A call for civility? (I'm back)

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by psychophoto, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. You may remember that not long ago, a young man just a few years younger than
    myself posted a question regarding college photography programs. All started out
    well, until a few posters started telling him to just forget professional photography,
    etc. They distributed what I saw (in my opinion) as fundamentally incorrect, or at
    least extremely misleading information, and so I called them on it. Long story short,
    it devolved into a veritable flame war in which many unqualified personal attacks were
    thrown around and at the end of which I vowed a cessation of contribution to this
    forum. I considered the personal attacks and sheer ego displayed by certain forum
    members to be inappropriate and generally unacceptable, so rather than devote any
    more energy to fending off personal attacks, I just left.

    But then it hit me, just recently, that I've been involved with the LF forum in one way
    or another for too long to just say to-hell with it. It's a valuable resource that I
    believe in, and I won't be squeezed out by hostility.

    This purpose of this thread isn't to point fingers or to tell anyone off. In the thread
    that motivated me to leave, there were a lot of people being unnecessarily hostile,
    myself included. And I apologize for that. It just occurs to me that a lot of people
    here feel the need to be absolute experts a little too often and that we are all a little
    too ready to go to our guns when a little courtesy would do just fine.

    And that's what's bothering me. Ladies and gentlemen - why all the hostility? It
    seems like there's a lot of bad blood flowing around in the greater Photo.net
    community and in this forum as well, despite the fact that it's been around for a long
    time with what largely amounts to its own independent group of contributors, many
    of whom have been contributing for a good number of years. When that bad blood
    surfaces, it's just ugly. And not only that, it's completely unnecessary. True, there
    will always be rivalries and grudges in a community with a large number of people
    contributing, but I don't see why that means we have to engage in petty bickering and
    other bullshit like that when we don't quite see eye-to-eye on some issue. Sure,
    stand up for what you believe in when it's appropriate, but don't take to throwing
    insults around when there's a more civil way to go about it.

    So I guess I'm saying two things overall. One, I'm back and I shouldn't have left. Two
    (the important one), *please* can we try to be a little more courteous when we find
    ourselves with a point of contention? Flinging mud at one another doesn't help us
    learn anything, it only makes us dirty. I'll do my best to keep myself and my opinions
    in line and on-topic from now on. Will you?
  2. I see nothing wrong with calling someone a bubble-headed jackass when it is patently obvious that they're acting in that manner. Certainly it is helpful to me when I'm called out for posting an incorrect response or opinion to some thread. The only ones who should be deleted are those very few who post nothing but insults about their fellow posters (these are mostly Trolls, anyhow). I have personally withdrawn from the Leica Forum after realizing that my caustic comments were part of the problem with the deterioration of that once happy Forum. (If anyone wants to call me an obnoxious ass they are welcome to, as they are probably correct.)
  3. David I'm glad your back. I have always enjoyed reading your replies; And for
    those times when we as a group butt heads on occasion, let's at least be
    willing to listen to each other and debate the issues with intelligence and
    civility. I think we are all trying to help each other in our own way and I don't
    think we're delibertly trying to mis-lead anyone. Our individual experiece's
    (and thoughts) are different, but we should at the very least support each
    other in our endeavors.
  4. Well David, as I recall the thread very experienced people (who are really experts in the field) like j nanian and j norman etc expressed a valid opinion and you were the first to start slinging insults telling people they were "talking out of their ass" etc.

    Frankly I dont see the point of your thread, everybody was very civil and courteous but you....now you come and tell us we should all be civil when the only one at fault of incivility was yourself?....

    As I recall you got upset because people who are very experienced and have been commercial photographers for many years implied you were inexperienced by the opinions you posted and you went postal....

    Bottom line, if you are polite, people will be polite to you, if not...then live with it.
  5. Jorge, that's your take on it, and that's fine. I don't agree in the least bit, but oh well.
    Let's not have this disintegrate so quickly, ok?
  6. I completely agree with Jorge. Particularly with opinions from those offering years of advice to a novice who is considering entry into the commercial photography business, you should let it go and not take it so personally. A divergence of advice is actually healthy in this instance to the contemplative and the fact that you blasted off only supported the contrary posters. You have good experience to add and I for one did not think you would be gone long.

