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With apologies to Nathanael West, who famously said

"Life is a club where they won’t stand for squawks, where they deal you only one hand, and you must sit in. So even if the cards are cold and marked by the hand of fate, play up, play up like a gentleman and a sport.”

--Miss Lonelyhearts, 1933

I keep this quote on a Stickie on my desktop, as a reminder of a time, not so long ago, that health problems frequently drove me to despair and self-pity.  I needed to be reminded not to squawk, and to accept the cards that had been dealt to me.

Today's eruption of diaries from Kossacks and from The Management sent me rushing back for a refresher course in Nathanael West's wisdom.    

The Management has made it clear that discussions surrounding impending departures are not welcome.  The door will be locked behind anyone who creates a stir around their
departure.  This is a club that doesn't stand for "squawks."

As for myself, I appreciated the diary that caused this flurry. When a longtime contributor finds it necessary to step aside,  I prefer to know about it rather than wonder, six months later,  why they are MIA.  But that's just me, and I'm only a bit player at this poker table and I must play with cards that have been dealt.

When I start my own blog and have umpty thousand members, then I'll make my own rules.  In the meantime,  deal me in.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You might want to take off that TTFN tag... (12+ / 0-)

    Don't want it to be misunderstood in the current context, and have you go missing.

  •  Perhaps I misunderstood Kos' statement... (10+ / 0-)

    but I don't believe that individuals are restricted in discussing departures.

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:15:35 PM PST

  •  that's my take also (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texknight, Yasuragi

    the real world isn't going to provide much solace and it seems to me that there's plenty of cyber hugging at kos, enough so that not getting the right response from all doesn't drive one away

  •  I don't get it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, Yasuragi

    I don't get why TTFNs or GBCWs would even warrant the effort to ban or whatever.  

    Everyone here writes about everything....so what is the big deal?

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM PST

    •  It's not for us to "get" or not "get" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      as it is not our site and we don't make the rules.  We are part of a club where they don't stand for squawks.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:37:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, when you think (5+ / 0-)

        about it, all we do is squawk about everything under the sun.  Almost everything here is about someone being upset over something going on in the world.

        I don't get the GBCW or TTFN diaries, and I don't get the added drama [which is why Kos is banning these] over the drama over the drama........oh, I'm dizzy now....

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:42:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me, too! Let's have a drink! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:58:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're buying. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Radiowalla, wader, gooderservice, Avila

            I just got laid off.

            I think Kos ought to hire me as a moderator since I'm so even handed and decent.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:06:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Would be nice (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Radiowalla, Avila

              but, I suspect he doesn't trust many people.  Or, doesn't want to.

              Many of us have volunteered to help moderate, with little to no assumption of additional site "powers" - just well-defined and community-recognized roles.

              He's outspokenly against it.  He sees no real problems with the site dynamics beyond what black/white rules and some collaborations tools can provide, IMHO.

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:16:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kos has the right idea. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Noddy, LaEscapee

                Look what happened to MB, how mistreated he was.

                •  He did a nice job, but was terribly stretched (0+ / 0-)

                  He also cleaned out some bad situations quite clearly.

                  It was a magnificent effort on his part, but poorly planned out by kos: he needed far more coverage and backup, a literal group of moderators doing similar things.

                  Anyone attempting to help as a mod (i.e., mods should be helpful more than police, IMHO) will encounter resistance from entrenched interests - that goes with the job role.

                  "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                  by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:19:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A personal reply to you: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nada Lemming

                    I"m getting really tired of reading/hearing you complain what a bad guy Kos is.

                    If you don't like his rules, his site, well...

                    •  You seem to be taking critiques of the site (0+ / 0-)

                      owner rather personally.  Are you implying that's all I do, because you seem to enjoy making grand generalizations and coming up with rather simplistic, black/white solutions - much as I'm seeing from kos in this "new rule."

                      Great that you support that!

                      Don't expect to push people out who sincerely disagree.  Nor should you expect to silence folks whose equally worthy opinions to voice you happen to not enjoy.

                      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                      by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:15:39 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No, I "seem" to be wondering why people (0+ / 0-)

                        who are so unhappy with the way this site is run still want to post here.  It's really that simple.  And I've replied to you because I've read several comments in recent diaries where you've said how bad things are run, i.e., how Kos runs this site.

