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  #1  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:47 PM
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I disagree with CarnalK's warning


https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...&postcount=558

He could have gotten a note, but a warning was not necessary.
  #2  
Old 10-05-2019, 09:03 PM
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He blatantly called someone stupid outside of the Pit, it wasn’t even subtle.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:31 PM
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He could have gotten a note, but a warning was not necessary.
Okay. Why?
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...&postcount=558

He could have gotten a note, but a warning was not necessary.
I agree with Asahi. This was more of a knock it off than worthy of a warning.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:52 PM
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:54 PM
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I don't think this is the same as "blatantly calling someone stupid":

Quote:
Originally Posted by what CarnalK got warned for
You tend to have a very negative, mean spirited and cynical view of the humans who surround you. It's quite distasteful. As I always say, cynicism is a poor substitute for intelligent thought.
What if someone wrote to me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginary poster berating CairoCarol
You tend to have a very one-dimensional, simplistic, and impatient view of the humans who surround you. It's exasperating. As I always say, rushing to judgment is a poor substitute for taking the time to discover nuance.
Would that person deserve a warning too? It's the same construction. In either case, the first sentence criticizes a a view - really, an outlook on humanity. In either case, the last sentence essentially says, "I always say that a more careful approach is superior to the crappy approach you are taking."

None of that seems like "blatantly calling someone stupid" to me.

.
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Last edited by CairoCarol; 10-05-2019 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:59 PM
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He wasn't criticizing a specific post, he was criticizing a poster. There's a difference.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asahi View Post
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...&postcount=558

He could have gotten a note, but a warning was not necessary.
Maybe if he didn't have at least two previous warnings for using insults outside the Pit.

2016

2015

Last edited by Skywatcher; 10-05-2019 at 10:15 PM.
  #9  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:42 PM
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Maybe if he didn't have at least two previous warnings for using insults outside the Pit.

2016

2015
Do you keep a scorecard?
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:19 AM
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I don't really see an insult, either. Saying someone has a negative view on the world is a negative comment, but it's not inherently an attack on them.

If I say that I think that Bill Maher has a very mean-spirited, cynical view of the world, I would find it ridiculous if someone said I was insulting him. No, I'd be commenting on my opinion of his views.

An insult would be of the form "Bill Maher is a mean-spirited jerk." Not saying he's too negative.

I could see it being a distraction from the topic, or personalizing. But those usually get Notes, not Warnings.

And, no, two other Warnings for insults would not persuade me he was sneakily trying to insult him, posting with the intent to hurt his feelings while being subtle about it.

Last edited by BigT; 10-06-2019 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:09 AM
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I have a sincere question. I may suffer from Social Communication Disorder and would like some feedback.

CarnalK was responding to
Quote:
[with] Bernie looking more decrepit, Warren's camp must be gloating big-time.*

*Warren told "liberal activists in Las Vegas"** that she wants to see Bernie "strong and back on the trail as soon as possible", which rings about as true as her previous declaration that she's an enthusiastic beer drinker.
I understand that insults of Liz Warren are acceptable here since she is not an SDMB Member or Guest. But in a hypothetical where Warren were a Doper, would the post CarnalK responded to also have received a Warning? Which post is "nastier"?
  #12  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
Maybe if he didn't have at least two previous warnings for using insults outside the Pit.

2016

2015
Ha, thanks for the memory. Getting tagged for personal insults because I said "X clearly doesn't know what he's talking about" is one of my favorite Jonathan Chance warnings.
  #13  
Old 10-06-2019, 05:49 PM
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Well, that was weird.

Glancing at an ATMB thread to check out the latest gripe about Heavy-Handed Mod Jurisprudence, I only belatedly realize that the disputed warning was issued for insulting me.

By no means am I second-guessing JC's upholding of proper board culture, but will just note in passing that the insults in question (evidently an outgrowth of a mild spat over vaping in GD) don't ping my aggrievedness meter much.*

As for being unkind to politicians (I have scant respect for most, whether Dems, GOPers or cranky old Vermont socialists), if we ever get to the point on this board where rude remarks about politicos result in sanctions, it'll be a strong indication that it's time to move on.

