What is too politically toxic?

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tepples
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm

Would it be toxic to discuss portrayal of trans characters in video games, such as Birdo in Super Mario Bros. series and Mizhena in Baldur's Gate?

nocash
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by nocash » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:58 am

Bregalad wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:20 pm
Yup, but that sounds easier said than done. Many so called "open tolerant" people are extremely intolerant and not open at all to more conservative or traditional views. You could be one of those, or not, and I probably don't want to know as I don't care.
I hope that "open tolerant" people are perfectly fine with conservative and traditional views... as long as that views aren't enforced on strangers or other people. If life-long friends or family members are suddenly coming out with a gender-swap, that can be admittedly difficult to grasp. Best would be to try to accept them, another workaround would be to ignore the subject, and the weakest response would be to freak out because of being worried what other people might think about it.

For using he/she in forums, I've never heard about gender checks (like posting a nude pic confirmation in the forum registration process). So I think we can just accept the self-declared genders, and it really wouldn't be polite and rather pointless to insist on using a different gender.

For using xe/them or the like, I think that is still a long way to go until that gets common language, but I would see it as a win-win-win situation because it would be useful when not knowing if somebody is male or female, and it would be also useful for people who see themselves as neither male nor female, and also for people who just don't want to disclose their gender or private details in public.

Anyways, if xe/them should ever get common language, but still feels uncomfortable to other people, I don't think that anybody will ever enforce using new pronouns, you could as well keep using the current language (like just quoting the username instead of assigning gender pronouns to other people).
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Bregalad » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:50 am

tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm
Would it be toxic to discuss portrayal of trans characters in video games, such as Birdo in Super Mario Bros. series and Mizhena in Baldur's Gate?
I'll leve koitsu answer this one, but IMO absolutely yes.
For using xe/them or the like, I think that is still a long way to go until that gets common language
EXACTLY what I find absolutely horrendeous and politically toxic. You assume there's only a direction of what "progress" or "future" is, and that direction is a direction of an utopic (or dystopic) world of non-gendered people and non-gendered language. Why such a world would be desirable in the 1st place puzzles me, but go figure. And you impose your utopia on other people. This is clearly a fachist approach IMO.

However if you really want to use non-gendered language, you can learn Estonian, Finish, Chinese, Turkish (or anyother turcic language such as Kazakh) or Arabic. That way you'll stop annoying normal people who just want to go on with their lives without utopias of other people imposed on them.
I don't think that anybody will ever enforce using new pronouns, you could as well keep using the current language
Because everyone only reads their own posts, obviously...

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Drag » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:25 pm

I disagree about it being toxic, but I see where you're coming from.

Rest assured though, a future where gender is outlawed and all language is gender neutral sounds pretty extreme and more like a narrative that someone would push only if they wanted to troll you, and is not representative of what everyone actually wants. :P

I agree with Nocash's view, but I think it's more likely that society would adapt to using "they" and alternative ways of referring to others when gender is unknown. And keeping in mind, this is only when it's actually an issue, because it's not often that I've personally encountered times online and offline where this was actually a huge issue. :P

To reiterate on the question at hand, I wouldn't have any issues with a thread about Birdo, Madeline, or anyone else, as long as it doesn't devolve into potshots and wisecracks, but I would hope the NesDev community is more mature than that. ;)

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by naI » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:08 pm

Basically if it makes Bregalad uncomfortable, it's politically toxic. :roll:

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by toggle switch » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:53 pm

tepples i will just say i really hope you're not taking any advice from bregalad on what constitutes toxicity.

this forum is a strange place. it's the only one i've ever seen where people are allowed to push around the moderators and get away with it. my advice to you, tepples, is to have confidence in your own abilities to figure this stuff out and not to let people push you around.

my reading of this thread is that you posted a thread and people contacted you to say that you, the moderator of the forum, needed to delete your own thread because they didn't like it? honestly you can just tell people off if they try to muscle you around like that. they aren't moderators, you are. if they have a problem with it they can start their own forum and moderate the hell out of it.

