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Thread: New Admin's Introduction

  1. #1 New Admin's Introduction 
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    Hello, fellow scientists.

    thescienceforum.com was transferred to me over the last weekend. I am the new owner.

    I am aware of the rough phase the forum has been going through amid change of ownership, transfer to new forum software, confusion regarding intentions of previous owners and most importantly exodus of many key members. The previous owners probably felt it was best to hand over the forum to someone else instead of letting it die.

    So, here I am. Some of you would want to know about me. Here it goes:
    • Science graduate
    • Loves physics, study of evolution, philosophy, psychology and bunch of other stuff.
    • Mid-20s
    • Has had owned several communities before, but not as serious as this (although much larger in size, if that matters).

    My intentions:

    • I acquired the forum by paying mid $X,XXX.
    • I am not chasing returns because fortunately the money I paid was not big for me.
    • I'd still like having my hosting expenses covered though.
    • Since I have vested interest in having the forum touch new heights, I definitely want to increase engagement, participation and traffic. Without sacrificing quality, of course. How do we do it? I am not sure at this point. Too early to say.
    • Rest assured that I am not here to mess with the community or milk it for profits or anything like that.
    I have talked with several Moderators, it's loud and clear that this forum needs "resurrection".

    So, tell me what changes you want to see here, if any? What do you expect from me? And do give any other general suggestions you may have. I am ready to listen. I'd be working closely with Moderators and you - the members.


    Oh and I have made some small changes:
    • Posts are editable indefinitely.
    • If a post is edited within 10 minutes, no 'edited' label will be shown.
    • Longer thread titles permissible. It was too short before, just 81 characters. It's 250 now.
    • Thread titles editable for much much longer time.
    • Removed top statistics rectangle box from the home page. It was breaking the template on certain devices, like ipad. If you do want something like that, I will search for a better alternative.
    • Some prominent members were added to 'miserable-users' list for being outspoken against workings of previous owners. The forum was deliberately made to load very slowly for these members. The so called 'punishment' has been removed now.
    • Increased number of posts shown on one page of a thread.
    • Changed the date format from 08-10-2011 to August 10th, 2011. It was confusing for non-US members before.
    I am requesting suggestions, feature requests, and general feedback. Help me make TSF a better community, like it was before.

    Thank you for reading.


    MickeyC, marnixR, SteveF and 28 others like this.
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  3. #2  
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    For the most part, any changes that should happen, or that you want to implement, open up for discussion. Don't change anything in a cloak and dagger fashion that leaves all the members curious about what happened, and then, as the old forum admins did in a most ironic way, silence anyone questioning your decision. As long as you're open to talk about everything that happens, and not silence people for speaking out against your choices, i'm sure everything will be fine. All we wanted from B&B was open explanation, and we never got it. The dot org site (I'm not sure if the filter is still in place) that the splinter group went to was only created because the culture of this site was radically changing in a way that we didn't want, and the there was no mention of intentions.

    In fact, this post here was all we wanted from B&B, a clear statement of intent.


    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  4. #3  
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    Fair enough, this is probably for the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin
    Some prominent members were added to 'miserable-users' list for being outspoken against workings of previous owners. The forum was deliberately made to load very slowly for these members. The so called 'punishment' has been removed now.
    Wow, I had no idea that they did that- what a terrible thing to do!
    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    • Since I have vested interest in having the forum touch new heights, I definitely want to increase engagement, participation and traffic. Without sacrificing quality, of course. How do we do it? I am not sure at this point. Too early to say.
    Don't treat people like they are morons, unless they are. (but the real issue is of course: who can decide who is a moron? And what is the preferred way to deal with a moron? And is there a preferred way to deal with a moron?)

    Get rid of bullying moderators, when they arise. No moderation is better than over-moderation. (but what is a bullying moderator? And what is over-moderation?)

    Quality is a mine field. From a scientific viewpoint there is only one way to aim for quality. And for the solution you just have to look at the bell curve. Indeed, when you do so you will notice that you will need to delete at least 90% of the members to limit the field to quality members. I do not believe you really want to do that, because it would mean sacrificing quantity.

    Moreover, a scientist has a different view on quality than a scientific minded person. A bitter ex-research scientist like me has a different view from a scientist just starting on quality.

    In conclusion,

    there are no solid answers to your question regarding the maintenance of quality. Everything that concerns human interaction is a gray area.

    However, I do suggest to read up on conflict management. That really could make the difference in the future. Conflict and forums go hand in hand.



    My apologies for the inconsistency in my post. My thoughts went back and forth, because it couldn't deal with the notion that predictable solutions exist for complex problems concerning human interaction.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    when it comes to the use of admin and moderator powers i'd follow the golden rule of Asimov's Second Foundation : "Do nothing unless you must, and when you must act - hesitate"
    just because you can quash dissent doesn't necessarily mean you should
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    The dot org site (I'm not sure if the filter is still in place) that the splinter group went to
    Why wasn't I invited (sniff, sniff)?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    The dot org site (I'm not sure if the filter is still in place) that the splinter group went to
    Why wasn't I invited (sniff, sniff)?
    Mainly because I was in 'Hell Mode' courtesy of Bunsen and Beaker. And it made posting PMs via my blackberry (I'm in the middle of a vacation in Gettysburg) next to impossible. And it would have unseemly (as it still is) to post the link to a competing forum of the same name that ends in .org.
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  9. #8  
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    I'm curious if the new current owner was a member of the forum in the past, or if they were just presented with an opportunity to purchase a forum and opted to ? The previous owners apparently based on this quick sale just wanted to roll it over. If I would have known that I wouldn't have sold it in the first place. The sale was to improve it, not run it through a grinder a few times.

    Hopefully it will recover back in to a successful community again. I'm still pretty unhappy with the deception on the part of those who I sold it to. Perhaps they just figured out it wasn't the fun they were looking for.

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  10. #9  
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    Ohhh and to toss in another comment. From the day I started the forum I was a servant to the forum, it never served me. In this way it was able to grow. It's like trying to keep a house plant, give it too much and it dies, give it too little and it dies.

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  11. #10  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    in short, a forum is a bit like a Tamagotchi, only with more people in it
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity View Post
    The previous owners apparently based on this quick sale just wanted to roll it over.
    Maybe, but I think they were really surprised and disappointed by the reaction people had. They expected more appreciation for their work on the software upgrade. They weren't expecting the criticism, and did not handle it well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Maybe, but I think they were really surprised and disappointed by the reaction people had. They expected more appreciation for their work on the software upgrade. They weren't expecting the criticism, and did not handle it well.
    Bingo. They in that way acted like many IT types in my experience who are completely unaware that many folks, particularly scientist and some of the elders not only don't appreciate software "upgrades," but are sometimes against them because they present overly complex set of options that magnify potential mistakes and confusion. At risk of sounding like a Luddite, I want simple functionality above all things. To use an example if they sold a cell phone with a folding cover, analog dial and an on and off switch I'd buy it in 10 seconds--even the Jitterbug has far more features than I'd ever want or need (I have a net-10 phone that I hate because even finding the number is three menus deep...wth). While I enjoy the slow down in spam and what ever security was added by the upgrades and server migration all I really give a damn about is maintaining enough simplicity for efficient Internet discussions. Forum content counts orders of magnitude more importances than getting tweet feeds (or what ever it's called)

    I'm encouraged and excited by this most recent change.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    In conclusion,

    there are no solid answers to your question regarding the maintenance of quality. Everything that concerns human interaction is a gray area.