*I was reminded of the time Johnny Keane (onetime Cardinal and Yankee manager, famous early in his career for being mild-mannered and never using obscenities) was managing in the Texas League and was thrown out of a game by an umpire named Frenchy Arceneaux. Furious, Keane yelled from the dugout, "Arceneaux! You know what you are, Arceneaux? You're just a mean man is what you are!"**
**thus gaining a place in the Genteel Umpire Razzing Hall of Fame along with the Red Sox's Dom DiMaggio, who once flew into a rage at being called out on strikes and screamed at the ump, "I have never witnessed such incompetence in all my life!".
***I only posted in this thread because I don't want to get a reputation as the Doper equivalent of Jim Coates, a marginal Yankees pitcher in the '60s who was notorious for throwing at hitters and then evading involvement in the benches-clearing brawls that ensued.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Well, that was weird.

Glancing at an ATMB thread to check out the latest gripe about Heavy-Handed Mod Jurisprudence, I only belatedly realize that the disputed warning was issued for insulting me.

By no means am I second-guessing JC's upholding of proper board culture, but will just note in passing that the insults in question (evidently an outgrowth of a mild spat over vaping in GD) don't ping my aggrievedness meter much.*

As for being unkind to politicians (I have scant respect for most, whether Dems, GOPers or cranky old Vermont socialists), if we ever get to the point on this board where rude remarks about politicos result in sanctions, it'll be a strong indication that it's time to move on.

*I was reminded of the time Johnny Keane (onetime Cardinal and Yankee manager, famous early in his career for being mild-mannered and never using obscenities) was managing in the Texas League and was thrown out of a game by an umpire named Frenchy Arceneaux. Furious, Keane yelled from the dugout, "Arceneaux! You know what you are, Arceneaux? You're just a mean man is what you are!"**
**thus gaining a place in the Genteel Umpire Razzing Hall of Fame along with the Red Sox's Dom DiMaggio, who once flew into a rage at being called out on strikes and screamed at the ump, "I have never witnessed such incompetence in all my life!".
***I only posted in this thread because I don't want to get a reputation as the Doper equivalent of Jim Coates, a marginal Yankees pitcher in the '60s who was notorious for throwing at hitters and then evading involvement in the benches-clearing brawls that ensued.
Apparently, though, you have no problem earning the reputation as the SDMB's go-to guy for obscure baseball trivia. As a fellow connoisseur of useless information, I am impressed.
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CairoCarol View Post
None of that seems like "blatantly calling someone stupid" to me.
Your example is not comparable. The modded comment was not criticizing a lack of judgement, it was saying that they use cynicism in place of intelligence. The specific words used matter. Your example above transforms a personal insult into a criticism of behavior, and is a good example of what could have been said to avoid being a personal insult. As it is, the original statement was calling a person stupid and the warning seems warranted to me.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Your example is not comparable. The modded comment was not criticizing a lack of judgement, it was saying that they use cynicism in place of intelligence. The specific words used matter. Your example above transforms a personal insult into a criticism of behavior, and is a good example of what could have been said to avoid being a personal insult. As it is, the original statement was calling a person stupid and the warning seems warranted to me.
If I read you correctly, you assert that saying to someone, "you use cynicism in place of intelligence" is identical to blatantly saying, "You are stupid."

I don't see how that works. It's an accusation of intellectual laziness - "you'd rather resort to a cynical worldview than take the time to examine and analyze a situation." But intellectual laziness is not the same as stupidity.

.
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Last edited by CairoCarol; 10-07-2019 at 01:22 AM.
  #17  
Old 10-07-2019, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
He wasn't criticizing a specific post, he was criticizing a poster. There's a difference.
I don't think it's quite that clear cut. I was criticizing his attitude. That's probably around the border of criticizing the person or the post. He said the Warren camp was all gloating that Bernie had a heart attack and I responded that was an ugly viewpoint and not unfamiliar from him. Kind of a judgment call, imho. Still, more warning worthy than the other two Skywatcher linked. Those two were bull.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-07-2019 at 01:41 AM.
  #18  
Old 10-07-2019, 01:52 AM
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And, to what CairoCarol is saying, yes exactly. I don't think he's stupid so I certainly wasn't calling him stupid.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:50 AM
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I am temporarily closing this due to the fact that Jonathan Chance is currently unavailable to comment on the warning in question. This thread will be re-opened when he returns.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:09 PM
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I'm back.

