Discussion about the off-topic category (split from "a right to be idle")

You’re blowing my mind with your mystic bollocks. Can you start a different topic or something to post this, maybe titled Religion,Pseudo-science and supernatural nonsense please. Maybe a Humpty - Dumpty club or something - Is Dr Len any relative of Dr Nick from the Muppet show btw?

While I’m a materialist/humanist/agnostic, being that nasty and combative will just make the forum less enjoyable for everyone. Maybe just don’t read his off-topic posts if they result in that sort of visible anger.


That is your opinion and likely the opinion of many others (but I wouldn’t presume to speak for everyone) - my opinion is different. This is basically a tech/science forum and if people post irrational nonsense that has real world negative consequences for others, then I will respond to it. This type of thing is anti-education, pro ignorance nonsense in my opinion and objections to it can only be expected on any forum such as this I believe - it is just free speech. Whether you or others consider me “Nasty” is not something that concerns me, again it depends on your point of view. I find this sort of stuff offensive to the intellect and to basic human dignity - hence the anger. Different things offend different people and people have different ideas about what is nasty, rude or dis-courteous. I respect people, not ideas, particularly not religious, Mystic or Pseudo-Scientific ones. Where people are allowed to proselytise or try to twist logic to indoctrinate or put forward Mystic ideas with no evidence - is where I will rail against it. I won’t expand further as we’re going way off topic which was by the way “a right to be idle” and nothing to do with Mysticism. If you don’t want the anger, then either have a religion, Pseudo-Science and Supernaturalism thread or ban me from the chat… because I won’t change. Creating the topic and barring me from it would be an amicable solution, as I just wouldn’t visit it.

This I can agree with…Off-Topic’ is a big bucket of whatever…and will definitely put new comers off.

Either Kill Off-Topic completely and stay on topic, which is all things SAFE (and other tech in the space) or create some subs to cater for the subjects that posters are trending towards here…and consider treating these subs as opt-in i.e get them off the front page.

Opinions are formed in the first 30 seconds and in the example of a bricks and mortar business the threshold sets the mood. How is the threshold looking here?

I don’t get into these big picture arguments as they all depend on the angle your coming from, how you were educated/indoctrinated…I’m hoping SAFE will bust open this dialectical system…that is set up to cause these frictions in the first place.

Sorry for getting Off-Topic on this Off-Topic post


Could not agree more and agree with solutions.

I still want a Philosophy or Philosophical category that would cover all this “Stuff”. I get pretty worked up myself and can’t help but add my 2 cents when I see “People are wrong on the Internet”…

Same here, and a place to argue and debate (or rant and rave) is also very useful, - I can’t believe I’m saying it but maybe we need a Troll Box, but something you have to click on out of choice and are prepared to be offended by opposing views. I don’t mean mindless swearing and obvious trolling though, it would have to be moderated too. Maybe philosophy etc areas could be arranged so that you click on various “cafe’s” icons and enter at own risk, rather than having a list of mixed posts which are labelled “projects” "economy etc as the main page?

So we’re suggesting multiple off-topic threads? That seems excessive to me. Honestly, it feels a bit like @Warren just got metaphysical and that ruffled some feathers. But banishing his kind to a separate Off-Topic thread… come on guys.

Off-Topic was created specifically because these topics were finding their way into the main threads. And splitting it into multiple Off-Topic threads seems silly.

I do like the idea of making Off-Topic not appear on the front page, though. This’ll get religion AND politics off the front page and out of my face. They’re both the worst.

And anytime any of you get frustrated, remember:
We all live on a giant rock floating in unending black space.

EDIT: Actually, @David is there any way to hide this whole category from the front page? I’m starting to realize I don’t really want to even see the Off-Topics thread. It’s really prominent on the front page for how much it’s not actually helpful. I mean, it’s called Off-Topic!

Hey! are you poking fun at my Gods and Politicians? Lets take this to the AnythingGoes Category…I’m a little bored, the weekly Dev update hasn’t come out yet :slight_smile:

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Add “Metaphysics” to that list…I think actual physics is where we’re at. The whole point of doing this is to prevent the “ruffled feathers” that both you and I suffered turning into an unsavoury,.unsightly or “rude” political/existential bloodbath, which may be off-putting to new forum visitors…

Totally agree with the justifying statements, evidencing claims and not using non-sequturs, I think this is what I find most annoying.

It’s possible. I added a poll now to see how people feel about this.

But what if political thought threatens to influence and modify the SAFE network itself? Some here have started threads suggesting censorship of content, or limitation on anonymity. These folks may have entrenched political opinions that cause them to lobby (if you will) for these modifications. Now, I’m not too worried, as I think @dirvine and the team have the project firmly in hand and are taking care of the fundamentals. But what are we to say to those who use political assumptions (perhaps without speaking overtly political language) to justify their points? ‘No way’ or ‘I disagree’ carries a little less weight than perhaps presenting them with arguments that may help them to balance their opinions (or not).

Personally, I like to justify my opinions with actual positions, to allow people to discuss the underlying issues. And I wonder why just seeing an off-topic thread on the front page would bother you so much? Live and let live?

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Well, the front page should preferably consist mostly of topics about SAFE. People find this site because they are interested in the SAFE project and if the front page looks like a philosophy forum they might leave.


Oh, I agree with the idea of having a SAFE-focused forum. I have, however, been told I was talking off-topic (of the thread) when replying to people who had advocated certain measures for the network, and it required justifying my points with my political viewpoint. It did, however, pertain to the topic, and was necessary to the reply.

