Free State Project Forum

Announcements => Announcements => Topic started by: JasonPSorens on September 11, 2002, 10:59:38 pm

Post by: JasonPSorens on September 11, 2002, 10:59:38 pm
This message is intended as an introduction to the web community for new users. It may be updated from time to time.

First, if you are using Netscape, you may find that after registering, it calls you a "Guest" even after you've logged in, and prevents you from posting. If you shut down your browser and reopen it, things should work just fine. Apparently something like this can happen with Internet Explorer 6 if you don't check the "never log off" square when you first log in.

Second, you may notice that occasionally some people around here make outlandish statements. Some people have been horrified by these statements and become disenchanted with the FSP as a result. Please note however that these are open, largely unmoderated forums, and that people are allowed to write just about anything, so long as it doesn't consist of blatant personal attacks or obscenity. These people do not necessarily represent the FSP. Please talk to longtime participants or leaders in the FSP before deciding that some random post represents the viewpoint of the FSP membership.  Also note that if someone criticises an opinion of yours, that does not necessarily mean that this person dislikes or disrespects you.  We encourage friendly, honest debate here.

Please note that many of the people on these forums are not FSP members.  A few of them are even critics of the FSP.  We allow them to have their say, so long as they are respectful to others.  Be aware, at the same time, that they may try to stir people up and "get a rise."  The common Internet term "troll" is applied to people who try to make others angry & say the wrong thing.  We have a few of these trolls here; you'll recognize them soon enough - just remember not to feed them. :)

Third, if you want to have "FSP Participant" in your profile click here to send an instant message to JonM (;sa=send;u=1271). If he doesn't respond, PM me.

Fourth, since about 2010 most of the discussion about the FSP has shifted to Facebook. I personally don't like Facebook, but if you want more discussion, search for the "Free State Project" group there.

That having been said - welcome, and have fun!
Title: Forum Posting Policy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 22, 2003, 06:33:35 pm
Forum Posting Policies

Title: Forum Posting Etiquette and Suggestions
Post by: Elizabeth on August 29, 2003, 12:58:18 pm
Based on posts by Friday Jones and Joe S.

There's a lot of great material on here that gets lost in a deluge of new threads and inappropriately bumped threads.

Some guidelines for forum courtesy:
Please help make our forum a friendlier place to navigate!
Post by: Kelton Baker on January 01, 2004, 08:14:19 am
A note on "censorship":
There is a high level of tolerence for varying and different views and discussions on this forum, but it is far from absolute, as per the guidelines above.

At times, there are people who make the assertion that the FSP is somehow "un-Constitutional" [1st Ammendment] or "against free speech", when our few weary and under-appreciated moderator volunteers actually moderate, delete posts or even ban members on the FSP forum.  That claim is based on a poor understanding of the basis of rights:  no person or private organization should ever be forced or enslaved to sponsor another's views.  Thus, complaints that you are being denied your rights to free speech by not being able to post whatever you wish on our forum will be ignored.
Post by: bookish_lass on October 21, 2004, 08:31:36 am
Some additional advice on peaceful debate, from Dr. Michael Edelstein:

Communication Strategies For Building Consensus (10/20/04)

1. Assume responsibility for your role in a dialogue. Do what  _you_ can to improve the process. (As good as it may feel for the moment, resentfully criticizing others for communication breakdowns doesn't help and often accelerates a downward spiral.)

2. Bring up and then address one issue at a time.

3. Remain positive and give the other person the benefit of the doubt. For example, if you suspect they may be using a sarcastic tone, assume the best.

4. Respond only to the constructive content of a message. Ignore, when possible, sarcasm, innuendo, name-calling, etc. (It's usually possible). This helps avoid escalation.

5. Avoid accusations, especially overgeneralized ones, such as: "You never...", You always...",  "Why can't you...?", "I can't believe you said that," etc.

6. Say "Please," "Thank you," "I apologize," "Great idea!," etc., generously. These words are the lubricants of communication--especially "I apologize." ;-)

7. Before criticizing a position, consider feeding it back to the person advancing it, to confirm you've understood it.

8. Do not label the individual you're speaking with, e.g., "You're a troll," "You're intolerant," " ...disrespectful," "...oblivious," "...obnoxious," etc. This rarely helps and often makes matters worse. Similarly, calling their arguments stupid, destructive, "I can't believe you said that," etc. is poor technique.

9. Keep in mind that "agreeing to disagree" is usually a fine option when stuck in a communication rut. There's often no
right or wrong in our disagreements. Differing opinions may rest on different styles, proclivities, or comfort levels.

10. If you wish someone to communicate more constructively, offer a specific suggestion and begin it with "I prefer..." For example, "I prefer you not call me intolerant. Rather, please cite specifically what I said that you disagree with." (Alternatively, trying to prove you're not intolerant, or launching a counter-offensive, rarely is constructive.)

11. If you feel the process is breaking down, discuss this with the other person. Collaboratively work to improve it by focusing on future behavioral change, rather than by assigning blame for past communication difficulties.

12. State negative feelings in a positive way by stating the other's best self, e.g., "I know you're a tolerant person," or "You often have excellent ideas." Then let them know you feel they're not living up to their usual high standard.

13. If you're communicating by computer, consider moving to the telephone should communication get stalled.

14. Give positive feedback, praise, appreciation, "atta boys" wherever possible.

15. Preface constructive criticism with positive feedback.

16. If disengaging is a viable option with someone who seems generally angry and negativistic, politely end the dialogue. Alternatively, consider suggesting ending it for continuation at a future date, when one (or both of you) will have had a chance to collect your thoughts and calm down.

17. Keep in mind that everyone is a free agent with free will, consequently you can't force anyone to understand or agree with you, no matter how self-evident your view seems to you.

18. Remind others--and yourself--of our common goal: to build a free society. Consequently, collaboration, rather than one-upmanship, is essential.