What forum do we want?

So, getting pretty lively around here. I realize that we need a certain amount of questions and challenges to keep conversations going, something to bounce ideas against, but there has to be a limit. Sree recently pointed out that it may not be appropriate to come here and just quote the Bible as if that’s an argument. CC wanted to keep Sherlock’s account alive despite his abusive language and repetitive posts. The moderation flag is rarely used, and it’s usually someone who needs to be moderated.

I think it’s healthy that people come here and tell us they are psychic or something, and we explain why they most likely are not. For the most part, they select themselves out after a week or so. But we’ve got some persistent posters with some far out ideas now.

Is that what we want?

Personally, I’d like to see people not hit the mod flag so much, because mods also have to work and can’t be here all the time to babysit the forums. If someone is really out of hand and being very incessantly abusive, then yes, please do hit the mod flag. But one, “What the hell are you talking about?” comment or alike comment, isn’t grounds to hit the flag button. We need debate and sometimes if someone makes no sense, asking them, nicely and politely, to clarify is warranted. However, I do know things sometimes get frustration and one needs to let out an explorative and as long as it’s not directed at someone, I’ll let it pass.

I agree Mriana. The behaviors I moderate are based on patterns, rarely on specific use of words, with a few exceptions. Even then, it’s those “bad” words used after a pattern of obfuscation, repetition, lack of engagement and general disruption. Flagging a single post can just lead to an argument about that post, which is what the troll desires.

In the years that I have posted on the Forums, in the past and currently, I don’t think I have ever “pushed a mod button”. I don’t even know where that button is, off-hand.

I think I have been relieved at times, when some unusually and persistent noxious poster goes away. But I enjoy confronting what appears to me to be lies &/or ignorance. If there were never any deceitful &/or ignorant postings, that would cut down on what I have to say.

So, what should moderators do? Idk. I thank you for doing the job. I may not always absolutely agree with your decisions, but so far they always seem to be within reasonable parameters. So carry on, and thanks again for your efforts.

I thank you for doing the job.

I may not always absolutely agree with your decisions, but so far they always seem to be within reasonable parameters.

So carry on, and thanks again for your efforts.

I’ll sign that card!

Thank you for all you do and put up with.


Though it doesn’t answer your question.

Other than ironing out some of the system glitches, about the only improvement I could think of is more rational voices participating. :slight_smile:

Aw shucks you guys.

More rational voices is my goal too. I think the additional activity of the forum might up our internet hits. Not sure how that works. I doubt we would have come up on a search for “microtubules” before, but we might now.

I think you are correct to question inclusiveness. That church in Texas welcomed everyone. Of course they didn’t know the shooter’s intentions.

I expect everyone already knows that the new kid, the one that doesn’t wear the right T-shirt or baseball cap, will be the cause of some unrest among the tribe. I find it sad that some liberal free-think universities would ban speakers who hold conservative views.

I don’t know what you’re talking about Bob.

Lausten: “I think the additional activity of the forum might up our internet hits.”

Bob: “I think you are correct to question inclusiveness. That church in Texas welcomed everyone. Of course they didn’t know the shooter’s intentions.”

I would lean towards taking risks in favor of upping internet hits. When it comes to social freedom, China doesn’t take risks while the US does, to a fault. It isn’t easy to succeed at launching a website hosting a discussion forum. Most of them are graveyards.


I mostly like the way things work around here. You get the occasional participant who simply ignores everything said to them (the one posting about climate change being a hoax and repeatedly posting easily disproved “facts” over and over instead of addressing the last batch of bad information comes to mind). You guys (the mods) let them run for a while, gently nudge them in the right direction by explaining what they are doing wrong, take a little abuse for it and eventually weed them out when it becomes clear that they aren’t going to change. I think that system works very well. For us, anyway. I’m sure it’s a little annoying for the mods.

Personally, I think you guys are doing an awesome job just doing what you do already. I am certainly not opposed to different points of view so long as there is intelligent discussion from those holding points of view I find strange or silly. So long as the conversation is intelligent and they are actually open to discussion rather than simply repeatedly making claims I don’t see a problem with keeping them around. You can learn a whole lot more from people you disagree with than people who think exactly like you.


I think I know what you are talking about in your post above.

  1. the church in White Settlement, TX, last Sunday, where a nut job came in to the congregation with a shotgun and start shooting. (He was killed within 6 seconds by a couple of parishioners who had handguns.)

