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Offline Tom Bishop

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There needs to be a fundamental change to how the discussion forums are perceived. It has reached a tipping point. Many threads consist of multiple RE'ers posting in a row attempting to challenge FET, and then questioning the lack of response.

The public perceives the forums as an invitation to come and debate against the Flat Earth Society, despite that there are few FE'rs who even post. Those few who do post are from the old guard. There have been very few new people attempting arguments in favor of FET or arguments against RET. Everyone who comes here believes that they need to debate against some kind of established organization. That is the current perception, and it needs to change.

When users visit the forum, I propose that they arrive under the impression that they are participating in a debate club of sorts, with instructions that may choose to debate in favor of FE, or in favor of RE. The discussions will contribute to the overall quality of the movement. Perhaps a header message can be implemented that clearly describes this.

If people are posting with the impression that this is a debate club, then the discussions will be more interesting. People will be more encouraged to take up discussions rather than waiting for "the Flat Earth Society" to respond.

The current path is a bad one. As we grow more popular it just gets increasingly boring by the day.

I would appreciate thoughts on the matter.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:36:37 PM by Tom Bishop »

I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
Sure, you're outnumbered but this site isn't that busy right now. It wouldn't take that much effort for a few of you to be more active and answer more threads or start your own threads from a FE perspective.

And if you get the same questions being raised over and over then that tells me your Wiki and FAQ need improving (obviously some people still ask questions which are answered in the Wiki, you'll never stop that, but at least you can point them in the direction of the appropriate page quickly).
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
This is a fantastic example of the misunderstanding we ought to deal with. This is not a personal support forum for RE'ers who are looking for a clash. It is extremely unlikely that you will ever see "more effort" on that front, simply because this has never been the purpose of this community. Largely, we need to focus on getting people like you to understand this, or getting people like you to go away.

In my opinion, this wave of entitled RE'ers will pass on its own eventually (it always does), but there are things we could do to hasten the chemo process:
  • This one is a prerequisite for anything that follows: We should appoint more (active) moderators. There are so many threads that should have been closed before they turned into dumpster fires, but there simply is not enough recruited manpower to handle that at this stage. As I understand, this is something Junker has been asking for for a long time.
  • The rules should be tightened to address some of the issues that drain any and all interest away from threads - RE'er responses to FE questions which invariably follow the format of "FE'ers believe <thing no one has ever believed> and they're also stupid and wrong. I mean, have they not seen the ISS?!" - the moment a response like that comes up (and it often ends up being the very first response to a thread), it turns into a hopeless circlejerk. A preventive measure of some sort would either encourage these posters to stay in AR where they belong (Yes, I still think Purgatory is a fundamentally workable idea), or encourage them to go back to Reddit.
  • Finally, the three boards of FEG, FEQ&A and FED need to either be rethought or enforced more strongly.
    • FEQ&A is for newcomers to ask relatively uncomplicated questions. The kind of stuff that could end up in the FAQ. But most threads in the board do not follow the structure. They're often indistinguishable from debate threads. As a result, maintaining an FAQ becomes increasingly difficult - it's by and large impossible to determine what questions are frequently asked (and can be reasonably answered at this stage), so the FAQ stagnates.
    • FEG is not for the discussion of the Flat Earth Theory's core. It's for the occasional news article, the discussion of the community itself, or for people to try and convince me that despite successful international conferences and an avalanche of high-profile supporters, the FE movement is still not growing ;). Again, most threads do not follow their expected format.
    • FED is just about the only board whose purpose appears to be widely understood, but it suffers from the problems described above.
    We should try and reach an agreement about whether or not this format suits us (perhaps consider a "Flat Earth Debate Club" board, as a suggestion similar to Tom's?) and start enforcing rule 5 more rigorously.
Naturally, none of this will address the malcontent RE'ers who are only here to throw around insults or troll. Personally, I see that as a good thing.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 02:13:21 PM by Pete Svarrior »
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we already addressed it.
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Offline Cain

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  • This one is a prerequisite for anything that follows: We should appoint more (active) moderators. There are so many threads that should have been closed before they turned into dumpster fires, but there simply is not enough recruited manpower to handle that at this stage. As I understand, this is something Junker has been asking for for a long time.
I volunteer!
Also, creating "Flat Earth Debate Club" board seems like a pretty good idea.
You just made my list, buddy.  >:(
this world does not have room for another mind as intelligent as yours.

