Monday, July 14, 2008

More signal, less noise

Ah, the internet. It allows us to communicate with the world in unprecedented and amazing ways, but social niceties tend to get lost in translation. It's too easy to forget that real people typed those words on your screen. It's too easy for a healthy debate to devolve into a cacophony of voices shouting in a dark room.

I have a little rule for myself: I don't make anonymous comments on websites. This rule keeps me honest. That isn't to say my comments are always wise -- I'm only human, just like you -- but it does mean I hold myself accountable for what I say to other people.

The heady thrill of online anonymity can inspire an otherwise polite and rational person to do the equivalent of walking into a stranger's living room and pissing on the rug.

And that rug really tied the room together, man.

This is all to explain why the CPOP board has decided to stop allowing anonymous comments on our website. You may use a pseudonym or your real name, but you may not be completely anonymous.

We encourage you all to keep sharing your thoughts and questions, whether you support CPOP or not. Many of you have given us valuable insights over the past four months and we hope you will continue to do so. But it's time to cut back on the static.


bridgmanpottery said...

Hey, guys, I'm proud to sign my name with yours. And yes, it does do something to keep us all polite.

Bernhard Meck said...

yes there was name-calling and the assorted cynical replies. I myself scrambled a few times to see where, when, why, somebody was called an IDIOT and when the word 'rape' was used. We typically associate those words with the key figure of the controversy, 'his excellence' the omnipotent ruler of his personal fiefdom, Brady, the ruler of 'The Zoo'.
Now we all know that was cynicsm but whenever we think of Chuck Brady we now associate arrogance, lies, complete disregard for the community at large, forest destruction, deception and singe-handed control of the zoo.
At least most of us have come to understand that it is NOT THE ZOO who is our enemy, but a single CEO gone bad. And like Richard Nixon he too will claim he is 'not a crook', although all evidence is pointing in another direction.
I don't believe Chuck Brady is an idiot or a rapist. EWWW!

I also don't think my dad is an idiot, although when I was a kid he did something really strange! He simply 'requisitioned' a number of 19th century British Colonial Indian Rupeeh coins out of my sister's humble collection for a strange purpose - Being that they were of copper, he thought them quite suitable as a raw material out of which to fashion and craft fishing lures. He had some lame excuse why that was ok and I guess I respected it because I figured 'he knows best'.
He did not see the coins' historic value, their sentimental value, their possible collector's value - he only saw the base material. We might all be fishing for words to use in response, such as 'stupid' or 'incompetent' or just get angry and call him an IDIOT to express our complete displease.
You see, Chuck Brady saw no value in the ancient forest, NONE, merely in the space, the bare dirt underneath, which it had occupied since the last ice-age. It fit his needs, his Grande Design, hastily bundled into a 'master-plan' deception.
Like my dad, Mr.Brady expected not to get challenged and that his 'wisdom', his 'expertise' his rule and decree would be respected. You see, Mr. Brady sees us as mere uninformed, troublesome commoners, children if you will. And you can fool children!
But sometimes after many years, they understand what happened was an act of 'incredible madness', an irreparable act of destruction. Not the act of an idiot, but the act of an inept tyrant with a limited vision!
How dare us to think on our own and challenge him? Well, we better call things as they are, because Chickasaw Bluff is a tale about a lump of coal wrapped as a gift!