I didn't say "dumbest" common denominator. I said "lowest". (I really don't appreciate the attempts to redirect my points or purposefully restate what I write...I actually know the language.) Yes, indeed, there are bright people here -- and there are dim bulbs. There are those who know what an argument is and those who think it's the same as yelling at the kids, and then there are those who try to not-so-skillfully sidestep the issue presented because facing it might ultimately carry the risk that they might just possibly be incorrect about something. And clearly those in charge here could not ever be wrong.
And yes, I remember the banning process, I was a mod too until I bought a vowel. However, I can remember not that long ago that you could pretty easily see where it was going in OT (and thus it wasn't a surprise), but while such indicators show up in the threads that led to this one, "apparently" nothing resulted. I'm guessing since staff are involved, there aren't any PMs with warnings and no discussion in the mod forum either.
(And Bear, you're the one who initially mentioned not wanting to see a bunch of ~BANNED~ descriptors as an (implausible) explanation for why there were no rules in OT, which is why I mentioned it at all. Rules help avoid such things because people know exactly what is expected of them and it provides a nice objective standard, whereas guidelines ... well, those are entirely subjective now, aren't they? That's exactly the kind of nebulous and sometimes-applied standard that led to this thread.)
So while I can appreciate the attempt to sidestep the points, the contradiction is not perceived, it's actual. And no, the self-serving and patronizing explanation doesn't resolve it.
Well, at this point there will be guidelines only and there will continue to be the same monitoring of the boards that has worked very well. We have a very good community and most seem to like it. Those that don't find places that they do like.
I agree that we don't have specific rules because, if we did it would both stifle conversation and, because of the mix of people have some of them leaving. Some actually are here because we DON'T moderate hard. They like the ability to call a moderator an asshole on the board and know that, while I might not like it on one level, on another level it is just another comment in the stream. If I dish it out, I have to be able to take it, in whatever form it takes. They also know that when they do get a note from one of the mods, it must actually be serious and most pay attention quickly [hence the minimal bannings and minimal timeouts].
A bit back I posted up two lists of "rules" from another board on which I am a mod. Two things would happen if we utilized a rules based system. First, trolling would result in banning quickly and most definitions of trolling would send many members into a spin. Second, some of the most interesting members would simply leave with heavy moderation. BWOT would be a kinder gentler place, it would also be a ghost town within 90 days.
So, subjective guidelines it will remain. When we see issues, we will address them, and when it is mods doing it, we will do what we have done in the past with that. It works very fluidly.