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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Raytractors please read

Mac has got our new place pretty much ready to go! (THANK YOU MAC!!!) We need to do something before everyone goes rushing in, though.

We gotta come up with some rules.

WEM and myself are the mods as of right now and we need your feedback on this!!!

Please give this some thought and post your suggestions here so that we can refine the suggestions into something we can work with and get this train on track.

Thanks to everyone for their input!!

EDIT: This isn't the whole enchilada, just the forum portion... - MacGyver Jr


  1. Rules?
    - No trolling.
    - No preaching (Theistic or otherwise quoting the Bible is okay)
    - Cite your sources. Note: if you can't cite your sources, say so because someone else may know it. Don't pretend you know it when you don't.
    - Enjoy cupcakes.

    Honestly, the most important rule for us is to be civil to new folks. We should remember that the Raytractors were not exclusively as an atheist group, but as a set of detractors for the dishonest ministry of one man. We're branching out, but the issue is more integrity, and less superstition.

    Also, we should be kind in helping people develop their reasoning, because that way we'll build a stable of people on any side of the issue who are having a good time.

    Finally, cupcakes.

  2. Also, no naked pictures of trees.

  3. I'm down with the cupcakes, but I can not promise no pics of naked trees.

  4. Cupcakes are so overrated (almost as much as bagels). Give me an apple turnover with fresh unadulterated whipped cream any day!

    Word verification: entles, says I am right.

  5. OhmyGodOhmyAllahOhmyThorOhmyRaOhmyFlyingSpaghettiMonster, I'm so excited.

    Here's a few posting guidlines that I would support.

    1) Be civil unless you really don't want to. Swear all you like, call people freaking crudwipes for all I care, but please have a good reason for doing so. "Fuck" is not an all-purpose adjective.

    2) Don't troll the forum. If you're going to be deliberately antagonistic, perhaps Ray will pay you to write his next book for him, but we don't want you.

    3) Be open-minded. Don't disagree with someone just because they disagree with you: disagree with them because their position is wrong, and try to show them why it's wrong. Unless they're retarded assholes, in which case, disagree with them because they're retarded assholes.

    4) Be un-prejudiced. Accept that others have different opinions from yours, and that sometimes nothing you do or say will change them. Don't alienate them because of this: we can all be friends anyway, and in general the more diversity we have in our group the healthier we'll be as a whole.
    And if that's not a viable option: trace their IP adress, track it with Google Earth, and Toilet Paper their house.

    5) In debates: be scientific about stuff. Cite sources, provide links, etc. Be rational, don't just express your opinion and run away giggling. If you do, you're a moron. [Runs away giggling]

    6) Have fun. This is an optional rule: some of us don't have the correct glands for "fun".

    I'm sure I had others, but I can't remember them right now...

  6. Are the rules around trolls to be enforced through deletion of their comments, disemvoweling, or a la PZ Myers, reformatting in comic sans?

    Perhaps the rule could be no feeding of trolls, but then how would our glorious moderators distinguish between troll feeding and troll beating (which is a sport, and we all need the exercise)?

  7. Fuck it Quasar, it is bloody so an all purpose adjective.

    I suggest that we have a support corner where we can go and say "My name is fucken'el and I have resisted going to Ray's site for 3 days" or "forgive me SMRTarses for I have cracked and read Atheist Central three times today. Help me, please, get over my obsession".

  8. Q sez:

    OhmyGodOhmyAllahOhmyThorOhmyRaOhmyFlyingSpaghettiMonster, I'm so excited.

    Isn't it AWESOME??!!??!!

    "Fuck" is not an all-purpose adjective.

    Can we use it as a proper noun?

    Q also sez:

    trace their IP adress, track it with Google Earth, and Toilet Paper their house.

    This is now Rule 1 !!

  9. And Char'Els got the basics of another thing: let's try to avoid disturbing images, video's, etc.

    Terry Pratchett wrote about the Mended Drum that although it's was the premier direputable tavern in the city, a child could walk in and order a glass of milk, and be in no danger whatsoever except from his mother when she heard his extended vocabulary.

    I think SMRT should be like that.

