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zftcg

In praise of the PSF

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It's ironic that I was going to post this in the pinned moderation thread, but before I could do so the thread got locked again.

Anyway, if you'll indulge me for a minute, I want to tell you all a quick story. Last spring, I got suspended from the this site for the rest of 2019 over a joke I made in the PSF. I didn't mind not being able to post about political stuff, but the fact that I wouldn't have access to the Shark Pool for the entire season was a killer. Having a message board where I can bounce ideas off of people about fantasy strategy, and soak up the collective wisdom of others, is invaluable to me, so I set about finding another forum. I looked at a few, most of which were terrible, before finally settling on one that was the best of a mediocre lot. I didn't even look at any of the political discussions there, just focused on football.

The fantasy discussions there were ... fine, but definitely nowhere close to the level of the Shark Pool. But what stood out to me more than anything was how degraded the level of discourse was. There just seemed to be so much anger permeating every discussion; instead of a weekly waiver-wire thread, there was a weekly "FU" thread where they would complain about the guys that screwed them over (for, by example, getting concussed in the first quarter). The final straw for me came when I posted a link to a tweet by the Cowboys' beat reporter with a list of the top fantasy players' chosen charities, and the suggestion that if a player helped you win a title, you could donate to his charity. I honestly can't imagine a more unobjectionable sentiment. And yet, the posts that joked "If a player stunk, will he donate to my charity?" were actually the nicest responses I got. Others were whining about how the players really owe us for "paying their salaries", saying they wouldn't support any players' charity because of Kaepernick, even accusing the reporter of "grandstanding" by suggesting people make donations. I was genuinely gobsmacked, and started getting in increasingly vitriolic flame wars with the posters there before finally taking a step back and saying, "What the hell am I doing?" I'm sure lots of the guys posting there were perfectly nice IRL, but, at least in how they were presenting themselves in that forum, they came across as really horrible people, and why did I need to waste any time arguing with people like that?

I bring all this up to say that coming back here once my suspension was lifted was like a breath of fresh air. I'm not saying the discussion here is perfect, and I'm definitely not minimizing the hassles that Joe and Maurile have to put up with. What I will say is this: There are plenty of people here who I disagree with. There are some who exasperate me. And yes, there are a small number whose, um, intellectual capacity I may have disparaged once or twice. But I can't recall a single time when I read a post here and thought, "This is a bad person," as opposed to just being someone who sees the world differently from me. (I've also had multiple times where I've found myself annoyed at someone's political posts, and then realized that same person had put up a smart, informative football take in the Shark Pool, which is a good reminder that we all contain multitudes.)

I think the problems here are less about bad people and more about a Tragedy of the Commons type of situation. For one thing, the volume is so damn high that any discussions that might be a little annoying inevitably become very annoying when they go on for multiple pages. And even good people can get sucked into pointless digressions (and act in not-so-nice ways that drag down the discourse). I suspect that a few small structural nudges, such as (I'm spitballing here) forcing people to wait a certain amount of time between posts to cut down on volume, could make a big difference.

I said in another thread that I don't really care if this forum goes away; I probably waste too much time here, and the only section that I really can't live without is the Shark Pool. But whatever the moderators end up deciding, I have little doubt that the good people here are capable of working these problems out.

[Note to mods: I posted this because I felt strongly that it needed to be said. But the last thing I want to do is create headaches for you by reconstituting the moderation thread under a different header. So I'd be fine if you want to just lock it right off the bat. And to everyone else: If responses are allowed, let's try to keep the positivity theme going and save the complaints and accusations for elsewhere nowhere.] 

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This is an excellent OP. And a great reminder that despite all of our differences,  FBG members really are superior human beings. 

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If you get banned in the PSF you still should be able to have access to the Shark Pool.  I do agree that I don`t really care in the PSF gets shut down as long as the Shark Pool stays open.

