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Dear Joe Offer et al

GUEST,Amazed 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM
Don Firth 18 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM
nutty 18 Jul 01 - 05:04 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 05:14 PM
SDShad 18 Jul 01 - 05:23 PM
SharonA 18 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM
sophocleese 18 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 06:08 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 01 - 06:13 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 01 - 06:24 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM
Burke 18 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM
Kernow John 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Jul 01 - 07:52 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Jul 01 - 01:23 AM
Skipjack K8 19 Jul 01 - 04:36 AM
Big Mick 19 Jul 01 - 09:51 AM
SharonA 19 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM
Big Mick 19 Jul 01 - 11:15 AM
Wolfgang 19 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM
SDShad 19 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM
catspaw49 19 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:29 AM
wysiwyg 19 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM
Wolfgang 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM
mousethief 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Mudcat Fight Fan 16 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM
CarolC 16 Jun 02 - 09:34 PM
Big Mick 16 Jun 02 - 10:33 PM
Guessed 17 Jun 02 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Amazed
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM

Do you have any idea how lucky you are that this non-issue is what what you have to occupy your time ?? There ARE more important issues in this world. Jeez, people - get a life. Go outside - walk around the block. Smell some flowers. Go find a person in need and help them. Your focus on this is all out of whack. In my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 04:59 PM

In SDShad and catspaw49, I detect the voices of sweet reason.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: nutty
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:04 PM

Can I remind you all that these issues were initially, (in a previous thread), raised by a "GUEST" who was intent on stirring you all up and causing trouble.

And, boy , has he/she succeeded.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:14 PM

Not sure I agree here. What seems to be said is that if it is worded differently, it has the rights to sit in the FAQ where presumably it will be seen to be part of Mudcat Policy.

Please don't get me wrong, I would like to see some form of statement written on the issue Joe tired to address. I just thought Max set the policy not spaw and Joe or any other combination of us lot.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:23 PM

Suggestions, not policy, is what these things should be in my opinion, Jon. I want Mudcat to remain as free and open as possible, for as long as possible. Does no harm to remind people how to act like they weren't raised by wolves every once in a while, though.

And absolutely, especially given the amount of controversy this has generated, obviously--obviously--final say rests with Max. Max may see all this as nothing more than a tempest in a teapot--which in the greater scheme of things, it is--but I have no idea. Of course, I'll reiterate I feel pretty strongly that it should be "hey, try to do things this way and we'll all have a better time" than carved-in-stone policy, but others may not agree.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:42 PM

Jon Freeman sez: "What seems to be said is that if it is worded differently, it has the rights to sit in the FAQ where presumably it will be seen to be part of Mudcat Policy..."

That's the impression I'm getting, too, and I find it disturbing.


Jon Freeman also sez: "I just thought Max set the policy not spaw and Joe or any other combination of us lot."

The only definition of people's "jobs" that I could find in the FAQ is this, from 06-May-00: "Max runs Mudcat and is the Ultimate Guru of All Things Technical. The Digital Tradition Folk Song Database is operated by Dick Greenhaus and Susan of DT. Since Max and Dick and Susan don't have time to handle the day-to-day problems like duplicate posts and bad HTML and registration problems, Max gave "edit" buttons to some of us.... The only person actually known to have a button is Joe Offer.... Pene Azul [is] available to maintain some of the [technical] areas of Mudcat.... Max is the Ultimate Authority." There's nothing specific there about anyone setting policy, so the presumption is that the "Ultimate Authority" who "runs Mudcat" does so.

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: sophocleese
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM

The FAQ is a place where some people see the Mudcat for the first time but mostly people read the threads.

Every time anybody starts a thread about any subject they are stating their opinion about what is and is not appropriate on the Mudcat. It may be short sighted of me but I cannot really see the difference between puppies, penises, or prayers as thread material (except that I suspect there are far more folk and blues songs about penises than puppies).


