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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Off-Topics, Politics, and the Redesign

FYI, in the redesign I will restrict off-topic political discussions to a new politics off-topic blog that I am setting up for the purpose. By default, members will not see these discussions in their Hot Topics until they opt-in to see them. In the interim I will restrict off-topic political discussions to a dedicated monthly thread (similar to the football, basketball, and soccer threads), which will be tagged as “politics”, marked as “OT:Politics” in the title, and which will include a disclaimer about the nature and tone of the discussion. I will also begin closing the off-topic political discussions in other threads.

In the redesign I also will be moving the sports-related off-topic threads to their own dedicated area. Like the off-topic political threads these threads will only appear in Hot Topics when members opt-in to see them. When this change takes place members will be able to submit news links to basketball, football, soccer, and golf (whichever sports that generate interest) articles, which will appear in their appropriate off-topic micro.

So, in the redesign people who wish to discuss these topics will be able to do so easily while people who wish to ignore such topics will be able to do so easily as well.


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Jim Furtado Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM | 1369 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. BWV 1129 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4144727)
- because I've given up caring a lot of the time and don't even look to see anymore, is the sort of problem The Jim is trying to address her

He wants you back on the main site?


Not only me, but my ilk.
   302. robinred Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4144728)
Do you really think that if Repoz didn't post these things, people would stop talking politics?


I think there would be less politics, yes, which seems to be something that Mr. Furtado wants.

I have 22 people on my ignore feature, with Joey at the "top" of the list.


That sort of changes the savanna into your own private desert resort.

   303. McCoy Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4144730)
Not only me, but my ilk.

Then why did he put you in the forums?
   304. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4144735)
Not only me, but my ilk.


Has anyone ever noticed how funny the word "ilk" is?
   305. BWV 1129 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4144737)
- Not only me, but my ilk.

Then why did he put you in the forums?


Because the constant posting created pressures on the website that were eased by putting The Lounge in the Forum format.
   306. UCCF Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4144739)
EDIT: It should also be noted that these threads generally evolve once nobody else has anything to say about the topic of the article. For instance, the "student loan" thread -- i.e., the Curt Schilling thread -- is something like the fourth story in a week on Schilling's company's problems. There's not much to say about that topic anymore.

I'd love to see us return to what was being done off and on maybe 6-7 years ago - when a topic was first posted, a new thread was started. Then, as additional articles about that topic came out (or as the topic evolved in the news), links to the new articles were added to the original topic, rather than being posted as new threads. So you'd have one Schilling-is-broke thread, and if you opened it at the top would be links to the 4 articles that were ultimately posted. It was a great strategy for limiting the number of redundant threads, and also for consolidating the discussion on a topic in one place so that people didn't feel the need to post the same thing in every thread.

That would have been very useful back when the Hot Topics bar tended to read Bonds, Bonds, Bonds, steroids, Bonds, steroids, McGwire, steroids, Congressional hearings on steroids, Clemens, and Bonds.
   307. BWV 1129 Posted: May 31, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4144741)
Also, no one was "put" in the Forums, a particular daily thread was. Nothing The Jim did with the site design stops us from "Over There" coming "Over Here". The ilk of mine I was referring to referred to people who look for baseball discussion. The group of Primates looking for baseball discussion is not the same group that are Lounginistas, but there is some overlap, and in fact those of us who want to do discuss baseball there quite a bit.
   308. zonk Posted: May 31, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4144749)

I find the links posted with the clear intention of starting off-topic threads to be fascinating. It's clear that to be a community we have to talk about things other than baseball from time to time. We can't have the same discussion over and over and over.


This.

I think everything still comes through a lens of baseball, but it's like the neighborhood tavern where the clientele is interesting and generally prefers to have the ballgame on TV. The owner isn't a stickler, but certain elements of decorum are expected and enforced.

The ballgame is always on in the background, but I always thought the beauty of baseball was that it was a 3 hour picnic with 15 minutes of play sprinkled in. It's a leisurely game punctuated with staccato frenzy. It's a gentleman's game with numerous breaks in the action to discuss the things gentlemen (and BBC!) discuss.

I think the secret to this site's success is that ability to sort of mimic the game itself.
   309. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4144753)
Just for the record, here were two back-to-back topics on tonight's PBS News Hour:

The NYC ban on soft drinks over 16 ounces

Student loan forgiveness

-------------------------------------------------------

I'd love to see us return to what was being done off and on maybe 6-7 years ago - when a topic was first posted, a new thread was started. Then, as additional articles about that topic came out (or as the topic evolved in the news), links to the new articles were added to the original topic, rather than being posted as new threads. So you'd have one Schilling-is-broke thread, and if you opened it at the top would be links to the 4 articles that were ultimately posted. It was a great strategy for limiting the number of redundant threads, and also for consolidating the discussion on a topic in one place so that people didn't feel the need to post the same thing in every thread.

That would have been very useful back when the Hot Topics bar tended to read Bonds, Bonds, Bonds, steroids, Bonds, steroids, McGwire, steroids, Congressional hearings on steroids, Clemens, and Bonds.


I don't remember that practice, but it sounds like a great idea to me, since on many days it would reduce a lot of the sidebar clutter. I like both (some) baseball threads and (some) OT threads, but I've never seen the point of having separate threads on the same subject.



   310. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 31, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4144771)
I come here for the comments. The humor and snark, and the OT threads (especially the NBA thread empire, which taken as a whole is the coolest thing I have ever read on the internet). I very rarely RTFA and I am drawn to long threads.

Jim can do what he wants to the site. I will likely stick around, participating more or less depending. That said I am not enthusiastic about the change, but I guess I don't dread it either.

