Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Politics and Manned Space-flight
post Sep 5 2008, 09:22 AM
Post #1


Group: Chairman
Posts: 14029
Joined: 8-February 04
Member No.: 1

Over the past 24 hrs, several members have demonstrated that they strongly object to and are unable to follow the 'no politics' rule, citing words such as 'censorship' and 'subjective'. How or why people find it so hard to not discuss politics still amazes me and fellow admins. So - I'm going to make it a little easier for you.

Three things in terms of Forum admin are happening as of today.

Firstly, the manned space flight section is to be turned into a read-only archive. This is NOT a statement regarding my or the forum's support or otherwise for Manned Spaceflight. It is simply a symptom of the sorts of discussion that happen there that so many brush against or dive straight into issues of, around or referencing politics. I thought (perhaps naievly) that UMSF members would be able to use an enjoy such a subsection without political issues creeping in as often as they have. Time has demonstrated that assumption to be wrong. Time has demonstrated that the vast majority of administrative headaches have their genesis in that sub-forum. If you try to argue that it's impossible to have discussions without politics, I would suggest you look at the 117,000 posts and more than 5,000 topics that managed to do exactly that. If you honestly can't see a way to have a discussion without politics, please find another forum, UMSF is not for you. Given that the manned-v-unmanned debate is against forum rules, and there is now no platform for manned spaceflight debate - this will almost certainly mean the end of any manned spaceflight discussion at UMSF. I repeat, this is not a statement regarding the pros and cons of one versus the other.

Secondly - the politics rule is staying - and is to be enforced even more strongly than ever before. So often I have heard comments such as 'I really like UMSF but.....' with that 'but' always citing one of the key things we do as an admin team to make UMSF the forum the person says they really like. Zero-tolerance of fringe theories, conspiracies etc is one. Zero-politics is another. Dictatorship style administration is another. Because UMSF is a good place to discuss image processing, MER, Cassini and so on, that does not mean it should be a good place to discuss anything any visitor wants to. It is precisely because they CAN'T that it is the place that it is. This forum was started as and will remain focused on particular discussions.

Thirdly - the Policy and Strategy subforum is to be renamed . I can understand that some might see a 'no politics' rule, but a 'policy' subforum as see confusion. This forum will be renamed 'Exploration Strategy' and is a home for debate about mission selection, pre-mission approval debate, ideas for new missions and so on. But, it does NOT become a new home for political debate.

Administration by its nature is subjective. If you are unable to establish for yourself what is or is not acceptable at UMSF, please find another forum. The forum guidelines make it rather obvious. It is when people decide to selectively ignore them that we have to subjectively enforce them.

As for censorship - this still strikes me as the most blinkered criticism I can imagine. No one is saying that you can not discuss Politics, or Cydonia. The rules simply state that you can not discuss them here.. There are plenty of other forums that you can visit if you want to have discussions outside the remit of UMSF - four popular ones are listed below.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com : Well moderated, the closest thing to UMSF for manned spaceflight.
http://www.bautforum.com : Well moderated, has conspiracy and against the mainstream sub-forums with well crafted rules to insist such discussions make progress and are well structured within a time frame. Religion and Politics not welcome.
http://www.habitablezone.com : Little moderation, has a current-events section for political debate.
http://www.marsroverblog.com : Near zero moderation, anything goes.

I frequent all, contribute to some, and enjoy (for a variety of reasons) all of them.

If you have a problem with forum rules - send us a private message (the 'report a post' tool is probably useful for this). The reason I have assembled the admin team that I have, is because I trust them more than I trust the general UMSF membership when it comes to decisions about UMSF. Emily, Dan, Glen, Nico, Joe and I have a similar vision of UMSF. We're not all immature 20-somethings ( infact, I'm the only 20-something out of the lot, and that's not true much longer). I picked that team because they're not me - because they're older (sorry guys - it's true), more worldly, and certainly wiser than I. It's no secret that we have a virtual underground lair where we discuss the forum, most major forum decisions, and generally moan about the more pedantic and troublesome UMSF members. If a decision has to be made about UMSF, it will happen there. We may ask you for your input, but until we need it, that decision making process happens in the admin section with the mods and admins tossing ideas around.

