New Home for This Forum/Community II

Update 2021-02-15 UCT

What is the most human-friendly way to URL-encode arbitrary trees of constraints linked with logical operators for a query?

Update 2021-02-14 UCT has an improved look for the home page. I hope it gets all of you who have been using the present forum excited about the social and political possibilities of the new forum. The blurb text is substantially the work of @Sara_Wolf and the look is entirely her design.

Unfortunately, the archive pages still have my ugly pink look. I hope to release an improvement to them eventually. I determined to refactor that code.

When you try to navigate from the home page to the new forum, you get “Coming Soon!”. That’s because the social team still has some work to do before we should announce the new forum as ready.

In my original writing in this slot, I said the council needed to recruit more members. In my opinion as of today, council membership has become less urgent. We seem to be back on track for decisionmaking. Some of the legalese is already agreed to, and a meeting is scheduled. I think it will settle on the rest of the legalese. I’m not sure what progress there is on recruitment of moderators, but I am sure it will come up in the meeting as well.

Original Post c. 2021-01-22 (Eastern?)

I think the council for the new forum must recruit more members so it will have enough who are willing to participate, to make basic decisions, such as listing what has to be done before welcoming the public to the new forum. Currently there are four members. One has been completely silent for some time. A second has not weighed in on the question. The remaining two are in disagreement about it. No decision is getting made, for an inordinately long time.


Oh for heaven’s sake just do what I do. WordPress dot com is not the cheapest hosting, but they now have many platforms, not just plain blogs, and can perform all kinds of functions. I go with their dot com hosting because I don’t want to suffer DDoS attacks. But my domain name is registered with the great nearlyfreespeach dot net (NOT Godaddy!!!). You never want any disagreements with the host service to jeopardize your domain name.

Most people here seem to hate me, but might end up thanking me.

You probably don’t want me on your board, as I tend to be rather unconventional.

Good luck!

I brought up a human issue, not a technical issue nor an issue of from whom to buy hosting and registration. So far as I am concerned, those are solved well enough that we could go public. A council constituted itself, but now doesn’t make decisions. The council owns the domain name. For me to invite people to use the forum without a council decision would be, I think, ethically questionable. Also, I was hoping that other thinkers would tackle the question of the necessity or lack thereof to publish any legalese to protect the members from crazy lawsuits.


If you have a traditional limited liability corporation, you almost cannot ever be sued. If you have some other type of limited liability corporation (not-for-profit, most likely), some things may be simpler, but the IRS will probably ask more questions. If you have a simple unincorporated association, it will be much like a corporation, but lawsuit exposure is vastly greater. Still, I wouldn’t worry about it. For any of these, you need a written charter and presumably compatible bylaws. Maybe find a generous lawyer!

If you have board members who won’t meet for a quorum, or do anything, you are in deep do-do. You need people who are flexible and active.

P.S. The tax people will smile upon you if you hire an independent bookkeeper to go over your (revenue and asset) books every few months. It’s a cheap way to avoid 99% of your troubles.

P.P.S. If your organization is not registered with some State Secretary of State’s Office, I can’t imagine it really owns anything (unless it’s actually a sole proprietorship). I am not a lawyer, but I think you need to have one. The world is full of fine print. Everybody will tell you you need to include Robert’s Rules of Order in your charter – They are asking you to tie a noose to hang yourself.

Nude Home


1 Like

Discourse wouldn’t let me comment anymore on “New Home…”

I’m quite sorry about that. I should’ve given the council some updates on why I was absent and how long I expected to be absent, rather than just disappearing and leaving you in limbo about whether I still intended to be involved. I might go into more detail about what happened in one of the council emails.

That would be a very good thing. Unfortunately I recall us putting out several calls to recruit new members before and not getting many takers. Early in the life of the council I believe some members always intended to be only temporary and not serve on the council once the forum was up and running, but these people have left and they aren’t coming back unless their outlook shifts. On the other hand there might be people with the opposite outlook: people who would be willing to serve in the long term once we get off the ground but who will be skeptical about whether the project is going anywhere (and therefore whether serving on the council is worth their time) before we do. If that is the case then we are in a rather difficult moment for recruiting.

I discussed this in the email but I feel like we have to prioritize doing the things that will allow us to leave CES so that they can close this forum. They’ve waited a long time for us and we have already gone into the new year, past the date they intended to go offline. While I would not want to advertise our website to outsiders before adding cosmetic improvements, I suspect that those who were already here may be more willing to put up with a, um, temporary homepage, as long as the forum is functional. (Particularly if we can credibly assure them that it is in fact temporary.)

I suggest that we aim for a “beta launch” as quickly as possible and encourage the existing CES userbase to sign up. Before we do that I think we need at least (feel free to add to this list):

  • A working forum.
  • To publish the policy documents such as Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Code of Conduct / Content Moderation that were brought up at the last meeting. I’d assume that documents with legal implications should be finalized before even a beta version goes live as I assume that if we made any changes to them then we’d need to notify everyone.
  • A skeleton crew of moderators. The culture at the CES forum has generally been good and there have been few problems among our regular users. However if we allow people to post content on our site we need moderators just in case there’s an incident.

During the beta:

  • We should try to move towards a final version of the website. If you were talking to a friend about voting reform and they were interested and wanted to get involved, would you want to recommend as a site they should visit? We should want the answer to this be a yes before we do a full launch. This includes things like the webpage design as well as writing some of the introductory guides that we created the Electoral Theory 101 category for.
  • We should encourage users of the beta site to provide feedback on the forum service and incorporate their suggested improvements.

At some point we should add a pinned post above each category explaining what it is for and what it is NOT for, if a category is likely to attract certain types of posts that fit better in a different category (then direct them to that category).


Edited the head post again.