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Author Topic: ADMIN: Board Culture -- The Cauldron is Primarily a Discussion and Debate Board  (Read 10184 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: March 19, 2011, 10:45:32 pm »

We have noticed that a lot of newer TC members seem to be hesitant about openly disagreeing with things others have posted.  We know that there is a culture of fellowship on many boards that requires people to agree with each other, or to resolve disagreements by coming up with a position everyone involved can get behind.

TC is not that kind of board.  Our rules and our board culture is different from many other sites.  Our focus is on discussion and debate, something that can't happen if everyone is walking on eggshells.  We do not expect people to get offended at considered debate, or require everyone to make nice at all times.


Argument is not forbidden by the rules here.  It is not even frowned upon, at least when conducted properly.  If you disagree with another poster's position, interpretation, or opinion, voice your disagreement civilly, explaining your differences and citing whatever sources you feel appropriate to back up your factual disagreements, and whatever reasoning, history, etc. to back up your non-factual ones. (Note that sources like encyclopedias (including Wikipedia), popular press "101" books, outdated academic books, etc. are unlikely to be accepted as "authoritative" in most discussions.)

We won't tolerate name-calling, personal abuse, or flaming.  Being asked for your sources is not an insult or any kind of accusation regarding your ability to research or to understand what you read.  It is an expression of interest and a desire to see if one arrives at the same conclusions when looking at the same sources.  There is no need to agree on everything, or for every thread to arrive at some kind of mutually endorsed conclusion.  There isn't even a need to 'agree to disagree' since disagreement doesn't require permission.

This is a debate and discussion board. The areas reserved for fellowship are clearly marked (prayer requests mostly) but the rest of the place is open for all-out academic discussion of whatever is brought up.  Back your corner while learning something about others' ideas. Change your mind if you find others' argument compelling.  Call out what you perceive as misinterpretation or misinformation.  Argue the posts and leave personalities out of it - the various things that come up in debate are as important for those who are reading to learn and not participating as they are for those involved.

We are not a fellowship board where everyone is required to support everyone else unconditionally, or where the first opinion expressed carries the topic because nobody else can disagree.  There are very few single-answer questions out there, especially in things like religion and magic.

Special Note: The only time discussion and debate are not allowed is on rules calls. If a staff member says something is against/not against the rules, their rules decision is NOT open to public discussion/debate on the message board. Note, however, that you are free to disagree with/argue with staff members on non-rules issues just as if they were any other member.

Randall, Lyricfox, and the TC Staff
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Randall
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RandallS
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« Reply #1: March 20, 2011, 12:13:26 pm »

In line with the above, please be aware that we rarely close threads. When we do it is usually only for a couple of days "cool down" when the Hosts or Senior Staff (in the absence of the Hosts) feels a thread has become way "too hot" in spite of multiple requests from staff for everyone to back off from personal attacks and other inappropriate discussion behavior. The thread is almost always reopened after a few days.  BTW, rarely in this case means a couple of times a year on average as the Hosts believe that closing threads with active, on-topic discussions should be a last resort.

Please do not request that threads be closed because you do not like the direction or tone the discussion is taking. For example, if you started a thread about X and expected people to mostly agree with X only to discover it generated a heated discussion instead of the agreement you expected, asking us to close the thread would be pointless. The purpose of TC is discussion and debate, except in a few areas (Prayer Requests, for example) we are not going to cut off discussion and debate just because it wasn't what was expected/wanted.
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Randall
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« Reply #2: March 20, 2011, 02:39:01 pm »

Please do not request that threads be closed because you do not like the direction or tone the discussion is taking.

Or because the thread has segued into a discussion about food. Smiley

**Lyric, who in 10 years of co-hosting this board really can't remember a long thread that DIDN'T head into foodiness*
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« Reply #3: March 20, 2011, 02:51:08 pm »

Or because the thread has segued into a discussion about food. Smiley

**Lyric, who in 10 years of co-hosting this board really can't remember a long thread that DIDN'T head into foodiness*

The PUC thread?  Maybe?  I think we were all too busy being pissed off to talk food, although I couldn't swear to it.
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« Reply #4: March 20, 2011, 02:52:36 pm »

Or because the thread has segued into a discussion about food. Smiley

**Lyric, who in 10 years of co-hosting this board really can't remember a long thread that DIDN'T head into foodiness*

Like this one?
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« Reply #5: March 20, 2011, 07:30:26 pm »

Like this one?

Good thing it did. I almost forgot the cookies I was baking, and they would have been burned.
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LyricFox
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« Reply #6: March 20, 2011, 08:24:25 pm »

The PUC thread?  Maybe?  I think we were all too busy being pissed off to talk food, although I couldn't swear to it.

I think even one of those did. But I wouldn't swear too it. Been too long.
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« Reply #7: March 20, 2011, 08:40:12 pm »

Or because the thread has segued into a discussion about food. Smiley

**Lyric, who in 10 years of co-hosting this board really can't remember a long thread that DIDN'T head into foodiness*

But it hasn't drifted far enough for me to promote the cook books by name.
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« Reply #8: March 20, 2011, 09:35:52 pm »

But it hasn't drifted far enough for me to promote the cook books by name.

Not to say that I'm not going to make a shameless plug for my vegan peanut butter cookies. They were awesome.
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LyricFox
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« Reply #9: March 20, 2011, 09:37:53 pm »

I see I have totally and completely derailed this thread. LOL
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« Reply #10: March 20, 2011, 10:09:44 pm »

I see I have totally and completely derailed this thread. LOL

Well, I could express doubt about whether vegan cookies could ever be as good as ones made with butter.  That would bring us back to debate.

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« Reply #11: March 20, 2011, 10:46:13 pm »

Well, I could express doubt about whether vegan cookies could ever be as good as ones made with butter.  That would bring us back to debate.

Absent

But whether or not they're as good is beside the point. I had company over, and one of the people who came was vegan, so I had to make cookies that I could feed to my guests, no?
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« Reply #12: March 20, 2011, 11:02:03 pm »

But whether or not they're as good is beside the point. I had company over, and one of the people who came was vegan, so I had to make cookies that I could feed to my guests, no?

Which could then switch the discussion over to practices of hospitality, and whether it is up to the host to cater to the guests or up to the guests to make things as easy as possible on the host.  My point, in the context of this thread, was that anything can provoke debate and discussion.

(I actually like vegan food, and enjoy doing special things for guests)

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« Reply #13: March 20, 2011, 11:06:50 pm »

But whether or not they're as good is beside the point. I had company over, and one of the people who came was vegan, so I had to make cookies that I could feed to my guests, no?
Exactly like you said... NO! I say let'em starve.
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« Reply #14: March 20, 2011, 11:35:25 pm »

Exactly like you said... NO! I say let'em starve.

Here here!
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