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The Bad Astronomer
2005-Sep-24, 11:33 PM
Folks-

We now have rules on how to post on this bulletin board (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845).

Know them. Love them.

This thread is for making comments on the rules. Did we forget something? Is there something that needs to be more specific, or less specific? We're willing to listen.

On October 1, these rules will be strictly enforced. Until then, we will issue gentle reminders if rules are broken. However, this does not mean we will allow flagrant, repeated violations of them. Please have a care.

Reina
2005-Sep-24, 11:37 PM
I was just reading the rules & regulations, I have never seen so many rules for a message board lol. I post on another message board (not astronomy related) and we have no rules.... which is probably why we all get into so much drama.

Don't worry, I'll be abiding by all the rules. ;)

Champion_Munch
2005-Sep-25, 01:16 AM
To tell you the truth, that's the first "rules list" I've ever bothered to read before. :)

with regards

Andromeda321
2005-Sep-25, 01:26 AM
It sounded good! The only thing that I thought was perhaps worth commenting on is perhaps too big a deal was made regarding posting something in the wrong forum: while it's obvious that someone persistantly posting things in the wrong place should be reprimanded people do sometimes make mistakes regarding where they post, and that shouldn't be held on the same level as, say, profanities and hit-and-run posting.
Just my 2 cents.

Ricimer
2005-Sep-25, 01:55 AM
I think one part of rule 13 is a bit strict:



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

I don't know if I'd suggest banning after one warning. I'd warn them, then close the thread if it continues. If it becomes evident that it's a pattern of behavior, then ban them.

Ken Vogt
2005-Sep-25, 06:17 AM
Concerning rule 11, there was a discussion (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=29127) about the edit limit of 24 hours, and the time limit was removed. Edit buttons are still available for old posts ATM, I believe? Perhaps the rule's text was formulated before this change was made?

In any case, I am a persistent and serial violator of the rule against revisionism. I do try to indicate when something has been edited, and why, but I often make long intricate posts that I later discover are wholly wrong: is such cases, to save people's time, I will replace the post with an apology.

Also, I once posted what I call a "review" of a piece BOINC-related software. This software is updated frequently, and I would occasionally revise the post to include the new features, again with a warning that the post is likely to have been edited.

I could of course handle this by a series of posts each linking through to all the previous additions, but I think it easier on the reader to have it in one place?

Also mentioned in yaohua2000's post linked above (specifically, #14 (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=545435&postcount=14)) is how valuable editing the first post of a persistent thread can sometimes be.

I do grasp that editing content after a post has been replied to (mine never are :) ) is bad if it is an attempt to makes oneself look better (or the respondent foolish.)

But:

As a "senior member" in the biblical sense, to whom the internet is not a native culture, I have to say, with respect and just IMO, that the rule 11 phrase "changing content is not allowed!" seems a bit overbroad to me.

I will of course try to abide by the rule in future, but perhaps there might be a revision of the language? 8) :)

Mosheh Thezion
2005-Sep-25, 07:28 AM
For the most part it is reasonable...

but the idea that one must answer each and every question put to them, in a timely manner is questionalble... since in many cases the question itself is flawed due to a misunderstanding and in answering it.. it is not answered, but is made clear in its relavance to the topic, while still being part of the mystery.
thus your rule that everything must be answered is suspect.. and should i think be reviewed.. and changed to allow more flexability in discussion.

after all would it be wrong to shut someone down just because they dont have every answer? are we all to be Einstiens now? and pull the knowledge out of a hat?

2) the idea that you would opennly state that we should be prepared for.."attacks"
is i think a bad choce of words.. its fundamental in your rules.. which contradicts the basics of calm nice discussions...
attacks are quick and mean.. and have nothing to do with sharing ideas and knowledge.

the survival of the strong and fittest is for the jungle.!

we are suposed to be better than that...
-MT

Maksutov
2005-Sep-25, 09:56 AM
For the most part it is reasonable...

but the idea that one must answer each and every question put to them, in a timely manner is questionalble... since in many cases the question itself is flawed due to a misunderstandingDo I detect a standard ATM smokescreen here?


and in answering it.. it is not answered, but is made clear in its relavance to the topic, while still being part of the mystery.What mystery? This is a science board, remember?


thus your rule that everything must be answered is suspect.. and should i think be reviewed.. and changed to allow more flexability in discussion.No, the idea is to keep threads from going around in circles due to the inability or reluctance of the OP to defend the presented idea.


after all would it be wrong to shut someone down just because they dont have every answer?If the idea is properly thought through to the point where it is deemed presentable to a group of peers for criticism, then, yes, all questions about the idea should be answered. Otherwise, the idea is either wrong or not yet ready for public consumption.


are we all to be Einstiens now?Funny that someone who has now "corrected" one of Einstein's equations would complain about that.*


and pull the knowledge out of a hat?Ah, now you're getting closer to the issue.


2)What was "1)"?


the idea that you would opennly state that we should be prepared for.."attacks"
is i think a bad choce of words.. its fundamental in your rules.. which contradicts the basics of calm nice discussions...
attacks are quick and mean.. and have nothing to do with sharing ideas and knowledge.

the survival of the strong and fittest is for the jungle.!

we are suposed to be better than that...
-MTYou've obviously never experienced the world of graduate academia, where one defends one's thesis against attacks by the committee that will judge whether it is worthy of consideration, and whether you are worthy of being granted an advanced degree. It's the committee's charter to attack without mercy any weakness of logic, evidence, etc., that might be found in the thesis. Such attacks actually benefit the candidate, providing him/her with, among other things, the opportunity to learn where the paper went astray.

Tell you what, MT. Take a few college courses. Maybe for four years. Perhaps even graduate. Better yet, add another 2-4 years for post-graduate work, then come back here and tell us what you think. I'm very sure what appear to be your currently uninformed opinions about what defending an idea entails will have changed quite a bit .

Meanwhile, the rule is a good one. It will (hopefully) keep certain ATM and CT threads from approaching infinity when one takes the limit as x approaches total inconclusiveness. The fact that the rule got you nervous indicates its initial effectiveness.


*BTW, wouldn't you agree that it would be good form at least to spell the fellow's name correctly?

dgruss23
2005-Sep-25, 12:29 PM
For the most part it is reasonable...

but the idea that one must answer each and every question put to them, in a timely manner is questionalble... since in many cases the question itself is flawed due to a misunderstanding and in answering it.. it is not answered, but is made clear in its relavance to the topic, while still being part of the mystery.

I think this is answered with points 3 & 8 here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=352465&postcount=1).

Its ok to say that you do not know. Its ok to so say that you're not sure, but you'll look into it and it may take a while. Sometimes in these debates direct questions relevant to the thrust of the debate are ignored. Perhaps a better way to state it is that questions should be "acknowledged" not ignored.

Mosheh Thezion
2005-Sep-27, 05:54 AM
My point is.. you can still crush someones theory.. but you can do it with class... and do it so that you sound nice, even while your ripping there ideas to shreds.'

thats called manners and tact, usually express amoung friends... and its fundamental to having a open discussion.

allowing for the logic of attacks, means, that i or you can be stubborn and tear and slash at any fault we see, even if it isnt really relevant to the specific issue..

and it doesnt help anyone.. and its just mean..

being nice means saying what good you can first... and then adding the "BUT...."
and finishing with your argument either way.

and in a friendly manner.. continueing the discussion.

attacks make people open to say.. things which dont need to be said in order to get any point across..

-MT

Cylinder
2005-Sep-27, 10:42 AM
In any case, I am a persistent and serial violator of the rule against revisionism. I do try to indicate when something has been edited, and why, but I often make long intricate posts that I later discover are wholly wrong: is such cases, to save people's time, I will replace the post with an apology.

It is probably a better self-correction practice to leave the incorrect information in place but supply a warning or caveat where you point to the correct information. I understand that leaving incorrect information in a post is undesirable especially when it's not challenged or corrected by subsequent posters or until later pages in a long thread. I have self-corrected without comment in the first couple of minutes after a post (sometimes I submit then proof) but after that very short period of time, I think the post should stand.

Something like:


The freezing point of water is 32C.

That could be edited to:


The freezing point of water is 32C.

Edit: Whoops! The freezing point for water is actually 0C. The value I quoted was degrees Fahrenheit. Sorry for the confusion.

Or, if someone else catches it:


The freezing point of water is 32C.

Edit: Whoops! The freezing point for water is actually 0C. The value I quoted was degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to Ken Vogt who catches my mistake here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?postid=565046#poststop).

For a more complicated correction which involves more than one data point and especially when subsequent posts are made in the thread, it may be more clear to provide a simple caveat like:


Edit: My solution for this equation is wrong. The correct solution can be found [here].

You should also give credit if another user corrects your mistake.

It's also a good practice to correct the information with a new post in the thread to inform those users who may already be following the thread, especially if a significant amount of time elapses before the error is noticed. The problem with simply deleting your error is that it can cast undue doubt or an incorrect impression on a subsequent post in the thread by another user who is pointing out your error or somehow building on your post.

I think this practice will actually help increase a user's credibility (or at least it does in my mind) because it demonstrates the fact that the user takes seriously the information they provide.

Maksutov
2005-Sep-27, 11:24 AM
My point is.. you can still crush someones theory.. but you can do it with class... and do it so that you sound nice, even while your ripping there ideas to shreds.'

thats called manners and tact, usually express amoung friends... and its fundamental to having a open discussion.

allowing for the logic of attacks, means, that i or you can be stubborn and tear and slash at any fault we see, even if it isnt really relevant to the specific issue..

and it doesnt help anyone.. and its just mean..

being nice means saying what good you can first... and then adding the "BUT...."
and finishing with your argument either way.

and in a friendly manner.. continueing the discussion.

attacks make people open to say.. things which dont need to be said in order to get any point across..

-MTSince the poster apparently has little or no experience with the world of academics, especially the post-graduate variety, perhaps this small exercise re word definitions will help:


at•tack

Pronunciation: (u-tak'), [key] (http://www.infoplease.com/pronkey.html)
—v.t.
1. to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands.
2. to begin hostilities against; start an offensive against: to attack the enemy.
3. to blame or abuse violently or bitterly.
4. to direct unfavorable criticism against; criticize severely; argue with strongly: He attacked his opponent's statement.
5. to try to destroy, esp. with verbal abuse: to attack the mayor's reputation.
6. to set about (a task) or go to work on (a thing) vigorously: to attack housecleaning; to attack the hamburger hungrily.
7. (of disease, destructive agencies, etc.) to begin to affect.When one proposes a hypothesis, the operative definition of the word attack is #4, within the realm of real data and objective evidence. If one is unable to defend one's hypothesis, then the typical sell-out fall back position is to claim definitions #3 and #5 apply. This might be called a ad hominem mihi fallacy, where the defender of the hypothesis wrongly claims that the presenter, not the hypothesis, is being attacked. Despite such claims, protests, and appeals to emotion (another logical fallacy), the criticism of the hypothesis remains within the scope of definition #4.

As it says in the Advice for ATM theory supporters. sticky:


3. You have not been attacked if you are told you are wrong. Only your theory is attacked.

hhEb09'1
2005-Sep-27, 02:14 PM
This thread is for making comments on the rules. Did we forget something? Is there something that needs to be more specific, or less specific? We're willing to listen.I just noticed this.

Rule 15 says
If you feel a post breaks one of these rules, please report it by clicking the 'report' button (the red triangle with the exclamation mark inside it, located at the top right hand side of every post).
But when you click on the red triangle, at the bottom of the form, it says
Note: This is ONLY to be used to report spam, advertising messages, and problematic (harassment, fighting, or rude) posts.
Does that "ONLY" emphasize that it is not to be used to report violations of Rules 4 (Copyright), 7 (Second & Third Party Posting), or 8 (hotlinking), and maybe other rule violations? That seems to contradict Rule 15.

If so, I didn't notice the "ONLY" until it was too late. Sorry. :)

Ken Vogt
2005-Sep-27, 03:16 PM
It is probably a better self-correction practice to leave the incorrect information in place but supply a warning or caveat where you point to the correct information.
Hi Cylinder,

I very much appreciate your thoughtful reply. :)

I think I do usually follow a pale approximation of your practices except for the "First post" and "Review" type items where multiple interpolation of "I first said this, but really it's this" would make an already complex post unreadable. (See here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=19026) for a first post that was edited piecemeal, palely approximating your suggested practice, which would in fact greatly benefit from a thorough revision, without prejudicing any subsequent post. By agreement, BOINC teams are not allowed multiple threads in the Astronomy section, so we rarely start new ones.)

But a larger point is that even the editing methods you suggest are prohibited by Rule 11 as it now reads:


11. Editing & Revisionism

Edit your posts with care. There's no problem with editing a post later to change the tone or to correct spelling and the like. But changing content is not allowed! This is a slippery path that can be seen as revisionism. You may edit your post for up to 24 hours. Also, when quoting other posters, you may trim the text down to brief snippets to address something in particular, but do not misquote others or alter their content to suggest they've stated things which they haven't.(emphasis added)

Firstly, as I mentioned, unlimited editing is now permitted, so the 24 hour statement is factually incorrect. And as I read the rule even the editing of the kind you mentioned is forbidden, as it definitely changes content.

I don't read ATM, and the hostility that must exist there (as implied by these rules) means I may never do so. Also I know that the BA has experienced much wholly undeserved grief from his generosity in even allowing a forum for alternative views.

But, and I wish I could make this sound kinder than it will look on the page, I fear that Rule 11 might be applied more vigorously and more literally in ATM than elsewhere. The edits in the post referred to above, among others, are clearly "revisionist" in the terms of the rule, but no one has ever warned me about them. But a post with a similarly edited block structure in ATM might well earn one. If someone is banned in ATM for revisionism, I should be too.

So I would greatly welcome a more nuanced rule, which couldn't do better than incorporate the examples you gave, in my opinion.


I think this practice will actually help increase a user's credibility (or at least it does in my mind) because it demonstrates the fact that the user takes seriously the information they provide.By this point, nothing I do will increase my credibility. :)

pumpkinpie
2005-Sep-27, 04:13 PM
This thread is for making comments on the rules. Did we forget something? Is there something that needs to be more specific, or less specific? We're willing to listen.

You might want to define "trolling." In rule 9 you say hit-and-run posting is barely above trolling. I'm sure most people know what that means, but some who don't spend as much time on bulletin boards may not have encountered that term, and could be confused.

Robert Andersson
2005-Sep-27, 07:13 PM
You might want to define "trolling." In rule 9 you say hit-and-run posting is barely above trolling. I'm sure most people know what that means, but some who don't spend as much time on bulletin boards may not have encountered that term, and could be confused.
Might be enought with a link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll
Or, the more strict definition http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/T/troll.html

Mosheh Thezion
2005-Sep-28, 11:00 PM
I just think it was better when people we told to be nice to each other.

rather than...
told that its ok to attack people, and so, expect to be attacked.

-MT

Wolverine
2005-Sep-28, 11:15 PM
I just think it was better when people we told to be nice to each other.

rather than...
told that its ok to attack people, and so, expect to be attacked.

It's not okay to attack people. It is ok to attack ideas. Please note the difference.

Donnie B.
2005-Sep-29, 12:39 AM
For example, if a poster keeps making claims based on the idea that 1 + 1 = 3 in base 10, then eventually it would be proper and fitting for that poster to receive a recommendation that a refresher on arithmetic would be in order.Uh... is there a base in which 1 + 1 does equal 3? :think:

I can only think of one base in which 1 + 1 = [something other than 2]...

Maksutov
2005-Sep-29, 01:16 AM
Uh... is there a base in which 1 + 1 does equal 3? :think:

I can only think of one base in which 1 + 1 = [something other than 2]...Good question. I usually specify which base I'm working in when posting simple arithmetic since someone will invariably ask "what base is that?"

I wonder if employing continuous rather than integer variables, i.e., use fractional base and a fractional number of digits would allow for such a formula.

Then again a large, custom base that used non-tradition orders of symbols could achieve this result rather easily, such as this version of base 36: 0,1,3,5,7,9,2,4,6,8,A,B,C,D...Z, where 1 + 1 = 3, 1 + 3 = 5, and 1 + Z = 10.

Donnie B.
2005-Sep-29, 01:26 AM
Well, I was hoping we wouldn't get to the point of redefining '1', '3', '+', or '='. If we start down that road, it'll get hard to communicate at all pretty quickly. :silenced:

Maksutov
2005-Sep-29, 01:33 AM
Well, I was hoping we wouldn't get to the point of redefining '1', '3', '+', or '='. If we start down that road, it'll get hard to communicate at all pretty quickly. :silenced:Agreed. Even when reading hexadecimal, I still have an ambivalent view of the the letter 'A", and so on!

Any more "special" or "double purpose" symbols and it's all Joyce to me! See you at the "Wake"! http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/566/iconwink6tn.gif

bearcub
2005-Sep-29, 09:03 PM
Back on topic.

I'd like to suggest adding a line to #10 covering "retired" usernames. There are a lot of folks here unfamiliar with the kilopi limit (assuming that the practice will continue) and regard switching to a new username to be a violaton of the rules.

Astrobairn
2005-Sep-29, 09:30 PM
Think of the language used on TV during an after-school special and you'll get the idea.

So should every thread finish "We learned something today......" ;)

Beyond that what language is acceptable for attacking an idea. I's clear that calling an arguement stupid is too far but outlandish?

publiusr
2005-Sep-29, 09:42 PM
I try to give examples--like the Santorum/AccuWeather Bill--to deflate ideas like "NASA hurts jobs worse than it helps them" or such. There are many examples (non space related) about how private industry dosesn't always help and Gov't always hurt. Lou Dobbs is good on that.

I usually try some humor from time to time. I'll leave it to you to see how good that is :}

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Sep-29, 10:12 PM
I'd like to suggest adding a line to #10 covering "retired" usernames. There are a lot of folks here unfamiliar with the kilopi limit (assuming that the practice will continue) and regard switching to a new username to be a violaton of the rules.

I personally frown on changing names, as that can make it hard to keep track of people. I allowed it on BA only grudgingly, and here on BAUT I think people should get one name and stick with it.

Moose
2005-Sep-29, 10:30 PM
One way, IMO, to handle kilopi would be to add a kilopi smiley to which folks could link from their signatures. Multiple smileys for multiple multiples. Or something.

Ari Jokimaki
2005-Sep-30, 07:49 AM
Regarding rule #2, sometimes in BAUT discussions people who are not members here (Richard Hoagland for example) get insulted. I don't know how others feel about this, but I find it very annoying. So, I'm just wondering if it would be a good idea to include a mention about that to rule #2.

Jens
2005-Sep-30, 08:11 AM
I also have a little bit of trouble with the rule that you have to answer questions. It's a good rule, generally, but one might misunderstand that you have to give a correct answer to every question, which means theoretically that a person who doesn't like you could get you banned just by asking a series of really hard questions. I don't think it would be a bad idea to add something like, "If you don't know the answer, admit it."

Mosheh Thezion
2005-Sep-30, 08:53 AM
Very good, and when all else fails.. we just re-write history.
wwoops didnt notice the split.. and usually there is also a danger of putting one foot in ones mouth.
-MT

Maksutov
2005-Sep-30, 09:26 AM
I also have a little bit of trouble with the rule that you have to answer questions. It's a good rule, generally, but one might misunderstand that you have to give a correct answer to every question, which means theoretically that a person who doesn't like you could get you banned just by asking a series of really hard questions. I don't think it would be a bad idea to add something like, "If you don't know the answer, admit it."Already considered and answered here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=565163&postcount=9), as well as in Item 8 of the Advice for ATM theory supporters.