  10. LOL Kiwi!! the support corner is hilarious!

    I don't know what we should do about the trolls, but I think reformatting to Comic Sans is a bit cruel, no??

  11. I think we need to define trolling with some pretty clear cut guidelines so there isn't any confusion, but so that we don't go overboard either.

  12. ""Fuck" is not an all-purpose adjective."

    Can we use it as a proper noun?

    You can use it however you like if you really want to. That's the beauty of point 1.

    Allow me to demonstrate:

    1) Be fucking civil unless you really fucking don't fucking want to. Swear all you fucking like, call people fucking freaking fucking crudwipe fucks for all I fucking care, but please have a fucking good fucking reason for fucking doing so. Fucking "Fuck" is not a fucking all-purpose fucking adjective.

  13. And yes, I really did want to do that.

    And here's a pretty good definition of trolling:

    "Are you certain?"
    "Are you certain that you're not certain?"
    "How are you certain of that?"

  14. Presups should have their own area to come challenge us in.

    And I really think that as long as the images are tastefully done, we should be allowed to post sexy pictures of foliage.

    Oh also, I forgot the original one when I suggested the name:

    Skeptical Minds and Rational Thinkers = SMRT. Telling us the 'a' in 'and' works better is grounds for bannination.

  15. We can still fuck, though, right?

  16. Rufus,

    No. No fucking will be allowed fro this point on. fucking is a bannable offense.

    Just kidding, carry on.

  17. Proposed Rules

    I like freedom of speech so I'm not so much into deleting or censoring, but I do like ridicule. I suggest any trolls are given a special section for movements.
    Seeing as Poes are pretty much synonymous with trolls we could have a Poe/Troll hall of fame.

    But what I think is my awesome suggestion is:

    I'd like to see how much of the bible is preached to us.

    We could have a ghost bible that gets filled out by the various passages quoted to us.

    This could act to should how much of the bible is actually used and by contrast useless.

  18. Vagon wins with the Ghost bible.

    That's brilliant.

    I would also like to see a whole section devoted to "comments you think Ray will delete," and we can put up a thread for each post ;-P

  19. theShaggy,

    There's already a sub-forum called "Will He Ban it?" just for that purpose

  20. Vagon, I'm setting Up a Wiki as part of this so that if you spend a lot of researching something, you can save it for others.

    Would that work the way you are thinking?

  21. That's really cool Mac-G I think it will. It might encounter problems with intellectually dishonest theists removing or adding sections though.

  22. Just as long as the link to the presupp room takes the person in a never ending circle.

  23. I thought of that, but that's why there is a revert button, and someone can get notified if changes are made to an article they are watching too, if they are super interested in it

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. KiwiInOz..

    I envisage a tool that allows us to flag a presuppers account.

    When they go to post a really annoying web app opens a messagebox that asks the presupper enlessly if they are sure the want to post.

    Something like:

    Sub PreSupBtn_OnClick()
    Dim strQuestion, intReturn
    Do Until intReturn = 7
    strQuestion = "Are you sure you want to post?"
    intReturn=MsgBox(strQuestion, 4, "Before Publishing")
    StrQuestion = StrQuestion + "Really?"
    End Sub

  26. Women should not be moderators in the forum
    As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:31-35

  27. I think everything I would have said has been said.

    Love the idea of the Ghost Bible - that's genuis!! I presume it requires actually quotes, rather than mere citation of verses? Doesn't it encourage trolls to glurge the forum with scripture though?

  28. I would love an area on the forum where the rules are applied more liberally. Where trolling, preaching, ranting and screaming is permitted. A (almost)no-holds barred area.

    Great that most of the site can be used for weighty thoughts but mostly I just like good old fashioned stand-up fights.

    An advantage of such an area is that trolls can be redirected somewhere rather than resorting to the banhammer. Banhammers tend to be overused in my opinion.

  29. NM,
    As you might expect, it is my opinion that the fewer rules, the better.

    In my years of managing people I like to start a new group with no rules and evolve from there. You can make all the rules you want to, but you will find that something will come up that you will need to make a new rule anyway, which can be done in a couple seconds.

    every rule is an impediment to some one's creativity.

