Posts, Comments, and Playing Dominoes

 

I was recently re-introduced to the game of dominoes. (Actually, there is no one game, as those who are fans know well.) But all of the games I have been introduced to share the same feature: you match one side and then send the “train” off in a different direction numerically or physically. And it is this feature that makes it fascinating (and frustrating when a plan is blocked) because of uncertainty and unanticipated opportunity.

This is what the best posts and commentary share in common: being a jumping-off point for thought and elaboration conducted cooperatively from many minds. Don’t be frustrated by the blocking moves by certain commenters. Exploit openings elsewhere in the post or commentary to pursue your line of thought. Leave the antagonists behind to stew in their own juices if they must. Just post a 😀 and move on.

If you don’t see a relevant opening for your thoughts just create your own post. And if no one plays off your thought, that’s OK. Just draw again and put another post down. Eventually, someone will engage and the “train” will begin.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Rodin,

    Brilliant, thanks for posting this.

    • #1
  2. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    I actually worry quite a bit about veering off-topic from an OP if a little scrap of someone’s comment catches my eye and inspires me to say something only tangentially related. 

    • #2
  3. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    I actually worry quite a bit about veering off-topic from an OP if a little scrap of someone’s comment catches my eye and inspires me to say something only tangentially related.

    If you do veer off on some topic, you are not alone in playing the blogger’s game   dominoes-style.

    • #3
  4. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I have often thought, heretically, that the number of comments inspired by a post is as good a standard for promotion as “likes.”

    As an aside, I don’t believe one has really played dominos unless one has played with a Jamaican.

    • #4
  5. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    heretically

    🤣

    • #5
  6. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I have often thought, heretically, that the number of comments inspired by a post is as good a standard for promotion as “likes.”

    As an aside, I don’t believe one has really played dominos unless one has played with a Jamaican.

    I’ll have you know that I played dominoes with a friend of mine, now a priest, whose family literally escaped from Cuba back in the day. 

    Bring on your Jamaicans, mon.

    • #6
  7. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I have often thought, heretically, that the number of comments inspired by a post is as good a standard for promotion as “likes.”

    As an aside, I don’t believe one has really played dominos unless one has played with a Jamaican.

    I’ll have you know that I played dominoes with a friend of mine, now a priest, whose family literally escaped from Cuba back in the day.

    Bring on your Jamaicans, mon.

    It’s likely an island thing throughout the area.

    But I’ll take the Jamaican.

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    I actually worry quite a bit about veering off-topic from an OP if a little scrap of someone’s comment catches my eye and inspires me to say something only tangentially related.

    Yeah.

    It is a constant struggle for me, too.  When you see a non-comment by me, you should know how much anguish and labor may have gone into it.

    • #8
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    I actually worry quite a bit about veering off-topic from an OP if a little scrap of someone’s comment catches my eye and inspires me to say something only tangentially related.

    Yeah.

    It is a constant struggle for me, too. When you see a non-comment by me, you should know how much anguish and labor may have gone into it.

    I appreciate your hard work.

    • #9
  10. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Rodin, I tend to disagree.  I’ve been on R> for 4 years now and the most delight I get is a thoughtful GOOD FAITH exchange, not a dispassionate argument for argument’s sake, with gaming-style blocking of one thought to propose a contrary thought.

    My delight can be a five-comment off-topic exchange.

    I remember shortly after joining going off-topic about bread and bread-making, and the (iirc) moderator cut me off and said very nicely that he had just created for me a “bread” group to discuss bread — as if the title could have been: Now We Will Discuss Bread and Only Bread!  So I learned a bit of a lesson.

    Then shortly thereafter, in a not-so-off-topic bit I got into a discussion with another member regarding a topic that had greatly interested me for years, and we barely got into it when a particular moderator interrupted to say that writing about money was off-topic.  And I’ve never been able to reproduce that little bit of conversation.  I even wrote a post on it, and got maybe a half dozen comments, none of which dealt with the actual question I had wanted to discuss.

    Even now there is a thread about Ukraine, that has gone on for well more than 1,000 comments and covers in detail, among other things, the Israeli/ Palestinian question.  Clearly off-topic by the post’s content.  But no one seems upset by it; it’s taken on a life of its own, and though it’s not my particular cup of tea, I am pleased to see it go on.

