The Open letter

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Fullmetal-Senpai
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The Open letter

Postby Fullmetal-Senpai » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:57 pm

Friends, enemies, compatriots, frienemies, and to whom it may concern.

Hey,I'm not sure anyone will actually care to read this however you might remember me as one of the more common users here and let me start by saying that this is just my observations and not, hold on I'll say it one more time, NOT an attack personally or collectively towards anyone. At least it isn't intended that way.

My past 3 years on this site have been quite strange to say the least. I remember entire "generations" of users come and go, some stick around and some leave. Through multiple "situations" one of which I can say I was a part of.

Anyway here's a bit of background about myself before we get in this. I am in my mid 20's, was born in the early 90's for those bad at math, and have been watching anime that i knew was anime for just about 18 years. If you count the years i didn't know then I've been watching anime since about 1995. Yep I'm part of the Pokemon generation, recent developments in the anime community makes me want to recede. Problem is I'm wildly outspoken, so here goes.

(for the rest of this please read you as a generalization, not specifically the reader.)

Your personal status as a human being has nothing to do with what you like and dislike, stop conflating personal worth with people agreeing or disagreeing. If someone doesn't like something you do it isn't a personal attack, as chance would have it they probably just don't like it.

You're not the center of the universe. People have many reasons to agree and disagree. Its really not the end of the world.

Discussions are the most important part of a forum, a board, a club, a team, anything besides what you do in your room alone really. Without it I wonder why you bother pushing your opinions into the ether. Are you just chasing a post number? Personally the only real enjoyment I get out of anime is discussing it with people who agree and disagree with me. Discussion much like debate only serve to understand your opponent and strengthen your arguments.

Arguments are not necessarily a bad thing.

Positive critique is not better than negative critique. If you ask me they are one in the same, and as such their worth is equal.

Don't jump to conclusions at every turn. I go by a pretty easy rule. "Do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to idiocy" now that might seem harsh for some people here so just replace idiocy with ignorance.

There is no merit in silence. Strive to be better, strive to learn from others, strive to teach the ignorant, strive to understand whom you are discussing and who you are discussing with. Form stronger bonds.

There is no merit in pseudo-intellectualism. If you don't know or understand something pretending that you do just makes you look like a tool bag, and yes its usually pretty obvious.

As of late this place has turned into a rather stagnant echo chamber, call me spoiled but I am not a fan. I do hope no one takes this the wrong way, however I also hope that every reader can take this at face value and look into themselves too see that they are at fault in some of these spots. If you're a big enough person to realize that than you're also a big enough person to work to make yourself better. Do it, for the community, for your relationships here, for me, and most importantly for yourself. Make our old members want to come back. Give them a home to come back to.

I hope this comes out the right way for everyone. As always comments are encouraged here.

Signed
Fullmetal

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Chris
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Re: The Open letter

Postby Chris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:07 pm

I agree. I do believe we need to discuss this. I want everyone to be heard here. Otakuspirits stance has always been have fun celebrating what you love. I would rather you fix a disagreement amongst yourselves and no one ever know who has mod powers.

Be polite and have fun.

;-)
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BlueSpark
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Re: The Open letter

Postby BlueSpark » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:09 am

Read and noted. Kuddos for getting it all out in a proper, personal and respectful post. Only parts I have a problem with:

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Discussions are the most important part of a forum, a board, a club, a team, anything besides what you do in your room alone really.
Basically, cue "That's just, like, your opinion, man" meme here. I've made a handful of friends on this forum with whom I love(d) to chat extensively; discussions (as in exchanging divergent opinions) were part of the discourse, but not the focal point. That alone has more than enough value for me to merit remaining active on Otaku Spirit. Sharing experiences with others is very much a worthwhile endeavor, at least in my book.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:There is no merit in silence.
Excuse me if I take this out of context just a little bit, but there are entire cultures who would probably disagree with this statement fundamentally. There are advantages and drawbacks to both sides of the coin, it just depends on which one has more weight for you.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:If you're a big enough person to realize that than you're also a big enough person to work to make yourself better.
With all due respect, I'd rather not you speak for me when generalizing about what it takes for a person to "better themselves." While I understand that you're passionate about this and genuinely want to help people be the best they can, your call to action has the sour aftertaste of presumptuousness to me. The possible viewpoints on what constitutes a good or a bad trait in a person are simply too diverse to push them into a uniform shape like this.