    However, I do suggest to read up on conflict management. That really could make the difference in the future. Conflict and forums go hand in hand.



    My apologies for the inconsistency in my post. My thoughts went back and forth, because it couldn't deal with the notion that predictable solutions exist for complex problems concerning human interaction.
    Here's an idea that I've had on the back burner for some time. It may or may not be workable, but hear me out.

    Like you said conflict and forums go hand in hand. I propose that anyone that thinks a conflict is detracting from a topic has the right to ask for moderator action, and the moderator has the right to move the conflicting posts to the 'cage sub-forum' and moderate until a suitable resolution is reached. The moderator has final say and only legitimate topic posts will be moved back into the original topic along with the former combatants. Or something closely related to it.

    To me nothing detracts from my enjoyment of an interesting topic more than reading through pages of bullshit conflict between two or more people. When the conflict starts let it be handled and settled outside of the topic. If it can't be resolved those involved should not be allowed access to the topic where it started.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by arKane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    In conclusion,

    there are no solid answers to your question regarding the maintenance of quality. Everything that concerns human interaction is a gray area.

    However, I do suggest to read up on conflict management. That really could make the difference in the future. Conflict and forums go hand in hand.



    My apologies for the inconsistency in my post. My thoughts went back and forth, because it couldn't deal with the notion that predictable solutions exist for complex problems concerning human interaction.
    Here's an idea that I've had on the back burner for some time. It may or may not be workable, but hear me out.

    Like you said conflict and forums go hand in hand. I propose that anyone that thinks a conflict is detracting from a topic has the right to ask for moderator action, and the moderator has the right to move the conflicting posts to the 'cage sub-forum' and moderate until a suitable resolution is reached. The moderator has final say and only legitimate topic posts will be moved back into the original topic along with the former combatants. Or something closely related to it.

    To me nothing detracts from my enjoyment of an interesting topic more than reading through pages of bullshit conflict between two or more people. When the conflict starts let it be handled and settled outside of the topic. If it can't be resolved those involved should not be allowed access to the topic where it started.
    It all depends on the conflict. If there's relevance to the topic at hand, even if you don't like it, that thread is exactly where it belongs.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    It all depends on the conflict. If there's relevance to the topic at hand, even if you don't like it, that thread is exactly where it belongs.
    Of course your right, however I just know everyone reading this knows what I'm talking about. Utter boring non-productive conflict posting that seems like it's going to go on forever, tit for tat, having the last say or dig. Next, I know people like to pick on others for trolling, but should that be a moderator call and not just another member. I want to see moderators being called on to make the hard calls. I don't want to see members that think it's their job to rid the forum of bad eggs. That's like letting the city be run by the gangs.
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  17. #16  
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    I'd just summarize your replies here along with my short responses.
    • Consult with members before you make any significant changes. -- Agreed.
    • There should be very limited intervention from Mods and Admin(s). No bullying. -- I'd need evidence that there was/is any bullying at all.
    • Quality is a subjective term and will be hard to quantify. -- Yes, my general idea of quality here is absence of spams and obvious trolls.
    • Whether or not the current Admin was a member from before. -- No I was not a member. But I am not new to science forums. Just that I am a big time lurker.
    • Mods and Admins are servant to the forum. (Just like elected officials in a democratic country are supposed to be?) -- Imperfect analogy I know. But I agree.
    • Speculation on why previous owners really left. -- My guess is as good as yours. They were probably very sad after seeing so much resistance. From what I have read, B&B were good people. They meant well for the forum.
    • Improving Forum != Adding bells and whistles. It's about the community. -- Improving features and nurturing the community should go hand in hand, in my opinion.
    • Flamewars, irrational conflicts, trolling. -- Story of every forum on the internet. I am not too aware of the volume and intensity of such things on TSF. All we can try is minimizing such sins because their removal is next to impossible. Let's be realistic. It'd be impossible for Mods to check each and every post so here's an appeal to members, if you find anything which needs Mods' attention just report the post.
    Do let me know if I missed anything.

    [Edit]

    My views on .Org: Dear friends, please change your template and logo for the love of Science. Move from ProphpBB to a paid hosting plan, they can kick you out in a heartbeat and they WILL add intrusive ads to your forum without your permission. Just read http://www.prophpbb.com/terms.hml if you haven't already. And please backup everything to your local system. I'd be lying if I say I take no issue in seeing key members of TSF creating a new forum and in the process fragmenting the community. But I have to take it in good spirit and understand the circumstances which led to the creation of .Org in the first place. On that note, I am ready to offer free hosting and (limited) technical assistance should you need. I can be contacted through 'Contact Us' link at the bottom right.
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    I do blue sky thinking, which means anything can be questioned. If I question something, it does not necessarily mean that I do not accept that it is probably true, or that I do not know what text books and the wikipedia have to say about it.

    For some people, the definition of a troll is someone who disagrees with them.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post

    My views on .Org: Dear friends, please change your template and logo for the love of Science. Move from ProphpBB to a paid hosting plan, they can kick you out in a heartbeat and they WILL add intrusive ads to your forum without your permission. Just read Terms Of Service - Free Forum Hosting if you haven't already. And please backup everything to your local system. I'd be lying if I say I take no issue in seeing key members of TSF creating a new forum and in the process fragmenting the community. But I have to take it in good spirit and understand the circumstances which led to the creation of .Org in the first place. On that note, I am ready to offer free hosting and (limited) technical assistance should you need. I can be contacted through 'Contact Us' link at the bottom right.
    I use to run the forum on servers that I owned on networks I controlled and software that was heavily modified for our needs. From what I can tell the two previous owners were directly responsible for the creation of the .org site. They caused a rift in the forum that will be hard to repair. I do believe however with the right leadership many of the old members will return here. The key will be repairing the lost faith and some of the old practices while also attempting to improve the forum in ways that the members agree upon. Useful content is king on these forums, crap is just crap. If a few posters that just post crap have to be removed to help encourage good content, then I would say so be it.

