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Everything posted by Adavardes

  1. I kind of went back and forth with myself for a while on whether or not to post here, since I thought it might seem petty, which is really not what I'm going for. I decided that since I was in for a penny on this particular discussion, I should go in for a pound and let all of you who were not present for the big project discussion in on what happened. If anything, I'm doing this as a word of warning, and you can draw what conclusions from it that you will, but it'll put my mind at ease knowing that I may help people avoid wasting their time as well. Long story short, I decided to leave the project, in order to save my time on what I believe to be a very lost cause. See, when we started talking seriously about getting things done, about offering help to save what is very clearly a dying website and forum, I thought it would be as equals, as peers, trying to help create something better from what is very much a corpse. However, it appears that you can take a forum away from an admin, but you can't take the admin away from the forum. Let me explain. In the process of ironing out disagreements and churning up ideas to make changes, I was, as I often am, a voice of dissent that many people disagreed with. I think that this is a valuable tool towards progress, which I always made sure I kept the spirit of when in these arguments. A lot of these bore fruit. The name changes you see now were part of that. It started people thinking, looking for alternatives, finding compromises, and it was working. However, there were admins who didn't like what I was saying and began telling me to stop saying it. Pretty much giving me orders. Now, it's also a personal opinion of mine that when people play leader over a small group of people that don't need one, this kind of work is doomed to failure. Admins in the old sense of the term, people that held a made-up authority over other people that are their peers, are outdated, and detrimental to the new internet attitude. See, there's this false sense of importance that one gets when maintaining a forum. Like it's their reign, their domain, their own personal reality. But that's not really the case. You need people to make a forum anything worth the time, just as much as you need people with know-how and finances to create the space. I can run a kitchen all day long, but what am I without customers? To me, they're more important than the chef, or at least equal to them. So when one of the admins involved (I won't be naming names) told me, however diplomatically, to stop talking about what we were talking about and move on? I took offense. I went there because I was asked to help, as an equal and a fellow human being of shared interest. I considered myself at least worth more than being dismissed like a serf that had spoken out of turn. This happened twice before I decided to pick up and leave, and I did this for three reasons. The first was that I am a relatively busy person, and my time is valuable to me. I'm at an age where I've begun to realise that money doesn't hold a candle to time in terms of value, because time is the one thing you can't buy. To me, with these people running the show, this was a waste of my most valuable resource. Second, these admins still believe they're in charge of something, and that it's something that is still worthwhile in its present state. I think I've made it no mystery that I think where LF is right now is a failure. They failed. That doesn't mean they can't pick up the pieces and make something new, but that means a new attitude, new community, new direction. The old didn't work. It failed, and it failed for good reason, which leads me to my third cause for abandoning the project: The admins, and the culture they want to perpetuate, is a poison that killed all forums like it long ago. It is toxic, exclusionary, presumptuous and vile. It elects leaders to rule over a group of people that don't need ruling. The best analogy I can think of is tournaments or group gaming hang-outs at hobby shops. The managers/owners of the store keep the peace, keep it friendly, but do nothing else. They don't tell you what you can say, kick you out for disagreeing with them, shout you down because they don't like what you're saying. If they do, they won't be seeing much business in the future, because they're clearly unfair to their customers. That's what forums were like with this sort of staff, that's what they were like here, and that's why this effort will fail. You can dress up a website, give it a brand new colour and layout and a shiny new name, but when the inside is dead rotten, it's never going to be more than that. And truth be told, I don't honestly think they want it to be. So to answer the original question, yes, from all forms of observable evidence, this forum is dead in all but name. I tried, and I wasted my time. Don't make the same mistake. Let the past lie, because all this will end with is heartache. EDIT: Forgot to mention, but I intend this to be my last post, and honestly, I don't expect it to last very long here. You don't want to hear something negative when you're trying to sell positivity and hope. That's fine, I still said what I felt I needed to say in a place for everyone to see. As a side thought, having the discussions about fixing this place away from the forum where people can't read it is really exclusionary as well. It felt like a think tank for the new forum elite, rather than an attempt to create a new and forward-facing community of people on equal terms. Just a thought. Have a good one, guys, you won't hear from me again after this.
  2. The good news is that the conversation appears to be bearing fruit. We're starting to figure out where we all can contribute our time, and what can be done to streamline, modernise, and revitalise this community. We're currently sort of feeling out for a graphic designer, however. So, if anyone reading these has any skill with photoshop or graphic design on websites, that's really where we could use the most help at the moment.