Anyway, I'm sorry you feel that way about our community as a whole. For what it's worth, I'll try to get less defensive about others not enjoying the animes that I do. But in regards to actually getting into debates about it, please don't expect me to change my ways on your account.
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Tori
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Re: The Open letter

Postby Tori » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:35 am

I have to agree with a lot in this post. As someone who's been around on this forum since 2014 (save for that one year I left due to disagreements with the change of forum rules) I have seen many people join and leave these forums. I've seen a lot of different discussions on here, but I've also seen a lot of attempts at silencing others opinions. This usually seemed to come about as a result of people taking any criticism against the things they liked as attacks on them and as a result played the I'm "offended" card to shut everyone up. Normally stuff like that won't work, but the more time I spent here I felt that discussions and sharing your opinions were slowly getting more and more frowned upon, because people would be offended and protecting people's feelings seem to become more important than cultivating conversation. Conversations are not bad. It's essential in our understanding of others. If we don't talk to each other we're never gonna understand each other. Yes, not every conversation is gonna be worth it and there is nothing wrong with wanting to talk to people who share your views and opinions, but I think people should also make more of an effort to talk with people you don't see eye to eye with every once in a while. Not because you're gonna change your opinion on things, but to see and understand why exactly someone else does not share your opinion.
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SemiBolt
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Re: The Open letter

Postby SemiBolt » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:33 am

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Discussions are the most important part of a forum, a board, a club, a team, anything besides what you do in your room alone really.
BlueSpark wrote:Basically, cue "That's just, like, your opinion, man" meme here. I've made a handful of friends on this forum with whom I love(d) to chat extensively; discussions (as in exchanging divergent opinions) were part of the discourse, but not the focal point. That alone has more than enough value for me to merit remaining active on Otaku Spirit. Sharing experiences with others is very much a worthwhile endeavor, at least in my book.


I wouldn't really say its just his opinion. Forums exist for discussion and having no one respond to each other kind of defeats the purpose. Otherwise, I would just be on a blog.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:There is no merit in silence.
BlueSpark wrote:Excuse me if I take this out of context just a little bit, but there are entire cultures who would probably disagree with this statement fundamentally. There are advantages and drawbacks to both sides of the coin, it just depends on which one has more weight for you.

Not doing anything can be worse than doing something and being silent can make bad situations get way worse.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:If you're a big enough person to realize that than you're also a big enough person to work to make yourself better.
BlueSpark wrote:With all due respect, I'd rather not you speak for me when generalizing about what it takes for a person to "better themselves."


Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:(for the rest of this please read you as a generalization, not specifically the reader.)

Don't worry the title isn' t"An open letter to bluespark" xD

--------------------------------------

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Your personal status as a human being has nothing to do with what you like and dislike, stop conflating personal worth with people agreeing or disagreeing. If someone doesn't like something you do it isn't a personal attack, as chance would have it they probably just don't like it.


I agree. I used to be super sensitive to disagreements and it feeling like they are specifically coming after me but after engaging with people that I disagree with I've learned a lot.
Dealing with disagreements has been easier and coming up with them is easier.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Arguments are not necessarily a bad thing.

I was always raised to believe arguments are bad and if you have them then something is deeply wrong with the relationship between you and the person you are talking to.

After looking at it like a discussion and not putting it in this box that no one should touch it's easier to put myself in the other person's shoes and to be less heated.
It's not the end of the world and it's not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, it's a good way to grow up and learn things about a person you wouldn't normally learn which should be exciting.

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:There is no merit in pseudo-intellectualism. If you don't know or understand something pretending that you do just makes you look like a tool bag, and yes its usually pretty obvious.

I agree very much. I'm kinda taking this out of context a little (i think) but
If you don't understand something then learn more about what it is you don't understand.
Being a fool and learning from your mistakes is a great way to grow and learn what to not do the next time.
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Re: The Open letter

Postby MojaveRena » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:46 pm

I can fully appreciate what you are saying, I think there is no point in a forum where you cannot voice your own opinions or a forum where you are "treading on eggshells" with the community and worrying who is gonna give you grief for everything you say.

With what you said about "jumping to conclusions" there is a saying I like, "Put yourself in the other person's shoes" - try to imagine yourself as the other person in the conversation. Now is this person really trying to be horrible to you or did you just read the sentence to wrong way and come up with what you think he/she meant? I sometimes make mistakes with this, I am not scared to be honest and put my hand up about my mistakes.

Personally I have learnt that if there is something you really like (or dislike) then you are entitled to have your own opinion on it. That is the most important thing everyone should remember when they use a forum and to never be scared of saying something about it.

