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Watercooler dispensing only hot water and it burns, it burns

Poll: Should we shut down the watercooler? (56 member(s) have cast votes)

Should we shut down the watercooler?

  1. Don't care (2 votes [3.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.57%

  2. Yes it is too heated (2 votes [3.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.57%

  3. Yes stick to bridge (11 votes [19.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.64%

  4. No we're all grown ups here (15 votes [26.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.79%

  5. No but shut down flame wars as they happen (20 votes [35.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.71%

  6. STFU (6 votes [10.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.71%

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#21 User is offline   Mr. Dodgy 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 00:13

P.S. The assertions that 'we are all adults here' may very well not be true. I know numerous sub-adult BBO users, and hope that they should not be discouraged in any way from availing themselves of the forums.
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#22 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 07:51

If the water cooler is more censoring-dependent than other fora, it's a good reason for shutting it down (censoring costs a lot of work and just replaces nuicance about flame wars by nuicance about censoring).

I'm not so fond of a policy against politics, religion and sex since it will be difficult to define the borders, and many topics will become boring if one has to avoid anything that might smell of P, R or S.

AFAIAC the water cooler should be given a chance to mature for some time, but I don't care too much. I would understand if Uday shuts it down: if some people feel a need to discuss things under different moderation criteria than those of the BBO Forum, they can just create their own discussion group on Usenet or Yahoo or whatever.

Off-topic: As for the reason why the politics discussions are allways about the US it just reflects the fact that American politics is more interesting to the World at large, even to Europeans, than is European politics. Try to ask some random Europeans how much they know about the law and politics of the EU or CoE, and compare to how much they know about the US law and politics. I even know some Danes who know more about US lawsuit procedures than about Danish lawsuit procedures because they watch American lawyer soaps. You hear a lot of Europeans saying that we should be able to vote in the US presidental elections since the US rules the World including Europe. At the same time, few Europeans know, let alone care, how our own governement (the EC) is appointed.
it is amazing to me that over half of declarers in virtually any field would go down in this cold contract. Some things never change, the skill of the "average" bridge player remains well below average. Iandayre
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#23 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 08:09

I think I understand where this thread will lead us to. I have found a Forum which looks interesting and serious. In future you will find me there instead of here.

SPIEGEL ONLINE International Forum
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#24 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 08:13

csdenmark, on Apr 15 2006, 01:00 AM, said:

Most topics in Water Cooler until now reflects in no way the agenda in Europe. What is important here is Maastricht treaty, unemployment for youngsters in France, parliament elections in Italy, flooding in Eastern Europe, mostly River of Elben, immigration and integration, ETA, Turkye in EU. But discussions cannot reflect such as those engaged in such kind of topics don't speak english.

Its very interesting how the picture that one develops of an individual based on the bridge related postings carry over into other topics of debate.

For whats its worth Claus, I have a major in Government and a concentration in Turkish history. My mother was a German teacher and my father taught International Relations. Die Ziet was considered standard reading in our house when I was growing up. I still manage to read the New York Times and listen to the BBC each day. I think that I have fairly well informed opinions on a number of these topics.

Next time that you think about spewing some simplistic / absolutist drivel about ugly ignorant Americans you really might want to consider the impact on your intended audience. You will often find that that you have alienated a number of people who might otherwise have agreed with you.

Out of curiousity were your comments regarding the ignorence of English speakers directed solely at Americas or were you including English/Canadians/Australians in your original slander?
Alderaan delenda est
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#25 User is offline   hotShot 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 09:07

In the passage you quoted, Claus said, that many europians don't speak english and therefor are unable to discuss topics of their interest here.
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#26 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 09:56

hotShot, on Apr 15 2006, 06:07 PM, said:

In the passage you quoted, Claus said, that many europians don't speak english and therefor are unable to discuss topics of their interest here.

Funny that...

English is the most common spoken language used in the EU
http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/polici...s/index_en.html
Alderaan delenda est
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#27 User is offline   GeeGee 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 11:33

luis, on Apr 14 2006, 05:41 PM, said:

Maybe we should redefine the Water Cooler as a place for BBO players to know each other better, not as a discussion forum about anything.

Luis

This sums it up for me. I just ignore the argumentative threads, as I don't think there is anything to gain from them.
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#28 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 11:45

hotShot, on Apr 15 2006, 05:07 PM, said:

In the passage you quoted, Claus said, that many europians don't speak english and therefor are unable to discuss topics of their interest here.