And yes I think HW was out of line, which is rare for him, but whatever. I don't have anyone on ignore, but there are some I have been tempted. But I like that there are folks I disagree with. I agree with Ray on steroids and agree with Andy on most politics. It is a good reminder that people are more than just one aspect and that everyone has some complexity and interest.

Back to semi-lurking.
   311. BDC Posted: May 31, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4144772)
Has anyone ever noticed how funny the word "ilk" is?

It is such a common word in Old and Middle English that I hadn't. But interestingly enough, it didn't survive into Modern English except for some specialized Scots uses, and OED says that its fairly common modern use to mean "kind" is an "erroneous" adaptation of the Scots word. Which is like saying that baseball is an erroneous version of rounders.

   312. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4144793)
But I like that there are folks I disagree with.

I'd put it this way: I like that there are so many people I can learn from about so many topics. Whether they share my worldview or not is beside the point. I picked up a fair amount of copyright law knowledge from a long running argument I had with Ray about DVD copying, knowledge that didn't change my mind about doing it, but still nice to know nevertheless. I've learned a ton of stuff about sabermetrics from many people, always in the context of discussions. After mostly lurking on many threads on the Clemens case, I'm now somewhat wavering on whether he juiced or not, thanks in part to those threads. Gonfalon Bubble has done a great job in reminding me of the media's complicity in the steroids scandal, whether he realizes it or not. And if I'm ever stranded either in downtown DC or in Buttfuck, Montana, and can't find a good restaurant, I'll have nobody but myself to blame.

And then it's almost impossible (for me, anyway) not to appreciate true originals like Keefe (who really does need to put those gems of his in a book), Lisa (the e e cummings and Don Marquis of BTF), Sam the Neck Stabber, Retardo the mighty flamethrower, Eraser-X the Chicago schoolteacher, and yes, snapper the 1950's Catholic, even if I sure wouldn't want him running the Department of Health and Human Services. There's not a single one of those (except for Keefe) whom I haven't argued with, but so what? If I just wanted to find someone to agree with me 95% of the time, I'd talk to nobody but my wife.
   313. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4144800)
a) Tell Repoz and others to stop posting links like "Obama wears White Sox cap while hanging out with Wife and Kids" and start linking to more sabermetrically-inclined articles

Do you really think that if Repoz didn't post these things, people would stop talking politics?


No, but why is he posting these things if political discussions are frowned upon?

I don't have the answer.

Hijackers hijack. Like scorpions, it is their nature. In the same way that some threads turn into movie discussions and music discussions, others will turn into political discussions, particularly with the very political animals who prowl this savannah.


Again, rarely is a discussion political because of a hijack. I swear, the people so incensed about the political threads seem to have no idea what actually is going on with them.
   314. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4144809)
Again, rarely is a discussion political because of a hijack. I swear, the people so incensed about the political threads seem to have no idea what actually is going on with them.


Robot Boy is onto a grain of truth here. Walking into the political border war threads blind a newcomer would likely think the individual participants hate each other a lot more than any of us actually do. Hell, I've been in a bar with Ray Ray, Snapper, and we were *thisclose* to having Kneepants there with us (or so I was led to believe.) And Lassus was there too. Yet no one was killed, or even so much as threatened with bodily violence in any serious way.

And I accidentally stiffed the waitress. But not in the hot kind of way.
   315. Srul Itza Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4144814)
That sort of changes the savanna into your own private desert resort.


Not as long as I still have you to read. As an example, I just went over the May NBA thread, and I have only 2 posters there on ignore -- and one is Joey.
   316. caprules Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4144828)
No, but why is he posting these things if political discussions are frowned upon?


Jim has answered this. I'd encourage you to re-read his comments if you feel this hasn't been answered.
   317. Jack Keefe Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4144841)
There's not a single one of those (except for Keefe) whom I haven't argued with

I guess not but you said some thing I did not unnerstand about me slipping some Dame a Mickey and now I want to punch you in the Schnozz. Wait I take that back or the Thread will be Band. Hey You are 1 Swell Guy.
   318. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4144844)
No, but why is he posting these things if political discussions are frowned upon?

Jim has answered this. I'd encourage you to re-read his comments if you feel this hasn't been answered.


Do you mean where he said that a hypothetical "Pujols is voting for Obama" thread would be fine as long as people stick to that specific topic, or at least to something slightly tangential? That's entirely unrealistic. And so my question stands.
   319. caprules Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4144854)
No, that's not what I'm referring to.

The fact that you are asking this question highlights the issue. You aren't really interested in a discussion. The answer is in this thread. You either missed it and haven't tried very hard to find it, or haven't tried to understand it.
   320. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4144866)
No, that's not what I'm referring to.

The fact that you are asking this question highlights the issue. You aren't really interested in a discussion. The answer is in this thread. You either missed it and haven't tried very hard to find it, or haven't tried to understand it.


Well, let's continue to not tell me what I missed, so you can score "gotcha!" points. Because, after all, we're interested in a discussion. So that means I should go back and comb through 300 posts, rather than you just telling me what I missed.

   321. caprules Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4144872)
It's not that difficult to look through the thread to see what Jim has written. But since you are unwilling to do so, Jim has this to say in 150

That I haven't gotten rid of all off-topic stuff (and I have a record of over 10 years to fall back on) is an indication that I am not against the off-topic stuff. I am against, however, overwrought, acrimonious discussions, whether they are politics-related, steroid-related, sabermetrics-related or whatever.
   322. McCoy Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4144873)
That isn't really an answer to this particular question. It is a politician's answer.
   323. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4144877)
I think Jim's #27 comes closer to addressing the issue directly:

David, political discussion *related* to the subject of a thread isn't a problem. What's a problem is when a conversation devolves from there into something completely unrelated and then goes on and on and on and get nasty. If people want to debate the state of the current presidential election I will want that discussion in its own off-topic political thread, so people can choose to see it in Hot Topics or not.

