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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:17 am    Post subject: The Venting Thread! Reply with quote

This here is a thread for everyone to really cut loose! Let us know what's eating you up, what's twisting your insides, what's baking your noodle! Got someone you can't stand? Let it out! You know, it may be best to give false names and stuff, libel laws and all that.

Please remember that the forum retains its policies. Let me remind you, briefly. NO SWEARING, which is self explanatory, and NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. This is for venting, so let's try and be supportive of one another in our times of stress.

As always, mods have the final say!

I'll start us off with a bit of a rant. This one is about idiots.

Idiots who own animals, but can't take care of them. See, there's this farm nearby. They have a HUGE plot of land, a massive field, and a barn. They HAD four horses, and now they have three. You see, they have the horses penned in in this tiny little section no larger than a standard garage apartment. Or a studio apartment. Or, I dunno, the produce section at your local grocery store. That's not even the worst!

They have no shelter. No water. No food, even. They're left out in the sun, heat, and humidity all day. Absolutely ridiculous. One of the horses? It died. It was in the field, bloated so wide it's legs were sticking straight out, and at odd angles (Like you overinflated a balloon). It just... just... urgh!

But I have plans to fix it. Plans to make a difference. Going to do something about it!

Also, my son is 12-0 against me in Monopoly. He's unbeatable! Even when I think I'm doing well... he just wallops me out of left field! :\

My problems could be far worse than having a son who can beat me at Monopoly every time. ^_^ (I can still beat him at Yahtzee anyway!)
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Allicat



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Location: Back in the Shire.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since this thread was created off the back of something I said I feel I should use it! Here's the long vent I would have posted back then if it weren't to clog up the Today thread.

I have a friend. She is a bright, beautiful person with an absolute heart of gold and a wicked sense of humour. She never fails to make me smile, yet there are certain people who hurt her. They put her down and call her names. They never allow her to live. They are her parents. She is 19 years old and has never left the country. She has never been on a train. She has never been to the theatre. Before she stayed with me for three nights after our exams she had never stayed away from home without her mother.
I suggested that for her birthday present from me the two of us should get the train to London and go to a show on the West End. I would buy tickets and I have family there we could stay with.
Her parents refused flat out. They threw such a paddy over the idea that now she is scared to broach it again lest they should stop her coming to stay with me.
I know the reason for all this. I know her past and I can understand that her parents are more protective, but if they refuse to let her live she will die inside.
I pray that one day she will go. Get out. Leave and never come back. I am terrified that she won't.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ugg, clingy. I swear a lot of parents should just have got pets instead of children.

I take it you didn't get shot, Tenshi =p

...

Let's see, vent thread.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike Kant's moral philosophy? Regardless I shall now rant at considerable length about it Wink

I guess in a nutshell my argument would be this:
Practical laws must be derived from the structure of the objects of the faculty of desire, since the faculty itself is unknowable to us except by inference from the form of its objects. This gives rise to a confusion between descriptive and prescriptive terms in Kant's moral philosophy which, when clarified, does not seem to support the sort of ethical structure portrayed in the same.

Kant states that:

'all principles which presuppose an object of the faculty of desires as the ground of determination of the will are empirical and can furnish no practical laws' [Q1]

This is best understood by referring to the Definition in the Critique of Practical Reason. which states:

'[principles] are subjective, or maxims, when the condition is regarded by the subject as valid only for his own will, but are objective, or practical laws, when the condition is recognised as objective, that is, valid for the will of every rational being.'

So Q1 is really just to say that anything that includes subjective experience is not wholly an objective law. Kant supports Q1 with the argument that:

'if the desire for this object precedes the [objective] rule and is the condition of our making it a principle, then I say (in the first place) this principle is in that case wholly empirical, for then what determines the choice is the idea of an object and that relation of this idea to the subject by which its faculty of desire is determined to its realisation.' [Q2]

Simply put Q2 states that desire for a particular thing relies upon having the idea of that thing, (and certain relations to that idea.) It is therefore subjective, and so it follows, that you cannot base objective laws on that alone. Although obviously they can still be maxims for the individual. One might object at this point that surely objective laws are reached by generalising over experience and or desires. The argument would go somewhat like this:

Suppose I command you not to lie. What is a lie? A statement that is knowingly made not to match some state of affairs. So I have really commanded you not to make any statements that do not match a certain state of affairs. But in order to do so you must know of that state of affairs, and that knowing is necessarily subjective.

