Discussion: Improving your SciTech Forum, Pt. 2

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by { Emilia }, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Feminazgul Moderator

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    I've been moderating this forum for quite a while now and while it's usually fascinating and engaging, I think we are all aware of some shortcomings. In the spirit of the stickied "Improving your SciTech Forum" post I am going to make some suggestions for the future of this forum.
    I'm putting this out there for discussion and you are welcome to add your own comments and suggestions.

    1. What we want: an educated and fun discussion about scientific topics. That includes all kinds of academic fields. You want to make a thread about a sociology question? Go for it. You want to make one about archeology? Go for it. Physics? Sure. Quantum Mechanics? Absolutely! Just ask a technology question or talk about new gadgets and devices? Yes!
    Speculation is fine, too. I don't mind if we're using existing science to speculate about future applications and developments. This is all part of a good scientific discourse.

    2. What we don't want: You want to make a thread about Alchemy and intelligent design? No. You want to post your crazy tinfoil hat ideas without providing any reasonable evidence or sources? No. You want to slam "mainstream scientists" to present your beautiful and edgy alternative ideas to the world? You better have some evidence.
    What we do not want is unscientific, crazy nonsense spamming good discussions. Incoherent posts that don't provide any comprehensible reasoning, evidence or sources can harm discussions if there are too many of them. They tend to derail the conversation by turning it into some random unscientific argument that's only vaguely related to the original topic.

    3. How to post: All of this does not mean that you have to absolutely provide scientific links for every single claim you make. We are not at university here.
    But am I alone in thinking that we don't want to have constructive discussions ruined by stuff that is blatantly wrong, unscientific and completely ignorant of the topic at hand?
    You can have fun in this forum, you can make funny posts, you don't need to be an expert in everything.
    But...

    4. How not to post: Do not derail threads or spam threads with bizarre, faulty and unscientific reasoning to a degree that makes it impossible for everybody else to have a constructive discussion because they're too busy dealing with your ramblings. If you're being that guy... you're ruining it for everybody else. Don't be that guy.

    5. Mod tools: If you are that guy... the new forum software gives me the option to temporarily or permanently ban you from replying to specific threads. I plan to use this tool... as rarely as possible. My goal is to not exclude anybody. Nobody will get a forced break from a thread for making a joke or posting something that turns out to be wrong. But if you're constantly spamming threads with nonsense, derailing them, I may have to step in to protect the others.

    Now go ahead and spam me with comments on this. This is about making the forum a better place for a fun discussion. But in order for it to work there need to be some rules and expectations.
    Am I just talking out my cute ass? What do you think about this, ladies?

    Shoot!

    *ducks*
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
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  2. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah. This must be what my horoscope was talking about when it said to expect change today.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Are we allowed to post Technology threads, like posting about the newest smartphone, what apple/android are doing and stuff like that? The reason I follow this forum is mainly the technology aspects, even though some of the science stuff is interesting.
     
  4. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Feminazgul Moderator

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    Absolutely. I addressed that in my first point when I talked about "tech questions". The forum is called Science and Technology so you can talk about that all you want. :)
    If you want to talk about the latest Samsung Xperia iPhone X you can do that here, too.
     
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds good.
     
  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Ah ok. Missed that part. :)
     
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  7. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have a great suggestion, actually more like The Answer to your probs @{ Emilia } .

    There should be a Quarantine thread into which every Tinfoil truth post is moved to, just lifted up right out of the original Science thread and dumped into. People can respond to these things as they wish. Oh and the Quarantine thread should be in Miscellaneous, to keep the Science forum pure.
     
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  8. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Sounds good in theory, but I wonder if that would be worth it to the mod or mods.

    In general this seems like a great idea.
     
  9. Mary Ann

    Mary Ann Knitting is logical Premium Member

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    I can already hear @Locutus of Bored wailing and gnashing his teeth at the thought of it.
     
  10. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Hurray for Hollyweed! Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    I think the Quarantine Thread is a great idea, but it would probably be more effective if it remained here in SciTech where it can be seen by any posters thinking of starting their own pseudoscience thread. If it's way off in Miscellaneous it'll probably be out of sight, out of mind and drop off the front page in a couple of days. I mean, you would still be able to merge their thread with the Quarantine one, but the general idea I would think would be to encourage people to voluntarily post their pet theories in there on their own rather than having to have the mods constantly have to merge them.
     
  11. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think my idea is fantastic but I confess I only put in the "in Miscellaneous" part to tease @Locutus of Bored :lol:

    I think it would be pretty interesting to have a Quarantine thread in SciTech, though I'd imagine some might get offended at their post being moved there. I suggest if such happens you look at it as your entrance into a secret society where the real truth can, finally, be freely discussed.

    A thread that is un-derailable, that's its own physics surely.
     
  12. { Emilia }

    { Emilia } Feminazgul Moderator

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    I love your idea, @teacake, but I also think it would open a can of worms. I obviously have to be careful about not restricting people too much. And of course people would complain about evil "mainstream science" when I move their crazy pseudo-scientific ideas into a designated tinfoil hat thread.

    On the other hand... should we really be concerned there? We can't really let constructive scientific discussions be derailed by nonsense all the time. The problem is that once the nonsense is brought into the topic the whole thread tends to revolve around that nonsense. Especially if the nonsense is repeated regardless of people's rebukes.

    So at some point I'll just have to decide: "You're obviously misunderstanding a lot of stuff, have crazy ideas and you can't back those ideas up with any evidence or sources. And since you're not stopping, you're monopolizing the discussion, ruining it for everybody else.
    Take a break."
     
  13. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Churchill aptly described those fanatics, they can't change their minds, and won't change the subject.
     
  14. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If you post about XI in I-X you are moved. There's nothing wrong with the topic of your post, it's just in the wrong forum. I think this forum needs a clear definition of what the topic is and what it is not. There's science and there's pseudo science and I think it is much more discernible than "I know it when I see it" which would be too subjective for forum moderation.

    You can do it @{ Emilia } ! You can separate the wheat and the chaff and let the chaff just be happily all chaffy in its own place !
     
  15. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meh. Never ask for too many rules.