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Thread: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Believe me, I thought for a very long time whether I should really write the following. Especially at a time when there is more arguing than interesting content being posted. The reason why I do it anyway? - I have come to appreciate this forum very much, and its members as well. It has become dear to me.

    I really like the idea of an unmoderated forum. After all, we are all adult persons and for a long time this worked very well but for some time I have less and less desire to come here.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I am not accusing anyone. But I wonder why there has been a spiteful tone here for some time. And I wonder why this forum is dominated by threads who hardly contribute any interesting content? And why are there hostile camps among the members instead of beeing just a community? What is the appeal of arguing on the internet and why don't we all try to make this forum a pleasant place to escape to for recreation from our daily lives?

    I am not a judge and I will not take sides. But I ask you to think about, what kind of content you'd like to read. Shouldn't we all try to create more of interesting stuff and just ignore what we don't like? I am convinced that in this forum is enough space for everyone.

    Christof
    Last edited by christof; May 11th, 2022 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Thank you for raising the subject, Christof. It has always been a problem of the Internet that that spiteful and unpleasant people, safe in their anonymity and distance, take a cowardly pleasure in disruption and insult. As this is an unmoderated board, as you say, it is perhaps surprising that there has been so little unpleasantness over the years, perhaps principally because most of those taking part have a genuine love of, and interest in, the subjects to be discussed here.

    There are those among us who would be happy to see moderation here and the difficulties the board is experiencing at present go a long way to make their case. All I can say against that is how well this board runs for months at a time between the periods of acrimony and attack. I have experience of over-policed online environments and those are at least equally uncomfortable in the other direction.

    There is the "ignore" function which can work in some circumstances but when a malicious poster is prolific, the conversation becomes broken up and hard to follow. For some already the option has been chosen to ignore the group entirely. We have lost discussion to other areas such as Facebook and that migration is hastened by unnecessary malice. I've seen other board go down because of one person's behaviour. Who is to say that the owner of this forum will practice forbearance forever?

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    There are argumentative, spiteful and unpleasant people, who seem to enjoy nothing more than an argument, on every forum. They seem to take pleasure from starting and proliferating argumentative threads and posts because that is the basically the type of person they are or that they become when in the company of others on fora. As eachan says 'safe in their anonymity and distance'.

    An unmoderated forum seems like a good idea until you get those people who actually prefer to post malicious posts rather than posting the type of content others like to read. Then you do need a moderator to step up and do something about it. Otherwise, once they are aware that their actions are totally immune from any sort of moderation the nuisance posters seem to be empowered to become worse and worse.
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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    I agree with all your points, Chrissy. However I think Eric has made it abundantly clear that he has no wish to conduct active moderation and must be nudged to do anything at all. He's also unwilling to hand over moderation responsibility due to a previous occurrence. We have to solve our problems here without moderation or walk away. It's no good continuing to ask for what we won't get.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    A lot of people are in a great deal of pain.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Also, many members here came after being banned "elsewhere". Some deservedly.
    I find that those discussing their pen usage (arts, quotes, etc.) Are very warm while several in the open debate subforum are not.

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    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    Thank you for raising the subject, Christof. It has always been a problem of the Internet that that spiteful and unpleasant people, safe in their anonymity and distance, take a cowardly pleasure in disruption and insult. As this is an unmoderated board, as you say, it is perhaps surprising that there has been so little unpleasantness over the years, perhaps principally because most of those taking part have a genuine love of, and interest in, the subjects to be discussed here.

    There are those among us who would be happy to see moderation here and the difficulties the board is experiencing at present go a long way to make their case. All I can say against that is how well this board runs for months at a time between the periods of acrimony and attack. I have experience of over-policed online environments and those are at least equally uncomfortable in the other direction.

    There is the "ignore" function which can work in some circumstances but when a malicious poster is prolific, the conversation becomes broken up and hard to follow. For some already the option has been chosen to ignore the group entirely. We have lost discussion to other areas such as Facebook and that migration is hastened by unnecessary malice. I've seen other board go down because of one person's behaviour. Who is to say that the owner of this forum will practice forbearance forever?
    Spot on.