For example, if a thread like "Albert Pujols Pulls the Lever for Obama" gets posted, the ensuing conversation, as it pertains to that topic, is fine. Even if it's slightly tangential, it's not really an issue. It's when, after 400 comments, the topic becomes something about abortion (or whatever) that I don't see a reason to keep a thread open. This isn't an unreasonable request.


On the whole it does seem that Jim's primary concern is what he sees as a lack of civility, although the "unrelated" thing is mentioned several times as well in this and others posts.
   324. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4144878)
#321, how is that an answer? He is against "overwrought, acrimonious discussions" -- but that is exactly what a Luke Scott thread posted by Repoz is sure to turn into. So the question still remains.

Frankly, I think the guess I made was more on point. So I'm afraid I can't award you any gotcha points.
   325. caprules Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4144883)
He is against "overwrought, acrimonious discussions" -- but that is exactly what a Luke Scott thread posted by Repoz is sure to turn into.


It's sure to turn into that because of the participants. Or are you actually suggesting that it is impossible to discuss all of these topics without acrimony?

Because the participants are acting in this manner, their activities can exist in their private sandbox that is being created for them.
   326. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4144888)
It's sure to turn into that because of the participants.

You mean human beings? I have this image of two Victorian era British chaps simply saying "what, what" and "good show" over and over.
   327. caprules Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4144891)
There are posters who can engage in discussions without acrimony. I don't see some of them around as much anymore, and I do wonder why I don't see them much.

Others seem to thrive on conflict. They seem to stick around.
   328. Brian C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4144892)
It's sure to turn into that because of the participants. Or are you actually suggesting that it is impossible to discuss all of these topics without acrimony?

Contentious topics can reasonably be expected to generate contentious conversations. If it's not The Miscreants causing trouble, it'll be someone else, because it's a contentious topic. Sun rises in the east, dog bites man, etc.

That said, I'm not quite sure why Ray is pursuing this line of questioning, since the only real consequence of it one way or the other is to make Jim look like a hypocrite. Which, if it results in anything at all, will probably result in fewer of the political topics getting posted in the first place, not in Jim suddenly deciding that this redesign is a bad idea.
   329. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4144896)
Brian C is correct. The more intense and uncompromising your opinions are, the more likely you are to think that discussing Ron Paul with strangers on a baseball website is not a waste of time.
   330. caprules Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4144898)
Contentious topics can reasonably be expected to generate contentious conversations. If it's not The Miscreants causing trouble, it'll be someone else, because it's a contentious topic. Sun rises in the east, dog bites man, etc.


I disagree, and I think the dog bites man is an interesting comparison, even if it is a tired throw-away line. Not every dog bites. Just the ones who are trained to do so, or those that are threatened. Certain topics become contentious because there are some posters who enjoy it. If you don't think it's possible to have passionate discussion without acrimony, it just means you haven't been exposed to it.
   331. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4144899)
There's not a single one of those (except for Keefe) whom I haven't argued with

I guess not but you said some thing I did not unnerstand about me slipping some Dame a Mickey and now I want to punch you in the Schnozz. Wait I take that back or the Thread will be Band. Hey You are 1 Swell Guy.


You, too, Jack, any pal of mine is a pal of mine. I say that in all sinseerty even if Jim isn't looking.
   332. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4144902)
He is against "overwrought, acrimonious discussions" -- but that is exactly what a Luke Scott thread posted by Repoz is sure to turn into.


It's sure to turn into that because of the participants. Or are you actually suggesting that it is impossible to discuss all of these topics without acrimony?

The irony here is that the last Luke Scott thread had very little acrimony at all, the usual liberal / conservative divisions were muddled (Ray and I were on the same side), and the thread ended in a quiet whimper. There are plenty of threads that devolve into flamewars, but that one wasn't one of them.
   333. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4144904)
As has been mentioned numerous times the political threads are largely devoid of acrimony and when it does come it is usually after 500+ posts or when one of the non miscreants decide to step in and toss a grenade because they are annoyed of seeing the thread in their hot topic bar. Luke Scott threads don't start off contentious or overwrought and stay largely civil for a very long time. Political threads are largely a strawman argument.

The real problem for the most part are the long threads. Virtually any thread that stays on topic for 500+ posts is going to get contentious because the actors get tired of others not backing down. So if anything the trick is to keep switching the topic in the megathreads. Which is generally what happens in the soccer, NFL, NHL, and NBA threads. It isn't like they are talking about one particular player, team, or game in those 500+ posts.

Take a look at the old Beane threads or DIPS threads or MGL threads for proof that baseball threads can and will be filled with acrimony the bigger they get.
   334. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:38 AM (#4144906)
There are posters who can engage in discussions without acrimony. I don't see some of them around as much anymore, and I do wonder why I don't see them much.

Others seem to thrive on conflict. They seem to stick around.


It's Darwinian.

Not every dog bites. Just the ones who are trained to do so, or those that are threatened.


Just like people.

Certain topics become contentious because there are some posters who enjoy it.


No, there are subjects that are by their very nature contentious because they are seen them as vital and threatening, both to each of us and to those we champion.

