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Subject: Ad collectionem rss

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Samo Oleami
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I want to talk about specific kind of Ad Hominem that I come across BGG forums here and there.

Ad Hominem .
Ad hominem as I hope you know is a fallacy in argument, where instead of making argument against what a person said (stated, argued), the attack comes against that person, either what they are or what they did.

Now "Ad collectionem" is this weird case, when a person argues against you by looking at your profile and abusing your collection, game comments or ratings. So they are attacking your arguments by attacking your ratings, collection or comments in a collection.
Some fictional examples:
"The statement you said is false, as you [like/hate] game X"
"How can you say that and rate game Y a 9?"

I must say I'm pretty startled each time around, firstly of people even having an idea that this is legit, and secondly that they mostly get away with it. Probably attacking a person's collection is seen as less problematic as attacking the person themselves? Though it's the same sort of fallacy.

If some reason it's still not clear - person's arguments are to be responded with counterarguments or finding inconsistencies in what they have said. I have no problem with that, actually, I expect it. Anything outside of argument (and the topic of the argument) is irrelevant.

So noticed this phenomenon around? Your thoughts on it?

EDIT: Based on russ's suggestion Ad collectium is changed to Ad Collectio. I'll consider him to be a better expert at Latin than I am, which is a safe bet.
EDIT 2: Paolo says it should be in accusative case: ad collectionem
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Re: Ad collectium
Well I must say I enjoyed reading your comments of your collection.
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Russ Williams
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Re: Ad collectium
The Latin word for collection is "collectio", not "collectium".

But that's about the kind of mistake I'd expect from someone who rates Magic The Gathering only 2.5!
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Jay Sachs
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Re: Ad collectium
In a discussion / argument, do you consider it fair to refer to things the other person has previously said or written, perhaps not in that particular argument? If so, ratings and comments on games in someone's collections could validly represent previous statements. Of course, like most anything, this could be abused.
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Re: Ad collectio
jaysachs wrote:
In a discussion / argument, do you consider it fair to refer to things the other person has previously said or written, perhaps not in that particular argument?

This is fair. It's also means you've taken your time to do proper research which means it's probably a very serious flame war going on.

jaysachs wrote:
If so, ratings and comments on games in someone's collections could validly represent previous statements. Of course, like most anything, this could be abused.

Here I disagree.

There has been cases, discussions and so on which properly identified that the value of personal comments and personal ratings on BGG profiles is precisely in them being personal and not open to discussion. The value we gain from them by geekbuddy system or other means is because they are honest. And they are honest because they're not open to discussion and people are not to be harassed if they rate something as 1 or a 10. At one time where I was present the mods enforced this policy, to keep people from being harassed for the games they rated as 1.

So yes, I would (and do) interpret that anything in your personal profile, ratings and comments is personal and is not to be discussed in forum unless that person brings it up themselves.

So any counterarguments made against what you said that are made on the basis of one's rankings or personal comments are a case of ad-hominem to me.
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Samo Oleami
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Re: Ad collectio
russ wrote:
But that's about the kind of mistake I'd expect from someone who rates Magic The Gathering only 2.5!

Funnily enough I think that the most latin I ever read was on MtG flavour text (and there was not a lot of it). laugh

Hope you don't mind I've taken liberty to change the name of the thread based on your suggestion.
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Paolo Robino
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Re: Ad collectio
sgosaric wrote:
russ wrote:
But that's about the kind of mistake I'd expect from someone who rates Magic The Gathering only 2.5!

Funnily enough I think that the most latin I ever read was on MtG flavour text (and there was not a lot of it). laugh

Hope you don't mind I've taken liberty to change the name of the thread based on your suggestion.

It should be the accusative case (like in "ad hominem") though, therefore "ad collectionem".
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Paolo Robino wrote:
It should be the accusative case (like in "ad hominem") though, therefore "ad collectionem".


Nice try, buddy, but I notice that you don't own Glory to Rome. So how would you know?
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Paolo Robino
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swheelock wrote:
Paolo Robino wrote:
It should be the accusative case (like in "ad hominem") though, therefore "ad collectionem".

Nice try, buddy, but I notice that you don't own Glory to Rome. So how would you know?

I own The Republic of Rome if that counts, and I studied Latin for five years in high school...
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I think you have a point. Also I do not think reading your post as an invitation to drop collection insults is so funny. Time to leave the saddle, the horse is dead.
2 thoughts: when I read ad collectionem, I understand it as someone arguing from a perspective of their taste, which means the argument following is invalid. laugh
On the other hand, you often come across on these forums as someone not afraid of argument, sometimes even deliberately looking for one. So maybe you built up some image here that now comes back at you. In the way that ad hominem is often used by people that ran out of valid points to make.
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Jay Sachs
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sgosaric wrote:
jaysachs wrote:
In a discussion / argument, do you consider it fair to refer to things the other person has previously said or written, perhaps not in that particular argument?

