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After careful consideration lasting several months and multiple "retired in restricted mode" phases, I have decided that I no longer wish to actively contribute to the Stack Exchange sites.

I will forever remain grateful for everything that all of you have taught me.

I enjoyed being a part of this community and made a few good friends here.

I also enjoyed helping people here, not only by posting answers but also by editing their questions to get better answers.

However, as in a real life workplace, no matter how much you love your team and your work, if you do not agree with the employer, you should quit as early as possible.

I find myself increasingly out of alignment with the direction Stack Overflow is taking. While Stack Overflow is not my "employer", I decided to apply the same principle and part ways with them.

I will occasionally drop by and contribute where appropriate.

Those who wish to stay in touch can send me an email. I won't post my email address here, but it shouldn't be too hard to find it in the chat room.

An in-character line (Naruto manga, Chapter 607) fits perfectly here:

Minato-sensei ... this place ... this world ... I don't care about it anymore.

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    @Kilisi It's quite common to use Meta posts for announcements that impact the entire community. There's no need for a question here. – Catija Sep 3 '18 at 1:05
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    I wonder what happened, which made you go from becoming a mod to leaving StackExchange altogether in the span of three months. In any case, best of luck to you! – Dulkan Sep 3 '18 at 8:51
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    @Dulkan "Be welcoming" happened... But one's eyes might also just open to what's been there all along without there being any specific event that caused it nor change in the site itself. – Dukeling Sep 3 '18 at 21:13
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    @Tas He is not leaving. He said he will occasionally come back. – paparazzo Sep 3 '18 at 22:15
  • Good luck and thanks. – camden_kid Sep 7 '18 at 10:48
  • +1 for the quote. – Rui F Ribeiro Oct 25 at 18:19
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All the best of luck in wherever life takes you Masked man.

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I find myself increasingly out of alignment with the direction Stack Overflow is taking.

Want to expand on that a bit? Is Stack Overflow taking a new direction recently?

Good luck. Thanks for all of your contributions!

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    OP elaborated a bit in the water cooler – SaggingRufus Sep 4 '18 at 17:08
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    @SaggingRufus - Ah, I see. I can't say that I agree with the reasons. But we each choose our own path. I still wish all those who leave good luck. – Joe Strazzere Sep 4 '18 at 18:14
  • @JoeStrazzere there is a bit more going on than that. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Sep 4 '18 at 19:23
  • @RichardU - okay. I guess I'm not privy to all of that, so I can't comment specifically on the parts I haven't read. Good luck to Masked Man anyway. And good luck to you if you choose to take the same path. – Joe Strazzere Sep 4 '18 at 19:25
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    I assume it's the pandering to newcomers and the inventing of victims rather than continuing the drive for exceptional quality and the rewarding of dedicated experts. An SO (site) specific thing for the most part. – Lightness Races with Monica Sep 5 '18 at 11:12
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit - got it. So too much focus on newbies and not enough love for the old timers? Some seem to say "welcoming" while others say "pandering". I don't frequent SO so I don't see it. Oh well. – Joe Strazzere Sep 5 '18 at 11:19
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    @JoeStrazzere Like anything it's somewhat more complex than that in reality, but I'd say that those are the cliffnotes yeah – Lightness Races with Monica Sep 5 '18 at 11:25
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit That's a pretty good reader's digest version of what is going on. Pandering doesn't seem a strong enough word though. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 13:14
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    Some say "welcoming", others say "The gradual process of tearing down the foundation of what made this place a success to the dismay of and against the outcry all the people who have put hours of work into it all in the name of appealing to a broader consumer-base." But yeah no that short dismissive reduction is fine for some. – Ethan The Brave Sep 10 '18 at 13:21
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    $0.02: If we can't be exceptional & successful without being gate-keeping jerks, then something is wrong and that success will eventually fade as exposure of this site grows. Facebook & Twitter are good case-studies in that thought-process. – user30031 Sep 15 '18 at 16:24
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    I guess I don't understand what's wrong with "welcoming". – Joe Strazzere Sep 15 '18 at 17:42
  • It's not the what, it's the how. – Andras Deak Oct 10 '18 at 8:59
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Sorry, I was away at the funeral when you posted this.

We've had many conversations about this, so for me, it was not unexpected. I will likely follow you shortly and for the same reasons. When the attitude of an organization is "If you don't like it, leave", I tend to take the advice.

I know many are asking for elucidation, but if you provide any, all you will get is more grief antagonism, and "NO IT'S NOT!!!" arguments. I also do not like the direction it's going and as stated above, will likely follow suit.

Good luck my friend.

Since my comments were deleted....

