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Thread: OK OK. Are we making Positive Progress on The Science Forum?

  1. #1 OK OK. Are we making Positive Progress on The Science Forum? 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Has there been an improvement in the Quality of The Forums and Sub Forums? Does the current Membership and Guest List reflect this? The Members who actually put up Threads for Poste discussion, new Threads I mean, 2012 Threads, appear to centre around only about 14 long term Members, and perhaps 26 new Members, 2012. Are we just putting up Threads to stay involved? Are we getting involved, using Threads to gain new information and answers and to measure our comprehension and understanding of a Subject? How strong is the interest in purely Scientific Disciplines as against keeping a Social communication connection with other Members where we seem to have some rapport, a fellowship of some form of goodwill?

    I've benefitted from both forms of useage available in The Science Forum and feel perhaps that this kind of Communication cant be bad for understanding the make up of different Nationals. Australians are better at Cricket and Growing Wine Grapes and are happy to share their good will with all. westwind.


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    Yes, they call us the HARD CORE


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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by westwind
    How strong is the interest in purely Scientific Disciplines as against keeping a Social communication connection with other Members where we seem to have some rapport, a fellowship of some form of goodwill?
    How would you apply the scientific method to answer the question you pose? One cannot measure the level of 'interest' although they can easily enough track the number of viewers and posters. Although I am new to this forum, I have been engaged with science forums for approximately 3 1/2 years now. During that interval I have observed a decline in new membership and participation which I attribute to the following reasons:

    1) New Phone technology - Even here in the north one observes that a great percentage of the population is enthralled by these handheld devices. They are a safety hazard (while driving and when crossing the street) and they greatly impede work productivity.( People have lost their job for not heeding warnings about this technology NOT to be on the work floor.) Hopefully, this fad too shall run it's course.

    2) Saturation - While there are new observations to be made every day, purely empirical science does not move that fast, as any new discovery must be tested and re-tested for accuracy.

    3) Human Nature - We are a species that is easily bored. Once we have wrapped our head around a thing, we tend to cast our interest and energies wider afield although we are also empathetic creatures and tend to cling to old ways and places for psychological comfort.

    4) Attrition - We have sadly been losing a number of our senior members to our age old adversary, death. We also lose members of any age to misfortune and the loss of any active member precipitates a change in forum dynamics. The forum lies in wait like a pool of glassy water, waiting for that pebble to get tossed in, setting forth a ripple of energy and motion in all directions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Has there been an improvement in the Quality of The Forums and Sub Forums?
    It is my opinion that the quality leaves much to be desired. Mostly when I browse the latest posts, there are only two or three that I even want to open up and read. I think it is time to prune some of the crackpots from the membership, as they take up a large amount of the bandwidth. Also, there is too much off topic discussion for my taste. I don't really see why people want to spend so much time rummaging around in the trash can, talking about space aliens, and things of that nature.
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    Hasn't been many post titles that have inspired me either but it's up to us to think of interesting threads instead of berating the state of current threads.

    I actually posted a short comment about aliens in a thread that had been put 'into the trash' as you guys say... But I never rumaged in no garbage to find it, looks like some of the litter gets blown back into the mainstreet so to speak...

    Also the place is quite slow a lot of the time... Im suprised to read about the low numbers of new members. Maybe feel intimidated to join in? intellectual bullying rife?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Hasn't been many post titles that have inspired me either but it's up to us to think of interesting threads instead of berating the state of current threads.

    I actually posted a short comment about aliens in a thread that had been put 'into the trash' as you guys say... But I never rumaged in no garbage to find it, looks like some of the litter gets blown back into the mainstreet so to speak...

    Also the place is quite slow a lot of the time... Im suprised to read about the low numbers of new members. Maybe feel intimidated to join in? intellectual bullying rife?
    The crazy shit and non-scientific discussions tend to turn off some of the scientifically minded.

    We've always tried to strike a balance between being tolerant of those just learning the scientific method, and critical thinking in general and being too harsh or strict. I'd glad we're getting some feedback on how we're doing in that regard and can easily crank things down to ramp up the standards.

    We are however going pretty well...many times there are over a 1000 watching and usually at least several dozen registered watching the sight.
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  8. #7  
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    The crazy shit and non-scientific discussions tend to turn off some of the scientifically minded.
    I agree.

    I'd glad we're getting some feedback on how we're doing in that regard and can easily crank things down to ramp up the standards.
    Just my own personal opinion - it would be good to be a little less lenient with obvious cranks; I think there is no need to let threads run to 500+ posts if everyone knows that the OP is a crank who really isn't interested in learning anything. This only wastes everyones time. Often it is fun to be "jousting" with crackpots, but I think the line should be drawn once it becomes obvious that the person in question does not want to learn anything.

