Moderation Issues (6)

Please use this thread for (and only for) alerting admins to moderation issues and for raising complaints arising from particular decisions. We remind participants that TSZ is a benign dictatorship, the property of Dr. Elizabeth Liddle. All decisions regarding policy and implementation are hers alone.

1,491 thoughts on “Moderation Issues (6)

  1. There are alternatives, you know. Simply don’t respond to stupid posts.

  2. walto: Haha. Too bad.

    There are two active threads here at present. Both the height of ridiculousness.*I mean, really. I guess it’s all done here. And I don’t think it is actually plausible to blame the moderators. They aren’t writing this nonsense. Cuckoos want attention and this is a place they can (or could) get it. It used to provide other things too, but it doesn’t anymore, I guess. Anyhow, as the current writers probably don’t just want to amuse each other/themselves, my guess is that they’ll be gone too, shortly. For example, J-Mac seems to be out looking for greener (i.e., saner) pastures. Why give sermons that will be heard only by other crackpots?

    *Sadly, “ridiculousness” is also taken.

    At least DNA_Jock is here. Jock is the lone scientist here, as far as I know. John Harshman and Joe Felsenstein (a National Academy Member, as in ELITE) have moved on.

    VJ Torley is professional scholar in his field, so are you and KN. But we all can’t participate much in each other’s discussion since we’re specialized in different places.

    If you leave, Walto, you’ll be missed, but it was fun while it lasted.

    I certainly got a lot out participating here, but that’s because I really wasn’t using TSZ to advocate my views as much as to get editorial review of my publications and presentations, which, btw got good reception — for example some of what I discussed here at TSZ made it’s way to a peer-reviewed journal.

  3. Thanks, Sal.

    IMHO, there are at least a dozen people who post or have posted here recently that know a TON of stuff about various sciences and other scholarly disciplines. Not only the people you mentioned. I’ve learned a lot from many of them. (And I don’t just mean the atheists.) And that I haven’t learned more has been my own fault. Much of the material has simply been over my head. But it was inspiring to see it here and pick up a few nuggets anyhow. It was a place one could (almost) be proud to participate in.

    Anyhow, I have no particular interest in ditching: I’m too lazy and set in my ways to try to get to know the main players at another board. I’d just like to see an improvement in the content here. ‘Pure Thinking as the Road to Freedom’ and ‘Biblical Proofs via Numerology’ are not really winning OPs from my point of view. I mean, who the hell is going to participate here with that kind of crap on the front page? What kind of readership are we going for?

    I know that, rather than whine, I could be putting up my own stuff (IF I THINK THAT’S SO GREAT! HAH!). But I never posted very many OPs here. A couple times a year is about as much as I can muster. There’s other stuff to work on.

  4. Mods,

    I have another OP languishing pointlessly in the pending queue.

    The OP contains a duplicate paragraph. It would have been fixed and published long before now if the moderators hadn’t abused their privileges by changing my status from Author to Contributor.

  5. walto: . For example, J-Mac seems to be out looking for greener (i.e., saner) pastures. Why give sermons that will be heard only by other crackpots?

    Saner pastures? Where would that be?
    Both materialist and DI view me probably as an enemy…

    Have you followed the exchange between ID and the rest regarding the “fast evolution of the polar bears” at Evolution News and Peaceful Science?

    If you have, you’d notice that “the fast evolution of the polar bears” is at the very least controversial or problematic…
    However, it is in the best interests of both sides at issue to pretend that the polar bears have evolved even if the “beneficial mutations” are rare and every other polar bear has them… How do the bears without the much needed mutations cope with high fat, high cholesterol diet? Remember my cholesterol OPs? 😉

    Recently, I have been researching the quantum vital spark in life systems…
    Do you think TSZ is a good place to start a discussion on the theme like that?

  6. J-Mac: the quantum vital spark in life systems

    Élan vital comes in quanta?

    Love it! Sounds like a lovely woo mash-up!

