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I'm SO alone...on cyburbia

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Well, here's a first for me. Maybe some of you night-owls have experienced this before, but...

Logged on tonite and I am the ONLY one on Cyburbia. Such a strange, lonely feeling!
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
you've got company! I just got back from work and had to get a fix. This place isn't as dorky as it should be!
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Don't be worried Goddess, I'm here too. After spending all afternoon in a department store with the fiancee registering for wedding gifts I felt the need to watch some football and then get a Cyburbia fix.

Who knew this registering crap was so involved. "Dear, what color do you think we should we get the casual Cuisenart double studed turnip twaddler in?"

Although, it was fun to carry around the scanning gun in a pretend holster and use it like a six shooter. "Freeze flatwear, I gotcha now. BANG, BANG...
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,192
Points
29
biscuit said:
Don't be worried Goddess, I'm here too. After spending all afternoon in a department store with the fiancee registering for wedding gifts I felt the need to watch some football and then get a Cyburbia fix.

Who knew this registering crap was so involved. "Dear, what color do you think we should we get the casual Cuisenart double studed turnip twaddler in?"

Take a stand against the Corporatization of weddings: Elope
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,521
Points
69
Occasionally, I'll find myself doing maintenance on the site in the wee hours of a Saturday or Sunday morning. NOBODY is on, not even Googlebots, Inktomibots, REM or JNL, I can see invisible users, too. We're talking "1 users, 0 guests". Eerie.

Cyburbia in the wee hours is like Wal-Mart at the same time; folks are stocking the shelves among a few weary customers.

True loneliness, though, is navigating I-25 in New Mexico late at night. Radio wasteland (hit "scan" and there's still nothing), no lights off in the distance, and often no other cars or trucks on the road. Just you, four lanes of blacktop, and tens and thousands of square miles/kilometers of desert..
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,192
Points
29
Dan said:
True loneliness, though, is navigating I-25 in New Mexico late at night. Radio wasteland (hit "scan" and there's still nothing)...
You want to talk "Radio Wasteland" Nothing tops Northeast Indiana.

Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, I used to drive quite frequently to Chicago, Illinois from Toledo, a 240 mile trip via I-80. For the first 60 miles, it was OK. You could pull in some great stations from Toledo and Ann Arbor (this was long before Clear Channel started it's campaign of corporate terror and monoculturization by going on a shopping spree after FCC ownership rules were relaxed in 1996). But just past the Indiana border you hit a true "radio wasteland" - Nothing but religious stations and (uggghh) Country for miles.

It was an excruciating experience. Hit the scan but and hear nothing but twangy country on just about every station. Sometimes, I would be lucky enough to hit FM107 out of K-Z00, but it wasn't reliable. This was some of the nastiest crap ever piped over the airwaves.

I didn't have a CD player at the time, so I'd improvise by playing cassettes. It was OK, but no substite for a 50K watt radion station, so mostly I'd just drive about 15 MPH over speed limit just to get out of dark country and back into radio free America.

Then blessedly, just a few miles west of South Bend, I would begin to pick up the signals from great Chicago stations like 'XRT and others whose call letters I can no longer remember.

Of course, it was dread in reverse on the way back, but worse. Not only did I have to contemplate possibly hearing Billy Ray Cyrus, but I lost and hour of time getting back into EST from CST. It always sucked losing that hour.

Anyway, you may speak hearing nothing but dead air in New Mexico, but that is preferable to this country crap believe me.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
biscuit said:
Although, it was fun to carry around the scanning gun in a pretend holster and use it like a six shooter. "Freeze flatwear, I gotcha now. BANG, BANG...
The scanning gun ROCKS!! I was there (physically) to register with my (now) wife but she picked out everything and I just stood there saying, “yep, yep, looks good”. But I DID pick out the knifes, about $500 worth of Henkels!! I got a little trigger-happy. So now I have the entire Henkels set and let me tell you friend they are the coolest. So go scan some knifes. I can seriously throw a grapefruit in the air and slice it like a samurai chef!! :-D
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Super Amputee Cat said:
There could be some lurking in the invisible mode.
Exactly. I was here with you, as was Dan.

YAY! I'm a cyberstalker!
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Zoning Goddess said:
What is this invisible mode you speak of?

