Good order and discipline

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Robin Orton
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Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Good order and discipline

Post by Robin Orton »

I see people are getting cross with each other in the 'how to get out of this mess' thread. I am surprised Admin allowed it to stay in the 'Town Hall' from the outset. I thought the 'Town Pub' was the only place where people were allowed to argue vigorously about controversial topics, if only because you had to be a consenting adult to get into it. I thought the prevailing wisdom was that allowing voices to be raised in areas of general public access would discourage people from using the forum.
stuart
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Re: Good order and discipline

Post by stuart »

Robin,

I think you have put a finger on a point I, and I guess, others find difficult. One comes to these forums to inform and be informed, to seek to convince and be convinced.

But of late almost everywhere on this planet we have seen the spectre of fake news/altenative facts permeate. It has been successful because those seeking truth haven't a clue how to deal with it. When you can't agree not only on the facts but what is a fact then there is no way one can have a meaningful discussion. You can't convince them and they won't convince you.

It's also dangerous in that because one isn't being challenged on the science - it's easy to make mistakes and not be corrected as one would in normal times. In other words one's own arguments can go off the rails.

Should people who posts demonstrable false information be stopped from doing so or shuffled off down some blackhole? That really worries me. I don't think that a way to go except possibly in extremis - which hasn't happened here yet. Does one just let it go? Or should the refutation be put there - not to convince the poster - but just as a marker to those looking on that this 'fact' is disputed and that they should independently factcheck it before accepting it.

So I'm not proud of what I posted. It was a sort of desperate act. But not to post at all?

Whether it be in Town Hall or Town Pub - how do you think one should respond to stuff that is demonstrably untrue to someone who doesn't have the same concept of truth as understood in a liberal society?

Stuart
mosy
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007 20:28
Location: London

Re: Good order and discipline

Post by mosy »

Robin Orton, I would have thought that under STF rules (being about Sydenham not national, for the Town Hall) the "How to get out of this mess" thread should have been moved immediately to The Pub.

It's not too late to do that as the emphasis still seems to remain on persuading against one alternative view even though that alternative view has been commonly held more so earlier than now perhaps but does have merit in debate since no-one - neither us nor the government and scientists - have a clue other than projecting a lengthening future magical change given vaccines do not deter transmission of the virus as far as we know.

Stuart, had the thread been transferred to The Pub, it would have been equally as easy to call out false claims but hopefully would still be discussed and informative without the thread-head writer finding herself a sole voice while others merely put the view and ergo the writer down.
JGD
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Re: Good order and discipline

Post by JGD »

mosy wrote: 26 Jan 2021 18:40 thread-head writer finding herself a sole voice while others merely put the view and ergo the writer down.
It cannot be the case that the expression of a contrary view means that it automatically assumes or means the writer is being put down.

The essence of discussion means that views will be expressed and agreed or disagreed with and alternatives will be conveyed and in turn agreed with or disagreed with. The best ideas and outcomes often emerge from mutually and evenly conducted debate.

Not to be confused with events that arise in another place, where personalised and deliberative attacks are conducted on writers just because they express an opposing view. It is in those circumstance that firm moderation conducted under clear guidelines and principles must prevail.

With the wisdom of Solomon on occasion.

Good moderation and good moderators are worth their weight in gold to a good forum.
mosy
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Re: Good order and discipline

Post by mosy »

JGD the playbook for debate works less well if alternatives aren't offered, only disagreement is. However, it is for politicians to determine strategy.

If something is a matter of opinion for debate rather than factual info, then back to whether or not it should be in the Town Hall. I'm sure more writers might feel inclined to offer a view and perhaps balance out the many variables if discussed in The Pub.
vbsydenham
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Re: Good order and discipline

Post by vbsydenham »

Town Hall is listed as "the place for serious discussion", not serious monologuing. So anyone posting there should not be surprised to find their views challenged. And when their views reflect an ongoing campaign of disinformation, they shouldn't be surprised to find their views challenged robustly.

The line, as it would be in a real town hall, is crossed when debate becomes personal or abusive rather than about the issue at hand.
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