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David Zaslavsky is at it again: he has moved the (short) comment discussion here: Are gravitomagnetic monopoles hypothesized? which he called "inappropriate". I thought he deleted them, but he moved them to chat here: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/3410/discussion-between-mark-beadles-and-ron-maimon .

In this case, the comments say that a (completely wrong) answer is completely wrong, and are important, so that people will know why the answer is wrong, so it won't get upvoted more than it is, and so that it will get fixed.

Not to be reverse-agist, but you have to have rocks in your head to put people under the age of 40 in positions of power. They are no good at this, as they lack maturity and are rule-oriented. Please make old people diamonds.

I also lack judgement and maturity, but at least I don't have any power. Also can some other diamond restore the comments.

EDIT: I got this message from David

Hello,

I'm writing in reference to your Physics - Stack Exchange account:

https://physics.stackexchange.com/users/4864/ron-maimon

We've noticed that you have a pattern of engaging in lengthy discussions in comments, frequently consisting of responses involving multiple, back-to-back posts. Comments are intended as brief messages to provide feedback or ask for clarification on the content of the post. Lengthy clarifications should be edited into the post itself or posted separately as a new question or answer, and extended discussions should be taken to chat. Extensive comment threads tend to be a distraction for other readers. These lengthy discussions are often hard to follow, and can easily hide critical information.

Preferring to argue with other users in comments over revising your questions and answers to address their concerns is a red flag to moderators, indicating you may not fully understand the purpose of Stack Exchange: our goal is to provide readers with expert questions and answers, not host discussion or debate. If you desire conversation, stop into the site's chat room.

We hope that you can work with the community on achieving our goals by:

Asking specific, researched, relevant, on-topic questions Providing clear, useful, accurate and well-researched information in answers Treating others with respect and civility Regards, David Zaslavsky Physics - Stack Exchange moderator