8. You’re going to be asked tough questions. When someone asks you a question – answer it. If you don’t know the answer – say so.Bottom line is, if you've presented an idea, be prepared to defend it. Questions about the idea need to be answered. If you can't answer a question, then the "I don't know." response is of course perfectly fine. But if too many "I don't knows" start to pile up, then it's probably time to reconsider the posting of your idea, with the option of withdrawing it for further work. Items 19 and 21 of the referenced thread are pertinent here:


19. Be willing to modify your views.
21. You need more data. All scientists need more data. Remember, if it's your idea, then it's also exclusively your responsibility to explain and defend it.

As Item 1 in the referenced thread says:


1. You’re going to be challenged to defend your statements with evidence.The challenge: a question about your idea. The defense: an answer with evidence.

Maksutov
2005-Sep-30, 09:36 AM
One way, IMO, to handle kilopi would be to add a kilopi smiley to which folks could link from their signatures. Multiple smileys for multiple multiples. Or something.To the best of my knowledge we have only one member who was really involved with changing names at "kilopi".

I support the BA's position re people getting one name and sticking with it.

-Mak (who might have been Catadioptric/Cassegrain/Maksutov by now) http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/566/iconwink6tn.gif

Glom
2005-Sep-30, 10:08 AM
How about a rule that Glom is allowed to make as many politically inflammatory comments as he likes but no-one is allowed to make them back? What? No? You people are so intolerant. ;)

Okay, about rule 13.


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

I understand the spirit of this and my concern is probably baseless on this forum, which is a shining beacon of the principles of scientific Enlightenment that have been lost in the world. My concern is that in other places, some people have tried to assert that legitimate arguments have been long debunked when in fact they haven't, based on the notion that supposedly the Establishment does not accept them. I think you all know to what I'm referring. They say the science is settled on something and then say that any further discussion should not be allowed. Of course, I have never experienced anything remotely like this on this forum so I know I have nothing to worry about.

Jens
2005-Sep-30, 10:37 AM
Bottom line is, if you've presented an idea, be prepared to defend it. Questions about the idea need to be answered. If you can't answer a question, then the "I don't know." response is of course perfectly fine. But if too many "I don't knows" start to pile up, then it's probably time to reconsider the posting of your idea, with the option of withdrawing it for further work. Items 19 and 21 of the referenced thread are pertinent here:


As long as that's clear, I have no problem with it. I don't think there's anything wrong about tough questioning, in fact I think it's necessary for progress in science, so no argument there. The only thing I'm pointing out is that people should understand that there is a "graceful exit" available, that you are free, upon finding problems, to say, "You're right, I'll have to go back and reconsider things," and that posting a theory which turns out to be flaws doesn't mean banning as long as you are willing to recognize that.

Moose
2005-Sep-30, 11:24 AM
I understand the spirit of this and my concern is probably baseless on this forum, which is a shining beacon of the principles of scientific Enlightenment that have been lost in the world.

Yeah, the thing to remember is that in actual practice, this rule has never really kicked in before the 20th-30th page of obstinacy.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Sep-30, 01:33 PM
Bottom line is, if you've presented an idea, be prepared to defend it. Questions about the idea need to be answered. If you can't answer a question, then the "I don't know." response is of course perfectly fine. But if too many "I don't knows" start to pile up, then it's probably time to reconsider the posting of your idea, with the option of withdrawing it for further work.For me, it's not the piling of "I don't knows" that's annoying. It's when people simply dodge all inconvenient questions, by ignoring them or changing the subject.
P.S. But I think this is difficult to legislate.

Nereid
2005-Sep-30, 01:55 PM
Michael Mozina, in this ATM thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=32868&page=1&pp=30), commented as follows (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=568582&postcount=75) on the rules (my bold):
I'm also frustrated about this whole notion of suggesting that I can't question the gas model based on these images. That is highly unusual in a scientific setting. You've setup a scenario here where I'm handed a billion and three pet "issues" that anyone and everyone is welcome to throw at me, while I can't ask anyone any questions or expect any answers to these observations from a gas model perspective. How is that a fair debate?

This process looks suspiciously "religious-like" in nature. What you are saying is more or less akin to being told I can't question your "sacred" beliefs, but you get to pick my ideas apart any way you'd like. That isn't scientifically fair IMO, nor is that a sound or standard scientific approach to scientific debate about competing theories. There are supposed to be no "sacred" theories in science, but this "method" you are insisting on imposing rigidly now makes the gas model a "sacred cow" that is somehow above scientific reproach or scrutiny.

I need to stop for awhile and decide the usefulness of trying to have a serious scientific debate about this issue given such unequal settings, and highly unusual limitations, and the constant ignoring of the answers I give as though I've never answered anything and we have start over again.

I'll post the image pixel sizes from the first few images from my website when I've decided if and how I'd like to continue this discussion on this forum given such *severe* limits on free speech and the unusual deviation from standard scientific method that has been adopted here. It's pretty clear from your last few posts and Dwayne's last few posts that things need to cool off a bit anyway. Let's all take a deep breath and think about what we all want to achieve here. I want to talk about these observations and debate them openly. You seem to want to put me under a microscope and take pot shots at anything you think I might not be able to asnwer yet avoid any direct questions about these images based on gas model theories. I don't see how that is going to produce a fair and open debate about competing ideas and models. It's more like a firing squad where no one has to explain anything from a gas model perspective, but I have to explain absolutely EVERYTHING in my model. Its all one way, and it's not an open debate. Is that really the environment you want to create here? Do you really think any single indivual or small groups of individuals could adequately address even just the images I put on my website, let alone explain how fusion ties into the gas model and how magnetic flux ropes form and that list Dwayne through at me using the gas model? Even many professional astronomers have avoided explaining the observations on my website using gas model theories, demonstrating that even experts can't answer every question posed to them using their model, but you are expecting this of me on any and every subject you toss my way. That is simply unfair and unscientific IMO. I came here for an open debate of these ideas but it looks more like a duck hunt and any theory deamed "ATM" automatically becomes the sitting duck.

Wolverine
2005-Oct-01, 05:16 AM
Regarding rule #2, sometimes in BAUT discussions people who are not members here (Richard Hoagland for example) get insulted. I don't know how others feel about this, but I find it very annoying. So, I'm just wondering if it would be a good idea to include a mention about that to rule #2.

This is a fair point. Granted, wiggle room has been allowed in discussions of individuals positing utterly egregious claims (e.g. Lieder, Hoagland, etc.), and in such cases I'd contend harsh criticisms of psuedoscientists have been well-earned. People do need to refrain from ad-hominem attacks, however, no matter how outlandish the subject matter. FWIW, I dispatched a PM the other day to a new user who'd included an ad-hom directed at RCH.

hhEb09'1
2005-Oct-01, 11:35 AM
To the best of my knowledge we have only one member who was really involved with changing names at "kilopi".There were three, maybe four if you count someone who changed their name but didn't continue with it. A couple more changed after a couple thousand posts, and many others changed after a significant number of posts.

Maksutov
2005-Oct-01, 11:58 AM
Michael Mozina, in this ATM thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=32868&page=1&pp=30), commented as follows (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=568582&postcount=75) on the rules (my bold):
I'm also frustrated about this whole notion of suggesting that I can't question the gas model based on these images. That is highly unusual in a scientific setting. You've setup a scenario here where I'm handed a billion and three pet "issues" that anyone and everyone is welcome to throw at me, while I can't ask anyone any questions or expect any answers to these observations from a gas model perspective. How is that a fair debate?

This process looks suspiciously "religious-like" in nature. What you are saying is more or less akin to being told I can't question your "sacred" beliefs, but you get to pick my ideas apart any way you'd like. That isn't scientifically fair IMO, nor is that a sound or standard scientific approach to scientific debate about competing theories. There are supposed to be no "sacred" theories in science, but this "method" you are insisting on imposing rigidly now makes the gas model a "sacred cow" that is somehow above scientific reproach or scrutiny.

I need to stop for awhile and decide the usefulness of trying to have a serious scientific debate about this issue given such unequal settings, and highly unusual limitations, and the constant ignoring of the answers I give as though I've never answered anything and we have start over again.

I'll post the image pixel sizes from the first few images from my website when I've decided if and how I'd like to continue this discussion on this forum given such *severe* limits on free speech and the unusual deviation from standard scientific method that has been adopted here. It's pretty clear from your last few posts and Dwayne's last few posts that things need to cool off a bit anyway. Let's all take a deep breath and think about what we all want to achieve here. I want to talk about these observations and debate them openly. You seem to want to put me under a microscope and take pot shots at anything you think I might not be able to asnwer yet avoid any direct questions about these images based on gas model theories. I don't see how that is going to produce a fair and open debate about competing ideas and models. It's more like a firing squad where no one has to explain anything from a gas model perspective, but I have to explain absolutely EVERYTHING in my model. Its all one way, and it's not an open debate. Is that really the environment you want to create here? Do you really think any single indivual or small groups of individuals could adequately address even just the images I put on my website, let alone explain how fusion ties into the gas model and how magnetic flux ropes form and that list Dwayne through at me using the gas model? Even many professional astronomers have avoided explaining the observations on my website using gas model theories, demonstrating that even experts can't answer every question posed to them using their model, but you are expecting this of me on any and every subject you toss my way. That is simply unfair and unscientific IMO. I came here for an open debate of these ideas but it looks more like a duck hunt and any theory deamed "ATM" automatically becomes the sitting duck.What's the problem?

Besides Moz doing the usual complaining about how he's a victim?

If he responded to one of the "billion and three pet 'issues'" (good to see he's not exaggerating) with a straightforward, evidence-laden answer, then the discussion might move on.

Instead he retreats into the usual ATM position of being some kind of victim or self-styled martyr (i.e., "anyone and everyone is welcome to throw at me, while I can't ask anyone any questions or expect any answers").

Another typical aspect of the ATM retreat is the claim that "This process looks suspiciously "religious-like" in nature." It's the old "I'm up against dogma/the system/the establishment/"the man" baloney, which is designed to shift the focus from what the ATMer is claiming to how the ATMer is being treated.

This invariably leads to the old "I'm being suppressed and therefore I'm right!" claim. This is usually coupled with comments about the rabble the "advanced thinker" has to deal with.


I need to stop for awhile and decide the usefulness of trying to have a serious scientific debate about this issue given such unequal settings, and highly unusual limitations, and the constant ignoring of the answers I give as though I've never answered anything and we have start over again.Same old baloney (no matter how you slice it) that's been going around for decades. Remember the kid in the playground who took his ball home?

Archer17
2005-Oct-01, 04:46 PM
I have no problem with the rules - I think they are fair and necessary. One thing I would like to comment on is the second paragraph involving warnings:
For most of these rules, the first violation will result in a warning issued via Private Message (PM). If you have PMs turned off, we will issue the warning in the thread. In the case of a second violation, depending upon the severity, the moderators/administrators will issue a more stern warning, or they may ban you temporarily (for a few days), or they may permanently ban you.I believe that if any poster violates the rules all warnings should be public. Two reasons. If, for example, I am rude with poster "A," a public warning will most likely nip it in the bud right there. If done via PM, Poster A or others might be inclined to respond to whatever I posted and run the risk of violating the rules themselves. At the very least it could result in the admins/mods getting barraged with people reporting the same infraction. The other reason is education. Wolverine's post regarding ad hominems involving RCH made me reflect on my past use of the term "quack" regarding one pseudoscience promoter in particular. I don't know if "quack" crosses the line or not, but the fact that I'm not so sure now will help me stick to the particular claims and avoid such unnecessary descriptors in the future.

Maksutov
2005-Oct-01, 09:12 PM
I have no problem with the rules - I think they are fair and necessary. One thing I would like to comment on is the second paragraph involving warnings:I believe that if any poster violates the rules all warnings should be public. Two reasons. If, for example, I am rude with poster "A," a public warning will most likely nip it in the bud right there. If done via PM, Poster A or others might be inclined to respond to whatever I posted and run the risk of violating the rules themselves. At the very least it could result in the admins/mods getting barraged with people reporting the same infraction. The other reason is education. Wolverine's post regarding ad hominems involving RCH made me reflect on my past use of the term "quack" regarding one pseudoscience promoter in particular. I don't know if "quack" crosses the line or not, but the fact that I'm not so sure now will help me stick to the particular claims and avoid such unnecessary descriptors in the future.[/font]Good points about the usefulness of public notification.

Re "quack", I'd say it's appropriate if the HB/CT/ATMer is ducking the issues. http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/566/iconwink6tn.gif

Concerning RCH and appropriate language, heck, just seeing "Hoagland" in a post is enough to get me giggling. :lol:

Jeff Root
2005-Oct-02, 01:04 AM
I haven't read the rules yet, and only the first 5 posts in
this thread, but I have two observations already:

First, I think it is great than an area for discussion of the
rules is available! That would probably have prevented a
lot of grief in some astronomy/Space discussion forums I
participated in. Which leads to my second observation...

The Fido SPACE echo was run for years by a moderator
who was widely respected. She needed to turn the very
successful echo over to a new moderator. One person
campaigned for the job. I tried to convince the long-time
moderator that the guy who was campaigning was a bad
choice. But his campaign was successful and he won the
position. He immediately installed a way-too-long list of
rules, and enforced them as though enforcing rules was
the ultimate reason for being a moderator. He regularly
chewed out new posters for posting slightly off-topic or
other mistakes that seemed to me to be entirely innocent
in many cases. He knew he was right and wouldn't listen
to backtalk. I was temporarily banned from the echo for
what I said to him in e-mail, complaing about his rules.
The echo quickly tanked. In summary, his main problem
was his personality, which is not a problem here, and his
secondary problem was too many rules.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Correction, a while later: If I recall correctly, I was
actually banned for complaining about the moderator's
application of the rules to another poster, not about
the rules themselves.

Candy
2005-Oct-02, 01:08 PM
4. Copyright

Do not post copyrighted material here. This is very serious. It is within the law to post small, relevant quotes, but not whole passages from newspapers, magazines, books, etc. If you do, the post will be deleted, and you will be warned. Do it twice and you will be banned. If you want to reference material somewhere else on the web, give a brief summary and link to the rest. People can go take a look at what you're talking about and then return to discuss it further.

8. Hotlinking

Try to avoid putting in links to images directly from someone else's website. This can add a lot to their bandwidth, and then the host has to pay for it. In other words, if you see an image you like on an astronomy site, put in a link to that site, but don't use the [IMG] tags so the image loads into your post from their site directly. If you really want an image in your post, put it in a public site someplace and link to it from there. One exception would be from sites like NASA or universities, where bandwidth is not such an issue. If you own the image, then you can upload it to the board yourself.

First question: Can I take an image (copyrighted or not) from someone’s website, copy it to my web space, and use [IMG] tags? For all practical purposes, let’s say a whole image or part of an image?

Second question: Does CNN, ABCNews, MSNBC, etc, basically all the big News companies, fall into the same league as NASA or an universities realm of big bandwidth (when using [IMG] tags)?

ToSeek
2005-Oct-02, 02:14 PM
First question: Can I take an image (copyrighted or not) from someone’s website, copy it to my web space, and use [IMG] tags? For all practical purposes, let’s say a whole image or part of an image?

My take: if it's copyrighted, no. Otherwise, okay.


Second question: Does CNN, ABCNews, MSNBC, etc, basically all the big News companies, fall into the same league as NASA or an universities realm of big bandwidth (when using [IMG] tags)?

I don't think it's the big bandwidth realm so much as that NASA and universities put out their material deliberately for educational purposes, so any links to their materials (on a site like this, anyway) further their ends.

The commercial sites all pretty much have advertising around the outskirts of their pages. Linking directly to their materials bypasses one of their main ways of making money off their sites, so it's probably not appreciated.

Robert Andersson
2005-Oct-02, 02:18 PM
First question: Can I take an image (copyrighted or not) from someone’s website, copy it to my web space, and use [IMG] tags? For all practical purposes, let’s say a whole image or part of an image?
Almost any image is copyrighted. What matters is if you have permission to copy it. If you copy something without permission, it can be criminal to provide links to it. If you do have permission, do whatever you like :)

Second question: Does CNN, ABCNews, MSNBC, etc, basically all the big News companies, fall into the same league as NASA or an universities realm of big bandwidth (when using [IMG] tags)?
IMO, hot-linking is mostly a matter of courtesy. There are two aspects:
1) Bandwidth: You can always provide a link, and then the host will loose the bandwidth either way, although the ratio of those who follow it and people looking at the thread is usually less than 1. If the ratio is expected to be low, it might be wise not to hot-link. Then consider how many views it will have relative to what it has in its original context. At BAUT, maybe it will be shown 1000 times in one day, while maybe a million will see it from CNN. In that case I see no problem. On the other hand, a poor geocities site with limited bandwidth, might suffer badly from hot-linking.
2) Copyright: The owner might not want the image to be shown in other contexts than the original...

In the end of the day, I think it comes down to common sense. Personally I would prefer more hot-linking, since I hate have to follow links everywhere, but that's just me :)

Candy
2005-Oct-02, 02:41 PM
Okay, I'm still confused.

After reading the rules, I started copying an image (from a small site) to my webspace. I did this to not use their bandwidth. I used mine.

I assumed hot linking an image from a big worldwide company would be okay, provided I add a link to the article. I did this thinking CNN or ABCNews (ATT Worldnet) were companies that fell into the league of NASA.


One exception would be from sites like NASA or universities, where bandwidth is not such an issue.
To me, this means big businesses, not necessarily educating people. If you want to think of it as educational, then isn't that what Worldwide News Websites are attempting to accomplish, too? :)

Fraser
2005-Oct-02, 06:04 PM
You shouldn't ever post an image directly from another site. You should post a link to a page that contains the image. If people want to see it, they can click to see the page that contains the image and see it in context. It's partly a courtesy thing, and partly a copyright issue.

If you're storing an image locally, the original source loses the ability to modify the image and have it be updated directly. If you paste a link to their image only, you're not letting people see the page that the image was stored in (it's rude). And if you paste the link directly into a forum page, you're making every person who loads the page also load the image. It's a severe bandwidth hog, and considered very rude.

Candy
2005-Oct-02, 08:51 PM
You shouldn't ever post an image directly from another site. You should post a link to a page that contains the image. If people want to see it, they can click to see the page that contains the image and see it in context. It's partly a courtesy thing, and partly a copyright issue.

If you're storing an image locally, the original source loses the ability to modify the image and have it be updated directly. If you paste a link to their image only, you're not letting people see the page that the image was stored in (it's rude). And if you paste the link directly into a forum page, you're making every person who loads the page also load the image. It's a severe bandwidth hog, and considered very rude.

Basically, don't load an image to BAUT ever, even if it is from NASA.

1. Each viewer is using their bandwidth to load the thread. Downloading each page with images is cumbersome and considered rude.
2. Using [IMG] tags is a copyright violation, unless given permission. Even then so, see 1.
3. The only images one should even post are images owned by the poster. Even then so, see 1.

Wow, I can think of a few posters that often use [IMG] tagged funny photos to a thread, like Maksutov.

I don’t think I like these rules, but I can live with them. I assume this doesn’t apply to smilies, or am I wrong there, too? :(

Maksutov
2005-Oct-02, 09:05 PM
You shouldn't ever post an image directly from another site. You should post a link to a page that contains the image. If people want to see it, they can click to see the page that contains the image and see it in context. It's partly a courtesy thing, and partly a copyright issue.

