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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
31/08/2010 11:41 pm  

93,

With the mention of this Site being "toned down from it's elitist aspect", and "opened up to newbies", it seems that a "Newbie Forum" is just around the corner. As such, it would appear that this Site is going to basically have a Q&A section for beginners, and I imagine this section will grow quite large.

So a couple of ideas/questions:

1. Is there going to be a newbie FAQ in that Forum, a section where they can get a list of Frequently Asked Questions and possibly links, even to other portions of the Site, which will allow them to access much of the information they will be asking about? If so, I'm sure the Encyclopedia Thelemica will come in quite handy!

2. Are there going to be appointed "Moderators" to the Forum, perhaps people that have contributed to this Site regularly over the years, and are respected in their specialties? I'm talking about say, Michael Staley as the "Unofficial Moderator" for Kenneth Grant stuff, and the like. The reason I'm asking this is with this Site open to newbies, they are not going to know "who's who" on the Forums. If say, we have a "Site Representative of the works of Kenneth Grant", then people may have a better idea of just who is answering their questions, or correcting the answers to their questions.

Granted, this could turn into a PM flood for Mr. Staley in this example, but I'm just thinking out loud, as usual.

(Before anyone goes spewing off at the mouth, no, I'm not even dreaming of being one of these "Unofficial Moderator" guys.)

3. Are there going to be more specific Guidelines for this particular Forum, if it is created? Guidelines such as, making initial thread subjects directly related to the subject matter of the post, with the addition of keywords so that other newbies may quickly look up threads where questions have been formerly answered? On many Forums across the Internet, you see tons of lifeless Forum topics and posts dealing with the same issues over and over again due to people just hopping on, seeing a newbie section, and tossing out a question. How does lashtal.com plan to deal with this?

4. Any other questions that aren't on the top of my head at the moment.

5. Any questions, ideas, or suggestions that any of you may have for a "Newbie Forum" proper, if such a Forum is indeed the intentional direction of the Site.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
01/09/2010 11:59 am  

Greetings

"Azidonis" wrote:
93,

With the mention of this Site being "toned down from it's elitist aspect", and "opened up to newbies", it seems that a "Newbie Forum" is just around the corner. As such, it would appear that this Site is going to basically have a Q&A section for beginners, and I imagine this section will grow quite large.

So a couple of ideas/questions:

1.Is there going to be a newbie FAQ in that Forum, a section where they can get a list of Frequently Asked Questions and possibly links, even to other portions of the Site, which will allow them to access much of the information they will be asking about? If so, I'm sure the Encyclopedia Thelemica will come in quite handy!

Apparently it’s the Virgo talking here. LOL

Your idea for a FAQ section is great. I wish I knew more about the relevant software, to gather the information in sections. If anyone knows how to do it, I’ll be happy to learn and help. If not, it can always be done by the old and well-tested copy/paste method. 😀
In every case, it will be too much work to be done by a single person…

Encyclopedia Thelemica could certainly play a role in this. For instance, we could create a section for newbies in the main page, to display all the basic articles. The question is who will write those articles…

A thought keeps coming to my mind now and then, that one could use the forums’ material to create a base of knowledge, but I can’t figure out how exactly it can be done. I think that this base would need to follow the forums’ dynamics, that is to say, to be updated daily, but this won’t be possible unless we find the proper software/script etc.
Of course things would be easier if we'd stick to the creation of a “newbies FAQ” section.

Perhaps, in the long term, we could even make some sort of a downloadable book (PDF document) so that anyone would be able to download it for a small amount of money as a financial support to LAShTAL.com - although I’m not sure how Paul would feel about this. I don’t know what the copyright laws say in this case, but I believe we could find a way.

It would be nice to hear more ideas about this.

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
01/09/2010 3:24 pm  
"wolf354" wrote:
93,
downloading for a small amount doesn't make much sense (I think) what could make sense is making the same as Radiohead did with one of their records, the price is listed in blank and the person inserts what value he/she wishes. The record could be downloaded for free ... and Lashtal pdf could also be downloaded for free ... the price would be an encouragement to donations.

Good idea!

Of course, every one can search the forums and get the needed information for free anyway, so I think I'd vote for a blank price but not for a free download.

Regards
Hecate


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
01/09/2010 3:56 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
So a couple of ideas/questions

Some really helpful suggestions, Azidonis. Many thanks.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
01/09/2010 7:20 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
With the mention of this Site being "toned down from it's elitist aspect", and "opened up to newbies" …

I have not encountered this mention, but I have noticed a few newcomers who appeared around the same time and who had a similar newbie manner with an astoundingly big background of information. My wife, seeing the basic nature of their questions, said, "That's great. Hardly anyone ever asks these kinds of questions!"

