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393b40

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and I responded in the only way one could -- rather than being totally dismissive
No the problem is you you basically told him "It's all a mystery" and you actually believe that is an acceptable response in a thread where the point is to ask (and hopefully receive) real, useful answers about where a project is in the process.

Heck you could have even just said that, "It's is all a mystery" and I probably wouldn't be going off on you right now because at least that's a brief, possibly flippant, but also possibly humorous take on the Boston Development process.

Instead you did the thing you have been doing ever since I joined this forum which is providing this weird rambling message that is supposed to sound intelligent but is really just a bunch of empty content spread over several paragraphs.
 

Sprngh2o

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No the problem is you you basically told him "It's all a mystery" and you actually believe that is an acceptable response in a thread where the point is to ask (and hopefully receive) real, useful answers about where a project is in the process.

Heck you could have even just said that, "It's is all a mystery" and I probably wouldn't be going off on you right now because at least that's a brief, possibly flippant, but also possibly humorous take on the Boston Development process.

Instead you did the thing you have been doing ever since I joined this forum which is providing this weird rambling message that is supposed to sound intelligent but is really just a bunch of empty content spread over several paragraphs.
Good grief, stop.
 

donkeybutlers

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I wish that we could talk about DTX without rhetoric and cliches from the left and the right. The vast majority of Americans are centrists and are just trying to make a life and have a safe and free environment.
Well, if feels worth noting you started with incendiary right wing rhetoric about the nature of urban centers and crime, fueling others (XEC) to get even more explicit in response. You appealing to Centrism after that feels like a convenient cover, as it often is for that racist nonsense. It's a good thing most of the city aren't white people whose families fled it because Black people scared them, and I really wish people like you stopped assuming your opinions are universal.

Yes, while most people do want free and safe environments for some that not only includes police violence but is their central concern because they are on the receiving end of targeted profiling and continuing legacies from slavery. It also must mean freedom from white racists who talk about core areas of the city as blighted and crime ridden and urge on state violence against the disenfranchised.
 
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Charlie_mta

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Well, if feels worth noting you started with incendiary right wing rhetoric about the nature of urban centers and crime, fueling others (XEC) to get even more explicit in response. You appealing to Centrism after that feels like a convenient cover, as it often is for that racist nonsense. It's a good thing most of the city aren't white people whose families fled it because Black scared them, and I really wish people like you stopped assuming your opinions are universal.

Yes, while most people do want free and safe environments for some that not only includes police violence but is their central concern because they are on the receiving end of targeted profiling and continuing legacies from slavery. It also must mean freedom from white racists who talk about core areas of the city as blighted and crime ridden and urge on state violence against the disenfranchised.
I hear what you're saying and, yes, I did go over the line in my wording. I apologize for that.
 

donkeybutlers

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Feels unnecessary to reignite 2 month old debate that already got this thread locked once.
I was not on this forum at that point, but if the normal response to political disagreement is to simply shut down discussion, I doubt I will be staying here for much longer.
 
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itchy

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I was not on this forum at that point, but if the normal response to political disagreement is to simply shut down discussion, I doubt I will be staying here for much longer.
I gotta say: Your post (#3,435) doesn't exactly seem to be welcoming two-way political discourse with Charlie_MTA.

Is it fair to say you're demanding the mods don't shut down your political speech (or else you'll take your ball and go home), but you don't want anyone to voice perspectives different from yours?
 

donkeybutlers

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Well you clearly want to get me banned. No that is not what i said.

This was a depiction of my city that I find truly insulting, especially from an old white suburbanite. I reacted with anger but not vitriol. I said why it upset me and I think i clearly explained why.

I find it foolish that some people on this site seem more bothered by calling it what it is than with that, or your, or XEC's reactionary bullshit here.

BronsonShore: Stop. Smoking. Crack. This is an architecture forum, not an Antifa summer camp.
Was this welcoming two-way political discourse? What you said was far more dismissive, personally insulting, than anything I said, and with far less substance. Glass houses etc.

