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Community and Q&A

Enough already with the community rating?

user-659915 | Posted in General Questions on

The Community Rating system has been up for a week now. Is that enough to confirm that it’s serving no useful purpose other than giving full rein to the ego wars? We’ve seen individual scores soar into the tropical heights then plunge to arctic depths, all in a matter of a few days – clearly this is totally dysfunctional and more about someone working out personal animosities than it is about building science. Enough already.

If the CR were gone I’d no longer have a problem with the +/- box. The like button is a reasonable opportunity to allow the community to endorse a particularly cogent comment – it’s familiar from Facebook and it’s quicker and more streamlined than writing a supportive comment. I’ve used it a couple of times and found it valuable. I used the dislike button a couple of times in the first heady hours just to see what it felt like (answer: icky, and I swore off it right away), but I guess there might be an occasional moment when a particularly egregious comment might deserve the buzzer, so long as it’s disconnected from keeping a running tally on the writer. It’s not about people, people – it’s about ideas and information!

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  1. Armando Cobo | | #1

    I agree 1000%. To vote for a single answer that has been helpful to you or not is fine, but to use accumulative points for popularity contest is another thing; most of us know who provide consistently good information and who does not. We come here to learn and, in some cases, hear different points of view even if we disagree.
    I must confess, I was also hoping for this scoring tool to curve down the rudeness and inappropriate comments once the poster saw how negative his/her comments have become.

  2. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #2

    I concur, particularly since, at last count Martin Holladay is rated about 10 times better than me. I mean, I like the guy, but is he really that much better than me? If he is, maybe it's time for me to just take my snarky comments and go home.

  3. jnarchitects | | #3

    I agree 100%....I received a -1 for asking a question...I thought there was no such thing as a bad question. Oh well...I remain undeterred in asking questions or comments despite the judgement that might rain down as a result....

    Correction...I now see that I am at a this is harsh.

  4. homedesign | | #4

    Thanks Armando & James & Carl & Chris

    James good point about Facebook

    I am not a FB expert and may be wrong.....
    I do not see community ratings on FaceBook or FaceBook Bucks
    I also do not think FB has a "Not Like" button
    You can Unlike only your own "Like"

    I think more thought went into FB

    I would be OK with a FB format

  5. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #5

    Don't worry, Carl. Your numbers are still rising, while mine are falling.

  6. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #6

    I vote for the following:

    No Community Rating

    Change "Like" to "Helpful"

    If someone earns a certain number of "Helpful" points they are rewarded. The reward might be a designation such as "GBA Contributor" or a box like the Advisors get. A large number of "Helpful" points might earn a GBA Pro membership, FHB or Building Green subscription.

  7. homedesign | | #7

    I don't think we need rewards

  8. Expert Member
    CARL SEVILLE | | #8

    Matin - last time I looked, I was at 13 and you were at 145, now I'm at 10 and you're at -6? This looks like another distraction that I really don't need.

  9. Riversong | | #9

    I don't think we need rewards

    I agree. The threat of eternal damnation has always worked up 'til now ;-)

    Given that my current score is -138, I should be pleased that I've pissed off enough fools, idiots and scoundrels, but this makes it patently evident how absurd this thing has become (and always was).

    Even God occasionally acknowledges and corrects His mistakes, so Dan should as well.

  10. aj builder | | #10

    "I've pissed off enough fools, idiots and scoundrels" Robert, you know yourself well, and your knowledge is truly way up there. And with your continuous contempt of the lesser of this site you will get what you yourself ably dish out. I am posting this with more respect for you today than the first days of us thrashing about so know that too. LOL peace neighbor.

  11. Riversong | | #11

    AJ, can we take that as an admission that you're the one who's been de-rating Martin and me?

    And, by the way, I have no problem with people who have little experience or knowledge - that's what this forum is for: a space for sharing of knowledge and experience. What I do find insufferable, however, are people who know little, pretend they know much, and share their ignorance as if it had value for others. And I have little patience for people who make this important teaching opportunity into a playground for themselves.

    In short, I have no use for adults who refuse to behave like adults. Quite a few social critics and commentators have remarked about the adolescent level of American society, and that is all too evident here.

