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Joined: Nov 2005
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Derid Offline OP
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So, I've decided to do an experiment and see if it gathers any interest. Experiment is having a specific topic each month, and a moderated thread dedicated to it.

Yes, moderated - that is, if the conversation wanders too far off course I will act to keep it on track. Personal attacks including all forms of ad hominem will not be tolerated, trolling, and other related activities will also not be tolerated - if you want to troll someone, take it to another thread. (political trolling is fine on the forum at large, just not the monthly topic threads) Do not implicate or discuss the post authors, only the content and subject. Conversely, if I slip up and do it myself feel free to point it out and I will correct myself.

If you have a topic you would be interested to see discussed, feel free to PM me or post here. As long as it is appropriate, I will place it on the queue. I especially encourage people who have topics close to their heart that they do not elaborate more on for fear of being flamed into the ground to present topics.

Going on tangents is also acceptable, if the tangent has a clear purpose and relation to the main topic. For example: this months topic is UBI, but talking about aspects of socialism or classic liberalism would be acceptable as long as it is presented in relation to the UBI discussion, such as in drawing contrasts or weighing relative effectiveness of addressing social needs. That is, talking about an alternative to UBI is perfectly acceptable (as an example) as long as you address UBI and why another method might be superior and where UBI might fall short.

Also acceptable are tangents that set up a background for argument of a specific area where UBI might be found wanting, or conversely, why UBI might be effective.

While I do not expect or even desire the discussion to be purely scholarly and dispassionate in tone, I'd like to see a discussion we wouldn't be ashamed to share with our RL friends and acquaintances.

Final note on semantics: I do not wish the discussions to devolve into arguments on semantics. As such, for purposes of clarification I will implement a special rule here - a 'semantics call' or call for definition. Although the onus is on each contributor to use terms and words properly and in accordance with accepted practice according to Merriam Webster dictionary, in some cases it may be needed or advisable to elaborate on a particular usage. If someone feels that terms are being misused, a semantics call may be raised and the contributor using the term should either elaborate on why their usage is correct or clarify their content to reflect proper usage.

Example:

Suppose the monthly topic was the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)

One contributor makes a statement that ACA is bad, because it is socialism. However, socialism according to dictionary is collective or governmental ownership or control of means of production. Thus saying ACA is socialism is semantically incorrect, and thus not an acceptable argument for or against. The contributor would be required to restate their argument or have it stricken by moderation unless they made a successful case (to me) that ACA is in fact socialism according to dictionary definition. Making an argument that ACA exerts a level of control over markets that may invoke negative consequences in line with those seen in truly socialist systems is, however, acceptable argumentation.

The bottom line is be rigorous with your words. Don't toss out labels unless the label technically and semantically applies. If you feel that something fits a specific label or is similar to a label, especially pejoratively, then demonstrate why such is the case. The purpose of this is to keep everyone on the same page. When words mean different things to different people, then real discussion is impossible.

-

Also:

Call to semantics and clarification may be used to inquire as to what someone means by a phrase that is more ambiguous, and not covered by an ironclad dictionary. If someone requests clarification, please oblige. You might find the meaning obvious, but that does not mean everyone does, and they are not necessarily trolling. If you feel someone is trolling PM me.

The example I will give here is the term 'hard work' and the reason I use this as an example is that the term has been used on this forum in the past, with different contributors giving it different connotations. One contributor associated the term with actual hard, physical labor while another associated the term with putting in much focused time and effort into difficult endeavors. The context was "whether you can get ahead with hard work these days" with one contributor asserting that you cannot (get ahead and be successful via hard physical labor, such as digging ditches or warehouse work) and another asserting that you can (get ahead by putting in much focused time and effort, such as learning a difficult skill or getting masters degree). My current opinion is that both contributors were correct, they just were reading things differently and were thus arguing over nothing. Aside from discouraging label-tossing, this is the type of misunderstanding I would like to prevent.

In the event contributors cannot agree on a definition then I will make the call and define it for the purpose of discussion.

Final note: Please make an effort to see and understand what the other party means by a phrase, and argue against their intended meaning. Excessive hair splitting is discouraged and may be subject to moderation. As long as it is not technically inaccurate word usage, granting an opposing party their intended meaning and responding to such is not weakness - strong arguments address the ideas and logic in play.

--

Each topic will be posted on or around the beginning of each month and be stickied for that month. After the month, it will be unstickied and a link placed into a stickied archive thread listing discussion for each month. I will make a post sometimes within a week of the topic being posted, but anyone may feel free to get the ball rolling before me - especially if they suggested the topic.

My genuine hope is for some good discussion, and to learn about things we might not have thought about otherwise. Keep it clean and keep it real.
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For who could be free when every other man's humour might domineer over him? - John Locke (2nd Treatise, sect 57)
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While this is interesting idea, good faith arguments is not politics, but policy discussions.


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Remove yourself from moderation and I would consider participating. As it is, I am totally turned off of the Derid and Sini show.


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Originally Posted by rhaikh
Remove yourself from moderation and I would consider participating. As it is, I am totally turned off of the Derid and Sini show.


Who would you recommend moderates the forum?

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Good question and no good answer. I would say JetStar but I doubt he wants to get involved. Aside from the obvious reason, he also has demonstrated the necessary proficiency.


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