Railway Preservation News
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"Railfanning" ?
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=34587
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Author:  Bobharbison [ Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
I've long said we need a "Resources" link section, where readers could instantly click on links to SteamLocomotive.com/info, caboose websites, roster sites, diesel loco databases, the Railroad Station Historical Society, etc. and explore for themselves what we instinctively know to check. We don't need a link to every rail preservation website or blog, just the primary data resources.


Those sites are much more difficult to maintain that you might think. This site had one for a while. When it was discontinued, I offered my http://www.railroaddata.com/ as an alternate. For a long while they had a link to it. A few years ago it was removed. Should you wish to create a directory about preservation, you are welcome to use that site. I have a railway preservation category, as well as categories for stations and depots and an extensive list of tourist railway links.

In my opinion, duplicating that site would be effort that could be better spent elsewhere. Obviously I have a bit of a biase, but I'm not worried about competition. The site is the first or second link you get when you google "Railroad Links" and has been for a long time.

Author:  superheater [ Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

If you want to chase away the "railfans," feel free.

Indeed. What I have observed over the years is a small cadre of pharisees snorting with derision and indignance that what they DISLIKE is DEFICIENT and they immediately cry "moderator" (censor) long before there's any incivility.

Yes, there are some projects that have long and frustrating histories of error and futility. Newsflash: The world is full of error and futility. Storied companies (Baldwin) died pursuing futile ventures and since it is inherently futile to keep the obsolescent alive, well some avenues will be especially tortuous. And I'm willing to admit I reached quickly for the limits of my imagination a couple of times. No more will I do that.

I'm personally willing to endure these accounts, because most successful projects started off as anything but sure things. Who was saying Lancaster in the 1950's, or a barn in Indiana a decade or so ago, or under a blue tarp in Minersville Pa, that those were the real nuggets in a mountain of pyrite? Yet, in each case, there's been a success, all of which are NOW routinely lauded here.

Unfortunately, there are people (individuals of accomplishment) who no longer frequent the forum, because of heavy handed moderation. I think there are people who enjoy brandishing the power of "the thread is now locked", while insisting that they have a most ponderous burden.

The question is, to you want the forum to be occasionally messy, but vibrant or perfectly "orderly" (with the order inherently being arbitrary) and dull, because there's a group that insists on a monoculture that discusses approved subjects in an approved way.

Most people start with blind fascination (some refer to this as "foam") and then get involved in something that develops some substantive knowledge, a respect for safety and professionalism.

For those who think they can impose "order" like gods from Olympus, I give you Friedrich Hayek:

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

Author:  co614 [ Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Well put, Superheater, well put!!

Messy sometimes but vibrant over orderly but dull everytime!!

IMHO-Ross Rowland

Author:  robertmacdowell [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Supposedly, a golden nugget can arise only in a sea of poop. I don't buy it. Sounds like a big fat rationalization for rude people to post poop. I have a simpler idea. Don't post poop!

Speaking of bully pulpits, how about the guy who is the living embodiment of John Gabriel's "greater internet jerkwad theory". It should be obvious to any reasonable anonymous poster that anonymity is a privilege, and he has a special duty to be even more of a gentleman.

"Heavy handed moderation"? First, I've seen heavy handed moderation. Elitistjerks.com. And it yields a top rate forum, despite its constituency being several million 12-year-olds. No, there's no heavy handed moderation here. And while it may be Superheater's issue, it just doesn't hold water that this is the issue of professionals. Again we are rescued by Occam's Razor: Why would a professional leave? Because of lack of professionalism!

As far as Hayek, yeah. A similar idea to the Vulcans' IDIC. But frankly, I think that applies more to naysaying. Naysayers can't know every possibility and the world is full of surprises. There's a very significant difference between constructive criticism and the other kind.

You would misuse Hayek to say that all messages should be allowed because we can't tell gold from poop. I think we can :)

Orderly AND vibrant. All it takes is for people to act like professionals.

Author:  fkrock [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

I have found that I must skim all RYPN posts. Sometimes useful information is found in an off topic comment.

However what does annoy me is subjective personal opinions of railfans such as "I think locomotive X would look better painted green" or "Why did you restore locomotive X when locomotive Y is my favorite." It wouldn't hurt my feelings to have moderators delete these things.

Author:  FLO [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Along the lines of what fkrock says above, the endless opinionating has devalued this site. Last Friday alone, I saw pages and pages of soliloquies totalling tens of thousands of words -- none of it useful, interesting, or relevant to preservation.

One other thing. In the past month I have noticed some RYPN members have bashed the efforts of other people who are not members of this site. Those outsiders noticed what was being said about them, and had to join the site to set the record straight. One person even asked that he please not be libeled on this site any more. This is not good at all.

Author:  Lincoln Penn [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

superheater wrote:

Unfortunately, there are people (individuals of accomplishment) who no longer frequent the forum, because of heavy handed moderation.

"



There is another reason why certain "individuals of accomplishment" do not post, or very seldom do. Not just on this forum, but on others. And that is too often due to the fact that by posting, they open themselves to attack and criticism from every hairbrain who thinks he (or she) knows more about an event or an accomplishment than the person or perrsons who actually did accomplish it. Often as not, it takes the form of a PM, but usually it's out in the open. There are raging jealousies and resentments out there.

Individuals of accomplishment do not have to put up with that, and most won't.

Author:  Randolph R. Ruiz [ Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

The only reason to consider splitting up the board would be if it was so popular that new topics were scrolling off the front page too fast to be seen.

