Moderator makes ad hominem attacks on another moderator

Discussion in 'About the Members' started by Tiassa, May 12, 2023.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    See? You're not even capable of answering a straightforward question.

    What's that? A post hoc excuse? Really↗?

    • • •​

    Priorities, Dave.

    The only point I'm making is that the splinter at hand has to do with standards of moderation.

    So if, for instance, I happen to agree that no, the post doesn't really warrant an infraction, you're too busy telling me off to stop and think about the circumstances in which it would be. You know, like, if someone other than me was in a bad enough mood.

    Inasmuch as you might wonder why↗ things are the way they are, around here, these sorts of discussions are not irrelevant to your inquiry; certainly, you can understand that part.

    And as far as the peanut gallery is concerned, you're also perfectly capable of comprehending the difference between "comments from the peanut gallery" and par for the course from the guy whose purpose is to be disruptive in his particular way and never intended to be taken seriously.

    Honestly, Dave, when you complain about the moderation, are you complaining toward a solution, or just to complain? I'm sorry if I don't have time to look up the specific formulation from the recent discussion, but it's something about a lack of ad hom or insults, except I don't understand how you or anyone else expect that to come about. Just for instance. It's kind of like Seattle's formulation for a better site compared to how his own conduct would disrupt that. What do you want me to do to ufologists that I'm supposed to spare white nationalists? And in re the peanut gallery, would you prefer more or less vapid bad faith?

    It's not a matter of not wanting comments from the peanut gallery; take a look around, Dave, and maybe none of us should be complaining about the moderation so much. Even you are snarling at the discussion about moderation.

    Think it through: Maybe the post doesn't warrant an infraction, but what about circumstances by which it does? It's annoying, intended to be provocative, and in that way off topic, but is it really worth a flag? Well, should the fact that I can spare it the annoyance warrant a flag? If your answer is no, then please think through what's actually going on, here. If you're okay with that prospect, then, sure, great, James would agree that it's a matter of how I wish to treat Foghorn.

    Should your peanut gallery line be construed as some sort of violation for attempting to legitimize low-grade trolling? Well, what standard do you want in effect? I'm sure I can make something up, but why would I? And then go back and look at how this splinter starts. As I told James, he set a standard by which he disqualifies himself in other issues; the example in question was actually farmed out to another splinter↗ in order to break up the episode into disparate pieces, but that example is what he is so upset about.

    Inasmuch as you wonder, and your inquiry about expectation, obfuscation, and moderation is sincere, then, yes, Dave, this is actually part of what goes into that.

    And these are some of the issues that make it harder to answer that inquiry more directly.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Well, think of it this way; after I asked if I could quote you, you have refused to respond, splintered the thread, and referred to what you think I can't use. You don't really have much confidence in your words and actions, do you, James?

    You would leave others to do your work for you. But even as you say words like "lies", there are examples on record that you refuse to answer. So it is left to wonder if you're just going to sit there and seethe and try to hide inside your indignance.

    Consider: In an issue pertaining to how you moderate a thread, you are reminded↑ of a prior episode, skip over it in two↑ posts↑ accusing lies and demanding evidence, are given that information↑, yet you still refuse to address that evidence.

    It's not entirely unlike the time, last month↗ when you quoted the links to something you had skipped over in order to complain, "Try to be specific, if you're going to make accusations", and demand, "why waste time like this, with a hide-and-seek game with post references? Why not just state how you think I misrepresented you?" And, well, that's the thing, I already had. And you skipped↗ over↗ it only to come back and indignantly demand it.

    There are a few jokes I might make about your twenty years here, especially about how that line is more of an excuse than anything useful, but there are a couple more useful points we might consider: ¿What have you learned in those twenty-plus years? And, sure, that is a question for a different thread on a more peaceful and amicable day.¹ More direct to our moment is the point that, for our members, part of the searchable archive of your, and my, twenty years, here, is not available to them; you shouldn't hide behind that.

