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Author Topic: What is Ornery For?
AI Wessex
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Hard as it is to find a new Mod, I think there is a bigger issue here. It seems like the place has gone into a steep decline of participation by long-time members since almost literally the day after the November election. Relatively few new members have become active contributors since then. Right now there are exactly two active threads, one of which has almost 1300 messages and is over a month old, and the one to select a new Mod.

That raises the question of why those old posters went away and what people want Ornery to be.

Can we discuss that, too?

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LetterRip
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You may have noticed there were other things happenning in November, December, and January - three major holidays for instance [Smile] So you have the ending of one of the biggest sources of political discussion, followed by major distractions.

Ornery has cyclic variations in activity, I doubt most of the posters have 'gone away', most are just busy with life, or lurking till there is an interesting thread to post on.

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AI Wessex
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One can hope (I do).
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JoshuaD
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Ornery's here for us to talk about politics, philosophy, science, and literature. It's here to help us all become better and more articulate citizens.

It's a special corner of the internet because it, despite many flaws, is one of the most civil places I've found for political discourse, and is insulated to a much larger degree than anywhere else I've seen against group think.

I tend to think that there's a bit of magic here, and if I've learned one thing from reading fantasy books, it's not to tinker with magic.

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D.W.
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I'm here to get the inside track on the cure for cancer. The rest is just to entertain myself when things are slow.
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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Ornery's here for us to talk about politics, philosophy, science, and literature. It's here to help us all become better and more articulate citizens.

It's a special corner of the internet because it, despite many flaws, is one of the most civil places I've found for political discourse, and is insulated to a much larger degree than anywhere else I've seen against group think.

I tend to think that there's a bit of magic here, and if I've learned one thing from reading fantasy books, it's not to tinker with magic.

That was what brought me here, but I haven't seen any of that in quite some time.
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JoshuaD
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The place has cycles. Good conversations are out there to be had, it just takes a little effort.
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Mynnion
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I like Ornery because I am both too busy and too lazy to always research interesting political subjects. While my political views have shifted Left over time I find real value in hearing well thought out and researched opinions.
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Mynnion
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I wonder if we will see a rash of fresh faces when Ender's Game is released.
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JoshuaD
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I hope not. I like when the ratio of new posters to old posters is low. I like new posters, just not too many at once.

[ January 28, 2013, 12:31 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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D.W.
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Old timers are quite good at frightening away newcomers. Not to mention OSC the political animal can be quite a shock to the fans of OSC the author. [Wink]

I'm all for more participation to those who survive that gauntlet and stay awhile.

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G3
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Been back 3 days. 8 active threads today, 14 active in the last 2. More to come.

You're welcome.

[Cool]

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LetterRip
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G3,

unfortunately instead of increasing the signal part of conversation (interesting ideas and arguments), that everyone wants; you increase the noise part (pointless partisanship, dubious or completely wrong claims) which most of us dislike.

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G3
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When you say "completely wrong claims" do you mean something like the cure for cancer and EVERY major chronic disease ...oh, and vericose veins too?
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JoshuaD
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Stop it. [Frown]
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OrneryMod
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G3, check your email.
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LetterRip
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G3,

actually my claims are unverified - which means they might or might not be wrong - but a reasonable skeptic the most likely belief is that they are a) mistakes b) delusions c) lies etc. given that 1) all of the problems seem to be really, really hard with literally millions of individuals dedicating their lives to solving them without a great deal of progress 2) while there are common threads, treatments, etc. between the various diseases it seems incredible that they might be traced back to singular underlying causes.

Don't worry, I'm fully aware of the justification for complete skepticism and/or dismissal of my claims, and don't mind at all that the common consensus is that I'm most likely wrong/nuts/etc. Give me a few more weeks to a month and I should be ready to publish - got delayed another month due to improvements that have made me revise things (no major changes to the core of the theory, same mechanism and structures, same hormones and neurotransmitters, similar interaction between them etc. Just more sophisiticated that makes things more beautiful and accounts for some details of various disorders - sleep, migraines, epilepsy, addictions, etc. that I'd previously not explained).

