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View Poll Results: Are you in favour of a "real names" policy for this forum?
Yes 21 63.64%
No 7 21.21%
Don't care 5 15.15%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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  #106  
Old Oct 7, 2006, 01:28 AM
Guy Guy is offline
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I know some people want this thread to die, but I've found it fascinating. Good arguments and points from both sides. And after much consideration, I'd like to change my vote from No to Yes. Not that I think there's anything intrinsically wrong with using an alias, it's just that usually if there is going to be trouble (drive-by slaggings), it's going to come from those under the cover of anonymity. If the only way to keep things slightly more civil is to use real names, then so be it. It's a shame it has to be that way. But if you want to see how user names really deteriorate a message board, check out thetyee.ca sometime.

I've got to still take issue with Brian's statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Nation
But the Internet is full of all kinds of information and we judge the value of it by its author. You can take alleged facts and opinion at face value, regardless of origin, if you choose. I don't.
In an ideas debate, it doesn't matter if it's Einstein or Bozo the Clown making the argument, unless it happens to be in their particular area of expertise. The argument's still gotta make sense. I don't see how knowing who said it makes a difference.
  #107  
Old Oct 7, 2006, 09:44 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy
In an ideas debate, it doesn't matter if it's Einstein or Bozo the Clown making the argument, unless it happens to be in their particular area of expertise. The argument's still gotta make sense. I don't see how knowing who said it makes a difference.
I agree.

In a debate the best argument wins. A discussion is something else.
  #108  
Old Oct 7, 2006, 11:10 AM
Guy Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Nation
In a debate the best argument wins. A discussion is something else.
Really? I thought Red Diva (I think it was) had a great point about that. You can sit at a bar (or bus, train, wherever) and have a discussion with a total stranger. That stranger could even give you a phony name. And if the tone of the discussion is civilized, what difference does it make if you don't know the name and background of the person you're talking to? That's the real point. It only becomes a problem when the tone gets ugly. And since it's more likely to get ugly with user names, that's why I changed my opinion and have joined the dark side forces.
  #109  
Old Oct 7, 2006, 12:20 PM
Vic J Rhimes Vic J Rhimes is offline
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Brian,
Of course it’s understood that this is your site and you can set it up as you see fit, and thank you for the great job you’ve done and all of the work you put into it daily.

Brian, you initiated this debate (real names vs. user names) so let’s be clear that it was a debate – not a discussion. Being a pseudonym user I felt compelled to defend my point of view, especially since you made your position of extreme prejudice against anonymous posters known. There are apparently two camps here with diametrically opposed views and there seems little chance of reconciliation, but I’ll respond to your post as best I can, in spite of my argument being meaningless now as I’m clearly in the smaller camp and your mind’s made up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
“You say this isn't the "real world". Who decides what the real world is or isn't? Is the phone system the real world? The postal system? To me, the Internet is part of the real world. I communicate with many people daily via the net and it's as real as a phone call, letter, or talking on the corner. Most of the time face-to-face is best, but not necessarily more "real."
Granted, we all have our own take on “real.” However, the mundane communications you refer to are easily facilitated with technology and I don’t feel they’re comparable to debating in a discussion forum.

As another member mentioned earlier – face-to-face communication is just that. We see facial expressions, body language, tonal inflection, a wink or a nod, and who knows how many other subconscious signals that convey meaning and intent, creating a rich context for communication. Printed words on a white page written awkwardly (speaking of myself) can convey a host of unintended meanings in a lean context consisting of only a discussion theme, a number of printed responses, and one’s choice of often ignored emoticons. An Internet discussion forum is not an easy medium in which to clearly express personal opinion using debating tools such as statement and rebuttal. The statement part of the debate works fine but I believe that in “real name” forums a rebuttal tends to make us feel the need to protect our clearly attached good name with a vigorous offence, whereas IMHO, a pseudonym user is less likely to feel compromised or offended and is more likely to continue with a further argument than quit the discussion.

