I will try to keep this brief, so we can remain on task. This is supposed to be a big week.
First, some background.
When this site was formed, and there were very few people here, we began an open thread – a SINGLE open thread – at the request of the new members, most of whom were ALSO members, former members, or soon-to-be-former members of CTH.
Our open thread began as a SINGLE thread due to a lack of need for more than one. It was highly sporadic (weekly in hopes, monthly in reality) until right before “the great banning” from CTH, after which it needed to be refreshed almost daily.
I was the only author at that time, so I created the only open thread. The REASONABLE creation of only one thread was not just FORTUITOUS – it was FORTUNATE, in my opinion.
CTH employed a POLITICAL bifurcation in its daily open thread, when Sundance “went big” on politics, and the massive number of political comments began crowding out the “chattin’ on Ethel’s porch” banter which had previously been easy to navigate in the single nightly open thread. That banter included a lot of cultural and religious talk – prayers – well-wishes – jokes – occasional scriptures, but the latter outside the auto-moderated term “Proverbs”, which in hindsight was very likely due to somebody posting far too much “scripture spam” at some point, in the opinion of Sundance or one of the moderators.
Proverbs? Forbidden? Not a good move, IMO. Proverbs is the source of great wisdom. This, to me, this was the first sign of a management mistake at CTH.
It was and remains my belief that the continued integration of those two thread contents ON THIS SITE, IN A SINGLE OPEN THREAD, has significant protective effects, just like having white blood cells in the circulatory system protects the red blood cells, and the whole body. This thinking follows that of the Founders, who I believe IN WISDOM EXCEEDING OURS, made sure that the FIRST AMENDMENT included press, religion, citizen speech, and more. They made sure that religion was part of speech, part of life, and part of the community, and could not be shoved off into a corner.
Even the deists, skeptics, and religious heretics among them with their radical ideas about freedom AND/OF/FROM religion, saw the wisdom in this.
Looking at the strategy of the enemies of our way of life, religious freedom and inclusion is exactly what is targeted. The core enemy is few in number compared to the sheep, so they need to get US to help isolate and segregate religious speech from secular speech, prior to downgrading.
At first, I hid this realization like a precious jewel. It held GREAT POWER. It was dangerous, and scary. It was like realizing HOW the enemy could bring down the site. Surely I don’t want to talk about this openly. Right? RIGHT?
However, eventually, I realized that not only was this bit of wisdom and TRUTH useful in explaining my specific decisions and bolstering the site – it was a TEACHING TRUTH that was useful in explaining my strategy AND the strategy of the Constitution to ALL of us, so that others could make wise choices guided by the principle of religious freedom and inclusion.
There are many here who have become accustomed to the “open thread status quo”. Some simply love the format. Some just don’t like change. And some believe the same thing I do – that the topic-unified open thread is the life-blood of this site. All of those people feel protective of the existing format.
Now, let’s flip to a DIFFERENT and also VALID point of view about the health of this site.
At the SAME MOMENT when I requested AUTHORS to help “man” the Daily Open Thread – to give that repetitious thread variety and spice, and to match the interest of the members, I *ALSO* requested authors to do specific pieces OF THEIR OWN CHOOSING. This was also a big part of my strategy to keep the site healthy, including – weirdly – the Open Thread. I wanted big topics to have their own stories. Maybe even articles in SERIES. Maybe “columns”.
Get and KEEP this stuff – coherently – OUT of the open thread.
This is, to some extent, what is done on CTH. Lots of articles on SPECIFIC TOPICS with fair numbers of views, generally smaller than the giant open thread, but keeping coherent “big stories” out of the open threads (plural there), in places where FOCUS is possible. Naturally there is much talk in the open threads which could have been on specific articles, but that’s the NATURE of open threads.
I was hoping that, perhaps, we would have more CTH-style political analysis articles, but I was quite happy with what we did have. Our VARIETY was good. VERY good.
I *NEVER* considered the possibility that we might have additional specific open threads which literally competed with the main open thread, thereby subverting it – even if such subversion was completely unintentional, and beyond that, happened WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS.
And I want to make this VERY CLEAR. That SUBVERSION and BEST INTENTION was my own doing. I was the one who not only enthusiastically approved the idea of going to a COVID series and then a COVID daily thread – I DEFENDED that decision at least twice as a GREAT idea.
I politely told the critics “Sorry – this is too important.” And the critics backed down. Twice. Until they FINALLY got me to consider the DOWNSIDE FULLY. Which, truly, could not have happened earlier, when the GIANT looming enemy cultural strategy was not so apparent.
