Your opinions on the "Alternative History and Future Speculation" section wanted

What do you think of the 'Alternative History and Future Speculation' forum section?

  • It's my favorite section.

    Votes: 7 6.5%
  • It's fine. Keep it!

    Votes: 53 49.5%
  • I don't really care either way

    Votes: 11 10.3%
  • It's not my thing, but I can ignore it

    Votes: 16 15.0%
  • It's off-topic for the forum, on balance I'd rather limit or ditch it

    Votes: 13 12.1%
  • Nuke it from orbit (it's the only way to be sure)

    Votes: 7 6.5%

  • Total voters
    107

overscan (PaulMM)

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The moderators have received a number of complaints about topics in the "Alternative History and Future Speculation" section.

I'll be up-front about this, I created this dedicated forum section mostly to avoid polluting the main forum sections with 'alternate history' type topics that come up from time to time. It was never intended to be a major focus for the forum. as a whole A small number of users (Ralph, I'm looking at you) seem to be starting a lot of topics in here recently. They cross over into political areas at times are causing problems for moderators to resolve.

My own time is mostly being put into research for a book I'm writing, so the flow of posts from me is definitely reduced, and other regular on-topic contributors are likewise occupied with various things, there is definitely a feel of diffusion from the core forum topics.

There are forums out there dedicated specifically to these kind of alternate history topics (e.g. https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/ where we can find many of these topics already discussed many times) so the question is

-do these discussions belong on this forum?

Poll and replies welcome.
 
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Orionblamblam

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I think it *can* be a useful and entertaining diversion, and it *can* be relevant to the mission of the forum. "Projects" inevitably lead to speculation and what-iffery. If you want to drop the Admin Hammer on threads/posts that wander too far from "what if project X had been built" or "what would it have taken to get project X built," that certainly seems fair. But I'd recommend keeping the what-if subforum.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yes, the topic drift is from "in what conditions could project x be built" to more general what-if history questions.
 

JFC Fuller

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I agree with Orionblamblam overall. I have also found the Alternative History section useful for gathering thoughts around how certain projects could have fitted, or did fit, into their wider environment; e.g. the recently active P.1121 thread.

Problems seem to arise when certain forum members choose to post in a thread with the sole objective of admonishing other members for imagined thought crimes. They seem to be the same posters who do similar things in the Bar and main forums too, invariably they are posters who have rarely if ever contributed anything about cancelled projects.
 

Arjen

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At its best, it provides insight into why things happened. Various long toed individuals plague other sections too.
 

riggerrob

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AH & FS are my favorite sections. Since I have studied much of original time linen history, it is sometimes amusing to speculate on alternatives.

For example, a couple of years back, I started a "Panic Fighter 1938" thread that provoked a review of light fighter prototypes proposed during the late 1930s. We also reviewed limits on what was possible with the 1,000 horsepower engines available then.
Justo Miranda published his book "Enemy at the Gates" in late 2019, detailing all the prototypes we had discussed, plus he surprised us with a few unknown types.

Another thread eventually led to the a fictional book about "Fireflies of the Falklands," an amusing read about a troop of Sherman Firefly tanks stranded on the Falkland Islands in 1982. I wonder how much better they would have scored with Canadian Pot Sabot ammunition?

My pet peeve - on these two forums - are the Luddites who immediately respond "that will never work within the American military-industrial complex!"
Pshah! This is an "alternative" or "speculative" forum. These Luddites have such narrow minds that they cannot conceive of a navy with less than 10 aircraft carriers!
Hah!
Open your mind to other possibilities.
Recognize that many small countries struggle to finance a single squadron of fighters, then try to imagine the best possible scenario from that starting point.
 

starviking

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It can be fun, throws up occasional historical tidbits, and more often great insights on the historical intersection of politics, industry, and world affairs - not to mention design processes.

Definitely a keeper!
 

Hood

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I seem to find myself posting more there lately, partly to relieve my mind while writing a book and working from home.