    This is a just a personal opinion though - generally speaking I very much enjoy participating on this forum, in fact it is by far my favourite one. Some of the other forums I am on are overly strict, to the extent of banning people after just one post because that post did not 100% conform to mainstream science...
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  9. #8  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    For Markus Hanke. Yeah. 500 plus posts from a clever dick ( old convict expression ) intent on polluting the interesting Science Forum with static, thus lowering the acceptable priviliged standard we mostly enjoy. Me thinks they would be better employed chopping wood for their GrandMothers. westwind.
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    I can see it's important to draw the line somewhere... but this site and its ops should be proud of the liberal stance given to non conformist ideas, and continue to allow them and challenge them with logic and evidence rather than reacting and supressing.

    After all cranks are a phenomena of science so this site needs to face it's responsibility and deal with the nutters by informing and remaining impartial. IMO
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    After all cranks are a phenomena of science
    That is rather like saying that syphillis is a phenomenon of humanity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    After all cranks are a phenomena of science
    That is rather like saying that syphillis is a phenomenon of humanity.
    You like you metaphors and simmalies dont you... just like all the science books!

    It's more like saying german measles is a phenomenom of humanity, actually.
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    But then german measles isn't a phenomena or problem caused by humanity... it was the responsibility of scientists ultimately... as i'm sure you know.
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    Back to the thread i'm not so sure i'v witnessed much 'positive progress' on the website... I suppose it depends on what your definition of progress is. Whats the objective? what goals are you working towards by which you can measure progress?

    I believe I have witnessed a culture of intellectual bullying on the site... Is making uneducated people feel little the objective? because i've seen some progress in this department.
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  15. #14  
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    continue to allow them and challenge them with logic and evidence rather than reacting and supressing.
    I agree with this, however, this is a two-way process. It is our responsibility to provide logic and evidence, but it is also the poster's responsibility to acknowledge the evidence presented, and learn from it. Too often you run across people who, when confronted with evidence running contrary to their ideas, just simply refuse to acknowledge that they have been proven wrong, and just continue on and on with their same delusional ramblings. This is how threads swell to 500+ posts, and in my mind this is where the line needs to be drawn. People who just ignore empirical evidence forfeit their right to take part in a serious scientific discussion. In an ideal world the mainstream contributors should then just let the thread die, but in reality personalities take over since everyone wants to have the last word for fear of being perceived as "looser" of the argument - and I am as guilty of that as anyone else. And this is precisely where the moderators must come in.
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    I believe I have witnessed a culture of intellectual bullying on the site... Is making uneducated people feel little the objective? because i've seen some progress in this department.
    I disagree. Being uneducated is no shame, and everyone here is willing to help people who show a willingness to learn. The problems start when people reject the evidence presented, or fail to acknowledge the facts laid out before them. Your are no fool for lack of knowledge - the true fools are those who fail to realize their shortcomings, and considers themselves wise instead.
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    Yes I take your point about those who willfully ignore or reject evidence. I think often it is a case not of a person ignoring or rejecting evidence, just rejecting that the evidence is proof against their theory or stance.
    A lot of the time there isn't even evidence presented for the 'crank' to reject.
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  18. #17  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I believe I have witnessed a culture of intellectual bullying on the site... Is making uneducated people feel little the objective? because i've seen some progress in this department.
    Intellectual bullying? Or is it a passionate outpouring of disgust at intransigent ignorance?

    Were you to waste the time to look at a multiplicity of my posts you would find many examples where I have gently explained to a new member why their idea was mistaken and offered them an explanation targeted at what I assess their knowledge level to be. I invest time and effort in this process. I trust you would agree that this is the opposite of ntellectual bullying.

    You will, sadly, find more examples of where I have attempted to do this and the member has rejected the explanation, preferring to go with nonsense written by another party, or some misguided notion they have dreamed up themselves. When all efforts to explain to them that what they are doing is not science have failed; when they ignore clear justifications for the use of the scientific method; and when they repeat tired old arguments that have identified cranks for centuries, then exasperation will lead to rigorous and vigorous condemnation of their nonsense.

    Is this use of superior knowledge, sounder logic and better English, intellectual bullying? I think not. Rather it is a demonstration of value of knowledge, the benefits of logic and the advantage of clear communication. The alternative is to reward stupidity by remaining silent. I'm not in favour of that approach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I believe I have witnessed a culture of intellectual bullying on the site... Is making uneducated people feel little the objective? because i've seen some progress in this department.
    Intellectual bullying? Or is it a passionate outpouring of disgust at intransigent ignorance?

    Were you to waste the time to look at a multiplicity of my posts you would find many examples where I have gently explained to a new member why their idea was mistaken and offered them an explanation targeted at what I assess their knowledge level to be. I invest time and effort in this process. I trust you would agree that this is the opposite of ntellectual bullying.