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    $\begingroup$ Moderators can't move comments to chat; only users participating in the discussion can do that. And since this has happened, David just cleared it up so that the future visitors will be directed straight to your discussion in a most accessible form: chat transcript. $\endgroup$ – user68 May 12 '12 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ I'm 49. Does that qualify me for a diamond? $\endgroup$ – Robert Harvey May 12 '12 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton: It's only moving/deleting comments, because it looks like a rules-based power-trip, and nobody else does it. It is annoying to make comments that clear up a misunderstanding or correct an error, and have them be deleted, it makes things not progress. I know its the letter of the rules, but this is why old people are nice, they are flexible. There was no personal attacks, Mark Beadles gives good answers and does a good job, he just screwed up in one answer (as have I often). But he didn't fix it, and I don't understand why I have to be political about it--- the physics is objective. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ Comments are disposable on Stack Exchange. They can be deleted without warning or review by moderators, participants, or other users. If you have something important to say, say it in an answer. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 13 '12 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: yeah, yeah, that's the party line. This is not reasonable for comments that point out errors in the text above them. These should be protected. As far as "trust", I expect the author to be the one to catch their errors, since the author is the one who knows best. I am always surprised when an author keeps an answer after a mistake has been pointed out. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ No, that's a statement of fact. I heard rumors that you're a fan of those. Anyone with a tiny bit of reputation on the site can flag a comment, and a handful of flags will remove it. Moderators can delete comments at will. Authors can - and frequently do - delete comments at will. There's no revision history for comments. There's no public means of recovering deleted comments. These are all facts, verifiable with minimal effort if you don't trust me. Comments are disposable. If you don't like that, don't use comments. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 13 '12 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: That's not the point--- the comments that point out an error in an answer are supposed to be kept there until the error is fixed, especially on sites with factual content. I am not asking for the comments to sit there forever--- I move them to an answer if they are important. In this case, the comments are only important until the answer is fixed. What good is a site that doesn't allow "This answer is wrong" in the comments, that deletes it as soon as it comes up? $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ As long as the site allows competing answers, it can actually be quite good. That said, a comment that exists to provide constructive criticism should reasonably be expected to remain until those criticisms are addressed (although there's no mechanism in the system to ensure this happens, such comments generally do not attract the degree of unwanted attention as do lengthy comment threads, which are flagged and exposed in various way). I recommend you reserve comments for such brief critiques, answers for longer, contrasting positions, and chat for back-and-forth discussion. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 13 '12 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ Posting on any of the meta sites is a great way to get my attention, yes. John and yoda have addressed the specific issue with your comments fairly effectively here, I believe - but suffice to say, you did not limit yourself to either a single (or even couple) of comments, and you did not limit yourself to constructive criticism. This will tend to attract unwanted attention, and brings us back to my original point regarding the ephemeral nature of comments. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 13 '12 at 1:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 there was a relevant MSO post regarding young mods. I belive the title was "..risks of allowing teen moderators..." or something. It was deleted as not constructive, but the answers there(including mine) are pretty relevant here regarding maturity. Could you please either undelete it or post a recovered copy somewhere? I'd rather not make the same points over and over again. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth May 13 '12 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Ron note that we even have a mod who is 20 on SO(BoltClock), and another who's 15 (forgot his username and the site). Dunno about the other guy, but BoltClock does a great job. There is a (IMO) widespread misconception that young people are less mature--collectively, yes, the youth has a large share of immature people--but if you take the mature people of the bunch, you'll find that they're no different from 40-somethings. Restricting the mod age to 40 is detrimental to the network, I would say--we'd lose some great mods(David included). Note that I am rather young, so this may be biased. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth May 13 '12 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Manishearth: I put "40" there so it wouldn't look like I'm trying to get power myself (I am not--- I must never be in a position of power, or else I must become nice, and this defeats the purpose of my participation). I don't think you need a strict age-limit, but its nice to say "be flexible in applying the rules, and don't let personal feelings get in the way, and try to be maximally tolerant of people who are really get on your nerves, like, say case in point, Ron Maimon." On SO, one of my questions was deleted (fairly), and one of my answers was deleted (unfairly), no biggie. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9: (stop trying to intimidate people with -65 downvoted question). You said counterproductive things, physicists don't care about popularity, and I am not backing away. Old people have independent judgement and know better than to listen to the higher ups on the network. young people tend to follow rules in a blind way, and this is youth's instinctive unwholesome respect for authority. It's why soldiers have to be 18. It's not necessary to have a strict age requirement, but it is good to have people who are 50, because even the most rebellious student is not as independent minded. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 14 '12 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Ron: How is any of that relevant? Unless you're seriously suggesting we disallow folks under 40 from nominating themselves, you're just throwing ad hominem attacks at David because he did something you disagreed with. For someone who gives so much lip service to straight talk and facts, you seem exceedingly fond of speculation and unproven assertion: if you honestly believe that any member of this community under 40 years of age is unfit to moderate, let's see you back that up; otherwise, you're just projecting your own self-admitted inability to do the job onto others. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 14 '12 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ More speculation. There are hundreds of moderators on this network, their ages varying by several decades - I tell you based on my experience watching and interacting with them that there is little or no connection between age and suitability for the job. If you're seriously telling me that there's a strong correlation between age and a love of rule enforcement, you're speaking from ignorance. Come back when you've done your research. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 14 '12 at 19:36
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Ron, no disrespect meant to you but I feel far more at ease with David helping to moderate the site than you, regardless of age or knowledge. The problem is to do with your interpersonal skills here, rather than David's moderating skills.

For example, you do have this tendency sometimes to make comments such as: "this is nonsense, please delete this answer!", or "how did this answer get upvoted? it's completely wrong!". In your comments with Mark Beadles you comment: "Your whole answer is full of nonsense, please delete it.", "You have misidentified and misinterpreted every bit of work in this area". Abusive, intimidating comments like that serve only the destructive personality of the one making them and that's probably why David moved them as inappropriate.

Likewise you didn't conclude our discussion; either admitting you're wrong, explaining why you think I'm still wrong, or politely saying you don't have the time. It gives the impression that your 20k points has gone to your head and you think your demonstration of intellectual competence means you can trample all over the views of others without explaining yourself in a respectful way.

I honestly hope you take on board what I've said and don't end up being suspended like another very competent guy that used to post here because I've learnt a lot from most of your answers. But no one person is more important than the running of this site, regardless of the number of points they have by their name.

