I majored in Theater in College, but I really enjoyed my philosophy classes. Aside from the sleep lost to fearing the void and years of logically driven existential angst, I learned not only how to spot a weak argument, but also how to win that argument with relative ease. Why do I bring this up? Well, the most recent school yard fight at etsy of course. Granted this one was mild compared to others I've witnessed, but it still managed to catch my attention and make me shake my head in shame.
One seller thought, "Hey I've got too many supplies, perhaps I should use these before I go out and buy more." Then I imagine they thought, "I can't be the only one with this affliction, I should ask people to join me in a temporary pact so we can support each other in our decision." Sounds like a valid idea to me. Save a little money on supplies you really don't need right now and challenge yourself to create things out of stuff you already have sitting around. Then ask people to join you to create a sort of support group. Who could have a problem with that?
Another person sees this pact posted in the forums and thinks, "That is so not cool, now everyone is going to listen to her and stop buying supplies and my business will be hurt." Then they proceed to not only express their opinions, but bash the seller for a perceived evil intent. Some go so far as to compare this to calling for everyone to stop buying jewelry on etsy and they call it the 'same thing'. The opinion, while no less valid than the first persons idea, is built on a knee jerk emotional response not logic and the comparison is an irrational slippery slope argument.
Let's break down why the second person should calm down a bit. The argument makes assumptions not based in fact, first that "everyone" listens to the seller and does what she proposes. There are I believe a million accounts on etsy and I can say beyond any doubt that a great many of them have never visited the forum and of those that have only a small percentage of them listen to anyone in the forums aside from their small circle of friends. Next, that everyone who reads the proposal will participate. Come on, even though I haven't done the proper legwork to prove it I'm sure the amount of people who follow through on pacts is far from one hundred percent. Lastly, the argument assumes that this is what will hurt business. I think I've already established that there are probably very few people participating in the pact, it was never intended as a permanent ban and even though every single artisan needs supplies, they don't all buy those supplies on etsy anyway. I know I don't buy a lot of supplies there. Not a lot of thread options around.
The comparison that was suggested is the funniest of all to me. Anytime someone makes a leap like that all I hear is a whining voice yelling, "Yeah, Well, how would you like it if...". It's a juvenile response fueled by anger. While the feelings behind the outburst are valid, it really is best to take a deep breath and think before responding. Relax, this is not the end of the world. In the end you will just look foolish if you let your emotions do the typing for you.