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:08 PM

Sorry....I wasn't suggesting writing policy and of course Max has it to be whatever he chooses. I think there is a place in the FAQ for "Starting A Thread".....or "How to" or something. I was suggesting as have others that it might be a place to offer up (as it were) a few thoughts. Nothing heavy handed or even anything like it.

My sole opinion here is that Joe's post has no place in the FAQ for any reason. Some suggestions for starting threads and having a bit of thought in the subject first does have a place.....the same as a spot for dealing with flamers and trolls. Personally, I'm tired of every Tom, Dick, and Harry, starting yet another thread on Seagull Guitars. But I don't care. We can leave it blank as far as I'm concerned.....but I'd like to keep a bit of the peace here if we can..........maybe we can't.

I am the last person here to author anything regarding censorship. I stupidly thought a compromise FAQ message might be written that would cover it.........Sorry, I was wrong.

Joe......Kill the freakin' message. It doesn't belong there.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:13 PM

Catspaw, what is this "we have repeatedly said"? Are you saying your opinion is the only one that counts? That's the way I read it.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:24 PM

No Dicho, I'm not. The topic of censorship and the like has been discussed here ad infinitum and will continue to be I'm sure. You can go back and refresh every conversation we've had on the subject. In every case there will be some dissenters, but the majority opinion....and by a wide margin....is anti-censorship in almost any form it takes. Yeah, kill spam, but if it gets posts, it gets posts and the posts to spam don't get killed.

In any case, the "WE" I mention refers to the Mudcat membership and although things may have changed, I doubt it.......take a look at the opinions on this thread over Joe's posting.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:29 PM

A lot of these postings are just the same people saying the same thing over and over. I doubt that Catspaw represents the majority. If so, it is sad for Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Burke
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM

Dicho, I'm not sure what opinion of Spaws you are saying is not a majority opinion.

As a (up to now) silent participant in this thread, I publically state that I agree that Joe's message, referred to in the recent discussion, does not belong as a permanent part of the FAQ.

Others have explained it in ways far better than I can.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Kernow John
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 06:39 PM

Dicho
Spaw says "we" he means catters plural. It is a path lots of people on mudcat have often said they don't wish to go down. It may not be something I would be unhappy with but give the guy a break there has been enough accusations on this thread already without starting fresh ones.
KJ


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:52 PM

I'm not particularly into things set in stone either Chris.

I suppose for me, I'd like to see something along the lines of:

"Please remember the main focus of this forum is music. Other subjects are fine but try to excerise a little restraint before creating a thread of a type that, if started by everyone here, would flood the forum, e.g. ..."

But that of course is just my view...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 01:23 AM

I just went back and re-read Joe's post to the "Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide" and I have to say it's pretty damn good. Maybe you could tweak it here and there, and maybe Joe will, after things cool down a bit, but overall, I think he's right, and what he said needed to be said. I DO think it belongs in the FAQ.

I only wish it had been put there long before the habit of starting threads about whatever popped into someone's head became so deeply entrenched. It just goes to show, if people get away with something long enough, they will eventually come to think of it as their inalienable right.

May I remind you folks that Joe has never proposed actually enforcing his suggestions? By enforcing, I mean deleting offending threads. Yet you people are making him out to be some kind of would-be dictator!

You seem to want absolute anarchy, and clearly there is absolutely nothing stopping you from practicing it, yet you whine because Joe, the "authority figure," won't give you his official blessing for practicing it! Instead, he has the AUDACITY to make SUGGESTIONS about how you ought to behave more civilly! Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

SDShad, your story about how you took your forum underground is fascinating. I wonder if a group of music lovers could do the same thing with Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 04:36 AM

Haven't got time to wade through all this lot. Has the hair been split yet?


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 09:51 AM

Skipjack K8................I would like to congratulate you..................you are the grand prize winner of this mornings very valuable and much sought after "Coffee In The Sinus Cavities" Award................................ROFLMAO.....LOL. Geeziz, would you give a guy a warning when you are going to do that, so I can swallow the coffee in my mouth before reading........ Great post!!!!

