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22

There are a few different types of users that can be known to behave like this. Some we can do something about, some we can't, and some we can but shouldn't. The first type of user likely to exhibit this behaviour is the "next Einstein" user; one that is not well-studied in physics and has thought up their own "theory" concerning the issue. Often times, ...


21

While I'm no professional or expert, I think what's working against Physics SE is, ironically, what makes it so effective. People are being spoonfed all the time here. Like Google, Q&A websites have become magical 'wishing fountains' to millions of people. Stupid questions about Newton's Laws and classical mechanics are being asked by people all the ...


20

I'm undecided on whether or not it is desirable to have people change away from user<userID>. Here are some points to consider: SE is about questions and answers, not about people: We should judge questions and answers on the basis of their actual content, not on the basis of who has written them. However, the fact that we aren't all user<userID>...


19

Do not neglect the degree to which the "level" of a question determines the audience that will be interested. There are more laymen than beginners that journymen than masters, and than means that there are more people to be impressed by basic questions than by esoteric, expert level questions. The result is that it is the really good basic questions and the ...


19

Nice graphs! I personally thought this would be obvious though. If we use votes as a way of measuring "best" (far from accurate), then the posts with the most votes will be the ones that more people can understand and appreciate. Popular posts cater to this perfectly, and thus get the most votes. Really good higher level questions are (a) hard to find as ...


17

Subjectively, I'm finding that I've been spending my time on the site in unenjoyable activities like arguing with angry and belligerent beginners about friction and Newton's third law. I've decided to become inactive on the site. With all due respect, and you've earned a lot of it here, I don't see that your decision logically follows. Given the ...


15

It's important to note that the number of upvotes on a question or an answer are not necessarily a sign of quality, but rather of popularity. You could write a great question or answer, but if nobody pays attention to them, they won't get upvoted. I noticed myself that some of my most-upvoted answers took me the least effort to write, and conversely some ...


15

Nobody has mentioned yet the core reason for the sad loss of quality of this site. You can do whatever statistical analysis you want to do, based on the number of new users, fraction of homework question, analogies with Uranium... Face it. Don't avoid mentioning it. Please, let's honestly face the truth. It is written with "R" like "Ron" and "M" like "...


14

I am repeating Eduardo's last paragraph here because it is an insightful observation, separable from suspensions. In a research institution, people are free to communicate with each other in the way they desire to, because they are mature adults. Only if things become really really bad in a discussion, would a third person try to calm them down. In ...


12

Thus, my question: do we, as a community, want to discourage gendered language? Or should we just leave it to the discretion of users what kind of language to use? As I understand it, this proposal is not suggesting using moderator action to enforce the use of ungendered language. Nevertheless I would like to clarify that we won't do that, not unless people ...


12

Interesting thread. I read all the answers and comments and want to formulate something which is maybe implied by other comments but which I haven't seen put like that: I'd say the amount of low level questions just directly correlates with the fact that the SE portal is more known now. I hang around in a hackerspace sometimes, which is filled with ...


11

Created some queries: Number of active users in a tag month wise: This graphs the number of users who have made more than threshhold (this can be edited) posts in the list of tags in a given month, over all months. Monthwise streaks in a tag: This was an intermediate query I created which is used in the one above. It tabulates the number of posts per month ...


10

Honestly, I don't think we ever had a critical mass of professional physicists. I do seem to have noticed that several of the well-qualified people who used to post regularly don't do so any more, but that's natural over time. Some of them will come back, and we'll also get new well-qualified posters over time. Of course we can always do more with actively ...


9

Instead of making unique names an opt-in feature, it should be default. New users can get a unique name, such as <random adjective> <random verb> <random noun>. That would allow privacy-oriented people to keep their Stack activity divorced from their identity while being recognizable on the site. If users don't want to be recognizable, ...


9

Like the others I am very saddened to hear that you will scale back you activity. Permit me to hope that this is a hiatus rather than an end. I can sympathize with your complaint about belligerent beginners, as I also feel we've had more of them of late; as well as another uptick in the number of people who want to ask high level questions from a ...


9

I'm really sorry to hear your decision; I've enjoyed reading many of your answers here and would have loved to read new ones as they come along. I hope you reconsider your decision. You may wish to avoid beginners by ignoring the tags they tend to post in; or just stepping out when a novice gets argumentative. I've done that more than once myself. ...


8

Like many others I am saddened to see Ben leave, and I hope it is a temporary hiatus, but I certainly understand his decision. I haven't been very active either lately, and there are several reasons for this: The lack of high-quality questions. I don't know why this is happening, but for some reason we're seeing an increase in low-level questions. Perhaps ...


8

Ill speak for myself, thought I wouldn't call my self non-novice or anything else. I am among the people thinking of leaving the site after being here for about a year. The reason is It stopped being interesting. While I rarely posted, I used to enjoy reading answers, but off-late nothing in the site seems to interest me(I am student of theoretical physics)...


7

All of his posts are "jokes" aimed at intentionally misleading, asking nonsensical questions, or generally mocking physics in some way. [...] The important thing is that upon closer inspection, many of them say nothing or say the wrong thing seemingly intentionally. This is precisely what downvotes are to be used for. Note that the criterion for downvoting ...


7

Training and expertise change how your neural circuitry processes data about the world, causing your interpretation of much of the data about the world to become so rapid and automatic that it can become very difficult even to see why certain questions are even meaningful, let alone "interesting." This is not just a training issue. The ability to discard ...


7

For me it is important that I can recognize a user in deciding whether I should chime in with an answer or not. I tend to have in my head a data base of trust in the physics level for certain users, that their answer will not be wrong or quirky or even personal theory based. These random numbers after user do not help in this. And often they are new people ...


5

No, there is no such thing as being shadow banned on the SE network. The user in question has a question deleted as "spam or offensive," which carries a -100 reputation penalty.


4

To test the hypothesis "there is only a small core of users that use the review queues regularly", my first naive attempt would be From the users with close-vote powers, during month=October 2013, how many users made range_1=0, range_2=[1,5], range_3=[6,20], range_4=[21,50], and range_5=[51,∞] reviews in the review_queue=close_votes? where the ranges are ...


4

You can award your bounty to whomever you like.


3

This information is not systematically collected anywhere, so the best that you can expect is a general impression. There are a few users in our chat room who occasionally reveal their age, directly or indirectly: high schooler students or college undergraduates preparing for entrance exams for college or graduate school, and a couple who are partly or ...


2

This is not a feature of Stack Exchange, and I don't really think it should be. This is covered well in this answer/question on the main Meta. This isn't really a one on one tutoring site, it's all community driven. If that user is active enough, they will likely see the question anyways if it is one they would usually answer. They may have contact info ...


1

That user appears to have decided to stop visiting the site. There's some non-public information which confirms that their decision was voluntary. They had expressed an intention to return, but you know how life is. Perhaps they'll come back eventually.


1

If you observe the top/highest voted questions (https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes, Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon, A mirror flips left and right, but not up and down, Why don't metals bond when touched together?) I believe it is safe to presume that these questions are not those which would be poupular just amongst ...


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