Psycho-Babble Administration Thread 300134

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Re: small town boards

Posted by Dinah on February 9, 2004, at 20:52:57

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 9, 2004, at 19:51:37

It's not a vision of Babble that I like. A bunch of gated private communities. But if that's what you want, you'll have it of course. I don't think it's the best way to build a community.

I register my ongoing disagreement with the concept, and hope that it doesn't lead to a lack of sense of community overall.

Couldn't you at least make them so the rest of us can't read them? There is something so .... about a public private party.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by jane d on February 9, 2004, at 22:05:32

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 9, 2004, at 19:51:37

> , and I'm not sure I'd consider people newcomers after 1 to 2 years...

No. Definately not. But everyone except for the first class has taken their turn reading posts about how great things were back in the old days and realized that the old days meant pre-them. :)

> The idea is, the open boards are like big cities. The small town boards would be like, well, small towns. Some people prefer small towns to big cities. Those people might feel more comfortable on small town boards.

I'd count myself as a small towner by nature as a matter of fact. Even though we aren't talking about invitational only boards any more I find I'm still a bit uncomfortable with this version. I think the reason is that public boards are not small town by definition. And trying to make them feel cozy and "small town" is a form of subtle, possibly accidental, misrepresentation. I know this isn't a new argument but it seems to apply particularly well to this example.

>
> Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Change is always hard here.

You sound as though you feel that you are being attacked from all sides. That certainly wasnt my intention even if it looks like I keep changing my arguments with each post. I'm hoping they are evolving.

> Some people seem to feel it would be elitist to join a small town board. But someone could do that and still visit the big city boards. And if they didn't feel comfortable in the big city, wouldn't it be nice for them to have an alternative? If they felt supported on a small board, they might even be more likely to try a large one...

Put like that it sounds good but it's already hard for newcomers to negotiate the number of boards already here. It doesn't matter how friendly the group is when you arrive if you can't find the place. I think it's easy to forget how confusing this place already can be for a newcomer once you already know your way around. For example, this makes perfect sense to me http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm
but I bet it looks like gibberish to most people here. And I doubt that the list of babble boards looks much clearer to newcomers. And I think more boards would have to increase the administrative burden on you as well which could indirectly make things even more confusing.


> People have already formed their own small groups. Is that elitist? I'm more inclined to see it as wanting to connect than wanting to exclude. But what about those who want to connect, but haven't been able to? Why not try something new to help them?

I hope I didn't suggest that the groups I know of are elitist. The one I am most familiar with evolved from the chat room in Open and everyone was welcomed there. Over time some friendships developed there that went beyond the chat room but that chat room stayed open and welcoming. I wasn't that comfortable mentioning the unofficial groups in the first place and only did it because it's an option available to everyone and because I think that it informally serves all of the same functions that your proposed groups did. And that chat room is still there for anyone to use. (And it's unarchived).

> Also, I wouldn't see it as so exclusionary to let others listen in on what's being discussed...

Isn't the point to have people participate though? There are already more than enough places to just passively observe and i'm saying this as a passive observer myself.

Jane

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Elle2021 on February 9, 2004, at 23:38:38

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on February 9, 2004, at 17:17:13

Whats the problem with leaving "well enough" alone. I don't like the idea of poster initiated boards, it sounds exclusive.
Elle

 

Re: small town boards Dinah

Posted by shar on February 10, 2004, at 0:43:09

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on February 9, 2004, at 17:17:13

> But I continue to protest the idea of small groups where you can read but not post as being unnecessarily divisive, *not to mention plain bad manners by every rule of politeness I've ever been taught.* [emphasis by Shar]

As a fan of manners myself, I am surprised that I haven't come across anything that leads me to believe that small groups by invitation are inherently rude. There are many situations in all sorts of settings, in everyday life, where that very thing occurs (groups we can listen to but not join in). I will list some upon request.

On another occasion, having such groups as PB 2000 was called elitist, a characterization with which I strenuously disagree (if the members are being called elitist, I find that in itself an example of bad manners).

Shar

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by jane d on February 9, 2004, at 22:05:32

> It's not a vision of Babble that I like. A bunch of gated private communities.
>
> Dinah

What's wrong with gated private communities? If everyone can join one if they want? People will only want to belong to clubs that won't have them as members?

