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Pertaining to the New Chat Rules

  1. Mar 31, 2013 #1
    I don't exactly understand why math/science discussion in the chat has been banned as a topic for discussion. Chats are universally used to help people socialize; PF is a forum for science/math, thus its members will probably want to socialize about science and math.

    A simple employment of common sense should resolve any discrepancies between what people enjoy doing in chat; if someone is doing something that you don't enjoy, then you either ask them to stop, to move the discussion elsewhere, or to change the topic to something more preferable to you. Entirely banning the subjects of which this forum is based upon makes no sense to me.

    I understand if some people feel as though the chat is supposed to be for more social manners, rather than science and math, but if the issue is that we want the chat to be a haven from what we discuss in the forums, then we must ban all content in the chat aside from simple "Hellos"; there's a politics and world affairs subforum, and I see a multitude of political discussions in the chat; there's a pet thread, and I often see discussions of pets; there's a cooking thread, and I often see discussions of what people are cooking or preparing, or what they like to eat.

    Finally, I would like to point out that, as an avid chat user myself, I have noticed how the majority of the people who populate the chat do not care if there are science or math discussions. As for the minority, I have already referred to a method for lessening their sorrows without ruining something for the majority.

    Thank you for your time :smile:
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
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  3. Mar 31, 2013 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    The rationale behind this is that chat has a tendency to occasionally be dominated by a small number of people discussing math problems which has alienated others from talking. This isn't to say anything negative about those people at all, it has simply been an observation. In light of this it's been decided it would be best if such conversations were kept out of chat. There isn't a blanket rule that nothing forum related can be discussed because there hasn't been an example of a topic that dominated chat like math.

    Also it's worth mentioning that whilst it is inevitable that there will be conversations that people don't feel they can or want to take part in the math chat tendency has taken that to the extreme. Again there's nothing wrong with people wanting to discuss maths but we'd like chat to be more inclusive.
     
  4. Mar 31, 2013 #3

    Ben Niehoff

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    Chat also has a tendency to be dominated by a small number of people talking about the Food Network. I find it dreadfully boring, and stifles more interesting discussions. I think it would be best if such topics were kept out of chat.
     
  5. Mar 31, 2013 #4

    WannabeNewton

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    Let's not forget illness and medication chat. If that isn't alienating then god knows what is.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2013 #5

    micromass

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    I think that prohibiting math and science discussions on a physics forum makes as much sense as going to a chat about food and demand that they don't talk about food.

    But that is my personal opinion and not my opinion as mentor.
     
  7. Mar 31, 2013 #6
    I agree with Micromass.

    This is a silly rule.
     
  8. Mar 31, 2013 #7

    jbunniii

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    It is ludicrous that science discussion is off limits at "Physics Forum Chat."

    The "solution" to create a separate discussion room for science might be OK if it were possible to participate in both rooms simultaneously, but as it stands now, it's either/or. No one is going to want to be the first one to leave the main discussion and sit in an empty chat room, so the result is that no one uses it.
     
  9. Mar 31, 2013 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    I agree it would be good if one could be in more than one room (perhaps Greg can comment as to whether or not this is possible) but I don't see why this is a show-stopper for people who want to have an in-depth discussion about maths or similar topics.

    I haven't been on chat in a while (logged on now because it seemed relevant) but it always used to be that when maths discussions started every other discussion would dry up to make way. So there was no GD chat to see anyway.
     
  10. Mar 31, 2013 #9

    WannabeNewton

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    To be honest I think this is not that big an issue. It seems to be getting heated but without warrant. There are other venues to chat about math e.g. facebook (which micro and I use and it has been perfectly fine thus far) so I don't see it as that big a deal, regardless of principle; if there is really a need to chat about math then other venues can be sought after as mentioned. Best to just let it be. It is hard to cater to everyone.
     
  11. Mar 31, 2013 #10

    Ben Niehoff

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    This is no different from normal conversation. When one topic picks up that a few people are keenly interested in, that topic dominates. I don't see why this is a Bad Thing.

    People should understand that they are free to interject with whatever they want. Math talk will end if someone starts something more interesting. And we frequently have situations where two unrelated conversations are interleaved with each other...rather like in real life when a larger group of people splits into smaller groups, yet still in the same room, with occasional cross talk.

    I don't see why there is a need to have an official policy about specific topics.
     
  12. Mar 31, 2013 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    There is a science chat that people are welcome to use of course. The complaint here seems to be that now members have been asked to use this rather than GD chat. I'm not sure why this is a big problem, it would allow the most possible amount of people to enjoy chat.
     
  13. Mar 31, 2013 #12

    WannabeNewton

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    I would have to agree with this as it seems unreasonable to have to go out of one's way to program simultaneous chat facilities JUST to please a select few for the cause of talking math but at the same time participating in general chat. Like I said, there are other venues if the desire is so great.
     
  14. Mar 31, 2013 #13

    Ben Niehoff

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    The problem, as mentioned, is that one cannot be in both rooms simultaneously. Just because one is talking about math does not mean one wants to block out all other conversational possibilities. It just impedes the natural flow of socialization, which is what "chat" should be for.
     
  15. Mar 31, 2013 #14
    Yeah, I didn't expect for this to become heated. I simply thought it was odd, and like I originally stated, I didn't understand why there was this rule, so I was looking for clarification.

    I still don't think that we should be limited to what we can discuss, when there are more viable options like taking discussions elsewhere, only if it has disturbed other members present in the chat. Catering to a select few who don't frequent the chat very often doesn't make much sense, in my opinion.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2013 #15

    Ryan_m_b

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    In normal conversation it's relatively easy for people to assume separate conversations, obviously this is more difficult even with the ability to "interleave" conversations as you say. In addition if there were a situation where one topic of conversation from a minority was dominating it wouldn't be unusual for someone to suggest that this be dropped.
    This seems like a quite privileged opinion IMO as it is placing the "blame" for lack of a better word on the people who feel alienated from being able to have a conversation. It also doesn't entirely match with my experience or the experience of others who have brought this up. When certain topics dominate from a few people most people stop paying attention which makes it even harder for a different topic of conversation to be brought up because there are less people to see it before it disappears of screen.

    Again I don't see anything wrong with science chat being asked to move to the science chat section. That reflects the forum in that we have the technical forums and the lounge forums. Personally I don't see the need for a hard and fast rule but I can't see it as a bad thing that members move a science discussion if asked to a science chat section.
     
  17. Mar 31, 2013 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    I refer you to my comment above;
    Of course not, as has been stressed many times there's nothing negative going on here.
     
  18. Mar 31, 2013 #17

    Ben Niehoff

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    But this is a science forum. It is for people who want to talk about science. As I see it, this should be the other way around, just as it is on the main forums. Science discussion should be the default room, and excessive discussion about other topics can be asked to move to the GD section.

    After all, the GD section of PF as at the bottom of the page, not the top.
     
  19. Mar 31, 2013 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    So you would be Ok with confining some science discussions if science chat was the default room to arrive in when one loads chat? That's an interesting possibility to consider.
     
  20. Mar 31, 2013 #19

    Ben Niehoff

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    Personally, I think you should use chat software that allows people to be in multiple rooms at once. There are plenty of options, including just a standard IRC channel.

    But if you can't do that, then yes, Science should be the default room.
     
  21. Mar 31, 2013 #20

    Evo

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    But the purpose of having chat was to have casual chat, and a room was created for science chat. When people just drop into chat, it makes sense that the general chat would be where they land, then they can move into science, if that's what they want.

    If "science chat" is the default, then people trying to have a serious chat will constantly be interrupted every time someone enters chat for any reason.
     
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