Is it something only our great mods can do?
In the control panel there is an option you can check which will omit your screen name from the user list at the bottom of the forum. In control panel, go to edit options, and its at the top, called "Invisible Mode"

(Note sometimes the # of logged in users does not match the name count).
:)
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
prudence said:
We need lives...hope all is well with everyone.
Speaking of needing a life, you know its BAD when Prudence is posting at 9:48 on a Saturday night! You should save it for work...... errr never mind. ;)
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I love "invisible mode" you can sneak up on unsuspecting godesses (or is it godeii?)
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Huston said:
The scanning gun ROCKS!! I was there (physically) to register with my (now) wife but she picked out everything and I just stood there saying, “yep, yep, looks good”. But I DID pick out the knifes, about $500 worth of Henkels!! I got a little trigger-happy. So now I have the entire Henkels set and let me tell you friend they are the coolest. So go scan some knifes. I can seriously throw a grapefruit in the air and slice it like a samurai chef!! :-D
Way ahead of ya Huston. I took that scanning gun and went to town on the Henkels. Put in for the entire set plus the steak knives... very cool. Next week were supposed to go back and pick out linens. I think I'll find a way to miss that trip.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
biscuit said:

Who knew this registering crap was so involved. "Dear, what color do you think we should we get the casual Cuisenart double studed turnip twaddler in?"
Turnip twaddlers should always be lavender. But I'm sure you knew that. And by the way, contrary to your fiance's opinion, owning china is pointless.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Caution Biscuit, if you don't go linen shopping you will end up with flower prints or pink sheets.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Yeah, well, when I first signed on, I used to keep Cyburbia open in one of my windows while multi-slacking all night and looking for ways to entertain myself. But I quit doing that because things basically are dead after everyone gets off work and goes home.

I am sleeping better these days, but still up all night most nights. I could "keep a light on" and make sure that no one ever has to be alone again on Cyburbia -- except for those nights that I am energetic enough to paint furniture by the dark of the moon and my pathetic back porch light. Of course, if I ever have the opportunity to have some kind of sleep schedule resembling that of a human being, instead of that of a Vampire (and the pale skin and tendency to anemia are ONLY coincidence!!!), I will immediately re-neg on all such offers.

Actually, what we really need are more international members and folks who keep 'alternative schedules". One list I am on is only dead from about 2am to 4:30 or 5am, my time. Some East-Coasters get up early and get online before the kiddies wake up, others stay up after the kiddies go to bed in order to post to the list and live in various time zones (like the one I am in), and there are enough international members in Europe, Guam, and Australia that the list is pretty lively 21 hours a day -- usually. Sometimes, that isn't true. It gets pretty dead around Christmas time, when folks go to No Mail to deal with the holidays or travel home to family.

Anyway, I still tend to check in and see if anyone has posted, on and off, most nights. But I don't typically keep it open in the background as part of my on-going Multi-Slacking marathons.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
I was just thinking how cool it would be if Cyburbia were more international, so people on the other side would keep this site rolling through the Americas night time. I'm up late a lot an would like to see traffic from other parts!
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Yeah, I have IM friends in Pakistan, Morocco, Guam and places like that because, gee, when it is 3am my time, it is 3pm in Pakistan.

Is there some reason we don't have more international members? I haven't gone back through and obsessively read every post that is still on the server, so I do not know as much about the dynamics and culture of this forum as the moderators and other long-time members would.

But, from what little I do know, it seems to have a U.S.-centric bias and, also, anyone who actually works in the field of "planning" seems to routinely put down themselves and others as "geeks who have no social life" if they post during non-work hours. And, in very general terms, Americans tend to be rather ignorant of the languages, cultures, and personal realities of folks in other countries. Americans do act very egocentric about assuming OTHER people "should" speak English if they want to do business with "us" and we are not obligated to speak "their" language. Many things that Americans say can be extremely off-putting to foreigners, who often feel unable to address an issue that is "invisible" to the majority.

As an example, on one list, someone said something and people didn't understand the position/job she was referring to (in a legal case -- a "master" rather than a 'judge' or whatever). Now, it turns out that this woman was, in fact, American and it was just something obscure. I got into a smidgeon of trouble, though, over busting folks chops for saying things like "things are going to hell in THIS country", on the blatant assumption that "I am an American and I am speaking to OTHER Americans." in a clearly International forum when "master" could easily have been a Canadian or Australian or British title.

It isn't usually intended to be 'discriminatory' or exclusionary, but it does have a 'chilling' effect on an atmosphere from the point of view of folks who participate in the forum and who are NOT American -- and feel like they would be seen as 'bitchy' to point out such biases when they occur. These biased comments are often completely 'innocent' and totally 'invisible' to most of the Americans who say them -- but pretty glaring to the non-Americans who feel excluded, ignored, and treated like 'second class citizens' in such an atmosphere.