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    $\begingroup$ I didn't check that discussion, and I wasn't notified of the change, so I missed it, sorry. I am not asking for diamond moderator powers, as I don't have the time nor the inclination, and I'm too much of an asshole. But the fact that I don't have any power does not prevent me from saying someone else is abusing the power. The reason I said the answer is full of nonsense is because it is objectively true. It misidentifies and misinterprets every bit of work in the literature on NUT spaces. It is not abusive, since I don't mean it against Mark Beadles, but against one unfortunate answer. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ @ron David and the moderators have to abide by the purpose of this site, otherwise it would descend into chaos. Have a look at etiquette under faq:physics.stackexchange.com/faq, and the purpose of comments: physics.stackexchange.com/privileges/comment. Theres a time and a place for being an "asshole" which can get us suspended here if were not careful ;) $\endgroup$ – Physiks lover May 13 '12 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon why not set up a personal blog? You get to publicise it here in your profile, and say what you want, control people's comments etc. Lubos does a similar thing sometimes by linking to a question he's answered, and it works really well. Something in the style of Qiaochu Yuan's blog maybe: math.stackexchange.com/users/232/qiaochu-yuan $\endgroup$ – John McVirgo May 13 '12 at 1:22
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    $\begingroup$ Notably, Ron is not banned from the Philosophy site, merely under notice that overt hostility to other users will not be tolerated. He has made the argument over and over that he's allowed to participate as he does on the Physics site, so why should there be a problem on Philosophy? The answer has been that it's not a cultural difference, it's a substantive one—his behavior has so far been distinctly different on Physics than on Philosophy. It appears now that the curtain is coming down and that's beginning to change. When it does, the moderators will have to begin to take notice and action. $\endgroup$ – Cody Gray May 13 '12 at 2:50
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    $\begingroup$ It's been suggested numerous times already that Ron set up a blog, but so far he has resisted, instead choosing to use the Stack Exchange network as a platform for the expression of his personal views. That's a grave misuse of a Q&A site, and it's not the fault of the site administrators but the fault of a user who is unwilling to take note of the policies where he chooses to participate. It isn't "political" when you get banned from a movie theatre for standing up repeatedly and yelling "FIRE!". $\endgroup$ – Cody Gray May 13 '12 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ @CodyGray Do you believe you know Ron's qualifications in physics just by reading his profile? I don't agree with him about David and he can be needlessly confrontational at times, but he's also a very valuable member of this community. $\endgroup$ – mmc May 13 '12 at 5:41
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    $\begingroup$ @CodyGray I consider Ron a proof that one can really delve into physics without going through the academic treadmill. His answers are to the point and enlightening , and consistent with what other theorists are stating. I am learning from him. He is confrontational but you should see what sort of other confrontational physicist we have got in our general physics community who get an A in confrontation elsewhere ( also correctly). I would give Ron a B. In any case physics is an exact science and needs confrontation, calling a spade a spade. $\endgroup$ – anna v May 14 '12 at 6:39
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @annav for this wise comment and good to see you here, I agree exactly with you. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 14 '12 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ @anna v there's no denying Ron's physics ability here, the problem is his inability sometimes to use the comments correctly, such as him commenting "-1 this is nonsense, delete ths answer!" rather than " -1 such and such isn't correct because...". $\endgroup$ – John McVirgo May 14 '12 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnMcVirgo I agree that politeness helps in forums, but it can happen to good physicists, naming no names, if something is really off track, to turn ironic and worse in their demands, fortunately not on this forum. I checked the altercation and the answer under "attack" has been deleted. I do not have the guts to address a wrong answer in such a forceful way but on the other hand if somebody criticized an answer of mine I am willing to be corrected. It takes two to tango. We all can make mistakes, but if the request was forceful the acceptance/denial of error was not forthright either. $\endgroup$ – anna v May 14 '12 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure how everyone misinterpreted my comment as saying that Ron shouldn't participate here because of his [lack of] qualifications. In fact, I was making precisely the opposite point, that we allow everyone to ask and answer questions on SE sites. I only said that he cannot speak for all of "physics", to the extent that community of professionals has an identity, because he specifically prides himself on not being one of them. It's not a slant against him, I might even be in favor of some academic distance, but it does mean that his attempts to speak for academic physics seem strange. $\endgroup$ – Cody Gray May 14 '12 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ And no, this isn't about people's candidness. There's a big difference between pointing out factual inaccuracies and being confrontational. The former is not the definition of "being confrontational". It's about personally attacking people. There's got to be some grace in how you go about things. If you're unable to do that, you're unable to constructively participate in any sort of a community, physics or otherwise. People don't stand up at academic symposiums and start yelling at people that they never even deserved to earn their doctorate, and if they do, they get kicked out. @anna $\endgroup$ – Cody Gray May 14 '12 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ @CodyGray: I have never made personal attacks. The most personal things are in the comments here. The fact that you consider my comments to be personal shows why "no personal attacks" rules are dangerous. They are used to politically clobber people who vocally disagree with you. "Confrontational" is what St. Pauli of Vienna said we must be, and one must follow his example. The physicist is not unable to do what you call "grace", rather he or she is unwilling, and this is the essential prerequisite for making a constructive academic discourse. No gracelessness, no progress. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 19 '12 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ @NickKidman: The philosophy site downvotes questions and deletes them based on the moderators trying to steer the discussion towards positions they personally like. The whole thing is a political game, there is no room for honest statements, or even dishonest ones, because the voting and moderation is based on unstated motivations, which you must guess and navigate. The prime example is anything to do with neitzsche's appaling racism and crazy anti-semitism is not just downvoted but deleted (not just my stuff, others before too). This is what could be happening here, but isn't. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 19 '12 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ @CodyGray What Ron explains is just how progress is achiedved and not everybody has to like it of course ;-). The initial issue between Ron and David was not a biggy, until it was unnecessarily inflated by say, external forces. So it would be nice if you could stop keeping things stirred up here now. Your real opinion about the (theoretical) physicists community, expressed in the comments below this post using the name "The Establishment", alarmed me and confirmed my doubts about your friendly intentions when posting in this thread :-( ... $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 20 '12 at 8:25
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[David] has moved the (short) comment discussion here: Are gravitomagnetic monopoles hypothesized? which he called "inappropriate". I thought he deleted them, but he moved them to chat here: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/3410/discussion-between-mark-beadles-and-ron-maimon .

