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Nereid
2010-Aug-12, 02:58 PM
The BAUT ATM rule (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/32864-Rules-For-Posting-To-This-Board) is a textbook case of clarity:

13. Alternative Concepts and Conspiracy Theories

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 (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/16242-Advice-for-ATM-theory-supporters.). 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.

Additionally, keep promotion of your theories and ideas to only those Against the Mainstream or Conspiracy Theory threads which discuss them. Hijacking other discussions to draw attention to your ideas will not be allowed.

If it appears that you are using circular reasoning, depending on long-debunked arguments, or breaking any of these other rules, you will receive one warning, and if that warning goes unheeded, you will be banned.

As with the other sections of the forum, we ask you to keep your topics about space and astronomy. We will close down any thread which doesn't have anything to do with space and astronomy immediately.

Yet it seems abundantly clear that many, perhaps most, of those starting new ATM threads for the first time have not, in fact READ THIS THREAD, at all, much less before presenting ATM ideas (the thread is Advice for ATM theory supporters (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/16242-Advice-for-ATM-theory-supporters.)).

It seems to me that, before attacking the ATM arguments presented in a new ATM thread (whether with glee and fervour or not), by someone who has not previously started an ATM thread, it is of great help to such a BAUTian to draw their attention - explicitly - to the READ THIS THREAD FIRST thread, very early in the new ATM thread's life ... and if the answer is "no, I have not", then perhaps the kindest thing to do would be to report the thread, and ask that it be closed immediately.

After all, the ATM rule actually *requires* that THIS THREAD be read, first (and it does so in an explicit, unambiguous manner)!

My question is whether it is against any BAUT rule for a BAUTian to ask just this question, in an ATM thread (where the ATM ideas are presented by a BAUTian who has not previously started a thread in the ATM section). And if anyone thinks that it is, what rule does it violate (and why)?

Swift
2010-Aug-12, 05:42 PM
After all, the ATM rule actually *requires* that THIS THREAD be read, first (and it does so in an explicit, unambiguous manner)!

My question is whether it is against any BAUT rule for a BAUTian to ask just this question, in an ATM thread (where the ATM ideas are presented by a BAUTian who has not previously started a thread in the ATM section). And if anyone thinks that it is, what rule does it violate (and why)?
First, I don't interpret rule 13 as requiring a proponent of ATM to read the advice thread first. It says "it is very important", it doesn't say "it is required". I would classify it more like it is highly recommended. But as there is no requirement to read the rules of BAUT to become a member, I don't see a requirement to read the advice thread. There are requirements to follow the rules, but if you don't want to read them, that is your decision.

Second, I would feel it would be inappropriate for a general member to ask the question "have you read the advice thread". It comes across to me as acting as a moderator, a rule 16 (and a little bit of 17) violation. Second, I could see it become a "habit" that for every new ATM thread, someone asks "did you read the advice thread" and using it as a way of just "sticking it" to the ATM advocate, and implying that it is obvious they didn't.

tusenfem
2010-Aug-12, 05:47 PM
That was basically my idea in this, now closed, ATM thread. (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106738-Wun-Yi-Shu-s-Cosmological-Models-with-No-Big-Bang?p=1776084#post1776084)

Geo Kaplan
2010-Aug-12, 05:57 PM
First, I don't interpret rule 13 as requiring a proponent of ATM to read the advice thread first. It says "it is very important", it doesn't say "it is required". I would classify it more like it is highly recommended. But as there is no requirement to read the rules of BAUT to become a member, I don't see a requirement to read the advice thread. There are requirements to follow the rules, but if you don't want to read them, that is your decision.

Second, I would feel it would be inappropriate for a general member to ask the question "have you read the advice thread". It comes across to me as acting as a moderator, a rule 16 (and a little bit of 17) violation. Second, I could see it become a "habit" that for every new ATM thread, someone asks "did you read the advice thread" and using it as a way of just "sticking it" to the ATM advocate, and implying that it is obvious they didn't.