I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
This is a fantastic example of the misunderstanding we ought to deal with. This is not a personal support forum for RE'ers who are looking for a clash. It is extremely unlikely that you will ever see "more effort" on that front, simply because this has never been the purpose of this community.
What do you see as the purpose of this community? What is the point of these boards?
You're the one who seeks publicity, you seek to gain attention.
Here's a newsflash: Almost everyone in the world is a "round earther".
So most people who hear about you guys and looks here is going to think "What the hell is this nonsense?"
Some of those people, like me, will sign up and start posting and because we think it's nonsense we'll say it's nonsense.

Now, some people will sign up and post things like "lol, earth is round, ur stupid". Those people should be banned immediately (not warned). If I was a mod here I wouldn't bother with people like that. There are ways of stopping that, making it so new users have to be manually approved if you get repeat offenders or making it so new users can only post on certain sections of the board and promote them to full membership once they've shown they're not idiots. (I'm assuming this is all possible, the boards I've moderated provide this sort of functionality).

Other people, like me, are interested in debating the issues, explaining why (in our opinion) the earth is round and showing why (in our opinion) the flat earth ideas don't stand up to scrutiny.
I guess the problem is if the balance between FE and RE posters is wrong then you're going to get too many of me and not enough of you.

From experience you can't force a board to be something it isn't. Boards are simply a reflection of the people who post. If you want more FE content then more FE people need to post. If you think that the sheer number of RE people is putting them off then fine, ban RE people from posting.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Spycrab

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I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
This is a fantastic example of the misunderstanding we ought to deal with. This is not a personal support forum for RE'ers who are looking for a clash. It is extremely unlikely that you will ever see "more effort" on that front, simply because this has never been the purpose of this community.
What do you see as the purpose of this community? What is the point of these boards?
You're the one who seeks publicity, you seek to gain attention.
Here's a newsflash: Almost everyone in the world is a "round earther".
So most people who hear about you guys and looks here is going to think "What the hell is this nonsense?"
Some of those people, like me, will sign up and start posting and because we think it's nonsense we'll say it's nonsense.

Now, some people will sign up and post things like "lol, earth is round, ur stupid". Those people should be banned immediately (not warned). If I was a mod here I wouldn't bother with people like that. There are ways of stopping that, making it so new users have to be manually approved if you get repeat offenders or making it so new users can only post on certain sections of the board and promote them to full membership once they've shown they're not idiots. (I'm assuming this is all possible, the boards I've moderated provide this sort of functionality).

Other people, like me, are interested in debating the issues, explaining why (in our opinion) the earth is round and showing why (in our opinion) the flat earth ideas don't stand up to scrutiny.
I guess the problem is if the balance between FE and RE posters is wrong then you're going to get too many of me and not enough of you.

From experience you can't force a board to be something it isn't. Boards are simply a reflection of the people who post. If you want more FE content then more FE people need to post. If you think that the sheer number of RE people is putting them off then fine, ban RE people from posting.
It's a good start, but we need to tack on a little more.
Another effort that would straighten out some problems around here, is some sort of quick-access list of what indeed is accepted around here. What people actually collectively believe, what the current FE model is, the current explainations for common RE queries, all that. If we can get everyone on the same page, it'll stop the <thing no flat earther actually believes>  nonsense. Maybe get a (some) dedicated moderator(s) to scrub through the wikis and clean it up. If everyone understands , it'll mitigate the misconceptions.
The espionage crustacean strikes again.
Spycrab, you're the best memeber on the fora. Thank you for being born.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
Sure, you're outnumbered but this site isn't that busy right now. It wouldn't take that much effort for a few of you to be more active and answer more threads or start your own threads from a FE perspective.

And if you get the same questions being raised over and over then that tells me your Wiki and FAQ need improving (obviously some people still ask questions which are answered in the Wiki, you'll never stop that, but at least you can point them in the direction of the appropriate page quickly).

But how do you propose we force our Flat Earth extraordinaire Thork to sit online all day answering each of the the endless of questions and followup questions that get posted, and generally engage with every single curious person who comes along?

Thork may speak for himself on the matter, but I am going to assume that Thork is uninterested in doing that. Not many people want to do that. Does Pete want to do that?

It would be better if the debate forums were entirely self sustaining and it wasn't hung up on a few people to log on every day. Don't you agree?