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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity View Post



    I do believe however with the right leadership many of the old members will return here. The key will be repairing the lost faith and some of the old practices while also attempting to improve the forum in ways that the members agree upon. Useful content is king on these forums, crap is just crap. If a few posters that just post crap have to be removed to help encourage good content, then I would say so be it.
    As I have said, in many of my posts, I do not come from a scientific/mathematical background and therefore lack the ability to understand and comment on some technical posts. I have thought of studying some more maths but, probably, I will remain unwilling to set aside enough time even if I was sure I had the ability.
    However I have tried not to post "crap" and I do agree with the above!
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    My views on .Org: Dear friends, please change your template and logo for the love of Science. Move from ProphpBB to a paid hosting plan, they can kick you out in a heartbeat and they WILL add intrusive ads to your forum without your permission.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    My views on .Org: Dear friends, please change your template and logo for the love of Science. Move from ProphpBB to a paid hosting plan, they can kick you out in a heartbeat and they WILL add intrusive ads to your forum without your permission.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir.../adblock-plus/
    Moving to a proper host is far better than requiring every member (what about guest visitors?) to install a browser addon, more so when such addons aren't even available for most mobile browsers and some desktop browsers. But if it's working for you, all is good.
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  23. #22  
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    Welcome and Thank You for changing the format, where I can see all the posts in a thread, instead of paging through them.
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    I would like to add the observation that free ideas cannot be owned (unless patented) and much less can the interactions between scientific souls. You may own the medium through which we communicate, but we can always switch to a new medium if need be. Without members, the forum would not exist so really we own the heart of the forum.

    Thank you.
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  25. #24  
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    This forum is an amazing, extremely rich and valuable informal community of cross domain brains and knowledge. I don't like too much the name "Forum" as it was more of a market place in the old Rome. But rather Agora is nicer, a place for exchange of ideas, birth of new concepts, ideas etc...

    How can we bring this "Agora" to new heights and how can we increase its reputation and thus attract new members ? By improving the debate. I do not want to fall in elitism but this is not really the place for homework. These too frequent post should be discouraged at all cost.

    On the other side, community can work on real scientific project on such an "agora": I am on a geologist forum and we recently worked on a (probably) wrongly described portion of the coast of Cataluna in Spain. The initial informations were brought by a total amateur member. I wrote myself one of paper thanks to a forum ("Oil Exploration Software and Computer Games: what lessons can be learned ?").
    I think we should encouraged these directions, allows members to bring real scientific projects, share them and work as a community together. Such thread could be restricted and limited once the proper team has reached its critical size. The admin could maybe create an award/prize for the most valuable/innovative projects, this will surely attract other members.

    I was saying we should discouraged the homework thread. But it does not mean we should discouraged the vulgarization of science. It is very important for this place to be seen as a pool of expert. Why not creating in each Domain a pinned thread called "What is ????" to asnwer such questions (what is neandertal ? Why is chlorophyle green ? How hot is the center of the earth ?). It might help to contain the homework threads.
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    Everything has to be changed, nothing goes on the same forever, that's what we've learnt from the past. So, good to see another new change, after 3 & 1/2 years of my experience on TSF.

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    I do not want to fall in elitism but this is not really the place for homework.

    I agree with you on this to some extent, it is a little irritating when posters come clearly just in search of a quick, freely-given answer to their homework assignment and who are not looking to understand the conceptual basis of the answers given. However, I think that we should be careful in suggesting that all people looking for guidance with regards homework assignments should be excluded from the community. For one, these people are obviously going to be young and therefore are going to be the lifeblood of all future Science. We should positively encourage contribution from these valuable members of the scientific community. Also, perhaps we should remember that expecting such young members to contribute anything beyond simple factual queries is perhaps asking too much of them. How can you expect a person to engage in questions which have pertinence to cutting-edge science, when they have not yet learned the basics?

    Tridimity.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Speculation on why previous owners really left. -- My guess is as good as yours. They were probably very sad after seeing so much resistance. From what I have read, B&B were good people. They meant well for the forum.
    Then perhaps you haven't read enough. Perhaps their hearts were in the right place, but their heads were buried up their asses.

    Everything else you have said rings true and is most welcome. It should mitigate against further loss of members. Your openess and honesty is refreshing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Speculation on why previous owners really left. -- My guess is as good as yours. They were probably very sad after seeing so much resistance. From what I have read, B&B were good people. They meant well for the forum.
    Then perhaps you haven't read enough. Perhaps their hearts were in the right place, but their heads were buried up their asses.

    Everything else you have said rings true and is most welcome. It should mitigate against further loss of members. Your openess and honesty is refreshing.
    No doubt, B&B were a couple of bulls in a china shop, who did not seem to know how their actions would be perceived. However, in their defense, I think they were blamed for some things that were not really their fault. There was already a rift here between some of the more lenient moderators and those who want to drive off the crackpots. These people took matters into their own hands by flaming the offending crackpots. So when B&B made an innocuous comment like "let's follow the golden rule," that translated to "we will now let the crazies take over." They never did understand how they were getting blamed for the crackpots on the forum.
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    Tridimity, this is why I proposed a pinned thread called "what is ?" on each Domain (maths, physics, earth sciences etc...) to answer these type of questions. The difference between a non-expert and education-related questions is thin but I think it could work.
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    A "What is" thread per domain is an excellent idea.

    I think instead of a single thread we should create separate threads for each "What is" question. It will be better because of:
    • Better discoverability. It is easy to search about XYZ if there is a thread with title "What is XYZ?". On the other hand, it will be very hard to search for XYZ if "What is XYZ" is just a subheading in a very long "What is" thread of that domain.
    • Discussions. If threads are separate, it will be easy to have discussion around a particular XYZ. Easier to point out mistakes. Easier to correct. Easier to followup on conversations and replies' notifications.
    Requesting more input on this. This is a great idea.

    Besides, sharing one's own projects, papers, studies and theories should be encouraged as well. Perhaps we could create a new section called "Tell TSF" or "Show TSF".

    There are tons of great threads which are just lying under the dust. Will a "Show Me A Random Thread" button be liked?
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    Over the last few years I have learned so much from this forum. I have found that, as a non scientist, the crazies can be very convincing. Thank you to every one who has kept me on the straight and narrow. This is a great forum, to the new owner, if you are single and female send me a PM.
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  33. #32  
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    Another crazy idea. Can it be possible to include an RSS feed on a forum ? So we could get the latest news from Wired Sciences or Sciences Daily or whatever.
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  34. #33  
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    This link takes you to a random thread: www.thescienceforum.com/misc.php?do=randomthread

    I have added this link to the top menu. The menu bar link can be made more prominent if it is liked.
    Yash and formal like this.
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  35. #34  
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    I am new to thescienceforum.com and have no knowledge of the community's history. As such perhaps I can serve in providing an unbiased opinion on this development - as soon as I form one. For the moment I have no issues.

