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Author Topic: Forum Unity  (Read 2418 times)

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Offline jkinatl2

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Forum Unity
« on: January 18, 2013, 06:45:29 PM »

I hope this doesn't confuse anyone, that I am simply "jumping in" with a quote from another thread. But I thought it was best to quickly start a new topic on this subject before the original thread was hopelessly derailed.

i'm not objectifying anyone, or dismissing them, but i do see patterns, and a spade is a spade.

without dredging up the "c" word, its a pattern that i have seen that new posters are treated somewhat dismissively. sure, there are the pat scripted welcome messages, sorry you have to be here, but glad you found us. that sort of thing. then a period of grace, until they say something they learned over at the body, and the flames begin.

gotta set the children straight, how dare they believe something the other rival site said, thats not accepted science! well, how the hell do they know that? oral sex is a prime example, everything i have ever read anywhere but here says that although small there is a percentage of risk of transmission. to my way of reading things, this group is the anomaly on that issue. but don't dare question that science.

and there are also, just as often, and just as predictable, new users expressing frustration at the unwritten rules of this forum. it is really easy to rub up against some of the personalities in here, and sometimes the new posters don't even know they've crossed a line.

all i was saying to the OP was take it for its worth, and let it roll off your back. if anybody was seriously offended by what i said... i dont care. we're all grown ups here. the moderators know how to ban me if they feel it warranted.

you ask how my post fostered forum unity... let me turn that question around for a moment.

how does it foster a welcoming atmosphere to ignore the many (and echoed over time) valid issues of new users. turning a blind eye just entrenches the status quo even more. i think thats a shame, and disengenious. the core group of names in this group doesn't change, and that says something to anyone that listens.

If it is OK. I would like to address your concerns from the ground up.

You mention that the core group doesn't change. I submit that it does. Over the years many new people have joined the forums and have become part of this "core group." And sadly, over the years, many members in that core group have died.

Some of the folks who post a lot have only been poz for five years or less, so I am thinking it is not a "newbie versus LTS" thing or even a "young versus Old" thing, as from what I can gather, this "core group" of posters seems to range in age from their twenties to their fifties.

Of course this begs the question. Is there something wrong with having a core group? People who, for whatever reasons, feel a sense of attachment to, and perhaps even a sense of family within the forum? Isn't that part of the purpose?

Over the years the forum has evolved dramatically, in many instances based on precisely the situations you mention. We created the "Just Infected" forum so that newly diagnoses individuals, in their most vulnerable days/months, are NOT dismissed, nor condescended to by more educated and experienced members who have already surmounted the rather steep learning curve that HIV necessitates.

As for the greetings to the newly diagnosed people, that you apparently consider disingenuous, I can only speak for myself when I assure you that I mean what I say there, every time I say it. I don't do an awful lot of hanging out in that forum because quite frankly, I just don't have what it takes to treat people with kid gloves. Some do, and I admire them for it.

I tend to enter the fray when it comes to criminalization and such, but normally I try not too use a heavy hand in that forum. Which is sort of a copout, because the introduction to the forum explicitly states that the purpose of that forum is to let people with experience and strength help those who need it the most.

I have always been a bit of a science nerd, and throwing my attention to the science of HIV transmission theory is a choice I made back in 1994. There have been so many advances in information gathering since then, the most startling of course has been the serodiscordant studies dually pioneered in Spain and the US.

The Page-Shafer studies in particular are a fascinating read, especially when you read her intentions at the beginning of the first study, and then follow her revelations regarding transmission through receptive oral sex (you mention oral sex in a broad sentence, but I am assuming that's the target here.) This, combined with the well-known fact that patient report is considered a far softer science, especially when dealing with issues as full of stigma as homosexuality, anal sex, and the perception of judgment from authority figures, has really changed the paradigm insofar as HIV prevention is concerned. By putting our resources into prevention as it is truly, empirically needed, we can make the best use of those dwindling resources.

