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orcbane
Gondor


Mar 12 2009, 3:41am

Post #101 of 202 (1116 views)
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Chin up, life is hard [In reply to] Can't Post

I will try to find a good recording of Kumbaya for you. Smile




SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 12 2009, 4:20am

Post #102 of 202 (1093 views)
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I second that [In reply to] Can't Post

when I learned that L was in HS I felt greatly humbled and that I had wasted too many years.


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 4:47am

Post #103 of 202 (1149 views)
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Thoughts from another often-absent Admin [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I post these days somewhat more than Inferno but somewhat less than others. However I do try and pop into TORN every day when I have internet access - currently not a given, as I'm travelling - and scan, at the least, OT and Main (and Feedback if there's been a recent new post). When I've got time I'll scan the other boards and when I've got more time I'll post. I also offer my input into any admin-related discussions we're having, where the more voices the better the decisions, IMHO. Like Inferno I've been posting here a long time (ten years in August) and hopefully that experience and knowledge of the forums and how they've developed still makes me a useful moderator, even if I don't post daily anymore.

Figwit Still Lives!



Calling for a Figwit cameo in The Hobbit since May 2008


Starling
Half-elven


Mar 12 2009, 5:27am

Post #104 of 202 (1089 views)
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Ten years [In reply to] Can't Post

adds up to a great deal of experience and also an ability to have some perspective on the changes the boards have been through and will continue to go through. I for one appreciate the collective wisdom of the admins here and I don't think you have to be a frequent poster to be a valuable presence, as Inferno alluded to earlier.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 12 2009, 6:26am

Post #105 of 202 (1134 views)
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Yawn. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

Quote
but since you asked, I can bore you.


No, wait, I'm kidding! Actually I find your comments both helpful and interesting. As you note, most of the people who now post here, like me, are relatively new (five years back in December!) and don't know the history of how the forums have changed over time. What you describe as a major turning point* in your perception of the Reading Room happened almost six years ago, before, for instance, 18 of the top 25 contributors to the current LOTR discussion had even joined TORN. The Reading Room that supplanted what you loved is the only Reading Room we've ever known.

*Resulting in a highly contentious discussion that is difficult to find, because the key sub-thread (76 posts) was modded down, down, down, and so is invisible in hatster's index.


Quote
I think you’re looking for a solution where there isn’t a problem… I don't see a problem with there not being 'independent' threads in the RR. As one of the RR founders: the reason the board came into existence is we got tired of the book discussion getting lost in Main.


Thanks for confirming the forum's origins. We can't peer quite that far back, so while I thought this was the case, the earliest evidence available suggested otherwise: by January-February 2001, fewer than half of the 90 or so threads monthly were part of the scheduled discussions. For some of us who came later, the recent dearth of such unscheduled posts, which seemed to be the essence of the Reading Room when we joined --they outnumbered the regular threads by four-to-one at the time I signed up-- seemed a disturbing trend. It's good to have a different perspective. But if that's not the problem, still there does seem to be one, given the number of people who report now (as they did six years ago) that they were intimidated by the Reading Room. So your further responses are greatly appreciated.


Quote
At any rate, my biggest problems with the RR extant are threefold.
The first one... the RR is like taking a college class -- I might add an advanced one ... such discussions a lot of people find intimidating. One of the things I enjoyed about the early days is that discussion leaders would post some posts that were real basic stuff to encourage others to join...


Fair enough. Probably this trend was inevitable, simply because as people remained at TORN over a period of years, and remembered the previous discussions, they didn't want to ask questions to which they felt they already knew the answers. In a way, it's pretty impressive that a bunch of fans, most of whom don't have a background in literatary studies (and almost none has an advanced degree in that field) have taken the discussions to a level where they can be compared to a college course -- or convince an encyclopedia editor to offer a dozen of them assignments. Ahem. But of course you're right: that achievement shouldn't mean that others are left behind, or afraid to speak up. I think it would behoove experienced contributors to do as you suggest, and appeal to a broader participation by including some introductory questions. Would it encourage you to know that of the 37 chapter leaders in the current discussion of LOTR, sixteen of them had never before led a discussion here? They vary widely in age and experience, and brought a lot of different views and approaches to the discussions.


