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Complaint Dangerous knowledge

  1. Dec 5, 2014 #1
    "We do not discuss dangerous activities here on the PF."
    berkeman

    Is it appropriate for an individual moderator to block the open discussion of what I feel could be a dangerous safety flaw in a device?
    I would propose that by not allowing those with the knowledge to reply and possibly save many people from harm shows gross negligence by the moderator.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2014 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/component-reliability.785817/

    Your DIY group doing electrical experiments on themselves is generally not a good idea. It is good that you want to understand the dangers and try to point them out to them, but discussing them on a web forum is probably not the best way for you to proceed. Please check out the UL 544 Medical Device Safety specification that I mentioned in the thread, and perhaps find a local EE resource who has a biomedical background to discuss the issues involved.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2014 #3

    phinds

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    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    There is often some contention about what the mods do here, both individually and as a group, but here's the thing ... PF is the best science forum on the Internet and a big reason for that is that time and effort put in by the mods, who do all this for nothing more than the love and kisses that we blow their way, along with the occasional cuss word, and their own sense of satisfaction at being helpful.

    I can understand your annoyance and an attempt to change/improve things is welcome, but at the end of the day, PF is what it is.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2014 #4

    Nugatory

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    Staff: Mentor

    Although actions are taken by individual mentors, we discuss the close calls among ourselves first and you can safely assume that any action has the support of the entire mentors' community. This one certainly does, and it does because...

    Unfortunately any reply of the form "If you're going to do it, here's how to do it safely" is going to be heard by someone out there as "It's OK to do it as long as you do it this way" and that's just asking for trouble.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2014 #5
    Thank you for the well put responses, and for providing the opportunity and platform to voice my grievances.
    You have all made solid points and recommendations. I now see how an open forum is not the best place to pursue this topic.
    This is a great forum, I see lots of interesting work being done here. Hopefully in the future I will have a less controversial subject to come to the experts with.
    Your time is appreciated.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2016 #6

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    This is an older Feedback thread, but our policies here have not changed, and there have been a couple unfortunate reminders in the news lately about why it is so important to stress safety to inexperienced experimenters, especially young people.

    Pretty sad...

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ohio-boy-electrocuted-conducting-youtube-experiment-38537056
     
  8. Apr 21, 2016 #7

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    And a couple honors high school students who got surprised. That could have been me. Have I told you about the time I almost blew up my ChemE roommate in college? Lesson learned...

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/1-dead-1-hurt-model-rocket-explodes-school-084933712.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Apr 22, 2016 #8
    I wonder if it would be a good idea to refer members finding themselves in such a situation to a local hackerspace.
    The bigger spaces usually have some people around that can help with safety considerations and even mentor them in their pursuit of knowledge.

    Of course this doesn't apply to anybody as they don't exist everywhere. In Belgium I know knew of two before I googled some more.
    This one seemed great from the virtual tour we got during a stream by freecodecamp (great opensource initiative).

    Might be something to consider.
     
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