Fraternitas Excentricus Constitution

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Fraternitas Excentricus Constitution

Post  Vito on 2008-01-10, 02:14

Fraternitas Excentricus Constitution

This Constitution of the Fraternitas Excentricus is a covenant between the members of this community regarding their purpose and their governance. Members accept this covenant as the basis in principle upon which they will govern their conduct as members of this community.

Preamble

We the founders of The Eccentric Brotherhood, in order to form a more decent community, establish a measure of market justice, ensure fraternal civility, provide for our mutual interests, promote a modicum of sanity, and secure the benefits of a "No bozos!" zone to ourselves and our future members of kindred spirit, do ordain and establish this Constitution for Fraternitas Excentricus.

Purpose

The purpose of this community is to provide a place where pipe smokers can enjoy each other's company, share knowledge, learn from each other, and otherwise benefit from and be amused by each other's perspectives on pipes, tobacco, and other subjects of interest, in an atmosphere of good will and mutual respect.

Ownership of the Online Forum

The online discussion group forum that provides a home for this community is owned by member Vito, who is its administrator, janitor, and spiritual adviser. Certain administrative and advisory functions (such as moderating) are shared by other members. We generally believe in minding our own business, but we have certain proprietary sensibilities, and we're not very tolerant of people who trample them. We'll do our best to lay them out for you here to avoid any misunderstandings.

Ownership of Intellectual Property

The ideas in the posts made here are the property of the people who thunk them up, which may or may not be the members who posted them. We'd prefer that members provide proper accreditation and attribution for ideas that are not their own. We're all standing on someone else's shoulders. Besides being a civilized thing to do, it's a small measure of gratitude that members can easily pay to those from whose ideas they have received value. Besides, you'll appreciate it when others provide proper accreditation to you. Pay it out first, and it will come back. Karma works. We won't press the point except in those cases wherein we feel that proper attribution is important. However, we're not the brain police. We generally will trust members to have the integrity not to take credit for others' intellectual property.

Nevertheless, it is expressly forbidden for any member to use this discussion group to disclose proprietary information of any kind without its owner's permission. That includes trade secrets, copyrighted content not covered by fair use doctrine, personal information about other members, or any other information whose owner wishes it to remain confidential. If we discover that a member has violated such property boundaries and not initiatively made restitution to the satisfaction of the owner(s), we will immediately ban that member from all further participation in this community until he makes such restitution.

Rules of Engagement

The rules of engagement of this community are designed to stabilize the interactions among its members.

  1. Treat all members with respect at all times. Treat others the way you want to be treated, but far more importantly for the general spirit of fraternal good will in the community, do not treat others the way you don't want to be treated. If you don't understand the difference—and what that difference means to how you should conduct yourself in the spirit of this community—don't register as a member. We mean it.

  2. You are free to comment on what others say, including robust disagreement with the content of what they say if you feel so inclined. However, you are not free to make derogatory remarks about other members, even in jest. We take a dim view of "humor" that deprecates other members under cover of "I was only kidding."

  3. Criticism of others' writing style, literacy, and spelling is boorish and unacceptable here. You may make whatever helpful suggestions you wish, provided they are offered in a truly helpful and non-disparaging spirit. If your comments on another member's posts are critical to the point wherein they are likely to embarrass him (or you), communicate them in a private message (PM) rather than in a post.

  4. Do not use the PM system as a means of harassing or attacking other members. (See Rule of Engagement No. 1, above)

  5. We're all human. Sometimes we say things that irritate others without intending to do so, and sometimes we take offense where none was intended. So, here's what works best to cover both of those types of misunderstandings:

    1. Writing Posts – Before you hit "Send", it's best to take a moment to think about whether something you've written is likely to offend others' sensibilities. This doesn't mean you should be walking on eggshells or tiptoeing around, second-guessing yourself. It does mean that you can cultivate a helluva lot less emotionally volatile environment by simply trying to see your words from someone else's perspective. That's where understanding starts.

