Squawk box

I sense a disturbance in the force.

This thread is for people to tell me what they think is going on, going wrong, and what they think we should do about it.  I’m listening.

Lizzie

[Edit added 18.40 pm CET 20/08/2018 by Alan Fox]

As the comments have ballooned, Lizzie would very much like members to summarize their thoughts and suggestions into one statement and there is now a dedicated thread, “Summaries”, where they can be posted. Please just post one summary and please do not add other comments. You are welcome to comment on other people’s summaries in this thread. The idea of the “Summaries” thread is to make it easier for Lizzie to get your input. Comments judged by admins not to be summaries will move to guano.

Members who would rather keep their thoughts confidential are invited to use the private messaging system. Lizzie’s address is Elizabeth.

1,219 thoughts on “Squawk box

  1. That concludes the Thursday night episode of the keiths show. I repeat my request to the admins: Drop the ego and be reasonable and fair. Let keiths participate in this discussion that was started because of your refusal to follow the rules when dealing with him.

  2. BruceS: BruceS
    August 9, 2018 at 7:05 pm
    Ignored

    Patrick:

    Really?I thought phoodoo’s statement was so ridiculous

    My response to phoodoo was meant to indirectly communicate the same message.

    I agree. Completely and utterly preposterous. Poorly considered logic, juvenile, a purely retarded statement based on jealousy and pettiness and worse still, not even the slightest bit entertaining to boot. Absolute word crap.

    And I would feel exactly the same way, even if it was actually me who had written it and not Erik.

    BruceS
    August 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm
    Ignored

    Erik:

    For example keith and patrick are simply campaigning for a coup, not trying to devise anything workable.

  3. If we can all agree to have moderators do whatever they want, and there be no public scrutiny of their actions, then I would like to volunteer to be a moderator.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel that both Erik and KN should be banned from this site permanently. I could explain why, but I prefer to wait until I am a moderator, so, like Alan, I wouldn’t have to.

  4. I am always entertained by keiths’s belief that quoting himself endlessly (this time from the “TSZ-the Future” thread) somehow constitutes a compelling argument. Yeah, I read it the first time. And responded. Anyone who cares can re-read those threads. What you are doing here is littering. It does not paint you in a good light.
    Good to see keiths-Patrick come out against doxxing, although it was keiths, rather than Patrick who was explicit about that.
    Now to the fun stuff.
    Given this explanation of the outing rule (ETA6) :

    It is part of the founding philosophy of TSZ that no-one “deserves” to be banned. People are banned for one reason only: to ensure that we don’t get posts containing the very narrow range of material that is not allowed here, namely porn/malware (or links to); and material that gives the RL identity of people known to us by their internet names, without their permission (also known, I understand, as “doxxing”).
    There are a couple of grey areas regarding that last one but I think I have made the boundaries clear, and will try to make them clearer still:
    Firstly: If someone has made it clear who they are in RL, e.g. by linking to their publications, that is fine, and it is still fine for others to acknowledge the identity if their publications are being discussed.
    However, it is not OK to use that person’s RL name in personal attacks, which are against the game-rules anyway (“assume the other person is posting in good faith”; “address the argument, not the person”) but are not in themselves things I would ever ban anyone for. Such posts just get moved to guano, just as pieces get moved off a chess board. But if in breaking those rules, you invoke someone’s personal ID, that is not on, the reason being that I don’t want such personal attacks here to come up in a google search of that person’s RL name, as such things happen, as I know to my cost.

    it is rather impressive that keiths’s steps 1 – 5 is a pretty accurate description of what the moderators actually did (although Lizzie was involved before step 2…)
    But keiths’s attempt to circumvent moderation to repeat the attack was particularly scuzzy, IMO.
    Edited to restore Lizzie’s sentence beginning “Firstly: ” which was omitted due to a C&P error

  5. I got to say, I’m not at all surprised that yet another thread devoted to talking about what is wrong with TSZ has devolved into spam, recriminations, back-biting, and all the reasonable solutions suggested (by people who don’t comment on a regular basis — one wonders why that is?) have been ignored.

    My advice to Lizzie would be to pull the plug. Stop paying the bills and let the site go. You can’t fix what likes being broken.

    Or, as the old joke goes:
    “How many therapists does it take to change a light-bulb?”
    “Only one, but the light-bulb has to be committed to changing.”

