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iliana
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25 posted 09-06-2006 03:36 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Thanks, Sharon...lol.  Maybe, I should have worded that something different than I did.  Appreciate your interest.   ....jo
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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26 posted 09-06-2006 05:51 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Philosophy is a field of study that includes diverse subfields such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and metaphysics, in which people ask questions such as whether God exists, what is the nature of reality, whether knowledge is possible, and what makes actions right or wrong. The fundamental method of philosophy is the use of reasoning to evaluate arguments concerning these questions. However, the exact scope and methodology of philosophy is not rigid. What counts as philosophy is itself debated, and it varies across philosophical traditions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy




There isn't a topic discussed at PIP that doesn't fall under Philosophy's umbrella.  We do, however, discuss politics mainly in the Alley -- among other peeves, and have a forum for Spiritual Journeys.  

I think that's what you need to point out to Ess Iliana..  

Sure, you can knit in any room in the house -- but some people like to have a knitting room.

Probably the argument you need to make to Ron is a prototype thread?  Why not have a go at one in the lounge or Grok?

Midnitesun
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27 posted 09-06-2006 06:00 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Iliana, count me in as a reader at least in the new 'knitting' room, as Reb puts it.
I have often stay out of the other forums for just the very reasons you've mentioned here.
I cannot debate points of fact of biblical stuff because I do not read that particular book anymore.
iliana
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28 posted 09-06-2006 06:07 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

LR, you make the point so very well....that's exactly it.  TY, my friend. Let me work on a good threadstarter.  Or if someone else has a good one, please...feel free.  

Kacy, you, too!  And, I'm glad to hear you are aboard.  

Ess -- I'm pointing out what LR said...he said it better than I could have.  

Ron
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29 posted 09-06-2006 10:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I've been trying to find some time to properly respond to this thread, but time is never something easily found, I fear. Ah, if only we could super-size our days?

Nonetheless, though I only have a few minutes tonight, I feel compelled to invest that few minutes in hopes of saving someone else's time. It's probably important, Iliana, if you're going to create a prototype thread, that you first understand what I feel I would need to see.

Our Discussion forums generally serve one of two purposes: they either help us run the site better or they help people become better writers (and it's pure gravy when a forum, like the Alley, can do both). The only possible exception to that rule is Feelings, which is sort of grandfathered into the system (were you to check, you'd discover that Feelings was forum number one, the first one ever created). All the forums created since then, however, have to be justified by one of those two criteria.

We already have several forums for socializing, because it helps the prose and poetry forums to better maintain focus. We have forums for communicating with each other, like Q&A, Announcements, and of course, this one, Suggestions. Our Poetry Challenge is a bit of an odd duck, perhaps, but the intent should be fairly obvious. And, yea, Philosophy 101 is also an odd duck, though perhaps not quite so obvious. It exists because I believe critical thinking and, especially, persuasive writing are important tools in the writer's arsenal. I grin every time someone in that forum complains they were misunderstood because "we can't see each other's faces and body language," because that is PRECISELY why writing well is so important and exactly why the forum exists.

I'm going to be real honest with everyone and admit right up front that I have a personal bias against much (not all!) of the New Age, uh, stuff that immediately comes to mind under the banner of Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics. That's especially true if the goal is escape peer scrutiny like would be faced in Philosophy.  I really don't think we need a forum here called "Sloppy Thinking," if only because it won't be much help making someone a better writer. If the goal is to simply trade speculation and sensationalism with each other, it can be done in any of our social forums. Better yet, fictionalize it and post it in the Prose forum. I doubt anyone will question (i.e., debate) your axioms.

There are, I think, a great many ways that writers could profitably discuss Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics. The structure of myth, for example, is something that every storyteller should understand intimately. And surely anyone interested in speculative fiction should be willing to analyze the internal consistency of their foundational premises, be it science, magic or the supernatural. I get the impression from everyone, however, that these aren't exactly what is being suggested?