Maybe this exactly what I meant about applying a false standard of centrism which serves as cover for reactionary ideas while demanding anyone left of Reagan kowtow.
 
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bigpicture7

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I'm probably not going to get what I'm attempting to say here worded right, and I'm probably going to regret trying, but I care about this forum so here goes:

1) I truly hope we can welcome forumers who care enough about our city to criticize it, and yet still call it "my city."
2) In fairness, the mods did not censor or block this thread, they temporarily paused it for the expressed purpose of letting people "cool off" and then reopened it. There were other related threads open to continue the dialogue if posters wanted to. I have not known aB to be a place of censorship, though mods and readers appreciate thread topic categories that help people navigate the site, so sometimes stuff gets moved.
3) The old white suburbanite (if that's even the appropriate demographic description) referenced above happens to be someone who's shown, on many occasions, to be a great listener, to apologize, and to embrace new views different from ones they initially expressed. For that reason he has a streak of decency in him that exceeds that of many people I've met in this life. Just wanted to say that (& to remind us that the internet is often a lousy place for judging where people's hearts are really at).
4) All online forums have forum norms/tendencies that people get accustomed to, and here "thread bumping" to reinitiate old debates when there's no ostensible new news happens to go against such norms. Those norms have felt arbitrary to me at times, but when I step back to think about it, they probably derive from the "architecture forum" origins of this place, whereby people got frustrated when threads got bumped and there was no new news about buildings' designs or construction.

I hope these thoughts/observations are somewhat useful.
 

donkeybutlers

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1) I truly hope we can welcome forumers who care enough about our city to criticize it, and yet still call it "my city."
Immigrants are more than welcome, racists can get out.
2) In fairness, the mods did not censor or block this thread, they temporarily paused it for the expressed purpose of letting people "cool off" and then reopened it. There were other related threads open to continue the dialogue if posters wanted to. I have not known aB to be a place of censorship, though mods and readers appreciate thread topic categories that help people navigate the site, so sometimes stuff gets moved.
I do think this approach without actually dealing with those who went over the line (including those who think they can lecture me here) doesn't actually address the problem and in the long run will lead to more problems.
3) The old white suburbanite (if that's even the appropriate demographic description) referenced above happens to be someone who's shown, on many occasions, to be a great listener, to apologize, and to embrace new views different from ones they initially expressed. For that reason he has a streak of decency in him that exceeds that of many people I've met in this life. Just wanted to say that (& to remind us that the internet is often a lousy place for judging where people's hearts are really at).
I will give Charlie_MTA credit for that. He showed humility and a willingness to listen, that I do respect.

Not everyone showed that here.
4) All online forums have forum norms/tendencies that people get accustomed to, and here "thread bumping" to reinitiate old debates when there's no ostensible new news happens to go against such norms. Those norms have felt arbitrary to me at times, but when I step back to think about it, they probably derive from the "architecture forum" origins of this place, whereby people got frustrated when threads got bumped and there was no new news about buildings' designs or construction.
Again I have not been here for very long but the only place I can see a written list of norms is here: ArchBoston Regulations & Code of Conduct. It doesn't mention that. I don't think what I posted violated any actual rule of this site.

Cities are not just buildings they are massive amounts of people living on top of one another. A huge part of living in them is social and political (and that includes the buildings). I hope that whatever the origin of this forum it can recognize that. From what I've seen this site goes well beyond that already and maybe that needs to be explicitly acknowledged.
 

bigpicture7

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@donkeybutlers, I was referring to you referring to Boston as "my city" in post 3440. That signals to me that you care about this place.

I am not defending aB's practices, merely sharing my derived understanding of them. All communities have both written and unwritten tendencies, though I agree we should strive to have high quality and documented conduct rules here. Further, I agree with you that aB inevitably and necessarily expands its scope from buildings to cities to communities, but was merely sharing where the "don't bump threads" social norm may have come from (which also caught me off guard when I first started posting).
 

