Thoughts on Adding a Politics Forum
Several people previously expressed interest in adding a forum for discussing politics. Initially I disliked the idea because I didn't feel it was really a part of personal development, but I do see some demand for it. Erin and I had a long talk about it, and she persuaded me to take another look at this. Some of the moderators also seem to support the idea.
Possible topics could include politics, government, leadership, global issues, environment, political parties, elections, candidates, domestic policy, foreign policy, healthcare, nationalism, education, war, etc. I would hope such a forum doesn't become unfairly U.S.-centric, since half the visitors to this site live outside the USA.
While not exactly personal development, it does seem like a reasonable extension of it. Politics has also been on many people's minds lately, and I doubt there would be a lack of interesting discussions. It could be a challenging forum to moderate though.
What are your thoughts pro or con for adding such a forum?
I am pro.
First of all I despise discussion on politics, religion and some similar topics.
As you have noticed these discussions do happen in some of the forums and unless you would be inclined to stop them, they would deserve a separate place to keep the discussion in other forums from straying to these topics.
You would need some really good moderators for it and possibly a reminder that forum rules apply there too since it will at times get heated and disrespectful, it almost seems in the nature of the topic. The other result in such a forum could be seeing traffic from outside you may not have had much of before ('lamers' and spammers). It would mean more traffic but possibly at a high cost.
Just my point of view.
Steve, you are right on the money in both respects.
I was thinking the same thing when I posted the thread about Bhutto a few minutes ago.
I was like, this is relevant, important information, but how do I inform these people?
The flip side, as you said, is moderation.
Yet, when personal attacks do occur, since this is a personal development forum, it gives the members an opportunity to guide the other person into responding in a non-reactive manner, which as all kinds of positives all across the board.
If anyone can do it correctly, I think you can Stevo.
I believe politics is getting off the core of personal development.
After some of the passionate discussions i have seen here I don't think a political forum would add any value to the site and opens up some risk of the aforesaid passionate discussions detracting from the maturity and professionalism which is currently apparent.
Beside all that, this website is you Steve, that's what makes it great.
Is a political forum you?
No way, unless it is HEAVILY moderated and all roads lead back to Rome. ie. all discussion of politics, government, leadership, global issues, environment, political parties, elections, candidates, domestic policy, foreign policy, healthcare, nationalism, education, war lead back to a greater understanding of the self.
If people don't see that their government and world is a manifestation of themselves, why bother??????? It will just be a mental pissing contest if the discussion is not continually directed back to the individual.
I'm pro, for the reasons bart mentioned. It would be good to have a place to discuss politics and the environment, and how we as individuals can impact positive change.
Political threads seem to pop up in the other sub forums anyway; I'm itching to move them all to their own spot.
I agree that all roads should lead back to personal impact, even when there are certain things that affect everyone, like global warming. I tend to see broader consequences like global warming as indications of how to live better lives as individuals.
Also, some things that deeply affect public health have no current place to reside. Take this thread for example: it hasn't sparked much of a debate in the health and fitness sub-forum because it is part of a much larger, systematic problem with plastic usage rather than something that relates to personal health and fitness.
I'm for it.
Being involved in one's community is part of being a well rounded person. Politics is an extension of that.
Erin has spoken out but you've always seemed standoffish, besides an off comment. I've always thought you've said politics tends to lower awareness too often, though I'm not sure you've said that.
What is the most conscious, courageous, non-fear based decision? Is a political forum really you?
I think we should ask, what question do we really mean to ask, rather than simply, yay or nay?
I am against a Political forum Steve. It veers off course from Personal Development. I've seen too many places where genuine discussion doesn't take place instead people's egos get involved. In the end they haven't budged from their original positions or learnt anything new.
Or you could always just TRY it out for 30 days and see. :D Thats actually not a bad idea. hmm
As I understand the new proposed forum it is not just about politics but about more interesting topics as well such as environment and education. I really would appreciate some intelligent and open minded discussion on such topics since that does contribute to your personal development. It is hard enough to get trustworthy information on these topics, a forum could greatly assist in becoming more aware on these issues. The same to an extend goed for politics for me. It is very needed to question politicians and getting the views others have, getting more information, can assist in growing in that area personally.
I do expect the new forum to be hard to manage however.
I am very strongly against a political forum.
I come here as a haven away from the negative-filled world, and I don't want to see political topics when I do a "Search New Posts" to tempt me and remind me of all the bad things going on in the world and in politics.
This place was very helpful to me to get away from reading online political news all the time back in July when I succeeded a 30 day trial of not reading the news online. I started posting in increased intensity during that month on here. Had there been a political forum on here back then, I would instead have avoided coming on here too. That's because often in a political forum, people post about the most recent news bits and how I can avoid the news, if it's been discussed in a forum?
