Young Master Smeet

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  • in reply to: Updating stats… #91203

    On Homelessness in the UK

    52,960 households were in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2012, 8 per cent higher than at the same date in 2011.
    in reply to: Labour Theory of Value – Marginal Utility #91111
    DJP wrote:
    In mainstream economics 'Marginal Utility' refers to an increase or decrease in utility following the consumption of an additional unit of a good. I fail to see what that article has to do with it?

    Well, I suppose the utter uselessness of Californium, and several other of the items on that list illustrates the Diamonds half of the Paradox of Value ( note, the apparent solution of the problem, by Marginalism, is, to my mind, unutterable bunkum.  Diamonds are precious because they are rare, but they are only rare because they are desired.  Since they have no otehr use, it is their value that makes them desirable.

    in reply to: Is Bordigism hip? #91100

    For those not in the know:

    Wikipedia wrote:
    Amadeo Bordiga (13 June 1889 – 23 July 1970) was an Italian Marxist, a contributor to Communist theory, the founder of the Communist Party of Italy, a leader of the Communist International and, after World War II, a leading figure of the International Communist Party. (…)Bordiga proudly defined himself as "anti-democratic" and believed himself at one with Marx and Engels on this. Bordiga's hostility toward democracy had nothing to do with Stalinist idealism. Indeed, he saw fascism and Stalinism as the culmination of bourgeois democracy. Democracy to Bordiga meant above all the manipulation of society as a formless mass. To this he counterposed the "dictatorship of the proletariat", implemented by the communist party founded in 1847, based on the principles and program enunciated in the manifesto. He often referred to the spirit of Engels' remark that "on the eve of the revolution all the forces of reaction will be against us under the banner of 'pure democracy". (As, indeed, every factional opponent of the Bolsheviks in 1921 from the monarchists to the anarchists called for "soviets without Bolsheviks"–or soviet workers councils not dominated by Bolsheviks.) Bordiga opposed the idea of revolutionary content being the product of a democratic process of pluralist views; whatever its problems, in light of the history of the past 70 years, this perspective has the merit of underscoring the fact that communism (like all social formations) is above all about programmatic content expressed through forms. It underscores the fact that for Marx, communism is not an ideal to be achieved but a "real movement" born from the old society with a set of programmatic tasks.(…)On communismFor Bordiga, both stages of socialist or communist society (sometimes distinguished as "socialism" and "communism") were characterised by the (gradual) absence of money, the market, and so on, the difference between them being that earlier in the first stage a system of 'rationing' would be used to allocate goods to people, while in communism this could be abandoned in favour of full free access. This view distinguished Bordiga from other Leninists, and especially the Trotskyists, who tended (and still tend) to telescope the first two stages and so have money and the other exchange categories surviving into "socialism". Bordiga would have none of this. For him no society in which money, buying and selling and the rest survived could be regarded as either socialist or communist; these exchange categories would die out before the socialist rather than the communist stage was reached.

    So, as Hip as Zeitgeist…

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90972
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    I have obviously no sympathy from you. Your comment is laden with prejudice. Have you thought why? When you know nothing about the case! Why are you discussing with me when your mind is already made up? Are you trying to 'wind me up'?I suppose the time I have spent is not as important! I spend and have spent  100s of 'person hours' for the SPGB and socialism.You obviously believe that some 'person hours' are more important than others. Why do you think I am 'wasting' MY person hours' on this subject?Because an undemocratic and prejudicial  party cannot be a vehicle for socialism. You are clearly prejudicial.

    I'm actually being the opposite of prejudicial, I'm leaving the case to judgement, rather than sticking my oar in.  I'm not discussing your case with you, as I've said several times, I'm talking in general about the principles of having a moderated forum. 

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90968
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I am not being confrontational or antagonistic, but I suggest YMS check out the case in question.Perhaps doing so may shed some light on the question OGW is asking and so enable YMS to answer OGW's last post.I seek fairness for all parties. This can only be achieved when we are fully informed.

    No ta, I'm sticking with general principles, other people are looking at the case, tens of person hours are already being spent on it, I don't need to add mine.