Another thing that makes cyberspace rather “other worldly” for me is that, as you know, there are some extremely malicious individuals prowling the Internet - you’ve had to protect your site by taking all sorts of security measures. As individuals on the net we all take some security precautions too - a firewall, anti spy-ware, virus protection software - if you have children, parental controls become an issue, etc. etc. – for me, this also means using a pseudonym to post on forums. OK, OK, call me paranoid! I may be. You may argue that it’s just like the real world, there are vandals and muggers there too - but they’re not here with me inside my home where my guard is down. When I leave my house, I don’t have to concern myself about someone following me everywhere I go, feeding everything that interests me into some computer database somewhere in India. If you ask what is there to be afraid of, I’ll have to answer “I don’t know” which might have been your answer, or Ryga’s, to a similar security question prior to being vandalized. That malicious crap is always a surprise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
“My mistake, as I see it, was that I didn't have the foresight to make it a "real names" board from the start. Then people could join or not, as they saw fit.”
Yeah, and now your alienating part of your site’s membership. It’s become clear that pseudonym users aren’t at all welcome here. IMHO, the direction to go with most Internet endeavors is to be as inclusive as possible. Decreasing the site membership strikes me as ultimately counter-productive, however it’s your vision (and the majority of the membership) that counts – not mine. Maybe it is the solution for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
“… I know some of you disagree but I believe anonymous opinions and information have little or no value.”
We certainly part company here. I’m more interested in the content than the author. Sure, I’m going to be drawn to a post by a “name” player - but when an anonymous poster says something that resonates with me, I‘m interested in what that contributor has to say – regardless of not being able to put a face or real name to the individual - whereas you’ll attribute no credibility to the post because you don’t know the contributor’s identity. I just can’t wrap my mind around that. I subscribe to the notion that an argument should stand or fall on it’s own and I believe your real name policy will limit the possibility of wisdom and interesting ideas from unexpected or even mysterious sources, and for me, that ruins the fun of reading a forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
Is there also a place for anonymous postings on a variety of subjects of perhaps lesser importance? Yeah, probably. That's why I'm taking my time to try working out a compromise solution, probably involving areas of the forum with different posting options for "real name" and "user name" members.
“…a place for anonymous postings on a variety of subjects of perhaps lesser importance” Gosh Brian, that sounds like a discriminatory two-tiered system where pseudonym users are 2nd class citizens relegated to the basement. Thanks for trying, but no thank you.

Vic.
  #110  
Old Oct 8, 2006, 12:03 PM
Jack Jarmush Jack Jarmush is offline
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viva la différence !

Well stated Vic.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I understand that the reason for applying a real name only policy is to avoid snipers, trolls, flamers (I don't mean Elton John ) ,spammers, etc. I do see the logic here but only if this forum had a problem with such. Ryga, Nation and Doheny have mentioned that there is a problem with these types here or at least they perceive it as such. I haven't perceived any posts I've read here as truly malicious. I think some would consider the now infamous Yodi as an undesirable but I didn't perceive it that way. I went back and read some old threads trying to find the offensive posts but only found differences of opinion. Could someone give an example of a post that was so offensive because I can't find them. Actually the subject of this thread is in itself is a bit of a flame. The debate of real vs user-names has come up before and Brian knows it is a potentially volatile subject. Is that a bad thing ? IMO no.
  #111  
Old Oct 8, 2006, 06:32 PM
Vic J Rhimes Vic J Rhimes is offline
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy
…that's why I changed my opinion and have joined the dark side forces.
Oh no! GUY… PLEASE…not YOU…I’m choked up…what about your principles?…you stood so tall…I’m cryin’ man…we’ll miss you here in the inclusive light…but we’ll struggle on…somehow…if only…if…if…..

Vic.
  #112  
Old Oct 11, 2006, 08:50 AM
Allan Johnston Allan Johnston is offline
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OK, everybody - to solve our problem (if there is one) I say we all get new names from here:

http://www.folkvine.org/parker/namegen.html

signed,

Duke Allino Von Binky (the Clown)
  #113  
Old Oct 12, 2006, 12:45 AM
reddiva reddiva is offline
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Tonight, completely by fluke, I ran into Guy McP at a comedy event and, without hesitation, introduced myself as Reddiva. Habit I guess (?), but in hindsight I guess I figured that he'd know who I was and why I was saying "hello" if I gave him the handle. But I wouldn't have even known to say hi if Guy used a pseudonym. Hmm.

(BTW, nice to meet ya Guy... ha ha ha on "the incident". Some Guys have all the luck???")

blather, etc.
C
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  #114  
Old Oct 12, 2006, 01:00 AM
Guy Guy is offline
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Nice to meet you, too, toots. I feel I can call you "toots" after "the incident".

And, you should point out, it was a Wednesday night and the club was practically full (it seats about 200). See, Vancouverites go out and support live stuff... Oh, was that another thread? Sorry.
  #115  
Old Nov 4, 2006, 11:46 AM
John Doheny John Doheny is offline
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Vic Rhimes is right...

I've given this a lot of thought, and I've decided that Vic is right, although maybe not in exactly the way he thinks.

To make it a level playing field, it's got to be either one way or the other. While guys like Vic and Jim are concerned about their utterances being easily attatched to their real identities, I'm perfectly happy to speak in the open, using my real name. What I now realize I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with though is the identifiers being so one-sided. As Vic points out, everything I say here under my real name is easily googled by anyone who cares to make the effort, whereas stuff posted under an alias is only attributable to that alias, and the few 'in the know' folks who are hip to the true identity behind that alias. I've figured that out by the way, Vic. We even played a gig together back in 1986, although I doubt you remember it. I remember you because you were a respected elder statesman in the Vancouver Jazz community, and I was a hack newbie who played mostly R&B. It was a memorable event for me, although no doubt just another day at the office for you. The bass player was a young guy named Larry Cutt who later went to McGill, and the piano player (and leader) was Don Hardy.

Jim Jarmusch I got right away because we knew each other fairly well before he moved to Europe.

So, cool, we all know who we are, so what's the problem, right? The problem (I think) is that the conversation becomes lopsided. Everything I say attaches to me, including (as you point out) stuff that doesn't present me in a particularly good light. There's a couple of outbursts on here (including my 'full of shit' statement directed at you, which I here and now sincerely apologize for) that I wouldn't mind seeing disappear in a server crash . But I'm hoping that anybody who takes the time to read these strings can see the line of development and (hopefully) conclude that I'm not a total asshole.

