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Thread: some of the rules seem a bit too restrictive

  1. #31
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    Politics are religion are subject matters that result in both sides breaking down, flinging poo at each other. Besides, if one can convince another side to change their political-views, they need to run for political office.

    This is a science-forum; not a political one. Those can be found elsewhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    .
    The forum is heavily moderated, but it is just a forum. But, it is not like the mods are my supervisors at work or the admins my managers at work in which they can fire me, forcing me to be homeless.

    The reason for over-moderation, is that most of the people on BAUT have devoted much time to reading, research and scientific conclusions and not a lot of time socializing, getting to know other people and empathy. They lack people-skills and as such, over-moderate. I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen. Managing people is not a skill they have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    The forum is heavily moderated, but it is just a forum. But, it is not like the mods are my supervisors at work or the admins my managers at work in which they can fire me, forcing me to be homeless.

    The reason for over-moderation, is that most of the people on BAUT have devoted much time to reading, research and scientific conclusions and not a lot of time socializing, getting to know other people and empathy. They lack people-skills and as such, over-moderate. I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen. Managing people is not a skill they have.
    It's heavily moderated, but IMO it's not over-moderated. There are rules, clearly stated, and those rules are enforced. That's exactly as it should be. People/management skills are not relevant to that. (Incidentally, the mods here seem to me to have more people skills than the average manager.)
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  3. #33
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    What is more important? Following rules, or scientific insight? Do people come here to follow rules or for science?

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    What is more important? Following rules, or scientific insight? Do people come here to follow rules or for science?
    I know of no rule here that limits scientific insight. The ATM rules here are certainly less rigorous than scientific peer review.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    The reason for over-moderation, is that most of the people on BAUT have devoted much time to reading, research and scientific conclusions and not a lot of time socializing, getting to know other people and empathy. They lack people-skills and as such, over-moderate. I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen. Managing people is not a skill they have.
    I'd disagree. Most science is collaborative, you have to be able to work with people. This seems to be the common 'scientist as a socially inept geek' stereotype.

    The reason strong moderation is required is, I think, because there are too many people unfamiliar with the style of academic and especially scientific collaboration. Common issues that lead to moderator intervention that I think back this up are:
    1) Appeals to 'common sense' rather than scientific rigour
    2) Perceiving any challenge to an idea as a personal attack (and responding with a personal attack)
    3) Unwillingness to accept that mainstream does not mean right, but it does mean supported by evidence and thus requires strong evidence to overturn
    4) Lack of any big picture awareness about how ideas/theories plug together
    5) Belief that by proving another idea wrong their ideas will seem more right
    6) Inability to accept and compare equally multiple competing models and accept the global best fit
    7) Heavy cherry picking of sources and citations
    8) Reliance on debating tactics and point scoring

    There are probably more, but these are the ones that came to mind immediately.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    The reason for over-moderation, is that most of the people on BAUT have devoted much time to reading, research and scientific conclusions and not a lot of time socializing, getting to know other people and empathy. They lack people-skills and as such, over-moderate. I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen. Managing people is not a skill they have.
    We mods and admins have been accused of many things, but this is high on the list of funniest.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    What is more important? Following rules, or scientific insight? Do people come here to follow rules or for science?
    [shameless plug]

    Some people come here to discuss Fascinating Research Ideas For Citizen Scientists ...

    I cordially invite you to come and discuss some of these.

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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    I'd disagree. Most science is collaborative, you have to be able to work with people. This seems to be the common 'scientist as a socially inept geek' stereotype.

    The reason strong moderation is required is, I think, because there are too many people unfamiliar with the style of academic and especially scientific collaboration. Common issues that lead to moderator intervention that I think back this up are:
    1) Appeals to 'common sense' rather than scientific rigour
    2) Perceiving any challenge to an idea as a personal attack (and responding with a personal attack)
    3) Unwillingness to accept that mainstream does not mean right, but it does mean supported by evidence and thus requires strong evidence to overturn
    4) Lack of any big picture awareness about how ideas/theories plug together
    5) Belief that by proving another idea wrong their ideas will seem more right
    6) Inability to accept and compare equally multiple competing models and accept the global best fit
    7) Heavy cherry picking of sources and citations
    8) Reliance on debating tactics and point scoring

    There are probably more, but these are the ones that came to mind immediately.
    That's a good list, #1 especially.

  9. #39
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    I'd also point out that there are plenty of regulars who are not trained scientists. Not that I'm naming names, of course.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen.
    I guess we're just lucky a vast majority of our membership isn't door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesmen, as far as I know.
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I guess we're just lucky a vast majority of our membership isn't door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesmen, as far as I know.
    Yes I agree, but one could be fun : http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x393hf_captain-beefheart-upon-the-my-oh-my_music
    Last edited by tusenfem; 2014-Oct-27 at 07:40 AM. Reason: changed vid to url

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I guess we're just lucky a vast majority of our membership isn't door-to-door vacuum-cleaner salesmen, as far as I know.
    There are quite a few that are selling the idea of cleaning up space junk.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    There are quite a few that are selling the idea of cleaning up space junk.
    We're giving it away for free!
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  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    We mods and admins have been accused of many things, but this is high on the list of funniest.
    Glad I could make you smile!

