To my community:
This past Memorial Day weekend, users in a forum thread asked if perhaps recent forum topics and replies, as well as general comments elsewhere on the site, had gone off mission. I am delighted to have the opportunity to revisit the extremely important topic of what this site is about and what it is trying to achieve.
I’ve received a lot of emails on both sides of this issue, and several others recently (involving religion, for example) where some members of this community want to wade into these waters again. Some call these waters “conspiracy theory,” but I prefer the term “belief-oriented material,” because that more broadly includes other disruptive subject areas that can drag us off mission.
There were several prominent reasons why we made the decision to not engage in belief-oriented material, the most important of which were that this material provoked emotional responses on both sides and that nobody could clearly articulate how engaging in such discussions helped anybody navigate towards action.
They were always more “heat” than “light,” created rifts, and never caused anybody to change their minds, as far as I could tell.
Our mission here is to move people from awareness to understanding and then to actions. The Crash Course breeds the initial awareness, and our conversations here (should) help move us into deeper understanding, with the goal being definitive action. Unfortunately, as is true everywhere else on the Internet, belief-oriented topics seem only to derail our efforts.
We recently polled ourselves here at headquarters and came up with this assessment of our efforts:
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