This is fair. It's also means you've taken your time to do proper research which means it's probably a very serious flame war going on.

jaysachs wrote:
If so, ratings and comments on games in someone's collections could validly represent previous statements. Of course, like most anything, this could be abused.

Here I disagree.

There has been cases, discussions and so on which properly identified that the value of personal comments and personal ratings on BGG profiles is precisely in them being personal and not open to discussion. The value we gain from them by geekbuddy system or other means is because they are honest. And they are honest because they're not open to discussion and people are not to be harassed if they rate something as 1 or a 10. At one time where I was present the mods enforced this policy, to keep people from being harassed for the games they rated as 1.

So yes, I would (and do) interpret that anything in your personal profile, ratings and comments is personal and is not to be discussed in forum unless that person brings it up themselves.

So any counterarguments made against what you said that are made on the basis of one's rankings or personal comments are a case of ad-hominem to me.


Comments in my collection (and others') are public -- they are visible to all, and should serve as part of the context of my posts. If in some forum post I write something which directly contradicts something in my game collection comments, I think it's fair for that contradiction to be identified. For instance, suppose I post here that Fluxx is a complete abomination, suitable at best for kindling, and secondarily as emergency toilet paper. If you were to look at my comments on that game, where I state that there are circumstances under which I'd actually agree to play a game, it's not an attack for you to question as to which position I actually hold.

Saying that game comments are valid as context is at least theoretically sound. Whether the cases of abuse so far outweigh reasonable use, I can't say. I'm unclear on the value of distinguishing that abuse from ad hominem attacks. I certainly don't want to endorse any "guideline" (official or unofficial) that proposes pretending I haven't read users' game rating or comments when responding to posts.

edit: say what i mean
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Samo Oleami
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Not on same page here.

Yes comments are visible, but not public. Simply: they're not discussable. So while they are visible, they are not said in a public space. However threads and geeklists are a public space. If comments in collection would be discussable (by bgg alowing other people to post comments on them) then they would become a public space, but then also the content in them would be written quite differently.

Simply: the point of comments in private collection is that they're not discussable so they shouldn't be. If you have a question about what somebody wrote there, send them a private message.

And I'm strongly opposed to the idea that personal profile would form a context for the post written in a public space. Because: what I say in a certain context (thread, geeklist) is said in that exact context and is not to be understood in relation to me as a person. I have very strict distinction about both (even in art - I'm also artist and critic and I've dealt much with theory of language): a statement spoken aloud in a public space is an act that attempts to shape that space in a certain way. In that regard it has all to do with that space (context) and nothing or nearly nothing with person stating it. To put is a clear as I can: person saying a statement is irrelevant to the meaning of the statement which is shaped by the context of the statement (unless the person making the statement frames it so they're part of the context).

If looking at people's profiles help you to form a more suited response to their statement, I'm fine with it, as long as you don't use data gained there as part of your argument.

Example: A month or so ago we had a thread about games with low overhead and high interaction. And then a user came and said "how can I say this, when I like game X which is clearly not that". I of course said, that the games I push for or want to promote have nothing to do with what I actually like and that this is pretty much completely irrelevant to the point of the thread. And even after everybody on the thread jumped on him, he still didn't get it...


Quote:
If in some forum post I write something which directly contradicts something in my game collection comments, I think it's fair for that contradiction to be identified.

For me it's a fallacy.

It presupposes that there is some sort of unity or coherence that surrounds all the actions and statements of an individual. And this is at best an illusion or fabrication we wish to believe. The statements are to be understood in a context in which they were said. Because some of them can be serious, some can be jokes, some can be aiming at specific effect (provocations for instance), and some are "games" within the field of meaning (quotes, pop culture references, bgg memes ...)

What I say when I argue seriously, for instance about boardgame reviews and criticism has no connection whatsoever to ranting and joking I do at Geekmandess tournaments and they both have no connection to my personal inquires and contemplations about games I play know as "comments in personal collection". These are different contexts with different modes of expression and intent.

