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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Our Web Site Reply with quote

I'd be interested in hearing some community feedback on this thread from the "Improve the Fool" board at Motley Fool.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22101852&sort=whole#22105677

ogrecat: "Is this legal?"

http://www.passionsaving.com/goals.html

TMFTwitty: "I don't see any problems, legal or otherwise, with that. Then again, I'm not a lawyer, so I'll refer the question to our counsel."

Galagan "Did TMF give Rob Bennett prior written permission to use these posts commercially? I know that at least one of the quoted members did not."

TMFTwitty: "It appeared to me that he was describing what a member said, not using direct quotes. Even if there was direct quoting, the amount per person was trivial. Our associate counsel agreed that there is nothing legally problematic there."

WindowSeat: "I think the greater problem is a sense of broken trust. If people are going to feel that things they say here are going to be disseminated elsewhere, they may hesitate in posting."

Arrete: "I think the greater problem is a sense of broken trust. I am one of the people who has had the bad luck to be named without permission on Rob Bennett's website (in fact, probably the one alluded to by galagan). I am extremely annoyed about it. I think it is unethical of him to even paraphrase my words without permission.

"The bigger problem is that, even though it is a pseudonym, the board name "arrete" has a reputation attached to it. I've been posting here since 2000, and now that board name is attached to a website of dubious usefulness, and more importantly, being used to hawk a book that I would condemn, if actually asked. That's what I object to the most - the trashing of my reputation.

"Having ranted all that, I agree with TMFTwitty. Nothing illegal is being done. I don't expect TMF to do anything about it unless large amounts of direct quotes from this site are being used. It doesn't mean I don't feel betrayed by someone I thought, though misguided, was at least ethical."


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings hocus Smile

Although I have no desire to go to TMF, I can tell you this from what you wrote. You can quote names, post links, and serve up snippets until your hearts content. What you can't do is reprint entire copyrighted articles without the consent of the author. All that crying about "usernames" and anything associated with them is crap. While I'm not a lawyer fluent in copyright laws I've talked to them and that is what they told me FWIW.

Your page looks fine from that standpoint.

HTH



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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagine how you would feel if somebody said this about you:

Quote:
Here's a list of 20 of the greatest savers in the world, and the saving goals that helped make them become 20 of the greatest savers in the world. I've identified these savers by the screen-names they used for posting on the Motley Fool discussion boards.

Boy, talk about a vicious attack!

Is there anything so low as being among the 20 greatest savers in the world?

How could you do this, hocus? Repent. Say something bad about these people.

As I gaze in wonder,

John R.


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MacDuff
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's slander! Outrageous slander!

JWR1945 wrote:
Imagine how you would feel if somebody said this about you:

Here's a list of 20 of the greatest savers in the world, and the saving goals that helped make them become 20 of the greatest savers in the world. I've identified these savers by the screen-names they used for posting on the Motley Fool discussion boards.

Boy, talk about a vicious attack!

Is there anything so low as being among the 20 greatest savers in the world?

How could you do this, hocus? Repent. Say something bad about these people.

As I gaze in wonder,

John R.

Yeah, it is awful. Maybe some of these betrayed posters should get a life?

Mac


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe some of these betrayed posters should get a life?

I can see where you are coming from with this comment, MacDuff.

There's some sort of funny business going on. I'm sure of it.

I'm counting on Mr. 007 to crack the case.


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Mr. 007 might find an important clue hidden between the lines of this "message" posted to the board at RetireEarlyHomePage.com.

http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=HOCO;action=display;num=1109126801;start=0#0

intercst: "It's seems hocus's use of the names of a dozen or more TMF members to market his commercial venture in "passionsaving.com" has created a boat load of ill will. More than a few people are outraged that their good names and reputations are being damaged by any connection to Hoco-mania. I wonder how many of these folks will take the time to post a negative review on Amazon.com if the book is ever sold at that on-line bookseller?"


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unclemick
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duh?