It does stimulate some useful discussion and allows deeper exploration of other issues that would quickly derail a genuine project thread - and what-if thoughts have cluttered several topics on other forum sections, sometimes due to the speculative nature of the project (missile and radar threads especially as discussion invariably tends to stray from the piece of kit to the aircraft, missile or ship associated with it).
But I do recognise that there is a tendency to repeat the same topics or others that get rehashed in various forms fairly regularly (especially British-centric scenarios), which I recognise must get wearing for other forum users.
 

Foo Fighter

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It's fine but, any what-if should be limited to the realistic alternative rather than the flights of fancy or where an opinion that a/n other aircraft/ship/bus whatever might have been a better alrcraft in the opinion of the poster. Are we supposed to just massage the theory of others or do we have a proper discussion where alternate views are also given credence? If you post that the Hamilcar would have made a better alternative to the Spitfire if the design had been different and had an engine etc, you will have people disagree and it is impossible to have a discussion without different points of view. Perhaps the type of thread where the original theory is postulated and there is no other alternative so don't bother posting if you think different should be locked so replires are not possible. After all if you do that, you can bathe in the warm glow that nobody can post another alternative theory......
 

riggerrob

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Dear Hood,
The subject of multiple threads - on similar subjects - has been debated long and loud on www.dropzone.com and www.alternatehistory.com.

On DZ.com, parachute riggers prefer to have all the technical posts on a single parachute on the same thread. Sometimes they are happy to find a 30-year-old Service Bulletin on an old entry. If someone tries to start a new thread - on a subject previously discussed - moderators soon merge the two threads.
If local politics get too vicious, posters get warned. If they persist with political agendas, they get booted for a week.

OTOH www.alternatehistory.com is constantly trying to encourage fresh thinking, so frown upon posting to old threads. If you do that too often, you get warned or banned.
 

Jemiba

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Some debates, we had here in the "Alternative History &Future Speculation" section may come from different approaches:
There is a purely technically one, just asking if this or that aircraft, battleship or tank could have been built during era X.
The other asks, if the country, in which those designs were drawn would have had the economical resources or the political
will to build them after all. Good examples may be many of those late WWII German designs, which are generally discussed
in the "Early Projects" section. On the one hand, were they feasible at all and really fully developed ? And on the other hand,
yes, technically/scientifically ok, but was there the slightest chance ever to be translated into hardware ?
Some people are just interested in the technology itself, others more in the surrounding circumstances.
A designer, or engineer working for a country, rarely has the opportunity to combine his designs with his political opinions !
So, I wouldn't assess one approach better, than the other. If I don't like one or another, I'll just don't particpate or read it !

Often a What-If scenario isn't only based on different technological, but also political developments, e.g. that the III.Reich would
have lasted considerably longer and, after a separate peace with the western allies, achieved a victory over the Soviet Union (that's
just an example !). Many implications of such scenarios, apart from just the technological ones may be hair-raising indeed !
But here, to my opinion, it's important to remember, that it is, firstly, just a fictional scenario, and secondly, that the one, who brought
it up not necessarily is a supporter of the politics, that would have led to this situation !
In other words, posting a thread with a scenario, where China is still led by descendants of Kublai Khan, doesn't mean, that the poster
would like to conquer China today !

But yes, during the last weeks, several topics in the "Alternative History & Future Speculation" section strayed into politics, and that
wasn't always just accidentally, I think. The forum rules are clear about that : " Political, religious and nationalistic posts are discouraged."
And please note, there's no mention about which religion, or which nation !

What actually is a political statement often is a matter of opinion. "Far-Far-Awayistan is the leading country of the world !" certainly is.
"That aircraft, built in country A, wouldn't have been possible without the financial help of country B" may be, here it's a matter of the context.
Principally the same can be said about bad habits, like "trolling". For some people, voicing a different opinion from their own, seems to
be trolling, or even offending. Totally understandable, we all meet those people nearly every day, who aren't able to think logically,
sometimes even in our own house, making matters worse !
But experience shows, that changing the opinion of someone else is difficult, and starting a flaming debate in the end often is regarded
as confirmation for such "wrong opinions". And there at least was something, called "freedom of opinion", and IIRC there still is.
If an adversary don't give in to a reasonable argument (your argument, so, of course, it's reasonable !), he hardly will do to a more
aggressive one.
The political opinion of a member may be known, or it may be recognisable from a post, but that doesn't necessarily turns every post
by this member into a political one ! Funnily, the "reports to the moderator" show a relatively balanced score for "distributing right wing
propaganda", or what it is called, to "distributing left wing propaganda" ... sensivities seems to be same on both sides !