Of course one might respond that what the state of affairs is stands largely besides the point Ė that I've really commanded you not to say anything that does not match your understanding regardless of what that understanding happens to contain. Still this can't hold for numerous other cases - suppose I command you to be happy Ė what is happy? An emotion, what is an emotion but a subjective state... And so on and so forth. Without resort to subjective experience many referents and motives are empty.

But this simply springs from a misunderstanding of Kant's argument, which is not that objective law isn't contained in Ė or gained from generalising over, to put it another way Ė maxims, but that objective law is not grounded upon any specific maxim. He allows that you need some sort of maxim to find objective law:

'legislative form, then, contained in the maxim'

This seems to put Kant in a rather odd position however. If an objective law is contained in a subjective maxim then surely it follows that such is the case for any maxim Ė how then can one ever be immoral? This position is perhaps best illustrated by sticking it into a simple expression:

Within the domain of wills: Where Z is the property of being free and Y is the property of being morally good, (or more appropriately of willing in accordance with the principle of determination) :

∀x {Zx ↔ Yx}

The dilemma Kant would have to face here is as follows: If he affirms that we may be morally good without being free then his whole argument falls apart Ė to talk of how a free will necessarily formulates moral laws would make no sense. If he on the other hand affirms that we may be free without being morally good then he loses the ability to demand that a free will must act in accordance with the objective laws he is espousing. Any example of a free will acting to the contrary would simply render his claim false.

To make this latter point clearer:

'A free will must find its principle of determination in the law, and yet independently of the matter of the law.'

(i.e. A free will must follow certain procedures in formulating its maxims.)

'But, besides the matter of the law, nothing is contained in it except the legislative form. It is the legislative form, then, contained in the maxim, which can alone constitute a principle of determination of the[free] will.'

Is not then Kant simply mistaken as to the distinction between jus and lex;between liberty as what a person can do, and law as what a person should do? A free will must follow the legislative form, and yet if it does not then it is not a free will. One might try to escape from this by fracturing the issue, by saying that only good acts are autonomous, but this just makes the problem even worse. If it is not a free will when it does wrong where comes the demand that it accede to the rules that govern a free will. To put it another way: where comes the judgement that it is wrong given the supposedly moral laws do not apply to it?

Kant seems to try to escape this dilemma by appealing to the notion that we are actually free. Providing a story of a lustful man who asserts that when desire and opportunity present themselves he finds the fulfilment of his lusts quite irresistible. Kant then goes on to query whether this man when asked would consider it possible that he could overcome his love for life, no matter how great, if his sovereign asked him to bear witness against another that the other might be destroyed under a plausible pretext. Kant ventures that the man would have to allow that it is possible,

'He judges, therefore, that he can do a certain thing because he is conscious that he ought, and he recognises that he is free.'

Kant's escape is not particularly convincing however. There are many people the world over who stand in similar situations and find their love of life far outweighs their love of their fellows Ė who are conscious of no such ought or if they are conscious find it to be of comparatively little weight. It seems more likely that Kant is not describing freedom but a hierarchy of desires. That given a high love of life and a low love of fellows the man in the story would undoubtedly choose his own life over that of the unfortunate individual to be destroyed by the sovereign.

Kant would also have to account for how we gained knowledge of freedom, he is quite clear that it can be found only through observing moral law:

'it cannot begin with freedom, for of this we cannot be immediately conscious, since the first concept of it is negative; nor can we infer it from experience, for experience gives us the knowledge only of the law of phenomena, and hence of the mechanisms of nature, the direct opposite of freedom.'

To make any salvage of the issue the prescriptive demands of Kant's moral theory must be converted into a descriptive proposition akin to this: Insofar as you assume people have a free will, it is bound within the confines of a natural law of cognition to which all desires of the will necessarily conform.

But this is not, of course, a law to which one could give or deny assent.

If we ignore the problems with Kant's philosophy to focus on the qualities that people might find attractive however then there seems more to recommend it. It is relatively simple in application when compared to philosophies that would require one to make predictions about the outcome of their actions on a case by case basis. It may appeal to utilitarians on the basis that it does not prejudice the position of the individual in deciding upon behaviour. In that regard it bears certain similarities to Rawl's veil of ignorance which asks that we imagine a situation in which a person does not know where they will end up in society.