Futhermore, I feel that there is a huge different between politics and personal development. In personal development, if someone is advocating something I think is stupid or harmful, it's no big deal. It won't affect me. However, in politics, if someone is advocating something I disagree with, and that person convinces enough people, then my life can be impacted negatively. That is - personal development is about changing your own life and your situation in a way that you want it. Politics is frequently about changing other people's lives and their situation in a way that they may be opposed to and that may actually be harmful to them. Thus, it's easy to ignore personal development threads I disagree with, but it's quite hard to ignore political threads that impact an issue I feel strongly on.
There are thousands of political forums around the world, if people want to talk about politics, let them go to one of those. Let's keep this a safe place to have intelligent discussion on personal development and not a place where we encourage people to argue about politics.
What about changing General & Introductions to simply General, merging Fun & Recreation into General, then creating Introductions and Politics as subforums within General?
I think people should be able to discuss issues that impact us globally. In fact, I think a forum full of "smart" people are ideal to come together and work on ways to improve the world. I dislike the name "politics" because of the connotation. However, I do like the idea of discussing candidates and their philosophies.
There would have to be some heavy moderating and at the very first signs of personal attacks, name calling and the like, action would need to be swift and decisive.
Just as we all have different opinions on health, the law of attraction, psychic and paranormal things, etc, we're going to disagree about politics. Doesn't mean we can't engage in healthy discussion without resorting to name calling or other degenerative behavior.
What about a 30 day trial of a political forum with some strict guidelines and if it gets out of control and the mods can't bring everyone back into alignment then we shut it down.
1) It brings the daily news into this forum.
2) It encourages people to discuss negative situations that they have no control over.
3) It distracts us from discussing what we can do, to being concerned about what others are doing to us through the government.
4) It shuts down one nice oasis that is relatively free of politics.
5) It will bring in outside people who don't care about personal development, but only care about pushing their candidate or their opinion on to the rest of us.
6) Increase conflicts between members. It's one thing for me to know that someone chooses to eat or believe in a way I think is detrimental. That doesn't affect my life. It's another and more drastic thing for me to think someone is going around supporting political candidates that would dramatically and negatively impact my life. Thus, what this person says in the political forum will negatively impact how I would react to them elsewhere on this site.
7) Encourages people to think in terms of scarcity.
Yes, some people on here would love a political forum and would enjoy it and it would benefit them. For many others, a political forum would bring an unwanted distraction and negatively impact them and the value of this site to them.
Why do we have to please and help some people at the cost of others? Start an ErinPavlina-politics.com site so you can have what you want, and let us who are trying to escape politics keep our nice peaceful oasis.
Go for it. I quite like intelligent discussions about politics and what-not.
However I wouldn't like it if all you got was party-fanatics spamming and trolling the opposition.
For a period of time, I am for the idea. We won't know how it will turn out until we do it. If it degrades the forum, we can remove it.
We are going to be discussing politics, anyway. Sure, Steve has the authority to lock all of the Ron Paul threads, but if he isn't going to do that, let's isolate the discussions from the 'fun and recreation' forums and whatnot (or wherever they are).
I mean, c'mon. The Law of Attraction? Religion? What could be more controversial than that?
- impeaching Bush?
- allowing everyone to have guns, even on planes?
- democrats funding the war in iraq despite being voted in part to stop the war in iraq?
- the destruction of our civil liberties in America for the pursuit of a few people who happen to dislike how we screw up their homeland?
- Allowing official polygamy and same-sex marriage?
- Rape, Murder, Torture, Humilation, and Imprisonment of people for years without charges by the U.S. Military?
- America's support of Isreal?
- The coming bombing of Iran by America?
- Hugo Chavez?
- allowing prostitution all over, and not just in Nevada?
- Pakistan's Dictator Musharref?
- Bill O'Reilley?
- Muslim Brotherhood?
- WalMart and the backlash against it?
- Chinese Importation?
- Chinese Arms?
- Osama Bin Ladin?
- Palistine-Isreal Conflict?
- Hamas - Fateh Conflict?
Just a few controversial topics from the top of my head. I'd say that these, for the most part, are more controversial then the LoA because they emotes more anger and fear in people then the LoA does.
I think the 30-day trial that Erin suggested sounds very appealing. I like receiving a rounder picture of events, even though my opinion may or may not change. However, I too am concerned about receiving doses of the negativity I try to avoid from regular news sources. Yet, I think that we can handle such a forum responsibly. If not, it'll just show where we all are on our personal development journey, right?
