There's more than a Chance this warning was unwarranted

TL;DR Mr. Chance admitted that he has a bias against me, he ignored another poster who legitimately got hostile with me, and he issued a warning against me for indefensible reasons. I would like the warning removed, please.

I have had some run-ins with Jonathan Chance since I started posting here. I only once made an issue out it (and dropped it pretty quickly that one time) because I might have disagreed with him but usually he had a point. I am guilty of not suffering fools gladly and sometimes that gets the better of me. I took my punishment and moved on.

What happened today I do not feel was warranted… I apologize for the length but I did add fun pictures and most of the contents are quoted posts so hopefully I won’t get a warning for rambling!

In a thread in the Politics & Elections forum titled WTF happened to improve Trump’s odds of re-election? the following back and forth occurred between a poster named DrDeth and myself.

I responded to this post:

For the record, I would love it if 8 out of every 10 Trump supporters had regrets and remorse, but I was pointing out correctly and not as an attack, that the plural of anecdote is not data, something that happens a lot in Great Debates and it’s sub forums.

He came back and posted this:

I clarified my position:

This is not a personal attack. Everyone is statistically insignificant (more on that later). So am I. It may have been abrupt but it was not an attack; in fact, I wanted the poster to know I didn’t think he or she was lying.

Well then. It seems that exactly here is when things get out of hand. I am not the one who questioned “why bring it up,” I am not the one who said another poster should “go stuff your claim.” This led to my response:

Somehow this attracted a warning.

This is, to put a fine point on it, bullshit. So I asked Jonathan_Chance to to clarify what about my post constituted a “crack” that required a warning. Specifically I asked:

Crack like what? Is calling someone “statistically insignificant” when they tell me to “go stuff your claim” really a “crack?” I think you are overreacting based on my history and want you to revisit it.

He responded:

Curiously, you’re not entirely wrong. Your past history of offenses - warnings, mod notes and your prior forum ban - does play into my decision. You have very little leeway to misbehave in Great Debates and Politics and Elections. In the post in question you:

  1. Obliquely referred to another poster as ‘ignorant’
  2. Also referred to a poster as ‘insignificant’ as a means of preventing them from posting.

The decision stands.

This is where I decided to take it public.

First of all, there is no “crack” in calling someone ignorant. Ignorant merely means not knowing something. Everyone is ignorant. Taken to its logical conclusion, the very tag line of the Straight Dope - “Fighting ignorance since 1973. (It’s taking longer than we thought.)” - concedes that ignorance abounds and fighting it is a noble goal.Is the Straight Dope insulting everyone? Ask Cecil. The dictionary says he is not.

Being ignorant is not being stupid, dumb, or anything that would be called a “crack.”

Second of all, I didn’t even call - or “obliquely refer” - to another poster as ignorant (even though it isn’t a crack) I said “This is a site devoted to ignorance and anyone who thinks that “well, everyone I know says…” means anything is ignorant.” This is not a specific attack - in fact Dr. Deth didn’t use the phrase “well, everyone I know says…” that I put in quotation marks, which is proof that it was a general comment about anyone who felt that any anecdotal data was somehow useful when in Great Debates.

In any thread in those forums if someone claims “everyone I know” feels a certain way but there are mountains of evidence that shows them their experiences to be very much the minority, the person is not debating in good faith - it’s a small sample size.

It’s confirmation bias

These are logical fallacies for a reason. Pointing this out to the poster happens all the time and is literally an argument against the position, not the poster.

Third and finally, notice how the moderator says “Also referred to a poster as ‘insignificant’ as a means of preventing them from posting.” This is not what I said. I said that Dr. Deth was “statistically insignificant.”

It’s odd that in a forum where it is against the rules to change the wording of posts to make it look like something else was said - even in obvious attempts at humor - that a moderator would do the same when attempting to rationalize a warning.

There is a Wiki page for Statistical significance and it mentions statistical insignificance. Invoking the phrase does not mean the person is insignificant. It is a common phrase used in statistics. Statisticians would not take this as a slight, they would either show that their argument has statistical significance or concede the point. Google the phrase and you get charts like this:

Possibly Mr. Chance is… well, for reasons unknown I can’t say ignorant here, so I will just say maybe he was unaware of this (though as a moderator of Great Debates, maybe he should know this). Well, he does now and if he showed even a modicum of being willing to listen to me without his bias buzzing in his ear, I would have brought it up in our exchange.

I would like this warning rescinded. If I am going to be publicly warned, it better be because I called someone a cocksucker. “Statistically insignificant?” Puhlease.

Personal attack. Don’t do that. Seems simple enough to me.

Well, I’m not surprised this came - in point of fact, JSLE alerted me it would come - but I’m a bit surprised at the tack.

First off, all of the stuff about math is entirely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

When you say you are ‘guilty of note suffering fools gladly’ what I see, based on your posting history, is you really want to be a jerk in places where that isn’t appropriate. When I tell you that your past history of offenses has me approach your posts differently that is entirely because you become a jerk when irritated. You have developed such a history of doing such things that you are on your final last steps.

A little history: You are, right now, at six warnings since the first of the year. Hell, since February. You’ve been banned from posting in GD and PE. You’ve been suspended from the board twice this year. The first time for a week and then later for a month. The mod loop has discussed you in particular three times this year.

