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  Can we revert the 0 rep for commenting until the problems have been sorted out?

+ 6 like - 0 dislike

The 0 rep for commenting has been reverted, and I was hoping this would still mean I could comment on Meta and my own questions and answers regardless. I guess Vladimir has the same problem.

So could the 0 rep for commenting be reverted back to what it was, until commenting on Meta and one's own answers and questions has been guaranteed first?

I honestly don't understand why there is such a hurry to introduce the 0 rep right now.


@polarkernel I can't ping you from the comments because I can't comment anywere!

@dilaton the min rep of 0 for commenting anywhere is fine by me. I'm simply saying that until Polarkernel sorts out the following problems, this 0 rep for commenting everywhere should be temporarily removed:

1. I cannot comment on Meta

2. I cannot comment on my own answers. People should be able to comment on their own questions and ALL answers to their questions.

asked Aug 6, 2014 in Feature Request by physicsnewbie (-20 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Aug 7, 2014 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments

Commenting on own questions and answers for users restricted by rep is realized. If you encounter issues with this, please contact or ping me. To realize commenting on Meta for this case is technically much more complicated, give me some time to do this. It would also be helpful if somebody tells me when there are urgent technical requests, I do not always read all the posts on the site.

Shutting people up is not the way to increase activity on the site. I guarantee you that less activity by certain people does not lead to more activity by others. The only way to have discussions here is to let them grow naturally. The process is exponential, but it starts slowly. Just trust the process to work, it really does work.

What does happen, though, is that there is pressure to shut up contrarian people right from the beginning. But unlike the people who are asking you to shut them up, the contrarians are actually contributing stuff to the site that sparks discussion, and this discussion illuminates physics points.

In this particular case, responses to the probing and comments of VK have brought the majority of papers to review, and these include papers of major research interest by Bender on PT electrodynamics, a paper on a new lattice method in simulating QED, and various papers on triviality of somewhat less originality, but also interesting. It also highlighted a few wrong papers, and (constructive) negative reviews are most useful for drawing people in.

It's a slow process because it's a high level site, and people who do this stuff are professionals, and usually have a large amount of professional obligations. The way to compel them to contribute is to make it so that their reputations are enhanced or somehow put at stake, and the reviews section inevitably does this, you just have to let it naturally grow.

So far, I think the participation has been rather surprisingly ok. I don't hear crickets chirping when I come here.

@Dilaton, VK is kinda stubborn, but I simply don't feel VK is a crackpot, he knows serious stuff and he isn't dishonest, although I never had the patience to look in detail into his own theory, I'm judging mostly from his comments and answers. Besides, I wouldn't have got to know some of the papers on triviality if it weren't for VK's activity, I'm actually thankful to him on this aspect. For me personally he is definitely not a driving-me-away force.  

I agree with this, +1, and reverted for now.

@Dilaton It's just temporary, I don't think it will have an observable negative effect, and besides, for Vladimir, he knows of a backdoor, isn't it?

@JiaYiyang Thanks for your opinion (+1), for me, the only concern has been that Vladimir's commenting could discourage users to participate, so if the majority of the community shares your opinion, I guess the change can be reverted permanantly.

@dimension10 Thanks. How long do you think it will take to get the new commenting system working so that you can reintroduce the 0 rep for commenting everywhere again?

Most recent comments show all comments

@Physicsnewbie as the site still has to grow, at present we do neither have stable enough activity yet (gaps of absolutely no activity for 24h occur regularly etc) nor the capability to answer questions of TP.SE kind with a reasonable enough reliability, we can simply not afford keep looking like an unmoderated crackpot forum dominated by the controversial activity of a single user, as it has been the case for the last 3(!) weeks ...

But this is what would immediately happen, if we remove the 0 rep condition.

@Dimension10 the reverting should not be permanent, as the zero rep requirement is generally a good idea. BTW Polarkernel has now solved the second issue ...

4 Answers

+ 6 like - 0 dislike

@physicsnewbie I am very sorry about the inconvenience you had, it was my fault. Q2A sets up rules to convert permissions into pages. It was there I changed the options for 'commentbutton' and 'commentable' to allow negative rep users to comment on own answers. Unfortunately I tested only the visibility of the comment button, but did not click on it. The permission system of Q2A is very distributed so that I did not note that similar permission tests are implemented on further positions in two additional files.The corrections are now made, but not required actually. It was clear, that you couldn't ping me in this situation. However, I am reachable always by a private message from my user profile page. Don't hesitate to contact me there in case of issues, it is open for all registered users

@VladimirKalitvianski Sorry too, your backdoor is now closed, use the front door only :)  Thank you for the hint.