Author:  Bobharbison [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Randolph R. Ruiz wrote:
The only reason to consider splitting up the board would be if it was so popular that new topics were scrolling off the front page too fast to be seen.


That is incorrect. By splitting the board into two sections, you provide an easy way for those who are not interested in the railfan discussions to easily ignore that entire section. Just click on interchange and browse away, you won't see a single post from the "Railfan" side. It works the opposite way too of course. Should prevent a whole bunch of whining about having to read that stuff.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Inevitable:

https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 0353_n.jpg

(Image at link potentially NSFW account language)

Author:  ebtrr [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Bobharbison wrote:
Randolph R. Ruiz wrote:
The only reason to consider splitting up the board would be if it was so popular that new topics were scrolling off the front page too fast to be seen.


That is incorrect. By splitting the board into two sections, you provide an easy way for those who are not interested in the railfan discussions to easily ignore that entire section. Just click on interchange and browse away, you won't see a single post from the "Railfan" side. It works the opposite way too of course. Should prevent a whole bunch of whining about having to read that stuff.


What you are saying is that it is "Correct" to convenience yourselves by inconveniencing others. I disagree. "Railfanning" of preserved rail relics is very much part of "Railway Preservation" whether it is convenient for some readers or not. Our brotherhood who favor rail preservation is small enough in the grand scheme of things and need no further division.

Author:  stephenpiwowarski [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Quote:
What you are saying is that it is "Correct" to convenience yourselves by inconveniencing others. I disagree. "Railfanning" of preserved rail relics is very much part of "Railway Preservation" whether it is convenient for some readers or not. Our brotherhood who favor rail preservation is small enough in the grand scheme of things and need no further division.


Isn't that kind of like saying just because you don't have a large business you shouldn't use a file cabinet to organize important documents? I think it would be good to have multiple sections, each which would deal with certain aspects of preservation, including railfanning. In this way, when you are looking for something specific, you need only look in one or two places, rather than sifting through everything. I don't see how this could possibly hurt things. Clearly there are people out there who think its a problem since it seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. Currently there are several threads in which the content diverges significantly from the subject matter. This may help alleviate the problem.

Steve Piwowarski

Author:  RCD [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

I welcome the new section we can have a discussion on the restoration of a CNR heavyweight here, and a discussion on favorite heavyweight paint sceams on the rail fanning section.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

stephenpiwowarski wrote:
Currently there are several threads in which the content diverges significantly from the subject matter.


There have ALWAYS been threads where such subject shift has occurred. A "historical inquiry" or "technical" topic can shift to railfan blather, and vice versa.

So is someone going to take a whole thread and toss it from one forum to another just because the subject shifted a bit, or even dramatically?

Author:  superheater [ Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Railfanning" ?

Supposedly, a golden nugget can arise only in a sea of poop. I don't buy it. Sounds like a big fat rationalization for rude people to post poop. I have a simpler idea. Don't post poop!

Speaking of bully pulpits, how about the guy who is the living embodiment of John Gabriel's "greater internet jerkwad theory".

Do you consider this "professional" or "poop"? It's not clear, given the ordinary constructions and connotations of the words.

It should be obvious to any reasonable anonymous poster that anonymity is a privilege, and he has a special duty to be even more of a gentleman.

First, I post "pseudonymously", not "anonymously". Please review the definitions. It will assist greatly in productive discourse. Moreover, I am semi-disclosed. It's pretty easy to find out who I am-earn my trust and respect. It's not that hard.

On the contrary, it's posting that's a privilege, "real name" or not. Even if you own the site there are legal limits to what you can "post".

It's not at all "obvious". It's Exhibit No. 1 of a what I had in mind about a Pharisaical assertion of a personal ideal as an indisputable rule of human conduct, in a bureaucratic attempt to censor others.

Are we to infer from your postulate that using your "real name" allows for a lesser degree of civility? I'm mean there's thousands of Robert Macdowells-which one are you?


i]"Heavy handed moderation"? First, I've seen heavy handed moderation. Elitistjerks.com. And it yields a top rate forum, despite its constituency being several million 12-year-olds. [/i]

An interesting place for an adult to frequent, much less to exemplify.

[i]No, there's no heavy handed moderation here. And while it may be Superheater's issue, it just doesn't hold water that this is the issue of professionals. Again we are rescued by Occam's Razor: Why would a professional leave? Because of lack of professionalism![/i]

Except, Occam's Razor applies in the absence of distinctive information, not to contradict it. I know that at least some "frequent posters" left, because of confidential PM's.

As far as Hayek, yeah. A similar idea to the Vulcans' IDIC.

Let me get this straight. You compare a real Nobel Laureate (1974) to science FICTION but complain about pseudonomity?

You would misuse Hayek to say that all messages should be allowed because we can't tell gold from poop. I think we can :)


Actually, you misinterpret Hayek.

By what authority and expertise to you get to assert a misuse of an economist?

If you consider a 1361 or 643 question to be "poop" then ignore it. One man's trash, as they say. Don't beat up somebody for wandering into the room and asking a question that they might be completely unaware has been discussed ad nauseum in a closed group. Remember when steam on NS was an unproductive discussion? How about the great law of physics that indicated "it is impossible" to observe an operational Big Boy in years after 1959 and discussion of such a thing belongs with Sasquatch? Oh yeah, then there was the N&W 611 will never turn a wheel under steam again theory. The last two years have been especially kind to operating preservation moving much fantasy and futility into possibility and reality.

Orderly AND vibrant. All it takes is for people to act like professionals.


Since I'm not sure what you mean by "orderly" and "Professional", perhaps you can illustrate these attributes in future posts. I look forward to seeing them.

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