there are no rules in kintsugi

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by fake and gay, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    So from what I can tell, there are two problems that seebs sees with having guidelines about suicide bating and doxxing and such:

    1: seebs and the mod team in general think guidelines merely about post types and post contents won't solve the issue, since mere post type or content alone don't determine whether a given post is a problem.

    2: seebs and the mod team in general think that Events are not primarily caused by people with goals and/or emotional states where the guidelines would actually guide their behavior anyway, and hence the actual contents of the guidelines are largely irrelevant.

    I have thoughts about both of these statements, but before I rewrite the walls of text that I have since deleted, I just want to be sure.

    I also deliberately worded these to be "seebs and the mod team in general" because I would like to know if and to what extent the rest of the mod team is willing to take these assertions as policy, if not factual, since the one primarily communicating these assertions is, in my experience, pretty much just seebs. Are these Official Positions from the administration, or is this seebs-the-individual-mod making statements against which I can prompt the other mods to argue against?
  2. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay. I guess I misunderstood thing.

    I want to point out, though, in this case I really think the issue isn't the clarity-or-unclarity, but rather, the fact that the kinds of "rules" we are actually using are simply not of the same structure that they're looking for.
  3. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    As for me, I don't have an opinion right now. I'm trying to get a handle on things before tackling "policy".
  4. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    Rigs still thinks it is possible to herd cats!
    • Agree x 1
  5. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    I don't think we have done a good job of figuring out what the "problem" (probably not the best word, but it's all I have right now) is. And by, "we" I mean everybody. Staff is running around stomping out fires, but we haven't figured out why this shit is on fire all the time.

    ETA: Or even is shit on fire is a "problem".
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  6. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I'm not sure you've ever really communicated the kinds of "rules" you are using, regardless of their structure.
  7. Lissa Lysik'an

    Lissa Lysik'an Dragon-loving Faerie

    It's on fire because there are people that like to start fires and get some internal satisfaction from seeing strife.
    I won't say they enjoy it because I don't think they do - it just fills a void for them so they continue to light fires and then get offended at every little thing that burns them and then blame "the system" for not protecting them from the flames.
    There isn't a fix for that since the whole idea of Kintsugi is that broken people are welcome and can get at least comfort even if we can't actually help.
    • Agree x 7
  8. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    I'm under the impression that this is sometimes why the answers you give aren't direct response to the questions asked, because the questions have some assumption that you don't share and you're demonstrating it. That's how I saw your questions back to fake and gay, even when even I was wincing a little at the probing turnabout of them. Pointing out that the answers would be gigo.

    We've got that lovely thread for mods to talk about their modding methods and ideals. Could we do a thread about non-mods' expectations? There's been clashes of expectations, "should" statements re: what mods do, mostly made in meta thread and vent threads in direct aftermath to something upsetting. If this was a demonstration of a way the forum's not functioning up to ideal standards, some explicit discussion of what those standards are, what people want to be done different -- and why, and how that would theoretically work better -- would make this actually serve the apparent point of the demonstration.
    • Agree x 3
    • Like x 2
  9. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    1. I think that more guidelines about post content would help some users (ones who find social rules helpful) and super not-help others (ones who are used to anything resembling rules being used like a hammer), and that having lots of guidelines worded as absolutes is counter to overarching policy and purpose.

    2. I don't think they're irrelevant? I think having stuff like 'try to be kind' and 'tag NSFW' is really good to have stated for general best practices. As to their relevance to Events - I think it varies.
    • Agree x 3
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    This is some of it, but I think it's only part of the thing. It's not just that I think more-specific guidelines won't help, it's that I think they'll hurt. Any time you get away from "it's not okay to treat people like trash" and start talking about more-specific things, you run the risk of those specific things being upheld as a reason to treat someone like trash.

    Okay, concrete example: anonymous and post-deletion. The post-deleting thing is super annoying, and even triggery for some people because of unreality issues. So my initial response was to turn off delete privs because "deleting posts is causing a problem". And I could make a guideline like "don't delete posts, it causes problems". But I've spent more time talking to anonymous and discovered that they have trigger issues too, and basically that deleting things is compulsive for them and being unable to delete them is panic-inducing. So I took away the restriction. Now they're deleting posts a while after writing them most of the time.