If you're storing an image locally, the original source loses the ability to modify the image and have it be updated directly. If you paste a link to their image only, you're not letting people see the page that the image was stored in (it's rude). And if you paste the link directly into a forum page, you're making every person who loads the page also load the image. It's a severe bandwidth hog, and considered very rude.I guess you don't like images, eh?

What I typically post is either a small image itself, i.e. 5K or less or a tiny thumbnail linking to an image service site. The thumbnail gives the reader the option of clicking on it to see the larger image, or not.The images are either mine or in the public domain.

But if images are verboten (including, it would appear, custom avatars (so long, T. Rex)), then I'll say goodbye to such things and probably significantly decrease my participation in this board.

R.A.F.
2005-Oct-02, 09:26 PM
Ok..now I'm confused as to what is and what is not allowed here...image wise, that is...

Could someone "dumb it down" for me??

Wolverine
2005-Oct-02, 09:42 PM
Whoa, time-out... it seems we have a simple misunderstanding here. No need to get upset.

There's nothing wrong with using dedicated services like Imageshack to host thumbnails/pictures which are public domain, like Maksutov and others have done in the past (I know Mak and other folks create their own from time to time as well). I've used it repeatedly to display my own photographs and such, as I've very limited personal hosting space. The thumbnail feature it offers is nice because it allows users the option of clicking on the photo or not, which is especially courteous to dial-up users.

This is fine:

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/6466/sunset7185ai.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sunset7185ai.jpg)

The issue of hotlinking images from news services is what prompted this discussion, as I'd sent Candy a private message about it. Regardless of the fact that they may have adequate bandwidth, it's still an inconsiderate practice, and such images are copyrighted. When linking to a news story, what you should do is simply include a url to the originating page and not hotlink the image. Viewers can see the picture(s) if they click on the link. You should not take images from media sites and upload them to Imageshack or your own personal webspace to get around the hotlink request present in the FAQ, again, because the images are copyrighted.

Including smilies of one's own design, public domain, or from the emoticon sites which explicitly allow for their emotes to be linked to directly is okay.

Let's not make this harder than it needs to be.

Candy
2005-Oct-02, 09:55 PM
Whoa, time-out... it seems we have a simple misunderstanding here. No need to get upset.

There's nothing wrong with using dedicated services like Imageshack to host thumbnails/pictures which are public domain, like Maksutov and others have done in the past (I know Mak and other folks create their own from time to time as well). I've used it repeatedly to display my own photographs and such, as I've very limited personal hosting space. The thumbnail feature it offers is nice because it allows users the option of clicking on the photo or not, which is especially courteous to dial-up users.

This is fine:

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/6466/sunset7185ai.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sunset7185ai.jpg)

The issue of hotlinking images from news services is what prompted this discussion, as I'd sent Candy a private message about it. Regardless of the fact that they may have adequate bandwidth, it's still an inconsiderate practice, and such images are copyrighted. When linking to a news story, what you should do is simply include a url to the originating page and not hotlink the image. Viewers can see the picture(s) if they click on the link. You should not take images from media sites and upload them to Imageshack or your own personal webspace to get around the hotlink request present in the FAQ, again, because the images are copyrighted.

Including smilies of one's own design, public domain, or from the emoticon sites which explicitly allow for their emotes to be linked to directly is okay.

Let's not make this harder than it needs to be.
I have ATT Worldnet, and they give me huge amounts of personal webspace. I don't have an option to convert my photos into a thumbnail. I assume it is okay to post as I have been in the past with my photos. I just won't hotlink to a news article's photo any longer.

What's considered a public domain? Google Images?

I have dial-up, and I don't mind downloading another's images (included in a thread). Especially, Mak's, because they make me laugh. It's the price I pay to enjoy life a little.

Wolverine
2005-Oct-02, 10:14 PM
What's considered a public domain? Google Images?

No, Google images are still subject to copyright -- the search engine just compiles them from various web sources. See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain) for more on public domain.

Candy
2005-Oct-02, 10:44 PM
No, Google images are still subject to copyright -- the search engine just compiles them from various web sources. See here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain) for more on public domain.
Inline Linking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inline_linking)

Thumbnails (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumbnail)

Fair use on the Internet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_on_the_Internet)

A recent court case, Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation, provides and develops the relationship between thumbnails, inline linking and fair use. In the lower District Court case on a motion for summary judgment Arriba Soft was found to have violated copyright without a fair use defense in the use of thumbnail pictures and inline linking from Kelly's website in Arriba's image search engine. That decision was appealed and contested by Internet rights activists such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who argued that it is clearly covered under fair use. On appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the thumbnails were fair use and remanded the case to the lower court for trial after issuing a revised opinion on July 7, 2003. The remaining issues were resolved with a default judgement after Arriba Soft had experienced significant financial problems and failed to reach a negotiated settlement.
I see thumbnails fall into the category that I had concern about (inline linking), so I believe I will be okay with my future posting style.

If I have questions of wrong or right, I will just PM a moderator or administrator (based on who's online) for direction. :)

Thank you, Wolverine, for the link.

Nereid
2005-Oct-03, 12:38 AM
... which apply (particularly?) to images.

For example, Hubblesite/newscenter (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/): here is what their copyright page (http://hubblesite.org/copyright/) says (extract):
Copyright Notice Material credited to STScI on this site was created, authored, and/or prepared for NASA under Contract NAS5-26555. Unless otherwise specifically stated, no claim to copyright is being asserted by STScI and it may be freely used as in the public domain in accordance with NASA's contract. However, it is requested that in any subsequent use of this work NASA and STScI be given appropriate acknowledgement. STScI further requests voluntary reporting of all use, derivative creation, and other alteration of this work. Such reporting should be sent to copyright@stsci.edu.

This site also contains material generated, authored and/or prepared by individuals or institutions other than STScI, and those individuals or institutions may claim copyright. Should you desire use of such material at this time, inquiries should be made to those individuals and institutions in accordance with the following:

A catalogue of HST publicly released images on this site may be found at the following location: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/. If the credit line for an image lists STScI as the source, the image may be freely used as in the public domain as noted above. However, for credit lines listing individuals from other institutions, you will need to contact that institution listed in the credit line to advise you on the copyright policy for that image. If the individual listed in the credit line is a member of the American Astronomical Society you can obtain their contact information from (https://members.aas.org/directory/directory.cfm)So, if you have an image you wish to use - in one way or another - on a (public) website (generally, not specifically BAUT), there will likely be a statement, by the image owner, on what they want you do you re (public) re-use - prohibited, acknowledge source (sometimes, with specific words), only commercial use prohibited, whatever.

In my experience, publicly funded agencies, those whose mandate is education, etc actively encourage non-commercial re-use of materials, provided appropriate acknowledgement of the source is given, and provided it's of the 'extract+link' kind.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Oct-03, 02:18 PM
Something else to ponder about? Where to place that fuzzy line between 'trolling' and 'humour'? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=570450#post570450)

Van Rijn
2005-Oct-04, 08:56 PM
Something else to ponder about? Where to place that fuzzy line between 'trolling' and 'humour'? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=570450#post570450)

That's a tricky one. In all honesty, I thought the OP was a joke until I saw some of the later comments that cried "trolling" on posts that I thought were just going along with the joke.

Sometimes it is hard to know what to take seriously, and if we assume everything we read is meant seriously this will be a very dull board.

I think it will come down to a case by case determination depending on posters' intentions.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Oct-06, 03:43 PM
I have another question. The rules of the old BABB included a "three strikes, you're out" policy, except for blatant violations of the rules, such as spamming or using sock puppets. The new rules are not as clear about how much tolerance there will be for infractions.

peter eldergill
2005-Oct-06, 04:01 PM
I thought the "photos" were hilarious. I don't know why the poster (JHotz, I think) got so upset...

Pete

Disinfo Agent
2005-Oct-06, 04:51 PM
I agree with you, but I thought it was still an issue worth raising. I remember a discussion on the BABB about whether people should stop using the word "woowoo".

Arneb
2005-Oct-06, 07:07 PM
Copyright Notice Material credited to STScI on this site was created, authored, and/or prepared for NASA under Contract NAS5-26555. Unless otherwise specifically stated, no claim to copyright is being asserted by STScI and it may be freely used as in the public domain in accordance with NASA's contract. However, it is requested that in any subsequent use of this work NASA and STScI be given appropriate acknowledgement. STScI further requests voluntary reporting of all use, derivative creation, and other alteration of this work. Such reporting should be sent to copyright@stsci.edu.

This site also contains material generated, authored and/or prepared by individuals or institutions other than STScI, and those individuals or institutions may claim copyright. Should you desire use of such material at this time, inquiries should be made to those individuals and institutions in accordance with the following:

A catalogue of HST publicly released images on this site may be found at the following location: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/. If the credit line for an image lists STScI as the source, the image may be freely used as in the public domain as noted above. However, for credit lines listing individuals from other institutions, you will need to contact that institution listed in the credit line to advise you on the copyright policy for that image. If the individual listed in the credit line is a member of the American Astronomical Society you can obtain their contact information from (https://members.aas.org/directory/directory.cfm)

Many thanks, Wolverine, for your explanation concerning image use. The subsequent quoting of the Hubble image use policy by Nereid (posted again above), gave me cause for thought: according to this statement, our avatars - both Hubble photos with some processing to make them fit into the image size limit - would contravene NASA policy: They are not credited and our manipulations were not reported to NASA. Do you think that would be a problem?

ToSeek
2005-Oct-07, 01:57 PM
I have a feeling that by "use" they mean "practical use." If you're not using it for science, merchandise, or advertising, I doubt it makes a big difference.

Fraser
2005-Oct-07, 02:06 PM
Actually NASA has a very open license. For most of their images, you're free to use them for any purpose whatsoever (including commercial purposes) without asking for permission or paying a license fee. I was very careful to choose only license free images when providing all the free avatars.

agingjb
2005-Nov-11, 10:28 PM
If I get banned, then I assume I can still read posts. But can I still search? And indeed what facilities of the site can I still use?

peter eldergill
2005-Nov-11, 11:09 PM
Are you planning on getting banned?

Pete

agingjb
2005-Nov-11, 11:32 PM
It seems all too easy here, except in what seem to be unique circumstances. I post rarely and read much, but I do see people being warned for critical views expressed in an emphatic manner into which I might easily stray.

TheBlackCat
2005-Nov-12, 06:07 AM
As long as you either have evidence to back up your claims or don't present them as fact then you will be fine. The problem is when someone presents their ideas as fact but either refuses to provide any evidence for them or refuses to acknowledge when all of his or her evidence is refuted. And it does not happen suddenly, they are warned to stop before banning occurs, and even then it is usually just a temporary ban unless the offense is particularly heinous. Follow the rules and you will be fine. But refusing to follow the rules despite being warned to do so is not tolerated by the Mods here.

Candy
2005-Nov-12, 06:14 AM
If I get banned, then I assume I can still read posts. But can I still search? And indeed what facilities of the site can I still use?
Being Banned is the same as Guest status.

peter eldergill
2005-Nov-12, 07:23 AM
I like the temporary banning thing. Permanent bannings should be fairly rare. This would have been a good idea on the old BABB (I think someone here might agree with me ...ahem)

L8R

Pete

agingjb
2005-Nov-13, 11:57 AM
Thanks. I must look up the definition of Guest Status. I'm probably unlikely to say anything that would get me banned, and I'd certainly be happy to remove it if challenged by a moderator. It is, however, very clear that there a puzzling difference in tolerance being shown on this board.

Candy
2005-Nov-13, 01:21 PM
Thanks. I must look up the definition of Guest Status.
Guest status is the status you had before you ever registered. Perhaps, this is a better way for an explanation. Remember the difference as guest compared to being a member?

I like having more moderators. I like this system of banning much better than the old way. I haven't seen a difference in tolerance levels. I haven't really followed much of the threads that seem to generate a banning, either. I learned my lesson already.

Yes, Peter, yes! ;)

Count Zero
2005-Nov-13, 01:30 PM
Congrats on cracking 10,000 Candy!

Candy
2005-Nov-13, 01:41 PM
Thank you, Count Zero. :dance:

The 10,001 post was in a thread about getting banned. :doh:

Nereid
2005-Nov-13, 01:51 PM
[snip]
It is, however, very clear that there a puzzling difference in tolerance being shown on this board.Would you be kind enough to say a little more about this please?

For example, what differences in tolerance have you noticed (other than between the first month and now; in the first month the rules were different)?

agingjb
2005-Nov-13, 02:55 PM
I would have thought that, were I to assert that the moon landings did not take place, to offer no new evidence of this (false) assertion, to demonstrate an invincible ignorance of the basics of physics and astronomy, and to sustain this against a large number and variety of informed rebuttals, then I would be justly banned, swiftly and finally.

montebianco
2005-Nov-13, 03:42 PM
I would have thought that, were I to assert that the moon landings did not take place, to offer no new evidence of this (false) assertion, to demonstrate an invincible ignorance of the basics of physics and astronomy, and to sustain this against a large number and variety of informed rebuttals, then I would be justly banned, swiftly and finally.

And the evidence suggests that you would be, except for the finally part :)

agingjb
2005-Nov-13, 06:27 PM
Ah yes. I see that the evidence has arrived.

montebianco
2005-Nov-13, 06:48 PM
Well, I meant the first banning, but now it looks permanent.

Oh well, he wasn't a big fan of evidence, but at least he was less, shall we say, aggressive, than some of the other folks who cruise through here...

(edited for spelling)

ToSeek
2005-Nov-13, 06:57 PM
I would have thought that, were I to assert that the moon landings did not take place, to offer no new evidence of this (false) assertion, to demonstrate an invincible ignorance of the basics of physics and astronomy, and to sustain this against a large number and variety of informed rebuttals, then I would be justly banned, swiftly and finally.

Keep in mind that, despite the number of posts on that thread, Moon Man was here for only about 72 hours.

I do agree that we had ample reason to ban him from the time I first did so on. I was responding to vox populi, and I'm not sure I'll do that again: rules should be enforced consistently and not relaxed just because someone provokes some desired excitement.

Grey
2005-Nov-14, 04:45 PM
I do agree that we had ample reason to ban him from the time I first did so on. I was responding to vox populi, and I'm not sure I'll do that again: rules should be enforced consistently and not relaxed just because someone provokes some desired excitement.I'd agree with your reasoning there, ToSeek. I know you were trying to make people happy, but I think your first action was correct.

montebianco
2005-Nov-21, 12:54 AM
Since BAUT is a polite forum, is any reference at all to someidiot (http://www.bautforum.com/member.php?u=11317) automatically a rules violation? :)

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Dec-09, 10:00 PM
Folks-

The admins and moderators, after a lengthy discussion, have added a new rule to the board (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=32864). It is Rule 14, "Disruptive Behavior":



14. Disruptive Behavior

The moderators and administrators reserve the right to take action against a poster who is disrupting the normal flow of the board. This includes violations listed in the other rules (trolling, use of ad hominems, posting copyrighted materials, etc.), but may also include behavior we have not yet foreseen. Since this rule is perforce general, we will attempt to correct the problem by warning the violator (via PM, email, or posting in the thread) and giving them a chance to explain themself, and we will take further action only if proven necessary.


If you haven't read the rules in a while, maybe now is a good time to re-familiarize yourself with them.

Thanks,

Phil (on behalf of the BAUT Admin team)

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 03:42 PM
"Themself" is not a word. :) I recommend changing this phrase "giving them a chance to explain themself", to "giving an opportunity for a reasonable explanation", but then I'm just avoiding the studying I need to be doing for finals, so feel free to ignore me. :D

hhEb09'1
2005-Dec-12, 05:29 PM
by warning the violator (via PM, email, or posting in the thread) and giving them a chance to explainYou missed the disagreement between "violator" and "them" SciFi Chick :)

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 06:00 PM
You missed the disagreement between "violator" and "them" SciFi Chick :)

Actually, I didn't. I just didn't want to harp. That's why I rewrote the whole phrase. :D

Edited to add: I always feel so pedantic when I point out errors like that, and I have a tendency to make dumb errors in the process, so I'm always careful before saying anything. :)

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Dec-12, 06:06 PM
Everyone's a critic. :-)

OK, I fixed it. Thanks for the help (seriously).

Wolverine
2005-Dec-12, 06:07 PM
No nouns were harmed in the construction of this FAQ.

hhEb09'1
2005-Dec-12, 06:42 PM
Actually, I didn't. I just didn't want to harp.I should have known better. Sorry. :)

This is an interesting area of grammar evolution/devolution. "They" or "them" or "their" are being used in place of the singular he (him, his) or she (her, hers) because some writers are attempting to be gender neutral.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Dec-12, 06:54 PM
I think it's OK to use "themseves". "He/she" and its variants is awkward.

English is an evolving language, and there are times we should let it change. But that's a bit OT...

hhEb09'1
2005-Dec-12, 06:57 PM
I think it's OK to use "themseves". "He/she" and its variants is awkward.Stop that! I know you're doing that on purpose, but it's riling up all the OCDs on the board.

R.A.F.
2005-Dec-12, 06:58 PM
I think it's OK to use "themseves".

You're the BA...you can use "themseves" any time you want. :)

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 06:59 PM
I should have known better. Sorry. :)

No worries. I'm finally going to be learning about the Big Bang theory next semester. I'm sure there's lots you'll be able to catch me on then. ;)


This is an interesting area of grammar evolution/devolution. "They" or "them" or "their" are being used in place of the singular he (him, his) or she (her, hers) because some writers are attempting to be gender neutral.

Indeed. It's a shame we must be so politically correct. It would be nice if someone could come up with a method that sounded less awkward.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 07:01 PM
I think it's OK to use "themseves". "He/she" and its variants is awkward.

English is an evolving language, and there are times we should let it change. But that's a bit OT...

I agree. I probably would have let it slide if that had been the word used as opposed to one that doesn't exist. ;) Then again, creating new words is part of the evolutionary process of language, so I guess it's six to one, half dozen to the other.

And yeah, it's starting to look like we've lost the plot on this topic. :lol:

Hugh Jass
2005-Dec-12, 07:09 PM
Reading the new rule, it is a bit vague, but is it designed to protect against taking threads hopelessly off topic? For example, any thread that devolves into a grammar vs PC discussion?
BTW how many BA’s does it take to change a light bulb? ;)

NEOWatcher
2005-Dec-12, 07:27 PM
Reading the new rule, it is a bit vague, snip
I don't see any way you can not make it vague. How can you make unknowns clear? Although, it does convey a message of intent.

Gillianren
2005-Dec-12, 10:16 PM
Indeed. It's a shame we must be so politically correct. It would be nice if someone could come up with a method that sounded less awkward.

Many have tried; few have succeeded in getting anyone to pay attention to their solutions.

Isn't there already a rule against taking threads hopelessly off topic?

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 10:19 PM
This is an interesting area of grammar evolution/devolution. "They" or "them" or "their" are being used in place of the singular he (him, his) or she (her, hers) because some writers are attempting to be gender neutral."They" and "their" have been used to refer to persons of unknown sex for centuries. (http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/austheir.html#X1x)

agingjb
2005-Dec-12, 10:23 PM
Hmm. Try: "warning violators ... and giving them a chance to explain their behaviour".

Kaptain K
2005-Dec-13, 08:40 PM
BTW how many BA’s does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one , but the bulb has to be "bad"!

William_Thompson
2005-Dec-16, 07:49 AM
Good rule.