For short:
- This forum is about unbuilt military and aerospace technology, not about politics.
- Please restrain from political statements, in all sections !
- Intolerable political statements should be reported, not answered in the thread.
- If you notice a political statement, please judge carefully, if it really is intolerable in general, or if perhaps there may be some sort of bias ?
And please remember, that some people still are using the rhetorical device called "irony". For some, in some cases that's funny, for others
maybe tasteless.
- Please, don't battle your "usual suspects" in the respective thread. If you don't like their opinions, just use the ignore function !
And the report button isn't a personal gun for anybody !
 

zen

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My interest in technology and systems invariably leads into questions of what might have been or how things develop.
I only wish I had the time and money to trawl the vaults of Kew or indeed elsewhere. But that is now decades away.

Obviously I like to speculate and tend to be technology and design centric.
And obviously the Alternative History and Future Speculation section is one I enjoy.....

However on the vexing matter of politics intruding.....
I'm afraid this is somewhat inevitable on certain topics (such as nuclear weapons) and in others is partly down to certain individual(s) using political memoirs to describe real history of systems. Which is accepted here despite the density, glibness, and narrowness of the view.
Almost to the lack of interest in technology and systems at all. Seeing it as just a side issue to the politics. An inevitable feature of taking that viewpoint.
Occasionally I have countered that narrowness and glibness. If this is a problem do say.

I am also aware of certain individuals whose behaviour is highly negative, and judgemental. Looking for argument and not of the technical or scientific sort.
Among their number, one or two seem sometimes to ape behaviour found elsewhere (AH.com) and maybe trying to 'fit in' or even to satisfy others there who are occasionally looking in here?

Actually let me reemphasis that topics like Nuclear weapons are inherently political and provocative. You cannot disconnect the politics that drive that technology.
It will offend some who oppose the technology and some who oppose the politics.
 

Fluff

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I'm a little confused, and defer to the longer standing members, but the subtitle of the site is 'unbuilt projects'. Aren't 'Alternative History and Future Speculation' by definition unbuilt?
Also its entirely possible we have aircraft or projects, that currently reside in this section, that may well have been built, we just don't know it, and therefore may need in the future to be rescued from the suggested off-topic and not worth talking about thread, to be dusted off and placed on the mantlepiece, for all to admire.

If we have by then ruled great uncle Tobias's pet project as 'made-up', then how will we do this?

I apologise in advance if bringing logic to the dance, offends anyone.
 

Foo Fighter

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I find it hard to understand that someone for example states that vehicle X should have been built or continued with in favour of other projects wanting to criticise people posting that perhaps vehicle Y might have been a better bet and only posts agreeing with this belief are acceptable and "If you don't agree start another thread", comments are bewildering. This is supposed to be a discussion group is it not?
 

Orionblamblam

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I find it hard to understand that someone for example states that vehicle X should have been built or continued with in favour of other projects wanting to criticise people posting that perhaps vehicle Y might have been a better bet and only posts agreeing with this belief are acceptable and "If you don't agree start another thread", comments are bewildering. This is supposed to be a discussion group is it not?

Ummmm... have you ever seen the way fans of this sportsball team or that one will beat the tar out of each other, as if any of it makes any real difference? Humans are rather dumbass pack animals heavily steeped in tribalism... and tribes are something that the individual can choose on a whim.

So... yeah, yer gonna get people tearing each others heads off over whether the X-20 Dyna Soar was a better VTOL fighter design than the Convair NX2. Because it's just one more thing to fight over.
 

zen

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Hmmmm
Thread Hijacking is a thing.
As is "but there was the X so no one would bother with Y", which can be just a way of trying to cut the subject short. Along with "but X was so good no point in Y", which gets a bit daft when X is designedandbuiltby another country and might not be the desired solution for the country developing Y.

