What would help the Temple Be A Better Place? Suggestions please...

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10 Jul 2017 08:50 #290075 by Avalon
Here's my 2 cents:

What I think would make the temple a better place has either already been suggested (greater accountability from the higher ups... and more consistent presence, rather than disappearing for an extensive period of time and then returning to take that same office again)

-OR-

It's already in the process of being implemented. That is, to piggy back off of what Vusuki just suggested, a greater system of support. I'm speaking strictly to the outreach team that's in the process of being developed by the Clergy. If that were to get up and running and there to be greater outreach by members towards members who are clearly having a hard time or seem to be disappearing for unexplained reasons, I think it would go a long way to improve the overall purpose and atmosphere of the temple as a whole. One of the biggest problems I've both personally seen and heard others say is, they can clearly say they're having an issue with something, and yet they'll literally hear from no one. While I understand that it may happen from time, typically someone who's begun investing time in the site and the training program here won't just disappear one day for months at a time...unless something happened. And if that person gets no reach out at all, from anyone, what gives them a reason to come back in the slightest? At the very least, it's my hope that that outreach team might help with situations like that in the future.

The IP team, where it is able to, is also a good form of support. It is, unfortunately, severely understaffed.

Not all those who wander are lost
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10 Jul 2017 13:20 #290088 by Wescli Wardest
Accountability from the top is a great idea. Term limits for Offices is a great idea in my opinion.

I am here to help provide a safe place for the free exchange of ideas and opinions. So that the membership can freely discuss things and have the temple governed in a fair and unbiased manner. Unfortunately, my duties cause me to spend a lot of time dealing with rank changes, processing applications, name changes, people banned from chat, moderating stuff like repeated posts, or moving stuff, creating areas, Approving minor for the minors sub forum, the list goes on and on. And for the last so long I have been fighting to keep the forums and the command structure unbiased and fair for all that come here and not just a select few.

That said, I don’t get to post as often as I would like sometimes. But I always try to make the effort. ;)

So, I will let everyone here know that if anyone is unhappy with me or my performance just say so. I have no issue stepping down if the majority of active members think I am not doing my job. My job is to be of service to all of you.

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10 Jul 2017 13:45 #290092 by Avalon

Wescli Wardest wrote: Accountability from the top is a great idea. Term limits for Offices is a great idea in my opinion.

I am here to help provide a safe place for the free exchange of ideas and opinions. So that the membership can freely discuss things and have the temple governed in a fair and unbiased manner. Unfortunately, my duties cause me to spend a lot of time dealing with rank changes, processing applications, name changes, people banned from chat, moderating stuff like repeated posts, or moving stuff, creating areas, Approving minor for the minors sub forum, the list goes on and on. And for the last so long I have been fighting to keep the forums and the command structure unbiased and fair for all that come here and not just a select few.

That said, I don’t get to post as often as I would like sometimes. But I always try to make the effort. ;)

So, I will let everyone here know that if anyone is unhappy with me or my performance just say so. I have no issue stepping down if the majority of active members think I am not doing my job. My job is to be of service to all of you.


Don't forget unbanning accidental chat bans! ;) :lol:

And see for me (and I only speak for me), it's rather obvious which of the higher ups (of any sort) make the effort to be around and which are the sort to only come around when it appears to suit them.

Now I'll say this regarding "term limits".... There's only so many (obviously) active knights about. It would seem to me that putting such things into place would ultimately end up in... Well Wes I'll use you as an example because I'm quoting your post. Wes mets his term end, steps down, one day later steps back up because... Who else is suitable to take on his role? Or maybe he steps down from his current role and then 6 months later is stepping up to another role because that person's term has expired and Wes is the only suitable replacement at that time. That's the situation we run into with that. If TOTJO were larger and had more qualified, consistently active individuals around, that would be one thing, but that currently (based on my observations, so I admit I could be wrong!) is not the case.