  6. Kantian Naturalist,

    Lizzie, when can I start my moderator duties?

    I will focus primarily on the whiners to start.

    From there I will..nevermind, explanations won’t be necessary soon.

  7. Patrickeiths: If bannable offenses are the only ones requiring moderator attention, and if Lizzie always makes the final decisions regarding bannings, then worldview bias simply isn’t an issue. If J-Mac posts your home address*, and an atheist moderator initiates the banning process, do you really think a Christian moderator is going to step in and say “I disagree. J-Mac didn’t post the address he posted”?

    newton appears to be concerned that I might, were I a moderator.

  8. Mung: newton appears to be concerned that I might, were I a moderator.

    Not at all, I could couldn’t less about whether you are religious or not, it is your eagerness to be a moderator.

  9. Kantian Naturalist: I got to say, I’m not at all surprised that yet another thread devoted to talking about what is wrong with TSZ has devolved into spam, recriminations, back-biting, and all the reasonable solutions suggested (by people who don’t comment on a regular basis — one wonders why that is?) have been ignored.

    I think people have engaged with Bruce’s good suggestions, but the decision is the owner’s, we can assume there is little chance she will go with keiths/ Patrick’s no guano. That would leave tweaking the present structure with her involved, transferring the ownership of the site somehow to an acceptable interested party, or pulling the plug.

    I think keiths’ action’s changed the equation of cost versus value going forward.He raised the potential costs and headaches.

    ,

  10. phoodoo:
    If we can all agree to have moderators do whatever they want, and there be no public scrutiny of their actions, then I would like to volunteer to be a moderator.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel that both Erik and KN should be banned from this site permanently.I could explain why, but I prefer to wait until I am a moderator, so, like Alan, I wouldn’t have to.

    Man you got a lot of enemies phoodoo. Strange.

  11. Patrick:
    That concludes the Thursday night episode of the keiths show.I repeat my request to the admins:Drop the ego and be reasonable and fair.Let keiths participate in this discussion that was started because of your refusal to follow the rules when dealing with him.

    Why? You already have taken on yourself to make the decision. The moderators have allowed your posts ,so no further action is needed.

    The overriding principle is the moderators make the best decision they can. They are following that principle . They are following that rule.

    Just because keiths has pushed the envelope way past where anybody could have reasonably anticipated, does not mean he is free to do as he wishes.He had options, he choose this one.

  12. phoodoo:
    If we can all agree to have moderators do whatever they want, and there be no public scrutiny of their actions, then I would like to volunteer to be a moderator.

    By this statement you disqualify yourself from being a moderator, because you obviously don’t know what a moderator is supposed to do. Nowhere did anyone suggest moderators do whatever they want. You are confirming my suspicion that UD and TSZ form the totality of your interactive internet experience. That’s very sad.

    Moderators do housekeeping. In public forums, the aim of the housekeeping is to keep discussion on topic. From this central task, the definition of trolling follows: trolling is everything that deviates from the topic. The punishment for trolling is, naturally, proportionate: Mild punishment (warning, muting for a day) for a temporary fit of trolling; ban for persistent and defiant trolling and for off-topic talk such as challenging the mods in the open.

    Admittedly, such moderator powers are massive and the moderator’s personality tends to become the face of the forum. This is alleviated by having an active collegium of moderators (not just appointing a few mods, but making sure they are active and in communication with each other). Having a personality to the forum is not a bad thing per se; this is why there are tons of different forums on the internet.

    These basic arrangements get the job done. There are no such arrangements here and the result is that we are constantly talking about moderation, instead of whatever the topic of this site is. The rest of the internet went through this phase in the early days and settled on the solutions that I outlined because otherwise you have what we have here.

    phoodoo:
    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel that both Erik and KN should be banned from this site permanently.I could explain why, but I prefer to wait until I am a moderator, so, like Alan, I wouldn’t have to.

    Yup, we can do it your way (and patrick’s and keith’s way), devise some “truth” or “honesty” or “bias” criteria which *necessarily* have the face of the one who devises the criteria, ban people because you don’t like their face or name and end up totalitarian like UD, Conservapedia and places like that.

    My suggestion (which is nothing new, it’s how the rest of the internet works): Have a topic or a range of topics, promote topicality, suppress non-topicality. This way people are free to argue for whatever opinions they hold, as long as it’s on topic, not meta, off topic, spam, or personal troublemaking.