  3. I got a PM as well. It looks like we're getting their attention, at the very least.
  4. I'll go ahead and send a message of my own. I guess we'll all need to get loud if we want answers. EDIT: Jeeesus there are a lot of admins on this forum. It took me a bit to message them all. O_o
  5. Lynk, it's fine if you disagree with me. If there's one thing I've learned about running not just forums, but ANYTHING successfully as a group, it's that agreeing with each other all the time is not just implausible, it's not even constructive. Disagreements and discourse is the way to progress. If you guys chose to have me on, and if the majority disagreed with my views, that's fine. I'd follow the rules and execute my job to help the community. That would never stop me from voicing my opinion in the different direction though, if only to staff, and I would still perform my duties in as closely a manner as fits my personal preferences, while still working within the boundaries of the rules. I will always be continuously and loudly opposed to what I think is the wrong direction, that's just who I am; but I would respect and follow what the majority of staff wants, I promise you that. As for whether or not I'm motivated, I have a lot of reasons to want to see this forum survive. As I said, I love forums as a medium. I disagree with you and think they are a medium losing relevance every day, but I love them and want them to succeed. This isn't my first forum; heck, it isn't even one of the first, and my contributions to this forum and its community are not as deep an impact as I had elsewhere so many years ago. But this is the only one that I think has a snowball's chance of making it back on its feet and finding a new audience. The people I've seen in this thread love this place and want to revive the spirit and culture of the community they grew up with. Not only do I respect that sentiment, I sympathise strongly with it. When I was part of web forums, I was an idiot kid. I abused power as badly as the next guy, and had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how to be a team player. Now, I'm 24 years old. The world and my place in it is very different to me now. I sit on my Condominium Association Board, which is a very active group that makes a lot of decisions for the community. I feel I have the maturity, experience, and mistakes under my belt to really help this community grow. More than that, my situation has evolved in recent months to allow me the spare time to give to a place like this. I got a better job that I can work part-time and still make as much as working full-time, leaving me free time for the first time in a while. I guess what I'm saying is, if you want to keep a Star Wars forum alive and kicking, that's been around for over a decade? That's something I can 100% get behind. I'd love to hear your ideas and offer some of my own, and serve in any capacity that fits best for my skills to make those plans successful.
  6. You guys don't know me terribly well, but I love forums. I met my wife on a forum. I met one of my very best friends, who actually happens to be an older member on this forum, on a different forum. I've operated a few, watched a great many fail, and I've seen what the successful ones do today to stay afloat. If you'll have my help, I offer it. I'm pessimistic and critical about pretty much everything, but I like to think I'm fair and honest in a constructive way, and I know a tiny bit about bringing traffic into a website. In all honesty, if the scarce few of us are going to be hopping into staff positions and taking the reigns, we need to have a plan and a direction first. Just being staff isn't enough, and just complicates things even further, because it diminishes new members to see all the active people as staff. They tend to feel left out or isolated and people don't like that when seeking to be part of a community. What we need are people who know more than just how to run a forum. We need people who can carry conversations and offer advice. Modders, talented gamers, walkthroughs, etc.
  7. To be honest, I find that sort of atheism to be as presumptuous as Christianity. We DON'T KNOW what happens after we die. No idea. Don't know if that's it, don't know if there's more, no idea. Not a single clue, because nobody's come back to tell us about it, as far as we can tell. Atheists like to use the phrase "it's the logical conclusion" to support a very pessimistic view of death that is closer to nihilism than it is to scientific skepticism. There is no observable data to refer to or infer from as to what happens after we die, therefore, we have no working scientific theory as to what takes place for our consciousness. Saying that it's most likely that we just switch off and cease to be is guesswork, at best, and it's guesswork based on nothing. Absolutely nothing. Entropy is a cyclical system. Energy and matter does not cease to be, it only moves. So, if you don't like believing that, then don't. There's no good reason to. In fact, in all honesty, believing in some form of an afterlife, though not any particular religious one, makes a lot more sense to me than believing it's just over. There's more general scientific evidence to support it, given the fact that most things in physics and nature work on cyclical systems that repeat themselves. Personally, I take the Confucian standpoint. I have no idea, and there's no sense worrying about it when there's so much to do right now on earth. So don't worry about it. Just live your life, and when it comes time for the big punchline, then you'll know. It's about the best we can do with our current level of knowledge. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  8. That's well and good, but my statement stands. The rules should be relaxed, and heavily so. The staff is way too large as it is an should shrink drastically. And moderators, if they were unobtrusive and infrequent with their work before, should keep that policy up. I think the one thing that really needs to be discussed is: can this place survive if we limit ourselves to gaming as a topic, or should we just become a general lucas/star wars forum? With the movies coming out, that's a large audience we miss by keeping ourselves in the realm of video gaming alone.