Which drifts us into a sad but true factor in relation certainly to UK projects and possibly other countries. That of defeatism, and 'national' self loathing.
I had a relative who always disparaged anything done by or made by the UK. This almost certainly started as lauding the USSR but often veered into lauding Nazi Germany. In the end it was not about how much better the other was, but much more about how bad, rubbish, and worthless, the UK was.
 

Rhinocrates

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Archaeologists and historians actually find themselves depending on cosplayers and battle re-enacters, for ergonomic and tactical insights at least. There was a case where the remains of dwellings had mysterious circles of bricks. The archaeologists were stumped as to what they might be for, but some locals had the same features and explained that they were for containing chicks so they didn't wander off. The adult hens could step over them and forage, but the chicks couldn't and had to stay put. That wasn't at all apparent from a simple physical description without context. In other cases, without modern survivals for comparison, there is what is called "experimental archaeology," which is basically more systematic and monitored re-creations of structures and settlements to see how things would actually work, not only ergonomically, but economically and logistically.

My point is, if you create a fictional or speculative scenario, it can be practically enlightening if it's pursued with discipline, consideration of the ramifications and with reasonable discussion backed up with data. Perhaps then something like that should be written into the rules and anything that doesn't fit ("Could the Enterprise defeat an Imperial Star Destroyer?*) is shunted off to The Bar.

*Yes. In "The Trouble With Tribbles," Scotty showed that he could hack Klingon shields and transport tribbles into the D-7 engine room. The Empire, as we well know, loves shiny floors and hates safety rails. The Federation has replicators and transporters and can therefore send an unlimited amount of ball bearings, banana peels, floor wax, roller skates, garden rakes etc. into the Star Destroyer's crew spaces.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I'm a little confused, and defer to the longer standing members, but the subtitle of the site is 'unbuilt projects'. Aren't 'Alternative History and Future Speculation' by definition unbuilt?
Also its entirely possible we have aircraft or projects, that currently reside in this section, that may well have been built, we just don't know it, and therefore may need in the future to be rescued from the suggested off-topic and not worth talking about thread, to be dusted off and placed on the mantlepiece, for all to admire.

If we have by then ruled great uncle Tobias's pet project as 'made-up', then how will we do this?

I apologise in advance if bringing logic to the dance, offends anyone.

Logic? Where?

"Unbuilt Projects" is specifically actual real projects, created by more-or-less serious companies, but that did not make it into hardware. The forum core subject is finding and publishing information on these.

"Theoretical and Speculative Projects" section is for designs which have been proposed or illustrated but which don't necessarily correspond to a real project.

"Alternative History and Future Speculation" section is for discussing how history might have been different or the future might develop specifically in relation to projects.

e.g. questions like "How could history be different such that project X might have succeeded".

The problems are that the changes needed for this thought experiment are often political in nature, which means posts cross over into political discussion, coloured by the specific political viewpoint of the various posters, which is often toxic and largely banned as per the rules.
 

kaiserd

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A major underlying problem is that this isn’t a forum for politics but a number of contributors are consistently using it to push their politics.

For example paragraph 2 of entry 18 above is highly political and does not really relate to this topic. And then what are other contributors supposed to do?
A follow-up “hey that’s political and off topic” comment (or one disagreeing with/ challenging those politics) will be attacked by the usual suspects and may just lead to another flame war.
A report to administrators suggests a desire to silence other contributors that isn’t necessarily there and requires the administrators to intervene which puts them in an awkward position while demanding their time and effort to a degree that may not be sustainable.
And in such situations the administrators end up cleaning up the worse excesses of those pushing their political views and make them appear more reasonable and better behaved then they actually are.
Hence the risk is that those determined to push their political views will end up effectively rewarded for such behaviour while those flagging such behaviour get painted with a false equivalence.
And unfortunately trying to limit references to “recent politics” is unlikely to work as we have seen recent examples of contributors propagating conspiracy theory false-history as real history (paragraph 2 of entry 18 above is an example of this).

It comes down to what type of forum the administrators and the majority of the contributors want this to be.
And after all there are no shortage of political websites/ forums for those that want to talk politics.
 

