I thought AdminModulous' three-day suspension was an appropriate response to a violation of forum rules--particularly for a violation that is often overlooked. While I appreciate your chivalric urge to protect women, coarse insults are coarse insults: this forum has tolerated dick, prick, bastard and other vulgarities, so the notion that the use of "cunt" deserves a permanent banning seems quaint and smacks of its own "special treatment" misogyny.
Further, an insult to someone who is an admin but posting as a member should be treated like an insult to any other member. Could you explain why it shouldn't?
Personally, I find the word distasteful and emblematic of a misogynistic mind-set I find worse than distasteful. But if we are to have banned words, we need a list; if we are to sanction coarse insults, they should be sanctioned evenly.
After being here so long and knowing the rules to actually take the time to think it out, type it an submit it and proceed to call a woman that on here looks bad for the site wheather he is an evolutionist or creationist.
E-mail and other online communications are "hot" media--many millions have regretted messages typed in a flurry of anger and sent with a hasty click. Your drawn-out description of thinking and typing and posting an inappropriate message makes it sound as though he coolly measured the impact and acted with great deliberation. A violation of forum guidelines should be considered in a real context, not one rhetorically manipulated.
Finally, although his response was inapproriate, purpledawn was being condescending in a manner that could hardly be described as respectful to another member. Since the forum typically tolerates a fairly heated rough-and-tumble, and has tolerated profane language, the three-day suspension for incivility was appropriate and should stand.
I'm not a fan of the Peanut Gallery in any form: I'd rather see more focused spin-off topics when some aspect of the GD inspires them.
A lengthy GD thread is imposing enough to anyone who wants to follow along without them having to cross-index the gallery thread. The Great Debate is the closest we come to authentic forensic debate, and the PG is largely a distraction from and dilution of that.
But I think your ideas to impose a more disciplined structure are reasonable.
Re: Some thoughts on my recent controversial admin actions
Hi Adminnemooseus, thanks for your thoughts.
Admin is not an easy task, it's like herding cats, with claws and hissyfits and all.
I've been intending to do a message by message commentary on the here messages relating to the Jar and Coyote forum restriction and the subsequent Jar suspension... but that's a lot of time, effort, and writing, at least as I operate.
The first area is that of legitimate science. That debate was completed a long time ago, and the science side won. ...
And it gets added to with each new discovery, each new piece of evidence that further substantiates the theories and conclusions of science, and the evidence and new conclusions that lead to new theories and new information. Science keeps building on past learning, but it never reaches absolute knowledge levels -- it is a method of approximating reality be eliminating falsified\contradicted concepts and by finding consilience(1) with current theories and conclusions in new evidence.
We gradually push away the clouds of ignorance to see reality with increasing clarity.
... Of course, the less than legitimate science side will disagree with that. That is where areas two and three come in.
There are also areas of concepts that science cannot deal with, or at least cannot deal with in the direct hard approach used in physical science - the "soft" sciences (like sociology) and the areas of philosophy and the study of theologies. Specifically areas where concepts cannot be supported by objective empirical evidence, but can only work with inferences at best, and assumptions at worst. The conclusions made in this area of thought do not have the degrees of confidence that we see in the "hard" sciences.
The second area is that of the general public, the "real world". There outbreaks of creationism happen, and it is the desire of the science side to come down on it HARD. The goal is to get the creationists to shut up and go away. This attitude naturally crosses over into the third area.
In this area outbreaks of ignorance happen, and it is the desire of progressive rational thinkers to come down on it HARD. The goal is to inform and educate the public and break the cycle/s of ignorance and false beliefs.
But there is another aspect here, that involves who comes down hard and who they come down hard on. These are the people with firmly fixed beliefs and opinions.
Personally, I think the forum should promote open-minded skepticism -- open to the possibilities of all concepts and tolerant of those who believe them, with respectful tolerant skepticism of beliefs that differ from their own, especially when neither opinion is supported by evidence nor invalidated.