Quote
I decided the Reading Room wasn't for me any more was when I pasted a copy of a discussion point from the first LotR read-through and was taken to task ... for posting such a stupid and simple question ... Even though that poster doesn't post any longer, the tone of the board is the same.


Such rudeness is completely inappropriate, and I'm grateful that you stuck around to lead (at least) two more discussions after that. I'm sorry to say that that kind of response still does crop up now and again, though usually not so directly. I would disagree --with my blinkers on, you may say-- that this tone characterizes the Reading Room generally: "glugging" has always been rare in the Reading Room, for instance, as compared to the other boards. But even just once is one time too many.


Quote
Secondly, another reason I got tired of it was if I didn't check the RR every 5 or 10 minutes, there wasn't a point in my checking it at all, as any questions that had been raised had been answered by a small handful (3) of people who apparently had lots of time to post more than I did.


You mean Curious, Reverend, and NZ Strider, I think, of which group only Curious is still active here. I must say, it is simply astonishing how many posts they managed to answer -- there were hundreds of threads every month in the Reading Room in 2002-2003, nearly all of which seems to have earned a response from at least one member of the trio. To this newbie, looking back through hatster's archive shortly after she first created it, they seemed like the glue that had held the board together. It was some time before I discovered that the Reading Room had not always been that way, and that their dominance seemed overbearing to some others at the time. But the boards are slower now, and hours or days can pass before all the questions are answered, and the respondents are more varied. I'm pleased that almost all the questions actually do get answered in these quieter times -- even when there are 80 questions in one thread.


Quote
It felt like nothing was ever left for the rest of us. Moreover, it was posted in such detail, that there wasn't anything left that I felt like I could comment on.


I understand the feeling. Of course, the harder the question, the less easily any one person can answer it definitely! Here I would suggest that the old hands should leave the introductory questions to those members for whom the ideas are new. To some degree that's already happening, as more and more often, veterans use the regular discussions merely as launching points to probe certain subjects in fine detail --on issues like the matter of narratorial voice-- while the hosts' questions nonetheless get responses.

And of course, the material really hasn't been exhausted by past discussions, even if some people now participating in their second, third, or fourth discussion of LOTR are feeling fatigued. The previous discussion was encapsulated in this wonderful summary by squire: one insightful sentence per chapter, and almost none of them ideas that had been raised here previously. You might list as many clever new thoughts again based on the current discussion, which recently saw perhaps the best survey yet of "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen", as well as the biggest response ever to a Reading Room thread (for a post about the appendix on Gondor, of all subjects) by sador, one of several new contributors who have brought forth some great comments.


Quote
Thirdly, the topics being brought up weren't as much of interest to me as time went on... My skill and interest lie in the nature of the story, and in the way it's written. Things like how "There is an inn, a merry old inn..." is a reverse-engineered "Hey-Diddle-Diddle", and what the plans of the bad guys were. While I can speak to things like the previous drafts of things in HoMe and letters that Tolkien wrote to people, they don't interest me as much as the story itself. Sure those other things may bring up points about the story, and sure, there are people who enjoy discussing them ad infinitum, but it's not something that appeals to me.


Well, the board certainly has tackled a wide breadth of subjects over the past several years -- lots of different material for differing interests: the Marquette papers; ten months of Tolkien's letters; the thematic studies, including Elizabeth leading a week on horses; the encyclopedia reports, with dna teaching us about "The Name 'Nodens'"; the illustrations discussion, as Reera the Red toured us through the art of Ezpeleta. The Reading Room was probably the first forum to discuss The Children of Húrin at length. And finally, years after it was initially suggested, there was a six-week discussion of that seminal essay, "On Fairy-stories".