If everyone participated to debate both sides, would that not make this place a far more interesting place to come to? We should seek to find a way to make that happen.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 04:42:52 PM by Tom Bishop »

But how do you propose we force our Flat Earth extraordinaire Thork to sit online all day answering each of the the endless of questions and followup questions that get posted, and generally engage with every single curious person who comes along?
Dude, come on! No-one has so sit here all day replying to posts. This is not that busy a board. It takes 10-15 minutes to look quickly through the threads which have new replies, maybe an hour top to respond. It's not a full time job for anyone, if a few people join in then between you it doesn't take long.

Quote
It would be better if the debate forums were entirely self sustaining and it wasn't hung up on a few people to log on every day. Don't you agree?
Yes, of course. But that does involve more flat earthers participating in the debate.
Quote
If everyone participated to debate both sides, wouldn't that be far more interesting?
How would that work? I mean, I think your version of perspective is balls. I can't sensibly argue that I think it is.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Dr David Thork

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I pretty much agree, but FE people will need to make a bit more effort.
Over my time at TFES if you add up all the accounts I have ever had, I've likely dropped more than 20,000 posts onto this forum. I had one account with over 13,000 on its own. How many responses do you think I should give? What's my quota?

The fact I've responded to every question you could possible ask before, had every debate and know what your response to my reply will be before I post it ... as Tom says, makes it very boring for me. I reply as a matter of community service because I realise if no one does ... TFES will die as there is no debate.

People don't come here to chat in AR or CN. They come here to chat to flat earthers and tell them that they are stupid. And that's fine. But what you'll find is that the 'old guard' as Tom puts it eventually gravitate to the other forums and enjoy debate there more.

In the sense Tom is talking about a debate society ... lets remove beliefs and look at that in cold hard terms.

You meet me, swords drawn for a debate in the upper forums for a debate on earth's shape. I have one hand tied behind my back. I have an 18th century text as a reference, a deliberately vague FAQ that provokes debate, a woolly wiki written by us, the odd youtube video made by Lord knows which lunatic, and interesting anomalies I can find online. You have the entire weight of the scientific world behind you. Pretty much anything you google will give you the answer to your side of the debate. Any scientific journal, any news report, any accredited organisation ... it isn't a debate you should lose. Its the sandbox.

Now after a while, you'd think you'd realise this and think, mmmm. Maybe I should take Baby Thork or Tom on in one of the other forums? Convince Parsifal that BSD is useless. Force Hollicron to admit star citizen scammed him. Where it is about an opinion and there is no right or wrong. Religion. Technology. Politics. we have these forums for a reason. I know the rules of engagement now. I know they are slippery buggers. I know they will try to win at all costs and bring in all kinds of obfuscation, trickery, word play and occasionally astound me with something I didn't know. And this is a fair fight.

Then once you ace that, have a go at fighting with one arm behind your back. Prove the improvable.

Level           Forum
Sandbox      Being a round earther
Normal        Debate in any other forum.
God mode    Win as a flat earther.

I have always thought ... The flat Earth Society. Come for the flat earth, stay for the society. You think I come here after 10 years because I want to tell people how flat earth is? That isn't the reason. I couldn't care less what some stranger on the internet thinks. I like keeping up with what all the other people on this site I have known for years are up to. Their new jobs, the new computer they bought, their marriage plans, their lives. It is a community ... a society.

We've always had a 'graduation' problem. Weaning round earthers off the flat earth forums after they made 2000+ posts about how round earth is. Yes, we get it, you think earth is round. Now, come prove to me Islam is not as good as Judaism. Debate the merits of sanctions on N Korea with me. Tell me why I bought the wrong computer. Teach me something for a change. There isn't anything you can tell me about earth science ... really 10 years, someone mentioned your point to me before. But they don't. They don't want to be a part of the community. They instead think they are performing a public service by shouting "the earth is round, don't listen to them" on the forums. Our attempts at humour are lost on them. They don't see when they get their chains yanked. They blindly go on trying to prove a moon near Jupiter somehow proves earth to be round.

For years I tried to get Markjo to just settle down and stop shouting the answers to everything in the upper forums. But he just wasn't smart enough to understand why if he makes the response to me, it deters others from doing the same. Let them use their brains, let them cut their teeth.

Lord Dave was another example. For years and years and years he was in the upper forums championing globularism. Why? He finally got it. He moved up a level. You'll not see him in the upper forum much now ... he's debating and conversing with everyone else.

