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EtU-specific moderation standards and practices


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#21 Orpheus

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:15 PM

After some consideration, I have begun to wonder if a more proactive approach to thread splitting isn't advisable.

The way the board software is set up, it is MUCH simpler for me to simply split threads preemptively early in their course. Posts can also be returned to the original thread (though poerhaps slightly out of order). Also by the time all the notifications are read/replied to, there is little point in making the edits. Finally: if I *move* a post, the poster retains all their original access and use privileges, but if I use any other method, the board registers it as "mine", so the OP can no longer fix or delete it.

This goes against my generally laissez -faire approach to the original poster's intent, but I feel that it would be better for the discussions, and is not irrevocable. In fact, if a post is "moved" or "split" to another thread, it is easier for me to reverse the action, and a poster can themselves easily copy/quote their remarks, with full formatting intact, back to the original thread (with improvements, if desired) if they feel it it's a better fit.

Please post you approval/disapproval on this issue. Don't just "read and nod". This isn't a vote, but I would like a sense of the forum.

#22 D.Rabbit

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:42 PM

^^^
Sounds like your willing to go the distance to accomdate all.

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#23 Ogami

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:56 PM

Orpheus wrote:

CASE STUDY #1
We had a bit of unpleasantness with a new poster in this thread. Most likely, the OP simply wasn't aware that we expect a different tone than, say, OT, and I *might* have taken some action (a friendly PM or in-thread post) on that basis. However, they also clearly infringed Board Guidelines, so the need for action wasn't too controversial.


Orpheus, try checking out post #3 on that thread you cite, Christopher adopts an extremely hostile tone to White Tiger's stated opinion, he's absolutely vicious. Yet you don't notice any offensive conduct until we get way down the thread to a "Doctor Jones"? Look at post #3 on that thread by Demigod Christopher:

How are they "suffering?"
And I have to add, that headline sets a new low in sensationalism supplanting good science reporting.
If you want real information about this research rather than the incompetent yellow-journalism version,

Christopher then continues this vein of ATTACK and ATTACK and ATTACK in post #6:

Perhaps you didn't notice -- the dogs were completely unharmed by the process.
Again, I recommend that you read the SciAm article rather than relying on incompetent, sensationalist reporting.

That's pretty personal, and totally uncalled for. Why the need to slap down someone else's thoughts? Note I'm not saying anything about what DoctorJones posted, or your reasons for editing their post. I'm just wondering how you, Orpheus, can skip through Christopher's very personal (and uncalled-for) comments to the thread creator and then go after DoctorJones.
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Orpheus wrote:

SUITABILITY OF TOPICS
I've received comments that certain threads aren't "suitable" for EtU. One recent example was "Sam - World's Ugliest Dog", which only "explores the universe" in the most tangential sense.


It was a cute story on a dog that won a dog show for ugliest dog. It also raises the questions of humans breeding ugly dogs specifically for such competitions. I would suggest that whomever complained about the thread itself had complaints about the poster, not the thread. But that's just a guess.  :angel:

-Ogami

Edited by Ogami, 25 September 2005 - 08:00 PM.


#24 Ogami

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 07:58 PM

Orpheus wrote in a followup post:

Christopher -
You know I'd grant you a formal Emeritus title if I could, but you're already a Demigod.


Never mind, you just answered my questions on why DoctorJones needed to be edited on that thread, but nothing was said to Christopher for his clearly personal (and uncalled-for) comments to White Tiger.

-Ogami

#25 D.Rabbit

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 08:27 PM

However....
From Historical evidence of Jesus

Quote

This thread is intended to discuss the verifiable historical evidence for the existence of the individual commonly known as Jesus. Divinity or other issues of religion belong elsewhere, and will be removed, spoilered or deleted, at my discretion -- not as censorship, but to preserve the focus of the thread. Others who wish to start threads with similar restrictions are welcomed to PM me to discuss it. We'll work something out.

I thought this new quid pro quo of yours Orpheus might be a matter for discussion?
I bolded the part that has the most discussablity. (<is that a word?)  :whistle:

I find it rather draconian and out of character with the freedoms of speech.
Your offering the use of this set of rules to the members almost seems like an after thought to make it look less of a dictatorship?

Keeping order amongst the precocious is a hard job.  ;)

It is also a very innovative way to keep a thread on track.
I like the spoilers, it give the reader the choice to see what the aside is or keep on subject. Once again, "however," the asides are not spoilers. Wouldn't it be great to have them labeled by a more appropriate name?

I realize it would be a matter of adding features to the board that are not standard but as a thought I do believe it has merit.
How about placing an unmistakable title above the spoiler brackets?
This could be fun, thinking up an acronym.

