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Old 2016-09-15, 05:28   #12
only_human
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by only_human View Post
You had a valid point that I had expressed strong opinions in the thread that might bias my actions. I thank you for ensuring that I consider that. That's something that I should always consider and well worth bringing to my attention.
I'd like to hear some thoughts and am open to adjusting the first post in this thread if we can improve my mission statement.

Speaking to the above quote, I feel it is better for me to try to curtail my participation in threads that may need particular moderator attention. This will help me maintain equanimity and let me act while conveying less uncertainty of equivocation.

Another thing is I want to improve my emphasis on nonviolent communication. I've actually attended some sessions on this based on a method by Marshall Rosenberg.

It is strange to sit in sessions listening to serious discussion about giraffe and jackal ears but I personally attest that this is seriously offered in healthcare today. It seems also to be used internationally. There is a Dutch book: De giraf en de jakhals in ons by Justine Mol. This German page uses a wolf instead of jackal: Wer gute Beziehungen mรถchte, sollte "Giraffensprache" sprechen: Gewaltfreie Kommunikation. I'm not sure why they would change that, German has a word for jackal and I think it provides better imagery.

I'm not asking for everyone to study some extraneous mind warping. I merely want to emphasize that nonviolent communication in an important point that I keep in mind in exerting my influence on this forum. It is my goal to protect people from a high level of conflict. I do not think extreme conflict is ok.

I now quote the first post and ask for suggestions to improve it.
Quote:
Soapbox Guidelines -- To keep things rolling without too much roiling:
Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.[1]
Be kind to humans because sometimes you're human too. [2]
References:
[1] Robustness Principle - Wikipedia
[2] Reciprocity - Wikipedia.
"Be excellent to each other! Party on dudes!" - Bill & Ted

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-09-15 at 05:52 Reason: typical Ross typos. added wiki link to nonviolent communication. deleted wiki link of Marshal Rosenberg
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Old 2016-09-15, 19:55   #13
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Firstly, thanks to Ross for moderating the Soap Box, which is often a thankless task!

Research shows that anger often stems (consciously or not) from perceived offences against either a social norm or a person's status in the group. With our geographical and cultural spread, the risk of misunderstanding at that level on the forum is higher than In local life. When we produce sharp criticism, it is therefore important (in my opinion) to make explicit that we are criticizing someone's idea-of-the-moment, and not attacking them personally.
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Old 2016-09-15, 20:12   #14
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Excellent advice, Nick. I will try to keep it in operation in my interactions here, and elsewhere.
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Old 2016-09-15, 20:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
When we produce sharp criticism, it is therefore important (in my opinion) to make explicit that we are criticizing someone's idea-of-the-moment, and not attacking them personally.
I would like to +2 this!

IMO, most of the people who hang out here aren't like most other people. We tend to be *very* highly trained in *very* _rarefied_ areas of knowledge.

And more than a few of us could also be classified as mentally challenged (autistic, dyslexic, OCD, etc). I personally definitely score in this set.

When such people speak, they don't mean to attack the presenter; they are challenging the ideas presented. For such people, the emotional domain isn't even understood, let alone considered.

I hope that makes sense.
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Old 2016-09-15, 23:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
I would like to +2 this!

IMO, most of the people who hang out here aren't like most other people. We tend to be *very* highly trained in *very* _rarefied_ areas of knowledge.

And more than a few of us could also be classified as mentally challenged (autistic, dyslexic, OCD, etc). I personally definitely score in this set.

When such people speak, they don't mean to attack the presenter; they are challenging the ideas presented. For such people, the emotional domain isn't even understood, let alone considered.

I hope that makes sense.
This weighs heavily in my thinking.

Early on in my moderation someone used a complaint mechanism to ask for help because they felt attacked. At the time I felt that I could de-escalate things by pointing out everyone's intelligence and mentioning my respect for forum members as a whole and generally trying to invoke a kumbaya moment of decorum. I chose to not use any moderator tools and don't think in my engagement at the time I emphasized the important distinction of challenging ideas versus people. One person had reached out upon feeling attacked and I feel now that I did not provide enough support and the other person continued to cause problems until he was banned.