Okay a gaming metaphore:

Just becuse I'm as a person such and such, doesn't mean I'll be the same in a game and vice versa. How I act in Diplomacy has some connection to me, but has more to do with the way I handle and interpret the context of a game of Diplomacy. The way I play Tales of Arabian Nights for instance has nothing to do with my games of Diplomacy or the way I respond to the postman or neighbours each day. While it's always me doing stuff, it's the context which shapes my investment. It's like saying: I think you backstab in Diplomacy, because you don't tip waitresses in cafés. These two action have no (obvious) connection.

Quote:
For instance, suppose I post here that Fluxx is a complete abomination, suitable at best for kindling, and secondarily as emergency toilet paper. If you were to look at my comments on that game, where I state that there are circumstances under which I'd actually agree to play a game, it's not an attack for you to question as to which position I actually hold.

For me it is. I also read it as fundamental misunderstanding of meaning and truth. Because reality is such a complex web of many things I have no problem accepting both statements are true at the same time. This is called dialectics. Actually this kind of "fake contradiction" is a good point to question ourselves: why did a person say this in that thread and said something else in their profiles? By doing this a context of each statement comes to the foreground and makes itself obvious. Which is good.

Quote:
Saying that game comments are valid as context is at least theoretically sound.

Uhm. No the theories within which this would be sound were more or less disposed by 1960s by the language and social theories formed in structuralism and post structuralism. It might be sound within one's "common sense" which is just another way to say "habits" which are kinda arbitrary.

Ok, maybe this illusion of unity of everything a person ever said or did is enforced by companies spying on their employees and what they write about on facebook and other internet sites. Not familiar enough with that enviroment.

Quote:
I'm unclear on the value of distinguishing that abuse from ad hominem attacks.

Yeas, that I agree with. I'm not saying it's wrong to look at people's profiles or anything, but if one uses this information to make counterarguments which use ad-hominem tactic, yes it's ad hominem. It's the tactic of attack which is problematic, not looking at people's comments.
 
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Nodens wrote:
On the other hand, you often come across on these forums as someone not afraid of argument, sometimes even deliberately looking for one. So maybe you built up some image here that now comes back at you.

I of course think the problem is other people. ninja


I've been "schooled" in specific environment which is a bit alien to general bgg populace. One was a philosophical forum with quite serious discussions where one quickly learned to make sound arguments. Another were flamewars raging on slovene catholic church forums between the atheists and the catholics (and I'm neither) - there the mods enforced very strict rules of conduct where 3 missteps brought you permanent ban. Ad hominem was one of those, so we quickly learned to spot and avoid those while still making as solid arguments as we could. And I was one of the more peaceful guys, imagine that.

So yeah, I've got a certain mode of argument(ing) gained there. And sometimes I just like to have fun. I'm also known for threads with abrupt shifts between blatant ranting and deep discourse.

But you know, I can take it and sometimes I have to. Just don't stalk me, which is ultimately what looking though my profile to find counterarguments looks like to me.

Nodens wrote:
In the way that ad hominem is often used by people that ran out of valid points to make.

I don't think it's as deliberate. Mostly I think people just don't grasp basic distinctions between "fair fight" and underhanded moves (falacies). That's why I opened the thread.

And now when it's clear what at least two of us think (me and jay) maybe other people could care to position themselves as well?
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sgosaric wrote:
Not on same page here.

Yes comments are visible, but not public.

Definitely not on the same page.

Your game comments are visible and public. I don't get your argument that they are not "public" just because the BGG software does not permit comments/threads on them. Under what bizarre meaning of the word "public" are they not public? (Thought experiment: this is an often-proposed features. If BGG added discussion threads to game comments, would you then no longer be bothered by "ad collectionem" arguments? I suppose you still would, right? Which means this question of whether they are "public" is a bit of a red herring in any case.)

Quote:
If comments in collection would be discussable (by bgg alowing other people to post comments on them) then they would become a public space, but then also the content in them would be written quite differently.

Why would the content in them be written quite differently? I don't see why I'd write my game comments differently if there were the possibility that other users might occasionally reply to them.

Quote:
And I'm strongly opposed to the idea that personal profile would form a context for the post written in a public space. Because: what I say in a certain context (thread, geeklist) is said in that exact context and is not to be understood in relation to me as a person.

This seems, if taken to its logical extreme, to mean that I shouldn't bother taking anything you say seriously or as worth reacting to. How should I know that what you said in the previous page of a thread has any relevance to your most recent comment in the thread? Or even that your most recent comment has anything to do with what you think now? Is this whole thread just an experimental textual performance art structuralist dialectic philosophical piece? Do you mean what you say?

Quote:
If looking at people's profiles help you to form a more suited response to their statement, I'm fine with it, as long as you don't use data gained there as part of your argument.

