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back alley's In The Bag Joe's quest for the ultimate Camera Bag! So many bags .. so little time ...

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what do you want rff to be?
Old 06-04-2013   #1
back alley
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what do you want rff to be?

let's have a real discussion about rff.
what do you want it to be?

there are complaints that it's a gear site, complaints that it's not about photography...people want to discuss politics here...want to insult the jews and other ethnic groups...want to vent about flickr and call each other nasty names...

what do you want?
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Old 06-04-2013   #2
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With the name "Rangefinder Forum", obviously it is a gear site about rangefinder cameras and that is what I expected when I joined. I can discuss politics and call my neighbors names without doing it here but I do like the discussions on film, digital, street photography and other things. It is good that RFF is open to Mirrorless, m4/3 and other cameras that are slowly filling the place of the old rangefinder compact.
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Old 06-04-2013   #3
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Obviously it's a gear site -- look at the name.

Equally obviously, unless the cameras are used to take pictures, it's not really a photography site, so photography can't be "off topic" just because some people dislike or are afraid of the subject matter.

There are at least three good political-subject threads here at the moment -- the Thatcher one and the two about the Turkish protests. It is inevitable that there will be some discussion of both the pictures and the subject matter.

Yes, it's reasonable to remove hate speech and personal fights. But a refusal to discuss politics like grown-ups is precisely why so much political discourse today is childish.

Finally, I don't buy "If you want politics, go to a political forum". Politics is a part of life: a much more important part of life for most of us than (for example) camera bags. One of the very great values of RFF to me is "meeting" people who are united by a love of photography, but who otherwise are extremely diverse and who can present a wide variety of viewpoints on, for example, meat-eating and Maggie Thatcher. A single-interest, blinkered politics or vegan site, where everyone's views are totally predictable, will never teach anyone very much.

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Old 06-04-2013   #4
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A photography and gear forum.
What it is now is what I like, personally.

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Old 06-04-2013   #5
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There are certain things that cant really be changed. What we want this site to be is irrelevant, we gotta just accept it for what it is. RFF is basically a gear forum with a couple photographers sprinkled in. With that said I love it. I've learned some great info here (about photography/life) and got the chance to see the work of some amazing photographers that I probably would have never seen otherwise.
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Old 06-04-2013   #6
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I like broad and inclusive.
Intelligent, interesting discussion often leads from one topic to another. Strictly limiting the topic
makes things boring. Obviously bad manners, etc can be a problem on a forum like this...as in life.
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Old 06-04-2013   #7
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i would love more photo related discussions here but the bag threads seem much more popular for some reason.

it is easier to say i don't like this bag than to say i don't like this image...i guess.
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Old 06-04-2013   #8
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The fact that I can discuss camera bags, the latest political upheaval, see photographs of varying quality and interest...including some of recent events is why I keep coming back here. A little bit of (nearly) everything for everyone. I keep out of the fights, waste of time bitching between continents on fibre optics wires.
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Old 06-04-2013   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurManInTangier View Post
The fact that I can discuss camera bags, the latest political upheaval, see photographs of varying quality and interest...including some of recent events is why I keep coming back here. A little bit of (nearly) everything for everyone. I keep out of the fights, waste of time bitching between continents on fibre optics wires.
Same here!
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Old 06-04-2013   #10
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I like it as it is Gear and photography - it is very organic forum and you always have what to read based on your mood.
I found here many new great friends Joe.

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Old 06-04-2013   #11
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It's become my go-to photo site, but I sometimes wish it was more like it's name (a true rangefinder-camera dedicated forum).

I generally hang out more on the sub-forums than the general forum.

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Old 06-04-2013   #12
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I would like RFF to be a positive place. Snide, insulting and back-handed comments, be gone.
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Old 06-04-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i would love more photo related discussions here but the bag threads seem much more popular for some reason...
May be because most of those are yours sir!

Regards,

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Old 06-04-2013   #14
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May be because most of those are yours sir!