Practical laws are grounded on the contents of the will Ė insofar as you accept the Kantian construction thereof Ė just based on a common pattern rather than on any one specific content. These laws however are inadequate when applied to generate a moral demand, either excluding all wrongdoing from the scope of their considerations, or falling into contradiction. While there may be a certain intuitive charm to the idea of deontology; if someone tries to do something nice for us it seems wrong to blame them for failing; whether the above points draw condemnation or credit from Kant's work is ultimately just a matter of personal opinion. Many other moral systems could be reseated in intention easily enough simply by pasting the word 'try' into the midst of their commandments.

Most moral philosophies contain a small selection of premises upon which everything else hinges. These are either acknowledged in the philosophy and secured against assault as fundamental principles; thus they serving to exclude consideration by anyone who does not acknowledge that principle; or they are left open to criticism, and once tapped lightly with the philosopher's hammer they shatter Ė bring down the entire philosophy associated with them.

I guess there's nothing wrong with being wrong, mistakes happen. Maybe I just resent his existence because thousands of undergraduates have been forced to read his incredibly cumbersome, generally fairly poorly translated, books.
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Wren



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
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Location: In my head, wondering how so many manage to step outside theirs.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GRAMMAR WARNING

If it were. Not if it was. Were indicates a condition contrary to fact, which you are showing since you just used 'if' with the past tense. If one doesn't want to reveal that that is not true, then rephrase the statement. On the rare, occasional time when the writer/speaker believe this thing to be true, then one can shade one's meaning. But note that this is drawing attention to that statement. Since this actually means something, it is important to use it correctly.

If only it were so.

The singular of dice is die. I cannot have one dice any more than I can have one dogs, or one sculptures. I do not care that it uses a soft c rather than an s, it's still a plural.

And, no, 'That's the way people talk!' is not an adequate excuse for using improper grammar in a formal essay, because it's a formal essay. No one in the advanced English class would write, 'smack-dab,' 'ain't,' etc. in a formal paper an expect to get a perfect grade, even if the person in question talks like that. 'Um, like, totally'? No! One does not have to use proper grammar--any more than is necessary for clarity--in casual speech, but the idea of the class is to make sure one knows how, and so knows how to make a given statement clear. So, if someone actually knows and is really using improper grammar for a reason, it should be clear what that reason is. Because otherwise it is poor communication. Some characters use bad grammar, but an omniscient narrator probably won't, and in a formal persuasive essay one rarely even uses contractions.

*Wren breathes heavily for a few moments.*

Okay. I'm better now. Thanks for reading!
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So:
Today I submitted a complaint about a new coworker. I feel like the wicked witch of the west, but it's getting to be an issue. She doesn't get along with anyone, doesn't like anyone, doesn't even want the job! Oh, and she doesn't ever do any work. I came into work and nothing was done. It looked like she hadn't done any work all day. I had to do all the work that should have been done hours ago, and she said "I'll just sit here and watch you." I like to think the best of everyone, so I always try talking and joking around with her, and generally being as pleasant, but everything she says is really mean. According to my supervisor, she's not much better at concessions. Doesn't do her fair share and all that. I know sticking people in golf is a way of still keeping them on the payroll without having to deal with them, but it's a REALLY bad place for her to be. There's no one to watch out there, there's no one to rely on by yourself, and leaving a mess for another coworker to pick up out there? Frankly it's infuriating. And very, very rude. And on a holiday it can be disastrous, since it's hard enough to get things done when the hut is spick and span on a busy day. She doesn't even know what a busy day is! I shudder to think what might happen if we get swamped one day and she's up there (if the laziness is evident on really slow days, what's it going to be like when it's busy?). She doesn't consider it a real job. Yes, it's a park, and yes, you're not working 40 hours a week, but right now, any job is a real job. It's frustrating, because so many people would kill to have her job right now, and she doesn't care, doesn't want it, and doesn't do it. It's like those kids who get financial aid money and blow it on electronics, when I have friends in serious need of help who are, for some reason, "unqualified"--even though they live below the poverty line.

It's also annoying because there are only three people working golf right now: myself, the new chick, and another lady who, while a vast improvement, is not good at picking up after herself.

Arg.

So, complaint submitted. I don't think my boss will fire her, but I would appreciate it if she moved her to a position where she can be supervised, at least.
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Miho



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummm.

Too much.

VENT VENT VENT RANT!

Miho is a bit... irked. Boyfriend. Co-workers. Own stupidity.

