Topic Highjacking

I hate having to make a thread about this because I thought it was common sense but I guess I have to. 

I, and many other member of this forum, can no longer tolerate threads and topics being hijacked for other members wanting to discuss other topics that are loosely related or not related to the original topic. It is disrespectful to the original poster and it does not make it enjoyable for those who want to join the original conversation. Consistent topic derailment, especially if the original post complains about it, will result in suspension. 

Consider this a new rule, if we must call them that, and interpretation of it will be completely up to the admins. Post wisely.

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  • I applaud this "new rule" and I hope it stops the derailing of posts.

    In this context I remind everyone that Rodney wrote a piece of music devoted to war veterans and as a tribute to his grand father who was in the war.

    That to me is a very honorable creatively, and very legitimate stance and came without propagating any politics.

    Yet this stance was questioned at length by Ondib and finally the original post and its context was derailed into irrelevant and general discussions into which I was dragged against my better judgment and which should have been appraisals of his music in the first case and nothing else. Yet Rodney displayed an unbelivable amount of patience and tolerance towards all of us and I thank him again for it. If it was me I would have told everyone to shut up and stop derailing my post.

    Make an example of it and don’t let it happen again,

    Let it be about music mainly and be tolerant with whatever subject-matter may be associated with it, otherwise, please everyone, join a political forum, news bulletin or whatever and propagate your politics there to your hearts content. I m not saying that we are not political beings all of us in here and with very strong opinions most of us, but if we want to discuss only politics or only philosophy or whatever we should state so in the beginning and create our own "political threads" in which  by reference  or active links we can discuss material on other threads (if that would be acceptable to the management, of course).

    In my opinion, and because most people joint this forum as composers of music, any such political-philosophical, arty-farty, piss-artist's threads would die in a day or two out of lack of interest in them.

    Only people who are afraid of not getting enough attention/readership would disagree with this, I reckon.

  • I have seen threads being derailed too much, and have complained in those cases where I felt it wasn't right.

    I think it is regretful if all digressions at all are discouraged, as a necessary means to prevent the egregions ones. Because, as regular users of this forum, I think we all remember plenty of instances where a digression was highly illuminating and beneficial in some unforeseeable way. I have always welcomed digressions, and jokes, in threads I started about my own music.

    But thinking further about the specific case of digression that started the current tempest, I want to make the following comment. The thread was stated to be about a piece of music, however, its stated main purpose was to request feedback about its morality. Not about the music but about the morality. The author of the thread, Rodney, then quoted the words of George W. Bush in response to the 9-11 tragedy. Those words have often been quoted with extremely far-reaching global consequences.

    It is not possible, therefore, to portray what happened as a non-political thread being hijacked by politics.

    That is not what happened. The thread was political in its nature to start with, and it requested input on morality.

    I thought it was completely overwhelming, and I chose not to go in there. It was not a thread for "normal" commentary. It was not a matter of saying "I'm not sure whether toning up or toning down the screams is more or less moral, but let me think some more about it.". My personal opinion is that some people who commented in that thread did not fully realize the magnitude of the implied political content, and continue up until today to conceptualize in their own mind that Rodney was asking about music and OO geared towards politics on his own.

    When Rodney had his "Happy Veterans Day" thread, I felt quite differently, because there were personal stories associated with the piece of music AND because he did NOT in that case request input on "morality". I did not participate in that thread, except to complain that it was being hijacked. Today, I look back and, in light of what I've seen with the 9-11 thread, I am not so sure about the right or wrong of what was done in the "Happy Veterans Day" thread.
  • Please think about it some more, Dave, and maybe sleep over it.  (On the topic of your 1st paragraph.)

  • Dave, you wrote:

    Rest assured I know my own mind on this matter better than you.

    I didn't mean to imply you didn't.  But often it takes time to think things through, particularly on something this complex.  I know it took me several days to get there.

    Rodney wanted feedback on a soundscape/music piece

    Rodney wanted feedback on the morality of the soundscape/music piece.  The soundscape/music piece was accompanied by a statement of agreement with George W. Bush's words about 9-11. 

