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Do we need a separate thread to discuss the CAA?

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Sasha, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    On another thread, I wrote:

    Thread after thread seems to get hijacked by arguments about the CAA, and they have a tendency to get ugly. This seems particularly to be the case on threads to do with activism and it's a real shame - this kind of thing drives me away and I'm sure it does others.

    I don't think that we can afford to have constructive plans for activism repeatedly derailed. We don't have the time or resources to spare.

    I'd like to suggest that people who want to discuss the CAA, whether to criticise it or to counter that criticism, start up a thread that is only for that purpose. Then, whenever another thread gets interrupted by someone taking a pop at the CAA, they can be directed immediately to that thread. Or if someone thinks that the CAA's position on things is relevant to an argument they can say "I want to talk about the CAA's position on this because I think it's relevant so I'm going to do it on the CAA thread" and provide a link to that CAA thread.

    I think we can have it all - good threads on activism and somewhere for people to talk about the CAA who want to.​

    Do people (including moderators) think that this is a good idea?

    I should add I have no axe to grind about the CAA one way or another - my only interest is that advocacy and other threads don't get derailed by discussions about the CAA.

    If people seem happy with this idea, maybe one of the mods could start a sticky thread in the Activism section called "Discussion about the CAA".
     
  2. IMO, it won't work, at least not for us. It will become a wastebasket thread, and most likely, the one thread the CAA will shun. Isn't it more important to tie issues to the CAA when and where those issues emerge? Won't isolating an observation about the CAA to a distinct thread take that message out of context and, accordingly, marginalize its significance?
     
  3. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

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    I think it goes way beyond threads wandering into conversations about the CAA. We had a rash of "it's a CDC conspiracy vs. no it's not" wandering into just about every thread for a while including discussions of scientific papers. I completely lost my cool :ashamed: in one instance because I wanted to talk about the science, which was the topic of the thread.

    So I support idea of keeping to the topic at hand. Most of the time the thread has a very specific title. It's natural for the conversation to grow in scope, within reason, and I'm not in favor of cutting off a discussion when it takes a step off the path, but if the progression of the thread isn't along the lines of the topic it's time to create/reference a thread on whatever the tangential topic(s) are and get back to the conversation at hand.

    Also, mods and admins, can't police this kind of thing all the time (although I promise to do so in a rational fashion next time :Retro smile:). If this is to work it's equally, if not more important, for the users to take the initiative to nudge the discussion back on track just as Sasha has done here.

    There's at least one standing CAA thread, so I'm not sure if we need this particular thread for that subject but I'm too tired to try and sort that out at the moment.

    @Greggory - it's up to the CAA to address what they want and isn't a valid reason for not trying to keep threads on topic. Choosing to ignore a discussion that directly involves them is their choice. It would seem more logical to give them less places to engage in discussions than expect that they read every thread to see if it touches on the CAA. Again, the CAA is but one example of how threads wander off topic.
     
  4. See, I'm not sure it really is about wandering off target. If it were, then why not draft a separate thread for all things CDC-related? The answer is the CDC is so integral to so many topics. So too is the CAA. Moreover, it is not merely whether it's convenient for CAA personnel to have a central repository to view observations; it's also important to remember that all members of this forum have the right to see how individuals rationalize the ramifications of the CAA's stance or actions - and their respective merit or lack thereof - concerning any topic.
     
  5. SOC

    SOC

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    I also feel that PR should not be seen as a direct pipeline to the CAA. If someone needs to address the CAA, they need to address them directly, not through a general patient forum. I makes sense to me, however, that patient concerns about the CAA can be discussed among ourselves here in a particular thread/group of threads. Discussions among ourselves shouldn't assume that the CAA is going to respond to questions posted here. Those questions should be, as I said, addressed directly to the CAA.

    It would certainly make it more feasible for the CAA to stay in touch with patient discussions of it's successes and failures if those discussions were confined to a limited number of clearly titled threads. I don't expect the CAA to keep routine obbo on all ME/CFS boards, although it appears some people do. It's reasonable that someone in the organization might officially check in periodically to get the flavor of the opinion of various patient groups on certain topics, but to expect that they should monitor all threads in all forums every day would be unreasonable.

    Perhaps, Gregory, you concern could be addressed with a Forum grouping like Community or XMRV Research. That would allow for multiple threads on different topics, so if the CAA's credibility or such comes up in a specific topic thread, that discussion could be moved to an appropriated titled thread in the CAA Forum.

    I am reiterating because I think this is an important point -- PR is not a mouthpiece (or earpiece) for the CAA. Patient discussions about how the CAA affects us seem appropriate at PR; questions directly addressed to the CAA (with the expectation of answers) don't seem appropriate (to me) here.
     
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I agree - I've seen a few issues come up lately in discussions here that people seemed to want to discuss to show evidence that the CAA was at fault, rather than writing directly to the CAA to complain about that issue. I would have thought that the latter approach would have been much more productive.