Boyfriend. Sweet guy. Just got on my nerves today. probably should talk to him, but venting to interweb is so much better. He was supposed to go with me on satuday to my mother's house cause my family is celebrating my borhter's birhtday. He was going to. Until recently, when he learned there will be yard work involved. Ugh. That and the fact that my sister doesn't like him really puts him off to the idea. And also he wants to donate plasma on saturday so that he can pay off a speeding ticket and buy a ticket to go see the Blue Angels. And also he says he spend too much money the past weekend. Then he complained about taking me out to eat the weekend before that it was expensive... but I offered to pay for my meal. I was going to. Had given them my card and everything and he took it back. Ugh. I hate when boys take girls out to eat and then they complain about it later. Gee. Way to make me feel like crap. Thanks for the food though. Seriously. And then he used a payphone the other weekend to call his brother in seattle cause he forgot his phone and he inserted a debit card... well the company charged him 40 bucks. I know money is tight for him, but I mean do we have to complain about it all the time? We both know I make much better money than him and I've offered to help him out but he refuses. I know it's probably some male pride thing, but get over it.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll take your money if you like ^_~

BBC News - Vince Cable proposes graduate tax in funding rethink

Quote:
Business Secretary Vince Cable has said a variable graduate tax could make England's student funding system fairer and more sustainable.

This would mean students repaying their tuition costs through taxation, once they started working, with higher earners paying more.

[...]

Mr Cable said that by linking the graduate repayment mechanism to earnings, it may be possible to establish a system where low earners would pay the same or less than they do now, and high earners would pay more.

He earlier told the BBC that under the current system, "if you're a school teacher or a youth worker you pay the same amount as if you were a surgeon or a highly-paid commercial lawyer".

"I think most people would think that's unfair," he said.


I don't believe I've ever heard anything so stupid, and that includes the people on the corner talking about the end being nigh.

Let's add an extra disincentive to taking a worthwhile course like medicine. Let's give you the burden of supporting those taking liberal arts courses (no criticism like self-criticism =p) who shouldn't have had to go to begin with. And then they wonder why university isn't giving people the skills businesses want.

Of course some people might say we're moving towards a knowledge based economy. That this is simply inevitable that you'd need to know more and as a consequence people really need those degrees. It's not and we're not.

Knowledge is personal. What you know, what I know. It may enable us to do a bunch of things but that's where its transmittable value ends. You can only give people information from which they may or may not learn and by doing so create their own knowledge. You can't give knowledge itself to someone, you can't trade in it. Computers shuffle information about and by organising it create a more valuable commodity without anyone actually knowing any more.

We're not moving towards a knowledge based economy, we're moving towards an information based economy; which is another thing entirely. No-one cares if you know that Kant's theory of morality is wrong, or that Shakespeare's talk about rusty gates in certain plays is talking about a woman's legs. It's an interesting talking point in the pub but it's largely irrelevant to economics. The economy is less about what you know and more about your ability to manipulate the flow of information.

The skills that are important are searching and applying information; of extracting the abstracts that are useful and discarding everything else; but liberal arts degrees tend to be about memorising trivia and regurgitating it in fairly simple patterns. Politicians who've been sold the illusion of a knowledge based economy; which is really to say an economy based upon an outdated model of education; demand a high number of degrees. But since the education does not mirror the workplace all that means is that we end up widening the participation in higher education by lowering the standards so that more people can get in.

We haven't actually made people particularly smarter; I don't consider myself smarter than my parents for all I've been to university and they haven't; nor have we been equipping them to work in a modern economy. We've just got hundreds of thousands of people with a degree wrapped around them. It's nothing more than a poor fig leaf of power politics to conceal how dramatically divorced from reality the education industry has become.

How many exams for those sorts of subjects have you sat where they gave you a task and then said: Sure, bring your books in. Sure, use the internet. Sure, talk to your friends. How many exams, in short, have you sat where the environment you were in mirrored the one you would be applying your skills in? You haven't had many, have you? Because that sort of education isn't about the real world any more.

People are talking about ways to prop up education in general. Don't. The solution is not to drag the productive parts of the industry down with the dying.
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today Britlandís rant is about children.

A specific group of children.

The facts:
There is a field near my house, it is owned by a local school who allow anyone to use it.
This field is enclosed by a large fence, the only way in/out is through a gate that is never locked.
My dog, Jet, is a very dark black.
Jet is very energetic and has to go for a run at least once a day.
Jet absolutely loves people but dislikes other dogs.
Jet is rather badly behaved when she wants to be.

