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Nereid
2010-Aug-09, 03:59 PM
New ATM threads arise in two quite distinct ways; namely, as a thread (or split posts) move, from some other part of BAUT; or as a new thread started by a BAUTian, presenting a new ATM idea (or an old one, updated by significantly new material).

This thread is about the first - new ATM threads which are the result of a move (by a mod) of a thread elsewhere in BAUT, or by splitting out posts from an existing thread (elsewhere), to form a new ATM thread.

The suggestion is this: put all such new ATM threads into a special area, for up to two days. The OP - the BAUTian proposing the new ATM idea - gets (an automatic?) PM, informing them of the creation of the new thread, and a request that they respond within 48 hours. The response sought is a clear, unambiguous willingness to proceed with the thread (or the contrary); the PM to them contains strongly worded advice about reading the ATM rule, and especially the READ THIS THREAD FIRST thread. If a clear, unambiguous response is not received within 48 hours, the new ATM thread goes nowehere*; this includes a non-response (i.e. the default is the new ATM thread goes nowhere).

Why?

Because, AFAICS, every single new ATM thread created in this way, in the last couple of years (maybe longer) has been painful, to challengers, to the ATM proponent, to casual readers. In every single case^ the ATM proponent has been poorly prepared - sometimes woefully so - to answer even the most simple, basic questions (e.g. on scope), much less actually answer all direct questions, pertinent to the ATM idea, as presented. Had they had a chance to seriously reflect on what they could, realistically, expect, they would very quickly see what they were getting themselves in for; I suspect most would choose not to proceed.

However, should they choose, openly and unambiguously, to proceed, then there should be no sympathy whatsoever for them if they subsequently become completely overwhelmed.

* maybe it gets posted into the ATM section, but is locked; maybe it just remains in a non-visible area of BAUT; maybe ...
^ I would welcome any nominations for counter-examples!

baric
2010-Aug-09, 04:45 PM
New ATM threads arise in two quite distinct ways; namely, as a thread (or split posts) move, from some other part of BAUT; or as a new thread started by a BAUTian, presenting a new ATM idea (or an old one, updated by significantly new material).

This thread is about the first - new ATM threads which are the result of a move (by a mod) of a thread elsewhere in BAUT, or by splitting out posts from an existing thread (elsewhere), to form a new ATM thread.

The suggestion is this: put all such new ATM threads into a special area, for up to two days. The OP - the BAUTian proposing the new ATM idea - gets (an automatic?) PM, informing them of the creation of the new thread, and a request that they respond within 48 hours. The response sought is a clear, unambiguous willingness to proceed with the thread (or the contrary); the PM to them contains strongly worded advice about reading the ATM rule, and especially the READ THIS THREAD FIRST thread. If a clear, unambiguous response is not received within 48 hours, the new ATM thread goes nowehere*; this includes a non-response (i.e. the default is the new ATM thread goes nowhere).

It seems to me like a new area and procedure would create additional work for the moderators. Are there enough of these types of ATM threads to justify this additional effort?


Why?

Because, AFAICS, every single new ATM thread created in this way, in the last couple of years (maybe longer) has been painful, to challengers, to the ATM proponent, to casual readers. In every single case^ the ATM proponent has been poorly prepared - sometimes woefully so - to answer even the most simple, basic questions (e.g. on scope), much less actually answer all direct questions, pertinent to the ATM idea, as presented. Had they had a chance to seriously reflect on what they could, realistically, expect, they would very quickly see what they were getting themselves in for; I suspect most would choose not to proceed.

I agree completely. Any reasonable ATM proponent balancing the restrictions placed upon them (publish or perish) vs. the complete lack of restrictions placed upon their potential opponents (unlimited consequence-free interrogation) would quickly conclude to not post in ATM. As a result, we end up with mostly the unreasonable ATM proponents!

How is this conducive to scientific discourse in BAUT? Is that a goal for ATM? Maybe it's not! :P


However, should they choose, openly and unambiguously, to proceed, then there should be no sympathy whatsoever for them if they subsequently become completely overwhelmed.