My text that you quoted above was more me trying to understand why seeing this stuff on the front page bothered @russell so much, rather than whether new visitors would get the wrong impression. I can happily concede that point. The original thread this came from was nothing to do with SAFE in general, so I totally agree that it could give new visitors a certain image of the content here. Then again, I see it as a sign of a vibrant forum, when people are discussing topics surrounding the central topic. Can we look at having some kind of way where these discussions won’t be completely buried?

I like the idea that off topic category not be on the home page but I will also find that not posting my own justifications for why certain measures should or should not be implemented within the thread focusing on the “measure” unnatural. If we are saying we can’t do this maybe we are swinging the pendulum too far?

Take for instance discussions of IP and paying creators for their IP which might end up in the [strategy] category. This subject is all about the core of the network and will illicit a ton of political discussion. I don’t expect people to jump in and out of the category when making cases for or against it. This is just one example and not meant to start the topic :wink: We need to be realistic and allow this but if things go way out I think we need to ask folks to reply in another topic.

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I don’t see a need at this stage for us to hide the off-topic category.

I think @Al_Kafir reacted strongly to something he personally dislikes. I had no such reaction, and read @warren’s post entirely differently. I agree it strayed of the topic in that thread, as did my reply to Warren, which no one has reacted to yet.

We start to stray off-topic all over the place. We started to get so off-topic sometimes (holds hand up as big offender) that @David set up a category for things that are not just off the current topic, so people can discuss stuff without any connection to SAFE. I think that’s a bit unusual, and also quite cool. Isn’t that itself part of the philosophy we, I think, agree on about SAFE?

Isn’t having an off-topic posts appear on the front page also consistent with that? What does it say when a new visitor arrives and sees a list of topics that is both about SAFE and other stuff. Obviously it depends what the other stuff happens to be that day, but same goes for the on topic-posts no?

I think this is an interesting meta meta discussion now! High five guys.

For clarity, I don’t see a problem with what we have for now.

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Let me make another suggestion. There is a particular ‘member’ that makes ad hominem shaming personal attack on people they obviously don’t know. That particular person has the site title “leader.” Probably best to get rid of site reputation. I’ve noticed an agenda with that person. They will skew their posts to make it not quite so obvious but they tend to argue for ads, censorship, increased moderation and getting rid of people that oppose these things.

What you want to ban is spam. A person makes a single ad hominem personal attack and they should be gone as that is spam. Now I am not making a judgment here but how could one have for instance never even heard of Thomas Khun and make such an arrogant attack on posts that started to discuss the philosophy of science. Now I am not trying to be a hypocrite but this person comes off as an ad manager or someone’s **** friend, or someones cousin or someone’s employee. Intelligent people may tolerate what may be perceived as whimsical but they won’t tolerate personal attack- they’ll just be gone and this personal attack stuff has been increasing and aimed at a number of members and shows up in a bunch of threads.

Let me also point out that the person making such attacks seems to work in tandem (could be wrong here) with another person who makes much more moderate and conciliatory comments but the agenda looks shared. And that person admits to working in the content industry on the ad persuasive side (hopefully I don’t overstate here.) That person in my opinion makes really excellent contributions but is a professional and admitted as such. But the good cop bad cop stuff, if that is what is happening is BS. People who attempt personal attacks (are they even practical or possible) or use shaming tactics can come came back with another nic and another approach. Funny, the ‘bad cop’ suggested that despite the code being transparent MaidSafe would have more problems during start up than post launch in terms of being messed with.

According to the authors of the book The Spider and the Star Fish, one of the ways centralized spiders can kill off or ward off decentralized/distributed starfish is by subverting their philosophy. As in lets do reputation, contract, increased identification and ads. And lets make sure that MaidSafe is compatible with status quo vice disrupting it because status quo really wants to be its friend and could be good to it.

It bothered me because the front page was ~50% Off Topic. Having those discussions is great and thought-provoking, but only abstractly related to MaidSafe. I also think “Off-Topic” discussions are a lot easier to have because they’re strictly opinion, fun to ponder, and often nebulous. Because of this, they become infinitely more popular to talk about than the actual network itself (not an opinion, just check the stats on Off-Topic).

EDIT: Wrong. its only like 30% of the front page. My bad. I think there was a period where there were floods of Off-Topic things in a row.


Uh oh, I’m somebody’s cousin…

Me, guys! That’s me! ::points to self furiously:: Over here!

I work about 50% in ads and 50% in documentary/features. If you’d like to further dissect my career, I might point you here. I’m also working with BitTorrent on this. Unfortunately there isn’t a directory of commercial jobs that I can share. Is there any additional transparency I need to lay down upon thee, Lord Warren?

I just want to create good work, I want to sharpen my creative skill sets, and I want to be involved in technology that allows people, like myself, the opportunity to work on things they enjoy instead of sometimes disheartening jobby-jobs. I see Maidsafe as a way of allowing people to manage their own content, and even one day creating a decentralized protocol for embedding media without the need for separate servers/companies like Vimeo, YouTube, etc. A place where one organization doesn’t need to own the library.

But, cluttering the front page with conversations that aren’t specifically about the system itself seems to at the best, IMO, devalue the page’s usefulness and at the worst actually scare people away.

@russel, there was of course no offense with regard to you.

Pay wall on Bittorrent. To me that’s the wrong approach. Content producing firms need the 100x revenue reduction so they can go away. In the mean time something like safe coin micro contributions for future works can pay people who actually produce. I have no problem welfare so I’d gladly see the global content and media industries liquidated and their employees retired out of the tax base. I am pretty sure their stock holders and managers have the collective means to look after themselves. If their property claims infringed necessary free speech by a billionth of a percent then those claims need to be liquidated. We have pressing challenges and we’ve suffered enough under content regimes and sponsored media- which pay walls enable.