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Old 06-04-2013   #15
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I like this site because it is so eclectic. I like the gear stuff. I enjoy the bag threads. I like the serious stuff too - I love the angle I get on stories I don't get on the news. I love the passion posters show.

Rangefinders have an association going back to their beginnings as the tool of the photo journalist on the front line, it is part of the tradition on the site and I hope it will continue to be.
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Old 06-04-2013   #16
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I would like RFF to be a positive place. Snide, insulting and back-handed comments, be gone.
For me the ignore option did the trick

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Old 06-04-2013   #17
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It's fine as it is now, gear and photography.


We discussed before that politics should go into Off Topics.
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Old 06-04-2013   #18
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While the site can't be all things to all people, it does seem to be a lot of things to a lot of people -- and that's fine. I'm OK with the large number of off-topic (i.e. non-rangefinder photography, or even non-photography) threads. Ones that I'm not interested in I just don't read. Folks just need reminding about the Golden Rule from time to time.
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Old 06-04-2013   #19
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Just an idea on the deleted posts thing. Is it technically possible to replace the offending post text with one of a few pre-prepared messages ("This post was deleted because it contained rascist statements.", "This post was deleted because it contained an ad-hominem attack." that sort of thing) as that may help a mysterious deletion appear more reasonable. A link to the rules & guidelines could appear in each post next to the pre-prepared text.
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Old 06-04-2013   #20
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I agree with others--there is a lot of diversity here, and that is what I like about it. Politics for the sake of politics I feel is out of place here. In the context of photojournalism, it is appropriate, however.

I've learned almost everything I know about cameras, lenses, filters, viewfinders, film, processing, developing, scanning, and yes, even bags, here on RFF. And I have applied all those things toward making better photos. Might Eric Clapton be able to pick up a cheap guitar with rusted, out of tune strings, and make it sound good? Probably. But he doesn't. He plays well made instruments that are perfectly set up, strung with the strings and an amp that is modified the way he wants, and all of those gear choices go into what we as listeners hear. Gear is not photography. But if I didn't know about gear, my photos would be crap (or crappier).

I think if one wants mostly discussion about images and critiques and constructive criticism of one's photographs on RFF, this is not the ideal place for it. It's about gear more than anything else. RFF can't be everything to everyone. But that said, there are plenty of outstanding photographers on this forum who gladly will share their insight if you ask.

I see RFF threads like I do television stations: I skip over what doesn't interest me, and focus on what does.

Usually once or twice a year I find myself busy doing other things and don't visit here regularly for stretches of time--usually a few weeks or so. For me, that's a good thing. If I come here day in and day out and get caught up in threads or arguments or nitpicking about gear, it gets tiring. That's when resentment sets in, or boredom.

The one thing I don't think should be here at all are offensive comments of racial, ethnic, or things of that nature. There is someone on here who has photographed KKK rallies, and has done compelling work. I'm not talking about that. That is documentary. I am talking about hate speech and propaganda. I am glad the moderators don't tolerate that.
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Old 06-04-2013   #21
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This site surely has its share of 'dominant' posters who love to top everything said and done. Less camp and more photos would be a good re-start.
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Old 06-04-2013   #22
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I like the site the way it is. Good balance of gear talk and lots of excellent photos.
The moderators do an excellent job of staying on top of things.
Please don't mess with it...you can always NOT READ the stuff you don't like...
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Old 06-04-2013   #23
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This is a gear forum. This is fine. It's great to be able to find out how a particular thing works: the good the bad. Opinions about photography, art, being a professional, or anything, really, vary considerably and discussions about these, of course, always disintegrate (pocket knives??). Politics are unavoidable. Informed opinion based on experience and a bit of thought go along way to helping people see other views. Nothing wrong here as long as it remains civil.