    You will, sadly, find more examples of where I have attempted to do this and the member has rejected the explanation, preferring to go with nonsense written by another party, or some misguided notion they have dreamed up themselves. When all efforts to explain to them that what they are doing is not science have failed; when they ignore clear justifications for the use of the scientific method; and when they repeat tired old arguments that have identified cranks for centuries, then exasperation will lead to rigorous and vigorous condemnation of their nonsense.

    Is this use of superior knowledge, sounder logic and better English, intellectual bullying? I think not. Rather it is a demonstration of value of knowledge, the benefits of logic and the advantage of clear communication. The alternative is to reward stupidity by remaining silent. I'm not in favour of that approach.
    You seem to have taken my post personally, but I did not have you in mind.
    In your case it might be an outpouring of disgust at intransigent ignorance in some cases. In other cases it might be considered intellectual bullying. My last post shows that I wasn't talking about passionate outpourings at intransigence.

    I need not look through you'r posts to others when I assess you john, i prefere to judge people mainly on my experience with them, it gives more accurate data. I know that you give good and reasonable guidence to people.

    We've spoken about this before and you know I agree it is ok to condemn nonsense by offering superior knowledge. It was more cases of many posters calling somebody a dunce basically without making any attempts to understand what the OP is attempting to learn about... cases where I saw no attempts by the condemners to offer superior knowledge first. Thats all I was trying to say. It wasn't an attempt to smear you with innuendo.
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  20. #19  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    You seem to have taken my post personally, but I did not have you in mind.
    No. I didn't take it personally. I considered several possible response to your post. Here are summaries.
    1. What I actually posted.
    2. A devil's advocate style post in which I justified the use of intellectual bullying
    3. A counter argument in which I demonstrated that the bullying was coming from those arguing from a position of ignorance
    4. An assertion that such claims arose from feelings of inadequacy and therefore had no place on a science forum
    5. A complete agreement, accompanied with specific examples, and a request to propose ways of eliminating this.

    I went for 1. because it more closely reflected my thinking on the matter.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by QFU
    intransigence
    Did you Google "intransigence" this time? Was there a photo of you next to it?
    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
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  22. #21  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by QFU
    intransigence
    Did you Google "intransigence" this time? Was there a photo of you next to it?
    I call question on the value of this post, especially by a moderator.

    Though I am new to this forum and it may prejudice some against me, so be it.

    You want a science forum?

    Then baiting and tomfoolery should be considered carefully.

    I wish to make it clear that I am making this objection strictly on my own behalf as I find it to be ridiculing of a poster and an abuse of the office of moderator.

    Intransigent - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary


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    Notice the emoticon.

    I acknowledge that I may have not considered it as carefully as you suggest. I apologise for the naked teasing and retract it.

    In place of it, I'd like to remind QFY that examples of intransigence are to be found within his own conduct.
    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
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  24. #23  
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    Intransigence is as much a 'trademark' of our species as is curiosity, both traits which are as a double-edged sword, in that sometimes they lead to great accomplishment and at other times they may lead us into difficulty, even demise.

    I thank you for acknowledging and addressing my concern above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    You seem to have taken my post personally, but I did not have you in mind.
    No. I didn't take it personally. I considered several possible response to your post. Here are summaries.
    1. What I actually posted.
    2. A devil's advocate style post in which I justified the use of intellectual bullying
    3. A counter argument in which I demonstrated that the bullying was coming from those arguing from a position of ignorance
    4. An assertion that such claims arose from feelings of inadequacy and therefore had no place on a science forum
    5. A complete agreement, accompanied with specific examples, and a request to propose ways of eliminating this.

    I went for 1. because it more closely reflected my thinking on the matter.
    Well I would've like to hear any of those responses!
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    No kalstar.. I looked it up in my trusty dictionary. you and john both no that I probablistically wouldn't know that word! I never refuse and opportunity to lean a new word, term maybe, expression maybe, but not a word.
    Intransigence in my post!!! I think I prefered the original teasing! Yes I have my moments, i see it as a strength in most cases. I am willing to accept faults and comprimise on my opinions as long as i've been shown, and as long as i've been shown in a decent way (i'm just saying, don't read too much into it). I don't think many of my positions are extreme.

    Kalstar knows that he can tease me with valueless comments like that without causing offence, he said worse in the last thread I posted in, but there are some remarks made by mods not just to me when im being intransigent but also to many of the other posters which are couter productive. personally I was attacked very early on by members without any mods stepping in, it was nothing major and i'm able to brush these things off and continue attempting to contribute and learn from people here. Some receive a more hostile response to their comments and it does nothing to help them shift there position if they are called silly names, thats kinda what i was trying to say earlier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    intellectual bullying rife?
    Reminds me of this quote:
    I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell. - Harry S Truman
    KALSTER and question for you like this.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    intellectual bullying rife?
    Reminds me of this quote:
    I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell. - Harry S Truman
    Indeed.

    The truth can be very disconcerting when it threatens to shake the foundation of our 'conditioning'.