----

> everyone except for the first class has taken their turn reading posts about how great things were back in the old days and realized that the old days meant pre-them. :)

Well, that's taking it kind of personally... :-)

> I find I'm still a bit uncomfortable with this version. I think the reason is that public boards are not small town by definition.

Sorry, how do you mean, not small town by definition?

> > Some people seem to feel it would be elitist to join a small town board. But someone could do that and still visit the big city boards. And if they didn't feel comfortable in the big city, wouldn't it be nice for them to have an alternative? If they felt supported on a small board, they might even be more likely to try a large one...
>
> Put like that it sounds good

Great, so I can count on your vote? :-)

> I think it's easy to forget how confusing this place already can be for a newcomer ... For example, this makes perfect sense to me http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm
> but I bet it looks like gibberish to most people here.

Exactly, this is like a big city now!

> The one [unofficial group] I am most familiar with evolved from the chat room in Open and everyone was welcomed there. Over time some friendships developed there that went beyond the chat room but that chat room stayed open and welcoming.

Exactly, a friendship could develop on a large board and then move beyond it to a smaller board. While the large board stayed open and welcoming.

> I wasn't that comfortable mentioning the unofficial groups in the first place and only did it because it's an option available to everyone

The unofficial groups are available to everyone?

> > Also, I wouldn't see it as so exclusionary to let others listen in on what's being discussed...
>
> Isn't the point to have people participate though?
>
> jane d

Right, that's what the people being observed would be doing...

Bob

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 3:59:52

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

Ok, never mind. I can't stay where not only is such an offensive topic considered ok, but such an offensive answer is given to genuine concerns.

I *do* feel invalidated, not an uncommon feeling with you.

Please remove me as deputy.

Bye. I've enjoyed meeting so many friends. I will be sorry to have missed the friends I have yet to meet.

 

Re: small town boards shar

Posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 4:01:47

In reply to Re: small town boards Dinah, posted by shar on February 10, 2004, at 0:43:09

I have never ever made my feelings about PB2000 less than unclear.

In doing so I'm not criticizing the posters, I'm criticizing the idea.

But the question is moot.

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 4:32:05

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

You know, Dr. Bob. I was going to stay even though I think this is a divisive bad idea.

All you had to do was be relatively sensitive to the concerns of those who said so.

Surely they taught you these things in psychiatry school? My therapist knows a bunch of them.

"I can see that you're upset and I'm sorry." "I know you feel that way about xxxx, but I see it more as yyyy. I recognize your concerns, but I'm going to give yyyy a try."

Not:

> "What's wrong with gated private communities?"
> "Well, that's taking it kind of personally... :-)"
>
> "Great, so I can count on your vote? :-)"
> "Right, that's what the people being observed would be doing..."
>


 

Re: Of course that should have read...

Posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 7:11:20

In reply to Re: small town boards shar, posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 4:01:47

> I have never ever made my feelings about PB2000 less than clear.
>
> In doing so I'm not criticizing the posters, I'm criticizing the idea.
>
> But the question is moot.

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 8:36:19

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on February 10, 2004, at 3:59:52

> I *do* feel invalidated, not an uncommon feeling with you.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to invalidate, just to understand.

> Please remove me as deputy.

OK, but let me know if you change your mind, it's been great to have you here, and it would be great to have you back. Best wishes,

Bob

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by fallsfall on February 10, 2004, at 9:56:08

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 8:36:19

> I *do* feel invalidated, not an uncommon feeling with you.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to invalidate, just to understand.


Dr. Bob.

I feel like I am an expert these days on invalidation. I have felt invalidated in my therapy and on this board.

I think that it is not too hard to be validating, even if you disagree with someone. To be validating, one needs to let the other know that they understand the other's point of view and that they recognize that it is reasonable for the other person to have this point of view. In no way does this require the two people to agree - it simply requires the validator to express that the other's point of view IS understood and accepted as the other's point of view.

I find your responses often making me feel incomplete. When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make. I would feel more validation if you used more words, and showed that you did understand the point that the other was trying to make. It feel that by simply answering with a question that you are avoiding the discussion - trying to diffuse the discussion by spreading out more ideas without tying anything back together. I guess I feel like I hear a lot of the possibilities that must be going on in your head, but I do not have a sense of how you see them tying together. This is frustrating for me, because I can't understand by what criteria you are making your decisions, so it is hard for me to figure out how to enter into a discussion with you to make my thoughts known.

