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Baud
2010-Nov-29, 12:42 AM
Hello,
I think it is possible to improve the ATM (an maybe CT) forum rules:
It would be great if those discussions were (partially) tabular instead of linear...
...of course this sentence is really not crystal clear, I will try to explain with my poor English.

Objectifs:

1-Avoid unanswered (good) questions.
2-Avoid that the OP is overbooked by numerous (less good) questions.
(3)-(Avoid exchanges like: "you didn't answer"/"yes I did it several times") [I put it between parentheses as this is a consequence of the 2 first points]

How to:

Step1 : ordering questions
-Each time a reader have a new question, he must add it in a "question queue"
-Each day (or each 2 days, or...) any reader can vote (once) for the questions he likes to be answered. (a good algorithm is needed here)

-->At this stage, we have an ordered list of questions sorted by importance... Maybe it is possible to constraint the duty* for the OP to only answer the questions having an "importance rate" higher then a specific value, and, maybe, also based on a maximum number of questions... (again an algorithm)
-->Note that, the reader can still ask questions in the "normal way"; those questions can be answered inside the thread by the OP, but the answers will not be mandatory.
-->The questions should be easily linkable inside all threads.

* I am not sure it is the correct word

Step 2: answering the questions
-Each question should have its own thread dedicated ONLY to this question. (this is the tabular aspect; see upper the "not so crystal clear sentence")

-->With few* programmatic, it is possible to leverage the "Threads layout" into a "Questions layout"
-->This "Questions layouts" should only shows the questions pertaining to one original OP (thread). In other words, it should quickly show the state of all questions for a particular thread. (see Step 3 for other details that this layout should show up)

*few is a lot

Step 3: Evaluating answers

-Each day (or each 2 days, or...) any reader can evaluate (once) the answer(s) for a particular question [I am satisfied by the answer/I don't understand the answer, it need clarifications/I agree, this question is useful/IMHO, the OP didn't answer at all to this question/ etc..]

-->The "Questions layout" should shows the average state of each question (based on the daily evaluations)
-->A global note for the thread could be calculated...

That's it...
I am near to be sure it's a dream...

Baudouin

ps: Unfortunately, I am not able to answer in a timely fashion

Strange
2010-Nov-29, 03:15 PM
I'm not sure how practical this suggestion is. Sounds like it requires new features in the software and, maybe, more work for moderators. But...


any reader can vote (once) for the questions he likes to be answered

I think this is an interesting idea. I have often seen someone else's question and thought "ooh thats a good one, I hope that gets answered". Very occasionally, there will be a discussion amongs those taking part to say something like "OK, lets wait and see what the OP says to X's question". This might be considered against the rules (meta-discussion, etc) but it is often a better way of making progress than just throwing more and more (similar) questions at the OP.

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 03:25 PM
Hello,
I think it is possible to improve the ATM (an maybe CT) forum rules:
It would be great if those discussions were (partially) tabular instead of linear...
...of course this sentence is really not crystal clear, I will try to explain with my poor English.

Objectifs:

1-Avoid unanswered (good) questions.
2-Avoid that the OP is overbooked by numerous (less good) questions.
(3)-(Avoid exchanges like: "you didn't answer"/"yes I did it several times") [I put it between parentheses as this is a consequence of the 2 first points]

How to:

Step1 : ordering questions
-Each time a reader have a new question, he must add it in a "question queue"
-Each day (or each 2 days, or...) any reader can vote (once) for the questions he likes to be answered. (a good algorithm is needed here)

-->At this stage, we have an ordered list of questions sorted by importance... Maybe it is possible to constraint the duty* for the OP to only answer the questions having an "importance rate" higher then a specific value, and, maybe, also based on a maximum number of questions... (again an algorithm)
-->Note that, the reader can still ask questions in the "normal way"; those questions can be answered inside the thread by the OP, but the answers will not be mandatory.
-->The questions should be easily linkable inside all threads.

* I am not sure it is the correct word

Step 2: answering the questions
-Each question should have its own thread dedicated ONLY to this question. (this is the tabular aspect; see upper the "not so crystal clear sentence")

-->With few* programmatic, it is possible to leverage the "Threads layout" into a "Questions layout"
-->This "Questions layouts" should only shows the questions pertaining to one original OP (thread). In other words, it should quickly show the state of all questions for a particular thread. (see Step 3 for other details that this layout should show up)

*few is a lot

Step 3: Evaluating answers

-Each day (or each 2 days, or...) any reader can evaluate (once) the answer(s) for a particular question [I am satisfied by the answer/I don't understand the answer, it need clarifications/I agree, this question is useful/IMHO, the OP didn't answer at all to this question/ etc..]

-->The "Questions layout" should shows the average state of each question (based on the daily evaluations)
-->A global note for the thread could be calculated...

That's it...
I am near to be sure it's a dream...

Baudouin

ps: Unfortunately, I am not able to answer in a timely fashion

I think that this is an excellent post. I would add that for every unanswered question, the ATM proponents get 1 negative point. For every question answered with the intent to deceive, they receive 2 negative points. Accumulation of a certain number of points brings thread closure, there is no reason for threads to go 30 days of diversions, willfully wrong answers, etc. This would go a long way in terms of getting the ATM proponents to answer truthfully.

Baud
2010-Nov-29, 04:01 PM
I'm not sure how practical this suggestion is. Sounds like it requires new features in the software and, maybe, more work for moderators. But...

I agree, it depends completely on some dedicated persons who like to handle this.
But, maybe, we can reuse the thread system for the question (I am not sure I am clear on this). Also, only parts of the new rules can be implemented at the beginning.
And to finish, some of the rules can be implemented "manually" by the OP (like asking for votes, compiling/publishing results)



I think this is an interesting idea. I have often seen someone else's question and thought "ooh thats a good one, I hope that gets answered". Very occasionally, there will be a discussion amongs those taking part to say something like "OK, lets wait and see what the OP says to X's question". This might be considered against the rules (meta-discussion, etc) but it is often a better way of making progress than just throwing more and more (similar) questions at the OP.
Thanks

Swift
2010-Nov-29, 04:06 PM
I would add that for every unanswered question, the ATM proponents get 1 negative point. For every question answered with the intent to deceive, they receive 2 negative points.
The problem is not keeping track, whether you use points or not. It is the judgment call as to the response to the questions. It is, IMHO, relatively rare that a question just goes ignored. Much more frequently, the ATM advocate gives some sort of response, which the person asking the question thinks is not a legit answer. A moderator then has to make a case-by-case (and sometimes point-by-point) decision as to whether the ATM advocate is at least trying to answer the question. And getting into judgments on intent.... well, good luck with that. My mind-reading abilities are much too poor.

Baud
2010-Nov-29, 04:12 PM
I think that this is an excellent post. I would add that for every unanswered question, the ATM proponents get 1 negative point. For every question answered with the intent to deceive, they receive 2 negative points. Accumulation of a certain number of points brings thread closure, there is no reason for threads to go 30 days of diversions, willfully wrong answers, etc. This would go a long way in terms of getting the ATM proponents to answer truthfully.
I agree on the fact that threads having "a lot of points" can be very interesting. But the opposite is not necessarily true (a good idea can be badly explained, and the OP needs several try to answer correctly... or ... the readers who are "giving/not giving points" can have a lack of knowledge in the OP field, and by this, are not able to understand the answers - I assume it is less common, but still can exists)
This is why, I think we should still give the chance to answer until the end (But a thread with, let say, -111 points will directly looks less attractive then a thread having -11 points or 11 points) [don't ask me why 111, I don't know myself]

Baud
2010-Nov-29, 04:17 PM
Much more frequently, the ATM advocate gives some sort of response, which the person asking the question thinks is not a legit answer. least trying to answer the question. And getting into judgments on intent.... well, good luck with that. My mind-reading abilities are much too poor.
I completely agree... this is why an extra thread PER question will make more easy the follow up of each question.
(Again I am not sure I am understandable)

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 04:19 PM
The problem is not keeping track, whether you use points or not. It is the judgment call as to the response to the questions. It is, IMHO, relatively rare that a question just goes ignored. Much more frequently, the ATM advocate gives some sort of response, which the person asking the question thinks is not a legit answer. A moderator then has to make a case-by-case (and sometimes point-by-point) decision as to whether the ATM advocate is at least trying to answer the question. And getting into judgments on intent.... well, good luck with that. My mind-reading abilities are much too poor.

