Clearance Items

  • Zephir_AWT : I encourage you to seek out another forum. Please go. You will not be happy here. We are not going to bend to your wishes, so you should find another place that will cater to them. You will never get back the time that you have already devoted to complaints about how things are being done here, and we are not interested in doing things the way you'd like them to be done. It seems like a fruitless effort.

  • Well, you're acting as a main moderator here for more than year, it's time for some feedback and judging of your activity here - so you got it.

    The forum owners may consider it or may not - but it is my last comment in this matter.


    Edit: The current evolution of this forum resembles the attitude of EU leaders with respect to Islamist immigrants for me. I.e. the welcoming the people who are essentially hostile to ideas of their hosts in the name of diversity. The consequences are easily foreseeable.

  • I am certainly not the main moderator here or acting as the main moderator. It is entirely a team effort, and I have no privileged role. Alan and I work closely together, and Barty and Rends have helped out as well. Your complaints about my moderation will no doubt be considered on their merits.

  • In recent time many interesting articles about cold fusion emerged, Jed Rothwell's library is also full of food for thoughts, which were never discussed it here..

    But it has no meaning to discuss it deeply here, because the forum is flooded with bored twaddlers without links and qualification, who are only interested/engaged in frog&mice battles with patoskeptics. One person like mary yugo is thus capable to decrease the level of the forum a lot due to secondary effect of many his 2nd grade followers and their 3rd grade sock-puppets. Soon or later every discussion will get burrowed with off-topic clueless posts in this way.


    So if you really feel the urgent need to keep wide profile of this forum, it's time for establishing of forum hiearchy, i.e. the enabling the privately moderated threads, which would serve as an elite clubs for people, who need to engage in specialized coherent matter of facts discussion and who could occasionally lock their threads from further posting. In another words, if you cannot maintain the order and focus to subject yourself, you should allow its keeping for another layer of delegated moderators. From what I can see, the current development of this forum apparently goes against such a need.

  • You and anyone else who find Mary annoying are free to block her. In fact, while you are still here and have not yet left for a more enlightened forum, I fully encourage you to block her if you find her distracting. At that point she will no longer bother you at all. I do not think she actually posts much to the same threads that you do, so I suspect this is a nonissue. Nonetheless, blocking is a great feature when made use of.


    You and anyone else are at liberty to start a new thread looking at one of the papers in Jed's library. In fact I think you do from time to time. If that does not attract the attention of the majority of posters, it is because they are discussing some other topic that has more of their attention; perhaps a basic one, although often a technical one.


    Mary may yet get the boot for misbehavior of some kind or ignoring Alan or something, but she won't get the boot because of the views she holds about LENR. We should set aside that thought.


    Your idea about decentralized moderating of threads is an interesting one. I have no idea how that would turn out in practice or whether it would be a good idea.

  • I am certainly not the main moderator here or acting as the main moderator. It is entirely a team effort, and I have no privileged role. Alan and I work closely together, and Barty and Rends have helped out as well. Your complaints about my moderation will no doubt be considered on their merits.


    Everyone can see (count) that you are the one who obviously gets your juices running on setting the rules, giving members different grades and privileges depending on your whims and their bias, etc. And then of course you seem to love the policing part of it way more than anyone else. All this is kind of strange for a guy that made a name for himself specifically by not having any opinion at all about anything .


    What kind of person is more interested in implementing complex moderation rules than the subject itself (except maybe for very narrow technical pseudo discussions/speculations) - especially the social, psychological, political and economical implications of lenr tech? I don't get it. It does not compute. Or is it deliberate?

  • I do find some amount of satisfaction in protecting this forum from those such as yourself who would impose your way upon it against the wishes of the LENR Forum team. But what you call complex rules are largely a description of what we've already been doing, described as best as I can describe it. The main recent innovations are the Playground thread (Rends's idea), this thread and the two-week bans for ignoring moderator warnings. For some time now we already had valued forum members and less valued ones, and we did not blindly apply rules irrespective of context and the personalities involved. I've simply attempted to put the existing approach into words as best as I can as the topic has come up.


    There was a time a year or two ago when you and several others had more or less free reign, with Alan spread thin and only him to heroically deal with a flood of misbehavior, and at that time this place was incredibly unpleasant. My hope is that LENR Forum is now a little more pleasant for people with the knowledge and skills we seek to attract.