I recognize that you have the *right* to make completely arbitrary decisions on any topic that you choose in relation to this board. However, I would be very surprised if that were your goal. If that is NOT your goal, and you are trying to make informed and understandable decisions, then I guess that, at least for me, they aren't coming across that way.

There are many intelligent, thoughtful people on this board. Many of these people would welcome the opportunity to help clarify what this board does to help them, and to hurt them - so that the board may improve and be more helpful and less hurtful. You have one conception of what this board is - from your viewpoint as its creator. Our viewpoints are different - because we have different roles here. I would expect that the best result would be obtained by combining information from both viewpoints. Perhaps you do, but that is not apparent to me, because I don't see the dialog that lets me know that you are understanding what we are trying to say. I don't see the validation.

I also find it hard to validate what you are saying because your ideas appear to me as discrete points of information without connection.

I want to ask some questions, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to word them in such a way that you would be induced to provide a satisfactory answer (i.e. more than one word, and not a question). I'll see if I can come up with some questions.

I truly hope that you can find my feedback here helpful in understanding how you come across to at least this one poster. I sincerely hope that you wish to communicate more effectively than what I see.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by Penny on February 10, 2004, at 10:44:30

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 8:36:19

Doc,

I feel that you are emotionally removed from this board and its posters. Perhaps that is your intent, but it leads me to question the board's purpose. While babble has been a wonderful support system for me in the time I've been posting, I have often bit my tongue and kept my reactions to your postings to myself, as I avoid controversy as much as possible.

Not to say that you should be overly emotionally involved with the posters on this board - perhaps 'involved' isn't the right word at all. But I've seen you post that you 'care' about the people on this board, yet I wonder if that is really the case, or if the idea of 'small town boards' is just one more example of how you view the board more as a means of research than anything else.

I understand the importance of research. I *think*/I *hope* that you really believe that the idea of 'small town boards' will be beneficial to the well being of many present and future posters to the board. That said, if you do, in fact, believe this, and to the extent that you are willing to alienate some of the most helpful, supportive and knowledgable posters on the board, then perhaps you need to post something a bit more detailed about how this is supposed to work. Not that you *need* to justify any decision you make, but out of courtesy for the people who have allowed you to use bits of their lives in your research...

I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem. I know you are a physician. I know this is only one of many many things you do with your time - but if the only response you have time to give is an inadequate one, at least say that you realize it is inadequate and try to elaborate more when you have more time.

As much as I love babble, this whole scenario is really bothering me. I apologize if this comes across in an unclear way - I'm not sure I'm being all too logical right now, so please ask me to clarify if I'm not making sense.

As has been pointed out - this isn't a democracy. I'm not asking for you to take a poll, unless you want to. You don't owe me any explanations - this is your kingdom, your creation of sorts, to do with as you wish. I have participated with the understanding that that is the case. However, I do think you have a good thing going here, something that many people have found comfort, support and knowledge in, and I'd hate to see that fall apart. Perhaps it won't fall apart - perhaps it will just change. But for the better? I guess only time will tell.

P

 

Re: small town boards jane d

Posted by NikkiT2 on February 10, 2004, at 12:56:15

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by jane d on February 9, 2004, at 22:05:32

Just a quick message.. I'm still not sure how I feel on the whole boards issue..

But you said..

"No. Definately not. But everyone except for the first class has taken their turn reading posts about how great things were back in the old days and realized that the old days meant pre-them."

I think you'll find that an awful lot of us "old timers" are actually saying that we like it better now.. Theres things and people we miss, ofcourse.. But many of us love the safety here these days.. things like that

Nikki x

 

Re: Chat - open to everyone

Posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 13:36:50

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

> The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
>

That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up" though I know you wouldn't put it so crudely. So heres a link to an open chat invitation for today and tomorrow that just posted over on social.

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/social/20040209/msgs/311716.html

I've felt guilty before over just finding friends for myself there and then leaving. I'll try to give something back by offering to sit there, playing with the little smiley faces, so that if anyone else wants to show up they'll know in advance they won't find an empty room. (And, IIRC, they are pretty cool smiley faces too)

Jane

 

Re: small town boards NikkiT2

Posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 13:46:07

In reply to Re: small town boards jane d, posted by NikkiT2 on February 10, 2004, at 12:56:15

> "No. Definately not. But everyone except for the first class has taken their turn reading posts about how great things were back in the old days and realized that the old days meant pre-them."
>
> I think you'll find that an awful lot of us "old timers" are actually saying that we like it better now.. Theres things and people we miss, ofcourse.. But many of us love the safety here these days.. things like that
>
> Nikki x

Nikki,

No offense intended. After all you "old timers" are the ones who made me welcome, helped me pull my foot out of my mouth a few times, and then offered me dry socks to wear. But a few people HAVE said that. I don't believe it's meant in the way I paraphrased it but I also don't think that those people realize it could be heard that way.

