Friendly Category Posting Policies Question

IDK if this post is in line with the description for the Friendly category. Mb this is a crit of the name “Friendly”, but I think the name is mb better than the description atm. I thought my post was worth making, but mb it’s better not to have those sort of posts in Friendly.

This is the bit/conditions particularly that I think my post violates:

  • WRT “posters choose what topics they want to discuss”: Dface sorta changes topic but it’s not clear that my post is something Dface wants to discuss.
  • Another part says “those would be topic changes away from their intended topic” and I think it’s reasonable to say that I changed topic – I’m introducing new things with a new focus.

That said, I think the name “Friendly” has some good ~connotational ideas that aren’t captured in the quote above. I think my post falls into a grey zone that’s under “Friendly” but not within the current category description (and is a good thing to have in Friendly).

I moved this to Community and closed the About Friendly thread to new posts b/c it’s a special thread. Replying to it apparently didn’t make it show up on the Latest list on the forum homepage.

EDIT: Also I don’t want the About Category threads to get cluttered.

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Dface brought up emotions himself, first, so replying to him about them was OK.

In general, it’s OK to propose or bring up other topics in Friendly in a reasonable way that doesn’t cross lines like rudeness. It’s not just no tangents ever, but don’t be pushy about it. People should be able to ignore a topic change without explaining themselves, or say they’re not interested without having their interests criticized, or otherwise choose. It should be easy for people in Friendly to not pursue your tangent. If in doubt, you can label stuff as an aside, ask a question about whether someone is interested (in a way that doesn’t imply they’re irrational if they say no, and preferably is pretty easy to not answer at all), say in advance that it’s fine if this conversation branch isn’t pursued further, etc.

You can think of Friendly as having fairly traditional/conventional rules and expectations. It’s meant to be kinda similar to societal defaults, like what you might find on a typical forum (but without the capricious, non-transparent moderators). I’ve also made explicit some typical expectations people have in discussions that are often unwritten or vague (specifically limiting criticism types and topic branching). It’s also meant to stay on-topic for philosophy taken very broadly, and specifically shouldn’t have politics debates.

It’d be better, particularly in Friendly, to avoid sounding like an authority, especially when giving advice. Make it easy for people to make their own judgments and maybe not listen. And try not to pressure people.

For example:

you should read the entire article, slowly and carefully.

Is telling someone what to do. Instead, it’d be better to say that you think doing that could be helpful/useful and why.

Similarly, this statement is pressuring:

If you try to avoid them then you will never master them.

It suggests that if someone doesn’t take your advice, then their problem will never be solved. And the next sentence amplifies the pressure:

If you want [good thing], then you need to [do what I said]

It’s like the “should” but stronger (“need”) and also is using a negative outcome to push the person to comply.

Another part I noticed is:

the best chance

Saying “best” is a very strong word. It’s like using “all” or “never”. It means not merely good, not even great, but #1 in the rankings above all others. That claim is unnecessary and doubtful, and it’s also adds pressure because who wants to reject the best thing? Changing it to “a good chance” could get across the same main point without the same problems.

The post also has a time pressure element:

the further in the past it gets

There was a topical reason for saying that, but it’s also problematic because it increases pressure. It might be OK alone but it amplifies the other pressuring elements.

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Cool, this sounds good to me and in-line with how I read the intention behind “Friendly”.

Yup. I think I wrote the post to Dface as though it was an excerpt from a short essay that I’d post to my microblog, which is most of the reason for the pressuring/authoritative tone. I think that sort of tone seems better for a short essay b/c it’s less personal, terser and make crits easier / more direct. So there’s a bit of a mindset shift for me to make in Friendly with that stuff, I think.

Thx for the feedback.