posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 04:31 PM
Engineering is all about efficiency, which is fancy talk for me saying that i'm going to use most of Vagabond's introduction to the US
Politics forum for this one.
I have been tapped to be the Subject Matter Expert for this particular forum, which means -- near as I can figure out -- that my job is to keep ideas
flowing smoothly, to bring up and respond to other posts that you do, and answer any questions about what's appropriate or not appropriate.
It's not to be a moderator; I can't ban anyone or ding them with minus points or any of that power stuff.
And it's not that I am the expert on various brands of politics, although i have been a political junkie since I was in high school which is
more than forty years now.
And it's not that i can't blow my own horn as far as my political beliefs. I have my biases and you have yours.
But it is to keep things reasonabley polite, and suggest that, if your post is not abnout a particular candidate you like (or don't like) tht
you post it in a more appropriate place, such as US Politiucs or Euro-Politics or wherever.
Okay, now let's steal some of Vagabond's stuff:
As you've probably heard by now, ATS is making an effort to keep politics on PTS.
Hopefully this will mean new traffic here on PTS and more attention for you who take the time to share your ideas here.
Here are some insights!
The big one, obviously enough, is that you're allowed to talk about politics here. In fact you're encouraged to talk about any and all
politics from any and all angles. In case you haven't heard, that's frowned upon on ATS these days.
With this liberty comes one basic responsibility- to let others excercise it too.
Most of us have specific ideas and beliefs to talk about and we can judge things for ourselves, but from time to time you may think somebody is a
partisan hack, and oh well- that's allowed. If you get on somebody's case here saying "You're always posting this stuff, you're just saying it
because you hate Bush...", I'm going to give you a really funny "no duh" look and ask what your point is.
The ATS T&C are 100% in effect here
This is worth mentioning for a couple of reasons:
1. Because ATS does not allow "recruiting" or advertising. You can't use PTS for networking or recruitment in a political effort. For example if
you posted a thread asking for PTSers in your area to have a protest rally, your thread would probably be trashed. You can probably talk about one
that happened or even is happening, but you can't RECRUIT for it. For example, a thread about those bikers who have been running interference at
soldier's funerals so that protestors can't disrupt would be FINE. A thread recruiting PTSers to join that same group would probably not be cool.
2. Because even though YOU ARE allowed to argue about politics here, and you could probably even call your least favorite politician a dummy and get
away with it, you ARE NOT allowed to be obscene or attack other members. You can rip IDEAS apart here, but you can't rip MEMBERS apart here.
Topic relevance can be a trickier issue on political subjects than on others.
On PTS things connect easily, and the line is subtle. A discussion about Iraq might bring up a Vietnam analogy and thats OK, but then if we get
sidetracked and start actually talking about Vietnam as more than an analogy, and we start pointing fingers at Johnson and saying "See, Democrats
start wars too," that isn't cool.
So there is a line you've got to find a way to walk here where you should be able to say everything you have to say to make your on-topic point, but
especially when using analogies you've got to be specific and not get into playing "two wrongs make a right". That's a rule that I can sort of
envision as tripping up some members, but we'll make it work.
I really saved the best for last, and that is that there isn't any litmus test or any real criteria for being "right" for PTS. You can
really talk about virtually anything in a forum as broad as US Politics (within certain obvious bounds).
Let's do it!
[edit on 17-7-2006 by Off_The_Street]