    I don't know where you got the impression that I don't have an opinion about things or that I try to come across that way. I think this is you trying to read too much into things, when I've said pretty much what I think in posts here and on Vortex.

  • I do find some amount of satisfaction in protecting this forum from those such as yourself who would impose your way upon it against the wishes of the LENR Forum team. But what you call complex rules are largely a description of what we've already been doing, described as best as I can describe it. The main recent innovations are the Playground thread (Rends's idea), this thread and the two-week bans for ignoring moderator warnings. For some time now we already had valued forum members and less valued ones, and we did not blindly apply rules irrespective of context and the personalities involved. I've simply attempted to put the existing approach into words as best as I can as the topic has come up.


    There was a time a year or two ago when you and several others had more or less free reign, with Alan spread thin and only him to deal with a flood of misbehavior, and at that time this place was incredibly unpleasant. My hope is that LENR Forum is now a little more pleasant for the kinds of people with the knowledge and skills we seek to attract.


    I don't know where you got the impression that I don't have an opinion about things or that I try to come across that way. I think this is you trying to read too much into things, when I've said pretty much what I think in posts here and on Vortex.


    That is an interesting twist. Is elevating Dewey to a "principal" and bringing that mad mary dog in your idea of pleasant? But I guess it is a question of bias? I get that your aim is to keep the Rossi specific discussions on a very narrow technical speculation level and avoid anything deviating from that track (like why? and who?). But I'm a little curious on why this is so important to you and why it is so incredibly important not to discuss motives (except speculation about Rossi et al) - when those, as always when it comes to humans - are fundamental.


    Maybe I'm wrong about you having no opinion. I should restate: You are very careful to have the exact calculation of an average opinion on the forum; which in this case is an clearly anti-Rossi, slightly hopeful LENR (otherwise why be here at all and hard to attract Jed&Dewey - and you got the mary dog and others to cover the extremes) but still sceptical. And as I quoted before, you said it yourself in the stackexchange wet boy presentation;


    Quote

    Enthusiast with questions about physics from time to time. Since I’m not in much of a position to assess the validity of answers, I generally just pick the answer with the most votes after a certain amount of time has passed.





    In that context I find it hard to comprehend why you suddenly seem to put so much passion and work into the moderation role you so eagerly have taken on here. It is a bit creepy.

  • Reading through this it is clearly an attack on Eric by Sifferkoll and Zephir.

    Eric has explained his position and clarified matters but the attack is sustained.


    My take aways from this;

    Sifferkoll and Zephir are not interested in Eric’s explanations, we have gone past that, yet the attack is sustained. Maybe they are trying to put pressure on Eric. We know Alan is going on holiday so maybe now is a good time. Maybe they want to be banned to prove Eric is “unreasonable”. Sifferkoll is clever, but is he as clever as he thinks he is?


    Sifferkol as a moderator would be a disaster, he always brings anarchy and chaos (see “debate” over last 3 pages).


    Zephir to use his own words sees the world in terms of “patoskeptics” and “haters” and “twaddlers”.

    Again not a great start for someone to proclaim about how to moderate a site.


    Sifferkol and Zephir clearly have a hit list of Mary, Dewey and anyone else they don’t like the look of.

    In fact any time Mary posts anything Zephir pops up with a ripost, usually without content but surely insulting and sometimes personal. This is something I referred to earlier where trolling turns into bullying. It’s a personal thing of mine that I don’t like bullies.

    Sifferkol has been quoting from Animal Farm lately which is ironic given what they are trying to do to this forum.

  • Sifferkol has been quoting from Animal Farm lately which is ironic given what they are trying to do to this forum.

    I quoted Animal Farm a couple months back and Eric acknowledged that on this forum, some are more equal than others. He reiterated it just a few posts ago. After getting over the initial shock of such an approach, my objection would be that newcomers need to be steered to some introductory thread where they can be brought up to speed on the approach of this forum. It would make sense, especially after how much antipathy gets generated by the folks who are more equal than the others.

  • Most discussion boards have an "argue in public with a moderator on moderation matters and you'll get suspended/banned"-kind of policy for a reason, so I'm sort of surprised that this meta-discussion is still going on.