I dwell on this. Relating to this exact incident, in my last post I quoted myself replying to Jacob on an inquiry about my moderation impartiality when I am actively participating in a thread.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-09-15 at 23:49
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Old 2016-09-16, 02:14   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Firstly, thanks to Ross for moderating the Soap Box, which is often a thankless task!

Research shows that anger often stems (consciously or not) from perceived offences against either a social norm or a person's status in the group. With our geographical and cultural spread, the risk of misunderstanding at that level on the forum is higher than In local life. When we produce sharp criticism, it is therefore important (in my opinion) to make explicit that we are criticizing someone's idea-of-the-moment, and not attacking them personally.
I want to increase the likelihood that there is a distinction between criticizing ideas and people.

I'm thinking of two actions:

1) I would like us to consider an addition to the first post on Soap Box Discussions. I hope you guys will help phrase it or offer a suggestion that may be used directly.

2) Going forward, I intend to act in the forum to diminish the categorizing or characterizing of people especially in a negative way and also especially when an exchange might be becoming contentiously personal. One way I will do this is by stepping very hard on mocking nicknames or personally derisive banter.

On that second point, in the past I had been especially derisive of one forum member's cosmology ideas. While I feel that I was careful to criticize the ideas and not the person, my criticism had a mocking character and maybe I was wrong especially since I should be particularly careful to maintain the propriety of my actions while being a moderator.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-09-16 at 02:17 Reason: s/my actions in the forum/to act in the forum/
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Old 2016-09-16, 03:10   #18
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I found something online that might help:

From https://forum.learning.mozilla.org/guidelines
Quote:
Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree
You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. Thatโ€™s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
  • Name-calling.
  • Ad hominem attacks.
  • Responding to a postโ€™s tone instead of its actual content.
  • Knee-jerk contradiction.
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.
This looks good but perhaps adding something like "When you disagree, remember to criticize ideas, not people" to the first post is sufficient.

Ideas, suggestions?

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-09-16 at 03:12
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Old 2016-09-16, 10:43   #19
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Attribution-wize I feel more comfortable drawing on Nick's post and want to know if there is any disagreement in first post guidance such as:

Quote:
Welcome.

If you'd like to discuss current events, form or defy a consensus, or just unwind, or if someone is wrong on the internet and that's a problem (Duty Calls - xkcd ), then you might be in the right place.

Soapbox Guidelines -- To keep things rolling without too much roiling:
  1. Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.[1]
  2. Be kind to humans because sometimes you're human too. [2]
  3. When we produce sharp criticism, make explicit that we are criticizing someone's idea-of-the-moment, and not attacking them personally.[3]
References:
[1] Robustness Principle - Wikipedia
[2] Reciprocity - Wikipedia.
[3] avoid misunderstandings
"Be excellent to each other! Party on dudes!" - Bill & Ted
So this is my proposed change. Thoughts, objections anyone?
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Old 2016-09-16, 17:23   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by only_human View Post
So this is my proposed change. Thoughts, objections anyone?
I personally generally agree with your proposed language.

I would like to propose a #4:

"4. The Mersenne Forum is populated by many very well educated and experienced people. Posters should not take offence if their _ideas_ are questioned, and are encouraged to debate the merits of their ideas vigorously.

Thoughts?
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Old 2016-09-16, 18:03   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Thoughts?
+1
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Old 2016-09-16, 19:14   #22
only_human
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
I personally generally agree with your proposed language.

I would like to propose a #4:

"4. The Mersenne Forum is populated by many very well educated and experienced people. Posters should not take offence if their _ideas_ are questioned, and are encouraged to debate the merits of their ideas vigorously.

Thoughts?
At first when I looked at this I wondered if part of it could be moved into the welcome before the guidelines. The reason I thought about that was I hope the guidelines are short and few but there is no particular reason that they must be so especially if they are important.

Another positive about the suggestion is that it mentions ideas will be challenged. That's part of what the soapbox is for (in my opinion). But the introduction before the guidelines is where we describe the Soap Box's purpose.

I'm a little worried about the don't be offended part. Maybe it's ok. It's clearly says "if ideas are questioned" and that's where I feel the challenging should be.

I see that Paul has given it a thumbs-up.

I'd like to hear some more thoughts on this.
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