Will this statement be added prominently to the READ ME FIRST post?

Anyway, that's an interesting suggestion.

Gillianren
2010-Aug-09, 05:08 PM
You know, if you're posting an ATM idea in a mainstream area, you should be able to show that you can defend it as opposed to just throwing it out there. If you can't, you have no business referencing your idea in the first place.

Nereid
2010-Aug-09, 05:08 PM
It seems to me like a new area and procedure would create additional work for the moderators. Are there enough of these types of ATM threads to justify this additional effort?
It's extra work for the mods to create these new ATM threads in the first place; sending a new thread created this way to one place rather than another is no extra work. If the PM were boilerplate, or, better, automated, then the extra work would be minimal.

I estimate that ~one-third of the recent ATM threads originated in this way ...



I agree completely. Any reasonable ATM proponent balancing the restrictions placed upon them (publish or perish) vs. the complete lack of restrictions placed upon their potential opponents (unlimited consequence-free interrogation) would quickly conclude to not post in ATM. As a result, we end up with mostly the unreasonable ATM proponents!
Perhaps, perhaps not.



How is this conducive to scientific discourse in BAUT? Is that a goal for ATM? Maybe it's not! :P
The goal of BAUT's ATM section is extremely clear, and has been since Day One*.

Fraser has even written extensively on it!

In a word, the ATM section is an opportunity for those who think they have something new to offer, wrt astronomy and space science (the scope of BAUT), to present it ... and to do so in an environment that is gentle, treats them tenderly, but gives them a feel for what doing real science is like. In old threads you'll see many, many comments to the effect that BAUT's ATM section has astonishingly low standards, compared with what actually happens in the astronomy (etc) community.

For example, the pressure on an ATM proponent, in the ATM section, is trivial compared to that on someone defending their PhD thesis (IMHO, less than 1% of ATM proponents, over the last few years, would get more than ~15 minutes through a thesis defence before the chairperson of the committee called it quits, with the kindest possible words being something to the effect of "perhaps you could come back in 6 months' time, when you are better prepared").



Will this statement be added prominently to the READ ME FIRST post?
Sure, if it goes ahead, I think it should.



Anyway, that's an interesting suggestion.
Glad to hear that! :)

* I mean, what possible ambiguity is there in the ATM rule?

If you have some idea which goes against commonly-held astronomical theory, or think UFOs are among us, then you are welcome to argue it here. Before you do, though READ THIS THREAD FIRST. This is very important. Then, if you still want to post your idea, you will do so politely, you will not call people names, and you will defend your arguments. Direct questions must be answered in a timely manner.

People will attack your arguments with glee and fervor here; that's what science and scientists do. If you cannot handle that sort of attack, then maybe you need to rethink your theory, too. Remember: you came here. It's our job to attack new theories. Those that are strong will survive, and may become part of mainstream science.

tusenfem
2010-Aug-09, 05:28 PM
Any newly created ATM can easily be closed on request of the "appointed OP" after the thread has been split off by a moderator.
No need for more rules, location etc. etc.
We have better things to do that try to come up with yet another set of rules for ATM.

Moose
2010-Aug-10, 01:15 AM
Two options that remedy this situation to the complete satisfaction of the mod team:

1) Not posting ATM claims to mainstream forums (Q&A especially). <-- We especially like this one
2) The magic words: "I do not wish to defend this claim" in a reported post.

No fuss, no muss, no wailing nor gnashing of teeth.

Jim
2010-Aug-10, 02:29 AM
Two options that remedy this situation to the complete satisfaction of the mod team:

1) Not posting ATM claims to mainstream forums (Q&A especially). <-- We especially like this one

Not that we've had a vote or anything, but I'm willing to bet no Mod would object to this.


2) The magic words: "I do not wish to defend this claim" in a reported post.

No fuss, no muss, no wailing nor gnashing of teeth.

The problem with having an open thread is that the proponent may not express a desire not to pursue until after one, two or ten responses have been posted by others. We could handle this by moving the thread/posts and locking the new thread until the proponent can report his/her wishes.