Moreover, it's a empty statement that you make. It seems to be a denial of cause and effect. Why do they enjoy it? Why do they lash out (dog or man)? In your mind, one has an excuse, the other doesn't. In someone else's he reverse. But in both cases there are reasons and your assertions without more or nothing but dicta.
   335. caprules Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4144912)
In your mind, one has an excuse, the other doesn't. In someone else's he reverse.


I don't think you know me well enough to know what my mind is.

As far as denying cause and effect, can you show me where I do that? As far as I can tell, what I have said is that certain topics that get posted here will get a certain result because of the population here (AFAICT, I am pretty much acknowledging cause and effect in that way).

Those same topics won't generate the same response if brought up with my current friends and they didn't generate that response when I discussed politics with my friends in college. There was passion, but there was never acrimony to the degree that can be exhibited here.
   336. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4144913)
Just in general about argument and polemics:

No one, no one, knows what they think and mean until they are contradicted. Yet, the chickenshits that we are, we will run away from the opportunity this opposition affords us to explain ourselves. If someone wants to be a consumer of standardized, uniform, empty-calorie bon-bons, that's them. Just don't expect to be considered someone that is entitled to be respected or taken seriously. Because that someone is nothing more than an intellectual welfare queen. And in a (of all things) discussion forum, that is the dispositive law. Take your food stamps and go--but you don't get to make the rules or promote the law because yours is a vacuous policy that leaves you defenseless against those that would devour you..

The most memorable polemicists have bite and verve. Voltaire, Dryden, Pope, Swift, even Emerson and Thoreau, Twain, Shaw, Mencken, Buckley, Mailer, Vonnegut, Wolfe, Hitchens Even someone like Thurber could kick ass when he felt it was called for--especially in later life. Not mention Waugh and Orwell, Greene and Amis (both of them) and Larkin. Now, you name the verbal eunuchs that compare with that--and I'll name more of mine. The authenticity of one's stance, and one's engagement in causes is real--it isn't a game with nothing to lose. That means anger and umbrage--and counters in the same vein. Only those who don't have anything to lose stay vanilla. Language is just war by other means.
   337. bobm Posted: June 01, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4144932)
Has anyone ever noticed how funny the word "ilk" is?

The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk.
- Ogden Nash
   338. baudib Posted: June 01, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4144944)
yeah it's Jim's site and he can do whatever he wants but if there's heavy moderation and threads get shutdown after hijacking then this site is much much much worse. if we wanted structured, disciplined discussion there's the rest of the Internet for that.
   339. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4144957)
Those same topics won't generate the same response if brought up with my current friends and they didn't generate that response when I discussed politics with my friends in college. There was passion, but there was never acrimony to the degree that can be exhibited here.


Then your friends are atypical.

You sound like the Democrat in '72, who doesn't understand how Nixon won because everyone you know voted for McGovern.
   340. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:03 AM (#4144958)
if we wanted structured, disciplined discussion there's the rest of the Internet for that.


I question how much of the rest of the Internet you've seen.
   341. fra paolo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:20 AM (#4144964)
I have this image of two Victorian era British chaps simply saying "what, what" and "good show" over and over.

Good show. And it's not just limited to Victorians, what-what?
   342. caprules Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4144968)
Then your friends are atypical.

I would agree.

You sound like the Democrat in '72, who doesn't understand how Nixon won because everyone you know voted for McGovern.


What exactly have I said that would lead you to believe this? I'm not saying that I can't believe arguments will include acrimony and that it doesn't exist in lots of places. I am saying it's possible to not be that way, and I support the goal.

   343. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4144969)
Then your friends are atypical.

And boring.

The "political threads" aren't really that contentious and certainly aren't personal. Anyone used to talking seriously about politics and ideas understands this, which is why there's virtual unanimity on this topic amongst the "combatants."

We're really talking in a language and style that isn't for everybody, and isn't harming anybody.

You sound like the Democrat in '72, who doesn't understand how Nixon won because everyone you know voted for McGovern.

Hey, did you know that there was a survey a few years ago that found that liberals don't understand conservatives as well as conservatives understand liberals?

   344. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4144978)
Hey, did you know that there was a survey a few years ago that found that liberals don't understand conservatives as well as conservatives understand liberals?


KABOOM!
   345. villageidiom Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4144981)
I step away for a short time, and there are something like 300 posts between the current moment and a question that was asked of me. So, Dialing back a bit...
Just out of curiosity, do you think that other "hijackings" by off-topics such as food, music, religion and video games (just to name a few out of many) should be subject to the same restrictions as the political ones? Or do you think it's only politics that should be singled out for isolation?
Whenever a thread devolves to sniping between two or three people, lacking substance and brimming with personal attacks, neither of whom are actually listening to the other except to look for "gotcha!" moments to fuel more personal attacks, that specific thread should no longer be a featured part of the site. To the extent that this happens on threads discussing food, music, religion and video games, the same should apply. I generalized with the term "off-topic heated political threads" simply because that's how I would categorize most threads that devolve in the manner I describe above.

Now, when I say it should not be "a featured part of the site", I mean to the general user or the new user. If Jim sets it up so individuals can still have it featured - so they can keep abreast of new posts in such threads, or whatever - then great. It's a lot better than shutting down discussion.

I have a return question, just out of curiosity. If, after the site changes, a thread reaching the point I descibe above operates the same way it otherwise would today EXCEPT (a) it's removed from Hot Topics for those who have not opted in, and (b) it's not shut down, is that not an improvement to you? (I apologize if you've stated an answer to this somewhere in the last 300 posts I haven't read yet.)
   346. BDC Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4144982)
The "political threads" aren't really that contentious and certainly aren't personal. Anyone used to talking seriously about politics and ideas understands this, which is why there's virtual unanimity on this topic amongst the "combatants."