There's certainly nothing wrong with a bunch of friends getting together and shooting the breeze over common interests. But we already have that and, frankly, shooting the breeze isn't the tie that binds this community together. We are writers. Any additions to our framework have to be justified in terms of writing. I think any prototype thread, Iliana, should probably approach it in those terms.

While it's certainly true that some people like to have their knitting rooms, I think it's equally true that very few people have unlimited resources. The newest forums added last week (Open #39, Teen #8, and Corner Pub #3) take us up to over 100 forums, a not insignificant number of rooms in any house. A knitting room might be nice to have, but so too would be a Scrabble room, a photography room, a memorial room, and maybe a big red barn out back to house all the critters. We have to make choices, though, and those choices have to be justified.


icebox
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30 posted 09-07-2006 10:35 AM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

"A knitting room might be nice to have, but so too would be a Scrabble room, a photography room, a memorial room, and maybe a big red barn out back to house all the critters."

So, we did not succeed in making the point that ideas are being stifled here by a few who flood threads with Christian advocacy and preaching, who turn discussions into contests, inquiry into score kept debates, and who turn away any others with ridicule, belittlement and sarcasm.

Being highly skilled in word craft is not enough; that is precisely what produces the empty talking heads on the nightly news broadcasts.  Writers draw on all experiences, not just those that may be listed as being in keeping with points won.  The freedom to explore ideas in a non-combative environment, and perhaps to share that exploration with friends is essential in expanding a writer’s awareness.  It is demeaning to belittle that need as sloppy thinking or to dismiss it as merely frivolous fodder for social forums.  The message is being preached clearly on this site:  accept and believe or shut up and get out.

You are right, Ron, it is your house and we must never forget that we all are temporary guests with no rights of ownership here, and whose welcome constantly is being reviewed, but for the sake of your own development you might reflect on the reality that your response to these suggestions fits completely within the factors that motivated the requests.
Christopher
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31 posted 09-07-2006 11:14 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

as dense as I am, icebox, I can see several incorrect statements in your previous reply - the least of which that I've yet to see a reply from you in various places that was reminescent of "stifled;" you speak openly, as in this statement, often freely bemoaning a system that inhibits your ability to speak - irony, indeed.

the second is the "accept and believe or shut up and get out" statement - something I've heard countless times in the seven or so years i've been frequenting this site... but have never seen any factually based evidence of. when challenged, i've seen people bring up feelings of persecution, or watched them point at attacks that were disallowed... never once have i seen someone prevented from holding their own beliefs, or even responsibly exploring them... because at the end of the day, that's the only thing you have to adhere to - now, i suppose if you want anarchy & chaos, this might not be a good place to visit.
iliana
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32 posted 09-07-2006 01:06 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Christopher, in defense of icebox's statement, I have seen people insulted.  In some people's belief system, it is wrong to argue to change another's belief system -- they must find the truth on their own.  Just because a person doesn't fight back, doesn't mean they are being lazy!  
Christopher
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33 posted 09-07-2006 01:51 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

i hear you iliana, and agree completely that people have been insulted. in those few cases (i'm not even going to the place where people feel they're being insulted simply because someone disagrees with them, something that happens far, far more frequently than the real insults), there is a reprimand of some sort - while not always a direct "slap on the hand," there is inevitably some action taken to redress those situations.

but this isn't about being insulted - it's not even about being insulted and not believing in or being willing to respond - it's about a fictional regime of bible-banger's cruising Pip in their lowered wagons with 20" rims intimidating or straight-out controlling the entire word-trade of those who reside here. i'll say there's no such thing. does that mean there aren't puritanical presences making an impact here? of course not - but they don't "control" anything, they don't set precedence based out of their moral majority - no more than do the atheists or agnostics or Buddhists.

as with any place where there is a variety of peoples, there will be a variety of interests and beliefs - compromises must be made. in full defense of Ron, and speaking as one of the aforementioned agnostics, none of those compromises consist of anyone holding a differing belief being required to stifle their dogma in favor of another's.
serenity blaze
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34 posted 09-07-2006 03:12 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"it's about a fictional regime of bible-banger's cruising Pip in their lowered wagons with 20" rims intimidating or straight-out controlling the entire word-trade of those who reside here. i'll say there's no such thing. does that mean there aren't puritanical presences making an impact here? of course not - "

I think the truth is somewhere inbetween, C.

