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Old 08-20-2015, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
6,704 posts, read 4,163,830 times
Reputation: 14935

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I have to admit, I enjoy the occasional "what-if" thread in the History forum, but the emphasis is on "occasional." Most of the ones I've seen here have been OK, and some I've really liked, but I see the potential for a really slippery slope. How long is it going to be before we're wading through thread after thread of "What If The Plains Indians Had Tiger Tanks In The 1800s?" and "What If Stalin Had Photographic Evidence That Hitler Was Gay?"

There are already numerous alternative history boards on the internet, and if someone is really interested in discussing things like that, then there are places for them to go. I've seen some of those boards, and frankly, if some of those people showed up here and started flooding this forum with their ridiculous threads, it wouldn't be long before I'd never even click on "History" again.

I understand the importance of trying to appeal to as wide a group of posters as possible, but there's a danger in trying to be too many things to too many people. It becomes easy to lose what it was that made you unique in the first place. Right now this History forum is a very good venue for having serious, intelligent, thought-provoking, and often extremely informative discussions. I think there's a considerable risk that we'd lose that rather quickly if we open up that particular door.

 
Old 08-20-2015, 02:58 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,257 posts, read 10,376,934 times
Reputation: 6929
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.
These were received by way of Rep comments. Since some people choose to comment that way anonymously, I didn't think it was fair to them to post their names. If they choose to come into this thread and claim their comments, so be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
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.
I'm honestly interested in what the members think. Certainly, we can establish forum specific posting guidelines. They exist in many of the forums. (Check Politics, Great Debates, Relationships, Religion, Grief, Green Living, etc.) One thing we can't do is create sub-forums. We'd have to convince the site owner to do that.

We get posts reported and have to do something, even if it is just to close the report. Post reported for being not related to History and for inappropriate language are two that have happened more than once recently.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,152 posts, read 57,274,608 times
Reputation: 52008
I'm glad I'm not the only one who hates those "was 1997 more like 1996 or 1998" threads. And none of the thread creators ever did answer my question of whether they thought today was more like the day after yesterday or the day before tomorrow. Hmph.

The speculation threads are interesting to me if they're truly legit; some of the discussion is truly thought provoking. But no doubt it's time-consuming and tedious to monitor those threads to make sure they stay on track.
 
Old 08-25-2015, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
4,666 posts, read 5,829,758 times
Reputation: 5340
I'm in complete agreement with NJGOAT's comments in the third post on this thread. I read this forum often, don't post that often because the topics are either so immature or so in-depth. I have read a lot of history my entire life but my knowledge is not on the level of NJGOAT's and a couple other posters here. I rarely feel that I can add significant input to the detailed topics.

I was surprised when I noticed the "what if" topic deleted. I believe some of these have been the most enlightening and interesting topics on the History Forum. Looking at "what if" scenarios helps to understand what actually occurred and the circumstances surrounding it. I have used this approach in teaching history. Think about questions such as, "What if Kennedy had listened to his generals at the Cuban Missile Crisis?" Or "What if Japan had not bombed Pearl Harbor?" Or "What if South Carolina had not bombed Fort Sumter?" Or "What if the Soviets had invaded West Berlin in 1948?"
 
Old 08-27-2015, 10:04 AM
 
11,563 posts, read 17,491,775 times
Reputation: 17201
I have another irritation to mention - the "Hit and Run Poster". You know the type...leave one sentence, frequently off topic, not even relevant. Then they disappear. No other comments, no explanation.
Below is an example, in a thread about Japan and WW2, no other comments...they contribute nothing but a waste of bandwidth:


Quote:
Originally Posted by froglipz View Post
Trust the government, they know what they are doing!
 
Old 08-27-2015, 05:48 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,233 posts, read 1,100,378 times
Reputation: 1925
I am a "sometimes" poster, common viewer of the History Forum.

I support a reasonable effort to keep profanity out of the forum. I do not feel it belongs here.

I am in favor of the "What If" posts. The collections of historical "What If" scenario's edited by Robert Cowley are fascinating books, that can sometimes lead a reader to greatater understandings of past events. I also enjoy reading the "What If" thread on Historum. My vote is keep the "What If" thread in the History Forum. If someone posts a overly silly or immature such thread, the wonderful ability of the posters in this forum to "self police" will surely rise the occasion contain such posts.
 
Old 08-28-2015, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,945 posts, read 17,425,944 times
Reputation: 16782
Well? Been ten days, any conclusions? Is this being discussed at The Hague?

There seems to be majority support for the what if threads. What is the decision here?
 
Old 08-28-2015, 04:04 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,257 posts, read 10,376,934 times
Reputation: 6929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Well? Been ten days, any conclusions? Is this being discussed at The Hague?

There seems to be majority support for the what if threads. What is the decision here?
I thought it would give us the best range of opinions if we waited until we had given most of the regulars a chance to speak up. I've seen some ideas that I hadn't even thought of. I'll try to collect all the thoughts and see what comes up.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:12 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,257 posts, read 10,376,934 times
Reputation: 6929
Incidentally, this thread Who would win in a sword fight? seems to be a reason to question the use of "What If" threads.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:56 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,074,643 times
Reputation: 30973
What-if threads are the stuff of fantasy. They are not history, and perhaps could find a spot is some other forum...at the very least they should have their own sub-forum within the history forum.
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