I don't get that as an absolute statement. E.g. if someone's profile says "I have always loved playing chess ever since I was a small child, and I still play chess every week", and then in some thread the person says "I hate abstract strategy games. If a game doesn't have randomness and hidden information, I don't enjoy it and don't think it's worth playing" then it seems perfectly legitimate to me to raise the question of this contradiction.

And if people have to learn about structuralism and dialectics and other hifalutin academic theories and buy into your specific view/experience of art/truth/personhood/etc to satisfy your requirements for a fair/suitable/valid/whatever discussion/debate/thread, well, then good luck with that.
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russ wrote:
Why would the content in them be written quite differently? I don't see why I'd write my game comments differently if there were the possibility that other users might occasionally reply to them.

If people could respond than texts would be much more polite and carefully wonder or going to the other extreme (depends on a person). BGG populace if I generalise has a hard time dealing with people who think "negatively", hence a lot of emotional responses could (would) occur. This is quite simple to observe: if you look just at forum threads and even reviews criticism is not that common as opposed to cheerful "how great everything is" attitude (exception being those geeklist where the point is in hating everything) - however criticism does occur on bgg. And it's not in reviews but in personal comments. And it's precisely because there's no responses to them. "So you rate this a 2, but you played it only once?" - you can't get away with this, except in personal comments.

When I write in a thread I expect to be answered to and responded to and therefore I write quite differently than when I only expect to be read. Different focus, different context and different content.

For instance: I won't write a review unless I've played a game a couple of times, I won't comment on a game in a thread unless I've got some idea about what I'm talking about (2-3 plays), but in my collection I can and did rate games based on solo gaming (and some users based only on reading the rules).

Quote:
.I don't get your argument that they are not "public" just because the BGG software does not permit comments/threads on them.

There was an example I witnessed. A user posted a geeklist of popular games with comments from people who rated them as 1. Now this was done before, but this time the user actually quoted names of users who said what. Problem was of course that user could (and some did) get negative responses for something they thought couldn't be responded to. The problem here is that this endangers the value of personal ratings and comments as if this continued people would be under pressure and wouldn't write what they honestly think about games.

However there was an older geeklist which did everything the same way, only it didn't write the names of the users it was quoting. And here we see the difference. As anybody could (and did if they wished) just browsed the game's ranking page and get the user's name. But for this took some effort, while stating the names out front invited mobbing. And mobbing is best where no effort is needed, if it's only thumbing, then so much better.

Mods interfered and the first geeklist no longer exists. It's kinda indirect proof, but mods did think that the difference between the two was a big deal.

added

Quote:
Thought experiment: this is an often-proposed features. If BGG added discussion threads to game comments, would you then no longer be bothered by "ad collectionem" arguments? I suppose you still would, right? Which means this question of whether they are "public" is a bit of a red herring in any case

These features were denied more or less unanimously by users because of reasons explained (at least one time I witnessed it, my guess is it happened repeatedly as this is still not implemented).

If that kind of feature would be implemented, then I would no longer be bothered by "ad collectionem" arguments, because: I would write those comments entirely differently if I would be bothered to write them at all. I use these comments to organise my own thoughts about games I play and they force me to start thinking about something I experienced - I see them as my personal notes. And also of course notes to my geekbuddies. If I can't use them for that, then perhaps I should delete them? It would help me if this was resolved.

Does anybody know if there some official bgg policy about what is or isn't allowed concerning comments items in your collection?

Quote:
How should I know that what you said in the previous page of a thread has any relevance to your most recent comment in the thread? Or even that your most recent comment has anything to do with what you think now? Is this whole thread just an experimental textual performance art structuralist dialectic philosophical piece? Do you mean what you say?

But this is what an act called reading is all about. If you don't do all these when you read, I'm not sure, do you believe anything you read the same way? Of course not - you read fiction as fiction, nonfiction as nonfiction and news as news. When you read newspapers and internet news, don't you differentiate between what and where you read something? Of course you do. Is there a person who thinks the news on Fox News is the same thing as a news on BBC news? (If there is, bad for them).

It's not a guessing game, usually it's pretty obvious. If there's a stupid thread about whining and ranting and so on, whatever is said there has to be understood in that context. Which is quite different to serious discussion. Which is again different to no discussion (personal comments). Making a connection between these contexts comes at your own risk.

Quote:
I don't get that as an absolute statement. E.g. if someone's profile says "I have always loved playing chess ever since I was a small child, and I still play chess every week", and then in some thread the person says "I hate abstract strategy games. If a game doesn't have randomness and hidden information, I don't enjoy it and don't think it's worth playing" then it seems perfectly legitimate to me to raise the question of this contradiction.

