It's not news. There's currently a storm brewing between forum members, and I've self inserted myself at it's center. The important question here is why are we here? The answer comes in many forms, and has been given by many people here. The unified form for why this community exists is to help others who are like minded in their pursuit of magical knowledge be it for commercial use or for personal. Often it's that divide right there that causes more tiffs to open up over the forums than anything else. We're blessed to have a large mixture of aspiring students, to working professionals here on this board. This gives us a wide range of opinions from ideas based in theories, and pipe dreams, and others from years of experience, and exposure. Some opinions can be cynical, and jaded, often tainted from years of having the "real life" drive the point home for the ones making them, and others are less acidic but no less valuable. So if everyone is playing at the same game, using (basically) the same rules, then why is it we are having issues with members like myself getting into rows with other guys who we basically agree with on a founding level? A large part of the problem I believe exists with the method for which our messages are delivered. I have always said that text base communication does a wonderful job of imparting facts, but takes the humanity out of the intentions or delivery. Added into the faceless anonymity of the internet, and unfortunately that acts as a sort of cyber alcohol that removes our otherwise well practiced social inhibitions. When we communicate with each other in the real world, we express our ideas, concerns, problems, and solutions through a complex display of verbal language, emotional tones, and non verbal physical cues that deliver intent and meaning to those we speak to. As any student of mime will tell you, you can say a hell of a lot with your body without saying a single word. Example in motion is the Disney Pixar movie "Up". Disney Pixar managed to tell a more emotional love story in 9 minutes than Stephany Meyers did in four books of her Twilight saga. The impressive part is that Disney Pixar never said a single word! When we speak on the internet we lose the ability to deliver solid tone of voice, or other non verbal cues into our messages that would signal or indicate to others participating that we mean no harm, are trying to be helpful, or in the direct opposite trolling with the intention of being difficult and an ass. The only saving grace that we get is the experience we build up with each other over a course of time that we can use to vouch for their good intent and personality. Sure that works for those of us on the forum that have been putting threads out there on a daily bases, and have been active here for a length of time, but what happens when a working professional that we haven't really gotten to know yet, an adult with equal right to voice an opinion on a topic of discussion (and enough experience to back it up) steps out to be heard? They place themselves in a position to not be received warmly, especially if their messages are viewed to be contrary to what is being discussed. This of course becomes a breeding ground for miss-communications. In part I guess this is why we have a bio section on our profile, a signature area where we can display our websites or other useful information, and social networking pages that can back us up and verify who we are if a search is done, but that doesn't help much when your forum user name is magicboy1990. Further why is it that unknowns are at such a disadvantage? In part I think it has to do (with this website in particular) the young average user base this place cultivates. The average user base here is in their teens to twenties. The youtube magician generation, and it's easy an easy crutch to assume they have no real world experience. Of course I'm not saying that everyone in that demographic has no experience, or worse that their opinions aren't important, but how many threads have we seen that squabble over insignificant points such as who is better Criss Angel or David Blaine or what is the BEST deck of cards, etc? Most of the time it isn't your workers who are doing the squabbling. It's just very hard to separate well grounded experience from an elitist attitude when the only method for the delivery of your ideas is a crude form of text based communication. I know it's been said that people here on the forums tend to "pick apart" others posts, and this was a point that was addressed in a similar thread, however I don't feel this is entirely fair. I think that a statement like this undermines the intent of those involved. Obviously this board has a diverse community, and equally filled with people of all ranges of intelligence. When someone posts a long post, and makes several points during it, it's just easier to sit there line by line, and address each instance as it were, as opposed to just trying to sum up a crap load of information and give a reply that works for the entire mess. If you took the time to type out something that monstrous, then obviously you feel like you have something worth being said. To that, I intend to show you the same level of respect by taking you at your own points line by line if I need to until I feel I've properly replied to you. Others like me share this mindset. We're not doing it to be lawyers, or jerks. It's just an effective way to make sure everything gets covered. At the end of the day, of course I believe that every single one of us on the forums who have been here for a minute are all playing towards the same goal. We all want to succeed, and we all want each other to do so too. When someone wins the SNC, an event a lot of us put into, it's not harsh words that are spoken, but congratulations across the board. So I don't think we're in any danger of having a harsh community here. I think we just don't always get our meanings across before the other guy takes offense, and for the most part we don't always know who it is we're talking with or what grounds they have to hold their opinions on until after we've had a chance to get to know them better. I think we can certainly all get along better once we begin to understand why it is conflict starts to form. Nipping a disagreement in the bud prevents it from escalating into a full out war, and often times it comes down to a simple miss-communication.