  12. bo5gJSL63N | | #12

    If, like me, you regard this site as a learning opportunity : please press +

    If, like Robert, you regard this site as a teaching opportunity : please press -

  13. Riversong | | #13


    If you are, in fact, just an interested onlooker, then you're probably here to take advantage of the learning opportunities, and that's wonderful but it's - of course - only half of the equation, since learning cannot happen unless others are able and willing to teach.

    You'll notice, however, that I first described the site as a place for sharing - and much sharing among colleagues happens here as well.

    But I've been challenged here in the past with the question: "Have you learned anything about building since you've been on this site"? - as if the only legitimate reason for participating is to take it as an opportunity for learning, rather than teaching, and that it's some kind of crime to have mastered a field.

    I have always felt an obligation to give back to society and, now that I'm nearing the end of my building career, I have a special responsibility to share what I've learned. I do that by teaching classes, writing articles and by participating in this kind of forum.

    While we all have something to learn from others, the question above is based on an underlying reality of our culture: that most of us are comfortable with knowing just enough of a subject to get by, some make the effort to become quite competent, while precious few are masters of their trades.

    I come from a different tradition, in which mastery is an obligation. I make no apologies for the fact that I've achieved a very high level of mastery of every skill, trade and body of knowledge that I've undertaken, including building. At a relatively young age, I was one of the first certified Master Mechanics in the US and even taught an introductory course in Auto Mechanics at a prestigious "little ivy" college. When I shifted into the building trade, I brought the same commitment and was from the start one of the pioneers in super-efficient design and construction. In both cases, I took opportunities to learn from prior masters and then built up from there.

    So, yes, I am here to teach and share what I have gained, and I give far more than I get (except for the grief that some choose to give me), but I don't let that balance determine my involvement here. And I'm certainly not going to let some idiotic voting box quantify the value of my participation (though that's exactly what it appears to do).

  14. Mike | | #14

    Robert, maybe you should get a clue to stop insulting so many people and think that you are a know it all.

  15. aj builder | | #15

    After this last little tiny short post Robert, tell me what you think about the word, humble; and about the word, ego.

    Something for you to think about;

    Are you here to teach and to win at all costs, or could you possibly be here to share (teach as you say), to learn, to participate, and befriend?

    Let's go into the new year with the priority of doing what it takes to befriend our neighbors. It is but one small planet.

    Always your friend, neighbor.

  16. Riversong | | #16

    Mike (unverified) and AJ (unverified),

    If stating the simple truth is taken to be insulting, then there is little hope for humanity. But, in addition to being a predominantly adolescence society, we tend to live in denial of most obvious truths and would rather take offense than take the lesson.

    As I've stated several times, false humility is a form of pride, and hiding one's gifts for fear of offending others is a sin against the world.

    And, as I've stated dozens of times, discussions and arguments should be about WHAT is right, not WHO is right. This has never been for me a contest of egos to determine a winner and a loser, but rather a contest of information, science, logic and wisdom to determine what works and what does not.

    The problem is when small-minded individuals turn an honest discussion into a contest of wills and egos and choose to take offense at critical comments rather than accept their value.

  17. wjrobinson | | #17

    You don't ever notice that your posts are always about people when you end up in flame wars. Most of your last post is very defensive which is fine... you could of left it at that if you were able to chill a bit and roll with some of what get's your goat. Posting "small-minded individuals" is behavior that normal people don't look up to. We all do love your info. The rest is just entertainment at this point. LOL

    Can't you learn to love us mere mortals neighbor?

  18. user-757117 | | #18

    If, like me, you regard this site as a learning opportunity : please press +
    If, like Robert, you regard this site as a teaching opportunity : please press -

    I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove?

  19. homedesign | | #19

    Today is a good day
    Today I seem to be on the good side of ZERO

  20. wjrobinson | | #20

    Robert, you asked who banged who last night right? The websters know... I see Brooksie, and Martin down and Seville up... hmmmmmmmm.

    And no... it was not I. lol

    More snow needed here... and it will be time to ski not play here at GBA... Martin, do you ski Mad River?

  21. user-659915 | | #21

    "False humility is a form of pride"
    And soggy fiberglass is a form of poor insulation. But what's your point?