RFF is the only forum I visit these days because it is civil and well moderated (although dissenting opinions concerning Leica seem to be silenced quickly). Lots of variety is good.
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Old 06-04-2013   #24
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I personally could do with less polls, largely for one simple reason: when one casts a "vote," the thread gets a bump, as if something new worth reading is there. It would be better if the bump only occurred when someone actually posts something.
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Old 06-04-2013   #25
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I find it very refreshing, as there is luck of meaningless talk abouts. K.I.S.S !
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Old 06-04-2013   #26
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I've been taking photos since I was twelve, so if this place was only about gear and photographs I would very quickly get bored, going over old ground again and again

I come here to take part in the community, so its the peripheral subjects and debate that I enjoy, I like those thread that meander rather than have fixed points of view ... I've noticed fewer of those as we've grown but I suppose that's the price we pay
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Old 06-04-2013   #27
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Like many of the other posters, I perceive RFF as a gear and photography site, with the greater emphasis on gear. I agree with Roger Hicks that politics is a part of life and photography. I would like all threads to have some sort of photographic hook, but for moderators to be a bit indulgent on drift. There are obviously trolls looking to score or rile folks, particularly when it comes to critique of others' work. With few exceptions here, I think we are mostly a bunch of serious hobbyists who produce some good, and sometimes superior work. Condescension doesn't help, constructive criticism does, but I do not believe that the difference between banal and great work is sometimes apparent, see, e.g., Wm. Eggleston and others. It is a matter of taste. So moderators should feel free to shut down true ad hominem attacks and flame wars.

From what I can see from hanging around here for a few years, moderators are striking a good balance.
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Old 06-04-2013   #28
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I like the diversity of opinions and topics very much. There's something for
everybody, and it's good to read how other people see things and what's
important to them, even when I absolutely disagree (which is often !).

Most people (though not all ) are here to share ideas, not to win arguments -
which is good. Other forum places, it's usually "I will beat you down, I must
win, you must loose".

When topics go toxic (ooooo "toxic topics" ! ? ) on a personal level, I just
stop reading the thread.

EDIT: some people should argue things out in PM's, huh !
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Old 06-04-2013   #29
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I'm grateful to the 'Chief Bartender' that this forum exists.

It isn't my forum, I'm just a contributor.
If the 'Chief Bartender' through the moderators decide that he doesn't like something I have posted, I fully accept that his decision to delete is completely up to him. He must have a good reason. He might be subject to pressures about which we, the contributors, know nothing, and should be grateful that we know nothing.
Over the years I have been posting the nature of the forum has changed.
Technology has provided gear we only perhaps dreamt about five years ago. The speed of the internet has inreased so that contact between places in the world and the peoples is faster and easier. There are obvious positives and negatives involved. The speed generates instant reaction and spontaneous comment often seen in retrospect as being only partially true, unbalanced or biased. I guess we have to live as best we can with these issues, and try to curb over-reaction. Experience tells me that there are at least two sides to every story, often three, and sometimes the story doesn't exist in fact.
So what do I want from the forum - balance, tolerance, and understanding that others don't live in quite the same world in which I do - don't see it my way because their life experiences are different. The accepting contact with other photographers in other parts of the world is the inherent strength of RFF.
This extends to sharing expertise in gear, and photographic practice with film, digital, or any other medium.
What I would like more of is the reaction of other members to photos posted. This is difficult because of the need to give critical appraisal.
At present I feel I can directly contact some members with a request of 'what do you think of this?' and know that I can get honest opinion of how they see things. I appreciate this very much and would hope that every RFF member could have forum contact with others with whom they can exchange critique of their work. I don't know how this can be encouraged and nutured but I think we could all benefit.

Again, thank you Chief Bartender for providing RFF.

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Old 06-04-2013   #30
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Well, I'm right with Roger on his first post (quoted below).

I'm quite new to the forum, so maybe I have a different perspective on things from some other people. I hope my opinion isn't disregarded on the basis of my n00b status - it's just the way I see it.

The two main things I like here are the name (and what that implies), and the images.

