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  • Civility

    There has been an undercurrent in recent threads where members have expressed exasperation about specific postings. Following are some of the triggers.
    1. Using the forum as a first stop before doing some one’s own research. Often these questions could be answered by doing an online search. Posters in this category should respect others and at least attempt to find the answer to their question before posting in the forum.
    2. Opinions expressed as fact. I may think that “Unison off” is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I should not assume that it is universally accepted as such. Statements like “Unison off is the single most important invention in the history of organ building,” are either arrogant or ignorant. I don’t think anyone would find it objectionable if such a comment began “I believe…” or “In my opinion…”
    3. Asking questions for which there is no real answer. How do you answer a question like “what is motherhood?” If there is some aspect of motherhood you want to discuss, narrow your question to that topic, like ‘Should mothers have careers outside the home?’”
    Forum members have reacted differently to such posts. Some have ignored them, some have made it clear that they find them irritating, and some have assumed that they are have been posted in good faith. Written communication is often difficult to parse. Is the person obtuse, irksome, naïve?

    I have refrained from using specific examples from the Organ Forum, because I do not want this to be perceived as an attack on one or more individuals. I used to work in a retail store that had many elderly patrons. There were times when it seemed that we were dealing with someone with age related cognitive issues. I sometimes have felt that may be a factor with some posts I have read here. Recently a poster seemed unduly upset and I wondered if perhaps the current pandemic led to the tenor of their post.

    It is my hope that this thread will provide a neutral environment for addressing these issues so we do not appear to be attacking a particular individual.
    Last edited by voet; 07-24-2020, 06:24 PM.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

  • #2
    Originally posted by voet View Post
    Written communication is often difficult to parse. Is the person obtuse, irksome, naïve?]
    I concur that written communication can be challenging when we do not have a pre-existing personal relationship with the writer. I also learned hard lessons with late 1980s email exchanges with friends I knew personally but missed the "tone" of their emails.

    So, I try to have an "approach with possibilities" attitude with everyone I come across in person or online while needing to maintain my comfort and/or safety. If I am confused by interactions, real or virtual, I tend to ask for clarifications, but if I still remain confused I politely move away because 1) I assume I am missing something, and 2) I do not want to annoy or offend anyone by repeatedly asking for clarification.

    I thank the moderators for preventing any trolls or other obvious troublemakers from appearing or staying on the forum, but I think there is room here for the wide variability in our ways of thinking and communicating. It has been and will be the case that I will make my "approach with possibilities," but my continued confusion will likely end my interaction. Also, there will surely be someone else better matched than I to engage someone on this forum I'm confused by.

    I vaguely remember a couple of literature, art, or music texts that stated something like a "charitable principle": start with charity and assume that the person who produced what you are experiencing/evaluating/critiquing did so in an honest, full effort. It really is a great principle to use in general because most everyone is doing the best they can (read: I am doing the best I can).

    Comment


    • #3
      Bill, you make some good observations there. I have to say that I think this Forum is probably the most civil place to discuss organ stuff of anywhere on the net. That is not to say that we all don't have "moments" from time to time, but I think it is very minimal overall. I know that I can at times come across as sorta crotchety, but then, that is the real me anyhow. I do try to keep it in check though, because of the nature of written communications, and how things can be misinterpreted.

      I think we should all make a conscious effort to NOT get irritated at new folks who come here asking questions about relatively common things. There are a couple of reasons for my view on that issue : One is that at some point, in some area, or regarding some subject, we all were once brand new at it. So immediately telling someone to do a search, rather than answering a question, is rather dismissive of that persons need to find out things. And by extension, kinda dismissive of the person as well. If I mention in an answer that a search will find more information about a topic, that is quite different than just saying "do a search". Another reason is for the long term viability of this forum ( that I consider valuable in SO many ways ), because new members that become regulars are always good for a discussion forum. Another thing is that you really can't tell what sort of experiences a new member might be able to bring to the forum, with a first post. So if we respond to say a technical issue first post, and thereby alienate that person with a "do a search !" response, we might never get to know some wonderful things they might bring to future discussions.

      It is a fact of life in the organ community that open ended, opinion type questions will always be with us. Most of those discussions are done in a somewhat tolerant way, at least here. When they get stupid, I drop out. Most of the time I don't even feel a need to get involved at all. But for those who do have a need to discuss things of that sort, I say - carry on. There are sections, and topics, in the forum I have no particular interest in, so I'm quite capable of not reading them. At the same time, I feel no need to say to others that they should not post things of that type.

