On mental health

Author: Tejretics ,

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  • coal
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    --> @Tejretics
    When this subject comes up, I am reminded of past experiences on DDO.

    On DDO, people diagnosing others with mental illness was a way to try to take an upper hand in a dispute that had likely gone too far in the first place.  This was something that certain people, namely the most mentally unstable (tulle, a/k/a lamerde) attempted to engage in as a way to compensate for the fact that she was the intellectual inferior to most on the site.  That said, despite the fact that she held herself out has having some measure of psychological expertise, her conclusions were as unethical as they were inaccurate.  Of course I, too, partook in that activity when I was a bit younger and more prone towards sanctimony, and by no means is my criticism of tulle/lamerde meant to exclude myself from historical engagement in that particular type of mischief.  It certainly is not.  On all counts it would be inaccurate to say that anything of that sort was "good" for the site, the conversations (read: heated disagreements) we were having, or anything else.  

    But on the other hand, insofar as no one here (except maybe myself and a few other people, who I'm sure know who they are) have anything resembling expertise in the field of psychology or psychiatry.  Further, of those who do have some expertise, it's not from having been a shrink so much as it is from having had to utilize principals from psychology in our jobs to accomplish specific tasks.  This may give some the ability to navigate some of the more nuanced complexities of human interaction, but little more.  In this way, even a "diagnosis" from the most sophisticated person here can easily be written off as "banter" at worst.  So, there isn't much harm in allowing this species of mischief to go on so long as proper context is provided -- as it obviously will be ("you're not a shrink!"), for the obvious reasons ("and therefore you don't know what you're talking about! blah blah blah!").

  • Castin
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    --> @Goldtop
    It depends on whether or not we want to be treated like children or adults. This would allow folks like Poly to go back to her original format of doing nothing more than attacking people, but then if we got rid of the crazy people, that would no longer be a problem and the rest of the adults here could carry on. Any sane people that wanted to join up would see everyone is being treated like adults and the nutters get banned, which will help this forum prosper and grow.
    You're absolutely right, folks like that would. That would be the kind of tradeoff a community would have to be prepared to accept if it permitted personal attacks. You'd see an environment that would become a bit more like DDO.
  • coal
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    The baseline of expectation across all forums and so called "online communities" is that members are adults and capable of conducting themselves as such, because that sets the tone for the expected level of behavior in the "community".  If, on the other hand, any "community" over-moderates, or moderates in a way that is demeaning, unprofessional, passive aggressive, or which does not treat the user base with at least a level of respect consistent with what is reasonably expectable in any country, moderation will not only lose legitimacy and community respect but the level of misconduct will consistently rise. 

    On the other hand, what I've described above is little more than an "ideal" moderator scenario, rather than a "typical" mod scenario.  The average moderator of any "online community" is an unpaid, unexperienced, unprofessional individual between the ages of about 16 and 22, and such a person is going to lack enough emotional and psychological maturity to even be able to act like an adult himself or herself.  The implication will be a lot of childish back-and-forth, and a high mod turnover because eventually the "community" resistance will become more emotionally taxing than the mod is willing to incur -- and for very understandable reasons.  Modding is a thankless job in the best case.  

    Having not substantively interacted with any of the mods in this specific context, I have no opinions about their professionalism or lack of it.  Human nature is a hard thing to fight... and they will set the tone that determines the site's success or failure.  Even still, it is alarming as a fairly non-engaged member to see so many, so frequent, and and so personal beefs with seemingly all of the mods (except tej... who... is he a mod?) from numerous people basically since I've decided to participate here.  
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Goldtop
    I know more about physics than you. You're preaching nonsense you read on a Wiki page or NASA document. There is no pressure involved with gravity. Pressure does affect density though.
  • Tejretics
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    --> @coal
    I'm not proposing moderator action against this sort of thing.

    I'm just saying people in the community should refrain from doing it.

  • Goldtop
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    --> @Castin
    Exactly, but very much like here, ddo did not get rid of the crazies, who did irreparable damage to several forums, whereupon the sane people left in droves. So, it wasn't really the lack of moderating the attacks and insults, the adults there could handle that, it was allowing the crazies to sign up and run amok.
  • Goldtop
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    There is no pressure involved with gravity. Pressure does affect density though.
    Then, what causes the pressure?

  • Raltar
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    --> @coal
    The baseline of expectation across all forums and so called "online communities" is that members are adults and capable of conducting themselves as such, because that sets the tone for the expected level of behavior in the "community".  If, on the other hand, any "community" over-moderates, or moderates in a way that is demeaning, unprofessional, passive aggressive, or which does not treat the user base with at least a level of respect consistent with what is reasonably expectable in any country, moderation will not only lose legitimacy and community respect but the level of misconduct will consistently rise. 