Perhaps it isn't the hyperbolic example you proposed at the start of that of which I quoted, but it also not quite the benign shrug of an example of a "puritanical streak" either.

As one of those who have been targeted, sometimes obviously so, sometimes less, but it hurts, nonetheless. Confusing Wicca with Satanism is common, but it is no less prejudicial. As one who has made friends across the boards, I think I might have had it easier than most though.

But I often said I just keep my head down and keep typing--now what do you suppose inspired that little anomalie?

I have been both delighted with changes made at Pip, and dismayed.

I confess I was confused a bit by Pip's creed, of friends being family--but I have always maintained Ron's house, Ron's rules, but wondered how that made me both a guest and "family".

Then my mother-in-law came to live with us and I understood. She is family, but she isn't allowed to paint my walls, yanno? (And the flowered colonial style couch just HAD to go, and no offense intended to those who LIKE flowered colonial style couches)

So, I think what you said finally got to the heart of the matter and the reason for the request of a forum where people could discuss things without the distraction of having to defend their beliefs with the state of their immortal soul constantly questioned, sometimes relentlessly.

So, I am somewhere in the middle. I do think Piptalk's community discussion forum has room for these types of discussions (I've seen it done before) but many of us have given up on the philosophy forum. If I can ever find it, I do believe Brad, the moderator of that forum expressed exasperation about this sort of thing as well. And it isn't always a question of being beaten upside the proverbial head with a Bible either. I think a certain Buddhist oriented guy, known for HIS brevity, was the subject of my example in question. )

So to sum it up, I think it would be an interesting forum, but I'm a Joseph Campbell freak. So...shrug. I would think so, wouldn't I?

In the meantime, I'll keep my head down and keep typing.

Rumor has it I'm tenacious. (Or stubborn, depending on if ya like me or not. )

PEACE to you, C.

and gratitude to you all
Ron
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35 posted 09-07-2006 04:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
So, we did not succeed in making the point that ideas are being stifled here by a few who flood threads with Christian advocacy and preaching ...

Sorry, but no, you didn't. While preaching is a loaded word, with some rather negative connotations, advocacy and persuasion are still welcome here, at least as long as other Guidelines are observed.

More importantly, however, I've seen no indication that threads are being flooded. This one hasn't been. We could probably pick out a few more, too. I think religion in general, and Christianity specifically, only enter a thread when appropriate (though perhaps not always only when invited).

Do we really want a forum dedicated to "Myths, Mysteries, and Metaphysics," but, oh by the way, all Christians please stay out?

quote:
... who turn discussions into contests ...

A contest, I think, implies competition and a prize. We certainly don't give any prizes, and while we can't (and won't) stop people from being competitive, I think it remains up to each individual whether they want to compete. A one-person contest, in my experience, ends very quickly.

I suspect what you would call a contest, icebox, I would probably call a challenge, not to a person, but rather to the ideas being presented. I think challenging ideas, both old and new, is a good thing.

quote:
... inquiry into score kept debates ...

Who's keeping score?

quote:
... and who turn away any others with ridicule, belittlement and sarcasm.

That's an entirely different issue, one quite apart from any subject being explored. Whether it's religion, politics, or "Myths, Mysteries, and Metaphysics," attacking the poster instead of the post should never be allowed. It's often a fine line and I'm sure our staff doesn't always resolve things as "everyone" would wish, but we do try to maintain a civilized decorum in ALL of the forums. As always, we very much welcome the help of anyone willing to point out specific examples.

quote:
Writers draw on all experiences, not just those that may be listed as being in keeping with points won. The freedom to explore ideas in a non-combative environment, and perhaps to share that exploration with friends is essential in expanding a writer’s awareness.