There is a reason why we have lost Chris E, Masked Man, and HLGEM and why I am strongly considering following suit. RE: Monica's comment below, it's not about feeling constrained or angry. As for myself, I am long past angry and rapidly approaching apathy. I simply do not want to subject myself to further nastiness.

The deletion of my comments to this post further cements my disenchantment with the site and highlights my point of the tone-deafness of attention to the user base.

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    I'm sorry you feel constrained in raising issues. My experience has been that disagreement is received fine if it's constructive but not if it's combative. Constructive is a lot more work, especially when we're angry about something, but I really don't think you'll be shouted down like that if you approach it in the spirit of collaborative problem-solving. – Monica Cellio Sep 4 '18 at 22:36
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    What do you want to leave for? You're one of our most valuable members? – Kilisi Sep 4 '18 at 23:05
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    I hold you in high regard mate, anyone who doesn't is probably just jealous of all that gold jewelry you've amassed. – Kilisi Sep 5 '18 at 4:44
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    and the fact that my comments on this were deleted proves my point – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 12:57
  • "I will likely follow you shortly and for the same reasons." - I saw this fall coming from a long ways off, and wanted to fool myself into thinking SO was better than that. – Ethan The Brave Sep 10 '18 at 13:07
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    Those comments were flagged by a user. I happen to agree that it doesn't seem right to assume why users reduced participation on the site in their absence - they might have a completely different reason. If I was one of the absentees, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with someone saying that I left for someone else's reason... – Snow Sep 10 '18 at 13:09
  • @Snow I ascribed no reasons to anyone but myself, I merely pointed out that people don't leave for no reason. HLGEM stated clearly why she left, as did MM, if you want to know why chris left, look at the water cooler archives. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Sep 10 '18 at 13:16
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    It was mainly community closed questions that forced HLGEM out, with Masked Man, it was his disagreements with the way that SE was evolving and changing. Those two reasons don't have any correlation, and Chris (I believe) has different reasons again. This is the nature of communities, there's no single root cause, people have different priorities and points of opinion and they stay as long as they feel they want to. People are free to come and go as they wish. – Snow Sep 10 '18 at 13:26
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    @RichardU Wha wha what? – Mister Positive Sep 10 '18 at 14:14
  • For some perspective: The unwelcoming nature drives others away from the site. If being welcoming brings those people back and new folks with them, then what is the real value of maintaining the state quo? If we're going to lose people either way, why not err on the side of being empathetic? – user30031 Sep 15 '18 at 16:26
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It’s really sad to see this happen. I totally respect the fact that you have a point of view that you want to stick to - I was in the same position as a Microsoft MVP, and I am no longer an MVP with them.

I wish you all the best in whatever community you next call home, and wish you many happy “retirements” to come! :D

I guess I’ll be processing more flags then...

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    wrt processing flags, per my recollection if an elected moderator steps down, they are replaced with next runner-up at the most recent elections – gnat Sep 3 '18 at 20:56
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    Depending on need, so anything further will be communicated when there’s something to communicate. – Snow Sep 3 '18 at 21:30
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    well, we must have needed two moderators....so if we lost one so quick, do we not need one now? Not trying to be a jerk at all, Chris E would be next in line, but I don't see how the need for 2 would be diminished. – Mister Positive Sep 4 '18 at 13:50
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    @gnat I know that I'm never putting myself through that again, and the rough treatment he got didn't help either. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Sep 4 '18 at 19:35
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Your contributions as both a mod and community member will be missed. You're definitely someone who made this community a better place.

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"However, as in a real life workplace, no matter how much you love your team and your work, if you do not agree with the employer, you should quit as early as possible."

Can you elaborate on this before you head out for good? I mean in terms of a workplace not Stack Exchange. How would we determine and know "You should quit as early as possible". Many people struggle with the "courage" to do this.

Thank you for your (last) time.

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    You're probably best off asking this as a question on the main site; you can always reference this meta question. – Philip Kendall Sep 2 '18 at 19:57
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    It's probably something that mainly needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis based on what you specifically think, but I think the main takeaway should be to (a) admit to yourself that one part is unacceptable no matter how good the other parts are and (b) not just hope things will get better over time (if anything, they'll probably get worse). That's not to say you should never accept anything that's less than perfect (if you do that, you'll never accept anything), but rather you shouldn't accept things you can't live with. – Dukeling Sep 4 '18 at 18:47
  • @Dukeling Excellent point. – SaltySub2 Sep 9 '18 at 0:00
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unfortunately I can absolutely understand why this is coming and I have also now the inner attitude to take SE not as valuable endeavour, but as pastime. I will take a look on the number of deleted/inactive accounts over time, but I think the damage is done and it will cause the slow bleeding of SE.

Take a nice time-out and live a good life.

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