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Old 08-18-2015, 03:38 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
Reputation: 14278

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I agree with much of what has been said.

I still defend the value of the "what if" topics and do not find the majority of them to be "infantile". They certainly can be, but most aren't and many of them develop into serious inquiries. They have a place in the forum.

I agree with Felix C that moving "what ifs" to a subforum (or devolving the history section into a pile of subforums) is going to do more harm than good. I think one of the great aspects of the history forum is the variety of topics. Once you start moving everything into its own subforum people stop reading the variety and just focus on their niche interest.

I still struggle with the place of the "year vs. year" and "what was life like" threads. I recognize that they do have value to those interested in period lifestyle. Some of them are rather banal, but others do bring up interesting facts and aspects of life. There is no popular culture or lifestyle forum for those to go in. As long as they are not flooding the forum, then not much to complain about.

Felix C also touched on one thing that has irked me recently and that's the "condescending" tone comment. This forum has long been made up of several key individuals who participate in the various threads with an open mind. Those posters don't just tolerate, but encourage people to bring new ideas and viewpoints to the table for discussion. However, we occasionally run into a poster like John-UK who franky drives many of us up a wall with his tone and posting style. It's not "winning an argument" when you stubbornly hammer home your position which you support with the same source ad nauseum; no matter how many times people point out the flaws, issues or provide a counter source. When you add a condescending tone that attacks the person, not their argument, it makes people want to stop participating. I personally am tired of arguing with him and allowing the same repetitious arguments and snarky attacks to continue in thread after thread will only serve to discourage participation.

There needs to be within these parameters, some form of rules about "what is history" which I posted an idea on earlier as well as some sort of guideline for how one should conduct themselves when having these discussions.

 
Old 08-18-2015, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27639
I don't post all that often in this forum, but do read a lot. I have to agree that moderation in moderation of colorful words is a proper way of handling it, heck gosh the torpedoes, full speed ahead. If anything, a strict enforcement appears childish and churlish.

A standard opening line in the title of any "What If" or alternate history thread is sufficient for me. Sometimes I like to read them and they do have a way of sometimes rounding out the impressions of motivations and greater factors that surrounded the real events. If I don't want to go there, I no how NOT to open a thread.

As I have posted for years, I've become less interested in arguing with intransigence. I state my point and move on, talk to the hand. I leave it to other readers to figure out who has the point of view more likely to be correct.

Political - I'm fine with political topics in historical context, but if a car can't be declared an antique until it is at least 25 years old, I'd posit that it might also be a reasonable cut-off for anything with political overtones. Make it 50 years if you want, but just set a date that seems fair.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 08:57 AM
 
898 posts, read 654,966 times
Reputation: 2797
I think when you're talking about history, there are things that just happened a long time ago, and there are things that happened within a great historical time period.

For instance, a thread on if the 2010s are more like the 2000's or whatever, that is more like pop culture.
A thread on tales from people's lives during the Great Depression, or how WWII affected daily lives here at home, (rationing, victory gardens), social issues around the Vietnam War are very interesting because they happened at a very historical time period. The terrorists attacks of 9/11, that's kind of recent, but it is still interesting to remember the changes that came on our daily lives, (loss of freedoms, increased surveillance.)

Finally, politics and history often times are connected. Did FDR's New Deal help or hurt, McCarthyism, are very interesting historical topics.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 11,877,684 times
Reputation: 9953
Perspective is everything, and a great deal of historical analysis involves seeing events through others' perspectives. For a young person today, the fall of Saigon was forty years ago. When I watched Saigon fall on the news, aged twelve, V-J Day was only thirty years ago, yet WWII history was very much worth exploring. I think it's great that someone wants to talk about the times before their own as history, because some of us lived through those times and can shed real light on them. Considering how much of my time is being rewritten already, I think we can offer a lot of perspective, so long as we don't breach the divider with Current Events.
 
Old 08-20-2015, 06:25 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,257 posts, read 10,376,934 times
Reputation: 6929
I've received two messages related to this. We'll collect them for a while and see if a consensus develops.

One:

I rarely participate in the History forum, but I agree with you that the "what if" - type topics aren't History, and seem odd and pointless. And I'm so glad there's at least one mod who doesn't allow "disguised" cussing!!