Does this fall into the category of the old saw: Bad publicity is better than none at all.

? Left handed compliment? Being left handed - I never did understand that one.


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings unclemick Smile

Quote:
Does this fall into the category of the old saw: Bad publicity is better than none at all.

For some reason I don't think that publicity is going to be a problem on this one. Wink



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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few people may look at the website to see what the fuss is all about.

When people, who expect the worst, find that out hocus compliments those people, they are likely to wake up and realize that they have been misled.

This has to be a positive.

Have fun.

John R.


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings John Smile

Quote:
When people, who expect the worst, find that out hocus compliments those people, they are likely to wake up and realize that they have been misled.

I believe, and this will be hard to believe, that I can summarize hocus's biggest problem with just one example:

One of the folks that was listed on his site asked that their name be removed. What hocus should have done, without hesitation, is remove that persons name. Perhaps even apologize for any unintended offense. Instead, he asked why? Not just once, but several times. Now this would annoy the crap out of me, as I'm sure it did the person in question.

There it is. He does this type of thing over and over and over again. In almost every confrontation he has. The scenarios are different, but the end result is the same. Why this happens is well beyond my ability to explain. But the solution is amazingly simple. Treat others like you want others to treat you. Don't analyze it for 50 paragraphs, don't try to figure out what the other person is thinking. Just treat them the way you would want to be treated. It's just agonizingly simple.

So building on the above example, if someone used the name "hocus" on another site and for whatever reason hocus didn't want or like that, what would he want? If he asked that his name be removed, would he want a 5000 word ramble asking why he wants it removed? Or perhaps want them to explain why they should not remove it? Or want them to ramble on and on about why they can't figure out why he wants it removed? Hell no! Just remove the darn name. Rolling Eyes

I don't think anyone needs to wake up John. IMO the paragraphs above explain what the problem is. I don't believe hocus is the evil demon these folks make him out to be. Whatever it is about hocus that causes the example above is the answer. It's taken a while but I can sift through most of his stuff and dig out the meaning. And most of the time it's honest effort toward whatever goal he may have. But the majority of people on these message boards aren't going to take the time to do that. Until hocus realizes this and does something about it nothing will change.

I guess I'm posting this because IMHO hocus is not what he's made out to be. He's not a troll, and he's not the devil. He's just complicated. Wink



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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElSupremeo wrote:
I believe, and this will be hard to believe, that I can summarize hocus's biggest problem with just one example:

One of the folks that was listed on his site asked that their name be removed. What hocus should have done, without hesitation, is remove that persons name. Perhaps even apologize for any unintended offense. Instead, he asked why? Not just once, but several times. Now this would annoy the crap out of me, as I'm sure it did the person in question.

There it is. He does this type of thing over and over and over again. In almost every confrontation he has. The scenarios are different, but the end result is the same. Why this happens is well beyond my ability to explain. But the solution is amazingly simple. Treat others like you want others to treat you. Don't analyze it for 50 paragraphs, don't try to figure out what the other person is thinking. Just treat them the way you would want to be treated. It's just agonizingly simple.

Thanks, ES for this highly constructive insights.

Knowing hocus as I do, he will build upon this in a most constructive way. He always appreciates honest comments.

I think that your comment will be central and helpful in bringing about some improvements. There are always details. And believe it or not, I do not always know what hocus has in mind.

It will be interesting to see what develops over the next two or three months.

Have fun.

John R.


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ElSupremo
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings John Smile

Quote:
Just treat them the way you would want to be treated.

You know I try to live my life this way. There are many times when I fail miserably in the attempt. That happens more times than I'd like that's for sure. But I'm only a mistake riddled human like everyone else. Those times when I do succeed make my life seem visibly better. It's not easy and I'm no saint. But I do try to do the best I can. Hocus seems like a smart fellow so there is hope. Your right, it should be an interesting next few months.



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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He always appreciates honest comments.

ES's comments sounded sincere to me, and I think that sincerity is very important. So I viewed the post as a constructive one.

