, however reading at face value the statements quoted below, I cannot see how. Personally I'm sad to see Sam go, he has been a valued and important member of the community, at times quick to anger, but equally quick to laugh.

I leave you with Chris Martenson's quote.

cmartenson wrote:

I am going to leave Joe's post up for the rest of the day as an example of the type of posts that I find mainly destructive in their intent, and then delete it.

Passive-aggressive posts are among my least favorites, and Joe2 has really nailed the art-form on this one.

The purpose of this site is to attract more people to the important messages in the Crash Course and create a safe place for people to discuss the implications.

Anything that causes people to feel unwelcome or unsafe is simply not allowed and that is clearly spelled out in the forum posting guidelines.    Anything that might cause fewer people to visit and remain at the site is running counter to the mission of this site.

The mission is to attract not repel people.

Further, from this point forward any and all insinuations that there's something wrong with this site needing to attract capital or resources to further its mission will not be tolerated.  I don't know what sorts of wounds people carry that cause them to say things like, "believe me i would do nothing to hinder the capitalistic aims of this site." but this is not a psychiatrists office and we lack both the ability and the desire to help people work through their personal issues around money.

Everything that is worth doing in life deserves and requires support.  That could be donated time, money, equipment, or careful thoughts and considered posts.  I don't require or expect everybody to think that the aims of this site and its messages are worthy, but I do require that those, such as Joe2, who do not share this view to either keep their opinions to themselves or take their enmity towards the aims of this site elsewhere.

Lastly, in my mind, Joe2 has abused his anonymity and the site guidelines by posting written words that he would dare not speak in person.  At least, I would be truly shocked to have someone walk into my establishment and stare me in the eye while proclaiming loudly to all the patrons that the products are suspect or overpriced or whatever. 

I will continue to hold this site to a higher standard than found elsewhere on the web.  We will be civil with each other, respectful, thoughtful and considerate. 

I want posts to be data rich, and constructive (especially if critical).  This is not my attempt to stifle conversation but to elevate it.  I am not seeking compliance with my point of view or how this site is constructed and/or operated, only asking that all critiques be accompanied by thoughtful suggestions for improvement, or not proffered at all.  Dumping on people and efforts is simple, lame and weak.

Tearing down is easy.  Building is hard.

Negativity breeds negativity while positive efforts yield positive results.

More on this later, as we are busily working on expressing the site's vision, mission and expectations in written form.

In the meantime I would only ask that posts be self-monitored by asking these questions:

  1. Does this post illuminate an issue or answer a specific question?
  2. If critical, is it emotionally neutral, considerate and does it offer specific, actionable solutions?
  3. Is there anything about this post which might cause a new visitor to flee?
Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Personally, I feel this site has gone downhill for some time.  The camaraderie which was here when I first logged on last year seems to have vanished, and Sam is one of those comrades I have made here....  if he goes,... well, I might as well go too, maybe I've done what I can here anyway,

There is one thing that really puzzles me though.  This is not the first American forum I have joined, and it baffles me that they ALL turn out like this, and I end up abandoning them.  Why only American forums?  I belong to Australian and European forums, and have been a member there for YEARS with none of this bullshit happening... I truly do not understand you lot.

Very disappointing...

Mike

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
Damnthematrix wrote:

There is one thing that really puzzles me though.  This is not the first American forum I have joined, and it baffles me that they ALL turn out like this, and I end up abandoning them.  Why only American forums?  I belong to Australian and European forums, and have been a member there for YEARS with none of this bullshit happening... I truly do not understand you lot.

An interesting observation.  Makes me wonder how much worse the US will be when there's large scale food shortages or power outages.  Unlike an online community, a physical community where there's name calling and insults can escalate into serious violence.  Those will be one of the times when I'm not proud to be an American.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Moderator Jason:

I should like to point out that I stopped posting more than two months ago -- this post is a rare exception -- because in part that I felt the site was generally sloping in a downhill direction. In my opinion Sam has not committeed an inexcusable error. Although I rarely post these days, I check in to the site daily and absorb the information. If the site becomes much more controversial I will stop doing that and will withddraw my financial support. I'm a paying customer -- for now. If I were you I would take note, for I happen to know that there are others who feel as I do.