Charlie_mta

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This was a depiction of my city that I find truly insulting, especially from an old white suburbanite. I reacted with anger but not vitriol. I said why it upset me and I think i clearly explained why.
I'm not a suburbanite and I live in an ethnically diverse neighborhood. I'm old and white which seems to bother you, but in reality you know nothing about me. The problem with the far left these days is that any opinion that doesn't line up with theirs is automatically regarded as offensive or an insult. The far right is just as bad. Can people no longer agree to disagree? I've tried to be nice to you but I think I'm done with this particular discussion.
 

Brattle Loop

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EDIT: Clearly the discussion to which I was replying was moved or deleted. If the moderators think it's appropriate to move this post to a more appropriate thread, please do so, otherwise if it's still here in the morning I'll take it down as no longer relevant given that it's in reply to a discussion that is no longer present in this thread.

The problem with the far left these days is that any opinion that doesn't line up with theirs is automatically regarded as offensive or an insult. The far right is just as bad. Can people no longer agree to disagree?
I recognize that I'm wading into very choppy waters here, and I may well regret this post, but the political scientist in me finds this discussion too juicy to ignore.

"Identity politics" as a term of art is all the rage these days, usually seen in its native habitat being lobbed about by politicians trying to get the public to dismiss ideas they (the politician, that is) disagree with without substantively engaging with them. That said, the concept of "identity politics", maybe more usefully phrased as "politics as identity" or "identity as politics" is extremely useful.

One of the hallmarks of this era of political debate is the extent to which political opinions and identity are becoming increasingly tied together. It has the effect of rendering more and more things "political" while simultaneously increasing the salience and importance of political matters in relation to personal identity.

I seem to have a particular lack of self-preservation instinct today, so I'm going to set out an example, which feels a little like the online equivalent of the prospect of walking into a field of landmines must feel like. All opinions provided are my own, and any offense anyone may take is unintentional.

That said, I think an instructive example is the still-ongoing but no-longer-maximally-controversial issue of and debate over LGBT rights. (I acknowledge that the community - and acronym - is far larger and more diverse; I'm just using a common shorthand for the sake of brevity.) When the country was embroiled in, for instance, the considerably charge debate over same-sex marriage from circa 2003 to 2015, from one angle it appeared to be just another political debate, between one side arguing in favor of a vaguely-libertarian position combining freedom of choice with anti-discrimination and equality elements. (Fundamentally, the state shouldn't arbitrarily let some people not get married because they - meaning the state - don't like who they want to marry.) On the other side you had traditionalist and religious elements arguing what was largely a moralist position (i.e. the state should not sanction or permit "immorality" or "sinfulness"). To the majority who didn't have a particular skin in the game, so to speak, where you fell on the issue was largely a matter of ideological/personal belief and pre-existing political inclinations. For members of the LGBT community, however, the circumstances were very different, as what was at issue was a deeply personal issue regarding whether we would be accorded equal rights to everyone else in this matter, or not. To someone in that position, it was extremely difficult to separate the political from the personal. It's possible to understand, intellectually, how and why someone might come to a contrary position, but it's deeply uncomfortable to be faced with and engage with a position and argument that is fundamentally opposed to one's sense of self, self-worth, and one's conception of one's human rights.

That example, I hope, helps to illustrate why the tying of politics to elements of identity provokes such strong emotions. If, as is often the case today, political and policy issues and discussions are deeply tied to matters of identity (for an example the other direction, see rhetoric from Trump-supporting Republicans casting Democrats as, essentially, satanic demons come to destroy everything they hold dear. It's apocalyptic and terrifying, even if it's not really true as such even the prospect is terrifying enough to be a powerful motivator, especially when stoked by media and political actors aiming to profit by it) then the prospect of the "other side" becomes anathema and the thought of that "enemy" winning power becomes a doomsday scenario. In those conditions it becomes rational to make no compromises, because it becomes akin to providing aid and comfort to the enemy, and increasing the chances that they come to power.