There are enough competent ATM "examiners" (Tensor, Grey, etc, to name a few) to be able to grade the ATM responses. I have yet to see an ATM thread that was legit science.

Swift
2010-Nov-29, 04:23 PM
There are enough competent ATM "examiners" (Tensor, Grey, etc, to name a few) to be able to grade the ATM responses. I have yet to see an ATM thread that was legit science.
The moderation team has considered several systems of non-moderator ATM "examiners" of various types over the years, but has never found one that satisfies a large variety of concerns that I do not think I can get into publicly (but I wanted you to know we've thought about this).

Baud
2010-Nov-29, 04:29 PM
There are enough competent ATM "examiners" (Tensor, Grey, etc, to name a few) to be able to grade the ATM responses. I have yet to see an ATM thread that was legit science.

IMHO, it is better if everyone can grade the answers (if you are not sure, don't grade)
But "baut reviewers" as you propose have some interest also...

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 04:45 PM
The moderation team has considered several systems of non-moderator ATM "examiners" of various types over the years, but has never found one that satisfies a large variety of concerns that I do not think I can get into publicly (but I wanted you to know we've thought about this).

If we are good enough to refute the claims in a scientific way we should be good enough to grade the answers given by the ATM proponents. The grades would have only bearing on the perceived value of the ATM. The infracting would still be done by the mods.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-29, 05:53 PM
IMHO, it is better if everyone can grade the answers (if you are not sure, don't grade)
But "baut reviewers" as you propose have some interest also...

The problem with that is that there are several ATM proponents who have friends around here who really believe every response from the person's keyboard is accurate, helpful, and insightful. This despite the fact that the friends are really bad about answering questions as well. And failing that, they can load the board with their actual friends who only go in and vote that the person has fulfilled their obligation. And having a minimum post-count requirement wouldn't entirely help that. After all, it's not difficult to build up post count.

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 06:08 PM
The problem with that is that there are several ATM proponents who have friends around here who really believe every response from the person's keyboard is accurate, helpful, and insightful.

That is ok, the point awarding would be done only by a few , moderator - selected, people that have shown in the past to know their field. It is very easy no name a few, no more than 20 (Tensor,Van Rijn, Grey, Fortis, Wayne Francis, etc). We could call them "science advisors". many other fora have such people. They are not moderators, they are just scientists. It would be a nice reward for a few of us that spend a lot of time explaining why certain ATMs are not correct.





This despite the fact that the friends are really bad about answering questions as well. And failing that, they can load the board with their actual friends who only go in and vote that the person has fulfilled their obligation. And having a minimum post-count requirement wouldn't entirely help that. After all, it's not difficult to build up post count.

That's ok, the "friends" have no vote, only the science advisors do. Thank you for engaging me in a nice way.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-29, 06:45 PM
You're quite welcome, but then the mods have to deal with claims that the advisers are unfair and biased and brainwashed and whatever adjective they come up with. And the advisers have to be willing to do it, which isn't a guarantee. After all, it would be a great deal of extra work for them as well.

Besides which I wasn't replying to you. I was replying to someone who suggested that everyone have a vote.

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-29, 07:03 PM
Exactly how many people do we need to put on the secret payroll here?

Everyone works differently, and a scheme like that could actually cause issues for someone that actually has a line of thought in addressing the questions. What may be a high priority for the board community may not necessarily help in answering a series of questions in a line of reasoning. (in other words, some lower priority questions may be answered on the way to the bigger issue).

I think the OP has some responsibility to keep track of the questions too.

Recently, I've seen a good back and forth between two users on another thread where they numbered the questions and responses. It looked like it worked well for thier discussion, but I'm not sure how that can scale up.

If the OP kept the list of how they interpreted the question (or group of questions) and referenced them in an obvious fashion (such as listing them occasionally), it would go a long way to helping themselves with the overload. This way, one group can be answered, while others can be notated with a "pending" type of comment that at least acknowledges the question will be addressed. I see no problem in leaving a question unanswered for a while as long as it's known that it's still there and un-addressed, rather than just lost in the shuffle.

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 08:43 PM
You're quite welcome, but then the mods have to deal with claims that the advisers are unfair and biased and brainwashed and whatever adjective they come up with. And the advisers have to be willing to do it, which isn't a guarantee. After all, it would be a great deal of extra work for them as well.

Besides which I wasn't replying to you. I was replying to someone who suggested that everyone have a vote.

We are doing the heavy lifting already (i.e. debunking the claims, showing the correct way of doing science, etc), so it isn't much extra work in awarding the points. I am quite sure that there could be quite a few of us ready to do it, other fora already have this kind of people.

Moose
2010-Nov-29, 09:07 PM
Just so you know, if the feature isn't found in stock vBulliten (or about to be found in stock vBulliten), it's exceptionally unlikely you'll see it happen. You've got better odds getting Sylvia Browne to successfully find Jimmy Hoffa, alive and well, pro bono.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-29, 09:11 PM
We are doing the heavy lifting already (i.e. debunking the claims, showing the correct way of doing science, etc), so it isn't much extra work in awarding the points. I am quite sure that there could be quite a few of us ready to do it, other fora already have this kind of people.

Other fora are not, in general, as big as ours. And at least one or two people would have to agree to read every ATM thread and either come up with questions or vet other people's.

Swift
2010-Nov-29, 09:38 PM
If we are good enough to refute the claims in a scientific way we should be good enough to grade the answers given by the ATM proponents. The grades would have only bearing on the perceived value of the ATM. The infracting would still be done by the mods.
But there is no "good enough" to refute claims in ATM. This is an open forum; whether you have six PhDs or didn't graduate high school, you are allowed to ask questions in ATM.

As I said, we have considered a variety of systems where there is a new set of members, not moderators, who are granted special privileges to question, judge, and evaluate ATM proponents. We have never come up with a scheme that the moderation team is happy with; among many concerns is the fact that it does go against the idea of an open forum.

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 10:48 PM
But there is no "good enough" to refute claims in ATM. This is an open forum; whether you have six PhDs or didn't graduate high school, you are allowed to ask questions in ATM.

Sure anyone can ask questions. Much fewer are capable of answering the questions correctly.


As I said, we have considered a variety of systems where there is a new set of members, not moderators, who are granted special privileges to question, judge, and evaluate ATM proponents. We have never come up with a scheme that the moderation team is happy with; among many concerns is the fact that it does go against the idea of an open forum.

rather than think in abstract, I suggest that you give it a try in practice, for about 2 months. After two months, you evaluate the results.

macaw
2010-Nov-29, 10:49 PM
Other fora are not, in general, as big as ours. And at least one or two people would have to agree to read every ATM thread and either come up with questions or vet other people's.

