Science: Explanation versus obfuscation

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by DaveC426913, Mar 3, 2023.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The reference number is #5705, but you're probably never going to need it; you had inquired about a splinter thread↗ in which I had pulled James R's post out of a thread and chastised his behavior because I can't flag him.

    Certainly, I'm overdue in this thread, but something you said in another brings me back to that episode.

    There is a bit I have done a couple↗ times↗ for James, recalling the thread on discussing religion↗, compiling resources and perspectives; or maybe that other thread about religion itself↗; I might even try to have some fun↗ with the study of history; or maybe contribute↗ usefully↗ to↗ other↗ people's↗ threads↗; even when I disagree with someone, it's easy enough to include relevant↗ historical↗ analysis↗.

    Look, I'm not going to say people need to imitate my posts, but do please remember that it's not up to me to decide how other↗ people↗ receive my posts. "Opportunistic grudges" and "dragging" aside, for instance, people can always complain about word count↗ if it's important enough to them. While it's probably more useful for us to consider what kind of course people might need set out, that's a part I can't write for them.

    I also can't be the one who decides what you mean by a course to follow. For instance, sure, some of my posts offer what I might construe as a suggestion toward a better course, but that recycled list probably isn't quite what you mean. And it's easy enough to recognize that you don't mean an actual course curriculum for discussion. But the boundaries of what you mean are really, really open; I wouldn't know what course, or kind of course, to suggest, address, or formulate.

    It's like when you push the question back to me: What do I want to see change? "Reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty" aren't really such a bad idea, but I already lost that argument, and I'm probably not winning it anytime soon, especially if is to be just written off as opportunism, grudges, word counts, &c., in order to pass it over. Still, there has long been a strange gray area↗ around ideas like good faith and basic sociality, and coupled with low expectations for argumentative support, we can expect a certain amount of dysfunction.

    It's like today, in dealing with a staff discussion, I came across an old memo, circa 2018, and, honestly, Dave, it fulfills something I said to you earlier↑, about standards and free speech. And maybe I keep losing the argument, but if I'm the only one making it, that's going to happen. And it's one thing if I can answer you and tell you how the problem emerged and evolved, but it seems a waste of both our time if you're just going to complain that I told you.

    So the question of what you want persists: For instance, I'm pretty sure you don't mean we should simply settle one member and just go back to whatever passes for normal. What do you want, Dave? Something about reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty? Okay, but what does that mean to you? Is it something more than one person can advocate? Is it a general principle, as such, or a particular rule intended for particular questions of intellectual integrity and honesty?

    "So why then, is it not me," you asked↑, "who has been getting warnings and bannings?" Well, why would it be; or, more directly, you might have been a little bit too wrapped up in a false dichotomy, there. And, yes, it can feel "rather Sisyphean"↑, but ... well, I'm not sure what to tell you about that post: Chess and pigeons? In that metaphor, I think the idea has to do with liberating chess. Staying out of the Fringe subfora? Actually, there is illustrative value in that consideration that we will come back to. And in your world, maybe some things cannot happen, but even setting aside everything James and I disagree about, that has literally never been Sciforums. Pick a point in the past and say once upon a time, and maybe, but if there was a better course to follow, there's a good chance I lost that argument. Bells calling someone a fuckwit is entirely plausible, and even probable; I would imagine there was a good bit of fuckwittery involved, too, and, no, while I don't disagree with your invocation of good faith, "the spirit of the forum", a lack of good faith has never been grounds for expulsion, and if you might wonder why staff might publicly describe it as fuckwittery, well, flagging it—speak nothing of booting it, as such—has long been controversial. I often reach back to recall an old staff discussion of particular behavior, and James' distrust of his staff, but the 2018 memo I encountered today is really clear on good faith and how our Administrator thinks of the staff. So what do I tell you, then, Dave? Maybe those regions don't overlap in your world, but ... er ... uh ... well, this is Sciforums. If you ever wondered why Bells and I are so rough and tumble with the members, it's because having it out in the thread is the main tool we have; similarly, one of the ironies undermining James' point↗ about if I was not a moderator is that no small part of his complaint that I don't moderate enough is in fact, what he wanted. And, sure, it's a long story, which kind of brings us 'round to ... uh ... something.