    Like any conversation, I suppose, the pleasure, the treat, lies not in following the syllabus but in the discursions, on the irreproducible spontaneous good-faith exchanges that it stimulates.

    • #10
  11. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Rodin, I tend to disagree. I’ve been on R> for 4 years now and the most delight I get is a thoughtful GOOD FAITH exchange, not a dispassionate argument for argument’s sake, with gaming-style blocking of one thought to propose a contrary thought.

    Like any conversation, I suppose, the pleasure, the treat, lies not in following the syllabus but in the discursions, on the irreproducible spontaneous good-faith exchanges that it stimulates.

    I sympathized with Cassandro’s comment, up to a point.

    Serious dialog is one thing I go to Ricochet for, and beer party-style random walk conversations are another.

    The problem is this:

    Dialog never interferes with the party chat.

    But party chat can and often does destroy dialog.  When it does,  I think it is often is a loss to the community without a corresponding gain. It happens because of human nature, and it is always unintentional.  But even so, it can be the result of a selfish lack of respect and self-discipline by those who want to talk about whatever they feel like talking about, without regard to the people who are using Ricochet for one of its intended purposes they are harming.

    I say that the irrelevant forks are always unintentional, but I have to admit that sometimes when I do it, that is a bit of an excuse that I make for myself.  For example, if I think I see in a serious post an opportunity for a joke, I will often justify it by saying, ‘oh, everyone will read it and either laugh or think it was stupid, but in either case, the conversation will surely right itself, and get back on track.  No harm done.’

    It’s a bad excuse. A joke often triggers a series of jokes, and everyone forgets the serious topic for good. Same is true of ALL diversions. They often become dialog destroyers, and that is just wrong.

    I think mutual respect is the only solution.  Moderator intervention, which Cassandro has experienced, is a harsh and indiscriminate tool, and must be used as a last resort.

    And mutual respect, including for those who are writing on a serious topic and want to have a serious discussion of it, is what I sense is missing in Cassandro’s comment.  Cassandro seems to indiscriminately dismiss much, or all such conversation as not worthy of any of the virtuous Ricocheteers’ consideration.  Specifically, he writes to condemn the

    “dispassionate argument for argument’s sake, with gaming-style blocking of one thought to propose a contrary thought.”

    Cassandro isn’t a mind-reader, so he has no factual basis for this broad slander.

    • #11
  12. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    Your subject started out about playing dominoes. It caused me to order a set to play dominoes with the grandkids. Thanks!

    (Also: Nice metaphor about posting.)

    • #12
  13. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Cassandro isn’t a mind-reader, so he has no factual basis for this broad slander.

    I was with you up til the charge of slander.

    But more to the point, I think you completely misinterpreted much of what I wrote.

    • #13
  14. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Cassandro isn’t a mind-reader, so he has no factual basis for this broad slander.

    I was with you up til the charge of slander.

    But more to the point, I think you completely misinterpreted much of what I wrote.

    Ok. I would like to hear why.

    • #14
  15. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    https://ricochet.com/1088188/the-on-topic-rule-for-your-consideration/

     

     

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    BDB (View Comment):

    https://ricochet.com/1088188/the-on-topic-rule-for-your-consideration/

     

     

    This puts me in mind of a fairly new technology in cars that I encountered in a recent test drive: when the function is engaged, the car will nudge you back into the lane if you try to shift lanes without using the turn signal. Not sure what the equivalent in Ricochet commenting would be, but would be interested in hearing ideas. 

    • #16
  17. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Cassandro isn’t a mind-reader, so he has no factual basis for this broad slander.

    I was with you up til the charge of slander.

    But more to the point, I think you completely misinterpreted much of what I wrote.

    Ok. I would like to hear why.

    That’s okay.

    • #17
  18. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This puts me in mind of a fairly new technology in cars that I encountered in a recent test drive: when the function is engaged, the car will nudge you back into the lane if you try to shift lanes without using the turn signal. Not sure what the equivalent in Ricochet commenting would be, but would be interested in hearing ideas.

    This is a very good analogy.  And a bit intimidating.  When driving, I stay in the right lane except to pass.  I’ve been driving long distances with cruise control for decades now and experienced a new thing in a rental car.  The car would lose power — it would slow down.  I would hit the accelerator and increase my speed but immediately the car would slow down again.