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Hear! Hear!!! :banned:

I just want to say that yeah I always started with the Shark Pool, thought it was great vs other boards, and just the right amount of posters, mix of knowledge and location or experience.

Positivity is a good thing, folks.

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26 minutes ago, Summer Wheat said:

If you get banned in the PSF you still should be able to have access to the Shark Pool.  I do agree that I don`t really care in the PSF gets shut down as long as the Shark Pool stays open.

It was the part this past week that sucked about being gone (with the Packers playing and winning)

 

And totally agree with the OP.  Took my week off even though i disagree...but we know its hard for the mods.  But I left a board because of how bad things had become and what it seemed to stand for.

Edited by sho nuff

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41 minutes ago, Summer Wheat said:

If you get banned in the PSF you still should be able to have access to the Shark Pool.  I do agree that I don`t really care in the PSF gets shut down as long as the Shark Pool stays open.

I agree with this also. I'd bet it's just a software limitation.

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1 hour ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

This is a nice sentiment but you lose a little credibility with your effusive praise of the Shark Pool.

To paraphrase Churchill, the Shark Pool is the worst football forum out there, with the exception of every other forum

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I've banned myself from this board. It's become the Trump administration. As long as you say nice things about those in charge then you're gold. Say something negative and you're out. 

They tell others not to get pissed about words on a message board, but they themselves, get pissed about words on a message board. They can't even recognize when someone is giving them advice. Customers and potential customers are seeing the way they treat people here. Staff is more important than customers. I pointed out moderation was an issue 5 years ago. I see similar things happening now. Instead of recognizing it as a potential issue, they hide posts and lock threads to avoid the truth. That's a pretty good example of contempt towards the people posting here. 

Joe stated he was worried because the one thing their company has is trust of the customer. If you can't be trusted to run a message board what else should I trust you with?

The PSF is no worse than the Shark Pool or the FFA. The PSF was born from the FFA. The same comments are made across all three forums. They are just held to a different standard here. You can joke and call someone a name in the Shark Pool, the same comment in the PSF will get you banned. I think the problem lies with assuming the worst of people here. They aren't given any leeway. 

I was told this is a politics forum. To talk politics or go to a different forum. I'm going to a different forum. (I wonder if they will tell you the same thing?)

 

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I came for the updates on Amani Toomer, I stayed for the Impeachment Thread!

Mods doing great work.

Welcome back.

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Any post that invokes the Tragedy of the Commons is thumbs up in my book. Well said. 

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5 hours ago, KCitons said:

The PSF was born from the FFA.

 

and saved the death of the FFA.   This place is easily 100x worse everyday than the FFA.

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5 hours ago, KCitons said:

I've banned myself from this board. It's become the Trump administration. As long as you say nice things about those in charge then you're gold. Say something negative and you're out. 

They tell others not to get pissed about words on a message board, but they themselves, get pissed about words on a message board. They can't even recognize when someone is giving them advice. Customers and potential customers are seeing the way they treat people here. Staff is more important than customers. I pointed out moderation was an issue 5 years ago. I see similar things happening now. Instead of recognizing it as a potential issue, they hide posts and lock threads to avoid the truth. That's a pretty good example of contempt towards the people posting here. 

Joe stated he was worried because the one thing their company has is trust of the customer. If you can't be trusted to run a message board what else should I trust you with?

The PSF is no worse than the Shark Pool or the FFA. The PSF was born from the FFA. The same comments are made across all three forums. They are just held to a different standard here. You can joke and call someone a name in the Shark Pool, the same comment in the PSF will get you banned. I think the problem lies with assuming the worst of people here. They aren't given any leeway. 

I was told this is a politics forum. To talk politics or go to a different forum. I'm going to a different forum. (I wonder if they will tell you the same thing?)

 

Sometimes you just got to let things go.  

You are a good, honest dude. I hope you stick around. 

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41 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

and saved the death of the FFA.   This place is easily 100x worse everyday than the FFA.

Yes it is 100 times worse, but now it is quarantined.