    There are 'ugly people' everywhere. The internet and any forum is no exception. That said, this forum is in my opinion a happy place. Yes, there is the occasional -- shall we say -- digresser, but they are rare. In the end, it is as mentioned above, possible to ignore the malicious or unpleasant participant just as it is to ignore the boring or rude individual we encounter elsewhere in our daily lives.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    I have correspondents whom I have been writing to for years whom I met here. I have "friends" whom I would like to have a beer with one day. I also have been so tired of the toxicity, some of which I responded to in kind, that I have left FPG for months at a time. I now use the ignore function liberally, and am much happier. There are many very kind and gracious people here.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    I thought a little more about this question and thought that I would add this: most of the vitriol has its source in the "Politics, Religion, and Culture" section of this site, we are warned that the conversations can be free-wheeling and bruising and not suitable for the thin-skinned. There are many members who upon looking in those threads clearly then stay away from the mud-splatter that can result. Since Eric in his description (or whoever wrote the decription....Dan?) clearly labels what may happen there, one shouldn't have much surprise for what does transpire, especially since it is un-moderated. I am present there (although, as I say, I have been away for spells of several months, from time to time since 2013), and I have both thrown and been hit by mud. We each have our limits for what we consider fair conduct, even in those condiditons, and not all participants have the same kinds of standards (for example, I have a potty mouth in terms of swearing and see no disrespect in vulgar language. I love the Brits for this!). But that is me. Others don't feel that way, even in these back pages. The bigger problem, as I see it, is when these troubled relationships between members on these back pages spill out openly on other threads where members participate not expecting to have to read or dodge or witness that same kind of mud. This site has some *rooms* for fighting, but clearly other threads are meant to be free of it, even if the site lacks moderation. One reason that I use the ignore function is so I don't have to read some of the posts that I would find quasi-irritating by members whom I may feel animus toward for reasons outside the thread in question. And if I am less irritated, then I am less likely to yield to the impulse to post a similarly-irritating reply (and then we are off to the races). I am not perfect about this, but this thread is a reminder that I can be better.

    So maybe a way of looking at this is to say, don't be surprised to see mud on the walls of the mudrooms, but maybe we should try to do better to keep the mud out of the other rooms of this local mansion. As I wrote and very strongly believe, there are many good and gracious people here.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    The "Politics, Religion, and Culture" sub-forum has turned into the "Lord of the Flies". Unfortunate, there's now a bridge from that subforum to the rest of this forum.

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    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd View Post
    The "Politics, Religion, and Culture" sub-forum has turned into the "Lord of the Flies". Unfortunate, there's now a bridge from that subforum to the rest of this forum.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I am not perfect about this, but this thread is a reminder that I can be better.
    I can and have been very much behind this notion. However, time and experience has shown that among a small group of members here once tarred always feathered. The concept of personal growth and improvement is anathema to them. Which is ironic as it is they who would benefit most from a bit of self-reflection and that would make this place much nicer.
    Perhaps you are right. But how many of us, once our pique is involved, want to "improve"? That is certainly when I am least open to the idea. So maybe we should all practice some Pique Reduction Techniques (PRT, for short )

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I thought a little more about this question and thought that I would add this: most of the vitriol has its source in the "Politics, Religion, and Culture" section of this site, we are warned that the conversations can be free-wheeling and bruising and not suitable for the thin-skinned. There are many members who upon looking in those threads clearly then stay away from the mud-splatter that can result. Since Eric in his description (or whoever wrote the decription....Dan?) clearly labels what may happen there, one shouldn't have much surprise for what does transpire, especially since it is un-moderated. I am present there (although, as I say, I have been away for spells of several months, from time to time since 2013), and I have both thrown and been hit by mud. We each have our limits for what we consider fair conduct, even in those condiditons, and not all participants have the same kinds of standards (for example, I have a potty mouth in terms of swearing and see no disrespect in vulgar language. I love the Brits for this!). But that is me. Others don't feel that way, even in these back pages. The bigger problem, as I see it, is when these troubled relationships between members on these back pages spill out openly on other threads where members participate not expecting to have to read or dodge or witness that same kind of mud. This site has some *rooms* for fighting, but clearly other threads are meant to be free of it, even if the site lacks moderation. One reason that I use the ignore function is so I don't have to read some of the posts that I would find quasi-irritating by members whom I may feel animus toward for reasons outside the thread in question. And if I am less irritated, then I am less likely to yield to the impulse to post a similarly-irritating reply (and then we are off to the races). I am not perfect about this, but this thread is a reminder that I can be better.

    So maybe a way of looking at this is to say, don't be surprised to see mud on the walls of the mudrooms, but maybe we should try to do better to keep the mud out of the other rooms of this local mansion. As I wrote and very strongly believe, there are many good and gracious people here.
    Having never visited the 'Poiitics, Religion, and Culture' sub-forum, being previously unaware of its existence, I wouldn't know what goes on there. My opinion that FPG is a 'happy place' is based solely upon what has happened in the rest of the forum.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Perhaps the forum and the members would benefit by taking a big breath and having a reset.
    I don't know. Sometimes the slash-and-burn method produces the best forests.

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    Last edited by Lloyd; May 11th, 2022 at 11:40 PM.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Perhaps the forum and the members would benefit by taking a big breath and having a reset.
    I don't think that there is an issue with the forum itself and the majority of the members.

    There are a limited number of protagonists who cause any perceived unpleasantness but no moderator to kick them off it is left to every other member who may be seeking a peaceful coexistence to make their own mind up as to the choices available to them which I suggest are ignore, accept or scroll on by.

    Having teenage tantrums and resorting to name calling just makes you (you in the broadest sense) look ridiculous and the rest of us despair.