The name because there are any number of sites and fora on the web dominated by DSLR users. And good luck to them, but that's just not my thing, y'know. And there are sites for film photographers, but they can be a bit sniffy about anyone who also uses digital. I like that it's an inclusive space here, but that we're not too snobby about other cameras, and give them their own threads or fora. I've got a film SLR and scale focus cameras (35mm & medium format) as well as my rangefinders, and I don't feel like I have to keep it as a dirty secret.

I really enjoy the photo threads and, while (unless there's a specific question I need answering) I always browse from the Home page, I look at more of the W/NW board threads than anything else. It's inspiring. I may not always like the photos others have posted, but I make sure I work out what it is I like or dislike, and try to apply that to my own photography. I'm very conscious that there are some very talented folk around here, and my own efforts are a bit limited, but that's how we learn.

What don't I like? Well, I know this is also a gear forum, and there is love here for some popular gear that would be sniffed at elsewhere, but the bling threads do get a bit tedious. It seems that some people spend so much time buying the latest this, that and the other (where the hell do they get the money from?) that they don't have time to actually point their cameras at anything and take photos. Sure, it's good to appreciate the beautiful machines in our area of interest, and I have my Super Paxette beside me now, which makes me smile every time I look at it, and I have posted about my love of the 35SP, despite its broken meter, slightly loose lens body etc, but there's a limit to the fetishisation of gear before it gets boring and silly.

The other thing which irks is the pretence at an apolitical stance. That's just impossible. Everything is political, especially in photography, and rangefinders have the most political position in the history of the art, so it would be daft to try to whitewash that. I don't suggest that this place should become a political forum - there are other places for that - but, where there's a genuine political aspect to a photography story - or vice versa - such as the Turkey or Thatcher threads, posting should be allowed to continue unless it becomes offensive or hate speech, and then mods could, as someone suggested, replace the text with a message as to why the post was removed. That's pretty normal in most places, and shouldn't be too hard here. Politics isn't what brought us together, but it is a normal part of everyday life and conversation.

This is a good forum, and I have learned a lot about specific models of camera, photo technique, repairing old cameras (I'm in the middle of doing CPR on an ECR right now, as it happens), and have had the opportunity to discuss photography with interesting, talented and knowledgeable people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Obviously it's a gear site -- look at the name.

Equally obviously, unless the cameras are used to take pictures, it's not really a photography site, so photography can't be "off topic" just because some people dislike or are afraid of the subject matter.

There are at least three good political-subject threads here at the moment -- the Thatcher one and the two about the Turkish protests. It is inevitable that there will be some discussion of both the pictures and the subject matter.

Yes, it's reasonable to remove hate speech and personal fights. But a refusal to discuss politics like grown-ups is precisely why so much political discourse today is childish.

Finally, I don't buy "If you want politics, go to a political forum". Politics is a part of life: a much more important part of life for most of us than (for example) camera bags. One of the very great values of RFF to me is "meeting" people who are united by a love of photography, but who otherwise are extremely diverse and who can present a wide variety of viewpoints on, for example, meat-eating and Maggie Thatcher. A single-interest, blinkered politics or vegan site, where everyone's views are totally predictable, will never teach anyone very much.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-04-2013   #31
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Ohhh why can't we all hug and sing Kumbayah, FGS... ...and go out and buy a new Digital RF camera... and try to figure out whether some crummy photograph was taken with an old Argus C3 and claimed to be a Leica M3 (really!)... or call another viewfinder "squinty" for the 1000th time...

Well, all this just sounds like the family getting together on some holiday.

I like RFF asa it is. If you need to have an argument that doesn't involve the rest of us, do it in Private Messages.
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Old 06-04-2013   #32
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I think pretty much any view should be accepted here, unless it just becomes pointless abuse.

It's as clear as day to me, and perhaps to others that if this is going to be a photography forum as well as a gear forum, you've got to allow discussion of just about any topic, as photography can cover just about any topic.

It's much easier than some people think to have completely opposing views, but still have a respectful discussion. I'd much rather that than the censorship approach.

