The best part of those conversations was how educational they were — because ideas were held up to the light and examined carefully, then they were beaten with clubs until they gave up their secrets, and finally they were tempered in the forges of evidence to see if they were Valyrian steel or just dross.
It was a great place to learn a lot about whatever subject was the primary concern of the forum — whether it was aviation or politics or consumer electronics or computer programming or even science fiction.
We don’t have that same environment anymore because we don’t have managed discussions anymore.
We have gained enormous freedom to spout, but we have lost the demands of responsibility as the cost.David Gerrold
Which is the long way to say there is too much stupid in the world and no way to fix it.
I was on CompuServe myself back in the day. I participated in several forums. I learned things because I was honestly seeking to learn things, not silence the dissent, like a troll.
Many of today’s trolls were hardened in the same forge. They didn’t learn anything from the managed experience other than that they like being in charge, as the current vast BBS wasteland can attest.
Facebook makes all of us moderators of our own Facebook reality; but that just reinforces the stupid, making it worse not better.
I don’t know that there is a solution to the problem, or even that there really is a problem that unplugging and getting an analog beer wouldn’t do world’s of good for.