"Newbie Forum" is a good idea.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
01/09/2010 8:01 pm  

I think the idea of a newbie friendly LAShTAL is a good one. If someone sincerely wants info on AC, I can't imagine a better forum to go to. The wealth of info on this site is amazing. I see every advantage in getting 'newbies' off to a solid good start.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
02/09/2010 12:34 am  

93,

For those who have been around a while, we've had the newbie thread discussion many times over. Ultimately it seems that this Site is well... stuck. Here is what I mean.

This Site, the main point of it, is the legacy of Aleister Crowley. Part of his legacy, a huge part, deals with Thelema. Thus, there are a ton of Thelemites here, many of them working to accomplish the Great Work as Crowley laid it out.

So we end up with types of people...

Type 1: The person interested in Crowley, but not in the Great Work itself. This can be for literary reasons, historical, artistic, or other reasons. Many posts concerning this type of thing doesn't get involved in the Great Work in too much detail. These are the "Crowley made this painting, Crowley in music, Crowley's family tree, etc."

Type 2: The person mainly interested in Thelema, and the Great Work. This gives way to threads like "The Holy Guardian Angel".

Type 3: A mixture of the two. Threads of this type consist of historically prominent information that also ties into the Great Work. I recall a wonderful thread about the exact location where The Book of the Law could have probably been written. This is both historical, artistic, and fits in with the idea of the Great Work.

Type 4: Various other threads, but usually they fall in with the first three categories somehow. Even the thread on Kenneth Grant's work fits more or less in line with Type 2 or 3, though it is it's own thing.

A Newbie FAQ would have to include the vast array of information types that are prominent on this Site. It would become quite large if we decided to put together all of the material we thought necessary, and then we would have month long debates over whether or not something should go into it.

Currently, the "elitist" notion of this Site is that people with Type 1 questions and concerns post them pretty much at will, and have laughs and discussions about say, the artwork in the Abbey at Cefalu. Type 2 discussions are a little more serious, and there aren't too many jokes and such. The Type 2 threads are the ones that usually start the 20 page debates, like "Thelema and Politics", or "Subjective versus Objective", and so forth. Whether or not Type 2 information should be presented in a Newbie FAQ is beyond me.
Type 3 information could very well be placed into a Newbie FAQ, as it would be helpful in providing background information and little knowledge tidbits about Crowley and the Great Work that will eventually prove helpful to someone, somewhere, over time. Type 4 information could possibly be presented in the FAQ, but mainly seems like it would be a description and links section.

The "elitist" comes from the fact that this Site does not allow threads like, "HALP I CAST LOVE SPEL ON MY TEACHER AND IT BACKFYRED NOW MY NAYBOR LIKES ME AND MY TEACHER GIVE ME AN F". Dealing with this sort of behavior seems forever beyond the scope of anything Aleister Crowley stood for. The type of "Newbie" question we seem more apt to deal with are those of say, Void in his thread, and RuleofRandom in his. These are genuine concerns raised by people who appear to be at least trying to figure things out and get moving in a certain direction. However, these threads carry a pitfall. The pitfall is that a young Aspirant (aka newbie, not a teenager) may indeed become attached to this Site, expecting its members to help them through every bit of their trial, which we cannot (and hopefully will not) do. So at some point there is a separation between a noob with a "LOVE SPEL", and a newbie with general questions. There is also a separation between the newbies with general questions and those who would answer those questions.

In my opinion, while we could have a Newbie Forum, we would have to draw the line at some point, and even set special guidelines. While I can sit around and think, "Damn that's a cool idea! I wonder what the people at Lashtal.com think of it", post it on the boards, get some discussion going and what-not, and then leave the matter alone when the discussion runs out, which I think is what many of us do, it seems we would have have to take care to see the Newbie Forum exist in this light. The worst thing, in my opinion, that could happen to this Site, other than utter catastrophe of course, is for it to turn into some kind of "Ask Lashtal.com for your daily occult assistance" Site. The members here, while most are very generous and willing to share and help, are by no means the I Ching of the Thelemic Internet.

I like the idea of having Member Ranks, as I believe Wolf suggested. Many Sites I go to have a 5 star system or some sort of thing, and each star has a title. Sometimes they are wacky titles. This rating system helps a lot in going to those Sites, as you know that your response from a 4 star participant may tend to be a little more helpful than the person who just joined the Site the same day you did. The difference is experience with the actual Site, it's overall intentions, and what it is trying to convey to the public.