Agreeing to disagree is only possible where both sides accept the legitimacy of the other side's position. That becomes very hard if not impossible wherever the other side's position is, or feels like it is, not just diametrically opposed to but outright hostile to one's own identity. And it feeds and is tied to a style of political thinking that then tends to use identity as a shorthand; anyone who shares a given identity may, within the bounds of it, express variation of opinion, but anyone outside of it who attempts to do so is suspicious at least or illegitimate at worst. Add in some of the common impulses of human nature and what you get is a very exclusionary (but not necessarily irrational) style of political discourse where those who are not part of a given group are free to agree with its 'consensus' position but not to challenge it. (Witness how fast, for example, the GOP turns on anyone who dares to question Trump.)

You're not wrong about how often opinions that are divergent are automatically taken as insults. Some of that is just a particularly-uncompromising style of political discourse, but a considerable degree of it concerns the question of legitimacy, which is deeply tied to identity for reasons that are very often neither shallow nor irrational. It's why I used the example of LGBT rights above, because the instinctive reaction to challenge by someone outside a community is often "how dare they", "how dare someone who isn't part of this, hasn't lived this, maybe isn't even affected by this dare to say that we who are are wrong". That instinctive response is not always right, but it's not always wrong, and when that is the baseline for political identity and discourse it does not favor calm and neutral discussion and agreeing to disagree, because it's so immediately palpable that there is no such thing as neutral in so many of these things.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk, I guess. I didn't really expect to write this when I started. Hopefully it might be some useful discussion for people.
 

Charlie_mta

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It's best to leave political discussions off this board. People's feathers get way too ruffled and there are other discussion boards elsewhere for people to do battle over their political views. I really value AB for its architectural and city planning input from everyone on here, but the politics gets messy very quickly.
 

bigpicture7

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It's best to leave political discussions off this board. People's feathers get way too ruffled and there are other discussion boards elsewhere for people to do battle over their political views. I really value AB for its architectural and city planning input from everyone on here, but the politics gets messy very quickly.
The time-lagged, semi-unidirectional, short-text-format nature of the platform just makes it really hard (mpossible) to have that type of conversation productively. It's not a knock against the importance of the topics, just the reality of the format. And given that, when mods mitigate or move it, I do not take it as suggesting the topics aren't important. That said, I do agree that hateful statements must not be tolerated.
 

donkeybutlers

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The area around the NEMA in Chicago is infested with crime. Oh well, enjoy, Bean-town!
Looking at a map, NEMA in Chicago looks out on Grant Park, one of the most popular urban parks in the US, is within a mile of two world class museums, is just off the loop and is surrounded by fancy apartment/condo buildings even some tree lined streets of single family homes that look rather fancy. What are you talking about? You are just a raving reactionary.
 

armpitsOFmight

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Looking at a map, NEMA in Chicago looks out on Grant Park, one of the most popular urban parks in the US, is within a mile of two world class museums, is just off the loop and is surrounded by fancy apartment/condo buildings even some tree lined streets of single family homes that look rather fancy. What are you talking about? You are just a raving reactionary.
Nope, you've never clearly never lived in the South Loop. Lots of carjackings in that area. Plus the Columbia college kids get mugged frequently around that area in Grant Park. Stay with stuff you understand, kiddo.
 

donkeybutlers

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Nope, you've never clearly never lived in the South Loop. Lots of carjackings in that area. Plus the Columbia college kids get mugged frequently around that area in Grant Park. Stay with stuff you understand, kiddo.
I understand you are a reactionary who uses the language of disease and vermin to talk about complex social problems in a totalizing and apocalyptic way (for a prime location at that) that just so happens to align with the last 4-5 decades of crime panic fueled white reactionary violence against people of color at the hands of the state and vigilantes. I understand that perfectly well.
 

armpitsOFmight

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I understand you are a reactionary who uses the language of disease and vermin to talk about complex social problems in a totalizing and apocalyptic way (for a prime location at that) that just so happens to align with the last 4-5 decades of crime panic fueled white reactionary violence against people of color at the hands of the state and vigilantes. I understand that perfectly well.
LOL, maybe you should live in Chicago for a few years before you go into armchair philosopher mode.
 
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