Jane

PS Can I have another pair of dry socks please?

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 14:18:01

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

> What's wrong with gated private communities? If everyone can join one if they want? People will only want to belong to clubs that won't have them as members?

Everyone can't join gated communities. That's the point of them. And it's hard to be fond of them when you know that you are the kind of people they were designed to keep out.

I think the gated community analogy applies best to the "invitation only" boards which you are no longer suggesting. The stuff below applies to the size limited boards you are talking about now.

> Exactly, this is like a big city now!

No. I don't think it is. Not yet at least. But I think adding boards is another step in that direction. I'm not sure quite how you want this to develop but I keep seeing links on the page to dozens and dozens of boards.

>
> Right, that's what the people being observed would be doing...

I see it more like being performers a stage set up to look like a small town than participating in an actual town. The point I was trying to make before is that the more you try to make it look like a small town the less likely your actors will realize that they are on a stage. Kind of like "the Truman Show" if I'm thinking of the right movie.

>
> Bob

Perhaps this is no longer relevant to the thread but I got the impression that you were surprised at how strongly opposed some of us were to the invitation only plan. I think this brings back some nasty memories of childhood and adolescence and the way exclusion from the in group could be deliberately used to hurt someone. I don't think that particular form of harassment is a part of boys culture at all. There's a book called "Odd Girl Out" which describes this fairly well. Its mostly interviews with girls about their social interactions (to put it politely). If you are curious about the reaction you got you might like to take a look at the book.

(I've tried to put in the link. Or course you may want to keep in mind that amazon tried to sell their customer information once and may well try it again but this is a fairly innocuous purchase)

Jane

 

Bob

Posted by Elle2021 on February 10, 2004, at 16:06:19

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 14:18:01

Dear Bob,
Does this idea of "gated communities" have something to do with your research. I mean, are you doing some experiment to see how all of us will react to these by invitation only boards? (i.e. will people with the same disorders stay in the same group, be in the same community etc.) I get that feeling. I think it's a bad idea, and even worse, it would limit the amount of information that can be exchanged here.
Elle

 

Future of Babble

Posted by gardenergirl on February 10, 2004, at 17:33:22

In reply to Bob, posted by Elle2021 on February 10, 2004, at 16:06:19

Dr. Bob,
I have tried to stay out of this, but I have noticed a number of posters asking for your reasoning and goals for Babble. I don't feel like these questions have received adequate answers.

So, although experience should teach me otherwise, I am going to ask the following questions.

Do you have a strategic plan for Babble? One that includes a mission, values, and goals? If so, then any changes to Babble would come from a place of planning and congruence. Making decisions would be easier as you would make them based on your mission, vision, and values. I'm guessing it would feel to those of us who use Babble that your decisions make sense if they came from such a model. Rather, it feels as if you are just blowing on the winds, or perhaps whims of ideas rather than from a place of purpose.

Perhaps business students at your university could help you with this. I highly recommend acting in congruence with a defined strategic plan. It really cuts down the dissonance.

gg

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 9, 2004, at 19:51:37

>
> > perhaps it would help to have a poll
> >
> > judy
>
> The thing is, I think people who are here now are going to be relatively satisfied with the current system. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here now...

actually, I was thinking there would be some support for your new boards and was interested in seeing how much. and as one poster wrote, a poll would give a sense of empowerment, at least a sense of feeling involved with your decision. as someone who has been around for 5 or more years, I've seen many changes here- with the advent of PBCs and blocks my favorite (although I know many would disagree with that). I never expected these boards to remain static. I also know that when I feel particularly vulnerable I only post on PB2000, with complete faith that I won't be hurt by people I've interacted with for years. I think that is part of what you're trying to achieve with your new boards.
It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

> I find your responses often making me feel incomplete. When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make.
>
> It feel that by simply answering with a question that you are avoiding the discussion - trying to diffuse the discussion by spreading out more ideas without tying anything back together. I guess I feel like I hear a lot of the possibilities that must be going on in your head, but I do not have a sense of how you see them tying together.
>
> fallsfall

Well, sometimes it's true, I don't understand the point...

