For all the nice things this discussion board offers it is not without problems. Now It is commonly accepted that;
Where the "Clueless" are too stupid to productively participate or follow the public discourse, the "Followers" looking to "Leaders" for explainations, "Leaders" seeking counsel from the "Advisors" and the "Excluded" being the ones of the most profound ability being excluded due to being as a rule incomprehensible to the vast majority.From a theoretical standpoint, democratic meritocracies should evolve five IQ defined 'castes', The Leaders, The Advisors, The Followers, The Clueless and The Excluded. These castes are natural in that they are the result of how people of different intellectual abilities relate to one another. This is based on research done by Leta Hollingworth in the 1930's and the more recent work of D.K. Simonton.
Source; http://michaelwferguson.blogspot.com/p/ ... chael.html
I personally see this play out in this community in the most morbid way where the Clueless routinely abuse the higher caste members. Now we do not have to look long before we see examples of this as it usually occurs on a daily basis. I will however cite one particular example that should be quite illuminating;
Now what is referred to as Fake Buddha quote is a discourse of Ananda in the an04.159 where he gives a Dhamma teaching concluding with "Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said."
Now this is proof that if Ananda or a person of equal ability himself was posting he would be abused and accused of "Fake Buddha Quote" or worse, by some members of this forum. Far too often do we see members call wrong on what is explained by the Sutta, i won't give examples just because i don't want to risk defaming people under the current ToS.
Now accusations such as "wrong view" or a "putthujhana" may seem trivial to most people but it is actually considered most offensive in Classical Theravada, as the commentaries pin it as potentially the worst accusations.
The reality of this forum is that unsubstantiated accusations such as wrong view, fake Buddha Quote are well-tolerated even when directed at individuals such as Ananda whilst calling someone "Clueless" will usually be deemed a breach of ToS.
So what actually happens is that the most worthless members who are unable to productively participate are free to abuse even the most valuable members with worst accusations and are being protected from harsh admonishment by the ToS.
Of course the loss of participation from the top-tier members is potentially devastating and this should be obvious. So my suggestion is to make structural changes to this forum aimed at facilitating a productive discussion and encourage participation of the higher caste posters, to appropriately exclude and to fight inappropriate exclusion.
I welcome people to weigh in with suggestions.
Practically i want to suggest creation of a sub-forum for Discussion/Debate where participants are encouraged to:
1. Give a categorical answer to a question deserving a categorical answer
2. Give an analytical answer to a question deserving an analytical answer
3. Give a counter-question to a question deserving a counter-question
4. Put aside a question deserving to be put aside
5. stand by what is possible and impossible
6. stand by agreed-upon assumptions
7. stand by teachings known to be true
8. stand by standard procedure
9. Not to wander from one thing to another when asked a question
10. Not to pull the discussion off the topic when asked a question
11. Not to express anger & aversion and sulks
Further participants would be encouraged to refrain from;
1. Putting down the questioner
2. Crushing/Owning the questioner
3. Ridiculing him the questioner
4. Grasping at the little mistakes
Here members could be excluded from participation based on arbitrational rulings and alternative moderation. IE a group of representatives may be chosen to settle disputes and exclude members from participation in that particular venue. Ideally it would not be free-for-all by default and one would have to apply to join.