    I went through the RDF disaster as a somewhat amused user although I don't make any claim that that experience yields any wisdom on how to handle this community. I currently reside at TalkRational which has it's own history of which I am also ignorant. I find the admin philosophy there to be agreeable, although again, I do not contend that that observation is relevant here. I occasionally post on RationalSkepticism but not often enough to have an opinon of the management there.

    So, I'm pretty much useless to you and am only typing this because I don't want to have to get back to typing the report I need to get off my desk. Basically, these communities are fun for me but are not a requirement for my enjoyment of life. Consequently I tend not to pay attention to administrative issues and care little for the drama that goes on behind the scenes.

    In any case, good luck. And as I say, my opinion is freely available at any time but I doubt that it will be of much use.
    arKane, cluelusshusbund and formal like this.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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  36. #35  
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    A very interesting article below may apply to this discussion.

    ================================================== ======
    How the internet created an age of rage.

    The worldwide web has made critics of us all. But with commenters able to hide behind a cloak of anonymity, the blog and chatroom have become forums for hatred and bile.


    Online commenting: the age of rage | Technology | The Observer
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  37. #36  
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    on the other hand, a forum where everyone agrees is boring and is likely to die
    besides it's part of human nature to put other people right, the internet has just made it easier

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  38. #37  
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    Most questions seen on the forum can be answered by typing in the keyword into wikipedia (or having an education).

    I often wonder why people don't do that (type in the word or get an education).

    Once you are passed that hurdle you can actually reflect on a topic and examine the shades of gray.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    I am new to thescienceforum.com and have no knowledge of the community's history. As such perhaps I can serve in providing an unbiased opinion on this development - as soon as I form one. For the moment I have no issues.

    I went through the RDF disaster as a somewhat amused user although I don't make any claim that that experience yields any wisdom on how to handle this community. I currently reside at TalkRational which has it's own history of which I am also ignorant. I find the admin philosophy there to be agreeable, although again, I do not contend that that observation is relevant here. I occasionally post on RationalSkepticism but not often enough to have an opinon of the management there.

    So, I'm pretty much useless to you and am only typing this because I don't want to have to get back to typing the report I need to get off my desk. Basically, these communities are fun for me but are not a requirement for my enjoyment of life. Consequently I tend not to pay attention to administrative issues and care little for the drama that goes on behind the scenes.

    In any case, good luck. And as I say, my opinion is freely available at any time but I doubt that it will be of much use.
    Yeah, a lot of posters fall into the category you just described. But conditions in your life will change over time and chances are once you've developed a taste for forum life, it will only get more involved, maybe in several forums and a broader range of topics. Anyway if you poke around on other forums you will find each one has a slightly different personality based around core regulars. For instance if a lot of the regulars are retired or for some reason have a lot of time to spend online, the pace of responses is much faster, and I have to tell you that can be very refreshing.
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    Most questions seen on the forum can be answered by typing in the keyword into wikipedia (or having an education).

    I often wonder why people don't do that (type in the word or get an education).

    Once you are passed that hurdle you can actually reflect on a topic and examine the shades of gray.
    Excellent point, I have to say at my age, most of my current education comes from doing exactly what you just said. Anyway if it's not in wikipedia you are probably barking up the wrong tree.
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  41. #40  
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    Capture.JPG

    Am I right in guessing that the Today's posts at A is not the same as the Today's posts at B? Because I like to be able to load a page of the latest posts which includes the threads I have seen already wherever I am on the forum. But when the Quick links button is not available, clicking on the Todays posts at B gives me the same results as New Posts at C, i.e. the newest threads I have not visited yet. This means I have to sometimes click the forum button first and then select the Today's posts in the Quick links drop-down menu to get the list I want. Could this be changed possibly so both Today's posts buttons do the same search?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  42. #41  
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    So you want A in the place of B?
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Capture.JPGAm I right in guessing that the Today's posts at A is not the same as the Today's posts at B? Because I like to be able to load a page of the latest posts which includes the threads I have seen already wherever I am on the forum. But when the Quick links button is not available, clicking on the Todays posts at B gives me the same results as New Posts at C, i.e. the newest threads I have not visited yet. This means I have to sometimes click the forum button first and then select the Today's posts in the Quick links drop-down menu to get the list I want. Could this be changed possibly so both Today's posts buttons do the same search?
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  43. #42  
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    Yes, I'd like, if possible, for the search done by B to be same as the search done by A.


    Edit: Oh, and can we get a My Posts tab as well?
    Last edited by KALSTER; August 13th, 2011 at 08:28 AM.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  44. #43  
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    Yes that can be done.

    What about My Posts tab? Should it link to http://www.thescienceforum.com/subsc...php?folderid=0 ?
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  45. #44  
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    Yes, for the My posts tab that could work, but what I had in mind was that it is done as just a normal search. In the phpBB forum it was represented by the Ego Search function, if I am not mistaken. I'd like them to be arranged in the sequence you last posted in them, instead of what other people did, if that is possible? That's how I'd like it, though other people might like it another way.

    * Sorry, accidentally closed the thread.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  46. #45  
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    i just care about new posts, although it would be nice if that search could first go through the drivel filter.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  47. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post

    My apologies for the inconsistency in my post. My thoughts went back and forth, because it couldn't deal with the notion that predictable solutions exist for complex problems concerning human interaction.
    To my fellow primate...think about this:
    I can't even find a predictable solution in my marriage, and there's only the two people involved, who have a deep emotional bond, and are very mentally similar.
    There is no predictable solution to human interactions, you just have to respectfully engage and kludge your way forward.

    My suggestions to the new proprietor: don't take people personally. Consider their actions indicative of them, not you. Don't hold grudges. Be consistent.Try to aim for impartiality.

    Other random thought...bar in Terry Prattchett's discworld...

    Started out as "The broken Drum." "You can't beat it!"
    After the fire became "The Mended Drum." "You can be beaten."

    I guess this could be the mended drum of science forums???

    We must blind them all...with Science.
    “Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!”-George Carlin

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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Speculation on why previous owners really left. -- My guess is as good as yours. They were probably very sad after seeing so much resistance. From what I have read, B&B were good people. They meant well for the forum.
    Then perhaps you haven't read enough. Perhaps their hearts were in the right place, but their heads were buried up their asses.

    Everything else you have said rings true and is most welcome. It should mitigate against further loss of members. Your openess and honesty is refreshing.
    No doubt, B&B were a couple of bulls in a china shop, who did not seem to know how their actions would be perceived. However, in their defense, I think they were blamed for some things that were not really their fault. There was already a rift here between some of the more lenient moderators and those who want to drive off the crackpots. These people took matters into their own hands by flaming the offending crackpots. So when B&B made an innocuous comment like "let's follow the golden rule," that translated to "we will now let the crazies take over." They never did understand how they were getting blamed for the crackpots on the forum.
    They were not "blamed", they were held accountable for their statements and actions as forum owners. It appears to me that immediately following and as a direct result of their actions the crazies took over this forum. That will not happen at the .org forum.