I am sorry if I come across as heavy handed when I discuss that. I just can't assimilate the notion of the plural of anecdote being equal to data. If I step on toes, I am sorry. But again. I am just one guy.

Which brings up two important points you made. There have been talks about some of us "shouting down" others. I don't have the capacity to stop other people from posting. Hell, I would not be a moderator here for all the Gun Oil in the Castro District. I have opinions. I try to ground them in science. I state them emphatically when I believe I am correct, and try to have the grace to step back when I am proven incorrect. And that's it.

I am always really peeved when people discuss all the PMs they get behind the scenes, agreeing with them that I (along with others) am some sort of online bully and/or part of some cabal.  Sadly, as anyone who has sent me a PM knows, I don't check mine all that often.

What disturbs ME is when people talk about the "many people" who PM them and call me out for being an asshole, yet refuse to engage me in the forums (unless they are quite drunk, of course.) I have no cabal. I am just one guy. And sometimes I honestly feel that you (not you in particular{though let's ne honest here, you too} but "you" in the royal sense of newly infected people, really would rather I just go away. SO the thinly veiled (and often not veiled at all) talk of bullying seems disingenuous to ME, as I often feel targeted and monstered.

Which, my own ego and desire to be part of a community aside, would not be an issue if ANYONE WAS VOLUNTEERING TO HELP OUT HERE. You know how many people are active in answering questions in AM I INFECTED, the English edition? Four, at my best estimate. And the Spanish edition? Two. For a site of our esteem and credibility, that's laughable. And to be frank, most of the times I am even ON here, I came here to answer questions in AM I, and stick around for interesting discussion after.

So here's the thing, I guess. What do YOU (not only you {but seriously, you} but the Royal You) want out of these forums? And to what lengths will you go to achieve that? Obviously, if your goal is simply to tear them down, then by all means, sow dissension and make anyone over thirty, or who have had HIV/AIDS for longer than ten years feel unwelcome (which, interestingly, is what motivated the Long Term Survivors Forum.

If it is indeed to foster community, it would, I think, behoove you to try to use your empathy as well as your strength to foster bonds, not acrimony. This is something I struggle with myself, but it is a struggle worth having.

I do not delude myself into thinking that this forum has a long term future. HIV is becoming passe, even to those who have it. The notion of lifestyle change of any sort to accommodate this infection is not the sort of message anyone seems to want to hear. The Golden Days of our community coming together to form ASOs, Act Up, and even this forum (thanks, Peter Staley) are over. And as the dust of the pandemic settles, the basest form of human interaction persists and dominates the overall discourse. No one is taking my place in AM I INFECTED. No one is taking Leatherman's place in his ASO. No one is using the scientific method, it seems, not even when it is to their obvious benefit.

Treatment as prevention will usurp and replace  condom use. An overreaching sense of entitled victimhood will overtake a sense of personal and mutual responsibility. And I have no doubts that this forum, like many relics from the HIV pandemic, will suffer further and eventually be left behind.

But in the meantime, as long as this place seems needed, and as long as I am not a total dinosaur, I will continue to contribute. Because of all the things I have wanted to do in my life, making some sort of difference has been the common denominator. Judge me for being an asshole, for being harsh, for my interpretation of science, all that. Just never assume my motives are anything but genuine.

I am not a cabal. I am a guy, living with four ferrets, in Smyrna GA. A guy who has spent a decade here trying to help educate, as much as I learn. A guy who has seen most of his mentors die, and has seen no replacements in leadership.

And for now, a guy neglecting his hungry boyfriend to write this post. SO I am out of here for the moment.