I do not always know what hocus has in mind.

And that's the way it should be, is it not? I don't always know what JWR1945 has in mind and I don't always know what ES has in mind. We don't need to know everything about all the posters we come into contact with.

If there is something that you feel a need to know about me, you can always ask. I check this board almost every day, and I am generally responsive to questions put to me. So if there is anyone who has questions that they think it would be helpful to have answers to, he or she should ask them.

It will be interesting to see what develops over the next two or three months.

What I hope happens is that we begin to focus less on the personalities of particular posters and more on what is good for the future of the various FIRE/Retire Early/Passion Saving boards. That's what matters, in my view.

ES says that I am "complicated." I think I have a rough idea where he is coming from. It's not a comment that I have never heard before. I think it is fair to say that I am stubborn re issues that are important to me. My father and me once had a disagreement and he said that he felt that I was "like steel." He said that he thought it would be a good thing if anyone ever tried to talk me into taking drugs or something like that because peer pressure would not get to me. But I don't think he was real thrilled with this trait of mine during the time that we were at odds on the issue in question. I'm very flexible on 90 percent of the questions that come up because on most questions I don't care too much which way they go. On those 10 percent that I think really matter, I feel different. I feel that I am no good to anyone if I don't put up a good fight on the issues that really matter.

From my perspective, I am not complicated at all. I understand precisely where I am coming from. I believe that there are others who do not, but it's not due to lack of effort from me in getting the message across. My sense is that, when I am talking straight, there are some who think I am joking around; and when I am joking around, there are some who think I am talking straight. I think there are lots of misunderstandings. But I don't see it as being a problem that I am complicated. I think that the situation is complicated, and I am just part of the situation. I just happened to be the one who got caught up in it.

The biggest complication is the flaw in the REHP study. To me it is as clear as anything can be because I saw the flaw way back in late 1995 (this is before the REHP study itself was even published) and have been thinking about the implications ever since. I believe that a lot of people are sincere in not seeing the flaw, at least not very clearly. The reason I believe this is that JWR1945 did not see the flaw clearly in the early days. It used to amaze me because he clearly was open to seeing it (some are not) and yet he did not see it clearly for a long time. He sees it clearly now.

The flaw in the REHP study is not something that can be explained in 50 words. Actually, you can explain it in 50 words and in words that make a good bit of sense. But people don't get it after hearing 50 words because the message in those 50 words is so foreign to so much other stuff they have heard from lots of people over the course of the past 20 years. My guess is that 10 years from now most people will understand the meaning of the 50 words all too well. Lots of people will have suffered busted retirements by that time. So they will get it, but not in time for it to do them much practical good.

More would get it if they could ask questions about it and absorb the message over time. People need to hear it from more than two people to have confidence in it. We need to get back the scores of posters who expressed excitement about the Data-Based SWR Tool in the early days. If we had all of those people participating, many would have gotten the message a long time ago. I don't think that just two people could effectively communicate the message if they wrote 10 million posts each. That's not how learning is transmitted. People need to hear a mix of voices.

Anyway, I have a personality, just like everybody else has a personality. I like my personality, but I don't doubt for a second that there are times when it rubs some people the wrong way. There's not too much I can do about it. I can't get a personality transplant.

I should be judged by the content of my posts and whether those posts help people to win financial freedom early in life or not. That's the test I apply to every post I consider putting up before I hit the Submit button. I ask myself: Is this going to help people win financial freedom early in life or not? If yes, I push Submit. If no, I don't. That's the test I use, and that's the test I would like to see others use in assessing the value of my work product.

The arguments that persuade me are arguments that relate to helping people win financial freedom early in life. That's what I respond to. If Arrete had said, "I think you could help some people win financial freedom early in life by deleting my name from your site," I can guarantee you she would have gotten my attention. That's my driver. There's no rule that says that anyone has to care that that's my driver. But I'm telling you here how to get things done with me if you sincerely want to get things done with me. Frame things in those terms, and I am all ears.

