I agree with Craven. I agree with Hawkeye. And I agree with Jane. All to a point. What some members see as trolling in a member, I often see as a unique personality that simply takes more effort to decipher and understand and sometimes it is worth it to take the trouble to do that. I hope we won't fall into the pit of the 'acceptable ways to express ourselves' police that accept one manner of expression and not another.
At the same time there are manners of expression that should be unacceptable in any society, polite or otherwise.
I agree that diversity of opinion is the steam that drives the engine here and threads with no conflict or difficulty built into them rarely last long because they're as interesting as watching grass grow.
Inserting a diverse point of view just to introduce one or to stir the pot or be cantakerous, however, will more often reduce a thread to a schoolyard brawl and make an adult exchange of ideas almost impossible.
Sugar coating can also certainly be overdone and it also becomes tedious and reredundant after awhile as everybody tries to think of something nice and different to say. But even that is preferable to those who are just plain hateful and who try to wound another member and who pile on to drive the 'black sheep' away who is unacceptable simply because he or she dared to step outside the declared 'correct' point of view.
I am seeing a bit more civility and at least tolerance in our new home and I do hope that trend continues even if we do go back to raising our voices in empassioned discussions again.
The new thing, like a new house, is nice for awhile. But pretty soon you want to get back to a more normal routine.