And I don't feel that the approaches you prefer have ever been abandoned, not wholly: squire is a great proponent of analyzing how the story functions; see his discussions this time around of "A Knife in the Dark" and "The Passing of the Grey Company" for some sharp questions about Tolkien's narrative strategies and limitations. As for character analysis --good guys and bad-- this whole LOTR series has seen some penetrating analysis by sador, Dreamdeer, and Darkstone. Meanwhile, many of the regular RR participants don't cite The History of Middle-earth because they haven't read that series (Curious, for instance, has only read Morgoth's Ring) or even Tolkien's letters. But perhaps, if Reading Room contributors embrace some of the proposals identified above --thanks to your response here-- and more people feel welcome participating in that forum, their great spectrum of tastes and talents will become clearer.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Mar. 9-15 for Languages, Peoples, and Translation.
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


sador
Half-elven

Mar 12 2009, 6:43am

Post #106 of 202 (1095 views)
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Are you indeed? [In reply to] Can't Post

For some reason I assumed you were in college. Blush
I thought NEB meant Milady and One Ringer (who led 'The Uruk-hai'). It turns out we have three!

"They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did" - Treebeard


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 9:34am

Post #107 of 202 (1097 views)
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Ah, yes: "Come to the Dark Side... [In reply to] Can't Post

...We have Cookies!"

(geeky son is always quoting that, but I've no idea what it's from...)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 10:03am

Post #108 of 202 (1093 views)
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Just because you can't see us [In reply to] Can't Post

doesnt mean we aren't watching you - observing, recording, entering target co-ordinates Unimpressed

I don't post very much at the moment which is odd as I do check the boards nearly every day (when possible with work).

For the 9 plus years I've been here I have never been the most frequent of posters but I would say that out of the current mods I seem to have unique er characteristics

Its probably right that when the Hobbit gets closer the admins will have more work to do though.

The admin powered by testosterone!


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 12 2009, 12:59pm

Post #109 of 202 (1076 views)
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Responses have improved my understanding of weeklies [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The scheduled posts seem to be meant to serve as a structure to keep the boards active while creating traffic and allowing room for others to post.

The short answer from me, I guess, is I don't know if they're working or if they're too much, but I'm willing to experiment some and find out.


Now, what have you done with the real Arwen's daughter ? You know, the one that grins maniacally over my smouldering corpse ? Tongue

Anyway, after reading many views shared here, I think the top comment I quote of yours above above is probably close to the mark. I would say that it appeals to a certain group mainly, but that group is a large percentage, maybe half of the regulars ?. The rest, those that prefer discussions less structured, and sometimes out of control may not be so heterogeneous a group.

But I wonder if over time, the two groups will diverge ever further, and become like the Morlocks and Eloi ? Laugh I just had to look up the spellings on wiki, not that I care, but had forgotten what the Bambi people were called. But I noticed the Morlocks were described as 'cannibal hominids'. The similiarity to Orcs is interesting, even the names having some connection. It's probably been noted a few thousand times before though.
,,,




orcbane
Gondor


Mar 12 2009, 2:34pm

Post #110 of 202 (1064 views)
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Well I thought I was kinda doing that [In reply to] Can't Post

"Don't wait for someone else to do something - go for it!" Wink

But, I can not refuse any direct order that includes a surfing term. Laugh So, I will have a list of 'sticky to keep' on Silverlodes desk by the Feast of St. Abaloid at ther latest.

I do think that some creativity is lost, but how much I cannot say. Someone yesterday mentioned one of the ways its happens (but even after going thru the posts can not find it again), which is a person posting a new thread is informed it is covered in a weekly. Also, random posts in certain territories are sometimes too agressively critiqued, and posters don't go back.

...




sador
Half-elven

Mar 12 2009, 2:53pm

Post #111 of 202 (1105 views)
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Aunt Dora's post (no. 26 in the flat mode) [In reply to] Can't Post

She was refering to an actual case (I don't have time to find it just now), in which someone posted a book review with a question what other people were reading, and a more veteran member mentioned there is a regular book review thread each Wednsday.

In Reply To

Someone yesterday mentioned one of the ways its happens (but even after going thru the posts can not find it again), which is a person posting a new thread is informed it is covered in a weekly.





In Reply To

random posts in certain territories are sometimes too agressively critiqued, and posters don't go back.

This might be a problem in te Reading Room, you know. Some of us are simply critical persons (which includes self-criticism), and if someone presents an idea he has, it might be double-checked - which not always has favourable results, as I know only too well! And of course, some people do ask simple questions - and feel silly when they get simple answers. How to prevent the RR from frightening people off? I don't quite know. I try my best to be appreciative without being condescending - for instance, I make a point of trying to answer every question a new discussion leader asks, while if it's NEB (who really doesn't need my approval), I answer only those on which I feel I have something to contribute. Perhaps if more regulars would do the same it would be more encouraging? I don't know.


