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Forums suck. I'm not the only person that's said this. Here are a few reasons why I personally think they suck, and am considering dropping the whole thing altogether.
Power/anonymity - a bad combination, anyone can say anything they want - at anytime; it removes the need for courtesy/etiquette. Arguments abound.
You can't simply just get up and walk away from the person. On the internet, you're forced to see/read their response/ all responses. Even if you don't want to see it, you can block it, but it's not same.
It is removed from real life/real communication
*Every idiot has and must voice an opinion. Not all opinions are equal, I don't care what you're told.
Everyone/anyone who doesn't like you, picks you apart personally, tries to expose your every flaw & vulnerability, and it can have bad and abnormal psychological effects; your development - especially subconsciously thinking/feeling you have to please everybody or develop a style of appeasing them; it basically kills individuality. As any strong individual is attacked by multiple sides on the internet and a collective is usually favored - imo it's an extension of the communism you see in the world today. It can also have you thinking long after about stupid things that wouldn't matter, trying to make yourself perfect to the attacks - which is "impossible" and has psychologically harmful effects.
-narcissism. forums feed our narcissism.
Giant Waste of TIME/time drain.
Thinking I'm just going to drop it entirely or just cruise it and never/seldom post.
Misery and happiness are only states of mind.
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I dont like how big generalizations get bandied about so easily, like "its over for white guys in country X, philippines, eastern europe" and quickly morph into opinions then beliefs, just from false assumptions made real.
Overall though its a good place to share ideas and information and experiences, and the HA forum is one of the better forums ive come across. The Khmer440 and the LivinginCebu forum are way too anal and strict for my taste, banning or warning you for the smallest reason. Id much rather see a bit of racism and free speech then get banned in an instant, its such a giant pain and waste of your efforts when a big post gets banned
Some forums are good, some are crap.
I know a lot of folks here seem to be in favor of nearly total unregulated free speech but the forums that work the best, are the most useful and pleasant to be around are the ones with a strong but reasonable hand when it comes to moderation.
Dilbert had a thing where Dogbert felt his hatred of humanity was decreasing so he fixed it by going on internet forums. There is an element of truth to that.
Those are really good points Eric, the internet can really rot your mind and kill your productivity if you're not careful. Just like every invention, depends how we use it.
The_Adventurer made a good post about it and how sometimes he would drift from productive work to dwelling in here, but i can't find that post anymore.
1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?
Forums amount to tavern chatter, except far more convenient, especially when living in a foreign country with limited ex-pat community.
The best solution is user driven moderation. Inconspicuous button to allow downvoting posts, with the post disappearing once enough votes accumulated. Vote count should be invisible, otherwise it feeds reverse narcissism (compare Facebook like counts). Users need to refrain from quoting bad posts, otherwise the original post disappears but not the quotes. Also problematic are "don't feed the trolls" posts following a bad post. This is just a waste of space. Might need upvoting button too, and maybe some way to force voting, perhaps passively, on everything read. Otherwise trolls might outvote the good posters.
1. Ignore bad posts entirely. Don't reply, don't quote, don't reference them in any way.
2. Downvote bad posts so they disappear once enough votes accumulated.
3. Encourage, via PM, other quality posters to follow these rules. If quality posters insist on replying to bad posts, downvote these replies as well. Downvoting needs to be easy.
If all the quality posters followed these rules, the bad posters would eventually get discouraged and leave. No need for moderators, other than some light moderation of initial posts to deter bots.
And yet you are guilty of every criticism you make Eric.
Also may I ask why you come to the only free speech forum on the internet and demand it be censored?
This may be a stretch but perhaps you can connect the dots and realize you probably gravitated to this forum because you were banned elsewhere.
Why not just make an Eric White Power forum and ban everyone you want instead of demanding someone else change their forum for you?