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Froggy the Great

Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

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14 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

I believe this is why the Reaper forums have been such a friendly place for so many years.

 

Not to disregard the efforts of the overworked moderation team here, but that's not why this place has (mostly) weathered the storm.  It's because of two factors that make it different from most other forms of social media.  The first is that this board, unlike social media, is not trying to monetize us by keeping us mad all the time.  The second is because most people here have opted to exercise discretion and not go stabby-stabby mode, even when they really feel like it.  Moderation is reactive, not proactive, and whatever rules and standards are in place the fact is the moderation team is thinner now than ever and if people here really wanted to go all full savage cannibal on each other the team would not be able to contain it.  It would become the most horrid kind of whack-a-mole that could only be resolved with a mass culling.  

 

Social media, on the other hand, is part of what I like to call The Great Internet Shakedown.  The shakedown is all about engagement, because engagement = money.  Note that this does not require such engagement to be good.  In fact, negative engagement is usually worth more.  The more mad you are, the more time you spend on X platform.  The more you engage, the more you're worth.  A lot of the internet works this way, and the few things that don't rage-monetize are shaking you down with "free to play" and microtransactions.  Social media is so bad that I only get a tiny sliver of it peripherally (I am not on any social media) and it's enough to horrify me.  How people can actually live in the midst of it is outside the comprehension of my poor, decidedly analog brain.  

 

It's tempting to look at what happened on the Facebook page and write it off as just bad behaviour from bad people.  That's nice, it makes sense, it's a comfy bit of reasoning.  It's also wrong.  However that manifestation occured in that specific instance, it's merely the logical end result of a system that's designed to make people angry and keep them angry.  And if you want the real awful truth, most people here who think themselves as good people are doing the exact same thing in a different form.  They're just as mad, they're just as stabby, they just have a different pet topic to get stabby about.  

 

These tensions are, in fact, also present here.  They've been here for a while.  They've been growing for a while.  This forum appears healthy, but it has not been truly healthy for a number of years.  2014, maybe late 2015 at most.  Since then it's mostly carried on by inertia and habit, but I am sure I'm not the only one who has detected an undercurrent of increasing tension and hostility.  It's just that most people have, thus far, chosen not to engage.  Some people have actually chosen to disengage, with their contributions ceasing altogether or becoming much less frequent.  Some of us, and this includes myself, have been one foot out of the door for a long time.  

 

For the moment, this place is holding together.  This will not last.  There are too many people who are too mad about too much stuff, and who spend a lot of time outside of this place engaged with a system that encourages them to be mad and get more mad all the time.  it's inevitable that this will eventually creep into this place, and the bad behaviour it encourages will follow close behind.  

 

If you want the super ultra bad news, it's that there's nothing that can be done to stop it, either.  It is absolutely inevitable.  I've been working it over for a long time trying to see what's wrong and what can be done to fix it, mostly because I've been rather attached to this place and invested in it.  But, well, there's no fix.  Even if there theoretically was a fix, it couldn't be implemented because some of the factors are being driven by people who don't actually think they're engaged in destructive behaviour at all (worse, some may believe they're actually doing good). That's all wrapped up in some pretty nuanced dynamics, but a system is a system and systems are complicated.  The tl;dr of that is that this place is held together only by the mutual goodwill of the participants, and that goodwill is eroding, if not rapidly, then certainly steadily.  Concurrent with this, there has been a slow exodus of good people.  

 

Incidentally, I think Reaper knows this place is not long for this world because they increasingly ignore it.  Last Reaper Live, when they listed all the social media to get in touch with them, this place was conspicuously absent - even after being brought up by several people.  This pattern has been consistent enough by now for me to believe it is no accident.  For all I know (and I don't), this place might be thought of as already having outlived its usefulness.  

 

In any case, by whatever factors, I don't have much faith in its continued longevity.  I have thus resolved to enjoy myself to the greatest extent I can manage through Reapercon 2019 and then go on a nice, long sabbatical.  I don't have any other social media, so essentially that means I'm going to go live a pre-internet life again.  Maybe I'll grow some flowers or something.  

 

They will not be shared on Instagram.  

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15 hours ago, Green Eyed Monster said:

IMNSHO opinion Fakebook is nearing a tipping point where businesses will begin to recognize the collective elf hattery is a negative for the perception of their business.

GEM

 

I sincerely hope you're right.

 

Part of the reason keep up with FB is because of businesses who insist on using it as a primary means of communication, rather than using a website, forum, email list, or other mechanism that might be archived, threaded, or organized in a non-useless fashion. :grr:

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Buglips, I am sorry to hear you are weary. This place has become a very welcome oasis for me. So many websites and forums are hotbeds for ignorant, arrogant and deliberate trolling. I mod on a couple of firearms forums and sheesh, it can get crazy on them. The best thing we can do to keep this forum a great place is to keep promoting good behavior and courtesy.

