Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
DavidOdden

Quoting in replies

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

There is an occasional tendency to overquote in replies, by including an entire post and then adding a relatively trivial reply like "I agree". Participants should remember the forum rule on quoting:

Participants agree to keep responses short by minimally quoting earlier posts or other, outside sources. Quote only the particular passage you are targeting with your comments--and no more (the snapback arrow within the quotation allows your readers to go back to see the full context in an earlier post). If replying to multiple people/topics, split up your response into multiple posts.

Please only quote the minimum amount required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is an occasional tendency to overquote in replies, by including an entire post and then adding a relatively trivial reply like "I agree". Participants should remember the forum rule on quoting:

Participants agree to keep responses short by minimally quoting earlier posts or other, outside sources. Quote only the particular passage you are targeting with your comments--and no more (the snapback arrow within the quotation allows your readers to go back to see the full context in an earlier post). If replying to multiple people/topics, split up your response into multiple posts.

Please only quote the minimum amount required.

I agree. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was cute Kyle but perhaps this is cuter :thumbsup:

Please only quote the minimum amount required.

Then again, maybe not :ninja:

Seriously though, this is a problem. I notice many of the newbies (TAKE HEED) doing it and it is not only annoying but I believe it takes up valuable memory, which may cost David Veksler (GreedyCapitalist?) more money (correct me if I'm wrong).

Additionally, I think it is poor etiquette. I can't imagine, on long posts, that one wouldn't want to focus attention on something in particular. Sometimes, if I want to address the poster in a general fashion, I will open with a simple salutation and no quote at all. So there.

Perhaps it should even be pinned to the top of the "Active Content" list ... I may have just gone too far.

Now, let me just check that off the old pet peeve list ... serenity now, serenity now.

Edited by Marc K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. "Agreement with Objectivism is not required for participation."

2. "Participants agree not use the website to spread ideas contrary to Objectivism."

I submit to the forum that these two forum rules are contradictory. If one does not agree with Objectivism, and voicing disagreement with Objectivism is deemed to be spreading contrary ideas, how can one participate without breaking forum rules?

I've set up a poll to see if it is only me who thinks this or if there are others too.

Thanks,

Ryan

Edited by Ryan1985

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there's a difference between having an idea and spreading the idea, then those two rules are not contradictory.

If you have an idea but do not voice it for fear of breaking rules, how can you participate? What is the definition of participation? Sitting mute?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right Ryan. I ought to have said that voicing an idea is not the same as spreading it.

Here's a link to an earlier thread that goes into most of the issues around this topic.

Shouldn't the forum rules specify what the difference between voicing an idea and spreading it is?

Ie, In an existing conversation if I say that I agree with Kant for X, Y, and Z reasons and someone disagrees and I reply with further A, B, and C reasons as to why I believe I am right I would argue that this is voicing ones ideas.

Spreading contrary ideas would be to unilaterally bring up the idea that Kant is superior to Rand for X Y Z reasons. That would be actively spreading the ideas.

But passively replying to existing conversations with contrary ideas should be permitted, yes? Since this would be voicing and not spreading?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spreading contrary ideas would be to unilaterally bring up the idea that Kant is superior to Rand for X Y Z reasons. That would be actively spreading the ideas.

But passively replying to existing conversations with contrary ideas should be permitted, yes? Since this would be voicing and not spreading?

Spreading Kant would mean describing his philosophy for the purpose of making it known (as opposed to for the purpose of proving a specific tenet of Objectivism wrong).

So, as per those rules, you may describe any type of philosophy you wish (unilaterally or as a reply to someone's post), as long as what you are writing proves or honestly attempts to prove a specific tenet of Objectivism wrong.

Keep in mind the difference between "proving Oism wrong or honestly attempting to prove Oism wrong" and "contradicting Oism". The former denotes interest in Objectivism, the latter doesn't necessarily do that. If you read the full rule #1, you'll understand why that's relevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But passively replying to existing conversations with contrary ideas should be permitted, yes? Since this would be voicing and not spreading?
One can actively raise a topic but not be spreading it in the sense meant here. The basic motivation behind the "non-spreading" rule is that this site is primarily for Objectivists and people who see themselves as students of Objectivism, fans of Objectivism, and the like. In other words, this is not a general-purpose philosophy site. Of course, there's nothing wrong with running a general-philosophy forum, but we're not it. The underlying assumption is that OO.net members use OO.net as a way to further their understanding of Objectivism, but not as a place where they have to constantly reiterate and defend ground that they have already covered in their own minds. The idea, then, it to keep away people whose primary purpose is to come to the forum to tell members how stupid their philosophy is. Members who want to be told so, and who seek an opportunity to argue against that have other places they can go to do so. Others see an overdose of such anti-Objectivists as creating noise that drown out the other values they seek here.