    And if I had a guideline saying "it's triggery and upsetting to people if you delete posts that they previously saw", well, people would probably expect me to do something. And I have had people yell at me about not enforcing a "guideline" before, because if it's an actual thing people are supposed to do, how could you ever justify not enforcing it?

    But my conclusion, after talking to various people, is that in this particular case, the right to decide whether or not to delete things is super important to that person. Important enough that I'm willing to say "okay, that behavior upsets people, but we can live with it".

    And I think that this can be easier for people to deal with when there's no specific statement about the thing. Because a specific statement turns into a sort of Solid Expectation.

    In short: If you try to tell people how much of their money to donate to charity, poor people donate money they can't afford and rich people don't give as much as they easily could because they hit the quota, and that's not a great outcome.

    This is part of it. There's also that I think that more-specific guidelines will induce states that are not as likely to yield the desired outcomes. Because they get people thinking about the wrong things.

    Ultimately, it all comes down to "try to care about other people and remember that they are people". That's it.

    Huh. Interesting question.

    So here's my thought: In terms of "argue for or against", I am not inclined to give particular precedence to the opinions of "mods" as opposed to "anyone else". So it doesn't matter whether or not the people you persuade to argue against a point are mods or not-mods; it matters whether the arguments are persuasive.

    In practice, I don't think the "not really formalizing rules, mods reserve the right to adapt to circumstances" thing is very negotiable. I've put a lot of time and experimentation and thought into that. Similarly, I don't think "not banning people for doing stupid shit" is going to change.
    • Agree x 1
  11. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I like this idea. This whole forum is sort of supposed to be a place for that, but a specific thread for setting out expectations - one that doesn't arise from a particular problem - would be cool.
  12. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Well, that's because so far as I can tell, they aren't actually "rules" in any of the conventional senses. We don't have things you get banned for not doing. We don't have things that will necessarily result in mod intervention, nor do we have things that will necessarily not result in mod intervention. We can make some educated guesses, but the more of those you make, the more they obscure the pattern behind them.
    • Agree x 1
  13. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    This is a really good idea.
    • Agree x 1
  14. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    Given that "don't treat people like trash" is a rule, I think if someone was using the guidelines (distinct from the rules) as a reason to treat someone like trash then we'd have a bigger problem than merely how many guidelines we had.

    So, confession time: if it weren't for the fact that I know that people have unreality triggers here, I would happily be editing my posts all the time. I always find things I want to change after I post things, and a lot of what I say ends up being nonsense anyway so I don't particular care what I change them to. Five years ago I wouldn't have even considered that this would be more than a mild annoyance for other people; these were my posts, what would they care that my post about strawberries now instead talks about watermelons and ends in thirty seven "q"s?
    But it turns out that there are people here with unreality triggers, a thing I only learned when someone else stepped on a bicycle horn in a place that I saw. And okay, that was a learning experience, but I didn't realize that it was more than a few isolated cases until I saw that bicycle horn get stepped on a bunch more times. Honk honk honk honk.
    I don't have a need to delete my posts. I can get along fine without deliberately sowing confusion, or at least without doing it that way. I refrain from even editing my posts too extensively because I don't like triggering people. But it wouldn't have occurred to me.
    And I wish I had learned via a list visibly posted somewhere rather than by watching someone else learn it the hard way. I wish that more of what I have learned about people here had been via preventative efforts rather than curative. And maybe it's a sign that I still don't understand people if I believe that non-harmful preventative efforts might be possible here to a greater extent than we have.

    Is there any way to get people thinking about the right things? In cases like mine, where I have no real good understanding of what it means to be a person other than platitudes and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is there even any sort of description you can give of what the right things might be? Because I can guarantee that left to my own devices I will think about the wrong sorts of things, and not even the wrong sorts of things that you're thinking of.

    That's good to hear. I guess I am trying to get a handle on what is policy and what is opinion, and if policy can't move, can opinion move. What can I expect from the mods, and what can I expect from each mod. If I ask a mod and then ask a different mod, can I get them to disagree, and if so, which mod should I go to first?