My advice is to segregate controversial comments in the appropriate threads, but do not attempt to censor them. That is a big mistake in my humble opinion. The CM website has much to commend it. Don't screw it up. You are on the cusp of doing that. Thanks for listening to my humble opinion. I'm a 65 year old white male who does a lot of thinking and studying. You are on thin ice, my friend. I have broken my silence to post this brief comment. I do not do this lightly.

Barry

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

 Wow

I'm really feeling sad right now.  Sam has really strong opinions and I certainly didn't always agree with him but I never would have expected him to get kicked out.  

Maybe the controversial topics shouldn't appear in the recent comment section.  Then, newcomers would be less likely to encounter them right away and get scared off.  It would be like a back room in a restaurant or people at a party stepping outside for a discussion that's inappropriate for the general gathering. 

becky

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Wow this is one of my favorite sites. I like Sam's & Joe's posts because they have their own style & character.... doesn't mean I agree with them but I can live with that. I never thought I would see these issues transpire here?? I thought this site would be above all this since it always has been I felt. I hate to see tough talk & threats here...lets at least be above that I would think.

Forums are a tough place to keep all happy that is for sure. Chris has helped so many & not asked much in return so common sense for me to respect his guide lines on posting here.

Professionalism & quality posts without petty bickering is super important here IMHO in the tough times that lie ahead. We need each other so let us grow beyond all this.

Peace & Happiness

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
Damnthematrix wrote:

 if he goes,... well, I might as well go too, maybe I've done what I can here anyway,

MIke,

You give this community some real character, and I would like to ask you to stick around. We need your unique and sometimes blunt viewpoints to keep us Americans honest. I'm confident that "Sam I Am" will be back. I'm sure he his thoroughly burned out at this point, with over 1000 posts in under a year.

Please hang in there Mike, we need the "down under" perspective that you provide.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

 Yes.  Mike, please stick around.  Don't give up on us.

becky

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I'm particularly surprised that Sam got banned. For the most part, Sam is mellow as Jell-O and steadfastly polite even when he's cranky. I would imagine that something along the lines of a total nuclear meltdown would have to occur before he would get so ticked off that he said anything hostile or rude. So, if the most polite of us got inflammed to the point of getting themself banned... either the moderator over-reacted (a common occurance lately it seems), or the topic of the thread really had no business being posted on this particular forum (also highly likely). I'm a relative newcomer, but I've seen the quality of discussions on the forums drop significantly in recent weeks and have found myself less motivated to participate.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
Damnthematrix wrote:

There is one thing that really puzzles me though.  This is not the first American forum I have joined, and it baffles me that they ALL turn out like this, and I end up abandoning them.  Why only American forums?  I belong to Australian and European forums, and have been a member there for YEARS with none of this bullshit happening... I truly do not understand you lot.

Very disappointing...

Mike

 

Maybe because there are more "cultures"/"mixes"/"diversity" in the US than in Australia and Europe.  We've been taught to speak our minds at all times, that's not necessarily the case in other parts of the world.  In my travels, I've gotten many looks of "I can't believe you just said that". 

One thing though, I've noticed you bring up the "Ugly American" argument quite often.  Not trying to be aggressive but I've seen you make negative statements about Americans a few times.  IMO, not the way to get along in a "Community". 

As for the Religion issue.  If it's in the CT area, who cares.  That's what the area is for, if you don't like it don't go there.  The other areas are for the 3E's.  I personally like having the opportunity to discuss these issues with people that have a similar view of things in regards to the 3E's.  It just shows how diverse the community has become.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Sam was banned? 

What pray tell for? I thought Sam was exceptionally mature in his posting style unless I missed something.

As far as religion as a topic I don't think it should be in the main forums. However, mention the video Zeitgeist and you'll get plenty of religious controversy related to the three E's.

Something doesn't pass the common sense test when Sam gets the boot. Indefinite ban seems a wee bit harsh for me, considering all of the posts of Sam's that I read.

On the flip side Chris M, TRUST ME, has a compelling interest to keep these forums from deteriorating. Happened on another site, it went to hades in a handbasket and people left like crazy.

