peasant: sweet pea (Default)
Peasant ([personal profile] peasant) wrote in [personal profile] sqbr 2010-02-08 04:12 pm (UTC)

Disclaimer: Still short on spoons.

I'm not so sure how you can avoid derailing personally, but speaking as a serial #5/#9er, you can help other people not derail by always giving as much context as possible for your posts. These days I avoid metafandom like the plague, but not everyone on my flist does, so if I riff off a post of theirs there is a good chance I will pick a stick from the pile that may not have been the original stick.

I reckon it also helps the more people take care not to cause bilateral damage. Your #10 is an example of that - if the sexist person had bothered to avoid being sexist the derail needn't have happened. JennyO's Welsh-Fail is another classic example (even mentioning that is raising my blood pressure).

So we should definitely try not to be Poster 6. Yes? Anyone disagree with that?
How about if you genuinely think the original topic is less worthy than the new one you are proposing? Because that is presumably why most derails occur. To use the classic example, if the conversation is about how blondes get picked on and you want to change it to be about abelism. Why do the blondes get priority just because they spoke first? I'm willing to bet that every single example of #6 genuinely felt that the topic of women being silenced was more important than abelism. So maybe that is the first step to stopping yourself from derailing - learning to raincheck on what is and is not important to say. But sometimes you will be right, sometimes your topic is more important even if it happens to distract from the original one. But that doesn't matter, because it is possible to have more than one conversation at once.

I think that last sentence gets to my real opinion on the matter - the presumed harm of derailing strikes me as very overstressed.

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