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SharonA
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM

Jim Dixon sez: "You seem to want absolute anarchy, and clearly there is absolutely nothing stopping you from practicing it, yet you whine because Joe, the 'authority figure,' won't give you his official blessing for practicing it!"

Jim, in my 18-Jul-01 post here, I quoted passages that Joe wrote long ago in the FAQ concerning anarchy. Let me quote again:

"I think the general principle here at Mudcat is "civil anarchy." Max, Dick, and Susan have shown no desire to set rules for operation of the Mudcat. They are very gracious hosts, and it would be nice if we'd all follow their example. That should be the only rule we need."
"Mudcat is governed by a principle of civil anarchy, and that principle gives Mudcat much of its spontaneity, intelligence, and friendly spirit."

So, Joe has long since "given his blessing" for practicing anarchy, with whatever authority he wields at Mudcat. But as of this week, he has not only contradicted those statements by suggesting that certain subjects not be posted to the Forum, but also (and more importantly) he has indeed done something that I and others think IS audacious: he has posted to the FAQ expressing his personal opinion and has expressed the intention (and has followed through with that intention) of deleting any opposing views that appear there. In essence, he is abusing the FAQ by turning it into his own private platform.

That abuse is what I am objecting to. I also object to some of the terminology he uses in that post, which some people may consider inflammatory. And as much as I sympathize with Joe about his traffic accident, "What happened to Joe's car?" is not the sort of Frequently Asked Question that should be answered on that thread!

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:15 AM

Look, folks, let's clear up some things. Joe is not an authority figure. Joe does not lead us. No one I know wants him to do either. What Joe is is an incredibly dedicated volunteer who has more time to devote to this place than the rest of us. He has gained both perceptual and real status based on his devotion to this place. The real status is easy to define. He has the magic key, as do several others, and can straighten out problems, delete redundant posts, etc.. The key also gives him the ability to modify or delete posts. It is not the real status that concerns me.

Joe's perceptual status is that he is the "authority figure" here. Even though that is not true, it is still perceived that way. Because of that, when he posts something in a FAQ it is given the status of "rules". No matter the disclaimer, it is still perceived to be "the rules". But Joe indicates that it is his opinion, not a rule. Opinions are open for debate, but Joe tells us that we cannot comment on his "opinion", hence it is a rule. Not gonna fly, Joe. You can't have it both ways. And as I have indicated, you even use my name in your opinion. You interpret what you think I meant, and use that as the predicate upon which you build your rules. You got some of what I meant right, but other things weren't right.

Joe, you need to remove the post. You need to then re-write it without mention to anyone else and with just the suggestions for starting threads and content of threads. It is not proper, IMHO, for you to say to allcomers "This is my opinion, and you will accept it without comment". That is unless that is what this place has become. I don't think that it has, but it will take Max to tell me that. I accept completely your enhanced role as a volunteer with broad discretion to do things that help this place stay alive. I appreciate it and applaud you for the type of man you are. And in addition, I value you you as a friend. But when you are posting an opinion, do so in discussion threads. When it is a suggested guideline, label it as such and don't drag other names into it and make it controversial. And if it is a rule, tell Max to post and let us know it is so, or at least tell us that Max said it is so.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM

Sharon,

what you write about Joe's handling of the permathread is completely out of porportion.
It is stated clearly in the permathread that While most Mudcat threads are not censored or edited, I will monitor this one and maintain and edit it to serve as a guide to the Mudcat Cafe. Feel free to post questions and answers, but be aware that I'm going to edit this thread heavily.

This is by far not the first time that Joe has deleted posts in that thread. And I strongly object to your statement that Joe has expressed the intention (and has followed through with that intention) of deleting any opposing views that appear there. Joe would delete any discussion post, also those agreeing with his point of view.

You may argue that Joe's opinion on that may have no place in the permathread, but your accusation of him turning the FAQ into a private platform and deleting what he doesn't like is mean and wrong.