  9. I still think that if you wanted to restructure this site to have a more modern appeal, you'd have to drastically change the size and scope of both the format and staff. There doesn't need to be more than three admins at any given time, and at most you should only need 4-5 supermoderators to keep the place civil and directed. The rules should be trimmed to remove censorship and anything that restricts self-expression of any sort. Flaming of course should still be punished, but only if it goes beyond the point where it is not capable of resolving itself. This is just my opinion, but beyond keeping posts neat and orderly and making sure topics stay on topic, moderators should maintain a hands-off policy as often as possible. Do their best to use their authority invisibly and sparingly, but still be active as users and participate in conversations. If you have that kind of attitude, and a group of administrators that are actively engaged in maintaining and improving the software of the site, this place could find its feet. Maintaining interest is the really hard part. We have new Star Wars movies coming out and a new Battlefront hitting shelves any day now. Additionally, The Old Republic is still up and running. We should work on drawing in those crowds and move from there. Maybe have a forum dedicated to the films, a forum dedicated to the newer games, and two forums dedicated to the old school stuff, one for star wars and one for other stuff? Just spitballing here.
  10. Not all forums are dead, this is very true. But forums as a social medium are not the go-to answer that they were when the internet was a younger place. Keeping a community like this alive takes more than a relevant topic. It takes the need for a community within that topic. In other words, it takes the need for cooperation and communication, not just for news and information about a given topic. Modding forums still exist because people like asking other modders about tips and tricks for doing certain things with mods. The same goes for hobby forums. Many current event/discussion forums still exist because you need a group together to get different opinions for a discussion. Even if this community had a relevant topic that people are interested in today, it would still need a reason for people to talk to each other about it. Otherwise the conversations would be as fleeting and pointless as a facebook post, and I might as well use facebook for that, right? And you may be right. When things are moving and shaking, nobody really cares about censors or rules. But when a forum is in its final hours, clinging to life, rules are like the nail in the coffin. It drives people away who want the freedom to say what they feel. If the world's ending and everybody is dead, do you still keep the prison running just in case someone breaks the law? Look, I know you're frustrated at how so many forums have gone the way of the dodo, but I'm basing my points on simple fact, from my own experiences and the experiences of others: forums failed because they stopped being appealing next to larger social media. On facebook or tumblr, I control what I see or don't see, who says what on my page, I get to see many different people sharing jokes and opinions in a primarily open discussion. The information is easy to get and the crowd is as large or small as you want to make it. A lot of your argument comes from the idea that forums are a more focused medium. In some ways this is true, but honestly, it's all in how you use social media. Facebook has fan pages. Tumblr has blogs. And as for your cyber bullying argument: to be honest, that's not my problem. Parents have the responsibility to control their child and what information they consume until they're old enough to handle a few petty insults and threats on the internet. It's not anyone's responsibility to keep a child's feelings from getting hurt. He came here, it's the internet, that's the reality of it. If you want to create a safe place for children, then really, you should create a forum just for children and children only. If you want adults and children interacting, then there's no way for it to work but with the kids getting used to the pain.
  11. It's a way to keep the place alive. Never said it was optimal, just an idea.
  12. I think a lot of restructuring is in order, if an attempt at revival is at hand. As someone stated earlier in this thread, the forum is too bulky and too large, and needs to be dramatically resized and restructured to get it where it can function fluidly as a singular, solid community. Forums dedicated to older games need to be combined and synthesized into one "old school" style forum, where the newer stuff should be given the limelight, as that is where all the new members will be coming from. Also, I agree that the format should be updated to be a bit more appealing to modern audiences. Bright, simple, utilitarian setups with limited colour choices and a sleek design is usually your best bet nowadays. Lynk, question for you: has anyone in the staff thought to contact Disney about this website? I have no idea if they'd care or be willing to do anything with it, but it's always worth a shot. They are, after all, very into buying up smaller groups to conglomerate their brand.