  7. Corneel: Élan vital comes in quanta?

    Love it! Sounds like a lovely woo mash-up!

    All new ideas are first ridiculed…
    Vitalism is not a new idea but quantum vitalism, or quantum vital spark, is relatively new…It can possibly be experimentally tested…

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-08/mcfadden-it-seems-life-really-does-have-a-vital-spark/7148448

    “All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

  8. I seem to remember William James saying much the same thing as that quotation (about pragmatism?). If there was no citation, it was ripped off.

  9. J-Mac: Have you followed the exchange between ID and the rest regarding the “fast evolution of the polar bears” at Evolution News and Peaceful Science?

    No. I have not.

    J-Mac: Recently, I have been researching the quantum vital spark in life systems…
    Do you think TSZ is a good place to start a discussion on the theme like that?

    I don’t know. How have your other OPs done? Have you gotten the feedback you’re looking for?

  10. Quantum Simulation Could Shed Light on the Origins of Life

    “For decades computer scientists have created artificial life to test ideas about evolution. Doing so on a quantum computer could help capture the role quantum mechanics may have played.
    by Emerging Technology from the arXiv
    Dec 7, 2017
    What role does quantum mechanics play in the machinery of life? Nobody is quite sure, but in recent years, physicists have begun to investigate all kinds of possibilities. In the process, they have gathered evidence suggesting that quantum mechanics plays an important role in photosynthesis, in bird navigation, and perhaps in our sense of smell.

    There is even a speculative line of thought that quantum processes must have governed the origin of life itself and the formulation of the genetic code. The work to study these questions is ongoing and involves careful observation of the molecules of life.

    But there is another way to approach this question from the bottom up. Computer scientists have long toyed with artificial life forms built from computer code. This code lives in a silicon-based landscape where its fitness is measured against some selection criteria.

    The process of quantum evolution and the creation of artificial quantum life
    It reproduces by combining with other code or by the mutation of its own code. And the fittest code has more offspring while the least fit dies away. In other words, the code evolves. Computer scientists have used this approach to study various aspects of life, evolution, and the emergence of complexity.

    This is an entirely classical process following ordinary Newtonian steps, one after the other. The real world, on the other hand, includes quantum mechanics and the strange phenomena that it allows. That’s how the question arises of whether quantum mechanics can play a role in evolution and even in the origin of life itself.

    So an important first step is to reproduce this process of evolution in the quantum world, creating artificial quantum life forms. But is this possible?

    Today we get an answer thanks to the work of Unai Alvarez-Rodriguez and a few pals at the University of the Basque Country in Spain. These guys have created a quantum version of artificial life for the first time. And they say their results are the first examples of quantum evolution that allows physicists to explore the way complexity emerges in the quantum world.

    The experiment is simple in principle. The team think of quantum life as consisting of two parts—a genotype and a phenotype. Just as with carbon-based life, the quantum genotype contains the quantum information that describes the individual—its genetic code. The genotype is the part of the quantum life unit that is transmitted from one generation to the next.

    The phenotype, on the other hand, is the manifestation of the genotype that interacts with the real world—the “body” of the individual. “This state, together with the information it encodes, is degraded during the lifetime of the individual,” say Alvarez-Rodriguez and co.

    So each unit of quantum life consists of two qubits—one representing the genotype and the other the phenotype. “The goal is to reproduce the characteristic processes of Darwinian evolution, adapted to the language of quantum algorithms and quantum computing,” say the team.

    The first step in the evolutionary process is reproduction. Alvarez-Rodriguez and co do this using the process of entanglement, which allows the transmission of quantum states from one object to another. In this case, they entangle the genotype qubit with a blank state, and then transfer its quantum information.

    The next stage is survival, which depends on the phenotype. Alvarez-Rodriguez and co do this by transfering an aspect of the genotype state to another blank state, which becomes the phenotype. The phenotype then interacts with the environment and eventually dissipates.