"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 06:53:03 PM »
TL; DR

I know.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline zach

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 11:10:10 PM »
this response is to joe's post to me in the other thread.

i apologize for offending you joe, i value and respect your opinions highly... however, i do think there is an elephant in the room that many here ignore. on this we may disagree completely.

yeah, i brought some conflict, but its nothing that hasn't been discussed around here before, ad nauseam.

the OP made a mistake in another thread, quoted someone out of line, and was promptly corrected by one of the more famous posters here. i mean seriously, he just didn't know how some of the functions worked. my first post in the thread was simply telling him to take it all with a grain of salt. it devolved into something darker, and should not have hijacked OPs thread. for that i accept full responsibility.

a couple of months ago a first time poster got the grammar nazi treatment, he hasn't been back, i hope he's doing ok. they backpedaled quick, and made the standard welcomes but that was the second thing said. also within the last couple of months, a couple posters in here flamed a new user, and others came to the defense writing it off as "oh, well, when you get to know them, thats just how they are." jkinatl2, you were one of the posters that said that. jk, my first post was fundamentally very similar to yours. it boils down to, there are some known people in here, and that is how they are, don't let it get to you. there is a pattern, often repeated, and to ignore and deny it, that is what i think is disingenuous.

The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him in the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk, but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle.



Offline bocker3

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 11:51:13 PM »
Zach,

I don't get what is driving you on this mission of yours.  I can't see where the OP you are referring to was mistreated in any way -- except for your derailing his thread, of course.  Quite frankly it was some gratuitous and close to a flame bait.

Seeing as you have a great memory on a few "badly treated" newcomers -- where are your examples of all the helpful threads for newbies to these forums?  There are alot more of those -- by far.
You seem to have a chip on your shoulders -- if I recall, it was present when you first came here -- if you really don't find these forums useful, then why are you posting?  Hopefully, you can find the support you need here -- I know I have.  Yes, there have been "fights" and disagreements on here -- but when the chips are down the support comes -- sometimes from a source you might not expect it to come from.
So -- focus on the negatives if you want -- but there is more good here than you seem to see.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 11:56:21 PM »
Mike,

You make some really valid points, but they are wasted on an individual who seems rather determined to flame bait --and to create the sort of negativity that disgusts him so much, and which he claims to find throughout the forum (while all the while riding a high horse).  It's the kind of person who doesn't even merit a response or any attention.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 12:08:59 AM »
What sort of horse do you view me as, Zach?

Because I have been that same horse - give or take - for the ten years I have been on his forum.


*modified to add - you seem to be telling me I am no longer welcome here. Is that the case? Will you replace me in AM I INFECTED? Where will you leave your legacy here?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 12:20:53 AM by jkinatl2 »
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline thunter34

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 12:15:12 AM »
Zach,

What the hell is wrong with you?  Is this how you treat a member who is looking for information?  What an awful thing to do to a new member?

If you want to find a source of conflict in this forum, check the nearest mirror.

Joe

I'm quoting Joe's post from the other thread for reference, and also to ask the question myself.  I'm not trying to jump on you - I'm seriously asking out of concern.  You've had a posting history here over the last month or two that has been uncharacteristically  (by my judgment) angry and vitriolic.  Not just that - there is just an underlying energy of unrest and unhappiness that is just coming out of the screen as I've read through your posts in recent times.  You just seem really troubled, Zach.

I don't really know what to say, hon.  You make mention of how there is this primary circle here that never changes, and well...I have to make a few points about that.  One, in your case specifically, I just don't know what else I could have possibly done to have welcomed you into the fold.  Two, I'm not sure how that "primary circle" thing really holds up because, as JK said, that circle has  changed over the years.  I'm pretty certain that I would be considered a part of the AM Inner SanctumTM, but I was a fresh arrival once upon a time. 

I made this bunch a part of my family, and they made me theirs by way of mutual investment of energy and time.  I'm now wholly devoted to several of these folks to the point that I have no intention of letting them go even if this site completely crumbles. 