    (This is why I say patrick and keith are simply campaigning for a coup. Look at the latest from patrick, “I repeat my request to the admins: Drop the ego and be reasonable and fair. Let keiths participate in this discussion that was started because of your refusal to follow the rules when dealing with him.” Last thing first, this place has no rules – the rules are that nobody can be dealt with except when mods fear his activities might bring in the real-world police. Second, the rules say nothing about ego, reasonable, or fair. Therefore, when you emphasize ego, reasonable, and fair, you have no f’n clue about what the rules are here. Therefore you are bringing in completely foreign rules. Get lost!)

    But I realise that Lizzie wants her place to be special, an anarchist Valhalla. Well, it already is and always was. This is what an anarchist Valhalla looks like. Welcome.

  13. newton: Not at all, I could couldn’t less about whether you are religious or not, it is your eagerness to be a moderator.

    Couldn’t care less

  14. Patrick: TSZ threads are full of asides like this one. You do it too, newton. Relax a little. There’s no need to try to control what others say.

    I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to Patrick. He is the one who controls what he prints, he is either ttoo lazy to transmit only the relevant sections of keiths emails or his justification as some sort of ethical stance is becoming to seem more like trolling.

    Thanks for the advice.

  15. newton: Not at all, I could couldn’t less about whether you are religious or not, it is your eagerness to be a moderator.

    Stop whining.

  16. Moved a content-free and somewhat ableist post of phoodoo’s to guano, and Erik’s perfectly reasonable reply.

  17. DNA_Jock:
    Moved a content-free and somewhat ableist post of phoodoo’s to guano, and Erik’s perfectly reasonable reply.

    If it didn’t have content than what would be the point of moving it?

    You still mad because I told you what a jerk you were?

  18. DNA_Jock: Be the change you want to see, phoodoo.

    I don’t know how to BE Jock not a moderator.

    Well, just think how great it will be when you get to ban everyone who doesn’t like you. Talk about living the life of Alan!

  19. newton: Just because keiths has pushed the envelope way past where anybody could have reasonably anticipated, does not mean he is free to do as he wishes. He had options, he choose this one.

    When I got out of line I was put into moderation. I reflected on what I had done, decided the moderator(s) had been correct in what they had done, admitted I was in the wrong, and promised to change.

    No chance of that happening here though. None.

    Erik: Second, the rules say nothing about ego, reasonable, or fair. Therefore, when you emphasize ego, reasonable, and fair, you have no f’n clue about what the rules are here.

    They are unwritten rules.

    🙂

  20. Mung: No chance of that happening here though. None.

    N.B. What I did not do is try to circumvent the moderation action by emailing my cronies.

    This, above all else, is probably why [and this is just my opinion] Elizabeth has done nothing to change the keiths situation. Word to keiths.

  21. Mung: I am in favor of freedom of expression for those who agree with me.

    What do you have against the other 7 billion people on the planet?

  22. Patrick: What do you have against the other 7 billion people on the planet?

    I gave them the internet. What could possibly go wrong?

  23. DNA_Jock:

    Although I am surprised that Patrick-keithsviews doxxing or porn as bannable offenses. Isn’t that censorship?

    Elizabeth’s site, Elizabeth’s rules. I’m simply trying to make the case that those rules should err on the side of freedom of expression. I’m also trying to understand the concerns of those who want greater censorship. We need everyone’s desires, fears, and boundaries on the table to make rational recommendations to Elizabeth.

    Doxing can cause real-world harm, so I understand her reasons for that limitation. Likewise, NSFW material shouldn’t be exposed to minors and shouldn’t appear on others’ screens without their consent. I suspect an OP on the evolution of mammalian genitalia would be allowed, with sufficient protections in place.

    Note that this doesn’t apply to potentially libelous posts and comments, for reasons discussed upthread. There is no legal risk to Elizabeth from those.

  24. BruceS:
    If there is a public moderation thread, how are its posts to be actioned by EL?

    However she wishes. She’s the site owner and has earned a lot of trust over the years.

    Remove moderators where there is any charge of bias?

    If admins weren’t allowed to move comments, there wouldn’t be an issue.

    If so, is she to ask for a vote on the issue?