    Much of the problem likely stems from the observation that we are conditioned to fit the mold of our family, community etc. and not taught critical thinking until much later, if even then.
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  29. #28  
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    How can we discern that we are clever and worthy of our leadership roles if we don't know what being dumb is? westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by QFU
    intransigence
    Did you Google "intransigence" this time? Was there a photo of you next to it?
    Yes I am one transigent donkey sometimes... don't ya just love it? I prefer 'strong headed' or strong willed. The important things is I do moderate my positions following reason to do so.

    I take this as a compliment more than anything else.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by QFU
    intransigence
    Did you Google "intransigence" this time? Was there a photo of you next to it?
    Yes I am one transigent donkey sometimes... don't ya just love it? I prefer 'strong headed' or strong willed. The important things is I do moderate my positions following reason to do so.

    I take this as a compliment more than anything else.
    Duly noted.

    Some horses respond better to negative reinforcement though the majority in my experience are more pliable with positive reinforcement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Some horses respond better to negative reinforcement though the majority in my experience are more pliable with positive reinforcement.
    Reminds me of one boss who offered me half of my bonus... They kept me all year with the prospect of that well deserved and much needed bonus... then only offered me half. I walked and let them keep the other half of my bonus too. I couldn't allow them to treat me like a donkey with a carrot on a stick and then refuse me my carrot when we got to bethlehem... Jesus wouldn't do that. There was no idication that I was not on track to earn my bonus,it was just a callous and ungratefull act.
    Im strong headed enough to walk away from the money rather than let people manipulate me into comprimising on my principles, such as equality, honesty and fairness. Being true to myself bassically. Balls to the money, I would have spent it long ago, I got myself out of the finacial difficulty and i've still got the knowledge that I didn't allow myself to be misused or manipulated any longer and that these principles of decency, mean more to me than money.

    Some of you will see this as foolish, your entitled to that opinion and there might not be a right or wrong... but to me self respect is worth much more than money.
    If I compromised and continued in that employment then I could have lived with myself, but I got a lot of satisfaction from saying: 'I am not the sort of donkey that you you can mug off with half a carrot, I'm going to the hills to eat grass, enjoy the carrot'. Though not in those words.
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    4 Q4U. You value highly your Self Respect. I sense this is part of your make up, not your conditioning. To be able to walk tall, to hold anybodys gaze, to know you do not have to justify yourself to anybody senior in authority or demanding your co-operation in a lie, these are powerful and trustworthy traits. Once you lose the total respect you have for yourself you are living in a house made of highly flammable straw. Always trying to keep a look out for fire. Watching so the roof dosen't blow off. Worry that the rats in the thatch come out at night. Deaading that heavy knock on the door late at night. Avoiding too much talk. Work in the far corner of the Field. I have counted 86 reasons to try and keep, above all things, your self respect. And how do you lose your self worth?? You give it to all that is weak in human nature. You delude yourself into thinking that it is of little value, something that can be risked for a lick of a candy stick. How do I know all this? What do you think? But don't confront me with it or I will kill you. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Thank you westwind. I will try to make sure I do not lose this 'self respect' and apreciate your warnings of the dangers of doing so. I won't dare to confront you about it .

    Not sure what the 86 reasons refer to?
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    I'm really a pussy-cat Q4U. Of course I wouldn't kill you. The Tea-Pot fumes must have got up my nostrils just as I was finishing off the Poste. I apologise most profusely. As far asthe number 86 is concerned when I am under the influence of the Tea Leaves I just think of a number and divide it by the number of mistakes I have made in my life. Now that you have drawn my attention to the No. 86 it really should be lower, as i have just praised MW UP......westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    hahaa no need to appologise westwind... I know how overpowering that caffiene can be!
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    I can see it's important to draw the line somewhere... but this site and its ops should be proud of the liberal stance given to non conformist ideas, and continue to allow them and challenge them with logic and evidence rather than reacting and supressing.

    After all cranks are a phenomena of science so this site needs to face it's responsibility and deal with the nutters by informing and remaining impartial. IMO
    In an ideal world, perhaps.

    But here in the real world, it seems like any time someone is sitting watching the Discovery channel and contemplating their navel, and they hear a pop-sci description of something like relativity or the Big-Bang theory, they think it must be wrong and that they can do better with only a few minutes application of their own peculiar brand of "logic".

    Then they come here, arguing that Special Relativity or even General Relativity is wrong, and it is obvious that they really haven't a clue what they are talking about.

    Is it our duty then to bring them up to speed on how General Relativity actually describes things? Are we supposed to sit here, taking a few hours (yes, it does take hours sometimes!) to compose a proper treatment of the subject for them, because they haven't bothered to do any research themselves?

    Or should we just say "you are wrong, and if you want to know why, then you should have studied up on the subject properly before coming here and spouting this nonsense".

