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What a Week it Was!

Accepted submission by martyb at 2021-01-11 04:39:20

== +Politics Nexus ==

It's been one heck of a week.

Against the backdrop of record-setting numbers of COVID-19 deaths and infections in the US and around the world, there was turmoil in Washington, DC. As court cases surrounding the presidential election were filed and dismissed, a close race in Georgia was coming down to the wire, and with it control of the US Senate. Then, while the US Congress was completing the Electoral College tally and certification, a mob formed outside — and eventually broke into — the US Capitol. Then commenced a 4-hour lock-down. Eventually, the intrusion was repelled, and the Electoral College count was completed: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was confirmed as the 46th president of the United States of America.

Conspiracy theories have flourished. Propaganda has streamed forth across multiple platforms. Tempers have flared.

And SoylentNews has been there for you. And have you ever spoken up! Two of the most-commented stories [] in the site's nearly seven-year history were posted in just the past week!

Insomuch as the activities in the US Capitol were far from the US' most shining moments, neither were things all unicorns and rainbows on SoylentNews. Tempers flared. People were attacked and called names. I even deleted a story and the 17 comments attached to it!


Even our IRC (Internet Relay Chat) facility was not free from controversy. We had a spate of nick impersonations.

Going forward, IRC users are free to use whatever nick they like with the following caveats:

  • Prefix / suffix of nick is fine for practical purposes (e.g. nick_laptop)
  • Impersonation or misrepresentation will not be tolerated
  • The use of another user's website nick or derivative there of on IRC will be subject to sanction up to and including perma ban.

Further, we understand conversations can easily ramble from subject to subject, but there are separate channels for different topics. (Use the /list comand to see what is available.) As #soylent is the default landing page, we want to keep the discussions there civil. Name calling and personal attacks are grounds for a timeout (.devoice or .kick or .kickban). I have had discussions with deucalion (the site's CEO and also IRC-maintainer) about these activities.

NOTE: we are NOT going to sit there watching every discussion, poised to take action. But, if such activity is seen by staff on IRC, they are free to take such actions as they deem necessary.


As I approach posting my 10,000th story to the site, I think back to when it all started. How a group of people got together. Shared freely of their expertise, of their free time, and of their hard-earned funds. Tried to create a place free from corporate overlords. Where people could engage in discussions that focused primarily on technology, but with a dabbling in other areas and current events.

SoylentNews provides a forum for discussion. It also provides tools so the community can express themselves in the comments and moderate those comments, as well.

This got me to thinking. What are our aspirations? What are our guiding principles? I will list some of my guiding principles, and I encourage the community to share what guides them in the comments.

  • "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don't say it mean."
  • "Say something in anger and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret."
  • "Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong." --H. L. Mencken ( [] )
  • "People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Asaac Asimov ( [] )
  • "If you speak when angry, you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret." -- Groucho Marx ( [] )
  • "Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean."
  • "Don't get furious, get curious" -- Miley Cyrus ( [] )
  • "Humiliation is when someone points out my shortcomings. Humility is when I confess them myself."
  • "I need not participate in every fight I am invited to."
  • "Just because I see no obvious problem does not necessarily mean there are obviously no problems."
  • "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." -- H. \ L. Mencken ( [] )

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