Are there any rules or guidelines for this forum?

This forum will present answers to the questions that we hear the most. Broadcast reception, program settings, forum etiquette and guidelines are among the different topics addressed herein. The list will grow as the need arises. Start here when you have a question about these things. Write a comment in the Problems and Issues forum when you want more answers.
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Are there any rules or guidelines for this forum?

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Usually no one likes rules or guidelines. We have the inclination to just jump into what we do and only refer to the users guide when we get stuck. Well, here are some guidelines that might help if you find it useful to inquire about them.

If there is a specific forum, such as Discussions with Hari, where the main emphasis of the forum is an interaction between individuals and Hari about a specific topic of inquiry it is inappropriate for someone to jump into the forum and start posting answers and comments before Hari. It is best to let him deal with the topic and enter into the arena when you feel you can compatibly contribute to his responses and deepen what is going on. This is generally true for all forums focused on a particular individual's responses.

But there are other forums, such as the Free Exchange Amongst Members, where you can deal with anything you want with whoever you want in whatever form you want. Here all can enter the fray and express themselves however they wish. It's a great place to reveal your concepts, ideas, and fertile intelligence! Please do so.

You can always post interesting articles or links in the appropriate places.

The guideline is: try to input in the right place. If you make a mistake, don't worry, we can move it later on.

But there is more to this. When you write in public, it is wise to consider that many people are reading what you write. Insulting others, leading them into arguments, compromising their integrity, speaking badly or even just hogging a discussion and making it unlikely that anyone else will want to be involved is not good behavior. Behavior that is 'not good' is that which causes others to feel hurt or insulted. Other problems occur when people become discouraged from participating or become angry at those who are participating. We do not wish this here in public. Our idea is to include all, not create fences with friends and enemies on opposing sides.

Sure the intellectuals like to duke it out in public and display their rational capacities and this is also good, but it should be done in a gentile manner -- not with a bar-room swagger.

If you have a need to hurt others and insult them, send them a private message. Later on, find out why you are like that and get some help!

When writing to these forums, visualize yourself in a large room surrounded by thousands of people you do not know. When you express yourself, have discipline and respect for the others around you and consider that the subject should have some commonality with other people. Personal situations should be dealt with personally.

Inflamatory language creates inflamatory responses. Avoid phrases which include judgments, such as 'your silly comment,' 'this useless idea,' or other words or phrases which express your disdain for another. The discussions will be positively accepted according to their content and not their tone or personal implications.

Sarcasm does not work in writing. For example, the sarcastic phrase, "Oh yeah, he is a real winner!" does not work in writing. You really mean to say that he is a loser, but the facial expression and the glean in your eye that clues the observer that you are being sarcastic when you are up close is missing in writing. We therefore understand you improperly which creates confusion. So say what you mean directly without being overly fancy. It speeds up the communicative process.

The basic guideline is respect for others. You may think what you like, but express it like a cultured person. Others will respect you for it and you will get your point across easier.

If someone gets out of hand the administrators will deal with it with the options available to them which include removing texts or even the writers from accessing the forums. But usually this is not needed.
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