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  Can we create a community user?

+ 5 like - 1 dislike
2840 views

Questions such as this:

http://www.physicsoverflow.org/12471/software-programs-physics-diagrams-their-relative-merits

should belong to a generic user,  so no rep. The answers should be similar, perhaps they should be merged into one, owned by the same user, so no one gets rep.

This is in lieu of community wiki, if we can do that, even better.

asked Apr 11, 2014 in Feature Request by Ron Maimon (7,720 points) [ no revision ]
recategorized Apr 11, 2014 by dimension10

No, they have some similar in spirit posts (which are of gneral interest for the community) on MathOverflow and they had some on TP.SE, so I disagree with them being any problem here as they always claim on Wikipedia ...

I will not accept a nonsense crap question like this at +84. It's not appropriate. It should be at +0, and the answers at +0. The votes should not give anyone rep, it's a nonsense way to get rep.

3 Answers

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

Ron raises a good point under my previous answer, so I decided to post another answer. 

Maybe we should have a separate category, called "Community Wiki", and the same procedures that polarkernel did to zero meta reputation could be used on this subcategory too. We could use the category description to describe that this is for resources, and references, and other recommendations, on all of the topics allowed in Q&A.

Then, it will take less than an hour for us to recategorise the existing questions, and all new posts on these will go into this category too. 

I initially thought of this a while back, but I didn't understand the argument for zeroing the reputation for CW, anyway. 

Other uses of CW allowed by the StackExchange software, e.g. posting others' comments as an answer, can be done through the Comment2Answer plug-in, and even if another user decides to post others' comments as an answer, the author of the post can be changed by polarkernel's plugin Correct User.    

answered Apr 11, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]

Could the downvoter explain what they had a problem with? Do they generally disagree with Ron's statement that the "community-wiki"-style questions should not contribute to reputation? Or do they specifically disagree with my proposal of making them a separate category?  

Sorry I meant to downvote your the other answer where you disagreed zeroing the rep. Corrected

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

Although I wouldn't say the linked post is not appropriate for our site, but getting +84*5 reputation for such question is not appropriate.

I agree with Yvan Velenik's comment that it is generally the case that easier question and answers get more upvotes than hard and esoteric ones, well, simply because more people can understand the easy ones. In fact I have to say this is a reponsible attitude: only up/downvote the ones you understand.

To some degree I don't care too much about slight imbalances, but +84 is really scary.

answered Apr 12, 2014 by Jia Yiyang (2,640 points) [ no revision ]
+ 1 like - 2 dislike

There already exist some bots, like SchrodingersCatVoter, which could be used for such a purpose.  

But there will be many such posts; it will be a huge burden on the mods to continuously merge the posts, and change their author.  

Also, many such posts will often contain personal opinions, which do involve effort.  

Such posts do contribute to the site, so their authors deserve the reputation.  

Also, how will we keep a record of who-posted-what. ?  

answered Apr 11, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]
Most voted comments show all comments

It does degrade the site somewhat, every cheap way of getting rep is a strike against the real effort of answering meaty questions. For example, on mathoverflow, I solved a real unsolved problem there, a reasonably hard one (can the double-dual of this space be equal to itself in the absence of choice --- link: http://mathoverflow.net/questions/49351/does-the-fact-that-this-vector-space-is-not-isomorphic-to-its-double-dual-requir ), it was unsolved for a while, the question was at around +30, my method was completely original. I got "+6" from this, a big shot logician extended my answer a little (and cleaned up the method) and got "+8", while some person who writes "read this book" gets +100. It's completely lopsided, and it is a disincentive. I was really dejected at getting so few votes for so much original thinking, I essentially stopped posting after that. I don't mind if these silly questions are community wiki, but it's really annoying to have them get rep, because these are cheap vote-getters, because people need these answers, and they are much easier than answering a tough question with something original.

I don't know what you have to be worried about. It is good to have disagreements, it makes for debate and progress. I am not dogmatic, and the reviews will make everything better.

