So the relevant transcript starts here: https://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/51655733#51655733

My summary of it goes like this:

  1. There's a derivation I am not content with.
  2. I post a question which gets down voted (regarding this derivation after commenting on it and recieving no update).
  3. Then I ask chat where I'm going wrong.
  4. To be fair I probably wasn't using the best language to get my point across.
  5. After some time Semiclassical and bolbteppa not making sense to me (and visa-versa).
  6. Acuiousmind joins and understands where I'm coming from.
  7. It Semiclassical and Acuriousmind reach an understanding where I'm coming from eventually. (In fact this whole thing makes semi-classical realise that the physical situation he considers it is applicable is beyond it's scope).
  8. Acuriousmind explains to me the scope of the applicability is less than what I assume (and I agree).
  9. However, Bolbteppa does not agree with any of this (infact my objection does not make sense to him).
  10. After speaking to Bolbteppa I realise he does not understand my objection because of his views on the nuances of this topic.
  11. Later on I understand his viewpoint may enable to circumvent my objection and I ask a question on physics stack exchange on the same.
  12. I ask several questions in attempts to clarify my understanding. In fact one in paticular if Bolbteppa can circumvent the objection.
  13. But after a point acuriousmind seems to lose is initial patience and starts typing stuff like. 14:"Your "objection" is still non-sensical as I explained at length yesterday (the M-T time-energy relation has nothing to do with measurements happening) and I'm not going to repeat it."
  14. I feel this mis-represents my view as my objection is about the scope of applicability of this derivation.
  15. In fact, acuriousmind ends it with: "I won't pretend to speak for bolbteppa. I've said twice now (and also yesterday) that your objection is not, in my opinion, well-defined or meaningful. As you don't appear to be willing to hear that, I'm done with this conversation."

Anyway, I'm not trying to be thick I genuinely feel I'm trying to learn something.

Now, if any other user had mis-represented my objection and intentionally remained silent after that and also accused me of not listening. I would have let it go. I myself feel that I am not the ideal Stackexchange user. However, for Acuriousmind is a moderator so I'd like to hold him to a different standard (perhaps this is my folly).


Is there any course of action I can take to prevent this from happening in the future?

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I read it all. I wish I could have those 20 minutes back. I do not see any ethical violation. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Sep 12 '19 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ That’s correct, although it is really none of your business. As you know, no one has to explain their upvotes or downvotes. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith Sep 12 '19 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ Is this even worthy of a meta post? If I have a bad conversation with a user/users I just walk away and then forget about it in about a day. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Sep 12 '19 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think there is a standard for moderators to understand everything you are trying to say though, is the thing. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Sep 12 '19 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ I was reading the chat when ACM made the final statement... it made perfect sense. You were going in circles, and he wasn't going to speak for someone else to address the other part of what you asked him. I don't think asking about "ethical violations", in this sense, really belongs on meta either. $\endgroup$ – JMac Sep 12 '19 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ There are more than 1700 chat messages between the first message that you link and the message where you announced you were writing this meta. If you're looking at the desktop version of the chat transcript there is a "bookmark a conversation" button that lets you construct compact links to the parts of this long transcript which are important. That would be helpful for those of us with less patience than @G.Smith. $\endgroup$ – rob Mod Sep 12 '19 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ Saying something is not well-defined or meaningful is not unethical $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Sep 12 '19 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous Those statements are worlds apart... because they address different things. You asked "can I conclude bolbteppa does not circumvent my objection and does no better?" and ACM responded "I won't pretend to speak for bolbteppa. I've said twice now (and also yesterday) that your objection is not, in my opinion, well-defined or meaningful." Those are two separate statements addressing different things. The fact that ACM cannot speak about what bolbteppa does, and that ACM did not find the statement meaningful in their opinion. Nothing is wrong with that. People have opinions $\endgroup$ – JMac Sep 12 '19 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous ... uh what? I think you're reading a lot of subtext that isn't there. ACM spent a long time trying to understand what you were saying and explain his own personal thoughts. Everyone should have the right to leave a conversation like that in a chat room if they feel it's just circular. I'm not sure why you're trying to paint anyone in the "wrong", not every conversion is productive, and sometimes you have to cut your losses. Doesn't make anyone wrong. $\endgroup$ – JMac Sep 12 '19 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous If you want help with the physics part of your discussion, you should ask a question on the main site rather than trying to have that discussion in meta comments. If you've already asked a physics question, a link to it in your meta question would be appropriate. If you want to know how one user would summarize another user's understanding of your physics question you should ... not do that. We're just not a good forum for those kinds of speculation. $\endgroup$ – rob Mod Sep 12 '19 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn There is much discussion on this site that looks at interpretations besides Copenhagen. You might be confused because many questions that do ask about the deeper concepts of QM interpretations tend to be poor questions that are either really unclear or are very speculative and blatently off-topic. But you can find many questions and discussions here about QM interpretations. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Sep 13 '19 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ I have read most of the transcript, although I must admit that many of your chat posts are hard for me to read, due to frequent spelling errors, duplicated words, non-standard abbreviations (eg "shd") and similar grammatical issues. But IMHO ACuriousMind has not back-tracked or back-flipped. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Sep 13 '19 at 5:31
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    $\begingroup$ In this post ACM says "I have explained why I think your question is problematic even if your underlying confusion is earnest and legitimate, and I have explained why I think josh's answer is a good answer to the question it is written as an answer to". He agrees that the topic can be confusing, especially to newcomer, but he doesn't agree with your objection, to the extent that he actually understands your objection. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Sep 13 '19 at 5:37
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    $\begingroup$ It looks ok to me, but I don't have enough expertise in quantum physics to respond to it adequately. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Sep 13 '19 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think this question makes it clear exactly what it is you're asking how to prevent. Also, I don't see anything in the question that identifies the possible ethical violation you're referring to in the title. $\endgroup$ – David Z Sep 13 '19 at 12:07