    Are we supposed to respect a persons right to make up anything they like? Some posters come on here spouting nonsense ideas on a regular basis - are we supposed to donate our time and effort to address their nonsense on a formal basis every time they post another crazy idea?
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    Duly noted.

    Some horses respond better to negative reinforcement though the majority in my experience are more pliable with positive reinforcement.
    You'd be amazed what Sche will do for a carrot. Speaking of carrots, you need to post the recipe for your carrot pie over at SF. I want to give it a try.

    If life gives you carrots, make carrot pie:

    Attached Images
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    Classy Knife and Fork. And, as for the Plate, mannma, something to start a war over. Yep. the carrot cake looks delicious. If Life gives you Carrots, make and bake and puree and roast and stew and make carrot soup. You have a touch of class 1968 in your input and output. You don't appeal to me in looks. Far too feral and empty headed for my taste, but as for your potential, lets throw our weight behind that. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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  40. #39  
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    Of all my time on this forum I have seen a lot. I have seen some members change for the better; some for the worst and some stay the same. If there is one thing that personally annoys me the most about this forum, its grumpy old gits or the people with the grumpy old git mind-set. Some have left and some remain. At any rate, we are here to discuss science. If you are doing that right you won't be belittled by these people, and once in a while if you get the highground you can give them some of their own treatment its part of the fun

    A lot of the people on this forum hate ignorance and they hate ramblings of madmen and the uninformed to which I can sympathise, they then often come across as rude and antagonising in response because they have frankly had enough of it, again which I can sympathise.

    Bottom line if you know what you are talking about you will get on well with most, if you don't you then will either understand and learn from your mistakes or you will maintain your ignorance and spam insults and crap. Thus you will fit into two categories here, and although the more blunt, ruder members here could and perhaps should show more tact, they don't. But that's their way, and they aren't likely to change.

    But as long as they discuss science and we all learn something then you can swallow your pride for the betterment of science and intellectual debate.

    PS Intelligent minds do often belittle others more because of their experience with a less than intelligent society whom often belittles them. Mostly because others do not understand them and they get frustrated, so the easiest way to vent this frustration often comes in the form of being rude and belittling ignorant members of the forum. It's human nature. Personally I know I do this quite a lot, I try not to though as one day I'd hate to become a grumpy old fart. Shoot me if I ever do.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    If there is one thing that personally annoys me the most about this forum, its grumpy old gits or the people with the grumpy old git mind-set.
    What annoys me are the idiots who require to be dealt with by grumpy old gits like me because they haven't learned what the purpose of their brain is. I make zero apology for demanding that people act intelligently.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    If there is one thing that personally annoys me the most about this forum, its grumpy old gits or the people with the grumpy old git mind-set.
    What annoys me are the idiots who require to be dealt with by grumpy old gits like me because they haven't learned what the purpose of their brain is.
    Make soup?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  43. #42  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Well...I have definitely noticed an increase in the quality of posts since I returned to forum.

    You're welcome.
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  44. #43  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Make soup?
    hmmm....leather tanning?

    --
    Well...I have definitely noticed an increase in the quality of posts since I returned to forum
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  45. #44  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    If there is one thing that personally annoys me the most about this forum, its grumpy old gits or the people with the grumpy old git mind-set.
    What annoys me are the idiots who require to be dealt with by grumpy old gits like me because they haven't learned what the purpose of their brain is. I make zero apology for demanding that people act intelligently.
    'Act' intelligently? Would not acting and drama be found in the cultural section of the forum? (Just kidding...)

    In retrospect, the civility of good manners often serves as a more sophisticated form of warfare.

    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
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  46. #45  
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    Good manners always seem to backfire on me. If I'm an ass it turns out that person was polite and would have been a good friend, if I'm well mannered and open a door, or oblige someone help they're an ass. You can't win.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  47. #46  
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    It's not about winning or losing, but about being.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Good manners always seem to backfire on me. If I'm an ass it turns out that person was polite and would have been a good friend, if I'm well mannered and open a door, or oblige someone help they're an ass. You can't win.
    Be an ass and don't open the door.
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    I don't know...when it comes to science woo woo's trying post crap to lead laymen astray....I say be as much of a dick as you want to be. Woo deserves ridicule.

    9/11 was an inside job? Yeah...read my shirt.
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  50. #49  
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    nothing is that ever was and everything that is never was
    how can the center hold when there are no edges
    the only constant is change

    whither hence?
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  51. #50  
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    Huh?
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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  52. #51  
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    The problem IMO is in communicating a complex idea in language understandable to laypersons.
    The learned people here are able to communicate because they speak the same language, even when discussing disparate subjects.

    Citing E = Mc^2 as a known concept may not mean anything to a person who is not familiar with science. But if attached to an example such as the enormous power released by a small amount of matter as in a nuclear device, even an ignorant person can see that the energy released in a nuclear device is much greater than energy released from say dynamite.
    Thus the question naturally comes up why and how is is one bomb so much more powerful than another. At this point the listener has expressed a genuine interest in the "how" rather than a vague acknowledgement that some things explode while others do not.

