Improving your Sci-Tech Forum

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Jadzia, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    What annoyed me last week in the 'Big Bang' thread was the amount of people demanding answers, when I asked them "answers to what?" they said they wanted me to post a reply to their posts.

    That's all well and good wanting me to post replies but just what gave them the right to demand an immediate reply? what gave them the right to speak to me in that manner and fashion?

    It was a thread to discuss the Big Bang, it wasn't a thread where you post an answer then demand me to reply and then when I didn't reply immediately, start to pull me down for it.

    Was I in some kind wrong for asking questions on the Big Bang? I can't even get to grips with just why the thread went downhill. Can nobody have a mature and polite discussion on the Big Bang? it went from a couple of people posting interesting stuff on the big bang to an array of people demanding I post immediate replies to them. When I said I would reply in my own time even more hell broke loose.

    It's these types of attitudes that this forum does not need.

    Hey thanks. ;)
     
  2. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    What did I say that was bigoted?
     
  3. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    Saying that something that I might think up is immediately wrong.
     
  4. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I didn't say that.
     
  5. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    Sounded that way to me.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    No, just the opposite. If someone posts something and claims it as fact, the op should be ready to cite sources. On the other hand, if you claim something as an opinion, you are stating something you believe in but have no sources to back it up.

    In the case of an opinion, if you want to sway others to your point of view, be prepared to explain how you came to this point of view.


    Stubbornly claiming "this is right! I am right" while refusing to cite resources or explain your thought process is no way to hold a conversation.

    In the case of your recent threads such as the "pyramid to space", I thought they were interesting thought exercises and had no problem with them. I did have a problem with some of the overly obvious trolls that entered the thread just to harass you.

    p.s. just read through the "Big Bang" thread. yea, Tachy, you need to just ignore the people that aren't contributing to the conversation or get tied down arguing about how certain questions were asked. Just write off some questions as unanswerable and move on. There was alot of interesting information given in the thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  7. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Then perhaps we've nailed one problem right there. I didn't say what you thought I'd said so how much of other people's posts do you actually read?
     
  8. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    Yeh and vice versa. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    If I'm going to start a thread here, on, say, moving the Hubble into deep space solar orbit to take better pictures, I'll put in why I think it's a good idea (eg less interference from the upper fringes of the atmosphere as well as space junk) and post links if I can find them. Then see how the discussion evolves.

    But if I say that it's a fact that Taiwan is building a robot army to fight the Chinese which will then move across SE Asia, or instead of the Chunnel build a bridge across the English Channel, then I had better have some damn solid facts to back them up, and be prepared to state them, not say "look them up yerself". Those two "OP ideas" I just pulled out of my head. Interesting? Maybe, up to a point. Feasible? Very doubtful.

    Now if the discussion began and posters derided them, I could say, sure, and have a laugh, then open them up to wider discussions on incoming booster technology, optics in zero gravity, how to build stable bridges across water of any depth, the state of developing robot technology, Sino-Asian politics and control systems for remote military vehicles (some of which we did have in one thread, and it was interesting).

    But I'd look bloody stupid if I said "Nuh, it'll work, you tell me how it'll work, I don't have to explain how I think it would work, wow, you must be dense not to understand what I'm trying to say". That way is guaranteed to put people's backs up. If you have an idea, you have to be able to support it or be able to amend how it would work, in an interactive discussion of concepts and ideas. And if people don't understand what you mean, reiterate it in a different way, use examples, simplify the approach, whatever it takes to establish communication. Two sides shouting and getting nowhere is entertaining, but only for a little why. Effort has to be made to be clear.

    It's not that hard.
     
  10. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I'm sorry. It's worse than Grampa now. Nobody can take you seriously.
     
  11. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    not helping. I don't imagine you spend your day designing tights for men. Books, covers, that stuff.

    And it's only going to get worse... :devil:
     
  12. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Admiral

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    If necessary. If it means that the true meaning and context of the person's statement can be clarified. As I've mentioned several times elsewhere, clarification, correction if necessary, and above all communication are the keys to avoiding conflict.

    As a side point in this interesting thread, from my experience, to include seemingly throwaway words like "in retrospect" and "allegedly" and "in my opinion" and "from my experience" - in any form of documentation - is of great value from a legal perspective. It saves a lot of bother in terms of expressing meaning and differentiating between fact, opinion, and argument/assertion, and also avoids unnecessary conflict when interpreting the context. Most of all, while it may not point towards the truth (if it's Truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall ;)) it could eliminate any potential falsehoods and fallacies that may be derived from what is documented.

    How you handle criticism is key when surviving forums like this.

    Anyone can "do science." And indeed, anyone can post ideas on an internet forum. It's only when you encounter other people (again, could be anyone) with even a slight scientific background who disagrees with your methods that then you have to think how to react to them. Is the critic someone with a general scientific background, or a person who also wants to create ideas and pitch them, or are they an expert in that particular field you're entering? What do they have to say to you? And what are your options?