    Okay, so, one of the posts I keep failing to bring you has to do with what people complain about, and the rough-hewn short form is that the good guys, the smart people, filed a bogus report about crackpottery. And, y'know, whatever. But it's also one of any number of signs, or circumstances, warranting some consideration, and that's part of the discussion around that episode. To wit, if there is an old societal commentary about how the kids get in trouble when they're bored, it's also a particularly American context, so I don't know how well it translates. Still, we come to observe, this is where we're at, and this is what they're complaining about. And, yeah, that's where everything starts to get complicated despite its apparent simplicity. But with a range like↗, the threads we start, what we contribute to other threads, and even what we complain about, yes, it's going to be at least a little bit messy. It's why questions of disincentive are important. Any course can I offer faces any number of disincentives we might want to give some thought along the way.
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  3. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Am I the only one that will have to wait for Dave’s reply, if at all, to get some understanding of what Tiassa's last post is trying to say?
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    One misapprehension that stands out, I'll address right away, then circle back to the rest:
    Ah, sorry - that comment wasn't directed at you at all*; it was directed all the 'me toos' that have been chiming in (including me, and, I guess, you) with their grievances. And I don't mean it as a bad thing; I do think people need a chance to air their grievances before any work can get done - like the first few minutes of a town council meeting.

    *Ideally I'm working my way around to some constructive dialogue, but it does feel sort of like several hungry dogs circling and sniffing each other warily, no? So I'd be surprised if we all didn't interpret each others' comments in the worst possible way, for a while.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2023
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member


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  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Part the First: On What People Complain About

    Along the way, I had mentioned stuff people complain about.

    From notes in re a complaint filed a little over a year and half ago.

    Yes, I still have the notes sitting around.

    Dramatis Personae: A Cynic or Malcontent (M); an alleged Crackpot (C); the Good Guys (G1, G2).

    It's worth observing that James and I were not, on this occasion, disagreeing.

    First, in re the complaint:

    I keep wanting to say some threads wander by mistake, and, sure, that's one way of looking at it, but what goes on around here really is fascinating. I don't actually disagree with your analysis; it's just, I'm never quite certain how to explain the part they do to themselves.

    I look back to a comparative question: What is this manner of "off-topic posting" compared to how threads wander? Even before we disputed so sharply about policy, this was always a complicated question. Yes, threads wander as discussions will, but that has long been as much an excuse as an observation.

    Compared to C's habit, M's history suggests he's prone to wilfully disruptive behavior; quite frankly the only reason either of them passes general muster is a question of either political sympathies or really low standards of discursive value.

    One difficult aspect to explain is that both are accustomed to being allowed to roam off-topic in other matters. Both are accustomed to changing the topic at will in discussions of religion, for instance, and M is wilfully disruptive in a broad range of other subjects, as well. "Thread hijacking", as G2 has it? M has no reason to think he shouldn't so blatantly change the subject; usual suspects, as such, are willing to overlook his post in order to complain about C.

    Additionally, M's's point of mystery is not necessarily so mysterious; G1's response to C is in its own way not quite correct .... It's not so much that we need to penalize or even simply razz anyone for that sort thing, but it makes this whole complaint seem even more futile. M's digression is weirdly bogus; the futility of C's response is only completed by strangeness; G1's criticism, while not inaccurate, is also not entirely accurate. Additionally, note that G1 is willing to confidently declare, in today's contribution to the digression ... but can't be bothered to actually close the deal; he can only assert against—there is no affirmative assertion. At this point, things seem to get really complicated—

    (Rhetorical questions: Would G1 have continued off-topic if we had acted against C earlier? Would the off-topic discussion continue, anyway, had we simply Resolved the complaint without action or comment to acknowledge we saw it? Ad nauseam, &c. The larger point has to do with a broader behavioral consideration than the immediate complaint at hand.)