Also I tend to agree that my thread probably did contribute to the noise level given that I didn't really provide any useful details, however, my post was a single thread in the past three or four months. You've just patted yourself on the back for your contributions to '14 active threads'.

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Bud Martin
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I'm a new member [Smile] and I would like to contribute, but please understand that I'm not trolling if I start asking questions.

I'd like to know how the Forum feels about bringing up new news items as a topic for discussion? I didn't see a lot of current news topics listed and that is why I asked the question.

For Example; the new Stealth fighter Qaher F313 just introduced by Iran to counter the US air dominance in the Gulf region...

Would it be OK to start a thread on the implications of such a development to US foreign Policy and Military Strategy and ask for opinions?

[Confused]

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noel c.
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Bud,

Go for it!

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TomDavidson
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Yes, please! Although the interest in military hardware threads probably won't be universal, as it's more of a "niche" topic, I can't think of anyone who'd mind seeing new threads started. [Smile]
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Bud Martin
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Hi Noel C. and TomDavidson,

I've taken your advice and posted a topic - "Islands of Dispute" and tried to keep the thread relative to political issues with just a reference to some military hardware.

But, I must protest the "niche" designation for military hardware, as I believe that Sun Tzu's "The Art of War is vital to the State" axiom still applies to all politics.

To understand politics, you must understand war and that requires learning the capabilities of the instruments of war - military hardware (including the men and now women that use them). I believe that all good politicians must understand the threats and dangers to our freedom for ignoring the military capabilities of your nation, as well as, allied and enemy nations alike!

As a personal objective then, I hope to be able to improve the interest in military hardware in this Forum, by attempting to bring to light the implications and potential threats they represent to American political interests around the world.


Thanks so much for your input as it has given my desire to participate a purpose!

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simplybiological
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I'm a old member, and I dropped by the forum tonight to see if any of my old pals were still posting. I'm disappointed to see the general lack of activity.

Are there fewer people visiting the forums in general, or are there are a lot of folks (like me) checking in, not seeing what they were hoping for, and staying silent? Anyone know?

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vulture
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While I never used to post that much, I post even less these days because pretty much all the threads are about Obama is responsible for, well just about everything wrong witht he world ever, and pretty much nothing is worth taking the time to read, much less respond to. Since I already know what some posters are going to say about Obama, and how they will be responded to, 90% of the posts here are now essentially content free in that I could read them just as well in my imaginaiton in the bath.
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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by simplybiological:
I'm a old member, and I dropped by the forum tonight to see if any of my old pals were still posting. I'm disappointed to see the general lack of activity.

Are there fewer people visiting the forums in general, or are there are a lot of folks (like me) checking in, not seeing what they were hoping for, and staying silent? Anyone know?

How much activity were you expecting? I don't know how it was back in your day, how many active topics per day would you expect, how many posts? It seems fairly active here, enough so that one would typically have to pick and choose topics to engage or be overwhelmed.

quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
While I never used to post that much, I post even less these days because pretty much all the threads are about Obama is responsible for, well just about everything wrong witht he world ever, and pretty much nothing is worth taking the time to read, much less respond to. Since I already know what some posters are going to say about Obama, and how they will be responded to, 90% of the posts here are now essentially content free in that I could read them just as well in my imaginaiton in the bath.

Well, Obama is the president and this is a political forum so a lot of talk about him is pretty expected I would say. That it seems like he's being blamed for everything is probably relative - he's blamed for nothing elsewhere.

Looking at the active posts for the last 2 days it's the sequester effects, propaganda, North Korea, Zimmerman/Martin, Israel, Chavez, DHS, effort shock and this little navel gazer. Obama's mentioned in the sequester thread, of course. But I didn't see any mention in the others (if there was, certainly not a focus).

