The H2G2 Arbiters (The Community Action Plan)

6 Conversations

The Return of the Bride of the Son

of the Jedi Arbiters' Revenge

A spaceship passing in front of a red planet

Episode Four - "A Few Hope"

A long time ago, in a

guide to the Galaxy far, far

away, rebel forces were engaged

in desperate battle against overwhelming

hordes of Trolls, Balrogs1, Orcs and the dread

Nazgul Stormtroopers of the Evil Empire. Under the

command of the evil Darth Sauron, the scourge has our

heroes trapped in a circle near the base of Death Star Towers

on Bush St. near the top of Mt. Doom. Clasping hands and forming

a human Ring of Power, the exhausted rebels rally for a final and futile

stand against the massed onslaught from which few expect to emerge. Yet,

in the the turmoil created from the Trolls' use of the Dark Side of the Force, a

miracle occurs. The Arbiters do a brave Arbiter thing when suddenly Arbiters every-

where sing. All the Hoos in Hootooville then take up the song: they sing very loud and they

sing very long. The Hoos sing with gusto, with Force and with pluck, 'till the Trolls (nearly van-

quished) say, "Hey! What th' fu...

Cut! Hold it! Ok, let's stop right there, shall we? That was... um... 'fun.' Yeah, that's it - it was "fun." Okay, folks, I'm sure we all enjoyed the little joke by our Introduction Team, but we've got a lot to cover and time's a-wasting. (thunk thunk thunk) Is this thing on? (thunk thunk) Testing, testing, 1, 2, (screeeeeeee!!) Oops. Sorry. I guess it's working now, ha-ha.

As some of you may or may not know, there have been a few times recently hereabouts when a number of flame wars got a little out of control despite the best efforts of some very nice people; some of whom wound up caught in the crossfire themselves. Some flame exchanges in particular escalated into researcher suspensions and outright bans. Some heads continue to roll.

Out of the debris, in an effort to prevent such occurrences from happening in the future, an Arbiter Volunteer Scheme was developed. And developed. And developed some more. It began to look like a willing victim of steroid abuse. Finally presented with much hemming and hawing and genuflecting to the Italics as the basis for a new "official" scheme designed to take its place proudly and usefully alongside the Aces, Scouts and all the rest, it was felt by these selfsame Italics that the Arbiter Scheme was, like cloning conservative politicians, an idea whose time had not yet (if ever) come. They suggested we (see below) first establish the Arbiters as a community-based 'service' group along the lines of the Guardian Angels, the Zaphodistas and the up-and-coming H2G2 Goodwill Ambassadors. Once the Arbiters prove themselves helpful to the general over-all goodvibes that is the essence of H2G2, then the Italics might consider making the scheme official. It's up to us.

I'm An Arbiter And That's OK

A meteor shower

So here we are. Let me take a moment to introduce the Original Arbiter Development Team.

We are looking for people and ideas and people's ideas to get the Arbiters up and running as a community-driven Good Idea.™ You can be a part of making it happen. Help the Arbiters be all that they can be. Sign up or make suggestions in the threads below. As things get rolling, we can shift conversations over to our Yahoo Group like real grown-ups.

If you haven't already, you can also read the to-be-eventually-updated versions of the original scheme, which include (but are not limited to) the Warm and Fuzzy edition and Full and Frightening Godzilla monster that eats little schemes for breakfast. You could, of course, plow through all the associated threads, but by then you'd be so old we wouldn't want you around, anyway.

The Nutshells and Bolts Of The Thing

In a nutshell (and you'd have to be a nut to have read this far) (wacka-wacka) an Arbiter tries - to the best of hir ability - to put out the fires of flame wars. The things that make the Arbiter unique in this job are:

  1. an Arbiter does not intercede unless and until asked to do so, and
  2. an Arbiter does not have the luxury of taking sides.

We speak softly and leave our big sticks at home.

If you think you've got what it takes to walk into an inferno and stay there 'till everybody's safe again, then you might be Arbiter material. You could also be unbalanced in some way, but we prefer to think of you in a positive light. On the other hand, you could choose to simply offer advice on the pros, cons and implementation of Arbitership, but it won't look as good on your Permanent Record.

Tune in, turn on, get involved.

Hey! Check Out These Way Cool Threads! Fab!

Woman tapping stiletto heel into palm of hand


As long as you're in a community-service frame of mind, why don't you boogie on over to Lucinda's well-thought-out Cornflakes and Birdsong proposal and the Petition for Greater Freedom on H2G2 and do some more of that activism thang. Get down, get funky. Shake your groove thang.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.


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