This One Isn't Even Close

One - one! - data point of a black school emphasizing black culture and not creating an immediate miracle by producing high test scores. Could the lack of current results be from the students living in a racist culture that might take years to overturn? No. Blacks be stupid or lazy. All of them. Says a white guy.

Hey, white guy, I got a completely fair proposition for you. Let’s take all racism out of American culture for a generation or two and then do some testing. I’ll agree to go by those results.

My 2 cents:
My immediate interpretation of what Shodan posted was that it was an example of a school that was not effectively teaching the basics based on the grades shown.

It seemed more about not allowing people to make excuses than anything else.

First off, as Bone says, the warning will not be walked back. Absorb that fact.

I do want to give you a bit of a ‘behind the curtain’ glimpse of how we work, though. Just so you can - hopefully - learn, Shodan.

We received two reports about that thread. The first came in yesterday and concerned your earlier post in the thread…the one that used the ‘black cat’ analogy.

Your three humble moderators spent some time discussing the report in a discussion loop with just the three of us. Is it warnable? Is it notable? Is it an offense at all? In the end, we collectively decided to extend the benefit of the doubt and not warn you.

The second one came in this morning concerning the post that got you warned. It was decided - I won’t reveal how - that you were trolling for reaction. Your intent may be sincere but you were going about it in such a way as to intentionally provoke a reaction. That’s what got you the warning.

Learn from this. You can be a valuable poster. I believe that. But if you persist in designing your arguments in such a way as to provoke reactions as well as debating you may continue to pick up warnings. You won’t enjoy that.

You do realize that any post that has an apparent or real critique of an aspect of culture, religion, ideology, or any other group characteristic may provoke a reaction? For that matter practically any contentious subject can provoke so-called reactions.

That said, Shodan should not be surprised that that post was warned for something or another.

“After further review, the call on the field has been confirmed!” :smiley:

There is a far cry, my friend, between provoking a reaction with a post and intentionally designing a post to provoke a reaction.

The first indicates argument. The second - as Bone warned - indicates trolling.

The mods need to check with the reviewers in New York before making a final judgment.

Never said this. And I would ask the mods to consider that this is the kind of reaction that can be expected to any post on certain subjects, no matter how that post is designed.

I do not see any difference.

But see above. That is a reaction to what I posted. Or rather, to what the poster in question thought I posted. It is not possible for me to design a post on some topics that cannot provoke that kind of reaction.

I am not clear on how I am to design my arguments to get people to debate, but not react.

The post about an African centered school that is failing its students just as much as any other kind of school is a legitimate debate point. And yet the accusation that I am saying “all blacks are stupid” is the immediate reaction.

Of course I’m trying to get a reaction - it’s a debate. I am trying to make a point, and IMO the point is a legitimate one. For heaven’s sake, I cited the school’s own website to demonstrate it.

So, what say you - legitimate debate points, trolling, or sincere efforts at debate but phrased so as to provoke a reaction?


Well, then.

How sad for you that the moderators of Great Debates and Elections unanimously disagree with you.

I trust you shall, somehow, persevere.

Were the quotes I supplied trolling, legitimate debate, or sincere but designed to get a reaction?


I have, in truth, no interest in a prolonged back-and-forth parsing things with you.

The decision’s made, you must live with it.


This is a highly unsatisfying post. If this is indeed the attitude, then why allow posters to start threads in ATMB that question Moderator decisions?

Because it’s the case in this specific instance, doesn’t mean it’s the case in all instances. Mod rulings do get reversed, or also, offending posters see the error of their ways and apologise, and move on.

Neither seems about to happen here, though.

I’ll answer this one.

Shodan asked the warning be rescinded.
He was told it would not be and why.
Shodan then reiterated and argument and against asked it be rescinded.
I restated that it would not be and gave some insight into the backstage process.
He then tries to argue the point and attempts to define specific things that might mitigate his warning.

So two of the three mods have answered his question. Continuing to attempt to parse the warning by argument smacks of trying to define bright lines he can play at his later convenience.

It’s long been a policy of mine - I won’t speak for Tom and Bone, here - that the lines are fuzzy for a reason. Bright, well-demarcated lines are most often used to find how close one can come without cross. Limits-testers are rampant on the Internet. I prefer fuzzy lines to encourage posters to not test limits. It forces them to, as I said, adapt.

My warmest regards to the moderators in this instance.

You cited a page called

It’s not their page.
Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.

If one is not crossing a line who cares if one gets close? If close is the problem that should be the line. Now, not being able to articulate a line is a legitimate issue.

And my post got a reaction from you. Getting a reaction is the normal, expected outcome from any post more substantial than “+1”.

You were not warned because your post drew a reaction. You were warned because of the type of post, a post that was the equivalent of a monkey flinging its poo. You would never let others get away with a refutation of a class of examples by a single data point, let alone one so ripped out of context that all meaning from it was extinguished. Your post contributed nothing, allowed of no thoughtful response, and had no substance other than taunting. The clear implication is that you were not trying to make any legitimate argument, but heap scorn on the notion that racism has any place in the discussion. Deny this as you will, but your post speaks much more loudly.

Hey, at least appreciate the irony that if you can judge based on one data point, you can also wind up being judged on one.

You’re really unclear on the concept here.

Octopus, do you have kids? My daughter went through a phase where she thought it was funny to sneak up on the dog while he was sleeping and yank his tail, so we told her to stop that. So she’d sneak up and pull on his legs or ears or poke him, and try to say she was just petting him and anyway she didn’t pull his tail. Then we told her don’t touch the dog while he’s sleeping so she’d either throw things at him or make noise because that wasn’t touching him. Finally we just said do not bother the dog or you will be punished, and we caught her sneaking up on him so she got punished. Of course she cried and whined and said she wasn’t doing anything and didn’t deserve to be punished, and if we let her off she’d never bother the dog again ever.

We could articulate the bright line just fine but it wasn’t until we went to the fuzzy line and made her face the consequences that she learned to leave the dog alone. It sounds like that’s how the moderators are acting in this case.