"They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did" - Treebeard


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 12 2009, 3:06pm

Post #112 of 202 (1125 views)
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I've been thinking about your question, NE [In reply to] Can't Post

I vacillate on trying to answer it. Before this moment, I was too busy to contemplate giving it the attention it deserved. And frankly, I'm pretty sure, in one way, I'm not qualified to answer. What I can offer will be hard for me to articulate. Additionally, I'm wary of giving offense by citing examples that seem to call an individual out. And, like Inferno, I don't see a need to change things.

But I believe your interest is sincere and I appreciate that. I'm going to give it an attempt, weak as it may prove, to articulate my reserves in regard to the Reading Room.

To address the 'I'm not qualitfied to answer' label, I don't think I've given the Reading Room a strong try. I spent about a year and a half writing (in conversation) about LOTR in an obsessive way. I would write while eating breakfast. I would write during my lunch period. I would write while cooking dinner. I wrote reams. Then, I kind of got burned out. Or maybe I just said all I need to say in an intense way. Or maybe I lost all my Tolkien friends (which I did through post-ROTK attrition. It would take me almost another year to find TORn and let myself feel comfortable here.) So, I didn't feel a strong need to seek out the RR. I don't think it's fair to critcize anything with the low amount of information I actually have on it.

But when I did check out the RR, I never found it a place I wanted to linger. So if I can't address 'why I don't like the RR' maybe I can address 'why I'm cautious about the RR'.

The easiest to explain is the volume of posts. Although I dip into TORn and will open up lighter threads on a fairly regular basis, I need a certain amount of time and focus to give proper attention to a true discussion. That only comes about 3 times a week. I intended to try to follow the LOTR discussion but I just couldn't keep up with the volume of posts. Just reading them all was time consuming. But writing for me is a long process. It takes me about an hour to write a one paragraph article for the front page. I commonally spent 2 hours on a three or four paragraph post at my old Tolkien homes. I couldn't keep up with the pace of the RR discussions.

The harder to explain is the tone. Partly, I don't know if I can articulate what I'm looking for vs what I sense is the norm for the RR. Partly I'm worried the someone (including me) is going to get their feathers ruffled. I'll try to address each because I think, although related, they're both important.

From the little I've dipped in, the RR discussions seem pretty academically based. You touch on some of this, "can be compared to a college course", "an encyclopedia editor", "
narrative strategies and limitations", "Marquette papers" (I was there and didn't understand 85% of what was presented). There's nothing wrong with this sort of discussion. But it's not what draws me to Tolkien. I can't quite put my finger on how to explain what I want to talk about. (And I fear I'm going to look foolish trying to... but hey, we're all friends here, right?) I vacilate between trying to understand Tolkien the man and how Tolkien crafted his stories and how they make me feel. Once I switch to 'how they make me feel', I take broader liberties with the stories. I'm not so concerned with being able to back up with citations and quotes my impressions. This is train of thought stuff. I once discussed how people deal with the loss of a loved one by comparing it to a void in one's being. Then I compared the effects of a void to the effects of a shadow. Then I wondered if Frodo suffered from a shadow on his being and how that might have prevented him from healing. There's not much to back up that discussion with citations or quotes. The purpose of a discussion like that is to use art to develop one's thinking in general. The art becomes a medium... a matrix to explore and attempt to answer life questions and issues.

Many of those early discussions (elsewhere) allowed us to explore ideas because we didn't have all the answers. Someone would ask, 8 others would chime in with thoughts and, in the process, some really wonderful ideas were explored. But if there was an 'expert' passing by, they'd usually swoop in and explain (in detail) how our thinking, our premise, and our conclusions were wrong as proven by this line in HoMe vol. III. The effect intended and usually acheived was to shut down the conversation. It was flawed and should be stopped. One person even said he was ashamed to have participated in a conversation based on a mistaken definition of the word 'chiasm'. The notion that exploring ideas even when venturing into flawed territory should be shameful is shocking to me. I wrote a long post on just that. (I wrote lots of long posts). Education is messy. Exploration is messy.

