Words of Founding

Discussion in 'Samovar Teahouse' started by AKarlin, May 2, 2013.

  1. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    Why yes, I do like Brandon Sanderson's fantasy. And other books. I have a (rather jumbled) bio at my personal blog here.

    I am best known in the Russia-watching, and online, world through my blogging at Da Russophile. If I was to start over, to be honest, I'd choose another name. I have come to realize that the dichotomy isn't so much between "Russophiles" and "Russophobes," as between those who use facts, data, and statistics to make their arguments - and those who rely on emotive rhetoric and paranoid ravings about "Kremlin boots." Speaking of which...

    Well, I make no secret of being a pro-Putin conservative, or of my loathing for the mainstream Western media especially as regards its Russia coverage. That said, as the founder of this forum, I will take care to maintain a strict partition between the administrative/moderation side of things, and my personal political and ideological idiosyncrasies. This is part of why I made the forum rules so detailed, so as to leave little leeway for interpretation.

    The minimum qualification for participation here is civility towards other users and an earnest desire to learn more from all sides of the Russia watching spectrum. Everybody is welcome here regardless of their opinion on Putin, Stalin, or whether pelmeni are better boiled or baked.
  2. Callum

    Callum Dead Soul

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    Hi, long time reader of the blog.

    The site looks great, will share it. I hope it takes off as there really isn't a united forum for Russia watchers (despite the amount of blogs etc.).
  3. Mikhail

    Mikhail Dead Soul

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    Well, participants are everything so I hope this site attracts them. There are two other English language boards that I know of that have very different personalities so I'm curious what kind of beast this one will turn into.

    I promise not to swear or throw food. Good luck!
  4. AlexBond

    AlexBond Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Pelmeni are better fried! :D
  5. Hero of Crappy Town

    Hero of Crappy Town Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    That sounds good, but there are a few personal concerns:

    — "Do not call for terrorist actions." That's vague. What is a terrorist action for you? Do armed rebellion against the state, or the state terrorism against civilians of another qualify?

    — "Moderation decisions are not a topic for public discussion." What is the rationale behind this? Will this create a situation where if someone thinks you were unfair to another they may not even state their disagreement, or they will be purged themselves? Perhaps setting up a "members' issues" sub-forum with access restricted to posters with some basic amount of credit where such discussions could be aired would be a better way?

    — You list a lot of rules, but there is nothing to indicate how grave an offense breaking the respective rules is. There is still potential for autocracy if a rules' violation A is sanctioned much more severely than a rules' violation B, albeit they appear to be similarly grave. To avoid suspicion of arbitrariness you could indicate how grave an offense something is in advance, and thus also hint at the expected measure in advance. Eg, group the rules into three groups (yellow, red, black) according to how important each really is, or how repetitive it has to be until it results in a severe measure.
  6. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    Neither of the latter two count (unless they violate the genocide advocacy clause). The rule is primarily there for legalistic reasons.

    Moderation decisions can appealed here, a public forum. The purpose of that rule is to avoid having warned or sanctioned users take up forum space elsewhere to vent their frustrations.

    This is running to a level of detail that is not seen even at many very large forums. We may eventually include something of that sort once it becomes worthwhile to write a Moderation Policy (i.e. once the forum has at least a few hundred users and several mods).

    But for the moment:

    (1) The community is small enough that many rules violations are unlikely, and to the extent they happen can mainly be dealt with verbally/informally for now;

    (2) The appeals mechanism clarified above;

    should be enough to tide things over for the time being. Quite simply, there are higher-priority things to do right now, such as attracting more people. The forum with the most detailed and comprehensive rules in the world is pointless if there are no people on it. Should these issues become a major problem, then appropriate actions will be taken, such as penning that Moderation Policy.

    Thank you for airing these concerns hoct.
  7. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Shw'd i'chi,

    I have never had them baked but now I am a diabetic with a grain allergy so I never will. I took rather a long time to move over to this board. I have regularly been spending sound and fury on the FT on the grounds that preaching to the choir is not the right vision. However, I think some calibration of views with informed opinion will help. Even on the FT, the least informed seem to have the strongest opinions.
  8. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    Good to have you on board Philip.

    I dearly hope this board will get some moderates and neutrals and even a few token Russophobes so that writing here wouldn't have to be the same as preaching to the choir forever.
  9. royotoyo

    royotoyo Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    I should've signed up here earlier but I've been preoccupied with a move. Threatening to kill the site and then giving it a second leash on life did the trick. I'm glad it's going to stay, it's a great idea. The rules are a bit strict for my liking, but I'm willing to roll with them.

    I wish I could say I was a moderate or neutral (perhaps I am on isolated issues), though this wouldn't be an apt description. You have some Russophobes on DaRussophile so perhaps they will eventually migrate here. I don't eat grains anymore, either, but let's face it -- anything tastes better fried.
    AKarlin likes this.
  10. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    To be honest I don't see them being stringently enforced, at least so long as there aren't too many people here and as such no need for a detailed bureacratic guideline.

    Many forums do just fine with lax or even no rules. The problem is that sometimes there's this one troll or fanatic who comes in and just fouls up the entire place so much that everyone else leaves. I sincerely hope to minimize the chances of that happening - and that is where a comprehensive guide like that can help.

    Finally, yes, the legalistic requirement. Regretfully in many jurisdictions it is forum owners (i.e. me) who are responsible for what people say on their forums. And that pretty much rules out a few topics/themes - though not to any great loss, given their nature.


    Have you tried pelmeni both ways? I'm really surprised that some people prefer them fried, I never could understand that.
  11. royotoyo

    royotoyo Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    Trolls don't bother me, they can actually be informative and entertaining, especially when you manage to give them a taste of their own medicine. The only people who have driven me away from forums are the type that completely lack intelligence and erudition, yet feel compelled to offer their opinion on any and all subjects. Smart people know when to say "I don't know".

    As for the pelmeni, I only tried them fried once and they were exquisitely prepared (parboiled, actually) in lard with onions.
  12. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Liam on the FT? Lost in 1965, or even 1953. (S)he hasn't unleashed "useful idiot" at me recently.

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