A few quiet words...

Swiftandsure

Robin Reeve
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How non-conflictual and incontrovertible of you.
I know that I have been part of some controversies.
If it is the place to say it, I would like to apologize to anyone who I could have offended (PM me if needed).
 

JoeArthur

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Age has not brought wisdom but an awareness that none of us are completely rational, we're all slightly nuts.

Part of that awareness has been caused by the internet............
 

Swiftandsure

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I would venture that our irrationality is rather revealed than caused by Internet.
As it reduces some social restraint, our inner passions are more prone to express themselves.
A psychanalyst would say that our superego is weaker online than in real life.
And communicating without body language and with an unfallible memory of what was said previously certainly can generate important misunderstandings and conflicts.
 

boylermaker

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There are no prohibitions of changing the subject in society. There are no prohibitions on talking politics. There are no prohibitions on talking about abortion. There are no prohibitions on wearing Donald Trump's face on a t-shirt. There are no prohibitions on wearing anti-Trump slogans on a t-shirt.
I don't know that I agree with that. In pretty much every parish I've ever been a part of, it was understood that the priests were not to talk about most of those topics from the pulpit, or that they were to do so only obliquely.

In job interviews, many of those topics would be considered gauche to bring up, would be forbidden by HR, and under some circumstances might actually be illegal for the interviewer to ask about (at least in the US).

On this iteration of ESPN, those topics are, in fact, prohibited by management. And it seems that more people are appreciative of this than aren't.

We could come up with more examples. Not all are necessarily "prohibitions", but all represent a pretty strong social pressure, at least, toward keeping some parts of our lives apolitical. This seems healthy to me.

I for one, have felt that politics has been leaking into on-topic threads increasingly over the last few years, and I'm happy to see that the admins are addressing it. I also have a vague recollection (maybe wrong?) that the old forum system automatically stopped bad language, so the manual moderation of this seems just like a return to normal, no?
 

Sparafucil3

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Not all are necessarily "prohibitions", but all represent a pretty strong social pressure, at least, toward keeping some parts of our lives apolitical.
Which is exactly what I said. We agree. If you stray, you run the risk of running afoul of social norms, but there is no rule prohibiting it. -- jim
 

boylermaker

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Yup, I guess I see "haphazardly enforced moderation standards" as being much closer to social pressure than to prohibition. Possibly we still agree?
 

Sparafucil3

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Yup, I guess I see "haphazardly enforced moderation standards" as being much closer to social pressure than to prohibition. Possibly we still agree?
Mostly. Moderators enforce rules. The members enforce standards. Think of it as police who arrest you and your neighbors who stop talking to you. -- jim
 

Michael Dorosh

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I don't know that I agree with that.
You shouldn't, because he's cherry-picking.

There are prohibitions on pornographic images of children, insulting people based on race or sexuality can (and are) be characterized as hate crimes, etc. The age-old example is yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre. These limits on free speech are not managed by "social norms" (though in practice it probably helps), but rather covered by the rule of law, which gets interpreted to suit the situation. "Creating a Disturbance" legislation is left vague for a reason. The bylaw in my city regarding acceptable noise is similarly vague, to include anything that annoys anyone else.

"Except as authorized pursuant to this Bylaw, no Person shall make or cause or allow to be made or continued any noise which would disturb or annoy a reasonable person."

Social norms only work so far. I agree that reasonable people won't consort with child pornographers. But amongst themselves, child pornographers would have no reason to place limits on each other's freedoms, so they can support each other while still doing harm to the greater community. This is exactly why we have prohibitions and enforcement.

It's no different for disruptive individuals here. Rather than bending to social pressure, they simply socialize with others of like mind who don't pressure them into adopting less disruptive speech. Without enforcement, they simply feed off of each other to the detriment of the community.
 
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