Incorrect. Moderators cannot move comments. Your discussion chain got too long that the engine offered you both to take it to chat and one of you clicked the link. There's no other way this could've happened.

The comment thread doesn't look like a civil discussion at all. Look at some of your comments:

1: [...] Your whole answer is full of nonsense, please delete it.

2: [...] This answer is a summary of things you obviously don't understand, please delete it.

3: [...] It cannot be fixed, and you are being dishonest that you claimed otherwise. [...]

You are clearly being belligerent and abusive towards the other user, who repeatedly told you that you cannot make demands — if it's wrong, say so and downvote it and move on. If you want to rub it in their face, then do so by providing a better and factually correct answer and let the community decide. By launching an attack on him, the discussion spiralled into one that was argumentative and unfruitful. Going by Mark's comment:

[...] (replacing a comment that was a bit argumentative): [...]

I'm guessing there were other inappropriate comments either by him or you that were deleted voluntarily. Given these red flags, David was highly justified in deleting them from under the post.

Given your attitude here, towards the other user and your overall behaviour on the network, I would highly recommend that you be suspended for a while so that you can cool down and reflect on your actions.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree that Ron should calm down a bit now, but he does NOT need to be suspended for this. He is highly devoted to physics and gives amazingly good answers. His contributions are appreciated by a number of people and you cant just come here (you have yourself not yet (?) contributed anything to physics.SE) and make demands that we have to suspend him in the very same way you critisize Ron for. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 12 '12 at 23:27
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    $\begingroup$ The comments are not attacks, they are statements of fact. The answer is misrepresenting a chunk of research, and this is due to misunderstanding of the literature, and it can't be fixed, because the misunderstanding is from start to finish. I am not a politician, I do not intend to be, I like science, not politics. I just want to get the answers here accurate, and this is difficult in a forum such as this (but easier than in the published literature). You have to say it bluntly when something is wrong, and even more bluntly when something is dishonest, but never take it personally. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton Please note that I mentioned his current behaviour in conjunction with his behaviour on the SE network. Regardless of how knowledgable a person may be, if they can't behave properly in a community, they ought to be punished. If you want proof, here's 1, 2 and a whole mother load of evidence. (continued ...) $\endgroup$ – user2437 May 13 '12 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Dil (part 2) In all the cases, he is belligerent, takes a gangsta like approach and does not follow basic civility in his discourse. Please read the different comments on the posts linked above and the answers provided. They might give further insight into what might've transpired in comments that are now removed. I do not participate in physics.se out of choice. I'm a mod on the network though, and Ron's name keeps popping up so often, that a clear pattern of his behaviour has emerged, and it is not a nice one. Also read his other meta posts on this site where he attacks David for no reason. $\endgroup$ – user2437 May 13 '12 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ @yoda: I think your position is no good for the stackexchange network. If you try to "punish" people, the good people leave, as the ones with things to say are the first to be punished. The devil hates truth, as they say, and looks to any reason to prevent it being spoken. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ @yoda I know Ron s "rough" behaviour here on physics (what upsets him, etc) but I dont care since he is very honest, genuine, sincere, and apopogizes if he was wrong. What he does on other SE sites I dont participate in is not my business. You should apply the same policy, you can suspend/ban/etc Ron at SE sites you moderate and PARTICIPATE in if the corresponding community wishes this. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ But I say again: you cant come here to physics, which you are neither interested in nor contribute, and tell OUR community how we have to deal with Ron s rough behaviour etc. It is our business if we want to have Ron here because he is amazingly devoted to OUR site and makes good and interesting contributions. I you try to do something against Ron at OUR site be sure that I would complain elswewhere about it ... $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ LOL, now I have 20 points on John Beaz`s crackpot index since I have writte four CAPITALIZED words :-D. I probably dont agree with Ron about David, I like him a lot as a diamond and since comments are obviously not under version control they are not save enough to store important things ... And David is the only one, if any, who has a legitimate right to be upset about Ron s recent meta questions and react accordingly. Better it would be if those two guys (I like both) could have a beer together :-) $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ These aren't physics-specific issues we're talking about. They're first and foremost social issues, and secondly, issues regarding the operation and ideology of the Stack Exchange network, on which this site operates. The fact its topic is physics is quite irrelevant to any discussion of its policies and procedures. As someone who is a diamond moderator on 2 sites, and holds upwards of 10k reputation on 2 sites, not the least of which being Meta Stack Overflow, the Q&A site for the Stack Exchange engine itself, I'd say that yoda is perfectly qualified to be answering this question. $\endgroup$ – Cody Gray May 13 '12 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Cody Yep, he can answer the question and state his opiion of course, but he has not the right to take any real actions that meddle with business on our site against the will of OUR community here. The same holds for you, our site is about physics and NOT about social issues! $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton We're on Meta on here. We're not talking about physics anymore, so everybody can write. Not only mods, even other users. Yoda cannot technically do anything, since he doesn't have the powers here. But his word is valuable. You cannot dismiss other users' words just because they don't post on the Main physics site. $\endgroup$ – Alenanno May 13 '12 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Alenanno: These guys are acting much worse on other sites, where any statement to the effect of "you're totally wrong, you made a mistake here and here and here" is considered a form of personal attack. Further, any opinionated statement like "nietzsche is a dishonest racist charlatan, and makes no sense" is considered somehow a bad statement to make in a question or answer, and gets it diamond deleted. This type of censorship is the natural human condition, and it makes scientific discourse impossible. I do not wish to participate in a community which cannot tolerate my type of discourse. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton You're getting worked up about nothing. I have no powers on this site — can't even downvote. If you read my post, I simply recommend, not demand. Any action that results will have to be taken by a moderator of this site, and my words may not have had any bearing on that either, since there is enough to go on without it... $\endgroup$ – user2437 May 13 '12 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ @yoda: The point is that you are advocating censorship based on someone expressing an unpopular view in an impolitic style, and this is the enemy of reasoned discourse. On any internet site with moderation this is a disease that must be confronted head-on and combatted, and if you lose, that's the end of the usefulness of the site, and you best go elsewhere. This happened at Wikipedia, and is dangerously close to happening at arxiv, with the moderation system there, and happens at 50% of the sites here, with the percentage growing, and this is not an auspicious omen. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ @yoda: I have never said "you suck" or "X is an asshole" anywhere, or anything else like it. My negative comments are always the form "this is nonsense, it is wrong because of this and this and this", yet, I have been accused of making uncivil personal attacks incessantly. This is why "civility" requirements are really censorship--- they are only applied where it is not incivility, but actual knowledge being explained. This is why civility is dangerous, it is used to shut people up, people who have knowledge that contradicts someone. Incivility is never a big problem, incivility rules are. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 17:02
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I only add to this discussion with hesitation, since as I judge the discussion it's not about me, or about my answer. However, I would like to note, regarding the comments action:

My understanding of Stack Exchange is that anyone can ask and anyone can answer. Upvotes and downvotes are the sole mechanisms for judging the answers. This works because a user's reputation score reflects how they've participated as "judger" or "judgee" of others in turn.

But comments don't participate in the reputation system, and so are not self-correcting. The sole automated control of comments seems to be the system offering to "take a discussion to chat". I see there was some confusion about that, so to set the matter straight, I did click the offered link.

Given the lack of self-correcting automated controls on comments, it makes sense to me that moderators may need to step in from time to time with human judgment.

