Moderator makes ad hominem attacks on another moderator

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Maybe start with Twitter?
No ,start everywhere but with appropriate exceptions.

Any fines need to be enforceable and tough enough to put the site out of business (and the owners targeted
on their own account)

Maybe put Putin in charge of enforcement:O
I have, actually, been giving this some thought over the period:

Fair enough. I was thinking of the OGUatSoM thread as a recent example. It was gratuitously aggressive. The impatience and accusation outweighed any sincere effort to dialogue.

Really? #5↗ hurt your feelings?

Just so we're clear, that's an example of a post you find gratuitiously aggressive? Or, you said↑ respond, so #7↗? Maybe #14↗ in which I responded to someone else that we presume you don't actually intend the worst because you're not that kind of person?

Maybe we can go through it in that thread, but at the same time, I do wonder what you expected with such a condescending topic post that delivers its insult and goes nowhere. I mean, compared to what you find gratuitously aggressive.

The point is, I don't think it's any stretch to surmise (and suspect many will agree) that you thoroughly enjoy crafting scathing disapproval for its own sake.

Again, it remains unclear what you expect insofar as you keep trying to simply write off everything I say as opportunistic grudges and grievances, or the line about the peanut gallery, and now suggesting I enjoy thoroughly enjoy crafting scathing disapproval for its own sake—the bottom line is that it's much harder to communicate with you if you keep refusing.

I don't usually endeavor to explain stylistics because there isn't much point in doing so; most of the disdaining criticism doesn't actually care. But sure, the way I write, here, involves any number of considerations about the audience, and much comes down to faqing and fisking. One thing about ostensible concision in a setting like this is that I can either spend words now or later; stretching it out over the course of multiple noncontiguous posts only makes a discussion harder to follow.

Put bluntly, it's amazing what dumbass questions people will come up with if you let them, i.e., faqing. And there is a joke about letters, words, sentences, &c., to make the point about fisking, a discursive method that failed to live up to its potential because it is so easily applied fallaciously. Think of it this way: If someone cannot follow from one paragraph to the next, use fewer paragraph breaks; if someone cannot follow from sentence to sentence, use punctuation to string sentences together without a full stop.

The challenge, here, is whether we can believe any given critic's reading comprehension. A danger of both faqing and fisking is that clumsy critics can easily present themselves as disqualifyingly incompetent. Eventually, they just start complaining about how many words I use. And it is also true that every once in a while I just don't know what to tell people because they can't tell me what the problem actually is.

OK, apparently that phrase means something different to you. So now I have no idea what you meant.

If, for instance, you have concerns about "integrity and honesty", and I happened to have mentioned↗ that I've lost more staff disputes about that than I can recall, the discussion of standards that emerges from the consideration of James and this question of vested interest is actually part of that, and your contribution, at least insofar as you keep pushing the discussion away, lends toward obfuscation of issues relevant to your own concerns. Not only does your tendency toward scandalization devalue discussion related to your concerns, it also provides some cover for aspects that would prefer to avoid discussion. In that way, you do your part for, lend your effort to, i.e., pitch in for, obfuscation of issues relevant to your own concern.

(Something goes here about word count.)

I don't follow. I feel like you are ascribing motives to me, not sure how you know me. And I'm not sure how I'm "cynically insinuating" anything, or "reducing" it at all, never mind to muttering scandalization. I think I said what I said and the point is obvious. It sounds more like you're editorializing for its own sake than you're making any attempt to communicate your point.

Really? You don't notice your tone? The line about the peanut gallery, opportunism and grudges and dragging, &c.? Yes, I know what you said in the other thread, but still, maybe it's just timing. And, per some of the frustration you've expressed in your inquiry about explanation and obfuscation, it's one thing if I can't give you some substantial change right now, in the moment that you ask, but the discussion goes through this territory at some point; it is vital to discussion about "reasonable standards of intellectual integrity and honesty". And if you think your manner of brushing it away really is an obvious point, well, then, okay, if we remove this part from trying to answer your inquiry, we're back to the point that we don't really have standards, and the whole mess just stumbles and slouches around the circle.

Do you not think it is poor form how to have moderators openly bashing each other in a dedicated thread? What kind of example is this setting? It tells the rest of us that it's a free-for-all.

Well, it could have stayed in its original place, I suppose.

But you would have to ask James why he split this part away from its origin↗, which has also been splintered away from the original thread. I think it makes a certain amount of sense for how he wants this to go, or something like that.

Meanwhile, ask some of our neighbors about the example we set just leaving him to make it up as he goes.

You and I are not equals.
Mine was a member-to-moderator question: "What is the point, if you tell us you can't effect change?".
Your response is a moderator-to-member question about "what is the point". That's alarming - if a moderator doesn't know what the point is of discussing change.

That is its own context. Two points, here:

1) My question simply reminds that you apparently don't trust the words I'm telling you.