I suspect that is, indeed, the crux of the matter, icebox, and you'll probably be very surprised to discover that I completely agree with you. That's exactly why we have Poetry and Prose forums, and why we usually try very carefully to steer replies to address the work and not the theme. There have been numerous times over the course of our years when controversial poems have incited debate and, in each instance, we've tried very hard to maintain that non-combative environment we both value. It's, again, not always easy to separate craft from theme, but we do try.

However, the minute you add a Discussion tag to a forum, that necessarily changes.

quote:
The message is being preached clearly on this site:  accept and believe or shut up and get out.

On the contrary, icebox, that is precisely what I'm trying to avoid.

I personally don't think I want a discussion forum labeled "Myths, Mysteries, and Metaphysics" where people are expected to accept and believe or shut up and get out. Do you?

quote:
In some people's belief system, it is wrong to argue to change another's belief system -- they must find the truth on their own.

Iliana, I'm honestly not sure how to even respond to that.

What do they talk about? I mean, the minute they open their mouths to say something there is the danger they will change another's belief system? Indeed, as soon as they tell me it's wrong to argue to change another's belief system, they are arguing their own belief system? I just can't conceive how something like that would work.

That's okay, though, because I don't need to understand to accept. Those people are certainly free to post here, and are equally free to ignore the challenges to their ideas that will almost inevitably follow. I'm sure they wouldn't want to try to convince anyone that the challenges are misguided or wrong?

quote:
I do think Piptalk's community discussion forum has room for these types of discussions (I've seen it done before) but many of us have given up on the philosophy forum.

You shouldn't, Karen, because the Philosophy forum, like all of the forums, is exactly what people make of it. Points can be made, but points can also be ignored. For example, I long ago stopped spending much, if any, time on semantic quibbles from people with a poor understanding of semantics. Life is much too short, and I content myself now with encouraging people to think without actually trying to teach them how. They should have to do some of the work, after all.

Be that as it may, however, I agree that the existing forums, even if Philosophy is excluded, already have room for the discussions being suggested in this thread. I think the reasons being offered for why a separate forum is necessary are, at once, unfounded and probably unenforceable. People who want to preach to the choir can't expect the choir to meet in the middle of the mall, lest they suddenly find themselves preaching to unbelievers. I think they need to find a secluded church if they are to escape disagreement. The good news is, those secluded churches exist on the Internet. This just isn't one of them.

Personally, I think exploration without discomfort is impossible. I don't believe writing is about letting people "find the truth on their own," so much as it's about sharing our own vision of truth. And those versions are bound to conflict at times, bound to cause a little discomfort, and when we're really lucky, bound to incite a little deeper thought and exploration. Truth doesn't just float to the surface, though it's often easy to mistake the scum we can see for the depths that we can't. Diving in search of what is lurking on the bottom isn't easy and probably shouldn't BE easy either.

You know what the first thing is they teach when training for scuba diving? The vital importance of the buddy system.


serenity blaze
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36 posted 09-07-2006 04:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I came back to add that this confuses me:

"I'm going to be real honest with everyone and admit right up front that I have a personal bias against much (not all!) of the New Age, uh, stuff that immediately comes to mind under the banner of Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics"

Have I just been broadstroked into the category of ridiculous? If so, this sure seems like a greenlight for further mockery.

I understand if you don't feel a need for a new forum. But I am seriously disappointed by that statement, however heartfeltly honest, as I feel it precludes me and many others from the proclamation of religious tolerance.

In fact, metaphysics and the study of psychic phenomenon can be found in Christian, um, stuff (<--what was up with that?) all over the canonized scripture. It's just called "discernment".

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll exit this thread as well.

I think my feelings just got hurt.
Ron
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37 posted 09-07-2006 05:11 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
So to sum it up, I think it would be an interesting forum, but I'm a Joseph Campbell freak. So...shrug. I would think so, wouldn't I?

At the risk of going off-topic (thus the separate post), is that the same Campbell that wrote "The Hero with a Thousand Faces?" It, along with Christopher Vogler's book have been sitting on my bookshelf for about two weeks, awaiting their turn on my pending reading list.

