We need to learn how to disagree more civilly. There are about a dozen or so of us who contribute regularly to the advocacy forums, and the debates have gotten a little testy recently. I know some of my posts have crossed the line, so I am not playing holier-than-thou.
Here are a few ideas. I welcome other ideas or constructive criticisms of these ideas. I only ask that we avoid turning this thread into another debate about VC, bike lanes, sidewalk riding, etc.
First, if someone inadvertently brings up a hotly contested idea in a thread that really isn't about the hotly contested, don't commit a thread jack. Instead, add a post that mentions that the thread raises, say, bike lane issues, and then provide a link to the bike lane thread or to a specific response in the bike lane thread.
Second, read your post. If all you do is call the other person names without adding anything substantive, don't post. This also applies to responses to name calling (perhaps my biggest weakness). If you must respond, explain why you think the name is appropriate or why you think the idea was wrong.
Third, ignore obnoxious posts you disagree with, but criticize obnoxious posts when you generally agree with the point the author was making. Anti-VC'ers will be far more effective criticizing each other. Same with VC'ers. But the insult wars persuade no one. And nothing is more punishing than being ignored.
Fourth, attack the idea, not the person.
Fifth, if your post aggressively makes your idea, think about re-writing it to make the same point less aggressively. The aggressive posts don't persuade anyone anyway, so you'll be doing yourself a favor.
Six, think of alternative solutions. The No-'VC-er's-Please thread is a good idea (although I thought the title adds to the negative tone of this forum) because the thread encourages people to come up with solutions.
Finally, keep a sense of humor.