I will not yet implement commenting on Meta for negative rep users until it is required.

answered Aug 7, 2014 by polarkernel (0 points) [ no revision ]

Thanks. It's not a big deal on my end since I see it as just a part of the growing pains of the site. I appreciate, like everyone else here, the effort you and the rest of the guys are putting in to make this site work so well right now.

+ 5 like - 1 dislike

I agree with this, I think it is the least we could do.

I think this "no comment for negative users" feature should be stopped until we get the scoring system sorted out at least, but really, I am extremely disturbed by it, and I think it should be scrapped entirely until it solves an actual problem.

It is grossly unfair to silence people by retroactively changing the scoring system to make their score negative, and then declaring they can't participate because their score is now negative. It's at the very least not what they signed up for, and at the very worst, it can easily lead to political censorship (it already has!).

For example, if a user has a negative accuracy paper, now all that you need to do to shut them up on this site is to upvote the originality on their paper sufficiently, so that their net score is negative.

answered Aug 6, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,720 points) [ revision history ]
edited Aug 6, 2014 by Ron Maimon
+ 0 like - 0 dislike

No, I disagree with this.

Other science sites and fora have even more stringent restrictions for commenting everywhere. On SE it is 50 rep for example.

IMHO demanding zero (non negarive rep) for the privilege to comment everywhere, is a very mild measure that helps to ensure at least a minimal quality and nonsense-freeness of the site. It is not unreasonable to demand that users should have contributed in a net positive way before putting up new scrap or diverting discussions everywhere.

The Q&A part of PhysicsOverflow has always been concepted as some kind of a (lowered-level and broadend scope) revival of TP.SE (or a physics analogue of MO) in the long run. But for really building up the capability to answer a reasonable percentage of the kind of questions as they have been asked on TP.SE (Urs Schreiber's here newly asked questions got not even a single comment) we still have to attract more professional physicists and good serious students, and for this the site has to look some kind of professional.

We are still in the public beta phase which means that things (including requirements for specific permissions apart from features) are not yet completely fixed.

answered Aug 6, 2014 by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
edited Aug 6, 2014 by Dilaton

Other places have more stringent criteria. So fucking what. I'm from USENET, and on USENET, there were absolutely no criteria, so I am comparing everything to that.

The most popular fellow on usenet was this guy: http://www.iw.net/~a_plutonium/ . In comparison, everyone here is both excruciatingly boring and excruciatingly sane.

Serious folks were posting on usenet, side by side with the crazy people. Folks like Terrance Tao, John Baez, Dylan Thurston (also me). The complete freedom was a breath of fresh air, and anytime you trample on the freedom of speech, you lose the benefits of anarchy.

In traditional, pre-internet media, you had serious restrictions on access, because publishing was an economic resource. You needed paper, and ink, and distribution, and these cost a lot of money. Now it's nearly free, like free beer, and that means it can be nearly totally free, as in free speech. Total freedom requires tolerance of eccentricity, it requires a certain ability to ignore noise, but it comes with a benefit that is immeasurable--- the ability to quickly eliminate academic fraud. The biggest obstacle to progress is when everyone implicitly thinks they know something, and this something happens to be false. A crazy person saying "hey, wait, maybe that's not true..." is the first step to removing this obstacle.

But these people always sound equally crazy, whether right or wrong. They are attacked equally hard, and they are the first to lose their right to comment.

To give a famous USENET example, consider the Tannebaum Torvalds debate of 1992. Linus Torvalds had just written a kernel, Linux, and Tannenbaum told him that if Linux had been submitted as a CS project in his class, it would get an F! The reason? It was not based on a microkernel architecture.

Linus torvalds argued that microkernels are STOOPID, and he sounded just like Vladimir Kalitvianski arguing against renormalization, every academic knew for certain that Linus Torvalds was wrong. The only person who defended him was Dennis Ritchie, a very old fellow from the 1970s, one of the designers of the original UNIX, who said that as a matter of practical considerations, monolithic kernels are easier. Ritchie still agreed with the 100% academic consensus that theoretically microkernels are superior.

I want to point out that at the time, Microsoft, Apple, and all the big proprietary Unix houses were talking about microkernels, and Microsoft even claimed that NT was microkernel based! Linus was the only one saying that microkernels are garbage, and he was saying so in a way that made no compromise, and made him an academic pariah.