I have no intention of walking back that warning. CarnalK was taking a shot at another poster. He should own that and not weasel around it. His post in this thread, above:

Quote:
Ha, thanks for the memory. Getting tagged for personal insults because I said "X clearly doesn't know what he's talking about" is one of my favorite Jonathan Chance warnings.
Show's a certain lack of understanding of both the rules and why he has been sanctioned. Telling other people that a fellow poster doesn't know what he's talking about is directly insulting and belittling another poster and presenting them as not being a real person somehow. If we allow that sort of thing we throw out debate entirely.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:12 AM
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Oh, I don't know. I think I have a pretty solid understanding of the rules around here. You just lean well on one side of their application that I do not. I can't deny the listed warned posts were meant to be insulting, they clearly were. But I was indeed following the board credo of attacking the posts. I didn't think Slackerinc made any effort in his post, I thought ralph displayed rank ignorance in his posts in that thread, and I thought Jackmannii ascribed the ugliest emotions to people thoughtlessly. Those aren't personal insults. I'm complaining about their posts' contents.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-08-2019 at 01:15 AM.
  #22  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Oh, I don't know. I think I have a pretty solid understanding of the rules around here. You just lean well on one side of their application that I do not. I can't deny the listed warned posts were meant to be insulting, they clearly were. But I was indeed following the board credo of attacking the posts. I didn't think Slackerinc made any effort in his post, I thought ralph displayed rank ignorance in his posts in that thread, and I thought Jackmannii ascribed the ugliest emotions to people thoughtlessly. Those aren't personal insults. I'm complaining about their posts' contents.
How the hell are the bolded bits not personal?

"Attacking the post" is stuff like pointing out factual errors or disagreeing with the actual content, not comments on the motives or abilities of the posters making the post. Which is what all 3 of your examples are.

"Your post displays rank ignorance" is different from "Your post ignores the following stuff...".

Last edited by MrDibble; 10-08-2019 at 01:26 AM.
  #23  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:58 AM
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So for the record, you're agreeing that "XXX doesn't know what he's talking about" is a legit warnable insult? Because that's what I actually said and got warned for.

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-08-2019 at 02:01 AM.
  #24  
Old 10-08-2019, 02:23 AM
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So for the record, you're agreeing that "XXX doesn't know what he's talking about" is a legit warnable insult?
In GD or GQ, yes, I'd take the knock. I'd only mod-note it, not warn, if I were a mod, but if I were warned I wouldn't consider it shitty modding, just a difference of degree.

Every notable infraction can be a warnable one at the mod's discretion, is my understanding.

Last edited by MrDibble; 10-08-2019 at 02:26 AM.
  #25  
Old 10-08-2019, 02:37 AM
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Well, I complained about the warning but I think my posts above make clear that I realize it's a matter of degree and discretion.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:05 AM
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I checked CarnalK's info and, to my surprise, discovered that he is a very long term seasoned veteran of the SDMB. He knows very what is acceptable and what is not, which makes it hard for me to understand why he feels justified in complaining about something that he has known for years to be unacceptable.
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  #27  
Old 10-08-2019, 08:23 AM
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Telling other people that a fellow poster doesn't know what he's talking about is directly insulting and belittling another poster and presenting them as not being a real person somehow. If we allow that sort of thing we throw out debate entirely.
If one member of the debate doesn't know what they're talking about, it's not really a useful debate. Carnalk's post was a longwinded equivalent of "Dude, I know you can do better."
  #28  
Old 10-08-2019, 10:57 AM
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Telling other people that a fellow poster doesn't know what he's talking about is directly insulting and belittling another poster and presenting them as not being a real person somehow. If we allow that sort of thing we throw out debate entirely.
I strongly disagree with this. I literally never criticize moderation here, but let's get real: there are a substantial number of posters here who post on topics that they literally know nothing about. Calling out another poster on their lack of even basic understanding of matters they are talking about isn't so much about making an insult, it's often about warning others that they should be aware that disinformation is being spread in a malicious way.