On the idea of money: Being that the A:.A:. has had its hold on me for a very long time, and will never let go (Joy!), I do not believe that we should charge money in the case of making a download-able FAQ item. However, it seem honest enough to express the idea of charitable donations, and don't mind the blank amount idea, so that one can decline to donate if they wanted to. If this were a mail order forum I suppose we could charge them for printing and shipping costs some small fee, but it's not, and there is no section on this Site that is a private area (at least that I've been invited to). Much of the information here can be found through a Google search of the Site, and I don't think anything would go into that Newbie Package that couldn't be found in the same manner.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. 🙂

93 93/93


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
02/09/2010 12:46 am  

93,

Sorry for the double post, but this thread also makes me recall a story about an event that occurred in my life many years ago.

I was around 19 or so, just a little young buck, and someone on the old AOL Ceremonial Magick Forums was asking for assistance in some manner. He was wanting to learn Magick, and on the forums I suggested DMK's book Modern Magick. A series of discussions began, and eventually the kid was emailing me about the book and what-not. This went on for oh, three or four days, I think.

Then, I received an email from the kid... completely chewing my ass. It was the kid's father. He had read his son's emails, got pissed, sent me a letter about influencing young children, and ya... it was crazy. I sent him an apology, and explained to him how I was only answering his son's questions, nothing more. We emailed a couple of times he and I, and I'm sure he saw where I was coming from, but I saw where he was coming from too.

I recall when I first purchased my first book on Magick, "Modern Magick" by Donald Michael Kraig (indicentally), my grandmother went apeshit. She thought I was going to run off and join some cult, and well ya... it scared her pretty badly. I can only image this kid's father felt the same way.

The moral to the story is: I think I speak for us all, in a way... We do not want Lashtal.com or its members to somehow get caught up into this type of thing by agreeing to answer newbie questions. It is entirely beyond the scope of this Site to scare the shit out of some young kid's parents. 🙂

93 93/93


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
02/09/2010 1:02 am  

Just for the record: there will be no charging for information on this site. Never. It's not what the site is 'for' and it's not something that I will ever allow. The site's hosting and development costs are not terribly substantial and are met in full by a combination of my own contributions and the kind donations of members.

And on the subject of occultism, magical spells, psychic questing, telepathy, divination and the like… Well, again, that's not what LAShTAL.COM is 'for'. I used to display a prominent message to the effect that this "is not an occult site" and this remains absolutely the case: the site is not part of the baffling trend these days towards unreason and superstition. Crowley - especially in his later years - expressed a very healthy skepticism about such things: Thelema, in particular, is so much more than any of this.

The site has but one simple aim: it is devoted to the discussion and promotion of the life and work of Aleister Crowley and to his legacy and influence on culture and media. Why was the "not an occult site" message removed? Simply because legitimate concerns were expressed that members would thereby avoid discussion of such subjects even when they were relevant to the life, work and legacy of Crowley. But the fact remains that there are many other sites better suited to such matters when it comes to the "how to" end of the spectrum. "Newbies" will always be directed away from LAShTAL for such things.

None of this is intended to belittle the beliefs and opinions of visitors to this site, by the way - it's simply not what LAShTAL.COM is 'about'.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 1:29 am  

I don't know how this "newbie forum" deal will turn out, and I think Lashtal is great the way it is. But, everyone seems to think it will be a good idea and Azidonis and others are thinking this move out quite well before hand....so, I guess I'm all for it too!

Azidonis,
Quite a funny story there. It reminds me of my situation a 'lil bit. After, lookig at my bookshelves most of my family think I'm some sort of Satanist, which I think is quite funny! 😈


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 2:36 am  

Problems.

1.
Personally (only), I don't see the need for anything dramatic, or find any problem with newbie questions popping up everywhere in natural fashion.

And how do you define "newbie"? Is someone a noob if they have consciously stayed away from this website for years on purpose (for whatever reason), even if they have been into Crowley for many decades?

Is a bibliophile a "newbie" if they aren't occultists (or mountaineers, or bisexual, or ...) , or vice-versa?

The old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is worth considering. The only "broken" thing was the previous policy (which seems to have declined sharply following Ian Rons' [ url= http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=4296&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=300 ] public resignation from the site ). I can't say I've noticed any problems arising from the way things are at present, now that the unhelpful previous policy has been corrected. That's all the change that needed to occur. A "newbie" joins up to ask a question, and now it gets answered, or not --- but at least they don't get patronised, or bullied, or banned, or the thread locked, or accused of some sort of wrong doing when all they wanted was normal, helpful, human interaction.