    Take it in stride and laugh a little. As you add years to your level of experience in life both professionally and personally and offer it up to the younger set, you will also probably come across as too narrow minded as well. Nothing wrong with being confident.

  7. Thank you for the message David and welcome back.

    I have taken quite a bit of action today to remove material from the forum due to personal insults that some messages contained. Neil and I will continue to do this to ensure that the forum remains friendly and useful.

    Robust, good quality debate is fine. If everyone agreed with everyone else then life would be very boring. Personal insults and obscenities are out though.

    I hope the position is clear.

    End of thread now please folks.

    Rob Barker (Co-moderator)
  8. I want to emphasize that it's possible for people to disagree and maintain a professional demeanor. Name calling, regardless of its origin or to whom it's directed, steps outside the guidelines of this forum.

    Consider that an advantage we have on an internet thread, versus if we're in a personal conversation with others, is that we have abundant time in which to consider our response. It's much easier to craft a response that makes our point, but without offending others, if we're sitting at a keyboard.
  9. Bottom line, if you are polite, people will be polite to you, if not...then live with it.

    -- Jorge Gasteazoro , September 07, 2003; 11:47 A.M. Eastern

    Sheesh, Jorge; how many microseconds did it take you to re-invigorate what was a dead flame war? I thought the point of Mr. Munson's post was that he was apologizing for what he did?

    I am frequently awed by the dichotomy between this topic, and ones such as that posted more recently on this forum about the beauty of landscape images.

    Seems that we talk a real good game; but rarely do we walk the talk.
  10. Sheesh, Jorge; how many microseconds did it take you to re-invigorate what was a dead flame war? I thought the point of Mr. Munson's post was that he was apologizing for what he did?
    That's just it, it was not an apology. If it had been I would not even had responded. But in the thread in question he was the one who became insulting because people who had real experience in the field disagreed with him.
    Then he goes on to say we all should be more polite when in fact he was the only one not being so.
    As to reinvigorate the flame war, I dont see any war here. It is only your assumption that there is one, he posted I responded and he disagreed,THE END! what war are you talking about? or are you wanting to start one all over?.....
  11. David, I am not aware of the thread in question, I am not taking sdies, but there is some good points raised above. You also make some excellent points...which im my opinion is a source of deterioation of many forums. Lots of strong personalities, head strong people, who do not face each other in person.....it's a recipe for hostility sooner or later. I do notice though how some very experienced people have a very gentle demeanor, even when pushed. I praise them all, it's not easy! Almost no one likes getting attacked personaly, and once it starts, it seems there is no end to it. I have too have been attacked and find myseld wasting valuable time defending myself or better said, protecting my character.

    You wrote....a lot of people here feel the need to be absolute experts a little too often and that we are all a little too ready to go to our guns when a little courtesy would do just fine.

    I agree with this point very much. Many people suffer from, NIH, Not Invented Here Syndrome and quite often leads to the demise of a thread, not to mention how confusing the thread becomes. The other issue about these threads, and the one reason I gave up for awhile also is....it seems not everyone reads all the posts before theirs...which often creates confusion. Also, some posts somehow do not relate to the question.... Lots of things can go wrong in forums, and it's an open forum, so expect the worse and grab what you can! Anyway, welcome back!
  12. One thing which seems to work well with most people is to keep posts as simple "I" messages. "I think that...." or "I see it as......" This tends to not anger people as much as.....

    A sure way to P.O. someone is to start taking their inventory for them. This usually begins with a "you" message. For example, "You stinking pool of dribbling excrement......." is a great way to start donning the Nomex skivvies.

    I think the impersonal nature of the internet can lead people astray and allow them to not suffer the same consequences of behavior as a face to face interaction can lead to (i.e. a good ass whuppin')

    Group hug now.

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