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Jimm

What Is Up With This Community?

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I have to rant, and as a member of AVSIM, I feel I need to address people's overall attitudes here.  I have noticed lately that there are way too many people here who feel the need to shame, berate or publicly correct other users without getting all the facts, or even just being courteous and sending a PM if there is a problem that could easily be discussed outside of any given thread.

 

Now, I realize and have apologized for, certain comments I may have made in the past to people and recognize that such behavior wasn't getting anyone anywhere.  As of late, I have done a lot better in treating people with more respect and have offered what help I could to others that request it, but so many other people feel the need to talk down to other users, claiming that they know so much more or have XX years of experience so what they say is law.  We are all human beings here and we have feelings.  Addressing people in condescending manners will only alienate the others, especially new people who genuinely come here for real help.

 

Sure there are times when new people come along, and kindly request information about things that may have been discussed before, but other members feel the need to beat their chests, make sarcastic remarks or gang up on other members.  i have to wonder of those types of members really understand what community is?

 

I may not have the years of experience, or be a pilot for an airline or be glued to my simulator 24 hours a day, but the experience, compassion and understanding I do have, I try to return the favor, so to speak and help who i can, when I can.  Certain discussions come up and when either I or someone else happens to make a comment, it is picked apart, analyzed down to the last detail and twisted around to make me (us) look wrong, bad, or whatever you want to call it.

 

I gotta put my foot down here as a CARING member of this community.  For those of you out there who hadn't noticed, I contributed a significant amount of money, as a donation, to this website.  I did it because I care as well as knowing that the costs associated, both monetary and otherwise, is very high.  Since I utilize this community quite a lot and I do take away a lot of valuable information from other members, not to mention the other resources that AVSIM has personally put forth the time and effort to provide, I want to give back.  I see the appalling behavior of some here and I wonder why they even bother to show up, unless it just makes them feel good to talk down to someone so they can get through their day.

 

This community has grown so much, and we have lost a lot of near and dear people in that time.  We all need to take a step back, as I did, and recognize that for those who created this site, we should be very thankful and respect the community and it's members.  Like the old saying goes, that if we don't learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it.

 

-Jim

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So very well said! It's amazing how the most innocent well intentioned post can bring down mean spirited responces. I think some people are so ineffectual in real life they have to assert their selfs behind the relative anonymity of a hobbie fourm. Wonder what old Sigmund Freud would say about that.

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Jim,

 

Your sentiments are well put; good for you. Unfortunately, it not only happens here, but at other FS sites as well.

 

Alan  :sad: 

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Where's the " Like " button when you need it ? Have to agree with Jim's post 1000% . Your post is not a rant , just a sad statement of fact .

There are a few here who take it upon themselves ( because they have a few thousand posts under their belt - not including Mods ) , to act as moral crusaders sitting up there in their ivory towers , looking down on us mere mortals when we have the audacity to post an opinion about a subject or for whatever reason actually ask a question . I have been a " member " for some time and to be honest only use AVSIM for uploading repaints and rarely post anything at all ( looking at my post count - most of these have been made in the painters forum ) .

The great part of AVSIM is that people can come here to ( a ) find information , or ( b ) provide it , just a shame that others use ( c ) to belittle others .

 

John Glanville

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In a perfect world,  this would be fine,  everybody has an opinion though good, bad and ugly and more times then not these opinions will clash, that's life.  That's why we have Mod's to keep the balance :smile:  

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The very large majority of the community are very courteous. There's always a small, extremely vocal minority who seem to ruin the fun and passion for flight sim. I think some people forget that behind every username, handle and image is an actual human being. 

 

Cheers, 

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There are indeed subforums here where I am a longtime passive observer, and intend to remain so. I may read posts in said forums, but take them with a huge grain of salt if it seems they've become echo chambers for people likely to browbeat those who have different opinions.

 

Such is life. People become emotionally involved, mark territory and guard it.

 

But who wants to get into a pointless fight on the internet?

 

About simulated planes, no less!  :blink:

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Jim,

 

Your sentiments are well put; good for you. Unfortunately, it not only happens here, but at other FS sites as well.

 

Alan :sad:

Not only on other FS site but even mainstream sites like MSN, Yahoo, etc.

 

Open up almost any article on any of the above mention sites and go to the comments sections which appear to be largely unmoderated and you'll find all kinds of hate filled comments being tossed at one another.

 

As much good as the internet brings, it also seems to provide some people with a slightly anonymous avenue to vent their built up anger, resentment and hatred. Many of the things people say to one another on the net, they would probably never say to someone else they didn't know in a face to face situation.

 

I don't know if it just that there is a large population of people that are generally just really unhappy with their lives and find every opportunity to lash out at people as a way to vent.