I think the moderation here can be a bit severe, but the good by far outweighs the bad.
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Old 06-04-2013   #33
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Finally, I don't buy "If you want politics, go to a political forum". Politics is a part of life: a much more important part of life for most of us than (for example) camera bags. One of the very great values of RFF to me is "meeting" people who are united by a love of photography, but who otherwise are extremely diverse and who can present a wide variety of viewpoints on, for example, meat-eating and Maggie Thatcher. A single-interest, blinkered politics or vegan site, where everyone's views are totally predictable, will never teach anyone very much.

Cheers,

R.
Roger,

it makes no difference if you buy it or not .
its not your choice.

Most politics and religion threads end up in useless arguments on RFF, settling nothing but taking up a lot of the mod's time.

Its better to delete most of them from the get go, and that is the way its going to be.

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Old 06-04-2013   #34
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Frankly hearing other people's opinions on politics(...)
Largely depends on what you call "politics". The definition of that word varies a lot depending on locations. And RFF is an international worldwide forum. You say "politics", I say "social problems", and so on...

I have not read the Turkish protests thread (nor do I know in which subforum it is hidden) but I was seeing no reason to delete the Thatcher's funeral photos thread. What Maggie Thatcher did now belongs to documented history and it seems legit to me that people having suffered from her terrible policy can discuss this while looking at her (funded with public GBPs) funeral photos. And the photos Simon posted are very good, photographically wise...

Gosh ! I just made you hear my own "opinion on politics"...
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Old 06-04-2013   #35
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Roger,

it makes no difference if you buy it or not .
its not your choice.

Most politics and religion threads end up in useless arguments on RFF, settling nothing but taking up a lot of the mod's time.

Its better to delete most of them from the get go, and that is the way its going to be.

Stephen
Is a thread topic regarding the banning of image taking in public places considered political?
Where is the line drawn?

Photos, privacy, and in particular photojournalism are often thick with what could be considered political considerations/views.

How can you separate them? I'm not trying to be sarcastic but....Is this to be a gear and kittens forum only?
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Old 06-04-2013   #36
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no, gear for ostriches apparently.
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Old 06-04-2013   #37
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Is a thread topic regarding the banning of image taking in public places considered political?
Where is the line drawn?

Photos, privacy, and in particular photojournalism are often thick with what could be considered political considerations/views.

How can you separate them? I'm not trying to be sarcastic but....Is this to be a gear and kittens forum only?
The line is decided on a thread by thread by basis.

Discussions, yes. Useless arguing, no.

Stephen
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Old 06-04-2013   #38
konicaman
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I find this to a very nice and friendly forum (maybe due to mods deleting the more "unfriendly" threads?). Newbies can get help - even if the question has been answered dozens of time.

Political discussions are fine with me (although I find them futile most of the time) as long as it is civilized. I do not want to participate in them, but then again I do not participate in discussions of which 35mm Leica lens is the best and why either. It all comes down to being selective. If it does not interest me, I simply ignore it.

Yes I like gear talk, yes I like photography talk, yes I like bag threads and yes, I spent too much time here - because I like it the way things are...
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Old 06-04-2013   #39
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Straying deliberately from the truth of a thing -- is not the same as lying.

One would not call a magician a liar.

Frankly hearing other people's opinions on politics is just plain scary, if not downright a waste of time, so I continue to believe the best policy is to hide, until forced to load one's 2nd amendment gun. Which would pretty much make me a Jeffersonian.
Why add "on politics"? Why not just say "Hearing other people's opinions is a waste of time"?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-04-2013   #40
Michael Markey
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I must say that like RFF the way it is .
I`ve always found it informative and well run.

As to the political debates ,well its not what I come here for and I`m shocked by the intolerance on display at times .

However I do find Rogers threads of great interest although I don`t always agree with the premise, they do start you thinking .

That all sounds a bit insipid ...its the best I can do for the moment.
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