There are only a handful of ATM threads going on at any time. Most of them don't make it to the 30 day limit. Actually, many of them should not even last one week.

caveman1917
2010-Nov-29, 11:09 PM
While the reviewers may make the best scientific objections to any proposal, ultimately it is the publisher who decides what gets published. It's just the way it is i suppose.
I don't see anything of added value in making an extra system so the reviewers can express their opinion to the readers about the proposal or answers (that is basically what the proposed system does), when they can just do it in-thread (in a polite manner).

djellison
2010-Nov-29, 11:15 PM
It seems like a very complex, very work intensive means to fix a system that, to me at least, doesn't appear to be broken. I don't think I've seen any thread where an ATM proponent who was aware of the rules and trying to abide by them, failed to answer or attempt to answer questions. For those who are basically trying to dodge the answer-questions rule, this system will not stop them doing so.

In short, some break the rule, some follow the rule, all know it exists, it's implementation isn't going to change things

caveman1917
2010-Nov-29, 11:27 PM
The moderation team has considered several systems of non-moderator ATM "examiners" of various types over the years, but has never found one that satisfies a large variety of concerns that I do not think I can get into publicly (but I wanted you to know we've thought about this).
(my bold)

I just wonder why such a thing should be kept confidential? I would think expressing the underlying reasoning for decisions could provide a much clearer image of what factors are considered "behind the scenes" and the relative weight of each. Even if it didn't, i'm a bit suprised at the reflex of confidentiality. As long as it doesn't pertain to specific members or something, i can't really see how it could harm for these kinds of things to be made public.

a1call
2010-Nov-29, 11:41 PM
I do not follow ATM that often. Has there been any ATM claims that where really ATM (not mainstream in reality and put there by mistake) that have ended up being established true/valid?
If not or virtually not, then IMHO the system/rules are flawed. Mainstream views or more precisely majority views are not guaranteed to be true. There are numerous examples of shifting paradigms in mainstream views throughout the history of science. In fact chances are that any mainstream concept you may think of, has been ATM or unthought of in the not too distant past.

PetersCreek
2010-Nov-29, 11:45 PM
I just wonder why such a thing should be kept confidential? I would think expressing the underlying reasoning for decisions could provide a much clearer image of what factors are considered "behind the scenes" and the relative weight of each.

At the risk of speaking out of turn, I think Swift was deferring to our practice of nonattribution outside of the mod forum. While we do sometimes make very general mentions of our private delibertions, going ino greater detail is something we don't normally do unilaterally.

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 01:38 AM
While the reviewers may make the best scientific objections to any proposal, ultimately it is the publisher who decides what gets published. It's just the way it is i suppose.
I don't see anything of added value in making an extra system so the reviewers can express their opinion to the readers about the proposal or answers (that is basically what the proposed system does), when they can just do it in-thread (in a polite manner).

In peer reviewed journals, if even one reviewer gives you a bad review, you don't get published. Practically, the chief editor rubber stamps the reviewers decisions (and you need that all reviewers give you a positive in order to publish). Anyways, I am suggesting something much simpler that would shorten considerably the ATM threads that are full of mistakes, diversions, nonsensical answers, etc. If a group of science advisors marks the answers as dishonest or willfully wrong, the thread gets closed earlier. For example, the thread opened by chinglu1998 in ATM is an example of a thread where the OP has been proven wrong about 100 times, yet he persists in using dishonest arguments. In SciForums this thread would have long been closed and the poster would have been suspended for intellectual dishonesty.

Swift
2010-Nov-30, 01:43 AM
I just wonder why such a thing should be kept confidential? I would think expressing the underlying reasoning for decisions could provide a much clearer image of what factors are considered "behind the scenes" and the relative weight of each. Even if it didn't, i'm a bit suprised at the reflex of confidentiality. As long as it doesn't pertain to specific members or something, i can't really see how it could harm for these kinds of things to be made public.
Just to elaborate on what Peterscreek said, a lot of what is said among the moderators and administrators is very frank and open, and said in confidence. And yes, it does sometime pertain to specific members, even in discussions of things like ATM rules (for example, as specific examples). But even if specific members are not mentioned, I feel it would be a breach of those confidences to go into details. As it is, I sometimes feel conflicted to even make passing or broad mention of those discussions. As you say, it is a balance between informing the membership, and allowing the moderators to talk openly and privately about these sometimes complex issues.

There is also a different reason to leave out the details. We are probably talking about at least 4 or 5 separate long and detailed discussions over the last year or two. I frankly don't have the time nor energy to dig those all up, review them, and publish the condensed version here.

grapes
2010-Nov-30, 04:40 AM
I do not follow ATM that often. Has there been any ATM claims that where really ATM (not mainstream in reality and put there by mistake) that have ended up being established true/valid?
If not or virtually not, then IMHO the system/rules are flawed. Mainstream views or more precisely majority views are not guaranteed to be true. There are numerous examples of shifting paradigms in mainstream views throughout the history of science. In fact chances are that any mainstream concept you may think of, has been ATM or unthought of in the not too distant past.BAUT flawed? That's just flawed logic! :)

Count up the number of ATM ideas we've had here on BAUT--I'd say the "expected" value of valid ATMs is still close to zero, nowhere near even 1. Perhaps the only reason you think that there should be at least one valid ATM on BAUT is because you're not that familiar with the sheer number of ATMs that are presented in the real world?

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 04:48 AM
BAUT flawed? That's just flawed logic! :)

Count up the number of ATM ideas we've had here on BAUT--I'd say the "expected" value of valid ATMs is still close to zero, nowhere near even 1.

Absolutely. In many cases it is less than zero since the proponents resort to outright dishonesty in arguing the claims. This is what makes such theories "less than zero", as in the Elton John hit.





Perhaps the only reason you think that there should be at least one valid ATM on BAUT is because you're not that familiar with the sheer number of ATMs that are presented in the real world?

In the three years I've been on this forum I have never seen a valid one, they swing from outright lunacy, to basic (honest) errors to sheer intellectual dishonesty to outright trolling (many are being trolled on multiple fora simultaneously).

tusenfem
2010-Nov-30, 09:35 AM
In peer reviewed journals, if even one reviewer gives you a bad review, you don't get published. Practically, the chief editor rubber stamps the reviewers decisions (and you need that all reviewers give you a positive in order to publish).

Not necessarily, I have had bad reviews, where I could show that the referee was the one who did not know what (s)he was talking about.
It is not that black and white sometimes.

Strange
2010-Nov-30, 09:44 AM
I do not follow ATM that often. Has there been any ATM claims that where really ATM (not mainstream in reality and put there by mistake) that have ended up being established true/valid?
If not or virtually not, then IMHO the system/rules are flawed. Mainstream views or more precisely majority views are not guaranteed to be true. There are numerous examples of shifting paradigms in mainstream views throughout the history of science. In fact chances are that any mainstream concept you may think of, has been ATM or unthought of in the not too distant past.

You are right in principle - and there have been some really exciting paradigm shifts just in my lifetime - but I would not expect any of these to emerge as a presentation on BAUT's ATM forum (despite BAUT's prestige!). It would almost certainly be proposed, tested and published via the normal scientific routes by scientists who "know their stuff". I'm sure there must have been a few examples of individuals succesfully developing a new theory outside the science "establishment", but nothing springs immediately to mind....

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 03:53 PM
Not necessarily, I have had bad reviews, where I could show that the referee was the one who did not know what (s)he was talking about.
It is not that black and white sometimes.

It happens sometimes (it has happened to me as well). Nevertheless, if you get more than one bad review, then you need to think about what's wrong with your paper. Anyways, the case of the ATM threads is pretty clean-cut, there is no disagreement when they are really bad.

Tensor
2010-Nov-30, 04:08 PM
I think you also have to take into account that even among "reviewers" (if such a think ever occurs) that not all reviewers have the same view. I've had some discussions in the past with those who didn't agree with what was presented, but I thought the idea may have had merit. Then, there was the opposite case. Not to mention, there are times (as tusenfem pointed out)when those reviewers may be wrong in their objections. FSM knows I've been wrong on quite a few occasions (of course, I'm quite willing to admit to my error and continue on).

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-30, 04:44 PM
Not necessarily, I have had bad reviews, where I could show that the referee was the one who did not know what (s)he was talking about. Likewise. And I've had bad reviews that were considered by the editor to be trivial, or examples of reviewer-specific axe-grinding, and had the paper published. I've also had reviewers entirely misunderstand part of the paper, leading to its rejection by the editor despite my protests; reviewers for a subsequent journal commended the same (unrevised) section the previous reviewer had condemned, and the paper eventually saw the light of day.
So there's bias and error in the academic peer-review process. One thing that helps reduce the bias is the effort to anonymize the papers before they're put out for review (although when you're familiar with the field, it's sometimes easy enough to guess where a paper comes from). Recurring ATM submitters at BAUT are not going to have that anonymity: willy nilly, there will be a tendency to judge on previous track record. Likewise, even more so, for those posters who suddenly find themselves in ATM because some other member has flagged an utterance of theirs as ATM: with the best will in the world, impartiality will be difficult for the appointed reviewers to maintain.

Grant Hutchison

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 04:59 PM
Just so you know, if the feature isn't found in stock vBulliten (or about to be found in stock vBulliten), it's exceptionally unlikely you'll see it happen. You've got better odds getting Sylvia Browne to successfully find Jimmy Hoffa, alive and well, pro bono.
Hello Moose, did you find something? (or maybe this is not your job)

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 05:50 PM
Likewise. And I've had bad reviews that were considered by the editor to be trivial, or examples of reviewer-specific axe-grinding, and had the paper published. I've also had reviewers entirely misunderstand part of the paper, leading to its rejection by the editor despite my protests; reviewers for a subsequent journal commended the same (unrevised) section the previous reviewer had condemned, and the paper eventually saw the light of day.
So there's bias and error in the academic peer-review process. One thing that helps reduce the bias is the effort to anonymize the papers before they're put out for review (although when you're familiar with the field, it's sometimes easy enough to guess where a paper comes from). Recurring ATM submitters at BAUT are not going to have that anonymity: willy nilly, there will be a tendency to judge on previous track record. Likewise, even more so, for those posters who suddenly find themselves in ATM because some other member has flagged an utterance of theirs as ATM: with the best will in the world, impartiality will be difficult for the appointed reviewers to maintain.

Grant Hutchison

We are not talking about mainstream papers submitted by mainstream scientists. We are talking about threads where there is violent agreement by all challengers that the ATM is wrong (see for example the threads proposed by (names removed) etc). These are clean cut cases where misunderstandings of existent theories are re-cast as ATMs.

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 05:52 PM
I think this thread is focusing mainly on the "answers review/evaluation"
But the OP is containing 2 proposals:
-a process to separate the questions from the main thread
-a process to evaluate the answers (how/by Whom/...)
[If you like, we can split this discussion]

Separating the questions from the main thread
The "questions thread splitting" could be view like this:
-For now, Baut's forum is divided into sub-forum... maybe it is possible that vBulliten can create a new sub-forum (dynamically) each time a new thread is launched. This sub-forum will be the container for the questions/answers. For each new question (and if the asker wants it) a new "question-thread" can be added in this container.

Evaluating the answers
The review/evaluation of the answers is in fact already done by the readers (as pointed out by macaw).
-->For now, many readers are commenting/evaluating the answers but inside the thread with common language. The only change would be (in the case everybody can "grade" or "vote") to summarize in some way those evaluations. (at the top of each "question-thread"?...) maybe the pool tool can be used in this way:
-->Each time a new question has to be added in the questions container, vBulliten (or manually) can add also a poll dedicated for this question...

With the combination of manual handling and the tools already in the stock of vBulliten, we can reach the goal...
[I think this is a topic for Baut's admins]

Baudouin

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 06:27 PM
The problem with that is that there are several ATM proponents who have friends around here who really believe every response from the person's keyboard is accurate, helpful, and insightful. This despite the fact that the friends are really bad about answering questions as well. And failing that, they can load the board with their actual friends who only go in and vote that the person has fulfilled their obligation. And having a minimum post-count requirement wouldn't entirely help that. After all, it's not difficult to build up post count.
I am not sure it will be like this every time... as the "friends" must have a Baut Id, the fact that they can be easily discovered can lower their wish to vote blindly. But of course you could be true... the only way to decide is to try 2 month (on this point I agree with macaw)

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 06:47 PM
Count up the number of ATM ideas we've had here on BAUT--I'd say the "expected" value of valid ATMs is still close to zero, nowhere near even 1.

You are right, but, for me, the main purpose of the ATM/CT forum is to have a very solid debunking library for all the people who don't have the necessary knowledge to handle this work by them self.
If someone is attracted by a website claiming that relativity is completely wrong because this or because that - or - claiming that venus is in fact another star coming to wipe us... then, he will make some googling and will very quickly come to Baut... where he have some luck to change his mind when reading the very accurate comments debunking the crazy proposition.

This is why all the debunkers really needs to continue their good job!

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 06:52 PM
I am not sure it will be like this every time... as the "friends" must have a Baut Id, the fact that they can be easily discovered can lower their wish to vote blindly. But of course you could be true... the only way to decide is to try 2 month (on this point I agree with macaw)

The friends have no vote, only the science advisors do.

macaw
2010-Nov-30, 06:57 PM
You are right, but, for me, the main purpose of the ATM/CT forum is to have a very solid debunking library for all the people who don't have the necessary knowledge to handle this work by them self.
If someone is attracted by a website claiming that relativity is completely wrong because this or because that - or - claiming that venus is in fact another star coming to wipe us... then, he will make some googling and will very quickly come to Baut... where he have some luck to change his mind when reading the very accurate comments debunking the crazy proposition.

This is why all the debunkers really needs to continue their good job!

Under the current ATM conditions we cannot do that because we cannot get ATM proposer to answer the questions in a timely manner (if at all) , we cannot get them to tell the truth, we cannot get them to admit that they are wrong and the whole thread goes on like this for hundreds of posts (see the latest ones by chinglu1998 and by Green Destiny for example).

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 07:03 PM
The friends have no vote, only the science advisors do.

I am not against the science advisor review process (I fact I don't know) but giving the possibility for everyone to "grade" is not changing the for now process (everybody can post his meaning in the thread) the only change would be to summarize the "votes".
If after few months, it is clear that we need that only the science advisors can vote... then you have to agree that the "vote for everybody" will be the first step to reach your idea (science advisor only)

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 07:11 PM
Under the current ATM conditions we cannot do that because we cannot get ATM proposer to answer the questions in a timely manner (if at all) , we cannot get them to tell the truth, we cannot get them to admit that they are wrong and the whole thread goes on like this for hundreds of posts (see the latest ones by chinglu1998 and by Green Destiny for example).

I don't agree, Baut is already a very good library for debunking. Maybe the ATM/CT proposer is laying, maybe he can't admit what everybody is saying to him, this is true in 90% of the cases; BUT the reader is not so stupid, even if he don't understand the first line of SR, he can see how badly the proposer is answering the challenges. This is why I think Baut is a very good library for debunking.
(don't forget, that vast majority of people doesn't post in Baut but are only reading carefully all useful comments/challenges posted by people like you - I am this kind of people)

grant hutchison
2010-Nov-30, 07:16 PM
We are not talking about mainstream papers submitted by mainstream scientists. We are talking about threads where there is violent agreement by all challengers that the ATM is wrong (see for example the threads proposed by (names removed) etc). These are clean cut cases where misunderstandings of existent theories are re-cast as ATMs.I'm sure I'm misunderstanding. It seems as if you're saying that reviewer bias and error won't be a problem because all these people are wrong.

Grant Hutchison

Jim
2010-Nov-30, 07:18 PM
You are right, but, for me, the main purpose of the ATM/CT forum is to have a very solid debunking library for all the people who don't have the necessary knowledge to handle this work by them self. ...

Uh, no. The reason we have separate ATM and CT forums is so we can keep those discussions out of the rest of BAUT. Period.

Which means, if either of those forums becomes too onerous for the Mods, they are likely to be removed and we'll simply police BAUT to keep ATM and/or CT off the board. Period.

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 07:33 PM
Uh, no. The reason we have separate ATM and CT forums is so we can keep those discussions out of the rest of BAUT. Period.

Which means, if either of those forums becomes too onerous for the Mods, they are likely to be removed and we'll simply police BAUT to keep ATM and/or CT off the board. Period.

I understand your point. You don't want to be in the social field, only science... it's a luck for all the CT proponents.

PetersCreek
2010-Nov-30, 07:41 PM
Under the current ATM conditions we cannot do that because we cannot get ATM proposer to answer the questions in a timely manner (if at all) , we cannot get them to tell the truth, we cannot get them to admit that they are wrong and the whole thread goes on like this for hundreds of posts (see the latest ones by chinglu1998 and by Green Destiny for example).

Do not complain about individuals' behavior in this thread. That's what the reporting system is for and you've already availed yourself of that.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-30, 08:11 PM
Honestly, I don't think splitting threads out for each individual question is a good idea. I think it will inevitably end with literally dozens of threads for certain ideas; it might well have ended with hundreds before the 30-day rule went into effect. I have also, back when I still bothered with ATM, presented a short list of very, very basic questions. Several of them were in the style of "If X, what does that mean for Y?" This meant that you had to discuss X in order to discuss Y.

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 08:35 PM
...I think it will inevitably end with literally dozens of threads for certain ideas; it might well have ended with hundreds before the 30-day rule went into effect...
If you are right (a thread can have dozens of questions), then it is really much convenient to have them listed and ordered in a nice fashion.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-30, 08:51 PM
It also gives the ATM proposal that much more in the way of Google hits, which is not anywhere near the intended purpose of the board. And frankly, if you can't keep track of the questions given how the board presents them, that's your problem. Put them in a document on your computer, if that's what it takes.

a1call
2010-Nov-30, 08:58 PM
where the software features are lacking, board rules can compensate. I think it would be useful to have a hierarchical format rule to ATM posts with numbering and bulleting. It would also be useful to have a flow rule where while an objection/question is presented and unresolved, no other question/objection can be posed. This would eliminate ganging up on the ATMer and increase chance of resolution one way or the other, to everyone's satisfaction. It would also help for the mods to play a more active role in refereeing the discussion/argument rather than a passive maintainer of order.

AndreasJ
2010-Nov-30, 09:03 PM
I think most of these proposals amount to rearranging the deck chairs. The problem isn't the format of ATM/CT, it's that lots of OPs are unable or unwilling to play by the rules. The best plausible return on these suggestions is that some threads in the Proving Grounds would get closed faster, which is hardly a prize worthy of great effort.

PetersCreek
2010-Nov-30, 09:17 PM
where the software features are lacking, board rules can compensate. I think it would be useful to have a hierarchical format rule to ATM posts with numbering and bulleting.

It's difficult enough getting a lot of ATM proponents (and some challengers) to follow the rules as they exist now. Adding some sort of mandatory style manual sounds like even more of a headache.


It would also be useful to have a flow rule where while an objection/question is presented and unresolved, no other question/objection can be posed. This would eliminate ganging up on the ATMer and increase chance of resolution one way or the other, to everyone's satisfaction.

Nice idea, in theory, and I have strongly suggested something similar to more than one ATM proponent. If only they would dispose with the questions about one of their assertions before going on to make additional claims, they would be more in control of the question flow. None have followed the suggestion to date. They are their own worst enemies in that regard.


It would also help for the mods to play a more active role in refereeing the discussion/argument rather than a passive maintainer of order.

What do you mean by "more active role" and how does it differ from what we're doing now? Splitting posts, issuing warnings/infractions, and other ATM interventions aren't exactly passive from where I sit.

PetersCreek
2010-Nov-30, 09:27 PM
If you are right (a thread can have dozens of questions), then it is really much convenient to have them listed and ordered in a nice fashion.

If you wish to see threads displayed in a threaded fashion, you can select that option in your user control panel. We moderators have discussed it and the consensus is that we will not force that display mode on all users.

As for splitting questions off into their own threads...Gillianren has effectively explained the problem with that. I'm not sure you fully understand the amount of work that would entail for even one active thread, much less a handful. Speaking for myself, I would find something more productive to do with my time rather than moderate the mess that idea would create. ATM is already a significant part of our workload and given the purpose of the ATM forum, I oppose giving it any more focus at the expense of the other forums.

Moose
2010-Nov-30, 09:27 PM
It would also help for the mods to play a more active role in refereeing the discussion/argument rather than a passive maintainer of order.

When you pay me a living wage, I'll be willing to take an active role in ATM. Bluntly, I don't enjoy spending time there. The less, the better.

a1call
2010-Nov-30, 09:29 PM
What do you mean by "more active role" and how does it differ from what we're doing now? Splitting posts, issuing warnings/infractions, and other ATM interventions aren't exactly passive from where I sit.

I hope it didn't come out that wrong. It was not a comment per inaction. What I meant is that it should be clarified and expressed that the mod on duty (preferably one per thread) is the ultimate judge and jury of the validity of the arguments presented. As is, I think it is left to the community to decide, which is as good as having more than one chef in a kitchen. According to a Persian expression, in that case the soup will be either too salty or too sour.

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-30, 09:31 PM
...What do you mean by "more active role" and how does it differ from what we're doing now? Splitting posts, issuing warnings/infractions, and other ATM interventions aren't exactly passive from where I sit.
It probably means "keep you busy". I see plenty of posts by moderators without thier moderator hat on, so obviously it means the moderators have too much time on thier hands. :lol:

Moose
2010-Nov-30, 09:36 PM
I hope it didn't come out that wrong. It was not a comment per inaction. What I meant is that it should be clarified and expressed that the mod on duty (preferably one per thread) is the ultimate judge and jury of the validity of the arguments presented.

Emphasis mine; just so you know, there's no such thing. Like all participation on this forum, it's purely voluntary and as time permits. We generally do what most urgently needs doing as we are here and are able to.

a1call
2010-Nov-30, 09:45 PM
Well then perhaps a none mod member who is presumed by the mods as expert in the field of discussion can be appointed as judge per discussion (if he agrees). The point is that as it stands it is debatable who is making a better argument and no way of establishing it in a precise manner.

PetersCreek
2010-Nov-30, 09:45 PM
I hope it didn't come out that wrong. It was not a comment per inaction. What I meant is that it should be clarified and expressed that the mod on duty (preferably one per thread) is the ultimate judge and jury of the validity of the arguments presented. As is, I think it is left to the community to decide, which is as good as having more than one chef in a kitchen. According to a Persian expression, in that case the soup will be either too salty or too sour.

Although Fraser once stated that he hoped something new and exciting would come out of the forum, the primary purpose of the ATM forum, as Jim indicated earlier, is to keep the mainstream areas of the board mainstream. Although we do take occasional action on content, I'm am not interested in being the Arbiter of Validity Validity Validity [/echo effect]. Most times, I don't have the expertise to be one. Besides, I don't like the idea of science by fiat. If the idea is valid, let the proponent demonstrate it.

Swift
2010-Nov-30, 09:49 PM
Well then perhaps a none mod member who is presumed by the mods as expert in the field of discussion can be appointed as judge per discussion (if he agrees). The point is that as it stands it is debatable who is making a better argument and no way of establishing it in a precise manner.
As I said in this post (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/109905-ATM-added-feature?p=1822821#post1822821) (and elaborated on a little more in following posts), the moderators have considered various judge/reviewer systems and never found one we liked.

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 10:26 PM
If you wish to see threads displayed in a threaded fashion, you can select that option in your user control panel.
Thanks for the tip it is really nice!
But this is not the same effect has having a maintained list of questions per thread.

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 10:42 PM
As for splitting questions off into their own threads...Gillianren has effectively explained the problem with that.
I think I have answered: this is much easier to have all questions/answers grouped and sorted.

I'm not sure you fully understand the amount of work that would entail for even one active thread, much less a handful.
I assume that all new post arrive in the moderation queue, nothing is changed...

Speaking for myself, I would find something more productive to do with my time rather than moderate the mess that idea would create. ATM is already a significant part of our workload and given the purpose of the ATM forum, I oppose giving it any more focus at the expense of the other forums.
(Bold added: mine)
This is the kernel of the problem... you (and I presume other mods) don't want (like) to invest their time in ATM/CT... I perfectly understand this, and I really don't blame you... but I feel that those "debunking" forum are necessary for the sake of humanity (sorry to use a so "big" word [humanity], hope you understand the meaning even if it is not the center of your interest... I say this, because my poor English doesn't allow me to express too subtle ideas)

Baud
2010-Nov-30, 10:45 PM
...the moderators have considered various judge/reviewer systems and never found one we liked.
Did you try some of them as experiments?

Swift
2010-Nov-30, 11:02 PM
Originally Posted by PetersCreek
I'm not sure you fully understand the amount of work that would entail for even one active thread, much less a handful.

I assume that all new post arrive in the moderation queue, nothing is changed...

That is not correct. Posts only wait in the moderation queue for "newbies"; after a few posts, whether in ATM or elsewhere, they are just posted. And the moderation queue is not a physical location; the posts are in the thread they are posted in, they are just hidden from average users, until a moderator approves it.

So, whether the New Question was posted by a Newbie or someone else, a moderator would have to physically move each new question into a newly created thread. And I'm unclear how these threads are linked - I suppose the mod would have to put in notes about what ATM idea they all link.

I'll be honest, I would quit as a moderator before I took on that level of work.

Swift
2010-Nov-30, 11:06 PM
Originally Posted by Swift
...the moderators have considered various judge/reviewer systems and never found one we liked.
Did you try some of them as experiments?
No we did not. I personally never though of doing a several month experiment on a new ATM concept (I can't speak for other moderators). I'm not really sure if I like the "experiment" idea or not, whether the experiment is a reviewer system or something else. It is a lot of work to change how things work, write all the new rules, etc., and then just toss them out in 3 months when we kill the experiment.

Strange
2010-Nov-30, 11:08 PM
As a slight aside, I wonder if newbies should not be allowed to post in ATM until they have passed the moderation limit. That would reduce the (admittedly only occasional) screams of "why are you government stooges censoring my brilliant idea".

Moose
2010-Nov-30, 11:16 PM
As a slight aside, I wonder if newbies should not be allowed to post in ATM until they have passed the moderation limit. That would reduce the (admittedly only occasional) screams of "why are you government stooges censoring my brilliant idea".

Strange, we get those very screams often enough just with the moderation queue. *chuckle*

Seriously, the more immediately apparent downside of this idea is that we would tend to see a lot more early-sneaky or ill-considered ATM in Q&A and other forums where such posting is highly inappropriate. That, or drive people into posting a large volume of shallow nonsense in forums like OTB. Even at its most benign, it would only take a brief binge in F&G to circumvent what such a limitation would attempt to accomplish.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-01, 01:24 AM
This is the kernel of the problem... you (and I presume other mods) don't want (like) to invest their time in ATM/CT... I perfectly understand this, and I really don't blame you... but I feel that those "debunking" forum are necessary for the sake of humanity (sorry to use a so "big" word [humanity], hope you understand the meaning even if it is not the center of your interest... I say this, because my poor English doesn't allow me to express too subtle ideas)

But this assumes it's in the board's interests. The thing is, too much time and energy is already put into ATM by the mods as it is. (Not so much in CT most of the time; it's slow in there these days.) It's on the list of reasons I have no current interest in being a mod. I simply don't want to deal with the struggle of keeping ATM moderated properly.

Jim
2010-Dec-01, 05:50 PM
While we have never run a formal experiment using experts, I have tried calling on them on occasion. I was - very politely - refused. I seems they (and this may shock some folks) have lives outside of BAUT, or didn't want to get dragged in.

As for assigned a thread to a single Moderator, what happens if the Mod lives in Europe and most participating Members live in the US? Either the Mod stays up late, closes the thread while s/he is offline, or things go to you know where in a hand basket for a few hours. Now let the Mod go on vacation or get tied up at work or catch the galloping crud (yes, we have lives, too).

Asking Mods to decide what is and isn't good science is also flawed. It would limit the participants to those qualified in the subject, and practicing physicists are not in the majority on the Mod Squad.

(We did have one former Mod who was very knowledgeable in the field and policed ATM quite well. Note the emphasis on "former." Burnout.)

a1call
2010-Dec-01, 06:26 PM
As a feedback and as a personal opinion, baut seems to have the potential to turn the interest in its ATM into a paid service. It probably won't make anyone rich, but perhaps charging a minimal fee per review by an unbiased paid expert is a feasible model. I can't think of all the details but if the interest in publishing ATM concepts is as great as it seems to be, then there is a market in need of service providers.

Luckmeister
2010-Dec-01, 06:56 PM
As a feedback and as a personal opinion, baut seems to have the potential to turn the interest in its ATM into a paid service. It probably won't make anyone rich, but perhaps charging a minimal fee per review by an unbiased paid expert is a feasible model. I can't think of all the details but if the interest in publishing ATM concepts is as great as it seems to be, then there is a market in need of service providers.

I've finally stopped laughing enough to write this. BAUT ATM proponents paying to be told they're wrong? Then I would suggest payment in advance with the disclaimer of NO REFUNDS.

Seriously, the vast majority of ATMers think they're educating us, not the other way around. Your suggestion might work in a different venue, but not here.

Strange
2010-Dec-01, 07:06 PM
Seriously, the vast majority of ATMers think they're educating us, not the other way around.

Indeed. It is amazing how confident people can be that they have uncovered the simple mathematical error made by Einstein (even if they think it was Eisenstein) that no one else has spotted in the last 100 years.

a1call
2010-Dec-01, 07:22 PM
Seriously, the vast majority of ATMers think they're educating us, not the other way around. Your suggestion might work in a different venue, but not here.
Which is exactly why a portion of them will be willing to pay $**.00 to be heard. It would also reduce the load by eliminating the less serious submitters.
Plus it's wrong to paint everyone with the same brush. If the ATM becomes a "proving ground" where there is a (better) chance of being recognized, then it might attract the caliber of researchers which really can educate us. There gotta be a couple out there you know.

AndreasJ
2010-Dec-01, 07:46 PM
Plus it's wrong to paint everyone with the same brush. If the ATM becomes a "proving ground" where there is a (better) chance of being recognized, then it might attract the caliber of researchers which really can educate us. There gotta be a couple out there you know.

If they are, it'd be better for all concerned if they paid a scientific journal to print their work rather than BAUTers to review it.

ATM'ers are self-selected to be sufficiently out-of-touch with reality to think BAUT is the place to overturn physics from.

a1call
2010-Dec-01, 07:57 PM
If they are, it'd be better for all concerned if they paid a scientific journal to print their work rather than BAUTers to review it.

ATM'ers are self-selected to be sufficiently out-of-touch with reality to think BAUT is the place to overturn physics from.
Unfortunately that is a close minded attitude which is not that uncommon on this board. Against the mainstream does not mean lunatic. There is hardly any concept in mainstream science that has not been considered ATM at some point in time. It is less common in fields such as mathematics but quite common in fields such as medicine. Physics is somewhere in between.

PetersCreek
2010-Dec-01, 08:07 PM
As a feedback and as a personal opinion, baut seems to have the potential to turn the interest in its ATM into a paid service. It probably won't make anyone rich, but perhaps charging a minimal fee per review by an unbiased paid expert is a feasible model. I can't think of all the details but if the interest in publishing ATM concepts is as great as it seems to be, then there is a market in need of service providers.

A change to this site's business model would have to be implemented by the owners, so you're pitching it to the wrong people.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-01, 08:07 PM
Indeed. It is amazing how confident people can be that they have uncovered the simple mathematical error made by Einstein (even if they think it was Eisenstein) that no one else has spotted in the last 100 years.

I'm willing to bet Sergei Eisenstein made a mistake in math. Like how much of Ivan the Terrible people would sit through.


Unfortunately that is a close minded attitude which is not that uncommon on this board. Against the mainstream does not mean lunatic. There is hardly any concept in mainstream science that has not been considered ATM at some point in time. It is less common in fields such as mathematics but quite common in fields such as medicine. Physics is somewhere in between.

Sure. But what percentage of ATM ideas in any field turn out to be right?

Strange
2010-Dec-01, 08:31 PM
Unfortunately that is a close minded attitude which is not that uncommon on this board. Against the mainstream does not mean lunatic. There is hardly any concept in mainstream science that has not been considered ATM at some point in time. It is less common in fields such as mathematics but quite common in fields such as medicine. Physics is somewhere in between.

Yes, but nearly all those initially-ATM ideas are developed by scientists who know their subject, working within the science establishment, and published in mainstream peer-reviewed journals. That is how they become accepted as The New Mainstream. (Not by being discussed on an internet forum.)

I say "nearly all" but I can't think of any recent examples developed by "gentleman scientists". Although, interestingly, I think astronomy is one of the areas where amateurs are most likely to be able to contribute new knowledge or understanding.

AndreasJ
2010-Dec-01, 08:33 PM
Unfortunately that is a close minded attitude which is not that uncommon on this board. Against the mainstream does not mean lunatic.
I didn't say it does - don't put words in my mouth.


There is hardly any concept in mainstream science that has not been considered ATM at some point in time. It is less common in fields such as mathematics but quite common in fields such as medicine. Physics is somewhere in between.
You are, deliberately or not, conflating having ATM ideas with presenting them on BAUT.

I did not say that people who have ATM ideas are out of touch with reality (tho some of them are, of course). I said that people who think BAUT is the place to overturn physics from are.

If you have a good ATM idea, it should be published in a scientific journal, where it will attract the attention and possibly acceptance of experts, not on an online forum which, as far as the scientific literature is concerned, basically doesn't exist.

If you have a bad ATM idea, it'll be ripped apart no matter where it's published. Perhaps, tho, the heroic patience of some of our regulars will give the ATM'er more opportunity to realize his or her errors than the reviewers at a journal would.

Strange
2010-Dec-01, 08:57 PM
I have seen one example of someone presenting an ATM idea with the intention of getting as much criticism as possible in order to either destroy the concept or strengthen it by uncovering weaknesses he hadn't considered. I am not able to judge the merits of the idea in question but it was a refreshingly positive encounter in ATM; questions were raised and answered, objections were taken on board. I think it is the closest I have seen to the founders' expressed objectives for ATM.

Luckmeister
2010-Dec-01, 10:28 PM
I have seen one example of someone presenting an ATM idea with the intention of getting as much criticism as possible in order to either destroy the concept or strengthen it by uncovering weaknesses he hadn't considered. I am not able to judge the merits of the idea in question but it was a refreshingly positive encounter in ATM; questions were raised and answered, objections were taken on board. I think it is the closest I have seen to the founders' expressed objectives for ATM.

Yes, I remember a recent thread like that -- quite refreshing. However, as you say, they are very rare.

And to a1call, I did not "paint everyone with the same brush." I said "vast majority of ATMers" and if you spend some time perusing the ATM threads, I'm sure you will find that the case. I would love to see some groundbreaking new ideas introduced through BAUT, but I'm afraid it would be like waiting for a supermodel to come whisk me away to her private resort on the Riviera. :cool:

grapes
2010-Dec-02, 07:28 AM
If they are, it'd be better for all concerned if they paid a scientific journal to print their work rather than BAUTers to review it.

ATM'ers are self-selected to be sufficiently out-of-touch with reality to think BAUT is the place to overturn physics from.
Unfortunately that is a close minded attitude which is not that uncommon on this board. Against the mainstream does not mean lunatic. There is hardly any concept in mainstream science that has not been considered ATM at some point in time. It is less common in fields such as mathematics but quite common in fields such as medicine. Physics is somewhere in between.Careful, there, you're revealing your own bias while insulting another. It's been clearly stated that BAUT's main mission definitely does not include development of new theories of physics. A single board cannot be all things to all people, it has to specialize. That is not being close minded.

BAUT has chosed an interesting approach to dealing with the inevitable flood of crank theories. It works, barely. I lay awake at night worrying about the resolve (and sanity) of the other moderators. And I still believe that we've actually been presented a couple viable ones, not yet completely recognized. If we found one, we would be incredibly lucky, succeeding beyond most people's wildest dreams.

Strange
2010-Dec-02, 12:00 PM
Although, interestingly, I think astronomy is one of the areas where amateurs are most likely to be able to contribute new knowledge or understanding.

There have been a number of interesting discoveries on Galaxy Zoo made by enthusiastic amateurs.


but I'm afraid it would be like waiting for a supermodel to come whisk me away to her private resort on the Riviera. :cool:

I googled myself once - found out I was dating a supermodel. Who knew.

slang
2010-Dec-02, 12:18 PM
There have been a number of interesting discoveries on Galaxy Zoo made by enthusiastic amateurs.

But that still doesn't compare to a more or less random ATM idea dumping place. Galaxy Zoo is professionally run, or at least setup that way, and there is sound scientific follow up on the data gathered by the public.


I googled myself once - found out I was dating a supermodel. Who knew.

Must have been a typo: your avatar makes it abundantly clear that it must have been a super bug. :D

Strange
2010-Dec-02, 12:53 PM
But that still doesn't compare to a more or less random ATM idea dumping place. Galaxy Zoo is professionally run, or at least setup that way, and there is sound scientific follow up on the data gathered by the public.

Absolutely. I was just pointing out there are legitimate places where amateurs can contribute to pushing the boundaries of mainstream science. (In contrast to BAUT!)

Solfe
2010-Dec-02, 05:31 PM
Ick, I don't participate in the ATM discussion because often I have nothing to contribute, but I do read them. I would characterize the posts there as:
40% newbie misdirecting a posting,
40% "snipers" who post something followed up with unacceptable comments, who rapidly have to leave the board by choice or not, and
20% active members who are having a conversation that results scientific information sharing even if the subject revolves on ATM.
***WARNING NO SCIENTIFIC METHOD WAS USED IN THIS CHARACTERIZATION, ALL NUMBERS ARE FICTITIOUS***

The last 20% are passionately pitching idea that are ATM, but at least they have made the choice to engage the board with discussion and have joined the community. It is always the same people there, and they participate in other areas of the board too. Sure passion=moderation headaches, but I can't see charging a fee as being a solution.

As little as I care to directly participate in the ATM discussions, I really dislike the idea of charging a fee to users to post ATM. I think that a fee is trying to "fix" the 40% who have little or no intention of joining the board.

Too bad there isn't a "street cred" ranking, something like a weighted posting count. Zero for posting in the proving grounds or general interest, 3 points for the Astronomy/science area, 1 point for posting in the about area, the BA book and UT areas. (I don't think I got all of the areas). It would make some users who actually do engage the whole board appear more prominently.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-02, 05:53 PM
Though I don't think engaging the whole board is necessary for showing you know what you're talking about. One of our most prominent and respected members essentially never posts outside CT. It's also more than possible to post a lot in the "science" parts of the board and not know what you're talking about. (I name no names.) The fact is, we're never going to have any official way of saying who's a respectable person in any given field around here, because it isn't quantifiable.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Dec-02, 06:03 PM
In the three years I've been on this forum I have never seen a valid one, they swing from outright lunacy, to basic (honest) errors to sheer intellectual dishonesty to outright trolling (many are being trolled on multiple fora simultaneously).
Though I have to say that I've seen some that were mislabeled as ATM, as a result was viciously attacked on that wrong supposition, then once the foaming-at-the-mouth attack dogs calmed down, continued as discussions of interesting mainstream physics.

Trakar
2010-Dec-02, 07:02 PM
Though I don't think engaging the whole board is necessary for showing you know what you're talking about. One of our most prominent and respected members essentially never posts outside CT. It's also more than possible to post a lot in the "science" parts of the board and not know what you're talking about. (I name no names.) The fact is, we're never going to have any official way of saying who's a respectable person in any given field around here, because it isn't quantifiable.

At least not without dramatically changing the nature of the board and membership. It would be very easy to require posters to establish their verifiable identities, educational background, and professional history, I'm a member of several professional listservs that require such, But that fundementally changes the nature of the site and would probably eliminate most of the participants from BAUT. Ultimately this doesn't remove all cranks, but it does considerably boost the signal to noise ratio.

Tensor
2010-Dec-02, 11:20 PM
Though I don't think engaging the whole board is necessary for showing you know what you're talking about. One of our most prominent and respected members essentially never posts outside CT. It's also more than possible to post a lot in the "science" parts of the board and not know what you're talking about. (I name no names.) The fact is, we're never going to have any official way of saying who's a respectable person in any given field around here, because it isn't quantifiable.

What is quantifiable is checking on links and explanations given by posters. That CT poster you refer to has eared the respect, simply by being right so often. That person gives clear, logical explanations and, if you check on those explanations, the answers that appear here can almost be considered textbook. From what I've seen, that is how you earn street cred around here, not by how much or where your post.
For instance Gil, you would be one of those I would turn to for any kind of grammatical question. Why is that? Because I've seen your postings on grammar here and you can give almost textbook answers for grammar.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-02, 11:51 PM
Gillian, please, but thank you for the compliment.

That's my point, though. Yes, I have earned respect in grammar. However, the closest I have to actual credentials in the subject is a liberal arts BA from a college which doesn't have majors. Oh, I call myself an English major, but technically, I am not. Though they do let you put pretty much whatever you want as what you got your degree in. I have published no papers. You cannot put a number to my knowledge. Oh, qualitatively, it's obvious that I know what I'm talking about. However, the closest we'd get to quantitative is by counting up the number of times I make a statement on the subject and the number of times I'm right, and that only proves that, if I don't know what I'm talking about, I don't say it. Which I suppose is valuable in its own way.

Moose
2010-Dec-03, 12:01 AM
It would be very easy to require posters to establish their verifiable identities, educational background, and professional history,

I think you're severely underestimating the logistics involved in such an undertaking, unless you're talking about some kind of honor system self-declaration. In any case, the mod team has (briefly) considered it twice before when it's come up, and both times credentialing was flatly rejected by (IIRC) unanimous consent, over a variety of objections.

Trakar
2010-Dec-03, 12:56 AM
I think you're severely underestimating the logistics involved in such an undertaking, unless you're talking about some kind of honor system self-declaration. In any case, the mod team has (briefly) considered it twice before when it's come up, and both times credentialing was flatly rejected by (IIRC) unanimous consent, over a variety of objections.

Actually, I'm arguing against such merely because it turns the forum into a specialty discussion group and most who are interested in such professional groups know where to find them. Even in the best private listservs there is potential fraud and forgery, but in general such exposes itself fairly quickly if the individual is active on the service.

Solfe
2010-Dec-03, 01:05 AM
Though I don't think engaging the whole board is necessary for showing you know what you're talking about. One of our most prominent and respected members essentially never posts outside CT. It's also more than possible to post a lot in the "science" parts of the board and not know what you're talking about. (I name no names.) The fact is, we're never going to have any official way of saying who's a respectable person in any given field around here, because it isn't quantifiable.

Oh no! I didn't mean to imply that "street cred" would equate to knowledge. Its a measure of community/participation beyond a simply post count. The idea of "street cred" is a means there is a relative valuation of the user as a resident user.

Without naming names, when I go to ATM, there are a handful of people who post and have a debate of some degree. I want to read those. Then there are the what seems to be the majority of posters where I scan through a page of "stuff" and find the thread closed because the person could not follow the guidelines for decorum.

"Street cred" rating would allow a user to determine (most of the time) which posters use the board as a member of the community rather than those who have a single thread/post and find away to be ejected.

I find nothing more annoy than thinking "gee that name sort of looks familiar", read for a while only to find that this someone I am not familiar with and by the time I finish reading, they have been banned, suspended, etc.

Solfe
2010-Dec-03, 01:15 AM
It would be very easy to require posters to establish their verifiable identities, educational background, and professional history...

Ok, time for one of my funny questions. Why is there no BAUT group on Facebook? Orkut has one, but it is Portuguese language only. Personally, I don't mind identifying myself through linking FB to BAUT accounts. I am not suggesting that the two actually be linked, but I can see how it would be super simple to connect a user on two different services to a single person.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-03, 05:35 AM
Is there a reason to?

Solfe
2010-Dec-05, 04:36 AM
My life seems to revolve around facebook. Oh... you meant a reason for everyone else. You got me there. :)

Luckmeister
2010-Dec-05, 05:36 PM
I have enough trouble getting respect here without combining the two and doing a faceplant on Facebook. :shifty:

Trakar
2010-Dec-05, 09:59 PM
Ok, time for one of my funny questions. Why is there no BAUT group on Facebook? Orkut has one, but it is Portuguese language only. Personally, I don't mind identifying myself through linking FB to BAUT accounts. I am not suggesting that the two actually be linked, but I can see how it would be super simple to connect a user on two different services to a single person.

A couple of messageboards and professional listservs are about as close to internet "social networks" as I've ever come, or am ever likely to engage in. Never been interested in Facebook or the like, and it seems like it's attraction is fading for the general public as well. Though I'm not really sure how you saw this as connected to my comment?