227. Your Help Needed Defining Rules of New Skeptiko Forum

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Alex

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#1
A new version of the Skeptiko forum has moderators seeking balance between Skeptics and Believers. With the launch of the new Skeptiko forum forum moderators are asking listeners of the show to recommend the level and type of moderation that should be implemented. Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris explains: Alex Tsakiris: As a scientifically oriented podcast [...]

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Alex

Administrator
#2
Ok... here we go. so, I got this baby up and hobbling, but there are bound to be a number of bugs/kinks that need to be hammered out. and then there's the whole moderation thing. pls help me out. tell me what needs fixing. tell me what you like/dislike... and all the rest :)
 
#3
First rule - be a fan of the podcast! Beyond that... well, there's a continuum of positions from accepting every little anomaly as evidence of psi, right through to rejecting the best possible psi studies (with some silliness at either end :) ) and we're all on that line somewhere. On top of the usual courtesies, where you and Andy bisect that line is difficult. Perhaps providing some links to the old forum of the type of posts you want to avoid...? Then we can discuss those and try and word some rules ... {gulp!}

With regards to the wiki situation, as my mum used to say, "two wrongs don't make a right"!
 

Alex

Administrator
#5
1. The font here looks to be Times New Roman 12, and on the old forum Arial 11. Thing is, I hate TNR with a passion because it doesn't read near as easily on screen: it's more suited to paper. Fine if I can change it, but so far I haven't found an option to do that.
ok, changed... I agree it looks better.


2. I find the plain white background garish: again, would be nice if that could be changed. The pale blue of the old forum was very soothing and made for easy reading.
I tried the blue, but I'm not sold on it... I like matching the white on the Skeptiko page... continuity.

I appreciate you want the new forum on your own server Alex, and that's fine and dandy. I just wondered if you couldn't perhaps have used the old forum engine as it had so many useful features--PMs, ignore, etc. Maybe there are features here I haven't yet discovered and it isn't as bare as it looks at first glance.
I'm sure all that stuff is there. poke around and tell me what's missing.
 

Alex

Administrator
#6
First rule - be a fan of the podcast!
agreed... kinda give direction to the conversation. of course, other threads on other topics are fine, but kinda annoying when folks don't listen or read, but feel compelled to discuss the show.

Perhaps providing some links to the old forum of the type of posts you want to avoid...? Then we can discuss those and try and word some rules ... {gulp!}
might be a good idea

With regards to the wiki situation, as my mum used to say, "two wrongs don't make a right"!
not sure I agree... in fact, I almost see it as a litmus test... if someone isn't willing to sign a petition against this type of brown-shirt science, then they're probably just gonna muck things up.
 

Alex

Administrator
#7
I think rule #1 is the most important:



If everyone follows that one - whether skeptic or proponent - the rest should be smooth sailing!
not that easy... hasn't proven true so far. for example, how would you draft the hypothetical Wiki Skeptical silliness petition (mentioned above)?
 
#8
not that easy... hasn't proven true so far. for example, how would you draft the hypothetical Wiki Skeptical silliness petition (mentioned above)?
Well, you know how I tend to feel about your litmus tests Alex! But re: this wiki situation - I've tried to follow up on some of Craig's posts and actually go and track the debates that went on over this Sheldrake page thing - Frankly I couldn't figure out how to find any kind of ongoing conversation! I find navigating wiki talk pages quite confusing personally and tend to give up after a minute or so. I'm not sure how many members have taken the time to review all the relevant posts. I suspect most are relying on Craig's summaries. I'm not taking a position on whether his summaries are accurate or not for the reasons I mentioned above but i certainly wouldn't base a litmus test on them!

Look Alex, I get where you're coming from: you are so convinced by the parapsychological studies and the descriptions of them that you believe anyone who doesn't agree with you is either an ideologue or ignorant or silly, and you can do such a litmus test which will result in all the skeptics leaving the site. But if you go down that road, the road of stifled opinion and enforced points of view - at what point can you no longer call yourself open minded and must admit that what you are doing is instilling a new dogma?

Re: moderation, I think moderation should largely be about enforcing rule #1: treat people with respect. It should almost never be about ideas. If you want to have a litmus test make it about that.
 
#10
If you were going to single out the one thing that separates the good skepticism from the bad skepticism on this site is whether they are defending a skeptical position or not.

Skepticism is not a defensive position. Anyone who continually takes a skeptical position and never varies from it over the course of time is an ideologue and should be booted. Skeptics are either here to learn or they should go to the JREF forum.
 
#11
I notice we have a ratings system. That could be useful in monitoring people who don't seem to be making constructive postings. Not sure if admins have some means of automatically tracking this? At any rate, it's a good way of letting those who are getting up people's noses know that's what they're doing. And on the plus side, of course, it's a quick way of letting people know their posts are appreciated.
 
#12
Well, you know how I tend to feel about your litmus tests Alex! But re: this wiki situation - I've tried to follow up on some of Craig's posts and actually go and track the debates that went on over this Sheldrake page thing - Frankly I couldn't figure out how to find any kind of ongoing conversation! I find navigating wiki talk pages quite confusing personally and tend to give up after a minute or so. I'm not sure how many members have taken the time to review all the relevant posts. I suspect most are relying on Craig's summaries. I'm not taking a position on whether his summaries are accurate or not for the reasons I mentioned above but i certainly wouldn't base a litmus test on them!
I agree. If you go to Wikipedia looking to verify what I just wrote about you'll have a very hard time understanding what is going on. It is very confusing. It takes some time to understand who is who and to at least vaguely understand all the frigging wiki-lawyering that goes on. Since you hang out with other skeptics, perhaps some of them could give you a completely unbiased and objective outline of what is happening on the Sheldrake page.
 
#13
Craig and I agreeing on something! See- there is hope for consensus! :D By the way - I'm curious - which other skeptics are you referring to that I hang out with? Outside of Skeptiko?
 
#14
Craig and I agreeing on something! See- there is hope for consensus! :D By the way - I'm curious - which other skeptics are you referring to that I hang out with? Outside of Skeptiko?
Uh, we had this conversation. Consensus doesn't work on Wikipedia and it doesn't work here. We're not looking for consensus, we're evaluating evidence. As for your other question:
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Craig_Weiler

It was funny, but it was also sad to see that you're on that site.
 
#15
Uh, we had this conversation. Consensus doesn't work on Wikipedia and it doesn't work here. We're not looking for consensus, we're evaluating evidence. As for your other question:
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Craig_Weiler

It was funny, but it was also sad to see that you're on that site.
heh - that's not me. It's that guy who kept pretending to be Eveshi, and some others, sent a bunch of crude PMs to people (including myself). He's apparently decided that I'm worthy of emulating as well. I suppose I should be flattered.
 
#19
Yay! I got a trophy - 1st post! NZ time pays off... Been thinking about all this. Maybe a fair start would be a rule over repetition of the same argument over several posts? Make a point, move on. Others can engage with it or not. This may cut out some of the stuff Alex gets tired of? This could be applied to "skeptical nincompoopery" as well as other types (religious, political, etc)
 
#20
I see a problem with how links are displayed.
The problem is that I don't see the links. See what I did here?
Did you see that "here" above is a link?

It's very inconvenient to not be able to see links in posts. Alex, I hope you can customize it and either underline the links — the established way to decorate hyperlinks — or at least give them a different color.
 
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