 

Personally, I wish most mainstream websites that don't have the man power to moderate the comment section would just eliminate the comment section all together.

 

Although going back to FS sites that are moderated, generally most are pretty good about keeping the trash talk to a minimum. The only one I can think of where people really get away with saying a lot of bad things is the FlyTampa forum which Martin and George don't seem to moderate very much.

 

Unfortunately though in this day and age of intent annonimity and social media, you'll come across lots of really bad stuff.

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Speaking of Irish Coffees, the best one I ever had was in a city called Athlone @ Seans Bar :)

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Hi Jim,

 

I'd recommend you try not take it personally ... even your own post paints a sweeping brush of everyone in the community ("This community") ... did you really mean an implied everyone?  I guessing you probably didn't because I doubt you've actually had contact with everyone in the community but your title has immediately put yourself in a corner.  It's those types of sweeping generalization that often produce the back and forth "debates/arguments" ... of course sometimes they are done on purpose just to get attention.

 

But on similar lines to your topic, I was pondering an idea to post a PINNED topic in the P3D forum with a title that reads "I have a problem ... HELP ME!" ... it was going to be a basic "guide" on the best way to ask for help and how to present a problem one is having "in" P3D ... a method that I think could probably cut down about 50% of "debate" (never be able to remove all of it but that's not the goal).  But it needs to be passed by the AVSIM staff for approval ... still formulating the idea into something more concrete.

 

Do people read PINNED topics, some do, but I'd guess most don't ... however, if I kept pointing folks to the PINNED topic would they get the idea?  Afterall, the idea is really for their benefit in get problem resolution (and or work around) faster and could avoid those triggers that set off the back and forth "debates".

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Do people read PINNED topics, some do, but I'd guess most don't ... however, if I kept pointing folks to the PINNED topic would they get the idea?  Afterall, the idea is really for their benefit in get problem resolution (and or work around) faster and could avoid those triggers that set off the back and forth "debates".

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

Rob,

 

I do this on the Aerosoft Support Forum, and it's been terrific.  Even cut WAY down on tech support time.  Welcome them, thank them, ask them if they'd had a chance to read the Guides in the Pinned Topic and if not direct them to it.

 

I think two people in the past several months had a problem being asked to read the Guide.... out of countless who have.

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Hi Jim,

 

I don't know how much time you have on your hands, but might I make a suggestion, get your hands on a book by Keith Stanovich called What Intelligence Tests Miss, it is one of the best summaries of convergent findings in cognitive science that I have come across ... but far be it from me to spread my own cynicism about human behaviour, however, that book will give you a little insight into why people behave in this way and why there is next to nothing that can be done about it. The same author has written another book about how people can overcome their irrational tendencies, but I am not persuaded by it. I side with the cognitive cynics.

 

As for those who defend the behaviour of those who come down harshly on others, well, a basic fact of the human brain is that once emotions kick in, in particular anger, the parts of the brain that enable rational thought are shut down, and with those, any possibility for rational interaction (think civility). In essence, we are saying that it is ok for those who have read the pinned topics and know their way around the forum to behave thoughtlessly (defined loosely), but thoughtless behaviour (again defined loosely) is not ok on the part of those who have not read pinned topics or know their way around the forum. It all gets very funny when you bring cognitive science into the equation. As for faith in the moderators, if I were a betting man, I would double up on bias and bet against a fair hearing, but not against good intentions though. I know they try hard, and I'm not calling their intentions into question, but merely the tool at their disposal. Or is that just my own bias? Sometimes it's best to remember that the brain is an imperfect information processor, and however justified one may feel oneself in attacking someone else for being lazy, being new, being a Martian, or simply just not being us, we trust our brains at our peril. It's a well known fact that there are parts of our brains which ignore us ... completely, that's your brain sticking two fingers up at you. Next time you get angry at yourself over anything, ask yourself who, exactly, is angry with who there?

 

A bit of modesty, self doubt and patience when it comes to dealing with people is a far better, and justifiable approach than throwing the book, the kitchen sink, and possibly an insult or two at people who are, let us be honest, behaving just like we do, our brains are just very well developed for forgetting our own moments of inadequacy, hence we tend to see ourselves far more favourably than we are in reality. If we want to be honest, it comes down to a simple question, how do we want to be treated when we make a mistake in the eyes of others? Because, rest assured, unless you are evolved from a different species than the rest of us, you are going to make exactly the same mistake as those whom some of us roast on here.

 

I'm going to leave this with one of my favourite findings from cognitive psychology, there is a proven inverse correlation between confidence and being right, as instances of the former go up, so instances of the latter go down. That is worth pondering for a moment.