    Those words are among the most significant words in modern history.  If you talk about hijacking something, then the hijacking of what happened on that tragic day, and the hijacking of that very same statement, those very same words, in ways that have amplified multi-fold the number of victims globally, is of immediate attention.

    This is, I think, what immediately hit OO's mind.  It took me a couple more days to realize the enormity of it. 

    OO stated that he didn't want to get distracted by listening to the sound file.  That made sense to me later.  The overwhelming moral questions were in the text content of the thread that placed the music piece in a context.

    The statement you made that Rodney asked for an opinion but the opinion that OO provided was not the one he wanted...  If a person already knows what opinion they want, then they don't need to ask for opinions, right?

    Dave Dexter said:

    Rest assured I know my own mind on this matter better than you. Rodney wanted feedback on a soundscape/music piece and O didn't listen to it, yet still gave feedback on the feedback of others directly related to the music. And then continued to do so when Rodney deleted the thread, and when Rodney complained about it. O does not have the right to force discourse on his political opinions.

    Regarding your recent post, I may have misunderstood. I can happily apologise if you were offended by me using That Word, but under no circumstance would I retract the usage or the motivation behind it.

    Mariza Costa-Cabral said:

    Please think about it some more, Dave, and maybe sleep over it.  (On the topic of your 1st paragraph.)


    "I felt it apposite in the circumstances"


    Twelve-year olds often feel that using curse words, or making personal remarks (in lieu of substantive comments) is appropriate.  They often feel that their irrelevant remarks are actually warranted.  But that does not mean they are.   In such situations, the child is simply emoting.


    The key here is the phrase "I felt," rather than "I thought," since human beings, at their best, are rational animals, at least according to Aristotle.  One can harness emotion and reason, along with intuition and sensory perception, only with the acquisition of a certain amount of maturity and psychological balance, according to Carl Jung.   Learning about logical fallacies, and the inadmissibility of certain types of statements (mere non-reflective ejaculations, or animal utterances) in a civilized discussion, can also be of use.


    Of course, since I would rather this discussion be about music/video images, did you want to comment on


    Alejandro González Iñárritu - 11'9''01







  • THIS this shit right here is exactly what I was talking about. Attempting to derail to the topic which wasn't up for discussion to have YOUR discussion about free speech. This thread is about the rules of this forum, rules that are enforced and interpreted by the ADMINS at their will. If you disagree with this, you have two choices, leave the form or conform with quiet resentment. 

    Olmnilnlolm said:

    I think it's wise to review the definition of the word "forum."  It's easy to forget what the word means, the history of the word, and the venerable series of events that popularized  "the forum," and which made it such an important concept in so many nations and in world history.   I am talking mostly about the history of nations (like the Roman Republic, where the forum was born), nations that have had representative governments, and pretensions to foster democracy, free speech, and the open and free expression of ideas.  In addition to the Roman Republic, nations that come to mind are Ancient Greece, the Swiss Confederation, the Netherlands, England, the US and France.


    A forum, most simply put always has been defined as


    "A public meeting place for open discussion."  


    The key is open discussion.  Once you begin to place restrictions on what is to be discussed, your public meeting place becomes something more resembling a committee meeting in a dark room.  It becomes a politburo meeting behind closed doors almost, where a small number of individuals determine who should speak and what they should say.   If you genuinely believe in the concept of an "open discussion," and in the freedom of the individual, and the guarantees of the First Amendment of the US Constitution; if you really embrace the Speech guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the procedures of the ancient Greek Assemblies and the Classical Roman Forum, then you will naturally want as little restriction as possible.    The greater the allowance for free expression the greater likelihood there is for increased insight, the enhanced apprehension of truth, and the acquisition of wisdom. 


    People say, speech needs some restriction, and usually cite the oft quoted maxim, "You can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater."  But on the world wide web (in an internet chat room or on an internet forum), you can yell "fire" and there is no resulting danger.   So if anything, logic suggests there should be MORE freedom in an on an internet forum than in an actual physical venue at a specific geographical location.