2) And look at the next thing I told you (after the paragraph break): This is part of the discussion, Dave: If there is inconsistency, then how does that work? Or is the answer, that something might have gone wrong along the way, mere opportunistic dragging?​

So, again, the problem you describe does not stop with the issue you suggest, but, rather, the issue you refer to can be seen as symptomatic of other things. And this is part of that discussion.

So here's the point: Collectively, you are the de facto example-setters. If you're not the rudder for the boat, then we go in circles. If you tell us there's no point in trying to effect change then we have to no choice but believe you. The only way that can change is if you take the rudder. If the rest of us see a course to follow that isn't just opportunistic grudges and dragging some of us might try to follow it.

There are practical limits to what courses I might set for you.

Aside from that, well, look, it depends on what you mean. For instance, I don't expect people to outright imitate my form and style, but still, it's one thing↗ if some of my posts offer what I might construe as a suggestion toward a better course, but that's why the #5705 episode is important. You ask about poor form when moderators dispute publicly, but consider your own frustration about obfuscation, and maybe you can manage a few words on what it would mean to have site Administration discouraging better posting.

And that's one of the reasons why (I think) many people are hard on you about your style. You're supposed to both setting an example and enforcing rules that set the example. The example should not be member-bashing is institutionalized in moderator policy.

Is that particular point about my policy dispute with James, or your concern that I was gratuitously aggressive in my discussion of the thread you opened for the apparent purpose of calling people you don't like infantile?

Remember, there is a range for discussion that is miles wide. There are ways in which I set certain examples, and if people don't want to follow the path suggestsed by the better of those examples, that's up to them. The less encouraging examples are a bit more complicated, with long history that is messy and inconsistent, and in many particular cases there were more heavy-handed alternatives we were, generally, expected to prefer to avoid. Historically speaking, limits on ad homs are difficult to set because the proverbial everybody wants to infantilize or bestialize or demonize someone, while people who look poorly upon that kind of behavior need to keep it to themselves, because, y'know, insults, man, ad homs.

It's like the peanut gallery. Peanut galleries are a part of life, as such, but inasmuch as ours includes so much truculent antisociality, please recognize that our policy disincentive, right now, reinforces that lazy truculence and discourages better efforts.

Or perhaps a better nautical metaphor: we're on a sinking ship and the captains appear to be in the stateroom fighting over the jewels in the safe. Are you expecting positive reviews from passengers and crew?

See, that's the thing, though, Dave. One might say, "Get out of the way! I need to rescue the jewels before we ram the iceberg!" Another might reply, "You do realize, I'm trying to fix the steering?" And Dave will complain that they're "fighting over the jewels in the safe".

I suppose the thing to do is abandon the steering, leave the captain to flee with the jewels, and ram the iceberg. At least then we won't be "fighting over the jewels in the safe". As to positive reviews from the passengers, I don't know, maybe they can complain to me in the afterlife, or perhaps it will be the last thing they say as they drown in the frigid sea while refusing to save themselves.


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.

And maybe you would think this pretty straightforward. Okay, nevermind, that's the wrong way to say it, because nothing is ever straightforward, around here.


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.

Look, just about everybody I know has gotten away with drinking without their ID card, which, just, no, don't do that, except the reality is, it's a widespread gamble people are willing to take. They even get upset when they get carded. And it's even more hilarious when it's just out in the car. And around here, the pub gets penalized if the state catches you drinking without your ID.

Easy enough? It's one thing if people go and get themselves in all sorts of stupid trouble, but do not fuck up the pub.

It really is a simple point: Don't do the certain things that get the pub in particular trouble.

Still, though, this is Sciforums, so ask yourself how we can complicate such a simple point.


Rule of thumb: Don't do certain obvious things that get the joint raided.

Complication: But this doesn't count!

Wait, what?


This is important: It is not that a given subject is itself verboten.

And there are reasons we don't like to detail this point: Some people might take it as a challenge; most of those would fail—it's the nature of the beast—but sometimes simply trying bears certain risks.

In fact, that's part of the story. Someone known for pushing boundaries pushed a certain one, having to do with sexual violence and sex crime, and in and of itself that particular approach was difficult, and almost implicitly irresponsible. And then someone else went and pushed even further, into explicitly problematic territory, and very irresponsibly.

Thus: Do we forbid advocacy of behavior considered illegal? No, not implicitly. Show of hands, is it really so hard to figure out?

The rule of thumb seems pretty straightforward: If you advocate for something controversial, do so responsibly.

And, yes, our policy outlook actually presupposes that people around here are smart enough to figure certain things out without needing it explained like this. And, sure, there's irony laced in the detail.

And we already know the workaround; it doesn't matter if even the dictionary disagrees.