Ultimately, however, UMSF is my responsibility, and I've made decisions this morning, on my own, that I was hoping the maturity of UMSF members would mean I wouldn't have to make. Sadly, that's turned out not to be the case. Some will inevitably accuse me of another baby+bathwater reaction. In response, I will say yes - some interesting and good discourse may well fall by the wayside because of this. I have contributed to and enjoyed the manned section myself. However, as the source of so much trouble, it has been a thorn in the side of UMSF as long as it existed, and I have hinted at it's future demise for some time. It helps clarify a grey area and of course, there are many other forums where those debates can happen instead - indeed, far better and more appropriate places where more fruitful and informative discussions can take place. If you think it's a shame that it's gone - ask yourself why you come here, and if that sub-forum really was a key part of what UMSF is about. All we're really doing is enforcing this..

- 1.1 The clue is in the name of the forum. If what you are posting is not related either to Unmanned Spaceflight, or a directly related matter, it may be deleted without notice.

The forum guidelines ( http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?act=boardrules ) have been appropriately adjusted. Further tweaks to the 'EVA' section will happen over the next day or so.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Start new topic
post Oct 7 2008, 07:29 AM
Post #2


Group: Chairman
Posts: 14029
Joined: 8-February 04
Member No.: 1

Despite quite clear rules, despite this very clear thread, despite very very direct and unquestionable instructions within the very thread in question, including

"If you can't discuss something without wandering into the fringes of politics - then don't discuss it here. "
"no politics means no politics"

Someone posted
"NASA is essentially operating under a 6 month continuing resolution to spring of next year (continuing at FY08 budget levels) until the new President submits a new budget, which may need to be approved through the legislative process. So this Friday's decision, if it is for continuation, may still be subject to political review."

For those that can not figure it out for themselves - that post contains politics. Do you get it now? This member has had that post deleted, and is now serving a 7 day suspension. I'm not sure what it is going to take to get people to follow the rules - let this serve as an example to that member, and everybody - that no politics means no politics.

If you're left thinking "But how can we talk about such-and-such without mentioning politics at all?" - the answer is that you shouldn't be talking about whatever it is that you somehow require politics to discuss.