2.
I disagree with any suggestion of artificial, contrived "ranking" of members.

This sort of thing usually tends to be more like a "wanking" than "ranking". What possible purpose could it serve ?

Do you get ranked according to how long you've merely been interested in joining online forums, or involved in Thelema, or collecting books?

Or does time play no part at all, and you instead want to try to quantify kudos?

What is it?

Does someone like Shiva, whom I believe has been into all this stuff (and indeed alive) longer than probably everyone else here, get ranked above the webmaster and the earliest members of this site because of the fact, or does he get shunted to the middle or end of the rank pile because he only joined relatively recently?

How does the site continue its attempt at ostensible "impartiality" in the presence of a "ranking" system - and is there such a thing as an impartial value system for ranking? No, because those who defy "systems" and "rankings" (ie. heirarchy) categorically are perhaps likely to be less served by them than those who feel compelled towards them.

Are we supposed to take less notice of those with "lower" rank, even though they might have much better and more interesting things to say and offer fresher and perhaps much-needed insights through the sheer non-Crowleyan angle their view offers ? I would rank new members above everyone else, the more ignorant the better, because of this possibility, because of the better perspective it presents.

Regards
N.[/url]


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
02/09/2010 5:57 am  

93,

"Noctifer" wrote:
And how do you define "newbie"? Is someone a noob if they have consciously stayed away from this website for years on purpose (for whatever reason), even if they have been into Crowley for many decades?

Is a bibliophile a "newbie" if they aren't occultists (or mountaineers, or bisexual, or ...) , or vice-versa?

This is a good question.

2.
I disagree with any suggestion of artificial, contrived "ranking" of members.

I agree with what you say. The idea behind ranking of members is just one idea to finding a way to let newcomers know "who's who".

If you tell me to shut up on the forums, I'll tell you to shut up back. 🙂

If Paul tells me to shut up, I shut up.

I agree that there is no hierarchy, besides Paul, as he is the Site owner. I suppose then it would be up to him if there was ever a need or desire for additional moderators, and what those moderation jobs would entail.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 7:21 am  

I personally (only) have no issue with new people "finding out who's who" normally, i.e. by gradually coming to an appreciation of them through their participation or whatever. "By their fruits (or indeed vegetables!)" etc. Nothing is gained, I feel, by attempts at artificial, non self-imposed classification of this kind. Many if not most would likely object to being reduced in this way. I think we rank ourselves through our contributions. How these are received and ranked depends upon the receiver.

I don't see why anyone needs to bother with "who's who" at all. What does that even mean? official titles and rank often denote the opposite. Some use their civilian names and wish to be known as such, others prefer privacy. The facility already exists to provide a full profile, I can't imagine anyone, least of all our tireless webmaster, would care to spend their days categorising several thousand mere online profiles into an as yet unspecified, artificial "ranking system".


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 8:11 am  

I've had the honour to serve as official host of certain parts of a huge online forum of a huge international organisation for several years and it is notable that that organisation went all the way from appointing moderators and hosts and coaches and other bearers of responsibility through much quarreling, envy and unrest until it finally arrived at a very basic and minimial structure where 3-4 people where appointed general moderator and that's it. That forums have a membership of 4,000+.
Titles and ranks are always difficult on a forum.

Eilthireach


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 12:10 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
And on the subject of occultism, magical spells, psychic questing, telepathy, divination and the like… Well, again, that's not what LAShTAL.COM is 'for'. I used to display a prominent message to the effect that this "is not an occult site" and this remains absolutely the case: the site is not part of the baffling trend these days towards unreason and superstition. Crowley - especially in his later years - expressed a very healthy skepticism about such things: Thelema, in particular, is so much more than any of this.

This strikes me as an extremely odd thing to say (if one may speak frankly) about a man who devoted his life, reputation, talents and fortune to occultism, founding two of the most well-known modern occult orders along the way, after having graduated from the single most well-known modern occult order of modern times, and who used the I Ching almost daily often basing very significant decisions upon its use!

Thelema might be more than just occultism, but it includes it, and is in fact based entirely upon it in terms of its foundation myth, rites, and so on. To insist that Thelema and Crowley are somehow entirely rational is simply incorrect, and it is also incomplete, neglecting the irrational and supra-rational aspects of consciousness and the universe. Crowley's entire thrust was about mankind developing facilities which lay beyond reason. Not merely reason, and not merely superstition, but training consciousness to be capable of comprehending things which mere rationalism alone was simply impotent and unsuited towards doing.