If those books turn out to be about "Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics," I'm going to be very disappointed. I thought they were about storytelling?


serenity blaze
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38 posted 09-07-2006 05:17 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



Far be it for the likes of me to advise you what you should glean from a book you haven't yet read.

But enjoy.

I have the Bill Moyer lectures on DVD and am anticipating the day I can get the entire "Hero" lectures as well.

Someday "soon", I would hope.
Ron
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39 posted 09-07-2006 06:22 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But I am seriously disappointed by that statement, however heartfeltly honest, as I feel it precludes me and many others from the proclamation of religious tolerance.


Sorry, Karen, but I don't generally associate "Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics" with religious faiths, even if the Bible has its share of ghosts and a few modern churches have been founded on the anticipation of a returning UFO. I'm probably very wrong to even try to define what a religion is or isn't, but each of us has to at least have working definitions to guide us, I suspect, and frankly, I'm never going to be able to put the Bible, the Koran, or the Vedas on the same list with the National Enquirer. If someone had suggested a forum for "Religious Myths, Religious Mysteries & Religious Metaphysics" my response would have been very different.

Religion, I think, is based on a founding premise, much in the way Euclid based his geometry on a series of simple axioms. Religious tolerance, I think, means accepting each foundational premise as tenable, which still allows for discussion of where those premises might lead. Bernhard Riemann changed Euclid's axioms and came up with a very different geometry, that was nonetheless just as internally consistent as that proposed by Euclid, and indeed, served as the basis for Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. One geometry is probably right, one is probably wrong, and tolerance arises from admitting that both work and we can't prove one is better than the other -- once the foundational premises are accepted on faith.

Religious tolerance, however, does not mean accepting inconsistencies without question. Indeed, that questioning is the basis for all religious discussion. Once the premises are laid, the result have to follow from those premises. I'm perfectly willing, even eager, to explore Wicca or any other system of belief that can claim internal consistency that follows from one or more well-laid foundational premises. What I will snub and continue to call "stuff" is unsupported speculations that lump abominable snowmen, telepathy, UFOs, ghosts, meditation, miracles, fairies, astrology and numerology all under the same broad umbrella of "yea, but no one can disprove it."

Give me a foundation upon which to stand and I'll willing suspend any disbelief long enough to help construct a house where we can discuss your beliefs. Start throwing up disjointed walls without laying a foundation, however, and I'm going to look for someplace a little sturdier. I still won't tell you that you can't live there, but please don't expect me to come visiting any time soon.

Oh, and just for the record, Karen, I think tolerance is best applied to the acceptance of people, not necessarily the acceptance of what they do or what they believe. I can ridicule the National Enquirer, for example, but still respect the people who write it and the people who read it, and even very much love the freedom of expression they each represent.
iliana
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40 posted 09-07-2006 06:40 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"If someone had suggested a forum for "Religious Myths, Religious Mysteries & Religious Metaphysics" my response would have been very different."

Ron, that is a good compromise.  The reason why I did not put the word, "religious," in front of all the nouns was that I did not want to encourage an interpretation of religion meaning only Christianity.  ESP and UFOs can fit right in there, believe it or not....and so can mythological creatures such as faeries, I suspect....though I really don't know the ins and outs of that. I would hope that the thread would be an intellectual one and not as you compared with the Naitonal Enquirer (that material fits easily enough into The Louge).  

If having enough space is a problem, then I can understand.  However, if you are willing to put up one with your titles, I think that would be great.  Maybe, you could even add a caveat which would help resolve current issues.  Thank you for caring, Ron.  *hug*

icebox
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41 posted 09-07-2006 10:12 PM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

"cut out windows and doors
in the house as you build;
but the use of the house
will depend on the space
in the walls that is void."