I bit worried that it can open the door to punishing someone for just being human and correcting someone's misstep even if it is off topic.

Another problem I can see is moderators being too subjective in what is thought of as "off topic".

Things could be taken too far end evolve into someone taking action against someone because of personal preference. But I will have faith that this will not happen.

There is an obvious joke I could make here about worrying what I just said now was off topic, but I won't tell it.

George
2005-Dec-16, 10:44 PM
Only one , but the bulb has to be "bad"! :clap: And these are the ones resistant to change.

ToSeek
2005-Dec-16, 11:36 PM
Good rule.

I bit worried that it can open the door to punishing someone for just being human and correcting someone's misstep even if it is off topic.

Another problem I can see is moderators being too subjective in what is thought of as "off topic".

Things could be taken too far end evolve into someone taking action against someone because of personal preference. But I will have faith that this will not happen.

There is an obvious joke I could make here about worrying what I just said now was off topic, but I won't tell it.

Anyone a moderator believes is misbehaving under this rule will be warned and given a chance to correct their behavior before any punitive action is taken.

howard2
2005-Dec-19, 01:40 AM
For the most part it is reasonable...

but the idea that one must answer each and every question put to them, in a timely manner is questionalble... since in many cases the question itself is flawed due to a misunderstanding and in answering it.. it is not answered, but is made clear in its relevance to the topic, while still being part of the mystery.
thus your rule that everything must be answered is suspect.. and should i think be reviewed.. and changed to allow more flexibility in discussion.

after all would it be wrong to shut someone down just because they dont have every answer? are we all to be Einsteins now? and pull the knowledge out of a hat?

2) the idea that you would openly state that we should be prepared for.."attacks"
is i think a bad choice of words.. its fundamental in your rules.. which contradicts the basics of calm nice discussions...
attacks are quick and mean.. and have nothing to do with sharing ideas and knowledge.

the survival of the strong and fittest is for the jungle.!

we are supposed to be better than that...
-MT


Yes I agree whole heartedly with your direction. That is the best attitude for allowing ideas to flow,and to maintain the enthusiasm.
May I quote Trenton's first principle: Nothing is absolutely right and nothing is absolutely wrong. but everything is necessary.

We pride ourselves on our democratic values. So here is my definition:
A democratic society gives each member of that society, The Freedom to Make Responsible Choices. Responsible not only to themselves but also to the other members of that society.
Each person must respect other people's freedom to make responsible choices. If you don't agree. Then that is your freedom of choice.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-19, 07:12 AM
We pride ourselves on our democratic values.
To repeat what's often been said, this is not a democracy, it's a Duumvirate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duumvirate)

Candy
2005-Dec-19, 07:14 AM
To repeat what's often been said, this is not a democracy, it's a Duumvirate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duumvirate)
Great link. Short, but sweet. http://www.bautforum.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

Fortunate
2005-Dec-31, 11:33 PM
This is an interesting area of grammar evolution/devolution. "They" or "them" or "their" are being used in place of the singular he (him, his) or she (her, hers) because some writers are attempting to be gender neutral.

Before the days of PC, the word "he" was often used to mean "he/she." This use of the word "he" is still recognized. See definition 2 here (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/he). "They" can also be used in this way. See defintion 1b here (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/they).

sarongsong
2006-Jan-02, 07:02 AM
Why isn't this thread (http://bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=641267#post641267) locked?

mickal555
2006-Jan-02, 07:24 AM
What rule does it break...

I wish it would go away though...

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-02, 07:37 AM
Why isn't this thread (http://bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=641267#post641267) locked?

Exactly why should it be locked?

sarongsong
2006-Jan-02, 08:09 AM
Y'know, this is four people to respond to this post so far, and none of them are Monique.#1...

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-02, 09:22 AM
#1...

How is it breaking a rule to note that?

Or is it breaking a rule for people to post to a thread that's meant for someone else?

I don't mind what the thread has turned into. It's served it's purpose, and people are having fun with it. I really don't see the harm. I also don't see any rules being broken. It's in BABBling, which is meant for, y'know, BABBling.

sarongsong
2006-Jan-02, 09:40 AM
...I don't mind what the thread has turned into. It's served it's purpose...Oh, OK---sorry, missed that detail---nevermind; carry on...

Candy
2006-Jan-03, 07:55 AM
RULES FOR POSTING TO THIS BOARD (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=564845)

If you have PMs...
:whistle:

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 04:43 AM
If your thread starts with ad hominem attacks aka "Have we been conned by Einstein" your thread will be dismissed instantly.
If you link in websites that contain ad hominem attacks you will be banned
If you try to solicit funds for your "experiments" you will be banned.

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-05, 05:45 AM
If you link in websites that contain ad hominem attacks you will be banned


This, I'm skeptical on. While you will probably get a warning or be banned for linking to material that is deemed incredibly offensive without giving prior warning (The heavier the material, the heavier the warning required, I'd think), I highly doubt you'd get banned if you link to, say, a debunking site that is less than polite in its arguments (as long as it's not, say, overboard). 'course, I might be wrong.

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 01:48 PM
The key expression is "ad hominem". Why do I get suspended for posting an attack and one can link in a website that is offensive and hosts MULTIPLE ad hominem attacks. Is this the new face of the PC **?

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 02:08 PM
The key expression is "ad hominem". Why do I get suspended for posting an attack and one can link in a website that is offensive and hosts MULTIPLE ad hominem attacks. Is this the new face of the PC **?

Because posting attacks is specifically against the rules of the forum. If you don't want to get suspended, don't post attacks.


If your thread starts with ad hominem attacks aka "Have we been conned by Einstein" your thread will be dismissed instantly.

As it should be. BAUT posters are required to be civil at all times as a condition of posting here. If you wish to post ad homs, there are plenty of places on the net where it's not only permitted, but highly encouraged. Feel free to join one of those places and say what you like, how you like.

As for this:

If you link in websites that contain ad hominem attacks you will be banned

This statement is a direct contradiction of this:


and one can link in a website that is offensive and hosts MULTIPLE ad hominem attacks

Since you're complaining bitterly about both sides of the very same coin, I can only assume you're randomly lashing out over your suspension. As there's no basis to respond, I won't.


If you try to solicit funds for your "experiments" you will be banned.

Wrong. If you try to scam the board owners out of their cut of the site's advertising revenue, you will be banned. And rightly so.

If you want to advertize here, you have two options:

1) Contact Google. Give them money. They'll include your ad in the rotation while giving Phil and Fraser a cut of that money, which will be used to keep the site running. Everybody wins.

2) Contact Phil and/or Fraser. Give them money. They'll cut open a space for your ad. The money you give them will be used to keep the site running. Everybody wins.

See the common theme here?

Frankly, you're in a right snit because you can't seem to accept that the rules apply to you too. You remind me of that brunette in the Ford Focus commercial who rolls her eyes while running people over on the sidewalk because she's too special and too much in a hurry to wait for a traffic light.

01101001
2006-Jan-05, 03:17 PM
Since you're complaining bitterly about both sides of the very same coin, I can only assume you're randomly lashing out over your suspension.
[...]
If you want to advertize here, you have two options:

Moose, I think you read clj4 wrong. I appears to me that the statements in Post 93 (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=644206&postcount=93) are proposals for rules. Two of your responses don't make sense in that light.

A) It's not complaining about both sides, if 1) proposing what should happen and 2) stating what does happen, are in contradiction.

B) Far as I can tell clj4 does not want to advertize here -- and doesn't want to see others soliciting funds.

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 03:21 PM
Moose, I think that you are not getting it:
I am AGAINST personal attacks. What gets me is the double-standard exhibited by this site when it comes to calling the attackers on what they are doing.
If I were to believe what you are saying, it is perfectly ok to smear recognized scientists and proven theories with impunity.

"01101001" got it right. Thank you for your help in setting Moose right.
As an aside, what got me suspended was calling a guy who was soliciting funds for a phony experiment (one that would prove how "wrong" special relativity is) a crook.

Fram
2006-Jan-05, 03:34 PM
cl14, smearing theories (which can't be proven, even though some are probably basically correct, e.g. evolution) is allowed and isn't ad hominem, ever. Still, you are supposed on this board to back up any attack on a mainstream theory with facts, or admit that it is just a hunch and you have no serious arguments.
Furthermore, not all attacks on a person are ad hominems. If someone can show why he thinks that Einstein has conned us (e.g. a letter from him stating that "haha, I fooled them all"), then it isn't an ad hominem attack to do so. Similarly, if someone tells a blatant lie (like saying (I never claimed X or Y), then pointing that out isn't an ad hominem attack either, if you can show where and how the person lied.
On the other hand, saying "Einstein conned us" and then only trying to show that his theory is wrong, but not that he willingly or knowingly misled us, is indeed an ad hominem.

Another point: I don't think it is allowed to put a link to your own website, and then putting on that website "The BA stinks" (sorry BA, just giving an example). But linking to a third party website that contains ad hominems (say, Hoagland's website, or GLP) is something else. Although in the latter case it is best to warn people that the link can cause permanent brain damage, it can hardly be forbidden to link to that site, if it is pertinent to a discussion.
Of course, linking to shock sites, porn, or other unacceptable sites (for this board) is still forbidden, and has resulted in warnings yet. So basically I see no double standard.
To give one more example: if you would write :"Neil Armstrong is a nitwit", then you would use an ad hominem and have to face the repercussions. On the other hand, if you report on Bart Sibrel and quote him saying "Neil Armstrong is a nitwit", then you are not using an ad hominem (unless you continue with 'and I agree' of course).
The line between the acceptable and the unacceptable is of course not that clear as I try to show here, but I do think that most people know when they have gone too far and crossed it. And when in doubt, ask a moderator.

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 04:42 PM
Moose, I think that you are not getting it:
I am AGAINST personal attacks. What gets me is the double-standard exhibited by this site when it comes to calling the attackers on what they are doing.

Ah. Gotcha. My apologies.


If I were to believe what you are saying, it is perfectly ok to smear recognized scientists and proven theories with impunity.

It's okay to criticize recognized scientists and proven theories so long as you can back up what you're saying.

Take Richard Feynman, for example. The man is undoubtedly brilliant, but perhaps at least somewhat naive. He uses metaphysical terms when describing evolution that I feel contributes to the layperson's confusion and plays right into the hands of the anti-science crowd.

During the Dover trial, Michael Behe tried to play on Feynman's metaphor (by selectively interpreting Feynman's words literally). That it ended up having no signficant impact on the trial was more a reflection of Behe's dismal performance as an "expert" witness than it was of how much or little opportunity for mischief was opened by Feynman's words.

Now. In those two paragraphs, it could be said (by the dishonest) that I've ad-hommed Behe and even Feynman. I didn't. Criticism is fine, so long as you're describing the argument/behavior, and not the person.


"01101001" got it right. Thank you for your help in setting Moose right.

I'm glad for the correction.


As an aside, what got me suspended was calling a guy who was soliciting funds for a phony experiment (one that would prove how "wrong" special relativity is) a crook.

Right. Whether or not it's accurate (and I don't have a horse in that race), that's a fairly clear ad-hom.

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 04:50 PM
OK, so do we adjust the rules or not? Where is this discussion leading?

For example , should the thread listed below be closed?

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=36020

Note the:
-offensive title and content
-indefinite circular argument

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 05:01 PM
*shrug* It's up to the admin, but I don't really see any reason to amend the rules. It's pretty much all covered, both in writing and in practice.

The rules are there. They just need to be followed.

As for the thread you've brought up, I don't see that wisp has done anything wrong. He's mistaken, as others have shown, and that's fine in itself. It's never been about shouting down people with alternative ideas.

Again, it's up to the admin, but I don't really see that they'd have any reason to close the thread at this point.

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 05:05 PM
Well, I guess that it is ok to put up a thread entitled (for example): "Are we being Conned by the Bad Astronomer", right? Follows the same logic. Should not result into any punishment , correct?.

Especially if we argue indefinitely that the ridiculous statement in the title is true by throwing in every conceivable argument together with the kitchen sink.

Moose
2006-Jan-05, 05:33 PM
Well, I guess that it is ok to put up a thread entitled (for example): "Are we being Conned by the Bad Astronomer", right? Follows the same logic. Should not result into any punishment , correct?.

There's one sure way to find out.

Such a claim would be easily refuted anyway, considering that BA is in no way asking us for money or material goods.

Wolverine
2006-Jan-05, 08:36 PM
*shrug* It's up to the admin, but I don't really see any reason to amend the rules. It's pretty much all covered, both in writing and in practice.

The rules are there. They just need to be followed.

As for the thread you've brought up, I don't see that wisp has done anything wrong. He's mistaken, as others have shown, and that's fine in itself. It's never been about shouting down people with alternative ideas.

Again, it's up to the admin, but I don't really see that they'd have any reason to close the thread at this point.

Agreed.

HenrikOlsen
2006-Jan-05, 09:29 PM
OK, so do we adjust the rules or not? Where is this discussion leading?

For example , should the thread listed below be closed?

http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=36020

Note the:
-offensive title and content
-indefinite circular argument
If I remember correctly, and I'm not going to read the entier thread again, the original poster has explained that english isn't his first language and he used "conned" without knowing that it implied malicious intent, so the title wasn't intentionally offensive.
If you start a thread titled "Are we being Conned by the Bad Astronomer", it's going to be difficult to argue that offense wasn't intended, which makes the two situations very different.

clj4
2006-Jan-05, 09:41 PM
If I remember correctly, and I'm not going to read the entier thread again, the original poster has explained that english isn't his first language and he used "conned" without knowing that it implied malicious intent, so the title wasn't intentionally offensive.

Excuse me? He is an Englishman.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Jan-05, 10:13 PM
[Snip!]If I remember correctly, and I'm not going to read the entire thread again, the original poster has explained that English isn't his first language and he used "conned" without knowing that it implied malicious intent, so the title wasn't intentionally offensive.[Snip!]
It was Relmuis who felt that the choice of the word "conned" was an unhappy one in post #22 of that thread. In post #26 Relmuis admits that English is not his first language. Of course Relmuis is absolutely correct about the word "conned" having negative connotations.

If you check wisp's profile I think you will infer that English is very probably wisp's primary language; he knew exactly what word he wanted and used it.

Wolverine
2006-Jan-05, 10:31 PM
The most productive, reasonable course of action in this case consists of demonstrating why the poster's arguments are incorrect. While I'm not very fond of the OP's choice of terms in the thread title, there's really nothing actionable in that regard.

clj4
2006-Jan-06, 12:18 AM
The most productive, reasonable course of action in this case consists of demonstrating why the poster's arguments are incorrect.

Several of us did so, for about 3 weeks now. Only to be given circular arguments.


While I'm not very fond of the OP's choice of terms in the thread title, there's really nothing actionable in that regard.

Why not? It is an ad hominem attack.Not against a forum member but against a respected scientist (one of the most respected scientists?). Why allow this ? You've been very quick to warn me, suspend me, etc. You must have received some complaints against these types of threads and against this type of language.....I know of at least one.

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-06, 12:24 AM
At least change the thread title to something less objectionable.

ToSeek
2006-Jan-06, 01:27 AM
It is an ad hominem attack.Not against a forum member but against a respected scientist (one of the most respected scientists?).

No, it's not. An ad hominem attack is along the lines of, "You're an idiot, therefore you must be wrong." That doesn't remotely resemble either the title or the presentation in that thread.

Wolverine
2006-Jan-06, 02:42 AM
Several of us did so, for about 3 weeks now. Only to be given circular arguments.
And the discussion is most helpful in addressing the poster's misconceptions. Most often in these sorts of interactions that's something that cannot be accomplished overnight. The administrators' outlook reflects a position of latitude -- care is taken to ensure that participants follow the forum rules, while leeway is extended to ATM proponents... up to a certain point, at which the mods and admins will intervene, in keeping with the FAQ.

What you're asking us to do isn't reasonable. We encourage participation, not censorship. It is not our aim to go about quelling the discussion of ideas, whether we like them or not.


Why not? It is an ad hominem attack.Not against a forum member but against a respected scientist (one of the most respected scientists?). Why allow this ?
As ToSeek has pointed out above, your assessment isn't correct. While the thread title may be in poor form, it is not actionable.


You've been very quick to warn me, suspend me, etc.
Only because you violated the forum rules. Those apply to everyone here. Had wisp or anyone else behaved in an equally impolite fashion, they too would have been warned and/or suspended accordingly.

Being rude to someone with whom you disagree will not help them understand why their arguments are incorrect; it only serves to exacerbate the situation. Needless to say, we strongly frown on that.


You must have received some complaints against these types of threads and against this type of language.....I know of at least one.
Aside from your report, the only others I've received pertaining to the thread in question concerned your violations of our civility & decorum rules.

The presentation of circular arguments will not be allowed indefinitely. We will review the situation based upon its content and intervene as necessary. In the meantime, I'd place a strong emphasis on patience.

If you objectively examine our actions (look through the banned posters log, for example), you will see we evenly enforce the forum guidelines. I think perhaps you've taken this instance too personally.

clj4
2006-Jan-06, 05:18 AM
The presentation of circular arguments will not be allowed indefinitely. We will review the situation based upon its content and intervene as necessary. In the meantime, I'd place a strong emphasis on patience.

we will see... let's talk 3 months and hundreds of circular arguments from now....

Galactic2000
2006-Jan-23, 01:52 AM
Hi Administrators and Moderators,

I've been on this group for a couple of years now, posting casually.......I must say this is my first time I actually went and read all the forum rules....including some of the banned stuff....WOW!!!

I had no clue how much you all have to deal with on a daily basis.........
This is why the forums are so great...........its you all working hard in the background making it a great place to frequent for all, including myself and my kids.

I have a whole new respect for your efforts...............Keep up the good work! You will always have my support.............

Best Regards,
John

Thomas(believer)
2006-Jan-23, 09:51 PM
When I read the posts in the ATM section and also the special rules for posting in this section, I notice that there is much emphasis on attacking the weak parts of these theories. I don't have the feeling this is a good basis for a constructive discussion.

Maybe the tone should be a different. Something like this:
We will attack all the flaws in your theory with fervour, but you also can be sure that we take the good and interesting elements in your theory very serious, will examine it thoroughly, discuss it with our colleges, etcetera

This sounds more freindly, but also shows the will to build on something.
I agree that it is important to let the people know, you are not going to make it easy for them.

Another point, I mentioned here on this board.
Sometimes it needs controversal ideas to make breakthroughs.
When it is a good contrversal idea, it won't be easy to prove it nor to disprove it. If it could be proven easily from observed data, it would not be a controversal idea, but probably a mainstream idea already.

Maybe you should keep this somewhere in your mind:
Wouldn't it be great if a new meanstream theory was born on this board in the ATM section.

I hope my comments are of any use to this board.

Thomas.

peter eldergill
2006-Jan-24, 04:38 AM
The problem with that occurs when there are many problems....the weakest is the easiest to attack. There need be only 1 error and your whole argument falls apart.

There is a story about a contest to prove Fermat's Last Theorem (it has since been proved). There was prize money to prove it and the reviewers had a form saying something like "Thank you for your submission. Your first error is on page ___ line____. We are returning your transcript without further review after that point"

I suppose they would get thousands of submissions which were not so good

Pete

01101001
2006-Jan-24, 07:38 AM
When I read the posts in the ATM section and also the special rules for posting in this section, I notice that there is much emphasis on attacking the weak parts of these theories. I don't have the feeling this is a good basis for a constructive discussion.

Maybe the tone should be a different. Something like this:
We will attack all the flaws in your theory with fervour, but you also can be sure that we take the good and interesting elements in your theory very serious, will examine it thoroughly, discuss it with our colleges, etcetera
It seems to me like you might have a low opinion of the durability of advocates in Against the Mainstream. How much hand-holding do you think they need?

Anyone who spends a little time here reading some threads should discover that novel good ideas are warmly accepted -- even if they don't inspire expressed affirmative attaboys. If an idea is of high quality, rest assured its audience will use it to our own personal advantage, and share it with others if we see fit -- just like any good idea encountered anywhere. Is that not sufficient?

I just don't see why the official rules should require us to do so, or even give vague promises that we will.


This sounds more freindly, but also shows the will to build on something.
It's a friendly board. It is. No extra friendliness is due to ATM advocates. They are not more fragile than any other participants.

Thomas(believer)
2006-Jan-24, 07:57 PM
There is a story about a contest to prove Fermat's Last Theorem (it has since been proved). There was prize money to prove it and the reviewers had a form saying something like "Thank you for your submission. Your first error is on page ___ line____. We are returning your transcript without further review after that point"
Pete

I think there is a difference between mathematics and physics in ths aspect.
Mathemics is very black and white. Something is proven right or wrong.
In physics you often can speak of a good or a better model. More complete if you like.



It's a friendly board. It is. No extra friendliness is due to ATM advocates. They are not more fragile than any other participants.

I know this is a friendly board, that's why I like to visit it.
It was not my intention to make the people more friendly.
Just the rules.

Nivag
2006-Feb-13, 04:34 AM
I should have known better. Sorry. :)

This is an interesting area of grammar evolution/devolution. "They" or "them" or "their" are being used in place of the singular he (him, his) or she (her, hers) because some writers are attempting to be gender neutral.

I se it more as being "gender apropriate", with the additional benfit that "they, their, & them" apply to one or more people while words like "he, she, him, her, his, & hers" not only specify a particular gender but forces the singular.

Actually I was using "they, their, & them" long before the PC craze came about.


-Nivag

frogesque
2006-Feb-13, 11:17 AM
If in doubt, leave it out.

The sense of it would carry more dynamic weight if it were broken and re-written:

"Since this rule is perforce general, we will attempt to correct the problem by warning the violator (via PM, email, or posting in the thread), giving them a chance to explain. We will take further action only if proven necessary."

However, since this could be construed as disruptive I will simply say, "Good rule!"

Sleepy
2006-Feb-13, 11:53 AM
I always feel so pedantic when I point out errors like that, and I have a tendency to make dumb errors in the processTis one of the fundamental rules of the intenet: when pointing out a grammatical error in anothers posts, you must make an error in yours.

Kesh
2006-Feb-13, 03:33 PM
Good rule.

I bit worried that it can open the door to punishing someone for just being human and correcting someone's misstep even if it is off topic.

Another problem I can see is moderators being too subjective in what is thought of as "off topic".

Things could be taken too far end evolve into someone taking action against someone because of personal preference. But I will have faith that this will not happen.

There is an obvious joke I could make here about worrying what I just said now was off topic, but I won't tell it.
I have a feeling the mods will be looking closely at posts to see if they violate the other 13 rules, and warning the poster in question, before resorting to Rule 14.

It's one of those painfully necessary rules. There's always the person who subtly runs threads off-track without trolling, multi-posts to unrelated threads on a common subject, or generally posts nonsense for their own amusement. Plus, there are other tricks I've seen, such as incredibly huge signature lines (to force people to scroll far too much), or posting copy & paste replies to multiple threads. None of those directly violate the other rules, but are quite disruptive to the community in general.

This rule will help curtail that kind of behavior and, judging from the mods behavior on this board, it will not be used lightly.

Halcyon Dayz
2006-Feb-13, 04:09 PM
It is always convenient to have a Rule #14. :whistle:

nokton
2006-Feb-13, 06:14 PM
Folks-

The admins and moderators, after a lengthy discussion, have added a new rule to the board (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=32864). It is Rule 14, "Disruptive Behavior":



If you haven't read the rules in a while, maybe now is a good time to re-familiarize yourself with them.

Thanks,

Phil (on behalf of the BAUT Admin team)
Read, and as a contributor to this site, think it a wise decision.
Chaos rules in the absence of a formal statement of intent, and the
power to carry out that intent. So is order realised.
Nokton.

Enzp
2006-Feb-14, 04:55 AM
... give violators a chance to explain themselves...

...give a violator the chance to explain...

...give a violator the chance to make an explanation...

etc.

It is rarely difficult to rewrite the sentence in the plural wihtout losing the sense. And if it just has to be in the singular, again it can be restructured without a lot of effort to eliminate the need for a non- specific pronoun.

nokton
2006-Feb-17, 08:07 PM
No worries. I'm finally going to be learning about the Big Bang theory next semester. I'm sure there's lots you'll be able to catch me on then. ;)



Indeed. It's a shame we must be so politically correct. It would be nice if someone could come up with a method that sounded less awkward.
Friend, learning next?, learn now, draw on your current knowledge.
Read and evaluate, your brain is yours for the thinking.
Sorry Scifi If I offend you, politically correct? Give me a prayer.
Is truth denied because of denial of true expression.
God me strength here.
Nokton.

maydaynm
2006-Feb-17, 10:10 PM
OK, Phil - I have detected two errors of your today. First of all, on KMOX radio, you called the Law of Gravity a "theory." That would be a pretty big change from my days of scientific study if you were correct in your reference. How about that?

Secondly, in your verbiage for Rule #14, you used "themself." Ugg - could that possibly be a word? I thought it was themselves or himself or herself or maybe for sake of space him/herself.

I like many of your ideas, but you don't have to bash the faith people in order to do good science. Please remember how often strong scientific evidence has been thoroughly wrong and maybe it will help you with any scientific arrogance with which you might struggle.

The Bad Astronomer
2006-Feb-18, 01:03 AM
OK, Phil - I have detected two errors of your today. First of all, on KMOX radio, you called the Law of Gravity a "theory." That would be a pretty big change from my days of scientific study if you were correct in your reference. How about that?


Gravitational theory is a theory. What would you call it? The "Law of Gravity" is something else entirely (that's Newton's law which is really just a formulation).



Secondly, in your verbiage for Rule #14, you used "themself." Ugg - could that possibly be a word? I thought it was themselves or himself or herself or maybe for sake of space him/herself.


This has been discussed extensively on the first page (in fact, the second post) of this thread.



I like many of your ideas, but you don't have to bash the faith people in order to do good science. Please remember how often strong scientific evidence has been thoroughly wrong and maybe it will help you with any scientific arrogance with which you might struggle.

I don't bash people of faith; I bash creationists, who are wrong. However, this is not the forum nor thread nor even the board to discuss this.

HenrikOlsen
2006-Feb-18, 05:09 AM
Somehow I think rule 14 would be best off as simply "Be nice, or else!", all the things the current rule 14 mention also falls within this one, and it'll cover whatever new irritants posters can invent as well.
It also reflects well back to the (in my memory) rather harmonious time when it was the only rule there was (though the latter half wasn't explicit at the time)

nokton
2006-Feb-18, 06:04 PM
Gravitational theory is a theory. What would you call it? The "Law of Gravity" is something else entirely (that's Newton's law which is really just a formulation).



This has been discussed extensively on the first page (in fact, the second post) of this thread.



I don't bash people of faith; I bash creationists, who are wrong. However, this is not the forum nor thread nor even the board to discuss this.

Phil Plait. Totally agree with your evaluation, but my friend, stop the bus.
Are not creationists people of faith? And is it not so that in any faith there
are ones who interpret their faith to fund their own desire?
With respect, Phil, think this forum is the antitheses of creation thinking,
in that it allows the exploration of new ideas, and questions old assumptions
about beliefs our forefathers held in their misguided search for understanding.
To that end, this forum holds a special place in Mans understanding of truth.
Nokton

Kaptain K
2006-Feb-18, 07:27 PM
Are not creationists people of faith?
Yes, but...
Not all "people of faith" are creationists!
Just as "all dachshunds are dogs" does not mean (or even imply) that "all dogs are dachshunds".

The Bad Astronomer
2006-Feb-19, 07:15 AM
Yup. My point exactly. I am not "bashing" all people of faith. I am taking on one very small subsect of them.

Enough of this here, please. It's off topic, and against the rules.

nokton
2006-Feb-20, 06:01 PM
I think there is a difference between mathematics and physics in ths aspect.
Mathemics is very black and white. Something is proven right or wrong.
In physics you often can speak of a good or a better model. More complete if you like.



I know this is a friendly board, that's why I like to visit it.
It was not my intention to make the people more friendly.
Just the rules.
Yes Fermats theorem has been proved, but not in the way Fermat
proved it, that is my contention, what method of evaluation did Fermat
realise his conclusion????
Nokton.

hhEb09'1
2006-Feb-20, 06:51 PM
Yes Fermats theorem has been proved, but not in the way Fermat
proved it, that is my contention, what method of evaluation did Fermat
realise his conclusion????
This is an older thread (not too old, but the discussion seems to have died out).

Fermat probably did not actually prove it, but thought he did--other mathematicians since have thought they've proven it as well only to find mistakes. We don't know anything at all about his approach, he left no real record of it, although he worked on similar problems.

Thomas(believer)
2006-Feb-20, 09:25 PM
Yes Fermats theorem has been proved, but not in the way Fermat
proved it, that is my contention, what method of evaluation did Fermat
realise his conclusion????
Nokton.

Maybe it took some time in this case, but in the end there is proof.
Unless this proof is going to be proven wrong also, but then it was not proof.
But as I think of it, you do have a good point. Certainly when the proof is very complex. How can you be certain, the proof is correct then? Theoreticly it is possible to don't make mistakes though.

And maybe that is the difference with physics. Because in physics, it is theoreticly not possible to be sure there never will be an observation, which is going to disprove, your idea.

Once you proof something mathematicly the book is closed. While in physics there always will be an open end.

WaxRubiks
2006-Mar-19, 09:28 PM
rule #15 - no catapults

Van Rijn
2006-Mar-31, 10:50 PM
I think this:

http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=715277&postcount=151

http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=715344&postcount=155

http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=715374&postcount=159

http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=715690&postcount=167

warrants discussion.

Obviously there was a misunderstanding, but I do think this requires some clarification for rule purposes. As I see it, a moderator made some comments in a thread (not what I would consider an official moderator action), a poster disagreed publically and got an official warning for being disrespectful. First, I don't see how that is an issue per the rules, and second, I wasn't aware that moderators couldn't be criticized.

Edited to add another relevant post.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-31, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the post.

Moose
2006-Mar-31, 11:14 PM
Uh, yeah. I just read through that thread, and all my concerns about self-moderation have come right back to the forefront. The official warning antoniseb gave Erioica regarding IMO valid criticism regarding antoniseb was way out of line, IMO, and goes right to the core of my earlier concerns about self-moderation. If a warning in that instance was warranted (which I strongly feel it wasn't), it should not have come from antoniseb, but another moderator and confirmed by an admin.

When I expressed my concerns about moderator transparancy shortly after BAUT merged, I was asked (in my perception rather defensively) "don't I trust the mod team" . I repeat my answer: trust must be earned. So must respect.

If anyone should choose to consider my expressing my very real concerns as disrespecting a mod, and choose to exercise the rule about no-public criticism, then I consider the matter important enough to gladly accept my suspension.

In any case: the admin should consider this my appeal and protest of what I see as Eroica's undeserved, and inappropriately delivered warning, and will trust in the admin that the situation will be corrected appropriately.

[Edit: I've used the "report post" feature to request the admins' attention to this matter.]

Musashi
2006-Mar-31, 11:32 PM
I totally agree with Moose's first and last paragraphs, as well as his edit.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-31, 11:48 PM
the admin should consider this my appeal and protest of what I see as Eroica's undeserved, and inappropriately delivered warning, and will trust in the admin that the situation will be corrected appropriately.

This will be in interesting discussion. I believe that Eroica's ad hom attack of me was completely out of place, and we have warned people for less.

Since then Eroica has explained that my original post was misread, and that caused Eroica's ad hom attack. I took that as an apology, and an effort to correct things. No further discussion has happened between myself and Eroica since then, but in other threads we've been interacting like any other two people on the forum.

That being the case, I'm taking your protest as more of a what-if kind of issue as opposed to genuine concern that a terrible miscarriage of justice has been done.

Melusine
2006-Mar-31, 11:49 PM
Quadritto. Van Rijn and Moose make good points. I experienced a case in point recently and it could have been resolved a better way than it was (or wasn't). Moderators, imho, should have more tolerance, not less, and set an example by resolving within the thread...iow, rising to the occasion and letting capable people resolve the issue by themselves. I like the moderators here--they all seem like good, smart people--so I'd hate to see resentment build against them. They should let others mediate their disputes with others. Being able to delete a poster's comment is an unfair advantage, especially when it's unwarranted...these are things to think about.

I work for a corporation all day...I don't want to treat the admins like bosses and come here and feel there's this chain of command/rank and file/Indians and Chiefs thing here. Respect is earned and it should be a bit more fun than work. :)

Fraser
2006-Mar-31, 11:55 PM
I've had a chance to read through the threads, and I think it's a series of miscommunications on top of each other. I'm happy to discuss this as transparently as you like.

At the same time, though, I think that when there are personality clashes, people have the right to deal with it personally. For example, if I've got a problem with someone at work, I'm not going to complain about them in public until I've given them a chance to respond and deal with the situation. Barring that, I'd go to the next stage and complain to their manager. When the conversation is public, it's unfair for the participants and generally makes the whole situation uglier.

Feel free to criticize the forum, our software, the general tone, or even the moderation team in general all you like. But as a favour to me, Phil, and to the volunteer team of moderators who generously give their personal time to make this forum a better place, I ask... no... beg that you don't undermine their morale by criticizing then specifically until we've had a chance to get to the bottom of it and deal with it.

Is that distinction clear enough? And does it explain why we have that info in the rules? If not, fire away, I'm at your disposal, and ready to earn your respect. But you're going to have convince me why you think criticizing people out in public on the forum is a positive thing, and generally improves the forum overall.

Moose
2006-Mar-31, 11:58 PM
That being the case, I'm taking your protest as more of a what-if kind of issue as opposed to genuine concern that a terrible miscarriage of justice has been done.

You may choose to see it that way, but I assure you I consider this a serious matter even if you don't, and have phrased my "report this post" protest to the admin accordingly.

You may consider your action completely under protest.

IMO, you owe Eroica an apology far more than he owed you one, if he owed you one at all. (And it just shows how much class he has that he offered you one. Given your response, I would have stood by the characterization, suspension or no. But then, I've never considered myself classy. So there it is.)

As such, I have asked the admin that the policy about self-moderation be looked into with mind to prevent repetitions, and Eroica's warning publically repealed.

[Edit for typo.]

Moose
2006-Apr-01, 12:02 AM
But as a favour to me, Phil, and to the volunteer team of moderators who generously give their personal time to make this forum a better place, I ask... no... beg that you don't undermine their morale by criticizing then specifically until we've had a chance to get to the bottom of it and deal with it.

It's not an unfair request, but my requests stand: I want antoniseb to apologize to Eroica, and for the warning to be reversed.

Until this happens, I would prefer my protest be public to the extent I've made it.

Fraser
2006-Apr-01, 12:11 AM
Well, as per the forum rules, Antoniseb was justified; and at the same time I can see why you and others would see it as out of line, considering the fact that he was the one being criticized. And I go back to my original comment that this is already blown way out of proportion.

Phil and I will discuss this over with the mods and figure out what's a clearer language for the forum rules, and then anything else that needs to be done from this point on.

Moose
2006-Apr-01, 12:13 AM
But you're going to have convince me why you think criticizing people out in public on the forum is a positive thing, and generally improves the forum overall.

More wood for the fire: can you consider that a rule (such as we have) that basically censors public criticism of mods/admin, and/or your request to do the same when the warnings are embarassingly public is similarly not good for the morale of the participants of this forum? Is this, as you say, a good thing overall?

I've never been a fan of double-standards, and this is just close enough to being one that my skin crawls every time I consider it.

antoniseb
2006-Apr-01, 12:13 AM
I want antoniseb to apologize to Eroica, and for the warning to be reversed. Until this happens, I would prefer my protest be public to the extent I've made it.

I believe I made the right choice. Walk through the sequence of events and show me I didn't and you might change my mind, but I won't be bullied into making a false apology, or reversing myself.

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 12:15 AM
I feel like one of the benefits of having a team of moderators is that they can "proofread" each others works. It did seem like a case of overzealous moderation and then it seemed like a case of "don't criticize me, punk, I have the power to ban you." Bad form. Maybe a better idea would be to have another moderator at least consult on the situation, if not actually make the warning post. If that cannot be done in a timely manner, then maybe a "this post is under consideration by moderation" is a better idea than threatening to ban people. Maybe? I have seen totally unwarranted attacks on a moderator, and they were handled much more appropriately than this one was.

Moose
2006-Apr-01, 12:21 AM
Well, as per the forum rules, Antoniseb was justified; and at the same time I can see why you and others would see it as out of line, considering the fact that he was the one being criticized. And I go back to my original comment that this is already blown way out of proportion.

Perhaps it was then, but given these comments, I feel the extent of my protest is now, and thus has been, entirely justified.

I also now feel an escalation of my protest has become necessary: I am placing myself under a voluntary three-day suspension/strike where I will not visit nor post to BAUT. Fraser, you and Phil consider the matter as you feel you must. I assure you I will be doing the same.

In three days, barring the actions I have requested to redress the immediate problem I feel is getting swept under the rug, I will then consider if I wish to continue being a member here. An action I deeply regret being forced to consider.

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 12:21 AM
Well, as per the forum rules, Antoniseb was justified; and at the same time I can see why you and others would see it as out of line, considering the fact that he was the one being criticized. And I go back to my original comment that this is already blown way out of proportion.

Phil and I will discuss this over with the mods and figure out what's a clearer language for the forum rules, and then anything else that needs to be done from this point on.

I think it would be a much better system to have at least one other moderator look at the offending post(s) before an action is taken. Sometimes one person can bring a fresh perspective to the scenario. It also provides more of a sense of fairness to the people involved. Sure, there are certainly cases where the solution is clear (if one was to go off on a moderator, using foul language and full on rants, it is easy to see that a warning is warranted), however, this particular case was not clear, and the way it was handled appeared, to me, heavy-handed. So, perhaps a policy of bringing these situations before the moderation team would be a better idea.

Fraser
2006-Apr-01, 12:22 AM
More wood for the fire: can you consider that a rule (such as we have) that basically censors public criticism of mods/admin, and/or your request to do the same when the warnings are embarassingly public is similarly not good for the morale of the participants of this forum? Is this, as you say, a good thing overall?

Our policy is to warn people privately unless they've turned off their email/PM, and to try and keep things discreet.

Moose
2006-Apr-01, 12:26 AM
Our policy is to warn people privately unless they've turned off their email/PM, and to try and keep things discreet.

Eroica's PMs are turned on, Fraser.

Fraser
2006-Apr-01, 12:28 AM
I think it would be a much better system to have at least one other moderator look at the offending post(s) before an action is taken. Sometimes one person can bring a fresh perspective to the scenario. It also provides more of a sense of fairness to the people involved. Sure, there are certainly cases where the solution is clear (if one was to go off on a moderator, using foul language and full on rants, it is easy to see that a warning is warranted), however, this particular case was not clear, and the way it was handled appeared, to me, heavy-handed. So, perhaps a policy of bringing these situations before the moderation team would be a better idea.