We're really talking in a language and style that isn't for everybody, and isn't harming anybody.


I agree. To some extent, I can see why a new visitor, expecting a discussion of Carlos Gonzalez's Triple Crown chances, would be slightly appalled to find people talking about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff while calling one another blithering morons and threatening various stabbings in the neck. But that's really just the idiom of extremely cordial discussions that I have learned a lot from (as Andy and others have also said).

If you think about it, two attitudes expressed in criticisms of such discussions are incompatible: (1) that they're acrimonious and full of insult; and (2) that the same people keep returning to them over and over. Unless we're all gluttons for insult.

I've actually found in the political threads that I'm not hearing the same things over and over. There are always new topics, and nuances in the regular posters' points of view. Where I hear the same things over and over on BBTF are in threads that discuss, for instance, big free-agent contracts. Somebody wonders whether a few million more is worth moving to a city you don't like, and I point out that rich free-agents can live wherever they like (for the 1,000,000th time), and then somebody says "Well, I wouldn't want to move to Dallas," and I explain for the 1,000,001st time that the FA can go on living on a secluded compound in Big Sur because he's on the road all summer anyway, and like Basil Fawlty I'm thinking Please try to understand before one of us DIES.
   347. fra paolo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4144987)
isn't harming anybody

This is the point. You say this, but there is a clear sentiment on this thread that your 'language and style' is harmful in some fashion to some people.

And so, like the threads being complained about, we have two sets of people talking past each other, because you won't accommodate a point of view.

It's time to move on, chaps. These are the facts:

1) the beta site is going to offer a way for people to choose the content they are most likely to see in 'Hot Topics';
2) other people won't have to be offended by the mere presence on their own 'Hot Topcis' of an 800-post thread about something they are really not interested in;
3) if you want to see what the site as a whole is talking about, there's a way to do that, too;
4) and all without having to go to the Forums! It's all still on the main site!

We can already ignore posters (ten on my list); this is just a way of ignoring threads wholesale. Why is that so distressing? People are already ignoring the Andys, the Sugar Bear Blanks and, I would imagine, the fra paolos. The only explanation for the fears of those complaining here is that they want to shove their very familiar opinions in the faces of people who have no interest.
   348. Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4144991)
He is against "overwrought, acrimonious discussions" -- but that is exactly what a Luke Scott thread posted by Repoz is sure to turn into.
I disagree 100%. The commenters are responsible for the nature of their comments. Saying it's the fault of the person posting the thread is putting forth the short skirt defense. (If she didn't want to get harassed she wouldn't have warn such a short skirt.) There are many, many controversial threads that don't get acrimonious. That some of you can't discern the difference between those threads and the bitterly contentious threads, and can't appreciate how the hostility contained within them impacts the site (especially for new users and people who are only looking for baseball content), is a problem. That some of you are so inflexible and can't fathom how other users of the site might want things set up differently is your issue. It's not a stance I'm willing to cater to. Instead, I am setting things up so people can view the site the way they wish.

Now, when I say it should not be "a featured part of the site", I mean to the general user or the new user. If Jim sets it up so individuals can still have it featured - so they can keep abreast of new posts in such threads, or whatever - then great. It's a lot better than shutting down discussion.

I have a return question, just out of curiosity. If, after the site changes, a thread reaching the point I descibe above operates the same way it otherwise would today EXCEPT (a) it's removed from Hot Topics for those who have not opted in, and (b) it's not shut down, is that not an improvement to you? (I apologize if you've stated an answer to this somewhere in the last 300 posts I haven't read yet.)

I would think they would consider this an improvement. Alas, some people are only satisfied when things are 100% to their liking.
   349. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4144996)
I have a return question, just out of curiosity. If, after the site changes, a thread reaching the point I descibe above operates the same way it otherwise would today EXCEPT (a) it's removed from Hot Topics for those who have not opted in, and (b) it's not shut down, is that not an improvement to you? (I apologize if you've stated an answer to this somewhere in the last 300 posts I haven't read yet.)

As an empirical question, I've seen a few threads that were deservedly shut down, and (many) more than a few others that I left out of boredom before they died a natural death. I have few illusions about the quality of the great majority of discussions here, both baseball and off-topic. What rescues the site is the quality of the ones that more than make up for all those duds.

But the problem is: Who should be deciding when that tipping point has been reached? That's why that while I appreciate Jim's explanations for why an opt-out program would be far harder to institute and maintain than the opt-in one we'll apparently be getting, if you could remove the technical difficulties the opt-out would be an obvious no-brainer.
   350. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4144998)
The "political threads" aren't really that contentious and certainly aren't personal.


From the poster that challenged me to a fight (and no I don't remember why, it was a long time ago). Go figure.

Hey, did you know that there was a survey a few years ago that found that liberals don't understand conservatives as well as conservatives understand liberals?


You were close, so very close. Maybe next post. But I do agree the politics threads are more light than heat, and I have never taken offense (even when "threatened"), and for the internet things are very civil (relative measure I admit).

All that being said, and once again stating Jim can do what he wants, I am not sure how practical these changes are. Maybe I missed it, but can tags be updated as the thread topics update? Can the OT designation change is a thread goes from topic to OT? What if it goes back on topic? How many posts is going OT? What if there are multiple conversations happening, some on topic and some off, some civil and some not?