My sense is that what is different about me (or "complicated") is that I am not too caught up in the personal stuff. I just don't care about that stuff. It's not that I don't care about people. I do. It's that my vision for helping people is by helping them win financial freedom early in life. Other stuff doesn't move me too much. I tend to be focused on that particular angle. I'm intense about it. Whether that's good, bad, or indifferent, that's the way it is.

People believe that I have something personal against intercst. I am convinced that many people believe this. I don't. But there's nothing that I can say to persuade people of it. That's the complication. If people took me at my word, they would see that I am a simple man with a simple dream. But people come to this with their own perceptions and they impose them on me, thinking that I must be what they think I should be, and that confuses them greatly. I am a person who cares about intercst not at all, and who cares about people learning how to win financial freedom early in life a great deal. I don't want anything bad to happen to intercst. I do want him off our boards. I think he is poison to our boards. And that's pretty much the only take I have re him. I just want him off the boards so that the boards can succeed.

To me, that's simple. To others, I think it comes across as complicated. I don't apologize for wanting what I want. I presume that everyone wants what they want, so I don't see anything so odd about it. I want successful boards. When intercst was helping our boards succeed, I was his biggest fan. When he turned on us, I became his biggest enemy. Nothing changed in me. It's intercst that changed. He lost intercst in the subject matter. Again, this is so simple to me that I feel that it is insulting to the community for me to state it like this. But my sense is that there is something complicated about it in the minds of some others. So I am making the effort in response to the ES post and the JWR1945 post.

Anyway, I'm always open to any constructive ideas that anyone wants to put forward. I don't think for a minute that I have all the answers. I think it would be great if others tried to step in and resolve some of the frictions. I think that I am probably the most friction-averse person in the entire community, or close to it. Some probably don't believe that, but I really do. Remember what Petey said a few weeks ago? He noted how hocus was soft as a puppy in his early days. That's the real hocus.

My response to Petey was: "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken." I don't like having to stand up to people and call them on their nonsense. I hate it. I just think that someone has to do it if the boards are to achieve their potential. I don't see anyone else doing it, so I feel that the job fell to me. If others get more involved calling people on their nonsense, I will feel free to do less of it. My view is just that someone needs to do it.

Anyway, that's where I am coming from. I am a mama bear fighting to protect her cubs on the question of people doing harm to our boards. I have no give on that one. On pretty much anything else I am flexible. We need to take steps to protect the boards from abusive posters. Any constructive proposal had to include elements that address that problem. That's where this started (the precipitating event was the Smear Campaign against Wanderer) and that is where it is going to end. When we fix things so that there can be no further Smear Campaigns against any further Wanderers, we will have achieved Normalization. We will from that point forward talk about SWRs in the same way that we talk about all the other topics. We won't all agree. But we will be civil and we won't talk nonsense and we will learn together.

To bring that about was the reason that I invested those thousands of hours into building up the first board (the Motley Fool board) in the first place. Nothing has changed in me from the first day I posted (May 1999). It's the events taking place on the boards that has changed. I just respond to what I see taking place on the boards. I just do what seems to me to be the thing most likely to steer things in a positive direction. I don't think there is one community member who wouldn't be happy if I achieved my goals. I think we all want less poison on the boards. I see the difference between me and some others being that I feel that we need to put up a fight to make this happen and some others feel that it is not worth putting up a fight.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to bring two threads together.

From Ben's thread on the NFB board and my post on that thread: Hocus homepage now up and running dated Monday, Feb 21, 2005.
http://www.nofeeboards.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=3430
http://www.nofeeboards.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=27647#27647
JWR1945 wrote:
ES wrote:
I understand having a site to promote a book. But I have to wonder how many message boards we need like this? 10? 20? 1000? Rolling Eyes

IMHO, no more than one site per writer.

Obviously, this new site cannot be combined with the NoFeeBoards. It is a commercial site, one that is selling a product. That is against our rules.

