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To the man part 2

  1. May 1, 2010 #1
    why lock the thread? are you guys afraid to hear peoples' opinions on how you choose to run things? I think you should hear what some of us have to say....after all this is the feedback section...geez

    Guidelines on Language and Attitude:
    Foul or hostile language will not be tolerated on Physics Forums. This includes profanity, obscenity, or obvious indecent language; direct personal attacks or insults; snide remarks or phrases that appear to be an attempt to "put down" another member; and other indirect attacks on a member's character or motives.

    Please treat all members with respect, even if you do not agree with them. If you feel that you have been attacked, and the moderators or mentors have not yet gotten around to doing something about it, please report it using the "Report" button. If you choose to post a response, address only the substantive content, constructively, and ignore any personal remarks.

    It is better to walk away from a possible confontation and come back later with constructive arguments.

    So what do we do when the moderators are the ones putting down other members??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2010 #2

    DaveC426913

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    There are plenty of moderators. Request another moderator review the dialogue; they will be able to provide a third party viewpoint. Happens all the time. Don't for a moment think that the mods are one big hive mind. They disagree, they argue, they fight, they moderate each other.
     
  4. May 1, 2010 #3

    berkeman

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    Which thread are you referring to? If you mean your thread about Lorentz Transforms, the link you posted was to a crackpot web page. Was there some other thread that was locked?
     
  5. May 1, 2010 #4

    DaveC426913

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  6. May 1, 2010 #5
    yes dave that's the one
     
  7. May 1, 2010 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Did you know that PF just topped 200,000 members?

    Perhaps it's doing something right, hmm?

    What you call "uptight" is what 200,000 people call "quality control".
     
  8. May 1, 2010 #7

    berkeman

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    Ah, I see it now, thanks. The best advice I can give you (in addition to what Evo said in your other Feedback thread) is to click the Report button on any posts that you see that don't follow the PF rules. That includes ones of an overly-speculative nature, and definitely any that contain links to crackpot websites. Stuff like that is not tolerated here, which is why we gain and retain so many valued members, IMO.
     
  9. May 1, 2010 #8
    What you call "uptight" is what 200,000 people call "quality control".

    Quality control is one thing but what upset me was a post I read about what it would be like to be light, hypothetically of course. The main antagonist, i.e. one of the moderators, couldn't seem to open up his mind and just roll with it. It was clear that he found it to be a stupid question, which he has done in other posts I've seen, and he wasn't alone of course, there were others with such and such recognitions. They all put the O.P down and was clearly "against the rules" (I understand the crackpot rules, language rules and hw rules, but do there really need to be any others). If someone can't be human enough to get off their high horse and just relax and have fun (and try to learn something of course) with a discussion, which I believe is the whole point of a forum, then that is what I call uptight Dave. I also find it hypocritical to enforce the rules and some moderators don't follow them. Don't get me wrong here, I love this website and I'm not surprised that there are 200,000 members, I just asking for our fearless leaders to cut some people some slack with their posts, and I'm not referring to me because as you can see I haven't posted that much. Ultimately, I just want people to open their third eye and have an imagination please.
     
  10. May 2, 2010 #9

    CRGreathouse

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    I'm pleased to see that this thread has remained open. I don't mind the moderation on this website -- there's a surprisingly fine line between "uptight" overmoderation and crackpot-friendly undermoderation. But I like that, at least so far, the moderators have allowed us to discuss that line.
     
  11. May 2, 2010 #10

    berkeman

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    I'll go read that thread now. I'd seen the title in searches, but never clicked into it. And the reason was because I thought to myself (I'm being honest here), "Boy, that's an unproductive thread. Not a possibility from the get-go, so why waste time on it instead of on something real and potentially productive." (or something to that effect :wink: )

    If that thread is like others here that get locked or deleted as not meeting the rules, it probably is because the original premise in the thread is clearly not possible, so any conclusions "hypothesized" from it are equally not possible, and a waste of time. More the stuff of science fiction discussions, not science discussions. Please understand that the PF is absolutely not a science fiction forum, and wasting the time of scientists and engineers is not something that we have as part of our charter or rules.

    I'll respond a bit more after reading the locked thread.
     
  12. May 2, 2010 #11

    berkeman

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    Hopefully I'm looking at the correct thread. Yuck. The OP's re-post of his original attempt at a question:

    And I agree 100% with the responses:

    It's understandable that folks who are new to the PF and don't understand either physics or the PF rules may post questions like he did. This is just not the place for threads like this, and that's why the PF rules are there, to help us avoid wasting folks' time with threads that lead nowhere. Everybody's time (posters and Mentors) is way too valuable for that.