    I realized that when on cruise control this car would sense the car a half mile ahead of me and slow down to match the pace of the car ahead.  With this new cruise control, I couldn’t ghost up to four or five car lengths behind and signal and change lanes to pass, I was stuck always a half mile back.  (This happened even when we were the only two cars on the road.)

    I gave up on the cruise control and returned to controlling my speed directly every moment.  It was pretty irritating and I would never buy such a car.  The same would hold true for an external decision tree keeping me driving exactly in the center of the lane.  That’s not driving, that’s being herded.

    So, my point is, what exactly is the benefit of always staying on-topic?  And what harm does it do to other more topically spot-on conversations within the same post?  Topically spot-on conversations can, and do, coexist on the same thread with divergent and discursive conversations.

    And I’ve noticed a lot of posts that get a half-dozen or dozen comments and stall for days and then fall off everyone’s radar.  The comments such as they were either did not stimulate conversation, or the exhausted all on-topic responses.

    I see this happen often: either the conversation broadens and goes in various directions, or else it withers and dies.

    Which way is right, and why?

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This puts me in mind of a fairly new technology in cars that I encountered in a recent test drive: when the function is engaged, the car will nudge you back into the lane if you try to shift lanes without using the turn signal. Not sure what the equivalent in Ricochet commenting would be, but would be interested in hearing ideas.

    This is a very good analogy. And a bit intimidating. When driving, I stay in the right lane except to pass. I’ve been driving long distances with cruise control for decades now and experienced a new thing in a rental car. The car would lose power — it would slow down. I would hit the accelerator and increase my speed but immediately the car would slow down again.

    I realized that when on cruise control this car would sense the car a half mile ahead of me and slow down to match the pace of the car ahead. With this new cruise control, I couldn’t ghost up to four or five car lengths behind and signal and change lanes to pass, I was stuck always a half mile back. (This happened even when we were the only two cars on the road.)

    I gave up on the cruise control and returned to controlling my speed directly every moment. It was pretty irritating and I would never buy such a car. The same would hold true for an external decision tree keeping me driving exactly in the center of the lane. That’s not driving, that’s being herded.

    So, my point is, what exactly is the benefit of always staying on-topic? And what harm does it do to other more topically spot-on conversations within the same post? Topically spot-on conversations can coexist on the same thread with divergent and discursive conversations.

    And I’ve noticed a lot of posts that get a half-dozen or dozen comments and stall for days and then fall off everyone’s radar. The comments such as they were either did not stimulate conversation, or the exhausted all on-topic responses.

    I see this happen often: either the conversation broadens and goes in various directions, or else it withers and dies.

    Which way is right, and why?

    A) This is old internet etiquette, and like set of any manners, it evolved for a good reason.

    B) Manners typically aren’t explicated.  They’re lived and learned. 

    C) When you write a post, you may wish that people discuss the thing you have written about.  If not, fine.  If so, then those who wish to talk about other things have the whole rest of the site and the rest of the internet to to engage in that conversation.

    • #19
  20. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    BDB (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This puts me in mind of a fairly new technology in cars that I encountered in a recent test drive: when the function is engaged, the car will nudge you back into the lane if you try to shift lanes without using the turn signal. Not sure what the equivalent in Ricochet commenting would be, but would be interested in hearing ideas.

    This is a very good analogy. And a bit intimidating. When driving, I stay in the right lane except to pass. I’ve been driving long distances with cruise control for decades now and experienced a new thing in a rental car. The car would lose power — it would slow down. I would hit the accelerator and increase my speed but immediately the car would slow down again.

    I realized that when on cruise control this car would sense the car a half mile ahead of me and slow down to match the pace of the car ahead. With this new cruise control, I couldn’t ghost up to four or five car lengths behind and signal and change lanes to pass, I was stuck always a half mile back. (This happened even when we were the only two cars on the road.)

    I gave up on the cruise control and returned to controlling my speed directly every moment. It was pretty irritating and I would never buy such a car. The same would hold true for an external decision tree keeping me driving exactly in the center of the lane. That’s not driving, that’s being herded.

    So, my point is, what exactly is the benefit of always staying on-topic? And what harm does it do to other more topically spot-on conversations within the same post? Topically spot-on conversations can coexist on the same thread with divergent and discursive conversations.