As for the other sites, I do not see a need per se since ES is willing to add boards to this site. I do see a desire for communities with restricted access and restricted discussions.

Have fun.

John R.

Combine this with what Hocus has just said.

Quote:
Anyway, that's where I am coming from. I am a mama bear fighting to protect her cubs on the question of people doing harm to our boards. I have no give on that one. On pretty much anything else I am flexible. We need to take steps to protect the boards from abusive posters. Any constructive proposal had to include elements that address that problem... When we fix things so that there can be no further Smear Campaigns - we will have achieved Normalization. We will from that point forward talk about SWRs in the same way that we talk about all the other topics. We won't all agree. But we will be civil and we won't talk nonsense and we will learn together.

To bring that about was the reason that I invested those thousands of hours into building up the first board (the Motley Fool board) in the first place. Nothing has changed in me from the first day I posted (May 1999). It's the events taking place on the boards that has changed. I just respond to what I see taking place on the boards. I just do what seems to me to be the thing most likely to steer things in a positive direction. I don't think there is one community member who wouldn't be happy if I achieved my goals. I think we all want less poison on the boards. I see the difference between me and some others being that I feel that we need to put up a fight to make this happen and some others feel that it is not worth putting up a fight.


We three share a desire for an open community such as ES is providing.

I disagree with Hocus on this point:

Quote:
I don't think there is one community member who wouldn't be happy if I achieved my goals.

Clearly, or at least clearly to me, there are people who are hostile to having open discussions. They insist upon restricted communities and restricted discussions.

If they were to let it go at that, it would be OK. They would have their boards and others could post in an open community. But they are not satisfied with that. They insist upon trashing any opposing view on any open board.

That is where the poison comes from.

Have fun.

John R.


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What boards are you speaking of when you talk about "restricted communities," JWR1945? I don't know of any Retire Early/FIRE/Passion Saving board that is a restricted community according to its written rules.

I have no objection to true restricted communities. For example, if intercst wanted to only permit people who agree with him on SWRs to post at the RetireEarlyHomePage.com board and he made that clear in the rules of the board, I would of course honor that. I would either not post my views on SWRs there and post only on other stuff, or not post there at all.

There is no such rule today at that board. Or at the Motley Fool board. Or at the Raddr-pages.com board. Or at the Early Retirement Forum. Or at NFB. All of these boards pretend to be open boards, where people of various persepctives may offer their views on the subject matter of the various boards.

This is an important distinction. If intercst said up front that he would not permit anyone to disagree with him, that would do a lot to take care of the deception problem. Visitors to the board would know darn well that they were only getting one side of the story and they would know not to put any confidence in the SWR claims made there.

The way it is now is that there is the pretense of open debate at a number of boards but it is all a grand deception. The idea is to build up intercst's ego by pretending that he has done legitimate research and that his study is as open to scrutiny as is the research of legitimate researchers. When there are a number of posters all putting up posts lending credence to this deception, there are serious dangers of people being misled into thinking that the research is legitimate.

I will grant that this is not much of a problem today at the Motley Fool board. There is so little on-topic posting that I presume that there are few anymore who take the board seriously as a place to learn about early retirement. But that was most certainly NOT the case in earlier days. There are thousands of posts in the archives of that board in which entirely serious people discuss the REHP study as if it were serious research put forward by a serious researcher. That was a very dangerous situation. There truly are people who took that study into consideration when making investment decisions.

I bet that there are still people who do that today. Not people that see what the Motley Fool board is about. But I am sure that there are many people who visit the REHP site and look at the study and have no idea what sort of individual intercst is. How would they know? This is a dangerous game that people are playing.

Even Scott Burns endorsed the REHP study in earlier days. It seems clear to me that Burns does not have confidence in the SWR claims put forward in the study today. But he has not explicitly warned people of its flaws. I think that Burns owes it to his readers to tell the story straight given the damage he did with his earlier endorsement of the study.

