WTF Thanas?

A failed experiment whereby board users were invited to advise the Senate, and instead attempted to replace the Senate.
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WTF Thanas?

Post by Phantasee » 2009-05-26 08:28pm

http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic. ... 9#p3093539
Thanas wrote:
RedImperator wrote:I described your attitude, not your point. I believe I summed up your point earlier with "RARGH BLARGH FUCK YOU PLEBES".
Wasn't you, until you have a sockpuppet. And I don't think that is a fair assesment of my position. Hey, I can summarize your position as well "RARGH BLARGH MOAR POWR TO TESTING".

Oh, and please tell me why the HoC should now be something it never was supposed to be in the first place? It was created to have ideas brought up (yeah, what a great success that has been so far), not to take over from the senate.
"MOAR POWR TO TESTING"

seriously? Nobody wants to give any power to Testing. The HoC came about because there was lots of discussion about the Senate (and don't tell me we aren't allowed to talk about the Senate), but it had no appropriate place, so it ended up in Testing. Where it got autodeleted, which wasn't very useful. Testing isn't a forum with it's own membership, Testing was just where everybody on the forum who wanted to discuss the Senate went, until we got the HoC. So MOAR POWR TO REGULAR PEOPLE would be more accurate.

Seriously, Thanas, I thought you were smarter than this. Testing isn't a useful scapegoat, unless you guys want to blame everything on me. :lol:
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Havok » 2009-05-26 09:23pm

Thanas is cool man.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Mr Bean » 2009-05-26 09:26pm

Off to HoS we go

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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by RedImperator » 2009-05-26 09:37pm

I wasn't going to follow this up in the HoC, but since someone else has brought it up here, I'll reply.
Thanas wrote:
RedImperator wrote:I described your attitude, not your point. I believe I summed up your point earlier with "RARGH BLARGH FUCK YOU PLEBES".
Wasn't you, until you have a sockpuppet. And I don't think that is a fair assesment of my position. Hey, I can summarize your position as well "RARGH BLARGH MOAR POWR TO TESTING".

Oh, and please tell me why the HoC should now be something it never was supposed to be in the first place? It was created to have ideas brought up (yeah, what a great success that has been so far), not to take over from the senate.
Hilariously, you managed to get every single thing in this post wrong. Congratulations are in order, I suppose. Let's go point by point.
------
Wasn't you, until you have a sockpuppet.
Ahem.
From this post wrote:Since when? I have my complaints about the HoC, but I don't think that warrants a bunch of Senators stomping around going RARGH BLARGH FUCK YOU PLEBES and ignoring basic board rules.
That was in reply to fgalkin, but in case you didn't realize it, "a bunch of senators" includes you.
------
And I don't think that is a fair assesment of my position.
More fun with quotes to follow.
Thanas wrote:
JointStrikeFighter wrote:
Thanas wrote:WE'RE THE SENATE RAR FUCK YOU PLEBEZZZZ
:wink:
No matter the winky smile, the statement is entirely correct when it comes down to votes.
From your own words, dude. Well, technically JSF's words, but you happily affirmed them.

If you have a more nuanced position then this, it's certainly not apparent from your posts in that thread. "The board is not a democracy", "I have a better chance of meeting Cleopatra", et cetera. You challenge me to defend the proposal (which I will do, shortly, despite my own reservations about it), while your entire objection can be summed up as "fuck you". If you do have a better argument, I'd be thrilled to hear it.
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Hey, I can summarize your position as well "RARGH BLARGH MOAR POWR TO TESTING".
Here's a fun idea: go back in the thread and, using my words, find where I said anything about giving power to Testing. In fact, find where I said anything in favor of giving more power to anyone at all. The most I said was that it would be a minor change and you and Fgalkin were overreacting.

Phantasee handled the rest of this pretty well. The HoC is not Testing. The only person who said that was fgalkin, and he got rebuked by Edi. If it seems like the HoC is Testing, it's because the Testing regulars represent some of the most active board members who aren't in the Senate (as well as a few who are in the Senate). So like Phantasee said, this wouldn't be a proposal to give power to Testing. It would give power to the board denizens in general.
------
Oh, and please tell me why the HoC should now be something it never was supposed to be in the first place? It was created to have ideas brought up (yeah, what a great success that has been so far), not to take over from the senate.
If something is a certain way, it can never ever change!