Under a pseudonym though, none of this is an issue. Faulty logic, bogus research, wild assertions, rudeness...doesn't matter. It's all just abstract ideas floating out there, unatributable to anyone.


Presumably then, if we all had usernames, everything would be cool. But to what lenghths should one go to conceal one's identity? Any personal references would be tricky, because it might be possible for people to guess your identity. And once one's identity is known, then all the problems of the 'jazz bully pulpit' return. Presumably, free and unfettered speech would be just as inhibited by, say, Cam Ryga's presence as it would by boingy641, if everybody knew it was Cam.

In order to have that perfect "conversation in a bar with a stranger" that Chris Cotell speaks of, we both have to be strangers. The way it is now, everybody knows who I am, but nobody (except of course for the special, insider set) knows who Vic and Jim are. I'm not sure if I'm completely comfortable with that.

Vic, I've apologized for saying you were full of shit, and I mean it. But did you not say, just one or two posts up the thread, that your identity was available to anyone who asked? I asked, and you refused. My request might have seemed brusque (if I recall correctly, I said something like "okay, I'm asking. Who are you?") but I tried to lighten it up a bit in my follow up e-mail (I think you'd said something to the effect of "why do you want to know?") by making it clear that it wasn't a sinister request, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't unknowingly talking to my ex-wife or a bill collector or something. It's weird having an online conversation with someone you might actually know. I embarrassed myself here once by making some airy statements about drumming technique to somebody named Flat_tire, only to find out it was Jesse Cahill, for chrissakes, who has most assuredly forgotten more about jazz drums than I'll ever know.

It's weird. I've gone back and re-read the whole thread, and it seems to me now that the point it all went south for me was when you started going on about "sticking it to 'the man'" and the inherent 'racism' of judging someone by the "color of their pseudonym." In a very irrational sense, it just pissed me off to hear you use those concepts so lightly. I live in a disaster area where people of color were left to die in the streets, and George Bush had that very day signed documents legalizing torture in the United States of America, and here's Vic going on about free speech on the internet. It just rubbed me the wrong way. I know that's no excuse for rudeness.

So there it is. Basically, I'm fine with posting under my own name, even if I do occasionally embarrass myself. I'm willing to step up and own it if I do. But it seems...not unfair, exactly, but 'unbalanced' that others don't have to do the same.





p.s.


That 'self promotion' accusation really hurt. I'm not comfortable promoting myself. I find it embarrassing. But if you're a jazz musician you pretty much have to bite the bullet and do it. But if every time I get the urge to say something here it's going to be perceived as me promoting myself, I think I'd prefer not to post at all.
  #116  
Old Nov 4, 2006, 01:57 PM
Guy Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doheny
But if every time I get the urge to say something here it's going to be perceived as me promoting myself, I think I'd prefer not to post at all.
John, it's only perceived that way by a vocal minority. Most of us enjoy reading your posts, even when we disagree with them! Come back to the party.
  #117  
Old Nov 11, 2006, 05:44 PM
Jack Jarmush Jack Jarmush is offline
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Can we get a conclusion here Brian ? you said you were gonna make it Real Names only......
  #118  
Old Nov 13, 2006, 10:44 AM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Jarmush
Can we get a conclusion here Brian ? you said you were gonna make it Real Names only......
Good question. I don't know if I said I was going to make it real names only. That would be impossible. There's no practical way to verify member's names, even if I wanted to, which I don't (as I've said many times). However, my goal is to see this forum essentially made up of real people using real names.

Because of the large number of spammers signing up here, I've disabled new registrations. To sign up now you have to email me and I do it manually. There have been about a dozen new members since I implemented this - all using their names. It works well and no one has objected. (One spammer did slip through and I'm sure it won't be the last time.)

As for current members, no one's going to be forced to do anything but I'm "suggesting" people change their usernames to their real names (I have to do it for you - just email or PM me) or edit their signatures to include their identity. About a half-dozen members have already done one, the other, or both.

I think a majority of the people who post here regularly are doing so with real names, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doheny
There's a couple of outbursts on here (including my 'full of shit' statement directed at you, which I here and now sincerely apologize for) that I wouldn't mind seeing disappear in a server crash .
A new post can be edited by its author for up to two hours. There's no time limit for the Admin - me. I don't mind editing a post if the author regrets what he or she wrote or has any other reasonable reason to do so. Problems can arise if the follow-up posts that refer to the statement are made confusing in the process (that's why there's a time limit in the first place) but I'm always willing to consider such requests.
  #119  
Old Nov 14, 2006, 12:18 PM
Vic J Rhimes Vic J Rhimes is offline
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John,

There’s no apology necessary for the “full of s**t” comment, as I took no offence. One of my evil selves felt justified in provoking you by not directly telling you my name, so I think your response was justifiable too.

BTW, was that gig in a hotel in Richmond – or maybe Delta?

Vic.
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