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Mod inaction and the future
#1
Yesterday Rusty Myers, owner of Soul of the Warrior and very long-standing member of RAT announced he would no longer post here because he felt he was unjustly treated and, though he requested the mods interfere, we debated the issue in the private forum but did not act. That, in general, has happened several times over the last months, and this case was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

I am not going to comment on everything Rusty said, but as far as I'm concerned, he's right about one thing: if a member requests the moderators to step in, the mods should do so and should reply to the member in question, even if it's to say that they disagreed with their concerns.

So there it is, we, as admins and moderators, have been juggling the ball lately, and it's dropped to the ground. That we have lost an esteemed member of this community I consider a personal failure.

What have we done to prevent this from happening in the future? Two things. First of all, we're now talking to several of the members who stepped forward to offer their service as moderators. I plan to to formally announce these on November 20th. Henceforth that date will be the yearly 'birthday' of the moderator team on which new moderators will be presented and, if necessary, honorable discharge given. Second, we have revised our procedure so that offensive posts will not be allowed to stand to add insult to injury. That may occasionally mean we act too quickly, but we feel it's better to restore a mistake than dither. Nonetheless, we'll do our very best to be minimally invasive if at all possible.

Please help us out by considering how your posts may be received when you write them, and as a friend of mine and admin on another forum on the web says "Just don't be a d*ck!". That'll make everyone's lives easier!
Greets!

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
#2
It's sad to see Mr. Myers go. I know him personally, and I'm glad to see that this is being adressed.
#3
I also feel sad it has had to come so far, as I did by no means intend to be the instrument in causing such controversy. I have tried to explain my point of view and the reasons for the initial and subsequent postings. They were grounded in a heartfelt conviction that, with a proper use of the research material available, it is possible to make cost effective and off-the-shelf replica's with a very fair degree of authenticity. I had and have no intention of "Being a d*ck".
Furthermore, I would like to extend an offer. If anyone wants to develop an item, I will be happy to be of any assistance possible if I believe I know enough of the subject to be of assistance. This may be through a discussion in the public domain or a PM question. It is the goal and spirit of RAT to share information freely to further the development of our share interest, a goal which I think should be upheld by all. In the past years of being a member, I have tried to live by that goal, as a good number of my posts will hopefully show. To the Mods, I apologize for any and all inconvenience caused.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum


Robert P. Wimmers
Archeologie Beleven!
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu  (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
#4
While SOTW appears to be a business it is in my opinion more like a nonprofit charity which has the purpose of supporting the struggling Roman Reenactment hobby in North America. The availability of lower cost reasonably accurate gear to the hobby is critical to it's continued existence and growth particularly with the current and probable near future economy. Making honest and dedicated retailers like SOTW and commercial manufacturers like Daniyal feel unwelcome on RAT is a detriment to the hobby and unbecoming of any RAT member regardless of motive. If perfectly historically accurate gear was required take to the field the field would be empty both because of evolving research and discoveries and because of differing interpretations of the available evidence. Even something as simple and basic
as tunic color is the subject of endless debate! Regaining the participation and trust of deserving marketplace participants who have left RAT should be a priority for both moderators and ordinary RAT members alike.
John Kaler MSG, USA Retired
Member Legio V (Tenn, USA)
Staff Member Ludus Militus https://www.facebook.com/groups/671041919589478/
Owner Vicus and Village: https://www.facebook.com/groups/361968853851510/
#5
Quote:While SOTW appears to be a business it is in my opinion more like a nonprofit charity which has the purpose of supporting the struggling Roman Reenactment hobby in North America. The availability of lower cost reasonably accurate gear to the hobby is critical to it's continued existence and growth particularly with the current and probable near future economy. Making honest and dedicated retailers like SOTW and commercial manufacturers like Daniyal feel unwelcome on RAT is a detriment to the hobby and unbecoming of any RAT member regardless of motive. If perfectly historically accurate gear was required take to the field the field would be empty both because of evolving research and discoveries and because of differing interpretations of the available evidence. Even something as simple and basic
as tunic color is the subject of endless debate! Regaining the participation and trust of deserving marketplace participants who have left RAT should be a priority for both moderators and ordinary RAT members alike.

Seeing as I cant find the Multiquote button, I'll respond to this one at a time.