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On 7/17/2019 at 5:57 PM, TGP said:

Hadn't seen that one yet, but I've seen plenty of similar ones. 


Today's fun:

Customer on Friday afternoon to distributor: "My system is giving away washes for 5 cents!"

Distributor works with him all weekend, determines that it's not giving away washes for 5 cents, and that it's an issue with receipts. 

Customer "Well they need to get on to fixing this software bug immediately on Monday!"

 

Been on/off the phone all morning with the distributor going over possible causes and troubleshooting, she's been working with the customer all day.

 

Finally came to the realization that the site owner has been printing test receipts.  He thought he was manually printing printing receipts to see what customers spent, instead he was just testing the printer. 

 

 

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I can't say I disagree with Buglips, but I also don't 100% agree, either.  Social media is a trash fire, and the world is an angry place right now, but I think we'll figure it out.  Or rather the kids will and us old people can rant in our corner about how they're ruining everything.  I've got ideas about gamer retirement homes for when the time comes.  :poke:

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I was going to respond to Doc Bedlam's post re: drawing sand lines and screaming, but honestly buglips said it all so much better. 

 

It's one of the reasons (not the only one, since there were several) that I stepped down from being a mod. It's immensely stressful, and not made easier by the fact that this place is so amazingly busy. It's physically impossible for the mods to see every post, regardless of how many mods there are (and there are not many), so oftentimes issues aren't discovered until they've spun up into big problems. 

 

And that's why potential fires get jumped on so fast here; it's because there's only like four firefighters with a leaky hose, and if a situation gets much beyond brush fire level, it quickly becomes unmanageable and spreads to other places, which necessitates the big fire helicopter being called in to dump water on the whole area. 

 

As buglips said, moderating is a reactive solution, not a proactive one. Proactive solutions come from a communal agreement to follow a certain set of rules and guidelines to make everything work as smoothly as possible. Moderation is for when things inevitably stop running smoothly. I have also noticed a decrease on the forums in the past few years of general willingness to participate in that communal agreement (not everyone, certainly, but enough individuals to make a difference), and it's been making this place as a whole less enjoyable for me personally to hang out here. And that makes me a very sad Boot. ::(:

 

--OneBoot

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It's raining. I'm at work. Because I'm at work and it's raining, I can't actually do work. I can't actually do work because capacitive touch screens don't work when they're wet, and instead you end up with all sorts of incorrect button presses. My work phone, which is what we use to write our tickets, tried to call my department head on its own because rain hit the screen while I was trying to write a ticket. And said ticket took me multiple minutes to write because the phone kept switching screens and opening other stuff. At one point I watched it adjust it's own display brightness for about 10 seconds because it had opened up the settings and the wet screen was just going nuts.

 

So for now I'm just sitting in the car listening to the radio and browsing the web on my personal phone. When it slacks off, then I'll go do actual work...

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5 hours ago, Froggy the Great said:

 

I love your line-work on those trees.  Yow.

 

I almost missed this meant me! Thanks! :wub:

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I hate Facebook's algorithms in regards to groups/pages.  The more a post gets engaged with, the more FB's algorithms bump up it's visibility, both for the group, and for individuals engaging with it.  And those same algorithms try to show individuals more of those same types of posts that they engaged with. 

The only way to combat it is for individuals to refuse to engage with posts they don't like - but so many people don't get that, and so the dead horse gets beaten to a pulp, but then to a fine paste, after which is then further reduced to molecules, before being broken down into individual atoms. 

Edited by kristof65
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Well, I can hope that Buglips is wrong.  He probably isn't but I can hope.  This is one of the few places I have seen in the world of cyberspace where trolls are pretty much ignored when they get too ranty. which seems to be the single best way to get rid of them.  Its a relaxing place where people can come for light conversation and trade thoughts without getting shot down just because someone else had a bad day.  Sometimes I think that Reaper ignores the forums because it is a quiet place and a pretty isolated community.  Like any other nice place, over advertisement turns it quickly into a tourists quagmire.  By leaving it as a place that is discoverable but not advertised, you get some filtering and quite a bit of protection.

 

I know its not all angelfood cake and roses but I do hope that it continues to survive in its own quiet little environment.  It is nice to see a place where people will have conflicting points of view and usually can just agree to disagree and walk away from the argument without going down in flames.  I have never really been interested or attracted to any form of social media and this is really the only forum that I contribute to (or natter on in, depending on the day) in any significant amount. 

 

On the other hand, maybe its just me but I have a tendency to just skip sections of the threads that I don't want to listen to.  I will usually try to bow out of any argument I get into if the other person starts repeating previous arguments or theories and just move on to something else with a polite but indefinite closure or just by waiting a day or so before the argument gets lost in time. 

 

I hope that we can all continue to get along, I generally like hearing from everyone here, even though I may not agree with them.  The world has, in general, become a much meaner, crueler place and its nice to find a spot where people are usually nice to each other.  Who knows, maybe there's something I can do to keep it that way.

