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Author Topic: Kill the Politics forum  (Read 18583 times)
Jessy Kang
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June 16, 2011, 03:04:00 PM
 #41

I suggest kindly that you do not overreact, since the offending material was eventually deemed deserving removal (LINK)

Ah no, there is a single nutter holding the Bitcoin.org domain name hostage to his ideology. He is a member of the Dev team, but openly advocates and protects illegal activity. This is the primary site associated with Bitcoin and the one given to the media- it matters.

You do not have your place of business listed in your profile. Your business does not accept, or advocate the use of Bitcoin. So it is reasonable for you to feel it's a non-issue- you are anonymous, as is theymos. Anonymous people are comfortable saying all sorts of goofy things because they risk nothing. Rules are different for those of us who do business in the real world and might be held accountable for our association with Bitcoin.
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wumpus
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June 16, 2011, 03:08:32 PM
 #42

It'd be interesting if Sirius replied in this thread. I've only heard second-hand things about how he thinks about the forum's state, never from him directly.

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theymos
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June 16, 2011, 04:54:16 PM
 #43

So it is reasonable for you to feel it's a non-issue- you are anonymous, as is theymos. Anonymous people are comfortable saying all sorts of goofy things because they risk nothing. Rules are different for those of us who do business in the real world and might be held accountable for our association with Bitcoin.

I'm not anonymous. My real name and city of residence are public. It would be pretty easy to find me if you cared to do so.

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Fhtagn
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June 16, 2011, 05:05:33 PM
 #44

As a businessman, with investors considering Bitcoin, I'm glad to see this thread and hope that something positive comes from it.

As this is Bitcoin's flagship site, it needs to lose the majority of its political rhetoric quickly(while there is still a wave of media attention). It's nice to see that many devs agree.

Unless the ideologues just want to trade Bitcoins with themselves, they have to realize that most people are going to find their politics offensive. Make Bitcoin politically neutral, if you want it to see widespread adoption. If you want the market to rise to its potential, Bitcoin needs mainstream money. As things stand, much of the world is going to pass, based on Bitcoin's image.

Rules are different for those of us who do business in the real world and might be held accountable for our association with Bitcoin.

I've also put my business and identity in the line of fire, speaking to legislators in Washington about Bitcoin's potential. I won't continue to do so, if I'm going to be labeled as part of a plot to take down the government. I don't currently recommend this site to any investors, for the same reason. That this site runs so slowly doesn't help, either.
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June 16, 2011, 06:27:12 PM
 #45

I also very strongly agree with making the "official" forums a more neutral place.  There are plenty of other places to discuss politics.

If you all want Bitcoin to succeed, you will support the removal of the Politics subforum.

Bitcoin will never be taken seriously with the number of posts advocating tax evasion, overthrowing the government, etc.  Businesses want no part of such activities, even if the business owner might even agree with such sentiments.  Businesses play by the rules, so that they can continue conducting business.
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June 16, 2011, 07:30:44 PM
 #46

I suggest kindly that you do not overreact, since the offending material was eventually deemed deserving removal (LINK)

Ah no, there is a single nutter holding the Bitcoin.org domain name hostage to his ideology. He is a member of the Dev team, but openly advocates and protects illegal activity. This is the primary site associated with Bitcoin and the one given to the media- it matters.

You do not have your place of business listed in your profile. Your business does not accept, or advocate the use of Bitcoin. So it is reasonable for you to feel it's a non-issue- you are anonymous, as is theymos. Anonymous people are comfortable saying all sorts of goofy things because they risk nothing. Rules are different for those of us who do business in the real world and might be held accountable for our association with Bitcoin.

Well, as you can see, the degree of political fervor is dropping, questionable threads are being culled, and given that overwhelming consensus is that politics should go elsewhere I would expect the forum to de-politicize in a month or so.
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June 16, 2011, 08:38:34 PM
 #47

@Jessy:

Bitcoin is more than just a technology invented to solve some practical need, like the toothbrush.  Right from the start, the motivations for inventing and promoting Bitcoin were very ideological indeed.  The technology is inseparable from the ideology, at least so far in the short history of Bitcoin.

