Commence Intelligent Discourse V1.0

If you have a problem with how this site is run, or with actions its moderators have taken, please contact the coaches and administrators at: abuse AT chiefdelphi DOT com with a detailed description of your complaint, and it will be looked at.

I have a problem with how it’s run - and you should too. And it’s something an abuse hotline will not solve.

Any further threads created about this topic without first contacting us at the above email address will result in your account being shut off.

Ok, I sent an email and got no response-- if you need to ban my account do so–I just hope you’ll have the class to not delete this thread and leave it open.

These are my feelings -( these are not aimed at everybody)

The policing of this forum is great, that is if you have less than 10 blips of reputation. Should somebody be allowed to flame and belittle another because that individual was provoked - or how about if they harness the power of the bright green rep dot. My feelings are absolutly not. If you feel differently, you should stop reading. You would think an individual with forum reputation would actually act more mature to others. The immaturity from the figureheads of the forum to the nobodies is unacceptable- even my own. If the people in charge of this forum do not start to treat all individuals as equals - and the childlike bullying from several adults ceases, and finally we stop using GP as a weapon of defense then you an embarrasment to FIRST and its ideas. Yes that’s a pretty big statement.

I challenge everyone on this forum to treat everyone else no matter how belligerent with actual GP respect.

I also challenge the moderators to treat everybody on this forum as equals -and stop closing their eyes to individuals who have ‘proven’ themselves.

If we don’t- this community is never going to progress - and continue to oppress unpopular opinions.

It would be cool if everyone would discuss this.

I’ve been away from the CD Forums for the better part of the past two weeks, and the Chit-Chat Forum for an additional couple of weeks. What prompted this? Just curious.

<edit>Happy Birthday, btw :)</edit>

In my experience, this is the case 99% of the time. Sure, everyone has a screwup now and then. We’re humans (most of us, at least), and I expect it.

If the people in charge of this forum do not start to treat all individuals as equals

Are all individuals equals? In my experience, no. Andy Baker can design a two-speed shift-on-the-fly transmission, then get it built and sell it. I can’t. Heidi Foster can take great pictures, then modify them so that Dave Lavery is fifteen places at the same time. I can’t. Brandon Martus can lock this thread. I can’t. And when it comes to those topics where others excel in a particular field, I respect them. Now, I’ve been known to give neutral (and even negative) rep to anybody whose posts just go beyond the bounds of good taste, or get a little bit too fresh. It just so happens that the folks with more rep seem to require those rep clicks less often.

Like I said in another thread, if you think someone’s reputation is too high or too low for a given post, give a rep click. Anyone with fifty posts and positive reputation can do it, and in the long term, it can make a difference in how their rep works out.

I’ve had a good few days, so I guess I can step into the fire without getting too down about the impending fodder.

I’ve gone back and tried to put together a nice little timeline of the events leading to this thread. It took me awhile, but I think I found everything. Collmandoman, it seems that you’ve been getting upset because your recent opinions have met great opposition. Here, it sounds like you blame GP. I’m not sure I follow your reasoning for that though. You also cite unequal treatment from the moderators. I can see that. However, I also see that you’ve been provoking their wrath. Some time back, it seems that you were in a similar situation.

I did notice that everyone has been ganging up on you recently though. I’m not convinced that this is because you are not as respected in the community as some. I think it’s more about the way you present yourself. It’s almost like you attack the opposition. Naturally, they’ll attack you back. I think this is why you also came to the conclusion that the community tries to “suppress unpopular opinions”. Take a look at some of the more controversial/heated threads lately (eliminating ship date, mentor vs. student design…). They’re presented as discussions rather than right vs. wrong. If you want to talk about something contraversial, you need to provide an environment that will allow for civil discussions. If you smack the bear with a stick, you’d better be ready for a mauling.

I commend your efforts though.

I also went back through the timeline and tried to assess the chain of events. I want to assure everyone who reads and posts here, that there is a great effort to keep this space open for any discussion, heated or not. Posters need to know (and keep in the back of their heads) that 1) Many people read your post, including mentors, teachers, and parents. 2) If you post here often enough someone is going to take exception to something you said or the way you presented the post. 3) If many people take exception to your post, it is time for reflection. Have you been open to all the possibilities, the discussion etc.? Are you open minded enough to take replies? 4) In rare cases, this being one of them, the moderators would prefer to PM a short message to members to provide an unbiased opinion on the discourse taking place and the best way to proceed. A suggestion I give often is to take a look at your response before you post. If it looks funny to you, wait. Think about it overnight and then if you still feel that your post is the best way to proceed, then hit the “submit” button.
Now that being said, I would have liked to step in and provide a professional opinion on the discussion taking place. (Professional in the sense that I carry more than 35 years of experience in Broadcast Television.) There is one thing that most people understand and that is if you open a discussion with an attack on someone’s job performance or an organization or principle that they are passionate about, you must expect a passionate and heated response. When those folks are volunteers, expect an even more heated response. This is not a personal attack but it is a very passionate discussion.
If you would like further discussion on this subject please PM me