      One thing that I do have a lot of trouble accepting is that a lot of new, or younger, posters do not seem to think that writing coherent postings is something that is important. This is particularly true if one is asking for advice or help. Ya, spelling errors, a bit of bad grammar, etc. - that all happens. I'm more thinking about sentences that are incomplete, and do not even convey a cogent thought. I suppose we can blame smart phones / texting along with FB. My high school English teacher instilled in us that "If it is important enough to write it down and send to someone, it is important enough to write it RIGHT ! ". Forum posts are not business letters obviously, but communicating clearly IS pretty important in a discussion forum. Not sure much can be done about that problem really, but it is a sad commentary on the age we are living in.
      Regards, Larry

      At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by voet View Post
        I have refrained from using specific examples from the Organ Forum, because I do not want this to be perceived as an attack on one or more individuals. I used to work in a retail store that had many elderly patrons. There were times when it seemed that we were dealing with someone with age related cognitive issues. I sometimes have felt that may be a factor with some posts I have read here. Recently a poster seemed unduly upset and I wondered if perhaps the current pandemic led to the tenor of their post.
        We also have to realize that some people have to deal with varying kinds and degrees of mental challenges, whether they were born with them or acquired them at some later point in their lives. In most cases, these people had no choice in the matter and did not inflict this on themselves. They couldn't help it. In particular, I'm thinking of brain injury, psychological trauma or substance abuse.

        I try to avoid judging the things over which they have no control. However, I am critical from time to time, when they have a choice and know what the better choice is, but still choose the lesser option. (There are exceptions to this in my own life, so it's not a blanket statement. One person, in particular, avoids the 'better choice' because of past experiences that make him reluctant to take certain steps, even when they are toward a positive solution.)
        Last edited by regeron; 07-25-2020, 05:57 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          This is a very timely and worthwhile discussion. Let me start my conversation by pointing to the Forum Rules that state you are required to treat other users with respect. You should all take pride in the fact that this is the norm, and not the exception, on this Forum. A climate of civility begets civility and vice-versa.

          I'd like address a couple of additional points discussed in this thread from my perspective which is based on the Ten Principals of a community I participate in.

          Radical Self-Reliance
          In the context of this discussion, it means that one should attempt to find the desired information by using the tools and resources of this Forum prior to posting a question. I realize that there is a lot of information to sift through here and in many, if not most, cases it is far more convenient to ask someone else to do that work for you, but that's not being self-reliant, or respectful of the community.

          Topic stickies, the FAQ, and, now, the Articles section, are in place to facilitate finding the answers to commonly asked questions. The search facility of the Forum has improved greatly over the past two years, and there's always Google. So before posting that question about Hammond Oil, which has been asked answered here hundreds of times, consider practicing Radical Self-Reliance and doing a search.

          Radical Inclusion
          A simple concept: "Anyone may be a part of Organ Forum. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community." This suggests understanding and tolerance of others, their limitations, and their views. I've been asked to ban or censor folks who are annoying or express unpopular opinions. That's not in keeping with this principle and all are welcome provided they adhere to Forum Rules and are not disruptive. Inclusion does not mean acceptance. If you find someone annoying and irritating, practice self-reliance and use the Forum option of placing them on your ignore list.

          The other principles have relevancy as well, but if you're interested, you can practice Radical-Self Reliance and check them out for yourself.

          A principle, unrelated to those above, that is useful on social media is Don't Feed the Trolls. People who are consistently annoying or flood the Forum with questions are seeking attention, whether they realize it or not, and not necessarily information. For these people, there's no such thing as bad attention. So rather than playing their game by publicly responding with annoyance or frustration, consider the alternative of just not responding.
          Last edited by Admin; 07-25-2020, 11:57 AM.
          -Admin

          Allen 965
          Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
          Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
          Hauptwerk 4.2

          Comment


          • #6
            Just some thoughts.

            Search engines often rely on key words to generate accurate results. This is fine if you already know something on the topic and want to learn more. However, for a beginner or someone that is just starting out in a topic it can be difficult to find the vocabulary to express what you are searching for. Wordy search queries can lead to more time sifting through results that are not relevant. In such manner, writing out your question in human readable text, in the form of a forum topic, would allow those with more knowledge to point one in the right direction.

            I find Organforum has, for the most part, been very welcoming to newcomers. It is one of the things I enjoy here. Many people here generously give of their knowledge and time. There are some other places online that can be very arrogant, scolding new users to use search engines, sometimes without even attempting to understand the original query. What is the point of a discussion forum if there is little to no discussion, or if discussion is relegated to the elites.

            I'm not making excuses for trolling behaviour. Just saying to be mindful. As for the trolls and how to deal with them, I think Admin described it well above.

