Squawk Box Poll

I offer some polls for those who wish to express a view without having to post a comment in the Squawk Box thread. The first two are single-choice, the third is multiple choice. They are open to registered members.  There is an option to add another answer.I wondered whether to leave comments open and will do so. Please just use it for technical suggestions, questions to add, wording to change to avoid loaded questions. Use Squawk Box for other comments.

First, what do you think of Lizzie’s original idea?

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.  In most venues, one view dominates, and there is a kind of “resident prior” about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ from the majority view.

[From here]

There are plenty of blogs and forums where people with like priors can hang out and scoff at those who do not share them.  There’s nothing wrong with those sites, and I’ve learned a lot from them. But the idea here is to provide a venue where people with very different priors can come to discover what common ground we share; what misunderstandings of other views we hold; and, having cleared away the straw men, find out where our real differences lie.  In my experience, when you reach that point, who is right becomes obvious to both parties 🙂

[From here][AF added in edit  08.18 am CET,18/08/2018]

Regarding Dr Liddle's original stated aim in setting up The Skeptical Zone do you
  • Agree with the aim and agree to some extent it has been achieved? 48%, 11 votes
    11 votes 48%
    11 votes - 48% of all votes
  • Agree with the aim but do not think it has been achieved yet? 22%, 5 votes
    5 votes 22%
    5 votes - 22% of all votes
  • Agree with the aim in principle but do not think it is achievable? 17%, 4 votes
    4 votes 17%
    4 votes - 17% of all votes
  • Aim not clearly identified (in the question at least).* 9%, 2 votes
    2 votes 9%
    2 votes - 9% of all votes
  • She wanted an unbiased site and she called it The Skeptical Zone and has only Skeptical moderators. Yea right. I am skeptical.* 4%, 1 vote
    1 vote 4%
    1 vote - 4% of all votes
  • Agree with the aim and agree it has been achieved? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Disagree with the aim? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 23
August 17, 2018 - August 31, 2018
Voting is closed

Second, do the rules support the aims?

Regarding the rules at The Skeptical zone, do you
  • Think that the rules are fine as they are? 32%, 6 votes
    6 votes 32%
    6 votes - 32% of all votes
  • Think that the rules are on the right lines but could do with stating more clearly and could be easier to reference? 32%, 6 votes
    6 votes 32%
    6 votes - 32% of all votes
  • Think that there should be rules to moderate people who behave like jerks.* 26%, 5 votes
    5 votes 26%
    5 votes - 26% of all votes
  • Think that the site does not need any rules, other than legal stuff, porn, spam etc? 5%, 1 vote
    1 vote 5%
    1 vote - 5% of all votes
  • Think they are whatever Alan says they are.* 5%, 1 vote
    1 vote 5%
    1 vote - 5% of all votes
  • Think that the rules need modifying substantially to align with the aims? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 19
August 17, 2018 - August 31, 2018
Voting is closed

Third, does moderation policy and execution fit with the aims and rules? [ETA] This poll is multi-choice. You can pick more than one answer.

Regarding moderation, how the rules are enforced, do you
  • Think that moderation is too light? 38%, 9 votes
    9 votes 38%
    9 votes - 38% of all votes
  • Think that moderation is too erratic? 33%, 8 votes
    8 votes 33%
    8 votes - 33% of all votes
  • The moderation is fine.* 13%, 3 votes
    3 votes 13%
    3 votes - 13% of all votes
  • Think that moderation is too strict? 8%, 2 votes
    2 votes 8%
    2 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Think that moderation is too biased? 4%, 1 vote
    1 vote 4%
    1 vote - 4% of all votes
  • I think they are dependent on Alan beliving the readers will believe any bullshit he says.* 4%, 1 vote
    1 vote 4%
    1 vote - 4% of all votes
  • Think that there should be no moderation at all? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 24
Voters: 19
August 17, 2018 - August 31, 2018
Voting is closed

There are around three hundred registered members currently but I suspect there are around forty to fifty currently active. I look forward to your input. And I’m sure Lizzie will find it informative.