I say this because, it seems to me, that seems to be as much a part of the problem as anything else when it comes to "lack of forum unity"...so many people don't seem willing to stick it out for just a bit and learn  who the other posters inhabiting these forums really are.  They just cry foul right from the top - and often not because of any real slight, but because the "cabal" posters have committed the offense of not telling them exactly what they'd like to hear or how they'd like to hear it.

I guess I'm just extremely defensive of this site because it has meant the world to me.  Heck, I've even flown cross country twice just to get a few days with these folks.  And it continually perplexes me how the ones who are most often maligned as the "hateful posters" are the ones who I love the absolute most, and whose advice I count on the greatest. 

Did you know that once upon a time I  was even branded as among the hater posters?  (Shoot...I may still be to some on here - I dunno.)

The point is:  I think the people who are most often growled about are actually demonstrating the most real love here - because they aren't patronizing, they are putting in real time and effort themselves and, when the chips are down (and they have been REALLY down on a few occasions) they step up to the plate in a way that I just can't help but be proud of.

I see what you're saying, though, about how folks might be perceived by some of the more tender of the newcomers.  I do, but I don't entirely know what to do about that because I think (1.) accomodations are already made in IJTP, (2.) eventually kid gloves absolutely MUST come off as it takes a grown up mentality - full on Big Boy Britches - to last the long haul with HIV.  I don't care what anybody else says or what Flinstones Chewable ARV they're swallowing this week, and...

(3.)  this is HOME to this certain circle of people.  They've earned it as their place.  I've earned it, and I want them here just as they are.  It's what makes this place a refuge for me.  They're the fire that keeps me warm.  I think that, while we make every effort to welcome people in, at a certain point it is up to them to get the lay of the land. 

*Sigh*  Just like JK....  TL/DR

AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 10:00:34 AM »
okay guys, help me out... what is TL/DR ?

I can spin variables to match all day long, but tis better to ask---saves time.

TY

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 10:05:23 AM »
okay guys, help me out... what is TL/DR ?

I can spin variables to match all day long, but tis better to ask---saves time.

TY

Too long; didn't read

TL;DR
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 10:43:27 AM »
ohhhhhhhhhhhh. never would have arrived there.

NT/ID

Not true   I did

Offline Joe K

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 11:02:58 AM »
Zach,

While I appreciate your response, I honestly don't even know where to begin, because right now, I feel like just ignoring you.  You make comments about isolated incidents, that by your own omission, happen months apart and you expect new users to understand these comments, in some form of context?  How are they supposed to make those connections?  Instead, what I see, when you make these comments, is your casting a bad light on all of these forums, because you believe a few select newcomers have been flamed by some members.  I simply cannot understand how your "warnings" to newcomers, are conducive to them investing in and becoming contributing members to the forum.

It would be one thing, if you were to make these comments, after a newcomer has expressed confusion on what is happening, but you drop these "warnings" out of the blue and this tells me two things.  The first is that you aren't really "warning" newcomers so much, as displaying classic passive-aggressive behaviour against a few select members of the forums.  The second is that you are simply too cowardly to actually call those folks the spade you seem so fond of mentioning.  Taken together, these points make it apparent to me that you have some major issues, with certain members and all I can suggest is for you to grow a pair and if it bothers you so much, then confront them directly and privately.

What I cannot abide, is for any member to be flame-baiting any members, newcomers or not, because they are unwilling to confront the member(s) whom they claim are causing these problems.  When you make these type of comments, what I would take away, as a new member, is that these forums are vapid and shallow and they are no better than many such forums, so why waste your time.  It tells them there is nothing here for you, when that is rarely the case.  I also find it extremely distasteful to slam an entire forum, over a few unfortunate exchanges that can often be caused by confusion over communication styles.

Finally, what troubles me most is the final line of your reply:


The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him in the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk, but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle.

To me, the comment is somewhat obtuse, but that could just be me.  However, the references to violence is telling to me.  This is a support forum, not a jousting tournament, as there are no horses here.  You seem to be suggesting that the way to resolve conflict is with violence and with that I will never, ever agree.  This idea that some members want to force other members to "kowtow" to them, with your reference to a saddle is absurd and extremely condescending.