    —but the entire digression seemed futile before C either fell or leapt in.

    What we have is a baseline complaint (off-topic) against an obvious and easy target (C) by regular critics (G1, G2) that ignores the point of departure (M) and includes a lower-shelf insult (G1, "…"), and as a disciplinary policy question it is unclear what to make of the ongoing digression.

    It feels strange to be giving this much consideration to such a vapid episode, but if we recall in our moment that where I dispute with you about policy has to do with discursive quality and user experience, then there is sort of a matter-of-fact point to be made by simply observing, 「This is where we're at.」

    That's what it looks like when we actually scrutinize these reported episodes closely. Or, as such, a baseline complaint that ignores the point of departure; what that means, in this case, is that it's hard to accuse a threadjack when someone is invited to the discussion.

    Thus: Giving this much consideration to a vapid episode. Set him up, knock him down? It probably wasn't that sinister, but maybe the Good Guys, as such, should have paid attention to the fact of the Cynic calling out the Crackpot; as a threadjack, the point of departure matters.

    As futile as that kind of close consideration might seem, the detail can be important: The Cynic in this episode had precisely no reason to call out the alleged Crackpot, but has no reason to think he shouldn't so blatantly change the subject. Usual suspects, alleged Good Guys, are willing to overlook the Cynic in order to complain about the Crackpot; it's just petty. In the end, my concern was for the fact of the complaint report itself. While not always so clumsy, this sort of report is common. Mostly, we let them pass and don't say much.

    And while this is hardly the beginning of the pub metaphor, it's a useful occasion vis à vis consideration of explanation, obfuscation, reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty, &c.

    As I said to James:

    One thing that occurs to mind is an old line you once dropped about theists, and how some people you criticize don't warrant greater effort. So, extrapolating that to a broader frame than just theists: When Darwin considered the prospect of marriage, he made lists, as Darwin would; one of them included a point in favor of bachelorhood that involved the pleasure of quarrelsome nights at the pub. And if I wonder how precisely we wish to define a scholar, it is simply to wonder what sort of reasonable scholar, looking in the door to our pub they have never heard of before, would actually find our quarrelsome nights a pleasant prospect.

    Because it's not just theists. Honestly, if the Holy Spirit isn't moving some evangelist of particular pedigree or qualification to properly minister to this community, we can go with the obvious point, or observe that there are, actually, many reasons. The problem remains the same regardless of the obvious point, because it is, ultimately, of human cause and effect, which means it is true in other considerations, as well.

    Inasmuch as discursive quality is worth a, "meh", as regards those people over there that someone thinks don't warrant any greater effort, well, this is where we're at. And as a matter of giving much thought to a relatively vapid episode, well, sure, this is where we're at.

    (I happened to remind James of this, not long after↗, and while, "sciforums has never been, and will never be, an academy", as he explained↗, and is "not in the business of conducting original research or 'scholarship' here", it really feels like he missed the point.)

    Any whiff of a rumor of a solution would be a long effort in bringing about, so, no, in the moment I don't really have much of an idea what to do. Part of it is just the idea that inasmuch as these are educated people who don't need to be protected from feeling triggered, This Is What They're Complaining About. I'm tempted to razz them a little bit on this count, but there is a reasonable question of what passes for helpful, these days, or something like that.

    And part of the reason this is where we're at and this is what they're complaining about is the great, "meh", that the discussion doesn't warrant any greater effort because, well, how long have who been around, and if Sciforums is what its members make it, there is a fair question of what any of them expect.