I like, totally off subject = TOS
Any other suggestions?
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#26 Delvo

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 08:30 PM

Ya, when it's time for a thread to split, it's time for it to split; anything else is needless complication.

#27 Orpheus

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 01:28 AM

Ogami -
RE: the Ugly Dog Contest
I never objected to your thread. I even posted in it. However, it happened to be the most recent example of an "off-charter" (so to speak) thread at the time I was writing those points for discussion. I'm sorry if that caused you offense. However, you yourself said in the OP that it wasn't exactly a hard science story.

Your OP did have a parenthetical aside hinting at a possible topic, and that, though tenuous, was enough for me to let it stand. Still, I can easily see how someone might disagree with my choice

Just as a suggestion: if you want to discuss something like the ethics of breeding, don't leave it in a brief aside. Even 1-2 full declarative sentences on the topic might have encouraged more of that kind of response, and made the complaint impossible. People can be hesitant to "bog down" a light thread with a "heavy" response.

I don't think the "complaint" was personal. What ulterior benefit could result? I'd only move the thread to a forum where IMHO it would be most read and best enjoyed.

RE: White Tiger and DoctorJones
I have read and re-read Christopher's posts #3 & #6 in the Zombie Dogs thread, and I still don't see any attack on White Tiger, or anything objectionable. He noted that the article was "yellow journalism" and linked a more reliable SciAm article -- common and constructive response to such articles

Quote

Title: Boffins create zombie dogs

Photo: snarling dog, lying outside in the snow - not a "zombie dog"as  suggested by the caption: Eerie ... boffins have brought dead dogs back to life, in the name of science.

First sentence: SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.
There was nothing eerie. This is just an extended variant of a procedure that has been used on humans for half a century! (e.g. to allow prolonged open heart surgery, for which the heart had to be stilled, under the procedures of that time) The photo, caption amnd text were purely pejorative. The work at the Safar Center for Resuscitation (abstract in Critical care Medicine and a more recent one in Journal of Trauma) explicitly had nothing to do with long term human suspended animation as the article implied. And Zombie? The article itself says: "Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage." The literature is full of hypothermic recovery from (e.g.) children who have fallen through lake ice -- are *they* zombies, too? How about other recipients of defibrillator shock?

I would call the first half of the article "classic yellow journalism", written for purely sensational effect. My strongest evidence? The second half of the article itself, which, read carefully, dispels the impression crafted by the first half. Unfortunately, not everyone could access the full article.

Just so we're clear: though I have done a fair amount of animal research that could be described in gruesome terms, I believe there are important ethical issues in animal experimentation. I've evolved my own standards while studying Bioethics in degree programs under leading experts like George Annas and Martin Grodin, but I don't pretend my answers are universal or final. I feel there is a need for ongoing discussion, as our technical capabilities advance. It would be all too easy for us scientists to blithely dismiss such concerns and blindly cross an ethical line.

I would be happy to submit that thread to the Staff for review, but that thread has has already been widely discussed in the Staff Lounge --and here-- since it was posted in June. You are the only one to see ANY problem with Christopher's remarks or my handling of the thread.

If I am wrong, if others who have been engaging in this discussion have been holding back their true feelings, I hope they will come forward. No progress can come of silence. I don't believe that is the case, however.

D.Rabbit said:

I thought this new quid pro quo of yours Orpheus might be a matter for discussion?
I bolded the part that has the most discussablity. (<is that a word?) whistling.gif
Your point is well taken. However, I felt I was simply listing actions that are well within my purview even without explicit notice.

We have an amicable history here, but I felt that the warning was justified because the topic might attract the attention of readers who are less familiar with our expected decorum (e.g. the "hit and run" DoctorJones). Our forum comes up #1 on Google for some surprising things, such as the energy barrier in the conservation of baryon number Based on past history, The Jesus thread be indexed on Google in 24-36 hours (they sometimes ignore us on weekends), and this is a traditionally controversial topic

True, it has not been our usual practice to explicitly enforce a certain scope of discussion (though I've seen impassioned requests in OPs). Perhaps that is worth discussing. However, since anyone is free to a thread on divinity, I didn't see any controversy in a firm "stay on topic".

I believe that EtU works better when we have a reasonable expection of "truth in labeling" If we open a thread on math or history, it should [mostly] be about math or history. Religion, in particular, is a topic where many people actively avoid debate. Must one wade through fervent personal opinions to read documented facts?

As far as "quid pro quo": if you mean my offer to monitor other threads with such criteria in mind... well, that's why I ask them to PM me first. I don't know how this will go. I may feel a specific request is problematic, or I may ask then to wait a few days until I have more time. I may agree and be forced to delete my own posts on e.g. the psychosexual application of wheaties vs cheerios.