Why? You presume that the truth (or: meaning) is in the person. It's not. It's in the statement. For instance if this example was real I wouldn't be surprised if one of those examples were a joke. And even if it wasn't - I don't think there is a contradiction. In what you describe contradiction actually exists in a person who connects these two things (you in this example) and think they have some relation. Actually you have yet to prove this relation exists.

Quote:
And if people have to learn about structuralism and dialectics

You all do these things I'm talking about all the time. I'm just backing it up with theory - this is called supporting one's argument. And it stands until it's disproved. It's either this way of the common sense, presumptions, prejudices, habits, biases and so on.

afterthought:
I did arrive at a conclusion I'm satisfied with. I think that people could create this connection between what a person said here and there, but they have to prove it has any relevance. And it still feels to me like bordering on stalking.
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TLDR

For me the personal comments/ratings are not written to be discussed about so they shouldn't be discussed about. What I write in threads and geeklists can be responded to, so it's also being a part of arguments and debates, hence it's written with that in mind. What I write in my collection comments is not possible to respond to, so it's not written with care and style one would use in debates. Therefore I expect it won't (shouldn't) be used in arguments and discussions.


But maybe you would like a poll?

Of course you would.

Poll
12. Is it okay to use in arguments the ratings of another user?
("your statement is false becuse you rate Agricola as 3")

Yes
No
Depends on statement/situation
13. Is it okay use in arguments what users write in comments to their collection?
("Your statement is false because you obviously don't play worker placement games. Your statement is false because you actually hate Agricola")
Yes
No
Depends on statement/situation
14. Is it okay to quote what users write in comments to their collection?
("Your statement is false because you said "Agricola feels to me like working on a farm and I hate that's what I moved into L.A. for")
Yes
No
Depends on statement/situation
15. Admit it, did you just went to check on how I rate Agricola?
Yes
No, I would never do that
No, but I will now
I already knew
      28 answers
Poll created by sgosaric

 
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sgosaric wrote:
But this is what an act called reading is all about. If you don't do all these when you read, I'm not sure, do you believe anything you read the same way? Of course not - you read fiction as fiction, nonfiction as nonfiction and news as news. When you read newspapers and internet news, don't you differentiate between what and where you read something? Of course you do. Is there a person who thinks the news on Fox News is the same thing as a news on BBC news? (If there is, bad for them).

Sure, but if, when doing this "act called reading" it seems to me that a person is writing sincerely when they say "I like chess" one place and "I dislike chess" in another place, then I see no problem in bringing up the contradiction, even if one of those places is a profile or game comment, just as (you seem to agree) there's no problem in bringing it up the contradiction if they appear in 2 adjacent comments in the same thread.

How would you respond if someone contradicted themselves in different comments of the same thread and you brought it up and the person responded that you're not using structuralist dialectics correctly and you're invalidly making a connection between the contexts of two different contexts at your own risk and you're invalidly "presuming the truth is in the person" and other such (to me) nebulous hand-waving to justify the merely apparent contradiction?

Personally I often lose patience and interest in talking with people who say whatever pops into their minds and don't care about sense or consistency, because it seems to me there's practically no point to the conversation. It's like talking to a random text generator, at least if the point is trying to understand the person, their interests, tastes, desires, etc. E.g. someone writes "I love chess, I used to play it with my dad every evening." and "Chess is a terrible game, only idiots play it." and "I have no opinion on abstract strategy games like chess." For me, this is like talking to a frustrating crazy person (assuming it's not clear that 2 of the 3 are intended to be jokes or whatever, i.e. assuming they are all presented at face value). It doesn't matter to me if those sentences appear in adjacent comments in a thread or in a thread, their game comment, and their user profile: such a person seems incoherent and insincere and unreliable to me, and in practice I often find it a pointless waste of time trying to understand what they really think about chess (and other things).

---

Admittedly, you seem more focused specifically on the situation of "objective" arguments/debates, as opposed to trying to relate to and understand a person, and I grant that's a different sort of situation. But in practice people who are "all over the board" in terms of style (i.e. sometimes intentionally ambiguously lying or exaggerating for supposedly humorous effect or whatever) or insincerely taking extreme positions just to provoke debate (sometimes known as trolling, after all) or expressing themselves very unclearly because of vague jargon or background assumptions/knowledge/traditions which other people don't really grok often (for me) seem not to create arguments in a style which is very coherent or comprehensible (or enjoyable, which is surely a major motive of participating in threads and in some sense "the bottom line").