just my opinion.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by 93143 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:58 pm

lidnariq wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:54 pm
Bregalad wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:20 pm
Yup, but that sounds easier said than done. Many so called "open tolerant" people are extremely intolerant and not open at all to more conservative or traditional views.
The Paradox of intolerance is nothing more, and nothing less, than observing that many people misunderstand tolerance to be an abstract objective, but instead it is the terms of a ceasefire.
It seems to me that this could be interpreted as a hostile comment, from a certain perspective. In the context of the comment being replied to, the implication seems to be that "conservative or traditional views" (which I guarantee you some on this board hold; it's a very broad category) are not acceptable in modern society, as they would undermine its foundations. Fighting words, as one might say...

The principle you're expressing is pretty clear in the case of a specialty forum like this one. It is a ceasefire - people who would be at each other's throats in a completely free discussion of certain issues simply agree that we're here to discuss something else, and either don't bring those issues up or treat them with a very light touch, suppressing their natural desire to tell the other guy how bad he is and should feel. But it is important to distinguish the forum manifestation of the principle from the societal one, because they operate on different levels.

...

It's not so much speech that's the problem for tolerance in a societal sense (that article you linked doesn't seem very consistent on this point). It's beliefs, or more specifically the actions based on them. The Peace of Westphalia and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution both recognized that the various Christian denominations held sufficient common ground to live alongside one another in peace; this obviously doesn't automatically generalize to any conceivable belief system whatever. The ability to talk about stuff is pretty much always a good thing, even if not every situation is equally germane to discussion of controversial topics (and not every style of discourse is equally helpful).

It's certainly true that tolerance is not a virtue as such. It can arise from considerations of prudence and charity, which are virtues, but whether tolerance is a good idea is a situational thing. However, it is often found nowadays that people are very quick to refuse tolerance even of political speech to people they disagree with, often without proper consideration of the principles underlying free speech: 1) you could be wrong, about the question itself or even about your opponent's actual beliefs, and 2) if you shut someone up, you don't change his mind; you only sacrifice the opportunity to either correct him (and improve your own understanding in the process) or learn from him, or both. Not to mention that suppressed ideas can grow undetected, even gaining credibility by being suppressed instead of out-argued...

...

The principle of tolerance can take a different form on forums such as this, in which people voluntarily come together around a common interest and speech is pretty much the only thing anyone does. A "toxic" discussion would be one that makes users angry at each other and interferes with the productive functioning of the forums, similar to how ideologically-driven terrorism or subversion can disrupt the proper functioning of a country. But preventing this on a message board is not a matter of banning certain points of view; that only alienates people who hold the banned views, and that's not going to lead anywhere good. And very few people hold as a fundamental religious principle that they should start fights on NesDev, so you wouldn't be addressing the actual problem. Rather, I think the discussion of these issues should be approached with the greatest circumspection and good will by all sides, pretty much how we've tried to do things up to this point. NesDev is not the whole world, and nobody comes here to be yelled at over politics.

I do think that preemptively banning specific topics might be a bridge too far. It seems like a bad principle to get started on. I'd prefer to trust the users to be reasonable, and deal with it on a case-by-case basis if problems arise. "Problems" possibly including a thread that is obviously a ticking time bomb... But I'm not a moderator.
tepples wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm
Would it be toxic to discuss portrayal of trans characters in video games, such as Birdo in Super Mario Bros. series and Mizhena in Baldur's Gate?
Or Poison in Final Fight? (No pun intended.)

Probably. I'm not sure there's much to say on the topic that wouldn't get into contentious territory nowadays. But I'm willing to be proved wrong...

What some people call "basic decency" today would have been considered straight-up insanity by most people not too long ago. The change has been very rapid. Even if you think it's a good change, you must recognize that a lot of people disagree, most likely for reasons that seem good to them, and that trying to shame them into submission is not what NesDev is for.