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90967
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Let me give you an example, member 'a' is suspended after 1 warning. Member 'b' is not suspended after 3 warnings.  The moderator is applying the rules – he can suspend or he need not suspend. Another example. member 'a' uses 'abusive language' on 10 posts and is not warned. member 'b' uses abusive language on 1 post and receives warning. He complains that this is unfair and he is suspended for doubting the intergrity of the moderator. The suspension has happened. member 'b' cannot appeal to Conference retrospectively.  The rules need to be specific and fair. Not general as they can and have been abused.

    Those are not questions of rule, but of implementation.  Sometimes a moderator gets it wrong, sometimes they get it right.  With practice, they'll improve, and they'll learn.  After all, a football referee makes similar judgement calls: sometimes a player can persistently trip or dive, and get away with it, sometimes a player will get caught first time.  Different referees apply the same rules in subtly different ways.  Despite the best will, and training, in the world, such things happen.  There are appeal procedures, not least the court of public opinion, but the result of the match still stands, and that's all as can be done.  You can't legislate these problems away, you just work round them.

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90982
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Admin wrote:"Moderating:The moderator reserves the right to reject messages sent to the list."1)using what criteria?Admin wrote:"The moderator reserves the right to suspend or expel a subscriber for unacceptable behaviour."  2) Who decides/defines 'unacceptable behaviour'3) Who moderates the moderator?

    1) The criteria of the forum rules.2) The moderators decide what is unacceptable behaviour, based on the agreed forum rules.3) The Internet Dept, then the EC, then Branches/Membership at large.

    in reply to: Leveson #91098 looks like this is the key paragraph:

    Leveson wrote:
    It should be open any subscriber to a recognised regulatory body to rely on the fact of such membership and on the opportunity it provides for the claimant to use a fair, fast and inexpensive arbitration service. It could request the court to encourage the use of thatsystem of arbitration and, equally, to have regard to the availability of the arbitration system when considering claims for costs incurred by a claimant who could have used the arbitration service. On the issue of costs, it should equally be open to a claimant to rely on failure by a newspaper to subscribe to the regulator thereby depriving him or her of access to a fair, fast and inexpensive arbitration service. Where that is the case, in the exercise of its discretion, the court could take the view that, even where the defendant is successful, absent unreasonable or vexatious conduct on the part of the claimant, it would be inappropriate for the claimant to be expected to pay the costs incurred in defending the action.

    What he is suggesting is an independent board, funded by publishers, to regulate and uphold standards.  Such a board to be "recognised" by a statutory body, and the advantage to publishers of joining may be that it may costs more to defend libel actions if you haven't joined the regulatory body.  That does effect us, slightly, but doesn't change our real position as we already stand at risk from libel actions.

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90980

    I haven't called you a SPAMBOT or said you were disrupting meetings, in fact, I am not discussing you at all.  I said as much right at the top.  I am talking about moderators and the need for moderators.  I am discussing how, substantially, the way we moderate this forum is how we moderate our public physical meetings.

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90978
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    A forum is not comparable to a public meeting. A chairperson ensures that only one person is speaking at any one time. In a forum many people may speak at once and the ‘listener’ can read all contributions one at a time. No need for anyone to wait in a queue or for the chairperson to shut anyone up. ANYONE can contribute: You either read or ignore.

    Indeed, but we have seen that unconstrained posters can drown other contributions out, and "suck the air from the room" typically by making any topic about them rather than the subject at hand.  Some effort is needed to make sure that people stick to the topic of debate and behave in an appropriate manner.

    The ONLY reason I can think of for a moderator to shut a comrade up is if the member threatens or abuses another member and refuses to stop. I have never done this. I have been threatened and abused myself by a member and when I pointed this out, I was suspended. This is why I am not very happy. I am owed an apology and an explanation.

    That is one of the reasons, but, as we saw today, a SPAMBOT broke through and sent a lot of garbage to the General forum, which the Moderator had to nuke.  Or should we give SPAMBOTs the vote?  I don't think we need to wait for a threat, neither.  I expect Moderators to break fights up.

    There needs to be an open free discussion on the role and behaviour of ‘moderators’.

    We're having it, now.

    For example, unlike a chairperson they are not elected at every ‘meeting’

    Neither are chairs at public meetings elected by the meeting, they are normally elected by the branch at the previous business meeting.  Like public meetings, the members of the public do not have a voting say in how our meetings are run.