That said....whoops. Times up. I'll finish this thought later. But I do have a counter point I'd like to make when I get the chance later today. *Puts it on her to do list*

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10 Jul 2017 13:54 - 10 Jul 2017 14:00 #290093 by user15542

Avalonslight wrote: Wes mets his term end, steps down, one day later steps back up because... Who else is suitable to take on his role?


So long as that's the case, there's not a problem with Wes staying in the role. This is more about post holders who aren't showing up anymore, or aren't obviously effective in their roles. Right now the only mechanism for replacing them with effective people is waiting for them to decide to step down. That seems... silly. And even then, they have been replaced by similarly inactive members... so the problem is compounded.

The other thing is we can only guess who they are, because we don't have any visibility on what individual Councillors do (or don't do). Or even what they're supposed to be doing. People most of us don't know get to decide how this place works, if they show up, because once upon a time it was decided they should. That seems really crap to a lot of us... this place is a big part of our beliefs, it matters to us, we show up. And then a stranger declares themselves in charge and starts throwing their weight around... that's an unpleasant experience.

I have no doubt some councillors do a lot of work. I also know for a fact several don't. How about sharing that work between multiple active councillors? How about delegating some of that work to non-Council members so that Councillors remain part of the community? How is it people can claim to represent the best interests of this community when they're not engaged in it?

Like I said... you can't be a leader if you're a stranger.
Last edit: 10 Jul 2017 14:00 by user15542.
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10 Jul 2017 14:03 #290096 by Wescli Wardest
" Right now the only mechanism for replacing them with effective people is waiting for them to decide to step down."

There is another mechanism, it takes a magority vote in Council. But that is a LOT harder to do when it comes to removing someone than one might think.

That said, I am certain that if memebrs, especially knights, made a petition, it would be considered with some merit of wieght. Of course it would take more than one or two people being a part of the petition. But each member of council is here to serve you, the membership. Not the other way around. Your voices have weight. Your opinions have merit.

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10 Jul 2017 14:05 #290099 by user15542
It's great that you're telling us this now, but it's exactly indicative of my point that you have to tell us, rather than this being something known by the general membership.

And yes, removing anyone from a job role they're not performing in is really hard, when you don't set expectations for the job role, and promote people because they're your friends...
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10 Jul 2017 14:05 #290100 by Rosalyn J
Would be happy to provide progress reports on the work of the Clergy once per month. Unless it concerns personel (who's names will be redacted for privacy), I'm happy to provide a report for information only

Chaos is the stroke of the paintbrush. Harmony is to stand back and see the painting.-Skryym

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10 Jul 2017 14:23 #290108 by Wescli Wardest
Most jobs don’t have set expectations except those that directly involve members or the rank progression somehow. And these are easy to monitor because things either get done, or they don’t. LOL :laugh: They should have expectations, but in all fairness, it’s hard enough to get people to do them the way they want let alone the way we think they should be done.

Nothing against anyone, but look at the clergy for example. Every time new leadership takes over the first order of business is change. May be for the better, maybe not. Who knows? But if we set restrictions and expectations, how many would volunteer to do it? We allow that free range so that things can grow, change and evolve and hopefully the day to day gets done as well.

Voting out someone is in the bylaw section of the charter of incorporation I believe. But that is always an option in any charitable community unless their bylaws state otherwise. Just a friendly FYI :)

I would hope that Knights know that their voices hold weight here. The mission of the Council over the last few years has to been to get knights more involved and running the temple. That was the running theme when I joined Council and it has never changed for me.

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10 Jul 2017 14:44 #290112 by TheDude
I have no qualms with using the writings of others during the IP. In college, our professors would scan book chapters into computers and make it easy for us to access the materials. I really don't think that it's disrespectful in any way to read someone's book, especially a nonfiction book, without paying for it. Heck, if I wrote a book I'd be glad if people stole it to read it. Honestly, if I do it, please steal my books. At least then I'll know someone is reading them!
Information should be free. That is my fundamental belief. To "create" a scientific discovery, philosophical system, or analysis of previously held systems, etc. and then to hold it back so that people can only access it if they give you money -- that's greedy. And it's anti-intellectual. It obscures and hides the truth. I don't condone or respect it as a practice.

