Doomstead Anti-Diner

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 20, 2014

A couple of years ago with my friend Peter and a few other folks I chatted with on my Yahoo Group Reverse Engineering, we put up a Blog and Forum called the Doomstead Diner. The Diner was an evolution from years of time spent managing forums and years of time chronicling the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

The main reason we created this blog & forum was because of issues I have had over the years with Censorship and Banning on other websites, including in fact the Reverse Engineering group itself, which had issues with Yahoo Bots doing the censoring.

The goal was to allow Free Speech to the MAX, eschewing the typical Banning and Deletions of posting you find on just about all Blogs and Forums. This wasn’t always easy, but for a good 2 years it mostly worked. However, in recent weeks it has succumbed to Godwin’s Law, (the longer a forum goes, the more likely Nazi comparisons are made) among other typical Trolling issues.

Forums are a kind of microcosm of society, which generally no matter how large the website, tend to have a fairly limited number of “regular” posters. It seems to range from about 10-50 people no matter where you go. There are exceptions of course like Zero Hedge, which is SOOOO HUGE 100s of people post every day in the commentary, but that is very atypical.

During its most successful period, the Diner developed a small but tightly knit community of people with similar interests and similar perspectives on the collapse we see occuring around us every day. Initially it was just meant to be a Newz and Discussion blog, but as time went by the realization came that we needed to come together not just in Cyberspace, but IRL as well. IRL is “In Real Life” for those of you not conversant with internet acronyms.

This need to come together IRL finally culminated in the 1st Diner Convocation, which occurred last week down in Texas. It was a time of great celebration amongst those who attended, but it had an unforseen Blowback in Cyberspace on the Diner itself, where all these folks found each other to begin with.  Trolls took control of the Diner commentary, and any semblance of reasonable conversation went to the Great Beyond.


On any forum, factions develop and the Diner is no different there. The faction on the Diner which views negatively the efforts to form community and to develop sustainable systems took the opportunity to troll the Diner to death, and this put a cloud over the IRL celebration. The acrimony over perceived and fabricated “injustices” persisted (and still persists) a full week after the Convocation, leading many Diners including myself to be completely disgusted by the conversation taking place on the Diner Forum.

The No Ban/No Censorship policy has its own Blowback, and trying to find a work around to this short of reneging on this policy has consumed my time in the aftermath. I still want to have friendly conversation with my friends, and I still want to bring the message of Collapsing Industrial Civilization out to more people. The toxic environment the Diner Trolls were bent on perpetuating was making both things impossible.

Having spent so much time, energy and money to get this thing rolling, giving up on it is not an option for me. So I am developing still more work-arounds to the Trolling issue, and hopefully the latest changes will clear things up. The solutions won’t make everyone happy, but some good results have already come from this.

First change is that we opened up the WordPress Comments on the Diner Blog, which makes it a whole lot easier for casual readers and newbies to comment on the Diner. Second is that it provided motivation to open up a New Forum on SUN4Living, where Diners can go to post up material specific to developing sustainable communities.

The most important change here is that the Diner needs a place where the folks who are perpetually dissatisfied with the way the Administration of the Diner is done have their own spot to freely air their grievances, without monopolizing the Diner forum itself. Basically an Op-Ed page on Steroids, where Diners can go to complain about the Diner.

To this end, we now have a Doomstead Anti-Diner with it’s own set of Anti-Diner Admins to run it as they see fit. You can access the Anti-Diner from the Diner Forum menu to read the latest in complaints about the Diner. You can view the Anti-Diner as a kind of Doppelganger, the Evil Twin of the Diner.

Hopefully with all these changes, we can return now to discussing the issues of the day WRT the collapse of Industrial Civilization, without devolving into endless bickering over complete nonsense. Granted, this is a fairly complex solution, but at the moment there is sufficient Available Energy to implement it. I look forward to reading the endless series of complaints on the Anti-Diner and may even contribute myself on those pages periodically, assuming the Admins over there grant me posting priviledges.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Diner Admin


5 Responses to Doomstead Anti-Diner

  • enicar666 says:

    Pot meet Kettle. :roll:

    The goal was to allow Free Speech to the MAX, eschewing the typical Banning and Deletions of posting you find on just about all Blogs and Forums. This wasn’t always easy, but for a good 2 years it mostly worked. However, in recent weeks it has succumbed to Godwin’s Law, (the longer a forum goes, the more likely Nazi comparisons are made) among other typical Trolling issues.

    It happens.

  • toktomi says:

    Since I don’t “know” anything, I’ll offer a quick story about a long term situation of the past that has never ceased to amaze me.

    During the earlier years of this century Scott Meredith created one or more Yahoo Discussion Groups. One in particular, Alas Babylon was completely unmoderated and by my evaluation, completely successful for many years. I saw Scott take action against a member only once, and that was only after a fair bit of pleading from other members about a particularly awful little bug.

    Scott eventually gave AB away to one of the members and moved off to where he still resides. AB became moderated under the new ownership and went anorexic.

    Perhaps, there is a lesson in there somewhere. Perhaps, not. Good luck.


    PS I read some of your postings over at NBL. I believe that you need to keep in mind that Carolyn Baker and Guy McPherson have revenue streams to maintain and that to challenge their words is to challenge their livelihoods.

    “And now we have the New Age, and all kinds of therapies and therapists and counsellors who’ll take your cash for a book and dvd and a private consultation if you can afford it. It’s just a new priesthood for a new religion, and NTE is a whole new business opportunity for a whole new industry to arise…” (

    • Harry Lerwill says:

      Excellent points, Tokomi.

      I make a point of not going over to NBL and challenging their viewpoints, there’s no point. We each choose our own reaction to our own mortality – none of us are getting out of here alive. Their reactions to the situation our world is in is understandable, and with different life-experiences I could see myself taking a similar tack. As it is, I fought my way out of crippling childhood poverty and find it hard to not engage in the struggle to make the world a better place.

      Controversy can generate traffic, and Guy is not adverse to doing so. The negative article in the UK guardian doubled his traffic, and he kept about 30% of it. Difference there was it was a reasoned “negative article”, upon which people could agree to disagree, and a significant number who read it still feel that Guy’s research is worth following. I for one read his blog posts, but don’t share his conclusion; he thinks all of humanity will die off, I expect 5% or so to survive. I plan to be part of that 5% or die trying. :)

  • Harry Lerwill says:

    I like the new direction people are going since the convocation, those who attended –and a few who wanted to but could not –are focused on positive steps to mitigate the challenges of climate chaos, energy depletion and fiscal imbalances. Doing, rather than talking, has always been my goal and the main reason I found the Diner in the first place, following a breadcrumb trail of people making positive changes and blogging about it.

    I’m looking forward to the second convention!

  • monsta666 says:

    To me free speech is like any other freedom or right. It is okay to exercise your freedom provided it is does not infringe on the well being of another individual in a negative matter. In the case of free speech this means that a person loses their right to free speech if they commit several instances of hate speech or/and questioning the integrity of another person without sufficient proof. Now when it comes to proof it need be something significant but what people should avoid is countless baseless criticism. If people engage in this behaviour they should forfeit their right to free speech. All freedoms come with certain responsibilities and obligations and people need to bear this in mind when exercising their rights.

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