    It is a splinter thread, and you were, in fact, moderating the thread from which it came. The difference between what you say behind our closed door and what you present to the membership can sometimes become relevant. Like when you said, in our present public discussion:

    It was only February, James. Memoranda #3474-3485. Attend the question of which post, your consideration of your shifting role, a passing note about infatuation, and the place of personal interest in our moderating decisions.

    Meanwhile, it's like I said a couple years ago in one of our policy discussions, if he's just another member, sure, I don't have to give a damn what James R says or thinks or does until, as with any number of our crackpots, it becomes too disruptive to not. But, as I said, what James says and does matters. Like your complaint that I don't moderate enough; compared to your policy outlook, there just isn't much to do. Should I have banned Liverani at the outset, for instance, because that outcome was pretty easy to see coming. What if it was the ranting incel, wow, that was five years ago; but, sure, what if I had thrown him out on the basis of what I described as a Petersonesque performance², because the only part of what came next that actually surprised me was how absolutely determined a performance he put on. But, do you know why I didn't? I would think it obvious, because we don't want to suppress political views, and, even more particularly, it wasn't so long after another Peterson episode in which the Administrator, i.e., you, had made your particular opinion known. I shouldn't need to walk you through the history of the fact that you are an administrator. And, honestly, if I still don't know at what point I should have stopped answering Covid bullshit and just banned it, that's a harder decision according to the implications and effects of what I choose. Compared to what you do, that sort of thing might feel subtle, but after years of Administrative advice to the other, it sounds like you want me to flag more people than I have been. Perhaps you should come right out and say what it is you want.

    Compared to your prior policy outlook, James, you are clearly attending a more active standard. If we're changing direction, that's fine, just say so. But I can reach back years, like Memorandum #2791, in order to remind that it's all ad hoc, anyway. Or #3266, in re rational discourse as a pretense for suppression. One of the hard things about answering Dave in re explanation and obfuscation↗ really is the point that while sandwich-board preachers and ufologists are, generally speaking, not high priorities compared to certain crackpottery I am expected to show deference, well, inasmuch as I'm supposed to give wide berth, that expectation cannot be arbitrary or customized or whatever; it is not appropriate to turn rules on and off according to personal aesthetics.


    • One of the points I've always wondered about and has never found any real traction at Sciforums is the idea of argumentative or conceptual integrity. Does the argument agree with itself throughout? Can the argument be applied in a larger framework? Or, in a negative formulation: Does the argument conflict with itself in order to be true? Is the argument a one-time custom piece, or does it work in the larger framework involving the particular issue one examines.

    • Look at the political views, such as we might call them, that coincide with ignorant bullying. That these are the arguments requiring special accommodation and exemption from rational discourse isn't surprising.

    • Think of it like antithetical affirmative action: If bigotry has no rational support, then we are somehow obliged to make exceptions to our demand for rational argument lest we suppress a political view.

    —those points are as true, today, as they were in 2018. Again, #3266, James; your response to the second of those points is extraordinary in its particular context, and the question you asked therein cannot remain so limited.

    So, what is it that the Administrator needs me to do in order to help him stop banging on Sarkus about some make-believe standard of vested interest? Y'know, just for instance.

    Or were you just trying out new words like "odious" and "diatribe"? You keep saying things like lies and accusations, but as the linked examples pile up, you just seethe indignantly. It's like I said about the Georgia question, there are parts when everyone out beyond the fourth wall has a chance to learn something about how these things go. But, clearly, you have other priorities.


    ¹ I wasn't joking, James, when I suggested↗ a teachable lesson in which everyone out beyond the fourth wall has a chance to learn something about how these things go.