I will repeat this once again

No politics, means no politics. No exceptions. Deletions, suspension, and bans will follow for those determined to ignore that rule and direct instructions from the admin/mod team.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Posts in this topic
- djellison   Politics and Manned Space-flight   Sep 5 2008, 09:22 AM
- - PhilCo126   Well-said Doug! Forum members have to stick to...   Sep 5 2008, 11:12 AM
- - jasedm   Don't want to appear a toady, but fair enough,...   Sep 5 2008, 11:59 AM
- - dvandorn   Nope -- can't complain at all. There will be ...   Sep 5 2008, 01:51 PM
|- - climber   QUOTE (dvandorn @ Sep 5 2008, 03:51 PM) S...   Sep 5 2008, 04:39 PM
- - tanjent   Question: Would it be possible to extract the Hubb...   Sep 5 2008, 02:32 PM
- - djellison   No. There is far too much scope for debate about...   Sep 5 2008, 02:45 PM
- - Zvezdichko   UMSF is one of the best sources of information (al...   Sep 5 2008, 07:47 PM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 5 2008, 08:47 PM)...   Sep 5 2008, 08:35 PM
|- - Zvezdichko   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 5 2008, 08:35 PM) ...   Sep 5 2008, 09:15 PM
|- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 5 2008, 05:15 PM)...   Sep 5 2008, 10:22 PM
- - Shaka   As one who has reportedly been the cause of a sign...   Sep 5 2008, 08:18 PM
|- - PFK   QUOTE (Shaka @ Sep 5 2008, 09:18 PM) Forg...   Sep 6 2008, 04:10 PM
- - dvandorn   I also note that you merged the two "Miscella...   Sep 5 2008, 08:40 PM
- - Del Palmer   I never posted in that forum, but found it to be v...   Sep 6 2008, 12:36 AM
- - nprev   Too right. I'm beyond the saturation point alr...   Sep 6 2008, 12:55 AM
- - lyford   I was very active over on the Bad Astronomy forum ...   Sep 6 2008, 01:43 AM
- - dvandorn   And, hey -- this just gives me more impetus to get...   Sep 6 2008, 02:26 AM
- - stevesliva   Oh, speaking of, there was an excellent space hist...   Sep 6 2008, 03:17 AM
- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 5 2008, 02:22 AM) ...   Sep 6 2008, 04:43 AM
|- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Sep 5 2008, 08:43...   Sep 7 2008, 11:02 PM
- - jmjawors   UMSF and NSF are like two peas in a pod, in my opi...   Sep 6 2008, 04:58 AM
- - Bernard   thanks Doug I think you are absolutely right   Sep 6 2008, 11:10 AM
- - dvandorn   Gentlemen! You can't fight here! Thi...   Sep 6 2008, 05:46 PM
- - David   I've begun to suspect that Doug takes my prese...   Sep 6 2008, 05:54 PM
|- - ustrax   QUOTE (David @ Sep 6 2008, 06:54 PM) bein...   Sep 6 2008, 06:50 PM
||- - Zvezdichko   QUOTE (ustrax @ Sep 6 2008, 07:50 PM) We ...   Sep 6 2008, 08:36 PM
||- - ustrax   QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 6 2008, 09:36 PM)...   Sep 6 2008, 09:25 PM
|- - centsworth_II   QUOTE (David @ Sep 6 2008, 12:54 PM) ...a...   Sep 6 2008, 07:29 PM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (David @ Sep 6 2008, 06:54 PM) I...   Sep 6 2008, 07:48 PM
|- - ustrax   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 6 2008, 08:48 PM) ...   Sep 6 2008, 08:06 PM
|- - David   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 6 2008, 07:48 PM) ...   Sep 6 2008, 08:35 PM
|- - Stu   QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 6 2008, 08:48 PM) ...   Sep 6 2008, 10:10 PM
- - Shaka   ...and perhaps the heads of some late lamented ...   Sep 6 2008, 08:05 PM
- - David   I did a search of my own past posts to find out wh...   Sep 6 2008, 09:05 PM
|- - djellison   QUOTE (David @ Sep 6 2008, 10:05 PM) At t...   Sep 6 2008, 09:48 PM
- - djellison   In a good way.   Sep 6 2008, 10:22 PM
- - Stu   Ah, gotcha. One of those many ways there are of cr...   Sep 6 2008, 10:41 PM
- - ilbasso   I wanted to apologize to everyone if I got out of ...   Sep 7 2008, 03:47 AM
- - hendric   I, for one, welcome again our old dictatorial over...   Sep 8 2008, 05:23 PM
- - PhilCo126   UMSF.com is about Unmanned spaceflight... period...   Sep 8 2008, 05:26 PM
|- - SFJCody   QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Sep 8 2008, 06:26 PM) ...   Oct 8 2008, 06:51 PM
|- - Greg Hullender   QUOTE (SFJCody @ Oct 8 2008, 10:51 AM) I...   Oct 9 2008, 05:07 AM
- - djellison   Despite quite clear rules, despite this very clear...   Oct 7 2008, 07:29 AM
- - djellison   Totally unnecessary over-analysis of what is or is...   Oct 8 2008, 07:29 AM

Closed TopicStart new topic


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 20th February 2018 - 07:55 AM
Please read the Forum Rules and Guidelines before posting.

Images posted on UnmannedSpaceflight.com may be copyrighted. Do not reproduce without permission. Read here for further information on space images and copyright.

Opinions expressed on UnmannedSpaceflight.com are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of UnmannedSpaceflight.com or The Planetary Society. The all-volunteer UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderation team is wholly independent of The Planetary Society. The Planetary Society has no influence over decisions made by the UnmannedSpaceflight.com moderators.
Unmannedspaceflight.com is a project of the Planetary Society and is funded by donations from visitors and members. Help keep this forum up and running by contributing here.