I can remember a conversation here where some were trying to equate an event in LOTR to something it did not literally represent within the book (okay.. awkward sentance. I'm not going to provide specifics) We knew that. We were claiming that it was akin to that and because it was akin to that, it could be applied more broadly in life experiences. The argument was, 'It didn't mean that. Tolkien said it didn't mean that. The whole discussion is flawed and you're going to confuse people by even discussing it." I just don't believe that to be the case but I get that others do.

I get that this whole approach to discussion is a part of my intrinsic personality and isn't something that everyone shares. I've come to understand what it means to be in a 4% of the population Myers-Briggs category. People like me (and I was lucky enough to find quite a few in those early days) frustrate the crap out of more literal minded people. But more than just a difference in how we think, there is often a difference in how we discuss... or debate, as the case may be. I don't debate. I love discussing. It's not a game to me (and debate is a game). It's personal. If you attack my statements you're probably attacking my beliefs. I get my feelings hurt. Yes, I'm one of those that get their feelings hurt (aka: oversensitive). I try not to react. But I can't really make it 'not hurt'. I was always labeled a baby because of my sensitivity to physical pain. (gad.. I even feel - literally - other people's pain.) But I woke up from surgery screaming and heard the nurse say, "Mrs. M. Mrs. M. Do you have a low pain threshold?" Well, I can't change my physical pain threshold and I don't seem able to do a lot about my emotional pain threshold. I manage it by avoiding irritants or just distancing myself from events in general.

I will admit (at the risk of seeming to call someone out. I sincerely don't mean to do this and only offer this as an example) that I recently checked into the RR. I was curious as to how Dreamdeer was interacting since I know she shares some similar approaches to ideas as I do. I was intrigued by her idea of discussing Architypal Criticism. (although I wasn't sure what it was, off hand.) One response was, "How do those who engage in archetypical criticism test their theories. I'm concerned that this might go the way of Freudian criticism or analysis based on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, both of which seem to set aside the author's conscious intent, and therefore become difficult to prove or disprove". Oh.. okay. If I want to discuss anything I should be prepare to test and prove my theories. See, to my mind, that's so far off the mark of why I want to discuss (which is always more important that 'what' I want to discuss). If I were to get that response to something I put out there, I don't think I'd be so unflappable as Dreamdeer was (bless her heart... I love reading her posts). My tail would tuck right between my legs and I'd be more determined than ever to chose carefully who I share my thoughts and writings with.

I do have friends who I am able to discuss things with so the RR does not have to suit me. It seems to function for those who use it (and I'm not sure how much I would use it even if it changed). The LOTR-movie board suits me better. Not because the movies are more important to me than the books. In fact, the last time I sat through the movies I was moderately irritated with them. The books were always my dearest love. But the LOTR-movie board participants are comfortable with emotional responses. They're very accepting of exploring aspects from a variety of viewpoints with no need to prove or test any of them. Even when we find and happily admit we're wrong, I fell enriched by that short path toward wrongdom. It's taught me something if only about myself.



Too long. Too personal. But that's what I'm about.



2009 Tolkien Computer Monitor Calendars
LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 3:35pm

Post #113 of 202 (1074 views)
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None of that holds interest for me, though. [In reply to] Can't Post

You list a long iteration of items that had been discussed over the past few years, and none of them have interested me at all. I couldn't care less about the Marquette papers, Tolkien's letters, thematic studies, the encyclopedia reports, illustration discussions, or "On Fairy-stories". I'd have some interest in The Children of Hurin, but not on the level it was likely to be discussed. And while I did contribute to the encyclopaedia, I didn't really want to get into a discussion about it in the RR. I go to sites like tOR.N to relax and have fun, not to do scholarly research.

And the post you just did is an example of some of the things that I don't particularly like about the discussions. I don't care about the statistics, or the hours of in-depth research pulling together diverse threads of information. I'd prefer a free-and-loose discussion that's less about citations and references and more about impressions. Something I did from time to time that I really enjoyed (and wasn't alone in doing) was 'what would you do?' Like, if you were in charge of the defense of Minas Tirith, how would you order it? Or the example in my previous post about what would you suggest be done with the Ring if you were in the Council of Elrond.