We normally do discuss these issues within the moderation team. In tricky cases, we'll arrive at consensus before taking action. In other cases, people will handle it on their own.

It's not a perfect system, but we also don't want to bog it down in paperwork. I'd rather try and keep things fast and loose, and trust that people want to do the right thing. I hate being micromanaged, and I've vowed to never do it to anyone else.

So, if there's a miscommunication, or problem with the system, I'd rather deal with it after the fact, help clean up, and then move forward again. I trust the forum members, and I trust the moderators to do the right thing. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that people can pay me the same in return.

Van Rijn
2006-Apr-01, 12:29 AM
I think it would be a much better system to have at least one other moderator look at the offending post(s) before an action is taken.

There may be practical difficulties, but in marginal cases, I certainly would like to see something like that. Is it safe to say that many of the posters here didn't see the comment in question as an ad-hom attack? There clearly is a case of different perceptions here. As it is, I have a "Walking on eggshells" feeling when I post on BAUT. My perception was that a poster was suggesting a moderator was being overenthusiastic (with a smiley!), and the moderator gave him an official warning for saying it. Frankly, that was chilling.

That's all I'll say for now, things are getting heated and it would be good to let things cool down and give the admins and moderators time to discuss it.

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 12:33 AM
Well, the problem is, your moderator does not believe there was a miscommunication or a problem with his actions and refuses to even offer a simple apology for them. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that he could act like a resposible adult and say, "hey, there were some misunderstandings, I think I did the right thing, but I may have been a bit hasty or acted a bit harshly, so Roy and Eroica, I am sorry for that." The reality is that, in acting on the word "overzealous," he appeared to me to become overzealous. I have to imagine that I am not alone in this, considering the people who have posted about this issue and the quality of their membership here.

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 12:38 AM
I think Wolverine's response here (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=647651&postcount=57) is a much better model.

antoniseb
2006-Apr-01, 12:43 AM
Eroica's PMs are turned on, Fraser.

That is true, and I warned Eroica publicly as a matter of choice, which is within the latitude of our policies.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2006-Apr-01, 12:48 AM
That is true, and I warned Eroica publicly as a matter of choice, which is within the latitude of our policies.
:whistle:

Um, THERE I Think you Lost us ...

Next Time, may I Suggest ...

You Try Privately, First?

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 12:50 AM
Our policy is to warn people privately unless they've turned off their email/PM, and to try and keep things discreet.


That is true, and I warned Eroica publicly as a matter of choice, which is within the latitude of our policies.

:question:

Doe, John
2006-Apr-01, 12:57 AM
That is true, and I warned Eroica publicly as a matter of choice, which is within the latitude of our policies.


Our policy is to warn people privately unless they've turned off their email/PM, and to try and keep things discreet.

Seems to me to be a difference of opinion on policy.

antoniseb
2006-Apr-01, 12:58 AM
hey, there were some misunderstandings, I think I did the right thing, but I may have been a bit hasty or acted a bit harshly, so Roy and Eroica, I am sorry for that." The reality is that, in acting on the word "overzealous," he appeared to me to become overzealous.

First, I didn't do anything with Roy that could be considered a problem. I told him I wasn't warning him, but I provided guidance that discussion of "angels dancing on the head of a pin" was getting close to the line as far as religious discussion went. You've looked at the post. Can you tell me that you think it was hasty or harsh? How could I have provided any guidance and seemed less 'harsh' than that?

As for your impression of my reaction to Eroica, that's your impression. I work pretty hard to be fair and reasonable to everyone. When the statement was made Eroica had thought I'd warned Roy. Eroica made a harsh hasty statement to me based on misreading my message. It was a later message that revealed that the misunderstanding was Eroica's.

So I do think I did the right thing. I agree that the word "overzealous" came across to me as a lie and an attack on my character. I was not overzealous dealing with Roy. I was following our guidelines about ad homs when I warned Eroica. The fact that *I* was the target of the attack, and judge and jury is what is troubling you VR, and Moose. I can agree to involve other mods the next time I feel personally attacked.

Doe, John
2006-Apr-01, 12:58 AM
Darn you Musashi
:)

Melusine
2006-Apr-01, 12:59 AM
Is that distinction clear enough? And does it explain why we have that info in the rules? If not, fire away, I'm at your disposal, and ready to earn your respect. But you're going to have convince me why you think criticizing people out in public on the forum is a positive thing, and generally improves the forum overall.
Fraser, I already respect you, but apart from this Eroica/Antoniseb issue that I didn't pay close attention to, I think criticism is in the eye of the beholder. It's one thing to say, "You're a jerk for thinking that way," and another to be genuinely miffed by a person's comments. But, if you try to walk on eggshells too much, the ability for public-conflict resolution goes underground, people start PM'ing eachother, cliques form, yada, yada. Sure, one shouldn't air out everything, but people can successfully resolve a disagreement/snide remark in a thread--it's been done many times, as you are probably aware.

A mild case in point. In the UFO thread Archer criticized FortWayne's meandering post. I stepped in and told Archer it was just his style, blah, blah. Archer, who is a strong-minded person came back the next day and apologized to Fort Wayne on his own, without a warning being publicly issued to him. You know the feeling when a cop stops you and questions you, it kinda makes you feel like a criminal? When someone is chastised by a moderator it sort of feels like that. I'm not talking about the real obvious wacky people or rage posts, I'm speaking of mild disagreements...I believe I know the difference. If nobody sees how two people can resolve something publicly with grace and civility, then feelings get buried and build resentment. This happened on BABB to a large degree and things seemed to get very cliquey in alot of people's minds. Some people have graciously moved beyond all that.

Sometimes I wonder what is worse--saying something condescending to someone or not saying anything at all and ignoring them. :think:

Sorry, if I'm not being brief or making myself clear, I'm a bit sleep-deprived.
:)

Doe, John
2006-Apr-01, 01:04 AM
This will be in interesting discussion. I believe that Eroica's ad hom attack of me was completely out of place, and we have warned people for less.

Since then Eroica has explained that my original post was misread, and that caused Eroica's ad hom attack. I took that as an apology, and an effort to correct things. No further discussion has happened between myself and Eroica since then, but in other threads we've been interacting like any other two people on the forum.

That being the case, I'm taking your protest as more of a what-if kind of issue as opposed to genuine concern that a terrible miscarriage of justice has been done.


2. I missed the smiley, but saw the "overzealous".


so you obviously misread Eroica's post which let to your feeling a warning was justified. since eroica apologized for his mistake, and you are not, some members are viewing this as moderator high-handedness.

Fraser
2006-Apr-01, 02:05 AM
Okay, I've had a chance to listen to everyone. I stand by my original opinion that this is a simple misunderstanding that has been blown way out of proportion.

However, I think the moderators need clearer policies on how to deal with what they feel are personal attacks. By bringing another moderator or admin in to deal with the situation, it will eliminate the possibility of things getting personal - it would have diffused this situation. I'll talk to Phil about it some more, but this is my take on it.

Musashi
2006-Apr-01, 03:14 AM
First, I didn't do anything with Roy that could be considered a problem. I told him I wasn't warning him, but I provided guidance that discussion of "angels dancing on the head of a pin" was getting close to the line as far as religious discussion went. You've looked at the post. Can you tell me that you think it was hasty or harsh? How could I have provided any guidance and seemed less 'harsh' than that?

I thought it was strange that in a discussion about Noah's Ark you decided to offer guidence about Roy's joking post.


As for your impression of my reaction to Eroica, that's your impression. I work pretty hard to be fair and reasonable to everyone. When the statement was made Eroica had thought I'd warned Roy. Eroica made a harsh hasty statement to me based on misreading my message. It was a later message that revealed that the misunderstanding was Eroica's.
Yes, Eroica misread your message AND you misread his. Sure overzealous might seem insulting, but couple your strange not-warning with Eroica's smiley and maybe it wasn't so harsh?


So I do think I did the right thing. I agree that the word "overzealous" came across to me as a lie and an attack on my character. I was not overzealous dealing with Roy. I was following our guidelines about ad homs when I warned Eroica. The fact that *I* was the target of the attack, and judge and jury is what is troubling you VR, and Moose. I can agree to involve other mods the next time I feel personally attacked.
I think you are right that you should be able to defend yourself. I think your defense was, considering the entire context, a bit harsh and hasty. But, like Fraser and others have said, this may seem blown out of proportion. In a sense, this is more a meta-conversation with the hopeful result of clarifying some blury lines. Thank you for your patience and your responses.

Also, thank you Fraser.

Roy Batty
2006-Apr-01, 04:47 PM
I hesitate to post here since things seem to have died down in several hours (I was away from the board for a day, & look what happens:rolleyes: ), but since I seem to be involved in this I'd like to make my position clear.

It was a joking reply in the previously mentioned post (as i'm oft known to do) so was a bit surprised to be 'not warned' first (ie not a 'formal' warning in the context of this board, but still a warning non the less), however, I took it on the chin.. it was a discussion on Noahs Ark that was getting pretty silly(sillier?) afterall IMHO :).

I was surprised Eroica was warned (formally) subsequently, but I also think this particular incident has been blown out of proportion.

But I also do agree with a lot of the posts so far about moderation so I welcome Frasiers previous comments about review etc.

I'm probably coming across as walking on eggshells too here:)
Btw I was away yesterday celebrating my girlfriends birthday & finally getting to see V for Vendetta ... oh the irony:) (joke!).

Disinfo Agent
2006-Apr-01, 06:13 PM
Since I had a hand in triggering this discussion, too, I feel I should say a few words.

My only question regarding the rules was that it was not clear to me whether discussing moderator decisions on the main forum was entirely prohibited, or simply discouraged. From what Fraser wrote in this post (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=715755#post715755), I conclude that it was the latter.

For the record, I would have nothing against a total prohibition of discussing moderator decisions on the main forum. I understand that moderators are in a special situation in the forum, and it's good to avoid public challenges to their authority.

I have nothing to say about the particular decision that initiated this discussion, other than it seems to have been resolved to the satisfaction of the three people directly involved, Antoniseb, Roy Batty, and Eroica. I just felt that a clarification of the rules might be in order.

Jeff Root
2006-Apr-01, 10:09 PM
I just now read the recent posts in this thread. I agree with
all of Moose's comments and concerns. Having read the posts
which provoked this discussion, I'm disturbed to see Eroica's
comment referred to as an "ad hom attack". It obviously was
no such thing. It was true, it was relevant, it was important,
and it was meant to help, not to hurt. Labelling it an attack
amounted to an attack itself, and was clearly an attempt to
blame someone else where there was no need for blame at all.
Eroica's comment was justified. The response to it was not.

This reaction to Moose's comments:

I'm taking your protest as more of a what-if kind of issue as
opposed to genuine concern that a terrible miscarriage of justice
has been done.
Dissmissing his concerns and attempting to make them into a
straw man argument by dramatizing them, is equally eggregious.

I want to make clear that I think the post:


This is not a warning, but you are getting dangerously close to
discussing religion here.
was ridiculous. That is to say, so silly that it provokes
derision, laughter, and ridicule. Are moderators immune from
making ridiculous remarks? Obviously not. Are they immune
from being called on them? Obviously not.

I agree with Van Rijn:

As it is, I have a "Walking on eggshells" feeling when I post on
BAUT. My perception was that a poster was suggesting a moderator
was being overenthusiastic (with a smiley!), and the moderator
gave him an official warning for saying it. Frankly, that was
chilling.
And I agree with Moose that Antoniseb should apologize to Eroica
if he hasn't already.

And I think the moderators should worry less about religion and
politics creeping into the forum, and more about how censorship
works and what its effects are. Overbearing control is about
as likely as anarchy to generate chaos, and significantly more
likely to produce disaffection and contempt.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Fraser
2006-Apr-01, 10:40 PM
I think I've stated the position on religion and politics in the past, but I'll have another go at it. We ask people to minimize their conversations on those two subjects to where they relate to astronomy, space exploration and pseudoscience because those are the topics that this board tries to cover. In all other areas, it just becomes to difficult to moderate.

And if I understand you correctly, you'd prefer there was no moderation. Moderation = censorship? Let people chat about whatever they like, flame however they like and if people can't hack it, too bad. Well, that's not the kind of forum that Phil and I want to be associated with - there are plenty of places out there that choose not to moderate at all, and I don't think they provide welcoming friendly atmospheres.

Keep in mind that we have children partipating in this forum.

So, we've gone with moderators who are trying to keep the peace. When we've had completely off-topic discussions about politics and religion, they veer unerringly into flamefests, personal attacks, and hurt feelings. It chews up moderation time and bandwidth that could be used trying to deal with the ATM section, which is a full time job on its own.

Sometimes there are going to be misunderstandings, and sometimes we're going to need your patience while we fine tune the rules. But I think that's a long way away from overbearing control.

Van Rijn
2006-Apr-02, 12:42 AM
And if I understand you correctly, you'd prefer there was no moderation. Moderation = censorship? Let people chat about whatever they like, flame however they like and if people can't hack it, too bad. Well, that's not the kind of forum that Phil and I want to be associated with - there are plenty of places out there that choose not to moderate at all, and I don't think they provide welcoming friendly atmospheres.


I'll let others speak for themselves, but I certainly would not prefer an end to moderation even assuming you were to agree to it. While I accept there was a misunderstanding in this case and the proposed response will help reduce cases like this, I have a concern about the possibility of arbitrary moderation. I try hard to follow the rules. But if that isn't enough, what do I do?


Sometimes there are going to be misunderstandings, and sometimes we're going to need your patience while we fine tune the rules. But I think that's a long way away from overbearing control.

I don't like putting people on the spot, and I do think I've tried very hard to be understanding. At the same time, I would hope that the admins and moderators would be patient and understanding of posters' concerns as well. Part of being a moderator is that issues like this will come up from time to time - it comes with the territory.

Jeff Root
2006-Apr-02, 03:22 AM
And if I understand you correctly, you'd prefer there was no
moderation.
I'd prefer that moderation be appropriate and constructive--
which of course is what you want and what it usually is--
rather than antagonizing and counterproductive-- which it can
very easily become. I'll repeat that: very easily.


Moderation = censorship?
I added a complaint about censorship into a complaint about
bad moderation, since the moderation action in this case was
a warning to not say anything about a particular subject--
specifically, religion.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Moose
2006-Apr-03, 05:28 PM
Okay, my strike has ended. And as Eroica assures me that he is satisfied with Antoniseb's retraction in the original thread, and that I see there has been a pledge made that should help prevent similar situations in the future, I am content to let the matter drop.

Thanks for doing the right thing, Antoniseb.

I still have concerns about the "no public criticism" rule, however. Fraser, you need to understand that what I valued most about Phil's BABB is the tradition that nobody's opinions get a free ride. Not even Phil's. If you haven't already, take the time to ask Phil about SciFi Chick.

Now, a rule that says a person who is abusing a mod with constant criticism and/or nitpicking will be suspended and/or banned is fair. I've seen plenty enough griefers to know how they can bring a board down. This was my original understanding of the "no criticism" rule.

But now you folks are telling me that "hey dude, bad call, please reconsider" is similarly verbotten. If this is the standard to which you intend to hold us, I have to tell you that such a board is most definitely not the one I joined in BABB, and not the one I agreed to join when the boards merged.

I acknowledge the admin can run the board as they see fit, and as a truly private board, my options are limited to either persuasion or finding another place. Consider this my attempt at persuasion. But at the same time, I won't be a party of a board that censors constructive criticism.

As Van Rijn said, it's chilling. I am unwilling to tolerate such an environment.

As such, I would ask the admin to consider very carefully how that rule is to be applied, for the sake of the board's morale, before anyone is tempted to apply that rule in the future.

Gerald Lukaniuk
2006-Apr-03, 10:59 PM
There may be practical difficulties, but in marginal cases, I certainly would like to see something like that. Is it safe to say that many of the posters here didn't see the comment in question as an ad-hom attack? There clearly is a case of different perceptions here. As it is, I have a "Walking on eggshells" feeling when I post on BAUT. My perception was that a poster was suggesting a moderator was being overenthusiastic (with a smiley!), and the moderator gave him an official warning for saying it. Frankly, that was chilling.

That's all I'll say for now, things are getting heated and it would be good to let things cool down and give the admins and moderators time to discuss it.

Thank the uh Universe you didn't say water. Figures of speech are not religious dogma. This "pin" thing was and continues to be used in the main streams in such things as dimensionality. Einstein's dice thing was not a condemation of casino's.
I agree BAUT should do their homework like all of us. I've seen trains of "bad" logic used arrogantly crush earnest speculation in ways that would make my logic prof. refute his proof that there can be no such thing a a "bad" idea in logic. Good or bad are labels evil, religious or Alternative are labels and people that have advanced the sciences avoid them. The worst thing that can happen in any science can be summarized by. "I don't have to prove anything I'm a "good" astronomer. Nor can you dismiss a speculation it can be true because its "bad" or unpopular astromomy if we expect the universe to become a better place. Rules, theories. "facts" have no reality but are "intellectual tools". The universe is real and so are we. I can't speak for the universe but I don't like heavy handed rule An old friend my mine and former employee is a PHD world renowed physicist,knows all the big guys.worked everywhere including Nasa and that area, said to me once, "We don't know blink. There is something wrong with our ideas so simple we are all to smart to see it." I don't mind being called a stupid astronomer but not a bad one.

antoniseb
2006-Apr-03, 11:11 PM
now you folks are telling me that "hey dude, bad call, please reconsider" is similarly verbotten.

It is my impression that something worded like that would never have raised an eyebrow. It certainly would never have caused trouble if PM'd to the moderator in question, or any other moderator.

As it is now, if someone questions the action of a moderator in a thread, the moderator will step out of that thread until the issue is resolved.

The concern, as you pointed out, is to avoid death by nitpicking.

Moose
2006-Apr-04, 12:15 AM
The concern, as you pointed out, is to avoid death by nitpicking.

I would like to think the concern is to acknowledge that even mods are fallible from time to time, and that when a bunch of people say "hey, that's not right", one should have the moral fortitude to be able to step back seek a second opinion.

This isn't an us-vs-them situation, Antoniseb. The regulars are as much interested board members and are just as invested in the success of BAUT as the mods (with the financial exception of Fraser and Phil).

You might come to consider that having other mods around to backcheck you in marginal situations is one heck of an advantage, rather than some sort of slap to the face, Antoniseb. Just imagine how tough Phil had it when he was modding BABB solo.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2006-Apr-04, 05:45 AM
I would like to think the concern is to acknowledge that even mods are fallible from time to time, and that when a bunch of people say "hey, that's not right", one should have the moral fortitude to be able to step back seek a second opinion.

This isn't an us-vs-them situation, Antoniseb. The regulars are as much interested board members and are just as invested in the success of BAUT as the mods (with the financial exception of Fraser and Phil).

You might come to consider that having other mods around to backcheck you in marginal situations is one heck of an advantage, rather than some sort of slap to the face, Antoniseb. Just imagine how tough Phil had it when he was modding BABB solo.
Yeah ...

There Were Times I Was Afraid he Was Going to STROKE Out ...

Let's Hear it for Phil, Now he Can Get Back, to his "Real" Job!

