Guide to the Sam Harris Forum
Welcome to the Sam Harris Forum where critical thinking, reasoned discussion and better posting are promoted. This is not an atheist forum though is a good place to consider or share atheism. Theists are welcome. Faith is complicated. Neither side owns the floor here.
Every Newbie’s First Question:
According to first hand accounts, The Boss does not look at this forum or read these posts. If he does, it is secretly when no one is looking. We are forum patrons talking to each other here. If you wrote something for Sam, please feel welcome to post it here so it can start a conversation with us.
The main page layout is a bit off-standard but versatile. The Boss and his guests brings up a vast array of topics and the forum has somewhere for all of them. If a thread is open, any logged-in and un-jarred patron can post on it.
If a patron has something that needs its own thread, here is a guide to where to put it.
The top section is for comments specifically addressing The Boss’s books. There sub-forums full of threads for each published book and, perhaps soon, unpublished books. Until we open a Meditation sub-forum, we recommend posting on this subject in the Waking Up book forum. There are many there already. Recommendations and comments on other authors are welcome in the Other Reading sub-forum.
The What’s New section is for current affairs in politics, which dominates everything now but also room for news of science and loosely related stuff. The Trump Dump of Contemporary Politics is custom designed for all of today’s hot political action. This should be a patron’s first destination for broad discussions about our ongoing embarrassing situation. All topical politics these days are either his fault or a symptom of his presence even if they don’t mention his name. As the title implies, extra vitriol is granted some priviliges.
Hopefully soon, f you want to share a link, you can post it on The Bulleten Board. Links without some explanation or context are allowed but discouraged. Please mention why you put it there.
For now, this section includes a sub-forum for The Boss’s Waking Up Podcast. Each podcast gets a starter thread to drop a brief comment or whole paragraphs into. We handle the “Whad y’all think?” post so patrons don’t have to. Patrons are welcome to start other threads but be cautioned that thread titles will be edited by the admins if they see fit to. Hammer away but Don’t Be Rude To The Boss’s Guests. As always, cooperation leads to further posting.
The Faith and Reason section offers some conventional forum categories plus The Hall of Holy Grails. If you would to share your great idea that will change reality for all mankind, this is the place. Follow in the trail blazed by hundreds of grail-bearers before you. This sub-forum includes regular appearances by The Mabus.
The Forum Fixtures includes community threads that have been going since the beginning of The Boss’s career. In The Funway, we have a diary, a picture thread, an occasional in-house podcast and a chronicle of alcohol consumption and beverage recommendations. Introductions are always welcome and preferred if possible. Sketchy is fine.
New features are pending. If you think your post might be frivolous, stick it in the soon to come ITF? forum where we ask, is this frivolous?
Stick-poking is permitted in The Klein Bottle and the controversial Brother Mario thread. Jar Management provides what patrons want while keeping it contained from the serious business.
Entertainment recommendations are entertained in the Entertainment forum. Then there’s the usual forum business stuff at the bottom.
Things the Admins Will Do:
Most visible Admin actions will fall into one of these categories…
Ever since the Boy-King stepped through the only door of perception that too many of us had open to politics, politics is about the only thing to start a thread about. The Hall of Politics currently hosts one fifth of all forum threads. Meaty threads pass to the second title-page in seconds. Our plan is to promote use of The Hall for the eternal issues of politics like the stuff Plato and Jefferson posted about. Stuff we want to remember forever. Political threads on the current situation can spread out into the News and the Dump. Stuff we want to forget and soon.
Distracting frivolity will be redirected to The Forum Funway or the soon to come ITF? Threads in the Science forum that are actually proposals for a whole new way of looking at reality will be redirected to The Hall of Holy Grails where earnestness and frivolity are in the eyes of the reader.
When it happens. it is not a corrective or disciplinary action. Visitors and new members will seek some grasp of how the forum is organized. We want to make that easier. It usually comes with a form letter-PM.
This is a temporary suspension of posting privileges that leaves a patron’s account and posts intact. Nap durations can be a few hours, a few days, a week or when we remember. Meltdowns, tears and assualts are the admins’ clues that someone needs a nap. Many thank us later.
The Klein Bottle
This is a special-purpose thread found in the Forum Funway. The name comes from the popular metaphor of putting a specimen in a jar and poking it with a stick. However, this container has no clear inside or outside and the poker and pokee are a matter of perspective. Here, angry patrons can have it out with each other. As well, thread dust-ups will be relocated here instead of causing a derailment. Or, any random caustic remark or insult can be posted in this thread. Simply identify the target of your taunt/gripe/insult clearly in your post. We’re sure they will see it and no one will see an unsightly mess in a thoughtful thread. It is a courtesy to the forum.
There is no need for any rules here as this sometimes painful and regretable action will be taken as the admins see fit to. The account and all posts are deleted. It is usually the last resort. For forum disruptions or challenges to its authorities, it comes sooner.
This is a special arrangement made between the forum and patrons facing elimination. Qualifications are: A minimum of twenty threads debating one’s participation, or a dogged determination to post despite a debilitating inability to express oneself. The level of controversy and not its content is the only measure of worthiness. These patrons have their own thread in which they have the privilege to post and address other threads.
There are currently two patrons under Jar Management. Dennis Markuse, known as the Mabus, no longer attacks this forum but rather posts in his own managed thread. Our most debated patron, Brother Mario, resides in a thread bearing his name.
No other forum feature has stirred as much debate and distress as this one. Many threads on the merit of this policy are available for review. Engagement with the Jars is elective. Taunts can be ignored. Normal conversation will not last. Patrons should feel free to exit any jar at any time.
Admins can be contacted via the forum’s own Private Message function. Admins will answer inquiries about the general goings on, help you with understanding the quote function and babysit your Harris ticket sale. Complaints about other posters are handled as the admin sees fit to and that may include an earful for the complaintant. We promote good communication with an emphasis on careful reading. In the absence of either, admins may referee disputes privately.
The Current Admin Line-up and PM address:
Nhoj Morley <nhoj_morley>
Martin UK <MARTIN_UK>
Posting Requirements & Prohibitions:
Message Access is Required
Forum registration requires an email address. That address, or the forum’s own Private Message function will be used for Admins to contact patrons as they see fit to. These lines of communication can be switched off by patrons for privacy but if the admins (with a reason to make contact) find them closed, the patron will be barred from posting until one avenue is opened.
Thread Hijacking and Derailment Will Be Stopped
Derailing a thread with mockery or frivolity because a patron doesn’t agree or is unimpressed will be granted a single shot. Repetitive shots will be deleted and the poster will receive a nap as the admins see fit to.
We appreciate humor at this forum. Even the most serious thread has room for some levity. Some situations call for an exception. Tweet-like jests and bons mots are best served to established posters who are familiar with their fellow patrons and less likely to be put off. New member’s threads will be off limits to all but the gentlest of jesting. If it is a serious OP, wait for a serious response or two to arrive before letting loose. Frivolity will be judged as the admins see fit to and redirected to The Funway.
Common Posting Pitfalls
Cries of Free Speech. This is not a public space protected by the First Amendment. The forum is paid for by Sam Harris and will be run as he sees fit to. Right now, that is via the forum admins.
The most-heard complaint is that posters misrepresent each other views, put words in their mouth and generally send a thread into downward spiral. These same symptoms can also appear in responses to criticism. we recommend that all patrons read each carefully and avoid posting in anger or distress. Take a time out. We’ll wait.
Try to read more than you post. This is a small community, but it is a community and not a bulletin board.