And as for how easy it is to construct inconsistencies in argumnetation, I'll do it with you for instance. You wrote Please, Joe, don't prohibit us from asking for good thoughts or expressing our support. If you make it a hard-and-fast rule that we need to do so through private messages only, then please say so in the FAQ with a blueclickey reference to some starting points to do so, for the benefit of GUESTs and new members who won't know better. Hasn't he done that and you're still not contented? See how easy it is.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: SDShad
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:20 AM

Jim Dixon writes:

SDShad, your story about how you took your forum underground is fascinating. I wonder if a group of music lovers could do the same thing with Mudcat?

Pretty much categorically, no, Jim. I wasn't telling that story for someone to think I was proposing it as a solution for the Mudcat, but only by way of explaining why I'm convinced replying to trolls accomplishes exactly nothing. Don't skip over the part where i wrote: "[b]ut consequently our membership has dwindled to next to nothing, and the place is now just a minor hangout for a very small group of old and devoted friends." Is this a fate we wish for the Mudcat? Can we continue to be a companion site to the DT if we try to hide our existence? Or are we to hide the DT to all but the unitiated as well? No, I don't want the Mudcat to go to that extreme of exclusivism of which some of the more lame trolls have accused us.

[Since, as previously mentioned, I'm protecting the anonymity of this other place, I'll just refer to it as The Place, so my pronouns don't get confused between it and the Mudcat.]

It wasn't a good solution to begin with in the original circumstance, but it was the only solution available. We did it out of desparation, and I would not want to do it again. Its negative impact has been considerable. I don't remember The Place getting a new member since 1996. I'm sure it's happened, but it's been by invitation only, and you can probably count 'em on one hand.

Secondly, and this is a large part of why it was the only solution available, many of the circumstances are radically different. The Place is, and has always been, much smaller than the Mudcat. At no point, even during its heyday in the early 1990s, did regularly-logging-in membership exceed 100. Probably less, especially if you want to pare it down to those who also actually posted regularly. These days, I'd say the regulars number fewer than 15. I'll still keep going to The Place until the day I die if it's still available, because some of those 15 are the dearest of friends, on the Net and in 3D World. I've crashed in their living rooms, been picked up at the airport for conferences by them, met them for lunch and dinner in far-flung areas of the continent, and offered them the hospitality of my own home. Some of you think the 'Cat has an intimate vibe (which it does)? Ain't got nothin' on The Place in that regard.

The Place began life as a private dial-up BBS in a midwestern city in the 1980s, and moved to the Internet as a student project in 1991. Many of my best friends there were, like me, outsiders who wandered in from an entry in a list of telnettable BBSs on the Internet--and that's another crucial difference, since the interface was and is a terminal session, not a web page. We blocked telnet access to the troll's site, but he/she/it just found another telnet account and came in from there. I don't know if web-browsing anonymizers allow people to post to the Mudcat, not having tried it, but the underlying principle still isn't the same.

Finally, the functionality and purpose of the Place were far different. It began and ended its public life on the Internet as an insider's toy where outsiders happened to be provisionally welcome (which, GUEST accusations to the contrary, the Mudcat is not). There were 13 statically-created message boards, and if you had something to say, it went on one of those 13. No threading, little archiving (except for the Poetry board), and no resources page or associated database. And rather than being a public forum for the discussion of folk and blues (and the perpetuation of the DT database), it was general in topic scope and essential parochial in focus (although its membership included citizens of other countries). It was a home-town BBS writ large. The Mudcat is something much larger and purposeful, another thing altogether, and to retreat the 'Cat into anonymity would certainly be its death--unlike the Place, I wouldn't follow the 'Cat into exile, out of protest. I'd keep the friends, but I'd drop the membership.

