Making Sciforums more Successful.!!!

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by cluelusshusbund, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Awesome. Clueluss is just like Jesus... suffering for our sins.
    Actually, I think he should change his user title to "Suffering for your sins".
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  3. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    I figure with the direction this site has taken, I'll be banned soon enough...

    I see no reason for self abuse. Why would anyone self ban? I like ya Tim but, WTF are ya doing dude?

    And why are you condoning this CK?

    Yeah, in my personal opinion moderation has gone to shit. We seem to have a mod mafia as of late.

    None the less, why self punish? Adapt, and overcome... Kill em with kindness, and fight the good fight.

    Asking for permabans, and self bannings? Fuck that noise.
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  5. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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  7. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    I'm all for being the newest Messiah... I'm no martyr though. You want to nail me on a cross, do it... I'm not gonna hold the nail in place as you hammer it in though... And this is what I'm seeing lately.

    I just don't get it.
  8. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    He's just trying to stir up shit.
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

    uh, i've got to be one of the most unruley people here (trust me, you don't know the story).
    besides trippy going apeshit once in a while i don't see any "mafia".
    what the, gremmie what's up with all that?

    or is this the typical dean martin roast the mods thread?
  10. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    Maybe so...

    All I know, is life is precious and short. I'm no martyr. I just want to enjoy what time I have left.

    Docs say I'm a stubborn fuck, and am stable for now... So, I'll be here to taunt and abuse for a while.

    But seriously, what's with all the piss and vinegar lately?

    I frequent five forums, moderate three. Sci is my first ever forum, and fave... Well, was anyway.

    What happened? I miss the old days... We had some great posters here, mods have chased them off or banned them... Such bullshit. I look at the ban list now, and shake my head.

    OK, MR does post some weird shit... But, a month long ban? Makes no sense...
    Balerion can come across as controversial, but again, a month long ban? Yeah, makes no sense.
    Yeah, I know the mod mafia don't like him... But, I actually look forward to his posts. Like me, he calls em as he sees em.

    As far as mods go, I like Fraggle, he is old school and shoots straight. Enmos, I respect you... You have always been fair with me. Kitt, in the past, you were always aces in my book... Lately though, I just don't know... You've kinda gone over to the dark side... I hope this is only temporary... You're not a bad guy... I hope you find your way back to the light . Stryder, I have never really interacted with you, but, you seem to be a straight shooter... Same goes for Trippy. As for the rest of you, well, much to be desired.
  11. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    The month ban makes perfect sense though. The length of any ban depends on how many active infraction points you have gathered.
  12. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Have they all turned into robots or what?

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  13. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    This forum hasn't grown anywhere in the last 5 years, but constantly losing membership. So there you go... I come here maybe once a month now...
  14. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Know how chaff works when dispersed from an aircraft in combat?
    That's the effect repetitive, relentless stupidity has had on this site, over the years.

    Hell, it's not even stupidity... most of the time. It is the tediousness of the merely average convinced that the perceived right to an opinion automatically confers the right to express it.

    Or, as Nietzsche would have it, "pearls before swine".
  15. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    The Marquis, did Nietzsche "quote" the Holy Bible often?
  16. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    The Stare into the Abyss; or, Do Not Throw Your Pearls before Swine

    Is this correct? Is it "the abyss stares back into you", not at you?

    "Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, daß er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einem Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.'

    Translated, it means "Who goes to fight monsters best see to it that he does not become the monster himself. And when you stare long into the Abyss, the Abyss also stares back into you."
  17. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    I used to be a member at a small semi - science site owned by a 22 year old kid and run by an egotistic set of mods and admin. They all decided that we members were way too social and friendly with one another with our silly little stories, trades and banter. They announced that they were going to remake that site to be more like (drumroll here) this and other "more serious" science sites. They tossed the members social forum completely, restricted topics on threads (no thread jacking), persecuted any member who appeared different (like 1 who had organic brain damage from the removal of a large tumour so he spoke kind - of strangely) while allowing mods to post under multiple socks (there were whole threads posted up by 1 mod and 2 of his sock puppets just talking to himself) while the admin stalked members (me included) on other sites. When I suggested that their choices were hurting the free exchange of information and were discriminating against challenged individuals, the admin 'ghosted' my account. I was able to read posts but not post myself, I was able to receive PM's but not to respond to them. Having no choice, I left.