Given that you feel it would be a violation of the rules for a general member to ask the question, and given that many ATM proponents act surprised and dismayed when they are "attacked with fervor and glee" (triggering endless exchanges about their surprise and dismay), perhaps changing the recommendation into a requirement would help reduce the clutter?

Swift
2010-Aug-12, 06:06 PM
Given that you feel it would be a violation of the rules for a general member to ask the question, and given that many ATM proponents act surprised and dismayed when they are "attacked with fervor and glee" (triggering endless exchanges about their surprise and dismay), perhaps changing the recommendation into a requirement would help reduce the clutter?
Honestly, I doubt it. Members are currently required to follow our rules, but we seem to constantly have people state they are surprised that X is against the rules (and not just in ATM). Even if we change it to a requirement, it will not mean that people will (a) read them, and (b) follow them.

tusenfem
2010-Aug-12, 06:06 PM
Most of the time, when a newbie starts an ATM (s)he is welcomed and advised read the rules of the board (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845) (either with or without a direct pointer to point 13)

ETA: This is not a pre-school playground, it is not the job of the moderation team to hold the hand of every BAUTian.

Van Rijn
2010-Aug-12, 09:07 PM
Second, I would feel it would be inappropriate for a general member to ask the question "have you read the advice thread". It comes across to me as acting as a moderator, a rule 16 (and a little bit of 17) violation.


Could you explain that? I don't understand how it is acting as a moderator. I've sometimes posted a link to the rules myself, because I think it's a helpful thing to do, not because I'm trying to do any moderation.

Moose
2010-Aug-12, 09:36 PM
Generally speaking, if it's clear such advice is given as genuine concern, is not interpretive, and isn't being used to leverage advantage, it's not going to be much of a problem. When someone cites or offers a rule as any sort of behavioral lever, it's the sort of thing the mod team would prefer be reported and left to us.

Swift
2010-Aug-12, 09:36 PM
Could you explain that? I don't understand how it is acting as a moderator. I've sometimes posted a link to the rules myself, because I think it's a helpful thing to do, not because I'm trying to do any moderation.
I'm not sure I can explain, but I'll try. ;)

I think a lot of it has to do with how the member asks the question. I may have also made a presumption on how Nereid was going to ask, and my interpretation was based on that presumption (I apologize if I have misinterpreted anything).

Let me give two examples:

In the first example, you have a fairly new ATM thread, maybe with only a few posts in it, from a new member making their first posts. They seem to be struggling with what is expected of them in ATM. While it would probably be best to just report them, I don't see any great problem with an experienced member saying something like:

Hey XYZ, just a little friendly advice, but you might want to take a look at the rules and the advice for ATM supporters; it might clear things up for you.

In the second example, you have a similar situation, but instead of "suggesting", you make it a direct question:

XYZ, Have you read the Rules of this board?
I interpreted Nereid's suggestion to be the second case. And by making it a direct question (which in ATM must be answered), I feel you are overstepping a line and are now acting more like a moderator.

I also got the impression that Nereid was suggesting that this question should be asked every time (at least for newbies), so as to make it a requirement that the rules and suggestions be read, based upon this:

and if the answer is "no, I have not", then perhaps the kindest thing to do would be to report the thread, and ask that it be closed immediately.

As I said in my first post, I don't interpret our current rules as making it a requirement and I don't particularly advocate making it a requirement. However, if we decide it should be a requirement, I don't think that requirement should be enforced by members asking the question each time.

Van Rijn
2010-Aug-12, 11:32 PM
Okay, thanks, that makes it clearer. It's more about the context that you're concerned about than just whether someone is linking to the rules . . . which makes sense, but wasn't that clear to me from earlier in the thread.

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:02 PM
Thanks everyone for the excellent comments! :)


After all, the ATM rule actually *requires* that THIS THREAD be read, first (and it does so in an explicit, unambiguous manner)!