                        I've been at sites that I don't like the way they're run.  And I leave, period.  No muss, no fuss.  There are thousands of political sites.  

              •  Yeah, I can't (0+ / 0-)

                say I'm interested in moderating or that this site needs much--I just figured with all the diaries about it, maybe some $$ might be available for such a position.

                The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                by dfarrah on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:52:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Radio is buying? Count me in n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Radiowalla, dfarrah

              There are no sacred cows.

              by LaEscapee on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:20:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Because Kos takes it personally (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, wader

      TTFN for drama implies there is undue drama here. Fixing said drama is almost impossible without performing a major revamp of the rating system. Making said drama less visible to a cursory inspection is easy.

      The proper way to fix the moderation system is by minimizing the number of people who can moderate on a given day by selecting randomly from a pool of eligible moderators, but letting everyone meta-moderate, i.e. agree or disagree with the moderation and disabling moderation privileges for those who are consistently down modded in meta-moderation. See slashdot.org, the oldest moderated site on the Internet, for an example.

      But don't expect that to happen here. This is not a community site, it is one man's blog, and we're all simply guests. Slashdot used to be that way, in the very beginning, but Rob Malda allowed his baby to fly free (eventually, and with caveats, there are a few people who will simply never be allowed to moderate because they pissed off Rob somehow.)

      •  Not a community site? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge, Avila

        I beg to differ. It's "one man's blog" that has become a community site, of which we are indeed guests. You can be a guest and a participant in a community concurrently.

        Moderation is as easy as not replying to an upsetting comment, but many people, myself included, find that difficult to do.

        A lot of times disputes are based on perceptions of hypocritical behavior which in turn then gets called-out, and things escalate from there. And yes, that hypocritical call-out cycle is often based on previous ratings.

        Still, the rating system is something worth keeping, flaws and all. And revamping it as you suggest is probably not an easy task, especially for a site that has had much, if not all, of its history based upon such a system.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:16:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a community site, up to a point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Free Jazz at High Noon

          And that point is named "Kos." Basically, Kos lets us pretend this is a community site until something pisses him off, and then it is an autocratic, one man's blog type of site.

          Slashdot.org revamped it's moderation several times based on user feedback, and as a result, it has survived for over a decade with fewer rage-quits by members than this place. It certainly helps that the Slashdot codebase is open source. And, as the owner of the place came from an open source background, I imagine it was easier for Rob to let go of autocratic control than it would be for Kos to do so.

          •  I get that (4+ / 0-)

            But this site is still here, too. I'm not saying that there's no room for improvement in how things are handled here, just that it's a different approach. Kos doesn't seem to be entirely dismissive of site feedback, he just puts more weight on his personal vision for the site, which, of course, is his right.

            In the time that I've been here, which isn't that long comparatively, he seems cautious to embrace some change, while eager to embrace others. It seems in either case any decision he ends-up making inevitably gets met with some resistance. It's impossible for him to satisfy 100% of Daily Kos's user base.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:03:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Because they're about creating drama. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus, LaEscapee

      They're not about issues but about people wanting attention. Because given the chance we've had the same person GBCWing here three times in one week before.

  •  The TTFN is often used as a GBCW (8+ / 0-)

    with an escape hatch.

    Those cases are usually easy to distinguish from the TTFN's that are used as a legitimate way of announcing to those here an extended leave of absence.

    If the intent is truly for information purposes, people don't really even need to use the TTFN tag to accomplish the goal.

    As it stands now, at least for me, there's fast becoming an instinctive and near automatic negative reaction by the use of the acronym alone. I have to do a closer inspection of who is posting, and of course, reading the diary itself, to overcome this initial impression of scepticism.

    If no drama is intended, a title like...

    Taking a little break, for those who might wonder where I'm at
    ...is more subtle, imo.

    If the diary refrains from specifics regarding the reason for departure, if it's site meta-related, there should be no reason to look down upon such diaries. There are several people who have not posted any diary announcing their intent to leave, and as a result, have caused some concern by some still here.