Now, there is a lot of personal and emotional and drama and counter-drama in all of this, and all of the principle parties, including ME, are guilty of it. So I’m skipping over the “HE SAID / SHE SAID / HE DID / SHE DID” parts – the truth is that WE SAID and WE DID. This stuff is no longer helpful.
It’s time to be PROFESSIONALS. Just a bit. Not too much, but just a bit.
I have professional experience in this regard – this world of authors and editors. All scientists do, to some extent, being required to author papers, and to peer-review the work of others, but some have far more experience than most, and I’m one of them. It was a long time ago, in a universe far, far away, but I know all about not just BEING an author and an editor, but TRAINING others to do the same. I know how honest journalism works from the INSIDE.
I subjugated my own beliefs about “what is best” to policy from above – OVER and OVER and OVER – for the entire time I served in that capacity. So I have a DAMN GOOD IDEA about how journalism is subverted. Take control of the top, and you have it made.
That’s an interesting aside, which becomes crucial in understanding FAKE SCIENCE, including the climate hoax. But BACK TO OUR ISSUE.
As the final arbiter of editorial policy here, acting as the final security guarantor of this site, I truly, utterly, and absolutely believe – NOW – that competing open threads are NOT in the best interest of this site. I believe now that they are a HUGE RISK that has to be mitigated at the very least.
One way – not the only way – but one way that such open threads become a risk, is that they allow CRISIS IMPOSITION to gain a foothold. This is one of the biggest ways that FAKE NEWS controls us.
No WAY do I want a FAKE NEWS CRISIS to drive this site.
Cthulhu asked me about “victory conditions” from an “Art of the Deal” standpoint.
My “victory condition” would be that authors here should free to do whatever they like, EXCEPT no more competing Open Threads – they are a mistake, and dangerous. Do something else – a series – daily new topics – anything – but don’t take that risk again.
BROAD, CURRENT, OPEN THREADS in multiplicity are contrary to the original design of the site.
However – AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGMENT – I made offers of CONCESSION on this key point. Just to try to keep all the authors on board, I proposed all the way up to the utterly unheard-of “author carte blanche“.
I offered a way that RISKED THE SITE – in my opinion – to keep all the authors. It didn’t work.
Trump does this sometimes, by the way. Wonderful technique, but white knuckle like you would not believe, because if it’s taken, you’re in a whole new world with a lot of HUGE risks.
This offer would NEVER be made in a professional journalistic setting. Making an offer to an individual that risks the upheaval of the entire operation is simply not done.
The offer of concession was calmly and rationally rejected under due consideration. I simply have to respect that.
With the offer rejected, it has been withdrawn. Off the table. It was too risky, and frankly I’m relieved that it was not taken.
I am now doing what I believe is 100% in the best interest of the site. No compromises on baseline design. I’m going with the victory condition.
Authors of non-daily-open-thread pieces (and that includes ME) are free to do what they will, EXCEPT to create competing regular open threads. Don’t step on the Open Thread. Very simple. And beyond this case, I reserve the right to PROTECT the fundamental design of this site in the future, in unforeseen ways, as unforeseen challenges such as this one arise.
Protecting the design is part of SITE SECURITY, like having a military. However, I will offer as much freedom as possible while protecting the site, because YES, security is the enemy of liberty. I totally get that. Just look at what is happening NOW in blue states. I’d love to see a SERIES about THAT.
“Don’t create new open threads – try authoring a popular series of articles instead” is not exactly 1984. In fact, it’s wind-in-the-face freedom in a world of spiked articles and fake news.
PS – Those who are interested in authorship are encouraged to make that interest known. It’s a good time, because NOBODY will ever expect you to fill Daughn’s shoes. Daily Open Thread authors are also encouraged to start authoring other pieces – or SERIES of pieces – whenever they feel like it.
And there is a FRIDAY SLOT open, which I will be taking, if nobody else wants it.
The floor is open. Please keep it civil. The BURNING IRON OF CAUTERIZATION is at the ready, to seal the wound, should I catch even a whiff of infectious incivility. Akismet’s AI has also been spam-binning diatribes – not me – I have ZERO moderation keywords. If your comment gets binned, it was THEM, not me. I’m shocked at how efficient that Akismet AI has been at detecting emotional escalation. And you’re hearing that from somebody who knows one of the mad cabal-stooge geniuses who wrote the code.
Thank you, and God bless all of you.