You can find me on facebook with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I never refuse a friend request from an Authonomite.
Hi! Welcome to a safe discussion community where everyone can talk about things in a safe, logical environment. Here are the ground rules:
The Revised 10 Commandments of Community Debate - don't be afraid to look up definitions if my revision annoys you. Feedback appreciated, and I promise to implement it as I can.
1.) Thou shalt try to have fun and work together to try to make this forum a community. Laugh a little! We're all friends here, or could be, and there's no reason for negativity. Negativity brings everyone down, even fun sarcasm or cynicism. Not everyone enjoys or understands sarcasm.
2.) Thou shalt do thine best to teach one another instead of arguing.
Argument involves emotion. Teaching involves communication and feedback. Teaching attempts to resolve disagreements between people. Argument is a dominance/power game that poisons communities. Whoever makes everything gel the best is displaying leadership qualities.
3.) Thou shalt try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. With your fellow community members, try to get to reach point of stasis (look up the alternate dictionary definition, it's a cool argumentative concept) where all parties know the exact topic being discussed.
4.) Thou shalt not threadjack. This means posting something that might be related but you're not sure. Proper forum etiquette says you should ask if something is related before plunging in headlong.
5.) Thou shalt lurk for a while. Figure out how this community works before you start offending people. If it works negatively, see how you can make it better.
6.) Thou shalt learn thine fallacies from thine community members. Example: If your fellow discusser says you have used a straw man or ad hominem, please google the fallacy and then ask the person to show you how it applies to what you said.
7.) Thou shalt take time to think about other people's points, as well as your own, both before and after reading/making them.
There may be less substance to your argument than you think there is, even if you laid down some fantastic rhetoric trying to get it across. There may be an inner pearl in your argument, and your community members might be able to help you find it!
8.) Thou shalt work on pausing and calming down when you start to get emotionally heated.
Yoga breathing is a great way to calm down. Inhale deeply for five seconds, and make the exhalation last as long as you possibly can. Repeat until calm. This actually works 100% of the time, but it might take about five minutes of just paying attention to your breath. We are actually activating your parasympathetic nervous system.
It's the same thing that calms you down after a nice long shower.
Why commandment 8?
Debate is no place for emotion - anger, sadness, depression, anything stressful. Debate's already stressful enough without calling each other stupid or arrogant.
9.) Thou shalt immediately agree to disagree if emotions are rising.
This will give those involved in conversation a chance to cool off and realize that now is not the time to fight, now is the time to follow these Debate commandments so everyone can make friends. Refer to commandments 1 and 2 for clarification.
10.) Thou shalt try to back up your claims as best as you can.
Claims look like: 2+2 = 4, religion is bad/good for people, puppies/kitties are cuter.
Attempt to back up claims with some kind of research or solid logical point if you can find it. Teach people what research and statistics are if they don't seem to know.
11.) Thou shalt make no accusations.
No one here is trying to hurt anyone or make them cry, and if they are, they should take a minute to Google the definition of sadism.
If someone accuses another community member of something, ask them to teach the other person why what they did is bad. If they can't teach the other person, they don't know how to teach, and everyone has a chance to teach them these commandments patiently and compassionately.
12.) Thou shalt try to avoid saying "I believe this" and then walking away.
This community is for actually discussing beliefs, not for proclaiming them. Violating this commandment makes your comment look like a Youtube comment. And yeesh, those guys are hardly ever constructive, but they are getting a little better by following rules like these.
13.) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy community member unless it is to protect them from something they can't handle right now due to stress.
Lies can be a good thing to save people grief, but lies can also pollute an environment. Tell each other how you really feel, but use some tact to make some friends!
Illustration: Welcome to our "-ool!" Notice there is no P in our '-ool'. Please keep it that way.
14.) Thou shalt attempt to inspire one another with what you believe instead of dissing everyone else's beliefs.
Please ask each other for beautiful videos and songs and articles that illustrate the value of what you value to your fellow community members, rather than skimming over those you disagree with and paying close attention to people you do agree with.
This one is for science. If you don't like the music, turn the sound off. The video is a beautiful computer generation of our best current scientific model of all the miraculous things happening inside of a cell. I'm an atheist, but even I know the level of complexity here is mind-boggling.
And this one is for religion. This one is my favorite religiously-inspired song - I found out it's actually a song describing the end times. That’s why it’s so epic.
15.) Thou shalt, as a community, build a repository of inspirational and great media for one other.
Think inspiringly, not accusatorily. Science and religion both inspire the hell out of me at times.
Don't just share media (videos and music) that agrees with your idea. Share media that invokes how you feel when you are being inspired. Share your awe, don't preach it. TED talks (ted.com) are where science and religion come together. Watch them lots. They will teach you how to talk to each other.
15.) Thou shalt joke positively, attempting to rid your jokes of insult as perceived by others. Like there being two Commandment 15s.
Jokes lighten the mood. Insulting jokes do not. Keep this discussion as lighthearted as you can for as long as you can until you have a really valid point and it's time to be serious and constructive about discussion.
Sorry about the couple extra commandments. I thought that 10 number might be in need of some tweaking for something as complicated as an internet forum. It probably still can.
This is a good framework on which a community can build a set of rules. Feel free to tweak these rules as democratically as possible. Get input from everyone - it's everyone's community!
-vylasaven (message me if you want to find me on Facebook! I'm working on an exciting writing project along the lines of this set of rules and need lots of good feedback, and there are lots of smart people here on reddit!)
TL;DR: **Try not to** be mean to each other, **respect** each other's right to have their own true or false opinion, try to come to **consensus**, try to **build a community**, try to **teach** people who are wrong instead of **insulting** them for being wrong.
-David Christopher Arnold
(find me on Facebook! email@example.com - I'm working on an exciting writing project and need feedback!)
A message from the author:
Hi guys. I've been away for a while, doing all kinds of things like learning how to write and promote, you know, getting on with life.
Somehow in the middle I ended up at Stanford University studying Foreign Languages. It's a really long story, and it will be my next true book.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you guys know that I have an exciting writing project going on. It's basically my life's work. I wanted to share it with you all, as nothing has ever advanced my writing quite like Authonomy.
This site isn't about the carrot on the stick. It's about the process of collaborating your writing with other people and getting appropriate, timely, amazing feedback from people who have a problem with your work - and it's a valid problem to them, but sometimes it's not a valid problem to the author, and somewhere in the middle, the two meet.
Anyway, if you'd like to take part in my social experiment/writing project/written puzzle, click the link below.
Posted: 22/10/2009 06:38:31
Last Edit: 12/09/2012 03:01:33 by David Christopher Arnold