    So it's not just theists, or how precisely we define a scholar. But I can think of a post I wrote, once, largely about the Gospel of Luke, and if any passing scholar or evangelist ever thought maybe they wanted to dance, we can understand why they would not want to do it in a room like ours, which prefers cacophony over communication. Indeed, what historian would, compared to easy cynicism disdaining scholarship; and you would know better than I what scientist would, compared to what goes on in those subfora. Consider that for Black people, it's like a price of admission, or ritual sacrifice unto free speech, to decide how often to decide whether or not to engage the latest regurgitation of the same old racism. I asked about [member], recently: What answer do we think would suffice? And the answer today is the same as it has been for years; there isn't one, because that's not the point of recycling the old supremacist catechism.

    And if the pub metaphor starts to feel like a carousel ride, maybe it's just the spins. Inasmuch as Sciforums is what its members make it, maybe some days I might point out certain other disruptive, discouraging behvior, but even in that context, these cycles aren't really unfamiliar. There's an old societal commentary about how the kids get in trouble when they're bored, but it's also a particularly American context, so I don't know how well it translates. Still, here we come back to the observation that this is where we're at, and this is what they're complaining about.

    But nobody is coming to entertain them any better. And inasmuch as we might pretend the members here are adults, capable for the most part of having a discussion or debate without having to be specially shielded from the possibility of being triggered and suffering lasting emotional harm, yeah, sure, and this is where they're at. It's kind of a great "meh", except it is to some degree the part they do to themselves.

    The pub metaphor is actually quite useful for many things, but part of what we should note, here, is "the part they do to themselves", and the point that "nobody is coming to entertain them any better". It's one thing to seek a course↑ for members to follow, as such, but they will have a part to do for themselves; some part of that better entertainment will depend on them.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Part the Second: Pub Metaphor

    "When Darwin considered the prospect of marriage, he made lists, as Darwin would; one of them included a point in favor of bachelorhood that involved the pleasure of quarrelsome nights at the pub. And if I wonder how precisely we wish to define a scholar, it is simply to wonder what sort of reasonable scholar, looking in the door to our pub they have never heard of before, would actually find our quarrelsome nights a pleasant prospect."

    ― Tiassa (2021)

    I can't really say whether quarrelsome nights at the pub are explicitly a reason to skip out on marriage in general, but, sure, more than a fair reason to not enter a particular marriage. Especially if we consider the point about Darwin's in-laws.

    One of the first things to note about the pub metaphor is its limitations; indeed, they provide an exercise in contrasts. In an actual publick house, people might wander around and engage in various conversations, and two-bit distractions from all around can pass by more easily compared to inline side chatter and self-gratifying disruption arranged sequentially within the confines of an online thread.

    Still, if we look at the threads like wandering around and joining various conversations, how do we describe what people actually do?

    Consider the ufo thread, that member over there, and the Fringe subfora in general.

    The Fringe subfora were implemented as a way of keeping certain crackpottery out of other discussions. Comparatively, suggested↑ standards for expulsion just haven't been the way we dealt with these things, else we wouldn't have bothered with the Fringe subfora in the first place. In the pub metaphor, if the problem was fringies wandering around disrupting everyone else's discussions, they were given some tables at which they can talk about their paranormal fancies without disrupting others.

    Here is a catch, though. As a general consideration, yes it is significant if anyone chooses to wander over to those tables in order to pick a fight with the fringies. A more particular example would be the contentious ufo thread referred in the topic post, a table that was actually set aside with the specific intention of denigrating that member over there, and these years later the discussion goes about as well as you might expect. To the other, everything about that specific episode is its own special circumstance.

    More generally, a question persists: Who, looking in the door to our pub they have never heard of before, would actually find our quarrelsome nights a pleasant prospect?


    It's one thing if antisociality↗ is an important difference, but while such differences seem pretty straightforward, our time at Sciforums makes quite clear they are not.