    This process is equivalent to aging and dying, and the time it takes depends on the genotype. Those that live longer are implicitly better suited to their environment and are preferentially reproduced in the next generation.

    There is another important aspect of evolution—how individuals differ from each other. In ordinary evolution, variation occurs in two ways. The first is through sexual recombination, where the genotype from two individuals combines. The second is by mutation, where random changes occur in the genotype during the reproductive process.

    Alvarez-Rodriguez and co employ this second type of variation in their quantum world. When the quantum information is transferred from one generation to the next, the team introduce a random change—in this case a rotation of the quantum state. And this, in turn, determines the phenotype and how it interacts with its environment.

    So that’s the theory. The experiment itself is tricky because quantum computers are still in their infancy. Nevertheless, Alvarez-Rodriguez and co have made use of the IBM QX, a superconducting quantum computer at IBM’s T.J. Watson Laboratories that the company has made publicly accessible via the cloud. The company claims that some 40,000 individuals have signed up to use the service and have together run some 275,000 quantum algorithms through the device.

    Alvarez-Rodriguez and co used the five-qubit version of the machine, which runs quantum algorithms that allow two-qubit interactions. However, the system imposes some limitations on the process of evolution that the team want to run. For example, it does not allow the variations introduced during the reproductive process to be random. (Can anybody here guess why random variations are not allowed??? EricMH?)

    Instead, the team run the experiment several times, introducing a different known rotation in each run, and then look at the results together. In total, they run the experiment thousands of times to get a good sense of the outcomes.

    In general, the results match the theoretical predictions with high fidelity. “The experiments reproduce the characteristic properties of the sought quantum natural selection scenario,” say Alvarez-Rodriguez and co….”

    Full article:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609696/quantum-simulation-could-shed-light-on-the-origins-of-life/

  11. walto,

    The Polar Bear evolution is boring and just like I had predicted it ended up being: nobody really knows why poplar bears can tolerate the high fat diet while their cholesterol levels suspiciously remain high without any signs of atherosclerosis…

    It’s here:

    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/05/polar-bear-seminar-this-is-the-end/

    I wasn’t really looking for feedback when posting OPs… Few people here but Sal have some fundamental knowledge of QM, the theme I’m interested in…
    I was mainly testing my arguments, something I will need very soon…

  12. J-Mac: Alvarez-Rodriguez and co used the five-qubit version of the machine, which runs quantum algorithms that allow two-qubit interactions. However, the system imposes some limitations on the process of evolution that the team want to run. For example, it does not allow the variations introduced during the reproductive process to be random. (Can anybody here guess why random variations are not allowed??? EricMH?)

    From the same article

    Of course, there are important caveats. The limitations of IBM’s quantum computer raise important questions about whether the team has really simulated evolution. But these issues should be ironed out in the near future.

  13. Mods,

    Another OP of mine is being held pointlessly in the pending queue.

  14. dazz: Of course, there are important caveats. The limitations of IBM’s quantum computer raise important questions about whether the team has really simulated evolution. But these issues should be ironed out in the near future.

    Of course they didn’t. If they had allowed randomness, it would became una salada Valenciana…This experiment proves that most mutation are not truly random…
    On the top of that, how does one account for the spatial information in cell differentiation for example? The law of conservation of quantum information could and probably is the answer… This means evolution is restricted within the law of conservation of quantum information…

  15. J-Mac: Of course they didn’t. If they had allowed randomness, it would became una salada Valenciana…

    I doubt it

    J-Mac: This experiment proves that most mutation are not truly random

    How so? And what do you mean by “truly random”?

    Anyway, I may very well be missing something, but why does it matter that the algorithm was run on a quantum computer? Isn’t this just another GA, only that it runs on a different platform?

  16. Moderators:

    I just edited a comment of mine that I had posted successfully to the “Correspondences between ID theory and mainstream theories” thread, and got a message indicating that it had been marked as spam. All I did was to delete one copy of a short phrase that I had accidentally entered twice. It’s very odd that such an edit should trigger spam detection.