    2. Replying to Posts – Before you reply to a post you think is offensive, it's usually a good idea to consider the possibility that Doggie Brain (the limbic brain) has jumped into the driver's seat and is taking you for a joyride that will end in a crash and burn. If you feel pissed, there's a good chance that reacting in a pissed-off way is going to make things worse, not better.
  6. If we think a post runs afoul of these Rules of Engagement or any other provision of this Constitution, we'll delete it. If your posts are consistently irritating to us or to other members, we'll ban you from the forum—temporarily or permanently, at our option. If you behave in a civilized manner, there won't be any problem; but it's our call, not yours. We expect you to conduct yourself the same as if you were an invited guest in our home. As the owner of this online forum, Vito has the final authority. This is not a political democracy, where the rule of the majority (read: mob action) prevails; it's a private gathering place for people who know how to act like decent, civilized human beings under the rules of engagement defined here.

  7. Do not say anything about another member unless you are willing to say it to his face. In other words don't gossip or talk about others behind their backs. As a general rule, follow the principle, "If you can't say something positive about someone, don't say anything at all."

Membership

You must agree to the Forumotion.com "Forum’s Terms of service" section as part of the registration process. It provides a set of standard terms generic to this phpBB hosting service. The terms apparently are translated from French to English, which is why they contain bizarre syntax. The Fraternitas Excentricus community has its own terms of membership, which are codified in this Constitution, and which are also incorporated by reference in the "Forum’s Terms of service", and articulated in full in this document in general, and in the following terms in particular:

  1. By registering as a member of this community, you agree to both the standard "Forum’s Terms of service" and the terms of this Constitution. Reading them is a condition of membership in this community. Please note that if you register without actually reading the documents, you are still bound to honor their provisions.

  2. Membership is by invitation only. All memberships must be approved by the administrator. Any member may invite a prospective member to join the group using the following procedure:

    1. Nominate the invitee by sending a private message to the administrator. Provide the full (real) name of the invitee, explain why you believe he/she will be a valued member of this community, and provide links to representative posts that individual has made on other discussion groups.

    2. We will notify you of our decision as to whether we approve the invitee for membership. If we approve, you may invite him/her to register.

    3. The administrator may, at his option, submit the names of prospective members to the entire Fraternex community for approval. In that case, each member will be asked to vote approval or disapproval of the member candidates by secret ballot via PM to the administrator ONLY. All votes shall remain confidential. Voting members may explain votes of disapproval, but are not required to do so. The administrator shall have the final decision as to approval of the prospective member; however the requirement for membership approval shall generally be unanimous approval by the voting members.
  3. Each member may register only once. Don't even think of registering as a fictitious personality. We will not approve two memberships from the same IP address unless each registrant provides the administrator with an identity-trusted x.509 digital certificate displaying the registrant's full legal name and unique e-mail address, such as the free Personal E-mail Certificates issued by Thawte Consulting, Ltd. and validated by the Thawte Web of Trust, or the commercially available Digital IDs for Secure E-mail issued by VeriSign™ ($19.95 per year). Other methods of identity verification may be acceptable. We just want to be sure that you are who you say you are. Any member registering under false pretenses will be immediately and permanently banned from this community.

  4. There are no minimum posting requirements or login frequency requirements for continuing membership. As long as a member's prolonged absence does not affect the governance of the community, his membership will remain active. Nevertheless, membership in this community implies a sufficient level of interest in interacting with other members to at least show up once in while, even if it's only to lurk and catch up on what other members are posting. Long unexplained absences usually indicate a lack of interest in active participation in the community, especially when a member simply disappears without notifying the administrator as a matter of simple courtesy. Therefore, the administrator may, at his sole discretion, deactivate the account of any member who has not:

    1. Participated in a membership vote, such as ratification of an amendment to this constitution or approval of new member candidates

    2. Responded to the administrator's request for member feedback in matters of policy, forum configuration, forum functionality, or any other matter relating to the governance of this forum
    Inactive members are still members. "Deactivating a member's account" simply means placing the account on inactive status. It's easily reversible; all it takes is an e-mail from the member to the administrator requesting reactivation of the account.