Take for example all the bogus "studies" about vaccines causing autism: I think it's perfectly fair to call out that a Hollywood actress's assertions of nonsensical science is a farce. Being obligated to argue point-by-point ("No, that's not how thimerosal works, let me write 500 words explaining the precise mechanism") as opposed to a broad-ranging ("Everything you wrote is nonsense and doublespeak because you have shown no basic grasp of the field") criticism can be a very reasonable point, and can serve as a warning to others not as expert in the issue to not believe everything they read on the internet, because some of us are dogs.

If this board took a different approach to posters who just gratuitously pull things out of their ass, rather than leave it to other members to knock down each point of nonsense spewed by a relatively small population of this board who revel in having strong opinions that are completely at odds with easily recognizable facts, that would be different.

But no, there are definitely cases where posters whip up posts intended to push an agenda yet having no understanding of the basics of the topic -- so the moderation wants to have other posters who are debating in good faith argue with one hand tied behind their back?

That's absurd. That's placing more value on the feelings of irresponsible posters than it is on promoting informed debate.
  #29  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I strongly disagree with this. I literally never criticize moderation here, but let's get real: there are a substantial number of posters here who post on topics that they literally know nothing about. Calling out another poster on their lack of even basic understanding of matters they are talking about isn't so much about making an insult, it's often about warning others that they should be aware that disinformation is being spread in a malicious way.
Please note that this line of discussion is around a warning in 2015. The current warning that is the topic of this thread was about a different statement.

That being said, I think you have a point and we're talking about it.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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And I should add: I see a big difference between, "You have gotten all your facts wrong so it's clear you don't know anything about this subject" and "If you were not so lazy you could do some reading on this topic which you don't have a clue about."

I'm 100% on board with the latter being a warning. I feel very strongly that there not a damn thing wrong with the first.
  #31  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Well, I complained about the warning but I think my posts above make clear that I realize it's a matter of degree and discretion.
Well, let's address that:

Quote:
You tend to have a very negative, mean spirited and cynical view of the humans who surround you. It's quite distasteful. As I always say, cynicism is a poor substitute for intelligent thought.



You described his behavior as "very negative", "mean spirited", and "cynical". You described him as "distasteful", and you stated that he did not express himself "intelligently". Your defense for all that is, in essence, a matter of semantics and not meaning.

There are many ways of insulting people without actually using the words, "you ARE" ....... very negative, mean spirited, cynical and unintelligent.

It reminds me of an old Joke:

Me: Hey, Jack, I stood up for you the other day when Jill was dissing you.

Jack: Really? Wheat happened?

Me: Jill said you like to eat shit sandwiches, but I adamantly told her that I knew for a fact that you don't like bread.

Now, did I just stand up for Jack, or did I make him the brunt of a nasty joke?
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:22 AM
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I think I agree with Ravenman. There are a few topics where I'm an expert, and when I'm arguing with someone who's bloviating and saying what's "common sense" to them with no expertise, I think it's appropriate to point that out. If I came into a thread about, say, petroleum extraction and started telling people what was common sense to me, without citing any claims, absolutely someone could tell me that I didn't know what I was talking about. It's not an insult, but rather an observation of my level of ignorance on a topic.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
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I strongly disagree with this. I literally never criticize moderation here, but let's get real: there are a substantial number of posters here who post on topics that they literally know nothing about. Calling out another poster on their lack of even basic understanding of matters they are talking about isn't so much about making an insult, it's often about warning others that they should be aware that disinformation is being spread in a malicious way.

Take for example all the bogus "studies" about vaccines causing autism: I think it's perfectly fair to call out that a Hollywood actress's assertions of nonsensical science is a farce. Being obligated to argue point-by-point ("No, that's not how thimerosal works, let me write 500 words explaining the precise mechanism") as opposed to a broad-ranging ("Everything you wrote is nonsense and doublespeak because you have shown no basic grasp of the field") criticism can be a very reasonable point, and can serve as a warning to others not as expert in the issue to not believe everything they read on the internet, because some of us are dogs.

If this board took a different approach to posters who just gratuitously pull things out of their ass, rather than leave it to other members to knock down each point of nonsense spewed by a relatively small population of this board who revel in having strong opinions that are completely at odds with easily recognizable facts, that would be different.

