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Mmy is now following Miriam Elizabeth Burstein
Sep 14, 2012
My first response is want to spend the next day or two connecting with all the people I know who are doing scholarly digitizing and cataloging in order to help tracking it down. Seriously -- if you post the information you have I can ask around and see if anyone could give you a hand on that.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2012 on Uh-oh at The Little Professor
The link for Freud's Sister takes the reader to the On Canaan's Side Amazon page.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2012 on This Week's Acquisitions at The Little Professor
@slactivite: That is good medical news and I hope life in general is treating you well these days.
@Slacktivite: Uncloaking to say that I am sending good thoughts in your direction.
@sarah: poking my head up long to say that I think most of our community would prefer moving to "content warning." I personally don't see a problem with that.
@Caravelle: I am decloaking for the purpose of laying part of this conversation to rest. a) I thought (and still think) MaryKaye's comment was, as I originally stated it "uncalled for." b) I have never asked that Mary Kaye apologize to me. I am sorry that she had just faced a traumatic event and if she had left and simply told everybody not to bother her I would have said nothing. It was her specific calling out of TBAT I was responding to. c) I have no intention of ever apologizing to Mary Kaye for making that comment. Any discussions as to whether, when, where and how are moot. Please move the discussion on. I am quite aware of how you (and many other people) feel about this subject. Telling me yet again will not change anything.
@ZMiles: my response to being told not to email someone using a confidential email address was: I found that totally uncalled for. TBAT is not in the habit of using people's email addresses to track them down and implore them to keep posting. Confidentiality and respect for privacy is a very important to me and I dislike the implication that I have to be preemptively "warned off." Which I read as "seriously ticked off" not vocally angry. Would I have made that same response two weeks later? Probably not. I probably would have said something rude loud enough my SO could hear it and filed the comment in the mental folder "seriously over reacting." But then I would have probably filed someone thinking that my response was "vocally angry" and shocking as seriously over reacting given the fact that that entire thread had been full of angry voices for quite some time. Would I make that response today? Don't know. Thing is, I don't get to "step back" from conversations on the board. Back in the Fred days I remember that I would get seriously ticked off at things and I would just go away for several days until I (and the conversation) cooled off. I don't get to do that here. I have to swing by constantly if only to check that someone hasn't gotten accidentally caught in the spam trap....speaking of which I just realized, to my horror, that I can now recognize "Louis Vuitton Bags" in Japanese!!!!
@Caravelle: asked the moderators please not to share any of their personal email exchanges. And I think it was Mmy whose first reaction was to be vocally angry and offended that they'd suggest the moderators would ever do such a thing. First, that wasn't exactly what they asked. What they said was I know that TBAT has my email address. I DO NOT WANT to be contacted to discuss this. Second, one of the reasons I was angry (and I will admit I was very, very angry) was that it implied that TBAT were known for doing what I know we don't. We have access to a lot of email addresses and we cannot function as a community if people doubt that we will respect their confidentiality. Third, and this was the major big one. At the very moment that that demand was flung at me I was busy scrubbing every evidence of a particular commenter from every board I have administrative power over because that commenter was actually in fear of their life. In order for me to effectively do that the commenter had to let me to know absolutely everything about them. Every single search term that could be used to track them down. That person had to trust me enough to put every single thing that could be used against them into my hands. So, yeah, touchy about that. Very touchy. In fact I basically have an auto-destruct on this board that means that if I had any reason to believe that something had happened that would endanger some of the people who comment here -- I would take down the entire board and it would go to black.
@kirala: It is, however, more safe than simply being anti-troll. As long as it's safer than it was four years ago, by necessity it's more restrictive than it was four years ago - and as there are always commentators on the margins of community acceptability, as the margins contract, commentators will be excluded. This space has actively chosen to be safer. I think this is a natural consequence. I leave it to those who have more invested in this space to decide whether it's a worthy trade-off. That's interesting because when Fred first left there was a discussion here (if memory serves quite a heated discussion) as to whether we were to be a safe space or a safe(r) space. The former would require heavier moderation than the latter and would, as you point out, make the board less friendly to some even as it became friendlier to others. The board has changed in response to those whose ratio of time "here" to "other places" is quite high. That is okay with me because those who have lots of other places they like to hang out, well--they have lots of other places they like to hang out. I wish them well. Hell, I hang out a lot on other boards. I found your reference to your sister interesting because I do realize that although my home is a very, very safe space for me given my dietary restrictions (and those of mmySpouse) it would be a hellish place for many (?most?) other people. Most people who wander into our place would find nothing that they wanted/liked to eat. We have no meat but we have lots of rice cakes. We have no milk, no butter, no cheese, no fish. I can imagine someone spending a week with us and then when the visit was over heading straight to nearest "normal" restaurant. That is cool. I don't expect the entire world to live by my food restrictions (though I really appreciate labels so I can avoid things) -- my house is a safe zone for someone with my dietary restrictions. I wouldn't expect someone who loves chocolate (yup, I also don't like sugar or chocolate) and hamburgers to enjoy hanging out here. And I don't mind that they have lots of places where they can enjoy hanging out.