In short, you do not respect the rules and make no accommodation for doing so. This isn’t a recent thing, as well. At one point you were mod noted - because of the stupid John Oliver ‘drumpf’ thing - and said you’d refuse to change behavior because “I didn’t care to change it back because a) it’s funny b) everyone knows who I’m talking about and c) I’m lazy. Deal with it.”

Now, I want you to understand this next part very carefully. Six warnings - five, to discount todays if that makes you more comfortable - isn’t sanction-level trouble. It’s banning-level trouble. That’s the sort of thin ice you’re on here. Posters are expected to follow the rules of the fora in which they are posting. You have - through your own admission - refused to do so. Not only have you refused to do so but you show both no interest in ever doing so and you show no evidence of remorse for your actions instead choosing to position yourself as ‘not suffering fools’ as if you had that option. You do not.

To sum up, I’m not biased against you. Rather, it’s that you have used up every last bit of tolerance the moderation staff has for your particular form of nonsense. Because of that, you have no freight of good will to draw upon. Even today, while I warned you I chose to make clear that should you continue misbehaving I would withdraw your Great Debates and Politics & Elections privileges until January 1, 2021 instead of banning your from the SDMB entirely.

Honestly, that still might be the best outcome. You seem a fine poster in other fora. But in political threads you seem not to have the capability of holding your temper. It might be best if you limited your political posting to the BBQ Pit if you’re truly not interested in altering your behavior.

Hello Mr. Ear. Your last few comments in that thread caught my attention. They seemed over-the-top and excessively personal. Dr. Deth made a mildly personal remark about you, but only after you pursued him multiple times about an insignificant comment he made.

And while doing that, you found time to respond to this benign and measured remark from LSL_Guy (about Joe Biden’s campaigning style):
Out of the way is good. Invisible is not. *
Figuring out where one shades to the other is not easy. Good luck Joe, we’re all counting on you.

Your response was to disregard his third sentence and write:
That’s a bullshit narrative. That you would mindlessly spout a bullshit narrative is not a shock, but you repeating the bullshit narrative doesn’t make it something other than a bullshit narrative.

You’re not going convince me that you were attacking the post, rather than the poster.

The warning seems reasonable enough to me, but Dr.Deth’s post was jerkish enough to warrant a note, in my not especially relevant opinion. Saying “who the fuck cares?..go stuff your claim” is distinctly contemptuous, and I can see how it incited the ill-advised response by the OP.

True, I admit I was a bit over the line, and I apologize for that. In my defense, I was provoked.

I shouldn’t have posted “who the fuck cares?..go stuff your claim", you are completely correct. My apologies.

Mr. Chance, that may be one of the best “rip someone a new ass while explaining it like you would to a 5 year old” posts I’ve ever seen.

Since I argue with JC a lot, I want to also say when things are fair. I particularly like not jumping on DrDeth given the context.

I don’t understand why he got a free pass. We’ve seen this many times before of course-mods completely ignore the one poster while nailing the other against the wall.

Provoked? I don’t see that.

I my completely unimportant opinion, JSLE’s comment is considerably nastier than DrDeth’s. I don’t know where the line is usually drawn, but warning only John Stamos Left Ear seems reasonable to me. I drew that conclusion just reading the OP, without having any background. And, in fact, I’ve enjoyed JSLE’s posting in other threads.

I can’t see how he could think “your mommy said you were special but you aren’t” could possibly be considered a polite argument.

Also, while it’s always risky to wade into “who started it?” territory, in this case the answer is unambiguously JSLE.

Finally, I believe prior posting history ought to matter, and someone with a prior history of insulting others should trip the “warning wire” more easily than others. So I side with Jonathan Chance in that. Again, in my irrelevant and statistically insignificant opinion.


John Stamos Left Ear, I like you, I like your user name, and I want you to stay. I urge you to tone it down so you can.

I agree and the modding comes across as arbitrary and capricious.

John_Stamos_Left_Ear’s post might have been a bit snooty. DrDeth’s post was provacative. “Go stuff your claim” should have been moderated, too.

JSLE, DrDeth popped in with an anecdote that matched the narrative of the thread. His personal experience is inline with the documented trends. He was asked to elaborate on the numbers, which he did. You are correct that an anecdote is not data, and pointing out that his anecdote is a selection bias is true, but not really necessary. He wasn’t justifying his dataset as anything but his personal experience.

Both sniped at each other.

John_Stamos_Left_Ear put so much effort into that OP that he ought to have someone in his corner. I didn’t read the whole thing, doesn’t look very interesting, but I’ll just say I agree with him anyway and somebody should or should not have done something or something else.

I’m impressed that someone would take the trouble to bolster an argument against a warning by posting references and a graph. Never saw that before.

It seems kinda mean though to say “This is a board devoted to ignorance”. :frowning:

But that’s a little disingenous when what you actually said was:

[my bold]

Nobody (statistician or otherwise) would interpret this invective as nothing more than making a scientific point about the significance of Dr Deth’s data. With that preamble, saying “you are statistically insignificant” reads to me like a deliberate play on words between the term of art and the everyday meaning of insignificance.

plus .5 (why does the plus sign come out a dot?) + apparently only in front, wth

Without the “mommy” line, then I read it as “your personal anecdotes are not data”.

The mommy line personalizes it a bit much though.

I kinda like “+0.5”. Much more interesting than “+1”.

I was trying to type +.5 and the + would only come out as a dot!
talk about your first world problem! :wink:

yep, trying to be interesting and also indicate a lower level of interest than +1