    Defend B&B if you like, but I can read just fine and their departure is a giant step in the rght direction.

    The #1 thing that the new admin can do to help the forum is emphasize quality and contain the wackos.
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  49. #48  
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    crazies took over this forum
    Did that really happen? Is this still going on? I am not defending TSF, just want to know the truth, with probably some facts and evidence.

    And if happened, did that really happen as direct consequence of B&B's actions? Or was it going on from before? And does the "craziness" factor you find here really is more than the avg craziness you'd find on a public forum of this size?

    The above questions are not rhetoric by any means. Genuine queries. I may be the Admin but you people know much more about this forum than I do.


    The #1 thing that the new admin can do to help the forum is emphasize quality and contain the wackos.
    Yes, that's the plan.
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  50. #49  
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    Hmm. I'll see what can be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Yes, for the My posts tab that could work, but what I had in mind was that it is done as just a normal search. In the phpBB forum it was represented by the Ego Search function, if I am not mistaken. I'd like them to be arranged in the sequence you last posted in them, instead of what other people did, if that is possible? That's how I'd like it, though other people might like it another way.

    * Sorry, accidentally closed the thread.
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  51. #50  
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    I'd like the forum to remain simple and straight forward as it has always been.
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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  52. #51  
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    Well there is a thread in the politics subforum called "9/11 drug cartels" or something of that type, that has involved me mostly trying to debunk HIV denialist claims by galealexander for weeks. I asked for it to be moved to pseudo shortly before the switch over to the new owners, but it never got done. So, I suppose I'm just gonna try and draw attention to it again through this thread.

    On the topic of what we're going to do about homework questions. The idea of threads that explain common questions is reasonable, but labour heavy. Moreover, I'm not sure it does any real good, since any easily answerable questions can be answered by wikipedia. When students ask questions only with the intention of having their homework done for them, they should be ignored. When they ask questions with the intention of trying to understand a concept it is reasonable to help them if one has the time and will to do so.
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  53. #52  
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    Well there is a thread in the politics subforum called "9/11 drug cartels" or something of that type, that has involved me mostly trying to debunk HIV denialist claims by galealexander for weeks. I asked for it to be moved to pseudo shortly before the switch over to the new owners, but it never got done. So, I suppose I'm just gonna try and draw attention to it again through this thread.
    I sent it to Pseudo. You have to say one thing for Galexander: However demented and infuriating his "arguments" are, they do induce very interesting discussions sometimes. It was very interesting reading the responses in that thread.

    In future, may I suggest using the "Report Post" function. It is the exclamation mark at the bottom left of posts. These reports get sent to their own section in the mod area. If nothing happens without an explanation, please feel free to send me a reminder for an update.

    It is high quality posters like yourself that care about the quality of content that will make this forum better and better.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  54. #53  
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    I find the new posts button very confusing.

    I click on it. I see something of interest. I reply. I hit the new posts button again, and the topic and my reply do not appear.

    That doesn't make sense at all, and leaves me unfulfilled. If I make a new post, I want to see it.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  55. #54  
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    It's gonna be fixed soonish.

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    I find the new posts button very confusing.

    I click on it. I see something of interest. I reply. I hit the new posts button again, and the topic and my reply do not appear.

    That doesn't make sense at all, and leaves me unfulfilled. If I make a new post, I want to see it.
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    crazies took over this forum
    Did that really happen? Is this still going on? I am not defending TSF, just want to know the truth, with probably some facts and evidence.

    And if happened, did that really happen as direct consequence of B&B's actions? Or was it going on from before? And does the "craziness" factor you find here really is more than the avg craziness you'd find on a public forum of this size?

    The above questions are not rhetoric by any means. Genuine queries. I may be the Admin but you people know much more about this forum than I do.
    I do not think there is any coherent body of evidence to support the claim made that 'crazies were taking over the forum'.

    There were a handful of threads where the 'crazies' were being routinely debunked by members who formed part of the exodus. In their absence debunking ceased, or was less effective. Those instances were certainly a result of the reactions to actions by B & B. It is not clear if this situation would have worsened, stayed the same or improved. I lean to the view that it might have got worse. My reasoning is that a significant number of debunkers are reluctant to 'take prisoners' once they have decided that a poster is a crazy. They then prefer to carry out a battlefield elimination. In forum terms that means delivering robust and vigorous criticism of the individual as well as their views. B & B were opposed to this approach, slandering me and others in the process of condemning it. (I use the term slander advisedly and wihtout prejudice.) Thus a powerful constraint on 'extreme crazies' was removed by B & Bs position. I suspect that would have led to a slow deterioration over time. However, that is only an opinion that I lean towards.

    The 'craziness' factor was a vital part of the forum. Many of the most active threads were ones where the regular members were debunking crazies. This is valuable for several reasons: it creates a vigorous site; it affords members skills in constructing reasoned arguments; it educates lurkers as to the true character and value of science. I believe B & Bs approach was not conducive to fostering these benefits.

    Was the craziness worse than other forums? I should say about average. sciforums allows any retard with a keyboard to post and some of them even become moderators. At the other extreme Physics Forums shuts down people who even look cross eyed! (I believe I still have a plagirism infraction against me there because I failed to explain that a well written, thoroughly referenced piece on plate tectonics was my own work and not lifted from a research paper.) Not only is the craziness level about average, but in the past I think the treatment of it was about right. I should liked to have seen a more rapid expulsion of the extremists once it was clear they were beyond redemption, but again that is personal preference and not necessarily the right thing to do.

    I hope these observations may of some use to you. Thank you for asking.
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  57. #56  
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    I left the this forum, not do do admin mainly, but to the inability of members to hold a civil discussion because they were unable to separate science and religion in their minds.

    I was an active member of a number of physics sites, an independent researcher and author with a wide range of interests. But after I wrote a book on theology, I was automatically labeled a quack and a civil discussion of physics, the environment, or any topic became impossible.

    So I have moved to more academically inclined sites with mature members who are able to separate topics in their mind, and an Admin who does not allow such behavior.

    As to whether I will return to this or any other physics forum is still open, but I am glad to see a new owner who is trying to improve this forum.
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by arKane View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversbane View Post
    I am new to thescienceforum.com and have no knowledge of the community's history. As such perhaps I can serve in providing an unbiased opinion on this development - as soon as I form one. For the moment I have no issues.

    I went through the RDF disaster as a somewhat amused user although I don't make any claim that that experience yields any wisdom on how to handle this community. I currently reside at TalkRational which has it's own history of which I am also ignorant. I find the admin philosophy there to be agreeable, although again, I do not contend that that observation is relevant here. I occasionally post on RationalSkepticism but not often enough to have an opinon of the management there.

    So, I'm pretty much useless to you and am only typing this because I don't want to have to get back to typing the report I need to get off my desk. Basically, these communities are fun for me but are not a requirement for my enjoyment of life. Consequently I tend not to pay attention to administrative issues and care little for the drama that goes on behind the scenes.

