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#39613 - 08/26/01 01:22 PM digressions (ex-hijack)
Keiva Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
A recent thread (Q&A/to call the shots) got off track into a discussion of what-to-do-when-a-thread-gets-off-track.

This thread continues that subject of "digressions". A sampling of what was said on that subject, in the hijacked thread, is:

What about those of us who think they're BOTH boring?!
Then don't read it. That shouldn't stop those of us who don't think that. and Let those who find any topic boring either ignore it, or think of a better one.
[but it's only] after three or four clicks, and a couple of minutes total loading time, that the five or six new posts are all about ....

A scant summary -- but to the extent it omits anything crucial in the prior posts, they can be reposted below.

#39614 - 08/26/01 01:57 PM Re: digressions (ex-hijack)
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The only time I am unhappy with digressions is when a post I thought was mildly clever gets hijacked by someone with a change of thread by someone with a better idea. Many times the digressions are more fun than the original thread.

#39615 - 08/26/01 02:39 PM Re: digressions
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
okay, most of us (perhaps even all) can agree that politics and religion should be, if not left to another time and place, diverted to separate threads. maybe sports too, but I wouldn't lump sports with the other two -- maybe group it with (treading lightly here) quilting or the like.

but to try to make more rules than that about digressions (remember the discussions we've had about rules??) seems pointless. trying to be a.c. (apolitically correct) all of the time would stifle most everything. think how we've alienated diabetics with our food digressions. and the hard of hearing with musickal digressions. and the lovelorn with.... and so it goes. some of our digressions are so tasteless that they actually *do get ignored. (chiromancy anyone?)

I think the best notion to date is the one which suggested we MAKE BETTER USE OF THE SUBJECT BOX. but we're probably in too much of a hurry to post that next clever digression....

#39616 - 08/27/01 04:33 AM digression intensions
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin

Agreed. If many unrelated ideas are floating about in a single thread, then it is courteous, if not imperative to indicate your posts emphasis in the subject line.
As for digression in general - it's just natural. No one (I hope) expects a thread to have to take a certain path, so who's to complain when it winds its merry-morphing way.
That would be like taking a mystery tour, then complaining about not visiting a particular place! :-)

#39617 - 08/27/01 09:15 AM Re: digression intensions
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
I don't think we can define what is boring, as that is an abstraction that varies with everyone's taste. And I think to limit our spontaneity to avoid being boring just strait-jackets our freedom of expression, inhibits our postings with a bit of paranoia about "digressing too much," and ultimately (and ironically) guarantees the board will become austere and boring in a more general way. But USING THE SUBJECT LINE for departures from the main topic-flow is certainly the best, and most courteous, remedy to alert folks to posts of disinterest, and to avoid confusion. And especially it is less confusing for new folks...I remember the Neanderthal thread I first posted when I was a stranger suddenly took a turn to a discussion of ümlauts/dieresis that, even with subject headings, left me somewhat lost and confused as to what was happening until I got the hang of the motion here. And even though it kind of fit the general discussion of German etymology and linguistics, and wasn't a huge leap, it still caught me offguard. I recall one recent stranger's thread where we totally lept off the subject...that must have been perplexing and frustrating. I don't think we've heard from that stranger again, truth be told. So heading subject departures should be a common practice. For instance, "ALIAS DIGRESSION", for those prone to that. but that's another story, I hope those complaining about wasting time aren't one and the same I thought of starting a BORING LIST thread on I & A so we could all list what bores us most so we could see how futile it would be to try to govern the board by such a criteria. But, honestly, I can't think of anything that bores me so much I wouldn't read for awhile to see if I could learn something from it, or just peruse it out of curiosity, but that's just me.

#39618 - 08/27/01 10:34 AM Re: Poem on perspectives of taste and preference
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
This wonderful Rupert Brooke poem, a favorite of mine, just happened to show up as the Poem-of-the-Day in my mailbox today. I thought it ironically timely and fitting to the discussion-at-large (especially the closing couplet, which I often quote), so here it is:

Poem: Heaven
By: Rupert Brooke
Comments or Suggestions? emule@emule.com
Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! -- Death eddies near --
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.

#39619 - 08/27/01 11:19 AM Nothing but digressions
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
"...merry-morphing way..." B-y, I love that! So here I go,
in my "merry, merry morphing way" [music notes icon]. (Sorry, but it just made me think of the song!)

Dearest WO'N, you have quoted my beloved! That's one of his South Seas poems. While looking for that one, I came across this one, listed as an experiment, and of course had to post it--oh, it...it...oh, read for yourself.

Choriambics I

Ah! not now, when desire burns, and the wind calls, and
the suns of spring
Light-foot dance in the woods, whisper of life, woo me
to wayfaring;
Ah! not now should you come, now when the road
beckons, and good friends call,
Where are songs to be sung, fights to be fought, yea! and
the best of all,
Love, on myriad lips fairer than yours, kisses you could
not give! . . .
Dearest, why should I mourn, whimper, and whine, I
that have yet to live?
Sorrow will I forget, tears for the best, love on the lips
of you,
Now, when dawn in the blood wakes, and the sun laughs
up the eastern blue;
I'll forget and be glad!
Only at length, dear, when the great day ends,
When love dies with the last light, and the last song has
been sung, and friends
All are perished, and gloom strides on the heaven: then,
as alone I lie,
'Mid Death's gathering winds, frightened and dumb, sick
for the past, may I
Feel you suddenly there, cool at my brow; then may I
hear the peace
Of your voice at the last, whispering love, calling,
ere all can cease
In the silence of death; then may I see dimly, and know,
a space,
Bending over me, last light in the dark, once, as of old,
your face.

#39620 - 08/27/01 12:31 PM Re: Nothing but digressions
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
I love the poetic digressions! but going back to the topic that started the debate:

I wouldn't lump sports with the other two

Well, I would, or even worse, tsuwm, and for this simple reason. Whenever 3 or more men get together in a bar anywhere around the world, they talk about sports. It follows that these converstions are available to me and others almost anywhere we care to look.

I come here for something different. The specific topics (complete with digressions down the byways of personal experience) are not so important to me. All I am fundamentally interested in is an intelligent conversation with others of differing backgrounds and experiences, and which is why I love this unique space.

So that is why I think it is worth at least taking note of our occasional slides to what I believe is the lowest common denominator of discourse - recipes for the girls, sports for the boys. We can do better.

#39621 - 08/27/01 12:36 PM Re: Nothing but digressions
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
recipes for the girls, sports for the boys. We can do better.

I agree.

Ready for my Ludicranian Toast recipe?

#39622 - 08/27/01 12:39 PM Re: Nothing but digressions
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
mmmm, swop you my tripe a la mode...?

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