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Thread: I think The Science Forum has too many topical forums.

  1. #1 I think The Science Forum has too many topical forums. 
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
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    I'm new to this forum, but I'm a long term forum junkie. My favorite forums put out dozens of new posts per topic per day, and are condusive to interdisciplinary conversations. I can think of topics which belong equally in physics, chemistry, and "new hypothesis", but are separated out from interdisciplinary review because they must be put in one. I honestly think this site would be better if it were reduced down to about 7 topical forums, and let people from different disciplines mingle more in a faster moving forum.

    Maybe this is just a personal preference, but it is my opinion.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    The more topics, the more discussions. If you reduce the number of topics no one would be affected but those who use those areas and would not affect you.


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  4. #3  
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    From time to time, we get requests to create new sub-forums because people think there is not just the right place to put their posts. So, there are different opinions about this.

    As for myself, I tend to just click on "Today's Posts." This brings up all new posts, and makes the sub-forum classifications almost a moot point.
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I run much the same way. Click on New Posts and go to those threads I have contributed to; then check there are no newcomers who haven't received a welcome; then back to the latest post and work down as to what titles catch my eye. I rarely even know what sub-forum a post is on, so a change like that proposed would be compeletly neutral for me.
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  6. #5  
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    I am more closed-minded than John Galt and Harold - I just know I wouldn't be interested in Religion, Politics, Computer Science, Engineering etc. So I only ever check Math, Physics and occasionally Chem

    Or like today, Site Feedback. I find the current format useful, as I don't want to wade through a ton of recent posts that don't interest me.

    Is that bad of me?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman Crimson Sunbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    From time to time, we get requests to create new sub-forums because people think there is not just the right place to put their posts.
    Well, Iíve been thinking of a subforum on languages, since thatís what Iím interested in Ė I like not just learning new languages but also languages in general. After all, thereís also a science of languages: linguistics.

    From what Iíve gathered by reading the posts of members here, however, I donít find most people here that keen on languages. Oh, well.
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  8. #7  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson Sunbird View Post
    Well, I’ve been thinking of a subforum on languages, since that’s what I’m interested in – I like not just learning new languages but also languages in general. After all, there’s also a science of languages: linguistics.

    From what I’ve gathered by reading the posts of members here, however, I don’t find most people here that keen on languages. Oh, well.
    We did have a thread on historical linguistics but it fizzled out pretty quickly...
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  9. #8  
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    I think a nice feature might be to have a customized "today's post" button but with only those subforums you are interested in, putting the others on "ignore" so to speak.

    Crimson Sunbird - if you have a linguistics topic in mind, or anything else that doesn't fit into any pigeonhole, you could put it in the General section. If there is enough interest, maybe a sub-forum could be justified.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    From time to time, we get requests to create new sub-forums because people think there is not just the right place to put their posts. So, there are different opinions about this.

    As for myself, I tend to just click on "Today's Posts." This brings up all new posts, and makes the sub-forum classifications almost a moot point.
    Thanks for that information, I wasn't aware of that link, that's a large part of what I was wanting. (I'm still learning this site)

    I hear what you're saying about wanting a lot of different categories. Amongst other things it also allows posts to stay on the first page in a category for awhile, when maybe that's just it takes for the "sometimes" visitors with the answers to answer a certain question. What bothers me is the thought of a chemistry guy, with an answer to a sub-atomic physics question, who just doesn't see it because it was posted in the physics forum and he browses the chemistry forum. Or the possibility that a social sciences person could make a breakthrough with that statistics post that just went up in mathematics, but doesn't see it. Some say the defining trait of science in the 20th century has been its diversification: nobody can know the whole cutting edge of science as some did in the 17th century. But at what cost? How much progress has been lost because we were lacking the insights of a coleague in a neighboring field we don't communicate with?

    Food for thought anyway. Thanks for your responses, I'm still very much enjoying this site and the great minds which post here.

