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Avoiding flash-points

Article about: I agree that on forums like this with members from all over the globe sometimes responses can come off as rude or curt, and sometimes things get lost or sound that way in translation. I wish

  1. #21

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    I agree that on forums like this with members from all over the globe sometimes responses can come off as rude or curt, and sometimes things get lost or sound that way in translation. I wish my German or French was as good as some of the members here are at communicating in English. Another side of the coin that is a little off putting to me personally is when someone posts items for comments or opinions, get some responses and never responds to the thread or thanks others for commenting. I do agree we are adults here and should refrain from juvenile comments and banter even if we disagree about a topic or item. It is good for people to do some research if told an item is bad, and many questions can be answered by simply searching for past posts of similar items.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    Dwight i'm glad you have raised this as sometimes we need to be reminded of the things that make this forum one of the best !!

    Since the inception of the forum part of our ethos has been not to follow others who have permitted threads discussing an item that says , Bad , fake , crap etc etc repeated again and again and we have encouraged all to try and elaborate and give an opinion on an item if circumstances permit and as a mod team we do try and ensure that this is taking place but it is also the responsibilty of the membership to try and achieve this standard as the mods can't be everywhere.Many members have come here because we do promote discussion and learning.

    That said there are circumstances which have been pointed out by Doug and others where time permits a short reply only or where clearly someone is just a "user" who can't or won't learn anything for themselves.

    However one / two word answers such as Crap , Fake, Rubbish ,,,,,,,,,,,, etc etc are for me not really acceptable we have to be better than that !!


    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  3. #23

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    Green: You are absolutely right that coming off as a know-it-all is a put off for the guy on the receiving end. Lord knows, in my field I have experienced more than my share of pompous asses. Actually, I have seen only one instance of that on the Forum and it was an extreme case made worse by the fact that the "expert" provided no explanation for pronouncing the artifact under discussion a fake. The fact is, he knew what he was talking about, but his "if I say so it is" approach irritated me enormously and I was just a non-participating observer, so you can imagine the effect it had on the guy who posted the artifact. When you wrote, "I like doing some research, so I don't look like a dumb-ass, before I post and so I learn something along the way" you touched on a theme that is germane to this subject. Certainly people who come to the Forum wholly unprepared by having done nothing on their own to find the answer they seek are irritating and elicit curt responses. I once provided an answer to a fellow who posted an obscure piece of WWI US Army equipment without having made any attempt to find the answer himself. All he had to do was to enter the nomenclature, which was clearly stenciled on the unit, into Google. I was tempted to tell him to do just that, but it was easier to do it myself, and besides, I was curious to know what it was. Thanks for adding your views, Green, they are helpful. Dwight

    Wagriff: Good point. And your comment, "Brief replies save much tedious time and repetitive explanations and typing and usually suffices" highlights a feeling that many people share--writing is a pain. I do understand the distaste many, probably most, people have about having to write anything longer than their name, and some even shorten that to initials. Obviously my view is heavily influenced by the fact that I enjoy writing, which puts me in the minority with those who wear hair shirts. But I don't have a problem with terse answers that provide at least some explanation. Actually, the ability to communicate clearly in a minimum of words is a gift, one which I obviously don't have. Thanks for your contribution. Dwight

    Dan: That is an interesting post, so let's take it one piece at a time. "...the other side of the coin is when the poster may be a faker fishing for ideas - cynical I know, but possible. The risk we take until we establish the OP's validity is that we may be telling a fraudster what is wrong with an item and what to fix next time." I have not faced with anything like this because I no longer collect "hardware." that can be, or is, faked. I used to collect WWI US, German, and US Air Service artifacts, and I saw a lot of clever fakes especially wings. Now I collect, or rather gather, vintage books in the same fields. It's hard to print a fake copy of Spindler's 5-volume set of Der Handelskrieg mit U-booten. You do make a good point in that those of you who do collect "hardware" have to be alert for the fakers seeking information with the intent to improve their products. And, indeed, confronting that, or the suspicion of that, would evoke a rather "crisp" answer. Your next thought was, to me, the most interesting. "Another line I have read is ( and I am paraphrasing here ) " we have done all the hard work and bought all the books, why should we divulge all our secrets to you." You correctly described this attitude as "protectionist" and put it down to human nature, with which I totally agree, but which I also find short-sighted. You find that sort of thing often in academia and it drove me crazy because it seems so petty-minded. I simply cannot understand why someone would want to husband knowledge so closely. What good is knowledge if one doesn't share it?
    Thanks for the insightful contribution to our discussion. And you're right, I'm old, and rightly classed as an elder in the "he's a light year older than I" sense, but I'm certainly no statesman. Dwight

    Thanatos: After reading Danmark's post I found your comment, "It's a bit of a "Reds under the bed" thing in the end and we see them everywhere. We must remain vigilant to these people but we must also retain our dignity" very appropriate because it so concisely complements what he wrote. I find it enormously interesting that there is such widespread and enduring interest in the NS period that an entire industry has grown up to fill the cravings of a huge consumer group. Thanks for adding to our discussion. Dwight

