I'd never noticed a post being deleted because of this reason until recently, but now I think the way this forum is moderated contributes to what a helpful source of information and online community it is.
At first I'd appreciated this 'expert' post telling us all how wrong we were, as he seemed to have a lot of knowledge on the subject, but then I wondered what the experience would be like for someone new to this topic - they might assume their off-grid dreams are not possible because this person shut down every idea other than a small list of expensive ones, and others might no longer want to contribute their own ideas because they don't want to bluntly be told that they're wrong.
If this person had communicated in a different way, then it may have led to a useful discussion. There are many places online to read posts saying "your way is wrong, only my way works", it's nice to have somewhere without this, and I think it makes us feel more free to express our own opinions and experience, and makes it a more informative and inspiring place to be.
I think the antagonistic spirit is inherent to a big majority of people. We were born with it or shall I say it was downloaded to us by the family and community. It is also clear that most of us are working on it as we grow. What we need is to constantly remind ourselves/ others of this in a nice way. So from this point whenever I sit in front of my PC and before touching the keyboard I will remind myself that behind those words I'm reading are people like me. Maybe most are non English and have difficulty grasping the meaning of words much more the emotions behind the words. Yes I do think words has emotions depending on how its use in the sentence. And this is where most non English like me struggles. That's is why I try to be as short and concise. I have one question though. where does the thumbs down icon factor in the "be nice" rule.
I first read the post about "The Margarine Effect", and did not think it really worked well, and explained my thoughts. A few considered what I wrote, and then had a different idea. After reading how they came to that conclusion, my thoughts on "The Margarine Effect" rather changed, and I could see how it actually fits well.
I left room for other's ideas, and feel empowered by it, not disgruntled because others did not agree. I was wrong...no big deal, thanks for setting me straight in a respectful way!
I think it's possible to have respect for people, without having respect for their ideas or those who planted those ideas. I have a brother who latches onto every conspiracy theory on the internet. He has presented his case on many subjects, over and over again. I have listened. I consider myself well versed in the subjects he deals with. And I consider it all of bunch of nonsense.
He has stated his position, and I have stated mine. We could leave it there, but that never happens. He insist that I must come to believe what he believes and that to not do so, is being disrespectful and dismissive of his great intellect.
Speaking in regards to this forum, I find it helpful to write my posts in two phases, the same way I write emails in my professional life.
I use Notepad or similar, which is easier to read and edit. (The only disadvantage is that posts can become long-winded.)
First phase, I bash out the point I want to make. If I'm passionate enough to post, I may be in high dudgeon and there will be some ranting and pontificating.
Second phase, I try (!) to shape and adjust the post to "be nice" and "be helpful," to fit the feel and intent of this forum. Sometimes I have to ruminate on this a while, until the tumblers fall into place. But I want to advance the conversation, and increase its quality, not shut it down. That means treading lightly, and leaving room for other people's ideas. In the end, I benefit from gaining a more three-dimensional view of the matter at hand.
When writing online, we are writing to more than just the other members of the conversation, we are writing to the readership at larger. Anyone who stumbles on this page can read our words. Some of these threads have 10,000 views, 100,000 views, and the views keep going up.
If you have a position you want to endorse, it reaches more people when you talk about the goodness of your point of view, and how it benefits you personally, then it does to attack the other points of view.
When I first came here and read the rules, I was like, "Whoa!" At the same time, I recognized that this is Paul's site and he can make the rules. I'm a guest here (and thank you for making this site that has more info than I have ever seen in one place). After I posted a few times, though, I noticed that I was being more mindful of my words on other sites. A politeness/niceness I had never thought of before was infesting my online behavior. For that reason, I'm very glad Paul made the rules he has.
Also, I came across a thread a few years old where someone was trying to plant trees in an area where the locals said it couldn't be done. I asked how it had gone. She hadn't succeeded, so far. When I came back to the thread, I saw several posts with ideas of how it might possibly be done. I saw the posts as supportive and informative and, since I live in the same state albeit on the southwestern side, I found many things I could use once I'm able to get my own property (whether it is in this state or another).
There were millions of the little blood suckers. But thanks to this tiny ad, I wasn't bitten once.