Um, did I ever mention that I was officially responsible for "diversity issues" when I had a directorship with a Virtual Voluntary Health and Welfare Organization, where I was a moderator some years back? Maybe I should just eat and go back to working on coding my webpages so I can upload the new format some time this century. This isn't intended as a 'rant'. Just sort of 'thinking out loud.' Sorry.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
The Irish One said:
I was just thinking how cool it would be if Cyburbia were more international, so people on the other side would keep this site rolling through...
The problem you guys face late at night is my typical experience. Mainly I am posting after the event or before it's got rolling. If there were more international members I guess that wouldn't be the case but I wonder how fragmented discussions would become.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
Habanero said:


or with a nice new suit!
I don't know if you guys realise this, but the dufus in the background of this pic. is the Australian Prime Minister, John ..er ...er ....whatshisname. We have whole blooper shows of foreign leaders introducing OFL or in a joint press conference forgetting his name. Maybe that's why GWB wouldn't agree to a joint press conference after today's address to a joint sitting of parliament.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Rem said:
The problem you guys face late at night is my typical experience. Mainly I am posting after the event or before it's got rolling. If there were more international members I guess that wouldn't be the case but I wonder how fragmented discussions would become.
That is partly a 'forum culture' issue as well: This forum tends to operate like 'Instant messenger' services -- like "live chat" --and it seems to be seen as a little weird when someone comes back to something 'old'. If it were more culturally acceptable for these exchanges to capitalize on one the strengths of the Internet -- the ability to be asynchronous, not just physically distant -- it wouldn't be such a weird thing for you.

And if this forum had more 'before (workday) hours' and 'after hours' activity here in America -- without it being treated (jokingly or not) as an admission that someone 'is a geek' and 'has no social life' -- you also would not be so out of sync. Most folks only sleep 8 hours a day. That should you leave at least an 8 hour window of overlap, somewhere during the day, with just about everyone on planet earth (and more hours than that if you both are asleep at the same time for part of the day) -- even it means it is the last 4 hours before you go to bed and the first 4 hours after you wake up. But, you happen to get very little 'overlap' because most folks in this forum are mostly active during working hours -- which means that heavy traffic can have as little as an 8 hour window and it is entirely possible for a normal person to sleep right through that and feel weird about hanging out here when traffic is low, regardless of where they live. (I have the same issue, since I keep hours more like yours than like most Americans.)

A forum's culture can and does change all the time. Some things evolve naturally, but there are ways to foster change in a particular direction. "Diversity" is definitely an attribute that can be actively encouraged. I, personally, have a 'bad habit' of dramatically increasing traffic on e-mail lists I am on -- and not just because I am capable of 'spamming' the list with my many lengthy e-mails. I also conciously "pick on" forum problems and they begin to dissipate.

On one list I am on, some months back, folks would apologize for posting to the list 3 or 4 times in a single day. I began cracking jokes about my tendency to post my 7 post limit and bounce the 8th post. I began saying things like "The server-bot is very nice and polite about letting you know when it is Time To Shut Up!", etc. After a few weeks of such jokes, I heard a lot less 'I am so sorry for opening my mouth and bothering all you people' kind of silliness. Hell, if they REALLY do not want to hear from anyone, they can unsub. And if they can't stand me in particular, they are more than welcome to never speak to me and to delete all my e-mails unread. It won't hurt me. I am unlikely to even know, unless they just want to be ugly about it and go out of their way to inform me of all this 'rejection'.

Anyway, I am actually a rather talented moderator when I am not strung out on medication and inciting Virtual Lynch Mobs while awake excessively long.:)
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
MZ I don't dislike the absence of being able to participate in banter. I don't really have time a to do it (I am usually swamped at work), it takes me time to unravel meaning sometimes and I don't know people well enough to not tread on toes (or seem obtuse at the very least) occasionally.

I like Cyburbia because I am developing a little familiarity with the regulars and it gives me a foreign perspective on all sorts of stuff. If it was overrun with newby Australians encouraged to provide 24 hour activity, I would find it less appealing. This will not happen in my lifetime BTW - there just aren't enough of us.

It's just gone 7.00 pm so I have to bail as well.
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Rem said:
MZ I don't dislike the absence of being able to participate in banter.
My point was not about 'banter' but your indication that you feel "out of step" with others, time-wise, and this leaves you feeling unable to really participate. It is that aspect of IM to which I refer -- that it requires an 'instantaneous' response, unlike e-mail. It is more time-sensitve.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
Michele Zone said:
My point was not about 'banter' but your indication that you feel "out of step" with others, time-wise, and this leaves you feeling unable to really participate.
I think I participate - maybe not interact to the same level as others. If the timing wasn't out - the jargon or cultural sensitivities would achieve the same disjointedness (wow - new word).
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,521
Points
69
Michele Zone said:
Is there some reason we don't have more international members? .
I have actively recruited international users in the past, and will continue to do so. You probably arrived here long after my front-page plea to Commonwealth planners to register on the Forums.

In the old, old, old days, when the Forums included architecture discussion areas, there were an active French language discussion area, catering to the many users from France and Quebec. The "architecture side" of Cyburbia was abandoned a few years ago, along with the French subforums.