    On the other hand, what I've described above is little more than an "ideal" moderator scenario, rather than a "typical" mod scenario.  The average moderator of any "online community" is an unpaid, unexperienced, unprofessional individual between the ages of about 16 and 22, and such a person is going to lack enough emotional and psychological maturity to even be able to act like an adult himself or herself.  The implication will be a lot of childish back-and-forth, and a high mod turnover because eventually the "community" resistance will become more emotionally taxing than the mod is willing to incur -- and for very understandable reasons.  Modding is a thankless job in the best case.  
    This is all reasonably valid and fairly insightful.

    Bolded part is what I personally have witnessed taking place in this community. 

    The problem, as described by other members (and agreed to myself) is that a lot of the same drama which caused DDO to collapse was effectively imported to this website when a large volume of former DDO users came here (and some of them became moderators). "The Community" is composed of mostly people who see this as the place to chit-chat with other former DDO users, but aren't actually here for any interest in serious debates.
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Goldtop
    That is like asking what causes gravity, you would need to be a God or some demigod with inside information on reality to answer why pressure acts where and when it acts.
  • Goldtop
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    you would need to be a God or some demigod with inside information on reality to answer
    Thank you, RM, for confirming the following statement to be false.

    I know more about physics than you.


  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Goldtop
    Physics doesn't contradict god, Einstein was completely a believer in a creator-deity.
  • KingLaddy01
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    Is that how you view it, RM? Anyone who annihilates you is some "demigod"? 

    Btw, I am not a physics major and I can see that it is a very easy question.

  • Castin
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    --> @Raltar
    The problem, as described by other members (and agreed to myself) is that a lot of the same drama which caused DDO to collapse was effectively imported to this website when a large volume of former DDO users came here (and some of them became moderators). "The Community" is composed of mostly people who see this as the place to chit-chat with other former DDO users, but aren't actually here for any interest in serious debates.
    How can more serious debate activity be encouraged, without limiting forum activity? 

    DDO also suffered pretty badly from dwindling formal debate activity.

  • Goldtop
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    Physics doesn't contradict god, Einstein was completely a believer in a creator-deity.
    You've brought up Einstein a couple of times in some vain attempt to compare yourself, yet one of Einsteins greatest achievements, that of helping us understand how gravity works is something you deny even exists as a phenomenon.

    And you call yourself a genius.

  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Goldtop
    Einstein did no such thing. He was absolutely perplexed that at the quantum level all of Newton's theories did not seem to apply.
  • KingLaddy01
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    The answer is gravity btw.

  • KingLaddy01
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    RM you are slacking off on your path to publishing the greatest book of all time. Hasten, you!
  • Goldtop
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    Einstein did no such thing. He was absolutely perplexed that at the quantum level all of Newton's theories did not seem to apply.
    Oh yes, Einstein did not deliver to us General Relativity and that this theory certainly was not confirmed to incredible accuracy through experimentation.

    Tell us more of your delusions so that sane people never sign up here.
  • Raltar
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    DDO also suffered pretty badly from dwindling formal debate activity.
    Acknowledged and agreed. That the same community migrated here is the reason why the issue carried over.


    How can more serious debate activity be encouraged, without limiting forum activity?
    Well, first off, what makes you think the two things are connected? The majority of people who are serious about debating ignore the forums and vice versa. So making changes to one element of the site should leave the other element largely unaffected, and the users who interact with those sections would likely be none the wiser about changes to the other. 

    As for what can be done, I believe we have been over that elsewhere, but I'll give you a short list. 

    1. Better moderation of comments, votes and the debates themselves. We already know (and moderation largely admits) that moderators are not keeping up with all the votes that get reported. Virtuoso is the only person I've seen recently actually address reported votes, and he has to abstain from dealing with reported votes on his own debates, so those go unmoderated. Neither Tejetrics or bsh1 are doing any moderation on votes right now. Comments are also poorly moderated, I would suspect for similar reasons. 

    2. Give users more control over their own content, who can access/interact with it, and what they themselves can do with it (like any other modern website). This includes implementing a better block feature, so that users can more easily block out trolls. Users should also be able to control the comments section of their own debates, in order to squelch any flame wars which break out in the comments. More options on votes, judges and other factors would also be beneficial (the details of which would require a whole other thread to fully discuss). Giving more power to the users means less moderation is needed, thus reducing moderator workload as well as any blame that may be placed on moderators for problems. 

    3. Stricter restrictions on "troll debates!" When serious debaters come here and see the first page of debates full of stuff like "The sun is god" and "User-X should kill himself" they quickly assume this place is full of trolls and people looking to take advantage of the ranking system, which it frankly is. Debates which have no legitimate purpose and/or seem designed to unfairly take advantage of the system should be removed.