rod taylor wrote:Personally I think the new policy has contributed to the pub's decline. It's a pity.
Cause or symptom?
I think the quality of discussion was already in serious decline (trolling, abuse, cliquey personal arguments crossing from one thread to another). The policy was a result of the problems. The continued decline was inevitable with or without the 'wall' boarding up of yet another Sydenham pub. A number of regulars didn't want to step inside this boarded up pub, while others revel in their new found freedom to bar brawls. Any sober man/woman entering the establishment would either be appalled at the views of the regulars, but not surprisingly all the regulars think that everybody agrees with them.
Personally I suspect that almost all the interesting conversations to be had on forums has disappeared. Facebook means that we have positive reinforcement for our own views from our like-minded friends, Twitter encourages us to be rude to people we know nothing about, and the bottom-half of the internet encourages us* to make outrageous statements in the comfort of anonymity.
* And when I say 'us', I really mean people who believe they are always right, and that other people actually have an interest in their half-baked views. And I guess I have to include myself in that, otherwise why would I bother writing this nonsense, that will be ignored by all. Afterall, I'm really just procrastinating when I should be writing the minutes of another worthwhile meeting where we try to actually achieve something useful.