    In any case, good luck. And as I say, my opinion is freely available at any time but I doubt that it will be of much use.
    Yeah, a lot of posters fall into the category you just described. But conditions in your life will change over time and chances are once you've developed a taste for forum life, it will only get more involved, maybe in several forums and a broader range of topics. Anyway if you poke around on other forums you will find each one has a slightly different personality based around core regulars. For instance if a lot of the regulars are retired or for some reason have a lot of time to spend online, the pace of responses is much faster, and I have to tell you that can be very refreshing.
    You underestimate my ability to be uninvolved.
    arKane likes this.
    Nearly all of the above lines of evidence can be questioned, and all have more than one possible cause (although some may have no cause at all).
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  59. #58  
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    Congratulations for taking over this forum and keeping it's spirit. Best of luck.
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  60. #59  
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    Is this change of ownership different to one just a little time before that? Wasn't there a change of ownership to Bunsen and Beaker, or is this the same set-up?
    Ian Tresman
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  61. #60  
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    Nope, they have left and in turn we have a new new owner. This one is here to stay though and people have generally been happy with the change.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    ... So, here I am. Some of you would want to know about me. Here it goes:
    • Science graduate
    • Loves physics, study of evolution, philosophy, psychology and bunch of other stuff.
    • Mid-20s ...
    MIT or Caltech?
    Thanks.
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  63. #62  
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    I think the crazies and the people that bash them down (politely educate them) are an important part of this site.

    I always get disappointed when I post something that is borderline science or back bedroom science, and it escapes with without comment, that could maybe smash a false assumption and stop me going down the wrong track.
    I believe in nothing, but trust gravity to hold me down and the electromagnetic force to stop me falling through
    Physics is the search for the best model not the truth, as only mythical beings know that.
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  64. #63  
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    A grad student spent "mid $x,xxx" for a forum that the new owners realized was a problem? B&B are the owners of upsideout.com, an IT firm that specialize in internet security and "hiding" on the internet.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I'm a bit skeptical. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that thescienceforum.com, the ownership now hidden by proxy, is still in the hands of B&B who now had the good sense to get someone to manage it correctly. Regardless, B&B burned a major bridge with me and several others. We weren't in it for a website. We've always been in it for the sense of community that we found. (In)Sanity brought us together, probably not through any plan or design, but through sheer happenstance and, for that, I'm eternally grateful. I took his site for granted, never imagining that it would become what it did (and, as far as I can tell, still is to some degree).

    As a grad student myself, I hope the new "Admin" didn't really spend "mid $x,xxx.xx," I know how hard funding can be for an education. For his sake, assuming he really is a grad student, I hope my skepticism is not unfounded and that he's actually pocketing some coin from the owners of Upsideout.com. For the sake of forum members who currently visit, I hope my skepticism is completely unfounded, and that you truly have a caring new owner who is concerned with community.

    SkinWalker (a former admin here)
    cfeagans AT ahotcupofjoe DOT net
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  65. #64  
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    A grad student spent "mid $x,xxx" for a forum
    For Science's sake, please do not generalize so much. I started business when I was 19. More than half a decade later, my financials are such that I can choose to spend all my time on TSF and still never have to worry about moolah! I was well off even as a student, I was a student till 2009, at that time I completed my graduation.

    Something to think about: Even If I was really a B&B's proxy, and if I seem to be making positive changes in the forum, I'd call it: Problem Solved.

    [Edit]: Actually, you are right in generalizing the 'poverty' of grad students. Except that I am not a student. I misread your post, I apologize. You too misread my opening post though; I am a Science Graduate, not a Graduate Student.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket View Post
    The #1 thing that the new admin can do to help the forum is emphasize quality and contain the wackos.
    But calling people "wackos", I would humbly suggest, is not a quality statement. People have wacky ideas. Address the idea, don't shoot the messenger. Science can address any subject you can imagine, and can do so (obviously I hope), scientifically and respectfully.

    Forum Rule #1. Treat people with the the same respect you would expect yourself.
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  67. #66  
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    Any reason why forum members should not be required to use their real names, rather than pseudonyms?
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  68. #67  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Any reason why forum members should not be required to use their real names, rather than pseudonyms?
    Privacy concerns?
    "I almost went to bed
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    and how i kissed you then
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    shy as though I'd
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Any reason why forum members should not be required to use their real names, rather than pseudonyms?
    Privacy concerns?
    Which begs the question, what privacy concerns? I can't think of a more honourable way of asking questions about science, and having them answered. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
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    Containment of the intellectually detrimental(read- 'wackos') is important, because they spread ignorance and misinformation for shits and giggles. Many of them, the vast majority perhaps, truly believe their delusion above any criticism that can be delivered. These people can not be taught of their ignorance, and as such why should any effort be made to teach them or treat them with the respect that they clearly don't treat the scientific method with? All consideration with regard to these threads is to the lurkers; the people who don't know any better about the topic, and are susceptible to the madness the present. Attacking the argument helps bolster the scientific views of the innocent lurker, and attacking the person will generally cause them to either post less or leave, thereby nullifying the threat they pose.
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  71. #70  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Any reason why forum members should not be required to use their real names, rather than pseudonyms?
    Privacy concerns?
    Which begs the question, what privacy concerns? I can't think of a more honourable way of asking questions about science, and having them answered. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
    The privacy concerns that someone may decide to attempt to take my name, search for me, and stalk me for whatever reason.
    Or perhaps they want the information to send me hate mail.
    Or perhaps they want to spam me with bullshit via post mail.
    Or perhaps etc...
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    Containment of the intellectually detrimental (read- 'wackos') is important, because they spread ignorance and misinformation for shits and giggles.
    Ignorance and misinformation are trivially corrected, both of which are re-enforced with science. Calling people names, in my mind, does not seem very scientific to me, and would suggest that science doesn't have the answers, and may give the false impression that those ideas are more credible than they really are.
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  73. #72  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    The privacy concerns that someone may decide to attempt to take my name, search for me, and stalk me for whatever reason.
    Or perhaps they want the information to send me hate mail.
    Or perhaps they want to spam me with bullshit via post mail.
    Or perhaps etc...
    Fair points. What a sad world we live in.
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  74. #73  
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    I agree with Ophiolite; New Admin's Introduction
    And for the record, I have learned far more from those who unabashedly level the terms "wacko", "nutbag", "idiot", "crackpot", "fucktard" etc..., then I have ever learned from the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" crowd.
    In fact, it seem's that often the use of the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" defense is a sign of wacko crackpot nutbaggery.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
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  75. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    I agree with Ophiolite; New Admin's Introduction
    And for the record, I have learned far more from those who unabashedly level the terms "wacko", "nutbag", "idiot", "crackpot", "fucktard" etc..., then I have ever learned from the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" crowd.
    In fact, it seem's that often the use of the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" defense is a sign of wacko crackpot nutbaggery.
    The two options are not mutually exclusive, and to suggest that being nice is a defense of crackpotery, seems like an excuse for not having to bother with the science.