    Would you please make my comment visible?

  17. Tom English: It’s very odd that such an edit should trigger spam detection.

    Aren’t spam detectors wonderful?

    It is probably reacting to the links. And maybe those links are more suspicious now, because it has seen them before. (Just guessing).

  18. I really enjoy that admins are nowhere to be found…lol
    1. My rules: an attack on me or f. word- one week on ignore
    2. I don’t care if people have some anger issues and come here to vent or vomit…
    3. If people engage just to try to catch me on some discrepancy, bye byeo…

  19. J-Mac: I really enjoy that admins are nowhere to be found…lol

    I’m around. This week, I have published two OPs that were submitted. I have released two posts incorrectly flagged as spam. And I found a post of yours in spam, but you had successfully reposted (with modifications), so I moved it out of spam to trash.

    And I have seen evidence of other moderation activity.

    1. My rules: an attack on me or f. word- one week on ignore

    Be careful. Some folk might want to be ignored by you, so they might see that as a challenge.

  20. keiths:
    Mods,

    Another OP of mine is being held pointlessly in the pending queue.

    Has it been released? Because I want to write an OP “on mindless teleology, mindless CSI, autopilots, BIBO stable feedback control systems.” If not, I’ll wait my turn.

  21. Neil Rickert: I’m around. This week, I have published two OPs that were submitted. I have released two posts incorrectly flagged as spam. And I found a post of yours in spam, but you had successfully reposted (with modifications), so I moved it out of spam to trash.

    And I have seen evidence of other moderation activity.

    This is pretty much what admins are needed for…
    As keiths and others have said many times before, this blog does well without the admins bias…
    Your introduction comment on my LTEE OP is the living monument of how embarrassingly biased and paranoid the admins are…

    [Admin edit: This thread is, with the agreement of the thread author, a rule-free thread.]

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/help-dr-lenski-to-design-real-ltee/

  22. Neil Rickert: 1. My rules: an attack on me or f. word- one week on ignore

    Be careful. Some folk might want to be ignored by you, so they might see that as a challenge.

    Do you really believe I will lose sleep over that?
    Most blogs like this are dead; supported by 1 or few people…
    If creationists abandon TSZ , or are ignored, who’s going to talk to whom?
    At one point not that long ago I counted less than 20 comments per day here…

  23. My latest comment ended up in the spam queue for some reason.

    Mods, could you fish it out?

  24. I’ve submitted a new OP for publication.

    Due to continued moderator abuses, it is being held in the Pending queue.

  25. Alan, in March:

    Maybe it’s time to pack up the experiment and move on. This site can be archived and whoever wants to set up a site or forum more in line with their preferences should go ahead and do so.

    Alan was ready to shut the site down. But now that he and his abuses are gone, TSZ is thriving again as a site for vigorous and substantive discussion.

    There are still abuses, such as Neil and Jock’s refusal to restore me to Author status, but even they are behaving better in Alan’s absence.

    It’s a shame that all of this didn’t happen before the three of them deposed Mung as moderator.

  26. Something else worth noting: It’s been almost two months since the last comment was guanoed, and the site is doing just fine. Yet more evidence that moderation — and especially aggressive moderation — is unneeded.

    Funny how Alan’s absence correlates with a lack of moderation kerfuffles. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

  27. keiths: Something else worth noting: It’s been almost two months since the last comment was guanoed, and the site is doing just fine.

    You had to open your big mouth, eh?

  28. Blame Neil.

    Moving that comment from one place to another serves no useful purpose. If he had left it alone, everything would have been fine.

  29. My latest submitted OP is sitting pointlessly in the Pending queue instead of being published immediately.

  30. I submitted a thread for possible publication. So please to the moderators to review it and publish it it if okay. thanks. Robert Byers

  31. Any one waiting in the posting queue? It’s been a week since the last thread, and I’m wanting to post on Genetic Algorithms.

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