Users (whether moderators or not) are free to disengage from any conversation - in chat or on the main site - whenever they like. You are not entitled to anyone's time on this platform (we're all here voluntarily!), and to suggest that it is "unethical" for someone to stop participating in a conversation they no longer deem useful or interesting is simply absurd.

Users are also free to be wrong - yes, even moderators! I may have misunderstood you, or you have misunderstood me, or both. This is unfortunate, but also not a moral failing (unless done with ill intent), nor something that can be avoided in all cases.

The only thing you can do to prevent other users from disengaging or misunderstanding is to express yourself as clearly as you can, and to listen to their criticisms of what you say as fairly as you can. It will still happen from time to time, and not always through any fault of your own.

  • $\begingroup$ I do also mention "accused me of not listening" and I could have also accused you of backtracking when you say "your objection is not, in my opinion, well-defined or meaningful." Your flip-flop stance on my objection seems to suggest that $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous - disagreeing on interpretations of physics, and stopping to talk for whatever reason (hey, maybe work needs to get done) are not, and never have been ethical violations. Sure, you didn't like it, but that does not mean that others did anything unethical, illegal, immoral, or just wrong. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 12 '19 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster alright so (false)-accusations and backtracking (in an intellectual argument) are ethical as well? $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous - Again, you did not like the chat. And you must be used to always being right in an intellectual discussion - good on you. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 12 '19 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster also this is not a disagreement on the interpretations of the physics. It's about with one interpretation if one can get more mileage (apply it in more physical situations) $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster I'm under the impression you feel Acuriousmind does not accuse me but points out a "fact" (which makes it okay) ... Also Acuriousmind does not backtrack which makes me completely convinced whatever his position is I don't get it. And no I have learned a lot from being wrong ... But I've also learned by asking questions $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous - I see why people disengage in discussions with you. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 12 '19 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster maybe because I ask them to spell out their positions? $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ Alright I'm gonna accept this answer because I feel this will not go anymore. Clearly I am in the wrong (even though at the moment I dont think so). $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ @MoreAnonymous It takes a strong person to admit they are in the wrong before they completely understand why. We appreciate users who are willing to back out of heated discussions; sometimes just a little bit of time is all that's needed to bring clarity to a tense situation. Good on you. $\endgroup$ – rob Mod Sep 12 '19 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ @rob thank you ... I must say my experience on this site has been brilliant for me not leave it because of this one instance. Also about the bookmark comment has someone bookmarked it or were you asking me to bookmark it? $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ @rob maybe if you or anyone in this meta post would be willing to clarify what is going on ... I would love to know exactly that ... Not as ACM's line of argument but as your own. I would be more than delighted to converse ... Anyway even if you say yes .. It can't be tonight since I need to catch up on sleep and my mental fatigue will work against me ... Cheers! $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 12 '19 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ @rob eh, I'm not so sure about the value of admitting you're wrong without understanding why. I'd frame it more as declining to continue a line of discussion that isn't productive. Though in this case it kind of works out to the same effect. $\endgroup$ – David Z Sep 15 '19 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ if it helps lemme say I was in the wrong and have apologised to ACM ... $\endgroup$ – More Anonymous Sep 15 '19 at 16:14

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