...

In general, addressing no specific person: no matter your religious/philosophical or sociopolitical position, you must realize that there are lots of people smarter than you who think you are wrong. They may have bad reasons for thinking this, but it's not safe to assume that without checking very carefully. People, especially intelligent people, have a tendency to assume that their own understanding of reality is essentially correct and complete, and that therefore anyone who disagrees with them is evil, stupid, or misinformed. But intelligence is no sure defence against confirmation bias, intellectual fads, groupthink or even outright propaganda. You might be wrong - about the issue itself and/or the facts surrounding it, about what your opponent's position actually is, or even about the foundational assumptions the argument seems to you to be predicated on.

In principle, robust and open-minded discussion should be a good way to resolve differences. In practice, many people are unwilling to engage in it, and for various psychological reasons it's even harder on the internet than it is in real life (see also: Penny Arcade's GIFT). I once got into an argument on a small, technical-minded internet forum with a retired engineer over a very simple question of basic electrostatics - after a week of back-and-forth that ended up involving finite element simulations, his mental block cleared and he finally admitted that zero volts is, in fact, zero volts. Anything genuinely contentious in real life is going to be even worse.

Furthermore, it seems to be true in my experience that simply taking a position in an argument solidifies that position in one's mind, regardless of its merits. With an audience, an argument can become more performative than communicative, and both sides can actually end up doubling down for the sake of not granting "points" to the opposition, eventually finding themselves pigheadedly defending positions they didn't actually hold at the start of the argument. Political bickering on a forum like this could actually be counterproductive even on political issues, closing minds rather than changing them.

I would also suggest that attempting to set hard rules for the forum based on ideological principles known to be controversial is probably not a good idea. We don't need people being banned for wrongthink or splitting the forum over issues that have nothing to do with NES development. The current gentleman's agreement to tread carefully around such topics has been working pretty well; the fact that it took this long for a thread specifically about "toxic" topics to start going downhill is illustrative.

...

I'm probably going to regret at least half of this rambling mess tomorrow...

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Bregalad » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:57 am

naI wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:08 pm
Basically if it makes Bregalad uncomfortable, it's politically toxic. :roll:
Oh so now there is personal attacks because I had the horrible idea to reply to this thread and give some of my opinions in the 1st place. But I'll remember you that koitsu came and asked for deletion, I only said I agreed with him.

1) Some forum members assert "no no it's not toxic guys let's discuss this openly blah blah"
2) I state my opinions on the matter
3) Oh Bregalad you're so wrong blah blah (*)

So yeah, definitely politically toxic, and not just because of me, but because obviously it's almost impossible to have a constructive discussion.

@6595 : Great post !

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:21 am

toggle switch wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:53 pm
this forum is a strange place. it's the only one i've ever seen where people are allowed to push around the moderators and get away with it. my advice to you, tepples, is to have confidence in your own abilities to figure this stuff out and not to let people push you around.
One of the problems is that with my mental disability, I cannot always accurately discern in advance the consequences of what I write, don't write, moderate, or don't moderate. When I have made mistakes in the past with respect to what I have said or how I have moderated, admins of other influential sites in the retro gaming scene have called out both this community and myself personally as apologists for past and present oppressive regimes and inconsiderate, bigoted, worthless people in general. It doesn't help that my disability was named after an Austrian pediatrician who cooperated with a particularly notorious oppressive regime. What you see as letting users push staff around is in part trying to rely on other members to help me understand subtext that my disability keeps me from understanding by myself. I have been giving particular deference to koitsu as a former admin.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Pokun » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:48 am

I don't agree at all that this forum allows pushing around. This is one of the more friendlier forums I know, members generally respects the moderators and the moderators listens to member opinions and works hard to maintain the forums for members to thrive in. This thread is the result of Tepples trying to become better at moderating, no matter if people think it's strange or not. Discussions on these forums are seldom infected or full of strong language unlike some certain other gaming forums I know, nor have I seen any moderators abusing their power.