    For instance: That people are allowed to have at each other a bit doesn't mean someone can just make believe in order to have after someone. But that doesn't address any number of short, quick-hit posts not necessarily related to a thread topic, and of hostile or disruptive intention. If you're just wisecracking in the pub, whatever, there's lots of noise, anyway. But in our threads, the effect is to make the discussion harder to follow by inserting extraneous noise into the sequential presentation. That's the thing; our prevailing take on free speech actually disrupts communication.

    Think of it like the free speech of cacophony, in which all speech is equal for having been uttered. "Reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty" are considered problematic, and even dangerous in this framework. Even Reddit couldn't abide the cacophony. And we see what forty-four billion dollars buys it, over at Twitter/X. At some point, the standard exists solely for the sake of notorious, dysfunctional, and other problematic speech. As a pretense toward free speech, the cacophony intends to disrupt communication and discourse, i.e., it's not really a free-speech argument.

    And it doesn't work. That is to say, the free speech of cacophony is dysfunctional. We pretend that we don't like pub brawls, but it's important that people be allowed to provoke each other with fighting words. And if for some reason you think those parts might not function well together, this many years later it remains unclear whether we are supposed to view that sort of provocation and disrupton as problematic. We really can go back years on this point; it's one thing if someone behaves provocatively, but the real problem is when people are provoked. Well, some people. Why do you think it's against the rules to accuse racism? Why do you think it would be unfair to expect basic intellectual integrity and honesty? It seems an obvious question to wonder what arguments require shelter in such strange harbor. And, sure, there is more than one possible answer, but the throughline is the same: However we resolve the question of why we do as we do, the question of what we actually do remains.


    While I might disagree with house management about the way things go, that discussion about freedom and behavior seems strangely distant from what some of the regulars are telling us. Suggestions of expulsion, and even many of the flags we might issue per this or that complaint report, are much closer-hewn, demanding, and authoritarian than staff discussions normally consider. Establishing the underlying principle for consistent application is a complicated discussion.

    Consistent application is important. If we consider a "spirit of the forum", what, actually, is it? The one in effect is a strange beast compared to any one person's idyll.

    But one thing we shouldn't be doing is turning rules on and off according to our personal aesthetics. Sometimes I feel like people would be amazed if they stopped to think about how many times new societal disuptes about proper and acceptable speech originate within the range that had just previously been telling everyone else to chill out, learn to take a joke, stop taking everything so seriously, and not be jackbooted censoring thugs.

    If, for instance, "the only conclusion is that this is a forum that enables and encourages fuckwits", that's a little too definitive insofar as the question of how that outcome occurs is much more complex. The actual underlying policy expectation, for instance, is that the fuckwits are grown-ups who ought to know better. And from there, well, sure, there is history, but remember how long we've all been at this, because if we did things a certain way for ten years, maybe it would be jarring, confusing, and even distressing if one day we just turned on all that and started flagging that many people for behavior that had been acceptable the day before; people might expect there would be a good explanation.

    And if, once upon a time, we made allowances for certain behavior on behalf particular arguments, it made a certain amount of sense despite the glaring contrast: That we do not wish to suppress political views is what it is, but what are the thresholds? While we would not have expressly banned, say, that much of what American Republicans might say about this or that, the politics themselves were insupportable according to objective consideration. At which point, perhaps, reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty became suspect.

    To be clear, as we can reach back twenty years on this: We have long countenanced a possibility that expectations of intellectual integrity and honesty could severely disrupt a significant portion of member participation; a question remains whether better expression and arguments would emerge on behalf of certain views and outlooks, but larger market experience outside Sciforums seems to suggest against that. In other words, certain crackpottery has long been granted leeway.

    These years later, the soft bigotry of low expectations is fundamental to the pall evident throughout the room. Perhaps Sciforums is what its members make of it, but that doesn't account for how we have shaped the environment for them, i.e., what our policy outlook has cultivated.