Legio VI Ferrata Fidelis Constatns is a 501c3 Tax Organization - i.e. we're a church organization technically. The only payment that is asked for is enough to cover the cost of transit (gas, the trailer is a gas guzzler) to an event and any necessary lodging. Otherwise the price would shoot way up to like 500 dollars if we even asked for a small amount to cover gear.

By we I mean Rusty really, he runs the whole thing. I'm just a 2-bit legionnaire.

But yes, the US Re-Enacting Community consists of maybe 200-300 people doing principate, and maybe about 20-30 of them incorporate other fields with that (this is one of the reasons its so expensive if you want to do something else because you often have to buy 2 completely different kits. It will cost me 1500 dollars to get the rest of my principate equipment, and I have college so most of what I got was materials or an item for my birthday or christmas. Then it'll cost me another 2000 dollars or so to do a Late Roman Impression. It'll be 10 years before I finish my Kit.) IT is, quintessentially, a charity. None of us are paid for these events, except very rarely, and the only things covered are what's mentioned above, except for a few meals.

Our main event in particular, Castra Romana which I was unfortunately not able to attend this year, is hosted in a state park. The biggest event int he US is Castra Lafe in Arkansas, and is like the only privately hosted event in the US to my understanding. That's why it's the only event our legion ever "fights" at, and even then half of us are dressed up as celts. Maybe a total of 20 people on either side.

The prices here in the US are rather high for what would be the same thing in europe, because of the cost of overseas shipping, and then it has to come through customs, so unless it's already in stock buying items is difficult and expensive. SOTW is literally pretty much the best Market in the US because it's usually in stock for the most wanted items. And there's plenty of excess for some things as well, like the late roman stuff, because there's like maybe 10-20 non-principate era re-enactors as anything outside of 1st-2nd century isnt that appealing, because of the sterotype incorperated by hollywood and other media.

You are also right about historical accuracy - new things are found all the time. For all we know there could have been a whole legion in the 1st century wearing bright yellow tunics and using mainz-type gladii while wearing lamellar armor.

The debate about tunics alone is enough to call most items into question, as the closest to the "blood red" color ever came to by modern tests was really a salmon color.

This part is at both posts now:
I think the blame really is to fall on both sides of the pond here. There are a lot of stereotypes int he US about Europe, and Vice Versa I'm sure. I know a lot of europeans, and 99% are good people and have the right to any opinions they may have, but it takes 1 bad egg to ruin the bunch. Now, I'm not putting the blame on any of you here, but most of the american re-enactors don't like RAT because they feel rather outspoken by you europeans, and feel that there's a slight anti-american attitude. I disagree with that somewhat, but I feel that on both sides there's a sort of unwillingness to be able to understand and accept other people's ideas or opinions about a topic, and I think maybe a big problem is that some of the americans may be having trouble putting their opinions aside to have and engage in a reasonable discussion. The same can also apply to the europeans too, and it only takes a select few for both sides to alienate each other.

Another problem, this one regarding debates specifically, is that Americans don't have as many primary sources, or even secondary sources as you europeans have access to. There's not a lot of interest in Roman History over here, as it has almost no use (no offense, I'm majoring in Roman History myself). Our market doesn't carry books on Roman History, besides general things like "Roman Empire for Dummies." The few specific books get real expensive because they need to be shipped overseas. A book I wanted which had an okay translation Gallic Chronicle of 452 and Hydatius of Gallaecia cost almost 200 dollars with sales tax. My copy of Aetius: Attila's Nemesis cost 40 Dollars here, without tax, when it's only 30 online and in Europe. (in other words about 25 Euros for you guys and about 33 Euros for me). Getting access to the sources to accurately make a product can be highly expensive, and even for people who hand make them.

So really, I feel that misunderstandings on both sides caused this unfortunate event. Negative criticism can be just as helpful as positive criticism in my opinion, but the problem is that it might be taken the wrong way.

In the future, I can probably convince Rusty to rejoin us. SOTW is vital to the US community and the input from this forum is in turn vital to helping improve the US community.
#6
I have to admit, when I first read the locked post yesterday,
I thought Rusty was only going to refrain from posting info and tutorials
From SOTW. Pity he has left! I hope you can talk him into returning!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
#7
Thanks - great post. And I really hope you can bring Rusty back.

Could you help me to understand the US attitude here? Very, very true comments re one bad apple on either side. I'm just really struggling to understand why people feel that there is a slight anti-american attitude on RAT?