My question is whether it is against any BAUT rule for a BAUTian to ask just this question, in an ATM thread (where the ATM ideas are presented by a BAUTian who has not previously started a thread in the ATM section). And if anyone thinks that it is, what rule does it violate (and why)?First, I don't interpret rule 13 as requiring a proponent of ATM to read the advice thread first. It says "it is very important", it doesn't say "it is required". I would classify it more like it is highly recommended. But as there is no requirement to read the rules of BAUT to become a member, I don't see a requirement to read the advice thread. There are requirements to follow the rules, but if you don't want to read them, that is your decision.

I would say that there is at least ambiguity here.

"READ" can be read (!) as a command, an order - "Sit down!", "Stop talking", "Finish your breakfast first" - or as instructions - "Drink a glass of water first" (i.e. before taking the medicine), "read the safety instructions first" (i.e. before operating the dangerous machinery).

I, myself, cannot see how this (READ THIS THREAD FIRST) can be interpreted as mere advice, especially as
a) it's in caps (mere advice wouldn't normally be in caps)
b) it's followed, immediately, by "This is very important."



Second, I would feel it would be inappropriate for a general member to ask the question "have you read the advice thread". It comes across to me as acting as a moderator, a rule 16 (and a little bit of 17) violation. Second, I could see it become a "habit" that for every new ATM thread, someone asks "did you read the advice thread" and using it as a way of just "sticking it" to the ATM advocate, and implying that it is obvious they didn't.
I - deliberately - did not say how the question could/should/would be asked; i.e. in what language it would be couched. I did this partly so as to not bias response in any way. I see that this aspect is well discussed later.

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:05 PM
That was basically my idea in this, now closed, ATM thread. (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106738-Wun-Yi-Shu-s-Cosmological-Models-with-No-Big-Bang?p=1776084#post1776084)
And I see that Swift has done much the same thing, in another new ATM thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/106746-What-is-the-Universe):

"I strongly suggest that you review the rules of the board [link], particularly rule 13, and the first post of the advice for ATM supporters [link]. You need to know that there are specific rules for the ATM forum that require you to defend your ideas, offer evidence for them, and to answer questions about them [...]. If you are not prepared to do so, that is fine, just say so, but this thread will be closed."

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:11 PM
Given that you feel it would be a violation of the rules for a general member to ask the question, and given that many ATM proponents act surprised and dismayed when they are "attacked with fervor and glee" (triggering endless exchanges about their surprise and dismay), perhaps changing the recommendation into a requirement would help reduce the clutter?Honestly, I doubt it. Members are currently required to follow our rules, but we seem to constantly have people state they are surprised that X is against the rules (and not just in ATM). Even if we change it to a requirement, it will not mean that people will (a) read them, and (b) follow them.
It's a bit like the seemingly ubiquitous "Click to confirm that you have read, and accepted, our rules" (or words to that effect) - who actually READS the *&^$%#)& EULAs anyway (except lawyers)? :)

The fact that some people do not read rules/requirements/recommendations is a quite separate issue from whether they exist, in fact, as rules/requirements/recommendations.

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:18 PM
Most of the time, when a newbie starts an ATM (s)he is welcomed and advised read the rules of the board (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845) (either with or without a direct pointer to point 13)

That's true, and when a mod does it - as part of the moving/thread splitting - I see no need for anyone else to add their €0.02's worth, even if such questions or comments were not violations of BAUT rules.

However, there certainly have been cases where such pointers were not given, or where the advice thread is not explicitly mentioned, or linked to (there are many reasons why a mod may not do this; they are, after all, generally very busy people). It is in these cases that I feel an appropriately worded question (+/- comments) from a non-mod BAUTian would go a very long way to getting the thread off to a good start.



ETA: This is not a pre-school playground, it is not the job of the moderation team to hold the hand of every BAUTian.
No, of course it isn't.

