So I looked at LENR Forum today and the look of the site had drastically changed. It looks much better.
The home page: http://lenr-forum.com. There is still the 403 error for a referred link from CFC, apparently this domain has been added to the .htaccess file to prohibit incoming links. So no change there. (Originally, I warned users about this, so they would not be puzzled seeing it, but then found that I could set my site, by default, to open a new tab and not allow a referer field in the request, so lenr-forum no longer gets information about access to that forum from this domain. It was basically a dumb move to attempt to suppress external commentary.
And, of course, that I tell them that a dumb move is a dumb move, they are “furious.” So they make more dumb moves. That’s how life works.
However, function has changed, and a change in function almost always takes a toll on users. Where did the Unread Posts option go? (It’s now a menu item.)
[Update, evening of the 16th: LF now apparently forwards the old links properly, so barty fixed what is described below. Still the 403 error though.]
However, something far more serious changed. All incoming links I have checked so far, to specific posts, created before today, are broken. Here, created last night to a post by Peter Gluck:
This link does not return the post, it is translated by LF to:
The post now has the direct link:
All incoming links to lenr-forum, generated before today, are now broken. Links from Google? Broken. It will take a little while for Google to recover.
… This is almost certainly barty who did this. Barty did something with his own registration:
One of the original LF administrators just registered, Jan 16th 2017?
From this profile page, Recent Activity is blank. His Likes show, though. His posts can be found in other ways. (Admin tricks have been used to hide other member activities, this is not the first time I have seen it.)
Checking out the user name 1-barty (which is the actual name for barty), on the Internet Archive, I confirm that this was his user name as of December, 21, 2015. The last site update is January 18, 2016. The site has apparently been set to not be archived. (robots.txt?) Sites do this to hide something, it is not the default.
He may be able to fix the links thing with a redirect, I’m not sure. Making changes to a site with a vast content would properly be done with great care. Experienced administrators would let the community know what is happening, such a shift would be planned and reviewed.
The only time I saw LF admin consult the community, they got a lot of comment, which they then ignored without comment.
Someone should tell barty that “court” is not “curt.”
One improvement I see. Looking at my profile there, I see a little lock symbol. That shows that my account is locked out. I can see one other locked user.
Attempting to log in to my locked account, to see if function has changed, I used the Facebook log-in option. It’s broken, Facebook won’t allow the referral. I try the regular log-in. Doesn’t work, password doesn’t match, it tells me. So I used the forgotten password option. It tells me a message is sent. No message shows up.
Not logged in, I cannot see the messages that were sent to me with the ban. I’m surprised that the Facebook login doesn’t work. What was happening before the site changes is that the log-in would be accepted, then all pages on LF displayed an error message, i.e,. the site could not be used, and logout was not allowed, so I had to kill cookies, etc, to log out.
This is all unskillful administration, and it has been highly resistant to suggestions. Indeed, no reason has been given for my ban, other than perhaps being annoying. and suggesting improved moderation procedures. Users who were blatantly racist, disruptive, and users who consistently post utter nonsense, laden with contempt, are not banned, now that I can tell. Goes to show.
In the words of the immortal Emily Litella:
Gilda, we miss you.
4 thoughts on “SNAFU, LENR Forum “Improved””
I was wondering why I had not
seen your comments on Lenr forum and that you were banned.
I thought you had good input
on the legal stuff.
Thanks. It’s ironic: Because of the arbitrary deletions, I announced I wasn’t going to write on lenr-forum unless that was addressed. So they banned me. And then attempted to prevent linking from this blog to lenr-forum. They did, with these changes, break all the links, but also all links from everywhere to LF content.
Not really, the use a URL rewrite, so all old links go to the right new places.
Added: They fixed the 403 issue, apparently. I will be checking this by modifying how this site handles referrer information, but it is now likely that, yesterday or today, the .htaccess prohibition of display referred from here has been removed. Good move! Little by little, we go far.
“Not really” what? I mentioned two things: the developer removed the “index.php” from the path, redirecting browsers, then, to a non-functioning URL that just returned the Forum home page. They fixed that, probably with a redirect or other tool, similarly, so now the old URLs work. I could also have fixed this at my end, with a full site Find and Replace, there are tools for that, but my fix would have left all other links to LF, standing out there, all over the internet, non-functioning. barty did the right thing, and fairly swiftly, I mentioned this post on the CMNS list and I got a prompt response that barty was working on it.
My basic critique here is lack of communication between site staff and the community. This particular problem would not be noticed quickly by most users. I don’t know for sure, of course, but I may have been the first to see the change and test and realize the problem.
With better communication, the user community would have known changes were coming. The particular problem might or might not have been anticipated, sometimes a problem can be staring us in the face and we won’t see it.
Now, about the 403 error. See
I periodically check to see if that (probably .htaccess) setup is still there, by clicking on a URL within the WP editor. This follows normal process and sends referer information and so I see the rejection.
LF staff are following regressive thinking, that demands full control and refuses to share power, even in ways that preserve full autonomy. This is utterly unsurprising, it is where most people will go when they don’t have experience with community organization and consensus process. The situation was a bit like an old-time “capitalist” who discovers that an employee is a union organizer. What did he do?
Instead of considering that an organized workforce is an asset, making communication easier — if handled well — the organizer becomes an enemy, to be targeted. Trained managers would never do this. A company is a team, and all who work for it are properly part of the team. Communication and control would not be confused. I am in charge of my health, I am responsible for all health decisions. If I disagree with my medical advisors, it’s silly to blame them for giving me what they believe is the best advice. I want them to do that. If the advice is warped by “standard of practice,” as it is, sometimes, I need to understand that they must, themselves, survive in the litigous business climate, and I can look for second opinions as well as asking them for evidence. I have seen a physician become haughty and threatened when asked about that. Last visit to that physician! Others welcome a curious and engaged patient and encourage it. These are the advisors I want: they have experience and knowledge. Part of the organizational concept that I’m working with distinguishes between executive power (makes actual decisions, holds direct control over some aspect of the situation) and judicial power, and does not mix this with judicial power, which, if we look closely, generates advice but ordinarily does not directly control. (The judiciary cannot punish an executive for failure to follow its orders. It can remove the executive from office, but that is a relief from responsibility, not a punishment. I have seen some exceptions recently in the U.S., and those are places where political and legal reality are departing from basic democratic organizational principles, the separation of the judicial and the executive.)
The owner of the business has legal control (and legal responsibility). However, he or she is wise to listen to the advice of those involved, even if it unskillfully delivered. The buck still stops with the owner, but action in the light of advice is likely to be far more powerful than action without it, or even worse, reactive to it. The 403 error demonstrates reaction. barty (almost certainly) created that as a reaction to my alleged Bad Behavior here. I know that one admin was strongly hoping that the silliness would end, but also in despair about it.
People get stuck in their reactions and ideas. Very normal. And very much not what we need if we are to lead the LENR revolution. At any time, they could smell the coffee and start having far more fun.