If I'm in the context of trying to logically argue about something, I try to express myself simply and clearly and consistently and would rather be able to simply take it for granted that others are doing the same, rather than go down murky rabbit holes of deconstructionist dialectic post-structuralist semiotic theory obfuscating buzzword blah-blah about parsing contexts, trying to distinguish between the Truth and the Person, alternately putting on my theater actor hat and my theater critic hat and my theater spectator hat, and whatever else apparently goes on for you in internet debates (as I see you mention these kinds of things often, usually with the effect on me of leaving me thinking "What the heck is Samo talking about now? What in the world does theater criticism have to do with whether Stone Age is a worker placement game?")
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sgosaric wrote:
Not on same page here.

Yes comments are visible, but not public. Simply: they're not discussable. So while they are visible, they are not said in a public space.

Not discussable, yes, but they are public. They are visible to all users, attributable to the author, on BGG. From a forum discussion, it takes two clicks to see it for any user. By any practical, reasonable (not Theoretical) definition, that's public information. If they were meant to be non-public, then collection data and comments might still be available, but anonymous. But they're not. I'm not arguing theoretically or Theoretically here. Just observing what is, and the implications of that.

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However threads and geeklists are a public space. If comments in collection would be discussable (by bgg alowing other people to post comments on them) then they would become a public space, but then also the content in them would be written quite differently.

Simply: the point of comments in private collection is that they're not discussable so they shouldn't be. If you have a question about what somebody wrote there, send them a private message.

It depends. If I had a clarifying question ("what do you mean by ..."), I would agree. But I see no problem starting a post in a forum that says "I've read comments on games that suggest ..." or even "I read a comment on games that says ...". Yet, as I type, I would at least for politeness' sake not attribute those. Mostly because it involves a single person in a discussion that they did not agree to. I could even be convinced that it would be fine to start such an attributed discussion.

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And I'm strongly opposed to the idea that personal profile would form a context for the post written in a public space. Because: what I say in a certain context (thread, geeklist) is said in that exact context and is not to be understood in relation to me as a person. I have very strict distinction about both (even in art - I'm also artist and critic and I've dealt much with theory of language): a statement spoken aloud in a public space is an act that attempts to shape that space in a certain way. In that regard it has all to do with that space (context) and nothing or nearly nothing with person stating it. To put is a clear as I can: person saying a statement is irrelevant to the meaning of the statement which is shaped by the context of the statement (unless the person making the statement frames it so they're part of the context).

Does you avatar count as a context? Your currently displayed microbadges? Because I can't help but see them. Whether you or I want them to or not, those form a context around how I interpret your statements. I think we differ a lot here because my intention is not to win arguments, or even have arguments, but to influence and be influenced by other people, i.e. to relate to other people. This is social, not academic.

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If looking at people's profiles help you to form a more suited response to their statement, I'm fine with it, as long as you don't use data gained there as part of your argument.

Good, because if I've read someone's profile, I can't unsee what I see.

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Example: A month or so ago we had a thread about games with low overhead and high interaction. And then a user came and said "how can I say this, when I like game X which is clearly not that". I of course said, that the games I push for or want to promote have nothing to do with what I actually like and that this is pretty much completely irrelevant to the point of the thread. And even after everybody on the thread jumped on him, he still didn't get it...

That's a user conflating your likes with your intention. People are going to be dense, or trolls, regardless of where they infer their context.


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If in some forum post I write something which directly contradicts something in my game collection comments, I think it's fair for that contradiction to be identified.

For me it's a fallacy.
It presupposes that there is some sort of unity or coherence that surrounds all the actions and statements of an individual. And this is at best an illusion or fabrication we wish to believe. The statements are to be understood in a context in which they were said. Because some of them can be serious, some can be jokes, some can be aiming at specific effect (provocations for instance), and some are "games" within the field of meaning (quotes, pop culture references, bgg memes ...)

Fallacy, illusion, fabrication. Whatever. It's all we have. Otherwise we might as well all be anonymous. Not even cogently identifiable between posts. Each post would be completely unattributed.

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What I say when I argue seriously, for instance about boardgame reviews and criticism has no connection whatsoever to ranting and joking I do at Geekmandess tournaments and they both have no connection to my personal inquires and contemplations about games I play know as "comments in personal collection". These are different contexts with different modes of expression and intent.

