Philosophy forum on life support...

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by PapaTango, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. PapaTango

    PapaTango I See Things

    Wow! I have not been directly down here in a while through the forum directory. Usually, I hit the "New Posts" link and get a gestalt view of all of the activity across boards.

    Perhaps we have run out of things to discuss? Maybe we are tired of discussing the same things over and over again. Maybe the people who liked dwelling in this board have drifted away as the site has "improved"! :eek:

    What's your take--or for that matter the level of interaction across the boards on PN?

    Perhaps things are finally stabilizing a bit for our community. It's unclear right now who actually owns "us" but it appears that it might be CreativeLive. See this thread here:

    Who owns & runs PN anyway?

    What, if anything--do you think that we need to do to kick a bit more life into this historic old horse? Sad to think that it is becoming just another PhotoBucket clone... :(
    janedragon likes this.
  2. It seems that PN has become the photographic equivalent of one of those cable tv shopping networks. Our photo and forum submissions serve one purpose only, as bait to attract customers to Creative Live classes. I think they give little consideration to membership needs and requests - about as much as a fisherman gives a worm.
  3. I think the drifting away from the philosophy forum had more to do with the content of it.

    It was in its current state long before the 'changes' in "ownership" and character of, whatever they may be.
    janedragon, Uhooru and Jochen like this.
  4. I agree with this. Philosophy tends to be more serious, more deep, and often quite a bit more esoteric than most people want, whether about photography or life itself. The drop-off in interest in the PN Philosophy forum seemed also to correlate at least somewhat with the socialnetworkization of PN.

    I doubt disinterest in deeper aspects of an art or activity is limited to photography. I spent last week immersed in the four mammoth performances that comprise Wagner’s Ring Cycle, at San Francisco Opera. Several times during the week, I remarked to myself how this would definitely NOT appeal to everyone, or even most. That’s ok. Not everything should necessarily attract a mass or popular-oriented audience. I imagine there are discussions on music websites about whether Gibson is better than Fender and exactly which capo is better in which situation and which mics offer the best quality sound in a medium-sized hall. The Wagnerites are probably musing about mythology and the struggle among knowledge, power, love, nature, and art in sites dedicated to The Ring.
    sjmurray likes this.
  5. If there is one forum that suffered under declining visitors, it's this one. When the site seemed to attract a healthy amount of visitors, this forum was already was a niche - but a healthy niche. With a decreasing active membership left, carrying a niche market is a bit beyond the possibilities. Already before the redesign, discussions were more and more often getting stale easily, and increasingly an in-crowd forum. It's not due to the changes in the last year.
    But, the redesign never was the kind that would attract more people interested in talking photography beyond its technique, gear, tips, tricks and some compositional discussion, so yeah, it drives another nail in the coffin.
    I do find it a pity; the mere existence of this forum was a key reason for me to sign up for this site, and convinced me to pay for it as well. Yet, I stopped participating too, since discussion after discussion, there was nothing unexpected to be read. Same people, same reasoning, same arguments, same bickering. Not very inspiring or informative.

    Then again, I probably at times have also been vitriolic enough to drive some people away. It never was an easy forum, nor incredibly welcoming. Not necessarily a bad thing, but of course makes it harder to keep it up and running well.
    mikemorrell and Jack McRitchie like this.
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sometimes when you walk into a Pub, you can tell if it is the kind of place you'd like to spend time or not. Sometimes it takes a couple of visits to come up with the NOT.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
    Jochen likes this.
  7. This is so true. As I said, Philosophy, and this particular Philosophy forum, wouldn’t appeal to everyone. No reason it should, anymore than the Nature forum will be everybody’s cup of tea. I may be a little quicker on the draw than Sandy, though. It only took me one visit to the current thread containing photos of license plates to know it was . . . “NOT” (all caps, of course) for me. Thankfully, both Philosophy and pics of license plates are offered here, so there’s a choice.
  8. I think its a conflict between many people's philosophical ideas and the discussions in this forum that make them avoid it. Many people like to ponder over at least a few of their photos to some extent, but beyond that, it's unnecessary pretension for them. So, when they see a few of us discussing the distinction between the 'subject of a photo' vs 'the photo of a subject', or whether machines can create art, they probably think, 'who cares' or 'thats too philosophical!'. The problem is, any idea that we think of has philosophy attached to it. Its impossible to get rid of philosophy. Well, may be, if we drain the blood out of our veins, but then, thats a philosophy in itself.