But no, there are definitely cases where posters whip up posts intended to push an agenda yet having no understanding of the basics of the topic -- so the moderation wants to have other posters who are debating in good faith argue with one hand tied behind their back?

That's absurd. That's placing more value on the feelings of irresponsible posters than it is on promoting informed debate.
Where science is clear the approach you advocate makes sense. Someone argues that the earth is flat doesnít know what they are talking about. When the subject is complex and the science is not precisely settled or is impossible to precisely settle itís too easy to shut down someoneís opinion by those form of ad hominem attacks.
  #34  
Old 10-08-2019, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
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Where science is clear the approach you advocate makes sense. Someone argues that the earth is flat doesnít know what they are talking about. When the subject is complex and the science is not precisely settled or is impossible to precisely settle itís too easy to shut down someoneís opinion by those form of ad hominem attacks.
There is some gray area, definitely. If I post (just as an example, please don't let's debate the point here) a well-sourced argument claiming that universal health care will lower the average American's annual health bill, it'd be inappropriate for someone to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. But if I post, "Clearly the average American's health bill will go down, because insurance companies won't be taking their cut," then it might be appropriate for someone with greater knowledge of insurance company practices and/or government health care practices to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

I don't expect mods to notice which side of the line every argument is on. That's a pain in the ass. I'd rather them err on the side of not handing out warnings for gray area offenses, though. If someone is using "you don't know what you're talking about" or variants repeatedly and in obnoxious ways, the note-warn-ban escalation seems a good way to handle it.
  #35  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus View Post
Where science is clear the approach you advocate makes sense. Someone argues that the earth is flat doesnít know what they are talking about. When the subject is complex and the science is not precisely settled or is impossible to precisely settle itís too easy to shut down someoneís opinion by those form of ad hominem attacks.
If people are arguing about actual science, then I think that usually comes through.

The types of things I'm talking about are a long-ago argument I had with someone in GQ who claimed something to the effect that the Federal Aviation Administration is not allowed to regulate the use of consumer drones, because the FAA regulates airplanes. And drones are kewl!!!

(I'm probably not getting that exactly right, but that was the general spirit. In GQ, no less.)
  #36  
Old 10-08-2019, 12:20 PM
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Well, let's address that:
You misunderstood i complained about the "you don't know what you're talking about " warning, not this one.
  #37  
Old 10-08-2019, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
He wasn't criticizing a specific post, he was criticizing a poster. There's a difference.
I'm going with this. Even without a track record I think it should stand.
  #38  
Old 10-08-2019, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
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And I should add: I see a big difference between, "You have gotten all your facts wrong so it's clear you don't know anything about this subject" and "If you were not so lazy you could do some reading on this topic which you don't have a clue about."

I'm 100% on board with the latter being a warning. I feel very strongly that there not a damn thing wrong with the first.
I support every bit of this.
  #39  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:31 AM
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I'll note that in the 2015 thread a poster said
Quote:
All of this is completely wrong.
to the same poster that CarnalK was warned over.

The dividing line is, as usual, attacking the post not the poster. You can say that this post is completely wrong, but you can't say the poster doesn't know anything and we shouldn't bother discussing the topic with him.

The nice thing about having a (somewhat) bright line dividing the two is that it removes the topic itself from the moderation decision. You and I may agree that we should be allowed to insult anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers, but we may not agree on insulting eco-warriors or gun-lovers. Now the moderation depends on the topic, and the waters just get muddy.
  #40  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:29 AM
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I'll note that in the 2015 thread a poster said to the same poster that CarnalK was warned over.

The dividing line is, as usual, attacking the post not the poster. You can say that this post is completely wrong, but you can't say the poster doesn't know anything and we shouldn't bother discussing the topic with him.

The nice thing about having a (somewhat) bright line dividing the two is that it removes the topic itself from the moderation decision. You and I may agree that we should be allowed to insult anti-vaxxers and flat-earthers, but we may not agree on insulting eco-warriors or gun-lovers. Now the moderation depends on the topic, and the waters just get muddy.
Which is dangerous ground for moderators.

