Lizzie Come Home!

An open letter to our founder, Dr Liddle

Hi Lizzie

I have contacted you a few times regarding your plans for TSZ and I promise this will be the last time. As I also mentioned to you before, my real-life commitments mean I can’t personally contribute much to TSZ from now until the end of summer, although DNA_Jock and Neil I believe will still be available. The workload has reduced as both membership and readership has declined recently. Currently, we are down to not much more than 100 individual site visits daily (from a hey-day of 600 to 700 daily) and there is a core of no more than fifty members active at least once a month with very few new participants.

I think the main reason for the decline is your absence and I’m sure that TSZ will continue to decline in popularity and diversity without some input from you. So this is a final appeal to you. I’d love to see you back at the helm here and I have no doubt there are many members and readers who feel the same. If you can find some time for us, I’m hopeful TSZ could recover some of its former vitality.

However, I also think you are under no obligation to return if you no longer see a point in or a future for TSZ. In that case, could I request you make a decision and let us know so that those who might wish to could consider alternative options. I also think the site contains enough original material to warrant archiving and it would be great if the site could be preserved in a searchable form.

Anyway, you are under no obligation and your efforts and achievement in creating and running this site for so many years with the huge investment of time that involved are greatly appreciated. I’d like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to you for those efforts.

I thought I’d share this email with TSZ members as an OP. Fingers crossed you are tempted to visit!

Best wishes, Alan

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32 thoughts on “Lizzie Come Home!

  1. Had an auto response email from Lizzie’s address stating she is on vacation till 5th May.

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  2. What is your basis for the theory that the reason for the decline is Lizzie’s absence?

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  3. walto,

    One reason for the reduction in traffic, is the existence of the PeacefulScience site. Some of the pointless debates have moved to there.

    While a reduction of pointless debates may mean a reduction in traffic, I’m not inclined to call that a “decline”.

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  4. Neil Rickert,

    That’s possible. It doesn’t seem like it could be related to Lizzie’s absence, anyhow, since she’s been gone for ages.

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  5. Thanks for all your service Alan. I hope the site continues even if it remains obscure.

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  6. walto:
    Neil Rickert,

    That’s possible. It doesn’t seem like it could be related to Lizzie’s absence, anyhow, since she’s been gone for ages.

    Well, three years, more or less. The reduction in activity started perhaps a little earlier. Come to think of it, when did walto start commenting? ☺

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  7. I’d like to say, VJTorley’s critical analysis of the Gospel accounts was some of the best stuff this year on TSZ! I say that as Christian.

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  8. Alan, to Lizzie:

    In that case, could I request you make a decision and let us know so that those who might wish to could consider alternative options.

    Nothing is stopping you from pursuing those “alternative options” right now. If you did, it would be a win-win. It’s clear that you don’t fit in at TSZ and that you’d be happier at a site that abandoned Lizzie’s principles. Those of us remaining would be better off, too, because we’d be rid of your moderation abuses (though not Jock’s and Neil’s, unfortunately — maybe you could take them with you).

    I also think the site contains enough original material to warrant archiving and it would be great if the site could be preserved in a searchable form.

    Why shut the site down at all?

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  9. stcordova: ’d like to say, VJTorley’s critical analysis of the Gospel accounts was some of the best stuff this year on TSZ! I say that as Christian.

    I admit I’ve never gotten entirely through a single one, but I can’t deny that Vince’s OPs are kind of amazing. I’ve teased that writers of Biblical scholarship of that type remind me of Camus’ absurd men, but I nevertheless admire the care and erudition some of those pieces exemplify. As a writer of philosophy stuff, I suppose I’m not really in a position to throw “pointlessness” stones, anyhow.

    What I’m trying to say is that I’m guessing it would be a substantial loss to a particular type of what is to me a strange and wonderful (with perfumes and spices) corner of exotica if Vince’s posts were not archived.

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  10. keiths,

    I won’t have time for much involvement here from now on at least over the Summer. Whatever else happens or doesn’t happen will be up to Lizzie. She may indeed decide to leave things as they are. My personal view is it would be a shame if TSZ did not continue but that’s a decision only Lizzie can make.

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  11. Alan,

    That doesn’t answer the question: Why shut down the site at all?

    TSZ does fine (better, in fact) when you’re absent. The fact that you’ll be less involved this summer is a good thing. It certainly isn’t a reason to shut the site down.

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  12. walto: it would be a substantial loss to a particular type of what is to me a strange and wonderful (with perfumes and spices) corner of exotica if Vince’s posts were not archived.

    Hear hear!

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  13. its not numbers and views but who!! so I think TSZ is fine and great for dealing with origin issues at a higher intellectual level then average people are up to. These are always small circles because all science subjects are small circles depending on the subject.
    i hope Lizzie is well and joins in.The bosses here do a excellent job in what is difficult and dealing with difficult people depending on the person.
    i think its the evolutionists etc who are worn out with coming up short on the contentions. A attrition of truth will were out the wrong side.

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  14. walto:
    What is your basis for the theory that the reason for the decline is Lizzie’s absence?

    A way of avoiding the blame for himself?

    Wow, the guy can’t just quit??

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  15. keiths:
    Alan, to Lizzie:

    Nothing is stopping you from pursuing those “alternative options” right now.If you did, it would be a win-win.It’s clear that you don’t fit in at TSZ and that you’d be happier at a site that abandoned Lizzie’s principles.Those of us remaining would be better off, too, because we’d be rid of your moderation abuses (though not Jock’s and Neil’s, unfortunately — maybe you could take them with you).

    Why shut the site down at all?

    No fooling. Geez, does Alan really think he is so important to keep this site going. Just leave already! See You Alan. Nice talking to you. Sorry you gotta be going. Sorry you can’t be doing any more meddling this summer. Bye. Adios. Ok then, go on. Yep, bye. Gottcha, you gotta go, yea yea, ok, ok, bye then….

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  16. phoodoo:

    No fooling. Geez, does Alan really think he is so important to keep this site going. Just leave already! See You Alan. Nice talking to you. Sorry you gotta be going. Sorry you can’t be doing any more meddling this summer. Bye. Adios. Ok then, go on. Yep, bye. Gottcha, you gotta go, yea yea, ok, ok, bye then….

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  17. For what it’s worth, the posts at TSZ are archived at The Wayback Machine. Some comments are too — I could not figure out whether the full set of comments for each post were available there. Someone could check and inform everyone here.

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  18. Currently, we are down to not much more than 100 individual site visits daily (from a hey-day of 600 to 700 daily)

    No doubt this stat will make her want to fly back. I mean, who’d want to miss all the fun!

    May encourage her pull her funding though, which I get the sense is your secondary goal here.

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  19. Former moderator Patrick posted this at AtBC today:

    keiths:

    Rich:

    Is TSZ folding? That would be a shame, the current shitshow notwithstanding.

    Alan seems to want that.  He keeps talking about shutting the site down and archiving everything.

    I haven’t seen any evidence that Lizzie is on board with that idea, however.

    I just read through that discussion thread.  Does Alan really think that TSZ can’t continue without him?  It definitely works better when Lizzie is there, but that’s partly because of the abuses by Alan, Neil, and DNA Jock, none of whom support her vision for the site.  I find myself disappointed in DNA Jock in particular.  He used to be on the side of freedom of expression.  Alan’s never been strong on that or skepticism in general, so his behavior is less of a surprise (I doubt he’ll ever demonstrate the integrity to defend his defamatory statements).

    In the past I’ve jokingly referred to TSZ as Lizzie’s experiment, but I’m starting to think that might be the case.  Start a site dedicated to the principle of free speech and see how long it takes for people given tiny amounts of power to demonstrate their petty authoritarianism.

    I’d very much like to see Lizzie return and build TSZ back up.  Intelligent design creationism is dead, but her goals weren’t limited to that one issue:

    My motivation for starting the site has been the experience of trying to discuss religion, politics, evolution, the Mind/Brain problem, creationism, ethics, exit polls, probability, intelligent design, and many other topics in venues where positions are strongly held and feelings run high.