    Rejecting or doubting the purpose of philosophy in photography is a philosophy. Denying it's not is again another philosophy :).
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    A question of appreciation of whimsey, or not. And of course, how seriously one takes oneself.
  10. Its all a game of 'likes'.
    janedragon likes this.
  11. Possibly, so. Then again, I’m mindful that photos can have a deceptive quality at times, so it could also just be trite pretending to be whimsy. “Whimsical” photos would be welcome, though they’d be more difficult to make than trite ones.
  12. Out of curiosity I scrolled through a Philosophy thread from about a year ago that had a lot of responses. There were 11 different participants, and only one of them hasn't been seen on PN in the last few days. Another thread from April 2017 (shortly after PN2 started) had 18 participants, and four of them are not active today. In the few months before the rollout, a couple of other long threads had 14 and 21 participants, with three and 11 of them, respectively, no longer active. There seems to be a core of about ten Philosophy participants that have stuck around for at least two years. Although site traffic is down, and the number of active members may be less, it still seems like there should be enough people on this forum to get discussion going.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    "There are more things in heaven and earth (Fred) than are dreamt of in your philosophy." :D
  14. I think that one of the cornerstone of philosophical discussion is the individual's perception. The question is what is stopping us from discussion of meaning that hides behind the non-trivial image/form?
  15. Sorry I didn't stick to my guns last week, when I made the decision to leave PN for good and changed my screen name to Norma Desmond. Well, I'm going back to being Norma (as my farewell gesture. You all enjoy. Me. I'm ready for my close-up, far away from here!
  16. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Whichever, best of luck, and mind the swinging door.
  17. Well, there's only so many ways one can look at the subject. I'm sure it's all been discussed, argued about, etc. How much can be said about photography anyway? It's a visual thing, and not about words. The photograph IS the philosophy of the photographer.

    Just like music. People wonder why no one is writing great classical music like Mozart, Bach, all those folks. The reason is very simple. To a large degree it has all been written. There are only so many notes on a scale, and many of those notes or chords are not harmonious or pleasant to the human ear. You quickly start getting into notes and chords that are unpleasant. Stravinsky is an example of someone who pushed the boundaries of classical music, and trust me, as someone who used to work for the San Francisco Symphony and the National Symphony in Wash D.C., not everyone wants to listen to Stravinsky!

    Some forms of music, like jazz, stretched the limits of time, melody, syncopation, and discordant chords as far as they could, but after a certain point it just becomes noise. You just can't go beyond Coltrane or Monk, they nailed it and that is that. You can do it differently, but they said all there was to say in that manner. You also can end up with something like Cage on the other end, simply one note repeated endlessly. Or heavy metal....after a while it's all the same song.

    Sorry about getting off track a little here. As I said, there's only so much one can say about a visual thing in terms of philosophy.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  18. Telling people to STFU is certainly a great way to build community spirit.
    michaellinder and inoneeye like this.
  19. "I made the decision to leave PN for good and changed my screen name to Norma Desmond. Well, I'm going back to being Norma (as my farewell gesture. You all enjoy. Me. I'm ready for my close-up, far away from here!"

    You are overtly sensitive This is a public forum so you are going to engage with all sorts., Fred. Toughen up my friend....would you really want to be in a place where everyone agrees with you? And the only disagreements were of a very mild nature? The real world or choose a fantasy...a fantasy world, of your making...a fairy tale.

    Bottom line many folks feel a kinship towards you..... a very very popular member of PN; but does that matter to you? Or, is it just about the feeling and emotions of, Fred. Do they matter one tiny iota.?
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  20. Phil does not like Fred.

    Phil, you come over as sort of a scary dude.

    Folks have different views....if they don't have the same views as us....does that mean they are not worthy of our respect. Just asking,don't want to be in trouble,and have a feeling off not being worthy of respect.

    Bit frightened , Phil.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018

Share This Page