Honestly, as I recall correct in the earlier warning, it was the combination of 'don't know what you're doing' and 'no one should talk to you' that really got me there. The first, depending on phrasing, is questionable and could or could not earn a sanction. But telling other people they shouldn't debate with him? That's no good at all and needs to be smacked down.
  #41  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:18 AM
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But telling other people they shouldn't debate with him? That's no good at all and needs to be smacked down.
Why?
  #42  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:34 AM
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Well, let's address that:




You described his behavior as "very negative", "mean spirited", and "cynical". You described him as "distasteful", and you stated that he did not express himself "intelligently". Your defense for all that is, in essence, a matter of semantics and not meaning.

There are many ways of insulting people without actually using the words, "you ARE" ....... very negative, mean spirited, cynical and unintelligent.

It reminds me of an old Joke:

Me: Hey, Jack, I stood up for you the other day when Jill was dissing you.

Jack: Really? Wheat happened?

Me: Jill said you like to eat shit sandwiches, but I adamantly told her that I knew for a fact that you don't like bread.

Now, did I just stand up for Jack, or did I make him the brunt of a nasty joke?
To be fair, he didn't call the poster distasteful; if read carefully, he's clearly describing the poster's view of humanity as distasteful. That's a world of difference in my eyes.
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  #43  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
Why?
Why would we prohibit people from engaging in a campaign to persuade other posters to not engage with a particular poster? Is that your question? If it is, then the answer is because:

It is personalization and not actual argument
It is destructive to discussion
It is typically a distracting hijack
It can be junior modding
  #44  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:19 PM
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Well I didn't mean to get so involved in this thread, but a few of these comments from mods on what you all think are the best ways to preserve quality debate just have me scratching my head. I've said my piece on the "you don't know what you're talking about" issue, but now this "just ignore that guy" issue has me thinking.

So there's a particular poster I have in mind who really provides nothing of substance to debates. If someone provides a list of 23 reasons why apples are great, this poster responds with never more than two lines with something like, "Oh, apples are green? Are you sure about that?" Nothing about these responses is really constructive, like maybe, "You focused on green apples, but there's lots of other colors too" or whatever.

Every. Single. Post. is just a cherry-picking of one particular issue turned into a question to insinuate the other poster is wrong, or to start a wild goose chase to JAQ off on a microscopic, insignificant point. Sometimes this starts a minor derailment of a thread -- not a trainwreck, but there's never any benefit to it.

So this poster has surely had a few mod notes, maybe a warning or two, but really -- there's like zero chance this poster is going change his ways, and maybe like a 3% chance that mods would ban the poster sometime in the next five years.

It would seem to me that it would be perfectly fair for people to treat this poster like a weird dude you see on the subway every morning: "Yeah, he's annoying, but not hurting anyone -- just leave him alone and go about your business and everything will be fine."

So I'm getting the impression that if everyone just spontaneously does this, mods have no problem. But if someone actually posts this advice, in hopes of avoiding the very common and totally pointless derailment I mentioned, it is frowned upon?

What I'm taking away from this is that it's fine to be a contentless poster who serially derails threads on pointless minutiae, but the behavior by itself will very likely never get the poster banned so we are left with a gadfly; but in the name of preserving quality debate on the board, nobody can ever actually say that the person is a gadfly? This is just so odd to me.

And mods -- please know I'm not trying to be all on your case about this. I think this thread is maybe like the second time I've questioned mod decisions/guidance ever. I'm just reading some of the comments here and thinking, "Wait, how does this make sense?"
  #45  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:22 PM
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For what it's worth, and I realize that may not be very much, but I almost never accept any argument that relies on junior modding as I find the whole concept patronizing. I can read who has and doesn't have a moderator title.

Letting dum dums who don't know what they're talking about blather on is also destructive to discussion and a distracting hijack. And, for what it's worth, something that makes me far less likely to return to a thread, whether participating or simply reading, than another poster suggesting someone should zip it. The latter I can zip by and agree or disagree with according to my own evaluation. The former makes a hash of the thread.