It's apparent to me, that you have some major issues with certain members of this forum and as always, that is your right.  But to exercise that right, you need to address whatever issues you may have, with those members directly.  Try and remember, that your rights extend only to the point, where other members rights begin.  This also means you don't have the right to piss all over these forums with your venom, simply because you don't like certain members.

Joe

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 11:03:34 AM »

Re: Gay guys with Vitiligo

« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 06:13:08 PM »

Quote


what does this thread have to do with HIV? and a whole string of 1st time posters. standards have gone down since "am i?" went pay for play. possibly i misunderstand the purpose of this site.

and dredged up a years old thread, winning all around.


« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 06:15:45 PM by zach »

Is this an example of how to respond to someone's first post?  I just need clarification before the next meeting. 

Wolfie


Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 11:34:11 AM »
a couple of months ago a first time poster got the grammar nazi treatment, he hasn't been back, i hope he's doing ok. they backpedaled quick, and made the standard welcomes but that was the second thing said.

Did you forget the part where the poster sincerely apolgoized and went on to welcome that member? 

But instead, you choose to call me out on one incident instead of realizing that I devote quite a bit of time welcoming new members.  There is nothing "standardized" about my words and they are usually heartfelt and supportive.  I'll also ask, when is the last time you communicated positive support to anyone in that particular forum?  I got tired of looking beyond 2 months.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 10:20:11 PM »
Bump on the extremely thin chance that the people who were thrilled to start this thread actually want a conversation.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 10:54:02 PM »
I'm just going to continue to bump THIS up for While to see if any if the people who complain about this forum are seriously looking for real conversation.

I will do this until about a week longer than ridiculous.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline wolfter

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 08:02:53 AM »
Intelligent debate dictates that people are willing to listen to viewpoints other than their own.  I witness that so much in my every day life. 

I didn't exactly make a great entrance here.  It probably focused on my desperate need for support.  Perhaps my arrogance once against kicked in, but I dealt with it with less than stellar grace.  But I have, and continue to gain so much from this dysfunctional family and will always hold most within my dear grace.

So many comments and lessons here have had profound changes that I can't imagine changing much.  One tag lines that amuses me often is; "AIDS isn't for sissies".  Oh, and the one that taught me the most; "grow a pair".  ;D

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline bmancanfly

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 11:47:35 AM »
Can someone clue me in as to which thread started this all?  I'm lost
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Online Jeff G

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2013, 12:17:52 PM »
Can someone clue me in as to which thread started this all?  I'm lost

You could be pointed to a thread as an example but for the most part it all useally starts with a new member or an old one with an axe to grind . Many times people post on a topic or start a thread and when somebody disagrees or shows proof of an error in fact they are unable to deal with the critique and go off the deep end . Its bad form to dredge up some examples of this because some members that have been banned are not here to defend themselves . 

I tend to think that some people come here with expectations that support means what ever they are feeling or thinking is going to be validated and that's just not how it works . Many times people have to be told uncomfortable truths so that our little community does not to appear to endorse bad science , unsubstantiated claims or just fall into the category of enabling behaviors that may be detrimental in the long run .


I can only speak for myself but I feel that some subjects that cause controversy and hurt feeling are vital to persue because a life could very well depend upon it .

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2013, 01:11:51 AM »
I am always anxious to hear from people who have trouble with the forums and the members.

More to the point, I wish to hear the plans to  take the reigns, as active members, moderators, or benefactors.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Growler

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2013, 03:09:09 PM »
“If loving someone is putting them in a straitjacket and kicking them down a flight of stairs, then yes, I have loved a few people.”

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2013, 06:42:39 PM »
I am imagining how that water smells.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Forum Unity
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2013, 04:04:02 PM »
Just a bump, not to be snarky.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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