Quote

I like the spoilers, it give the reader the choice to see what the aside is or keep on subject. Once again, "however," the asides are not spoilers. Wouldn't it be great to have them labeled by a more appropriate name?
Well, obviously, I'd enjoy having an array of them --or simply the option to assign each a title, as we do with the Quote tags-- but AFAIK no one else uses them as I do, so it's probably not worth the effort. If you feel it would be a good idea, you can suggest it in AGQ. If you'd like, I can see if I can dig up a suitable code add-in.

#28 Ogami

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:59 AM

Orpheus wrote:

Just as a suggestion: if you want to discuss something like the ethics of breeding, don't leave it in a brief aside.

I thought it would come up in discussion. Obviously if someone's looking for a harder scientific edge to a thread, they can discuss it in the thread rather than whining to the moderator everytime they don't like a topic. But hey, some people don't think humor and science can mix, apparently.

-Ogami

#29 WildChildCait

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:24 PM

I like the fact that debate here is civilised - and scientific. Based on explanations not feelings.

I do however, think it should not just be for science etc in sci-fi...but also in the modern, current world.

And maybe a historical perspective of the science as well.
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#30 Christopher

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:55 PM

Chaddee, on Sep 26 2005, 04:24 PM, said:

I do however, think it should not just be for science etc in sci-fi...but also in the modern, current world.

And maybe a historical perspective of the science as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It already is.  Indeed, real-world science threads have outnumbered SF science threads for quite a long time now.
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#31 Orpheus

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 03:52 AM

NEWS FLASH
I just realized I can make a post invisible --reversibly-- which is much better than irreversibly deleting a post during/after a Mod action.

Put on your thinking caps for other ways to use this capability. Other than sneaking my posts into the EI Ladies Forum. I'm way ahead of you there.

The next post will be a test, made invisible, so we can all see what it looks like.

Christopher, on Sep 26 2005, 04:55 PM, said:

Chaddee, on Sep 26 2005, 04:24 PM, said:

I do however, think it should not just be for science etc in sci-fi...but also in the modern, current world.

And maybe a historical perspective of the science as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It already is.  Indeed, real-world science threads have outnumbered SF science threads for quite a long time now.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed, as much as I love hard science, I'd welcome a few more SF-science threads. They can be great fun.

You'd be surprised how often I hear: "I wish we had more threads on X". I can only arch an eyebrow and point at the "Post Topic" button.

Of course, they probably just recieve a blank PM when I do that -- so I thought I'd type it out this time.

Edited by Orpheus, 27 September 2005 - 04:09 AM.


#32 Nonny

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 10:24 AM

Orpheus, on Sep 5 2005, 01:50 PM, said:

Again, the OP did nothing wrong, and I apologized for adding the subtitle, but I felt she would understand my reason for the "administrative" change.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

She did.  She does.  :)  

Orpheus, on Sep 6 2005, 02:27 AM, said:

Similarly, I edited first and immediately PM'ed Nonny for her reaction when I added a subtitle warning to her thread on the F-word. (She'd already logged off, and since, IIRC, it was a Friday evening, there was no telling when she'd get home from her carousing. Don't let her kid you.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dang!  Busted!  :hehe:  

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#33 D.Rabbit

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 11:57 PM

Orpheus, on Sep 26 2005, 02:28 AM, said:

Well, obviously, I'd enjoy having an array of them --or simply the option to assign each a title, as we do with the Quote tags-- but AFAIK no one else uses them as I do, so it's probably not worth the effort. If you feel it would be a good idea, you can suggest it in AGQ. If you'd like, I can see if I can dig up a suitable code add-in.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I started the thread, but AGQ has turned into a TK play ground, so you had best get in there and bump it if we are going to realize any action.

As far as you going invisible Orpheus....I'd better not go there.  :p
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#34 Orpheus

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 11:55 PM

I'm thinking of updating Kevin Street's "Best Science Links" sticky.

I considered just incorporating the already suggested links, and selected links from some threads or simply transfering selected posts into the thread. I'm not sure the thread is used often enough to justify much more effort than that.

Of course, The Right Thing™ would be to create a comprehensive list by categories and subcategories. I have a pretty hefty list of reference sites in my own bookmark list,but it'sorganized formy own highly idiosyncratic use Any suggestions on an established category system I could use as an outline. The Dewey Decimal System just doesn't do it for me.

#35 D.Rabbit

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 12:12 AM

Kevin already has an established category system, even if you need to add a category or sub category to accommodate your links it should work out fine.
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