Crowley expressed skepticism only as a general habit of mind, in the context of occult practise. Not in opposition to his occultism, but in service to it !

Regarding what you call the "baffling trend these days towards unreason and superstition" - one might just as well say that there is an identically baffling trend these days towards "scientism", a nervous sort of hyper-rationalism and the abolition of the human equation, which has always and will always include the supra-rational. Occultism and magick are only about unreason and superstition if you are unreasonable and superstitious about practising them. Crowley's great gift was his insistence upon common sense where these things were concerned.

The site has but one simple aim: it is devoted to the discussion and promotion of the life and work of Aleister Crowley and to his legacy and influence on culture and media. Why was the "not an occult site" message removed? Simply because legitimate concerns were expressed that members would thereby avoid discussion of such subjects even when they were relevant to the life, work and legacy of Crowley.

...or indeed central, crucial, and fundamental to it.

He recognised the immense need which the human being has for the inner life and the recognition of its divinity, which is more than material, and more than (merelyl) rational.

But the fact remains that there are many other sites better suited to such matters when it comes to the "how to" end of the spectrum.

This is perhaps a shame, given the scope and quality of the site's membership and readership (past and present), and the fact that Crowley's single most significant activity during his life was the promulgation and teaching of the "how to" end of things where occultism was concerned! This is like a site devoted to the legacy of Sir Edmund Hilary discouraging talk about the "how to" end of mountaineering.

Baffled!
N.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
02/09/2010 12:51 pm  

93,

Okay, okay...

I started this whole thread because of this comment from Paul...

"2 - I always took the view that LAShTAL.COM was in some way 'above' so-called newbies. The Guidelines warn against asking questions that could be answered by a Google search. I now believe this form of elitism to be unhelpful and to have driven some away. The Guidelines will be amended to remove the prohibition on 'beginners' type questions. "

...made in this thread.

Note that he never actually mentioned a "Newbie Forum", only mentioned relaxing some of the Guidelines.

With that said, this is supposed to be a brainstorming thread, in which case "ideas" about "personal ratings" and the like are completely on topic. Other ideas about what people would want/expect in a "Newbie Forum" are a part of this thread.

If you don't like an idea, it's okay to say you don't like the idea and then give your reasons. However, instead of contributing only criticism, why not contribute some of your own ideas?

This is a general statement directed to all forum participants, in every thread.

93 93/93


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
02/09/2010 1:25 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Note that he never actually mentioned a "Newbie Forum", only mentioned relaxing some of the Guidelines.

Perhaps the term "Newbie" could be replaced by some other designation.

We all know what a "Newbie" is: A person new to lashtal or Thelema or AC, who usually asks basic questions.

However, the term is diminutive, diminishing and downright denigrating.

Right now, I have no suggestions for a title or a designation for a newcomer (unless it be NEWCOMER itself).


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
02/09/2010 9:29 pm  
"Noctifer" wrote:
This strikes me as an extremely odd thing to say

I'm sorry that you think so and should have taken such apparent offence at what I wrote. It's off topic for this thread so I will not labour the point I was making, beyond noting that my own commitment to the Great Work should be clear.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Occultism and magick are only about unreason and superstition if you are unreasonable and superstitious about practising them.

Huh? Okay, if you say so, although I'm not sure what "unreasonably practising occultism" could even begin to look like!

"Noctifer" wrote:
This is like a site devoted to the legacy of Sir Edmund Hilary discouraging talk about the "how to" end of mountaineering.

No, it's not. The website of the Wagner Society would, it seems reasonable to suggest, discuss the music of Wagner but it's unlikely to attempt to instruct members on how to write their own operas. The Joyce Society would encourage the study of Finnegans Wake but wouldn't teach members how to type.

"Noctifer" wrote:
Baffled!

Sorry about that: you need to remember that this is "home of the Aleister Crowley Society"; it's not the home of a teaching order.

Now, back to the topic, please.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
02/09/2010 9:51 pm  

Of course it seems reasonable that we should be able to discuss Thelemic Magick, and direct noobs to certain references or passages in Crowley's writing. There is after all a magick forum.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
02/09/2010 9:58 pm  
"AEternitas" wrote:
Of course it seems reasonable that we should be able to discuss Thelemic Magick, and direct noobs to certain references or passages in Crowley's writing. There is after all a magick forum.

Absolutely! It would be absurd not to encourage discussion of such matters.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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phthah
(@phthah)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 210
02/09/2010 11:28 pm  

93,

"lashtal" wrote:
2 - I always took the view that LAShTAL.COM was in some way 'above' so-called newbies. The Guidelines warn against asking questions that could be answered by a Google search. I now believe this form of elitism to be unhelpful and to have driven some away. The Guidelines will be amended to remove the prohibition on 'beginners' type questions.