I'm not sure we need the PM (assuming it would be read or even accepted). The notice of what's being done and what should be done can be made in a post.

And I don't think this requires a revision to the Rules. It's more Mod policy than something Members need to follow.

PetersCreek
2010-Aug-10, 03:09 AM
I'm pretty much of the same mind as Jim on this one. I don't see the need for a quarantine area if we simply close the thread upon movement to the ATM forum. Closing comments could include instructions for the proponent to report the post indicating his/her intent to defend the proposition. I'd also like to see a statement from the OP that he has read the rules and advice regarding ATM discussions. If the OP declines or doesn't respond, the thread scrolls into obscurity.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-10, 04:02 AM
Nereid,


In every single case^ the ATM proponent has been poorly prepared - sometimes woefully so - to answer even the most simple, basic questions (e.g. on scope), much less actually answer all direct questions, pertinent to the ATM idea, as presented.


I would welcome any nominations for counter-examples!

I think your idea may have merit but at least in my case, your above statement is totally wrong. As you know I've written a book of 400+ pages long and a number of technical papers concerning alternative theory and what's wrong with present theory, so it would be difficult to find another person that could be better prepared to defend any of their ATM statements than I am.


Had they had a chance to seriously reflect on what they could, realistically, expect, they would very quickly see what they were getting themselves in for; I suspect most would choose not to proceed.

You are probably right concerning reluctance to post if they knew the consequences, but instead the reason would be because of the abuse posters often receive. The reason I and many other possible new-thread authors don't start threads in the ATM section probably concerns the rules, specifically for me it is the lack of a rule that permits unlimited questions by a single person in one day and day after day, and the rule that demands answers to all questions. Change these rules or allow a truly reasonable time period for the author to answer questions properly without suspending the poster and/ or having to close the thread voluntarily or otherwise. This would stop a single person from dominating the thread so that generally nobody else can participate. Then I would be happy to start new threads there. I have many theories/ hypothesis that I would be willing to start there as you know, but to date I have not started a single thread there, and will probably never do so as long the rules remain unchanged. I have been invited to post there by both well-wishers and bashers but once bitten twice shy.

Strange
2010-Aug-10, 09:03 AM
I'm pretty much of the same mind as Jim on this one. I don't see the need for a quarantine area if we simply close the thread upon movement to the ATM forum. Closing comments could include instructions for the proponent to report the post indicating his/her intent to defend the proposition. I'd also like to see a statement from the OP that he has read the rules and advice regarding ATM discussions. If the OP declines or doesn't respond, the thread scrolls into obscurity.

Sounds good to me. It leaves the ATM forum available as a "dumping ground" for total nonsense posts. It avoids tempting people into premature responses (in the sense that they are not going to get answered). The nuttier threads of this type often also attract a number of joking responses which then (rightly) result in moderator warnings or infringements - saving us from that temptation would be a good thing too!

On the other hand it doesn't damage the ATM status quo for those people who believe there is some value to it as a place to discuss alternative theories.

Nereid
2010-Aug-10, 04:14 PM
I'm pretty much of the same mind as Jim on this one. I don't see the need for a quarantine area if we simply close the thread upon movement to the ATM forum. Closing comments could include instructions for the proponent to report the post indicating his/her intent to defend the proposition. I'd also like to see a statement from the OP that he has read the rules and advice regarding ATM discussions. If the OP declines or doesn't respond, the thread scrolls into obscurity.
tusenfem has just done this with a moved thread (moved, given an explanation and some instructions, and locked the thread).

It seems to be an effective approach; maybe the mod team could agree on some boilerplate language, to ensure consistency, cut down on the time and effort involved, etc ...

forrest noble
2010-Aug-11, 09:08 PM
Another idea might be a "wading pool" for ATM ideas, where transferred postings, or those less serious ATM ideas, can initially be placed. If they so request, following this initial placement, they could request to go to the ATM forum (few will do so). This I think would be better than the ATM forum being a dumping grounds for those that are unprepared.