[AF added in edit 09.00 am CET 18/08/2018]

As member, Patrick, has suggested some questions, here they are. This is multi-choice and you can add your own answer.

Patrick has some questions:
  • Those are leading question by Patrick, like "have you stopped beating your puppy yet?"* 80%, 4 votes
    4 votes 80%
    4 votes - 80% of all votes
  • Based on what we've seen here the last couple of weeks, (i) should this suspension now be made permanent? (ii) Should it include at least one additional individual?.* 20%, 1 vote
    1 vote 20%
    1 vote - 20% of all votes
  • Is it acceptable for moderators to invade the privacy of commenters in an attempt to dig up dirt on those who have criticized them? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Should TSZ admins use techniques like the “loudspeaker in the ceiling” perfected by Barry Arrington and Kairosfocus at Uncommon Descent? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Should TSZ admins respond directly and forthrightly to concerns about their decisions or should they simply arrogantly ignore such issues? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Is it acceptable for moderators, who know that Lizzie wants them to err on the side of light moderation, to impose draconian 30-day suspensions in response to non-rule-violating OPs? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Is it acceptable for a moderator to guano a comment, and then when asked why he did so, to respond “Because I can, keiths”? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • And then to (attempt to) prevent the accused from defending himself? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Should TSZ admins be constrained by the rules of the site or have carte blanche to use their privileges to settle personal grudges? 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 5
Voters: 5
August 18, 2018 - August 31, 2018
Voting is closed

55 Replies to “Squawk Box Poll”

  1. Patrick Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Would you grow up!!!
    It’s Lizzies blog and she sets up the rules, like it or not. Yes. I was mistreated because admins had succumbed to some childish pressure from the holy trinity of Darwinian sandbox… So what? I exposed that and moved on… Why can’t you?
    This is supposed be a discussion blog… This is not my life…and it shouldn’t be yours… If it is, you should be seeking help and shouldn’t be blogging…

    walto once said that there is one thing that people could learn from me-not being able to hold a grudge…Right walto?
    Maybe, just maybe, you can learn that too…life is fricken short…why would you spend the rest of your days trying to prove something that is so trivial my kids couldn’t careless about…

    J-Mac,

    Thank you for your advice. Much of what you write isn’t wrong. I’ve learned a lot from TSZ, particularly about letting go of expectations and observing my own reactions without becoming attached to them (shout out to fifthmonarchyman for giving me the opportunity to work on that). Contrary to how I realize I might come across, I’m not actually angry about any of this. I am passionate about a few issues, though.

    A close friend in my meditation circle once shared a thought that stuck with me. He said, “I don’t want to be enlightened, I just want to be a better person to the people I care about.” Enlightenment involves letting go of all attachments. I don’t want to do that. I do want to let go of those that don’t serve me.

    Enlightenment values (as opposed to Buddhist enlightenment) do serve me. I am passionate about them. Primary among those values is freedom of expression because that is the only path to identifying and correcting error. We should jealously guard it against all encroachments.

    The problem here is that the admins do not share that value. Even if one accepts the argument that censorship is necessary to achieve TSZ’s goals (which I do not), it should be seen as at best a necessary evil. The censors should have enough respect for Enlightenment values to regret every action they take that violates them. Unfortunately, they do not.

    In the larger scheme of things, you’re right. TSZ is a small blog with a small number of participants and a very small impact. Still, the principle of freedom of expression is under attack from both the alt-right and the regressive left here in the US. Those of us who hold those Enlightenment values need to stand up for them where they are threatened, whether in big ways or small. Compromise is not acceptable.

    TSZ used to be one of the small shining lights of free speech on the Internet. It could be in the future if Elizabeth so chooses. There is no need to give in to the fear-mongering of the authoritarians, which under the rhetoric is nothing more than a desire for control over other people.