    ² see Memorandum #3211.​
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    A question: which moderator split this thread off, and which of you labelled/titled it?
    I ask as the title deliberately seems to accuse of ad hominem arguments as if they were fallacious, rather than being pertinent to the overall point raised. Were the arguments addressed "to the person" (i.e. ad hominem)? Yes. They are very much about/to the person. Are they, therefore, fallacious? No. They address the matter of the standard that JamesR set and the implications thereof.
    While strictly ad hominem attacks, they were seemingly valid criticisms that spoke to that issue, and not therefore fallacious, as the thread title might otherwise seem to imply. I.e. they were arguments that spoke to how the one trying to insist upon a standard didn't themself abide by their own standard, thus raising the prospect that they only raised it there so as to be able to harass, without comprehending the consequences.
    So, is this splitting and titling an admission by Tiassa of the purpose of the arguments he made, or an attempt by JamesR to play the victim, to garner sympathy, and paint Tiassa as in the wrong, by implying fallacious arguments ad hominem against him by Tiassa, and thus to ultimately to ignore the criticism as unwarranted, off topic, and out of order? Curious. My money is on the latter, but I may be wrong. Or maybe I'm reading too much in a title. But it just seems, well, typical.

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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Let's be honest here. Sciforums is essentially a running sh$tshow between 2 moderators. That's the entertainment value. That's shouldn't be the case, but it is.

    The arguments, in general, are disingenuous. For instance, I have said it should be more of a general discussion forum, lightly moderated where people try to be more polite. It's then pointed out that I have said something that someone found to be rude, as if my comments shouldn't be taken seriously.

    What is missing is that between my post and any rude comment, there was always a rude comment by the accuser so what do you expect? When the moderators are rude to the posters then of course they get some of that back in return.

    You will rarely find either moderator having anything positive to say about any poster. Therefore the intention must be to just have a site that is a duel between moderator posts/blogs.

    It's interesting/comical to see what a detailed infrastructure has been set up to moderate a tiny, tiny site. Be nice and you won't have to moderate. Be condescending, lecture, issue infrations and be rude and that's what you will spend all of your time having to address.

    I'm sure that most people who post on here are polite in person and on most other sites. Why? Because that's how people respond when you respond likewise.

    When you have two moderators who dislike every poster, this is what you get. When you have a discussion site that isn't really allowed to function, on any topic, without being disrupted by a moderator, this is what you get.
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    A very good question. What would that look like? Proposal toward a solution, I mean?

    I am under the distinct impression that there will be no changes to the site's moderation policies emanating from either members or moderators - that those policies are at arms-length from the moderators.

    I don't believe I've complained for the sake of complaining; I have opinions and have expressed them - hopefully impersonally and hopefully constructively and hopefully at the correct place and time. (I would hope that my feedback about the site and any personal opinions about moderators have not been irrevocably blurred together). But I've been told that it is a waste of my time and moderators' time.

    IOW, pretty certain the initiative for change has to be in the mods' court. And the current climate of open bashing (for what often seems to be the sake of word-count) by mods is not really setting a good example.

    Anyway, this thread isn't my battle; I don't need to provide another front for it to be fought on.
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Moderators trolling moderators.

    It never ceases to surprise me as to how petty the infighting can get when the stakes are so low.
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    That's what they used to say about the infighting in Oxford colleges and the Church of England.
  11. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    See, I told you I don’t take you seriously.

    ''What's that?'' That's me not taking you seriously.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You are right, of course, when it comes to airing dirty moderator laundry in public. Tiassa's track record, in that regard, is appallingly bad, and getting worse.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Not all mods. Just certain ones.
    There is no reason Tiassa's lies and personal attacks should pollute other threads. They shouldn't rightly be on public display at all.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You're clueless when it comes to issues of moderation on the internet, it seems. But this thread isn't about that.

    If you want to start a more general thread on that topic, go right ahead. I'll be happy to educate you on some basics.