    I couldn't find any forum rules, so I guess we'll have to wait to see whether being nice and respectful is on the list, or whether the forum wishes to passively condone insulting people as an acceptable forum of scientific discussion.
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  76. #75  
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    I am increasingly feeling need for a point-wise list of 'TSF Community Rules'.
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  77. #76 Response to your introduction 
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    Am impressed by your openness of your core values,interests,and intentions.
    Will visit the new site on a regular basis.
    Am concerned that yourself may be subsidising the site. Cannot accept that.
    I for one, would gladly pay a modest annual contribution to defray the costs
    of running this new site, and recompense your time and effort in running it.
    nokton.
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    I agree with Ophiolite; New Admin's Introduction
    And for the record, I have learned far more from those who unabashedly level the terms "wacko", "nutbag", "idiot", "crackpot", "fucktard" etc..., then I have ever learned from the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" crowd.
    In fact, it seem's that often the use of the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" defense is a sign of wacko crackpot nutbaggery.
    The two options are not mutually exclusive, and to suggest that being nice is a defense of crackpotery, seems like an excuse for not having to bother with the science.

    I couldn't find any forum rules, so I guess we'll have to wait to see whether being nice and respectful is on the list, or whether the forum wishes to passively condone insulting people as an acceptable forum of scientific discussion.
    The insults are carried out in a non-scientific form. When reason fails, what is there left to do? The point of the crackpot position is that it is SUPPOSED to be refuted by science, and depends on the inherent non-absolute characteristic of science to weigh it's crackpottery on the unsuspecting reader. Being nice isn't a defense, but being butt hurt over being insulted and saying something to the order of "that's mean, and being mean isn't very scientific" is a defense. It's bogus, and is often employed by posters who post inane nonsense, stuffing their fingers in their ears when talked to rationally, and proclaiming that the reason is unreasonable when an insult flies at them. It's classic argumentation on this forum.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  79. #78  
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    Proir to the sale of the forum by (In)sanity there was a stickied thread in either the General forum which had a community generated and agreed upon listing of the forum rules and guidelines. It appears to have gotten unstickied by B&B when they took over and posted their new guidelines. Thankfully it was not deleted outright!
    The Science Forum Guidelines

    Edit: I do not that it got closed when it was unsticked so people are not able to comment on it now.
    Last edited by Paleoichneum; August 16th, 2011 at 05:10 PM.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    That's awesome. I have gone ahead and unlocked the thread, have also made it a sticky. Requesting members and mods to go through it and see if that is exactly what we need and if not, please suggest changes. Thread url again: The Science Forum Guidelines
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  81. #80  
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    Great to have it back open and stickied again.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  82. #81  
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    I think that a general overhaul of the mechanics are needed if nothing else. Now that we have the "report post" function the spam section is outdated.

    I wonder if the "nickname" section should be kept. There have been several people over the years who have changed their username multiple times, and I think it gets confusing at times.

    The wording of the bans section should be updated to reflect that mods are now also able to ban/suspend.

    As Homouniversalis is not an admin anymore, the contacting the admin section should be removed/updated.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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  83. #82  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    I agree with Ophiolite; New Admin's Introduction
    And for the record, I have learned far more from those who unabashedly level the terms "wacko", "nutbag", "idiot", "crackpot", "fucktard" etc..., then I have ever learned from the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" crowd.
    In fact, it seem's that often the use of the "golden rule nice'y nice'y" defense is a sign of wacko crackpot nutbaggery.
    The two options are not mutually exclusive, and to suggest that being nice is a defense of crackpotery, seems like an excuse for not having to bother with the science.

    I couldn't find any forum rules, so I guess we'll have to wait to see whether being nice and respectful is on the list, or whether the forum wishes to passively condone insulting people as an acceptable forum of scientific discussion.
    It is true that the two options are not mutually exclusive in all cases, hence they should both remain open.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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  84. #83  
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    Rule 2(b) No hateful remarks about race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and the like; this includes use of the word 'gay' as a negative word. Pointing out faulty points in one's logic is okay. But try not to connect it to personal traits. Moderators may warn when they feel it is inappropriate or directing the thread in a negative way.
    I guess that Rule 2b from the Forum Guidelines rules out calling people names, though I would like to see it more unambiguously. ie. (a) Treat people with respect (b) Do not insult people (c) Criticize the idea, not the person.
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    Hello gustav,

    It appears that you haven't logged into http://www.thescienceforum.com/ from quite a while. So here's a quick reminder - We are having lots of great discussions over here. You may want to check them out and give this Science Community another chance.


    thank you
    please summon the craven knave, ophiolite, and have him prostrate himself before me
    tell him i am desirous of providing assistance in his quest for knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by ophiolite
    And for the record, I have learned far more from those who unabashedly level the terms "wacko", "nutbag", "idiot", "crackpot", "fucktard" etc...,
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  86. #85  
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    I accidentally changed my "skin" to TS Mobile. Newb mistake I know :-(. The trouble is, I can't seem to access any sort of "settings" page now to change it back. Can anyone offer assistance?
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  87. #86  
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    Thank you. As of now, since I am enjoying my stay here (may be because I am new and I am getting attention, or may be not just because of that.. well anyway), I am getting compensated abundantly through the enjoyment. But yeah sooner or little later I'll have to at least make sure that I am not losing money on monthly basis. Either I'll put some non-intrusive ads for guest visitors, or like you said some annual membership kinda thing if enough interest is seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by nokton View Post
    Am impressed by your openness of your core values,interests,and intentions. Will visit the new site on a regular basis. Am concerned that yourself may be subsidising the site. Cannot accept that. I for one, would gladly pay a modest annual contribution to defray the costs of running this new site, and recompense your time and effort in running it. nokton.
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  88. #87  
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    If you want to see how a science website should be run and moderated, check out Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum

    This is not a plug for their site. I have been a member there for quite a few years. The moderation is fair and, when done, it is stated very clearly in its own thread so everyone knows what happened and the result (warning, suspension, banning). The site is also open for younger children so foul language is not allowed.

    Some prominent members were added to 'miserable-users' list for being outspoken against workings of previous owners. The forum was deliberately made to load very slowly for these members. The so called 'punishment' has been removed now.
    This is the most outrageous thing I've read in quite a while. Just unconscionable.