:clap:

Tinaa
2006-Apr-04, 01:32 PM
No mod here thinks of him/herself infallible. Second and third opinions are sought in many situations. I very much prefer to PM warnings but transparency is lost, which as I take it was a big deal on the old BABB. So which is more important: Transparency in moderation or private warnings with a loss of transparency? It cannot be both ways.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Apr-04, 02:08 PM
I still have concerns about the "no public criticism" rule, however. Fraser, you need to understand that what I valued most about Phil's BABB is the tradition that nobody's opinions get a free ride. Not even Phil's.My understanding was that that only applied to opinions about science, and particularly about astronomy. Moderation always has its unavoidable amount of subjectivity. I'm reminded of Phil's warning in the rules of the old BABB:


I am the final law here.Quite so.

Moose
2006-Apr-04, 02:10 PM
No mod here thinks of him/herself infallible. Second and third opinions are sought in many situations. I very much prefer to PM warnings but transparency is lost, which as I take it was a big deal on the old BABB. So which is more important: Transparency in moderation or private warnings with a loss of transparency? It cannot be both ways.

My personal preference, overall, is transparency and public warnings, with freely public appeals where warranted. As you say, transparency was very much a valued tradition of the old BABB.

What I don't want to see is a double-standard in mod-member dialogue. If the admin really want appeals/objections to be under the table, then warnings should be similarly under the table. If warnings are to be publicised, then we must have the ability to respond in public when necessary, such as with this event. Trust and morale are both two-way streets, and they seldom thrive in environments where double-standards exist.

What I especially don't want to see is good members (and Eroica may well be among the very best of us) get sanctionned for daring to publically question a mod's actions. That simply won't do, in my mind.

Moose
2006-Apr-04, 02:14 PM
I'm reminded of Phil's warning in the rules of the old BABB:

Yeah, he is the final law, as he and Fraser are here. But Phil never banned/warned anyone for disagreeing with him about an admin action, even when he declined to change his mind (which was most of the time.)

ToSeek
2006-Apr-04, 02:33 PM
The obvious solution to me is that if a moderator thinks they are being inappropriately criticized (e.g., ad homs) in public for their moderator actions, then they should report the post just as any other member would and refrain from taking any action themselves. (I might make exceptions for blatant violations, though.)

And I also go along with the preference for public warnings. I think it's good that if there's an inappropriate post it's apparent that disciplinary action has been taken against it.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Apr-04, 02:35 PM
Yeah, he is the final law, as he and Fraser are here. But Phil never banned/warned anyone for disagreeing with him about an admin action, even when he declined to change his mind (which was most of the time.)As far as I remember, posters rarely discussed Phil's administrative decisions on the main forum. I can only think of one or two cases where that happened.

Melusine
2006-Apr-04, 02:48 PM
Hmm, something I noticed or was hoping for regarding Archer was that he would prune his posts in the time from when I suggested he do that. Apparently, he did not prune them enough, but I was hoping that if he did, the BA would realize Archer had seen the "error" of his comments. There were hours in between. Sorry Archer, I tried to intimate that to you as much as possible. :sad:

I like the idea of being able to have time to think whether I said the wrong thing or not, or that it might be misconstrued, and then edit my post. I've done that, whether it was necessary or not, and left an explanation. I don't think the BA or Fraser are so stringent...I think they get frustrated with repeat offenses because it undermines their judgment calls about previous amnesties, and sets a bad example (at least that's how interpret it, which I may be wrong).

In some cases the attacks are so blatant that giving some time wouldn't apply, but for regular members, it seems like there is a nicer way to ask them to reconsider their comments via PM and let them save a little face. Eroica, for example, is a regular poster and an intelligent person who is not irrational. We all get miffed at times...it shouldn't become WWIII.

Moose
2006-Apr-04, 03:08 PM
As far as I remember, posters rarely discussed Phil's administrative decisions on the main forum. I can only think of one or two cases where that happened.

Nearly every banning of a long term poster generated some comment on the subject. I remember many times where someone pled clemancy despite the relative clarity of the situation. I repeat: nobody ever got in trouble for publically disagreeing with Phil, even on administrative matters.

Gillianren
2006-Apr-04, 06:46 PM
I mean, heck, we had the ongoing Banned Posters discussion thread. Granted, we seldom criticized Phil for banning people, but I do remember a couple of pretty vocal discussions about certain bannings.

iantresman
2006-Apr-17, 01:49 PM
edit: moved to this thread from the recent story comments thread about Swift observing a lot of water-xrays from Tempel 1.


It could be argued that this article is ATM:

I pointed out elsewhere that many new discoveries require new theories, which by definition are Against the Mainstream.

How do we ascertain whether such discussion is acceptable without breaking forum policy?

I've argued that the basic criteria is peer-reviewed verification, which demonstrates that an idea has at least been reviewed by peers, and reached the discussion necessary to be appear in the mainstream literatures.

I'm still waiting for confirmation or claification.

Regards,
Ian Tresman

antoniseb
2006-Apr-17, 02:34 PM
Hi Ian,

I'd like to move this post to the rules discussion thread. Let me know by PM when you've read this.

Moose
2006-Apr-17, 04:56 PM
I've argued that the basic criteria is peer-reviewed verification, which demonstrates that an idea has at least been reviewed by peers, and reached the discussion necessary to be appear in the mainstream literatures.

Hi Ian.

It seems to me that for there to be an Against The Mainstream idea, there has to be a mainstream for that idea to be against. Early speculation such as the Swift observation you've mentionned is not by any means the same thing as proposing a theory, or even the raw conjecture that makes up most ATM ideas.

Kootenaistar
2006-Apr-19, 04:46 AM
Simple comment here. When I recently logged in again to check on comments on a recent article, I read the rules and celebrated. When I logged onto forum, it asked why it had been so long since I had been there. Well, two reasons. First, I read slowly these days and don't have a great deal of time to waste online. therefore (secondly), the longterm bickerings and aside discussions not for thought of that thread were a waste of my time and a little too common at times.Now I may be back on forum a bit more again. I say thank you. :)

TheBlackCat
2006-May-17, 04:42 AM
I think it may be a good idea to have a rule regarding the discussion of dangerous and/or illegal behavior.

Sure a hypothetical discussion of, say explosives or flammable materials or something like that might be interesting, but this board is frequented by kids and kids have been known to do stupid things. If some kid gets injured or, heaven forbid, killed doing something they learned on the board even if there was a warning not to try it at home the board and those who own it could be held legally and financially responsible. I think it is important that any discussion on potentially dangerous activities be kept general enough that the behavior could not be reproduced or even attempted with the information available.

Discussion of illegal acts is merely to keep the board from being held as a party to any such acts.

Kaptain K
2006-May-17, 05:34 AM
When I was in high school (mid-60s), I had a spiral notebook full of formulas and recipes for making both low (gunpowder, etc) and high (TNT, etc) explosives! If a H.S. student were caught with a similar notebook today, expulsion from school would be the least of his worries!! My, how the world has changed!

01101001
2006-May-17, 05:58 AM
I think it may be a good idea to have a rule regarding the discussion of dangerous and/or illegal behavior.

Sure a hypothetical discussion of, say explosives or flammable materials or something like that might be interesting, but this board is frequented by kids and kids have been known to do stupid things.

What dangerous things? Making rockets? Explosive and flammable.

Driving automobiles? Motorcycles? Shooting guns? Shooting fireworks? Eating mushrooms? Using lasers?

Balancing eggs on their end? (They break sometimes, and can cause slips and falls.)

The world is a dangerous place.

TheBlackCat
2006-May-17, 06:06 AM
Yes, but someone will have a heard time suing BA if his or her kid breaks an egg and slips on it after hearing about the egg-balancing thing on this board. They will not have a problem suing BA if their kid burns down their house after hearing about various ways to blow up their microwave on this board. The world is a dangerous place, yes, but there is no need to make it any more dangerous by explaining how to do dangerous things that most people wouldn't think of trying on their own. A good rule of thumb is if something is easy to do but will likely or inevitably cause property damage and/or loss of life if actually attempted it is probably not a good idea to be discussing it. There is no point giving inexperienced young people or adult crazies any more ideas than absolutely necessary. I can tell you it wouldn't make my day to discovered that someone got the instructions that earned them a Darwin Award off this board.

It just responsible for a forum that is visited by kids and people with a great deal of technical knowledge that the people with technical knowledge not give the kids information that is very likely going to hurt them or someone else if they use it.

Gillianren
2006-May-17, 07:16 AM
My cousins used to jump out a second-story window when they were kids because one of them fell out once and it looked fun to the rest of them. Believe me, if there's something that's a bad idea, some kid somewhere will think of it on their own. What's more, in general, kids who show up here are smart enough to realize that burning their houses down is a bad idea.

hhEb09'1
2006-May-17, 09:00 AM
I think it may be a good idea to have a rule regarding the discussion of dangerous and/or illegal behavior. The existing rules, and the strong moderation of the board, probably already covers that.

It's hard to imagine how anything like that would be astronomy related [/url]. :)

PS: Ah, you must be talking about [url=http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=744671#post744671]this discussion (unless.it's.looking.up.and.not.watching.where.you 're.going!).

Donnie B.
2006-May-17, 11:04 AM
Just out of curiosity, has anyone successfully sued an internet bulletin board (either its owner/operators or a contributor) for liability after this sort of incident?

hhEb09'1
2006-May-17, 11:20 AM
Just out of curiosity, has anyone successfully sued an internet bulletin board (either its owner/operators or a contributor) for liability after this sort of incident?Or, even sued, successfully or not? A new revenue source? Probably the only thing holding them back is ... the revenue. Someone could sue my website, but it's gonna cost them! :)

VanderL
2006-May-25, 09:28 PM
Hi all,

I've hesitated a long time to post this, but I think the ATM rules as they are imposed right now, are a sure way to get controversy and banning. The general rule on the forum, the most important one, is to be polite. The rules in the ATM forum invite impoliteness. They make sure that the proponent of an alternative idea/theory has to defend claims personally. While it is obviously necessary that the alternative is questioned and explored fully, the challengers are asked to attack with "glee and fervor" which only adds to the possibility that people will call into question the proponent, and his/her ability to show the necessary evidence, instead of the theory or idea (this has happened on several occasions). I think a more balanced approach is called for where civilised conversation is the rule and not any potentially flaming posts that I've seen in some threads.

There are several threads where recently people commented on the ATM rules, and I think it is time to review these rules and also clarify BAUT's purpose with the ATM section. Moderators suggested to ask questions on ATM papers in the Q&A sections, but usually they are rapidly transferred to the ATM section, where subsequently the question is turned into a claim that needs to be defended with all the problems I mentioned above.

Any comments?


Cheers.

dgruss23
2006-May-26, 01:57 AM
Hi all,

I've hesitated a long time to post this, but I think the ATM rules as they are imposed right now, are a sure way to get controversy and banning. The general rule on the forum, the most important one, is to be polite.

I agree and would add that most of the additional rules boil back down to politeness. It is polite to answer questions asked in a timely fashion. It is impolite to be asked questions and repeatedly not answer them or even acknowledge them. It is impolite to hijack an active discussion for your own purposes.

However, I am unclear as to who these rules actually apply to. It seems that in the course of some discussions it is only the ATM proponents that are expected to answer direct questions. Apparently a mainstream supporter challenging an ATM idea is not obligated to answer direct questions in a timely fashion even if they choose to engage in the debate.

The defense seems to be that the mainstream supporter is not proposing an ATM theory and therefore is not obligated to answer questions. But isn't it impolite if a mainstream supporter that has engaged in an ATM discussion does not answer direct questions? After all this is a discussion board. It is not a discussion if only the mainstream supporter gets to ask questions that must be answered.

If a mainstreamer challenges something an ATMer has argued. The ATMer should - as part of rational dialogue - be able to ask a question of the mainstreamer. And the mainstreamer - having chosen to engage in that discussion, should have the same obligation as an ATMer to answer the question or say "I don't know."

This should be a common sense approach to ATM discussions - but I've lost faith that the expectations go both ways for every BAUT poster.


The rules in the ATM forum invite impoliteness. They make sure that the proponent of an alternative idea/theory has to defend claims personally.

If I follow your point, the problem you see is that someone might want to post a link to an article that discusses an ATM idea - not to advocate it, but to see what people think about it. But then the person linking to that paper is immediately asked if they will defend it. I agree that this invites more heated debate and can stifle exploratory dialogue.

Nor do I think moving those discussions to Q&A is the answer because as soon as someone chooses to defend the paper on the ATM idea, then the discussion must be moved to ATM. A person ought to be able to link to a controversial paper in the ATM section and say: "I saw this and it seems interesting. Does anybody have any thoughts."

But if you do that some people start in with "Are you willing to defend the claims of this paper? And if not then what is there to discuss." IMO that is not a very helpful attitude. It is not a waste of time to look at a paper and say - "I see these flaws in it."

Frankly, I'm a bit discouraged by some of the behavior in ATM. I do not think that mainstream supporters should be given a pass on the rule of answering direct questions in a timely fashion if they've actually chosen to engage in an ATM thread and made statements on that thread.

Fram
2006-May-26, 07:03 AM
I'm quite happy with the ATM rules at the moment.
First of all, if they are used as an excuse to be impolite and to "call into question the proponent", just report the posts. But try to make the distinction between observations of the relevant knowledge (or lack thereof) someone has shown in a thread, and true ad hominem remarks. Some ideas are nonsense, and if supported by reasons why something is, then it should be allowed to say so. Continuing to say that the one posting them is an idiot, on the other hand, is not allowed, and should be reported.

Next: you are allowed to say: I don't know. This is mu opinion, but I don't have the time, the expertise, ... to back it up. That is fine. What is not allowed or allowable is then acting as if the objection (the question you weren't able to answer) is dismissed and the theory unshaken (I have seen some people do this).

Further: when you are attacking a theory, it is best if you know what you are attacking. Many ATM'ers come in with "this is not explained by mainstream", when they actually have no idea what the mainstream theory says, or for how long something is now (see e.g. the Electric Comets thread for a recent example, or the discussion on aurora's on other planets).

A few things can be helped by some change though (either by the rules, or just a change in behaviour): I don't think it is necessary that mainstream defenders have to do the work all over again (i.e., show why mainstream says this or that, with all evidence, ...): but when someone claims that mainstream says X, then he has to be able to show that that is indeed said (linking to a source, a paper, ...). Just saying that something an ATM'er says is against the mainstream, without backing it up (even after being asked to do so), is weak.

Finally: I understand an agree that many Q&A threads or particular posts get moved to the ATM section. When someone asks about Black Holes and someone else starts by saying that Black Holes don't exist and that it are all Black stars, gravitars, plasma pits, or whatever, then that should be moved to ATM, as those are largely unsupported ideas which may be worth discussing but which are, for the moment, not the standard astronomy answers to such questions. The Q&A is intended to give the standard astronomy reply (including the uncertainty there often is about an answer), not to have fundamental discussions.
On the other hand, some ATM discussions are not based on some intuition, wild idea, unevidenced hypothesis, or misunderstanding of physics, but focus around possible, more or less realistic explanations of serious observations (the bridges discussion in the Arp thread is as far as I know the best example). These discussions should be allowed in a general astronomy forum, where all sides have to present and discuss the evidence at hand, give their hypothetical explanation, and stay away from further, more ATM or unrelated ideas (i.e. in the bridges discussion: discuss the different kinds of redshift, but don't start on the creation of matter out of nothing or other more farfetched ideasn or don't start on unrelated ideas like tired light).

What I mean is: most ATM threads are perfectly at place in the ATM forum and under the ATM rules, but some of them are, well, based on reality :D, and discuss objective (though perhaps biased in the selection) evidence and possible scientific (but perhaps non mainstream) explanations of it. These discussions should be either held elsewhere (where they can have more participants and a more open atmosphere), or otherwise exempt from the ATM rules.

dgruss23
2006-May-26, 03:33 PM
I'm quite happy with the ATM rules at the moment.

Great post Fram. I'm not unhappy with the rules. I'm just not clear whether or not - in the course of debate - the rule about answering questions in a timely fashion also applies to mainstream supporters. IMO it should apply.

Moose
2006-May-26, 04:45 PM
Great post Fram. I'm not unhappy with the rules. I'm just not clear whether or not - in the course of debate - the rule about answering questions in a timely fashion also applies to mainstream supporters. IMO it should apply.

Of course. This always presumes the questions being posed are reasonable and not intended solely to bludgeon either the ATM proponent or the "mainstreamers" with the "timely" answer rule.

But at the same time, and as you pointed out, the obvious defense is that the ATM proponent has the burden of proof simply by virtue of the fact that the ATM proponent is proposing an ATM theory.

Whatever mainstream viewpoint being disputed has already been stress-tested into wide acceptance through the peer-review process any scientific idea must undergo to achieve acceptance.

If a purely hypothetical ATM proponent were proposing variable G (which, actually, has been proposed here, but no direct link to this poster is expressed or implied by my post), the hypothetical proponent couldn't exploit this rule and demand we all prove gravity has a constant (adj) constant (noun), with no assumptions, or be in violation of this rule.

The fact is there is a wide body of literature and work supporting constant-G at a specific value, along with a tremendous amount of empirical work (artillary and interplanetary rocketry) which thoroughly validates the work.

A request/demand to prove the mainstream all over again just one more time would not have been intended to advance the discussion but instead to derail it.

I guess such an eventuality (sanctionning a "mainstreamer" for dodging reasonable questions) will ultimately come down to the judgement of the moderators/admin, as most things do.

I just don't see a reasonable, deterministic way to make such a judgement.

Gillianren
2006-May-26, 06:24 PM
I don't venture into ATM--or, come to that, mainstream science--discussions much, simply because I don't have the requisite grounding in science to even understand most of the debate, much less make an objective decision about who's right. However, even I have been in the position of explaining mainstream science to people. What I believe in mainstreamers providing evidence is simple.

If a high school textbook on the subject, any high school textbook, would provide the answer, saying so is acceptable. You don't need to provide a link to a high school textbook. Likewise college. Such basic information should be understood before a mainstream argument is challenged; if you don't, what business do you have thinking you understand the theory enough to challenge it?

In fact, come to that, I can name several discussions where even a high school-level understanding of the science at hand isn't really necessary, because I learned things in elementary school that certain people don't seem to have. (Note: this is not aimed at anyone in this discussion, and is in fact largely referring to people who aren't here anymore.)

dgruss23
2006-May-26, 06:28 PM
Of course. This always presumes the questions being posed are reasonable and not intended solely to bludgeon either the ATM proponent or the "mainstreamers" with the "timely" answer rule.

Yes, that certainly applies by any reasonable standard. Questions must be reasonable - and if they're not, then the person they are asked of can simply explain how those questions are unreasonable.


But at the same time, and as you pointed out, the obvious defense is that the ATM proponent has the burden of proof simply by virtue of the fact that the ATM proponent is proposing an ATM theory.

Whatever mainstream viewpoint being disputed has already been stress-tested into wide acceptance through the peer-review process any scientific idea must undergo to achieve acceptance.

This is a very different type of scenario than what I'm talking about. In fact, I would argue that if an ATMer asked those types of questions - they would not be pertinent questions. Obviously the job of a mainstreamer is not to provide a complete education for the ATMer.

The scenario I'm talking about is one in which there is a debate between ATMer "ATM" and Mainstreamer "MS". If ATM makes a claim and MS chooses to engage in the discussion, we should expect MS to engage in fair rules of dialogue until that time in which MS chooses to disengage from the discussion.