That's not Ron's point, I think. Rather, all the (trivial!) answers to the question mentioned in the OP have much more votes than substantially harder answers on harder questions. Also, it is easy to find highly upvoted questions/answers involving minimal amount of work from their authors... All this is really a drawback of the SE-like voting mechanisms...

It was my downvote, I removed it. The motivations really don't matter at all. It makes no difference whether a user wants to help the site or gum it up, the site should work regardless. The important thing is to keep the eye on the ball: you want to get an academic site working properly, allowing simple questions with some reputation gain, allowing difficult unsolved problems with more reputation gain, and allowing full blown academic contributions with proper reviews which get the most reputation gain. This is how academic systems work (when they do work) and stackexchange systems in the past have not been good at doing this, although if we don't screw things up, we can do it properly for the first time.

I don't think this is necessary, the stuff on Q&A should not turn into research without going into reviews, since if it is research, it needs to be fully vetted by the community, not by the off-chance of someone competent reading it by accident as has been done in the past.

The reason you got a downvote (not from me) is because you accuse people of clueless voting. I haven't seen a single clueless vote here yet, and it is insulting without basis. The clueless voting occurs on other sites, but we can deal with it easily, because we have no niceness rules, so if a wrong answer is present, believe me, it will get hostile comments (What the #*$$## ??? This answer is total #$@) #%$ !!! ) and downvotes, and downvotes here negate upvotes entirely, so there is no danger.

@physicsnewbie:  Everyone here knows what they are talking about! Your attemts at social manipulation are transparent, please, cut that shit out, it's really annoying and its the reason your comments get downvotes.

That question is FINE, the problem is that it is unanswerable, not that it is gibberish, because the action is a perfect derivative, so that there is no theory. This is a common confusion people have, thinking that a "topological theory" is a theory where the action is topologically invariant. That's not so, because a topologically invariant action leads to a nonsense path integral. A topological theory is a theory where the analog of correlation functions are invariant to coordinate changes which preserve the topological structure of the insertion-like objects, the canonical example is Witten's 2+1 d Chern-Simons theory. These are gravitational-like, they are invariant under coordinate change, after path integrating, except without integrating over metrics. The action itself is not obviously invariant under coordinate changes, it's not a topological invariant before path integrating.

My complaint was that the question was taking this non-fact for granted, that a topological theory has a topologically invariant action, then, given this misunderstanding, it naturally and understandably took a topological invariant and tried to use it as an action ( a topological invariant whose formal expression resembles the Chern Simons action). It made a simple error in transcribing this action in 1d, not the OP's fault, the correct transcription is obviously nonsense as an action, and OP assumed it should make sense, so found a wrong expression for it.

The question further assumed that a Schwarz style TFT meant something other than what it means, and it was a mass of legitimate, sincere, understandable confusions, which should be answered and clarified, not ignored.

The issue was that it was next to impossible for me personally to answer, not that it was a bad question. It deserves more than its three upvotes, it's a great question, if only because it makes you think precisely about what it means to have a TFT and why genuine topological invariants don't make good actions.

The real problem with that question is that I butchered it by editing, and this was wrong. I should have left it as it was, and answered the question by explaining why the assumptions behind the questions are incorrect. I was trying to take the easy path and answer the question by editing the phrasing to remove the hidden assumption, but this is not possible without OP's cooperation, and I shouldn't have done that unilaterally. It was a terrible mistake, I won't do it anymore, it is important to respect the questions as they are.

I do stupid things all the time. People here pointedly disagree people when they say stupid things, and thankfully, they upvoted the question and got pissed off at my inappropriate comments and edits.

Most recent comments show all comments

@ron As someone who knows what he's talking about, you had issues with this question, yet it got three upvotes? Don't you think that some people are voting on anything that has the right jargon here, but haven't a clue whether it's pretentious gibberish or not?

@ron I feel like you, Dilaton and Dimension10 are ganging up on me, just because I'm concerned about the way this site is run: "Your attemts at social manipulation are transparent, please, cut that shit out, it's really annoying and its the reason your comments get downvotes."

Thanks for the rest of the reply.

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