As did I because I too started to become what I abhored. Perhaps by osmosis.

But Sam banned? Am I missing something here???????????

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
Damnthematrix wrote:

Personally, I feel this site has gone downhill for some time.  The camaraderie which was here when I first logged on last year seems to have vanished, and Sam is one of those comrades I have made here....  if he goes,... well, I might as well go too, maybe I've done what I can here anyway,

There is one thing that really puzzles me though.  This is not the first American forum I have joined, and it baffles me that they ALL turn out like this, and I end up abandoning them.  Why only American forums?  I belong to Australian and European forums, and have been a member there for YEARS with none of this bullshit happening... I truly do not understand you lot.

Very disappointing...

Mike

I believe (ah hum) that the proportion of those identifying as christian in the US is the exact opposite to here in NZ and that may well be the same in Australia. IE: apparently about 80% identify in the US and about 20% in NZ.

Whatever our beliefs I would be upset if we could be banned for simply stating them or arguing them. 

I suggest that all of us with a mind to do so should join the jedi http://www.jedichurch.org/

and argue our rights to the hilt.

Please let Sam back!

Diversity is a strength

Don

____________________

May the force be with you

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Unless it has to do with the stock market, I don't comment a lot on this site.  The primary reason I am drawn to the site is the reason I was here in the first place, The Crash Course and Chris' words.  I will be forever grateful for his continuing teaching, such a rare gift he has.

Though I don't comment a lot, I do read I read through most of the post.  I have learned a great deal from many of you, in awe of the level of knowledge that some have in many areas.  That said, there are times I see post as non-productive.  I often wonder how on earth any of us will survive a major crisis...  Squabbling like children, attention seekers, threats of leaving (then leave, life will go on without you, someone new will come along).   Doesn't seem to take much for some to... "Get their panties in a wad." 

Why some concern themselves with topics they know they will find personally controversial is beyond me. If something is said in a post that is upsetting, does it really matter?  Think about this, is it going to make a difference in life?  Is it going to matter five years from now?   Just step away from the situation.  This isn't hard to do, it is a choice.. Yours.

My friend Matt is healing from a tragic accident.  www.caringbridge.org/visit/mattscheidt/mystory  Though you may not know Matt, for some reading his story it may bring a new perspective when asked... Does this really make a difference to my life, is it going to matter five years from now?

Who has made a difference to my life and will matter five years from now is, Chris Martenson.

Cat 

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I also hope Sam comes back, I found his posts interesting and polite always,

As long as something is in the CT subforum I let chaos reign is my opinion. The title alone warns you about what you are getting into. I think people are forgetting the the crash course itself is a controversial topic.

I would love to see people be less senstive, no one has a right in this world to not be offended by a different POV and if you are.... go to (fill in the blank with whatever you'll find most offensive/insulting) :)

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Pssst Moderator Jason,

I think a majority view of the above states that maybe a good re-think is in order??? Sam and I have met on several occasions in the past and come away a little (how should I say) from different perspectives, but I don't want the man out of here with a petty ban ... whats next if this be the case???

Best

Paul

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I don't frequent the CT forums. As much as I'd like to, I don't have the time. Take the cue from Vegas - Whatever happens there should stay there. Maybe a separate disclaimer needs to be agreed to by anyone who wants to participate in the CT forums?

I hope no one leaves the site. There is a LOT I have learned from Chris and everyone else here and a LOT more I have still to learn. I hope you all stay and/or are allowed to stay.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Sam has been on this site for a long time and has made many contributions.  While I am sure I have not read 100% of Sam's posts, I can say 100% of the ones I read were sensible, reasoned, and polite, and I appreciated him being around. 

I respect the ownership's right to ban anyone they want, but I feel there needs to be an explanation from Chris or the site moderator explaining this decision so the rest of us at the very least learn from it.  All I know at this point is the end result (Sam banned), and the theme of the thread (religion) in which he posted whatever led to the ban.  Given that Sam has been around for a while and wasn't known (at least to me) to get into heated arguments, it is quite a shock to me that this happened. 