You can't really blame the bitcoin.org forums for their anarchist/libertarian roots. The would be like blaming CAFOD for its Catholic roots. When I came here about a year ago, almost all discussions (outside the technical sections) were philosophical in some shape or form, and the bitcoin technology was seen as an experiment to test those philosophical findings empirically. 

Then all of a sudden (perhaps to everyone's surprise) bitcoin took off and became something bigger than that.  The first time I came here I was also put off a little bit by all that absolutist ideology, but I could see there was tremendous value in the practical applications of bitcoin and decided to stay anyway. Not to mention that I enjoyed having my world view challenged by some very intelligent community members.  Tell your small business owner friends to keep an open mind.
 

I do agree with you though that the joe sixpack "consumer" of bitcoin is better off not learning about the ideological motivations of the orignial core community. Perhaps we need a different website than bitcoin.org to act as a  gateway.

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June 16, 2011, 08:54:00 PM
 #48

What I don't get: Why do you self proclaimed businesspeople from the Real WorldTM not do something about this alleged problem instead of coming to bitcoin.org and complaining, hoping that other people will take care of it for you?

This is a decentralized project! There is nothing "official" or permanent about bitcoin.org. Persuade your investors to open another, less controversial "flagship site" and then market it heavily.

The owner of this site is maintaining it in his spare time for free. He owes you nothing.

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Fhtagn
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June 16, 2011, 09:05:21 PM
 #49

Permanent, no. The Bitcoin source sites link to this site and its forum, for support. Bitcoin.org is currently the advertised home site for the project.

I imagine that most people here want Bitcoin to succeed in the greater market, though many have false hopes about how that will happen. Bitcoin is quickly growing beyond being a hobby.

This is the first stop for most newcomers and media. Your proposal is to try and make this site irrelevant; I doubt that's the best solution.
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June 16, 2011, 09:31:25 PM
 #50

Bitcoin has many appealing features and, if nothing else, as an experiment in economic though it's about as interesting as can be.  It may cause political upheaval and worse (or better?), though I somehow doubt that it will ever substitute fiat currency.

But I agree with the OP.  Talk of illegal activity is bad for bitcoin and bad for bitcoin users that want to stay legal.  It'll never appeal to a broad base as long as that stays.  And any political discussion conducted by fanatics on any side is also bad.

Here's a compromise: censor any and all posts or threads condoning or promoting illegal activity and put a warning on borderline cases to the effect that the forum is public.  Leave the politics boards in place BUT with a big disclaimer to the effect that the opinions contained therein are, as with all political opinions, personal opinions of individual users, some extreme, some not, and do not necessarily reflect any official opinion of any bitcoin dev, or the general opinion of bitcoin users, or of the general direction of the bitcoin project.  Heck, include a religion sub-forum too, just to make the point that there are other aspects of life where extreme opinions can be found :-)

Make forum.bitcoin.org about development and adoption of bitcoin and its economy, but leave space at the bottom for people to chat aswell.

Gotta say, the extract from IRC below reflects *very* badly on those involved, I can only hope it doesn't make it's way into mainstream headlines - I can just see it now: "Bitcoin developers and project managers condone illegal activity according to secret IRC log files"  Then the next day, *after* a million sheeple have read the headline, try explaining that refusing to condemn is not quite the same as condoning, and InternetRelayChat ("InternetWhaaatChat?") is not secret at all.

Just in case it's not clear, I am not suggesting that anyone involved with bitcoin condones illegal activity. You guys should just have a care as to how you might be perceived.

passerby
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June 16, 2011, 11:01:00 PM
 #51

Gentlemen!
I like democracy! I LOVE democracy! I like elections and polls and ballots...

 

How about we solve this issue the democratic way?