    How would you like it if a chairperson at a socialist meeting told you to shut up at future meetings until you have taken the matter  to your branch and the Annual Conference? I think you would probably leave the party.

    I'd raise the matter at my branch.  Luckily, this has never happened to anyone, including you.  At branch, I could be asked to leave the room if I was disrupting the meeting.  If I carried on, I, like any member who persistently disrupted meetings could expect  to be expelled from the party.

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90983
    The forum rules do not stipulate the grounds for suspension.

    Yes, they do: there are seven rules members have to abide by, and breaking them is grounds for moderator action to prevent further breeches.  If you post a long signature, forget to trim, cross post, abuse, flame, send personal messages or keep going off topic, you break the rules.

    Comrade, perhaps you would have a change of opinion if YOU were suspended for nothing. Banning someone from a forum should be a last resort. Are you suggesting that the moderator should have the right to ban someone who offers an opinion he disagrees with? The forum rules do not stipulate the grounds for suspension. It is left to the mederator's whim. If you believe I wass rightly suspended. Perhaps you could explain. No one else has bothered

    I've no idea if you were 'rightly' suspended.  I'm not the moderator, and I haven't been following your case.  What I support is the concept of the moderator, and that the moderator is answerable to the party not to the participants of the forum. I doubt I would change my mind, I've been 'unfairly' shut up by a meeting chair before now, and recognise their job is to keep order and keep discussion flowing.  Them's the breaks. 

    in reply to: Free and open discussion on Sticky: Forum Rules #90959
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Rules:2. Resist forwarding messages.3. Keep signatures to a maximum 4-5 lines.7. DO NOT cross-post to this forum.8. Personal abuse, flaming and trolling will not be tolerated.9. Please keep your posts trimmed so not to include unnecessary text.10.Personal messages should be sent by personal email, not to the rule. to keep discussion on topic

    If you look at the resolution that adopted the rules, only the above were actually mandated by the EC: "*Motion 7* – Poynton and Browne moved that all the above existing rules, except rules 1, 4, 5 and 6, and a new rule to keep discussion on topic, be adopted for the new forum. Carried (9 for, 0 against)"Rule 8 (as was) implicitly recognises the need for a moderator (though, maybe, going by the wording, it should be known as the Intolerator).  There has to be someone doing the tolerating.  Likewise, the new rule requires someone/thing to police the topics.  You cannot will the ends unless you will the means.If you want this changed, write to your branch (or any branch), and propose an item for conference, or a motion to the EC).  However, I'd say those rules are hardly controversial, IMNSHO.

    in reply to: Moving topics #91033
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    My topic inviting discussion on forum rules has been moved to website technical. My topic is not a 'technical problem' it is about democracy. I wish to open up a discussion on forum rules and moderation. […]If I receive no response to my post then fair enough I will leave, but to remove my thread  to website technical is discriminatory against me.

    Discussion about the running of this forum/website belongs in the proper board.  Questions about how the admins run things properly belongs in Website/technical.To be frank, General is a bad name for a board, and it should be something like Topical/theoretical.This topic should be moved to the technical board.

    in reply to: Robots in demand in China as labour costs climb. #90838

    One question that interests me is the separation of price and value.  It is possible for valueless objects to have a price (since anyone can agree to exchange anything for anything).  Antiques, art, found objects, valueless but people may swap them to their hearts content.  Say I swap a painting for a rock, for example.  Now, if we have two valueless objects exchanged in terms of a third valueless object, we have an extended valueless exchange expressed in a price.Essentially, robots could trade virtual money for virtual products, almost endlessly.  Markets could continue without value production, replacing system signals for value judgements.  Thus, there is the prospect of markets continuing, and life with it, without descent into machine induced barbarism.Charles Stross, in his novel 'Accelerando' has a joke incident in which someone patents a method of central planning involving shell companies; but the idea does intrigue me, could robots (physical and electronic) eventually lead to a situation in which humans don't need money?

    in reply to: Robots in demand in China as labour costs climb. #90835

    And just for ego sake:'s a varient version of the talk (I think a bit more detailed on the question of Singularity)

Viewing 15 posts - 2,776 through 2,790 (of 2,870 total)