This area of the general public also includes moderate theists, especially those that have no axe to grind with science. There are some militant atheists, for instance, that feel that they need to come down hard, even on these moderate people, attacking all theistic beliefs. Some apparently cannot let go, as if the feel they must win, they feel they need to convert everyone to their beliefs, and in this regard are no different from fundamental theists.
The wrangles these people get into, carrying their attacks into every thread the person they attack posts on, do disrupt threads and they make those threads less appealing to others who want to read and debate the topic. This is where my criticism comes in. I do not care that others do not believe what I believe - I am not trying to convert anyone - and I do not care if anyone is intolerant of my beliefs (as their intolerance is their problem, and it doesn't affect my beliefs in any way).
What do I care about, is taking my (or other peoples) name in vain, inserting strawman caricatures of my (their) positions as if they factually portrayed these position/s and belief/s, and turning the thread away from topic to one about my (or other people similarly attacked) person. I believe everyone knows where I am coming from on this, and also recognizes that I am not alone in being stalked this way.
We should not allow stalking of people from thread to thread. Instead the person that feels so committed to their beliefs that they feel they need to engage in this kind of behavior should be told to start a thread to discuss their concern, and if they cannot get their target to respond, to suck it up and let it go. See Holmes (Silent H) comments to crashfrog on the What the H - Holmes is back! thread.
The third area is that of the internet forum. In the case of evcforum.net, the goal is to have an ongoing discussion, day after day and year after year. The goal of the science side is NOT to get the creationists to shut up and go away (or is it?). If that is to be the goal (creationists shut up and go away), to succeed is to end the function of this forum (and have a lot of evo side people whining about not having any creationists to beat on).
In order to deal with ignorance and false beliefs in a continual and open way, it is necessary to have input of ignorant and false beliefs to discuss. By keeping the forum open and inviting to those who - willing or unwilling - believe in erroneous or outright false information (Like Bachman for instance), they will continue to provide input to discuss and debate, and to try to show them the errors of their ways, to wean them from the ignorance and false beliefs.
We have instances on this forum where this has actually happened, and this alone is justification for this forum and for participating in it.
Thus, to sustain the viability of evcforum.net, the admins need to strive to maintain a (hopefully healthy) creationist population - We don't want them to shut up and go away. Thus, the admins need to promote a kinder and gentler discourse. The creationist side is relatively few in number and also have the disadvantage of have reality on their opponents side. The creationist's difficult mission is to show that that reality, at least to some degree, is actually on the creationist side.
No, we don't want them to go away, we want to educate and inform them -- and the lurkers that don't participate in the debates -- about what science and the evidence of science tell us about reality, and we want to disabuse them of falsified beliefs. When they run away or are driven away, then we lose that opportunity.
The debate works, at least best, when driven by the creationist side input. The creationists make their point(s) and the evolution side does their efforts to show why the creationist side is wrong. And the evolutionist side needs to do such in that "kinder and gentler" fashion, least they drive the creationists away. This is why I really don't like topics that start of with something like "Hey creationists, how do you explain this?" Then it is the evolutionist side driving the debate, and that just doesn't work wel
I think it can be driven from both sides in a respectful manner. The pro-science side can debate the science aspects - showing how evolution works, showing the state of knowledge about the origins of life, showing how the evidence from geology and physics develop into high confidence levels regarding the age of the earth (Age Correlations and An Old Earth, Version 2 No 1 for instance, not to toot my own horn so much as to cite a thread that a lot of people have recommended to others; Jar's Exploring the Grand Canyon, from the bottom up. thread is also a good example). These threads can be used in discussions with the 'under-informed' and often ill-equipped
Now, the debate includes the details and the big picture. The big picture is important, but maintaining topic structure and quality requires more of a focus on the details aspect. Even though "everything" may be to some degree relevant, permitting "everything" in any given topic just doesn't work.
And yet we have the Free For All and, to a lesser degree, Coffee House which are not moderated or moderated to a minimal degree. Some degree of anarchy can be a good thing.
But if we are to have banned words, we need a list;
It is moments like this when I miss George Carlin the most . . .