    I will suggest that you might not want to trash this format too quickly. Although I haven't seen the new one, if it is what I expect, you may find that when you separate the Posts, there will only be a very few that get many comments and many that don't receive any.

    This format keeps people bunched together and everybody gets so comments as a matter of course and that has kept a fairly close core group.

    It would be analogous to going to a social gathering with 50 people in an intimate and cozy bar with all the food and drinks concentrated in one area, everybody elbow to elbow, laughing, talking, versus having 50people in a large venue with many different rooms with their own types of food and drink; people that like shrimp will only be found in the shrimp "room" and those that don't like shrimp will never go in their.

    It is my opinion that this venue is what has created a rather cohesive team.

    Having said that, I am looking forward to the new home and hope it all works out well.

  30. These are fantastic ideas, guys!

    Well, except for...Stew's idea.... :p

  31. It all sounds good to me, but I would like to add one rule, nay, a commandment; no LOLcats.

  32. What is this, some kind of dictatorship? Fight the power!

  33. ::crushes the revolution with a single furry bedroom slipper:::

  34. NM: You made your slippers out of cats? Wouldn't ceiling cat consider that a sin?

  35. NM is a woman so her vote doesn't count according to enacted rules, so indeed no LOLcats. Please refer back to Stew for the interpretation of said rule.

    Anyway, I am not one for a heavy handed modding group. Trolls will happen, but they have the right to speak also. I think bans should only be given to spammers.

  36. I haven't seen the new site, so this might be superfluous, but-

    Can the posts be numbered?

    Can there be a section on the main page for most recent comments?

    Will the blog have the capacity for html codes for strikethrough?

    What will the policy be for advertising, promoting other sites, brothel recommendations, etc?

  37. I've only read through half of the responses so far, and I'm sure the rest of them are good. However, I'd like to make a distinction between "the rules" and "the guidelines".

    For instance, swearing or not swearing - it's a guideline. Use your discretion.

    No trolling? That's a rule

    No preaching? I personally think that's a guideline. Ray does little more than preach, but we're almost eager to engage him in dialogue based on it.

    Nekkid pictures? That sounds like a guideline to me as well


    See what I'm trying to get at? There should be hard and fast rules, and there shouldn't be too many of those. There should also be guidelines that you're allowed to break - but habitual breaking of those guidelines may subject you to a spanking.


    As an engineer, I tend to want to have all possibilities considered and mapped into rules, but I know that this is a lousy way to moderate something like discussion. If we can establish a few rules and a number of suggestions, this provides a relatively transparent system capable of being flexible *and* strict (if need be).

  38. From what I've read, I'm whipping up an unofficial list of the ideas so far.

    Hard and fast rules:

    * No trolling

    * No embedded videos or images (links acceptable)

    * Cupcakes


    * Cite your sources

    * Backup your arguments

    * Be intellectual honest (ha!)

    * Be willing to listen to people express opinions you disagree with

    * Be civil. Swearing is conditionally acceptable, but doing so solely to insult is frowned upon


    Bleck, some of the guidelines are too 'fluffy' or maybe there's too many of them. I'd rather put forth a Manifesto that describes our values, and ask that those values be respected in the forums.


    I like Quasar's idea (re. Pratchett's tavern). I also think we should consider several different forums, such as

    Unmoderated / free-for-all

    Atheist (agnostic deist?) Support

    Ray Comfort (maybe? maybe not?)

    Everything else

  39. At heart I'm a libertarian, the fewer rules the better.

    Adrian Hayter could give us good feedback from the setting up of his atheist forums a few months ago. That forums started with no stated rules, and there have been issues.

    I dislike banning. There could be the possibility of "sin bin" the offender cannot post for a set period, a week or a month.

    Moderators are often accused of inconsistancy or arrogance. In an ideal world a mod would pm a user to point out defaults before striking.

    At JREF moderators discus stuff between themselves before striking, thus acting as a team.

    There could perhaps be a method of flagging posts to bring stuff to the mod's attention? They can't be everywhere at once. if the flags were visible to the user they would be aware that they had upset someone.

    Unfortunately people can be such asseholes. Us included, depending on circumstances and provocation.