Let me give you a scenario: ATM presents an argument for hypothesis X. MS engages in this discussion and eventually provides links to a series of papers claiming they are of relevance to the discussion. ATM looks at the papers and - having previously reviewed numerous research articles on the subject being discussed - sees immediately that the papers linked to by MS are unrelated to the issues being discussed - not even being on the same topic! At this point ATM asks MS to specify exactly how MS see these papers as relevant to the discussion.

Wouldn't MS be obligated to answer the question and provide even a brief synopsis of why MS thinks the papers MS linked to are relevant to the discussion? How else can the discussion move forward if MS doesn't justify why the papers selected by MS were selected?

Note that in this scenario ATM is not asking MS to defend the whole of mainstream theory. ATM is simply asking MS to clarify reason MS sees relevance in the papers MS linked to. It would be disingenuous for MS to say - "I don't have to answer that because ATM is the one making the ATM claim."

The risk of not holding MS to a standard of responding to questions asked in a debate is that a double standard is set. MS can ask as many questions as MS chooses and demand answers. But when ATM then responds to those questions and provides referenced counterarguments and legitimate questions - MS is not required to respond on the grounds that the whole of mainstream theory is well tested? That is not dialogue.

I'm not saying it happens a lot on BAUT, but when a legitimate ATM discussion results in an solid defense of the plausibility of an ATM hypothesis MS can find him/herself in the position of needing to defend his/her statements and claims too.

I guess it really doesn't matter. If MS runs from a discussion and refuses to answer legitimate questions - then MS is really conceding the points of debate.

Nereid
2006-May-28, 12:21 PM
Some quick comments:

-> the ATM section is not intended as a place for one to learn some aspects of modern (mainstream) physics, astronomy, cosmology, etc. IMHO, a great many posts (and threads) in the ATM section, containing 'ATM' ideas or views, display misunderstandings, misrepresentations, confusion, etc of (mostly) basic physics, astronomy, or cosmology. If someone suggests that some basic 'coming up to speed' is in order, and that the relevant ATM thread is not a suitable place to do that, then should a BAUT member choose to continue with ATM posts, in that ATM thread, the insistence on answers should become even clearer and more strict.

-> the Q&A and Astronomy (and General Science, and ...) sections are great places to address confusion, misunderstanding, etc. The folk who regularly post answers to questions, and step in to clear up misunderstanding, are, IMHO, pure gold ... knowledgable, articulate, helpful, etc. In fact, I'd guess many of these folk are only too delighted to have the opportunity to clarify and to educate. However, there is a pre-condition: if you come from a strong ATM perspective, and are unwilling or unable to take the time to write your questions is a clear, open-ended way, you will likely find your posts moved to the ATM section very swiftly indeed.

Another thing, be patient. Modern science has been built in centuries of the careful and exacting work of hundreds of thousands of people, some exceedingly brilliant, and most who've spend a whole lifetime on the task. The rigour of the testing of modern theories takes one's breath away - if some find the ATM section a little 'robust' (shall we say), then you may be interested to spend some time learning just how, in terms of 'robustness', much of modern astrophysics came to be mainstream.

Finally (on this topic), be prepared to accept a dense web of tightly interlocking support for mainstream astrophysics - the huge amount of work done on the distance ladder (for example) is rarely even mentioned in popsci and non-technical publications, yet it serves as backdrop for modern cosmology (putting this the other way, if you feel that the data on the CMB is misinterpreted - for example - any ATM claims that you make to that effect may well generate questions to you about the whole distance ladder).

-> reference has been made to the Arp et al. thread. As I think I noted elsewhere, this is quite unique here in BAUT. Not only is it long and (for the most part) quantitative; not only are there several BAUT members keen to present at least one flavour of the Arpian ideas; but it is AFAIK the only ATM idea claimed to be about an empirical relationship.

Nereid
2006-May-29, 02:31 PM
That there are several different kinds of ATM threads (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39917) seems obvious to me.

I'd like to discuss an approach to moderating the discussion on just one type of ATM thread*

There are quite a few ATM threads, some which became quite long and heated, that rest essentially on the ATM idea's proponent's poor understanding of one or more aspects of the basics.

Perhaps the (largely) wasted time and effort on these threads could be avoided, by requiring those who start 'new ATM theory' threads to unambiguously answer, in the OP or post #2, a simple question.

For example:
+> To what extent does {new ATM idea} include 'new physics' {this phrase could be defined}?
(if 'essentially none' is the answer, then at any point later in the thread where a mod feels misunderstanding of the basic science is confusing the discussion, they may call time out and request that the science be covered in a Q&A thread before the ATM thread can be resumed).

The intent is to steer discussions of ATM ideas that seem to be built more on misunderstanding than true ATM ideas towards a non-confrontational setting, where the underlying misunderstandings can be resolved (or at least better identified). A second intent is to reserve the 'attack(s) with glee and fervour' for those ATM ideas which have a firmer scientific basis.

I feel that ATM ideas which do contain 'new physics' can be addressed well, with the current ATM guidelines (no need for tweaking).

Thoughts?

*Examples of types of ATM threads outside the scope of my suggestion here:
-> 'philosophical' (ATM) ideas - non-mainstream theories and ideas which produce no observable differences (with corresponding mainstream theories), even in principle
-> 'mainstream must be wrong!!!' ATM threads - no ATM ideas proposed, just (perceived, proposed) illogical, inconsistent, discomforting, etc aspects of mainstream astronomy, astrophysics, space science, and cosmology
-> 'information about (famous) ATM ideas' threads
-> 'empirical ATM ideas' - no new theories proposed.

hhEb09'1
2006-May-29, 02:54 PM
For example:
+> To what extent does {new ATM idea} include 'new physics' {this phrase could be defined}? Probably should be the first step. Do you have any possibilities now?

Nereid
2006-May-30, 02:56 PM
For example:
+> To what extent does {new ATM idea} include 'new physics' {this phrase could be defined}?Probably should be the first step. Do you have any possibilities now?I suspect that it won't be easy to come up with a clear and succinct phrase.

Some possible components; 'new physics' goes beyond, or changes one or more of the following:
- four (and only four) fundamental forces (gravity, EM, weak, strong)
- gravity works like GR says it works
- QED describes EM behaviour
- Standard Model (of particle physics) describes the weak and strong forces (plus some EM).

Or, it could be 'defined' by examples; the following include 'new physics' (they all have direct relevance to astronomy and cosmology):
- MOND
- Bekenstein's TeVeS (http://www.citebase.org/cgi-bin/citations?id=oai:arXiv.org:astro-ph/0511591)
- Narlikar and Arp's VMH
- SCC (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=82628)

Quite a few examples could be taken from our own ATM section.

But perhaps the key method to distinguish would be operational - for example, if application of GR and/or QM could not, in principle, rule out the ATM idea being proposed, then there must be at least some 'new physics' in that idea.

VanderL
2006-May-31, 10:01 PM
That there are several different kinds of ATM threads (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39917) seems obvious to me.

I'd like to discuss an approach to moderating the discussion on just one type of ATM thread*

There are quite a few ATM threads, some which became quite long and heated, that rest essentially on the ATM idea's proponent's poor understanding of one or more aspects of the basics.

Perhaps the (largely) wasted time and effort on these threads could be avoided, by requiring those who start 'new ATM theory' threads to unambiguously answer, in the OP or post #2, a simple question.

For example:
+> To what extent does {new ATM idea} include 'new physics' {this phrase could be defined}?
(if 'essentially none' is the answer, then at any point later in the thread where a mod feels misunderstanding of the basic science is confusing the discussion, they may call time out and request that the science be covered in a Q&A thread before the ATM thread can be resumed).

The intent is to steer discussions of ATM ideas that seem to be built more on misunderstanding than true ATM ideas towards a non-confrontational setting, where the underlying misunderstandings can be resolved (or at least better identified). A second intent is to reserve the 'attack(s) with glee and fervour' for those ATM ideas which have a firmer scientific basis.

I feel that ATM ideas which do contain 'new physics' can be addressed well, with the current ATM guidelines (no need for tweaking).

Thoughts?

*Examples of types of ATM threads outside the scope of my suggestion here:
-> 'philosophical' (ATM) ideas - non-mainstream theories and ideas which produce no observable differences (with corresponding mainstream theories), even in principle
-> 'mainstream must be wrong!!!' ATM threads - no ATM ideas proposed, just (perceived, proposed) illogical, inconsistent, discomforting, etc aspects of mainstream astronomy, astrophysics, space science, and cosmology
-> 'information about (famous) ATM ideas' threads
-> 'empirical ATM ideas' - no new theories proposed.


I can see merit in trying to steer any discussion towards non-confrontational settings, not just some discussions. I think the "glee and fervour" should not be part of any discussion as it invites personal attacks; science means trying to find evidence and argue in favour of particular models/theories based on facts/observations (however difficult to interpret) and respect contributors.

The obvious basic premise is to ask for evidence, or clarifications. What you call "misunderstandings" and "wasted efforts" is actually one of the major contributions a site like this has to offer: the opportunity to learn. Asking questions should therefore be part of all threads dedicated to astronomy and science in general. Having a seperate Q&A section is ok, but don't restrict the exchanges in the ATM section to only the ATM idea itself; a great deal can be learned from them exactly in that place. It means letting the participants decide what to discuss unless it has been said before in other threads, where links would help. Why would repetition be a bad thing, the other rules are fine as they are, and cover most every problem already. No need to steer too much.

Cheers.

hhEb09'1
2006-Jun-01, 05:15 PM
I think the "glee and fervour" should not be part of any discussion as it invites personal attacks; science means trying to find evidence and argue in favour of particular models/theories based on facts/observations (however difficult to interpret) and respect contributors."Glee and fervor" does not have to mean that there will be personal attacks. I think that they are separate issues entirely.
No need to steer too much.I agree with that.

nokton
2006-Jun-01, 07:25 PM
I suspect that it won't be easy to come up with a clear and succinct phrase.

Some possible components; 'new physics' goes beyond, or changes one or more of the following:
- four (and only four) fundamental forces (gravity, EM, weak, strong)
- gravity works like GR says it works
- QED describes EM behaviour
- Standard Model (of particle physics) describes the weak and strong forces (plus some EM).

Or, it could be 'defined' by examples; the following include 'new physics' (they all have direct relevance to astronomy and cosmology):
- MOND
- Bekenstein's TeVeS (http://www.citebase.org/cgi-bin/citations?id=oai:arXiv.org:astro-ph/0511591)
- Narlikar and Arp's VMH
- SCC (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=82628)

Quite a few examples could be taken from our own ATM section.

But perhaps the key method to distinguish would be operational - for example, if application of GR and/or QM could not, in principle, rule out the ATM idea being proposed, then there must be at least some 'new physics' in that idea.
Nereid, forgive me, respect you, are you confusing new ways of thinking
by impying new ideas need new physics to support them?
The current theory of what we perceive as a black hole has had a body
blow, a new and different theory has been proposed, concept and
understanding is growing. The 'physics' doesn't change, our interpretation
of it does. Exploring new ways of thinking about a problem is not in contest
with science, but rather seeking new interpretations leads us to a better
understanding,
Nereid, cooked myself a great meal, have a great bottle of wine, love to
share with you, and explore your thoughts and ideas, mean it.:-)
Nokton.

VanderL
2006-Jun-03, 09:54 AM
"Glee and fervor" does not have to mean that there will be personal attacks. I think that they are separate issues entirely.

I disagree; there are examples where "personalizations" led to disruptions and bannings/suspensions.

Cheers.

01101001
2006-Jun-03, 03:39 PM
I disagree; there are examples where "personalizations" led to disruptions and bannings/suspensions.

Cheers.
I'm having trouble understanding your argument.

The particular rule for posting, really a prediction with advice, is:


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

People will attack your ideas with sadness and apathy? People will not attack your ideas? What?

VanderL
2006-Jun-03, 04:10 PM
What would you have the BA change about the "glee and fervor" sentence?

People will attack your ideas with sadness and apathy? People will not attack your ideas? What?

Just "critically" and without getting personal will do. "Glee" is just the wrong term, no one likes to be laughed at, even if they are warned this could happen. Furthermore all the other rules are adequate to prevent things getting out of hand (the "be nice" rule is the most important, also in the ATM section), the addition of a "gleeful" attack is quite unneccesary.

Cheers.

01101001
2006-Jun-03, 05:23 PM
Just "critically" and without getting personal will do.
Where does it suggest getting personal? It's about attacking ideas.


"Glee" is just the wrong term, no one likes to be laughed at, even if they are warned this could happen.
Of course. When I present an idea and people laugh, I don't presume they are laughing at me, but with me. If they are laughing while attacking my idea, I certainly hope they are enjoying their attack. I don't want them to be sad about doing so.

People here do attack ideas with glee. The BA pointed it out. Should he have not pointed it out? Should they be reprimanded for doing so?


Furthermore all the other rules are adequate to prevent things getting out of hand (the "be nice" rule is the most important, also in the ATM section), the addition of a "gleeful" attack is quite unneccesary.
Yeah. So is your point is people shouldn't have any fun attacking ideas? No glee? No joy? They should do it out of a sense of duty, not because they enjoy it?

No. I wouldn't want that.

Keep having fun, folks!


Cheers.
That is the idea!

VanderL
2006-Jun-03, 10:16 PM
Where does it suggest getting personal? It's about attacking ideas.

Yep, it should be about attacking the ideas, but that's not always the case. The opposite to glee is not sad so much as earnest, or modest or something like that. You don't see how this "glee and fervour" could be a problem? The way the section is organized right now, there is no room to discuss an ATM idea without a personally accountable proponent. If the proponent does not answer quickly enough, or the answers are not accepted he/she will have to quit discussing the idea or get suspended/banned. Holding the proponent personally accountable is therefore a big threat to anyone who wants to start a discussion. In effect (if the rules are applied strictly) it will inevitably lead to either very short discussions, or bannings and short discussions. I don't see much fun in that.

Cheers.

01101001
2006-Jun-03, 10:42 PM
Yep, it should be about attacking the ideas, but that's not always the case.
I don't see your logic in getting from the statement in the rules to what you claim is happening. In fact, I find the idea laughable. With glee.

But, if you think it's causing a problem, why don't you just propose an alternative statement then to replace the factual "glee and fervor" sentence.


You don't see how this "glee and fervour" could be a problem?
No!

Gillianren
2006-Jun-03, 11:17 PM
If the person says, "I don't know," that will not result in a banning, you know. If the attacker attacks the person with glee and fervour, a report to the mods should result in at least a warning for the attacker, if not a suspension or even a banning.

If the idea cannot be defended by anyone, it's not much of an idea to be presented, is it?

Jeff Root
2006-Jun-04, 01:00 AM
The opposite to glee is not sad so much as earnest, or modest or
something like that.
Doink? (That was a sound effect. Like in a cartoon. I tend
to use sound effects to express myself in real life :))
The opposite of glee (in context) would be "displeasure" or
"reluctance" or "grudgingly".

People will nitpick your antonyms with glee and fervor here.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Tensor
2006-Jun-04, 02:16 AM
Hi all,

They make sure that the proponent of an alternative idea/theory has to defend claims personally.

Why is that such a bad idea? A proponent of an alternate idea has to have some reason they came to the conclusion that the alternate idea is the best one. Defending that idea will allow the proponet to provide the needed backing to show why or allow the detractors to point out the fallacy with the idea.


While it is obviously necessary that the alternative is questioned and explored fully, the challengers are asked to attack with "glee and fervor"

I don't agree with you here. The line in the rules says "Your idea will be attacked with glee and fevor..." and that pretty much decribes how the idea will be treated here, unless the proponent can provide evidence for the idea. Most of the time, the idea goes directly against an observation or the math. Most of the "mainstreamers" here will attacked such an idea with "glee and fevor", whether or not that line is in there. I read it as just a warning to the proponent to be ready provide evidence support the idea. The rest of that paragraph pretty much warns someone that if they can't handle the questioning of their idea here (where the rules of politeness are much more stringent that in an academic setting), they should, as the BA says, rethink presenting their idea.


which only adds to the possibility that people will call into question the proponent, and his/her ability to show the necessary evidence, instead of the theory or idea (this has happened on several occasions).

I don't think the ATM proponent's ability should be called into question. However, I don't think it's a bad idea to call into question the proponents understanding of the mainstream idea, politely, of course.


I think a more balanced approach is called for where civilised conversation is the rule and not any potentially flaming posts that I've seen in some threads.

Again, I agree with you here.


Moderators suggested to ask questions on ATM papers in the Q&A sections, but usually they are rapidly transferred to the ATM section, where subsequently the question is turned into a claim that needs to be defended with all the problems I mentioned above.

I think, and don't quote me :), that this applies more to the understanding of the mainstream ideas the proponent has, rather than the ATM idea. How many time have you seen someone post here on, say, the "missing neutrino problem" when, as Tim has pointed out, observations and theoretical work on the neutrino problem has pretty much eliminated it.

edited to remove a stray quote marker

hhEb09'1
2006-Jun-04, 07:16 PM
"Glee and fervor" does not have to mean that there will be personal attacks. I think that they are separate issues entirely.I disagree; there are examples where "personalizations" led to disruptions and bannings/suspensions.Personalizations may, but glee and fervor do not lead to personalization. There are other rules against it.

Just "critically" and without getting personal will do. "Glee" is just the wrong term, no one likes to be laughed at, even if they are warned this could happen. Furthermore all the other rules are adequate to prevent things getting out of hand (the "be nice" rule is the most important, also in the ATM section), the addition of a "gleeful" attack is quite unneccesary. But, it doesn't conflict with other rules, either. It's a warning--the BA was just trying to be nice. :)

Jeff Root
2006-Jun-04, 09:14 PM
Posters should be required to attack "gleefully, willfully, and wantonly",
or be kicked out of the forum, or at least sent to bed without supper.

-- Jeff, in Cognito

nokton
2006-Jun-06, 06:05 PM
If the person says, "I don't know," that will not result in a banning, you know. If the attacker attacks the person with glee and fervour, a report to the mods should result in at least a warning for the attacker, if not a suspension or even a banning.

If the idea cannot be defended by anyone, it's not much of an idea to be presented, is it?

Gillianren, replace the word attacker with a 'contestant', having dispute
with what is proposed. The word 'attacker' has a connotation that I feel
is not always appropriate.
Your last sentence Gillian, sums it up really, if ones idea cannot be
defended, duck and take the flack :-).
I feel what is at issue here, is the form that flack takes. Contesting an
idea or theory ( and the person behind it ), requires a reasoned and
rational rebuttal, even ithough it may be 'spirited'. To respond by insult,
denigration and deprication only, requires the serious attention of the
boards moderators, who would be responding to such, in the interest
of every one in this forum.
Nokton.

lyndonashmore
2006-Jun-15, 08:04 PM
[Moderator Note] This, and the next two, post(s) have been moved from the Big Bang Theory: Whats wrong with it? (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=42874), in the ATM section [/Moderator Note]
Post here if you want to discuss a theory that goes against the astronomical mainstream. Have a beef with relativity, heliocentrism, the Big Bang? This is the place.
can one post a thread here against the bb?
According to the rules one can only posts theories that go against the bb - not criticse it. is this so?

Nereid
2006-Jun-15, 08:22 PM
can one post a thread here against the bb?yes, you can.
According to the rules one can only posts theories that go against the bb - not criticse it. is this so?There are plenty of examples of threads that 'bash' mainstream astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, etc, without proposing an alternative (and not just the various concordance cosmological models). One example (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39593).

We even had a thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=35687) discussing whether 'bashing' should still be OK, here in the ATM section! (general feeling was "yes, it's OK to have such threads in the ATM section).