I think Chris and the moderators have to either strengthen the sense of community here by explaining this decision very well, allowing the group to learn from it, or they risk leaving a bad feeling around for the rest of us.  It is your site, no doubt, but as a customer, it is also "my" site just like a restaurant may be "my" restaurant in the sense I go there or (at risk of injecting religion), a church may be "my" church or a school may be "my" school. 

None are mine in reality, but they are in the sense I care about or associate with them.  If I stop caring or lose my sense of belonging, because the organization takes decisions I do not understand, I may go somewhere else.  If this happens en masse, they will of course continue to belong to the owner, who will either have an empty business or will have to go find new customers.

These are extreme arguments, for sure.  I am not suggesting we all pack up and leave.  I am just saying, to the site owner and moderator, that they should come out and explain this very well or they risk alienating some of us, some to more degrees than others, and ultimately risk harming their own site.  On the other hand, this may all wash over, who knows.  All I know is right now they are running the risk of spilling some barbs into an otherwise very close community, and they should come out and explain this ASAP.

Respectfully,

Patrick

 

 

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Cat,

Your perspective is dead on.

For those of us unable to step back, I understand and support the moderation and movement of topics to an appropriate forum. Take the bickering to a different place and don't censor it, if folks choose to waste time there at least it does not detract from the mission of the site. I come here to learn about the truth of what is happening, primarily in the economic world. If I feel a need to talk religion, there are countless places on the web to do so, or perhaps I could just go to church?

I've heard people talk about the fact that the juice is missing from this site. We are in the middle of an economic collapse of epic proportions. Isn't that juicy enough? Can't we stay on that as our primary topic? Why must this site be all things to all posters?

I hate to see what is happening here, and more importantly I hate that Chris is spending his time on stuff like this rather than doing the analysis that brought us ALL here in the first place. That should be enough for any of us to come and stay.

Rog

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

First, thanks to Gungnir, idoctor, Cat and Rog for providing a show of appreciation and support for this site and what it does.

Here are a couple of observations about postings in the comments and forums:

  1. There are an incredible number of intelligent and thoughtful posters here.
  2. A lot of people do not ever post or become involved in the community (I have a theory as to why).
  3. A very few people cannot seem to check their emotions/beliefs at the door and engage in personal attacks, or negative posts which basically offer nothing to the reader except to hand them a slightly sour experience.
  4. These few people seem to provide most of the 'coloring' to the experience to the detriment of this site and its mission and each person's personal experience.
  5. These relatively few people also chew up 90% of the moderators time and attention.

What most of you don't know is that the unpaid, volunteer moderators of this site spend an enormous amount of time reading posts, responding to, thinking about and carefully weighing their responses against the mission of this site.  They are both very diligent and and incredibly conscientious.   If it seems at times like the moderation is not perfectly consistent that's because it is not and probably cannot ever be so. There are judgment calls to be made and I am incredibly fortunate to have two moderators who are incredibly skilled at leaving their own emotions at the door when it comes to applying the rules.

In the above comments I do not read a single comment in support of the moderators and that troubles me deeply.  I come away with the thought that some people do not appreciate the work and effort that goes into creating and maintaining a safe and interesting place to learn and connect even going so far as to expect that it should all be exactly to their personal tastes and liking or else it's not a place they will grace with their presence.  All I can say is, I agree that the future looks dim if that's the prevailing attitude because it displays precious little give and take.

Sam was suspended after lengthy and numerous emails back and forth with a moderator (which was not the first time either) to which his response was to then publicly post that he deemed the moderator to be a "petulant child".  If you put  yourself in our shoes for a minute, and are receiving constant comments that the tone and tenor of the conversation has been sliding downhill, and you are spending 90% of your moderation time on a few individuals, what would you do?

I can take the blame for not weighing in on the squabble more frequently and not painting a more clear and articulate picture of the rules of the game and setting crisper boundaries.

But my 'want' in this, knowing that I may not get it, is for people to behave like regular responsible adults and only post civil, thoughtful, non-attacking posts just as if they were speaking to someone face-to-face.  I think we mainly adhere to that here, but not always, and the entire experience lately has been more than sufficiently 'colored' by a relatively few posters who refuse to adhere to a simple framework centered on common decency and even sometimes go so far as to refuse to play by the rules in private emails back and forth with the moderators.