The much respected forum administration will set up a poll, available only to registered users who are out of the "noob pits", and people will vote on that poll.

I propose that the poll should be explicit and simple.

Binary poll (YES / NO) would work best.

A link to this thread shall be provided so that the voters will be able to examine the relevant arguments.

Fhtagn
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June 16, 2011, 11:10:56 PM
 #52

I vote for the devs' idea of moving the forums to another site. This one should just be for development and user support.
lizthegrey
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June 17, 2011, 04:04:29 AM
 #53

Mailing lists will suffice for development. I think that not having any officially sanctioned forums will work just fine.
wumpus
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June 17, 2011, 05:10:15 AM
 #54

Mailing lists will suffice for development. I think that not having any officially sanctioned forums will work just fine.
So then it should link the mailing list from the main page, not the forum. It will get swarmed. Mailing lists scale even worse than forums.

Personally I find mailing lists pretty inconvenient, though, I hate getting everything in my mailbox, and it feels like a step backward instead of forward. It is also not a good way to give technical support to merchants/users which are not unix dinosaurs like us.

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June 17, 2011, 06:06:44 AM
 #55

Mailing lists will suffice for development. I think that not having any officially sanctioned forums will work just fine.
No.  Just, no.
Stardust
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June 17, 2011, 06:09:54 AM
 #56

I never liked mailing lists.
Jessy Kang
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June 17, 2011, 08:30:48 AM
 #57

How about we solve this issue the democratic way?

Because this is not a democracy.

Based on the information that's come to light it's kind of pointless for everyone posting their "vote" in this thread. It's not a voting matter- either by the community of the developers. Thermos owns the domain, he has made it clear he will do with it what he wishes and is willing to martyr himself- and Bitcoin, for his ideology. As long as this forum is on the official site, it is unlikely any others of the same subject matter elsewhere will gain traction or be viable.

One power drunk nutter to descredit the whole project. Talk about single point failure issues. Next currency will learn the lesson and plan for it though.
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June 17, 2011, 08:57:34 AM
 #58

Way I see it, we have two main choices:

1) Continue as we are now, or
2) Bring on a large number of new moderators and censor anything that makes the project look bad. Unfortunately, this would also include any post that complains about our censorship. I predict that this could be successfully done with about 20 full-time moderators.

Censorship, of any kind, is a slippery slope. Jessy Kang, you know that better than most. Imagine us having to fight hundreds of you...

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June 17, 2011, 09:12:10 AM
 #59

Ah no, there is a single nutter holding the Bitcoin.org domain name hostage to his ideology. He is a member of the Dev team, but openly advocates and protects illegal activity. This is the primary site associated with Bitcoin and the one given to the media- it matters.

Do you know what an open source project is? There is no organization behind bitcoin, it has no owners, no official representatives.
Bitcoin.org is only a site which has been used by all to discuss and evolve the project, and it is not hostage to anyone, it is owned by a very generous individual - afaik, he's keeping the infrastructure with his own money, earning nothing out of it.


I thought about this thing of limiting the scope of the forum, and I must admit that there would be at least one advantage: it would be less impractical to follow it. Today, I just can't, most threads have to go ignored. But I'm still not sure suppressing non-development discussions is a good move. If everything is properly categorized, RSS per categories would help to ignore those you don't want to follow.

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caveden
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June 17, 2011, 09:13:54 AM
 #60

What I don't get: Why do you self proclaimed businesspeople from the Real WorldTM not do something about this alleged problem instead of coming to bitcoin.org and complaining, hoping that other people will take care of it for you?

This is a decentralized project! There is nothing "official" or permanent about bitcoin.org. Persuade your investors to open another, less controversial "flagship site" and then market it heavily.

The owner of this site is maintaining it in his spare time for free. He owes you nothing.

Finally! That's what I've been trying to say.

Weusecoins.com was created precisely with this intend of being a "PR site", for newbies and all. Just promote that site if you don't want to create a new one.

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