~translated from the poetic works of a poor humble pre-christian mystic~
iliana
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42 posted 09-07-2006 11:37 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

*smiles*
iliana
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43 posted 09-09-2006 06:19 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

"People who want to preach to the choir can't expect the choir to meet in the middle of the mall, lest they suddenly find themselves preaching to unbelievers. I think they need to find a secluded church if they are to escape disagreement. The good news is, those secluded churches exist on the Internet. This just isn't one of them."

Ron, my suggestion, if you will remember, did not limit the topics to Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics.  It was suggested to be Myths, Mysteries & Metaphsics or some such title.  The choice of words was obviously done for effect with the three M's.  

Your comment above about preaching to the choir makes no sense to me, as I have never believed any of the folks I know to be "preachers."  Personally, I find them to be more learned in the field of history and religion than most and especially gifted with words.  And, I honestly thought we all might gain a deeper appreciation of the aforementioned subjects or similar ones if they had a forum where freedom of expression was more tolerable.  I can certainly continue my exploration by keeping in touch with part of my "family" outside of PIP; I just thought it might be enjoyable for quite a number of people and we might all get a little smarter.  The mere suggestion of this thread, perhaps, has taught us all something and each of us knows what that is.  I am in total disagreement that a forum like this would provoke disagreement, especially if it were put behind closed doors.  I don't go to the Teenager's Room unless I'm curious, nor do I hangout much in some of the other rooms.  I visit the rooms where I feel most comfortable.  Not all writing involves persuasive or argumentative writing.  Some is simply expositive and can provoke civilized discussion.  The trend which I have observed here in the past several months in Discussion forums other than The Lounge, Critical Anaysis, and Feelings seems to be very  argumentative or persuasive.  Some of us like to write in informative or expository fashion.  

As far as your comment regarding not knowing how to respond to mine, I am quite surprised.  The example I'll hold out to you is this website.  You set it up and learned yourself what works and doesn't works.  No one taught you how to make PIP.  That is how some of us see our spiritual journeys and it would be a "sin" for us to try to sway someone from their chosen path.  There are many, many deep discussions that are truly fascinating and documentable that some people might find contrary to their belief systems.  That is one of the reasons I suggested the mature content forum area (not the "middle of the mall").  
Essorant
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44 posted 09-09-2006 12:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Iliana

I think it remains without any evidence as long as you never even tried it in one of the forums Piptalk currently has with a thread about the topic(s) and along the lines you wish. How do you know such a discussion won't be received the way you wish, if you never tried it?

iliana
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45 posted 09-09-2006 02:26 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ess -- Actually, there was an attempt in Women & Religion where LeeJ specially asked for non-Christians.  That's just one that comes to mind.  
Ron
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46 posted 09-09-2006 03:52 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron, my suggestion, if you will remember, did not limit the topics to Myths, Mysteries & Metaphysics.  It was suggested to be Myths, Mysteries & Metaphsics or some such title.

I understand, Iliana. And I think the some such title that seems to works best is Philosophy 101.  

The only reason anyone has given for starting a new forum, rather than using an existing one, essentially amounts to excluding those not wanted. That's the part with which I have a problem, both because it won't work and it's not right. I don't believe you can have a "forum where freedom of expression (is) more tolerable" unless you make it tolerable for everyone -- even those who might disagree with you.

quote:
Not all writing involves persuasive or argumentative writing.  Some is simply expositive and can provoke civilized discussion.  The trend which I have observed here in the past several months in Discussion forums other than The Lounge, Critical Anaysis, and Feelings seems to be very  argumentative or persuasive.  Some of us like to write in informative or expository fashion.  

Then, by all means, feel free to do so. No one is going to force you or others to respond to any criticisms your exposition might incite. You don't have to justify or defend unless you choose to do so. Ignoring criticisms is fine. It's the elimination of criticisms which I can't abide.

***

Over the years, there has been a lot of misunderstanding about what the Open in Open Poetry is supposed to mean. Many have argued, for example, that the forum isn't really open to all themes and, therefore, the name is poorly chosen. Perhaps, in some sense, they are right.