It would be ignorant to assume that those outside sources no longer have anything to offer just because some TOTJO knights write up something else. But, yes, I also agree that the IP should contain FAR more original writing from the Temple. A good balance of outside materials and temple-generated content can be hard to hit, but I like the fact that the various lessons on the site give me reading suggestions. And they're not all available in the library all of the time.

There should be meditation instruction in the IP, more than an Alan Watts or Krishnamurti lecture, if meditation is something that Jedi should take seriously. The fictional Jedi kids learning at the temple would meditate five times daily. Yet there isn't really a clear place on TOTJO to talk about meditation, and the suggestion has been made for it before.

I would extend that suggestion to all esoteric practice. Other Jedi communities have clear sections for discussing esotericism, and those kinds of teachings are readily available in the temple library. The fact that there isn't any such section on TOTJO makes me feel as if discussing esoterics, meditation, or generally the more "mystical" stuff is frowned on in some way. Perhaps that is just my own feeling and not the intent, but I don't see very many of those conversations happening very often and I assume that others have the same feeling...

Term limits for offices may be a good idea. But is it really? I've heard of some folks waiting a long time -- months, even -- for a response from the council on any given thing. While the folks on the council have their own lives and I don't think any of us expect them to be on the website all of the time, it is really a shame that it takes so long for some people and I don't see why such processes can't be expedited. But supposing that there are term limits and such expedition doesn't take place, seems ineffective.

There are broken links. A lot of them. Please, do something with them -- anything. At least change the broken links in DQS lessons and the FAQ.

Bring back the old website design. ;) But, really, I didn't see anything wrong with the old chat system and I think it was WAY better than this collapsible sidebar business. It seemed more functional, and with the current chat there's a lot of sounds that happen when I'm browsing the website trying to catch up. It gets kind of distracting when I'm writing a post. Easy fix, but then every time I open TOTJO I have to bring up the chat and mute it and then minimize it just so I can actually see the forum! The old chat, you had to click on it to open it, and that wasn't an issue.

Hm... I know that our syncretic nature is of major allure to a lot of people, but there are times when I think homogeneity isn't necessarily a good thing? TOTJO is hesitant to, as a body, even put together basic definitions of our religious terminology. I know why people are hesitant to give a definition to the Force, but still, it would be nice to see maybe "What is the Force" in the FAQ with some kind of reasonable answer. The IJRS library is superficially similar to what I'm talking about, to some extent, and many views are presented there.

But that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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10 Jul 2017 15:01 #290116 by Manu

Avalonslight wrote: While I appreciate what it is you're trying to do with this suggestion, having assisted with the IP Team in the past, I can say that it is already hurting for people with the time and resources to manage the current load of reading what people post themselves. Such a system would very likely make for a caseload that is just impossible to manage at all. And frankly...It would honestly be taking away the responsibility from the person doing the IP. The biggest issue that this would address - plagiarism - is virtually non-existent to begin with.


Thank you for the feedback. I was under the impression plagiarism was a more frequent thing.

I do, however, think you might be mistaken about workload for the IP Team. Having a student go through those extra hoops to get their work submitted should act as a deterrant to those unwilling to put in the work. The reason the IP Team currently is understaffed is because they are busy sending out greetings in bulk and cataloging anyone who begins the IP for follow up. If you work only with those actively submitting assignments, the total workload is reduced.

The IP Team's current stated purpose is not so much as to 'accompany' a person through the program and teach them, as your idea reads to me...


I may have done a poor job communicating what I meant. I was not suggesting the sponsor (which btw already exists in the IP Team) should do any teaching at all. The job would be the same as it is now. It's only moved to email (or PM) to ensure privacy.

I do grant there is inmense value in reading others' work.

I still insist the IP should be compulsory for membership. Even if one does not wish to pursue Ordination nor Knighthood, it's a good introduction to Jediism.

Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes
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