Personally, I take this statement at face value. I don't think it necessarily means we need to add a "Newcomer" forum. It just means that these elementary questions that arise from time to time will be allowed by Paul and then fielded by whoever wants to handle them. No need for any real big changes.

93 93/93
phthah


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/09/2010 7:40 am  

Greetings

"phthah" wrote:
93,

"lashtal" wrote:
2 - I always took the view that LAShTAL.COM was in some way 'above' so-called newbies. The Guidelines warn against asking questions that could be answered by a Google search. I now believe this form of elitism to be unhelpful and to have driven some away. The Guidelines will be amended to remove the prohibition on 'beginners' type questions.

Personally, I take this statement at face value. I don't think it necessarily means we need to add a "Newcomer" forum. It just means that these elementary questions that arise from time to time will be allowed by Paul and then fielded by whoever wants to handle them. No need for any real big changes.

93 93/93
phthah

This is how I feel too. I would also agree with Noctifer in that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".

Although Michael Staley, Shiva and everyone else who have contributed in Thelema as well as in Lashtal.com’s development, hold a special place in my heart, I wouldn’t like the idea of more than one moderator in Lashtal (I think it would only make thinks more complicated) and I don’t see the reason for setting a ranking system either.

Being a newbie myself, I noticed that Paul keeps thanking people for their contributions whenever he finds the opportunity to do so, therefore it’s not really difficult for someone new in the community to spot the most prominent members after a while.

On the other hand, I don’t feel it would be of any real service for newbies like me to be shown who is who from the beginning. English is not my mother tongue, but I believe that ‘newbie’ is not a synonym for ‘silly’ –or is it? If I don’t have the discretion to choose the advice which is more appropriate for me, should I blame the ones who are kind enough to talk with me and express their opinions?

All I can find in the idea of setting some ranks and a couple of moderators is that, certain people who enjoy the adrenalin of competition might feel motivated to be more active in the forums, but then again, is this the most constructive kind of motivation one can have?

As I have said before, although I resonate with the basic concepts of Thelema and I even practice Thelemic magic now, I wouldn’t define myself as a Thelemite, but I am highly interested in Aleister Crowley’s work –this is why I came here. What has kept me in Lashtal so far though and makes me happy for being here is the feeling that I meet people who work with their self honestly and diligently and allow and empower everyone else to do the same as well. Is there anything more for a newbie -or anyone else- to ask for, really? 😉

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/09/2010 7:41 am  
"Hecate" wrote:
Greetings

"phthah" wrote:
93,

"lashtal" wrote:
2 - I always took the view that LAShTAL.COM was in some way 'above' so-called newbies. The Guidelines warn against asking questions that could be answered by a Google search. I now believe this form of elitism to be unhelpful and to have driven some away. The Guidelines will be amended to remove the prohibition on 'beginners' type questions.

Personally, I take this statement at face value. I don't think it necessarily means we need to add a "Newcomer" forum. It just means that these elementary questions that arise from time to time will be allowed by Paul and then fielded by whoever wants to handle them. No need for any real big changes.

93 93/93
phthah

This is how I feel too. I would also agree with Noctifer in that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".

Although Michael Staley, Shiva and everyone else who have contributed in Thelema as well as in Lashtal.com’s development, hold a special place in my heart, I wouldn’t like the idea of having more than one moderator in Lashtal (I think it would only make thinks more complicated) and I don’t see the reason for setting a ranking system either.

Being a newbie myself, I noticed that Paul keeps thanking people for their contributions whenever he finds the opportunity to do so, therefore it’s not really difficult for someone new in the community to spot the most prominent members after a while.

On the other hand, I don’t feel it would be of any real service for newbies like me to be shown who is who from the beginning. English is not my mother tongue, but I believe that ‘newbie’ is not a synonym for ‘silly’ –or is it? If I don’t have the discretion to choose the advice which is more appropriate for me, should I blame the ones who are kind enough to talk with me and express their opinions?

All I can find in the idea of setting some ranks and a couple of moderators is that, certain people who enjoy the adrenalin of competition might feel motivated to be more active in the forums, but then again, is this the most constructive kind of motivation one can have?