    Some stories, told pubstyle, can easily sum up a circumstance. The apparent disinformation troll who finally crossed the line by threatening to post a bad review online, at his own crackpot web page. Or the lazy evangelist troll permabanned for apparent sock-puppetry. But it's not a perfect metaphor; the slightly more complicated tale of a right-wing troll's departure isn't easily told as a pub metaphor, but it does have a funny story along the way.

    And some circumstances do just become pub stories, like the guy wandering around challenging people to challenge him to a fight, but only some people, who he thinks he can take. Never mind.

    Or, rather, it is perhaps more useful to ask how any given fight starts. While there remains a question about points of departure and other thresholds, such as provocative speech and behavior, it's a lot less subtle watching someone tromp across the room in order to get in a fight with someone; i.e., yes it is significant if anyone chooses to wander over to those tables in order to pick a fight with the fringies. But in its way, that is a very particular circumstance.

    Oh, hey, here's one. Basic pub rule says: Don't be the one who gets your pub cited, fined, or closed for violations. It's not as straightforward as you might think.

    But there also seems a pretty obvious place to start: Who, looking in the door to our pub they have never heard of before, would actually find our quarrelsome nights a pleasant prospect?
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This has come up before/since and it takes me aback.

    I've been assuming "The Pub" is a metaphor for "all of SciFo", but it occur to me it might simply be for a given thread.

    If the former:
    • Where on the scale of literal/abstract does the metaphor fall for SciFo? (i.e. actual consequences versus not)
    • What is the SciFo equivalent of "cited, fined or closed"?
    • Are there actual consequences looming over our collective actions here?
    If the latter, I guess you're just talking about mod intervention into either thread progress or member activity?

  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    True, it was stated more clearly in the other thread↗:

    Let's try a different metaphor. For instance, consider a basic pub rule: Don't be the one who gets the pub cited, fined, or closed. As a basic courtesy to the people who serve the beer, this ought not be nearly as controversial as it often turns out to be. Translated through the metaphor: Don't be the one who makes Sciforums a liability to its owners.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    OK thanks, that's a pretty unambiguous answer.

    Which leads to the next obvious question: what can any member do in a discussion forum that could possibility rise to the level of liability?

    I mean, sure I can think of all sorts of hijinks members might get up to given time - and an utter lack of moderation, or a moderation with an exacerbating presence. But that's not the case here.

    Trolls popping up with highly incendiary axes to grind is de rigueur for the internet. It's not like there's a Sword of Damocles hanging over public fora just waiting for some racist skinhead or other flashpoint pot-stirrer to come along and give them a chance cite it or fine it, let alone to shut it down. Hate trolling and hot button issues are part of the normal process, not crises.

    At least, not generally. Unless perhaps ... SciFo in in special circumstances. As in: it's been put on notice by the owner(s).

    If so, isn't that all the more reason why we should be building it back up based on strong principles, rather than letting it whither? Wouldn't we want to demonstrate that there's something that's worth saving?
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    You’d have to determine first, why SF is “withering?” Until you can get to the root of that (if in fact, it’s truly withering from something internal and not external, like a general decline of forum popularity due to other social media apps/platforms) then, you won’t be able to keep it from withering.

    That said, there are other science forums out there that seem to be thriving in comparison to Sci-Forums, in terms of increased traffic, but I haven’t taken the time to examine why.
    C C likes this.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I find that just reading the references is a lot more illuminating than wading through all that purple prose.
  15. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    My god, how many lives do you have?
    You want purple prose... Dave is my rock, my lodestone, my Rosetta Stone, when it comes to Tiassa.