So all your attempts at persuasion have missed their mark if your goal is trying to get me, personally, to post to the RR again. But again, there are obviously people who enjoy those discussions, so I don't see a problem with things continuing as they have been.

One last point-- we did have some non-chapter-of-the-week threads cropping up in the RR back in the early days, and they were usually first-time readers who had a question about something they'd read. "Who is Tom Bombadil," or "What's up with the barrow-wights?" They weren't looking for a five-page paper with citations in reply, they wanted a paragraph answer to the question. I haven't been reading the RR, so I don't know for certain how it is now, but when I stopped, that was sort of the approach being given to those questions-- the five page discussion with citations to Tolkien's Letters, HoME, and so on. It can be overwhelming to a first-time reader, and instead of understanding any of it, it'll go over their heads, and they'll go somewhere else to find out the answer to their question. I don't know if that's the case now. I'm just surmising as to why you might be seeing less of those sorts of posts.

Inferno.

======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
======================
Elcenia


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 12 2009, 3:36pm

Post #114 of 202 (1059 views)
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For a very confused moment [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought you were referring to a classical music piece ????. lol

Do we have any composer's in the house that could write an 'Aunt Dora's post' Sonata in the flat mode ?

But yes, I have seen that kind of thing here too, which is one of the downsides of regular threads. If I start a weekly thread on Bole weevils, I can view a new Bole weevil thread popping up as being repetitive, unnecessary, and cutting into my turf.




Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 3:50pm

Post #115 of 202 (1060 views)
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You're under two misassumptions [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As far as one judges between someone you know well & someone you don't. You probably shouldn't be really, if the person you do not know has been around the last two years and you haven't.



The first is that I'm making those judgment calls in the first place. I'm not. When I talked about that in my previous post, it was an explanation of how moderating works in general. I've done this on several sites in my time. I don't feel qualified to make those calls except in cases of obvious trolling. I'm an admin doing technical stuff, and occasionally weighing in where I have the knowledge to do so-- like this thread. I don't willy-nilly delete or reprimand people without knowing the history involved.

The second is that the admins operate in a vacuum. We don't. When there's a thread deleted, or a problem-poster making repeat offenses, we all learn about it so we know what's been done in the past, and why, and how to deal with such problems in the future. I don't have to read every post on every board to get to know people. I can do that to some degree by keeping up on the Admin board.

Inferno.


======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
======================
Elcenia


Darkstone
Immortal


Mar 12 2009, 4:04pm

Post #116 of 202 (1050 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think you have to be a frequent poster to be a valuable presence, as Inferno alluded to earlier.

And ironically, in a previous campaign to "get rid of the old mods and bring in new blood" one of big complaints was that the mods at the time participated *too much* in discussion and needed to be more aloof!

They just can't win.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.”



Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 4:19pm

Post #117 of 202 (998 views)
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It's our Ring to bear. ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
======================
Elcenia


Annael
Immortal


Mar 12 2009, 5:04pm

Post #118 of 202 (1038 views)
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re a couple of your points [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.



In fact some of us have retired voluntarily, including me, Blue Wizard, and Nimrodel. But as others have pointed out, most of an admin's work is behind the scenes.


Quote

Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.


In my nearly 10 years here, I have not seen "habitual" rudeness towards newbies. While flaming did occur in the early days pre-Admins, for the most part it does not happen now or is quickly suppressed. Some regulars do get a bit annoyed with newbies who seem to want to make TORN change to fit them rather than trying to understand the existing board culture, and can be sarcastic about that, but compared to other boards, this place is a model of tolerance and patience.


What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.
No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Let them come in
- DH Lawrence
* * * * * * * * * *
NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 12 2009, 5:12pm

Post #119 of 202 (1019 views)
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Science and Art [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, let's do have light threads in the Reading Room, interwoven with the heavy threads! That would make for a much more textured tapestry. I enjoy the heavy threads very much indeed, granted. But the sense of "no lightness allowed" can get kind of oppressive. It has recently come to my attention that some consider discussing anything that does not lead to a "provable" answer (as in the only answer) as a problem. I found myself rather shocked, even at a loss as to how to respond (which didn't stop me from wading in anyway!)