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Originally posted by quantum
              Search engines often rely on key words to generate accurate results. This is fine if you already know something on the topic and want to learn more. However, for a beginner or someone that is just starting out in a topic it can be difficult to find the vocabulary to express what you are searching for. Wordy search queries can lead to more time sifting through results that are not relevant.
              For that very reason, I often do a search for new members and link them in posts for their review. I think, perhaps, the Forum's search function is a bug in Admin's bonnet (advocating it), but I also resort to *oogle to search the Forum because I can use operators to narrow the search, and as long as *oogle has indexed the Forum recenty enough, more relevant results come up. I'm just a bit old-fashioned–I resort to what I know vs. what others want me to know sometimes, especially if it's already working!;-)

              Michael

            • Admin
              Admin commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't care what search engine one employs, as long as an effort is made. I derive no personal benefit one way or the other. I do believe, though, that the Forum's Advanced Search options, options that are unique to this site's content and structure, are equally, if not more, effective, compared to third party engines for locating information here.

              I should point out that Google, Bing, and other third party search engines cannot index Member's Only areas of the Forum, such as Groups, Articles, Blogs, and certain Forum Channels, and the content in these areas will not turn up in their searches.

          • #7
            Sometimes I have to resort to the strategy of dropping out for a day or two! Having hung around this space for about 15 years now, I've written at lot about this and that and have also become sort of well known as a long-winded but sometimes-usefully-detailed poster on technical issues. Being also rather committed to the organ world in general and to helping keep alive the use of organs in churches and homes, I feel a deep need to contribute to most any thread that intersects with my field of expertise. And that can become a problem.

            I suppose I could sit here almost 24/7 and cook up answers or at least speculations to all the questions posed. But then I wouldn't ever get anything else done. I do need to work (a little) and I do have a church position (or had one and hope to have it again once COVID passes). And I do have a family and I have my own organ project and practicing to attend to. Not to mention the occasional pause to eat or exercise or put on clean clothes.

            Thus I almost have to force myself to take a break now and then. And here I am, typing a long-winded essay on a topic that was being managed quite adequately without my input! Anyway, if I sometimes get short and cross with a poster, it's only because I'm ready to move on from a topic that's been thrashed out in detail already. So sometimes I don't even bother to locate a thread where, for example, the procedure for voicing an MADC organ has been fully spelled out in excruciating detail. I'll just say "this has been written about in several threads already." The implication being "look for it and you should be able to find it."

            But like others have said above, we MUST welcome newcomers and passersby. Warmly. Because we don't win anyone over to the organ by making us all seem aloof and arrogant and mean. I think most of the time we do a pretty good job of putting a good face on ourselves.

            Thank you, Bill, for opening up this discussion. It was time we aired this out.
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


            • Admin
              Admin commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm hoping that Topic stickies and the recently launched Articles area will provide more visible access to common questions and information requests. Unfortunately, I think most people blow right by the sticky topics without looking, but at least responders can easily point the information seeker to a specific post.

              Articles are a better solution because they are intended to provide a location containing concise information without the necessity of scrolling through a slew of topics and replies trying to understand the question before arriving at the heart of the issue.

              In particular, frequently asked How To topics are best placed in the Articles section. If there are Forum topics, such as voicing procedures, that would benefit by being converted to articles, let me know so we can discuss moving them there.

            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Originally posted by Admin
              In particular, frequently asked How To topics are best placed in the Articles section. If there are Forum topics, such as voicing procedures, that would benefit by being converted to articles, let me know so we can discuss moving them there.
              That's something I can help with. I think I've been around enough to know "where the bones are buried," and perhaps it is as simple as copying/editing/revising information into a cogent article on a particular topic.

              Where John is strong on the technical issues, I am like a pack rat–keeping track of the details and merging them into a single article, logically organized, and easy to follow.

              Michael

          • #8
            I'd be happy to help if someone wants to locate all the various threads in which I or another tech has posted a complete procedure for voicing a particular model Allen. Once located, I could read through such a post, edit, update, or correct as needed, then save it in the Articles section so it would be quickly accessible.
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


            • Admin
              Admin commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks jbird604. Using the Forum Advanced search, I found over 400 posts attributed to you that contain the word "voicing." Refining the search by adding the keyword "procedure" turned up roughly 30 of your posts containing the words "voicing" and "procedure".

              Obviously, consolidating your knowledge into a single article would be a great benefit. I think it would be easiest if you yourself would use the Advanced Search to compile your list of pertinent posts, since even if I were to compile a list of links for you, you would have to still go through that list and examine each post in it, so there's no time savings for you if I do it. But even more importantly, you can expand the posts in the results list to see their full content without having to navigate away from the results to the post itself. (Another reason why I recommend using the Forum's search over Google.)

