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Thread: Politics at Anthrogenica

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Politics at Anthrogenica

    I would like the admins and mods here to seriously consider getting rid of the "Current Affairs" subforum here, at least as far as it concerns controversial political discussion. Politics is out of place in a forum otherwise dedicated to dna and genetic genealogy. Discussing politics invariably leads to arguments and to hard feelings. Personally, I now cannot help but regard at least a couple of members of this community in a far different and more negative light than I would have had I not happened upon the expression of their (to my mind) ill-informed political opinions.

    I know I could just ignore and avoid "Current Affairs", and I do, most of the time, but I think what I wrote above has a general application, beyond myself. Even if I avoid the political discussions in that subforum, not everyone will, and the hard feelings generated there will eventually spill over and infect the rest of Anthrogenica.

    Modern politics in a venue like this is just a bad idea, a really bad idea.

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  3. #2
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    I'd like to qualify this post by thanking you first for giving us your feedback on the Current Affairs section, rms2.

    We recognised this section may prove to be an unwelcome feature for some of our users. I do also recognise that, despite heavy moderation, the very nature of political discussion here would alter the forum atmosphere for some in the manner you've described.

    Our decision to include it since Anthrogenica's inception arose from two points:
    1) Topics pertaining to current affairs (and religion) did sneak their way into random parts of DNA-Forums (although the latter proved more troublesome). As this forum places an additional emphasis on all aspects of anthropology, we perceived the likelihood of politics being discussed to be greater. Therefore, a dedicated section would have given our future admin a better scope of moderating that form of traffic.
    2) There was no indication what reception such a section would receive once our community grew. Evidently, this is no longer the case.

    The administration is thoroughly considering the points you have raised. As we haven't convened on the matter this early, I am in no position to state anything regarding the section's future at this point. However, I will be in touch with you shortly.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Even if I avoid the political discussions in that subforum, not everyone will, and the hard feelings generated there will eventually spill over and infect the rest of Anthrogenica.
    I agree, but for a somewhat different reason: The very existence of a subforum for politics permits the posting of one-sided, perhaps ethically confusing, and occasionally even deceptive lines of argument ("propaganda"). Others then feel obliged to respond, knowing that--unfortunately--unanswered propaganda quickly becomes the "conventional wisdom," simply by default. The net result is that a lot of time is wasted simply repeating political debates that are more appropriate to other forums.
    Last edited by lgmayka; 04-18-2014 at 10:44 PM.

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    As I just posted, I am just not used to politics being quite such a temperature raising issue. I actually hate party politics and no party really matches my own personal blend of ideas which includes a mix of liberal and conservative stuff. I still find politics very interesting and I was brought up in a culture with people constantly talking about politics and generally even when it was divided its diffused with humour. Two of my best friends come from unbelievably radically opposite positions on northern Ireland with me kind of in the middle but we are still best friends.

    If there is no discussions with people with opposing views then they will never understand where each is coming from. I kind of wanted to understand why a bit more by debating politics. I also wanted to understand political views that seem hard for me to understand. I am a big believer that everyone has good reasons for their own views and its down to inter-generational family experiences. In other words everyone's truth is right for them. I was just interested in what experiences led to those views. However, I can see that its much more of a no-go area over the pond and more of a bitter clash of values. So, out of respect for that and my fellow posters here I will cease posting on controversial political issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmayka View Post
    I agree, but for a somewhat different reason: The very existence of a subforum for politics permits the posting of one-sided, perhaps ethically confusing, and occasionally even deceptive lines of argument ("propaganda"). Others then feel obliged to respond, knowing that--unfortunately--unanswered propaganda quickly becomes the "conventional wisdom." The net result is that a lot of time is wasted simply repeating political debates that are more appropriate to other forums.
    I agree with that, too. I am sorely tempted to answer political opinions I oppose, and it's hard to resist. But I just do not have the time to educate people from the ground up, citing sources, etc., and that is what it would take.

    There are other venues dedicated to politics, and still others dedicated to religious discussion. I generally avoid both, although I have strong views in both areas.
    Last edited by rms2; 04-18-2014 at 10:51 PM.

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    Its actually quite interesting how having different politics often doesnt effect who you get on with. I think its possible to hold core values that are similar even when people's politics seem very different. At the end of the day friendship and respect are warm blooded matters of the heart while politics is to some extent an abstract and intellectual thing and ultimately not so important

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    As I just posted, I am just not used to politics being quite such a temperature raising issue. I actually hate party politics and no party really matches my own personal blend of ideas which includes a mix of liberal and conservative stuff. I still find politics very interesting and I was brought up in a culture with people constantly talking about politics and generally even when it was divided its diffused with humour. Two of my best friends come from unbelievably radically opposite positions on northern Ireland with me kind of in the middle but we are still best friends.

    If there is no discussions with people with opposing views then they will never understand where each is coming from. I kind of wanted to understand why a bit more by debating politics. I also wanted to understand political views that seem hard for me to understand. I am a big believer that everyone has good reasons for their own views and its down to inter-generational family experiences. In other words everyone's truth is right for them. I was just interested in what experiences led to those views. However, I can see that its much more of a no-go area over the pond and more of a bitter clash of values. So, out of respect for that and my fellow posters here I will cease posting on controversial political issues.
    In person, over a beer or three, I'm sure there would be no problem. I have friends who do not share my political views, but we are still friends. Unfortunately, internet politics attracts bugs who copy and paste arguments from agenda-driven web sites and who parrot the talking points of their party of choice. It all detracts from the main focus of this forum, anyway.

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    I agree that party politics are a bad idea. Problem is once someone plays the party politics card in a non-party subject it does tend to be hard not to react. I do think that the Ukraine thread was rapidly deteriorating. There were some good posts and I learned a bit from the thread but it was going downhill fast. There were a couple of posts that were not to do with the Ukraine crisis which pushed my buttons a bit and I shouldnt have been drawn in to go off topic. So apologies for my part in that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    In person, over a beer or three, I'm sure there would be no problem. I have friends who do not share my political views, but we are still friends. Unfortunately, internet politics attracts bugs who copy and paste arguments from agenda-driven web sites and who parrot the talking points of their party of choice. It all detracts from the main focus of this forum, anyway.

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    The opening post has already served its' purpose; this thread will be closed shortly as a result. Our current position was also explained (see below) and we'll get back to the community regarding the Current Affairs section very soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX
    The administration is thoroughly considering the points you have raised. As we haven't convened on the matter this early, I am in no position to state anything regarding the section's future at this point. However, I will be in touch with you shortly.

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