  13. I was more speaking about forums in general, more than here. All forums had some sort of drama in the past that they try to distance themselves from, which was probably part of the problem with forums as a medium. It had to do with leadership coming from people that had no real reason to be leaders in the first place, because, in general, what people believed to be necessary levels of moderation tended to be overkill. When the amount of active staff is equal to or higher than the number of active users, there's typically a problem, and that's usually the first death pang you saw in forums back in the day. Larger platforms tend to focus on copyrights and individual privacy more than they focus on content and censorship, which is really the focus of what I'm talking about when I'm talking about unnecessary rules that end up hurting forum communities. Again, this was more a general statement than singularly applying to LF. All in all, the rules are pretty moderate around here, but on other forums, they could get pretty strict, and admins would change them at will and on a whim, which is not good for discussion. People want to feel comfortable and free to express themselves, and when they're afraid of saying a bad word and getting the ban hammer, it doesn't exactly foster that feeling of safety and freedom, does it? If I want to say "**** the system!" then I should be able to say it. When you start telling me not to say the f-word, that's when I start feeling like I'm back at high school, and I'd rather be somewhere else. That's really what I mean by restrictions. Facebook, tumblr, twitter, they don't keep you from saying what you want. In fact, I haven't run up against any moderators telling me I'm wrong, and I'm a very opinionated, rule-breaking sort of guy.
  14. Wow, I come back to soak in a little nostalgia and there's a thread on about some of this. I've always been keen on giving my two cents, right? Let's give it another go. Well, it's my opinion that social media has just changed a lot on the past five years or so. Things got faster, more dynamic, easier to consume. We get on the internet and it's instant connectivity to damn near any piece of information you need. Shared passions tend to burn and fizzle on facebook comment threads or in skype chats. Groups exist, pages exist, but forums are no longer used as a wide-spread source of community. I think the reason boils down to two major factors: 1. Leadership. In forums, it was a closed community of people working on rules that were made up by admins and mods that helped keep the discussion nice and constructive. This was great, but also kind of a double-edged sword. You had a strong sense of community, but sometimes the admins were unreasonable, overly-sensitive or highly conservative. Sometimes they would block or ban people they didn't like and change rules just because they felt like it. With larger platforms, there are very few rules, and mods are barely present in any capacity except to make sure that no technical difficulties take place. It's a much less controlled environment, which makes it easier and less constrictive, even if the cost is that sense of family that you get from places like these. 2. Content and focus. In 2005, there were times that the only places you could find walkthroughs or tutorials or help with anything were forums. They were a community of peers that were generally informative and helpful, as well as friendly members of the same interest group as yourself. So, when you went there, it was usually for help, but you stayed to hang out. Now? Information is instant. With things like games and movies/tv shows, we have all the info we need in a snap. If we want to share an opinion, we post it to a facebook fan page and let the comments roll in. Not to mention that the topic of conversation for many of these forums is long since a distant memory, and not something we are continually involved in. There are a few forums that are still successful, because their content centers around things that have no easy answers, where peer review and peer instruction is still a crucial part of the interest. Like model making. I'm a member of a gundam building forum that currently has 1000+ people surfing it right now. Why? Because gundams are still coming out, there are always people building them, and there are techniques, advice, and problems that still need communities to help with. So, to answer your question, I would say that yes, this forum is all but dead. I think it was a forum about a set of games that are very old and no longer consistently played by most people, and that makes the shared interest all but absent, which no forum can exist without. Additionally, the games that are still popular have better and faster means of getting information and finding like minds than what a forum can provide, so the community aspect is all but without value. Unfortunately, the age of the internet forum is over. I miss it, a lot, and often, but it's a different world on the internet now. They still have their purpose, but they will never be king again, I don't think. They're just an outdated form of software finding a good place to die.
  15. Atton and Bao-Dur can be a little tricky to get their influence up enough to turn them into jedi, Atton especially. But yes, everyone but droids, Hanharr, and Mandalore can become a Jedi, or already is a Jedi.
  16. I find Tabasco boring and lacking in the complex flavours department, but maybe that's just me. When I reach for a bottle of hot sauce, and this goes for pretty much anything, I'm grabbing Cholula. It's milder, but adds a lot more flavour. If it's an asian dish, I'm more likely to add a dose of Siracha, though. Probably the best hot sauce I've ever tried, but don't use regularly, was a peach and habanero hot sauce made in my home city of Atlanta. Very spicy, but with a sweet and tangy note that I absolutely love. My wife and I tasted it at the Vortex Burger joint, and I haven't seen it since. There's also a buffalo cheese sauce that is used for dipping fried chicken wings at a Diner in the town I live in. It's spicy but creamy, and I put it on pretty much everything I get when I go there.