  22. user-757117 | | #22

    The Community Rating system has been up for a week now. Is that enough to confirm that it's serving no useful purpose other than giving full rein to the ego wars? We've seen individual scores soar into the tropical heights then plunge to arctic depths, all in a matter of a few days - clearly this is totally dysfunctional and more about someone working out personal animosities than it is about building science. Enough already.

  23. Riversong | | #23

    or could you possibly be here to...befriend?

    This is - THANK THE LORD - not Facebook. I am not here to make friends as this is not a community. There are no people here, only words (and now some pictures).

    It is true, however, the the quality of the words and the quality of the ideas expressed are a good measure of the quality of the people behind them. And the quality of some posts here speaks poorly for the type of person who would proffer them.

  24. Riversong | | #24

    And soggy fiberglass is a form of poor insulation. But what's your point?


    I think my point should have been obvious. Fiberglass is poor insulation precisely because it is so often soggy (or loose, or compressed...), and humility is a poor virtue precisely because it is so often expressed as a way to say "Look how good I am".

    And my comment was in response to an oblique put-down from AJ the class clown.

  25. jklingel | | #25

    If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to listen..... If you don't look at the scores, they are not there. Simple. Who GAFRA, anyway?

  26. wjrobinson | | #26

    "the class clown" Don't make me cry.... a my song.... lol

    Come on buddy... pal... neighbor... oh wise one... let's race from the top of Mad River to the base... I even will let you get on the single chair in front of or behind me or on my lap if yaa want guy.

    I bet you we can't become friends Robert... (reverse psychology shhhh)

    Klingel... a plus for you!

  27. Daniel Morrison | | #27

    Don't give in to terrorists -- see someone getting sandbagged by a bad guy (or gal?) offset their venomous (-) with a Like!

    P.S. We'll change Like? to Helpful? and disallow anonymous voting/commenting. This will also erase past anonymous votes.

    This will take a couple of days.

    Also, I'm not dead-set against removing the individual rating. I just want to give it a little while to smooth out. I think it will be fine after a few months or so. If not, we can remove it.

    Glad you like the other features,

  28. wjrobinson | | #28

    Like is fine... it's really the word I "like" anyway. Leave it all alone is my vote... Why? because the minute you change it again... we will all go bananas ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!

    Do any of us want to go thru this much uproar again in a few days???????????

    My vote is leave it alone or eliminate it. Changing like to helpful... does nada.

  29. Riversong | | #29

    I'm not dead-set against removing the individual rating. I just want to give it a little while to smooth out.

    Dan, that's wishful thinking. It's going to do more harm in those few months than it can ever do good.

    Admit it was a mistake and correct it by eliminating the problem. That's the only reasonable response.

  30. user-659915 | | #30

    Robert, you speak of false humility as if there's no other kind. Truly, have you never felt the real thing?

  31. user-757117 | | #31

    James, what happened to:

    It's not about people, people - it's about ideas and information!

    AJ's comments are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me but I abide them without comment for the most part.
    Who cares if Robert isn't humble?

  32. user-757117 | | #32

    My point is AJ, I don't ask that your posts make any sense - they don't have to. If people find you irritating, then they will just ignore you.

  33. wjrobinson | | #33

    Lucas... give me a heads up on this thread where you are coming from. I am willing to try to make my posts more palatable to you. I had a teacher that used to do that to wake up the masses of sleepers in her class when warranted. LOL

    Lucas... I am going to post to you from this one post via editing.. I would like you to quote a post of mine above that did the fingernail treatment to you and then explain why. Then I can try not to do such in the future. I want you happy buddy.

    "I don't ask that your posts make any sense" Lucas, I never said you did such did I? Hey, I like to design, build, fly, ski, play volleyball and drink Sam Adams once in awhile, we must have something in common worth enjoying the others company doing.

  34. Riversong | | #34


    One of the reasons that speaking of humility is pointless is that few people even understand what it is.

    One doesn't "feel" humility. One feels humiliation (or insult), but that is mostly caused by one's own lack of self-respect, for a confident person cannot be humiliated or insulted by another.