@julie: I really hope that someone who is trusted by the community (i.e. not a lurker) recognises what I'm talking about and does something about it. Not wanting to be confrontational here -- just pointing out that when someone points at me, criticizes my behaviour and then asks that someone "does something about it" it causes an angsty worried wrench in my gut. Exactly what do you want people to do? Criticize me? Well I have been criticized up hill and down dale here and at Patheos. They have two threads there largely devoted to examining everything we may ever have done wrong. Send angry messages to me at my private email address? Well, that has already been done and apparently didn't make me change my behaviour enough. Host open fora which encouraged those here to discuss the rules and suggest changes? We have done that. Many of the rules and policies here were developed at the particular request of members of our community. Seriously -- I would like to know what the "something" is that should be done.
@Ross: And there *are* people here who have a rhetorical style where every claim seems to carry an implicit "And you are a bad person if you disagree, @Kit Whitfield: Guilty, I suspect. I yam what I yam. ;-) Hey -- I thought it was probably me that Ross was thinking of. Mike and Ross -- I found your comments really useful in terms of helping me to understand some of the dynamics of the past week. Some of the differences/problems/perceived insults have been, I think, due to coming from different cultural and academic communities. The three members of TBAT come from different countries and more importantly they come from a range of fairly rigorous academic backgrounds in which the range of discourse and interpersonal interactions differ quite sharply from those that many of the commenters who dislike us so much. Sometimes I notice myself falling into 'academic' mode which I know can feel/sound extremely dismissive. For example, a colleague of mine told me of a time in grad school when he received a paper back from his dissertation advisor advising him to "sign up for an remedial course in English" -- ironically on a paper that was then accepted at a prestigious academic journal (albeit, with the grammatical errors fixed.) In my neck of the woods in academia one can sit around at conferences ripping people up one side and down the other and then go off to a sports bar to watch the game and drink beer. The thing is that these arguments are based on the understanding that we are debating the STRUCTURE of the argument not the right of the person to make the argument, nor the any personal qualities of the commenter. I know that if a commenter makes a statement that if broken down into I think we should have policy XX because A, B, and C are true and therefore XX does good -- and I can present proof that "A" is not always true -- then I am not willing (personally) to even discuss XX before the veracity of A is hashed out. Which can, I realize, feel like I am ignoring XX or hounding the commenter. I am not -- it is just physically painful for me to even engage in the discussion of a policy when the warrants for that policy are not robust. Which makes TBAT look like an enclave of wizards Again, I think much of that (at least in my case) comes from my background of working in politics (try handling slightly drunk angry union workers at a meeting), teaching undergraduates and growing up on an Army base. One is taught in all three cases to have one's antennae out and try to identify and head off problems.
<--- note lack of Mod Hat; this is just mmy's opinion At the moment I would describe the way I feel as heartsick. When Fred passed this space over to us there was no blueprint, no set of guidelines. We, as a community, muddled through. I know that there are things I would have done/said differently had I known then what I know now. I know that there have been times (especially when the board was being pounded by angry reactions to some of the articles we posted) when I reacted differently that I would have under better circumstances. What I really didn't expect was how much I would come to care deeply about the idea of creating a safer space for members of our community. So now when something like this happens my impulse is to flame those who I see as threatening members of this community. But whatever I write in anger will remain here to hurt the people I flamed for months (maybe years) to come--and will only feed bad feelings between the two boards. So, if I am going to say anything I'll say it on Patheos where people won't feel I am talking behind their backs. And I doubt I will post anything more at Patheos since my presence seems to add fuel to the fire.