    There's nothing wrong with arguing with the mod, as long as you're willing to risk it. But insulting the mods, that's the kind of thing that should generate a timeout. Is it considered an insult to point out something that the mods agree with, and express shock that they agree with it? Like that "some Farm Animals are more equal than others" thing. How would you feel if you came upon a group of elitists in a forum who had no compunction about being identified as elitist or fillintheblankist?

  • @E Man


    The point that Eric (and I) have tried to make is about the nature of post contents. The whole idea of LENR forum was that it was a place to exchange ideas about - and to discuss - LENR research and LENR experiments. Posts that merely attack other members for their views are not encouraged. I have quite often emailed members privately and suggested ways in which the factual content of their posts might be improved and the ad hom content reduced. When I have done this it has not always worked - some try to comply (for a while) - some just vanish.

    Eric is a Rossi skeptic, I am a Rossi optimist - a position I see no need to change. Collectively Eric and I have always tried to be even-handed, but that is a difficult trick. Balance is on the eye of the beholder, and no-one like being moderated. But on the whole we don't too too bad IMHO. Eric will engage in debates about this more readily than me, for sure, but that doesn't mean he has a mission (or an agenda) in mind other than attempting to maintain order. It just means he rises to the bait more readily than I do.

    In terms of balance, Abd is banished to a happier place, Dewey has been suspended once (and could be again) and a few others I will not name no longer post. Any civil Rossi supporter is always welcome to post, but as there is little 'fresh meat' currently available then the value of their posts is inherently more limited.


    Bottom line is, Eric and I do what we can to nurture this forum as a civilisaed space to discuss both positive and negative views of LENR. Those that don't like it can choose to leave if they wish, those that attack will be sanctioned. Those that post good thoughts on good science will be encouraged, those that do not will not be loved, even if tolerated.


    My own input here is somewhat diminished lately, as I have a non-LENR but nevertheless disruptive energy invention to guide though the hoops of patenting and finance- as well as building reactors and so on. when it becomes possible I will be able to tell you more. I hope! Wish me luck, required at the moment as the bankers are offering me only a deckchair on the fantail of the ship in return for the IP. Fat chance, I might be on holiday, but I am not a deckchair fan.;)

  • The problem with pathoskeptics like yugo isn't their skepticism as such. Me, Jed and many others have plenty arguments how to prove our stance. But I'm not engaged in discussion with these accounts intentionally from good reason.


    This reason is the fact, the (discussions with these) LENR opponents attract gray zone of another unqualified but bored people, who are interested just about social aspect of trolling and frog&mice battles - no matter of actual subject. We can recognize these people by their comment history, as they don't post links to scientific articles and they're avoiding all just a bit more specialized topics, until yugo or another diligent pathoskeptic hadn't visited them. Such an users also often create multiple dummy sockpuppets for to influence the discussion with karma - so you can spot them by their voting habits. The problem of flooding of forum with frog&mice battles could be partially solved by dedication of few threads for these flamewars and by consequential transferring all off-topic posts into them in similar way, like Walker is still doing. But it's work-consuming, it breaks the logics of discussion in threads and finally the problem with global decrease of the membership level will persist anyway.


    The problem with influx of the LENR-hostile people to the LENR-friendly forum is similar to influx of Islamists into an Europe and it should be handled similarly: simply banning them, their ideological leaders at the first line.

    These people will not get convinced about opposite stance here and the principles of naive democracy will not work here.

  • Zephir_AWT : this is a warning. Please do not import tendentious characterizations of religion into this discussion. You did it a few posts back, and I was hoping that would be the last time, but you've done it again. Religion is one of several topics to be avoided here.


    This warning applies as well to anyone who will seek to test the limits on this.

  • Most discussion boards have an "argue in public with a moderator on moderation matters and you'll get suspended/banned"-kind of policy for a reason, so I'm sort of surprised that this meta-discussion is still going on.


    We come from a tradition of erring on the side of lenience as far as allowing poor behavior goes, and the difficulty in this case is compounded by the fact that I occasionally like to dive into debates on substantive points which is something that can feel confrontational. If people found themselves debating mods on substantive points in one context and then being banned for debating with a mod in a different, more meta context, it would be hard to know where the line is to be drawn and when to engage and when to step back. But I do think this is an interesting suggestion.