Some feel that they shouldn't have to because of a misplaced notion that free speech applies (it does not, this is not a government funded or sponsored site) or that they were wronged first and shouldn't have to tone themselves down.

My other want here is for people to appreciate what is here and understand that its continued presence depends on their own positive contributions.  For the vast majority this site is a free resource but that really shouldn't be taken for granted.

So here I find myself somewhat upset and as if the site and its mission are being attacked, spending a lot of time on something that I had not planned to this morning and seriously throwing off my schedule for the day, and feeling like it is all very nearly a perfect waste of time.

Why?  Because TSHTF and time is precious and here we are fretting over a relatively small handful of high-maintenance people who cannot seem to figure out how to check their posting emotions at the door.  We should be doing other things.  We should understand, as Sager_XX says, that we are a family of the few who get it.  We should be grateful to each other for being on the same team.

So instead of continuing on this angle, let me lay out a few new rules that will be vigorously and consistently applied:

  1. No discussing religion here.  Period.  We will discuss the Three Es and what we might do in response.  
  2. Any and all posts that are disparaging of another poster or the mission of this site or is patently unconstructive in some way will be promptly removed. 
  3. People who repeatedly violate #1 or #2 will be removed at the sole discretion of the moderators who have my complete support in this matter.
  4. Please, no posting when drunk or stoned.  I suspect this has been at the root of more than a few incidents.

Let me repeat the general guidelines for posting:

  1. Does this post illuminate an issue or answer a specific question?
  2. If critical, is it emotionally neutral, considerate and does it offer specific, actionable solutions?
  3. Is there anything about this post which might cause a new visitor to flee?

Best,
Chris Martenson

P.S. Saying "this site has been going downhill" is neither specific nor actionable nor embodied with any specific solutions.  I am especially critical of such comments because they merely espouse an opinion without any backing or clarification.  They are merely complaints.  In the future please feel free to flag any specific posts that define "going downhill" for you and send them along to us with a specific characterization of why that is.  We are not mind readers.  Alternatively take the time to spell out why you feel this way and what could/should be done to remedy the situation.  Thanks in advance.

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Dear Chris,

That is exactly what I was looking for.  I am sorry to see Sam go, but if that is what happened, then I understand.  Time to get back to work. Cheers,

Patrick

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I was quite suprised when I Iogged in the AM and found that Sam had been banned.  He has always seemed to me to be one of the less offensive posters.  Of course, I don't read the religious threads so I am unaware of a whole realm of discussion that is inherently volatile and provides no way of resolving conflicting beliefs.

I would assume that isolating religious discussions in the CT section would be enough to protect people from hurt feelings, but perhaps there should be a large boldly lettered warning to the effect of: THERE IF A VERY GOOD CHANCE YOU WILL BE OFFENDED IF YOU READ THESE THREADS.  Then people will know what they're getting into and won't have much reason to complain.  Of course then you get into the whole issue of how you want to expend the limited time and energy of monitors in refereeing some of these mud slinging matches and how it distracts from the message of the Crash Course.  I don't have any good answers, but it just seems a shame that Sam is banned as he contributes substantially to many of the conversations to which I've paid attention.

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Sorry to see Sam go too.

I guess one of the first lines of the CC - stating being clear about the "Difference between Beliefs and Facts" - tells me Beliefs are not as important as Facts? And yet, it is the method by which we process all information to make our descisions.

It doesn't change my high opinion of this site as we collectively gather information about what lies ahead. EPG

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
cmartenson wrote:

.....

 

  1. No discussing religion here.  Period.  We will discuss the Three Es and what we might do in response...

For a while I almost thought it was going to be the Four Es...

Economy, Energy, Environment and... Evangelism.

It's a shame that things went a little awry for some but at least I can direct some other people here now without them thinking they have wound up at a Billy Graham rally!

Thanks Chris!

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Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Regarding Chris and his post...some thoughts...

 

This is part of the growing and development process.  Certain principles must be adhered to.

Chris, don't lose heart.  Your in general, on the correct path and have the proper basic vision!