In theory the changes are reasonable and I look forward to seeing how it works out (I am curious that way), but it is always easier to talk about these things than actually impliment them and get what you want. And no I don't have the time right now to be a useful beta tester. I wish I did. Six monthes ago or six monthes from now I would, but not now.
   351. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4145003)
One other thing: I used to absolutely love game chatters. It was, by far, my favorite part about the site back in 04/05. There is nothing more fun than talking about a baseball game as it's going on with people around the country. I really wish that could be revitalized. Maybe a single new game-chatter thread each day for that day's games? I realize that there still are game chatters, but since they are difficult to find, no one posts in them. And since no one posts in them, there's no conversation. And since there's no conversation, no one posts in them. This is, in fact, precisely the concern I have about more specific sub-sections in the whole redesign.

You're right that the chatters used to be great. But they have been in the same place for years now; nobody had that much of a problem finding them.

The reason why nobody posts in them any longer is because our local Vanguard of the Proletariat has chased away so many of the true baseball fans out of here off to other baseball sites where the people actually want to talk about the games.
   352. Guapo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4145004)
Well, Uncle Harv was grumpy,
Madeline was dumpy,
Nierporent said Obama was a wreck.
Then Andy taped a movie,
Ray said that wasn't groovy,
And Sam Hutcheson stabbed someone in the neck.

We're talkin' baseball!
NBA and soccer,
Talkin' baseball!
Politics and hockey,
Zip codes, hipsters, Pavement, and Jeremy Lin
Jack Keefe, bowel movements, beer and Ho Chi Minh
We're talkin' baseball...
with Furtado, Repoz, and the Szym
   353. DA Baracus Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4145005)
This is the most self absorbed thread we've had in a while.

   354. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4145006)
Primey for 352.
   355. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4145010)
The reason why nobody posts in them any longer is because our local Vanguard of the Proletariat has chased away so many of the true baseball fans out of here off to other baseball sites where the people actually want to talk about the games.


I can't tell you how funny this statement is.

Well, I could. But you wouldn't get it. But trust me. It's friggin' hilarious.
   356. Lassus Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4145017)
When I think "community", I think Joey B.
   357. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4145018)
Primey for 352.

For peak value, absolutely. But the Keefester still cops the career gonfalon.
   358. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4145020)
Just so I understand the proposed policy.

1) In the New Primer, we will have a hot topics bar that is partly determined by our preferences, which "micros" we "opt in" to.
2) One of these micros will be "OT: Politics", so people who don't like the political threads can more easily ignore them by not opting in to that micro.
3) Threads will be tagged to a micro when they are posted, and administrators will have the authority to change those tags, and thus change the micros in which the threads show up.
4) When a Luke Scott thread about political discussions in baseball clubhouses takes a turn into a pure political discussion about the Wisconsin recall election, an administrator will change the tag from "Rays" to "OT: Politics".

I really don't have any problem with that, whatsoever. I assume that lots and lots of people will still opt in to "OT: Politics", and if they don't, it'll show that people really actually didn't like those threads.** It will allow threads which are about the intersection of baseball and politics or baseball and the economy, or whatever, to continue as they are.

The only thing it requires is judicious adminstrating, but I basically trust Jim on that score. He's been very amenable to feedback, and I think he runs a pretty great site.

**It will have the side-benefit of demonstrating which posters who complain about the political threads are doing so honestly - they'll stop complaining about the threads.
   359. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4145021)
You sound like the Democrat in '72, who doesn't understand how Nixon won because everyone you know voted for McGovern.


Wasn't that a John Lennon anecdote?
   360. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4145022)
From the poster that challenged me to a fight (and no I don't remember why, it was a long time ago). Go figure.

It wasn't you, it was somebody else. You were the third man in.

It wasn't over politics, it was over Jack Morris.

It stemmed from being gratuitiously called a "troll" before I knew what the term meant. (*)

It blew over in 30 seconds.

(*) The record will show that the first time DMN -- whose political "voting record" overlaps with mine at least 60% -- called me a "fascist" I didn't flinch, much less threaten.
   361. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4145026)
Hey, did you know that there was a survey a few years ago that found that liberals don't understand conservatives as well as conservatives understand liberals?


Is it really possible to "understand" a sociopath, without being one yourself?
   362. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4145028)
The record will show that the first time DMN -- whose political "voting record" overlaps with mine at least 60% -- called me a "fascist" I didn't flinch, much less threaten.


It's like counting the stars.
   363. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4145029)
Is it really possible to "understand" a sociopath, without being one yourself?


Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
   364. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4145033)
Is it really possible to "understand" a sociopath, without being one yourself?

It takes focus and training to really understand the motivations of any insane person. Whereas the sociopath usually can predict the actions of someone who acts rationally and/or cares about others, because he often needs to imitate such a person.
   365. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4145035)
If nothing else this thread has led me to appreciate Sam H more.
   366. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4145043)
You sound like the Democrat in '72, who doesn't understand how Nixon won because everyone you know voted for McGovern.


Wasn't that a John Lennon anecdote?

Pauline Kael.

But that sort of mentality is hardly one-sided. My best friend's father (in high school) was so convinced of Goldwater's certain triumph in 1964 that on election night he laid out enough food and drink in front of his television to last for many hours, and was gleefully rubbing his hands in anticipation. But as soon as Cronkite came on at 7:00 and showed that LBJ was already projected to be a landslide winner, he snapped off the TV, went to bed, and let my friend chow down on his prepared feast.

Of course if Fox News had been around back then, he might have at least finished his food. But that was then, and the fourth national network was called DuMont.
   367. Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4145046)
Primey for 352.
FYI, one of the features of the redesign is the ability to mark comments as "insightful" or "funny". With this info I plan on creating Funniest Member and Most Insightful Member boxes to spotlight the people others find insightful and funny . Safeguards will be in place to dissuade people from creating clicks to rig the system. I will also be adding a flag system for members to mark offensive posts (although this info will only be available to moderators).
   368. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4145047)
Alas, some people are only satisfied when things are 100% to their liking.