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    $\begingroup$ You are just saying it's good the comments were deleted because they showed point by point why your answer was nonsense. I don't see why you didn't delete the answer, it is incorrect. I don't care about you, this isn't about you, it's about the answer, which is saying misleading wrong things. The comments you moved to chat explained why the answer is wrong, I will add them to my answer. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ @ron you can also add another answer to a question. $\endgroup$ – John McVirgo May 13 '12 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnMcVirgo: I answered the question, but unfortunately 1. I am not an expert on gravitational instantons/self-dual solutions, I wanted to review before answering 2. I don't know the closest thing to an honest pure gravitational monopole. What I do know is that the previous answer is wrong. So I said "this is wrong", and bam, deleted. Mind you, I don't think David is abusing his powers, just using his powers in a way that is not most auspicious for the future of the site. It is a small first-warning of the flood of future Shog9's who will come. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon I don't mind you saying my answer is wrong, but you persist even now in extending your comments to ME in the course of doing so. You just wrote: "You are just saying it's good the comments were deleted because they showed point by point why your answer was nonsense." Previously you said that me editing my answer-which is ENCOURAGED on SE-was me being "dishonest". These are both personal attacks about my motivations, not about the content of my answer. If my answer is wrong, that doesn't bother me. I thought that was what upvotes and downvotes and providing better answers was for. $\endgroup$ – Mark Beadles May 13 '12 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon That all said: this site has ceased being something I wish to contribute to. Even ONE person in a community who is unable to differentiate between personal attacks and professional discourse is enough to make the community no good. This is a Q and A web site, for goodness' sake, not a journal or a tenure board. I suggest, sir, that your obvious talents may be better served in the journals or the labs than on an interesting web community. So, you win.I am not only deleting my answer but my physics account. I believe this gives both you and I something we value, so it's a win-win. $\endgroup$ – Mark Beadles May 13 '12 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkBeadles: Your contributions are valuable, please don't go. I wasn't attacking you, just trying to be helpful by pointing out the technical errors--- please don't stop contributing! Making a mistake is not a bad thing, everyone does it, it's how you react that makes all the difference. If you shrug your shoulders and learn something, and don't let your ego get in the way, you improve the site and you become a real physicist. It's a trial by fire for the ego that all physicists must pass. The thing I said was "dishonest" was your claim that I was misunderstanding your answer. I wasn't. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon Thank your for asking me to stay, I appreciate that, and it seems offered in good faith. I'll stay. I want to be clear that being wrong doesn't bother me; I have deleted wrong answers before and I have corrected wrong answers before. But this is Stack Exchange, and there is a system for weeding out wrong answers: downvotes. Also, "dishonest" is a personal attack in any circumstance, and I maintain that I have been nothing but honest and open in my discussions here. $\endgroup$ – Mark Beadles May 13 '12 at 17:54
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkBeadles: I am glad! I was worried I was too big a dick, and you wouldn't want to interact with me anymore. I didn't mean "dishonest" in a colloquial sense--- scientific honesty is more than that, it requires looking inside to see if there is any chance that you are prejudicing yourself or lying to yourself. I'll tell you an anecdote: when I was a grad student, my advisor (Phil Argyres, a great physicist) once asked about some angle transformation in relativity. I calculated it (completely wrong) and gave him the answer. He then noted some limit where the calculation was obviously wrong... $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 18:05
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    $\begingroup$ I then said "oops, I misspoke", he said "you didn't misspeak, you meant what you said." Then I said "I was unclear..." he said "no, you were perfectly clear. You were just wrong." And I had to agree: "Yes, I was just wrong." and I redid the (trivial) calculation correctly. This is important--- this is the extra-mile of scientific honesty, where you try to correct for your innate human bias to make yourself look good by not acknowledging errors. This is so useful in day-to-day calculations, that to not help someone out by pointing out how to do it is a disservice, it's a science sin. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, welcome back @MarkBeadles ;-). $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ "That all said: this site has ceased being something I wish to contribute to. Even ONE person in a community who is unable to differentiate between personal attacks and professional discourse is enough to make the community no good." I think "troll" is the usual net term to describe these people, Asperger's Syndrome by the medical profession. A lot of these people decide to organise the lives of other people, THEIR way, yet these same people can't organise their own lives in the real world. Nobody wants to be around them because they lack social intelligence. $\endgroup$ – Physiks lover May 13 '12 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Physikslover: It isn't Asperger's. It's not an inability to see what the social rules are, it is a willful attempt to transcend them, and a prayer that you will succeed. This is the social leap that physicists made 100 years ago, a discourse free of politics, and this discourse allowed for leap after leap of insight with no parallel in all of human history. Only in physics has this happened, and this is because the physicists adopted a phony-asperger discourse. The internet allows you to spread the light of dickish discourse to other fields, but only if people are not too polite. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 19 '12 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon physics today is far more sophisticated than 100 years ago and above all, much more collaborative and group oriented. You're living in the past glories of physics, rather than seeing it evolving today and in future, just like 100 years ago. $\endgroup$ – Physiks lover May 20 '12 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Physikslover: Absolute nonsense! There is no difference today as 100 years ago (except a little more to learn). The collaborative work is important, but only if it is politics free. Individual contributions are just as important as ever. There is no barrier to assholes collaborating. The only reason theory became so collaborative is because the publication requiremets crept up in the 70s and 80s, from 1 paper/yr to 4 paper/yr, while the technical detail requirements also increased, so that people responded by coauthoring to lighten the writing/editing load. This is entirely barrier to entry. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 21 '12 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Physikslover: That isn't to say that there aren't truly nice collaborations, like Grisaru Gates Rocek and Siegel (at least two major egos in here). There are times when there is a computational component, which is extremely time-consuming, so you need a coworker, or else you end up like Veltman, writing the code and recieving too little credit. There are also cases where expertise is not shared properly, but this is because people hoard their little knowledge, and the internet fixed that. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 21 '12 at 19:08
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there are many factual and insightful things you write, but then from time to time cringe-worthy statements I wouldn't expect from a student ("you have to have rocks in your head to put people under the age of 40 in positions of power"). I had a similar start like you on SE, some sites here like skeptics.se or philosophy.se don't fit at all my level of scientific skepticism and critical thinking. I left such sites instead of trying to improve them, it's pointless trying to yield my desired level on it by contributing q&a. I explained here why some proposal work and some not. The quality/level of a single site is strongly linked to the amount of experts attracted during area51 process. You can only make minor improvments to such sites by clever moderation and attracting more experts afterwards (e.g. theophys user don't want to participate here for the same reasons you try to improve this site). The level of necessary background knowledge is just to different among user to waste here their time.

You seem to have a usenet-background, I too. That is unfiltered anarchy, thats also the system most uni's run in my experience innofficially. But SE is democracy, hierarchy, filtering, ranking, sorting (why do you think there are no downvotes/rep for comments? To stop endless discussion and force competition and several answers. This is the most important non-feature of SE), elections of poor and good mods,..... you know all this stuff that happens in democracy too. It's a imperfect system for imperfect people. But have you seen a better one for big communities? Why did you stop posting on usenet, wikipedia and joined this system. Ask and answer this yourself and I'm sure we all can save a lot meta time and useless discussion with/about you here. I already told you that your bio's (while entertaining on christianity and philosophy :D ) are not really productive for you. Also yelling for new mods on physics.se and phil.se is really naive, what do you expect. "Hey our german 38 year old vice-chancellor is in my opinion not qualified for his job. Can we please try somebody else (I really think this)". But he was elected by the majority. Just stop this, how can a smart guy like you think this can/will work??? You're biting on granite and wasting your and our time here. Invent a better system. Contribute answers here, discuss in forums like usenet of physicsforums.com. There are physicists who don't like for mentioned reasons usenet (too much spam and crackpot-theorists), q&a boards (moderation, no discussion), forums (too lengthy discussions)... There is no perfect system that fits everybody's needs and philosophy of communication.

You look to me like on a crusade. Trying to correct all bad answers on SE sites whichs seems at a first glance admirable and worth supporting ) but also pretty naive if one knows a little bit about human and group psychology and has participated in internet discussions since a decade. The problems of wikipedia authoring are well-known, lenghty discussions with arrogant mods, SE resolves this problem by competing answers. And with all your comments & corrections you are trying to re-introduce this wikipedia editing style here again. Maybe unconsciously as you are still in your trained usenet and wikipedia modus operandi. Well, quit this, or you end like Georg. I'm sure a physics.se site with 10-20 Ron Maimons and Georg's wouldn't work (most agreed that tolerating the escapades of one Ron Maimon is ok) and would end in even worse overall level of tolerance and respect than on usenet and wikipedia due to the rep thing and real names, thats why I asked user here to think about if such bios are really helpful. You see how fast people can change their mind and ask you to calm down.

