luka

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sadmanbarty's Avatar sadmanbarty sadmanbarty is offline
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I’ve had months of disillusionment and frustration with dissensus’ inability to engage in substantive discussion. Maybe this whole time everyone’s just viewed me like a monkey wanking myself off in front of zoo-goers and didn’t even bother to read what we were talking about.
 

luka

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Recently we've conducted two experiments. The first began when I pointed out to Barty that the forum was full of users but that there were no active threads, everyone was waiting for someone else to make the first move. Barty took responsibility and created a series of threads, evenly spaced, to serve as a focus for discussion. No more than one a day. Albums are shit. Multiculturalism has gone too far etc etc. They used
provocation and a kind of incompleteness, or half-truth to drive participation. This period ended when thirdform used the same technique or rather a parody of that technique, to start a thread on the same day thus dividing attentions between the two conversations. Barty then disappeared and I went to Devon. This was the start of the reign of Version and a new, unexpected, mature and kindly dissensus with a wider range of active participants and multiple threads per day rather than just one central one. This period was ended when Crowley assassinated version with a cutting remark. Since then, a kind of limbo with no one in control.

What have we learned?
 

luka

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I think Crowley was wrong or partly wrong to distinguish between fake energy and real energy. Things don't happen without someone making them happen. Without threads being started and actually steered, actively directed by a ringleader, we just congregate and stare at our shows in the central plaza, totally silent.

Given we congregate in the plaza I assume we want to talk.

My feeling is too many threads probably disperses attention too much and encourages superficiality.

I also think that provocation is probably of limited use in the long run. Fine if you can steer the interactions away from Bear baiting and towards something collaborative and productive but not otherwise.

I think that we all have our own individual cycles as well as being part of larger communal cycles and that this means different people will take their turn to stand at the front of the class and direct activities. Who has the energy and the ideas at any given time will vary.
 

luka

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Usually to to get real substantive discussion you have to give quite a lot of yourself. The manipulative puppet master pulling strings is a secondary role. Useful, necessary even at times, but secondary to mapping out a territory/communicating concepts/explaining the rules of the game and teaching everyone how to play. A basic generosity being the prerequisite. Not that this need be pious/humourless.
 

sadmanbarty

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I also think that provocation is probably of limited use in the long run. Fine if you can steer the interactions away from Bear baiting and towards something collaborative and productive but not otherwise.

this is what i mean about the monkey wanking in the zoo thing.

those threads weren't just stupid provocations, the multicultural one in particular was incredibly nuanced and could have been really interesting, but they were shit because everyone decided it was just childish contrarianism and didn't engage with them at all.
 
It's much easier to react to something than it is to offer something for others to react to. It gives you something to bounce off.
 

luka

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I'm going to have to go supermarket or chip shop. Work this out for me while I'm gone. What do we need to do?
 

luka

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this is what i mean about the monkey wanking in the zoo thing.

those threads weren't just stupid provocations, the multicultural one in particular was incredibly nuanced and could have been really interesting, but they were shit because everyone decided it was just childish contrarianism and didn't engage with them at all.

In that case it's probably fair to say we didn't understand what you were trying to say. Sometimes you have to put a huge amount of effort into explaining what to you seems completely transparent. I've realised this over the years. You have to show every angle, keep turning the crystal till every facet has been displayed. Exhausting and aggravating but that's how it goes.
 
Here are a few ideas from Eno & Schmidt's Oblique Strategies:

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Cascades

Retrace your steps

Go to an extreme, move back to a more comfortable place

Only one element of each kind

Give way to your worst impulse

Be less critical more often

Faced with a choice, do both
 

sadmanbarty

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the feminine pressure thread was the pinnacle of dissensus.

a broad topic which all corners of dissensus engaged with in their own way. it meant you were taking one overarching theme and exploring it through the different paradigms different posters would offer; feminism, mythology, politics, sex, etc. it was all encompassing. it allowed for dissensus' autistic side to cohabit with it's sensual side. intellectual side with the banter side. the dry side and the psychadelic side. it was everything.
 
I think there's sometimes an issue with threads merging and people running out of things to say because it's already been covered.
 

luka

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For what it's worth I think both mini eras were succesful interventions. They got things moving. It's not easy to do sometimes. The weight of inertia can feel enormous. But no one wants to succumb to inertia. None of us desire that kind of stasis.... I don't think?
 

luka

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Version got the best out of corpsey, got a completely different version of third form and a whole load of otherwise rarely seen posters actively involved. Thst seemed pretty magical to me. Part of it was probably that people don't like me and me not being there led to things improving, but mostly I put it down to version steering the ship
 
Version got the best out of corpsey, got a completely different version of third form and a whole load of otherwise rarely seen posters actively involved. Thst seemed pretty magical to me. Part of it was probably that people don't like me and me not being there led to things improving, but mostly I put it down to version steering the ship

I imagine it was just down to the change in tone, the threads I make tend to be a bit more subdued so it's perhaps easier for people who aren't posting on a regular basis to jump in and know where they stand.
 

pattycakes_

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What have we learned?

Wait until you have the conch in hand before opening your gob.

Or, maybe like in academia atm, true discussion is hampered by instant shutting down by cutting remarks and intellectual dick waving in the name of fun. Which is all fine and often hilarious but maybe makes it harder for a some of the less frequent posters to feel free to really get into it. Not speaking for myself here. Just a thought. Could be totally off bass. Not sure of any remedies either.

One thing I know is it can't be forced. There are people who are really good at making points that serve as a jump off for several pages of further discussion. When it gets going it gets going. But this is a particularly small community so people who aren't part of the main set might find it all a bit cliquey and elitist. Took me a few years to get into it even though it was always evident that the width and breadth of knowledge, brains and lols was above most other places for this type of stuff. Definitely feels bad to check in and find no activity. The one forum where I always wish more was going on.
 
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