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Messages: Food For Thought

What would you do?

I decided to start up this forum to get discussions going on thought-provoking books. I've always been a fan of thought experiments, and lots of Sci-Fi novels get my neurons firing pretty well.

I've been on an apocalyptic fiction bent recently, and in many cases the books deal quite a bit with people's reactions to extreme crises. You have the father in Cormac McCarthy : The Road (Oprah's Book Club) (Spoiler Alert) who refuses to give up even when hope seems completely lost, while his wife completely gives up on everything fairly early on...not to mention the vast majority of people in the book who have taken to eating each other to survive. Themes often repeat themselves in other books as see very similar ideas in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle : Lucifer's Hammer .

These and many other books in the same vein got me thinking about how I might react in an extreme situation. Would I fight to preserve something of the values and cultural upbringing I've had...would I give in to depression and/or suicide...would I abandon ethics and morality for expediency?

I'm not sure I can answer, though I rather hope I would opt for the foremost...maybe you can never know without being so tested.


Rebel Sun
3 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(4 months ago)I tend to agree with Lou here. Although at 30 I have a lot less life experience than him (her ?), I did experience one or two of those "In-this-situation-I'd-do-X" situations. In all honesty I didn't react at all the way I would have said I'd react if someone told me it was going to happen to me. There are a few things that kick in when an emergency happen. I'm talking life and death emergency here. Some emotions prevent you from thinking the way you normally do. The adrenaline keeps you going 2 to 3 times as long as your physical shape normally allows to, but when it falls, you fall too. It may be a lot of fun to discuss all of this and I encourage you to go for it, but I can assure you that if one said hypothetical situation you already discussed was to happen, you can be almost certain you'd never react the way you anticipated. I would also wish you never have to deal with one of these situations, for your own mental and physical well being.
(2 years ago)In my long life (currently zeroing in on 69 years) I've noticed hordes of individuals who said, "In case of name of hypothetical situation I would do description of hypothetical actions because details of personal ethics/morals." And I have wondered, "How can they know what they would do in a situation they've never experienced?" I myself have been surprised at my responses to new situations. So in my (somewhat) new-found wisdom, I refuse to predict what I would do in a hypothetical situation.
Lou Jones
What (besides the obvious) constitutes "abuse"?

First of all, I want to put it out there that I really, REALLY like this site, and I'm glad that I was introduced to it some 20 months ago. I appreciate that running it takes a lot of time and effort (you da man, John) and that "policing" it is an onerous but necessary job (props to the admins). That being said, I have a question about what constitutes "abuse". I understand that mooching without sending is a no-no ... photocopies are forbidden ... emailing a downloadable ebook in lieu of sending a book would be a violation ... etc. Basically, the obvious stuff can be dispensed with ... it's the stuff in the gray areas that confounds me.
I know of cases where a serious backlog of books to send has apparently resulted in discipline, where others who have or have had similar backlogs remain members in good standing. Not knowing the particulars of these cases, it would be pure conjecture to say that it was only due to the backlog, but here I am stymied by lack of information (a lack I can understand, but which still concerns me). What criteria are there to make such decisions.
Another point of consternation is what constitutes "abuse" in communications with fellow moochers. I get that profanity is out. I understand that untoward references to ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and the like would be considered out of bounds. I guess I feel like it's similar to what someone said about the difference between pornography and art, saying something to the effect of "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it!" It's just this kind of gray area that worries me, because I can envision a time where I might make an offhand joke that, while not breaching any taboo overtly, might rub someone the wrong way. If that person were then to complain to admin that my comment were offensive to them (despite being deemed innocuous or even mildly humorous by others), would I then be approached by "Big Brother"? How many complaints would there have to be to warrant action? Could one disgruntled soul call down the wrath of Bookmooch or would there have to be some sort of consensus? Bookmooch is something of a paragon of transparency as far as the bare bones of transactions go, but when it comes to disciplining members, there is silence...a measure I understand, but that worries me nonetheless.
Well, I've well overshot the mark on how long I had wanted this post to be, so now I'll leave it those of you who might care to comment...let me know your thoughts.