@chris the cynic: I always thought it belonged in the Blogs of the Slacktiverse section anyway It was more or less a hold over from the first weeks when people would arrive here looking for Fred and getting rather annoyed at us that he wasn't here. This was made more irritating for them because a number of technical issues. It was also an attempt to help Fred get his hit rate up by encouraging those who landing here looking for him to simply CLICK and find him there. But it has been well over a :)
@konrad_arflane: You can find the link to Slacktivist at Patheos in the Blogs of the Slacktiverse between storiteller and (vic)tioria. (They are in alphabetical order.) You can find a explanation for the move here.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2012 on New policies in operation at The Slacktiverse
@Kirala: It's downright depressing if defending Narnia becomes bullying or silencing. If they seem one-sided anti-Narnia... I'm not seeing it, but I suppose mileage might vary. One of the reasons Kit and hapax decided to stay out of the comments was so that the community can feel free to disagree. I know how I personally felt about Kit's arguments but then I wasn't exactly an unbiased judge of Lewis' work in the first place. :) BTW, I experienced his "adult" work and the Narnia at distant points in time and neither experience quite matches with that of Kit or hapax.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2012 on The question of Susan at The Slacktiverse
@Amaryllis: But can there be a link to Fred's site in the regular sidebar? Fair enough -- I just put a link to Patheos/Slacktivist on the sidebar. Kit had nothing to do with the "top of the sidebar" link being taken off. I was sitting last night watching cruel, rude, dismissive, misleading, factually incorrect and intentionally triggering comments go up one after another "over there" and basically hapax and I said "be damned with it, we are not giving pride of place to a website that is hosting a group punch up of this website." Since I had already had one (gluten free) beer I was up to deleting something from the sidebar but not coding an addition to the blogroll.
Yeah -- I just "promoted" that to the OP -- and will keep on eye on it -- if they are still accepting donations next weekend I'll run it again. It isn't enough that people are terrorized and brutalized --- they are then made to beg for help from their community?
@Leum: Thanks. In all honesty I had completely forgotten about that since it was a "one off" that wasn't typical of your comments. But given other stuff going on today getting a thank you was really pleasant :).
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse
@Lit: I thought it was J. Enigma who you had an understanding with. I have some theories about why the transhumanism TW keeps coming up in conversation -- but in all honesty to me the best answer is "someone requested the trigger and the person whose writing it was being applied to agreed" move along, nothing to see here.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse
chris -- people do care. I always read your pieces and appreciate that you post them here.
@Dan Audy: Mmy, I appreciate your fixing the boards so that I can post but that doesn't mean I give up the right to defend myself against Kit's unwarranted attack. Since you have been implying that the moderators gang up on people and the we were particularly ganging up on you I think it is very, very relevant that we made an extra effort to get you back on the board -- in fact one might argue it undermines your argument about us bullying you. So I'm done here, you can have your little tribal club but this schoolyard bully behaviour is getting triggery for me and it just isn't worth the spoons necessary to cope. Well, don't you want to see yourself as the poor put upon victim here! Goodbye.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse
@Dan Audy: I find your long screed almost breathtaking. Especially given the fact that the only reason that you were able to post it was that I made the effort to fix a problem that you were having with the board. You defend treating Kit's comments dismissively by saying she deserved to be treated dismissively (an assertion not an argued defense). You plead that we excuse your "inept wording" of a comment in which you criticized Kit's wording. You treat her with contempt but we are supposed to feel for you. Finally, if you have doubts about my moderation then there is a simple fix.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse
@Kit: I don't much care any more if trolls swear. It's been a while since I shared a "my mother" story -- but people imagining that I am some sheltered person who is struck speechless by BAD WORDS always reminds me of something I heard my mother say about swearing Trigger Warning: swearing I overhead my mother explaining the following to someone who twigged her about admonishing high school students who constantly yelled fuck and called people dicks and cunts. "It isn't someone saying fuck that really bothers me," quoth my mom, "it is the paucity of their vocabulary that disturbs me. They just yell the same two or three insults back and forth at each other as if they knew no others." Context: my mother had been a duty officer in Halifax during WWII when it was one of the busiest military ports in the world. She had handle drunken sailors who hadn't seen a woman for months. She had to break the news to young men and women what the results of their Wassermann tests had been and explain to them the likely course their syphilis would take. My mother had heard words (and seen things) that would have profoundly disturbed most of those teenagers. She was being honest. It was the meager and unimaginative nature of their speech that really, really disturbed her rather than any specific word they used.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse
what hapax said. underlined. highlighted in red. Neon red. It wears one down to realize that anything one says -- even something as neutral as "makes one think doesn't it?" may result in one being accused of being a domineering male-bashing feminist. I post in the knowledge that even the most offhand of comments may be dredged up as me attempting to lay down the law. And heaven help Kit from ever having an opinion about anything literary. Although I have to admit, like Amaryllis, I rather feature myself as one of Hesiod's Harpies fair-locked and winged maidens.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2012 on Moderation policy revisited at The Slacktiverse