Jim, I presume you're referring here to the people who write you to complain, and not to someone like me, who doesn't write you to complain.

You opened up a discussion on this, so I am commenting.

   369. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4145049)
re 358

What about when the thread goes from political to cheese and then to music and then to movies? Is a mod going to keep on changing the tags as the conversation changes? How often will it get updated? How responsible are the mods going to be?
   370. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4145050)
I will also be adding a flag system for members to mark offensive posts (although this info will only be available to moderators).


It's a good idea... but with the potential for abuse, as the people who typically write you to complain start marking things as offensive just because they don't like the poster.
   371. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4145051)
FYI, one of the features of the redesign is the ability to mark comments as "insightful" or "funny". With this info I plan on creating Funniest Member and Most Insightful Member boxes to spotlight the people others find insightful and funny .

What?! We just start quantifying this when I'm well into my decline phase?! I feel like Nate Thurmond when they started counting blocked shots.
   372. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4145053)
If nothing else this thread has led me to appreciate Sam H more.

I know, right? I can't believe I had him on ignore at one point. WTF was I thinking?
FYI, one of the features of the redesign is the ability to mark comments as "insightful" or "funny". With this info I plan on creating Funniest Member and Most Insightful Member boxes to spotlight the people others find insightful and funny . Safeguards will be in place to dissuade people from creating clicks to rig the system. I will also be adding a flag system for members to mark offensive posts (although this info will only be available to moderators).

This sounds awesome.
   373. Lassus Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4145054)
It's a good idea... but with the potential for abuse, as the people who typically write you to complain start marking things as offensive just because they don't like the poster.

Eh, everything has the potential for abuse. I'd imagine things like that would be pretty easy to spot.
   374. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4145057)

That would have been very useful back when the Hot Topics bar tended to read Bonds, Bonds, Bonds, steroids, Bonds, steroids, McGwire, steroids, Congressional hearings on steroids, Clemens, and Bonds.


and Spam.
   375. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4145058)
Eh, everything has the potential for abuse. I'd imagine things like that would be pretty easy to spot.


When looking at individual posts, yes, but I presume the system will keep running totals, which could end up with a list of the most disliked posters rather than the most offensive.

   376. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4145062)
and Spam.

Ummmmmm, Spam.....
   377. Guapo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4145063)
When looking at individual posts, yes, but I presume the system will keep running totals, which could end up with a list of the most disliked posters rather than the most offensive.


Why would this concern you?
   378. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4145065)
Why would this concern you?


Because people like you dislike me?
   379. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4145069)
Eh, everything has the potential for abuse. I'd imagine things like that would be pretty easy to spot.


When looking at individual posts, yes, but I presume the system will keep running totals, which could end up with a list of the most disliked posters rather than the most offensive.

And of course the real problem is that some people seem to be offended by just about anything or anyone who dares to question their worldview. Obviously here I'm not talking about people like Ray or David, who fire back when they're blasted but never claim personal affront.
   380. Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4145071)
Jim, I presume you're referring here to the people who write you to complain, and not to someone like me, who doesn't write you to complain.

You opened up a discussion on this, so I am commenting.
I marked this as "Funny" in the beta. You are currently in the lead!
   381. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4145073)
I'm late to the discussion, and Jim's proposals seem fairly reasonable to me so I'm not hear to complain about them.

But for what it's worth I want to stick up for the off-topic and political threads. Sure, some people are dicks and just want to hear the sound of their own voices, but there is still valuable discussion being had and information being shared. One of the great things about this site is the diversity of backgrounds, expertise and opinions you can get on virtually any topic. I know of no other place where you can find that on the Internet (or in real life, for that matter). I don't know what caused the 38 Studios/Education Policy thread to get deleted, but I found the posts there from folks who worked in academia to be very interesting. It was also a discussion on BTF that originally got me to think more critically about the war on drugs -- perhaps that's not a great example because it's one of the few points of near-unaniminity between the liberals and libertarians on here, but my political views (as well as taste in music, beer, etc.) have changed in the 10+ years I've been posting/lurking here, and the off-topic threads here have no doubt played a role in that.

It is also worth noting that one of the site admins is one of the worst offenders in the political threads (although he does not join them that often, when he does he has a tendency to drop nukes).
   382. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4145075)
Alas, some people are only satisfied when things are 100% to their liking.
110%.
   383. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4145076)
I marked this as "Funny" in the beta. You are currently in the lead!


Woohoo!
   384. Brian C Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4145079)
FYI, one of the features of the redesign is the ability to mark comments as "insightful" or "funny". With this info I plan on creating Funniest Member and Most Insightful Member boxes to spotlight the people others find insightful and funny . Safeguards will be in place to dissuade people from creating clicks to rig the system. I will also be adding a flag system for members to mark offensive posts (although this info will only be available to moderators).

This is something I don't need to reserve judgment on - it's wholly unnecessary and pointless and will almost certainly make this a lesser place to read and comment. It accomplishes very little except making every attention whore out there try a little extra harder and be a little more obnoxious.

If you're going to do this, please, at least only do the "insightful", to keep the comedians at bay. The last thing this place needs is every would-be comedian to turn each thread into a referendum on how ####### funny they are. The one-liners around here are lame enough the way it is without introducing a competitive angle.
   385. Guapo Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4145080)
Because people like you dislike me?