It is personalization and not actual argument, that's fair. But again, I find the attack the post and not the poster patronizing. I guess I dunno about everyone else, but I'm not just an unthinking channel from the universe for my posts. I have the capacity to intuit that someone calling my post dumb is really saying something about me, not the posts. I think that if the SDMB really wanted to be the place you seem to say it is, attacking should be entirely verboten regardless of whether it's directed at post or poster. Which would have the added benefit of reducing confusion since there's no need to adjudge whether someone personalized the insult or not.
  #46  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:26 PM
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One of the things I'm rarely wanting to do is rule on someone's worthiness to participate in a thread. I've done it, from time to time, and once outlawed an argument (the 'marry my dishwasher' bit from a SSM thread), when they got distracting but that's really a variation on trolling.

But ruling that 'poster X is too dumb/ignorant/whatever' to participate? That would fall under the 'careful what you wish for' because once moderation starts down that path where does it end? How do we realistically and fairly judge who does and does not get to participate in a debate? I see no way to fairly adjudicate that.

In terms of complaining about posters one thinks are not up to snuff - for whatever reason - there is always the BBQ Pit to make open complaints about others. But telling others to disregard another poster in Great Debates or Elections? That's never going to be best practices.
  #47  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
It would seem to me that it would be perfectly fair for people to treat this poster like a weird dude you see on the subway every morning: "Yeah, he's annoying, but not hurting anyone -- just leave him alone and go about your business and everything will be fine."

So I'm getting the impression that if everyone just spontaneously does this, mods have no problem. But if someone actually posts this advice, in hopes of avoiding the very common and totally pointless derailment I mentioned, it is frowned upon?

What I'm taking away from this is that it's fine to be a contentless poster who serially derails threads on pointless minutiae, but the behavior by itself will very likely never get the poster banned so we are left with a gadfly; but in the name of preserving quality debate on the board, nobody can ever actually say that the person is a gadfly? This is just so odd to me.
I'll just say first that I'm sympathetic to what you are expressing in the whole of your post, but I snipped parts of the post to address them specifically.

First, yes, if everyone treats it as the harmless dude that isn't hurting anyone, that would be fine. If there is a concerted effort to convince people to not respond to an individual poster, that would probably draw attention. It does seem strange, but the way I see it is that while a specific instance that is clear cut it seems strange to restrict individual posters from saying to ignore someone, in the larger context of things, it can lead to a place where there is widespread efforts to shun individual posters. One instance may be okay, but I don't think pervasive campaigns to shun other posters is conducive to discussion. There have been times where people have done this themselves I think in an appropriate way, and also in an inappropriate way. LHoD has in my recent memory done this well, and I've noted other posters like BPC when I think they've crossed the line.

When I look at it, I ask if we would be okay if the behavior is repeated by many posters, all the time throughout many threads. I don't think so and the way to address it is to not allow this type of shunning to take hold. This isn't to say that such derailing behavior is acceptable. I think the appropriate way to address it is to report it and let mods step in.

I'm not opposed to putting the kibosh on JAQing off, and quickly curtailing pointless focus on minutiae so if those things are reported, then we can take a look. There have been multiple times where I've interceded for JAQing, and put on guide rails to avoid getting hung up on minutiae. Both of these things present challenges for moderation though. If a person asks questions and people respond, that looks a lot like actual discussion even if it may not be the highest caliber. If a person points out some minutiae and people respond, that can be organic flow of a discussion even if it may not be very interesting or relevant. If a person does this repeatedly and no one responds, I'm much more likely to intercede than if the conversation is naturally flowing that way. It seems counter intuitive so I'm not sure if that's the best approach, but that's how I've thought about it thus far.
  #48  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:40 PM
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That would fall under the 'careful what you wish for' because once moderation starts down that path where does it end?
Oh boy -- in a thread about the importance of good debate, we see an unadulterated slippery slope fallacy trotted out in this way? Shame, shame!

With that lighthearted comment, I don't have anything more to add on these topics.
  #49  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:40 PM
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Oh boy -- in a thread about the importance of good debate, we see an unadulterated slippery slope fallacy trotted out in this way? Shame, shame!
Slippery slope arguments are not necessarily fallacious.
  #50  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:49 PM
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Slippery slope arguments are not necessarily fallacious.
More than once, Iíve fallen on my acious when a slope was too steep and slippery.
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