Orionblamblam

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For example paragraph 2 of entry 18 above is highly political and does not really relate to this topic. And then what are other contributors supposed to do?

"Political" does not necessarily mean "factually inaccurate." "Lenin/Hitler/Stalin/Mao was a bad guy" is a political statement, yet hardly an incorrect one.

And even if you disagree with the politics of a post: So What. Nobody needs to spend their lives fighting every utterance they disagree with. Move on.

Here's a challenge: spend a free lockdown quarantine day doing nothing but visiting political forums that you fundamentally disagree with. Sign up to comment on them. And then don't. Go to a political rally for people of "the other side," and don't once throw water, milkshakes, punches or insults at any of them. Learn to let it go.

And then come back here, witness people saying things you disagree with, and then you might be able to simply shrug and click to another topic.
 

kaiserd

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For example paragraph 2 of entry 18 above is highly political and does not really relate to this topic. And then what are other contributors supposed to do?

"Political" does not necessarily mean "factually inaccurate." "Lenin/Hitler/Stalin/Mao was a bad guy" is a political statement, yet hardly an incorrect one.

And even if you disagree with the politics of a post: So What. Nobody needs to spend their lives fighting every utterance they disagree with. Move on.

Here's a challenge: spend a free lockdown quarantine day doing nothing but visiting political forums that you fundamentally disagree with. Sign up to comment on them. And then don't. Go to a political rally for people of "the other side," and don't once throw water, milkshakes, punches or insults at any of them. Learn to let it go.

And then come back here, witness people saying things you disagree with, and then you might be able to simply shrug and click to another topic.
And so it goes....
One of the most determinedly political-minded contributors (I’ve phrased that VERY charitably) pretending to be all reasonable.
Any contributor has the exact same right to challenge a political view as the the instigating contributor has to state it in the first place
But this isn’t a political discussion forum.
Instead we have contributors like you seeking to instigate and prolong political flame wars to propagate your own pet extreme political views and agendas (and to have this site/ forum as a platform for such extreme political views and agendas), and to then paint everyone who disagrees with you as equivalent or worse than you.
Extreme views and content are not best “left alone” and such a policy if adopted will inevitably drive this forum in a very predictable direction.
 

zen

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Deleted as someone is looking for an argument. That detracts from the purpose of this thread.

What does not detract is that people are obviously going to raise things like "what if Country X proceeded with System Z", and in the AH section of this site. So opposition to such topics is frankly spitting into the wind. Couching that opposition in the terms "country X shouldn't try" is the politicisation.
And a very unpleasant kind of politics lies beneath such a statement. Especially when that is a consistent attitude.
 
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kaiserd

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Deleted as someone is looking for an argument. That detracts from the purpose of this thread.

What does not detract is that people are obviously going to raise things like "what if Country X proceeded with System Z", and in the AH section of this site. So opposition to such topics is frankly spitting into the wind. Couching that opposition in the terms "country X shouldn't try" is the politicisation.
And a very unpleasant kind of politics lies beneath such a statement. Especially when that is a consistent attitude.
Why does “a very unpleasant kind of politics” necessarily have to be involved if a contributor says country X (which I assume is the UK) couldn’t or shouldn’t try to undertake project Y (or more accurately was probably right to have not tried to undertake project Y because of reasons A, B & C)?
And if you have the right to say they should have why does another contributor not have the right to disagree?
 

zen

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Deleted as someone is looking for an argument. That detracts from the purpose of this thread.

What does not detract is that people are obviously going to raise things like "what if Country X proceeded with System Z", and in the AH section of this site. So opposition to such topics is frankly spitting into the wind. Couching that opposition in the terms "country X shouldn't try" is the politicisation.
And a very unpleasant kind of politics lies beneath such a statement. Especially when that is a consistent attitude.
Why does “a very unpleasant kind of politics” necessarily have to be involved if a contributor says country X (which I assume is the UK) couldn’t or shouldn’t try to undertake project Y (or more accurately was probably right to have not tried to undertake project Y because of reasons A, B & C)?
And if you have the right to say they should have why does another contributor not have the right to disagree?
More temptation to argue Kaiserd?
The whole point of the Alternative History section is to explore Alternative History in the context of this forum's specialisation.