A list is a bad way to go. I am more for the "you know it when you see it" approach. Intent is what we should be judging these statements by, and I agree that the action was justified. If that word were used as part of a bad joke then I would let it go if I were an admin. If it is used as part of an insult meant to demean others, the person should be banned for a period of time. This approach may lead to inconsistent admin actions, but I would rather have that than strict adherence to a flawed rule.
Each of the Admins probably has their own reasons, but there was a consensus that it was good idea. The general argument is that allowing threads to go on interminally was creating something akin to thread stagnation. Closing threads at a certain point gives threads a set beginning middle and end structure, and encourages new threads to be opened with follow up discussions and so on.
Your bumping that thread just brought a long thread to our collective attention.
I sometimes wonder if even 300 isn't too many for most threads. Once a thread gets past a certain point there is just too much repetition of views.
I think it is better at that point to start a new thread in the hope of attracting new participants with maybe a different POV who weren't prepared to read through hundreds of posts in order to participate.
Thanks to all the mods. It is a time consuming and largely thankless task.
Well, seeing as how I have the approval of two people on my last post I'll bravely move forward with another.
What has been happening lately is that there is a notice given that a thread is going to close and so participants are allowed to summarize their position prior to closing. Good plan but maybe it should go forward from there.
At that point maybe the mod on that thread could review the summations and if he thinks that it is worth while he/she could start a new thread titled the same as the previous one, but part two. The mod would then use the summations from the initial thread as the opening posts for part two.
This would allow new participants to enter the fray without having to read through hundreds of posts. They would now be free to reply to the summations. This would, I think, also help keep the discussion focused and on topic.
My personal preference would be to do this after 100 posts in a thread but maybe that's too few.
I agree, that message did not belong in that topic.
1) Percy finds a better home for the message.
2) The message gets posted as by Admin.
I do think that Percy's message was a valid appraisal of the situation. It was a moderation observation and comment.
I also think that anyone holding admin status at evcforum.net, should post all their moderation issue related messages via their admin ID's. I am pretty strict to the procedure, but I see most to all of the other admins sometimes posting moderation type messages via their non-admin ID.
Please be familiar with the various topics and other links in the "Essential Links", found in the top of the page menu. Amongst other things, this is where to find where to report various forum problems.
Re: Does "stalking" accomplish anything related to the topics?
Frankly that Mod engages in this petty kind of behavior is somewhat shocking to me.
I wasn't intending to 'stalk'. I thought it was fun. I hoped the would help indicate I wasn't being spiteful in some way.
This post has nothing to do with the topic or the post it is purportedly a reply to.
I disagree. I was musing that the guy in the comic was wagering on a negative hypothesis for which he had no evidence with regards in specifics to the potential FTL neutrino news. It was about the comic that you posted.
It engages in misrepresentations (the perpetuation of falsehoods, not dissimilar to Gish Gallops) and attempts to beg for answers that would not be appropriate to the topic/s.
I didn't realize I was misrepresenting anything or anyone, or that I was saying anything all that contentious. My apologies. My understanding of pseudoskeptics was that when a result comes up that suggests psychic powers, they write off the result with a negative theory for which they have no evidence.
quote:Truzzi considered most skeptics to be pseudoskeptics, a term he coined to describe those who assume an occult or paranormal claim is false without bothering to investigate it.
That seemed to be what the guy in the comic was doing with a physics result rather than a psychic result. Again, apologies if you felt I was harassing you for answers or trying to drag you into an irrelevant debate.
Perhaps I am a little oversensitive on this issue, but it is a rather constant barrage from some quarters, and I honestly feel that such behavior (when not in jest) serves very little purpose. See Percy's comments to Straggler re nwr (ie it's not just me).
Only if "baggage" from another thread impacts directly on the issue should it be introduced (and properly linked and quoted).
Otherwise it just amounts to a campaign to discredit people for not believing the same things you do. In that regard it is not respectful of other members of the forum, and I feel it should be moderated to reduce the incidence/s.