I think of asking questions as a way to promote discussion rather than to avoid it. It may spread out more ideas, and it may not be clear how they tie together, but these aren't always simple issues.

----

> I *think*/I *hope* that you really believe that the idea of 'small town boards' will be beneficial to the well being of many present and future posters to the board. That said, if you do, in fact, believe this ... then perhaps you need to post something a bit more detailed about how this is supposed to work.

What kinds of details do you mean?

> I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem.
>
> Penny

Sorry about that. If you have other questions, just ask...

----

> > The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
>
> That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up"

No, I really just wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean that the chat room is available to everyone? Or that people are free to form their own unofficial groups? Or actually that there's some listing of existing unofficial groups?

> I've felt guilty before over just finding friends for myself there and then leaving.

I don't think you need to feel guilty about that. Finding friends is great, and no one's obligated to stay.

But it's interesting that you leave, maybe you feel more comfortable is a less open setting? :-)

> > What's wrong with gated private communities? If everyone can join one if they want?
>
> I think the gated community analogy applies best to the "invitation only" boards which you are no longer suggesting.

Maybe, but I don't know, that was Dinah's analogy...

> I see it more like being performers a stage set up to look like a small town than participating in an actual town. The point I was trying to make before is that the more you try to make it look like a small town the less likely your actors will realize that they are on a stage.

A stage in what way? Because others can watch?

> I got the impression that you were surprised at how strongly opposed some of us were to the invitation only plan. I think this brings back some nasty memories of childhood and adolescence and the way exclusion from the in group could be deliberately used to hurt someone.
>
> Jane

I know it's not always easy to leave the past behind, but aren't people *here* usually pretty friendly? All of a sudden that would change?

----

> Does this idea of "gated communities" have something to do with your research. I mean, are you doing some experiment to see how all of us will react to these [new] boards?

You could think of it as trying to see if some people feel more comfortable with a different type of board, but I wouldn't consider it scientific research. And there's no hidden agenda.

> I think ... it would limit the amount of information that can be exchanged here.
>
> Elle

Because, for example, poster P from small town board A wouldn't be able to post on small town board B? That's true, but (1) P could post on an open board (where people from B could read and reply) and (2) people from B might feel more comfortable having their own board and post more there (where P could read but not reply).

----

> Do you have a strategic plan for Babble? One that includes a mission, values, and goals?
>
> gardenergirl

The mission is peer support and education? And the plan is to foster that by maintaining a supportive milieu? That probably doesn't count as "strategic"...

----

> > > perhaps it would help to have a poll
> >
> > The thing is, I think people who are here now are going to be relatively satisfied with the current system. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here now...
>
> actually, I was thinking there would be some support for your new boards and was interested in seeing how much. and as one poster wrote, a poll would give a sense of empowerment, at least a sense of feeling involved with your decision.

Well, I think someone's more likely to be involved if they post here than if they just vote, but I take your point, let's give it a try:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/psycho-babble-open/surveys?id=1178539

> when I feel particularly vulnerable I only post on PB2000, with complete faith that I won't be hurt by people I've interacted with for years. I think that is part of what you're trying to achieve with your new boards.

Right, the idea is for people to have a place they feel comfortable, connected, safe, etc.

> It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.
>
> judy

Change is always hard here. I think feeling upset can be a sign that people like things the way they are, which of course is good. And they don't want to lose that.

But there's always room for improvement...

Bob

 

Thanks :) Penny and (nm) fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 7:00:58

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by fallsfall on February 10, 2004, at 9:56:08

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 7:55:47

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

> It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.

Judy, I can only speak for myself. But my concerns aren't for the changes there would be to me, but the changes there would be on the board. The changes that would happen if people felt they needed to retreat to their own enclave to feel safe. The changes that happen in a real community when that happens. It's a hot topic in my city, and in others as well. What happens when a city starts being walled off from itself. It's not that I feel personally involved. I don't live inside a walled community, you don't even have to be chosen to live there or receive an invite, just buy a house. Not all the houses are really expensive or out of my ability to buy. I don't live right outside a walled community, feeling unsafe and wishing that I too had an officer at the gate to keep out the riffraff. I'm not envious of those inside the walled community. Admittedly I might mind the smell of the hot dogs coming over the fence during the fenced in community block party, while I can smell them and listen to the laughter, but can only join in by phoning someone inside and having a conference call. And there might be a teensy part of me that would be *glad* that they had walled themselves off if they only wanted to associate with each other. And perhaps a determination to not invite them to our block party. But I hope I'd overcome those petty feelings.