    PEace!
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TridentBlue View Post
    What bothers me is the thought of a chemistry guy, with an answer to a sub-atomic physics question, who just doesn't see it because it was posted in the physics forum and he browses the chemistry forum. Or the possibility that a social sciences person could make a breakthrough with that statistics post that just went up in mathematics, but doesn't see it. Some say the defining trait of science in the 20th century has been its diversification: nobody can know the whole cutting edge of science as some did in the 17th century. But at what cost? How much progress has been lost because we were lacking the insights of a coleague in a neighboring field we don't communicate with?
    While I agree with you allow me to put a downer on that.
    Even if all posts were kept under a single heading how likely is the chemistry guy to read a thread that has a title to do with physics? Or the social sciences weirdo person to read a mathematics thread?
    The ones that would do so probably check the sub-fora anyway, the ones that don't check wouldn't.
    IOW it's unlikely to make much difference.
    Unless we force everyone to read everything!
    We need more synthesists.

    In my experience forum members get to know each others' areas of interest in a reasonably short time, and can "call in outside help" from someone who doesn't normally contribute to a topic but might have an insight. It's happened on a number of occasions on other fora I've participated on.
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  12. #11  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson Sunbird View Post
    From what I’ve gathered by reading the posts of members here, however, I don’t find most people here that keen on languages. Oh, well.
    I almost never start threads. I would be quite likely to engage in one on linguistics, since it is a subject that interests me. I would not be too interested in discussing individual languages, but comparative linguistics, semantics, origin of language, are all topics of interest. (And the members seem sufficiently interested in language to use one when posting - although some efforts in this respect are better than others.)
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  13. #12  
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    While by no means an expert, I too am interested in most things linguistic. Perhaps we could discuss the etymology of the word "quark" in the physics section, or we could discuss the structure of TEXT in the mathematics forum (Does it form a symmetry group? Is that group Abelian?), or there is always the General discussion forum. I think the quality of this forum would improve greatly with more discussion of language and its uses.
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  14. #13  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarist View Post
    I am more closed-minded than John Galt and Harold - I just know I wouldn't be interested in Religion, Politics, Computer Science, Engineering etc. So I only ever check Math, Physics and occasionally Chem

    Or like today, Site Feedback. I find the current format useful, as I don't want to wade through a ton of recent posts that don't interest me.

    Is that bad of me?
    I agree, there are certain terms that tend to translate into "do not enter, high risk of embarrassing yourself". In my case those terms would be mathematics, physics, Chemistry, Astronomy... hell I am pretty much restricted to psychology, computer science, general discussion and the lunacy of the chat box.
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  15. #14  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson Sunbird View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    From time to time, we get requests to create new sub-forums because people think there is not just the right place to put their posts.
    Well, I’ve been thinking of a subforum on languages, since that’s what I’m interested in – I like not just learning new languages but also languages in general. After all, there’s also a science of languages: linguistics.

    From what I’ve gathered by reading the posts of members here, however, I don’t find most people here that keen on languages. Oh, well.
    I am but i doubt I would spend much time on it. Sometimes I just get a flitting curiosity about something. However, since we have so many members who do not speak english as their native language. It may be nice if there was a forum they could go to for help in understanding english idioms and slang. But we could add other threads for people to post questions regarding other languages.
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  16. #15  
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    It is a science forum, it would be nice to talk about specifics each of us are interested in but as it stands it is a science forum, perhaps a good idea if TSF ever wanted to branch off and have other pages such as languages or any other interesting topics then a new forum like the new physics forum could be created, as long as there were demand for it. Problem with that is there is not much discussion in a few sub-forums here.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  17. #16  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson Sunbird View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    From time to time, we get requests to create new sub-forums because people think there is not just the right place to put their posts.
    Well, Iíve been thinking of a subforum on languages, since thatís what Iím interested in Ė I like not just learning new languages but also languages in general. After all, thereís also a science of languages: linguistics.

    From what Iíve gathered by reading the posts of members here, however, I donít find most people here that keen on languages. Oh, well.
    I would second this! It might be slow going though.

    As you said, it doesn't seem to be a field of science that a lot of people work with. Personally, it is the science I work with and think about possibly more than eight hours a day. Who knows though. There might be more people into it than you would think.

    Then again, there's probably a lot of threads that don't fit too well into categories and find themselves in unusual places, as others have already noted.

    Phonetics could be in biology or physics. Literature could be in philosophy, education, history. Dialects, grammar, etc. could be in behaviour, psychology, history, anthropology, etc. In fact Anthropology could probably house a lot of the sub-forums on it's own.

    No place or time is too remote to escape the notice of anthropologists. -Dr. Budani of the University of Delaware
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