My point here is that there is a thick bold line that distinguishes a restricted board and an open board. If discussions are to be restricted, that needs to be stated in the rules of the board. If there is no such statement, then open discussion should be permitted. It is a very dangerous game to create a board that appears on the surface to permit open discussion but at which there are severe penalties imposed on any posters who post in an honest and informed way on one particular topic. That is deception. No responsible person should involve themselves in it.

We have done wonderful things with the communities we have created. But we are setting ourselves up for a big fall if the deception continues much longer. People are going to get hurt from it and those people are not going to think it was all a funny joke after they get hurt. If we are not going to permit honest and informed discussion on SWRs, then we should say that in the rules. If we are not willing to take the step of ruling out honest and informed SWR discussions in the published rules, then we should permit honest and informed posting on that topic. Period. No exceptions.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What boards are you speaking of when you talk about "restricted communities," JWR1945? I don't know of any Retire Early/FIRE/Passion Saving board that is a restricted community according to its written rules.

You are correct when you say according to its written rules.

[The raddr board is unique in the sense that it advertises that it has banned Hocus and JWR1945.]

Those other boards do practice deception. They have unstated rules and they have gangs that restrict discussions. I have seen Dory36 restrain such behavior at times. But nowhere else do I see the rules enforced.

Excluding these boards, deception is the name of the game. Those other board are, in fact, restricted communities.

The tragedy among them is The Motley Fool because they enforced their rules once, but later abandoned them.

Have fun.

John R.


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those other board are, in fact, restricted communities.

To the extent that is so (it is so to various extents at the variious boards), they are dying communities. The lesson that we have seen illustrated over and over again during the first six years is that people with an interest in early retirement flock to boards that permit honest and informed discussions on early retirement and they run away in horror from boards that enter fantasy worlds and don't come back.

Intercst often makes the point that he gets more posts put up at "his" board at Motley Fool than we do at this board. If you count all posts as having the same value, he's right. But I don't count all posts as having the same value. I am a guy interested in exploring the topic of early retirement. We get many more posts of significance to an exploration of that topic at this board than he gets at "his" board at Motley Fool.

Intercst entered a fantasy world on August 27, 2002, the day that I put up the "What Bernstein Says" post. Every other community member would have gone along with acknowledging that Bernstein said what he said if intercst gave the OK. Intercst gave the signal that he wanted deception and disruption and the troops followed orders. Those who had too much self-respect to go along with the fantasy left the community. A board that had once been perceived as the most thought-provoking on the face of Planet Internet was transformed into a Clown Board.

This is why Arrete is upset about her name being mentioned on my web site. She was once a good poster. Now she is just another yes woman serving the cult of personality that the Motley Fool board has become. It embarasses her to be reminded of what she once was. I understand that. But I don't think that the solution to her pronlem is to hide from her all reminders that she was once a good poster. I see it as being just the opposite. I want to see her give up the demeaning role she now plays and return to playing a role that allows her to feel better about herself. I am pro-Arrete.

The suggestion in the ES post above is that if I would just do anything Arrete wants without asking her to provide reasons, that would make her happy. It wouldn't. Arrete is not the only person who has asked to have her name removed from my work. Intercst has said that he does not like it that he is the first person who I list for thanks on the Acknowledgments page of my book. Should I take out intercst's name too to make the DCMs happy?

I don't think it is right to do that. Intercst did something significant when he started the Motley Fool board. That was our first board and our movement has gone on to teach people a new and more effective way to manage their money. Intercst played a role, and it is appropriate than he be given credit for that. It may well be that he is so filled with self-loathing at this point that he hates me for reminiding him of the good he once did. Again, I don't see it as a good thing for me to go along with him and do whatever he asks to add to the self-loating. I would like to see intercst work himself back to a place where he feels better about himself too. I am pro-intercst too.

When a segment of our community (the DCMs) entered into a fantasy land, the world was turned upside down for them. In ordinary circumstances, it is the truth that sets you free and deception that is a poison. For DCMs, it is just the opposite. It is deception that they are now comfortable with, and the truth that they most fear. That needs to change if our various communities are going to achieve their potential. We need to learn how to tell the truth about the subject matter of the boards once again.