This type of stuff should be expected and will happen time and again...especially as events unfold.

Suggestion: Consider establishing a dialog...maybe a forum aimed toward applying lessons learned from individuals who have experiences, especially those in wars/disasters/calamities to this endeavor of when system(s) and resources break down.  It could improve the learning and growing process.  Remember, this is a transition where we lose partial control of many aspects of society and our lives, its how we plan, prepare and execute that will define our futures.

This is much, much bigger than one person, group or even this site. 

 

Nichoman 

 

P.S.  FWIW...when things get bad enough...people will rise to the occasion...providing we recognize, implement and adhere to sound leadership and management principles. 

rowmat's picture
rowmat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2008
Posts: 358
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
Nichoman wrote:

...

Suggestion

: Consider establishing a dialog...maybe a forum aimed toward applying lessons learned from individuals who have experiences, especially those in wars/disasters/calamities to this endeavor of when system(s) and resources break down.  It could improve the learning and growing process.  Remember, this is a transition where we lose partial control of many aspects of society and our lives, its how we plan, prepare and execute that will define our futures.

This is much, much bigger than one person, group or even this site.  

Nichoman

SARAJEVO SURVIVAL GUIDE
Written in Sarajevo, between April of 1992 and April of 1993, and distributed in trade paperback by Workman Press of New York, this manuscript is part of a multifold project by FAMA, triggered during the siege of Sarajevo.

FAMA is an independent production company that, in the prewar period, worked primarily in audio/video media, buying TV time on state television. FAMA introduced a new genre to TV audiences in Bosnia-Herzegovina--political entertainment--which was a shock for a public conditioned to the repressive treatment of politics under the former regime.

During the war, in the besieged city, under the fire of shells and snipers, in conditions impossible for life and work, FAMA began the conceptualization of several projects with artists and intellectuals. SARAJEVO SURVIVAL GUIDE intends to be a version of Michelin, taking visitors through the city and instructing them on how to survive without transportation, hotels, taxis, telephones, food, shops, heating, water, information, electricity. It is a chronicle, a part of a future archive which shows the city of Sarajevo not as a victim but as a place of experiment, where wit can still achieve victory over terror...

natew's picture
natew
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 26 2008
Posts: 9
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban
cmartenson wrote:

A lot of people do not ever post or become involved in the community (I have a theory as to why).

Just wondering what your theory is? (as I'm one of those people)

Thanks for the great site Chris, and thank to all the moderators!  I've passed the Crash Course on to all members of my immediate family and many aunts/uncles, eye opening for everyone!  I always thought of peak oil as a tin foil hat ordeal until the crash course simply and sucintly explained it, amazing!

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Dr. M,

I would like to offer how I perceive that your site has "gone down hill" as of late, and I might add to no fault of your own or staff. You speak of damage of emotional posting, and to me nothing engenders more unproductive emotional baggage than the belief in Conspiracy Theories. In a thread a couple weeks ago I stated:

Its my experience that in most people, CTs elicit emotional reactions that in turn lead to dumb decisions. Not to mention that I see new posters often ridiculed by older posters because their post implied a lack of understanding of the "latest" CT speculation. Nobody wants to look stupid, especially if they are new to a community. To me, the stupid ones are those that allow themselves to become involved in this speculation to the extent that its no longer just entertainment to them. I can't imagine a bigger waste of time, energy, and health. Whether its true or not, what can you do about it? Nothing. Therefore I think the site should segregate this speculation.

And I pointed out to Sam that he had become quite the "propaganda machine as of late", at one point in jest. So in my perspective, if this site has degraded in quality, its entirely due to CT speculation, and the emotion that results when one incorporates such beliefs into their self-image. Personally, I find nothing more insulting than being referred to as "Sheeple". 

That being said, I think you have been very reasonable in allowing this speculation to take place in its own segregated location on your site. 

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Okay -

My $.02 because this dead horse ain't dead enough. 

First off, I haven't read any of the posts (except Cat's) so as not to color the flavor of my post here.