    And I’ve noticed a lot of posts that get a half-dozen or dozen comments and stall for days and then fall off everyone’s radar. The comments such as they were either did not stimulate conversation, or the exhausted all on-topic responses.

    I see this happen often: either the conversation broadens and goes in various directions, or else it withers and dies.

    Which way is right, and why?

    A) This is old internet etiquette, and like set of any manners, it evolved for a good reason.

    B) Manners typically aren’t explicated. They’re lived and learned.

    C) When you write a post, you may wish that people discuss the thing you have written about. If not, fine. If so, then those who wish to talk about other things have the whole rest of the site and the rest of the internet to to engage in that conversation.

    So, you don’t have a reason, other than: Reasons.

    So, this is “Move along to another more accommodating site.”  Got it.

    • #20
  21. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    So, you don’t have a reason, other than: Reasons.

    So, this is “Move along to another more accommodating site.”  Got it.

    Get a grip, man.  I’m still me.  Are you still you?

     

    EDIT:  I mean what the F is this guilt-trip poor-poor-me-ism just because some people like me express a preference that in general, a slight bias of deference toward a post author’s preference for comments to be on the topic of the post be in general voluntarily honored, etc etc.  Criminy.  “More accommodating site?”  Are you forbidden from posting?  From commenting?  And if somebody forum-slides your post or trashes the comments on something that you care about, how accommodating will that be?

    I know that you read my post from last year, linked above — am I being unreasonable there, or here, then or now?

    The most radical, heinous, high-handed, let them suck cake thing that I have suggested is that just maybe, it isn’t rude for people to help get a thread re-railed in case of train-wreck.

    I don’t work here, and I have zero control over anything that goes on here.  If you want basics of manners explained with fully rational justifications, then show me Homo Economicus who responds rationally at all times.  He doesn’t exist, and yes the answer is “BECAUSE.”

    • #21
  22. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Frikkin Skipsul rule is fully arisen.

    • #22
  23. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    BDB (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    So, you don’t have a reason, other than: Reasons.

    So, this is “Move along to another more accommodating site.” Got it.

    Get a grip, man. I’m still me. Are you still you?

     

    EDIT: I mean what the F is this guilt-trip poor-poor-me-ism just because some people like me express a preference that in general, a slight bias of deference toward a post author’s preference for comments to be on the topic of the post be in general voluntarily honored, etc etc. Criminy. “More accommodating site?” Are you forbidden from posting? From commenting? And if somebody forul-slides your post or trashes the comments on something that you care about, how accomodating will that be?

    I know that you read my post from last year, linked above — am I being unreasonable there, or here, then or now?

    The most radical, heinous, high-handed, let them suck cake thing that I have suggested is that just maybe, it isn’t rude for people to help get a thread re-railed in case of train-wreck.

    I don’t work here, and I have zero control over anything that goes on here. If you want basics of manners explained with fully rational justifications, then show me Homo Economicus who responds rationally at all times. He doesn’t exist, and yes the answer is “BECAUSE.”

    What are you talking about.  Your writing here is insane.

    You said find another internet site.  And then you say that I’m poor-poor-me’ing?

    You’ve lost your mind.

    • #23
  24. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Cassandro (View Comment):
    You said find another internet site.

    Actually, I did not, although you just did. 

    There.  That’s as far out of context as your paraphrasing and then wildly selective re-interpretation of what I’ve said.

    You seem to be making a the case that the slightest whiff of etiquette about staying on-topic *sometimes, moderately, for a while* is tyranny and that the freedom to create your own post right here is banishment to some foreign icy hellscape of the internet outside of Ricochet.

     

    • #24
  25. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    • #25
  26. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Rodin (View Comment):

    😀

    • #26
  27. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    BDB (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):
    You said find another internet site.

    Actually, I did not, although you just did.

    There. That’s as far out of context as your paraphrasing and then wildly selective re-interpretation of what I’ve said.

    You seem to be making a the case that the slightest whiff of etiquette about staying on-topic *sometimes, moderately, for a while* is tyranny and that the freedom to create your own post right here is banishment to some foreign icy hellscape of the internet outside of Ricochet.

    Tyranny?  Really?

    • #27
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