An important post for all who comment on this site
When you get a lot of strong-minded individuals together, sometimes conversations can get heated…. Permaculturists, not being your everyday, run-of-the-mill ‘sheeple’, are often strong-minded individuals….
When you’re dealing with important, world-changing topics of discussion — and differing ideals in connection with them — then sometimes people can go to great lengths to push their views… sometimes even resorting to unethical methods to do so….
And, when some are trying to do something sincerely constructive, even if imperfect, based on their own particular, subjective experience and understanding, others may start throwing bricks at them, or slandering them, in a bid to see them sidelined and/or ridiculed….
The world is full of imperfect people, and unfortunately the world is thus just as full of subjective agendas. Even though permaculturists should be heading in roughly the same direction, often their journey’s began in vastly different places, and not a few are unable to appreciate that this means their respective paths must necessarily traverse a different track en route. I’ve seen many brandishing a rigid framework of understanding they’ve built for themselves, or somehow inherited, just to watch them aggressively press that framework onto others.
So, in a bid to encourage more mature, objective and constructive commenting, I’ve just changed the comment system so that before your comment can be added to the moderation queue, you must click a link you will receive to your email address after commenting. This obviously necessitates your entering a real, valid email address, as otherwise that verification link will never arrive to you.
This will also help discourage industry shills from posing as permaculturists and feeding people the same regularly-debunked propaganda that those industries like to send out into cyberspace to confuse the masses.
I also want to note that sometimes I’ve seen people failing to understand that if you have an issue with someone, you should take it up with them directly, rather than beginning to slander them online in an open forum. Before the time of electronic communications, it was normally recognised by ethical communities that ‘gossip’ was a thing to be shunned, and people who ‘tattled’ were to be avoided and reprimanded. In contrast, it seems that the internet is now a lot like people in traffic — when you’re sitting behind the wheel you feel much more ‘free’ to give the other guy the finger than you would if you were standing right next to him on the sidewalk. People tapping away at their computers are likewise too detached from the people they’re throwing their cyber-molotovs at, and don’t realise they’re dealing with human beings — not blocks of concrete — and when hidden by a veil of anonymity they say things they shouldn’t, and the person on the receiving end has no way to contact the person directly to clarify areas where the accuser is lacking information.
In times past, particularly in pre-industrial days, it was virtually impossible to ‘gossip’ about someone miles removed from where you live. Today, people generate an impression based on limited info read or passed to them like juicy little electronic morsels, and then — with full confidence in their own infallibility and that their indirectly formed opinions are not only faultless, but deserving of being read by the rest of the planet’s inhabitants — they allow themselves to become a medium for poison.
Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. — Spanish proverb
I recently saw a slanderous email come through where right at the very top it said "Do not circulate this". Why was it that the sender did not want the message circulated, despite having already sent it to several people already? It was simply because they didn’t want the person the slander was about to receive it. In other words, they are acting as prosecutor, judge and jury, all in one hit. They don’t want the object of their slander to have the oppurtunity to respond with their side of the story. And yet the sender’s moral compass is so misalligned they cannot see the hypocricy in slandering someone, whilst making it clear that the person being slandered has not only no knowledge of it, but no opportunity to share his perspective on it.
Where slander has been submitted via comment on this site, I’ve often attempted to write to the person making the slander, to try to get them to take their concerns directly to the one they’re attacking — but this mostly fails, as the email address entered is fictitious. These people wish to hide behind a made-up name and made-up email address, and yet, in this disguise, seek to openly vilify an individual online. With a full body costume, they attempt to drag another naked through the streets. It’s not only unconstructive, it’s cowardly, and unethical. I must then delete these comments, as if you’re going to attack/slander someone, doing it online is bad enough, without doing it completely anonymously, where people cannot be sure of your motive, or even your understanding of what you’re writing about.
I hope this small change will help ensure continued civility, and ensure that writers who are sincerely expressing their views — as they stand today on this ever-changing path we call life — will be nurtured and encouraged, and not met with negativity by a swivel-chair judge and jury who are not sharing at all….
I must say that the vast majority of readers of this site have been decent and constructive and the fact that it’s taken three years of constant site growth before this step has became a necessity is a testament to the good-heartedness of permaculturists.
Thanks to all for reading.
Note: You can be confident that no email addresses are or will ever be transferred/given/sold to anybody.