If you want political, go to a political forum. There are millions of them.
 

Antonio

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We opened a thread about Alternative History and Future Speculation and here we find again engaged in politics. It seems difficult to keep the forum posts focused into the main subjects.
 

JFC Fuller

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We opened a thread about Alternative History and Future Speculation and here we find again engaged in politics. It seems difficult to keep the forum posts focused into the main subjects.

Very true, but I would note that this thread was absolutely fine until post #21.
 

zen

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We opened a thread about Alternative History and Future Speculation and here we find again engaged in politics. It seems difficult to keep the forum posts focused into the main subjects.
So the honest truth is politics drives states, and it's states that ultimately drive the sort of technology this forum specialises in.

That said, "Country X decides it wants to do Z system", is a fairly reasonable proposition and not in of itself controversial.
Rather like the statement "Country X will pursue it's continuation and the defense of itself, it's people, and it's intersts".
Most people subscribe to that view for their own states and most like to think the same of other states as they would like other states peoples to think of them. Call it equality.

But when people imply Country X shouldn't exist or is inferior, or it's people are lesser. Not worth trying anything. We're getting into ugly politics.
And that sort of ugliness lies behind constantly stating Country X shouldn't do Z system, or Y system or any of the alphabetof systems. Because when it's repetitive, theres a hell of a lot of prejudice behind such behaviour.
 

Hood

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I think how this discussion has gone rather indicates the problems simmering under the surface of the whole forum. It tends to bubble up in the Aerospace, Military, the Bar and AH sections but its not a problem simply confined to the AH section.

I think most of us who have been around the forum for years know of each other enough to gauge what their political opinions and personal motivations and outlooks are and its not likely that anybody is going to convince others to swing to one viewpoint over others. If anything it seems that 'lockdown fever' has made the situation worse.

Historical research is a host of competing theories and analyses - good historians have to be broad minded and open minded. The AH section is useful in that regard - to be able to explore and coherently set up a hypothesis that might challenge the orthodox historiographical view.

Chris Gibson mentioned David Edgerton's Britain's War Machine elsewhere this morning, certainly Edgerton - who began his science and technology theme on the British aircraft industry - has quite rightly put out a convincing rebuttal to the declinist approach in 20th century British history. I would recommend his other works which set out how and why declinism took root in British political circles. Most high-brow academic historians wouldn't reference an aviation writer with a barge pole, but its striking how the work specialists in our fields have reached similar conclusions before mainstream historians have caught up. No historian for example has ever analysed the Ministry of Supply but we know its workings very well.
What I am saying is, there is room for robust debate and forming of ideas - it just needs a mature approach to work.
 

Fluff

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I don’t see how politics can be disentangled from what was designed, then built, or not built, or modified.

without mr hitler would we have a spitfire mkX? Maybe, in 1955, maybe not. Discuss.
Or the Boeing SST would have been built, etc etc.

the fact that someone may dislike the mention of Someone, for sure they can let us know their opinion, and we note it.

seems to me that some people are trying to stifle legitimate conversation, by setting the rules. If you make the rules too tight, you will end up with no conversations. Tools such as ignore exist to help avoid them being repeatedly offended - their own offence, not their perceived offence of someone else’s post.
 

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There's a difference between discussing the technical details of projects themselves (i.e. what this is, what equipment it had, what its projected performance and use were) and discussing the alternative realities in which they might have been built (or put into production if they made it as prototypes). Therefore, I think it's appropriate to have an alternative history thread in which we can pull the maybe away from the known.

However, I think the politics need to be kept to those immediately surrounding the failure or cancellation of the project and discussion of the moral element of various military interventions deliberately left aside.
 

kaiserd

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As in most cases it is a case of a balance of rights and responsibilities and I’m sure the vast majority of contributors can easily exercise a degree of common sense and fair minded moderation.
However I would note that a number of contributors have a track record of consistently posting far right views and content and trying to exploit this forum as a platform for such views and content. That’s what the rules are needed for and why politics, which clearly can’t be eliminated from discussions, is probably best minimised on a forum which isn’t intended to discuss politics.
 

