I've been an avid reader of Meaningless Drivel posts. I was surprise when I learned that Jason Menard is the new moderator for this forum. I have nothing against him. In fact, he can be a good moderator at some other forum. I think by actively participating in some of the most heated debates, somehow, some of his judgements will be biased. In my mind, Jim Yingst is the best choice for the forum. Not only that he seldom join the discussion, but he almost always gave fair judgements.
We figured - heck he LIVES there - might as well make himself useful . Plus, there was the contingent that argued that if he was the Moderator - then he would have to walk on eggshells to make sure that he behaved properly and was absolutely fair . Seems like an elegant solution to me.
"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
It was an anti-American plot to render our most dangerous enemy harmless. Finally, we succeeded. (just kidding) Seriously, what is wrong with a moderator "actively participating" in debates? When we participate in discussions, we all are mere human beings, moderators or not. The only privilege Jason has as a moderator - he can delete or edit posts, and he did not abuse this right so far. Not are there any evidences he plans to abuse it in the future. Jim was a great moderator, I agree. But how often he was accused in abuse of power? I do not remember a single case (maybe there were some, I do not remember). It's much more fun to have Jason as a moderator and watch him being accused in dictatorships weekly.
Actually, the best thing about our new arrangement is that now I can delete stuff whenever I want to, and Jason gets blamed for it instead of me. Seriously though: first, thanks for the nice comments about me. Though I'm sure if you keep it up some people out there will be tempted to dredge through all the old threads and bring forth a list of grievances against me. I've had my share of flaws and mistakes over time. And I must point out that Angela Poynton and Paul Stevens both did great jobs before me (um... and after me, come to think of it), sometimes under particularly difficult circumstances, like after 9/11. Not to mention the other sheriffs who are also often active in MD moderation, like Map, Thomas, and Michael E. Note that most of us are still around as sheriffs - it's not as if we've completely abandoned MD. As for Jason... I was one of the people who recommended him to be a bartender, and I was happy to see him take the slot in MD. (Not that I didn't like the position myself, but occasional change is good for all of us.) I expected there'd be some controversy over it because I know that he's got a lot of views that many people disagree with, and he's not bashful about sharing them. But what has particularly impressed me about Jason over the time I've known him is his ability to conduct himself calmly and rationally in discussions - to not take insults too personally, to respond with good humor when most people would be much more prone to rage and insults, and to focus on discussing issues rather than attacking personalities. Now I realize not everyone shares these impressions I have of Jason, and by voicing them publicly I'm probably tempting some to dredge the past posts of MD to find counterexamples (which isn't a bad idea if it distracts them from lambasting me instead, but I digress...). Jason's human too, and given the volume of his posts I'm sure you can find some where his behavior isn't perfect. But overall I consider Jason to be an excellent example for how to conduct serious discussions in MD and not have them turn into flame wars. Particularly in his ability to respond to rudeness with civil disagreement, the vast majority of the time. Because of his frequent involvement in controversial threads I imagine he'll have to evolve a somewhat different style of moderation than I had. I typically operated by staying out of the intense discussions and only stepping in when things were getting out of hand; Jason's much more likely to be there from the beginning. But frankly he's not the type to delete people's posts just because he disagrees with them; he'd much rather discuss them. And it's not as if he's the first person to be actively involved in controversial discussions while also acting as a moderator. I have a high confidence in Jason's ability to act impartially and conscientiously as a moderator while also being a participant. The only real issue I see is the problem of maintaining perceived impartiality. People pissed off at Jason's views will be more prone to assume that if they're being "censored", it's because Jason disagrees with them. Well, I hope those people can learn to keep a more open mind, because I just don't see that being an issue for Jason. Most commonly, people get edited or deleted for being insulting, period - regardless of the views being expressed. And most commonly, it's someone other than Jason who does it. So don't be too quick to make assumptions if you see something deleted. The sheriffs (me, Map, Thomas, and Michael E in particular) will still be around in MD keeping an eye on things, sometimes conflicting a bit in our interpretation of what's acceptable behavior and what's not. Much as has been happening in MD for some time. There are checks and balances going on behind the scenes, and if Jason (or any of us) were to start abusing his authority, the rest of us can step in as needed. I don't expect that to be necessary for Jason, but I mention it now for the benefit of any who may find it reassuring. Well, enough about that for now. I hope everyone will continue to give Jason the benefit of the doubt as a moderator, even while you may strongly disagree with the content of his posts as an individual poster. And hopefully we can keep MD an enjoyable place for everyone. Cheers... [ March 18, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
I thought Jason was doing really well actually. Whenever I see a post that has a Jason Menard signature in it I'd consider it a worthwhile read. Even if you disagree with his point of view, you can at least enjoy his style of writing
I think Jason is one of the best moderators in the ranch. I heard he served in US Air Force. I happen to have a colleague before, who also served in the Air Force. He is a very nice person. So this must have something to do with fighter jet.
Originally posted by Jim Yingst: The sheriffs (me, Map, Thomas, and Michael E in particular) will still be around in MD keeping an eye on things....
You guys are not needed to keep an eye on Jason. He can do with out all of you too ..... And hell with you Jason.. I dont want your favors.... I will C U in MD [Its just that he made me to go to dictionary.com a lot ] I like the way he writes. Are you planning to write any book?
"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh