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Gillianren
2010-Sep-24, 04:01 PM
I never fuss about spelling and nitpicking points of grammar as long as the meaning is clear from context, but if the writing style makes it hard to understand, I think it is reasonable to say so and ask for a clarification.

Some years past, we had an ATM proponent, back when I still read ATM, whose posts I actually rewrote to ensure I understood what he was talking about. (He never did get the concept of how to use an ellipsis and that a period is a much more useful punctuation mark, if you're only going to use one.) It was as much for my own benefit as his; it's not as though any of my corrections stuck. Which is, of course, not why he got banned. He got banned because no one else's did, either. Including the mods' about how to present his ideas. For example, "Look at this picture I've presented six times already and which no one has yet understood because I don't clarify it any" is not a proper answer to a question. And "Calling everyone stupid for not understanding your weird pictures" is not the correct response.

Strange
2010-Sep-24, 04:05 PM
And when an ATM proponent repeatedly stresses the importance of what "Eisenstein" (for example) originally wrote to support their idea, then it seems reasonable to point out this mistake (along with all the others).

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-24, 04:27 PM
He never did get the concept of how to use an ellipsis and that a period is a much more useful punctuation mark, if you're only going to use one.

Well how about me? I pretty much throw in emphasis and "quotes" based on nothing more than my personal whim. :)

Gillianren
2010-Sep-24, 04:48 PM
Yes, and you note how I just twitch in silence?

Paul Beardsley
2010-Sep-24, 04:51 PM
And when an ATM proponent repeatedly stresses the importance of what "Eisenstein" (for example) originally wrote to support their idea, then it seems reasonable to point out this mistake (along with all the others).

The Apollo astronauts would have been fried by the Van Halen belts... :)

HenrikOlsen
2010-Sep-24, 04:56 PM
At least you know that they're emphasis and "quotes", rather than emphasis and "rhubarb".

Swift
2010-Sep-24, 05:07 PM
May I kindly request that we get back on topic. It would seem to me that the grammar police comment was a bit of a side issue, and we seem to be approaching derailment. I think we've adequately covered the various aspects of it. Thanks,

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-24, 06:08 PM
May I kindly request that we get back on topic. It would seem to me that the grammar police comment was a bit of a side issue, and we seem to be approaching derailment. I think we've adequately covered the various aspects of it. Thanks,

"Of course..." :)

Gillianren
2010-Sep-24, 07:06 PM
Honestly, I think the "grammar police" thing is a pretty sound example of the difference between this board and others--and one of the reasons I think it's better for kids than a lot of other boards out there. We expect you to communicate clearly. Text speak is frowned upon, because not everyone can understand it. I think it's one more example of how the board works on an educational level. It isn't just what you write, though that's obviously more important. It's how you write. It's the clarity with which you present your ideas and the evidence you can bring to bear behind it.

Now, part of the reason for the focus on clarity is that we have more than a few members for whom English isn't their first language, and we're trying to make it easier on them. After all, even within a "common" language, there's plenty of room for misunderstanding. However, it is the fact that we're trying to eliminate misunderstandings. We want evidence, because without it, it's not scientific. The constant battle over the word "theory" is another aspect of this. The phrase "just a theory" is scientifically abhorrent, and it rightly gets corrected. There's the battle over "closed-minded," too. It's inapplicable not because we're open to any possibility but because we're open to possibilities when there is sufficient evidence to cause them to be worth considering. It's a vital difference.

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-24, 07:17 PM
I'm am continually astonished that one of the least "scientifically trained" minds on this entire board is so often spot on with her posts.


Just a casual comment... :)

Moose
2010-Sep-24, 07:20 PM
I'm am continually astonished that one of the least "scientifically trained" minds on this entire board is so often spot on with her posts.

Truth.

Paul Beardsley
2010-Sep-24, 07:33 PM
Yes, add me to the list of those who cherish Gillian's clear thinking.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-24, 07:55 PM
Aw . . . .

Swift
2010-Sep-24, 10:21 PM
I suspect that Gillianren would have been (though never too late) an excellent scientist (and not that she isn't excellent in what she does).

Now Swift will infract himself for further derailing the thread. :doh:

Canis Lupus
2010-Sep-24, 10:53 PM
But would Gillianren be Gillianren if she were a scientist? Maybe I should post that in the Q&A forum. :think:

R.A.F.
2010-Sep-24, 11:10 PM
But would Gillianren be Gillianren if she were a scientist?

Not to continue off topic (although I will, anyway), what do you mean by "if"??

I realize its just my personal opinion, but to my thinking anyone who clearly thinks through a problem, who utilizes the scientific method in solving those problems, and who can recognize the pseudo-science that more and more permeates our lives is a scientist. I've personally seen too many people with "credentials" who simply do not deserve the title "scientist".


Ok...that's my last word on this subject.

Moose
2010-Sep-25, 12:19 AM
I've made this point with my (school) kids on day one. A scientist is one who [uses|thinks|lives by] the scientific method. Not [necessarily] [just] one who is paid to do science professionally. Kids can do real science.

Cougar
2010-Sep-25, 01:21 AM
OK, from the OP:


The main point of my criticism and the main reason why I can not recommend this forum to play a role in childrens' education...

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it, but I think we have a misunderstanding here as to the extent of the focus of this site on "children's education." ["children" already being plural, hence 's not s' ] Maybe I didn't get the memo, but I would venture to say that this is not a site that is designed specifically for children. There are a lot of participants on this site, independent, unpaid, and largely anonymous, and very few are children. There could be a large lurking audience....

However, the fundamental rule of this forum is to be polite, and I've often heard the mods caution someone to 'watch it' because 'children' might be reading these posts. I don't think that means the participant posters have to start writing their postings for the specific benefit and understanding of 8-year-olds. Yet this site is 'kid-friendly' -- it is strictly moderated. No bad language, no name-calling, no religious or political discussions (boy, was that a good idea), and, uh, no spam or porn or commercial promotion. Is that about it? :rolleyes:

So there you go. This has all been one big misunderstanding.

Ha ha.

Moose
2010-Sep-25, 01:49 AM
Maybe I didn't get the memo, but I would venture to say that this is not a site that is designed specifically for children. There are a lot of participants on this site, independent, unpaid, and largely anonymous, and very few are children. There could be a large lurking audience....

Yes, that's true. We're not a kid's site by any stretch, but the intent is to remain accessible to children. Which means enforcing some degree of restraint.

NickW
2010-Sep-25, 04:20 AM
I find my 7 year old son reading this board over my shoulder all the time.

Gillianren
2010-Sep-25, 04:33 AM
As mentioned, I would be delighted if my twelve-for-now-year-old daughter were to become a member upon her upcoming birthday.

peter eldergill
2010-Sep-25, 04:13 PM
Yes but will she read your post and get the hint? :)

Pete

captain swoop
2010-Sep-25, 04:15 PM
As Brian Potter once said 'Hey, toilet-mouth! There's a child's bike outside!'

Gillianren
2010-Sep-25, 06:16 PM
Yes but will she read your post and get the hint? :)

I don't know what her internet access situation is like.

AndreasJ
2010-Sep-25, 07:48 PM
Sorry to snip out just a phrase, but it captures what I wanted to comment on perfectly:

personal attacks against them (not these imaginary ones that don't actually attack individuals)

I find these accusations against unspecified subsets of members odious. Accusing a named individual of being rude, arrogant, or a pseudo-skeptic is unlikely enough to productive; accusing an unspecified collective is essentially certain not to be. It achieves nothing but creating generalized annoyance (vide this thread) and, presumably, allowing the accuser to feel smugly superior while skirting the rules about personal attacks.

(As for grammar/spelling nazis, where are they when I need them? I spot dozens of errors in my own posts for each one that someone else points out.)

inflector
2010-Oct-28, 05:06 PM
Having just participated in an ATM thread that seems particularly egregious in this respect, I now find myself sympathizing far more with the questioners than the proponents of ATM.

I also find the restraint to be more obviously apparent on the part of the questioners than I felt initially having read through threads but not having participated as they unfolded realtime. It looks different when you can see the questions come and the replies come over time.

In this particular thread, the proponent was very diligent about following the form of the requirements but didn't really answer the questions to the satisfaction of anyone. There is a significant disconnect between what the proponent thought he was accomplishing with his answers and what was apparent to everyone else, that the answers didn't really answer anything, and it is probably this disconnect that sits at the heart of the complaint of this thread and the issue of whether or not an ATM poster can expect hostility.

I no longer see hostility on the part of the questioners, I see remarkable restraint instead.

There is certainly a level of frustration that probably carries over to any new ATM proposals for good reason, 99% of them take the form of someone who either, says something silly and doesn't really attempt to support it so the thread dies, or says something silly and then tries to defend it but without a reasoned approach or any actual science backing the statement, or says something with some mathematical or scientific validity but that displays at least one significant flaw in understanding of current science and how experiment supports that science.

So I revise my grading on this issue from about a C+/B- for BAUTians to about a B+/A- level.

I'm not sure we can expect more from anyone who wishes to maintain their sanity. Hitting your head against a brick wall over time will tend to cause you to be a bit short-tempered and grumpy. Should we expect anything different?

Further, the moderators here are saints. I consider myself to be a patient guy, but there is no way I'd have the same level of patience that the moderators consistently demonstrate. Anyone who complains about not being treated fairly is not seeing clearly.

Jeff Root
2010-Oct-28, 08:37 PM
I agree very strongly that one of the biggest problems is when
an ATM proponent believes he is answering questions, and the
questioners believe he is not. Both sides often need a better
comprehension of the gap between their perspectives. If they
do not realize that the gap exists, it is natural for them to be
angry at the stupidity of whoever they are arguing with.

As Isaac Asimov wrote, "What is obvious to A is not at all
obvious to B, and is downright ridiculous to C."

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

AdamL
2010-Oct-28, 11:35 PM
Having just participated in an ATM thread that seems particularly egregious in this respect, I now find myself sympathizing far more with the questioners than the proponents of ATM.

I also find the restraint to be more obviously apparent on the part of the questioners than I felt initially having read through threads but not having participated as they unfolded realtime. It looks different when you can see the questions come and the replies come over time.

In this particular thread, the proponent was very diligent about following the form of the requirements but didn't really answer the questions to the satisfaction of anyone. There is a significant disconnect between what the proponent thought he was accomplishing with his answers and what was apparent to everyone else, that the answers didn't really answer anything, and it is probably this disconnect that sits at the heart of the complaint of this thread and the issue of whether or not an ATM poster can expect hostility.

I no longer see hostility on the part of the questioners, I see remarkable restraint instead.

There is certainly a level of frustration that probably carries over to any new ATM proposals for good reason, 99% of them take the form of someone who either, says something silly and doesn't really attempt to support it so the thread dies, or says something silly and then tries to defend it but without a reasoned approach or any actual science backing the statement, or says something with some mathematical or scientific validity but that displays at least one significant flaw in understanding of current science and how experiment supports that science.

So I revise my grading on this issue from about a C+/B- for BAUTians to about a B+/A- level.

I'm not sure we can expect more from anyone who wishes to maintain their sanity. Hitting your head against a brick wall over time will tend to cause you to be a bit short-tempered and grumpy. Should we expect anything different?

Further, the moderators here are saints. I consider myself to be a patient guy, but there is no way I'd have the same level of patience that the moderators consistently demonstrate. Anyone who complains about not being treated fairly is not seeing clearly.

I couldn't disagree more with most of what you've said.
I am virtually certain you refer to this thread: http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/108586-Forces-of-nature-don%E2%80%99t-exist
My response here is based on that assumption.

I agree that forrest noble (fn) is not particularly troubled by knowledge of the fields he seeks to "improve" with his ATM theory. And that can be frustrating and annoying, especially when clearly pointed out to him.
I just find it amusing, really. Like most threads around here. For me, BAUT is a guilty pleasure of amusement - mostly. I do, however, also enjoy the more informed threads you find here occasionally.

Anyways, as far as fn's thread is concerned, the tone of the most prominent questioners, especially "Geo Kaplan" and "macaw", I find absolutely ugly and disgusting. I can fully understand their frustration with fn's non-answers - no doubt. But that does not justify their viscous and poisonous tone, even if their factual points are for the most part correct. That Kaplan guy is particularly vile I must say. macaw pretty much does what he always does. He honors his parrot name and simply repeats the same uninformed questions in every ATM thread he participates in. Well, whatever rocks their boats.

However, there are other posters in that thread where I can feel they exercise restraint, their frustration dripping off their posts but they at least try to keep the tone human.

But to call the moderators saints is just totally uncalled for. They are absolutely one-sided as they usually are in those threads. Geo as the most disgusting poster (as far as his tone is concerned) has not received one (public) warning. macaw has received one or two if I'm not mistaken. They are far from saints. They let their frustrations with fn (as understandable as that may be) rule their judgment and not the tone of the conversation. Otherwise, Geo should have been banned at least 10 times in that thread alone.
The mods were WAY off and hardly did their jobs at all in that thread. fn got suspended as of today for mentioning his book again and I can see how one could argue in favor of that. He was warned plenty of times. But those Geo and macaw characters are allowed to continue to spread their venom. Mods as saints? Not by a long stretch!

Could it be, inflector, that you have spent too much time at BAUT and the tone here has gotten to you? (That is not to say that I am criticizing your tone in that thread. I think you have exercised restraint.)

Gillianren
2010-Oct-28, 11:54 PM
Could it be, inflector, that you have spent too much time at BAUT and the tone here has gotten to you?

Well, since his join date is September, I find it unlikely.