    My my, what a lot of mys.
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    A good percentage of those people have probably been perma-banned here. SF was once a dirty environment with lots of "favorite" adversaries to argue with. Now it's an antiseptic environment. Sterile habitats don't have much growing or going on them, by nature.
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I’m not sure that explanation holds water. The other science forums I am aware of that are busier have stricter moderation than here.
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  18. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Why are people not flocking to Scivillage?
    Where would Scivillage rate against Scifoums in post count and answers to posts.
    CC is the top poster there it seems, but the activity or replies to CC’s posts are mostly where??
  19. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Well, the only place to stumble into faux pas trouble or over-heated arguments (like in politics) at Physics Forums is in "General Discussion". And most of the stuff there (title-wise) looks like the equivalent of innocuous Children's Matinee fare. Whereas here there's a beckoning minefield of opportunities.

    Q-reeus was ironically still there (under a different nym), after he got himself perma-banned here. Probably there are several others.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Hey, there's more activity over there than here when SF has one of its one or two posts days.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Stryder created it in 2014, not 2000 or the 1990s. 99% of new forums never survive or get off the ground to start with, especially after the mid-2000s. The kiss of death for them in the beginning is no sign of life at all. Should one endure, it's usually as a quiet lounge place for a coterie of people that were often already familiar with each other. Right now I see posts by Yazata, Confused2, Syne, MR, Secular Sanity, Zinjanthropos, Stryder, etc over there.

    But a new wave of purging here at 2-decades-plus old SF would surely make things busier. If you cut a board too short the first time -- try, try, again.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
  21. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    My bold.
    Are you saying scivillage is a buzzing hive. Are you counting your own posts, because they mostly receive no replies, and then if they do it’s something like one or two posts.

    I thought Yazata was giving birth here… ( The recent UAP 26 th July Congressional hearing )
    Yazata at Scivillage:
    My bold above.

    I don’t think I could survive the excitement of the site.

    That old James has quite a following it seems.

    Ps was it a boy or girl?
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Are you absolutely unable to imagine anything that you or anyone else might say or do, here, that could cause site ownership legal trouble?

    Again, from the other discussion↗:

    Think of ways in which one might behave that might draw what we might describe as certain manners of unwanted attention. And, sure, conspiracists and petty bastards are a penny a dozen, online, and there is very little to be done to avoid that kind of unwanted attention. So, think of waving a flag that draws only two kinds of attention, those of dangerous elements, and the law enforcers whose job is to disrupt them. I mean, sure, it's probably easy enough to land on some state intel service's radar, but there is almost nothing to be done about that. However, if certain rhetoric that corresponds with particular behavioral danger were to start congregating in open sight, at some point we must consider the liability risk to ownership if law enforcement goes knocking on their door to see what's going on.

    And I should never, ever have to explain that. But this is Sciforums, and here we are.

    Part of me wonders what is so mysterious. I even went so far as to explain: Do we forbid advocacy of behavior considered illegal? No, not implicitly. And I even asked: Show of hands, is it really so hard to figure out? Or, like I said, it really is a simple point. Yet, still, this is Sciforums, so of course we can find a way to make it complicated.

    Or, look, I can come right out and say, there are reasons we don't like to detail this point, because some people might take it as a challenge, and next thing, someone needs it spelled out for them like they're new.

    To borrow your ship and jewels, it's almost like you need me to explain, point by point, how to sabotage the ship, and how to steal the jewels. Or, inasmuch as you're asking me to explain what you've already been told, it's hard to figure, according to your imaginative speculation, what is unclear.

    Try it this way:

    I would ask you to consider Wegs' response↗, "You’d have to determine first, why SF is 'withering?'" because, Dave, for whatever reason, it seems as if you don't want to have that discussion.

    Remember, understanding what the problem is and how it works will help us figure out how to solve it.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    There was nothing absolute about it.

    I qualified with this:
    So I ask again. With that qualification, how is SciFo in any more peril than any other site out there?

    (I don't know why you so often phrase things so cynically. I don't think I've ever stated I don't want to have some discussion. That's a conclusion of yours.)

    I think it is more likely that, if you are looking for a direct dialogue about a particular issue, you are too circumspect about asking, and it gets missed in all the rhetoric. If you want to have a discussion about a particular topic, be explicit and ask.

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