But getting people to back the FE side ... its a hard sell. They seem to think it dishonest. A compromise of morals. I don't think they realise the public service the flat earth society provides. It brings young people interested in science to a place where they can EXPLAIN why something works the way it does. Under the most rigorous testing. It does the thing schools don't ... it teaches thorough understanding, not parrot fashion learning. It teaches problem solving, encourages you to research answers for yourself and get to the point where you can articulate the science to someone else. Its the standard "describe to an alien" format. Describe to a flat earther why earth is round. It encompasses all kinds of topics. Geology, physics, maths, history, art, politics ... and you do it in the safety that if you make a mistake, you are both anonymous AND you aren't the idiot claiming earth to be flat. I've shown so many aspects of science and nature to people over the years and debated it with them, and I haven't convinced a single person the earth is flat no matter how hard I tried. But they do leave knowing the difference between a full moon and a lunar eclipse, or the difference between centripetal or centrifugal force, or how far the sun is or how hot, or the composition of the atmosphere or whatever they had to learn thoroughly so they could explain it to the alien. And it is why I have so much time for Tom Bishop. He's reached more kids and adults that want to broaden their knowledge and taught more science than any teacher you could think of. He has a huge reach, engages everyone who ventures here, gives people individual one on one lessons ... the guy is a bloody saint. There is nothing ignoble about being a flat earther. Its 21st century digital education that reaches kids that might otherwise show no interest at school. It engages the unengageable. Provokes learning from those who may sit quiet in class. And apart from which, if I'm to gain real conversations in the normal forums, we know we have to run through the sandbox with you first.

But I'm not as prolific as once I was. I'm tired. I like to see more FErs in the upper forums carrying on where some of the old guard left off. I just can't face the Bedford Level experiment one more time.


« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 05:32:31 PM by Baby Thork »
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Offline Dr David Thork

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Dude, come on! No-one has so sit here all day replying to posts. This is not that busy a board. It takes 10-15 minutes to look quickly through the threads which have new replies, maybe an hour top to respond. It's not a full time job for anyone, if a few people join in then between you it doesn't take long.
Between us? Don't you use this forum? Don't you want to be a member of the community? Why don't you make say 2 posts a day up there for our side? Why do the same people have to provide all the entertainment? No one gets paid. The society is what its members make of it.

If you make 3 posts a day, that's 3 posts Tom doesn't have to make. 3 posts he can invest into a debate he really wants to have about one of his passions.
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Thork is right. I do have certain FE topics that I would prefer to talk about and focus on.

Why should I be forced to talk about gravity theories when someone wants to talk about gravity? This is not equal. That takes away from subjects that I really want to talk about.

You are relying too much on the few of us to provide your entertainment, when you guys should make your own entertainment yourselves.

Quote from: AllAroundTheWorld
Quote
It would be better if the debate forums were entirely self sustaining and it wasn't hung up on a few people to log on every day. Don't you agree?


Yes, of course. But that does involve more flat earthers participating in the debate.

Turning this into a debate club does get more people participating on the Flat Earth side. It makes it clear that they are expected to maintain the debates.

Right now the general perception is that we are inviting them to debate against us, but there are only a few of us who regularly post. That is not really sustainable.

Quote from: AllAroundTheWorld
Quote
If everyone participated to debate both sides, wouldn't that be far more interesting?

How would that work? I mean, I think your version of perspective is balls. I can't sensibly argue that I think it is.

In a debate club setting I wouldn't expect you to promote Rowbotham's ideas, my ideas, or the bendy light ideas if you feel that any are untenable.

In such a debate, the Flat Earth debater can simply challenge the fundamental assumptions of the Ancient Greek's perspective theory that assumes infinitely receding perspective lines. That is the claim that proves the sun will never set, after all. Challenge it. Easy enough. It moves the discussion forward.

I am not proposing that we force people to argue on the Flat Earth side. They can still argue Round if that is what they would like to argue. We just need to make it very clear to the people who come here that they need to entertain themselves. The forum debates can't be hung up on the involvement of a few.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 09:47:22 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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You're the one who seeks publicity, you seek to gain attention.
Incorrect.

Now, some people will sign up and post things like "lol, earth is round, ur stupid". Those people should be banned immediately (not warned). If I was a mod here I wouldn't bother with people like that.
I agree.

There are ways of stopping that
Please don't patronise us. There is absolutely no need to manually approve people on a forum of this size. We already have fairly good technical solutions which rarely fail. The problem isn't that bans are ineffective, but rather that we try to maintain a good balance between free speech and efficient moderation.

