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Perennial Discussions

 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 11115
Location: SW Missouri
6508
2
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Permies is a place for perennial discussions. We have threads that are still running from 10 years ago, long after the OP (Original  Poster) has fixed the problem they started the thread about. This is not a question and answer forum, where a question is asked, it is answered, and it goes away. In the future someone with a similar problem may search for a solution and find the thread. Some of the answers that are not relevant to the OP may be relevant for them. Because of that, replies tend to be all kinds of related solutions, not necessarily specific for the OP's parameters, but they may be relevant for someone in the future, who has different parameters, and can still learn from the thread.

What do you do about answers that are not relevant? Ignore them, or thank them nicely, and see if you can politely word why, so maybe the next person knows a few more of your parameters.

An example, I don't recall which thread I started that I was dealing problems with my brush cutter. Someone said "I use a scythe." If it had mattered, I may have said "Thank you for the idea! I'm disabled and on bad days can't even lift my scythe, and I have 4 acres to cut, so I really need my brush cutter to work right." so that maybe he could have given me a more focused answer. It didn't matter, so I ignored it. But in the future, someone may say "Whoa, I never thought of using a scythe where the brush cutter can't get to due to the slope!" And THAT is EXACTLY what Permies is about, giving ideas to people that help them find solutions that fit their parameters, sometimes many years from now.

So relax if you are getting answers you can't use, be nice and realize that someone else may be able to use them, and that is what a perennial discussion forum is set up to do.  
 
author & steward
Posts: 6003
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Once in a while, someone posts a question, and gets a response that is tangential to what they asked, then the OP replies by being bossy and telling people that they shouldn't post tangential things, and to limit replies to certain parameters. That kind of response is not nice, and is a violation of the publishing standards.  A person doesn't gain editorial control of a thread, just because they were the first one to post to it. Telling other people what they can or can't write about is a great way to lose apples.

Sometimes an OP tries to phrase a question in a way that discourages open discussion of all available options. That is not an approach that fits in well with the nature of this site.

Because this is a site for perennial discussions, we don't allow discussion in the main forums about moderators, moderation actions, forum software, or errors of staff, policy, or bots.  Discussions about those topics are limited to the tinkering forum.

People come to permies to read high quality content, not to read that last month the moderators didn't approve a post, or that if someone posted what they really wanted to post that the moderators wouldn't approve it.

Another thing that isn't helpful to perennial discussions are posts that I think of as fluff. "Wow! Thanks for posting", or "I do the same thing".
 
master gardener
Posts: 8139
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
3972
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I so agree with what Pearl Sutton and Joseph Lofthouse have said.

We do some out-side the box things on our property. Sometimes I would make a suggestion, and Hubby would immediately say how impractical and impossible it was. It made me feel like saying, "Then solve your own d---- problem - don't bother asking me!" However, that also doesn't solve the problem. It took a lot of training, but Hubby's now much better able to see how some of my *really* weird suggestions, actually lead to a solution that *does* work and *is practical*. That's what "brainstorming" is all about! And it's one of the things I *love* about permies.

However, there are times when a thread OP asks a question and someone further down adds a tangent that takes off. I was guilty of one such occasion, and the OP actually saw the benefit of expanding the topic a little and changed its title to be broader and more inclusive - it's now a "one-stop shopping of buying, fitting and using" the tool in question. Other times, the tangent really deserves its own thread. We can do that here on permies - hit report and kindly ask staff if they can move the tangent and give it an appropriate name. This can be time-consuming, so we try to save that tool for situations that really benefit from it.

As someone using a *really* old computer running old software (and aware that I'm by *no* means the only or the oldest!), I really appreciate it when I don't have to try to search through 20 threads to get the answer to a question I think is obvious, but each thread has only covered the elephant's ear, or the elephant's tail, or the elephant's big toe. Remember, just because you thought an idea was so obvious you'd already thought about it and rejected it before asking your question, the next poster can't read your mind, and doesn't know what's "obvious" to someone and it may not be obvious to the next reader, as Pearl commented about the scythe in her post. I had *no* idea how big a difference there is between a "stamped scythe" and the type made like quality Japanese knives when I first learned about permaculture. There will always be people who've learned things that I haven't or haven't learned things I grew up with - let's leave lots of room for all those people to find a better way to live through permies.
 
gardener
Posts: 2047
Location: Western Kentucky
1216
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This is one of the things that drew me to Permies. This is also a good opportunity to mention the idea of a place where gentle souls can have a discussion. In many forums, there are many loudmouths who bully everyone around for whatever reason. Even if you are not a bully yourself, you must do a certain amount of posturing just to be heard. Some people seem to enjoy that type of stress. Some people do not. Permies is a sanctuary for many people where they can leave that stress elsewhere and relax and talk. Many of these people have very good ideas. Even if they know nothing, they can learn from others, and then one day have good ideas of their own. None of this can happen if someone shuts them down and runs them off. Imagine a new person makes their first post, believing they're being helpful, and they are immediately made to feel bad. Why would this person stick around? Permies is the electronic version of permaculture. How do plants and animals grow to their full potential, if you are mean to them, and only take and give what you want, or if you are nice to them and do all you can to help them along?
 
She said she got a brazillian. I think owning people is wrong. That is how I learned ... tiny ad:
Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters (8-Movie Set) by Paul Wheaton
https://permies.com/wiki/134176/Wood-Heat-DIY-Rocket-Mass
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