However, some non-mod BAUTians may wish to cushion the impact of the almost inevitable cold shower newbie moved-to-the-ATM-section folk will shortly experience.

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:20 PM
Generally speaking, if it's clear such advice is given as genuine concern, is not interpretive, and isn't being used to leverage advantage, it's not going to be much of a problem. When someone cites or offers a rule as any sort of behavioral lever, it's the sort of thing the mod team would prefer be reported and left to us.
That's pretty much what I thought was the SOP, before I started this thread.

However, I wasn't sure, and based on one recent experience, I wanted to leave as little ambiguity here as possible.

Nereid
2010-Aug-13, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure I can explain, but I'll try. ;)

I think a lot of it has to do with how the member asks the question. I may have also made a presumption on how Nereid was going to ask, and my interpretation was based on that presumption (I apologize if I have misinterpreted anything).

Let me give two examples:

In the first example, you have a fairly new ATM thread, maybe with only a few posts in it, from a new member making their first posts. They seem to be struggling with what is expected of them in ATM. While it would probably be best to just report them, I don't see any great problem with an experienced member saying something like:


In the second example, you have a similar situation, but instead of "suggesting", you make it a direct question:

I interpreted Nereid's suggestion to be the second case. And by making it a direct question (which in ATM must be answered), I feel you are overstepping a line and are now acting more like a moderator.

I also got the impression that Nereid was suggesting that this question should be asked every time (at least for newbies), so as to make it a requirement that the rules and suggestions be read, based upon this:

As I said in my first post, I don't interpret our current rules as making it a requirement and I don't particularly advocate making it a requirement. However, if we decide it should be a requirement, I don't think that requirement should be enforced by members asking the question each time.
For newbies, the kinder, gentler, etc the way any such question is couched, the better. My intent is to help make the ATM section less of a waste of time for many BAUTians, by helping newbies be better prepared.

In practice, I doubt that very many - if any - would reply "no, I have not" (or similarly unambiguous negatives), but I still think that if such a response were given, then the thread should be locked until they have (said that they) read it. But, as I have explained, we seem to have different interpretations of whether "READ THIS THREAD FIRST. This is very important." is a requirement or merely a recommendation.

Now there is another aspect, as yet undiscussed: BAUTians (other than the ATM proponent) can use any part of the "advice" thread in their questions and comments, as part of the "attack your arguments with glee and fervour", and this is a good thing. However, the advice thread, as it is today, is in sore need of some editing! :surprised For example, it contains some posts which are little more than discussions of various aspects of actual ATM claims, etc; for example, this is totally useless as "advice":

What about the Hubble “constant” that the public was assured was a “constant” for 70 years, and now some of the astronomers are claiming they have “proof” it is not a “constant”?

So who is “guessing” and who isn’t?

What some people are talking about here is not “science” and not “proof” of a real theory, but “majority rules” among the scientists. It’s ok for them to guess and to promote the wrong theory for 70 years as long as the majority of them agree on the common guess.

Swift
2010-Aug-13, 05:17 PM
However, the advice thread, as it is today, is in sore need of some editing! :surprised For example, it contains some posts which are little more than discussions of various aspects of actual ATM claims, etc; for example, this is totally useless as "advice":
On that we have complete agreement. It has been on my "I really should see if I can do this" list for months. It is finding the time to do it that is the problem.

Jim
2010-Aug-13, 05:45 PM
I see nothing wrong with a longtime Member gently suggesting that someone new to ATM read the Rules before the new ATMer's thread goes too far. It could save them some grief later.

I also don't see anything wrong with reporting a new thread should the ATMer reply that s/he hasn't read the rules and doesn't intend to read them. That gives the Mod Squad a heads up. What happens after that is a Mod decision.

You could also consider simply reporting the OP. If you notice that someone with a post of, say, 3 has started a thread in ATM, you could alert the Mods that this may need some attention.