Because I am, philosophically at least, in agreement with John Perry Barlow's Cyberspace Declaration of Independence. I don't want access to large public Net resources to be available to only the initated and approved few. I don't want "absolute anarchy" as you have suggested some do in your post, but I do recognize that the Net was, and could only be, born out of a sort of slightly-moderated anarchy, and I'm still enough of an old-style Net anachronism that I'm still resisting the Pinks' efforts to impose meatspace Law and Order on the Net. I don't want authoritarianism on the Net in general, and even less on Mudcat.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM

So then, Wolfgang, are you saying that it is okay for Joe to turn the FAQ into a thread on what Joe would like to see Mudcat become? Because that is what his disputed post, and the intent to delete any contradictory posts, does. Is that what you are defending?

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:28 AM

Well Mick, let's see if you have anymore success than I did. I do believe in some "Common Sense" ideas for starting threads which may also help out with my "Seagull" complaint, but only Max can delegate the rules regarding topics. At last check, this was still an open forum and has a wonderful content of creative anarchy.

Joe, didja' ever hear a song something about, "You got the right string baby, but the wrong yo-yo?" Opinions are fine, yours. mine, Sharon's, and hundresds of others here...."your string is fine." They posting of your opinion in a place where it can be taken for policy is not fine......."you got the wrong yo-yo."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:29 AM

Okay, clearly we need a part 2. This isn't going to go away soon, it would seem.

PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:36 AM

It's been a long time since I "preached" here and ya know, I think I will this time.

There is something important I think has gotten lost here. I think we need to remember that Joe Offer (and everyone else around here) actually thinks and rethinks things from time to time.

Maybe some of us do that faster than others... but no one has a right to tell anyone else how fast to do it or in what direction. And the pressure to do so is not actually helpful, although venting may make the venter feel better for a short while.

What Joe posted in the FAQ was the best he could come up with at that moment to address something that was important to him. I would appreciate very much if everyone could please chill out a little bit and let things percolate a little bit. And I would strongly suggest that drawing Max into the fray would probably not be at the top of Max's list of important things right about now.

How about Tracing this thread onto your personal page and leting it just sit there for a couple of weeks-- while putting attention on some of the more gracious aspects of Mudcat for a time? (Music?) This debate will still be here to pick up again at any time-- have no fear of that! *G*

I speak purely for my own selfish self in this. I have a brand new fast computer and a cable modem and I can FINALLY hear all the Mudcat Radio, PalTalk, and online sound files I have lacked since November. I'd rather have a couple of you guys in that with me!

And I can help search up lyrics now too! So geeze! Wouldja gimme sumpin to DO!?!?!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM

Alex,

I strongly object to your use of the word 'contradictory' for Joe has not written anything remotely similar to that.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM

PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.

Alex


For the record, I deleted my message from the FAQ. I had only intended to leave it there temporarily. You'll note that only the first five messages of the FAQ are permanent. I delete the rest when they are no longer needed, or when they are incorporated into the upper portion of the FAQ.
-Joe Offer-

As Alex said:
PLEASE continue discussion here (if you must continue it at all): Click.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: GUEST,Mudcat Fight Fan
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 09:22 PM

Hey, whatever happened in the fued between Big Mick and CarolC. It could have been a slobberknocker.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 09:34 PM

I met Mick at the FSGW Getaway last October. He gave me a BIG hug and said he was very glad I had come. I was very glad too. It felt really good to be welcomed in that way, and to be able to put an unfortunate misunderstanding behind us.


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:33 PM

It was exactly a misunderstanding, and Carol and I resolved it. And then I got a wonderful hug from her. We understand that we may not always agree, but that the disagreement is simply that and nothing more. I came out of it with a friend, I am very happy for that. Hopefully I will see her 3D at the upcoming Getaway.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dear Joe Offer et al
From: Guessed
Date: 17 Jun 02 - 10:07 AM

Ah! communication - isn't it wonderful. The original thread was titled?
Communication has to send & receive adequately and acknowledge in both direction too.
I think we started on the wrong foot here. Lighthouse - don't be put off, but there are some nuggets for you above.


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