If someone is mostly sympathetic to Objectivism, and is willing to engage in a civil conversation, I don't see any philosophy-related topic as being off topic: whether determinism might be true in a certain sense, whether forced taxation is the only practical alternative, and so on.

Given the composition of our membership, I think those who raise an issue that they believe is strongly contrary to Objectivism should go about it in a certain way. The first thing I'd suggest is to search for existing threads. If something has been argued (particularly within the last few months) and someone brings it up again, members see it as noise. Secondly, I'd say the biggest mistake such posters make is to raise straw-men (i.e. by misunderstanding and then mis-characterizing the ideas of their opponents) -- and that gets them written off as trolls.

To use an analogy, think of a forum for Apple fans. People would be willing to discuss things with an occasional Apple user who has seen the recent gizmo from (Microsoft? Blackberry?) and thinks it is far better, but less willing to tolerate the Windows fan who comes to their forum to tell them why they're stupid for being Apple fans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To use an analogy, think of a forum for Apple fans. People would be willing to discuss things with an occasional Apple user who has seen the recent gizmo from (Microsoft? Blackberry?) and thinks it is far better, but less willing to tolerate the Windows fan who comes to their forum to tell them why they're stupid for being Apple fans.

Can you imagine a Republican party fan forum inserting a rule that states "Participants agree not use the website to spread ideas contrary to the Republican party"? Or indeed an Apple fan forum doing the same?

Do you realise this is the kind of thing critics are referring to when charging Objectivism with cult status?

Edit:

I've just check a couple of forums rules (an Apple forum and a Republican forum) here and here as well as a couple of other philosophy forums. So the question becomes why is Objectivism unique in disallowing dissent?

Edited by Ryan1985

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the question becomes why is Objectivism unique in disallowing dissent?

Why are you unique in believing this is the case? Discussing other philosophies is not the same as using the forum as a platform for spreading those philosophies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you imagine a Republican party fan forum inserting a rule that states "Participants agree not use the website to spread ideas contrary to the Republican party"? Or indeed an Apple fan forum doing the same?
I'm not sure if you're critiquing the exact wording, or the actually-enforced rules that do not waste the time of members with things that stray past the purposes of the forum. If the latter, then yes of course I can imagine it. I can more than imagine it, I remember looking for a Democrat forum and finding a few well-populated ones that said one had to be pro-Democrat to join. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some Republican ones with similar rules. As for tech forums, many tend to be lightly moderated, but the moderated ones will often insist that posters stick to the purpose of the forum. Go to JavaRanch and start posting diatribes against Java and see how the mods react.

So the question becomes why is Objectivism unique in disallowing dissent?
Wait a minute! OO.net is not Objectivsm; it is a forum about Objectivism. As I said, there are other forums that have different rules: check out the previously-busy alt.philosophy.objectivism for the extreme of non-moderation. There was so much noise there, that it was almost futile to post. Then, some folks got a moderated version going: humanities.philosophy.objectivism . That was an attempt to bring in very minimal moderation: e.g. moderation of rudeness etc., without much else being off limits. Thing is: that makes such a forum very boring for long-time Objectivists. Such Objectivists are happy to help folks understand, but they also want to share common values, and toss ideas amongst each other, without having to repeat some explanation about Kant or Libertarianism for the Nth time.

Indeed, OO.net itself is too open for most long-time Objectivists to find value in it: at least not the kind of value that would make them regular visitors. It is not that such folks think such threads are evil; just that they are boring. They understand that there are newbies who need to hash out some things through discussion, and will not be quite satisfied looking at previous response; but, they do not want to spend their time on such an activity. This has led to some forums that are far more restrictive about what they allow. There are others that are open by invitation only. This does not imply that Objectivism says one should hold conversations only by invitation.

There are quite a few Objectivism-related forums online. The "market" is quite fragmented, and you will find that they range all over the map in what they allow. This way, Objectivists can choose how they want to spend their online time, and focus on the forum that fits their needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the question becomes why is Objectivism unique in disallowing dissent?

You know that old saying- "you don't have to go home but you can't stay here"?

Well... this site is owned by someone. It is someone's property. They have the right to decide what this site is used for.

You have a couple faulty premises going on.

1) OO.net is not Objectivism. OO.net is an Objectivist forum.

