Why does this forum exist?

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Why does this forum exist?

Post  Mr. Tower on Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Why does this forum exist? Isn't their already an established popular steampunk forum at Brass Goggles?

Yes, there is and for most things, Brass Goggles does a very good job in providing a forum for steampunks to meet and share their interests. You can find it here http://brassgoggles.co.uk/blog/

However, in setting itself up as "The lighter side of steampunk" Brass Goggles heavily restricts certain topics of conversation, topics that I believe make for some of the most interesting discussions that we can have.

Namely, Politics, Religion and Functional Weapons.

These are subjects explicitly banned on Brass Goggles. I believe this ban is unnecessary and repressive. You will find no such restrictions here.

So You've told us what The Retort isn't, how about you tell us what it is?

The Retort is a free forum devoted to the discussion of all things steampunk with an emphasis on the more practical and functional aspects of steampunk. Although discussion of prop making and LARP are not discouraged I believe that steampunk can be very much more than an aesthetic or hobby. I believe that steampunk can be a valuable skill, ethical system or complete lifestyle.

I believe that Bruce Sterling said it best:

Steampunk's key lessons are not about the past. They are about the instability and obsolescence of our own times. A host of objects and services that we see each day all around us are not sustainable. They will surely vanish, just as "Gone With the Wind" like Scarlett O'Hara's evil slave-based economy. Once they're gone, they'll seem every bit as weird and archaic as top hats, crinolines, magic lanterns, clockwork automatons, absinthe, walking-sticks and paper-scrolled player pianos.

We are a technological society. When we trifle, in our sly, Gothic, grave-robbing fashion, with archaic and eclipsed technologies, we are secretly preparing ourselves for the death of our own tech. Steampunk is popular now because people are unconsciously realizing that the way that we live has already died. We are sleepwalking. We are ruled by rapacious, dogmatic, heavily-armed fossil-moguls who rob us and force us to live like corpses. Steampunk is a pretty way of coping with this truth.




What kinds of topics are allowed here?

Discussion on all topics is encouraged, as long as it remains a discussion. It is perfectly acceptable to argue here on any subject that pertains to steampunk and its followers. Controversy is not to be avoided and is indeed encouraged. Abuse, however is not tolerated.

Wait, what? You say that controversy and argument are encouraged but abuse isn't? Isn't that a contradiction?


Abuse for the purposes of this forum is language which does not serve to support your position or detract from your opponent's. It is designed merely to hurt and degrade an opponent rather than his facts or opinions. It drives people away and makes it impossible for either side to learn anything from the exchange.

Telling someone that they are utterly wrong and providing your reasons is perfectly acceptable. Telling someone that you hate them and they should go away is not.

Obviously the difference between abuse and argument is subjective but in general the tolerance of the moderator will vary depending on the relevance and documentation of the argument being made. I consider locking, editing or deleting a thread for any reason(other than spam) to be a last resort, not standard practice.

Is this forum an attempt to compete with or undermine Brass Goggles?

No, not at all. This is primarily an attempt to fill in a gap that I see in the continuum of steampunk discussion, not an attempt to replace something that works. I hope that all Retort members become Brass Goggles members and vis versa.

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