    Has anyone suggested a vote? She who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Or is the thread just for her to consider everyone’sinput before making a decision?If that, it seems to me that private moderation where the injured party could enlist private support would do just as well.

    The primary reason to allow open discussion of moderation issues is transparency. Even with that open discussion, the admins violated the rule of “. . . it is a principle of this site that comments are not edited, deleted, or hidden.” Without the ability to discuss those issues, such abuses would be more common.

    Simply providing a place to call out moderators for public approbation seems like a bad idea to me:too much opportunity for bias* and ill will with no benefit to meeting the goals of the blog.

    It benefits TSZ by demonstrating that members are not at risk of arbitrary censorship. That encourages more participation. Compare with UD where the reality-based commenters know that their efforts are often disappeared — there is far less incentive to spend effort on quality content.

  25. BruceS:

    Mung:
    Just tossing this out. What if posts could be hidden by a moderator but other people could still choose to view it if they wished by clicking on it. Sort of a guano without Guano.

    If they could not comment on them anywhere, it seems harmless to me.

    Why the desire to control what other people write and read? What’s wrong with letting people choose to see it or not? Just skip past if you don’t like it.

  26. Kantian Naturalist:
    Just to chime in here, I’m indifferent about whether moderation is “private” or “public” (what’s the difference?) but I’m strongly in favor of more moderation. The rules are too lax to prevent trolls and assholes and that drives away people who might otherwise be interested.

    The problem is, who decides? I think Nonlin fits both definitions, as does J-Mac, on occasion. Do you want their crankery deleted?

    The current admins have demonstrated that they will violate the rules in order to take action against someone they dislike personally. As Hitchens asks, “To whom do you reward the right to decide which speech is harmful?”

    I’d also very much like to see a rule that OPs must be written in grammatically correct English with no misspellings. Otherwise it’s just embarrassing. With the current composition of TSZ contributors such a rule would be strongly biased against the theists, which should be of more concern to them than it is.

    How do you feel about the Oxford comma?

  27. Kantian Naturalist: I think there’s something importantly right about this. Lizzie’s rules rest on the assumption that there are no trolls on the Internet, or at least none that would ever come to TSZ. Lizzie assumes that other people are basically like her: intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, reasonable, and kind. That’s why her rules don’t do anything to curb the behavior of people who are abusive, vindictive, petty, ignorant, or stupid: she doesn’t take into regard the existence of such people and so her rules can’t do anything about them.

    I agree completely. The problem is, we don’t all agree on who the trolls are. A strong argument could be made that every ID proponent falls into that category. There is no scientific hypothesis of ID, it has no entailments, it explains everything and therefore nothing, and the people pushing it ignore all evidence supporting modern evolutionary theory. Getting rid of them would make it mighty quiet around here.

    Elizabeth’s goals for the site are to open discussion between those who disagree, not shut it down with censorship. Each member of TSZ should be empowered to choose who they will interact with and who they will ignore. No one should be empowered to make that decision for another.

  28. newton:
    I think keiths’ action’s changed the equation of cost versus value going forward.He raised the potential costs and headaches.

    I don’t see that, based on my discussion of UK libel laws above. I’d like to understand what you mean by this.

  29. newton:

    I repeat my request to the admins:Drop the ego and be reasonable and fair.Let keiths participate in this discussion that was started because of your refusal to follow the rules when dealing with him.

    Why? You already have taken on yourself to make the decision. The moderators have allowed your posts ,so no further action is needed.

    My comments aren’t breaking any rules. The admins aren’t allowing them, Elizabeth’s rules are.

    keiths should be unsuspended because it is the reasonable and fair thing to do. I’m only able to forward his comments a couple of times a day. That interferes with the flow of the discussion. He should be allowed to fully participate.

    The overriding principle is the moderators make the best decision they can. They are following that principle . They are following that rule.

    They are breaking the rules: “. . . it is a principle of this site that comments are not edited, deleted, or hidden.” They are assuming power they have not been granted and are giving every indication of doing so because of personal animus towards keiths. That should stop now.

  30. Patrick: They are assuming power they have not been granted and are giving every indication of doing so because of personal animus towards keiths.

    It certainly appears to me that they have been granted this power.

    And keiths is spotless and pure in all this?