    Okay, so what are all the arguments FOR restrictions?  They are all rebutted by people who claim to be in favor of restrictions.  Take the issue of relevancy, for instance, and staying on topic.   Someone says, it's wrong to bring up politics and morality, on a thread about music (even when the thread itself contains political statements, by G.W. Bush, and poses questions about the morality of music—as Mariza pointed out; and even when the discussion is geared towards an examination of a piece of music dedicated to what is unquestionably a political event, regarding an occasion which is nothing, if not one instituted for the sake of political motivations). 


    But let's say, just for the sake of argument that one "should stay on topic," in a restricted sense.   What does that even mean?  Isn't it true that the very people who insist posters stay "on topic," do NOT themselves stay on topic?  For instance, someone goes into a paragraph description about child rearing, and an unsolicited series of suggestions, made to a specific individual about personal methods of raising children.  And it this is the very same person who insists that people should stay "on topic," in spite of the fact that he wanders far, far away from anything that most people would call "on topic."  He doesn't even see the contradiction in this perhaps.  Probably, everyone, to a certain extent, thinks his or her own statements are "relevant,' while simultaneously being all to quick to designate someone else's digression as irrelevant (or even "irrelevant nonsense," simply because they either don't understand it, or haven't taken the time to think about it, or because they don't agree with it--it's often a way of simply avoiding cognitive dissonance, or thoughts they simply don't wish to deal with).  


     Numerous additional examples can be provided.  One may think calling another forum member a [c-word], or offering pat psychological diagnoses of forum members is somehow "on topic" and relevant to the discussion.   This can be taken to extremes.  People allow themselves all sorts of opportunities to make jokes, off hand remarks, completely irrelevant comments to the subject at hand; and when others do it, or even make what might be considered relevant remarks, but REMARKS OR OBSERVATIONS THEY DON'T LIKE, they may label them as irrelevant, and seek to take extraordinary means to prevent such statements from being made.  They might want to censor others, to try to control speech, and maybe to have tantrums; and even then complain to management, repeatedly, like spoiled children, and to resort to tattling:  ("He's bothering me.  Wahhhhhh.   Do something about this!!!), over and over, until Daddy comes in, and Daddy feels he must do something.  People may then go even further, and call repeatedly for bans, and not just bans of certain types of speech, but bans of people.   And the pretexts are ludicrous ("He didn't listen to the piece of music," so he should be banned.).  If people don't say exactly what you want, the way you want it to be said, WHEN you want them to say it, then a ban appears warranted, in the minds of some people.  (I'm still waiting for someone to post the link to the music, but it seems that really wasn't an issue at all, or it would have been posted after my third request—the real issue is that certain STATEMENTS were made which contravened "patriotic morality," "received notions" about nationalism, or some other shibboleth {probably having to do with American exceptionalism}.)



    My own view is that of John Milton: speech that is in error needs to be countered by more speech.  The truth will win out, in an open and sustained conversation (and not by calling on someone to censor the speech, limit it, or punish what someone may not like).  In fact, if anything proves the "loss of an argument" or the emptiness of a person's position, it is a refusal to answer the questions, and to decide instead to suppress the conversation by any means necessary, including diversion through insults, ad hominems, or trying to change rules, so as to suppress dissenting ideas as much as possible.


    But the problem runs deeper than all this.  Let us suppose it is "bad" to bring up so-called irrelevant ideas on "another person's thread."   Who is to say, who is to decide "what is relevant and what is not?"  No one can do it objectively.  Isn't it obvious that the thread originator is actually the person least qualified to know, to understand and to dictate what is "on topic?"  In an OPEN DISCUSSION, what sense is there in assuming someone who starts a thread (as opposed to anyone else) has the knowledge, the wisdom, or the exclusive RIGHT to determine what is relevant and what is not relevant?


    Think about this carefully, from the point of view of what the word "discussion" (and even more so, what the phrase "open discussion") means.  In an assembly, does someone who proposes a motion have the right to say, "I proposed this motion, therefore I have the right to censor anyone who talks about my motion, IF I THINK, what they say is not relevant?"   What if someone proposes a bill in a legislative body, or a policy, in the Roman Forum; does THIS PERSON have the right to forbid any discussion, elaboration, questioning of concepts, SIMPLY BECAUSE he or she started the conversation?  Certainly not.  It's an absurd assumption on its face, and it renders the whole meaning of the word "discussion" meaningless.   If the husband says, let's discuss what we are doing this weekend, and the wife has an idea, can the husband say, "I brought this subject up, I started this discussion, so your idea is irrelevant and must be discarded, and not brought up again?"