Anyway, the reason to give the HoC collectively a vote in the Senate would be to give the regular board members a chance to participate in the process and take a measure of ownership of the board policies. Is it a good idea? I'm skeptical because the HoC has comported itself rather poorly since it was created; for some reason, it always seems to turn into some clusterfuck drama storm or another. And on top of that, the logistics would be difficult--how would you prevent Senators from voting twice? However, the proposal was to give the HoC a single vote, or at most two or three, out of the ~50 or so total in the Senate. That's not "taking over from the Senate". That's giving the entire rest of the board a 2 or 4 or 6% share of the vote, with 50 or so senators the other 94 or 96 or 98%.

At any rate, regardless of what you think of the proposal, it warrants more than the response it got. When a member in good standing at SDN makes a reasonable suggestion in a forum created for members to make suggestions, it deserves more than "fuck you, plebes" in response, especially from the board members who are allegedly the best at crafting well-reasoned arguments.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Phantasee » 2009-05-26 10:55pm

I know Thanas is cool, that's why I'm confused this is coming from him. And I'm going to add something about the "HoC = 1 or 2 votes" idea: I came up with it right before I was going to hit submit, and I didn't put much thought into it. I wanted to put the idea out there to see what other people thought.

You know, use the HoC for what it was meant to be used for. A permanent Testing, where we can talk about the board and its policies without worrying about the thread being deleted after 3 pages or a day of no comment. Not a permanent Testing, where we can spam shit for whatever reason.

Or we could just HoS Testing threads, that works fine, I guess. I think that's what we started doing, after the discussions started in Testing, before the HoC was created. So it works.


EDIT: Also, Red, thanks for implying that I'm a member of the board in good standing. Nobody's ever said anything so nice to me online before! :D

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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Coyote » 2009-05-26 11:08pm

Phantasee wrote:EDIT: Also, Red, thanks for implying that I'm a member of the board in good standing. Nobody's ever said anything so nice to me online before! :D
He's just trying to get you outta them thar sexy pantaloons.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Havok » 2009-05-26 11:46pm

Perhaps this should be moved to the HoC to continue the discussion.

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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Edi » 2009-05-27 01:30am

Havok wrote:Perhaps this should be moved to the HoC to continue the discussion.
Good idea. Thread moved.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by loomer » 2009-05-27 04:51am

Wasn't the HoC started in part because of attitudes like that displayed by Thanas, both real and perceived by us plebes? My memory might be fucked, but I do seem to recall such being a factor in the matter.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-27 07:14am

First of all, I got pretty pissed at JSF charactering my position as simply "fuck you plebs", especially since he is the one who has quite a longstanding animosity against the senate.

Now, regarding my position (and I'd like to ask everyone to read it in full before replying):

The board is not a democracy. It never was, nor was it meant to be one. The hierarchy is pretty clear when it comes to who gets to vote on decisions:
1. Mike 2. Admins 3. Mods 4. Minimods (5. Senators.)
That's it. The power of the board is centered mostly in the hands of the first three. They can do things the way they want.

The senate gets to vote on stuff because they are allowed to by the fiat of Mike and the rest. They get to vote on stuff because they are considered board members whose conduct is supposed to set a standard for the rest of the board or because they are considered to be an advisory body. Thus, there is a clear standard of admission - you have to be confirmed by the majority of the people comprising the senate - mods and other senators. Noone in the general populace of the board has passed that test yet. If the senate was supposed to do as the majority of the board wants it to do, then there would be no sense in having one - we might just do everything with general polls.

The HoC was created to allow people to air their grievances. Never was it intended to be anything more than a forum where people could give their input on issues.

Let me quote from Mike himself, from that big stickied post on top of the forum:
Occasionally, I see a recurrent discussion where users complain that the House of Commons has no real power, and that even the Senate has limited power, whereupon others answer that "this is Mike's board, Mike's rules" and users respond that this entire exercise is pointless if the board is a dictatorship. With that in mind, I think it is necessary to post a reminder of how these forums came to be, and why they exist.

Early in the board's history, it was discovered that one of the most common troll tactics is to whine about the board's rules, particularly since our rules are different from most forum rules. It became common enough to become a serious nuisance (especially when thread after thread became hijacked into arguments about the rules), so we added a new rule: you can't whine about the rules.