  31. @ Patrick

    Did you read this comment of mine?
    If there is anything you don’t understand about the events resulting in me suspending keiths’s account, you are welcome to ask me. As far as I am concerned, I acted as I thought I had to in the circumstances and nothing anyone has written so far in this thread or elsewhere has yet convinced me that my action was wrong, unfair or otherwise unjustified. I stand by it.

    Unless Lizzie decides to exercise her prerogative as site owner, keiths’s suspension remains in force.

    I remind you that keiths’s action in publishing a personal attack on a TSZ member, including an arguably libellous accusation in the title was unprecedented. There was no rule in place to cover this because Lizzie did not foresee that it might be necessary. Lizzie is the sole final arbiter here, so you and keiths will have to wait for her to lift the suspension earlier or unconditionally.

    In the vain hope you might persuade keiths to adopt a more effective approach to getting his account reinstated, might I suggest you consider suggesting that he might like to acknowledge it was a mistake to use TSZ as a vehicle for his attack on Joshua Swamidass and that he might like to consider offering an undertaking to follow TSZ rules in future.

    Just a thought.

  32. 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.

    One of the things I enjoy about Jock is the vigor with which he shoots his feet.

    Jock’s claim is that I “quasi-doxxed” a fellow commenter. Unfortunately for Jock, I didn’t.

    Nowhere in my OP, or in the comments, did I link Joshua Swamidass of Peaceful Science with the commenter ‘swamidass’ at TSZ.

    Now obviously, anyone with a functional brain could have figured out that they were the same person. But that just makes it worse for Jock, because it shows that his “noble” defense of Swamidass against “quasi-doxxing” was already a sham, serving no purpose.

    The fact that no doxxing took place is the nail in the coffin of Jock’s argument.

    Jock,

    The libel claim fizzled out on you, and now your “quasi-doxxing” claim has been falsified.

    A former moderator named Patrick has some advice for you. Please heed it:

    I repeat my request to the admins: Drop the ego and be reasonable and fair. Let keiths participate in this discussion that was started because of your refusal to follow the rules when dealing with him.

  33. Alan Fox:
    @ Patrick

    Did you read this comment of mine?

    I did indeed. You made a number of points about keiths’ communication style, many of which I agree with. What you failed to do was document any instance of him breaking the rules of the site. Most of that comment supports the impression that you suspended keiths due to your personal dislike of him, not because he broke the rules.

    Speaking of rules, I’ll note again that at least one of the admins broke this one “. . . it is a principle of this site that comments are not edited, deleted, or hidden.” by adding material to the top of his OP. When you start behaving like Barry Arrington, it’s time to reconsider your choices.

    If there is anything you don’t understand about the events resulting in me suspending keiths’s account, you are welcome to ask me. As far as I am concerned, I acted as I thought I had to in the circumstances and nothing anyone has written so far in this thread or elsewhere has yet convinced me that my action was wrong, unfair or otherwise unjustified. I stand by it.

    You abused your admin privileges, violated the site rules, and treated another member unfairly and unreasonably. You refused to allow that member to provide his point of view in this thread, where Elizabeth requested such input. Standing by your decisions at this point isn’t admirable, it’s just egotistical.

  34. 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.

    Jock:

    I am always entertained by keiths’s belief that quoting himself endlessly (this time from the “TSZ-the Future” thread) somehow constitutes a compelling argument. Yeah, I read it the first time. And responded.

    I reposted those comments here not for you, but for the convenience of the people reading this thread. The comments contain proposals for possible moderation schemes along with analyses of those proposals.

    I welcome comments on those proposals from everyone, including you.

    Lizzie started this thread so that we could openly discuss what’s wrong with TSZ and how to improve it. She wants to make an informed decision about how to proceed, for her benefit as well as for TSZ’s.

    You are fighting against her, and against TSZ, by trying to prevent that open discussion from taking place. You and the other moderators have resorted to censorship and are abusing your moderator privileges for your personal benefit.

    Don’t be an Arrington, Jock.

  35. 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.

    Patrick:

    That concludes the Thursday night episode of the keiths show.

    I’m thinking of replacing Mung with a different opening act. Any suggestions?

  36. 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.

    KN,

    My advice to Lizzie would be to pull the plug. Stop paying the bills and let the site go. You can’t fix what likes being broken.

    I have a better suggestion: Let’s try to improve TSZ. It’s a valuable site, well worth preserving.