              Let me know how you'd like to proceed and I'll provide whatever assistance you need.

              Thanks!

            • jbird604
              jbird604 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for checking into this, Admin. I'll see what I can do. Perhaps this can be my next "project" after the VPO is up and running! I would love to be able to point inquirers to a single concise (as concise as something I wrote can be) place for detailed info on voicing an Allen. Hope to be able to do that soon.

          • #9
            Thanks to the OP for raising some interesting points. My tuppence worth: Any communication is better than no communication - that said with tongue in cheek because some communication (written that is), can do more harm than good. This thought is shared by most and borne out by the fact that often some threads are closed to prevent unpleasantness. Not everyone is blessed with the gift of putting thoughts on paper in a way that a remote reader can fully understand especially when something intricate or sensitive is being conveyed. That is one reason why I simply detest the mobile phone variety of communication medium. One cannot see the other's face or hear the tone of voice - and then words are written in a way that perhaps convey a different message, or has the propensity to do so... And human nature in most is prone to think the worst in many circumstances - or worse still, apply the information to a personal set of psychological measures prevailing in the individual at the time...

            One often sees people reacting strongly when they receive written messages interpreted in a manner other than what they were intended. Then of course the first reaction is to sit down and write right back - perhaps the biggest mistake! A wise old fellow who has long since departed for the Happy Hunting Grounds tought me a valuable lesson in this respect. He said son, whenever you receive a letter (that was long before emails and WhatsApp) that appears to be malicious or with unpalatable content, don't follow your fist reaction, the guy may not mean what you first thought - sit down and read the letter again and again, then you sleep on it and if you still feel its worth responding, wait a few days and think carefully about what the other may read in your written words before you reply.... The roughly corresponding modern terminology for that precaution I believe is the cooling-off period..

            Nico
            "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

            Comment


            • #10
              I happened across this post while searching for the particular organ issue I have at present. I hesitated to post recently concerning this issue, noticing the condescending nature of the responses in the past. But I posted anyway to see where it would go.
              There is 1 exception - that would be Jbird. He's been immensely helpful, and patient with me, with issues I've had in the past, and saving me a lot of money in the process.
              I'm not an engineer by any stretch - jack of all trades might be a good description of myself. If I come across something new that I think I can do, I'll usually take it on, and sometimes mess up in the process. That's how I learn things. I've been doing it that way for most of my 66 years.

              This might be a good example:
              I've been an over the road truck driver for over 40 years. But at one time I was a rookie, and had a lot to learn. Back then the veteran drivers were there to give advice to us new guys, VERY few would thumb their noses at you.
              I've been on trucking forums and such over the years and have also noticed the condescending nature of a lot more drivers than there were in the past. An innocent question from a newer driver, and this is the response he gets? I'm sure most of you have heard the phrase "there's no such thing as a dumb question", or variants of that.

              I don't think things are much different here...
              Jerry

              Over the road Trucker

              At the house:
              Allen 301-C

              Comment


              • myorgan
                myorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                Moe Trucker

                Originally posted by Moe Trucker
                There is 1 exception - that would be Jbird. He's been immensely helpful, and patient with me, with issues I've had in the past, and saving me a lot of money in the process.
                Though it is very little in return for everything he's given us, let me take this opportunity to point out that one can "like" a person's post when it is particularly helpful. I often find myself doing this with John's post (jbird604), as well as several others who are incredibly helpful to everyone on the Forum. The only exception is Admin, because if we "like" his posts, but I do it anyway!;-)

                Michael

            • #11
              The only exception is Admin, because if we "like" his posts, but I do it anyway!
              That makes no sense to me; something missing? If we like his posts, what happens?
              Sorry if I'm being thick.
              Previous: Elka Crescendo 303, Technics G7, Yamaha EL-90
              Current: Yamaha AR-100

              Comment


              • RogerM
                RogerM commented
                Editing a comment
                Michael,
                Sorry, still not with it. What has to do with the privileges of the account?
                Roger

              • myorgan
                myorgan commented
                Editing a comment
                Never mind. If you really want to know why, ask Admin. I was just trying to point out it is a way to give someone kudos for a post you like. Sorry we got into the weeds.

                Michael

                P.S. I left out a phrase in the initial post. It should have read "...if you like his posts, they don't show up, but I do it anyway."

              • RogerM
                RogerM commented
                Editing a comment
                Michael,
                Ah, your PS makes it all clear now. Thank you.
                Roger
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