Cyburbia has an "English please" policy. This isn't because there is an attitude of "This is America, and you'll speak English here, damnit!" It's just difficult to moderate posts that aren't in English.

I don't know why there aren't more international users from English-speaking countries. India ... written English there tends to be very formal, stilted, and excessively polite compared to NA/UK/ANZAC English, and it looks out of place compared to the writing style of most Forumers. Planning in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa really isn't that much different than in the US, but perhaps planners in those countries are slower to participate in an online bulletin board; the Planning Institute of Australia bulletin board only gets a few posts a week. The planning system in the UK is vastly different than in the US, and historically there's been some aniomosity on the part of British planners towards their American counterparts.

Also consider that in YEARS of surfing, I haven't found any international equivalents of Cyburbia. This gets back to the "maybe those outside of North America aren't into the bulletin board thing" argument. No "Cybourbia" in the UK with British planners posting about out-of-town development, motorways, tea and cricket. No "L'Cyburbie" in France. No "Cyburbio" in Spain. No "Cyburbiapostenboardenraumplanungbierstein" in Germany.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,387
Points
26
Seabishop said:
And by the way, contrary to your fiance's opinion, owning china is pointless.
Exactly! We have used our all of zero times. And what makes it worse, is they always want more. To complicate the matter, my wife has three different styles of "regular" dinner plates/bowls/saucers etc.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
International? How can you get more international than me? The only "bad" things are that I'm not a real planner and that I'm in a time zone very close to the east coast USA and east coast Canada (Right now I'm at GMT -3, but I have to use -4 on the forums, because I guess the server is also with DST)
 
Messages
7,657
Points
29
Dan said:


Cyburbia has an "English please" policy. This isn't because there is an attitude of "This is America, and you'll speak English here, damnit!" It's just difficult to moderate posts that aren't in English.
Like I said: I was just sort of "thinking out loud", not dinging Cyburbia. English is the language used the most on the Internet and is very often the "official" language of an Internet forum, American or not. Many computer and Internet words get adopted fairly directly, with little modification, by most languages and it is becoming something of an International language in its own right.

However, having said that, what is sometimes off-putting is not the requirement to speak English -- since many countries have jam-up "English as a Foreign Language" programs in their schools, plenty of folks on planet earth speak English -- but the tendency for Americans to be kind of impatient with someone's "poor English". The whole stink over Governor Scharzenegger's pronunciation of "California" is just one example of how this "country of immigrants" can be rather unwelcoming and critical.

Yeah, I remember your French language stuff and used to surf it to brush up on my rusty French.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,524
Points
23
Dan said:
Planning in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa really isn't that much different than in the US, but perhaps planners in those countries are slower to participate in an online bulletin board; the Planning Institute of Australia bulletin board only gets a few posts a week.
I think there is some validity in what you say. My knowledge of the internet is minute but I have not come across any Australian bulletin boards on any topics that are as up to date (and free of profanity) as Cyburbia.

I couldn't say I am typical but I looked for quite a while before joining in. I've never posted anywhere else previously, I didn't know about protocol, didn't want to upset anyone, was concerned about getting sucked into something dodgey - all dumb because I can be as anonymous as I wish to be of course. So maybe reticence, at least in Australia, is due to our relative inexperience with the mode. That and we are all too busy out wrestling crocodiles, standing on the beach in skull caps and playing cricket.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
Skeleton our international Cyburbanite star!!!!!!!!

I'm a geek and damn proud of it!

If there were more international members I guess that wouldn't be the case but I wonder how fragmented discussions would become.
excellent point, but some how I wish it would work.
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
I am going to Mexico on Saturday, so I will pretend that I am international for a day to get the numbers up.

I am feeling very alone at the moment since no one is up in the house or on Cyburbia. Actually, one part of that statement is quite peaceful.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,198
Points
28
Michele Zone said:
The whole stink over Governor Scharzenegger's pronunciation of "California" is just one example of how this "country of immigrants" can be rather unwelcoming and critical.
Au contraire mon frere! Who is it, or what is it that is creating the stink? My experience, from high school, to college, to a short move to Conecticut, and back to grad school, has shown me that everyday Americans love accents and are oftentimes the ice-breakers that get us talking to foreign exchange students, international students in Econ 101, and to one another. It's all about the love, Ms. Zone! I have a hypothesis for you - the stink over Governor Elect Swartzeneggar's pronunciation of "California" was precipitated by the media, not everyday Americans. I for one just love the whole "Kallee For Nee Ya" thing. If he were a Michigander, I wonder if he would call his home state "Mee Shuh Ug Gun." Awesome!
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
I'm gonna give a points to Americans for our inquisitive nature towards all of these gyawd dam fawnerz. Americans for the most part are a welcoming bunch. But that is the feedback I get from my immigrant friends.
 
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