As you said in your post, you have the power within you to be stronger and move on from your own experiences. I think it's best to be who you are, and not pretend to be someone you aren't.

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fragoff
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Re: The Open letter

Postby fragoff » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:07 pm

We live in an era of 'triggered feelings' and it is bound to reverberate into forums of any kind.

Remember that no matter how well you speak, no matter how much you sensor yourself, you have very fiew power over the way other people take or interpret what you are saying. Never assume you know perfectly what the other said and never assume the other understand perfectly what you are saying.

This is probably the source of your issues. As a rule of thumb, especialy on internet, never get offended by someone posting something.

And the only remedy to anyone posting anything like this is first to ask clarifications and make sure that what than person says is what you understood.

Start the talk, argue, demonstrate or denie. As long as it is done in an adult way, in is never bad and never in vain. Idealy, you also want to keep on the emotionless logical side of things. Arguing with emotions is bad. Because, most of the fime, if you argue with emotions, you do not argue with reason and reason you do not accept.

Right now you might feel like this, fullmetal, but trust me, it gets clearer the older you get, the better you can manage things you don't like on forums. 20 years from now, when you reach my age( old bastard!), things will not have changed, but you sure as hell will not get 'offended' as much and will see the triviality of conflicts on the net.

Finaly, like a good friend of mine once said: life is short, do not waste a minute of it on idiots.
"Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the didlo of dysfunction into the neko of a civilized society" -Plato

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Re: The Open letter

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:57 am

SemiBolt wrote:I wouldn't really say its just his opinion. Forums exist for discussion and having no one respond to each other kind of defeats the purpose. Otherwise, I would just be on a blog.
I'd say they're for connecting and talking with people. Discussion is a part of that, but not all-encompassing.

SemiBolt wrote:Not doing anything can be worse than doing something and being silent can make bad situations get way worse.
Speaking up or acting out of impulse at the wrong moment can make things worse, too. There are obvious examples for this, but I'd rather not cite a political one again because the last time I did, I got some rather rude backlash for it.

SemiBolt wrote:Don't worry the title isn' t"An open letter to bluespark" xD
You're right, it isn't. And I'm not trying to insinuate that any of his post is targeted at me. But I'm a part of the general readership that he's addressing, and I felt like putting my opinion out there. That's the very thing fullmetal is promoting here, isn't it?
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Re: The Open letter

Postby fragoff » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:57 am

BlueSpark wrote:bluespark


Neddless to say, i agree with most of what you are saying.
"Tolerance is the lube that helps slip the didlo of dysfunction into the neko of a civilized society" -Plato

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Ayuu
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Re: The Open letter

Postby Ayuu » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:25 am

Heey~ haven't posted here in a while, but I thought I'd give my two cents on this subject since I do think it's really important in the current climate around both this forum and the anime community at large.

I largely agree with everything you are saying here. Discussion and debate are ways thru which we can grow and learn about ourselves and whatever medium it is we are experiencing. Both negative and positive critique are worth exploring, it's only with both that we can fully experience something. On this forum and in the community at large people have become more and more sensitive and less and less open to discussing or debating the positives and negatives surrounding a show.

I do think a lot of how we experience critique is based around our own personal perception. There is no one in the world who couldn't benefit from a bit more self awareness about how much they take personally. When you make an argument about your values instead of about the anime or other medium being discussed it can really hurt the discussion being had and limit how much the two people talking can learn from each other. It becomes a personal attack, which should never be the case with a discussion. Make it about the show not about your personal beef with the other party.

That said, I do think there is merit in considering toxicity in the community. I feel at least part of this echo chamber-y and hyper sensitive mentality comes from people becoming burnt out about certain extremely negative points on a specific show or subject. Just as it pays to always consider what it is the other person is trying to say, it also pays to be respectful and attempt to convey your point in a way doesn't make the other party feel like they are being mentally hit. I hesitate to even say this as I don't think it should result in people walking on egg shells around others or not saying something just because it's unpleasant. I don't think anyone should have to baby someone else, that only inhibits a discussion and what can be learned. A lot of this does come down to people needing to talk stuff less personally and not slap a "ignorant negativity" sticker on a point without even considering it. Still, respect is important to consider in any situation and it can go a long way in facilitating and encouraging discourse.

As you stated, there is no merit in silence. I want to believe that it is always worth talking to someone else rather than just staying silent with your own opinions. How can you grow if you don't try to stretch and consider everything around you. ::whistle::