ADDITION: if you're not seeing what you hoped for or content you'd like, why aren't you creating it? You can do something besides passively reading here and hoping somebody will give you what you want.

[ March 06, 2013, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

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vulture
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Well if you want to know what the board was like a few years back , you can check the wayback machine. Here's a snapshot of the board from 2006:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060225053121/http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=6

notice how the oldest topics on the first page are only 4 days old. And how now the oldest topic today is nearly a month old. That's a rough guide to how much the traffic has dropped off since then - there were probably 5-10 times as many posts per day.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:

I believe that Sun Tzu's "The Art of War is vital to the State" axiom still applies to all politics.


It applies to life, in any aspect; but Sun Tzu is about transcending war, not waging it. I'm probably reading more into your quote than you meant, but my Dharma teacher co-authored the most faithful and acclaimed translation of Sun Tzu to date, and if you are interested in the Art of War, I can't recommend it more highly. Indeed, I'd be happy to discuss it on its own thread as well; it would be a nice change from the status quo these days. Here's the link: The Denma Translation
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
Well if you want to know what the board was like a few years back , you can check the wayback machine. Here's a snapshot of the board from 2006:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060225053121/http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=6

notice how the oldest topics on the first page are only 4 days old. And how now the oldest topic today is nearly a month old. That's a rough guide to how much the traffic has dropped off since then - there were probably 5-10 times as many posts per day.

There used to be a lot more discussion about stuff other than politics. Interesting stuff. At this point, sometimes it seems like the only thing keeping the site going is fear that the OTHER side of the two party divide might get the last word.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
quote:
Originally posted by Bud Martin:

I believe that Sun Tzu's "The Art of War is vital to the State" axiom still applies to all politics.


It applies to life, in any aspect; but Sun Tzu is about transcending war, not waging it. I'm probably reading more into your quote than you meant, but my Dharma teacher co-authored the most faithful and acclaimed translation of Sun Tzu to date, and if you are interested in the Art of War, I can't recommend it more highly. Indeed, I'd be happy to discuss it on its own thread as well; it would be a nice change from the status quo these days. Here's the link: The Denma Translation
I agree with James Clavelle that the Art of War should be required annual reading for military officers and their civillian counterparts. During the Shock and Awe campaign I kept thinking of Tsun Tzu warning not to lay waste
to land you intend to occupy.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
Well if you want to know what the board was like a few years back , you can check the wayback machine. Here's a snapshot of the board from 2006:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060225053121/http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=6

notice how the oldest topics on the first page are only 4 days old. And how now the oldest topic today is nearly a month old. That's a rough guide to how much the traffic has dropped off since then - there were probably 5-10 times as many posts per day.

There used to be a lot more discussion about stuff other than politics. Interesting stuff. At this point, sometimes it seems like the only thing keeping the site going is fear that the OTHER side of the two party divide might get the last word.
That is true ... there were some great religous and philosophical discussions. But even then, I remember that when those discussions occurred, someone would always say, this is neat, meaning that the uniting heartfelt discussions weren't the everyday norm.

Still, in the last 5 years, almost every discussion comes down to "prObama" vs "AntiBama," or the age old question of "whether saying 'Barry' is eevil." [Roll Eyes] In that light G3 might say that it's Obama's fault that Ornery's gone downhill. [Big Grin]

[ March 07, 2013, 11:10 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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simplybiological
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quote:
How much activity were you expecting? I don't know how it was back in your day, how many active topics per day would you expect, how many posts? It seems fairly active here, enough so that one would typically have to pick and choose topics to engage or be overwhelmed.
As scifibum pointed out, it used to be more active here. When I first joined (2003), during certain times of day one could be actively following several threads that were getting posts at a decent rate.

There was also a much greater diversity of topics.

