Wednesday, 23 July 2014

I don't think that my hobbies ever die a natural death

“Enthusiasm never dies a natural death. It dies when we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies from errors and tarnishing and from weariness and withering.”

What was special about Sunday 20th July 2014?

It was the date I resigned from my final astronomical forum too bored, too frustrated and too tired to be bothered with the bad language, bad manners and bad science for a moment longer. Of course my formal involvement in the hobby - as in subscription paying involvement - had come to an end in late 2013 but July 2014 very much represents the end of an era for me.

It wasn't that long ago that I would have labelled myself as an "enthusiastic amateur astronomer". I was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and I used to write peer-reviewed articles on both double stars and variable stars. So what happened?

Part of the reason was the lack of new challenges - once you have over 1000 of your discoveries in the standard catalogues the thrill of the chase pretty much disappears - but it was also the ruthless streak that now seems to have sweeping through the pro-amateur section of the astronomy hobby that finally did it for me.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Death by neglect combined with a chronic failure to take advice

The Adoption and Fostering Forum where I made a number of friends over the last couple of years is no more!
I think the forum was pretty much doomed when in 2013  "Honey" managed to delete a large percentage of the extensive archives when she was attempting to re-launch the site. Exactly what she did, or why she did it will forever remain shrouded in mystery but she certainly managed to annoy most of her regular readers.
"Honey" isn't a person who ever accepted criticism - or advice - about the forum so it was almost inevitable that she would reject a range of options that might (no more than that) have saved the site. The downward spiral continued almost unchecked throughout the first part of 2014 and it now seems that in early July 2014 she gave up the battle, deleted all the remaining messages and has now disappeared from the scene.
I accept that she did invest large amounts of time and effort in running the forum over a period of years but the destruction of all the remaining archives by such a deliberate act is unforgivable. In effect "Honey" has put her own wishes and her own disappointment above those of all the many other contributors to the forum. It would have been such a simple matter to ask somebody else to take over the day-to-day running of the site - I know for a fact that she had at least two offers - but she wasn't prepared to do this 
"Honey" has or had 3 other moderators - "Dishy" who vanished some time ago frustrated by the inaction of "Honey" et al, "Pixxie" who might be "Honey's" sister and "Lamplady" who seldom visited the site. I wonder what they make of all this?