So, maybe I don't get why the basic principle is so dangerous that we need such a delicately calculated exemption, but it is an actual standard we have on record. And while it can be applied diversely, this is the occasion and application we have.

That is, if you advocate for the advancement of behavior classified as sex offense, do so responsibly. The counterpoint, of course, is that the behavior is not advocacy because it's not particular enough in a certain way. And maybe the dictionary disagrees, but this is Sciforums, so the dictionary is wrong.

There's your heads and tails: Don't do stupid shit that gets the joint raided, or, People need to grow up and stop being so oversentsitive.

Sometimes it's not a question of whether the next person at Sciforums is oversensitive, or the safety of their feelings; sometimes, we owe consideration to the safety of the site itself.


That's an example of what you call fighting over the jewels, Dave. And it's also an occasion to suggest that, perhaps, the wisdom of "objective, disinterested-party insight"↗ isn't so wise as some pretend. More directly, it's not at all surprising how much objectivity from ostensibly disinterested parties relies on a pretense of what it doesn't know. Ignorance is not always an asset to the wise. It's one thing to be "disinterested", but such advice is rarely objective.

Still, here's the thing about fighting over the jewels, as such, Dave: In your sinking-ship metaphor, you're standing around, waiting to be rescued, complaining about circumstances that might not actually be true, because you think it is the objective thing to do.

Our sordid recollection about advocacy isn't for the sake of scandal, Dave; take a look at the thread we're in: The tale is the underlying meaning of one of James' complaints. And if you take a moment to check, you'll find that his angry attempt to shame↑ omits the reference↑ in order to pretend indignance.

But why is any of this relevant to what?

Well, think of your advice to Baldeee. The reason it doesn't work is because the situation was well past that point. Baldeee's discussion of thread closure occurs in the context of a larger discussion about whether James R was moderating in self-interest. That larger discussion has been going on for months¹, and in the part Baldeee referred to, circumstances had already escalated past that point. Indeed, it's a downstream iteration of the question underpinning this thread, which had to do with James R's standard of vested interest vis à vis Sarkus' posts.

One of the things about not being involved in a discussion is that your advice to Baldeee would seem to be okay with the prospect that James was actually moderating for personal reasons. Similarly, your concern about fighting over the jewels.

Presented with a relevant standard for comparison, we got splinters and indignance; that's what this thread is, Dave. Your concern regarding poor form is an interesting question, as the entire thread hinges on misrepresenting a policy reference point, i.e., the time he redefined a word in order to assert the distinction between just saying something and advocating that someone in particular do something, because comparatively, it is unclear what part of Sarkus' posts would be so particular as that standard demands for advocacy of sex crime.

Do you get it, yet, Dave? I mean, sure, it seems overly complicated compared to its straightforward moment, but that's how things go around here when the peanut gallery is mostly shelled chaff, and the "disinterested-party" advice is of such uncertain relationship with fact and circumstance.

The underlying question was whether certain moderation was appropriate or not; the point at hand described a known standard suggesting the member conduct in question does not meet an actionable threshold; the response was a screeching demand for apology according to false pretense; and Dave is offering objective advice from a disinterested perspective that may or may not be uninformed.

I mean, you are aware, right, this discussion was splintered off a situation that had been going on for months, already?

And inasmuch as I asked↑ you what you want, complete with emphasis on the word you, and you refused↑ to answer, sure, that goes along well enough with your posture of changing the subject and complaining.

But it's true, I didn't want you to think I'd just dropped your inquiry; it's just hard to answer when circumstances are so unstable, even more so if the inquiry doesn't really want the answer.


¹ i.e., Part of why the question of splintering↑ is important; see also, #21↑ and 45↑ above.​

Another might reply, "You do realize, I'm trying to fix the steering?"
Then why ask me what I want?

You can't have it both ways.

Dave: In your sinking-ship metaphor, you're standing around, waiting to be rescued, complaining about circumstances that might not actually be true, because you think it is the objective thing to do.
No I am definitely not.

I am EXPLICITLY and ACTIVELY fighting for a goal. I personally think that goal is science and rational, evidence-based discourse, not simply because that's in SciFo's Mission Statement, but that might just be me.

I am a passenger who - in a vacuum of guidance - is actively grabbing a lifeboat and thinking (rightly or wrongly) that its A Right Thing To Do.

And it feels like the captain(s) are not only at odds about the best course of action, but are actively thwarting my efforts. (mostly by not shutting down trolling).

So, if fighting trolling and pseudoscience is NOT what the captains want I'm ASKING for direction and I'll try to assist or at least fall in line. Or - if it's seen as just a nuisance - step away.
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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.
That is my impression.
Moderator note: This thread has been open for more than 6 months now. Tiassa has not apologised for or retracted his false accusations.

Clearly, our other members are tired of this issue hanging around. This matter is now closed, along with this thread.

I note, in addition, that Tiassa has been removed as moderator of sciforums.
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