I've only been on cyburbia for a very short time, and I am not a frequent visitor to other similar sites in cyberspace (so I admit that I am not good or experienced at this) but I have been truly amazed at how these discussions just sort of spin into their own orbits based on whatever baggage each of us happen to bring at the moment that we visit.
While I have really appreciated some of the feedback I have received in threads that I have started, or threads I have visited - in general, I have not found the site to be as useful to me as I had hoped. Instead, I think that most people are visiting the site in order to simply vent (might say a lot about the planning profession?), or worse, to prove just how brilliant they are! Interesting that the most viewed and commented threads are usually some sort of humorous idea (LOVED the zombie invasion thread!) - perhaps the real purpose of the site is simply to let off steam?
And doing so anonymously, without the need to ever have to face those we are speaking to has certainly resulted in some nasty, sometimes dismissive repartee. In the real world, people will at least wait until you are out of earshot, make all their snarky witticisms among their like-minded friends, and the attacked person can likely continue blissfully unaware - something I personally, prefer. And for those of you who will now respond to this post with some sort of "at least it is better to air differences" defense - all I can say is "Airing differences is only productive when you are trying to figure out a way to work with those differences!"
All the best with any ensuing responses to this post - Tell me how ignorant I am, roll out all the authors and recent books you've read, cite examples from your own individual experience, and remind me that I am not looking at the big picture (because I am not as smart, well-read, or experienced as you) - and enjoy your virtual primal scream. I shall go off and enjoy my uninformed bliss. Aloha!
(Absolutely no irony was intended in the preceding post)