Wyvern

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The unfortunate reality of modern life is that politics has roots in almost everything. The only way that a person can have a decent discussion is to forget our political differences and discuss one common goal, in this case, speculative projects. The same should go for all parts of this forum. The effort on this forum should be directed towards discussing unbuilt projects, so politics should be taken out of the equation.
 

Orionblamblam

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Hmmm... this thread looks more and more like this seminal moment in a certain movie...

More succinctly:



Ahem: In a world where the government actually funds the development of highly articulated, relatively compact VTOL aircraft like "The Bat" from "Dark Knight Rises," does McDonnell-Douglas rather than Lockheed win the X-33 contract? Does Wayne Enterprises have reusable launch vehicles before SpaceX? Discuss.
 

galgot

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Hmmm... this thread looks more and more like this seminal moment in a certain movie...
Never understood the Superheroes thing... their costumes are soooo ridiculous, and yet they take themselves so serious.

Sorry for OT... the AH forum section ? Just toss it (or not)...
I don't see it more "infected" by politics than other sections like Aerospace, Projects or the Bar. So maybe it's up to you modos to see if it's too much a burden having that section added to the other to moderate us monk… hoops sorry was thinking of myself of course, I meant, you Gentlemen.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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Kaiserd demonstrated very clearly the problem in the very topic considering what to do about this problem, by weighing in with a personal attack on Scott that is nothing to do with the contents of Scott's post in this topic. This then derailed the discussion perfectly.

It's one of the primary rules of the forum:

Personal attacks on others are ALWAYS inappropriate.
Disagree all you like with their ideas or opinions, but don't resort to name-calling or flaming. Argue facts, not personalities.

Alongside these two:

No Trolling.This means no posts aimed at stirring controversy with other users, inciting racial or religious arguments or pointless speculations.
Don't Feed Trolls. If you see a troll post (as above) report it to the moderators. Don't start posting replies, it only encourages them.

The rules are clear, but when literally every post from User A gets reported by User B (and often vice versa) it gets wearing, and people reporting posts need to consider -
- Moderators will only be on the forum at certain times of the day when they are awake and free. Don't expect instant action.
- There are multiple moderators who have different political beliefs of their own. They will judge the reported post based on their interpretation of the rules.
- If moderator A deals with a report, other moderators may not see it.
- If your reports are rejected, clearly the moderator did not agree with your assessment of the reported post. You need to abide by this judgement, not take vigilante action of your own.
- If you find every post by a user objectional, by all means use the ignore feature of the forum and never see their posts again.

I'm not going to ban anyone from posting on the forum solely based on their political beliefs. The world is a big place with lots of differences.

Your membership of this forum is based on you being interested in unbuilt projects and various related technologies and themes, and wanting to share information and have discussions on these topics, within the limits of behaviour set out in the forum rules.

Behaviour which regularly breaches the rules will result in warnings. If the warnings don't alter behaviour, you may be banned temporarily. If temporary banning doesn't alter behaviour, a permanent ban will follow.
 

dan_inbox

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Personally I value SPF for the high quality of its information. Historical knowledge, thoroughness, precision, etc. This is where SPF outshines other sites.
So in this view, the AH&FS section is totally unwelcome, inviting just the opposite sort of information, attracting the wrong kind of posts and posters, and to a point detracting from the credibility of the whole site.
To be fair, that frivolous information is well flagged and easy to weed out when looking for serious stuff. But I have a feeling that the people who indulge into flippant behavior in AH&FS, where it is OK, remain somewhat contaminated and bring over that attitude to the other sections, where it is not.
It does not help the general level of professionalism of the forum. (even after taking into account that SPF is a hobby rather than a job for most)

OTOH, as you noted, having that section helps keeping unwanted posts out of the serious part of the forum.

My suggestion for moderating that section would be to police it MUCH more strictly: it should consume a very minimum of moderation time and energy, so anything off (politics, troll, feuds, etc) should be summarily erased and the author given a week vacation right away. They can go to some alternatecrackpottery forum instead.
 
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