    One can express humility or be humble. It is an active state of being in the world, and a quality of the person. It is typically understood as the opposite of arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity - each of which are the defenses of a weak ego rather than expressions of a strong one which needs no such crutches.

    But arrogance means, literally, taking unto oneself what is not legitimately one's own. Speaking honestly about one's own strengths is neither arrogant nor boastful. Pretending to have strengths that one does not is arrogance.

    One of the most universally-respected spiritual guides today, Marianne Williamson, wrote:

    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you."

    The essential element of humility that is generally ignored is a willingness to serve others before serving one's own needs, and sometimes even at the expense of one's own needs.

    If I were here to serve my own needs, I wouldn't put up with the BS (and that ain't building science) that too many here waste precious bandwidth on. I am here to humbly serve the so-called "green building" community (using "community in that nebulous sense of a dissociated body of people). In the same way, I humbly serve the world by working for its betterment rather than my own material welfare and not infrequently at the expense of my material comfort and security.

  35. Deepthroat | | #35

    Man the CIA is everywhere

  36. bigrig | | #36

    Removing anonymous voting will help. Would it also be possible to limit the number of times someone can vote in a 24-hour period to help stop abuse? I remember this being part of another forum I was a member of years ago.

  37. user-659915 | | #37


    "One doesn't "feel" humility."

    Well I guess some people do, and some people don't. It certainly doesn't hurt to exercise it once in a while. Even if it feels a little false at first, in time one can get used to it and after a while it can begin to feel quite genuine. Even the smartest of us must have *something* to feel humble about.


    I'm doing my best to keep this as a discussion of ideas. It's not easy sometimes. My point in the earlier post was that the Community Rating system was actually making it harder to do so.
    And the answer to your final question would seem to be "a lot of people, apparently", judging by the many complaints posted over time about the tone of some of his less user-friendly posts. Even so, for my part I would give Robert a very high positive rating, on balance, for his overall contribution to this forum - an opinion in which I know I am not alone.

  38. T7sX5ebany | | #38

    If, like me, you regard this site as a learning opportunity : please press +
    If, like Robert, you regard this site as a teaching opportunity : please press -

    I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove?

    Not sure either, but it might be just a straw poll to see how many of our regular participants reckon they learn more than they teach and how many think they teach more than they learn. I am definitely in the former camp.

  39. Riversong | | #39


    You're still misunderstanding humility. It is not a feeling. One can feel small, or unimportant, or unworthy but not humble. Humility is a quality of the person that is in equilibrium between pride and self-pity. It neither hides one's virtues nor wallows in ones insufficiency.

    What you describe - trying on what feels disingenuous until one gets used to it - is precisely the false humility that so many preach.

    “Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows”
    - Helen Nielsen

    "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."
    - Rick Warren

    "True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us."
    - Tryon Edwards

    "Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when, in fact, it is a point of equilibrium. The opposite of pride is actually a lack of self esteem. A humble person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as part of this worlds marvels."
    - Rabino Nilton Bonder

    "Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right."
    - Ezra Taft Benson

    "Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change."
    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  40. user-659915 | | #40

    Robert, I believe I understand humility quite well thank you. Please do not lecture people you do not know on what they do or do not understand.

  41. Riversong | | #41


    It's clear from your statements here that you share a very common misunderstanding of humility. If you don't want to be challenged, then perhaps you'd better not speak. If you choose to speak, then don't disingenuously dismiss a challenge as a "lecture" just because you don't like the response.

  42. Deepthroat | | #42

    make sence or sense.... this I percieve or perceive

    Roy... finish thy kool-aid and rest up for tomorrow's crucification

  43. Deepthroat | | #43

    crucifixion crucifiction crucification or just nailed to a cross

  44. user-659915 | | #44

    Dan, is it possible that we could get one of those buttons that they have on some sites where if someone is being totally insufferable you can just hide their comments?

  45. Riversong | | #45

    Watch out or I'll hit the Smite button.

  46. jbmoyer | | #46

    I would like a "Delete AJ" button.

