alcohol and caffeine

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  • #200823
    Michael E. Walston
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    • Topics - 38
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    (Truth in advertising: I’m pretty damn drunk tonight as I write this!)

    Am I the only one who, looking at message boards, takes into account the time of day any given message was posted?

    I notice a lot of crazy scolding hostile rhetoric sometimes in evening posts (possibly fueled by alcohol consumption), and I also see a lot of glib scatterbrained sarcastic stuff in morning posts (possibly fueled by caffeine consumption).

    I’m not picking on Forward Motion at all, here, it’s a very civil, peaceful place. I’m talking about stuff that goes on elsewhere.

    As a general trend, I think I’m onto something here.

    The first online community was “the well” (Whole Earth Lectronic Link) where people posted messages under their own names.

    Then came the concept of the “anonymous post”.

    Excuse me, but I say that’s when all the BS started.

    People now think they have the perfect right to spew whatever garbage they want and post it anonymously.

    This attitude isn’t going away anytime soon, but I for one intend to resist it and call BS on it whenever I can.

    That is all.

    Oh yeah, I meant to say they’re all a bunch of drunks and caffeine freaks, sorry I left that line out…

    #228846
    temporus
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
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    I don’t tend to notice the time when people post up their messages. I’ve no particular clue if their state, pre-caffeine, post caffeine, intoxicated, etc. have a specific effect on posting habits, but I think the assumption that it does is reasonable. Not sure if there’s really a particular place where you can say: this is where it all started. But, sure, anonymity often allows people to be jerks. Of course, it also empowers some people who felt they couldn’t speak up, for fear of direct repercussions. So, as with most things, we get the bad with the good.

    #228859
    Michael E. Walston
    Participant
    • Topics - 38
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    temporus wrote:
    as with most things, we get the bad with the good.

    And it’s not going to change, so I suppose I should just turn my attention elsewhere; it’s really not worth getting so agitated.

    #228847
    Anonymous
    • Topics - 16
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    Not agitated, perhaps, but the blessing of a curious mind is unrelenting and the only truly viable way to live with it is to embrace it entirely. :P

    #228860
    temporus
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
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    No point letting it agitate for you. But find a way to mine it all for story fodder. Write about thing that frustrates you. Or write a character that gets frustrated by such things. Try to imagine a world where it’s worse? Or better. Or one where the consequences of such are drastic. I find things that irritate me usually turn out to be topics worth exploring a bit with some writing. Doesn’t always turn into a good story. But it’s better than just keyed up for no good reason.

    #228876
    Michael E. Walston
    Participant
    • Topics - 38
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    I could see doing an article or essay, maybe.

    I was aware of computers and bulletin boards early on, before the world wide web. The WELL was the most influential, but somehow its culture of “you own your own words” with people posting under their right names didn’t migrate to the internet. Even today I think it’s still the way things are done there.

    What got me thinking about this, I guess, was when Anne Rice publicized the Amazon anti-bully petition:

    https://www.change.org/petitions/amazon-com-protect-amazon-com-users-and-indie-publishing-authors-from-bullying-and-harassment-by-removing-anonymity-and-requiring-identity-verification-for-reviewing-and-forum-participation

    Joe Konrath wrote about it on his blog, objecting to the idea (you’ll have to scroll down):

    http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/

    You know what? Much as I admire him, I totally disagree with Joe on this one.

    What’s the real benefit to allowing a culture where people can post stuff anonymously that they’d never dream of posting under their own names?

    EDITED TO ADD:

    And yes I do indeed think it is a drunken pastime for many, many people.

    EDITED 3/21 TO ADD:

    instead of “allowing a culture” I should have written “being resigned to a culture”.

    #228880
    temporus
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
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    I find I’m on Joe’s side here. The harm in anonymity is outweighed by the good, and you can’t have the good without opening up to the possibility of the bad. Further, I think it’s both impractical, and impossible for Amazon to police it. Under those auspices, any attempt to implement such a plan/policy is at best a token gesture, and like DRM, will not stop the “bad” folks. I don’t believe that the primary factor for the poor online behavior is as much to do with anonymity as it is to impersonal words on a screen.

    #228848
    Weird Jim
    Participant
    • Topics - 131
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    One of the things I like to do is check the profile of members who post.

    #228911
    Michael E. Walston
    Participant
    • Topics - 38
    • Replies - 182

    So what specifically is “the good” that outweighs the bad here? I still don’t get that.

    #228923
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 572
    • Replies - 15,628

    Anonymity gives traditionally ignored people voices that can be heard whether because they’re shy, they’re a different race or gender, have a physical impairment or whatever. It’s an opportunity to build the ideal you, articulate, interesting, beautiful if that’s your thing, or whatever makes you happy. It’s been used for centuries through letters, and in publishing through pseudonyms, to make possible what would otherwise be rejected out of hand.

    The sad fact is that the few spoil it for everyone because rather than creating their ideal person, they choose to spread misery to others, and one person yelling cuts through hundreds quietly discussing any day.

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #228924
    Michael E. Walston
    Participant
    • Topics - 38
    • Replies - 182
    MarFisk wrote:
    used for centuries through letters, and in publishing through pseudonyms, to make possible what would otherwise be rejected

    Interesting perspective, I hadn’t thought to consider it from that angle…

    #228955
    temporus
    Participant
    • Topics - 6
    • Replies - 51

    Mar pretty much covered the bulk of my thoughts. What ends up happening in these instances, is that big corporations like Amazon turn around and yank the way for people to legitimately aid others in a somewhat misguided attempt to prevent these supposed bad things from occurring.

    For example, you used to be able to tag books with relevant meta data. You could do this for books you’ve read, and often for friends books, etc, to help them show up on searches by topic and help with discoverability. People crusaded against the costs of ebooks, etc, and decided to go on a rampage and blast books with “bad tags” like, boycott, or over 9.99 etc. It got authors and publishers upset, and after some level of complaints, Amazon took action, and got rid of the system. Gone went one more way to try to help out authors and potential readers to connect. Was that the most horrifying thing? No. Authors will survive. And I don’t know if there was anything like this formal petition that time around. But it closed off a portal of opportunity.

    I’ll give another example, because we’ve got one going on at work. Anonymous surveys. Some situations exist where giving feedback anonymously allows people (employees for example) to share opinions where they feel it’s ok, because they won’t be punished for their views by bosses, etc. Will some take advantage of that and decide to be rude and insulting? Yes. It surely happens. But if you value being in a team, and having your company work productively together, empowering the employees with a voice of feedback without someone being able to hold a grudge is really important. Otherwise, people will hold back on what they are willing to criticize. No one wants negativity brought up on their annual review (especially if that determines your raise. And even if it doesn’t formally, it often will.) So, as Mar said, folks in a position of lesser power often need the opportunity to do things anonymously to make up for the imbalance of power.

    #228956
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 572
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    Glad to expand your perspective :). It’s easy to get caught up in these things, but taking a step back and thinking it through often shows it’s more complex than first appeared.

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

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