  • Reading through this it is clearly an attack on Eric by Sifferkoll and Zephir.

    Eric has explained his position and clarified matters but the attack is sustained.


    Yes, clearly. Since the approach here and my own involvement were being systematically mischaracterized, I thought it opportune to clarify things for lurkers and newbies; and, if there was a shred of sincerity left in sifferkoll , perhaps for him on a point or two as well. Part of the challenge is that there are people who are sincere who find sifferkoll 's and Zephir_AWT 's arguments persuasive. In such a context, taking action without some kind of background of explanation can seem arbitrary and can be confusing for people. Nonetheless I no doubt gave them more airtime than was warranted. Now that old topics are being revisited, I will gradually disengage from the current discussion.

  • Part of the challenge is that there are people who are sincere who find sifferkoll's and Zephir_AWT's arguments persuasive


    So maaaaaaaaybe there is a grain of truth in what Siffer & Zephir are saying?


    Just an idea...


    For me the different way of how people are being treated in this forum is also peculiar to watch. But I don't want to open this pandoras box again.

  • Yes, clearly. Since the approach here and my own involvement were being systematically misrepresented, I thought it opportune to clarify things for lurkers and newbies; and, if there was a shred of sincerity left in sifferkoll , perhaps for him on a point or two as well. Part of the challenge is that there are people who are sincere who find sifferkoll 's and Zephir_AWT 's arguments persuasive. Nonetheless I no doubt gave them more airtime than was warranted. Now that old points are being revisited, I will disengage.


    More or less... I would however say that your approach has been PRESENTED, which is good enough for the lurkers newbies in my opinion since we settled on who has eagerly taken on the task of impersonating Old Major of this farm ;)

  • You quoted my Physics.SE profile:


    Quote

    Enthusiast with questions about physics from time to time. Since I’m not in much of a position to assess the validity of answers, I generally just pick the answer with the most votes after a certain amount of time has passed.


    As someone with only a single class in physics for engineers in my first (or second?) year of college, I do not feel myself in a good position to pass final judgment upon the answers I receive on that site, generally provided by people with years of training in physics, which may seem counterintuitive to me or go in a different direction than I would like. I think this is the proper attitude to approaching a field of great complexity and sophistication that is far outside of one's own training. It is certainly not creepy.


    My picking the answer with the most votes sidesteps the whole question of whether the answer is factually correct, which I may have doubts about, but which I am not in a position to fully assess. It would obviously be bad to select an answer for approval simply because it is the most convenient to my speculations.

  • Just my POV on this useful (though at times repetitive) debate.


    Eric's openness to state and justify moderation principles is welcomed by me because I am in favour of transparency. There are reasons for secrecy - but fear of confrontation is IMHO never a good one amongst civilised people. Where participants here are not civilised there are the means to remove them. Unlike Alan, I don't see this as rising to the bait - although there is moderation in all things and no doubt Eric may on occasion add to a repetitive debate when it would be wiser to leave it be. We are all imperfect.


    Different people have very different views as to what is useful in (any) form on this topic. It is quite clear that Sifferkoll and Zephir have a different idea about this from the LF mods. I would agree with the LF mods in this. I also applaud their efforts doing a difficult and thankless job. One difference relates to character. Personally I have a very thick skin. People can (and do) insult me as much as they like and it will not deter me. I do eventually stop if my only interlocutor is unable or uninterested in listening to what I have to say, but my tolerance for presenting my views when I feel they are clearly deducible from public evidence, and giving the reasons for this is high. I guess that is because I tend to assume (often incorrectly) that given such such a logical argument others will either identify assumptions etc not shared, and we can agree to disagree, or end up agreeing. This is not how it works with some, because they tend to assume that anyone disagreeing with them must have bad motives. I see that as their problem, because in dismissing those with different views they lose information, and in spending effort working out weird conspiracies they waste time.