Other people, like me, are interested in debating the issues, explaining why (in our opinion) the earth is round and showing why (in our opinion) the flat earth ideas don't stand up to scrutiny.
I fundamentally disagree that this is what you're doing. You'd be one of the first people I'd be working on if I still had any moderation powers here. Not an outright ban, probably, but a good vacation in Purgatory would help.

From experience you can't force a board to be something it isn't.
Indeed - which is why your suggestions are unlikely to happen.

No-one has so sit here all day replying to posts. This is not that busy a board. It takes 10-15 minutes to look quickly through the threads which have new replies, maybe an hour top to respond. It's not a full time job for anyone, if a few people join in then between you it doesn't take long.
I already spend several hours a day working on FET, and I suspect others are in a similar situation. You massively underestimate the amount of work that goes into this, which is unsurprising given your own postings.

Another effort that would straighten out some problems around here, is some sort of quick-access list of what indeed is accepted around here. What people actually collectively believe, what the current FE model is, the current explainations for common RE queries, all that. If we can get everyone on the same page, it'll stop the <thing no flat earther actually believes>  nonsense. Maybe get a (some) dedicated moderator(s) to scrub through the wikis and clean it up. If everyone understands , it'll mitigate the misconceptions.
Yes, the Wiki needs work. That's in progress. Saying it over and over again won't speed it up. But our RE peanut gallery are keen on directly contradicting the Wiki, quoting forum users out of context to make them look bad, and so on. It is this pattern that we have to address. Personally, I would suggest a temporary ban on RE'ers trying to "help" by answering questions about FET.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 08:46:41 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Thork is right. I do have certain FE topics that I would prefer to talk about and focus on.

Why should I be forced to talk about gravity theories when someone wants to talk about gravity? This is not equal. That takes away from subjects that I really want to talk about.
Well. Start threads about them the things you want to talk about then. Then people will talk about those things.
I'm not relying on anyone to provide entertainment. I'm just responding to the threads on here, I've created a few of my own.
If you started threads I'd probably reply to those and talk about those things.

People will generally argue on the side that they believe. The fundamental problem is the vast majority of people don't believe in a flat earth so they won't argue from that viewpoint.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Thork is right. I do have certain FE topics that I would prefer to talk about and focus on.

Why should I be forced to talk about gravity theories when someone wants to talk about gravity? This is not equal. That takes away from subjects that I really want to talk about.
Well. Start threads about them the things you want to talk about then. Then people will talk about those things.
I'm not relying on anyone to provide entertainment. I'm just responding to the threads on here, I've created a few of my own.
If you started threads I'd probably reply to those and talk about those things.

People will generally argue on the side that they believe. The fundamental problem is the vast majority of people don't believe in a flat earth so they won't argue from that viewpoint.

Again, you are resting the responsibility of answering all questions and all debates on the shoulders of a few people. You know very well that there are only a few people here engaging in this. Public interest in Flat Earth is growing by the day. Nearly all people who visit this website believe that we are inviting them to come here and debate against the Flat Earth Society. But the responsibility of maintaining the debate needs to be on all people, not just a few. Changing the current "come debate against us" perception to the perception that the discussion forums are a debate club is the way to do this.

The forum format of a few vs the many have worked when we were smaller, but now that the movement is more popular, it is increasingly apparent that change is in order.

In fact, the forum debates being unable to maintain themselves has been one of the main things holding us back from doing anything else except debating in the forums. I would much prefer to spend my time on projects with someone like Thork to promote the society. That would be great. Many good ideas have been discussed. We could reach out to teachers and offer to let their students write to us. Participate in interviews with the news. A "this time in history" Flat Earth website feature. Challenge Bill Nye the Science Guy to debate us online, who has expressed interest in that possibility. Special investigative projects.

But how can we find time to do any of that when there are many rude people demanding answers on the forums? All of whom who expect answers from The Flat Earth Society.  Are we to leave obvious questions unanswered on our own website? If the debates on this website were self sustaining, we could find the time to do other more interesting things. The debates would also be far more interesting if there was more manpower behind it.

Why are you arguing against this anyway? Don't you want more foil to have discussions with? How boring it must be to ask questions over and over again without anyone attempting a response. And when there is a response, how boring it must be to see the discussion you have created quickly die out.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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The key to creating a successful, interesting, and self maintained forum and movement is to entirely re-frame our approach and pit our users who come here against nature, not against the few of us.