    I figured that they envied this site so very much that I should come here and join up to see what the big deal was for myself. My conclusion at this point is that they were/are extremely stupid and short - sighted and quashed any interest I had in staying there. Most of this discussion would have been deleted immediately (they brook NO disagreement with their policy decisions no matter how unfair and arbitrary those may be) and half of the posters on this thread would have been (arbitrarily) banned by now.

    I note that Sciforums threads on current, important topics often die immediately due to lack of interest/participation. I observe calls for social stratification (label the 'real' scientists, label the 'trolls', label everyone). I note a serious preoccupation with religion and politics, social hooey, drunk posting and the like. I watch serious science threads die under assaults by complete fools, religious bigots, cussing and personal insult. I observe a profound lack of any sense of humour in many cases. I see several members who feel the need to spam up tons of posts/pictures and completely dominate threads until they have quashed other members' participation on same. There is often no sense of community at all. I have myself had a moderator sit on my chest (as it were) and quash my participation in a thread topic because that moderator had an opinion that differed from mine and they were very strong in stating their opinion.

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    Suggestion: Moderators should moderate and they should do so with moderation and with a moderate discourse. Drop the personal insults, favourite posters, disliked posters, personal opinions and the like. Same for administrators,even if you know that you are very much more important than the rest of us and no doubt qualify as a total expert on everything. If you need to participate more than is appropriate for a mod or admin or if you want to speak more freely, then perhaps it is time to turn that baton over to someone else who can be a bit less personally involved. Then you can say what you want and treat individual members how you wish.

    As for attracting a more educated or 'scientific' crowd...that is a hard nut to crack. If there is no-one knowledgeable or interested enough to participate in a thread topic present to do that when the thread is opened, it will sink regardless of how important that topic may be. Unfortunately, you must have those threads & topics on hand to attract those persons and you can't do that unless they are already here.

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    I have many hard science interests, when one floats up here I read and participate. In hard science though, that ain't many threads. There were some on Buddhism and martial arts for a while where I got to engage with some....'interesting' opinions (and insults), but not much by way of hard science.

    These days I stop by and put in my 2 cents if I encounter something interesting. I also greet new members because somebody who has been here for a while should do that as a matter of common civility. I note that this is beneath most (not all) of our members, moderators and admin, however.

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    That perceived attitude is part of the problem here IMHO.

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  18. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

    I'll take you word on this - about the religious bigots. In my time here, I haven't seen much other than patient rebuttal on the part of the religious members. I'm thinking of Jan Ardena and wellwisher among others. If anything, on this point, it is quite the other way around: members who imagine themelves scientific and objective cussing, abusing and insulting those who dare to offer a spiritual thought of any kind. Or even taking a side swipe at religion when it hasn't even been mentioned in the thread until they brought it up just to denigrate it. It's like you said about truly scientific threads getting shut down. I don't think it's the scientists against the religious though. I think its the trolls against everyone else
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    We're actually a very diverse site. We cover politics, religion, social issues to some extent, 'pseudoscience' and of course science.

    As others have said, the problem with having both science and pseudoscience is in keeping them separate. Pseudoscientists, by their nature, don't know much science. Fundamentally, they don't know what science is or how to tell the difference between science and bunk. And so, they insist on posting their nonsense in the Science sections, and they get all upset when they find that they aren't welcomed there. Moreover, they don't want to be put in a box labelled 'Fringe' because they see science as prestigious, despite the fact that they think they have good reasons for opposing mainstream ideas. They think of themselves as revolutionaries who are trying to set the record straight.

    sciforums thrives on arguments. It has always been that way. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to argue respectfully and logically rather than emotionally and vindictively. So, again we have a source of tension.

    And if all of the believers in woo are restricted to forums other than ones where people who know some science posts, then they'll never learn any real science at all.

    The original intention was that the "Alternative theories" subforum might provide an opportunity to subject fringe claims to some scientific scrutiny, but most of the "theories" posted there are nothing by vague wishful thinking or imagined versions of how the world works. There's no practical distinction between the kind of stuff posted there and what is posted in any of the other Fringe forums.

    And that's fine if that's structurlly what you envision, but the fundamental problem remains that the crackpots are not willing/able to obey the rules. Several have stated explicitly (and explosively) that they will not accept being put in a non-mainstream box. And they have demonstrated clearly and repeatedly that you can't make them behave just by wishing it.[/QUOTE]

    I agree, and I think this is the general view of the moderator group.

