The "Whatever" situation sure seems to be a muddled mess. I've decided to try to give things a break, by giving Whatever a suspension. Offhand, I think this will be for just 24 hours, but the plan may change.
Whatever - The admin mode of the moose species is prone to crankiness. I SUGGEST you don't try any end arounds, such as registering under a new name, or posting as a visitor. Such actions could very well get you banned. Take a break, and maybe put some thought into your posting form. Also, you may wish to monitor this topic, for further comments from the various people.
Comments from other members are welcome and encouraged,
If you follow the links back up string, there is another post to him from me. I keep thinking I talked to him prior to this, but honestly can't remember...been doing homework all evening and I am beat.
My opinion is that the Admin are too lenient on rogue posters. And too lenient of bad behaviour from prominent evolutionist posters. When I first started visiting EvC it was notable for its high quality of debate, and requirement of high quality posting from posters. This seems to me to have declined of late.
a) he is the troll that some people say that he is or b) he is just an extreme example of the creationist habit of inventing excuses without understanding the subject (or even really thinking about it or considering the known facts or even his previous claims).
In case a) banning him is the only way to go.
In case b) he has to learn to say "I don't know" and even "I was wrong". If he can't - and if it really is "case b)" then he probably can't in any reasonable timescale - then I think again that banning is the only way to go.
My opinion is that the Admin are too lenient on rogue posters. And too lenient of bad behaviour from prominent evolutionist posters.
I concur. Even some of my own comments to whatever were probably over-the-line. Not to pass the buck any (because it does not excuse my statements), but I believe that I could have avoided the frustration that brought forth my harsh words had the Admins corralled whatever's disingenuous debate style sooner.
Some of what was said elsewhere, that should have been in this topic
Stuff from the "Meert / Brown" topic (not necessarily complete quotes):
Admin (message 49):
quote:This is an example of something you do a lot: get simple facts completely wrong. You also seem to make many elementary logic errors. Most posts to you seem to involve correcting your "facts" and your "logic".
No administrative action is indicated because I believe you're sincerely doing the best you can, but I would at least like to request that you periodically do a self-assessment and ask yourself whether the quality and content of your posts is improving over time, and whether you're becoming better able to research an issue (such as whether Walt Brown's site references the Bible) and come up with the right answer. After all, you won't be able to explain to others why current scientific views on evolution and geology are wrong if you don't know anything about them.
Admin (message 50):
Looks like I was late to the party - Adminnemooseus suspended Whatever for 24 hours starting yesterday around noon ET. Whatever seems to have caught the attention of Adminnemooseus, NosyNed, Asgara and myself.
Whatever: your lack of knowledge and familiarity on these topics combined with your inability to contribute rationally is causing lots of frustration. We understand your obvious concern that the wrongheaded scientific ideas about evolution and geology must be opposed, but you should seriously question whether you're properly equipped to do this. Most people you're discussing with have university degrees *and* have read extensively about both evolution and Creationism.
I didn't realize the concern of moderators about you was so widespread, and so I'd like to very strongly suggest that when you return you stick to subjects you know something about. It would be a good idea to stay away from topics you're unfamiliar with, no matter how strongly you believe the evolutionists are wrong and want to help out by joining the fray. Consider the analogy of war: the last thing veterans want on the battlefield is raw, inexperienced recruits, because they're more likely to get everyone killed than anything else. On this discussion board, you're the raw recruit, and you're causing your side a lot of damage. If this were an actual battle your own side would shoot you just to save themselves.
Roxrkool (message 51):
quote:I don't know Nosy. Sometimes, I get the feeling Whatever is just playing everyone. He/she never gets annoyed - EVER! Can someone actually be that... passive?
He/she acknowledges a wrong and then nonchalantly slides over to the next topic as if being shown he/she is wrong over and over again is an everyday occurrence. A few posts later, states the exact same thing that was shown to be wrong previously.
I can't remember if someone already made the analogy, but discussing science with Whatever is like trying to pick jello up with chop sticks.
NosyNed (message 52):
quote:Actually, I decided awhile ago that ignoring him was the right thing to do. One way or the other it is a waste of time to try to teach him a thing. I don't care what the "real" reason for that is.
Eta Carinae (message 53):
quote:Whatever is not genuine - he is playing with you guys.
I have caught statements from him that contradicted other things he has said.
I am 100% convinced he is not playing true from any position.
He may not even be anti-evolution.
There is/was "Whatever" behavior commentary happening all over the place. Please consolidate it into this topic.
You people can think and evaluate this situation yourselves (despite the sometimes indications that you need a moderator to think for you). I will try to get back further, later, but I wanted to get this up now.
BTW, the suspension happened at about midnight, 1/26/2004 end of day. My inclination is NOT to lift it, until we have some sort of plan in place.