Completely correct. Those I play bridge with are those I am most interested to discuss with.

The turks are not here - the italians are not here - the french are not here - the bulgarians are not here - the romanians are not here - the poles are not here.

They are normally able to handle very simple words in english - enough for bridge but far from enough to express their views. I am very much interested in voices especially from Turkey about the process for their country to join EU. Of crucial importance for most europeans.

Please dont address me - I have logged out.
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#29 User is offline   hotShot 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 11:56

hrothgar, on Apr 15 2006, 05:56 PM, said:

hotShot, on Apr 15 2006, 06:07 PM, said:

In the passage you quoted, Claus said, that many europians don't speak english and therefor are unable to discuss topics of their interest here.

Funny that...

English is the most common spoken language used in the EU
http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/polici...s/index_en.html

Interesting page!

So maybe, Claus is wrong.

But guess why there is an italian and polish BBO forum. I bet you remember that there used to be a dutch forum, but since most people from the netherlands speak english, it wasn't used so much and closed down.
The ability to speak english, is not evenly distributed across europe.

The same is with the ability to speak chinese, about 20% of the world population can speak chinese, but there are almost none where I live.
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#30 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-April-15, 17:34

[quote name='hotShot' date='Apr 15 2006, 06:56 PM'] English is the most common spoken language used in the EU
[url="http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/index_en.html"]http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/polici...s/index_en.html[/url] [/QUOTE]
The ability to speak english, is not evenly distributed across europe. [/quote]
Indeed it's not.

Richard, you have mentioned several times that giving the mean of a distribution is not enough, one often needs additional parameters such as standard deviation or variance to draw useful conclusions.

The distribution of English speakers is a good example. Most of the French I've met in my life (quite a few) were awful at speaking English and the same goes for many Spaniards and Italians. I can't say much about the Turks but most of those I've met on BBO were hardly able to alert their calls. Many Germans are not that good either. The Europeans with excellent English usually come from small countries (Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavian countries) or from eastern Europe (for obvious reasons I won't repeat here).

--Sigi
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#31 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 04:50

[quote name='Sigi_BC84' date='Apr 16 2006, 12:34 AM'] [quote name='hotShot' date='Apr 15 2006, 06:56 PM'] English is the most common spoken language used in the EU
[url="http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/index_en.html"]http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/polici...s/index_en.html[/url] [/QUOTE]
The ability to speak english, is not evenly distributed across europe. [/QUOTE]
Indeed it's not.

Richard, you have mentioned several times that giving the mean of a distribution is not enough, one often needs additional parameters such as standard deviation or variance to draw useful conclusions.

The distribution of English speakers is a good example. Most of the French I've met in my life (quite a few) were awful at speaking English and the same goes for many Spaniards and Italians. I can't say much about the Turks but most of those I've met on BBO were hardly able to alert their calls. Many Germans are not that good either. The Europeans with excellent English usually come from small countries (Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavian countries) or from eastern Europe (for obvious reasons I won't repeat here).

--Sigi [/quote]
True, but many people from small countries make a large number of people.

Don't get offended here, I'm just generalizing, but Germans, Frenchmen, Spaniards and Italians all think they already speak a world language and that it's not necessary to learn another language...
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#32 User is offline   42 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 05:29

Free, on Apr 16 2006, 12:50 PM, said:

...Don't get offended here, I'm just generalizing, but Germans, Frenchmen, Spaniards and Italians all think they already speak a world language and that it's not necessary to learn another language...

I don't agree, at least not for Germans: we all have to learn at least 1 language besides German, in higher schools at least 2, there are many projects where children already learn English in the Kindergarden and elementary school. I find some "discussions" here more and more embarassing, BBF isn't the same anymore for me.
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#33 User is offline   fifee 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 06:28

I like Rain's rules for The Watercooler:

1) No personal attacks. Insults are a No-No. You can have issues with someone else's opinion and attack that (in a civilised manner hopefully), but don't go after anyone personally.

2) No advertising, no spam.

3) No obscenities.

Posters who engage in hateful, vulgar, threatening, knowingly illegal and inaccurate posts may be suspended not just from forums, but also our related websites.

In general, please follow this rule of thumb (which is a good rule I've picked up from another forum): If you aren't comfortable emailing a post to your grandmother/mother/colleague, then it probably shouldn't be posted here.

By posting in this forum, you have also agreed to the terms stated here.