Not remotely true! (I mean this sincerely.) I consider all of you my brothers (except for baseballchick, who I consider my sister).

I guess I can't literally speak for "people like me," but I don't dislike you.
   386. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4145081)
What?! We just start quantifying this when I'm well into my decline phase?! I feel like Nate Thurmond when they started counting blocked shots.

ROFL, and you're insightful, too!

I see the logic in what Jim is doing here, and as always, I appreciate his efforts to improve the way the site works. I do think it will be better for many folks, and that may include me.

OTOH, I can self-select my threads pretty well as it is. I see it's gone political, so I act accordingly. Quit reading it, participate whatever. Some political threads interest me, some don't.

What frustrates me the most is a thread that interests me when it's a baseball topic, but it goes political or otherwise off-topic. I want to comment on the original topic, but when the last few dozen comments have been political, it is hopeless to turn the tide back to baseball.

So in my ideal world, I'd like a Bifurcation ability, either my own or the moderator's. Baseball stays in the original thread, while politics or whatever goes in the OT bucket. Never mind that it's difficult if not impossible, I want it anyway. :)
   387. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4145088)
I know, right? I can't believe I had him on ignore at one point. WTF was I thinking?


I'm like the shark from Jaws III.
   388. Kurt Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4145093)
Sam, I would say you're more like the town trollop (I had you on ignore once for about 12 hours, and imagine a lot of people take similar "turns" with you).
   389. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4145098)
FYI, one of the features of the redesign is the ability to mark comments as "insightful" or "funny". With this info I plan on creating Funniest Member and Most Insightful Member boxes to spotlight the people others find insightful and funny . Safeguards will be in place to dissuade people from creating clicks to rig the system. I will also be adding a flag system for members to mark offensive posts (although this info will only be available to moderators).


This is something I don't need to reserve judgment on - it's wholly unnecessary and pointless and will almost certainly make this a lesser place to read and comment. It accomplishes very little except making every attention whore out there try a little extra harder and be a little more obnoxious.

If you're going to do this, please, at least only do the "insightful", to keep the comedians at bay. The last thing this place needs is every would-be comedian to turn each thread into a referendum on how ####### funny they are. The one-liners around here are lame enough the way it is without introducing a competitive angle.


I second this comment. The last thing we need is to have BTF turn into some sort of a popularity contest. It's like one of those internet polls that ask "Who was the greatest shortstop of all time? 1. Cal Ripken 2. Derek Jeter 3. Ozzie Smith 4. Alex Rodriguez. Standard text rates apply."
   390. Kurt Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4145099)
This is the most self absorbed thread we've had in a while.

Well, if some thread has to have that designation, one entitled "Off-Topics, Politics, and the Redesign" would seem a more likely candidate than "Melky Cabrera’s 51 hits in May matches Giants record" or "The Awesomely Weird Art of 1800s Baseball Photography".
   391. Kurt Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4145100)
This is something I don't need to reserve judgment on - it's wholly unnecessary and pointless and will almost certainly make this a lesser place to read and comment. It accomplishes very little except making every attention whore out there try a little extra harder and be a little more obnoxious.

If you're going to do this, please, at least only do the "insightful", to keep the comedians at bay. The last thing this place needs is every would-be comedian to turn each thread into a referendum on how ####### funny they are. The one-liners around here are lame enough the way it is without introducing a competitive angle.
-------
I second this comment. The last thing we need is to have BTF turn into some sort of a popularity contest. It's like one of those internet polls that ask "Who was the greatest shortstop of all time? 1. Cal Ripken 2. Derek Jeter 3. Ozzie Smith 4. Alex Rodriguez. Standard text rates apply."


+1!
   392. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4145111)
Offensive check boxes? This is gunna be cute. Is that to tell you something about the original poster, the warp and woof of his post, or will it tell you something about the person who reports the post as offensive? Will you be asking him why he is offended? Scratch a censor and you'll find the soul of a spinster ninth-grade English teacher whose just had a wino from the streets sit next to her in a darkened movie theater. I can see the pulling down of the hem of skirts now.
   393. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4145113)
I marked this as "Funny" in the beta. You are currently in the lead!


Woohoo!


USA! USA!
   394. squatto Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4145115)
And of course the real problem is that some people seem to be offended by just about anything or anyone who dares to question their worldview.

Horseshit. As has been noted, the real problem is threads getting dominated by the same tedious people arguing the same tedious issues in the same tedious way. This point has been made more than once.
   395. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4145117)
Horseshit. As has been noted, the real problem is threads getting dominated by the same tedious people arguing the same tedious issues in the same tedious way.

Then

This point has been made more than once.

delicious
   396. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4145118)
Sam, I would say you're more like the town trollop (I had you on ignore once for about 12 hours, and imagine a lot of people take similar "turns" with you).


You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
   397. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4145120)


394:

And that's horseshit. You can participate in your own way, start another thread, or commune with your anal-retentiveness. It's entirely up to you. Theoretically, if one sole ranter is shouting at the injustice of the sky, what's it to you? How does that hinder you from doing whatever you want?
   398. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4145121)
Horseshit. As has been noted, the real problem is threads getting dominated by the same tedious people arguing the same tedious issues in the same tedious way. This point has been made more than once.


He says tediously about the same tedious issue in the same tedious way, making the same tedious point from three pages ago yet again.

(Beverage of choice to McCoy.)
   399. Downtown Bookie Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4145123)
Theoretically, if one sole ranter is shouting at the injustice of the sky, what's it to you?


It could cost me votes in the "funny" category.

DB
   400. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4145127)
(Beverage of choice to McCoy.)

I'll have a cup of kopi luwak if you please.
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