I don't disagree with all of your points in this thread (and certainly don't want this to descend into another stray Vs. jim shout-a-thon), but I believe you're overstating things a little with regards to this particular forum.
I do think that the tone of U-Know! has become considerably less radical of late. Part of that -- I'm sure -- is a relative thing, and can be ascribed to my own increasing radicalism (or "extremism" if you're on the other side of the fence), but that's far from the whole story.
For instance, I've been genuinely taken-aback by the level of active support for Obama on this forum. Now, I'm the first to acknowledge that he was probably the lesser of two evils in the recent election, but I was amazed that any member of the corporate-political elite could generate such a positive reaction on this board. It's not a discussion I'm looking to revisit but the idea that Barack Obama, or indeed anyone so entrenched in the US political mainstream, might be capable of dealing with the real problems facing the world (resource depletion, climate change and the destruction of the biosphere... NOT the credit crunch) just seems bizarre to me.
On the other hand, I disagree with your view that this place is embarrassing or redundant. There have been a fair number of threads over the past few months that would have been extremely incongruous in the Village Pump alongside discussions of Saxondale, Vic'n'Bob and winklepickers (just to pick three at random from the current front page). I'm certainly not putting down the VP (for everything a place, and all that), but I think it's a good idea to keep some kind of focus over here at U-Know! I know for a fact that I'd almost certainly stop using this place if the two were merged. That's not meant as some kind of weird threat, just an acknowledgement that "general discussion forums" tend not to appeal to me (and the only reason I visit the other boards here at HH at all, is because I get on well with some of the people I met here on U-Know! and there's a degree of cross-over... also I dig much of the music that's discussed on Unsung).
When I post something on U-Know! I'm doing so in the knowledge that this place has a specific brief and my post won't end up next to a chat about fluffy biscuits. Context can be pretty important, even here on the net (perhaps especially here on the net, where "something completely different" is always just a click away).
As for this being "the slowest forum on this site", I think that's always been the case. But I also think that these things are cyclical. I've been on U-Know! for more than a decade now (I just worked that out and it's a bit bloody mad) and there have been times when I was taking part in several fairly involved discussions at once, as well as times when I've gone weeks without posting a single thing. I guess when there's a relatively small number of regular posters (though I'm assured there are quite a few more non-posting readers) there will be inevitable quiet periods as most of us go through phases of slow net usage when pesky "life" stuff demands our time.
Regarding the actual content, and picking up on one specific topic you mentioned: Gaza. I admit that I've become reticent about discussing the Israel / Palestine situation online as it tends to descend into a very predictable rehash of a thousand past discussions. Also, given that my own position on the conflict is heavily informed by group psychodynamics, I suspect it wouldn't be of much interest to you personally anyways.
In fact, I'd go further and suggest that my thinking on most of the topics that get discussed here has a strong group psych flavour of late. And part of the reason for my recent low post count is down to a reluctance to sound like a broken record and elicit the same negative responses on every single thread, or else turn every thread into a defence of my own way of looking at the world.
(incidentally, and at the risk of reiterating a previous point, I think you're rather inaccurate when you try to place me within the Evo Psych fold. "Group Psychodynamics" is my field, and without wanting to get all technical and pedantic, that's rather different to Evolutionary Psychology. I'm not saying that some of your criticisms of Evo Psych might not also apply to Group Psychodynamics, merely that they are two distinct fields)
And on the subject of the "privileged" nature of the forum... well, as you yourself acknowledge, there's a certain inevitability in that. If you speak English and have regular internet access plus the time to spend on a web forum, then -- chances are -- you're one of the privileged few (globally speaking). There's really not much that can be done about that, and yes, it definitely restricts the perspectives available here. Though having said that, I like to think that I've experienced enough of the world (from living on a council estate, to living in a mansion, to honest-to-badness homeless poverty... from first world through to third, plus a glimpse of the second -- thanks to my partner who grew up behind the Iron Curtain) to at least be aware -- genuinely aware -- that my own perspective is a limited one, and is just one among many. We can all pay lip-service to that reality, but I'm not sure that most of us really get it.
All in all, your broad point is a good one; this place has indeed seen better days and sometimes I despair at how safe and mainstream it has become. On the other hand, the fact that it evolved towards that mainstream rather than arrived here by design suggests that it can just as easily shift back (or forwards?) again. So I wouldn't be too harsh on it as -- if nothing else -- it still provides a place where a few of us stalwarts can gather in (generally) friendly company and shoot the breeze about the issues that are concerning us on a given day. Which is no bad thing in my book.
Oh, and one last thing...
The racist prince thread threw up some semi interesting arguments about the U-Know hivemind.
Technically speaking, that's "group mind" and not "hivemind". Given my reputation for pedantry, I just couldn't resist. ;-)