Imagine if there were a group of Astrologers who insisted that Astrology was true. They are called The Astrological Society. From what I perceive from their website they are inviting me to come and debate against them. So I go and post that I don't perfectly match my Sun sign and wait for my response from the experts. I'm not "stubborn," as my astrological Sun sign states. What gives? No response is given, or otherwise I get a one liner and no followup to my further questions. Very few proponents are debating on the forums, most people are saying astrology is untrue, and I get bored and leave. The website implied that I was going to be debating against this group of experts, even if not directly stated. I feel ripped off.

Now imagine if that group of Astrologers took a different approach and asked me to participate in a debate club on the possibility of Astrology. This is a fundamentally different request of me. It is no longer about me vs. them. It is now about me vs. the possibilities of nature. Who joins debate clubs to argue something uninteresting? While engaging in discussions I might be more inclined to interject something like that there are more murders on a Full Moon. Maybe astronomy does have something to do with the human condition. I might then be encouraged to try and look up other behaviors associated with astronomical events to trounce naysayers who maintain that such things are explicitly impossible.

One of these paragraph portrays an uninteresting society, and the other portrays a society that is far more interesting.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 03:05:31 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Boots

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I think .... I think I agree with Bishop! Amazing!   :D
“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” - George Orwell

Tom is right (for once ;)), but there is a fundamental problem here.

I think astroloogy is bollocks, but a lot of people don't. A lot of people do believe in it - maybe not strongly but you get horoscopes in most national papers in the UK, a lot of people think there's something in it. And it's very subjective, you'll always get people who will say "well, an astrologer told me I'd meet a tall, dark stranger and I did! Explain that!".
So yes, a forum about that would probably have a good balance of people and could generate some interesting debate.

But almost no-one believes in a flat earth. Sorry, but they just don't. You guys have done a good job in publicising yourselves, but almost everyone who hears about you and sees this place takes one look and thinks "what the hell?! how is this still a thing?". So you're not going to get a balanced debate. People aren't generally going to debate from a position they don't hold.

There are a reasonable number of people on here who do believe in a flat earth. They're just massively outnumbered and as Thork says they're probably fed up of answering the same questions and having the same debates over and over.

The other board I run is for fans of my favourite football (soccer, for you Yanks) team. So most of the people on there support that team. We do have some people on there who don't though, they support other teams. And having them around is a good thing, so long as they behave. They add a different perspective. But if suddenly almost everyone who signed up was a fan of a different team and they started taking over the forum and saying how much my team sucks then that would be a bad thing and I'd have to deal with it. That is what was happening here.

The only solution I see is to limit the number of round earthers so there is more balance and more FE people feel less swamped and are more willing to debate stuff.
If that means people like me sod off then so be it. It's your place, it's up to you what you want it to be.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 09:31:04 AM by AllAroundTheWorld »
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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The other board I run is for fans of my favourite football (soccer, for you Yanks) team. So most of the people on there support that team. We do have some people on there who don't though, they support other teams. And having them around is a good thing, so long as they behave. They add a different perspective. But if suddenly almost everyone who signed up was a fan of a different team and they started taking over the forum and saying how much my team sucks then that would be a bad thing and I'd have to deal with it. That is what was happening here.
Shockingly, your Brownian motions are slowly pushing you towards understanding the issue. A key element of what you said is "so long as they behave". We don't have to get rid of RE'ers, and personally I don't want to; but we do need to make them behave. If that means that some, like yourself, prove to be beyond reform, that's an unfortunate side effect, but perhaps a necessary one.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we already addressed it.
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None of my posts have been deleted or moved, I had a few warnings when I started but nothing for ages.
I have never been banned, so by your own rules, I am "behaving" so stop being an obnoxious prick - I know that's your thing, but it's pretty tiresome.
It's a good thing you're not a mod on here, you'd be awful. Just because my posts annoy you personally, that doesn't mean I'm not "behaving".

Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Dr David Thork

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I think one of the problems of TFES is that we don't really know what we want it to be. Its growing ... we all have different ideas of what it does or what it should be used for.

