Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Tell us how you think the forum can be improved. We will listen.
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SDC
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by SDC »

Will wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 am
First choice would be for David to evaporate the News-Events-Politics forum. There are vast numbers of online & other media for that.

But I fear he will not - so the other option is for all of us to not post there at all.
Seeing as though you have been the OP on a fair share of sociopolitical contributions over the last year, I think it is quite a statement to see you leading this charge. I tip my hat to you. :smile:

SarathW
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by SarathW »

First choice would be for David to evaporate the News-Events-Politcs forum.
Interesting discussion in Sutta Central.

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/fa ... it/7522/66
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
SDC wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:56 am
It is a shame to because even after a heated debate people would have the option to consider the other view rather than having fortified their own. Though you rarely ever see such contentiousness end that way around here.
Maybe though, but you never know though. I mean, is there anyone here whose view of the Dhamma is identical to the day they started? If not, then everyone is open to change and advancement to some degree... whether they come to you after the event and say, "You said this, and it make me reflect on that, and by doing so it helped enhance my understanding of such-and-such".

That feedback loop is never guaranteed, and in fact, if anything it's a pleasant surprise if it does happen. On a slightly related note, part of my job is to facilitate Lessons Learned Review workshops for project teams, and document their learnings in the report for dissemination to the appropriate people. I facilitated a workshop today, where it was actually evident that they'd consciously applied learnings from a previous review session that I'd facilitated for them. It's actually rare to see that feedback loop for yourself... often you just trust/hope/don't focus on the fact that what you say may or may not as well be going into a black hole... and you'll rarely know one way or the other. And thanks OK...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

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DNS
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by DNS »

I see there are currently about 89 active topics over the last 7 days. Eleven of these topics are in the News sub-forum, so about 12% of all topics. The vast majority of topics are in the other sub-forums on various Dhamma topics; meditation, jhanas, precepts, etc.

I still see no reason why those who want to discuss news cannot do so; upcoming elections, global warming, etc and I still think it is possible to do so while discussing what the best Dhammic position might be, understanding that others might disagree with you and that is okay. In this way, it is still related to the Dhamma. For example, I remember last year when marijuana legalization was on the ballot in my state. I supported it, being in favor of liberty, even though I have no interest in using it, but I wanted to hear some opinions from a Dhammic perspective, so asked my kalyana-mittas here at DW and also at DWM for their opinions.

As any forum gets so large (currently well over 10,000 members) there are bound to be very diverse opinions and of course participation in the News sub-forum is entirely voluntary.

As I and others have mentioned, if you want to see more topics and posts away from the News section, then start making them. "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

DNS: I see there are currently about 89 active topics over the last 7 days. Eleven of these topics are in the News sub-forum, so about 12% of all topics. The vast majority of topics are in the other sub-forums on various Dhamma topics; meditation, jhanas, precepts, etc.
What about number of posts, not topics and over a month instead of a few days, in the News? What might be the percentage then?
Good is virtue until life’s end, good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil. Dhammapada

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Will wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 am
First choice would be for David to evaporate the News-Events-Politics forum. There are vast numbers of online & other media for that.

But I fear he will not - so the other option is for all of us to not post there at all.
Just some history (for the sake of background, not to say it needs to determine the future).

Since Dhamma Wheel started, we have always had a Lounge section, and the Lounge is inevitably where people would go if they wanted to discuss anything that didn't fit specifically within the parameters of the Dhamma-centric forums. It included News and Current Events topics, but it also included all the usual word games, cat pictures, music videos, jokes and such. We had a mantra, from the early days, of providing "a time and a place for all discussion of interest to Theravada Buddhists"... and the Lounge was one part of that bigger picture - a bit of a "catch all" for anything that didn't logically fit elsewhere.

Then a couple of years ago there were two key challenges that arose simultaneously...

- An Engaged Buddhism forum was briefly created which, for all intents and purposes, was set up as a Left Wing Buddhism Forum, and was full of late-era Bhikkhu Bodhi flavoured activism, protesting against capitalism, black power retreats, rants against cultural appropriation, advertising marches against climate change, and the pursuit of other leftist agendas. It was so tightly controlled, that no dissent was allowed... even questioning how "Buddhist" such left-wing activism was could get you banned. (Hello Cormac Brown, if you're still around...)

- With major shifts and polarization in the political landscape (and therefore, plenty to talk about in that sphere), some people complained that the Lounge needed to be more Loungey, and not so serious.

The solution to address both those circumstances, was to dissolve the Engaged Buddhism forum (with topics dispersed back to other suitable sub-forums), and the creation of the News section, which was on a level-playing field, with no moderator intervention to bolster any flavour of political view. News topics were moved from the Lounge to the News section, and we introduced a self-service function to allow people to switch off the News section, if it wasn't amenable to them and their practice. Unfortunately, very few people have opted for sense restraint, and have opted instead to complain about the fact there was a News section.