When someone enters a fantasy world, you are not helping them by going along with the fantasy. You are doing what they say they want, that's fair to say. But you are not helping them. Sooner or later, those living in fantasy worlds need to build up the inner strength to once again deal with reality. When we see people post crazy stuff, we are not helping them by sitting on our hands and pretending that it is normal to see crazy stuff appear on our boards. What we need to do is to confront them with realities. We need to ask them "Why is it that you are posting crazy stuff?" That's how we get them back.

Deception is the posion. Deception is what got is into this mess, deception is not the way out. The way out is by reporting the truth. Not in an unkind and unnecessarily harsh way. We need to be as gentle as we can be so that we lose as few community members as possible. But we do need to be firm. We don't want to encourage any thoughts on the part of the DCMs that is it possible to live in a fantasy world forever. We want them to begin working on coming back to reality, not to sink deeper into despair.

Arrete really is one of the most effective savers in the world. Intercst really did start the board that kicked off a movement of cnsiderable significance. These things need to be said, whether it makes Arrete and intercst uncomfortable to hear them today or not. The good that these individuals have done is as much a part of the record as the bad that they have done. We need to aim to speak honestly about both the good and the bad. Both are realities. Both sides of the story need to be recognized by those with no desire to spend their remaining days in the darkness of fantasy worlds.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see several important points. Let me address those related to ES's observation first.

hocus2004 wrote:
This is why Arrete is upset about her name being mentioned on my web site. She was once a good poster. Now she is just another yes woman serving the cult of personality that the Motley Fool board has become. It embarrasses her to be reminded of what she once was. I understand that. But I don't think that the solution to her problem is to hide from her all reminders that she was once a good poster. I see it as being just the opposite. I want to see her give up the demeaning role she now plays and return to playing a role that allows her to feel better about herself. I am pro-Arrete.

The suggestion in the ES post above is that if I would just do anything Arrete wants without asking her to provide reasons, that would make her happy. It wouldn't. Arrete is not the only person who has asked to have her name removed from my work. Intercst has said that he does not like it that he is the first person who I list for thanks on the Acknowledgments page of my book. Should I take out intercst's name too to make the DCMs happy?

ElSupremo wrote:
One of the folks that was listed on his site asked that their name be removed. What hocus should have done, without hesitation, is remove that persons name. Perhaps even apologize for any unintended offense. Instead, he asked why? Not just once, but several times. Now this would annoy the crap out of me, as I'm sure it did the person in question.

I think that Hocus is right in refusing to remove Arrete's name and Intercst's name.

I think that his best approach would have been to state his position firmly in one or two posts, but not more.

It was OK to say NO. In fact, saying NO was the right thing to do. It was healthy.

It is OK to ask why. It is best not to be arbitrary. If there had been a valid reason, Hocus would have responded differently.

What is not OK and what is central to ES's point was that this continued beyond the second post. By that time, Hocus had already said NO. Arrete had been given an opportunity to state her reason and it was not valid. There was no need to continue.

The proper action was to retain Arrete's name, but to break off the discussion.

[NOTE: Arrete's complaint was that she did not want a compliment.]

Have fun.

John R.


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JWR1945
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hocus2004 wrote:
Those other board are, in fact, restricted communities.

To the extent that is so (it is so to various extents at the various boards), they are dying communities. The lesson that we have seen illustrated over and over again during the first six years is that people with an interest in early retirement flock to boards that permit honest and informed discussions on early retirement and they run away in horror from boards that enter fantasy worlds and don't come back.
...
Intercst entered a fantasy world on August 27, 2002, the day that I put up the "What Bernstein Says" post. Every other community member would have gone along with acknowledging that Bernstein said what he said if intercst gave the OK. Intercst gave the signal that he wanted deception and disruption and the troops followed orders. Those who had too much self-respect to go along with the fantasy left the community. A board that had once been perceived as the most thought-provoking on the face of Planet Internet was transformed into a Clown Board.