  47. Rick | | #47

    Over the past few years, the GBA comedian Robert Riversong was funny for a while. Not nearly as knowledgeable as some apparently believe, he would rush to "answer" every question, often clearly using the power and speed of the internet to find information and respond quickly. It has also been clear that he sees himself in some sort of contest with Holladay, to give the fastest response--kind of funny, for a while. The few times when I got in an argument with him, he lost, but then he just changed the subject, as if his "point" had been something else all along. It got to the point where I almost didn't look at GBA except to get a laugh--another funny aspect of this site has been that the principal players here are extremely narrow minded on some subjects--like solar thermal and PV. Apparently, this anomaly is because the principal players are New England-based, with little winter sun.

    Humor can easily cross over into nausea, as exhibited by many TV commercials these days. When Riversong "retired" as a GBA comedian a few months ago, that was the funniest thing I ever saw on this site, EXCEPT I knew--I would have bet $100,000---that his "retirement" wouldn't last long. It lasted about a week. Not funny, since it was so predictable. Thereafter, the nausea continued with Riversong losing more silly arguments to the point where he demanded that one particular thread he started be entirely deleted. Funny, except.....ah.....NOT!

    This website is largely free, in more ways than one, so you get what you get. However, some people may have noticed that it ran a lot smoother and stayed on-subject much better during the week or so of the Riversong "retirement." Robert, you should not have the audacity to call anyone else childish. Robert, you should retire from GBA for real, except for maybe a very rare comedic appearance. You limit it even more than it already is on its own.

  48. homedesign | | #48

    Please post your last name.

  49. homedesign | | #49

    If you are afraid to post your last name ....
    please reference the thread where you were "right" and Robert was "wrong"

  50. homedesign | | #50

    he would rush to "answer" every question, often clearly using the power and speed of the internet to find information and respond quickly.

    And this is a bad thing?

  51. homedesign | | #51

    why don't you lend a hand and answer some questions at the Q&A sometimes
    You have access to the same internet

  52. homedesign | | #52

    Scott Gibson,
    I admire your weekly Blog here at GBA.
    I have never seen you post "down Here"
    Please tell us what you think of the Community Rating System and the "value" of Robert Riversong.

  53. homedesign | | #53

    Martin Holladay,
    Please tell us what you think of the Community Rating System and the "value" of Robert Riversong.

  54. homedesign | | #54

    I think we need a Forum Bootcamp.

    Many times I have been angry about the answers that I get from Martin,Robert & Others.
    Funny thing though.
    I asked for it.

    The answer is not always what I wanted to hear.
    So I get angry at Martin & Robert & Others
    After I cool down ... I go back and reconsider what they have said.
    Between them.... ONE is usually right.

    Of course they are not always "right"
    Should I be angry?
    Should I start a steady trickle of emails to Dan and complain because they did not agree with ME?

    Maybe the people who post here under their "real names" should start a STEADY TRICKLE until anonymouse posting is eliminated.

    That seems to be the only way to influence the management.

  55. Steve El | | #55

    On the subject of building methods, I have learned a lot from many people here, including Robert, for which I am very grateful.

  56. user-885167 | | #56

    oops sorry.... it's just too easy to post that way (and come up "unverified"). So here's a followup so you can click the box if you wish

  57. homedesign | | #57

    Consider a Builder, a Teacher, a Designer who does post under a real name.

    Is GBA Liable for posting MEANINGLESS ratings that can be easily manipulated?

  58. homedesign | | #58

    I would much rather talk about Water, Air and WOOD

  59. homedesign | | #59

    Gee..... we are sorry your honor.
    No one warned us that the "Ratings" could be gamed

  60. bo5gJSL63N | | #60

    While I've been away, briefly, there seems to have developed a movement to have Robert Riversong's participation in GBA limited or excluded. Please add me to the list of people who do not want this to happen.

    I have found his answers to technical questions to be thought-provoking, rigorous and detailed and I have learned much as a consequence. My only concern is that his manner of replying may have discouraged some, with less self-confidence than he has, from posting more than one question or perhaps even posting at all.

    Questions are, after all, the starting point for all our discussions and should not be discouraged. Even those born of ignorance, as some of mine certainly have been, have provided answers for participants and may even have prompted the more useful questions "this poster doesn't seem to know about [fill in the blank] - why is it not better understood?; what is missing from existing explanations?"