However, rather than shut these people up--which I definitely would not want to do--I would rather see them balanced, bringing in a broader spectrum of discussants. More artistic types, for instance. Naturally people with backgrounds in science, law, engineering, etc., will want to discuss matters according to their discipline--the only problem is the perception that they define the "right way" to discuss anything. We need to balance out the good and worthy Thinking Folk with an equal measure of Feeling, Sensation, and Intuitive Folks. Thinking is lots of fun and one of my chief entertainments, but I'm primarily an intuitive, and I occasionally feel just a little bit slammed for it. (On the other hand, when I misquote facts from a faulty memory, I do deserve and welcome correcting.) I feel like if I say, "Mmm...this cinnamon basil would taste good in a tamale!" someone will step up and say, "How can you prove that? Do you know whether the flavor-producing phytochemicals will even be compatible with corn proteins?" Sometimes art is not science.

Sometimes I do feel that we get so wrapped up in studying the History of Middle Earth (while diligently searching for any mistakes that Tolkien made along the way, improbabilities, inconsistencies or inaccuracies) that we forget the story. Didn't Tolkien cringe at this sort of thing when applied to Beowulf? What makes a story beautiful? What makes it moving? How does it change people's lives? Can anybody quantify that? We tend to ignore anything that we can't fit under a microscope--is it any wonder that we miss the larger picture?

Mind you, I'm all in favor of microscopes--watching things squiggle under them can be loads of fun, and the information thus learned has all kinds of uses. I just think that limiting our perceptions and discussions to their scope can get too confining.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 12 2009, 5:17pm

Post #120 of 202 (1027 views)
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Oh please post again! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have hungered after a more artistic approach to the stories. The Reading Room has given me a steady diet of meat, but sometimes I want potatoes, or fruit, or vegetables--and sometimes I want spices! Hey, maybe even throw me a dessert now and then!

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 12 2009, 5:27pm

Post #121 of 202 (1026 views)
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Male and Female Trolls [In reply to] Can't Post

Male and female trolls simply have different styles. (Male troll: "Bow to my dominant wisdom or I shall pulp you with my club!" Female troll: "How nice that you could come, and isn't that a darling retro dress--you must be so brave to not fear emphasizing your tummy like that...I can see that you like your own cooking, my dear!") But I do agree that we all have an inner troll, and that every so often we need to check and see that the leash still holds.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 12 2009, 5:33pm

Post #122 of 202 (1034 views)
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Confidence [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but then you also know that I'm not as confident as I sometimes appear.

*hugs*

Kel x



None of us are, dear. In fact, I think that the most intimidating folks are the least confident of all. Maybe their many proofs and references are an attempt to convince themselves that they have a right to post at all? Maybe we just need to reassure people that everybody has a right to post?

My father was one of the most brilliant men I ever met. He once told me, "Listen to everyone. Everybody has something worth saying. If the village idiot shouts 'Fire!, there might really be a fire."

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Mar 12 2009, 5:39pm

Post #123 of 202 (1013 views)
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More [In reply to] Can't Post

If anything, you get more respect, not less. If I had not known your age in advance, I would not have known from your leadership that you had not had decades with which to study Tolkien. Age merely provides the opportunity for experience--not everybody takes advantage of that, and a fool who will not learn in her youth becomes a fool who has learned nothing in old age. In contrast, a young person who goes out of her way to learn has an edge over older folks who have dithered away their years.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 12 2009, 5:41pm

Post #124 of 202 (1019 views)
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Well then [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

As far as one judges between someone you know well & someone you don't. You probably shouldn't be really, if the person you do not know has been around the last two years and you haven't. I still am trying to think this thru so I will hold off saying anything more today.

Hmm surely then the argument could be made that the best admin would be one that doesn't post, doesn't know anyone and can therefore mod without any perceived bias.

The admin powered by testosterone!


Draupne
Forum Admin / Moderator

Mar 12 2009, 5:44pm

Post #125 of 202 (1024 views)
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As long as you exclude the weekly threads [In reply to] Can't Post

and the bi-monthly threads about the weekly posts and the weekly bottom and top ten threads, that's OK.

Shouldn't we also have a thread just to sum up Fiesta? Who was there, who drank what, who drank too much (and why did they drink too much), etc? I really feel we don't discuss our own posting enough ...

;-)

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