This was useful for shutting down certain troll tactics, but we eventually realized that people should be able to express concerns and suggestions about board policy, features, etc. So we created a class of users who could do precisely that: the Senators. We selected them for maturity and posting history, gave them special privileges, allowed them to discuss board policy in a dedicated forum, and allowed them to vote on certain issues, such as disciplinary actions. Some felt that the entire membership should have a similar forum, hence the House of Commons was born. However, it was never meant to be a voting body with any kind of authority to force me or the administrative staff or even the Senate to do anything; it is simply a feedback forum for issues that you are not allowed to discuss on the rest of the forum for the reasons described in the previous paragraph.
Anyone who has even paid the slightest attention to Testing knows that I am not an enemy of it. In fact, I quite like it to post nonsense about stuff. I've also been against shutting testingstan down. So no, I am not someone who thinks he is better than the "plebes" and that is why I am getting pretty tired of hearing my position characterized as "Rargh fuck you plebs".

If anyone wants to change the current system, then there should be discussion and a vote in the senate about it. I strongly suspect that the proposal will fail, which is why I posted my (admittedly a bit arrogant sounding) "as much chance as me meeting cleopatra".

I am arguing against turning the HoC into something it was never meant to be. It never was meant to have any power at all. We have the senate as the only advisary body on this board and that is the way it is intended to function. We have the HoC as a board where people can discuss the decisions of the senate, not take part in it.

I see no benefits from changing that. As Red himself admits, the HoC as a whole has acted rather poorly. One only needs to look at the threads in this forum. Even the nomination thread would have gotten nowhere if Senators had not stepped in. In fact, the majority of seconding or even nominating someone is done by senators. Where is the evidence that the majority population of the board even wants to participate in this? Because so far I do not see it from the nomination thread.

Finally, I am concerned about a small but vocal subgroup of the members. Those members don't like senators in general or a few senators. As a result, we had a lot of bitching in Testing back then about the senate. Then, of course, the HoC was created. Result? One of the first threads was a poll about whether the senate should be disbanded. Then nominations were turned over to the HoC and we all know how that went. Horay, joke nominations galore.

And now there is supposed to be more power given to the HoC, a forum that has never done anything IMO to justify it receiving more power? Sorry, I just don't see why.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by ray245 » 2009-05-27 07:35am

Well, given the rather libertarian nature of the Internet as a whole(not on this board though), people would refuse to believe that their opinion is worth less than others, screaming things like equality for all or things like free speech to back their position.

Which reminds me, is RedImperator a senator?
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Surlethe » 2009-05-27 07:55am

ray245 wrote:Which reminds me, is RedImperator a senator?
If he's not, he should be. And before that, he was a supermoderator in highest standing.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-27 10:19am

He is a senator. His profile says so.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-05-27 09:28pm

Thanas wrote:He is a senator. His profile says so.
In order to head off the curious as to the sequence of events: RedImp was a mod and thus an automatic entrant into the Senate by virtue of that status. When he stepped down from that position his access went with it temporarily due to how the board software works. He and I talked about it via PM and I rendered a decision by Chancellor's fiat that since he was a member of the Senate and had only stepped down from being a mod and had not formally resigned from the Senate then he was still a member. In turn I added him to the memberlist and he is in the Senate toiling away to pay off his massive kickback to me.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-05-28 04:49pm

I wouldn't be adverse to a system in which the Chancellor's tie-breaking vote is "advised" by the House of Commons, i.e., inserting language in the Senate rules which would require the Chancellor to seriously consider the arguments made in the House of Commons when casting his tie-breaking vote in situations where there is a tie in a Senate vote. I think we could all trust Wilkens to take that rule seriously and judiciously and it wouldn't require any complex multiple voting by other Senators.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Thanas » 2009-05-28 05:16pm

Such a rule would be superfluos, as IMO we all are obligated to read all possible arguments before deciding, which does take into account the HoC already.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Coyote » 2009-05-28 05:27pm

If it means anything, only rarely do I vote immediately in any Senate thread. Especially in votes involving things I haven't been monitoring closely. I typically read through the comments of Senators and Commons alike and consider points that all have brought up as I weigh my own vote. Someone out there is always looking at a situation from a point of view I hadn't previously considered, and I'll ponder the insight that other pov gives even if I don't necessarily change an intended vote because of it.

I have gone from a general feeling of 'endorsing' certain votes to 'abstaining' based on doubts raised by people who are more aware of situations... and vice versa.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Mr Bean » 2009-05-28 05:46pm

Question have we yet had a tie in the Senate's history?

