One thing that I'll add to the conversation: I understand that the PoliticalOutsider is an integral element of AI, but it really
is a completely different topic from computers in general, and Apple in particular. One alternative to the current setup that I want to suggest is how a similar situation was handled at another forum I frequent: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/
Several years ago at SFFw, there was an issue with "Spamming" and recurring jokes that were polluting all the subforums (I was guilty of this too, and at least at AI there isn't any spillover into other forums) Basically there was way too much Off Topic crap floating around. To accommodate those of us who wanted to continue in our games and not detract from the SFFw forum as a whole they created the FunZone, which is listed in the forums list, but when you follow the link it takes you to a totally separate forum, which has a few subforums: http://www.sffworld.org/funzone/
The way they have it setup the FunZone even has a separate member list and requires separate login...
The advantage is that for people who use the forum for the primary use(Apple news & conversations) their experience isn't affected by a different topic when it begins to overtake that primary use, while still satisfying all the users who want
that other topic (here that's the P.O.)
In use, for me, when I come to the AI forum I search by the last 24 hours, today there are about 8 out of 85 topics from the P.O. Not too bad, but it is still about 10%. And as I scan the thread listing topic headlines like: "Gaza: American fascists look the other way" & "Spitzer Goes Down. Literally." can be pretty distracting.
Like I say, I have no problem with the P.O. and I'm glad that a place like AI is willing to cater to the people who want that. But most of the time I'm not looking for that subject, and not following any of the threads, and for me it does take away from my experience at AI...