    In an ideal world the users would self police: "Stew you're being an arse, can't you see a, b & c?" Stew - "Yep, you're right, it was because of the beer. I apologise to Mr X"

    Sometimes tho the response might be: Stew - "I'm being an arse?, Mr X has called my integrity into question and on top of that he is consistantly full of shit. I'll apologise when I die, and there's a strong possibility I'll repeat my behaviour given the same circumstances"

    Whereapon a mod's life gets tricky.

  40. Could the mob petition the mods for a reinstatement of a banned user? Sometimes the asshats make for good entertainment.

  41. BF,

    The new site is in forum form, so I don't think the posts could be numbered. You can subscribe to and bookmark topics though, if that helps.

    I'm honestly not sure about the most recent comments functionality. Maybe Mac could do some code that would enable that, but I have no idea.

    I'm looking at it right now and I see that yes, you can use some html, but what I am seeing is more like you click a icon for bold text and one for italics. I don't see one for strike through, but that doesn't mean you can't do it, just that I am unfamiliar with how to do it. I'll bet one of the more techie folks here could show you how to do it.

    I don't know about a policy for advertising. I hadn't thought of that, but it's a good point. See, that's why I'm so glad that so many people are chiming in. We need to consider things like that.

  42. I'm pretty sure some of us will go through the stuff proposed here and put it into some kind of order. We'll probably post them here, too - however, MacGuyver runs the ship, so he gets the final say.

    Lots of great and similar ideas here so far: few rules, forums for different purposes (though I find that too many of these tends to dilute their purpose), only lightly moderated, a set of standards that we want others to respect, etc.

    Ben, the forums are phpBB so you'll be able to use BBCode, HTML, smilies - all according to your profile. Post numbering doesn't seem to be explicit, but perhaps MacGuyver can change or explain that.

    Pretty standard stuff

  43. Stew,

    Could the mob petition the mods for a reinstatement of a banned user? Sometimes the asshats make for good entertainment.

    Yep. It's a democracy. Everyone will be heard. There isn't going to be any strong handed, no feedback, asshole acting, lording over anyone behavior from the mods.

    And the number of mods will increase in the future.

    Except for Rufus.

  44. I like your ideas, Stew. I don't want lots of whip cracking, and I'd like it to be run primarily by the community (democratic, self-regulating, etc). I also intend to be working *with* Nonmagic, rather than side-by-side with her; moderation should be by consensus as well.


    See? I'm over complicating stuff again :p This is what happens when you put an engineer in charge.

  45. WEM,

    Lets compile what we have here and get the guidelines set up and present them back to the group and see what they think.

    That way we can get maximum feedback and change things as they need to be changed.

  46. Everything sounds good to - Hey, whadda mean I can't be a mod?

  47. rufus,

    shoot me a quick email please.

  48. Stew, do not use JREF's modding as an example of how to mod. They should be more of an example on how not to mod. Other than that I agree with the less rules the better.

  49. Beams - "the FEWER rules the better"

    I just need to get that said, coz apparantly it will be frowned upon in the new forum. :)

    I agree JREF modding is a nest of vipers, but I had assumed that their discussion and mutual support stops it from being a lot worse than it is.

  50. Ok, I found out that you are able to flag posts....I think BF had asked.

  51. I just need to get that said, coz apparantly it will be frowned upon in the new forum. :)

    Not by me, Stew. That's part of the reason I tried to seperate the suggestions into "Guidelines" and "Rules"

    As Nonmagic'el said, we'll compile everything and post it as a draft - possibly some time today.

    In the mean time, keep the ideas comin, peoplez. Say something if you've got suggestions, concerns, questions, fashion tips, etc...

  52. Fuck, Fucking, Fucker should always be capitalized.

  53. I don’t know what they have to say,
    It makes no difference anyway --
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    No matter what it is or who commenced it,
    I’m against it.

    Your proposition may be good
    But let’s have one thing understood --
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!
    And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it,
    I’m against it.

  54. For months before my son was born
    I kept yelling from night to morn
    whatever it is, I'm against it
    and I've kept yelling since I first
    commenced it
    I'm against it


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