Also ironically enough, the fact that members are attacking Bregalad directly, even though he didn't really state anything controversial as far as I can tell (well he used strong words like "fachist", but his point still stands), shows that this thread is touching sensitive subjects.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by nocash » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:12 am

The word fachist came up after I had tried to say "Don't worry, there won't be any dramatic linguistic changes in the next 100 years or so". I don't know what went wrong there (?) maybe I wasn't clear enough about what I wanted say, or the destruction of modern language in distant future is exactly the point of concern, or maybe there is a more general communication barrier. I have looked up some related terms on conservapedia for better understanding of language & views.

One conclusion is that christo-conservatives believe that god has made only two genders, and that there is no arguing about that. The other conclusion is that political groups can have their own parallel language, or actually two parallel languages. One language for themselves (where "positive" represents whatever they might consider positive). And one language for interpreting what other people are saying (where "positive" represents wrong use of the term "positive", and, thereby, must have meant something that is very negative, insistive, or openly threatening).

Well, that was a bit demotivating because it could make communication almost impossible or at least very difficult.

PS. Translation to/from parallel language: What I was really saying is that I was talking about god being a gender neutral identity homophobia, and that I do falsely expect everybody to preserve the traditional gender neutral german language pioneered by Dortchen Wild and the Brüderchen Grimm.
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Pokun » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:40 am

I just meant that Nocash said something like "People with opinion A is fine as long as they don't force it on other people and respect opinion B". Then Bregalad basically pointed out: "That goes for people of opinion B as well". Then people object to that. So one opinion is better than the other and everyone else are wrong. That's exactly the type of discussion people don't want to read on Nesdev, as both Drag and 93143 also explained.

I don't know how that story goes in German, but as far as I know Germanic languages has always had 3 genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) inherited from their Indo-European roots (Swedish and Danish messed things up and ended up with a 4th: "uter" AKA "common gender").

And BTW Arabic also has some type of grammatical gender from what I heard (as its a Semitic languge).

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by toggle switch » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:01 am

I just meant that Nocash said something like "People with opinion A is fine as long as they don't force it on other people and respect opinion B". Then Bregalad basically pointed out: "That goes for people of opinion B as well"
LOL, no he said that people who disagreed with him are 'politically toxic', 'horrendous', and 'fachist [sic]'.

in response to somebody basically saying that nobody is going to enforce this type of language on you.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Pokun » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:50 am

I suggest you to read that again. I don't see the point in discussing something by putting words in the mouth on people than argue against them. Especially not on a forum where the exact quotes can easily be looked up.

He said two things about pollitically toxic and both was pretty much the same. That imposing your view as the only thinkable opinion is what he found toxic. Nothing else.

Relevant part of discussion:
Bregalad wrote:the thread assumed that thinking otherwise is unthinkable. That's what is politically toxic.
Bregalad wrote:EXACTLY what I find absolutely horrendeous and politically toxic. You assume there's only a direction of what "progress" or "future" is, and that direction is a direction of an utopic
...
And you impose your utopia on other people.
I don't see where he says that disagreeing with him is politically toxic. On the contrary he said that forcing people to agree with you is politically toxic.
I quoted what I saw as the relevant part of the point he was trying to get across. Even if strong words are left out it's not for the purpose of sugar-coating it.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by toggle switch » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:50 pm

nobody is forcing anybody to do anything.
forcing somebody to agree with you is impossible anyway.

if you read "exactly what i find to be politically toxic" you'll see that the quote in question specifically states that whatever language you'll use is up to you. if you want to explain how that's fascist, i'm all ears.
Anyways, if xe/them should ever get common language, but still feels uncomfortable to other people, I don't think that anybody will ever enforce using new pronouns
this got called fascist. sorry, but it's not. it's the exact opposite of what you said it was ("forcing people to agree with you")

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