    So they have a purpose, especially for regular participants who comment/diary on a near-daily basis...their sudden, extended absence would be alarming to those who see them here regularly.

    But when that purpose lays blame on the site or community as a whole for the reason for departure, it always seems to devolve into a meta war, which is what kos wants to avoid, I think.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 03:53:54 PM PST

    •  Or, he just got upset that today he saw a TTFN (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, Yasuragi, Sharon Wraight

      which actually got on the Top Rec list, but heavily criticized the type of community being fostered here that could lead to actual threats offline of diary discussions.

      So, he wanted to get rid of that possibility through a harsh sentencing structure, for PR and even liability reasons, one might argue.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:19:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's kind of what (2+ / 0-)

      the IAN group is for:  

      1. check in to let us know you're OK, especially of there are disasters in your area (wildfires, floods, etc.) or if you live alone. live isolated, are disabled or want someone to care whats going on in your life

      and

      2. let us know when you're going to be away for a while (vacation, life pressures, technical difficulties, need a break), and give us a time when you think you might be back so we can look for your return, or check to see if you want to stay away a bit longer - a TTFN with a group to look for your return.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:36:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting idea... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        How is it working out?  Maybe that would be a good topic for a diary for those of us who need an introduction or re-introduction  to the group.

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:00:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's working out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla

          OK so far.

          It's pretty low key.  There's a daily diary that goes up - people can tip it or comment to let us know they are around.  Depending on who it is, if they "go missing" for a few days, we go looking to see if there's a problem.

          During the Superstorm on the east coast, we stayed on top of the IAN members there, plus other Kossacks we knew were in the area.

          There have been a few people who needed to leave for one reason or another for a while, and we looked for their return and welcomed them back.

          The goal is to have everyone share contact information with someone else, preferably someone they've met in person (so IAN supplements the  "New Day" diaries with its meet ups very well), so we can connect in case of problems.

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:49:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Really, it's not about 'informing' people it's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    about drawing attention and drama to oneself

  •  I like this quote very much. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lineatus, Radiowalla

    Words to live by.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:36:30 PM PST

  •  You can squak all you want (3+ / 0-)

    just don't be a primadona about it. It's pretty basic stuff. Act like a grown up.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 04:49:38 PM PST

  •  Squawking is fine. it's drah-ma that sucks. (0+ / 0-)

    I disagree strongly with Mr. West (as applied by you to this context), in that we do not hold the deck and the cards that are dealt are, oftentimes, heavily stacked.

    "Play the cards that are dealt you" is a house rule.  The house always wins.  

    If those are the rules, the best idea is to go home.

    I don't say "cheat".  I am saying -

    figure out how not to go gentle into that good night.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:02:31 PM PST

    •  I don't intend to "go gentle," (0+ / 0-)

      but when I was dealt bad cards, I had to learn to stop bemoaning that fact.  If you don't learn to "play up, play up, like a gentleman and a sport,"  then you get stuck in a permanent pity party that no one wants to attend.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:50:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we simply disagree that acceptance is the only (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla

        choice.

        I don't believe that being "a gentleman and a sport" bears any recognizable relationship to being dealt, and dealing with, shit cards...

        Which says nothing about not whining, on which we may well agree, but there are respectable distances between shit cards, a man and a doormat.  

        I don't aspire to the latter-most position and don't feel right standing by without comment any aspirations that appear to recommend the same.

        It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

        by Murphoney on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:06:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tips for quoting Nathaniel West. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla

    I'd give you a cool million tips, but alas, I have but one.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 07:16:02 PM PST

  •  I've never much cared for melodrama. . . (0+ / 0-)

    it's a waste of time, a waste of energy & it sucks the air out of the room. Just open the door, wave, walk on out while singing John Prine's "So Long NonBelievers". Done. The End.  
    But jeez there's been a rash of folks rending their clothes. committing acts of virtual self-flagellation, while others commit virtual temper tantrums tossing about their box of crayons. B.O.R.I.N.G.  (and so Real Housewife)
    But when you do depart in huff cloaked in your righteous indignation, why are you surprised that the door is locked behind you? Isn't that what you wanted? To leave. To never return. To move onto greener pastures or a more favorably inclined to you bully pulpit.

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