    So, thank you again for sharing your views. I understand where you’re coming from. Still, I consider this little spark of light to be worth defending. I hope to be able to continue to point people to TSZ as a place where free speech is valued for some time to come.

  2. Patrick Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Your entire comment is nicely put.

    This part in particular deserves emphasis:

    TSZ used to be one of the small shining lights of free speech on the Internet. It could be in the future if Elizabeth so chooses. There is no need to give in to the fear-mongering of the authoritarians, which under the rhetoric is nothing more than a desire for control over other people.

  3. Robert Byers
    Ignored
    says:

    Patrick:
    The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission.I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Alan,

    This is pitiful.Do you think there’s anyone (besides Byers) who can’t see through you and what you’re trying to do here?

    First, your moderation abuses have been exposed at length in the Squawk Box thread.You can’t defend yourself, so you’re eager to change the subject to something far more generic, via this poll, in hopes of escaping the continued scrutiny your actions deserve.

    Second, you’re distraught that people aren’t coming to your defense in the Squawk Box thread.But why would they, when your behavior has been so appalling?For instance, you abused your moderation privileges and invaded the privacy of commenters in the service of a personal grudge.Who is going to stand up and say “Yay, Alan! I support that.It’s exactly what a moderator should do.”?No one is stupid enough to do that.

    Since you can’t get people to stand up for you in the Squawk Box thread to defend your moderation abuses, you’re hoping that if you provide them some cover — an anonymous poll — they might come to your aid, even if they’re afraid to do so publicly:

    And of course your poll questions were selected by the very last person who could be trusted to do so impartially:you yourself, a corrupt moderator trying to hang onto power.No mention of moderator abuses, and no mention of the alternate moderation schemes that have been proposed in the Squawk Box thread.Why?Because you don’t want those to be discussed, since it’s not in your personal interests.You’re abusing your power yet again to promote your own interests at the expense of Lizzie and TSZ.Just as you did by trying to censor me.

    You’re shameless, Alan.

    i’m standing up for the moderators. Am i not a person? If so why so uick to forget me in the PERSON group after dismissing me?
    I’m sure most of folks who post here, or visit etc, are happy with the moderation.
    Need another vote!?
    I don’t want you moderated for abusing me BECAUSE its trivial.
    YEC folks would like this forum because its less oppresaive and censorious then others. Yes including ID sites like UD. Freedom is still the common mans fight to gain and keep.

  4. Patrick Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    The following is a copy of a private email from keiths, posted with his permission. I am sharing it because I believe it is pertinent to this thread and nothing in the Rules prohibits doing so.

    Byers:

    i’m standing up for the moderators. Am i not a person?

    Yes, Robert, you are a person.

    I am vigorously defending your right to stand up for the moderators, just as I am vigorously defending my right to criticize them — without censorship.

    Censorship doesn’t belong here at TSZ, yet I am currently being censored. If it weren’t for Patrick’s efforts against the censors — Alan, Neil, and DNA_Jock — you would not be reading this comment.

  5. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    We all know that it is the nature of internet forums to encourage people to interact in ways that they would think twice about if they were taking part in a live debate or discussion. That being the case I think that we should all take more care in the way we post comments. I pretty much agree with what faded_Glory and William J. Murray have written in the Squawk box thread. The moderators have a thankless task and all it takes for them to leave us alone is to state our disagreements in a civil manner and not to let our passions rule our behaviour. IMO bit of self reflection and control would not go amiss. If you don’t want to fall fowl of the moderators don’t give them the ammunition and if you do think that they have treated you unfairly, state your case, then accept their ruling and let it pass. It is no big deal so don’t make it into one.

    i haven’t participated for a while because since I last posted here I have retired from work and been on a break. I really hope that TSZ can continue in a way that people can give their thoughts and opinions freely, expect them to be challenged and opposed,but without the insults that sometimes accompany the replies. The latter only discourage lurkers from participating all all we end up with is the noisy few trading insults among themselves. There are some interesting discussions to be had here, please let them be heard.

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