    I agree that "mods reserve the right to adapt to circumstances" is probably ironclad, and that "not banning people for doing stupid shit" is also solid. Those are good things.
    I am trying to get you to relent a bit on the "not really formalizing rules", but without the "formalizing" and without the "rules". I don't want anything too formal or absolute, nothing enforceable or with the implication of such, just a statement of "this bicycle horn has usually been pretty loud." Just a warning about other people's triggers.
    • Like x 4
    • Agree x 2
  15. Exohedron

    Exohedron Doesn't like words

    I was specifically referring to this post:
    which implies that you have "rules" of some sort. Maybe not rules in the sense of "if-then" absolutes, but some sort of system or quasi-system, orthogonal to ban-or-don't-ban type rules as it may be.
  16. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police

    I would like to state, for the record, that I do not derive some strange sense of satisfaction from all this. I feel like this is tiresome but necessary, and even this post is a waste of energy that would be better used being productive elsewhere.

    I do not derive satisfaction from defending people who were hurt, but I feel it necessary when they're on their own and vulnerable. The result is that I now deal with what they're against.

    I do not derive satisfaction from stating where a problem lies, but I feel it necessary when the same problem comes up. The result is that while a few people may be informed, I am told I am stating the obvious, or requesting the obvious to be stated.

    I make my fun where I can. See: My user title being the Phee-Phee Police. But a moment of fun does not satisfaction make. It just makes this bearable because I can glance to the side and see that.

    (If someone can make a better joke of my username, do let me know.)
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  17. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yes, we do. It's called "humanity".

    Seriously, you cannot make a rule, any rule at all, that people will not use as a justification for treating other people like trash.

    Also, strictly speaking, "don't treat people like trash" may well be a rule, but it is not a rule of this forum. It is also not a rule that could be enforced. I don't just mean "we don't have the resources". I mean you could have the full budget of the entire world and absolute loyalty from every police or military member in the world, and you couldn't enforce that rule. It's not possible to enforce.

    Well, part of it is: You can't win. Yes, there will be people who have unreality triggers. There will also be people who are viscerally upset by uncorrected typos. And so on. You can't fix everything. Any attempt at prevention will, in fact, cause some harm. Maybe not much. Maybe so little it hardly matters. But it will always cause some harm.

    But thinking about it more... I think it may be possible to sufficiently-disclaim possible guidelines or suggestions enough to reduce the harm to the point where it could be reasonable to accept the thing. However, if we do, there will be people who use it as an excuse to attack other people, and we're gonna have that happen no matter how clearly we state that it shouldn't happen.

    This is probably the hardest problem. Short answer: It appears to be possible to do things which gradually encourage people along the path, but I've never seen anything work well.

    But the most important first step is: Think about people, not things. And that means thinking about all the people you encounter as people, not as things. And thinking about them instead of things. Don't think about "trigger warnings", think about "people who are triggered".

    Heck if I know.

    So, there's lots of things that people sometimes run into, but in general, if everyone's treating everyone else like people, it's no big deal; it doesn't turn into giant explosions, it turns into people saying things like "I didn't know that, thanks" or "I'll try to be more careful". And that actually provides a benefit you don't get without it, which is that people know that other people can care about them. Because if someone's just following rules, that's got nothing to do with you, but if they adapt their behavior because of how it affected you, that's a personal comment.

    And this is another part of the forum's function; being an environment where people can learn how to do that.
  18. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I think you'll find that if instead of attacking other people and trying to hurt them, you actually defend people who were hurt, it'll be much more satisfying. I spent a number of hours cleaning up the emotional wreckage you so nobly produced for us, and it was actually pretty satisfying. I'd have preferred not to have to, but then, if I had my way, there wouldn't be enough abuse victims out there to justify a forum, would there?

    In short: I'm not super interested in your excuses and justifications. You were emotionally abusive towards people who were acting in good faith and trying to help. That is what happened. Attempts to explain it away do not make you look better.
    • Like x 4
    • Agree x 1
  19. Pheelog

    Pheelog The Phee-Phee Police

    Please name these people to me, publicly or privately. To my knowledge, I have interacted directly with yourself, Beldaran, shithead (their username, not my nickname), Michi, and fake. I have indirectly interacted with Lissa, Morven, Spock and pal - that is, I have reacted to things they have said or done, but not spoken to them.

    The only ones I believe I came off aggressive to are yourself and Bel, in defense of fake, as you both seemed quite intent on not answering the questions posed, and not apologizing.

    Also, I feel this is once again stating that fake's hurt was, well, fake. Which is was not.

    For what it's worth, however, I also appreciate Bel's transparency in the steps she would have taken.
  20. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    That's not "defending". That's "attacking". They are not the same thing. Offering justifications for it doesn't turn it into "defending".

    I say again: Try actually defending people. It's satisfying.
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