Rebel Sun
2 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(2 years ago)Apparently the reference I made to a specific member's case was a red flag and as such the post on the Bookmooch Discussion forum was removed...I completely understand. Accordingly, I have amended the post to make a general commentary and hopefully assuage the powers that be.
Rebel Sun
(2 years ago)The post vanished from the other is unknown to me. I agree that communication is key, but when communication breaks down or is the problem itself, who decides what is to be done? Is there any oversight mechanism to "police the police"?
Rebel Sun
(2 years ago)Well, that was interesting. Did you remove this message from the Discussion forum or did it just vanish? I've had a few messages vanish;) You should wander over to Librarything and check out the discussion there. At any rate, all I would say here is that in our work on the Inactives Project we have turned up quite a few "Temporarily on Hold" accounts that have been inactive for many, many months. I think what might be helpful is some kind of automatic reminder to administration that these account issues need to be resolved in a timely fashion. Communicating with the account holder would seem a logical first step.
An Ethical Dilemma...What Would You Do?

Once upon a time, there was a wishlisted book...a fairly heavily wishlisted book to be more honest. As the days passed, the fairly heavily wishlisted book was not offered up for mooching (as fairly heavily wishlisted books are often wont to not be) and I had resigned myself to a lengthy wait for said fairly heavily wishlisted book to become available.

Then it came to pass that the book, even the same fairly heavily wishlisted book for which I had been and still was so desirous, did become available...and my heart leapt to see it so much so that I did quickly select the "mooch" option only to be told that the tome in question, being that selfsame fairly heavily wishlisted book which I did mention in the afore, was no longer available.

Oh, horror! Oh, wailing! Oh, knashing of teeth! (Ok, it wasn't quite as bad as all that, but it was a disappointment) I then ventured a peek at the book page to see who the self-serving, the lucky moocher was when, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a little red...I mean...the fairly heavily wishlisted book was "available" (but reserved) in MY COUNTRY!?!?! I cursed the rotten luck and was about to perform some nefarious voodoo ritual when I realized that the moochee was one with whom I was familiar, and I knew that heavy books (and the fairly heavily wishlisted book which I have now mentioned more times than is necessary by anyone's count is certainly that..."that" being heavy), were routinely available from said owner only within the confines of the owner's country of residence (which, incidentally, was (and is) also MY country of residence...did I mention that already?).

Putting two and two together (my momma didna raise no dummies), I resolved to wait to see if (as I was most certain would be the case) the mooch might be rejected, thus opening up an opportunity for me to pounce on it ("it" guessed it... the fairly heavily wishlisted book).

I was so waiting when, to my utter astonishment and dismay, I was asked by the #^!%$*{@#$ moocher to, in my role as a Bookmooch Angel, help procure the...wait for it...fairly heavily wishlisted book (hee, hee) in the case that her ( the moocher was a "she") request was rejected.

Then to add spice to the curry...the fairly heavily wishlisted book again became available (my math/deductive skills had not failed had indeed been rejected) and I was first on the scene to snatch it up.

Now...what to do with it? Do I keep the fairly heavily wishlisted book in my own well-deserving hands or do I send it on to a les...another well-deserving moocher and hope to have it become available again someday? Thoughts?

(PS - I have already made my decision, but would like to hear your opinions)

Rebel Sun
3 years ago

Recent comments:[write a comment]
(3 years ago)I hear you Dan. And agree with you.... I would do the same.
(3 years ago)I hear what y'all are saying, but in the back of my mind there is that little annoying voice that says, "she beat you to it", and then wanted it enough to go about trying to arrange for an angel to grab it if she were rejected. I might well have done the same, despite the condition notes saying "I will not send this book abroad". The karmic imps in my psyche are quoting the golden rule and threatening me with reincarnation as a hyperopic banana slug if I give in to my lesser demons (OK, that might be overstating things a bit, but you get the picture). I guess I feel like I have to go with what I would want someone else to do for me if I were in her shoes.
Rebel Sun
(3 years ago)I think I'd drop a note back to the person requesting you as an Angel saying that in this case you are unable to help them as this is also a book you have wishlisted and have been waiting for, but also offer to be an angel for any other book you can help with. I don't think you should feel obligated to get the book on their behalf. Rob
(3 years ago)sorry...forgot to say that this is not really a "reading" book...more of a reference/text book.
Rebel Sun