    The same thing can be said in metaphysical discussions about god and religion. Knowing the bible allows for a discussion at the level of the believer and can thus be presented in the language of the believer.

    I was asked once by a theist colleague how science can claim the age of the universe is 14 billion years while the bible says that god created the universe in 6 days. Rather than citing "background noise" and other scientific theories, I asked her if she knew how long one of god's days was and if it could be possible that one of god's days was 2 billion years and that 7 of god's days might well be 14 billion years. I reminded her that nowhere in the bible does it say that god's day is 24 hours which is an earth day and earth was not created until later in the "week". Note that I did not attempt to deny her god or proving the physical impossibility of a 6 day creation itself. I left her faith intact but just adjusted her way of looking at the creative process itself and at least have her "interpret" scripture in a new way.
    She told me that she had never looked at it that way and thanked me for the insight. The conversation was concluded to the satisfaction to both parties.

    There is an excellent handbook on how to present a persuasive argument,

    The Debunking Handbook: now freely available for download
    Last edited by Write4U; October 18th, 2012 at 11:01 PM.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It's not about winning or losing, but about being.
    Indeed, yet even being is in question...

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    I find this thread highly interesting, but its scientific content very weak. Reading the URL above and knowing that I typed it because I searched for scientific perspective does not help me to feel less guilty.
    Thus I try another perspective, the premise being that this thread as turned into a lot of personal feelings, emotions rather then thoughts).
    First the experiment: I'll take a look at some of Galt assertion (or jokes, only him knows). There is nothing personal.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Is this use of superior knowledge, sounder logic and better English, intellectual bullying? I think not.
    Of course (you think)not, you do not like bullies. Can I point to you that being 'superior' means a way to rate/measure some quantity into some dimension/unit?
    Now wouldn't it better that the 'use of' was the things that need to be superior, not the 'knowledge' ? Isn't the bullying-rate the invert measure of the logic of an argument ?
    Gosh, better English ? I am doomed Do you think that everybody will understand that you cannot possibly mean that being born in an English country makes you a better scientist ? or a better teacher ? or a better curious person ? I won't be surprise that some (or many)will just notice that it makes you appears like a bully

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    ...rather it is a demonstration of value of knowledge, the benefits of logic and the advantage of clear communication.
    Did I disprove your demonstration or what ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The alternative is to reward stupidity by remaining silent. I'm not in favor of that approach.
    That I can understand, I am just doing that right now. Trying to escape its own shortcomings is very hard. So I know I may miss the target. Doing so put your self-esteem at risk. It is another hidden variable in every post.
    Beside, why 'being silent' REWARD stupidity, or its perpetrator. what do they gain ? I would have said: They loose some chance to learn things...

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It's not about winning or losing, but about being.
    Utter non-sense. It is about wining AN ARGUMENT. It is about creating something out of nothing. Knowledge from void. We won't be the judge of that, but all the peoples that will read us for themselves. And they all will witness different kinds of sensical particles, born from our high energy opinions-collision.

    Being strong, in a argument, does not requires bullying, which I take as an abuse of power.


    Back to the thread.

    I take for granted that nobody here try to make science progress.
    If you want to make forum progress, one could learn from many other site:

    Better indexing: making things much more easier to find => avoid repetition, lower noise.

    Scoring: Allowing people to rates comments, will automatically put 'crackpots' down the bottom, that is: in the hidden part of the list. They would still be able to read, but not shouting non-sense in everyone's eyes (hug am I making sense of my senses)

    Limit number of reply/post. Attach various credits(proportional to score ?) to the various actions possible on the forum. Make it exchangeable so Galt will be able to transfer me some of the huge fortune he will amass.

    Inline remarks. Most often you want to comment on a particular part of a phrase in a post. If the(many) remarks could be attached as a 'tool tip' on the underlined statement, it would be much more compact an browsable (why not make the number of word limited, tweet like)

    You could also ... [CREDIT NEEDEED]
    Last edited by Boing3000; October 19th, 2012 at 08:29 AM.
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  55. #54  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    speaking about different languages:
    long ago and far away, (about the time i hit my 5th university) I discovered that each dicipline had it's own lexicon, and each lexicon created a slightly different classificatory schema, a way of ordering thoughts in a cogent manner. The problem was that each tool limited its appreciation of the thing studied to it's specific ordering of the available data.
    and the varied lexicons seemed to restrict cross diciplinary understanding
    what a pity
    things that were obvious in one dicipline, were mysteries in another
    ..........
    it is my hope that forums like this one where people of varied backgrounds and knowledge bases, come together and try to understand one another, are daily battering down the doors and walls seperating the diciplines, forming a unity of desperate parts of knowledge which more closely resembles the complexity and unity of the things studied(reality?, or the closest approximation of "reality" within the purview of the species?)

    but---as/re my previous
    things change---constantly
    ergo, my
    "whither hence"

    long ago, the journey was for the goal, and now, I ain't really sure whether or not the journey is really the only goal worthwhile?
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  56. #55  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It's not about winning or losing, but about being.
    Utter non-sense. It is about wining AN ARGUMENT. It is about creating something out of nothing. Knowledge from void. We won't be the judge of that, but all the peoples that will read us for themselves. And they all will witness different kinds of sensical particles, born from our high energy opinions-collision.