The idea would be the same 30 day maximum expiration time, or sooner based upon no comments or moderator discretion. Moderation could transfer serious proposals initiated in the "wading pool" to the ATM section with the discretion of the OP to cancel his request. Here the OP would not be required to defend the idea, instead the idea would just be out there for comments along with the author's. This would not be counted against the 30 day period if they someday should decide to jump into the deep water of the ATM forum with the same or similar idea (which probably would rarely happen). It might get more play than the ATM forum now gets, with fewer moderation problems. It might be more interesting for BAUT lurkers concerning both forums with possible increased ad revenue potential concerning total viewers.

Ideas?

Gillianren
2010-Aug-11, 09:09 PM
No. No, that goes entirely against the reasoning for the rules in the first place. We don't want a "wading pool." ATMers seem to have this belief that the section is designed for their benefit, and it isn't. It's sequestration.

Nereid
2010-Aug-11, 09:19 PM
Another idea might be a "wading pool" for ATM ideas, where transferred postings, or those less serious ATM ideas, can initially be placed. If they so request, following the initial placement, they could go to the ATM forum. This I think would be better than the ATM forum being a dumping grounds for those that are unprepared.

The idea would be the same 30 day maximum expiration time, or sooner based upon no comments or moderator discretion. Moderation could transfer serious proposals initiated in the "wading pool" to the ATM section with the discretion of the OP to cancel his request. The OP would not be required to defend the idea, instead the idea would be out there for comments along with the authors. This would not be counted against the 30 day period if they someday should decide to jump into the deep water of the ATM forum with the same or similar idea (which probably wouldn't happen very often). It might get more play than the ATM forum now gets, with fewer moderation problems. It might be more interesting for BAUT lurkers with possible increased ad revenue potential concerning total viewers.

Ideas?
As Gillianren said, it has never been the intention, of the owners, to have anything other than exactly what the current ATM rule states.

Suggestions such as yours have come up, many times, over the past few years, and every time where one or other owner has commented, it has been to repeat and reinforce the intention as described in the ATM rule.

Geo Kaplan
2010-Aug-11, 09:37 PM
Nereid,

I think your idea may have merit but at least in my case, your above statement is totally wrong. As you know I've written a book of 400+ pages long and a number of technical papers concerning alternative theory and what's wrong with present theory, so it would be difficult to find another person that could be better prepared to defend any of their ATM statements than I am.

And that is the scary part. The record shows that, in your specific case, you made numerous false claims, and engaged in egregious quote-mining from abstracts of papers, without having read the papers themselves, among other transgressions. If we accept your claim that other ATMers are less prepared than you, then that argues for keeping the ATM rules much as they are.

PetersCreek
2010-Aug-11, 10:16 PM
Okay, that's quite enough dissection of individual posts/threads. Let's keep the examples generalized and the discussion focused on the OP.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-12, 06:11 PM
You know, if you're posting an ATM idea in a mainstream area, you should be able to show that you can defend it as opposed to just throwing it out there. If you can't, you have no business referencing your idea in the first place.
The thing is, at least based on my impression of threads moved this way, many of the people who get their thread moved this way have no idea that they aren't mainstream to begin with and are talking about their idea in the belief that this is how the world actually behaves.
The suggested procedure would give them a chance to rethink that belief before they're thrown to the attack dogs.

ETA I should really read the entire thread before posting after being away for a week.
The later suggestion that threads are moved and locked sounds like a very good compromise.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-15, 05:43 PM
HenrikOlsen,


The thing is, at least based on my impression of threads moved this way, many of the people who get their thread moved this way have no idea that they aren't mainstream to begin with and are talking about their idea in the belief that this is how the world actually behaves.
The suggested procedure would give them a chance to rethink that belief before they're thrown to the attack dogs.