    BTW, although I am not very active I enjoy this site and read it often.
    Last edited by PumaMan; August 16th, 2011 at 10:35 PM.
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Rule 2(b) No hateful remarks about race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and the like; this includes use of the word 'gay' as a negative word. Pointing out faulty points in one's logic is okay. But try not to connect it to personal traits. Moderators may warn when they feel it is inappropriate or directing the thread in a negative way.
    I guess that Rule 2b from the Forum Guidelines rules out calling people names, though I would like to see it more unambiguously. ie. (a) Treat people with respect (b) Do not insult people (c) Criticize the idea, not the person.
    Since a few of the high quality poster's here, and some of my favorite radio host's, are openly gay, I wouldn't dream of calling you such.
    So no worries.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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  90. #89  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    I couldn't find any forum rules, so I guess we'll have to wait to see whether being nice and respectful is on the list, or whether the forum wishes to passively condone insulting people as an acceptable forum of scientific discussion.
    I find people proudly displaying ignorance insulting too.

    The insult coin has two sides.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  91. #90  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathematician View Post
    Containment of the intellectually detrimental (read- 'wackos') is important, because they spread ignorance and misinformation for shits and giggles.
    Ignorance and misinformation are trivially corrected, both of which are re-enforced with science. Calling people names, in my mind, does not seem very scientific to me, and would suggest that science doesn't have the answers, and may give the false impression that those ideas are more credible than they really are.
    I am opposed to calling people names at the outset, or in the middle of a dialogue. However, there are individuals who exist in a state of permanent self delusion, spouting nonsense, indulging in fantasy interpretations of reality, peppering their posts with logical fallacies, refusing to address central questions, raising strawmen and generally playing the part of an idiot. When such behaviour has been ongoing for a time I believe it is not only important, but necessary to condemn them as individuals, since their 'wacky ideas' are a direct consequence of their idiocy, not an incidental and inconsequential event.

    Their approach is the antithesis of good science and they are the ones practising this approach. That approach, when it is maintained in the face of sound advice and clear evidence that they are wrong, stems from a character defect. It then becomes, in my view, appropriate to castigate them publicly, robustly and passionately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    I find people proudly displaying ignorance insulting too.
    That sounds like intolerance to me. There's a difference between actively insulting someone by people who should know better, and feeling insulted because people have the audacity to come to this forum to ask questions.
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  93. #92  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    When such behaviour has been ongoing for a time I believe it is not only important, but necessary to condemn them as individuals, since their 'wacky ideas' are a direct consequence of their idiocy, not an incidental and inconsequential event.
    Spanish Inquisition springs to mind. Why demonstrate science when you can burn them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    2B or not 2B, that is the question
    2B or not 2B, that is pencil. The pencil is mightier than the sword.
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  94. #93  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    I find people proudly displaying ignorance insulting too.
    That sounds like intolerance to me. There's a difference between actively insulting someone by people who should know better, and feeling insulted because people have the audacity to come to this forum to ask questions.
    you just insulted yourself.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  95. #94  
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    Ad hom attacks are never warranted. Neither is foul language. If you can't make your point without resorting to name-calling or vulgarity, then you probably can't make your point anyway. Also, it is the responsibility of the admin and moderators to police the site -- there should be no need for policing by members (even long-term respected members). If a poster is an "idiot" then that will be obvious to all -- especially if knowledgeable members "tear into" his/her arguments -- no need for personal insults. And "veiled insults" are still insults -- the targeted poster may not see them as insults but the rest of us will and it lowers my respect level, no matter how well the argument is posed.
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  96. #95  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    When such behaviour has been ongoing for a time I believe it is not only important, but necessary to condemn them as individuals, since their 'wacky ideas' are a direct consequence of their idiocy, not an incidental and inconsequential event.
    Is it important to condemn them as individuals, or is it just important to keep them from cluttering up and interrupting a serious discussion? In my experience, condemning them as individuals does not seem to have much effect in reforming them. Probably it just makes the person doing the condemning feel better about it, having gotten it off their chest.

    I think those individuals could best be dealt with by the moderators - either banning them or consigning them to the pseudo/new hypothesis forums.
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  97. #96  
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    Posts are editable indefinitely.
    I don't think this is a good idea. It allows for "revisionist history" -- unless every post is quoted in its entirely. And even quoted posts can be maliciously modified. A short time limit for editing is worthwhile -- a poster can correct obvious typo and grammar errors and even delete portions of a post that "crossed the decorum line" in the passion of typing. But allowing a poster to go back and edit content will result in threads eventually not making any sense, with posts all of a sudden arguing a different point of view.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey View Post
    I find people proudly displaying ignorance insulting too.
    That sounds like intolerance to me. There's a difference between actively insulting someone by people who should know better, and feeling insulted because people have the audacity to come to this forum to ask questions.
    You are working on the basis that an insult is inherently wrong. An insult is one of the tools that humans can use in their communication. There are times when insults are appropriate and times when they are not.

    We might all prefer that wars should not exist, but I for one would not challenge von Clauswitz's statement that " war is the continuation of politics by other means." In an analagous fashion, insults are the continuation of discussion by others means. You think, apparently, that they are never appropriate. I disagree.

    Spanish Inquisition springs to mind. Why demonstrate science when you can burn them.
    This seems to miss the point entirely. When demonstrations of science have failed to change the self delusion of the whacko the lunacy of the whacko can be highlighted by direct insult.

    Might it be that part of your issue is that you would only be tempted to insult someone when you are enraged, whereas I am advocating insulting someone when a) they have shown themselves unworthy of respect, b) all other approaches have failed, c) when it is done calmly.

    Quote Originally Posted by puma
    Ad hom attacks are never warranted.
    For the reasons noted above, they are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite View Post
    For the reasons noted above, they are.
    Yes, yes, I know. You (and some of your buds) use ad hom attacks and veiled insults often. They do seem to be necessary -- according to your rules (reasons?). And that's all I'm going to say about this.
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    Perhaps an experimental subforum, "Nice'y Nice Land"?
    No bad words.
    No Ad Hominum anything, subtle or otherwise.
    Definitely no images or intimations of violence like here;
    Quote Originally Posted by iantresman
    2B or not 2B, that is pencil. The pencil is mightier than the sword.
    Any violation would be an immediate suspension of N days from the Nice'y Nice subforum only.

    And it appears I have neglected to welcome the new Owner, Admin. My apologies, and welcome.
    To date you have, in my opinion, done an excellent job. An appropriate balance of rule and benign neglect.
    I would like to see Skinwalker as a Mod again. Unless of course you've already offered and he has declined. He is a busy guy.
    I see Ophie's back, that's awesome!
    MarnixR is back in the pond, sweet!
    And we even get some DrRocket cameo's. I should go post some absolute BS in math's. Just to poke the bear for fun.

    It would appear that nothing really got broken when that bull came roaring through our china shop.
    Of course it's not really a china shop, it's a science lab, and science is not for the fragile or thin skinned.
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    skin is busy chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
    a futile and never-ending quest
    you see, with him, things have to be...just so!

    as for oafy, he never left
    not here, nor there
    Reply With Quote  
     

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