 

Anyway, my thanks to those who are pleasant to one another and treat the community with respect and consideration.  I appreciate it

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There's a writing forum I was involved in way back(still a member, but only visit it about once a year to see if it's active), and it's dying.   

Most of the good writers have quit completely or left the site. And the most 'popular  thrad in the 'off topic' is something to the tune of 'how will the poster above you die'...   

One of the mods was mobbed off the site.   

Yeah that site is dying.    

 

Facebook and the small company. 

A lot of small companies gets weird emails from their customers. 'Are you still in business? we never hear any news from you'...   

Unless you're a big company that spends a lot in marketing on FB, your wall posts will be deprioritised and it seems, sometimes even hidden. 

 

These days this is my most 'social' platform. I sometimes visit a forum dedicated to car, and I have a livejournal blog that I post to a couple of times per year.

Other than that, all my forum posts are purely technical. 

And no, I'd never ever consider joining FB, LinkedIn or similar sites. 

As for Reddit, I did a hard cutoff this summer.    

 

 

5 minutes ago, Unruly said:

It's raining. I'm at work. Because I'm at work and it's raining, I can't actually do work. I can't actually do work because capacitive touch screens don't work when they're wet, and instead you end up with all sorts of incorrect button presses. My work phone, which is what we use to write our tickets, tried to call my department head on its own because rain hit the screen while I was trying to write a ticket. And said ticket took me multiple minutes to write because the phone kept switching screens and opening other stuff. At one point I watched it adjust it's own display brightness for about 10 seconds because it had opened up the settings and the wet screen was just going nuts.

 

So for now I'm just sitting in the car listening to the radio and browsing the web on my personal phone. When it slacks off, then I'll go do actual work...

 

My phone's touch screen works even under water...    

(CAT S40  )

 

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2 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

My phone's touch screen works even under water...    

(CAT S40  )

 

 

Oh, it works, but it goes crazy rather than working in a functional capacity. You'll have to hit the things you want multiple times, and half the time it will hit something nearby rather than what you want because the smear of water messes with accurate detection of the change in capacitance of the screen.

 

Or at least that's the best I can figure. All I know is that it's seriously annoying. It makes me miss our old handheld units with actual buttons, though even those would stop working once you were in the rain long enough.

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13 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

There's a writing forum I was involved in way back(still a member, but only visit it about once a year to see if it's active), and it's dying.   

Most of the good writers have quit completely or left the site. And the most 'popular  thrad in the 'off topic' is something to the tune of 'how will the poster above you die'...   

One of the mods was mobbed off the site.   

Yeah that site is dying.    

 

Facebook and the small company. 

A lot of small companies gets weird emails from their customers. 'Are you still in business? we never hear any news from you'...   

Unless you're a big company that spends a lot in marketing on FB, your wall posts will be deprioritised and it seems, sometimes even hidden. 

 

These days this is my most 'social' platform. I sometimes visit a forum dedicated to car, and I have a livejournal blog that I post to a couple of times per year.

Other than that, all my forum posts are purely technical. 

And no, I'd never ever consider joining FB, LinkedIn or similar sites. 

As for Reddit, I did a hard cutoff this summer.    

 

My wife had a much bigger internet presence than I and she was part of a number of writers forums.  They seem to have about a 5 year lifespan before the people who keep the site interesting get board or driven out.  In at least two cases it was the last; there seems to be a small contingent of people who make it their purpose in life to drive the more interesting people off of a board and turn it into a bland copycat of every other site.  At which point all other interesting people leave and then you start seeing posts about why isn't anyone posting anything.

 

I never really got involved with Reddit.  Too much chaff for the little bit of useful information I get out of it.

 

And just to 'stir the pot' :)  I like chili with black beans.  I really don't like the taste or texture of kidney beans.  to me chili is meat and sauce with cumin and some form of hot pepper and salt, after that anything is a viable alternative.  

Edited by Kangaroorex
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It's a reflection of where our society is as a whole.  This century thus far has been defined by economic uncertainty and division along pretty much all fracture lines. The creation of the smartphone and social media has accelerated this a great deal, the general mindset encountered in 2019 is vastly different than that of 2009, and worlds apart from that of 1999. Looking back at the events and timing, the progression is logical and looking forward along those lines the eventual results are clear and I'm afraid by this point inevitable. 

Of all places I have encountered both online and off, this is the only place I have found that is close to neutral. I have a tendency to brood on things more than is perhaps healthy and this has not been a good year in that respect. Which is why I self exiled for a bit when I feared becoming a contaminating factor here, and why I try and keep things to a certain level of absurdity. 

I'm not immune to the spirit of our age, I get "stabby" over certain things, but other than milk in coffee and similar foolishness, I will ensure as best I can they are not mentioned here. 

 

(I'm not really serious about the milk in coffee thing either, but it serves as a benign way to channel my inner extremist.)

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