It will help me moderate, and I really, really want to ensure that RAT is a great, courteous, and enjoyable place for the worldwide reenactment and academic communities to discuss issues and ask questions. Feel free to pm me if people prefer.

Thanks and regards

Paul/ Caballo
[Image: wip2_r1_c1-1-1.jpg] [Image: Comitatuslogo3.jpg]


aka Paul B, moderator
http://www.romanarmy.net/auxilia.htm
Moderation in all things
#8
I'm not 100% sure, but I can ask.

I'm having trouble regarding why there is that attitude as well.
#9
Despite having been involved in Roman reenactment for over 20 years, and having been aware of this forum since fairly near its beginning, this is my first ever post.

Why, you ask? It's simple. In that time both me, personally, and the Roman society I have been a member of for most of that period have been subjected to multiple instances of what we now know as "trolling". I'm sure you're all shocked and indignant, but there you go. RAT, whether deserved or not, has something of a 'reputation' out there. I'm not sure what you can do about it as moderators, it's down to the members to think before they write. Good luck!
#10
Quote:Despite having been involved in Roman reenactment for over 20 years, and having been aware of this forum since fairly near its beginning, this is my first ever post.

Why, you ask? It's simple. In that time both me, personally, and the Roman society I have been a member of for most of that period have been subjected to multiple instances of what we now know as "trolling". I'm sure you're all shocked and indignant, but there you go. RAT, whether deserved or not, has something of a 'reputation' out there. I'm not sure what you can do about it as moderators, it's down to the members to think before they write. Good luck!

Interestign, I've been on RAT for over a year and have kept track of the Overwhelming majority of the threads, and haven't noticed even slight trolling agianst anyone really.

For those of you that don't understand trolling, it is the "art" of manipulating words in a post to invoke a specific response(s) from a member or members, in order to make them angry and continue posting in response to you for your own enjoyment. There are other forms as well, most regard simple humor between friends, that is often misleading, but I haven't necessarily noticed it ont his forum.

If anyone can provide possible/suspect examples I would be happy to go over them. Of course please keep the writer of the post anonymous. It would also probably be best to use private messaging.

I'm not a mod though, so feel free to send them to a mod instead.
#11
My apologies for incorrect use of the term "trolling" - I momentarily forgot how pedantic this forum has a reputation for being! Lol. I won't waste any more time on trying to explain myself, as I am no doubt intellectually incapable!! 2 posts in 20 years - I'm going for a lie down now.
#12
I don't understand... I took your post to mean that there is trolling, I was only sharing my viewpoint that I personally have not seen anything that could be considered trolling in my time here, although I'm sure others may have.

Could you please elaborate on your meaning? I did not mean to insult you if in any way I did.
#13
Lets just say some of the 'Trolls' have been very quiet over the last year or so.
It does happen, and sadly there are some individuals with an anti over the pond attitude.
It exists, deal with it!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
#14
Quote:Interestign, I've been on RAT for over a year and have kept track of the Overwhelming majority of the threads, and haven't noticed even slight trolling agianst anyone really.
Most of the trolling threads get edited by moderators who find them. Sometimes they get past, as there are sometimes many new threads, especially on weekends, and frequently it's not the first post that is the problem. Basically, with from 300 to 500 replies per month, it's a major project actually to read everything that's written. The fact that you have not seen them is actually a compliment to the Staff...or at least we're likely to take it that way. ;-)
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
#15
Quote:Lets just say some of the 'Trolls' have been very quiet over the last year or so.
It does happen, and sadly there are some individuals with an anti over the pond attitude.
It exists, deal with it!

Well the problem seems to be that people don't want to deal with the Anti-Americanism.

I'm an American, and proud to be one. I don't like it when people insult our country. (Now there's a difference between "insult" and "criticize", of course.)

I think that the problem seems to mostly be that there's an overwhelming mis-understanding and misinterpretation of criticisms between the the 2 continents, and also a general misunderstanding of posts.

I'm no psychologist, in fact I wasn't even innately born with the ability to understand social language and emotions, but I know that this Anti-Americanist interpretation of the site is stemming from something more than mere "trolls."

EDIT: @ M. Demetrius

I haven't read them all, but you seem to have been doing a superb job keeping these negative influences away.


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