    Larry: You have made so many good points that there is little for me to add, but one point you made did trigger the response mode when you wrote, "Scientists and Archaeologists are no different than we are as they have no clue of the past, but only see it as we do, for us it is behind what is written, photos , Vets stories, and artifacts. We dig in the dirt also but we do not have a Doctorate or PhD, and because of that we tend to be terse and protective." If I understand the intent of your statement correctly, you posit that serious collectors, together with Scientists and Archaeologists, share a common interest and zeal for learning about the past. To that I would add historians, and say that you are absolutely correct. I'm unclear as to your meaning of "... are no different than we are as they have no clue of the past..." Actually, both groups, serious collectors and academics, have many clues to the past in the form of documents, artifacts, and oral histories. You alluded to that when you wrote, "...for us it is behind what is written, photos , Vets stories, and artifacts. We dig in the dirt also." You added, "...but we do not have a Doctorate or PhD, and because of that we tend to be terse and protective." And here I disagree mildly. The fact that a person holds, or doesn't hold, and advanced degree has no relationship per se to one being terse or protective. Look at your own writing and you past activity on the Forum. No one would accuse you, if accuse is the right word, of being terse or protective. In fact, none of the people who have contributed to this discussion fall into the category of being terse and protective. The only edge that a person with an advanced degree might have is a narrowly focused discipline and an understanding of what we call "historical process." But given the level of expertise on this Forum, I don't see that as a major difference. Thanks for taking part in the discussion to which you have added an interesting view. Dwight

    Bond: You are so right when you wrote, " someone else mentioned it is possible to appear patronizing or a know it all, so to some people whatever you post might be taken the wrong way. Damned if you do and damned if you don't or to paraphrase Lincoln you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time." Unintentional patronization is a problem for many people who are thoroughly knowledgeable in a field or about a particular subject. I see it most often in the writings of people who genuinely want to help and end up burying the poor guy who asked the question under a deluge of facts. I think the problem is that we hope to provide a complete, working, trove of knowledge, and in doing so we are mistaken for being patronizing. On the other hand, some insufferable boors are simply patronizing. Thanks for getting involved in this discussion. Dwight

    GunnyHartmann:Welcome aboard and thanks for bringing up what at times might be the 100-pound gorilla in the room--language. You wrote, "Another potential flash-point I have noticed are interactions between fluent and non fluent English speakers, I've seen that things get lost in translation etc and members seeming to get short tempered, I've commented on one thread " I think so and so means this" using my limited German to translate." Your point is well taken and true. Actually, I'm repeatedly impressed with the command of English exhibited by many of our members for whom English is a second, and sometimes third, language. There is an old joke here in the US: What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. And what do you call someone who speaks one language? American. Thanks for taking part. Dwight

    Doug: That's a well put view, and I agree completely. When you say, "Also there are a certain number of posters who do not really want an explanation, they just want to know "is it real and what's it worth", using forum knowledge to hopefully make a fast buck and don't particularly care why it's good or bad..." I wonder how you recognize those people? My problem is that I don't have the depth of knowledge that you have in your field, so those sorts of people would fool me completely, and that's what I admire about this Forum, the vast experience it represents. I absolutely agree with you on the point, "...self education, asking for more details and giving them upon request is part of the dynamic and it must be a two way street." Thanks for your interesting and informative views. Dwight

  4. #24

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    FrankBooth: You certainly scored a point with all of us when you wrote, "Another side of the coin that is a little off putting to me personally is when someone posts items for comments or opinions, get some responses and never responds to the thread or thanks others for commenting." It is irritating when you take your time and make the effort to help someone, and get nothing in response. "Thank you" is a courtesy that costs nothing and creates a lot of goodwill. I don't think that any of us expect a thanks, but, fortunately the vast majority of members do extend that common courtesy. Thanks for the comments. Dwight

    Paul: Well, it's obvious that you and your fellow moderators, supported by the membership, have done an excellent job of creating and maintaining one of the most, if not the most, effective and interesting forums in existence. I have been on several, many of them German language forums, and I have never had an experience as pleasant as this. I am very pleased that you contributed to this discussion with the official view and intent. Thank you. Dwight

  5. #25

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    A good thread gentlemen

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  6. #26

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    DougB: "...teaching one to fish is better than giving one fish." I had never heard that expression, but it is sure does express my belief exactly. And "...preface a reply with "I'm sorry" and call it a reproduction vs fake...." is very good advice. I have on a couple of occassions posted threads that are similar in spirit, but far more esoteric, than your reference thread on SS Decals. I really think we should have more of those visual reference sources because they are so valuable to so many people. There are many genuine experts on this Forum whose expertise would be invaluable to collectors and often to historians too. I appreciate what you and many others have done and are doing to make this a really impressive Forum. Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. Dwight

  7. #27

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    guilty as charged,will be ready at dawn.excuse is I hate typing.harry

  8. #28

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    Where would any forum be without opinions. Im lovin it!! and it drives this forum to success

    Dwight,, sorry for the misunderstanding as "No Clue of the past" means that "they" the scientists did not live during those times. Like ourselves not living or experiencing the TR Period physically and mentally. I am sure there was time that there might of been a few members from long ago that lived those times,, but now time marches on and only a handful are left. The HJ now is the sentinel of that period,, during our modern day. If i have overlooked a generation of children that has grown and are still alive today contributing to forums such as these ... then my apologies to them! All the rest...which are,, ourselves,, are just students. I hope I was able to clarify my point Best Regards Larry
    It is not the size of a Collection in History that matters......Its the size of your Passion for it!! - Larry C

    One never knows what tree roots push to the surface of what laid buried before the tree was planted - Larry C

    “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” - Winston Churchill

  9. #29

    Default Re: Avoiding flash-points

    I try not to let adverse comments get to me. I recall the words of my Scottish grandmother, " dinnee matter, there are more lives lost at sea".
    (don't know what drugs she was on!)
    Cheers, Dan :-)

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