This is why Arrete is upset about her name being mentioned on my web site. She was once a good poster. Now she is just another yes woman serving the cult of personality that the Motley Fool board has become. It embarrasses her to be reminded of what she once was. I understand that. But I don't think that the solution to her problem is to hide from her all reminders that she was once a good poster. I see it as being just the opposite. I want to see her give up the demeaning role she now plays and return to playing a role that allows her to feel better about herself. I am pro-Arrete.
...
Deception is the poison. Deception is what got is into this mess, deception is not the way out. The way out is by reporting the truth. Not in an unkind and unnecessarily harsh way. We need to be as gentle as we can be so that we lose as few community members as possible. But we do need to be firm. We don't want to encourage any thoughts on the part of the DCMs that is it possible to live in a fantasy world forever. We want them to begin working on coming back to reality, not to sink deeper into despair.

Arrete really is one of the most effective savers in the world. Intercst really did start the board that kicked off a movement of considerable significance. These things need to be said, whether it makes Arrete and intercst uncomfortable to hear them today or not. The good that these individuals have done is as much a part of the record as the bad that they have done. We need to aim to speak honestly about both the good and the bad. Both are realities. Both sides of the story need to be recognized by those with no desire to spend their remaining days in the darkness of fantasy worlds.

In an earlier post, hocus2004 wrote:
My point here is that there is a thick bold line that distinguishes a restricted board and an open board. If discussions are to be restricted, that needs to be stated in the rules of the board. If there is no such statement, then open discussion should be permitted. It is a very dangerous game to create a board that appears on the surface to permit open discussion but at which there are severe penalties imposed on any posters who post in an honest and informed way on one particular topic. That is deception. No responsible person should involve themselves in it.

Usually, there is a gray area, an ambiguity, where honest people can disagree. But every now and then, there really is a thick bold line. Deception is deception, not a gray area, and it is clearly so.

Hocus's quote from Bernstein defines one of those thick bold lines. I have seen other distortions of quotes from Bernstein as well, twisting Bernstein's words into nonsense.

Intercst is not the only person who has deliberately crossed this particular thick bold line.

There are other thick bold lines as well. I have seen several cases in which someone has pointed out a factual error, where there was no ambiguity whatsoever, and yet the same person repeated the error later on. There was no possibility of an innocent mistake. When the same person repeats the same false information and is corrected several times, it is deception, not a mistake.

Hocus is right. Because people have tolerated deception, there are several dying communities out there.

Have fun.

John R.


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hocus2004
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The proper action was to retain Arrete's name, but to break off the discussion.

It's been clear for a long time that you believe this, JWR1945. I greatly respect your opinion, and I am open to the possibility that you are right.

I think it would be healthy if all people who would like the various boards opened to honest and informed posting would debate the question as to what strategies are likely to be most effective.

I am not set on any one course of action. I have to do what I think it best until I am persuaded that there is another way to go that is likely to work. If those of us seeking the freedom to post in an honest and informed way could form a consensus as to how to proceed, I think it would make sense for all of us to stick to the same strategy.

My problem until now has been that I have not been able to get a discussion started on how best to deal with the intercst matter. There are too many who prefer to pretend that it is not an issue, or to sit on their hands while the various boards burn to the ground one by one.

If some others want to chime in with some thoughts on better ways to proceed, please feel free to do so. I take no offense at anyone suggesting alternative approaches. The important thing is that the suggestions need to be constructive ones. The goal needs to be to open up room for honest and informed posting at the various boards, and thereby to help them achieve their potential.

If all of us who favor honest and informed posting would work together, I believe that we could put the ugliness to rest in pretty short order. Standing up to intercst and his good squad one by one, we will get our heads chopped off. Standing up together as a community, we possess great power.

I'm here and I'm open to constructive suggestions.


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