  61. bo5gJSL63N | | #61

    I'm glad you put "real names" in quotation marks.
    A "real name" could be:
    The one under which my birth was registered
    The one my parent(s) actually used
    The name given to me at my confirmation
    The one I took when I married my husband
    The one I was given when I entered the Witness Protection Program
    The one that the IRS knows about
    The one that I habitually use at my place of work

    Only a few of those are verifiable in any real sense so my "real name" is the one I choose to use. In this regard we are all in "The Truman Show" and we believe what people tell us about themselves because we have no other option.

  62. Riversong | | #62

    Ironically, the one technical improvement that would make more difference in the quality of the discourse here than any other - requiring real names - the webmeisters refuse to do (and some here even argue against). In fact, the "name" field for participation here has "anonymous" as the default, as if this site wants to encourage anonymous or pseudonymous posting.

    Onlooker, you're right that it would be impossible to verify or police the "realness" of the names people use, but asking for "your real name" rather than making "anonymous" the default would let people know what's expected of them and would go a long way to encourage honesty and personal responsibility for one's words.

    And, of course, your litany of possibilities is misleading. I think that most people understand that "real name" means their legal name or the name they use in daily life. My name is not the name I was born with (except for my first name), but it is my legal name and the name I'm known by in the "real world".

    So, unlike all too many here, I actually have to stand by and live with every word that I post and that will become a permanent digital record of who I am. For that reason, believe it or not, I take great care in the words I choose, and I make sure that I'm confident about the information I share.

    If others would do the same, the quality of this site would rise dramatically.

  63. aj builder | | #63

    Robert, your last post was respectful. That is all it takes for this site to function given the fact that the site allows names that are not verified. I hope you see this post respectful as well.

    Being different and being adults we need to respect others as much as possible. And agree to disagree sometimes or lots of times right?

    A side note. Think about sharing your spreadsheets and how to use them someday, maybe one a month as a RR topic. Everyone appreciates your knowledge, thanks for sharing and teaching at GBA.

  64. Riversong | | #64

    I hope you see this post respectful as well.

    No I don't. It implies that (some, many, most?) of my posts are disrespectful, and it was completely unnecessary and counter-productive to make such a comment, particularly from one such as you whose constant barrage of idiocy shows a profound disrespect for this website and the people who frequent it.

  65. Riversong | | #65


    You're completely missing the point. Of course it's impossible to prevent the use of pseudonyms, but there's a world of difference between encouraging real names and encouraging anonymity.

    Your pessimistic conclusion is based an the assumption that most/many people will lie and cheat. I believe that most people prefer to be honest if invited to do so.

    And the solution to THE BOX problem couldn't be simpler: eliminate it.

  66. T7sX5ebany | | #66

    The webmasters (or is it webmistresses?) can indeed require real names to be provided before allowing participation. The result will be difficult, if not impossible, to detect. Those who are minded to give their real names (with or without quotation marks) will do so and those who do not want to won't. They'll probably choose a real name a little less conspicuous than O'Daniels or Riversong to do it but they will remain just as anonymous as they are now. Actually, of course, they'll be more anonymous since they'll have lost the option of honestly declaring themselves "anonymous"...

    Please note that I am not arguing that the policy should not be adopted.
    I would argue that the webmasters should sort out the Community Rating fiasco which will make a difference.

  67. T7sX5ebany | | #67

    My conclusion is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. Neither do I assume, and nor did I state, that many people will lie or cheat. I do believe that close to the same number will choose to remain anonymous as do at present.

    I also believe that most people prefer to be honest. Denying those who wish to enjoy their privacy the opportunity to do so without lying or cheating seems to be an interesting way to demonstrate honesty.

  68. Riversong | | #68


    Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was in separating the legitimately private sphere (one's own home) from the public sphere (the marketplace and the government).

    There is a long-standing ethic in America that one can do what one wishes in the privacy of their own homes, but as soon as one leaves the home for the public space then wearing a mask is not acceptable.

    The confusion today is that people can remain in their homes and extend their presence into the very public sphere of the internet. But a discussion forum like this is no different from a discussion at the local pub, and it would not be considered honest to insert yourself into a discussion at a pub (which means public house) wearing a disguise and pretending to be someone else.