I wasn't following the thread(s) that got Sam booted - once something hits the CT dustbin, I never look at them again - so I don't know "who started it" or "who hit who first", nor do I care.  I don't think any of the topics in the CT folder belong on the site at all.  Chris and the mods didn't agree with me so they created a forum for people to vent their spleens to their heart's delight - as long as general rules of decorum and politeness applied.  That said, I know that there are certain thread subjects that come up that I am at odds with the author over.  If they don't straight line pertain to the 3Es then off they (should) go.  And by straight line, I mean a for real, no kidding, here's my objective, measurable and demonstrable proof of relationship.  Very rarely is that the case, so spirited (and sometimes insulting) debate occurs.  Sam was openly ridiculed by two long time posters by deliberately provocative passive-aggressive comments that should never have been posted.  I might be wrong, but it seems that the way that exchange was handled is what started things that ended up where we are now.

Back to the CT folder - it's pretty straight forward for me, once a thread has been moved to the CT bin, (think Marlon Brando here) it is dead to me.  I won't go back and look at it or respond to subsequent posts. 

As Cat said, by making the choice to enter the thread discussion, on a topic that you already know is going to piss you off, you run the risk of writing something you shouldn't have said.  On a topic that doesn't add anything to the site's primary focus and in this case has resulted in a huge detraction from the site - namely Sam Linder.

Now to the function of the moderators.  Some of you might think that the mods hang around all day doing nothing but reading every post and going through a deliberative process of should it stay or should it go.  Again, I might be wrong here, but the mods only get involved when a comment gets flagged.  So folks, take a look in the mirror at the person who has the primary responsibility for policing the threads and the manner in which conversations are carried out.  The moderators have a pretty crappy job to do - they only get involved when the situation has turned sour.  They get to step in and referee the food fight.  No thanks.  The flavor of the threads is whatever we make it - when someone gets bushwhacked in a thread (like Sam did) it is up to the rest of us to call out the offending poster(s).  Sam has done it to me enough times when I was over the line and I certainly appreciated it (although maybe not right at that moment).  Let's make the moderators job a lot easier, they are doing a great job but when you stop and think about it, they are hauling out our trash.  I think it's time to pick up after ourselves a bit.

Now I am going to go back and read the other posts to see how much I repeated what others have already said.

For what it's worth Chris and Jason (and Moderator Other Guy), please consider letting Sam back in.  But keep all of us on a short leash.

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I think those will be helpful guidelines, Chris. As someone who has been online here almost since CM originated (and almost since the WWW orginated, LOL), I can tell you that once religion or extremist (I will define that as white supremacist, neonazi ideology) start to appear on a website, it's number of rational users and its functional utility rapidly decline.

I think keeping the three E focus is the best course.

I do hope you reevaluate Sam's posting privileges, however; he is a valued contributor and perhaps will function within your new guidelines.

SG

Septimus's picture
Septimus
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 200
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

I have very mixed feelings about this. It is obvious the Chris can maintain any rules he would like with his own site and the site's core mission. On the other hand, I have never read a post by Sam that was offensive. Perhaps the CT section should not be continued as, if it is, I would be inclined to expect and allow nearly any comments there.

On the other hand, reasonable dialog, founded on fact or belief is an important part of learning to me and I, as a financial supporter of this site, would be very disappointed to see the conversations limited.

I do like the idea of another poster of allowing CT section and comments but not having the CT section show up in the new posts. This will make these areas much less obvious to casual readers.

jpitre's picture
jpitre
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 3 2009
Posts: 366
Re: Sam Linder, indefinite ban

Sam

Sorry to see you on the receiving end of the sharp stick. I've always found value in your input and will miss you comments even though I didn't always agree with your conclusions.

I don't know the details of how this all came to happen, but I do know that even the best of men can disagree to the point of blows. I do hope that this incident will not deter you of others from continuing to support the principles put forward by Dr M. He is an outstanding person who has an often thankless job of trying to keep a sometimes unruly group on track - the same for our Moderators. Your contribution in a peculiar way may be greater than we will ever give credit in that the site direction may be elevated is a way that benefits us all. I hope things will work out so that you will be back with this site one day soon.

Dr. M -- tough call -   you are bringing a sane message to the world that needs telling and is not being told adequately anywhere else. Keep up the good work !

Jim Pitre

 

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