It's true that if I did live right next to the walled community, and saw it every day, and heard them talking about how glad they were to have the walls and the security guards, I might feel a bit stung. And even if I knew these people weren't actually afraid of *me* and weren't trying to exclude themselves from *me*, I would also know that maybe some of my neighbors didn't know that, and felt hurt at the implications of walls. Not me personally. But others that I live and work with. And that would hurt *me* to know that others felt excluded or as if they were viewed as threatening. And that's where I'm coming from.

Of course I appreciate the support system, and more importantly perhaps, the friends and acquaintances I have made here.

But it's also nice to be heard and understood by the mayor. And it hurts when the mayor you always voted for, supported, and stuffed envelopes for appears to make light of your concerns and values. I've heard a lot of people say that before me, so I know I'm not alone in actually caring about Dr. Bob's actions. Most of the attrition from the people who get really involved in the boards, and who care about the board (and care about Dr. Bob too), don't come from the lack of walls. They come from what Penny and Fallsfall were discussing. From feeling that Dr. Bob didn't hear them and understand them and take their concerns seriously, even if in the end he had a different opinion and made a different choice.

I don't think Dr. Bob wants this. I don't think he wanted to lose Lar or any of the other worthwhile posters that may not have left if they had felt heard and understood and taken seriously. I don't think he wants this, but I think it's happened enough that it's something he should keep in mind.

I'm glad you've never been hurt by Dr. Bob or felt invalidated by him (psychobabble I know, but apropos). I hope you never do. But if it ever happens to you, you'll know how much it hurts. And there'll be no safe enclave *here* from that particular hurt.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 7:57:34

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

Dr. Bob,

I would like to participate in the survey, but I don't know what I would be commenting on. My support or lack of support is dependent on some of the details of the implementation. As I understand it, these details have changed - and I'd like to be sure that I'm deciding on the most current set.

Would you like to define the current proposal, or would you like someone else to specify what they think it is, so that we can all be on the same page?

(It would be helpful if your answer to that question was one of these:

A. Dr. Bob will define the current proposal
B. Dr. Bob will ask a specific poster if they will define the current proposal
C. Dr. Bob will ask for volunteers to define the current proposal, and then choose one of the volunteers to do the work
D. Dr. Bob will ask that any poster who wants to should post what they think the current proposal is and it can be discussed from there (but I'm not sure that this would lead to closure, so I really like the other choices better.)
E. Dr. Bob will ask for volunteers to meet in a chat room to come up with the proposal.
)

Sincerely,
Fallsfall

 

Re: small town boards judy1

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 14:12:22

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

Judy, I just wanted to apologize if I said anything to hurt you in my prior post. I wouldn't want to do that for the world.

I have often thought that if there was any purpose for the 2000 and 2001 boards at all, it was to help you and Slinky feel safe.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 14:31:42

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

***Dr. Bob,

***I'm glad that you have responded to so many of the issues that we've raised above. There are some things, though that I'm not clear on, so I'll try to clarify what my confusion is in hopes that you can clarify some of the answers.

> > I find your responses often making me feel incomplete. When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make.
> >
> > It feel that by simply answering with a question that you are avoiding the discussion - trying to diffuse the discussion by spreading out more ideas without tying anything back together. I guess I feel like I hear a lot of the possibilities that must be going on in your head, but I do not have a sense of how you see them tying together.
> >
> > fallsfall
>
> Well, sometimes it's true, I don't understand the point...

***It could be helpful to us if you could explain a little more about why you are confused.
>
> I think of asking questions as a way to promote discussion rather than to avoid it. It may spread out more ideas, and it may not be clear how they tie together, but these aren't always simple issues.