Our original forums opened with only two areas available: Open Poetry and Feelings, one forum for poetry and one for discussion. The Open was meant to signify a marked lack of segregation. We would never separate love poetry from sad poetry from angry poetry, would never have forums dedicated solely to free verse or sonnets or haiku. I have always believed that segregating knowledge has much the same effect as segregating people. Segregation limits exposure. Segregation results in narrow horizons. I think Open Poetry has introduced more people to more diverse poetry than ever could have been accomplished by segregation. People who might never wander into an Haiku forum have nonetheless learned to embrace its beauty and simplicity, not because it was forced on them, but simply because they were exposed to it.

Over the years we added more forums. The majority of those, however, were added to achieve balance rather than segregation. In most cases, a writer can choose to post in one of our specialty forums OR post exactly the same poem in Open Poetry. Our readers still have the opportunity to be exposed to dark poetry, for example, without necessarily being inundated by it as was once the case. I don't think our attempt at balance has ever been perfect, and it will always be a compromise, but I do believe it's been more healthy than the segregation found at most other poetry sites (including our own main site).

Honestly, guys, I am much more inclined to merge a few of our forums than to create new ones. That's especially true when the goal seems to be segregation. I want to abolish cliques, not create new ones, and believe we should be pushing against the boundaries of our comfort levels instead of succumbing to them. It is within the mixture of ideas that we grow, not in the segregation of them. Yea, that still needs to be balanced with the freedom to choose, and it's inevitably going to be a compromise, but I'm probably always going to err on the side of less segregation, not more.


iliana
Member Patricius
since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


47 posted 09-09-2006 05:00 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ron, I appreciate your feedback.

I don't think anyone was really suggesting segregation, rather, a place where people could discuss things without being insulted, attacked, evangelized, or the thread being monopolized because of the expansive undefined perimeters labeling the forum -- a place that some of those attacker/monopolizers/evangelizers would have to respect by the boundaries that are set in the description of the forum. I can see where this is a tall order and the point I am beginning to see is that it would be nigh on impossible.  

Not arguing the case anymore, Ron, but perhaps this will clarify my thinking, and I beieve, the thinking of others who would favor some change.  
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


48 posted 09-09-2006 05:23 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
a place where people could discuss things without being insulted, attacked, evangelized, or the thread being monopolized

If our Moderators are doing their jobs, Iliana, most of that** should be possible in all the forums. If they're not, then it won't be possible in any forum. You and others can help by using the "Inappropriate content?" link that's on every post whenever you feel something needs to be addressed.

** What you call evangelizing here, and preaching elsewhere, isn't against our rules. Indeed, Karen did it when she accused me of intolerance and you did it when you suggested ESP, UFOs, and fairies fall under the umbrella of religion. It's often called expressing an opinion, with the only differences being in degree not in kind.


iliana
Member Patricius
since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


49 posted 09-09-2006 06:01 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Ron, I tend not to be a button presser because I don't want to limit what a person expresses in context with their own writing (with the exception of suicide...that button pressing would perhaps get the person some help).  That aside, there are button pressers which may have started some of the problems, particularly in the Main forum, being I have observed one poet being booted into Mature and another one, even more elicit, not being censured or moved. Whether this is because of content or because of jealousy or pettiness, I have no real idea.  Some things are drawn to moderators'/administrators' attention by button pressers, I think, and some are not.  I am most definitely not saying it is any fault on the part of PIP or its administrators or moderators who have plenty to do and have to rely on our help.  However, advocates of uncensored writing would, I presume and at least for me, not want to be pressing buttons on others because it might make the censorship even tighter or create unceasing vendictiveness. (And, most people really don't want to gripe too much because they love PIP and their brothers and sisters here -- even though they don't always agree -- and don't want to lose it by causing frustration for you or your administrators/moderators.) Thus....the crux of the matter.  ....sigh  

I thought by having a new forum it would give additional choice, not segregate, and those with an interest in the topic would contribute and those whom it might offend would not.  You make valid points about how it might serve to segregate, but that was not the intent.  *smile*  

[This message has been edited by iliana (09-09-2006 10:50 PM).]

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