    Do you have a dim view of the respondent, treat their words with contempt, and repeat your idea and not take it further, hoping that reiteration and repetition of the original assertion, no matter how far removed from the laws of current science it may seem, will equal acceptance among your peers? Or do you take their words of advice and think for a moment, develop the idea to eliminate your mistakes, take into account the constructive criticism, look for evidence that others may have taken similar ideas and done something with it and thus present them to back up your assertion, and devise a plan B, or plan C, or plan D, or even plan Z, and even show evidence or working that your plan works? Taking the former option might make you look petty and ungrateful. Taking the latter option might make you look like a scientist.

    As I said before, reputation may seem like you're fighting an uphill battle - don't, it only makes the uphill battle seem worse and will sully the reputation more - but petty snide remarks against those who want to try will not help either, be they from or even directed against an expert scientist or idealistic ideas man. Even the most eminent scientists may have taken criticism poorly.
     
  13. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Like they say in school: If you want partial credit, you HAVE to show your work!

    if you're on the right track, and it can be identified where the problems occured, it can be corrected. if your final answer is wrong, you refuse to back it up, and only assert that you are correct, you fail.

    A good start to any of these threads would be to provide at least ONE of the following:

    -Is it possible using the current understanding of science?
    -Would it be possible by making a small leap from current understanding?
    -Is there a benefit to the suggestion, or a reason to do it?

    Any of those would be of value. An "idea" that's impossible to build (in terms of cost, time, materials, or understanding of physics), and/or has to benefit or reason to exist, isn't much worth discussing in a forum dedicated to discussing science and technology. As a lark in Misc, maybe. Just not here...

    then again, the problem poster has been told all of this repeatedly, and is either ignoring it or baiting/trolling at this point, so can't expect much to change.
     
  14. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    There's a problem poster? who might that be then? do tell.
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I have to disagree with this. There is nothing wrong with discussing something "impossible". The least of which reason is that how do you know it's impossible without discussing it first?

    The problem is that the discussion has to be open with both sides (if it degenerates to "sides") being open to talk about the problems with the idea, how it can be improved on, and what the alternatives are.

    It seems some of the threads here get sidetracked with the semantic use of words. On both sides of the argument. This to me comes off as pure trolling especially in cases where the intent of a word can be inferred from the post it was used in.
     
  16. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    A perfect example of playing the Baiting game instead of taking some constructive criticism. Even ignoring what I've said, plenty of others have tried giving you tips towards more constructive threads...

    Hell, you've vowed to not start any more threads in here, so you clearly realize that there's a problem. But you'd rather to continue to play games, which is why we needed this thread in the first place...

    I think more what I meant by that is that it either provided no benefit, would destroy the planet, or cost more than the combined wealth of the planet. The pyramid to nowhere (well, a tiny chunk of the way to space, to be fair) is a good example of all three.

    Biggest problem, IMO, is a refusal to either support the idea, or adapt it to the situation as it develops. Once you've been told WHY there would be a problem, it's more productive to discuss the problem, figure out ways around it, or if it is worth correcting, rather than insist you are right and everyone else is a moron. If someone with knowledge in the field being discussed tries to help (Electrical Engineers in the magnet thread, for example), better to try and learn something rather than insult people, insist on being right, and that the physics of the situation would change dependent on the scale of the magnet. From there, you can improve the idea, incorporating the new information, or scrap it as a non-starter and move on.
     
  17. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    I am not a problem poster and I am not the problem this forum faces. The problem this forum faces is the attitude of many posters and their aggressive style of posting.
    It's these posters and their attitudes toward others in this forum that has made me choose to no longer post topics. Thread after thread after thread in here get's destroyed and it's always the same people responsible for it's destruction.

    If you believe that I am a problem poster than you should feel happy that i'm no longer posting any threads. Enjoy your Sci Tech forum.

    What I will find interesting is whether all those people who came into Sci Tech to post in my threads are ever seen again in any of the other Sci Tech threads now i'm not posting threads.
    You complain your precious Sci Tech forum is being destroyed, well let's see how much you post in it from now on shall we.

    Firstly I don't insult people and I especially don't make out other people are morons. Secondly I made clear in the pyramid thread I was just curious as to the size of the thing and what problems it might face. At no point did I say we should build it and at no point did I say it was possible to build.
    We saw one of the major problems that this forum faces in that thread, instead of people just discussing it they instead choose to troll me and belittle me. Making me out to be dumb because it would cost more money than the Earth has even when I said the whole point of the thread wasn't to say it should be built but just to consider how big something like that might be.
    I found the discussion about the pyramids weight pressing into the Earths crust quite informative. It was an interesting thought exercise but certain people chose to cause trouble.

    People need to stop pinning the blame on me and start looking in a mirror.

    You think I am the problem? then I guess your problems are over now aren't they. Enjoy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't usually chime in on matters like this, but what ought to be fairly self-evident is that the moment an argument becomes personal, you effectively lose the argument. Attacking a person instead of the subject is like admitting the evidence you're arguing isn't strong enough to win the day...in addition to coming across as petty and childish. Argue the argument, not the poster. Take "you" and "I" out of the discussion and it generally stays civilized.

    If a poster's ideas as absurd, a reasoned counter-argument will make them look more ridiculous than sniping at them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  19. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    I thought we were talking about noknowes
     
  20. All Seeing Eye

    All Seeing Eye Admiral

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    Who?