Two (related to What if posts):

At long last. I've said for a while that we need a what-if forum to rid the History forum of dippy stuff like this.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
4,928 posts, read 3,129,832 times
Reputation: 14819
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I've received two messages related to this. We'll collect them for a while and see if a consensus develops.

One:

I rarely participate in the History forum, but I agree with you that the "what if" - type topics aren't History, and seem odd and pointless. And I'm so glad there's at least one mod who doesn't allow "disguised" cussing!!

Two (related to What if posts):

At long last. I've said for a while that we need a what-if forum to rid the History forum of dippy stuff like this.
I'll reiterate what I said in an earlier post. I think that "what ifs" are a legitimate topic of history discussion. I'm fine with them being in the main forum, and I'm fine with them being in a subforum.

I don't think it would be helpful to separate them out into an entirely distinct forum, because "what ifs" are specific to the subject being speculated on. "What if Gavrilo Princip had missed Archduke Ferdinand?" will interest an entirely different "audience" than "What if someone else had shot J.R.?" even though they are both "what if" questions and even involve shootings.
 
Old 08-20-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27639
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I've received two messages related to this. We'll collect them for a while and see if a consensus develops.

One:

I rarely participate in the History forum, but I agree with you that the "what if" - type topics aren't History, and seem odd and pointless. And I'm so glad there's at least one mod who doesn't allow "disguised" cussing!!

Two (related to What if posts):

At long last. I've said for a while that we need a what-if forum to rid the History forum of dippy stuff like this.
I'm sensing that you are more inclined to go with restriction than not. Is that correct? If this is a top-down decision, further discussion would be disingenuous.
 
Old 08-20-2015, 10:47 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
Reputation: 14278
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I've received two messages related to this. We'll collect them for a while and see if a consensus develops.

One:

I rarely participate in the History forum, but I agree with you that the "what if" - type topics aren't History, and seem odd and pointless. And I'm so glad there's at least one mod who doesn't allow "disguised" cussing!!

Two (related to What if posts):

At long last. I've said for a while that we need a what-if forum to rid the History forum of dippy stuff like this.
Sorry, I don't see why we should be developing a consensus based on people who "rarely participate" in this forum and/or choose to only state their opinion anonymously through you without explanation, reasoning or opportunity for debate.

Consensus on changes should come from the regular posters in this forum and those opinions should be stated openly in this thread.
 
Old 08-20-2015, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,945 posts, read 17,425,944 times
Reputation: 16782
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I've received two messages related to this. We'll collect them for a while and see if a consensus develops.

One:

I rarely participate in the History forum, but I agree with you that the "what if" - type topics aren't History, and seem odd and pointless. And I'm so glad there's at least one mod who doesn't allow "disguised" cussing!!

Two (related to What if posts):

At long last. I've said for a while that we need a what-if forum to rid the History forum of dippy stuff like this.
What do you mean you have "received two messages on this."? You have received 8 comments on it here in this thread.

So far we have.

What if? threads:
Fine with them....4
Okay if serious, not okay if silly..1
Okay with them in a subforum...1
Not okay at all....2

Your position above, okay if in subforum, is your position. Are you going to base the decision on what the people here want or on your personal sense of aesthetics? The business about being glad that there is another mod who also does not allow disguised language, concerns me because it also suggests that you are employing personal standards rather than simply enforcing existing rules. As noted, either the folks who make the rules allow this or they don't, it is not supposed to be "moderator's choice" is it? Is there a rule against it?

And as Goat pointed out, why would you be paying any attention to someone who "rarely" participates in this forum?
 
Old 08-20-2015, 01:16 PM
 
769 posts, read 448,156 times
Reputation: 719
Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I'll reiterate what I said in an earlier post. I think that "what ifs" are a legitimate topic of history discussion. I'm fine with them being in the main forum, and I'm fine with them being in a subforum.

I don't think it would be helpful to separate them out into an entirely distinct forum, because "what ifs" are specific to the subject being speculated on. "What if Gavrilo Princip had missed Archduke Ferdinand?" will interest an entirely different "audience" than "What if someone else had shot J.R.?" even though they are both "what if" questions and even involve shootings.
I'm with "bus man" and think that "what if" threads are legitimate topics for this forum. This is coming from a semi-regular participant of this forum.
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