    Now having said that, I do want to add something else. Since I'm an EE primarily (with a strong interest in physics, but only a lower-division education in physics), I don't generally get involved in moderating physics threads. Sure, I can handle the simple stuff, but I try to acknowledge my limits, and stay mostly hands-off in the physics side of the forums. I have seen responses in the Mentor forums to post reports by the physics moderators that surprised me in a good way -- responses to post reports that went something like, "Well, there is this problem with the OP post, but in a way, they bring up a good issue about XYZ. I'll post in the thread to expand on XYZ and see where it leads." So on posts where my limited understanding would tend to make me delete or lock the thread, they have the expertise and background to be able to see if there are some elements of truth and science in parts of the OP question, and actually try to guide the OP in the direction of the real science behind their question.

    So please don't think that the Mentors here (especially the physics Mentors) just knee-jerk delete every strange sounding post. We all read and consider (and discuss) the reported posts, and if a Mentor thinks that there is merit in some part of the OP, they will generally at least post on it to give the OP and thread a chance. By the same token, if the concensus is <yuck>, then the thread will be deleted or locked.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  13. May 2, 2010 #12
    All I'm trying to get at is that it should be fine to talk about almost anything as long as it is in the correct thread of course. You said:"Boy, that's an unproductive thread. Not a possibility from the get-go, so why waste time on it instead of on something real and potentially productive."
    This I find to be perfectly fine, at least you didn't go in and put someone down. The "being light" thread is just one of many that I've seen where mods. have been very condescending and smug.
    I understand this isn't a sci-fi forum, and I don't believe anyone is trying to waste the time of scientists and engineers, all they need to do is what you did and just skip it. Most of the people that ask these types of questions are just curious; where is the harm in that? These threads should be allowed to be open for people who wish to participate in them and shouldn't be locked or smugged up by mods. One could say that my previous statement is hypocritical since I said people who wish to participate which would obviously include the mods., however, there pretentious attitude should not be tolerated.
     
  14. May 2, 2010 #13

    berkeman

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    Since I see all of the post reports, and all of the Mentor discussions, I'd have to say that the number of true insults by Mentors is extremely low. Much more often, a Mentor (or a senior member who is extremely qualified in the subject) will just be honest, and say something like "you don't know what you are talking about", or "your postulate is absolutely incorrect." In general, those responses are just honest, knowledgable people who are tired of wasting their time with folks who don't know what they are talking about.

    There is a practical tradeoff between spending a lot of time explaining to posters why perpetual motion machines are not possible (to use an engineering forums example), versus making the subject not allowed as part of the PF rules link. I think that there is a "Banned Topics" list someplace here, with explanations for why they are banned as non-useful topics. Maybe we need to work more at expanding that list as a FAQ for newbie posters...
     
  15. May 2, 2010 #14

    berkeman

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    The harm is in the wasted time and aggrevation factor for the user's of the PF. That's why we have the Rules. No, we will not just skip checking posts. And we will respond to all post reports, one way or another.
     
  16. May 2, 2010 #15
    "I think that there is a "Banned Topics" list someplace here, with explanations for why they are banned as non-useful topics. Maybe we need to work more at expanding that list as a FAQ for newbie posters..."

    perhaps..or create a section where hypotheticals can be freely asked...
     
  17. May 2, 2010 #16
    "No, we will not just skip checking posts"

    You misunderstood me here, I was referring to the smug comments that could be done without. You said you saw the thread and just decided to not enter it. Everyone who feels there time will be wasted shouldn't enter it, but you must remember that there are members who enjoy discussing these hypotheticals that aren't, yet, scientists or engineers and may somehow benefit from the discussion and it not waste their time. I mean, how can one know that a discussion is not going to benefit anyone and just be a waste of time if no one is allowed to discuss it?
     
  18. May 2, 2010 #17

    berkeman

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    That's a fair question. The current metric here is that topics of discussion have to be mainstream science. That means topics published in mainstream, refereed journals, or reported by reputable scientific news services. So a "conscious photon" would pretty much not qualify.

    Just as we try in the Homework Help forums to try to help students learn how to learn (no spoonfeeding, no cheating, show your work, etc.), in the main forums, we expect people to do enough homework on their own, so that they don't post pie-in-the-sky impossible stuff that is obviously not real science. As long as they do some checking and reading on their own first (wikipedia, hyperphysics, others), they probably will not be coming here to post threads that violate the PF rules.

    It's similar to a lesson I learned as a junior EE, seeking help from senior EEs with my questions. You're expected to do some research on your own first, before asking your questions. Much of the time you figure out the question on your own based on doing some reading first, and the other times, you make your question much more intelligent and succinct when you tap the knowledge of the collective...
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  19. May 2, 2010 #18

    Evo

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    Your first 'complaint" thread was locked because it violated the guidelines

    Threads started in feedback should not be about your particular situation.
     
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