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Re: Is it worth changing? Yes Dr. Bob

Posted by Larry Hoover on March 13, 2005, at 22:35:01

In reply to Re: Is it worth changing, posted by Dr. Bob on March 11, 2005, at 2:45:58

> > When someone is mostly supportive and / or informative then it is a shame that they get blocked for such long periods of time.
> >
> > Is it worth changing the system to retain them?
> >
> > IMO yes.
> >
> > alexandra_k

I wanted to think long and hard before I expressed my opinion on this issue.

> IMO, it's a shame to lose any support or information, but:
> Is it worth it to whom? It may be worth it to the mostly supportive = repeatedly uncivil poster, sure. Is it worth it to other posters?

Given the upset that has arisen amongst Babblers in general when lengthy or marginal blocks have been given out, I have to answer affirmatively to your latter question. Most definitely, all Babblehood is affected by lengthy blocks.

There may well be individuals that fall into a category of being mostly unsupportive, or who fail to make much effort at civility. For those posters, recurrent blocks would end up being virtually indistinguishable from one massive block. If it's not worth their trouble to modify behaviour under the punitive regime now in place, I can't see those 52 week blocks being any sort of deterrent, in any case.

No, the ones most likely to respond to the fist in a velvet glove are the majority of people who get blocked. Those whose passion got the better of them. Those who were triggered by subconscious reactions. Those who are trying to work through issues, and learn how to do things better. Those caring enough to try to be more civil, in fact. To learn from mistakes.

Believe me, a block of eight weeks is not insubstantial. I resigned from Babble over a six week block. It is the exponential increase in block duration that is most hurtful to the intent of the disciplinary act itself. Is not the intent to provide motive for change? But if the punishment increases at a rate that exceeds the capacity for change, what happens to the desire to change? It is crushed.

> The question could also be turned around, is it worth it to those posters to change how they post in order to be retained?

One must never take away dignity or respect or compassion while trying to invoke discipline. I fear the doubling and tripling block system fails in all three realms.

> > I suspect Dr. Bob has decided to stop being a tease when he has no intention of putting out change. I actually appreciate that. It's very frustrating to think you have a chance of getting somewhere with him, when in truth you don't.
> >
> > Dinah
> It's nice to be appreciated, but there's a difference between needing a compelling reason to change and just not intending to...
> Bob

When I saw people getting multi-week blocks for uttering an exuberant self-congratulatory "I kicked *ss!", I was heart-broken. Now we have an automatic asterisk system. The "crime" has not been redefined, it has been accomodated. It has been accomodated by offering a default setting that precludes blocking arising from a simple failure of self-censoring or inattention.

The motive force for changing that aspect of Babbledom was the general sense that the magnitude of the punishment was not in accord with the violation.

It is my sense that blocks in excess of eight weeks duration are not in accord with any system of justice that I can accomodate.

I truly hope the maximums are substantially reduced, along with the rate of escalation towards those maximums. Progressive discipline will not be lost if the rate of escalation is reduced. Recurrent maximum blocks will have virtually identical effects as the sanctions now in place. It is the middle ground cases that will most benefit. Those most amenable to efforts to modify behaviour. Those are the posters who disappear under the current regime. Those needlessly lost to us. And I may be the next to go.





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