Okay a gaming metaphore:

Just becuse I'm as a person such and such, doesn't mean I'll be the same in a game and vice versa. How I act in Diplomacy has some connection to me, but has more to do with the way I handle and interpret the context of a game of Diplomacy. The way I play Tales of Arabian Nights for instance has nothing to do with my games of Diplomacy or the way I respond to the postman or neighbours each day. While it's always me doing stuff, it's the context which shapes my investment. It's like saying: I think you backstab in Diplomacy, because you don't tip waitresses in cafés. These two action have no (obvious) connection.

I'm in no way suggesting that anything not part of the attributed public (in my definition, not yours) content of BGG is suitable for reference. If I were to post, or include in a game comment, that I don't tip waitstaff, well, it's now public, and you can reference it. I can argue that it's irrelevant (as would referencing some other unrelated post). If I don't people referencing my proclivities about gratuities, I can always remove mention of them from my gaming comments.

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For instance, suppose I post here that Fluxx is a complete abomination, suitable at best for kindling, and secondarily as emergency toilet paper. If you were to look at my comments on that game, where I state that there are circumstances under which I'd actually agree to play a game, it's not an attack for you to question as to which position I actually hold.

For me it is. I also read it as fundamental misunderstanding of meaning and truth. Because reality is such a complex web of many things I have no problem accepting both statements are true at the same time. This is called dialectics. Actually this kind of "fake contradiction" is a good point to question ourselves: why did a person say this in that thread and said something else in their profiles? By doing this a context of each statement comes to the foreground and makes itself obvious. Which is good.

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Saying that game comments are valid as context is at least theoretically sound.

Uhm. No the theories within which this would be sound were more or less disposed by 1960s by the language and social theories formed in structuralism and post structuralism. It might be sound within one's "common sense" which is just another way to say "habits" which are kinda arbitrary.


I should never have used "theoretical". Because I definitely meant it as "common sense" and not "Theoretical".

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Ok, maybe this illusion of unity of everything a person ever said or did is enforced by companies spying on their employees and what they write about on facebook and other internet sites. Not familiar enough with that enviroment.

We clearly diverge here. For me, it's empty and hollow to adhere to dissociated academic philosophies. This is a community, or at least it can be (and I think should regardless of the philosophic troubles around the semantics that introduces), and whether you want me to or not, or think it's "correct", I'm going to continue to interpret what I read of your posts as an ongoing narrative, and construct "a person". Of course I'm aware people change and evolve, I'm not trying to infer some static identity for people.

You're free to insist and argue that I'm wrong in doing that, and that will just continue the narrative tapestry that I understand to be Samo ...

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I'm unclear on the value of distinguishing that abuse from ad hominem attacks.

Yeas, that I agree with. I'm not saying it's wrong to look at people's profiles or anything, but if one uses this information to make counterarguments which use ad-hominem tactic, yes it's ad hominem. It's the tactic of attack which is problematic, not looking at people's comments.


We agree here. If you use an ad-hominem tactic, then it's ad hominem.
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sgosaric wrote:
You all do these things I'm talking about all the time. I'm just backing it up with theory - this is called supporting one's argument. And it stands until it's disproved. It's either this way of the common sense, presumptions, prejudices, habits, biases and so on.


Arguments are not supported by theories. Theories are supported by arguments, and "facts" and observations.

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afterthought:
I did arrive at a conclusion I'm satisfied with. I think that people could create this connection between what a person said here and there, but they have to prove it has any relevance. And it still feels to me like bordering on stalking.


Well now we can argue over where the burden of proof lies :-) Do we presume relevance or irrelevance? I'd lean towards being permissive, presuming "innocence", in order to promote wider discussion. Assume that the other person is discussing "in good faith".
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I find the idea that ratings and comments are private really odd. I use them all the time to get context for someone's remarks in a forum. Just the other day, for example, someone posted asking about whether Pax Porfiriana would work for him, given that he doesn't tolerate a very high level of chaos. I went straight to his ratings, found that he had given Innovation an 8, and told him that if he liked Innovation, he would probably cope fine with Pax.

If I didn't want my ratings and comments to be public, I wouldn't post them on BGG for all to see. That's quite different from whether or not people can directly comment on my ratings. I'm glad that feature isn't available.
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I'm with your opposition on this, Samo. I don't think it's always constructive to cite someone's ratings or comments in an argument, but that's a different thing from saying that it ought to be off limits as a rule. I think people are and should be responsible for what they write, and it's hard for me to understand why anyone would think of their ratings and comments as private, honestly.
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russ wrote:
Admittedly, you seem more focused specifically on the situation of "objective" arguments/debates, as opposed to trying to relate to and understand a person, and I grant that's a different sort of situation.