Spoons
2010-Oct-29, 01:00 AM
However, there are other posters in that thread where I can feel they exercise restraint, their frustration dripping off their posts but they at least try to keep the tone human.
Seems somewhat self-referential.


But to call the moderators saints is just totally uncalled for. They are absolutely one-sided as they usually are in those threads. Geo as the most disgusting poster (as far as his tone is concerned) has not received one (public) warning. macaw has received one or two if I'm not mistaken. They are far from saints.
Wait. They are totally one-sided, and macaw has recieved one or more warnings? Why don't they ease up on poor macaw. When will they tell off the ATM proponents? OR did you mean they're totally siding with the questioners. One of which being macaw?

Calling the mods saints is totally uncalled for, is it? Really? That seems rather over the top. Don't let your emotions get the better of you, as it appears they may have seeped into your above post.

"What a ludicrous compliment! How dare he call her pretty? That was totally uncalled for!" It doesn't work for me - just seems like a rather peculiar objection.

You might have noticed there appeared to be a little frustration on either side in that thread. There was also ducking and dodging of questions. These are two common elements in many or most ATM threads. So is picking on whichever side you have chosen to oppose.

How were mods unreasonable or one-sided? They attempted to keep forrest on track with answering questions. His tack in a number of cases was to call the questions ridiculous, poor etc. This was before any incivility towards him that I've seen so far in reviewing the thread. The rules state an OP or supporter of an ATM idea answer relevant questions. I noticed in the first couple pages that forresst noble deemed certain questions irrelevant, and then tried to debate that issue with Mods.

PetersCreek
2010-Oct-29, 01:04 AM
In the interest of moving the discussion along, I'll point out that AdamL won't be making any replies.

Spoons
2010-Oct-29, 01:08 AM
Just saw that. Thanks.

Jim
2010-Oct-29, 02:03 AM
But to call the moderators saints is just totally uncalled for. They are absolutely one-sided as they usually are in those threads.

Not that I'm pushing for sainthood (you kinda have to be dead first and that's a bit of a discouragement), but the second sentence bothers me. My Mod posts in that thread were not "one sided."

For the record, I think forrest noble's more recent posts have demonstrated a good faith effort to get to the many questions being tossed his way. A bit of patience on the questioners' parts is deserved.

I also see that some Members feel their questions have not been properly answered. It would help (all of us) if these Members would explain what they see missing in his answers rather than simply calling them unacceptable.

Two-way streets here, folks.

But, what do I know?

Strange
2010-Oct-29, 09:02 AM
I am, in a curious way, sorry to see AdamL banned. I found his breathtaking "self confidence" (not the word I wan't to use, but there are rules around here aparently) quite amusing, although frequently offensive, and strangely at odds with his repeated statements that "we can never know anything". Also, no doubt, he will wear his ban with pride as it just confirms his prejudices. Oh well. So it goes.

Regarding the moderators (who, of course, do a difficult job extremely well) what AdamL failed to note regarding that thread, is that the public warnings are only one aspect. More significant, but invisible, are the infractiosn that may have been recieved by participants.

Moose
2010-Oct-29, 09:45 AM
More significant, but invisible, are the infractiosn that may have been recieved by participants.

When those warnings and first infractions are heeded, the issue rarely becomes very public, if at all.

Canis Lupus
2010-Oct-29, 08:24 PM
I am, in a curious way, sorry to see AdamL banned. I found his breathtaking "self confidence" (not the word I wan't to use, but there are rules around here aparently) quite amusing, although frequently offensive, and strangely at odds with his repeated statements that "we can never know anything". Also, no doubt, he will wear his ban with pride as it just confirms his prejudices. Oh well. So it goes.

If I was inclined to criticise this part of your post, one factor which would not prevent me is your ability to reply. I think that quite fair.


Regarding the moderators (who, of course, do a difficult job extremely well)...

This probably can't be said too often. BAUT sets a high standard for itself. Most forums don't bother or are incapable of conceiving such standards. We aren't always up to our own ideals, that's part of being human and the place is managed by humans. It's an interesting mix of idealism and human frailty, not only on the part of management but also its membership. That's the way it is, but I'm thankful for the high standards, even though I can see it leads to dilemmas.

I'd have no hesitation about encouraging any 12 year old to join BAUT and feel fortunate I came across the place in my virtual travels.

Spoons
2010-Oct-30, 01:58 AM
Glad you could make it, Canis.

I agree with what you're saying there - if people aren't thick-skinned enough to put up with the little snipes here from time to time then they're really going to struggle out there in the big bad world. When balanced against all the guidance in critical thinking, logic and reason I think it's fair to say that attendance here should be of great value to most all who drop by.