  2. You also brought up universities where conservative speakers are banned. I agree that is messed up.




Lausten: “I don’t know what you’re talking about Bob.”

As I new participant, I felt it gentler to respond to the question of conduct of the site from the oblique. My comments were intended to be allegorical.

Allegory is good, Bob. Jesus used parables too but the high priests were adamant. Take the Trump hat for example. I bought three of them, two MAGA hats and one with the “Trump 2020” slogan but never used them. I didn’t think I could wear them on a walk around the block with my dog. They weren’t allegorical enough in the public space that is plastered with threatening “Hate has no home here” signs stuck on every lawn except mine. The only response to that barrage of hate was an allegorical one: I fly the US flag on my front porch.

On my last trip to Asia (just got over jet lag) I gave my Trump hats to a friend, a wealthy Chinese businesswoman in Kuala Lumpur. She likes Trump but not her Swedish husband. He believes that the US President is Putin’s puppet. And she believes her husband is an idiot. I think Trump will be well received in China. The Chinese love personal wealth and success. It is a sign of good fortune. Trump must bring Ivanka with him to China. She is an icon, a diety even. To Chinese women, young and old, in China, she is the beautiful Goddess Yi Wang Ka.

Besides the demonstration of a lack of understanding of Popper’s “don’t tolerate the intolerable” shown above, I think this post demonstrates where humanity is stuck right now. With things somewhat stalled out at CERN for a mere couple years, anyone who wants to say that “scientists don’t know” is jumping back in with joy and abandon.

People are unable to understand what is not understandable. That is, there are things we don’t understand, like what happened at the first fraction of a second at the point we call the beginning of this universe. Even giving it a name, “the singularity” confuses people because they then think that is something that can be described. The definition of that is the point where all laws of nature that we knew before 1920 break down and we can no longer say what that was but it appears to be where everything came from. We also don’t know what caused it to burst into the time and space that we see, so those who want to believe in “first causes” think they have license to say they know it must be that first cause and then start giving that attributes, based on absolutely nothing.

So, some people started calling it nothing. Boy was that a mistake. But it’s better than the “first causers” because “first causers” attributes are all defined based on previously observed facts about how things work in this cause and effect universe (that one that actually has underlying quantum fields making it all happen) but they are applying Newtonian physics mixed with ancient myth to describe it. By “nothing”, physicists mean nothing that we interact with, nothing that we can sense with our senses, neutrinos that pass right through us, things that you need to predict using math, then confirm using billions of dollars and the smartest people on earth.

Those smart people have taken the place of the Pharisees in the imagination of the average person. They are not trusted. They appear to have some archaic knowledge that they aren’t telling us. The average person doesn’t know how to determine if they are trustworthy, yet powerful people trust them and give them money and prestige. A few of them even look down their noses at those who don’t trust them. Or is that just perception? The difference between them and the Pharisees, is their books are open. Anyone, any language, any sex, any heritage can learn what they know. This has been done over and over. Cultural barriers still exist, but they are upheld by the people with the closed books, not by the scientists. If you can’t figure out that difference, the world of knowledge is forever a frightening place to you.

Here’s an allegory. The Emperor runs around clothed only in his own deceit and corruption and incompetence and self love. The people go along with and support the delusion, until one kid says the obvious. “That guy’s naked”!

You are not getting your parable right, Tim. If the kid says that the Emperor is naked, then the kid can’t see the fabric of deceit, corruption, incompetence and self-love covering the Emperor. Are you saying that the kid is deluded? If the people go along with the Emperor and support the delusion, then they are complicit in fooling the kid. Who is the kid representing?














I played the guy who counted the robes for the king, in fourth grade. I had no trouble understanding the story.

You just don’t get it Sree

Oh, I got it fine. I was just being scientific, Xain. I examined Tim’s version of the story, not the original story written by Hans Christian Andersen (and probably, the one Lausten’s teacher got him to play a part in). If we are to embrace Dawkins’ doctrine in our approach to life, we can’t be sloppy in looking at the evidence. Not every rabbit you dissect in biology class is the same rabbit. Tim’s “rabbit” has mutations not found in the one gotten from Andersen and handed to Lausten by his teacher.

Is English your mother tongue, Xain?

There’s just the one story Sree. Why are you here? Is it fun for you to butt in to other people’s conversations and say things that don’t make any sense?