    People could make their advocacy to the CAA more effective, I think, by starting individual threads on specific topics that they want to write to the CAA about - e.g. to get wording changed on particular documents, which seems to be a frequent concern - and start a poll or get people to comment. They could then email the CAA with a link to that specific thread and the number of poll votes.
     
  7. SOC

    SOC

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    I don't see why it should become a wastebasket thread. :confused: There are many issues to be discussed about the CAA and since they seem to be hijacking threads on other topics, I would think there would be plenty of interest and activity.

    The CAA is perfectly within it's rights to read or not read any thread at PR as far as I can see. I don't see why there is an expectation that they are required to read anything at PR. If people want the CAA to know something, they should tell the CAA directly.

    The right to speak one's mind does not include the requirement that anyone listen to what one says. Nor does is it the right to say anything, anywhere, at any time. People are allowed to speak, other people are allowed to listen (or not). Generally, if the argument is good, people will listen. If the CAA thread/Forum is productive, people will be involved.
     
  8. SOC

    SOC

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    Actually, that might be a good idea.

    Not necessarily. There's plenty of room to discuss without CDC-bashing or CAA-bashing. Don't get me wrong -- I'm happy to bash the CDC. ;) However, I think that can easily be done in a thread independent of topic at hand.

    The Project ENOUGH!!! thread could have moved forward very successfully (more successfully) without getting off topic onto the CAA.

    :confused: No, I don't see that is anyone's right in any way, shape, or form. Maybe I am misunderstanding your statement. For example, I don't see that I have the right to know how dreambirdie (as a random example) rationalizes the ramifications of the CAA's stance. Her thoughts are her own -- to give me, or not, as she pleases.
     
  9. I think we need a seperate thread in which Sickofcfs can bash Greggory Blundell!
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Thank you sickofcfs and sasha for saying just what I wanted to say.

    Judy, Sickofcfs was responding to comments made on this thread just like any other discussion - and politely, respectfully, and intelligently too. By agreeing wholeheartedly with everything sickofcfs has just said, I am not bashing Greggory Blundell. I am disagreeing with him.

    Your comment was making things personal, please do not do so again.
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    And thanks Otis too of course: staying on topic is the key point here, and please all note that does not mean you can never mention the CAA or the CDC or (eg) its policy on the question at hand, but the point is if you want to talk about that then yes, I agree, it should be a separate thread. Not necessarily one big monster thread, but a separate one.
     
  12. Mark, Sickofcfs misinterpreting what I wrote - inferring something I never implied - then posting that error with my name attached is pretty personal too. But that's just being human, and she has the right to speak out in disagreement, even if that position is based on a false belief. Which is why I did not respond. I respect her stance. I did not offer up any threats as you have just done to Judy. Your little "please" gesture is an empty cushion; a threat is a threat, and this one is not only transparent, but inappropriate as well.
     
  13. SOC

    SOC

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    :confused: :confused: :confused:


    EDIT:
    Oops! Sorry, Judy, my puzzlement wasn't meant for your statement. [smacking forehead]. I was in a rush to be off and was extremely careless. :ashamed:

    My puzzlement was meant for this:

    Greggory Blundell wrote:
     
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    At times such as these, things usually devolve into an ugly flaming match.

    Can I suggest - controversial! - that we just let it go and move on?

    I've never seen that happen on this board and I would really love to.

    Calming breaths! Deep calming breaths! :Retro wink:
     
  15. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Sooooo..... meanwhile, back at the topic...

    I'm beginning to think that maybe the idea of a whacking great CAA discussion thread where everybody goes rather than interrupting other threads maybe isn't such a good idea as Otis's suggestion that if an individual thread starts to go off-topic (especially ugly off-topic), someone suggests starting a new thread for that.

    Does that seem the better option to others?
     
  16. Sasha, you are right. TGIF!
     
  17. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, Greggory, you're a star - and indeed, TGIF!
     
  18. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    OK Cool and TGIF indeed, I am signing off now.

    Remembering the original context of why we're having this discussion, the point really is to always be mindful of the subject at hand, the purpose of the thread, and to propose a separate thread if it's getting off topic.
     
  19. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks Mark, sleep well (it's about that time in the UK!).

    Now that "The IT Crowd" finished its season there's no point staying up on Friday nights any more. :worried:
     
  20. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    This sentence could just have easily read "all members of this forum have the right to see how individuals demonize the CAA's stance or actions." For many, this every bit as, if not more, valid a perspective. Take into consideration the statements comparing the CAA to:

    And characterized the director of Research at the CAA as:
    When this type of rhetoric gets going the real exchange of ideas is dead.

    Ironically, there is a lot to discuss surrounding the CAA that directly effects our lives and we get nowhere on the topic of appropriate advocacy when people start painting the issue as black or white. Its more than ironic that the types of discussions that need to happen (how to promote more effective advocacy) get hijacked when one side casts the other as demonic.

    There is not a single member of this board that can be fairly characterized as unwilling to take a critical look at any advocacy efforts, including those of the CAA. If we can have constructive conversations, I'm all for it. If we can't, I suggest that each type of 'argument' can have its own forum.
     

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