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two people banned

 
master steward
Posts: 29072
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Last night two people took a position in a thread that I found disrespectful. 

Along the way, I tried to steer them to something better.  Along the way I said

It seems to me that for every person that can accomplish great things, there are 20 people that get in the way and say "it will never work!  you are wasting your time!  stop that!"  and then there are 200 more than just don't care one way or the other.  I want this site to be for that one person out of 221.  The people who can see and understand what Sepp has accomplished.  Who can understand the value of the wofati even though one has never been built to those specs.  Who can wrap their head around how going to mars is possible even if it has not yet been done.



After they posted more snotty stuff I thought this site was a bit like a party.  A party full of cool people and a few less than cool people.  And then I worried that the less than cool people might scare off some of the cool people.

So we now have two fewer less-than-cool-people.

I remember banning an icky person about a year ago and in two months the site traffic doubled.  I think there is a lot to be said for encouraging the right kind of person and banning the wrong kind.

I should have banned these two much sooner.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 29072
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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And another today.

I was thinking the other day about how the key ingredient (IMAAOO) to community is a lot like how salatin has cattle that don't have flies.  Some cattle naturally have flies and some don't.  When he has an animal with flies, he gets rid of it.  Applying this to community, I was thinking "do I have the stomach to send more than half of my community away?  90%  99%? "  After all, in order to end up with a group of folks that all get along, that would mean finding out which folks are the ones that are not a fit and .... uh ... allowing them the opportunity to find a community that is a better fit for them. 

And then I thought about the similarities between intentional community and on-line communities.

I thought about the dozens of emails I get from people complaining about how I need to ban somebody. 

And then I thought about how when you manage a team, you usually don't get to pick the team.  You have to awesome stuff with the folks assigned to you.  It's easy to do a faceplant and say the people assigned to you were losers.  But it takes good management to excell despite less than optimal raw materials.  And when you are trying to get a community to gel and have a successful permaculture farm, I think part of it is gonna be manager-ish stuff. 

Part of me things that the key to getting things to be smooth is good communication.  Patient communication.  And yet, some people are just a natural fit.  And for every person that works hard to understand, there are a dozen people that seem to work very hard to not understand.

So .... I'm paying the bills ... I've worked for years and years on this joint ...  it's really mine ....  there are infinite flavors of community that can be formed here, but there are just a few flavors I am comfortable with.

A thing that really struck a sour chord with me with the last guy was when he said that people were writing to him and supporting his position.  While I've been telling him that his position is not a fit for here (and hoping that he would eventually catch on to my point).  So his way of talking was attracting similar minds.  Yuck. 

I like the idea that people on these forums communicate my way.  I like the idea that these forums draw a certain kind of person.  My kind of person.  I like to talk about permaculture in a way that seems, to me, to be respectful of the many other schools of thought out there, while at the same time locked way beyond organic.  I want to express and opinion or an idea without somebody challenging me with "prove it" or "citation needed" (hello - it was qualified as an opinion, it does need to be proven).

I love to hear anecdotal experiences.  I hate to see anecdotal experiences shouted down when they were properly qualified as anecdotal.   

I guess I am saying all of this because I think it would be wise for me to ban five or six more people.  To help set the pace for what I think is healthy.  I want to say this out loud so that those five or six first have the opportunity to consider my position and decide if they can be comfortable with my communication style. 

I think some of the communication styles I have allowed have scared off what would otherwise be people that would be a good fit for my style.  That was my mistake.



 
Posts: 38
Location: Foothills of SW Maine - Zone 5a
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Thank you, Paul. I appreciate and support you kicking off people of ill will or intentional incomprehension. Who needs it?

Too much of our scope of action and speech is constrained because of the jerks in the world. There'll always be jerks, but we don't have to associate with them. This is your place that you share with us. You are ENTIRELY within your rights to boot off people you find unpleasant or discordant. After two or three strikes, you shouldn't hesitate. How and how many times you warn people is up to you, but by all means, keep this place the way that works for you. I'm sure many more of us will applaud you than complain when you ban the sort you're talking about.