But not only was Linus practically right, in that Linux is around and working, he was also ACADEMICALLY RIGHT, as was clear to me personally even in 1996, simply from seeing how lightning fast, elegant, and efficient Linux was in comparison to every other operating system. All the CS people who work on compiler design were in this case stupid and deluded! Torvalds more recently explained the detailed academic reason for their delusion in a long series of postings, where he explains how microkernels trade off the complexity of a monolithic kernel with the even worse complexity of message passing and shared memory between the kernel processes. When you ignore message passing requirements, and think only about the theoretical design of one component (as academics tend to do), you easily can delude yourself into thinking microkernel design is better. Only if you write a whole operating system do you realize this is bunk. The academics, since they didn't actually write a whole kernel (unlike Torvalds and Ritchie) deluded themselves by academic groupthink.

Then, lo and behold, after the acedmic consensus began to shift away from microkernels (in 2005 or so), when people figured out some NT internals, it turned out NT wasn't a microkernel at all, that was just corporate hype. Similarly, Apple's OSX, which was supposedly a microkernel answer to Linux, also is monolithic when you look inside, and further, to the extent it makes an effort to look like a microkernel, it suffered from message passing problems and horrible inefficiencies. So Linus Torvalds was dead on right, period.

This is the benefit of openness, a fellow like Linus Torvalds can completely overturn a false consensus. To allow this to happen, you have to tolerate a maverick like Vladimir Kalitvianski, who is attempting to overturn a correct consensus. You don't have to protect consensus opinion from challenge, it is already true that the challenger is powerless by nature, and only being right helps the new opinion gain strength over long periods of time.

Other places are making a ridiculous compromise between USENET style complete openness, and traditional academic closedness. The traditional model is going to die, because it is stupid and inefficient, and leads to consensus of the sort I just described (microkernels). You could see dozens of other such consensuses fall apart all over USENET.

The traditional closed model is dying, and it will die completely, with no compromise. There is the question of which side you are on when it does die.

I am not objecting to standards, I am saying that these standards can and should be used to quarantine offensive stuff to its own space, rather than prevent people from commenting in a blanket restriction. Archimedes Plutonium said certain things that inspire me now, 20 years later.

+ 0 like - 0 dislike

I personally do not have any problem with commenting anything, but it is simply because of my using a backdoor to do it. What depresses me most here is lack of friendly attitude, unhealthy hostility. If I am stupid, then I am mentally challenged. Have a pity on me ;-)

answered Aug 6, 2014 by Vladimir Kalitvianski (102 points) [ revision history ]
edited Aug 6, 2014

@RonMaimon: +1! Freedom is a must. Politeness is a necessity. Loyalty is also desirable.

By the way, watch this clip from a winter school. David Gross says some truth about Wilsonian point of view you all are happy with.

The truth that Gross is saying is known to everyone here, it is clear that theories that are not asymptotically free or asymptotically safe are usually inconsistent in the ultraviolet, or at the very least, flow to something completely different. There are currently zero accepted examples of 4d asymptotically safe theories, and the only theories accepted to be ultraviolet complete are asymptotically free theories like QCD, and string theory.

The inconsistency of quantum electrodynamics in the deep ultraviolet is Landau's triviality, it is not controversial. It also is not a mistake of bad mathematics, of leaving out a term or writing the equations wrong, or something like this, it is an actual physical change in the theory at short distances, when the coupling becomes large. But string theory makes it pointless to try to fix the theory, because the scale at which it breaks down for triviality reasons is so much higher than the scale at which gravity kicks in to turn it into string theory.

There is nothing that Gross says that anyone would disagree with here, and the Wilsonian point of view does not claim to produce a continuum theory in those cases where the theory is not asymptotically free or asymptotically safe.

@RomMaimon, Dilaton, dimension10: Guys, I mentioned D. Gross not to discuss physics here, but to defend myself with help of D. Gross. Sorry, if you took me wrong. I think my "reputation" here has been on purpose made highly negative to exclude my participation.

No, your reputation decreased because of the change to allow participation in reviews to beget more reputation, after all your rep was already negative. The change in commenting permissions, though, was with you in mind (though not really to "exclude" it). Anyway, the change is reverted for now, but please keep my message in mind!

@dimension10: VK was at +4 rep before the change, last I checked. Perhaps it was negative, but then it was negative for about 24 hours before the change. He is now at -200something.

@RonMaimon I think it was already negative, but maybe - but the change in submission points was not to stop Vladimir, only the commenting permissions.

@dimension10: I remember well - it was positive and changed suddenly to a very negative number (-279). But let us forget this.

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