I made quite some meta posts on science SE sites recently. Because I would like to see open science really working and I'm interested if and how super-moderation of autarchic communities can work, when become things uncommunicable, how can meta user and mods find common set of values, level and scope of a site (we make a similar experiment in germany currently, direct democracy with liquid feedback community software in the pirates party). SE and Quora are a important steps here. Maybe there will come even better hybrid systems. If you want to create high quality communities, you need a clever system like here (area51, voting, meta, filtering), ranting about content, bad and wrong answers here a lot is a drop in the bucket and even more in forums, usenet and wikipedia, where users like you already failed with their demands. I come to SE to read different views by different users, not wikipedias common denominator stuff, commenting or editing an answer towards subjective "correct" content here is the huge misconception you seemingly have and brought over here from your wikipedia days.

I wonder why you aren't blogging. Well I'm aware without publications, university position, PHD a physics blog doesn't attract a lot of comments/views nowadays anymore. You probably too. Without credentials only few would read Motl's blog imho. So this is probably the best place to invest your time. Nonetheless I'm still wondering why you didn't participate more in theophys.se if the quality of some answers here is so terrible? I begin to think you are trying to find out how much power your rep here gives you and the responses you get are not really surprising. May be start a Ron Maimon proposal? The SE system allows this ;)

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with you +1, but it is worth a shot--- the internet is a new medium, and it might be better politics and less imperfect than the previous imperfect systems. I don't want to give up on something with such potential without at least giving a shot at making it work. This site works pretty well. I don't have anything serious against David, he does a good job most of the time, but he does some questionable things regarding my comments etc, and that's all. The closer you are to anarchy (while still filtering out commercial spam, incomprehensible gibberish) the better. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ I did participate on theophys.se, I stopped for an embarassing reason: after my first answer I promised a guy there a proof that his statistical model is in the universality class of the free scalar, and I worked on it for a few weeks never getting stuck, but never finishing the proof, and I was embarassed to post without providing the requisite proof. I liked the site a lot, but here its trivial to contrbute answers, and it takes very little time or effort. I was going to post the proof eventually and get back to theo.phys. but I was annoyed by not getting a quick proof of this thing. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Oh @RonMaimon, I always thought you should have a lot to contribute to TP.SE and sometimes wondered why you did not do it ... They would probably have liked your contributions but now TP is gone anyway. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton: It is possible that this site can function like TP.SE. The questions are here. But physicists are scared of popular sites, because the history shows that if you don't build a big wall of technical gibberish that they can't scale, the barbarians get in, and get in power, and then shut up anyone with anything to say. I don't think this is as big a problem on the internet as it has been in face-to-face politics, but I might be wrong. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 13 '12 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon Maybe I understand why physicists are scared ... :-(. Reading science news sites and physics blogs, the number of really evil and ill meaning trolls and sourballs in the comments (who want to damage and abolish fundamental or theoretical physics) has increased and some once good physics bloggers (I mean a particular one) have even adjusted their sites to attract and satisfy these barbarians. So if you would set up a (physics?) blog I would probably read it but you would need a very good "firewall" ... ;-) $\endgroup$ – Dilaton May 13 '12 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ @RonMaimon improving sites is ok, but dont get extreme ;) xkcd.com/386 Without wrong answers, there are no right ones and we loose ability to identify those. Thats why reading wikipedia will not train your critical thinking. Seeing only one superb correct answer on SE on every Q would make this site pointless. Thats why Im strongly against editing answers too much $\endgroup$ – Werner Schmitt May 14 '12 at 18:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton many known physicists exactly write a blog to have mod-powers and kill commenters they are not interested in but to discuss with their collegeaus instead of joining bigger discussion boards. Physicists really like to discuss, more than most scientists imho, but this field really needs deep experimental and mathematical background knowledge in many of its areas and attracts many laymen. Usenet has proven this for decades where laymen come up with theories but didnt understand the simplest things in physics correctly $\endgroup$ – Werner Schmitt May 14 '12 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @WernerSchmitt: Yes, sure. But it is trivial to correct mistakes here--- I am one person, and I tried to correct pretty much every blatant mistake anyone made on this site, and so far it doesn't take too much time (skim/comment/skim/comment, if you screw up, someone will let you know), This means that with only a few other people, all the mistakes can be fixed. I disagree with the xkcd cartoon. The internet is for fixing people's wrong stuff, it is the best medium for doing so, vastly more accurate than print. people are more often wrong in print, because you can't call out the mistakes. $\endgroup$ – Ron Maimon May 14 '12 at 18:56

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