As I have said before, although I resonate with the basic concepts of Thelema and I even practice Thelemic magic now, I wouldn’t define myself as a Thelemite, but I am highly interested in Aleister Crowley’s work –this is why I came here. What has kept me in Lashtal so far though and makes me happy for being here is the feeling that I meet people who work with their self honestly and diligently and allow and empower everyone else to do the same as well. Is there anything more for a newbie -or anyone else- to ask for, really? 😉

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/09/2010 8:31 am  

I think its a mistake to have a devoted newbies forum, as it tends to defeat the great benefit of having newbies. Newbies are an asset in a forum, they initiate conversations and greatly increase the content and benefit of a forum as a reference site. They prevent the older more experienced members from sitting around not posting anything, because they've heard it before. In the process of answering a newbie questions, more specific and interesting questions will often arise, which will make the thread more than just a simple newbie query and increased the value of the forum as a reference tool.

Having a "newbie section" isolated them from the rest of the forum, means topics are harder to search for in the future as some of the content on the same topic will be in different locations, and it also prevents a newbie question from growing into something more beneficial which may be seen as "off topic" in a newbie area.

IMO its always a great shame when a forum discourages newbie questions, as it decreases the content of the forum as a whole. Better to encourage a culture where all members search for existing threads on a topic before creating a new thread, rather than be inhospitable to newbie questions.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
03/09/2010 9:07 am  

The guardian deity of newbies, known as A-newbies (and often spelt "Anubis") - will guide them through the desert, I'm sure, regardless.

N


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
04/09/2010 6:27 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
"Newbie Forum" is a good idea.

That's what I said earlier.

To fine-tune that statement, let me say:

1. Newcomers (beginners) should be able to ask basic questions.
1a. Old-timers should also be able to ask basic questions.

2. A specific "Newly Identified Person" [NIP] should not have to go to any specific "new person" thread or forum or other form of quarantine, but should feel free to plunge in at any point.

3. There should be a FAQ page or a TUTORIAL page(s). No instruction, just basic (SIMPLE) AC history and highlights. Maybe new people should have to navigate through such a basic (SIMPLE) page(s) before being admitted as a member?

4. There should be a single webpage dedicated to answering the question(s): "Where can I join the AA (or OTO)?" Not to get involved in the politics of referral to actual agencies or addresses, but a generalized statement on how to go about this search for the holy grail (involving the use of the Holy SEA). Then, each time this endless question is asked, someone can quickly flash the querent a quick link to the straight stuff.

Qabalistic Note: SEA = "Search Engine"

If it doesn't come about through my mental projections, maybe I'll enter it myself in the Encyclopedia (maybe it's already there?), and then at least I will be able to quickly answer the question that must be asked ten thousand times before it is truly answered.

And, even then, there will still be veils and blinds as the hoodwinked candidate stumbles about in the darkness, groping for the doorknob that will open the entrance gate to the fabled "Chapel Perilous."

There's no need for me to worry about offending anyone or overlooking anything, because (as I understand it) anyone can go in and edit the entry.

I believe it would be improper to list or link actual addresses, emails, or specific lineages of any tradition. There have been recent statements made to the effect that such lists are presently being compiled by certain individuals. This is such a hotly-contested, partisan area, that if you list one, you gotta list 'em all, and people will then want to argue about who should - and who should NOT - be on the "link list."

Properly-constructed, non-partisan, search engine links would put the burden of decision upon Google or Yahoo and the querent.


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
04/09/2010 10:34 am  

I'm talking about say, Michael Staley as the "Unofficial Moderator" for Kenneth Grant stuff, and the like. The reason I'm asking this is with this Site open to newbies, they are not going to know "who's who" on the Forums.

I don't think I approve of posters volunteering the time of others, without consulting them first.

The website of the Wagner Society

Sorry, and this is totally off topic, does anyone remembetr the 'wagner on the web' website? That had an absolutely super forum; unfortunately it closed after Mr pzazz passed away.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
04/09/2010 11:03 am  

93,

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I don't think I approve of posters volunteering the time of others, without consulting them first.

This is a prime example of someone reading whatever they want to. It was stated to be an example. It was, and is, an example.

93 93/93


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
04/09/2010 12:09 pm  

This is a prime example of someone reading whatever they want to. It was stated to be an example. It was, and is, an example.

Didn't look like that to me, but why didn't you make it more clear that it was an example? Later in the thread, other posters seem to be quoting it as an absolute fact. Like it or not, what you mean is quite clear.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
04/09/2010 12:58 pm  

93,

"michaelclarke18" wrote:
Didn't look like that to me, but why didn't you make it more clear that it was an example? Later in the thread, other posters seem to be quoting it as an absolute fact. Like it or not, what you mean is quite clear.