    Being strong, in a argument, does not requires bullying, which I take as an abuse of power.
    The trouble with that is that science doesn't win or lose, there is only the truth and with rigorous discussion and the right amount of knowledge 'winning' is just the end result that happens naturally from questioning the world and the universe, so just 'be' scientific. If you have a discussion with someone who is knowledgeable you will either learn something or carry on in ignorance and stupidity. Science is black and white.

    It also depends on how you define bullying, sometimes being bigoted and arrogant to people is a test to see if they will race their ego into the discussion and make an ass of themselves instead of validating their claims. Such people will walk around claiming bigfoot exists or that general relativity is wrong etc. It shows us all that their behaviour and response to being bigoted is usually as predicted and that is usually unintellectual garbage followed by argumentum ad hominem.

    Sometimes being a bully to the right people is the right thing to do, you don't have to take their crap. Always call people on their bullshit.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Sometimes being a bully to the right people is the right thing to do, you don't have to take their crap.
    I do not understand your phrase. There is not point into it (literary). 'Giving' crap IS bullying. So dam right I don't have to take it. Reacting to bullying can be done in many ways (like fleeing), I won't call any of them bullying. Probably a language gap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Always call people on their bullshit.
    Hello ?

    Now, did I pass the test ? Was My ego tamed enough ?
    I do agree with a lot of what you said, I I think the reverse is also true, but yet we seem to disagree.
    This forum leads naturally to this kind of 'mouth fight' (copyright Stanley) or more poetic approach (like Unicorn herding (copyright Strange)).
    I have seen Strange display the most incredible amount of patience, trying to 'win' over that frighteningly obtuse fighter (not using the stupid adjective on purpose, and not suggesting quite sneakily that you do that too often, ... gosh, too late) And what is the result ? Fun for some, despair for others, or both for me, and an infinitude of other mixed solution to that life-scale-experiment.

    I do believe that a scientific approach to the response to the question of this thread, which I am trying hard to put in the center of this non-wining un-fight, is to acknowledge that information-technology is a synonym for costly-void.

    Prove me wrong. Do you think that a sapiens is equiped to make 'clear communication' true a keyboard ? Especially over so extremely borderline concerns ? (yes, I am talking about science). I would have to tell you about Darwins theory, and the thousands year of selection (NOT EVOLUTION like I read on so many threads here) that barely equipped us with enough skils to debate around a fire, with some helps of a beer, and the incentive of a bear ?

    There is no amount of those dimensions (like facial expression, maybe hormone level) on an electronic forum. Do you really think that bullying is of any use on such media ? (I (think I)know you don't, I am doing the questions and the answers)

    Vanity will kill us all. I have seen so many wonderful quotation (like yours) on this forum, and practically no one living up to it !

    So, which wolf are we going to feed ?
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  58. #57  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. You sound like a banana thinking how to do math on crack.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  59. #58  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boing3000 View Post
    Utter non-sense. It is about wining AN ARGUMENT. It is about creating something out of nothing. Knowledge from void. We won't be the judge of that, but all the peoples that will read us for themselves. And they all will witness different kinds of sensical particles, born from our high energy opinions-collision.
    While fun, it's somewhat a futile quest, and certainly not creating something from nothing on a science forum. It's about presenting credible information with the aim being more to educate or bring a fresh perspective than to "WIN."


    Back to the thread.

    I take for granted that nobody here try to make science progress.
    If you want to make forum progress, one could learn from many other site:

    Better indexing: making things much more easier to find => avoid repetition, lower noise.

    Scoring: Allowing people to rates comments, will automatically put 'crackpots' down the bottom, that is: in the hidden part of the list. They would still be able to read, but not shouting non-sense in everyone's eyes (hug am I making sense of my senses)

    Limit number of reply/post. Attach various credits(proportional to score ?) to the various actions possible on the forum. Make it exchangeable so Galt will be able to transfer me some of the huge fortune he will amass.

