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.
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:
- Obliquely referred to another poster as ‘ignorant’
- 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.