Politics forum?

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Politics forum?

Post#1 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:52 pm

What would you all think about me creating a politics forum here?

If I did it, I would set ground rules (no memes, no personal attacks, no ad hominem attacks, no links to partisan sites, etc.).
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Lajjun
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#2 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:31 pm

(obviously very personal opinions ahead)

I think it is inviting tragedy.

But since I wouldn't be taking part in it, I suppose what I think does not matter.

If that's something you want to engage in here on these forums, sure, go ahead. I am personally quite content without it and find it unnecessary. I get enough politics everywhere else in my life. -.-

Politics and religion, guys. Politics and religion.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#3 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:57 pm

I don't really understand what you hope to gain. There are no other subforums that are specifically dedicated to anything that doesn't pertain to the guild and it's activities in gaming, nor any others where alienation is not only likely but almost (intentionally?) inevitable. Now, we are also a community and have social connections that go with that so I'm hardly advocating we stay "on topic" but I'm just curious as to why that, of all things, seems like a good place to start designating space?

More importantly; this is, at present, a group of mostly similarly minded people and if you're wanting to discuss politics with people of similar views then there are plenty of other places to do that if, for whatever reason, that holds value to you. I would also say that this is not a group that is extremely welcoming to alternative political views. That said, it might do a lot of people good to actually engage in open-minded, civil discourse with people of differing views. The failure to do so, and the growing tendency to limit one's inputs to others who think and talk and act like you do, is very relevant right now.

Note: I said open-minded, civil discussion might be good. I don't really think it'll happen. The internet tends to be a place where we tell each other why we're right rather than actually listening with the open-mindedness that you might actually be wrong, or at least that someone else might be right even if they disagree. I believe in the ability of us, as a collective, to actually be polite and kind to one another. I don't hold much hope that the open-minded part will happen. I would urge you all to have discussions with real people in real people ways instead of doing so through such a soulless medium as a text-based forum. It would do a lot of good right now.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#4 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:16 pm

I pondered the creation of such a subforum myself, Bregs.

While I see where Lajj and Ont are coming from, I'm more optimistic.

Personally, I would enjoy reading what's submitted. I like the idea of discussing politics with this group of friends in particular, though I understand there's a subgroup that wants to avoid it for multiple reasons.

Perhaps access to the forum could be opt-in or opt-out?
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#5 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:51 am

Yeah, if we do it, I think it would work best if it was opt-in (e.g., wouldn't appear unless you subscribe).

And Ont: I agree with you that text-based is problematic, but this was a momentous week in history for the U.S., and I want to broaden my understanding and foster open discussion. Most of the people who live near me in California share most of my views. I think there is more diversity of viewpoints among the people on this forum than I can easily find on Facebook, and for some of us who have played together for up to 12 years, I hope we have built up some mutual trust for respectful and open-minded discussion.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#6 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:46 am

Again; respect isn't a huge concern. We are a good group of decent folk. I just don't think anyone will really be open to having their mind changed, so why risk it?

Let's be honest with ourselves: if you are so upset over the election result that you are actively planning to leave the country, there is very little someone in an online forum can say to change your mind.

For the record; this may just be burnout talking. Unlike you, I live in a place where NO ONE shares my views. This has been a taxing few months for me.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#7 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:37 am

It seems to invite drama, but hey, as long as everyone's prepared to talk on it at arms' length, I'm good.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#8 » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:59 am

I don't think it's absurd to anticipate a changed viewpoint here and there after a healthy argument. During the US election, my opinion of Hillary Clinton changed three separate times due to meaningful discussions. That being said, this doesn't mean that such debates are for the purpose of persuasion. Sometimes understanding other points of view or even simply bouncing ideas off others can help an individual or group's outlook.

I don't usually chime in on political discussions, and haven't posted anything (seriously, nothing) on the latest campaign and election in the US. This isn't because I don't have opinions or stakes in the matter. It's due to the fact that my opinions are considered extreme, and I don't feel safe sharing those views with most people. It usually leads to personal attacks, invalidation, or disbelief of my sentiment. I believe that having a trusting, loving group of friends engage such topics could be a healthy outlet for those of us who are scared to speak on the matter otherwise.

Especially for those of us who are actually fearing for our lives over potential outcomes.
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Honnete
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#9 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:00 am

*hugs Kay* Yes, I know.
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Re: Politics forum?

Post#10 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:06 am

I guess I have mixed feelings on it.

Regarding the purpose and whether people are really going to change their minds, I don't consider it to be any more or less pointless to have that conversation with this group than with any other. People are inherently unlikely to change their views, we're no different, I'm no different. While we may not be remarkably open-minded, I don't think we're remarkably closed-minded either. This is true in face-to-face conversations, text-based, on the phone, through billboards, whatever. So if political discussion is EVER useful, I'd consider it to be as useful with our group as any other. And I think it can be useful, particularly when people are at least as interested in listening as in talking.

We are, as was pointed out, likely to be something of an echo chamber, in that we have a fair number of like-minded people. However, I know enough about some of you to know that you're more politically diverse than the friends I have living near me. So while it's still doesn't achieve the ideal of gathering a truly diverse set of viewpoints, it's also at least as positive as talking politics with my local friends, if not a little better. Aside from the inherent weakness of forums as a medium.

So from a "usefulness" standpoint, I'd say that it has as some potential. It might open up perspectives that people hadn't considered.

My concern really lies with drama. As Sam points out, "I believe that having a trusting, loving group of friends engage such topics could be a healthy outlet for those of us who are scared to speak on the matter otherwise." That's absolutely true but it does assume something that might not be as true as we'd like it to be.

Here's the question I'd like to ask us to consider. I think I'm making a fairly safe assumption that a lot of our more vocal members are not fans of Mr. Trump. But we do have a diverse membership that may well include some people who think Trump is great. How would we handle it if someone spoke up and said "I voted for Trump and I'd do it again"? We would need to have a space safe enough for that to happen without it blowing up. And that's just a mild example of a controversial position. I could rattle off a handful more that I consider less likely but still possible.

There is a risk here of learning things we wish we didn't know. On the other hand, like a diagnosis of cancer, there's often benefit to knowing the things we wish we didn't know.

I've been through this once, years ago, in an online debate with Behrg about homosexuality on the old Soulwanderers web site. It was rough. But it was illuminating. I don't think his mind was changed, and mine certainly wasn't. But was it valuable? Maybe?

So, TL;DR: I think it's risky, and could end up being just another echo chamber, but if there are people who would find it useful, it could be tried. If it's opt-in only, then I'm game to have a space where online friends can share ideas in a less public venue than Facebook.
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