    Inline remarks. Most often you want to comment on a particular part of a phrase in a post. If the(many) remarks could be attached as a 'tool tip' on the underlined statement, it would be much more compact an browsable (why not make the number of word limited, tweet like)

    You could also ... [CREDIT NEEDEED]
    A few good ideas in here worth discussion. Do you think crackpots would really care about scoring--it seems some of them thrive on the attention, regardless of how negative. Asking because we're mostly using brute force to handle them now. I think a controlled low amount of crackpottery (lol) keep things interesting here, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves how valuable and fragile the scientific method can be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. You sound like a banana thinking how to do math on crack.
    I know which one of your wolf I have fed. I apologies, i meant the other one...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Do you think crackpots would really care about scoring--it seems some of them thrive on the attention

    That's the question -- and the answer.
    They won't be able to post new threads before having earned enough credits.
    The posted answers beeing sorted on likes-scores, none of them will get visibility, thus probably make them go away, or maybe create some motivation to seek this mytical beast that is the zero-point crackpottery (
    not the Dunken Unicorn)
    As a side effect, replies won't appears like question-answers debate/fight anymore. Both Bull*ies and *shit will go down the drain.

    So it may be be my last post ... bye everyone, my mum is calling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. You sound like a banana thinking how to do math on crack.
    I was going to post a lengthy rebuttal and analysis of Boing3000's post #53, but Quantime has actually posted something I agree with and is much more succinct than I was planning.
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  63. #62  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    ... It's about presenting credible information with the aim being more to educate or bring a fresh perspective than to "WIN."
    ... .
    Ain't many that have my perspective, but every time someone in here alters my perspective, I WIN!
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    ... It's about presenting credible information with the aim being more to educate or bring a fresh perspective than to "WIN."
    ... .
    Ain't many that have my perspective, but every time someone in here alters my perspective, I WIN!
    We all 'win' in making the effort. After all, the only unique thing that any of us brings to the forum is our own experience and perspective which has value whether one has degrees attached to their name or not for we are all 'accredited' by the foremost 'authority' in the sharing of the experience of 'life'. Anyone may practice the scientific method and make observations though not all will come to the same conclusions even though they make exact same observations for it greatly depends upon what perspective one holds and what theory one is attempting to validate.

    We are attempting, most often, to study but one drop at a time, of a stream that is ever in motion.

    Damnably difficult to do and the results prove variable.
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  65. #64  
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    Beside, why 'being silent' REWARD stupidity, or its perpetrator. what do they gain ? I would have said: They loose some chance to learn things...
    You are right, but there is a hidden danger - the "silent reader". Remember that these forum pages are indexed in major search engines, so a lot of casual readers may come through here looking for real scientific information and data. The danger then is that not everyone can immediately tell apart woo from real science - a less experienced visitor may read some comment which is in reality just woo, and think that it is actually real science. Thus we try to actually point out mistakes and fallacies as much as possible.

    Better indexing: making things much more easier to find => avoid repetition, lower noise.

    Scoring: Allowing people to rates comments, will automatically put 'crackpots' down the bottom, that is: in the hidden part of the list. They would still be able to read, but not shouting non-sense in everyone's eyes (hug am I making sense of my senses)

    Limit number of reply/post. Attach various credits(proportional to score ?) to the various actions possible on the forum. Make it exchangeable so Galt will be able to transfer me some of the huge fortune he will amass.

    Inline remarks. Most often you want to comment on a particular part of a phrase in a post. If the(many) remarks could be attached as a 'tool tip' on the underlined statement, it would be much more compact an browsable (why not make the number of word limited, tweet like)
    Some interesting and good suggestions, Boing3000. I am not a moderator here, but I think some of these points are well worth serious consideration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968 View Post
    Well...I have definitely noticed an increase in the quality of posts since I returned to forum.

    You're welcome.
    Lol, I though it was just one way traffic but looks like you led half of SF back here, well done.
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  67. #66  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    "Are we making Positive Progress on The Science Forum? "
    I dont know, what is(are) the objective(s)? And what is the plan to reach it(them)?



    I know Ive learned many things that have helped me further understand the world we live in, with questions I have asked and by reading the answers to questions and comments of other forum members. Maybe in addition to a "like" button we could have a "I leaned" button to signal posts that have answered a question or from which you have learned something new, and maybe a "yeah me too" or "Good Question" button for OP to signal you also were wondering the same thing. Then down the road you could have, along with the other ways in which threads can viewed, a list of relatively recent Threads with the most "I learned" and "Good Question" signals.
    Last edited by icewendigo; October 23rd, 2012 at 12:06 PM.
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  68. #67  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Are we making Positive Progress on The Science Forum? "
    I dont know, what is(are) the objective(s)? And what is the plan to reach it(them)?
    Follow the leader?

    Which one is the leader?

    Perhaps the objective(s) may be arrived at by a multitude of paths.

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  69. #68  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Yay I found a way to the other in under a minute do I win a prize?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  70. #69  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    Yay I found a way to the other in under a minute do I win a prize?
    But of course!



    Google Image Result for http://www.horsetreats.com/product_images/y/090/Studs-8_pack__56764_zoom__22535_zoom.jpg
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  71. #70  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Nomnomnomnom
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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