    I don't see why we can't have both, in principle. But that requires moderating the pseudo to put it in the appropriate place, and that generates angst.

    That already happens in many cases. However, we tend to attract some hardened pseudoscientists who have no real desire to learn any science because they already think of themselves as part of a community of revolutionaries fighting the good fight against the establishment.

    Actually, I think the moderators tend to go where the discussion goes. We get a lot of traffic on political and religious matters - topics that everybody has an opinion on and which don't require expertise in order to have an opinion. When interesting scientific topics come up, you'll find the moderators there, too. It's just that those kinds of discussion seem to happen less often.

    That's exactly the right question to ask. The present discussion is a good one.
  20. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Pseudoscientists and Mystics who post on the science sections are breaking the site rules.
    They need to be warned, and if necessary, banned.
    But I can't see how people who post in the correct sections can be subject to bans.
    MR believes that what he is saying is true, and when he posts his material in the fringe sections,
    he should be argued with, for sure, but not punished for "trolling".
    He is one of our most entertaining and prolific posters.
    We should be grateful to have him.

    What we need here is more people like him, some of them scientists.
  21. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    the key word that is used by this post is " argue "
  22. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    .....and a couple of these people are moderators.
    I would defend these people as members.
    They put up good arguments, but they need moderating themselves.
    Because they are moderators, they feel that they can say what they like.
    I don't know what measures have been put in place to assess how well the moderators are doing,
    but it isn't working at present.

    For example:
    "Bullshit, you snivelling Russian shill." is not acceptable, is it?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  23. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    That depends on the rules. If there are no rules, then no, there would be no bans. But I don't think that's what is intended. I think the intent is that in those non-scientific forums, the rules still prohibit lying/misrepresenting, insults, and other trolling tactics.
    Does he? I'm not convinced of that and for his sake, I hope he doesn't. In common with most high intensity crackpots, much of what he's saying is so dumb that if he really believed it I would fear for his ability to take care of himself. What I see from him is an evasiveness that requires that he understand what he is evading.

    And for the sake of argument, what if he does believe what he is saying? Is it really a good idea to cater to that? What value is there in trying to seriously address the rantings of someone who is actually insane? IMO - either way - he's broken and needs to be fixed, not encouraged to continue being broken.

    Taking that further, some sites have rules against misinformation. You can be wrong, but you can't be persistently wrong, when shown the right answer. If I show you a picture of a square and you claim over and over and over again that it is a circle, should that be allowed? Must I assume that you are so dumb that you don't know what a circle and square are -- but at least you're honest?

    That can be difficult to moderate because it is tough to know where to draw the line (if you choose to have one), but most high order crackpots eventually stray so far over the line that they say things that must be purposeful misinformation. The alternative that I prefer though is not to have a line: say something factually wrong once and that's ok. Repeat it a second time after being corrected - with citation - and it becomes infractionable intentional misinformation.
    That is a contradiction. MR is is the antithesis of what a scientist is. That's like saying you need more rain to dry off the ground.

    SF's identity crisis comes from a failure to deal with that contradiction in a way that works. It is a science site with pseudo/non-science forums and a high tolerance currently for pseudo/non-science discussion in the science forums. If you wall-off such subforums (and general discussion/religion/politics) into sections with completely separate rules, ok, but if the goal is to discuss fringe topics scientifically, you have a big problem: fringe subjects CANNOT be discussed scientifically except to debunk them. You can't have a scientific ghost advocate or even a scientific ant-Relativity theorist. There's no such thing because those subjects aren't scientific.

    But even if you accept that you have a section where anything goes, you create another problem: what happens if that section generates more traffic than the rest of the forum and takes more moderators' time than the rest of the forum? Then, is SF really a science forum or is it a fringe forum? Again: identity crisis.
    Forrest Noble claims he's been developing his theory of fifty years, yet he fails to understand the scientific process on the basic level taught to 8th graders. Whatever his deal is, he's beyond help. More generally, learning is mostly a choice*. For the most part, a person will not learn unless they choose to and that choice is completely theirs. So while it is nice of you to want to help everyone, it isn't constructive to design a site around people who are beyond your help or worse don't even want it. That's what's happening here. You so desperately want to help and encourage everyone ('Yes, little Johnny, you just might be the next Einstein!') that you're willing to let such people drag down the site.

    *You can beat knowlege into someone, but typically the result is they just memorize and regurgitate back to you what you told them and don't actually learn it.

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