Posting

There are a few general rules about posting:

  1. Feel free to use formatted text (bold, italics, underlined, variable font sizes, colored fonts) as appropriate for occasional emphasis. Ditto for paragraph formatting, numbered lists, bullet-point lists, different fonts...whatever helps you to communicate better. But please don't abuse the formatted text features. We will delete posts in which every word consists of formatted text. Members who consistently create every post in bold font, font sizes other than the default size, uppercase font, italics, or colored font will receive a warning. Your posts are no more important than anyone else's and there's no need to SHOUT. Continued abuses will result in the member being banned.

  2. The general spirit behind communication in this community is not to win arguments, score debate points, convince others who disagree, or persuade them to accept your point of view. If you are not approaching your interactions with other members from the perspective "Seek first to understand", this community is not for you. Please don't register. You won't last long.

  3. Please read General Tips For Posting to orient yourself for additional guidelines that will help you keep this discussion group a useful resource for all its members.

Amendments

The administrator reserves the right to amend this Constitution as needed for the successful governance of this online community. Members may propose amendments in the Member Feedback forum, or by PM to the administrator or any moderator (staff). Staff may submit proposed amendments to some or all members of the community as a referendum for discussion, depending on the nature of the proposed amendment. When in doubt, send a PM or e-mail to the administrator before you post a proposed amendment subject for discussion.

Because of the proprietary, non-political nature of this community's governance, unanimous acceptance of amendments to this Constitution will be a condition of continuing membership. The underlying idea behind unanimity is that discord doesn't work. Politics, being generally a principle-free system of governance, is responsible for the perception that unanimity is difficult or impossible to achieve. Unanimity is generally easier to achieve than most people usually believe, as long as the issues in question are confined to matters of principle.

For that reason, substantive amendments will confine themselves to matters of principle, rather than the proliferation of administrative bureaucracy or rules whose purpose is to micromanage the community. In fact, this Constitution is designed to minimize the necessity for administrative action in the first place. Members' adherence to the spirit of the Constitution will make this community essentially self-governing.

Members who elect to terminate their membership based on irreconcilable disagreements with amendments will therefore make that choice based on principle. We honor their freedom to make choices based on their convictions in principle.


Last edited by Vito on 2009-02-03, 17:03; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Accepted amended content as approved by the active voting members)
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Vito
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Proposed Amendments to Fraternex Constitution

Post  Vito on 2009-01-28, 02:25

Brethren:

I've proposed some amendments to the Fraternex Constitution. The new content is in the Membership section, numbered list items 2.c, 4, 4.a, and 4.b. To facilitate your review, I've entered the proposed new content in blue underlined text. You can't miss it.

Please review the document and advise me via PM as to your ratification vote. If you don't accept the proposed amendments as written, please feel free to propose alternative content.

Thanks!

VitoSmokin'

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"What makes you think that the idiots who write these stupid laws are any brighter than the morons who voted for them? After all, these are people who think they can get something for nothing...a thermodynamic impossibility."
Fegney Pazoont
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Vito
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Location : SoCal
Motto : Huh?
Registration date : 2008-01-10

http://www.vitotuxedo.com/VitoSpace/Home/=index.html

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Addendum to Proposed Amendment

Post  Vito on 2009-01-28, 10:23

Y'all:

I've included an additional paragraph in list item 4 (after item 4.b) clarifying what it means to "deactivate" an account. It doesn't substantively change the proposed amendment, so if you've already sent your approval, you don't need to respond again. Here's the additional content for quick reference:

    Inactive members are still members. "Deactivating a member's account" simply means placing the account on inactive status. It's easily reversible; all it takes is an e-mail from the member to the administrator requesting reactivation of the account.

If you have any questions about the amendments, please ask via PM. For the record, I've been thinking about them for nearly a year, starting almost immediately after I posted the original version of the Constitution. The reason I finally got around to it is because I received another new member nomination recently, and I wanted the membership policy changes in place before we take on any new members. So I finally got off my butt and did something about it.

VitoSmokin'

_________________
"What makes you think that the idiots who write these stupid laws are any brighter than the morons who voted for them? After all, these are people who think they can get something for nothing...a thermodynamic impossibility."
Fegney Pazoont
avatar
Vito
Admin

Location : SoCal
Motto : Huh?
Registration date : 2008-01-10

http://www.vitotuxedo.com/VitoSpace/Home/=index.html

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Re: Fraternitas Excentricus Constitution

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