 

... did someone mention coffee?

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First off, i want to thank each and every one of you for responding to this thread.  To be honest, I expected to be approached by the higher echelons of command, but to hear from the people is much better.

 

I didn't respond immediately last night as i was kneep deep in P3D V3 downloads and installs.  I keep a relatively short day, so I turn in early just to get up with the chickens the next.  After having a couple of cups of coffee now and I am awake and alert, I will respond in kind, maintaining respect and honesty.

 

A couple of folks pointed out that the behavior here happens elsewhere so I counter that with this:  "two wrongs don't make a right".  When I served in the US Air Force, i was taught to "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way", a rather bold motto of the 01st in basic training, but the point was more so to "lead by example".  I will be the first to admit that there have been times that I have strayed from that, but in my defense, some people like to push buttons, and they push mine a little too much and too hard.  Why do things have to stay this way here because they happen everywhere else.  What is wrong with taking a step back and saying "you know, I CAN treat people with the same respect that I want".  Yes, respect is a two way street.  In order to earn it, you have to give it first.  First impressions are everything and when respect isn't given, think about who you just spoke to and what they think of you now.

 

Lately, I gave a lot more thought about how treating people online with respect leads to better relationships.  In my life, offline, I get comments from people saying that I am unapproachable because I always look mad...sorry, that's my 'resting a**hole face', that's what I was born with and that's how I always look but it doesn't mean that that is what defines me.  I am a pretty decent guy once you get to know me.  I can't smile all the time, if I did, people would suspect I was trying to sell them something.

 

We live in a very sensitive culture now.  I don't know how it started, and I wouldn't know how to change it, but I do see what is wrong and I can only offer to you all what I know from experience.  I can take a joke and I can make one just the same, but the problem is doing it online.  So much emotion is lost online and more often than not, words can be taken out of context, unless we can be more clear with what we say.  Right now, as I type this, I have thoughts of George Plimpton narrating...such a nice voice, relaxing.

 

Anywho, I get what everyone is saying but the bottom line is that this community is so much bigger than the members who occupy it.  What we bring to the table is invaluable and you can't put a pricetag on it.  What does matter though is how it's presented.  When someone asks for help, think for a moment how you want to convey your information so you can be informative and genuinely helpful to that person.  In a previous life, I worked for a helpdesk and I tell ya, that is not an easy job, but it will teach you about humanity, kindness, professionalism and most importantly, it'll teach you about yourself.

 

If anything good is to come out of this, is that people take the time to read all of this and ponder it, if not for a fleeting moment.

 

Rob, you mentioned that "even your own post paints a sweeping brush of everyone in the community ("This community") ... did you really mean an implied everyone?"  No, I didn't mean everyone in a particular sense of the word, but since we are all a part of this community, don't you think we should take some sort of responsibility to perhaps intervene when someone gets out of hand?  Sure, we have moderators, but they aren't around 24/7 and since this community is available worldwide, that makes the playing field that much bigger.  I liken this random events that occur, people are thrust into a bad situation, two people go at it somewhere and the others are standing around, watching, recording it on their phones, but are they actually trying to stop the situation?  By not saying or doing anything, we are accepting the behavior and allowing it to happen as well as saying to the world that this is how it is here.

 

DaveCT2003, your comment makes a lot of sense and if only we could implement that here, that would be great, but that's just my opinion.

 

I want to close my response with this quote from Mir:

 

"I think some people forget that behind every username, handle and image is an actual human being."

 

That Mir, is priceless.  I couldn't have said it better myself, and you hit the nail on the head.  If anything folks, beyond anything I have written, if you bear that statement in mind, perhaps we could get along a whole lot better.

 

To be honest, I have seen some threads here that felt like they were escalating in emotion, and while I was itching to respond, I stopped and thought "you know, maybe a moderator will intervene".  I don't know if it ever happened, but by not taking part, I prevent things from getting worse.  This leads me to one last and very true statement, again, taken from my days in the military:

 

"If you have something to say, take it to the other room and if accommodations don't allow, you hold your tongue".

 

This is why this great site has a PM system.  Open a conversation and hash things out with the individual.  Arguments, conflicts or otherwise happening within a thread causes unnecessary drama.  HiFlyer made me laugh about getting into pointless fights on the internet, all dealing with simulated airplanes.  He's right, look at the point of it all, kinda like the point to The Wizard of Oz: two women fighting over a pair of footwear.

 

I've said enough.  I appreciate the time you all took to reply.  Maybe we all can take away something from all of this and spread it like a virus.  I for one, am taking a stance of being a more responsible member here, with a little more kindness and generosity and I hope you all do the same. 

 

-Jim

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