    Meanwhile, this thread is reserved for Tiassa's personal attacks and nonsense. It should rightly be closed and this stuff shouldn't be here, but since Tiassa is a moderator, we have to put up with it, apparently.
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You need to distinguish between ad hominem arguments/attacks that are fallacious, and those that aren't and are actually germane to the discussion at hand. You have swept his posts into this thread and labelled them lies and ad hominem attacks in the hope that people just see them as fallacious etc, and more pertinently so that you have an excuse to not address the content.
    Tiassa's post (#1 in this thread) was entirely relevant to the issue being discussed. Were the arguments addressed "to the man"? Yes. Because the issue being discussed was a nonsense standard that you had set and were/are using to harass with. Those arguments by Tiassa are all germane to that, arguing about the implications thereof. But you, not wanting to have to address them, just wrap them all up as ad hominem so that you can dismiss them out of hand, and not just that but use them being ad hominem as a means of attacking Tiassa's character. The irony of that will surely not be lost even on you?
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Hasty conclusion. Just because he's rebuffing Tiassa's insults and ad homs does not, in and of itself, mean he's wrapping them all up and dismissing them out of hand. The fact that this thread is till open and that James is present indicates that he is not dismissing everything out of hand.

    I suspect it will take page or two of everyone opportunistically weighing in with their unaddressed grudges and grievances before any real work will get done.
  17. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Why does anyone bother reading T's posts?

    I would report him or her to the owners but it seems the owners either condone his behaviour (qua mod) or give less than a shit about this site in general .
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    At this point I don't think anyone does.
  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I beg to differ.
    "Meanwhile, this thread is reserved for Tiassa's personal attacks and nonsense. It should rightly be closed and this stuff shouldn't be here, but since Tiassa is a moderator, we have to put up with it, apparently." (#31).
    That doesn't sound like someone who is willing to address the issues raised, whether in public or private, and is very much coming across as someone dismissing them all out of hand: "personal attacks and nonsense".
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it. But "since Tiassa is a moderator, we have to put up with it" rather suggests that James would rather close the thread now, the issues raised left conveniently unaddressed. But, yeah, I may be wrong.
    "Grudges" have been aired by many previously, and never been addressed, so I expect nothing new here. And no "real work" will be done here, because, frankly, no "real work" will ever be done. Certain mods have their head just too stuck up their own arse to ever even contemplate that they might be (part of?) the issue. The way we behave is just the symptom of that.
    Tiassa's post was pertinent to the discussion in the thread, and addressed the issue James had made for himself with a standard he has thus far failed to support. Tiassa argued regarding the implications of that standard, albeit in his own inimitable style, but James, not understanding what Tiassa was actually saying, simply read what he wanted to within it, and saw insults and ad hominem, and treating the latter as fallacious. Read what Tiassa actually wrote if you disagree. Read it in the context it was written in. Did it say some things James would rather not hear? Sure. Insults? No, not really. Ad hominems? Sure, they were about the person but not fallacious in context. Yet here we are, the thread title deliberately casting those ad hominems as fallacious.

    But, sure, we'll see if James ever addresses those criticisms, the points raised, in context. Or whether he will continue to act as the James we've come to know.

    I think you know where my money is.
    Oh, also, should I have declared a vested interest in anything beforehand?

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    Last edited: May 21, 2023
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Because, once you get past the style, you might learn something.
    I do. I enjoy them. I don't necessarily agree with his positioning on some things, and his style takes a while to get used to, and obviously he's US-centric in his references and examples, but get past all that and it's an interesting take on things. Certainly a different view than I would usually read, so, yeah, I do.

    Oops, sorry, disclosure time: I have no vested interest in Tiassa's posts other than continued interest in reading them.
  21. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I guess you can call condescension, arrogance and rambling incoherence a "style".
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why should a reader have to get past his "style"?
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    If that's the way you think someone writes, then that's their "style" to you, sure. Others may utilise a style of sanctimonious, ignorant, and dishonest. Others pithy irrelevancy, others more argumentative and snarky. Takes all sorts, I guess.
    Someone asked (it may even have been intended as rhetorical) why one does bother, not why one should have to. There's no requirement to. Just as there's no requirement to read anyone's post, or even frequent this site at all. But I do.

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