  17. Man I have no earthly idea. I remember you too, though. We did a lot of arguing in Kavar's corner.
  18. Loaded question, that is. That's like asking "what is time?" to a group of beginner physics students. It kind of lends itself to a lot of options, and none of them are necessarily right or wrong. From a political standpoint, I would say that a good definition of freedom is that perfect balance between individual human rights, and respect for those rights in the instance others. To put it in more pragmatic terms, freedom would be having as many rights as possible without infringing on another person's rights in the process. You can read whatever book you like, but you can't physically harm another person, for instance. This becomes difficult, just because there are a lot of grey areas where these two elements conflict, like drinking and smoking. You can drink around pretty much anyone, but most places now force smokers to go outside. This is because of the indirect harm of second-hand smoking. However, someone could make the same argument that there is a similarly indirect harm inherent in the risk of an inebriated person driving a car and hitting someone. Maybe it's a little far-fetched, but it's an argument people make. That's what can make this kind of freedom a difficult thing to grapple. (now, this is where I may get a little far-flung, bear with me, I'm an asian philosophy major and I promise I know, like, 85% of what I'm talking about) Culturally, freedom is a very fluid thing. In western conventions, freedom centers primarily around individuality, and the freedom to do as you please. But in many eastern cultures, that individuality is of diminished importance in comparison to the whole. In those circles, freedom is more about a family's rights and restitution in the grand scheme of things. To give a few examples, a person from America might feel guilt over committing a crime against another person, worrying about the consequences to himself and how they effect him. Meanwhile, a person from China is far more likely to feel shame for betraying the respect and honor of his family, friends, and even ancestors. In the framework of freedom, then, a man concerned with his freedom in America might be thinking about his right to own a gun or to marry his same-sex partner, while a man in China or Japan might view the rights to family rituals being respected by the state as a more important freedom. Philosophically, it entirely depends on what freedom you are speaking about, and from what perspective. In Buddhist traditions, total freedom is a lack of self stemming from spiritual enlightenment. In the Greek schools, true freedom was meeting death in the knowledge that betterment lies ahead beyond what we can achieve in this life. In African religions, freedom is the achievement of survival above all others that would wish your life theirs. To respect the world around you in as much capacity as is necessary to outsmart it. To Confucius, freedom was simply a byproduct of living a life in humility and pursuit of pure goals. To Nietzsche, freedom was mostly a cruel joke to all but those who already possessed it. One thing is for sure, I find it highly unlikely that there could ever be one true concept of freedom. That would hardly be a very free way of thinking, would it? (Also it's good to be back guys)
  19. So yeah, I guess I found this place again. And I really honestly don't expect anyone to remember me, but maybe there's a few of you out there that I aggravated. Maybe Doc still hangs out here, I know that guy. But anyway, hi, again, I guess. I'll be posting maybe when I feel like it.
  20. Holy **** I forgot this place existed.

  21. Correct. The first amendment protects rights to free speech only under certain circumstances. There are some mitigating exceptions to the rule that are not protected under Article I. The obvious ones are slander and libel. However, fighting words are also not protected by the rights to free speech. In the wake of the Supreme Court case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Fighting Words Doctrine was put in place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words Any speech that can be predicted reasonably to incite immediate violence in a group of individuals is not constitutionally protected. Additionally, any cases of speech that show a clear intention to immediately bring to fruition an act of sedition or treason, rather than simply stating abstract advocacy, is not protected. That means that Westboro isn't untouchable. While I disagree vehemently on a personal level with what they're saying and how they're approaching the situation, they won't get away with much. The Supreme Court ruled on this as constitutional for now, and I'm fine with that, it fosters healthy debate or whatever. But if members of the funeral procession respond to the protests with violence in the future, or if there's any reason to believe that Westboro is inciting violence from this emotionally compromised group, that will change. Kael'thas Solo, I believe this is the kind of amendment you were looking for. Good thing it's 69 years old.
  22. http://www.economist.com/node/18114327 Is this the demise of artisan-ship as we know it, or simply something that will make manufacturing easier and less costly, without challenging the market on priceless works of craftsmanship overtly? I'm on the fence with this one, myself. I think that it's fantastic technology that can only push us forward in the world of mass production and economic growth. But at the same time, I look at the book, at Gutenberg and the death of the Guild of Scribes, at the declining lifespan of the automobile, and question whether or not quality will be overtaken by quantity once again. Do we continue to sacrifice character for convenience, or intrinsic, emotional value and meaning for a smaller pricetag? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
  23. Yeah, I hear you have a tough time getting stuff done. I mostly know that because it was the weakness that Farage used to attack Rompuy's supposed political designs for the European "nation-states" in the EC a few months back, so I had no idea that language had something to do with it. Please, elaborate.
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