    And yet this is the kind of logic, the ONLY kind of logic that I have heard, justifying the position "the thread starter decides what is relevant."  I've heard, "Person X started the discussion, and therefore Person X should know what the discussion is  about."  Well, if he wants to live in a box, and talk to himself, and only hear his own voice, that makes sense.  If he only wants to hear like minded ideas, of people who mostly agree with him, maybe that almost makes a tiny bit of sense.   [As Mariza noted, "If a person already knows what opinion they want, then they don't need to ask for opinions, right?"]  But in a Forum, and a Composers' Forum, as large as this, with many members with many different ideas, it makes no sense at all.  In fact, if the IDEA OF FREE SPEECH has any meaning at all, it must allow precisely those ideas which are most discordant to have the widest berth.  It doesn't even matter if "most people" thought that so-and-so "said the wrong thing," or if they thought (in some subtle way or not so subtle way) he appeared to be speaking discourteously.   This notion of giving free speech to all, and most especially to those who express the sharpest dissent is as old as can be imagined, and it goes back to Milton's Areopagitica (which traces its origin back to the Assembly Place of Classical Athens), the British Parliament, Hyde Park Corner, John Locke, James Madison, John Stuart Mill and many great philosophers and thinkers too numerous to name here. 



    Topic Highjacking
    I hate having to make a thread about this because I thought it was common sense but I guess I have to.  I, and many other member of this forum, can n…
  • You have to be a bit careful here. It is the OP's perspective that matters. For instance in my thread about music discrimination based on age, I would say that the thread has in a way been hijacked by taking the issue into what theory I should learn. But then I have posted that I am happy with that. So it's not thread hijacking to me. Rather, as I put it the "tide has turned" that way so that's OK. 

    I agree that in other instances hijacking can occur and should be dealt with promptly. 

  • Hi Ondib,
    I support your plea for free speech… but we are passed it. Please read again this by Chris.

    This is not a public site, there is no free speech here, only what we choose to allow to be posted, choices the admins make to do our best to grow a healthy community. This is not intended for and will not be tolerated for anything other than civil discussion of MUSIC topics. Im going to be reviewing stuff over the next week. You can expect I will be deleting threads that contain hateful or hurtful words, and ban anyone I feel has gone too far. The "free democracy" concept of leaving the forum to flow naturally does not work as people here are being abusive. That is going to end very soon here, that is my promise. Im at zero tolerance for any discussions that aren't about music and are also unkind. The end :)

    and this

    There is no official policy, or any official code of conduct. I will not be making one. This is a private forum and its up to Tyler and his admins to make personal calls on what is best for the forum.

    So, what's the point in complaining and carrying on?
    Here, have a listen and smile…

  • "I support your plea for free speech… but we are passed it. Please read again this by Chris."

    Yes, Socrates, I've read it. Many times. Still, I think we agree, and that you and I want our free speech, and that we will have it most of the time.   Generally we do have free speech here.  (See my comment on the other thread).  It's usually free, and will continue to be so. It's only when a few people complain ad nauseum, and say to management, (Waaaah, I don't want so-and-so to say such and such), that "censorship" happens.  Eventually it goes away.    

    I DEFINITELY think those of us who want to maximize the right to free speech here, should say, so, and not resign themselves to a way of thinking as if we were living in Russia, or inside the newsroom of a large American media corporation.

  • "You have to be a bit careful here. It is the OP's perspective that matters."

    No, I don't think so.  The thread originator is one person, whose perspective is valued no more than any one else's.  And that's as it should be.  People who've been here longer know this is the case.   The lawmaker in Congress doesn't decide what can and cannot be said about his bill.   Why should the OP be able to tell other people what to say?  That's logically absurd, unless you believe in some kind of absolutely dictatorial way of thinking.   What's the idea?  We all become little Kim Il Sungs?  We all become Little Saudi Arabian Monarchs' in our own imaginary Kingdoms?

    Clearly no one has that in mind.   

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