    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I know of no rule here that limits scientific insight. The ATM rules here are certainly less rigorous than scientific peer review.
    Fallacy of relative privation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    I'd disagree. Most science is collaborative, you have to be able to work with people. This seems to be the common 'scientist as a socially inept geek' stereotype.

    The reason strong moderation is required is, I think, because there are too many people unfamiliar with the style of academic and especially scientific collaboration. Common issues that lead to moderator intervention that I think back this up are:
    1) Appeals to 'common sense' rather than scientific rigour
    2) Perceiving any challenge to an idea as a personal attack (and responding with a personal attack)
    3) Unwillingness to accept that mainstream does not mean right, but it does mean supported by evidence and thus requires strong evidence to overturn
    4) Lack of any big picture awareness about how ideas/theories plug together
    5) Belief that by proving another idea wrong their ideas will seem more right
    6) Inability to accept and compare equally multiple competing models and accept the global best fit
    7) Heavy cherry picking of sources and citations
    8) Reliance on debating tactics and point scoring

    There are probably more, but these are the ones that came to mind immediately.
    Strawman fallacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    Strawman fallacy.
    I don't think so. Classically I would have had to have claimed to have proven you wrong or to have refuted your argument by attempting to replace it with a different argument. You argued that scientists would tend to lack people skills, to be unable to manage people. I pointed out that since most science is collaborative these days it is not likely that they are completely inept in this area since, certainly in universities, teams are run by scientists and full of scientists.

    It would help if you explained why you thought this was a strawman rather than just a two word reply. Otherwise it sounds kind of like the behaviour in point 8 - trying to score points and 'win' rather than having a discussion. I'd rather discuss why you think this, what examples you have of it and contrast that to my views and experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    Fallacy of relative privation.
    Not at all. The comparison is very relevant, and direct. If scientific insight matters here, then the parts of this forum that display that should reflect science's methods of testing, and they do.

    And the first part of my statement is true regardless; there is no rule or innate factor of this forum that limits scientific insight. It does however limit non-scientific insight, and rightly so.
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  17. #47
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    I wanted to make hear a different point of view , so I started from Shaula's list and put my comments in Blue and italic.

    I'd disagree. Most science is collaborative, you have to be able to work with people. This seems to be the common 'scientist as a socially inept geek' stereotype.

    The reason strong moderation is required is, I think, because there are too many people unfamiliar with the style of academic and especially scientific collaboration. Common issues that lead to moderator intervention that I think back this up are:
    1) Appeals to 'common sense' rather than scientific rigour
    What is scientific rigor ? Believing only in facts ? , experimental data and other evidence ?, dogmatism ? ,materialism ? ,rigor mortis ?
    2) Perceiving any challenge to an idea as a personal attack (and responding with a personal attack)
    Who is immune ?
    3) Unwillingness to accept that mainstream does not mean right, but it does mean supported by evidence and thus requires strong evidence to overturn
    And then what ? End of the discussion ?
    4) Lack of any big picture awareness about how ideas/theories plug together
    Good point ,but it goes often both ways.
    5) Belief that by proving another idea wrong their ideas will seem more right
    ? ? ? ?
    6) Inability to accept and compare equally multiple competing models and accept the global best fit
    Good point
    7) Heavy cherry picking of sources and citations
    Good point but anybody can intervene.
    8) Reliance on debating tactics and point scoring
    Good point

    I think this site is very good with the form but too strict with the substance.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Githyanki View Post
    <snip>

    The reason for over-moderation, is that most of the people on BAUT have devoted much time to reading, research and scientific conclusions and not a lot of time socializing, getting to know other people and empathy. They lack people-skills and as such, over-moderate. I would not expect a PhD in Astrophysics to be good at managing a bunch of vacuum-cleaner door to door salesmen. Managing people is not a skill they have.
    Githyanki,

    Since you seem to want a serious discussion of this (and in which case I'm sorry for my earlier attempt at humor), I'll give you a serious answer.

    I think Shaula made an excellent response about this, and, as a working scientist, I can tell you that is exactly true. Scientists with poor people skills do not succeed and it is actually an incorrect stereotype to say that they uniformly don't have such skills.

    I will also say that I find your post personally insulting. I'm quite fine if you disagree with the particulars of how we moderate here, our particular rules, or the type of community we are trying to maintain here. All of that is up for discussion.

    But it is insulting to dismiss this as a lack of people skills of the Moderation Team. In fact, many of us have extensive experience and training in the "soft arts" of people skills.
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  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    What is scientific rigor ? Believing only in facts ? , experimental data and other evidence ?, dogmatism ? ,materialism ? ,rigor mortis ?
    Facts are tricky. I avoid them. Scientific rigor in this context is use of the scientific method, following where models lead, testing them and not using imprecise and highly subjective/personal criteria to evaluate which of their predictions to believe or disbelieve. A good example of this is the size of the universe. A good argument would be one that shows a prediction made by an infinite universe model that is not in accord with an observation, or a way in which the infinite universe breaks a currently accepted model. A bad argument is one which has a load of 'well it does not make sense' or 'well, by this long chain of dubious verbal logic it is obvious that I am right' or even worse just asserting that something cannot be the case.