It’s not an abuse hotline, it’s just an easy alias that sends an email to all of the coaches, engineers, and mentors that have the ability to get your problem/issue resolved.

Ok, I sent an email and got no response-- if you need to ban my account do so–I just hope you’ll have the class to not delete this thread and leave it open.
There was no e-mail sent to the abuse@ address. Even if there were, if you sent it after 10PM, you probably shouldn’t expect a response until at least the next morning – 24 hours would probably be a decent estimation.

Also, if the e-mail didn’t get a response, we do have private messages, or you could send an individual e-mail to me.

Moderators: keep this open, but it gets closed the second it gets ugly, please. Thanks.

I will have to agree with Billfred, sciguy125, and Al. Each one of them have been in this forum for a while and have seen what goes on around here. Collmandoman, if any of us made you feel like you don’t belong to us… I apologize on behalf of them. Trust me, I have been there where you are now. There was a time, when I used to think the moderators on the forum are biased, but as time passed by and as I got to know them, talk to them, I understand their point of view and respect them. They are not trying to put you down. The moderators of this forum have been doing a great job keeping all of us together here. When I first joined the forum, I was very dumb (post wise). The posts I use to make didn’t even make any sense, and I was more into chit-chat part of the forum. Few moderators who are great friends of mine have talked to me about it and since then I learned to view the other part of the forum (general, technical). I stopped posting for a while and just read every thread (specially the ones with mentors/teachers/engineers), learned from it and then started to post back here. You just have to put yourself in their shoes. They are full time students, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers too, they have a job to take care of. I am sure that you will get a response back from the forum as soon as they get to your email. They receive a lot of emails throughout the day. Just because my reputation on the forum is maxed out, I don’t look down to an individual, I won’t deny that I have never neg. repped anyone, but it took a lot for me to click on that “I disapprove” button. I have seen rookies who comes on the forum and start posting out of nowhere, even without reading the rules (ya, I did that too). As time passes by, you will learn about individuals. You will start to love this forum. I almost didn’t want to come back after I made a fool out of myself about 2 years ago, but I sticked with it.

On these forums, people are expected to act within the rules of polite behavior, of gracious professionalism. You’ve presented yourself as a mentor. This makes you held to an even higher regard, and requires what you say to not only be valid but said in a way that is worthy of the respect of these students. By placing yourself as a forum role model, you have automatically added quite a bit more judgment to you because people will look more to what you say and how you say it. If I remember correctly (and please excuse me if this is incorrect), you and I have had many a conversation based on not what you’ve said, but how you’ve said it. Disagreeing is not the problem, at least not typically (obviously disagreeing with something blatently proven or an obviously stated game rule etc is another issue). The problem comes when this disagreement is in a tone or is in phrasing that is acceptionally agressive or attacking, or one of my special pet peeves that is one of the few causes of me giving out negative reps, rude. Parting from the normal opinion should and is (if it isn’t would be the appropriate time to pm a mod) not a problem, but especially being of mentor/role model status, you must be sure that you present it well. Whining and complaining does not get things done. Maturely presenting your viewpoint and politely defending it against criticism is the mark of a person to be respected.

I would like to address the comments above. I have found that respect is not something that is a right or given freely. Respect is something that is earned. That being said, everyone should be given the opportunity to state their thoughts BUT in a civilized way. It doesn’t matter if you are a Mod, 20 years with FIRST or a newbie.

The second point is one that you will have to take my word on. I have been neg repped by people on this forum at times. After listening to their points and rereading my posts I have found that I was really out of line. I did apologize in the thread later for my mistake. I would also like you to know that there are a lot of PM’s that fly back and forth that no one sees. I know that I sent some to other Mods and asked that they step back cool down. Hey I even had to do it myself. Sometimes we get caught up in a discussion and passion takes over, not common sense. This is not an excuse because there is none but as was said before, we are all human and sometimes we need to be brought down from our high horse.

