• A Short Guide to Using the Forum

    Guide to Good Posting

    Other things to bear in mind.

    It is the nature of the beast that from time to time debate will become heated, please try and refrain from ad hominem attacks (attacking the person and not their views), always debate the point not make it personal and please try not to fall foul of the following fallacies.

    Straw Man: Attributing a point of view to someone which they do not hold, and then arguing against it. This is often seen when, for instance, left wingers claim that a right-wing person wants to de-regulate the entire financial system, or to introduce the poll tax. Right wingers may claim that their left-wing opponents are all communists who think everyone is the same. There are degrees on the political spectrum. Do not imply or state that anyone holds an opinion that they have not specifically voiced.

    Appeal to Emotion: This is the act of describing something in a particularly emotive way to try and elicit emotional response to back up your argument, which may or may not be correct. For instance, someone against euthanasia might tell the story of a poor old lady whose life support was turned off by accident in a country where euthanasia is legal. This doesn’t really show that euthanasia is fundamentally a bad thing, but it is unfair as it is impossible to argue against without sounding overly harsh. Also included in this are personal references. With the utmost respect to our members, no one cares about your life story. It is not evidence of anything. I have never personally met a suicide bomber, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Equally, talking about your poor health or giving lengthy sob stories about your life is not on.

    Appeal to Tradition: Commonly used by conservatives (with a small ‘c’). This implies that simply because something has always been one way, it should stay the same forever. Remember that tradition is not self-evidently a reason to keep anything – witch hunting used to be a tradition.

    Inductive argument:
    I am a male
    I am wearing jeans
    Therefore, all men wear jeans.
    This is surprisingly common – watch out for it!

    SPECIAL MENTION:

    Godwin’s Law: As a debate grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning the Nazis approaches one. The first person to make a comparison with the Nazis loses.

    This is a pet hate of mine. Not all BNP supporters are Nazis. Not everyone who hates Israel is a Nazi. Not all racists are Nazis. Not all Germans are Nazis. Not all vegetarians are Nazis. Not all dog lovers are Nazis. Not even all Nazis were Nazis. The Nazis are almost always totally irrelevant to an issue, and yet it is an enormous appeal to emotion fallacy to bring them up – please don’t!

    For a decently comprehensive list of most basic fallacies, try this website: Fallacies

    Try not to make random assertions that are not either common knowledge or backed up with evidence that you can refer to if someone asks you to. This doesn’t mean posting a link with every claim that you make, but just be aware that people may ask for proof of a claim you make, and don’t make a claim if you don’t think that you will be able to prove it by linking to a credible source but remember that many internet sources, especially those of private websites, are not credible.

    If you follow these general rules, your posts should be informative, persuasive, and easy to read. If you have a suggestion for this thread, or think that I have missed something glaringly obvious, then please feel free to PM any of the moderators about it!.

    Gude to Using the Forum

    I’ve been pressurised into writing a second part to the Guide to Good Posting (™) by Op and others… I was struggling with what else really needed to be said this time around, but then I realised its not just posting that is affected, and possibly misunderstood by members. So, although I will address a few more problems with posts that I have observed since last time, I will also look at other aspects of the forum.

    Thanks

    Probably one of the most used functions in the forum. I think the button is incredibly useful – it has removed the multitude of posts that used to pop up saying ‘I agree’ and suchlike. Use it whenever you feel that it is appropriate, luckily people aren’t too competitive about it on this forum so there’s no need to hold back a vast amount. The only thing to bear in mind is not to thanks someone simply for an ‘I agree’ post. Also to think about is whether a post really does convey your opinion accurately. There may be several details that you actually don’t agree with, and it is usually a bad idea to thank a post if you don’t agree wholeheartedly.

    Rep

    Reputation points are an underused system on this forum. I am a member of another forum where they are highly prized and sought after, but there reputation can be a little too competitive and leads to people writing silly or populist posts simply to garner reputation. I’d love to see it a bit more widely used, but not to that extent. You can award one reputation point per day, so try to give one to any especially good post, whether you agree with it or not. Give negative reputation not for posts that you disagree with, but for posts that are badly written, rude, aggressive or unnecessary. Do try to use the system a bit more.

    Using the Forum

    There’s a few bits and pieces that people probably miss around the place. I often notice people asking me where a thread they have posted in has gone, say if I moved it to a different section. To find a thread that you have already posted in, select ‘What's New’ at the top to view a list of threads that have new posts since your last visit. Ones with little green dots in the corner are ones that you have previously posted in. This makes life much, MUCH easier. Also, to see only threads that you are subscribed to (you are automatically subscribed when you post in a thread) click 'settings' in the top right.

    User Settings

    To change any of your settings, go to the 'Settings' bar at the top and down the left hand bar should be a selection of options. The most useful are ‘Edit Your Details’, ‘Customise Settings’, ‘Edit Avatar’, ‘Edit Signature’ ‘Edit Email and Password’ and ‘Edit Options’. I’ve never used any of the others down there. Avatars can be tricky – you must ensure that you upload one of the correct size. A quick google search can find hundreds of websites that provide witty, interesting or themed avatars. Do try to upload one – they will mark your posts out much better than a name alone.

    Statistics and Other Functions

    To see what others see when they view your profile, click your name at the top right of the screen. Visitor messages are displayed at first. The statistics page is the one that most people don’t understand, but it can be very useful. You can use it to find all of your posts, your thanks, and your visitor messages. Its excellent if you are searching for a post you made a long time ago. The other tabs are quite self-explanatory, but I’m still willing to answer questions if you PM me.

    One final thing

    This forum automatically displays in reverse order - newest posts at the top. This drove me insane at first because it is very unconventional in other forums. If you feel the same, you can go to 'User CP', the 'Edit Options' on the left. Scroll about 2/3 of the way down to 'Thread Display Mode' and select 'Linear- oldest first' in the drop down menu.

    In all, experiment with all of the options on the top bar. They are mostly all useful. As of writing, the ‘politics links directory’ is fairly unused. Have fun, that’s the main thing! Any questions, feel free to PM me.

    DougieG
  • Forum

    Barry

    According to his book, he loaned someone £20k so...

    According to his book, he loaned someone £20k so he could get the mortgage approved and no one lost even a penny.

    Barry 28-05-2018, 10:17 AM Go to last post
    grumzed

    Good video clip of Wes Clark speech. I have...

    Good video clip of Wes Clark speech. I have posted a few times that people should read about the "Project for a New American Century" and, if you have not done so, "A Clean Break" - a paper prepared...

    grumzed 28-05-2018, 09:44 AM Go to last post
    Streetwalker

    With your reasoning abilities I would have...

    With your reasoning abilities I would have thought a group of blokes holding beer glasses drinking together would have drawn a different conclusion . But hey if you read it in a book it must be true...

    Streetwalker 28-05-2018, 09:36 AM Go to last post
    Lawfully

    Putting that in simplicity, he took the piss out...

    Putting that in simplicity, he took the piss out of our judicial system which in all fairness , is not to bad compared to other countries. Often first time petty offenders get a warning , if a...

    Lawfully 28-05-2018, 09:34 AM Go to last post
    johnofgwent

    OK As two fools seemingly unconnected to this...

    OK

    As two fools seemingly unconnected to this site have chosen separately to reveal in another rather public arena that is nothing to do with this site some hard evidence, I feel legally safe...

    johnofgwent 28-05-2018, 08:45 AM Go to last post