I agree, there is most likely a better way of some kind concerning such postings which in the moderator's opinion could involve na´vetÚ. My own suggestion was a "wading pool" section/ forum for all ATM transfers in general transferred from other threads where the initial ATM statement would not have to defended providing the author's further comments (if any), in this "wading pool" section, would be made in the question mode only rather than the assertion mode.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-15, 06:13 PM
Nereid,


The suggestion is this: put all such new ATM threads into a special area, for up to two days. The OP - the BAUTian proposing the new ATM idea - gets (an automatic?) PM, informing them of the creation of the new thread, and a request that they respond within 48 hours. The response sought is a clear, unambiguous willingness to proceed with the thread (or the contrary); the PM to them contains strongly worded advice about reading the ATM rule, and especially the READ THIS THREAD FIRST thread. If a clear, unambiguous response is not received within 48 hours, the new ATM thread goes nowhere*; this includes a non-response (i.e. the default is the new ATM thread goes nowhere).

I agree; I think this idea is a modest improvement and would be simple to implement. As I understand your proposal, postings that are transferred from other forums would be automatically locked after 48 hours after "no response to requests," which would be the default result/ position, instead of the present default position being that the OP must state that they do not wish to argue their statement in the ATM section or must otherwise request that the thread be closed?

Nereid
2010-Aug-15, 06:33 PM
Nereid,



I agree; I think this idea is a modest improvement and would be simple to implement. As I understand your proposal, postings that are transferred from other forums would be automatically locked after 48 hours after "no response to requests," which would be the default result/ position, instead of the present default position being that the OP must state that they do not wish to argue their statement in the ATM section or must otherwise request that the thread be closed?
The proposal, in the OP, is now pretty much dead.

Why?

Because a far simpler, less-demanding of mod resources, proposal appeared shortly afterwards; namely, that when a new ATM thread is created by moving a post/set of posts (split thread)/whole thread from elsewhere, and where the OP of the new ATM thread is a newbie (to the ATM section), then the mod doing the move will a) welcome the newbie, b) link to the BAUT rules and point out the importance of #13, and c) explicitly link to the "advice" thread*. There would also be some boilerplate to the effect that if the new OP does not want to proceed, then PM a mod/report the post/etc.

After that it's up to the OP to explicitly request - by PM, or in thread - that the thread be locked (either temporarily or permanently). If no such request is made, we - all other BAUTians - can assume that the OP has both read the rule and "advice" thread, and is OK to proceed (per the rule). Other BAUTians (than mods) may consider waiting ~48 hours, or some shorter time, or not; it's up to them.

This treats the newbie ATMer as an adult who can make decisions on their own, and can also therefore take responsibility for them.

* if the mod fails to do that, any BAUTian can also do it, provided it is done in an open, friendly, here-to-help-you (and not a mod-like) way.

forrest noble
2010-Aug-17, 04:25 PM
Nereid,


The proposal, in the OP, is now pretty much dead.
Why?


Because a far simpler, less-demanding of mod resources, proposal appeared shortly afterwards; namely, that when a new ATM thread is created by moving a post/set of posts (split thread)/whole thread from elsewhere, and where the OP of the new ATM thread is a newbie (to the ATM section), then the mod doing the move will a) welcome the newbie, b) link to the BAUT rules and point out the importance of #13, and c) explicitly link to the "advice" thread*. There would also be some boilerplate to the effect that if the new OP does not want to proceed, then PM a mod/report the post/etc.

After that it's up to the OP to explicitly request - by PM, or in thread - that the thread be locked (either temporarily or permanently). If no such request is made, we - all other BAUTians - can assume that the OP has both read the rule and "advice" thread, and is OK to proceed (per the rule). Other BAUTians (than mods) may consider waiting ~48 hours, or some shorter time, or not; it's up to them.

This treats the newbie ATMer as an adult who can make decisions on their own, and can also therefore take responsibility for them.

This seems like an improvement but I like your proposal better. Even if a thread were locked after 48 hours in this manner a few OPs might decide/request that it be re-opened which I think would be no problem for moderators.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Aug-17, 04:33 PM
This seems like an improvement but I like your proposal better. Even if a thread were locked after 48 hours in this manner a few OPs might decide/request that it be re-opened which I think would be no problem for moderators.
I would say it's a lot saner, especially given your own stated aversion to many questions, to close the thread from the start, then only open it after a report by the OP, since that gives the OP the choice of whether to answer questions or not before a lot are asked.