The Back story:
The garden isnít big enough so my dad and I usually go to this field, it has advantages over the park. The biggest advantage is the fence. Because Jetís fur is so dark sheís pretty much invisible in the shadows but because the field is enclosed I can let her off the lead in the dark, she can run about and I know that she is still there somewhere. I also know that she canít get out of the field except by the gate which I always close. Thereís only one way in so I know that no other dogs can surprise us, I know that Jet cannot runaway or start a fight with another dog. Except for being a little on the small side this field is pretty much perfect for a nightly walk.

This field is also used by children, children of about ten with a ring leader who appears to be about sixteen. They enjoy playing football on it and thereís nothing wrong with that. Whatís wrong however is that these children appear to be too lazy to walk the extra 100 yards to the gate. This is a paradox of course. They play football on this field, they run about on it and yet they are too lazy to bother with the gate. I can live with the paradox but what irks me so very very much is that they have completely disregarded the fact that other people use this field.

The Issue:
These children have cut a hole in the fence.

Now that the hole is there Jet can easily get out, so can other dogs. Iíve already helped one woman find her King Charles spaniel after it ran out the hole and two nights ago I had to race Jet to the hole to stop her chasing after another dog.

I am now constantly having to stand in front of this hole whenever we walk Jet and itís getting worse. Not content with having cut a hole in the fence the children have now decided to widen it. I am now too petite to block it by myself, I would cover it but what do I cover it with? What can I put there that will block the hole, will not get stolen or not be too awkward for me to carry there and back (bearing in mind itís a ten minute walk to this field and we usually go for a walk around the streets afterwards before going home.)

The obvious solution is of course, to mend the hole. It has been mended. Several times. But guess what, every time itís fixed the children cut the hole open again and it doesnít matter how well itís fixed because itís nothing a pair of pliers canít undo.

The very worst part of all this is that I know itís these children doing it. I know who they are. I just canít prove it!
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video camera in a tree. Just don't tell anyone you're doing it.
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Tinu.



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
Video camera in a tree. Just don't tell anyone you're doing it.

That could cause a lot of problems though, if people are as finicky about taking pictures of children there as they are here.
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nu, they most certainly are.
Britty, I reckon a solution could be a makeshift secondary gate. A large piece of plywood across the hole or hidden nearby. Then, even if the darlings move it you can easily prop it back up. Possibility? That or a cloth sheet you can take with you to act as a curtain.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if it has grommets in the corners, you can use tent spikes to pin it to the ground so that it's flush and the dogs can't get under it.

Have you reported it to the authorities? Maybe you can suggest the bug the area, and let them take care of it. If you emphasize the new safety hazards, they might sit up and take notice.
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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today, for the first time in my life, I defaced a book purposely. The victim of this travesty was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and when I say defaced, I mean that I stuck a label over the small brand on the front which says "Bella and Edward's favourite book".

What.

I do not object to using Twilight *shudder* to promote the reading of classic literature, but I do take umbridge at the fact that since I have only recently been bought this book I am forced to indicate some fond feeling towards the most controversial series of late. I do not enjoy Twilight. I have watched the first two films and am not tempted to watch any more. I gave it fair chance, but I am not prepared to show support for a series which combines my two least favourite things. Teenage angst and vampires.

Except Trissy. He's all good.
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clemon



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vent! (Note that even though I am venting here my opinions are probably going to change and may not be right.)

I'm part of another forum which for the purpose of this vent we'll call the forums for vpzovfodj. Everyone's nice, but every now and then a call to draw porn in activities or art trades occurs and sort of splits the community. This new-ish guy who started an "Adult" Art Trade encouraging people draw "outside of their usual boundaries and reach for something new and interesting". He also has habit of suggesting to people who are expressing some need for "limits" to simply not join the art trade. While I'm for free will and self expression it feels walking into a group of friends only to find them stashing some rated X stuff under their mattresses. It's like picking up book with an innocent looking girl on the cover and her in less clothing inside.

I think I really don't want another corner of the Internet to be turned to a place for perverts or an enthusiastic following for this guy.

I'm probably overreacting somehow.
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Asa



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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think you are. And you've come to the right place for sympathetic responses. This forum has both an age limit and enforced rules. We also have an active and aware leader in Lady Yates, who sticks to her principles. Does the person who started the forum know about the controversy? How about the mods? Maybe it's time for them to enforce limits and say that this guy should go find his own playmates, and not corrupt yours.
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