    This is a golden moment to have an unmoderated forum, possibly unique, if you screw it up then you only have yourselves to blame.
    Last edited by RobJohnson; May 11th, 2022 at 11:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Christof said
    But I ask you to think about, what kind of content you'd like to read. Shouldn't we all try to create more of interesting stuff and just ignore what we don't like? I am convinced that in this forum is enough space for everyone.
    The content I would like to read:

    1. Posts about the joy of using FPs
    2. Posts showing the art (both drawing and writing) of using FPs
    3. Posts that show imagination and curiosity about pens and their use.
    4. Posts that are inclusive of experiences, not shouted down by intolerant blowhards.
    5. Posts that don't perpetuate the ridiculous myths about FPs (it's a personal bugbear)
    6. Posts that are really about helping people and not about establishing authority.

    I could probably think of more but these should suffice for now.

    Shouldn't we all try to create more of interesting stuff?

    Yes, but it's only a small segment of the membership that ever do this.

    ... and just ignore what we don't like?

    Of course! Although in my case I ignore what doesn't interest me.

    I am convinced that in this forum is enough space for everyone.

    Indeed it is, although there are some here who think they have dibs on the place. They don't.
    I have a problem in reading this post in that it doesn't accord with some of your more malicious posts over the past few weeks and you could really do yourself a favour by asking, 'am I responsible, at least in part, for the general opinion that Fpg is not as pleasant a place as it could be.'

    There is a supplementary question which you may want to consider, 'I cannot change and therefore I will go on whining and creating content for the sole reason that I feel that this is my job at Fpg, it keeps things lively. People will simply have to put up with what I say and stop being sanctimonious, or ignore me, I will say what I chose, this is my right, I may be the cause but other people have the problem.'

    Put quite simply, if Christof took the view that he had had enough of the aggression and backbiting and decided that he was not going to post in the future then his contributions would be missed by most if not all of the membership. I won't ask the next question of you, decide it for yourself.
    Last edited by RobJohnson; May 12th, 2022 at 12:55 AM.

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    EoC- I hate to write this, and I apologize if you feel it should be in a PM To you. I find you to be avoiding viewing your own posts objectively. You classify a subset as "blowhards" despite supporting not classifying the members but their postings. You ask for advise from those with a lot of experience, possibly gained through the repair profession. However, if it's at odds with what you decide to do, and if you have success, you castigate them. If I advise someone who's poor not to buy lottery tickets and they avoid my advise and win a million dollars, should they insult me as acting like a know it all? Many, obviously not all, in the thread you shared with me were trying their best to sincerely assist you. Instead of thanking them but opting to follow your own methods, you insulted them. This isn't the only time you've exhibited the "me versus the old guard" attitude. There are certainly many who act hypocritically here, but we're all opting to expend the one thing that's most valuable in this world, our time, to share ourselves with other FP lovers. Unfortunately, the immediacy of the internet, versus letter writing, and the anonymity of it, versus face to face, leads to members posting knee jerk reactions to misinterpretations of others postings. We could all benefit from waiting to submit our posts, reading them through a loved one's eyes, before clicking.

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    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    We probably all look forward to reading content about fountain pens, posts showing the art produced by fountain pens and inks, posts that include experiences of fountain pens and inks and helpful posts that are really about helping people.

    What we don't want to read are posts that have absolutely no such content that are posted to solely personally attack other members or call them names or liars or to discriminate against them in any way. Although occasionally we might think things like that we don't need to type them here.
    Perhaps the saying to bear in mind is: If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing.

    I was reading TSherbs thread in the Politics, Religion and Society forum the other day and on April 20th this poster says "Kindness to our fellows is the bedrock of stable and harmonious community."

    I posted some factual information to one member on how to use the Ignore function on FPG as he was clearly upset with some comments that he had read on a thread. Immediately after my post I was called a harpy for no reason other than spitefulness, maliciousness and aggression. There was nothing else in that post and it does not qualify as a fountain pen post nor does it qualify as kindness to our fellows. So the poster who preaches that kindness to our fellows is the bedrock of stable and harmonious community is not practicing what he preaches.
    Last edited by Chrissy; May 12th, 2022 at 04:45 AM.
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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    FPGeeks is a place I look forward to hanging out when I power up the PC in the morning.

    That said I'm aware of some of the issues. But I have found that there's a lot of good practice too. People who are respectful of other people's remarks, who share their knowledge freely. Sometimes, who apologize, and that's not always easy to do.

    One small suggestion. I love Christof's pen pictures thread and it's always a good place to be with good feeling. Ditto the new acquisitions topic. Perhaps we'd benefit from a few more regular threads or subjects? Stylo-plume.org has a Sunday thread which ranges widely in topic - it's a great way to pull together contributions from the crowd.

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    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is FPGeeks still a pleasant place to stay?

    EoC- Your interpretation of the others, whether actual or incorrect, doesn't justify you acting the way you are acting. Blaming others for our actions is to imply that they hold control over us.

    Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn't.
    M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn't!

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