Whatever is certainly welcome to e-mail Admin, and discuss the situation with him.
quote:I'm serious about the above quoted. How do we treat Whatever? Does he need to be restricted to the "Free For All" forum? Does he need to be restricted to just one topic?
I think 24 hours is more than enough. Maybe this can serve as a warning not to keep repeating the same info over and over and actually respond to specific questions. Perhaps a Mod can peek in once in a while to make judgements on behavior, but overall I have found Whatever to be a considerate poster with respect to tone but in the end he/she is frustrating quite a few posters with allusive posts.
Re: Some of what was said elsewhere, that should have been in this topic
Well, I have some thoughts, probably not particularly helpful.
FWIW I've been involved in moderating various forums, all technical, since 1986 (BIX on a 2400 baud modem).
This board is the admins' sandbox, not the members'. The admins can legally take any actions they see fit to maintain the board as they see fit, including actions that are not covered by the terms of service. However, if they are the mostly rational and fair people I think they are, with the intentions I think they have, they are not going to take actons that destroy this board as a good place to discuss EvC and as a source of quality information.
Banning someone like whatever permanently, or putting he/she "on moderation" as they do over at TWeb, for repeatedly posting drivel is IMHO a slippery slope. Content moderation is dangerous; it can easily become or be seen as favoritism toward a particular point of view.
That said, it appears to me that whatever's actions harmed the board and its reputation, and Lord knows he/she is irritating! I think the admins had to take some action.
But I'm in favor of such action only when things are reaching a boiling point (I would not have been surprised to have been suspended for a day or so after some of my recent posts), or where clear indications of a factual problem exist that can be effectively argued as a violation of the posted rules. I'm not even sure I would amend the rules to prohibit such egregious lies and whatever's lie about the Bible on Brown's site.
Bottom line: I think whatever should be reinstated, and the board members should each reach an appropriate accomodation with his/her presence with minimal admin intervention. It's the price we pay for an open and frank discussion. Hell, this too shall pass.
Re: Some of what was said elsewhere, that should have been in this topic
I became increasingly frustrated with Whatever when things written in black and white were ignored, seemingly because they didn't fit with Whatever's view. However, s/he did show some guts in trying to take on people who knew alot more than him/her. I don't like to believe the troll idea because I have no evidence for it and I think that we should give the benefit of the doubt.
I feel the problem was more to do with Whatever not realising how to gather information in a critical way, to question the arguments and facts of those who agreed with him or s/he agreed with. It's one of the things that you learn as you go along when you work in science. No-one really teaches you it and you learn from experience. If someone, years ago had taught me how to read critically the papers I needed to use, I would have wasted alot less time as a baby scientist chasing my own tail.
I really think that Whatever wants to know more, wants to learn and the idea of banning someone who wants to learn is a bit off. However, I do see why it was necessary in this case. So, how do we go about getting Whatever posting again, without the most awful frustration? Is it possible that a full copy of the Rules and Regs be e-mailed to him/her, with a personal message from admin explaining about critical reading? A sort of tutorial in how to research a subject?
I've had a little experience in this sort of thing when teaching undergrads and postgrads - it's usually dilutions that have them and me tearing my hair out (them because they can't understand them and me because they can't understand them). I finally came to the conclusion that, although they should have a good understanding of it, there was no use in jumping up and down. So, I gave up three lunchbreaks on the trot for anyone interested in a dilution masterclass and the whole damned lot turned up. It was worth the effort cos by the time they got to their research projects in my lab, they were proficient and I was calmer, although a few pounds lighter!
Is there any way we could arrange something similar for Whatever? I moan and whine incessantly about the abysmal understanding of science shown in the media, on the streets, even in my work!! I'm sure that others on here feel the same way. Maybe this is the scientists' chance to do something about it in a small way.
Jon said much, of the tricks of trying to moderate this thing. Right now, I'll add a few random comments.
I think that Whatever, in part, may be reminiscent of some of the "unique viewpoint" posters, that we've had in the past. The problem is, when that "unique viewpoint" ends up getting shoved into many topics.
Whatever was the center of the problem, but s/he wasn't the whole of the problem. The Whatever problem wouldn't have been as bad, if other members hadn't been so generous in supplying to the feedback loop. Not to be calling Whatever a troll, but had s/he been one, would much of the debate have been deemed "feeding the troll"?
As I believe it may have been noted in previous messages above, it seems that topic drift, topic cross-pollination, and general topic chaos, along with general crankiness, has been running high lately.
It is tough for the moderators to try to track the many topics and messages that are happening, and to try to maintain a sense of context of those messages. And some topics end up not being of interest to any of the moderators. I guess we hope that someone else is watching, and if note, topics can run bad for quite a while before the enforcer catches on.
I'm going to extend the suspension for at least another 24 hours, for further input, and to get a feel for how we'll handle the return of Whatever. My instinct tells me, that lifting the suspension right now will only result in picking up the situation where it was left off.
Enough for now - Also please see my current avatar,