I have never, and will never, engage in a discussion where every good or bad thing in the country is traced back to the president, because that's a ridiculously reductive and irresponsible way to analyze our government. And if that's what's going on here, then I guess ... well, have fun.

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Pete at Home
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SB, what I said is a genuine problem on the site, but you know me well enough to realize that I tend to exaggerate. My post about Ornery going downhill being Obama's fault was facetious & poking fun of the PrObama/Anti-bama trend that infects not just this board but many discussions throughout the country.

Please hang out a bit and let's have a few Obama-free threads. You're just the sort of person to help get us out of this O rut.

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JoshuaD
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I agree about the hyperfocus on President Obama. It was frustrating when people tried to blame everything on President Bush, and it's similarly frustrating under this administration.

We probably don't have more of that sort of discussion today, we just have less of the other stuff. Pete, why don't you start a thread on something interesting? I'll hop in if I can talk even halfway intelligent on the subject.

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Bud Martin
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It would be nice to see a thread on Scott's movie coming out, "Ender's Game". I believe the release date was pushed to November, so there's a lot of time for discussion before its released. I'd like to know how close to the book they're going to follow and more about some of the cast and how they feel about the story of Ender. Since this is Scott's living room, that surely is a topic that is close at hand. Frankly, I'm really looking forward to the movie. I'd think Ornery could discuss parallels from the book to the modern world, such as technology, ethics, the internet, World government, etc...

I got motivated enough, that I'm going to re-read the book for the umpteenth time, just to refresh my memory.

[ March 07, 2013, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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D.W.
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Has he commented much about the movie on his other site? I really only frequent this one.
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Bud Martin
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D.W.,

No there aren’t a lot of comments from what I've seen at Hatrack, even in the forums where I found very little and nothing discussing the parallels to the world we live in. I have visited some of the fan sites for "Enders Game", but I didn't find any mention of the book's parallels. I'm interested in a discussion on the ideas from "Ender's Game" in regards to how it might be relevant to today's world. I realize it’s in a future setting, but it has an interesting take on humanity's future development and technology.

I guess it would be more appropriate to discuss "Ender's" entire universe also since there are several prequels to "Ender's Game" that further explain the development of humanity prior to conflict with the alien "bugger" species. Scott's latest "Enderverse" book out now is on the first contact that leads to the bugger war - "Earth Unaware", which discusses humanity's spread throughout the solar system. I'll reread the book and then post some threads for consideration, and if no one is interested, then so be it - nothing ventured, nothing gained.

[ March 07, 2013, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: Bud Martin ]

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simplybiological
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quote:
Please hang out a bit and let's have a few Obama-free threads. You're just the sort of person to help get us out of this O rut.
Aw, Pete, I never knew you cared ... Shall we go a few rounds about same-sex (not gay) marriage for old times' sake? [Wink]

As you saw, I started a thread. I'm a hell of a lot busier than I was back in the day, so I can only pop in periodically, but I'll try. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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D.W.
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[Big Grin] didn't realize there was even another book in the works. Thanks for the heads up Bud!
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OpsanusTau
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There used to be a lot of fun here. Now there is a lot less fun, and a lot more boring conversations.

There were a few old posters who pretty reliably would bring up random and interesting topics, and who also posted prolifically, so there was often a bunch of stuff going on. Now the only people who post prolifically seem to usually be talking about a small number of things.

I don't know. I still stick my head in here occasionally. Sometimes once in a week, sometimes once in six months, depending on the busy factor. There's not usually any conversation going on that I'm interested enough to join.

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rightleft22
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I have been a long time lurker and sometimes contributor.

To be candid I have become very disappointed with the current tactics disguised as discourse taking place in America and the forum. As a result I have become more and more disengaged with politics and religion as like Job silence seems the most responsible response.

I now check in one or twice a month to see which issues are being discussed maybe a quick view but it's pretty predictable who is going to say what and how in the end G3 will use his powers of obfuscation to make any discourse meaningful.

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