    Who is immune ?
    No one is totally. However I can say 100% that the lesson to try to avoid it is drummed into you by vivas, thesis challenges, seminars and a lot of other ways. People used to peer review, which can be cutting, tend to not react badly to criticism of an idea because they are more used to seeing it and defending ideas. I, for example, frequently have fairly bruising peer review sessions with a work colleague and don't go home hating them or filled with anger at them. Because we both know that they are doing it to make my idea stronger (or kill it off) and that either outcome is a good thing. One of the best lessons I think you get taught doing research is that being wrong costs nothing!

    And then what ? End of the discussion ?
    And then you show evidence or accept that idea remains non-mainstream. There are a lot of these sorts of ideas out there, sometimes one makes a comeback. But until the body of evidence favours the new idea it has not got the same status as mainstream ideas and building further theories on it is very much at risk. And if someone is asking a question on here the default position is to give the mainstream answer because that is the most strongly supported one. In simple Q&A presenting a huge number of less probable ideas is not helpful, in general. And it has been made clear several times on here that discussion of alternative ideas is fine. Promotion of them is not so accepted. And people seem to struggle to make that distinction until they are told by a mod.

    Good point ,but it goes often both ways.
    Only argument I have with that is that the global fit/big picture is generally better explored by mainstream ideas. Simply because more work has been done on it. A lot of alternative ideas look attractive but lack the background work to fit them together with other ideas. Often it is quite obvious where this is a problem, and the attitude (common one) that "Well, this means that the other theories have to change" is not a strong position to take with a largely untested or worked on idea.

    ? ? ? ?
    You see endless examples of this in the ATM forum. People try to poke holes in the current theory either to make theirs look better or to imply that their ideas are on the same footing as the mainstream ones.

    Good point...

    Good point but anybody can intervene.
    Do you know how much work that is though? I have in the past spent hours following links, reading papers and replying carefully. Only to have all my points ignored and a different set of cherry picked results shown. After 3-4 iterations I gave up - and this is why cherry picking is a successful tactic for some people. Because it costs them little effort, while doing it right doesn't look that different but takes a huge amount more effort.

    Good point...

    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    I think this site is very good with the form but too strict with the substance.
    I disagree. I could point fingers at a number of people who get away with what I see as playing chicken with the rules. If the enforcement of them were relaxed further it would be a full time job just keeping up with countering them. Or more likely people would just give up and the signal to noise of the forum would plummet. If you want a great example of that look at the IOP comments on their news section. People used to try to keep these correct, but with no enforcement or policing it was a thankless, endless task. Now the comments are something like 75% "This proves 'scientists' are wrong and my pet theory (pointer to book/website) is right!"

  20. #50
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    First , thank you for this long answer. I buy some of your points but not all. As I maintain several ATM ideas, and the ATM section is just a ghetto or a quarantine , I cannot have here some discussions I wish I could have. I think the forum is too restrictive , some people thinks it is not enough and if they have their ways , sure I will quit.

    Anyway thanks again for your time.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by galacsi View Post
    First , thank you for this long answer. I buy some of your points but not all. As I maintain several ATM ideas, and the ATM section is just a ghetto or a quarantine , I cannot have here some discussions I wish I could have. I think the forum is too restrictive , some people thinks it is not enough and if they have their ways , sure I will quit.

    Anyway thanks again for your time.
    And thank you for agreeing to disagree! I do recognise what you are saying and, believe it or not, I sort of agree that it would be nice to enable more speculative discussions. I would like to be able to talk more about new or alternative ideas. Trouble is those sorts of discussions almost always seem to go bad unless moderated heavily. And they usually turn into one or two people aggressively promoting an idea they are particularly sold on. So on the balance I am happy that they are strongly policed because the alternative is a board filled with junk science dominated by those who have the most time to post their own opinions endlessly.

  22. #52
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    As to the OP on the rules being a bit too "strong", I agree BUT they are there for a good reason. My problem (I assume like a lot of other members) is keeping track of several sites. Some are way more stricter with forum rules than other and I occasionally forget this.

    At least on this site, you do get some warnings when you mess up but at other sites its a whole different ball game. At one site I was banned simply because one moderator was sick of my touching on (what they thought) were too controversial for their operation. I was quickly banned from the site with no reasonable explanation other than I had seemed to ruffle this moderator's feathers and he struck back even though I had done so much to help beginners in the (astronomy) hobby - seems no mater how "good" I was on that site, just one "mistake" was all it took to end an otherwise pleasant experience.

    Though this site is strict with its rules, at least ample warning(s) are given to those who just make a mistake in the heat of the topic. I too was pondering about quitting this site but in all honesty, I won't for now. There are good as well as bad things about any forum site and I think its up to the user to evaluate which site deserves their time and attention the most.

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