No. What you think I mean is not what I meant, and everyone with a shred of common sense should know that. You can try and take it literally if you want to, saying that I "volunteered" Mr. Staley for some random idea off the top of my head, but that is completely false.

It strikes me odd that you would even consider me as doing something like that, seeing how I rarely even did that when I was in charge of multiple personnel on a daily basis. We called it, "voltun-told", which is completely against Thelema in my eyes, against the interest of free will and freedom of choice.

Again, you can make any sort of shit up you want to, but it really says more about you than it does me. If Mr. Staley ever once read this thread and thought I was volunteering him for anything, I'm quite sure he would have said something either in public or in private.

The other references to him being a moderator were also examples. Why? Because he is the best example on these Forums of someone who is dedicated to a certain Forum type, speaks with authority on the subject of Kenneth Grant, and has the authority to do so. It seems only right then, that in brainstorming for any sort of "Rating business", he would be one of the first people that comes to mind as an example, as I'm sure he has proven in the past to be quite helpful to the Kenneth Grant section of this Website.

This is not to say that me or anyone else would try and volunteer, push, bully, con, or in any other way try to influence Mr. Staley or anyone else to try and take up some sort of official position on this Site. Nor would anyone in their right mind try and volunteer him for something. It was a fucking example.

Here's another example: For the "ratings suggestion", where it concerns moderators and the like for various Forums, The_real_simon_iff would make a great "4 Star member or moderator" for Forums related to Crowleyana. Did I just volunteer him? NO. I'm just saying that over the years his zeal in that area has proven invaluable to this Site.

You're just putting whatever spin on it that you want to. Not only that, you are doing it about two or three days after the thread basically dismissed the "rating" idea in its entirety, which would make the entire brainstorming effort along that particular line invalid anyway.

Use some common sense.

93 93/93


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4021
04/09/2010 1:09 pm  

Michael,

Thanks for your concern, but at no time did I think that Azidonis was volunteering me. On the contrary, it seemed to me just an example on his part to illustrate a possible way of approach.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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michaelclarke18
(@michaelclarke18)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1264
04/09/2010 1:43 pm  

No. What you think I mean is not what I meant, and everyone with a shred of common sense should know that. You can try and take it literally if you want to, saying that I "volunteered" Mr. Staley for some random idea off the top of my head, but that is completely false.

It strikes me odd that you would even consider me as doing something like that, seeing how I rarely even did that when I was in charge of multiple personnel on a daily basis. We called it, "voltun-told", which is completely against Thelema in my eyes, against the interest of free will and freedom of choice.

Again, you can make any sort of shit up you want to, but it really says more about you than it does me. If Mr. Staley ever once read this thread and thought I was volunteering him for anything, I'm quite sure he would have said something either in public or in private.

The other references to him being a moderator were also examples. Why? Because he is the best example on these Forums of someone who is dedicated to a certain Forum type, speaks with authority on the subject of Kenneth Grant, and has the authority to do so. It seems only right then, that in brainstorming for any sort of "Rating business", he would be one of the first people that comes to mind as an example, as I'm sure he has proven in the past to be quite helpful to the Kenneth Grant section of this Website.

This is not to say that me or anyone else would try and volunteer, push, bully, con, or in any other way try to influence Mr. Staley or anyone else to try and take up some sort of official position on this Site. Nor would anyone in their right mind try and volunteer him for something. It was a fucking example.

Here's another example: For the "ratings suggestion", where it concerns moderators and the like for various Forums, The_real_simon_iff would make a great "4 Star member or moderator" for Forums related to Crowleyana. Did I just volunteer him? NO. I'm just saying that over the years his zeal in that area has proven invaluable to this Site.

You're just putting whatever spin on it that you want to. Not only that, you are doing it about two or three days after the thread basically dismissed the "rating" idea in its entirety, which would make the entire brainstorming effort along that particular line invalid anyway.

Use some common sense.

What a load of rambling junk.

All I am saying is that your post gave the impression that you were volunteering someone for a task - which certainly looked that way to me. Other posters included this ''example'' as if it were fact.
Now to try and mitigate your mistake you are accusing me of having no common sense; all you needed to do was to clarify your point - but clearly that is way beyond you.


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
Owner and Editor Admin
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 5323
04/09/2010 1:51 pm  

Thanks everyone for the advice and assistance. Unfortunately, the usual collapse of threads into personal insults and accusations appears to have struck even this non-contentious thread.

I'm therefore locking the thread: rest assured, though, that I am truly grateful for the suggestions and will act on the ones I've found most attractive.

Locked.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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