***I certainly agree that these aren't simple issues. I often find, though, that the counter-questions that you raise feel almost more like a defense to me than a conversation. Often I agree, saying "well, yes, Dr. Bob is right that it could be seen in a different way" but then there is no DISCUSSION that follows. So whereas before I was considering one possibility (and feeling a little control in the world), now there are two possibilities - but I have no way of comparing them or combining them. The two possibilities just sit there and never come together. I feel like I can't respond when you do that because I feel like you've told me (or whoever the poster was) that I'm wrong - the world isn't as simple as I think, and that I should get my facts straight the next time before I present something. But I can't do that because you don't give me enough information on your philosophies to construct a more durable proposition. Also, many of your counter-questions seem rhetorical to me. Or they indicate that the difference in opinion is like a religious battle - where there is no right or wrong - only opinions. In all of these cases, I end up with two ideas that don't come together, so I get frustrated and give up.
>
> ----
>
> > I *think*/I *hope* that you really believe that the idea of 'small town boards' will be beneficial to the well being of many present and future posters to the board. That said, if you do, in fact, believe this ... then perhaps you need to post something a bit more detailed about how this is supposed to work.
>
> What kinds of details do you mean?

***This is an example of a counter-question that I find irritating. I found the original question fairly clear, myself. So, I am left with the impression that you are avoiding answering the question (saying "OK, Poster, I'll answer your question, but only if you do more work first").

***Details that I would like:
1. Logistical details - how do people sign up for the rooms, what happens if someone stops posting (and for how long) - does their spot get put up for grabs? How do people know there is a spot open and apply for it?
2. Why do you think the smaller rooms will make people feel safer? Is the only factor in safety the number of people who can respond? Isn't the number of people who can read also a factor in feeling safe?
3. The biggest complaint that I hear from new people is that noone responds to their post. Do you think that smaller rooms will help this problem? There will be fewer people who CAN respond, but maybe those people will feel more responsible to respond? My feeling is that new posters will get fewer responses in a smaller room.
4. What problem are you trying to solve with this small town solution? Are you trying to have groups of posters feel closer to each other? More responsible for helping each other? Less likely to be uncivil to each other? Are you trying to start up a set of rooms where new posters could get their feet wet, or where old posters can go to relax? All of these things COULD be results of the small town solution - but my question is "What is it that YOU are hoping to accomplish? What prompted this?"

***Overall, I am assuming that you think that there will be benefits to the small town boards. What ARE those benefits that you are looking for? We've talked a bit about some of the drawbacks, but it's really hard to weigh the sides when we know so little about one of the sides.
>
> > I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem.
> >
> > Penny
>
> Sorry about that. If you have other questions, just ask...

***Penny wasn't asking a question. She was stating an opinion. "Sorry about that." does not give her (or me) an indication of whether you understand her point, whether you agree or disagree with her point, or whether you have any intention of changing your communication style.

***Though I will say, that your response makes me think that you have no intention of changing your communication style, since it is in the form that I think she is saying she is annoyed with. If you do not intend to change, then it would be clearer for you to say "I can see why you might be frustrated by the additional questions, but this is the way I work." Then at least we would know that we should give up trying to point things out to you that we think would help the board.
>
> ----
>
***This next section got pretty confusing for me, so I went back to see the context of these statements. I think that this exchange helps to illustrate why I find the answering a question with a question confusing.

***********************Jane's post ( ) says:

***> The one [unofficial group] I am most familiar with evolved from the chat room in Open and everyone was welcomed there. Over time some friendships developed there that went beyond the chat room but that chat room stayed open and welcoming.
***Exactly, a friendship could develop on a large board and then move beyond it to a smaller board. While the large board stayed open and welcoming.
***> I wasn't that comfortable mentioning the unofficial groups in the first place and only did it because it's an option available to everyone
***The unofficial groups are available to everyone?

**************[This is the end of the part of Jane's post that I went back to read.]

> > > The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
> >
> > That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up"
>
> No, I really just wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean that the chat room is available to everyone? Or that people are free to form their own unofficial groups? Or actually that there's some listing of existing unofficial groups?

***The question "The unoffical groups are available to everyone?" could come across as a challenge - in this case it could be interpretted to mean that you are implying that not everyone has access to unofficial groups, and that this means that they would not be a viable alternative to small town boards.

***Perhaps you could have put your 3 (much clearer) questions in your previous post to Jane so that it would be clear to Jane what your questions were. I always assume that you have something specific in mind when you put in a question like that, but not infrequently I'm not sure what that specific thing is. Is my suggestion clear to you - that perhaps in the future you could be more specific? Is being more specific something that you would see as an improvement?

***This is as much as I have time for right now. I'll try to get the rest of my questions into a post this evening. I do think that it is important for me to understand what this particular post of yours is trying to say.

Falls


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