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10 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

This is a nice sentiment but you lose a little credibility with your effusive praise of the Shark Pool.

Precisely. Circle gets the square. 

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On 1/16/2020 at 10:59 PM, Getzlaf15 said:

and saved the death of the FFA.   This place is easily 100x worse everyday than the FFA.

Only 100?

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Thanks @zftcg

Those are kind words and they're appreciated. I know our style doesn't work for lots of people but the better experience you describe is the goal we're trying for. 

And yes, it's a software limitation for not being able to suspend for individual forums.

And thanks for the kind words about the Shark Pool. I know it's an easy target for some but I've got a soft spot in my heart for it as it was foundational to the entire site becoming what it is. I found guys like @Maurile Tremblay and @Aaron Rudnicki there. @Memphis Foundry was from the Shark Pool and I have a hard time imagining this board (or our site) existing without his tech work setting it up and maintaining it. 

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

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On 1/16/2020 at 10:59 PM, Getzlaf15 said:

and saved the death of the FFA.   This place is easily 100x worse everyday than the FFA.

It's funny. I recently started a thread on recycling in the PSF. It occurred to me after I had already posted it that maybe I should have put it in the FFA, but then again, recycling is a political subject. But what was interesting was that, because it wasn't partisan, no one felt the need to defend their "side" and the discussion was respectful, even when people had differing viewpoints (and even though it included posters who I'd seen really mix it up in other threads). So basically, I inadvertently smuggled an FFA thread into here and it retained the character of an FFA thread.

I don't know precisely what it is about partisanship that brings out the worst in us. I remember when all those scandals in Virginia broke last year, people were criticizing Virginia Dems for their lack of response. My initial instinct was to defend the legislators, but then I realized that was silly. I don't know who any of those people are, and there's no reason for me to blindly support them if I think they're doing the wrong thing (which I think they were -- and are -- in not impeaching the Lt. Gov over credible rape allegations).

I'll admit I don't know what the answer is. I do often force myself to consider how I would react to any political scenario if the parties were reversed. And while I still take politics very seriously, I try to never take political arguments all that seriously. Oh, and process arguments. I think it was Michael Barone who said, "All process arguments are insincere, including this one." 

 

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I missed you during your suspension and wondered where you went. You recommended a great podcast about memory and fault lines within. I think it was Gladwell. Anyway, welcome back. My own personal opinion is that we'd likely disagree about politics but the board is better for having you. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 11:13 PM, zftcg said:

It's funny. I recently started a thread on recycling in the PSF. It occurred to me after I had already posted it that maybe I should have put it in the FFA, but then again, recycling is a political subject. But what was interesting was that, because it wasn't partisan, no one felt the need to defend their "side" and the discussion was respectful, even when people had differing viewpoints (and even though it included posters who I'd seen really mix it up in other threads). So basically, I inadvertently smuggled an FFA thread into here and it retained the character of an FFA thread.

I don't know precisely what it is about partisanship that brings out the worst in us. I remember when all those scandals in Virginia broke last year, people were criticizing Virginia Dems for their lack of response. My initial instinct was to defend the legislators, but then I realized that was silly. I don't know who any of those people are, and there's no reason for me to blindly support them if I think they're doing the wrong thing (which I think they were -- and are -- in not impeaching the Lt. Gov over credible rape allegations).

I'll admit I don't know what the answer is. I do often force myself to consider how I would react to any political scenario if the parties were reversed. And while I still take politics very seriously, I try to never take political arguments all that seriously. Oh, and process arguments. I think it was Michael Barone who said, "All process arguments are insincere, including this one." 

 

:goodposting:

And I feel like it's relatively simple to explain though not very easy to fix.  It's my belief that all this stems from comparing flawed actors to other flawed actors instead of comparing those same actors to a standard you come up with based on how you want to see things run.  Ideology has all but been replaced with comparison politics IMO.

Edited by The Commish

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