If we stick to these, we will have an opportunity to get to know each other better without causing flame wars.
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#34 User is offline   Sigi_BC84 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 16:13

Free, on Apr 16 2006, 11:50 AM, said:

True, but many people from small countries make a large number of people.

Exactly, that's why the average over all Europeans is reasonably high.

Quote

Don't get offended here, I'm just generalizing, but Germans, Frenchmen, Spaniards and Italians all think they already speak a world language and that it's not necessary to learn another language...

I'm not offended at all, don't worry ;-).

--Sigi
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#35 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 17:00

"Don't get offended here, I'm just generalizing, but Germans, Frenchmen, Spaniards and Italians all think they already speak a world language and that it's not necessary to learn another language..."



For a different take:

I think Technology will give us tiny digital converters in the near future that will amaze many. Look what we can read already on the internet, face to face will go digitial soon. Of course expensive and buggy at first but give it a little time.
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#36 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2006-April-16, 17:25

sometimes i feel like electing mike king of the world.. nano bodies, digital language converters... now if there was some way to *make* me count a hand
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#37 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2006-April-17, 14:04

At first I thought the water cooler was a great idea. Then some threads became quite heated, and the level of responses went down drastically (including my own, I'm sad to say).

Hopefully this thread is exactly what we needed. Perhaps we can do better if we are just a little more aware of the fact that other people can be hurt by our posts.


However, if we are going to discuss things like politics, then I think that everybody should be allowed to give their opinion (in a respectful manner hopefully). For example, Phil states that he is often annoyed by the constant critique of Europeans (and others) on US policies. If we are going to discuss world politics, then surely we are going to discuss US policies (as the US plays a very important role in the world, I think nobody would deny that), and I think that everybody should be allowed to say what they think.

Some of these issues are on the minds of all of us, and if we can discuss things respectfully and learn something about the way people from very different backgrounds think, then that should be worth a lot. Enough that I voted for keeping the water cooler running, and perhaps stop some threads that become too heated.
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#38 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2006-April-17, 14:41

I would prefer a water cooler in the way it is.
But maybe just because I am too blind to see the problems. Yes some threats floaded away. Some topics about "your favourite conspirtative theory" changed into: Bash the american Governement or defend them.

So what? Was anybody personal attaced and feeled bad about it?

Anybody who is upset, should just stop reading it, quite simple. After all, this is what happened to some threats. After a while, there had been just 3 or 4 writers and just few more readers. It got boring. Quite simple.

What else can happen?

Is BBO responsible for what is written in the forum?
Will american laws create some problems for them?

Then you surely must close the water cooler. It is not worth any problem for BBO.
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#39 User is offline   keylime 

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Posted 2006-April-17, 15:28

I will be the first one to admit that the water cooler when it started, was happily welcomed by me.

However, after seeing how it's evolved, I'm quite hesistant to see it continue for many reasons.
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#40 User is offline   joshs 

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Posted 2006-April-17, 16:04

I actually like the water cooler. The concept of community is a strange thing in the modern wired world. This is a forum where a bunch of us who share a common interest, can talk about other things. If I had such a discussion over a large lunch in the real world, I am sure that there will be some people who I got to know in a deeper way, and found out that I really liked them, or learned a lot from them even if I didn't like them and there would be others who are rude, and do not present arguments in a respectful manner. So be it. I would rather make a few friends, and feel like I have a deeper connection with the group as a whole, even if that means that I grow to dislike a few people, or are offended by a few comments.

Quite frankly even if I was just trading 1 friend for 1 enemy it would be a good trade.

Now I wish that people would:
a. if they want to have real discussions make arguments not assertions
b. hopefully learn that the world is a complex place, and there are lots of different customs, and values out there and try to be respectful of that diversity.

I would have expected that the europeans, having had the chance to travel more than most americans do (since they are closer to other countries and get more vacation time, etc.), would be more tolerent of other countries and cultures than americans are, but that hasn't quite been the case, and we can all do better here.

For instance, I think our discussion should have been:

"Hey its interesting that people in the US tip lots of people, while in my country we think of that like giving money to beggers. What explains this cultural difference? And is one way clearly correct? What do people think?" Rather than the way that discussion topic was presented and argued. (And there have been many other topics here that could use a similar perspective.)

Hopefully, curiosity about the other people here, the other cultures here, and different ideas should been the dominant motif on this discussion board.
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