I believe that politics is too distractive because it focuses on too many external things. I sincerely hope that politics don't get added to the forum
I don't read all the forums here and I am the half-owner of them! If you don't want to read the political forum, just skip it. If a thread bothers you, ignore it. If you don't want to get involved in the politics, don't. What I want to see is a respectful discussion of world affairs. If we don't talk about them, how can they change? How can we come to greater understanding of each other if we're not willing to hear what we all have to say?
Yes, I think it will test some people's restraint. Could be a growth experience. Let's see if we can handle it, and if it gets out of control and the mods can't handle it, we shut it down or try to figure out a solution.
But I do think world affairs and politics belong on a personal development forum.
Is it possible to "ignore" a particular forum in the same way you can "ignore" an individual's posts? That might solve the problem of people who just don't want any exposure at all. In fact, it would be a boon, because as Erin mentioned, all political discussion would be coralled into one, easy to skirt, area.
There are areas of discussion I'm simply not interested in, and my eyes just glide by threads about those subjects. When a subject arouses your ire to the point that you don't even want it discussed, that in itself is a great source of fodder for your personal development!
Don't mean to go all-out here, but if it were up to me, I think the forums need just a "tad" bit better organization, how does this look:
Steve & Erin Pavlina
I don't know if Politics *fits* on a PD site (because you could then add many other things, like religion, history, entertainment, etc.)
However, if you do decide to add it, I'd recommend appointing some apolitical moderators (if there aren't any currently), because as mentioned before, they can get pretty heated (I still remember reading through the Terrorism & Islam thread.)
Lets compare having a politics forum with the intention manifestion forum (the psychic forum is similar).
There are a lot of readers of Steves material that don't subscribe to the IM concept. If we wouldn't have the IM forum we would have IM threads in Health, Personal Effectiveness, Character & Development, Technology & Technical Skills, Business & Financial, Emotional Mastery and Social & Relationships.
Having the IM forum allows those people who are more interested into "skeptic personal development" to discuss in those forums and ignore the IM board.
Having a politics forum would help you to filter out the political threads that are at the moment in General/Business/Personal Effectiveness/
Character & Contribution and Fun & Recreation
In addition I haven't seen much threads that would let me suspect that a lot of people would want to have here discussion about cars.
The perspective of looking at politics purely from the scarcity perspective by seeing the worst in everything is unfortunately quite popular you don't have to take that perspective. I don't.
It would also be an option to add an extra user group for the people who want to participate in the forum.
That would give you the option to see fewer political thread than there are at the moment, because the forum would draw all political thread while given the people who want to discuss politics an option to do so.
It would also allow us to make additional (stricter) rules for the forum and simply remove people who misbehave from the group that can participate in the forum.
I think "Politics and other Worldly Affairs" would be a good title for the forum.
Just Say No!
I agree with everything all the the people who said NO said, especially seeker5.
And to all the people who argue that it would provide some sort of personal test for people to remain civil and not participate to inflate their ego, I have to bring up the fact that people on these forums are not even managing to control themselves with the current, relatively inconsequential topics!
And to the person who mentioned Ron ... I don't even know who he is and I've never even seen his name, so you can put him in whatever currently-existing category you want--but if you start a political one, how can I avoid knowing he is a political figure, how can I ever hope to avoid seeing the all of the upsetting titles in that category unless I don't go to the forums at all?
For developing people whose only line of defence in the world is to avoid exposure to certain detrimental things, this is exceedingly counter-productive, even regressive for personal development.
And to the person who wrote "Ignorance is bliss"; yes it is. And all of LoA is based on it, all of subjective reality and LoA is based on "if you ignore it, it will go away" -- and so it goes away, for you. And if you think that my knowing how many Palestinians were killed by the Israelis today is going to help the ones who died or prevent more from dying, then you could tell me how, otherwise you can let me stay in my ignorance and withhold the negative judgments.
To all you naysayers: I'm missing something in what you're saying... you don't want to be exposed to political discussion, you want to be free of its influence here, where you feel it's detrimental to your personal development. You want to feel safely sequestered from that area of talk. Right?
Steve and Erin are not likely to banish or censor talk of politics and current world affairs. So posts and threads containing that kind of diatribe will continue to show up all over any and all of the forum topics, ready to spring up on you unannounced at any moment! You might think you're going to hear about relationships or the law of attraction and -- BAM -- there's Ron Paul interfering with your enjoyment of your morning raw breakfast.
Why would you oppose a whole separate forum to house that kind of talk, so that you're safe from an accidental encounter? The moderators would pick up stray political posts and move them to the Political Forum. You would have to go out of your way to stumble across Ron Paul or Benazhir Bhutto. You would be safe, safer than you are now!
What am I missing?
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