  • It could be used for making money (T-shirts, mugs, adsense etc), but we are pretty much all of a mind that it isn't for that. It never has been ... but if it was, at least we'd all know the purpose.
  • I see the education value in it ... but I don't think I'm in a majority here.
  • Tom wants to add to FET and develop theories. Over the years we have discovered a lot on these forums via debate ... Rowbotham's coca cola ventures being a very interesting one. His time at Edinburgh university doing brain research on human brains at exactly the same time Burke and Hare were stealing bodies. Aristotle and his prime movers, the use of orphanim in flat earth symbology ... we do dig up genuinely interesting information ... but then it lives in our heads and gets brought out when needed in a debate. I feel Tom would like to cement these into a permanent public resource such as the wiki or even a book.
  • Many users see it as a social society and just come here to chat to their mates. It does tend to attract a certain demographic. High IQ belligerent males.
  • Some of the staff see TFES as a technical exercise to run the best website that has ever existed.

Not knowing ourselves what we want the society to be ... its purpose I think has always been a handicap, because it is hard to get people to buy into helping anyone achieve their aims in a concerted effort. If I think we should be making education packs as a resource, and everyone else thinks they should be chatting with their friends in the lower fora ... I'm not going to get much help. If Pete thinks we should be reaching out to the media and no one else is writing press articles, that's a lot of work for him. If Tom thinks we should be fleshing out the wiki and I'm more about making downloadable packs for schools ... Tom isn't going to get much help from me.

We all only have a finite amount of time to put into the society.

I think what we can all agree is answering the same questions over and over isn't a productive use of time. There are solutions to that, but they do have unintended consequences that may destroy other people's vision of the society.

Example ... I think the FAQ is perfect. It is deliberately vague and provocative. People read the FAQ, understand the topics and then because it doesn't answer all their objections, they create an account and have their say. I think that's important. Its one of the reasons I'm not so big on a full and comprehensive wiki. If we pour everything into a wiki ... what will people ask? Why do they create an account ... how do we get them to interact with us and give our society a fresh set of new blood as older members drift away? ... which many do.

And the thing is, I don't know what the flat earth society is for. And I've been coming to this and before that the other forum for the better part of a decade. And I don't know. I only have my own opinions as to what I get out of it.

There are solutions ... but they need a buy in from lots of people. Example ... we could create a chatbot that answers the most inane and obvious questions in real time. You want to talk about gravity in its most facile sense. Create an account and talk to the flat earth chat bot. We'll load up the most common answers to the most common questions. Then you get 24/hr a day coverage on the stuff we don't want to talk about. But its a huge amount of work and how much would people use it? I know they aren't going to read the wiki. They don't. So fleshing that out seems a bit of a waste to me.
We could make a flat earth youtube course ... but there are lots of flat earth youtube videos out there right now and to be honest the production value of some is probably beyond what we could achieve. We could host other people's videos in a video library (which gives the creators their views, subscriptions and ad revenue) but then we have to vet them, and again, does that get people interacting with us?

Tell me, what is the flat earth society for ... and convince me that is the direction we should go. And if we continue to never agree ... we can continue to never get anything concrete done. I think this was the purpose of the Zetetic council back in the day, but we had the exact same problems where we didn't know what the society was for. Tausumi wanted to push on with a wiki. I've never been in love with that idea. I wanted to do more education stuff. No one else did. And it just means you are on your own.

There have however been some successes. When we put our minds to it, we achieve great things here. We do have an amazing site. Everyone is on board with that. Parsifal and Pete keep the site running well. Blanko designed an awesome theme. I wrote some of the content. Junker helps out. We all add suggestions to S&C and there are a number of people who can do those things to make changes. This site is nothing like the site we all left. The thing we all agreed on when we came here is we wanted to provide a good user experience. But what we haven't ever agreed is what people do when they find us.

None of my posts have been deleted or moved, I had a few warnings when I started but nothing for ages.
I have never been banned, so by your own rules, I am "behaving" so stop being an obnoxious prick - I know that's your thing, but it's pretty tiresome.
It's a good thing you're not a mod on here, you'd be awful. Just because my posts annoy you personally, that doesn't mean I'm not "behaving".
We've always had an robust and combative culture here. This isn't a place for snowflakes and feelings. The easily offended leave and you are left with people who will say what they want and to whomever they want, and they wont care about your whinging. It doesn't mean they are bad people, but they don't suffer fools gladly. If you contribute, are either fun to engage, interesting or helpful, you'll find people warm to you. If you play the victim card and complain about how you are treated, no one is going to care. Not the mods, not other users ... no one is going to invest energy into stroking your ego or nurture your desires. You'll get out what you put in.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 11:50:35 AM by Baby Thork »
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