    Re the (not double standard) priviledges for principal actors. This is pretty obviously sensible and is pragmatic, not ideological. Who here would want to stop Rossi or Darden from making authenticated comments here no matter how impolite they were? Dewey is close to Darden (though not identical) and thus deserves some tolerance. I agree that he very seldom says things that are useful, and that he often uses gratuitous insult. In fact his use of insult is counterproductive as PR. But, he is who he is, his motives FWIW are transparent, and he discloses useful information we otherwise would not have.


    Re the (graduated standard) greater priviledges for those who are useful. I'm less comfortable with this. Personally I'd reckon the people I don't think are useful here do improper things more often than those I do think are useful, so the same standard applied everywhere is fine. Perhaps it is more a question of taking the average badness so as not to overreact by banning a person normally useful who has an atypical and short regression to non-useful behaviour?


    Re pathoskeptics. It is not a useful word. I judge Mary by the expertise and facts she brings to matters, and by how she argues. She has a limited area in which she brings expertise, but it is useful because otherwise unrepresented. Her views are highly predictable, but that does not matter. her arguments are clear and where you disagree with her assumptions you know the conclusions don't follow. She is deemed a pathoskeptic because of here willingness to be very definite about certain things most would not be so definite about. That is identical to Jed, who similar shows great certainty in ways that others would not. I'm not willing to call Jed a patho-believer, though I have learnt not to accept his views at face value, and similarly Mary. Of the two, Mary brings less knowledge to the table than Jed but also she is more transparent in her arguments, so it is easier to interpret her statements and get whatever relevance they have.


    Those who get inflamed about loud skeptics (e.g. me) are I think just thin-skinned. In personal relationships tact is important. In any discourse to find the external truth tact is generally not helpful - freedom of speech does a much better job of finding what is real.

  • Re the (graduated standard) greater priviledges for those who are useful. I'm less comfortable with this. Personally I'd reckon the people I don't think are useful here do improper things more often than those I do think are useful, so the same standard applied everywhere is fine. Perhaps it is more a question of taking the average badness so as not to overreact by banning a person normally useful who has an atypical and short regression to non-useful behaviour?


    Consider the limiting cases: on one hand, you have someone like Peter Ekstrom , who is recognized in his subfield of experimental physics. On the other you have the anonymous troll who has never sought to contribute anything of interest. There would (and should) be a lot more patience for allowing Peter an occasional lapse into intemperate behavior (which he has never done) than the anonymous troll who is clearly here only to stir things up. How far apart are they in terms of how much their presence is valued here? Immeasurably far. Losing Peter would feel like a great loss, while losing the troll would be something to look forward to with anticipation. Those two lie towards opposite endpoints of a long continuum of people who will be missed, either greatly, or somewhat, or not at all, if they take issue with some overly rigid application of the guidelines.


    On a larger site, it might make more sense to apply the guidelines without regard to personalities according to some average of bad behavior, but we are a small site, and we have to stay grounded in common sense.



  • Ahh, since that is about my level of physics education I know what you are talking about. I'll explain the creepiness with examples.


    Firstly, anyone can have a look at some initial comments that you made on stackexchange (late 2011) and according to me they not exactly fit that newbie description. Initial comments . It looks a lot more like you are playing a role and are doing some fishing (I'm just a nobody who dont understand - so you can tell me everything sort of) ...


    Another example: In late 2015 you mange to produce this somewhat confusing FUD report on the isotope changes presented in the Lugano Report (). It certainly neither look like something normally produced by a newbie or by a mid-range java-script/ruby developer (according to linkedin and github) for that matter. I can assure you that.


    So my conclusion is that you are hiding something. You are obviously downplaying your physics knowledge for a reason. And in this context it is creepy.


    And for someone with all this passion you've shown lately on forum moderation I would expect a Internet trace ... but nothing. You obviously have a lot to say about the philosophy of moderation and do not hesitate to tell anyone how "graduated" and "practical" your approach is. But as with the physics - at the same time you have not done it before.... Creepy - yes.

  • I think you misunderstand what "creepy" means. This is what it means: http://www.urbandictionary.com…&utm_source=search-action. There is nothing creepy in anything you have described, although naturally in your stalking of me you have interpreted my past actions your through your own characteristic lens.


    What you describe as a FUD report was my best effort to make sense of the Lugano isotope results in a positive light, at a time when I thought they might have pointed to something interesting. I now do not really find that line of investigation promising anymore.