Thanks again,
FeatherJack in Maine
 
pollinator
Posts: 1455
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I LOVE this forum.....just the way it is.  I do not have to pay for access to this resource so how could I complain? 

  I have left many other forums because I got tired of the bickering.  So far I have not seen any of that here.

Please keep doing what you are doing.
 
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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im enjoying this forum.  finally somewhere to actually learn something new..............................as for banning.  how does one know who was actually banned?  other forums have banned under their names.  is it the same here??
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11519
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I also adore the "no bickering" environment here.  I have gotten in the worst screaming fights with people on other boards, here I am learning how not to fight. 
 
Posts: 35
Location: eastern part of West Tennessee
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In the short time I've been here I've seen people disagree, but not be disagreeable.  I just left a forum that didn't have a disagreement problem because any post that disagreed with or might offend one heavy poster was deleted.  I'm glad that here you are taken by what you say, not by how much you increase the post count.
 
Posts: 127
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paul wheaton wrote:
So .... I'm paying the bills ... I've worked for years and years on this joint ...  it's really mine ....   there are infinite flavors of community that can be formed here, but there are just a few flavors I am comfortable with.
...
I guess I am saying all of this because I think it would be wise for me to ban five or six more people.  To help set the pace for what I think is healthy.  I want to say this out loud so that those five or six first have the opportunity to consider my position and decide if they can be comfortable with my communication style. 

I think some of the communication styles I have allowed have scared off what would otherwise be people that would be a good fit for my style.   That was my mistake.


I think there is nothing wrong with the owner of a site to decide on policy and enforce it. You would do the same in your home. Even if you have invited people over, if they start trashing your china or being rude to other guests, you would (normally  ) very quickly put an end to that and show them the door...

But having said that, I am also in favor of lots of good communication, before, during and after. But when it fails, the other party can not or will not hear your message, I think it is only right to "invite" them to go find a favorite spot elsewhere... 
 
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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I realized very quickly what  "Pauls comfort zone" was all about ....I think the reasons for censoring posts are understandable.

Maybe if there was a short "mission statement" at the top of the home page that made the rules clear.....it seems there is really only one or two of them.....as I have notice Paul mention them repeatedly in threads.

I am only here to LEARN and SHARE

I am REALLY NOT interested in anyones politics, personal morals or ongoing Debate. I appreciate Paul's efforts to keep this a Happy Place. it is unfortunate but there will always be a need for the "Nice Police"

 
Posts: 64
Location: Northwest
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Thank you, Paul. I come here for ideas, inspiration and encouragement and also to share what I have been learning and encourage others. I would stop coming here if someone seemed hostile or discouraging.

I don't want anybody hijacking what we have here.

Keep us on track, Paul. Many folks here are little nuggets from the goldmines of permaculture experimentation. 
 
Jackson Barnett
Posts: 38
Location: Foothills of SW Maine - Zone 5a
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I couldn't agree more with the two most recent posters... Keep up the good work, Paul. And Thank You! 
 
Posts: 38
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been a while since this was bumped but I just wanted to give a short true story of encouragement. (possibly it would be a "teach" for nay sayers)

During my years of marriage my then husband worked for a big company developing satellite antennae. He is extremely smart though he never got a college degree. Once the scientists who were developing the machine, realized that his input was good and strong he was elevated to assholes and elbows status alongside of those guys. Everyday he would come home and I could see the content on his face and in his demeanor. He was in his element... debating, arguing, tinkering and so on till they got it right.
My point is that there is a productive way to do this and then there is the negative, childish way which never accomplishes a thing. (I've seen bullies do the latter in grade school, too bad we couldn't ban them back then!)

I think Permies forums is very much like the atmosphere that my ex had and I see the progress and the contentment abounding. I salute you all!
 
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