This. If we talk, then the personal part is interesting, but when one makes arguments, I don't really care who they are, just what they said and what they can prove or disprove.

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If I'm in the context of trying to logically argue about something, I try to express myself simply and clearly and consistently and would rather be able to simply take it for granted that others are doing the same, rather than go down murky rabbit holes of deconstructionist

I would just say, that I'd be really happy if people spotted the difference between "stupid threads" (like: Geekmadness tournament), "serious threads" (this one here) and "I'm not sure what I'm on about" (my personal comments) and not mix them up. Surely the last one is kinda person specific, it seems. Actually I did get a better understanding of all these things and how to respond better in the future.

russ wrote:
usually with the effect on me of leaving me thinking "What the heck is Samo talking about now? What in the world does theater criticism have to do with whether Stone Age is a worker placement game?")

Just that it gets people thinking. That's the my mission statement.
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jaysachs wrote:
Does you avatar count as a context? Your currently displayed microbadges? Because I can't help but see them. Whether you or I want them to or not, those form a context around how I interpret your statements. I think we differ a lot here because my intention is not to win arguments, or even have arguments, but to influence and be influenced by other people, i.e. to relate to other people. This is social, not academic.


That's an interesting point. I think I quite clearly distinguish between "relating to people" and when it's about "making arguments". So the point I'm going about on this thread is purely focused on the latter and the cases when the communication is about "making arguments". When discussion is about relating to people - like first posts on this thread about looking at my comments - then of course I don't mind, I'm happy. So maybe I just wish that people making arguments would go about it more "properly" and without mixing up the "personal side" of things into the matter when it's not justified (I think it never is, but that's me). As the other way around - threads about relating to people (recommendation threads) are really not a place of deep and/or heated discussion.

The "to influence and be influenced by other people" is interesting in comparison to my main motivation in discussion which is "to influence people's thoughts and ideas and be influenced by theirs".

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I can argue that it's irrelevant (as would referencing some other unrelated post).

Which is my conclusion about the future cases when this issue pops up.

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If I don't people referencing my proclivities about gratuities, I can always remove mention of them from my gaming comments.

Damn, I really would wish my personal comments would be hidden and only available to geekbuddies. As probably observed on this thread, I don't always know what I'm on about, it's a work in progress and when I'm being called upon it, hm, maybe I just have to admit that I'm not a unified noncontradictory person. Hmm.

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I should never have used "theoretical". Because I definitely meant it as "common sense" and not "Theoretical".

I gathered that much.

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We clearly diverge here. For me, it's empty and hollow to adhere to dissociated academic philosophies. This is a community, or at least it can be (and I think should regardless of the philosophic troubles around the semantics that introduces)

This could lead to a whole new discussion. Let me just say I just find it appropriate that community also adheres to some rules of conduct/proper behaviour and I consider basic rules of how one makes arguments (logic, avoidance of fallacies) to be such a thing.

This is quite a personal observation and can't be taken for more than that, but I have an impression "being personal" and "getting along" is higher valued in US than here in Europe (not just bgg, also art theory is much more rigid and "serious" in these parts and more "artist centric" in anglosaxon culture) - in particular I dislike shunning of arguments in order to "get along" which I find kinda cowardly. A heated discussion doesn't mean we can't get along. One is one thing and the other is another thing - good discussion also builds up some respect and that's nice to have.

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You're free to insist and argue that I'm wrong in doing that, and that will just continue the narrative tapestry that I understand to be Samo

Wow. "narrative tapestry" is a beautiful term. Even more so in relation to the construct of individuality. And thinking about how this is formed made my head kinda spin. Made my day. kiss
 
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qwertymartin wrote:
If I didn't want my ratings and comments to be public, I wouldn't post them on BGG for all to see.

smorange wrote:
I think people are and should be responsible for what they write, and it's hard for me to understand why anyone would think of their ratings and comments as private, honestly.

Damn. I'm not responsible for what I write, but to quickly make it clear what I mean before it gets quoted out of context... laugh I use personal comments as a work in progress and personal notes. I need some time and effort in order to make up my mind about some gaming experience I had, writing about it in my collection helps me focus and develop my thoughts about it. Similarly the discussions and arguments and dissecting other people's posts and so on, help me with this. Maybe I need to get some sort of disclaimer posted on my profile, because what's in my collection is just some notes (which I might not understand myself) and when I feel I can stand behind it, I'll write about it in the forums.

Doing all this - what BGG comments on games allow me to do - on my computer seems like too much work for my level of organisation.blush
 
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