    We can virtually eliminate the endless, distracting discussions of moderation and moderation abuses by putting an end to guanoing. The moderators, bad as they are, can’t abuse powers that they don’t possess. We should make them admins, not moderators.

    It’s definitely worth a try, given how badly things are going under the current moderation scheme, and given what smaller-scale experiments have already shown about TSZ — namely, that it does quite well in the absence of moderation.

    And as I said to ALurker in an earlier discussion:

    Just to be absolutely clear, I am not suggesting the elimination of all rules. Just those relating to the guanoing of comments.

    Second, I am not claiming that it’s an “optimal solution.” We don’t know what the optimal solution is.

    What I am claiming is that judging by the evidence to date, it looks far better than the current scheme and is worth a try. Moderation has always evolved at TSZ, and I doubt that anyone thinks that the next scheme we settle on will be the final one.

    If a no-guano approach actually turned out to be worse than the current approach, we could reverse it. If it turned out to be better, but with room for further improvement, we could tweak it.

    I would love to get back to topical discussions (such as the discussion of walto’s philosophy paper, which has ground to a halt due to censorship) instead of a) defending myself against an illegitimate suspension, and b) fighting against the depredations of a trio of moderators who are abusing their privileges in the service of their personal grudges.

    Patrick and I are advocating a site-wide no-guano trial as the logical next step. DNA_Jock is opposed, but I’ve already shown why his argument doesn’t make sense.

    What do others think of a site-wide no-guano trial?

  37. 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.

    newton:

    It is only official if you message Patrick and he relays it to us. Like the white smoke at the Vatican.

    Patrick:

    If you’d like to join the college of cardinals, message me your email address and I’ll put you in touch with keiths. You’re welcome to share the load. I’d like to see a dozen people resisting this ridiculous, rule-violating, unfair suspension. I’ll even call you Spartacus if you like.

    Come over to the Light Side, newton.

  38. 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.

    newton, to Mung:

    Not at all, I could couldn’t less about whether you are religious or not, it is your eagerness to be a moderator.

    Yes, the power grabs — both by Mung and the current moderators — are disturbing and should raise a lot of eyebrows.

    Alan and Neil have complained chronically about the workload. Neil even wrote this:

    ALurker:

    Remove Alan and Neil as moderators.

    Neil:

    I would be okay with that. And I expect that Alan would, too. We would be happy to get our lives back.

    Yet when someone proposes a solution (such as the no-guano scheme) that would reduce their workload dramatically, what happens? Suddenly it’s “Never mind forget I said that DON’T TAKE MY GUANO BUTTON AWAY FROM ME!

    With apologies to Rumraket, something is rotten in the state of Denmark when the moderators are clinging so tightly to powers that they routinely abuse.

  39. 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.

    newton:

    the decision is the owner’s, we can assume there is little chance she will go with keiths/ Patrick’s no guano.

    Why do you say that? Lizzie has undertaken a number of unusual experiments that turned out quite well at TSZ. One of them was refusing to allow the deletion of comments. Another was welcoming OPs from an enormous range of folks with a wide spectrum of beliefs, not just a small set of contributors on the traditional “skeptic” side of the divide.

    Why do you assume she’d be unwilling to give no-guano a try, particularly when it’s only a trial and could be reversed at any time, should things go south?

    Jock’s argument against a site-wide no-guano trial doesn’t make sense, as I’ve shown. I’d be interested in hearing yours. Could you present it?

  40. Patrick: What you failed to do was document any instance of him breaking the rules of the site.

    Not a failure. The OP was a clear breach of the aims of TSZ in making unfounded and (still) unsupported allegations of lying against a TSZ member.That there was no specific rule covering this eventuality is that no-one thought it was needed.

  41. Patrick: I’m thinking of replacing Mung with a different opening act. Any suggestions?

    Try to find someone funny. With a dummy.

  42. Patrickeiths: Yes, the power grabs — both by Mung and the current moderators — are disturbing and should raise a lot of eyebrows.

    Exactly what I was hoping for!

  43. Elizabeth:

    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.

    Elizabeth doesn’t want TSZ to be like that. Yet people are lobbying to have the “freedom” to express their resident priors about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ. All in the name of making of the site what Elizabeth “really intended” for it to be like.

    People can show by their actions that we don’t need Guano. They can be the change they want to see. No changes to the rules required. Just personal accountability.

    Oh, and taking responsibility for their actions.

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