    There are a lot of topics where strange bedfellows might be found.

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  20. Watch The Skeptical Zone slowly bleeding to death.

    I believe the murderer is hiding someone in France.

    His two accomplices are trying to figure out the math using M&M’s.

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  21. phoodoo: Watch The Skeptical Zone slowly bleeding to death.

    At least it was alive, once. It lived and died. Most ID sites and initiatives are stillborn.

    phoodoo: I believe the murderer is hiding someone in France.

    Like you J-Mac et al don’t share the blame….

    phoodoo: His two accomplices are trying to figure out the math using M&M’s.

    I programmed a demonstration of that as part of an OP. That’s an infinitely larger amount of work then you’ve ever done beyond blathering on. What is it that you do do well apart from pretend to misunderstand what people are saying?

    I guess it’s time to return to the site where you normally spend your time, presumably talking about how successful ID is and how dead Darwinism is?

    Off you go then.

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  22. Hey, phoodoo, remind me again how decisions are made in “phoodoo’s special free will realm”?
    You know, that place where you and WJM go to be free of the constraints of causation so you can make real decisions, decisions the likes of which I cannot do?

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  23. Neil Rickert:
    walto,
    One reason for the reduction in traffic, is the existence of the PeacefulScience site.Some of the pointless debates have moved to there.

    While a reduction of pointless debates may mean a reduction in traffic, I’m not inclined to call that a “decline”.

    Which ‘pointless debates’ have moved to PS?

    Likewise, which ‘meaningful’ (in contrast with ‘pointless’) debates would moderator & amateur philosopher Neil Rickert like or propose to see here at TSZ instead of at PS?

    As someone who has turned his time & attention to PS, Neil himself should perhaps be able, available & responsible to provide a small list of say 5 topics that he thinks would increase traffic at TSZ.

    What’s missing, Neil, amidst the ‘pointless debate’ here at TSZ that you would like to see meaningfully included & featured, that would be in line with Lizzie’s ‘skeptical vision’? Which new meaningful debates do you propose at this time of crisis & decline for a site where you’ve taken an admin role?

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  24. Gregory: Likewise, which ‘meaningful’ (in contrast with ‘pointless’) debates would moderator & amateur philosopher Neil Rickert like or propose to see here at TSZ instead of at PS?

    The topic proposals should come from people who want to discuss them. The moderators job is to facilitate the discussion, not to set the direction.

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  25. OMagain,

    Then rescue it with your brilliant repartee Omagain. I mean your are practically famous for it, aren’t you? Or am I thinking of someone else?

    Oh, right, you are the twit that says nothing. Nevermind.

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  26. phoodoo: Then rescue it with your brilliant repartee Omagain.

    I do my part.

    phoodoo: I mean your are practically famous for it, aren’t you?

    If you expand that out “your are” you get “you are are”. Would you like to try again?

    phoodoo: Or am I thinking of someone else?

    J-Mac perhaps? He’s on your side, right?

    phoodoo: Oh, right, you are the twit that says nothing. Nevermind.

    As noted above I gave an example of something I’ve “said”. I said it in the form of a computer program. One that illustrates one of the many concepts you pretend to not understand. I noted that this, however poor an example it was, was in fact infinitely more then you have ever produced. The logical rebuttal from you would be to point at something constructive you’ve done and explain how it beats my poor effort.

    And yet apparently I’m the twit who says nothing. If what I say is nothing, then logically what you are saying is even less that that. As you cannot beat me with regard to that it seems.

    Phoodoo’s ideas are less then nothing by phoodoo’s own logic and for once I totally agree.

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  27. Neil:

    The moderators job is to facilitate the discussion, not to set the direction.

    …says the guy who thought OPs should be censored if the moderators didn’t deem them sufficiently “interesting to the readership”.

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  28. Alan thought that comparing Lizzie to a loyal dog might entice her to return.

    Gee, I wonder why that didn’t work?

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