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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Knife » 2009-05-28 05:56pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:I wouldn't be adverse to a system in which the Chancellor's tie-breaking vote is "advised" by the House of Commons, i.e., inserting language in the Senate rules which would require the Chancellor to seriously consider the arguments made in the House of Commons when casting his tie-breaking vote in situations where there is a tie in a Senate vote. I think we could all trust Wilkens to take that rule seriously and judiciously and it wouldn't require any complex multiple voting by other Senators.
I would hope that the Chancellor would have a, well as close to, a non bias vote as possible. Thus rendering another source or point of view, moot. I'm having a hard time seeing either of the two Chancellor's we've had, both Rob and Greg, not being objective.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Tiriol » 2009-05-28 06:13pm

Mr Bean wrote:Question have we yet had a tie in the Senate's history?
CmdrWilkens recently made a mention that so far he has not been able to excercize his right to cast a vote in an event of a tie, so at least during his stay in the Chancellor's office.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-05-28 07:46pm

Mr Bean wrote:Question have we yet had a tie in the Senate's history?
We have not yet though the April nominations vote came down to the wire and somebody voted on the last day to break the 12-12 tie between Tiriol and "None." So yeah it hasn't happened but it almost did :D

As to the notion of actually making a rule that the Chancellor take under advisement or some such else...umm no. Look I hate to make it sound imperious but my job in such an unlikely event is to exercise judgement over which course to take in a close call as mentioend one can bet I will take things in to consideration but adding it to the rules is almost like telling me to brush my teeth...I think such a rule is unneccessarry and I'll leave it at that.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-05-29 12:53am

BRUSH YOUR TEETH, GREG!
*giggles*

I was just trying to think of some way to let the HOC have a say in matters without changing the substantial organization of the Senate, which is clearly unacceptable.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Havok » 2009-05-29 01:17am

The HoC doesn't need to or should have a say in matters. It should be what it basically is, a discussion forum on the matters concerning the board that don't really have a place elsewhere. If those that have actual sway in the board find some useful information in the threads here, then that is fine. It is not something which should be official by any means.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by ray245 » 2009-05-29 01:59am

It's what I call a coffeeshop chat in local terms.

It's a discussion area for all members to talk about board issues as opposed to real life issues like world politics, games, science fiction or science.

The only useful thing it brings is to allow senators or Mike to know what the people thinks about board policy. Some can agree with it, while others don't agree with it. However, we still follow the board rules no matter our stance.

And it is an excellent place to prevent another pissing match due to people penting up their frustration for a long period of time.


I think too many people are misled by the name 'House of Commons' and expects this HoC to act like a house of commons in real life. It's more like a feedback section open to public eyes than anything else.

Just like a non-democratic nation saying don't worry about election, we can use feedbacks forums as a place to know what the public wants to have.
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Re: WTF Thanas?

Post by Big Phil » 2009-05-29 03:14am

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:I wouldn't be adverse to a system in which the Chancellor's tie-breaking vote is "advised" by the House of Commons, i.e., inserting language in the Senate rules which would require the Chancellor to seriously consider the arguments made in the House of Commons when casting his tie-breaking vote in situations where there is a tie in a Senate vote. I think we could all trust Wilkens to take that rule seriously and judiciously and it wouldn't require any complex multiple voting by other Senators.
Who is seriously advocating giving the HoC a vote? Don't confuse dislike of the Senate with wanting to elevate the HoC to replace it. As Thanas pointed out earlier, this board's authority structure is Mike, Admins, Mods, with the Senate being there so people can feel special and the HoC there so people can bitch and moan.

On another note, Thanas, what is HoC supposed to be, in your opinion? You define it alternately as a place "to have ideas brought up (yeah, what a great success that has been so far)" as well as "The HoC was created to allow people to air their grievances." While they're not necessarily mutually exclusive, a place for people to piss and moan and a place with actual responsibilities and authority are two very different things.

As far as bringing up ideas, what the hell do you want? This is a BBS that people visit for entertainment for crissakes, not a brainstorming session trying to solve the healthcare crisis in America. Are you seriously expecting hard hitting, serious discussions all the damned time. Hell, look at the Senate's behavior over the past 12-18 months, and its' not really all that impressive either.
In Brazil they say that Pele was the best, but Garrincha was better

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