    As with any rule or convention, there are legitimate exceptions, such as the anonymity that WikiLeaks promises to leakers and whistleblowers who come to them (though WikiLeaks always knows how they are and would not likely accept information from an anony mouse), or the protection that journalists provide to their (known) sources.

    This cyberspace is a Pub, where people gather to share their knowledge and experience. While the technology allows the option of anonymity, common courtesy and the common ethic requires that we come "as we are".

    Denying people their "right" to remain hidden in a public forum is akin to denying people their "right" to smoke in public - there are no such rights, as they are both examples of wrongs.

  69. aj builder | | #69

    Robert, my post prior was with respect. All of my idiocy posts have been posted after reading a tirade post of yours mostly my friendly neighbor. If you don't like the set up of this site start one and take your followers with you. Peace will breakout instantly here. All will miss your insights and many will be mad as hell. Life isn't always a bowl a cherries.

  70. Riversong | | #70

    Cute, AJ. Blame me for your idiocy. How about taking responsibility for what you put out?

    And your "start another website" comment sounds a lot like the "love it or leave it" stupidity of the 60s.

    The truth is - and several people have alluded to it - this site would be a whole lot better if you would leave it.

  71. Riversong | | #71

    Enough of this BS.

    I'm going out to my hot tub. Sayonara!

  72. T7sX5ebany | | #72

    Pub is the wrong analogy. Phone-in would be more accurate. Although even in a phone-in there might be those who hesitate to ask a question because they feel they may be patronized or belittled for some reason or other, perhaps their sex. So an internet forum really isn't the place to insist that everyone signs in and wears name badges. Most will, as I think we both agree, happily do so. It is wrong to bar those who either feel that they can't or simply prefer not to. Not everyone on this planet is the uber-confident masterbuilder that you are.

  73. T7sX5ebany | | #73

    ...this is public space and if someone chooses to remain hidden they can stay home.

    ...sounds a lot like the "love it or leave it" stupidity of the 60s.

  74. Think Positive | | #74

    GBA is Good

  75. homedesign | | #75

    I really "LIKE" your original post

    maybe it would be better if the "LIKE" feature
    worked EXACTLY as the one at Facebook.
    Negative is not a choice.

    We either really Like a comment/image or we don't care.
    If we change our minds...
    we can Unlike our own Likes
    but we can not take away someone else's....

    Really good comments would be rewarded
    Bad comments would not.

    If our friends are being not-so-nice....
    give them a gentle nudge
    please .... don't push buttons.

    and please....No Tallies or Prizes

    reason for edit... spellin

  76. Rick | | #76

    The Story of the Silly Oxpickers

    Out on the plains, the two Oxpickers flitted about in the tall grass, here and there, in a panic. They could not find their hippo. They feared he might leave them and they would lose the bounty of his mouth. They cried out to the Giraffes, "Have you seen our hippo?" The Giraffes shouted back, "You silly birds, he is down in the river, gargling his song, and attempting to cleanse his mouth." The Giraffes then chuckled and talked amongst themselves. They almost felt sorry for the birds. If only they were a little more resourceful, the two could easily survive without picking the teeth of the hippo--he of the most-stinky breath of all, they laughed.

    John and Roy, I wanted to thank you both for returning a little humor to GBA with your responses and funny reactions to my #49 post.

  77. homedesign | | #77

    the point is understood.

    I think Steve El made some good posts
    I have been trying to find the chart he posted ...
    El Steve.. can you post it again?

    I will be a Nice Policeman and suffer the wrath

    reason for edit
    to be more polite

  78. Riversong | | #78


    Use whatever analogy you like, but this is public space and if someone chooses to remain hidden they can stay home.

  79. 2tePuaao2B | | #79


  80. 2tePuaao2B | | #80


  81. 2tePuaao2B | | #81


  82. 2tePuaao2B | | #82


  83. 2tePuaao2B | | #83


  84. 2tePuaao2B | | #84


  85. 2tePuaao2B | | #85


  86. squibt | | #86

    I liked Dans post....#35....also #34.....geeze....get rid of the "Like?" crap and the community rating. This is not a popularity contest, nor is it's a Forum for discussing Green Building or building practices in general. Have you all lost your minds?

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