As for unpopular opinions, there is nothing wrong there if they are not offensive. I have even started threads that some feel were wrong and I got a few notes about me starting something. Funny thing though was that I got more messages saying that they liked the thread cause it made them think. I think that a lot of what is perceived is done so not by the topics but by the presentation. This is an issue that a lot of us have problems with. I am a “put it out on the table” guy that sometimes is a bit too blunt. Over time I have begun to take others feeling into account and try to temper my presentation of my thoughts. This is a continual learning experience for me.

I am an old guy, Mod, Mentor and volunteer. I believe in FIRST and the goals that it is trying to accomplish. I am also human and sometimes make mistakes. I also try to learn from them. I am willing to discuss, as I believe most of the Mods are, any posts, ideas and or concerns. Please fell free to PM me. I do have a job, so sometimes I may be a bit slow at responding but I try to be on line at least twice a day.

Yesterday i made post.

I can think of, off the top of my head, 3 or 4 reasons for it to be closed, all of them legitimate, all of them i agree with.
the admin who closed my post gave no reason why he closed it, however, and so i foolishly made another post asking why, which, of course, was closed immediately.

Perhaps it was my percieved attempt to circumvent the closing of my first post that predisposed said admin against me, but when i pmed him to ask why he’d closed my post, he, for whatever reason, did not answer my question and continually redirected me to the abuse email.

I don’t think the abuse email was apropriate, since, from what i understand, it is for issues and problems with how the site is run, and i did not have a problem. I suppose you might say i had a potential problem. Anyway, i felt that my question would’ve been best resolved by him simply answering my pms instead of redirecting me to the abuse email.

Of course, he might’ve simply just been viewing my pm as an attack, as a question of his authority etc etc, and frankly i wouldn’t be surprised (and would completely understand) if he didn’t read my pms closely and assumed that i was being annoying etc.


If he redirected me to the abuse email fully knowing that i was asking what i was asking, THEN i have a problem with the was this site is run.

Since he has said that he will not respond to further pms on the subject (a sentiment i can sympathsize with) i have no way of knowing.

You focus on the green dots quite a bit. Do the green dots really matter? All it means is that someone liked what they had to say.

I preface this with “this is not an attack”.
I tried to have a conversation with you. It became clear that you didn’t want to tolerate any questioning or debate because you assumed “attack”. You called me part of the “elitest group who makes up CD” and essentially a bully, but you didn’t address the issue with discussion, rather name-calling. You were able to gather that from the extremely short conversation we had. As soon as you decided that nobody else is worth listening to, you blocked/stopped me from talking to you at all. Is that mature? It started as simply asking what I missed when you replied to my post but you accused me of jumping on you because I was insecure about you publicly addressing me in the post. I could care less, did I publicly defend myself every other post? The public addressing wouldn’t need to be done either way if one made use of private discussions. For such a private person, you prefer to deal with personal issues publicly. I couldn’t ask questions or learn about your actions because “you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone”, yet you insist and expect from everyone else. I just don’t get it.

The original post clearly shows that you feel the need to defend your opinion everytime someone disagrees. You can’t state your opinion and leave it. Someone disagrees and you’re being attacked. I am not sure why you feel so attacked to start with, but the presentation of your thoughts fosters argument. There are many disagreements in these forums, but there are few times where someone gets bent out of shape. As many have said, as well as I have said directly to you, it is not the content of your opinion, it is the presentation. But, as you said, you are not here to please me or anyone else.

People earn respect. It’s very difficult for people to shell out respect and warm fuzzies to the “belligerent” folks (using your term). It’s not ok for the belligerent people to spew it left and right and still expect praise or equality. There is a certain amount of respect everyone is entitled to, but with abrasiveness, negativity and personal shut-out, it’s sure to drop.

I don’t see the oppression of unpopular opinions. I see good disagreements and debates, and then I see them turn nasty for whatever reason. And again - most of the nasty cases I see are not the content, it’s the presentation. I can’t speak to the inequality issues you see, but human nature finds it hard to treat various attitudes equal. When posting in CD, one is expected to adhere to civilized discussion and a sense of GP. It is a part of FIRST.

I haven’t seen discouragement of posting opinions - only encouragement to improve the manner in which they are displayed. That encouragement may be misconstrued as attacks, and without discussing it with that individual, it will continue to escalate. I hope for sanity’s sake, everyone can learn to take a step back, evaluate what they say before it’s said, and have the ability to listen to others. Nobody’s perfect, everyone will slip up esp when frustrated, but sometimes you just have to take things at face value and let it go.