Also, aside from what's been happening here at Dhamma Wheel, people in society in general have become increasingly accustomed to self-selecting their own media intake and social circles in a way that aligns to and confirms their own views and perspectives, thereby creating a customised, technology-enabled echo chamber. Then, alternative ideas, or even the prospect of people holding ideas different to those they find within their echo chamber is very threatening to them. Diversity of thought was once an exciting proposition for many... but now it seems like a source of terror and anxiety, and probably helps to explain why these psychological conditions are becoming more prevalent in society. This evolution is not Dhamma Wheel-centric in origin, but it plays out here too of course, because many people are increasingly establishing their own ideological echo chambers, which reaffirm their side's stereotypes of what kinds of people, with what kinds of moral shortcomings, would dare to disagree with them. As such, the open playing field of the News section, where favoured views and non-favoured views actually have to co-exist, is, I think, proving too much for the psyche of some people. (If anyone here thinks I'm talking about them specifically - no, I'm not). People have grown intellectually lazy, and socially anxious, and having that which they might otherwise be able to escape from, put literally in their faces by other Buddhists, elicits some of the knee-jerk reactivity and hyper-emotional carry-on that we see from some quarters. Most people can handle it, but it only takes a fraction who are intolerant of the presence of alternative viewpoints, to create a whole lot of unnecessary drama.

Whilst the prospect of closing down the News section isn't on my immediate horizon, the prospect of banning people from that sub-forum for their failure to abide by the rules of the News section is indeed on the cards. From my perspective, if a limited few people can't cope, and don't have the capacity for appropriate sense restraint, then they shouldn't be allowed to ruin it for everybody else. I'm also toying (although probably not very seriously) with the possibility of turning off (in contrast to prohibiting) the News access of anyone who complains about that section. They can always manually turn it back on, but they'll have to make the conscious decision to do so, at which point by "opting in" they've waived any legitimate grounds to complain about it.

But as I said earlier, that's just background, context, and where things sit now... none of which dictates what the future must look like, or what society-level trends we need to be cognizant of here at Dhamma Wheel in coming years.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

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DNS
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by DNS »

Will wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:58 am
DNS: I see there are currently about 89 active topics over the last 7 days. Eleven of these topics are in the News sub-forum, so about 12% of all topics. The vast majority of topics are in the other sub-forums on various Dhamma topics; meditation, jhanas, precepts, etc.
What about number of posts, not topics and over a month instead of a few days, in the News? What might be the percentage then?
If one opts out of the News subforum that percentage is:

0

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aflatun
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by aflatun »

Nothing significant to add I guess, but I will say as someone that more or less abhors politics, and cannot think of a greater waste of my time, I think its a good thing that David and the Mods are in support of allowing people to discuss (more or less) what they wish here. If people want to talk politics they should be able to.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

DNS wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:14 am

If one opts out of the News subforum that percentage is:
0
Never mind noble Will who is saving his soul from the ravages of contention, what about the others?

I bet the percentage of posts in News is more than 12% of all DW posts over a month period.
Good is virtue until life’s end, good is faith that is steadfast, good is the acquisition of wisdom, and good is the avoidance of evil. Dhammapada

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Will,
Will wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:49 am
Never mind noble Will who is saving his soul from the ravages of contention, what about the others?

I bet the percentage of posts in News is more than 12% of all DW posts over a month period.
I think it's quite clear from David's response, that if any others have a concern about the percentage of News related posts, they can reduce that percentage to zero with the proverbial flick of a switch.

Given they have been granted the autonomy and power to do so, why would it be any of our concern?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

SarathW
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by SarathW »

If people want to talk politics they should be able to.
Perhaps these talks should be limited to "Small talks"
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Caodemarte
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Caodemarte »

Connection to Other Paths has a fair number of attacks against other religions or sects without even an attempt to explore connections, comparisons, or relevance to Theravada Buddhism. I would suggest yanking such posts.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:59 am
Connection to Other Paths has a fair number of attacks against other religions or sects without even an attempt to explore connections, comparisons, or relevance to Theravada Buddhism. I would suggest yanking such posts.
I would consider moving anything particularly contentious to the News, Current Events & Politics section (at which point it's then up the individual whether it appears or not).

That said, what constitutes "attacks against other religions or sects" can be a very subjective matter. There's one religion in particular, where merely even mentioning its name is usually enough to commence an influx of complaints from some quarters about discrimination and phobias against it, regardless of whether or not the Terms of Service have been violated. As I've said elsewhere, I don't intend to reward weaponized outrage, nor tilt the scales in any particular direction, so what applies to one non-Buddhist religion, will apply to all.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

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Mr Man
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by Mr Man »

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:03 am
There's one religion in particular, where merely even mentioning its name is usually enough to commence an influx of complaints from some quarters about discrimination and phobias against it, regardless of whether or not the Terms of Service have been violated. As I've said elsewhere, I don't intend to reward weaponized outrage, nor tilt the scales in any particular direction, so what applies to one non-Buddhist religion, will apply to all.
Hi Paul
Which religion is that? I don't think what you are saying is true.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Let's make this forum more Buddhist!

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Mr Man,
Mr Man wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:21 am
Which religion is that?
I don't intend to mention it, for the reasons stated above. Besides, it doesn't matter, because I'm advocating for equal, not unequal treatment of non-Buddhist traditions in the eyes of the Terms of Service. Do you object to that?
Mr Man wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:21 am
I don't think what you are saying is true.
Well, that's just par for the course coming from you, isn't it Mr Man? I don't expect you'll pack away your long-held mistrust any time soon.

Do keep in mind however, that I see the reporting of posts, whereas you do not...

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)

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