2) Objectivism doesn't disallow dissent. Objectivism doesn't allow or disallow anything. It is a philosophy.

So to answer your question.

This has nothing to do with Objectivism allowing or disallowing anything.

This is about someone choosing how their property will be used- the same way you might allow people into your home for a party but if they begin to get obnoxious and insulting you will probably kick them out.

Edited by SapereAude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... disallowing dissent?...
Forgot to say, this is a strawman, since I already clarified that dissenting opinions are allowed. Do you have any actual dissenting opinion to make, or is this simply an abstract exercise? If you do have something concrete, start a thread that treats the subject. You will almost always get respect that mirrors the respect you display.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ryan1985, the problem is that ( at least in my experience ) that this sort of thing is pretty much ALL you do, at least when it comes to the chat. Not only that, but I do not even sure that you seriously consider the objections given to you time and time again.

I am not 100% sure if this applies to all of your forum posts, though from the ones I have found so far : It would appear to be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"...use the website to spread ideas contrary..."

If this forum is to be "used" to "spread ideas", it is obviously the ideas of Objectivism. If a particular person is posting to spread ideas of another philosophy, especially when the posts aren't even related to anything with regards to Objectivism, then they are simply "off topic" of the stated purpose of the forum. There is a debate area. Contrary ideas are discussed here often.

Now, do you really not understand the meaning of what amounts to "Don't use this place to be your soapbox about some other philosophy"?

. If one does not agree with Objectivism, and voicing disagreement with Objectivism is deemed to be spreading contrary ideas, how can one participate without breaking forum rules?

Voicing disagreement is not the equivalent to "using the forum to spread contrary ideas". If your issue is semantics, would you like to suggest a different phrase than "use the website to spread contrary ideas"? (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you understand the rule's intent here.)

Edited by freestyle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the question becomes why is Objectivism unique in disallowing dissent?

No, the question is actually, if I want a site that discusses Objectivism and other philosophies, is there one? Yes, plenty of other sites have a broader range of topics beyond Objectivism. The next question is, is there anything wrong with having a site where the discussion is focused on a particular topic? No. Some users like the topic to be focused and more limited in scope. Some users participate on this site for what it offers, and other sites for what they offer.

Have you ever walked into a shoe store and complained to the management that you could not buy a hammer there? Probably not. That's because if you knew you wanted to buy a hammer at a store that also sold shoes, you would probably go to Walmart or some such store. That doesn't mean it is wrong to have a store that just sells shoes.

If you know that this site is limited in scope, and that doesn't meet your needs, why are you not seeking another site that would fulfill your needs rather than trying to get the shoe store to sell hammers? I'm not trying to drive you off, I'm just trying to suggest that you be cognizant of the store you are in and what product they have to offer and to realize that having general stores (or web sites) and specialty stores (or more topically-focused web sites) are just fine for the market. You have options and the people who want the specialty store have options as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quoting people is easy when it can be done with a couple of clicks. Quoting people makes it easier to answer them, because you break up their writing into sections and respond to each individually. Another reason quoting makes things easier is because you can move their entire post into your post. Doing that alone is useful, because it says, "I have taken the time to copy what you have written, and include it in what I have to say." Also, having done so facilitates a response i.e. you don't have to remember what the person said because it is already in your post and you can just look and see. And quoting people is a way of making it clear to everyone what you are talking about, provided of course you don't quote everything all the time.

Quotes are good and useful, but there is some kind of trade off of course. Quotes take up space. Quoting something means asking other people to reread the same thing. Quoting involves creating words by clicking copy&paste as opposed to rewriting - it is a effortless semblance of something which appears to be, on the surface, as thoughtful as the next body of text - which is the objection to spam in general. When you quote someone, you not only repeat everything they got right, but also any mistakes they may have made. Quotes take up space. Opps, I mentioned that one already.

What are your thoughts about quotes?

Edited by softwareNerd
Post in another thread, merged in here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quoting other people is usually spamming. It is a relatively effortless semblance of something thoughtful. I don't want what I write to be liberally quoted or even quoted at all. My writing is not good, it should not be quoted. Most people's writing is of a normal quality. It shouldn't be quoted.

I think the thing that allows for the liberal quoting is the quote boxes. It is like a safety box that protects its user from having to justify his use of space. If he had to manually do Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, it would be about as effortless, but then he wouldn't have the box. He'd have only his quotation marks.

I tried to start a thread about this in the debate section, but I failed somehow. And prior to that I had accidentally lost a long post about the same subject. I think this is a very important subject and that something should be done. A debate on it in the debate forum is where I would start.

Edited by Brian9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×