Resignation of Ron Maimon as moderator

+ 1 like - 1 dislike
2718 views

I am afraid that this site is about to close down. As it is important to me, and I think I have done all I need to do as moderator, I am stepping down. I will hope that Jia, Dimension10, and whoever else wishes to moderate will keep the site open and uncensored, in line with policy. I was not forced in any way into doing this, I am doing this deliberately, out of my own free will, so as to demonstrate by example how to have limited moderators, and what to do when there is conflict regarding your own moderatorship actions. Also, I am not a freaking dictator. I hope others can do the same, for the good of the site. Jia can take over at least as well as me, for sure--- he has more votes than me at the moment anyway, counting Dilaton's retraction. I will wait to reapply at least 1 full year. Honesty compels me to admit that I do feel coerced into this by the implicit threat that the site will be closed and all the academic contributions to date will disappear. Maybe in a year the other moderators and owner will appreciate the decisions I made more than they currently do, as they were really for the best interest of the site. That's not really my opinion, they will come to see that it is an objective fact.

asked Jan 30, 2015
edited Mar 24, 2015

-1, no you shouldn't step down. Downvote retracted after Ron's explanation.

They didn't have such a strategy, and they are all ok people and they don't coordinate malicious action purposefully, only by happenstance and individual mistakes, like the usual stupidity in organizations of multiple people.

This is a free choice. I could stay on indefinitely. I'll ask for modship in 2016 sometime, if there's a desire or need. The folks here are going to do a good job, I have physics to do on the site, only physics, no more politics, period, at least until 2016. I think the policies will be good now, what could possibly happen that's worse than what's already happened?

It's no good to have one person that others think is pulling strings and trying to get powerful, and I swear to God I do not want to be Napoleon Bonaparte. I'm stepping down, that's it. This is a community run site, and I trust the community. Besides, I only have 1 net vote on the mod pages (or 0 votes if you consider Dilaton's retraction as a downvote), and that means as may people dislike me as like me enough to vote on it.

I am not going to change my mind, and this is not a tactic or a plea for people to beg me to stay on as moderator, so I can go "aw shucks, you love me". I mean it, it's a good idea, and don't be stupid. Do you really think there's going to be an orgy of bad nonsense? Do you think Jia is going to be ok with that? Dim10? I trust the community.

This is really to set an example for rotating modship, so trusted members of the community take turns being mods, as we discussed at the beginning of the site. We always planned on doing it sometime, now is a good time to start, and I'm going to be the one that starts it, because hey, I did it first.
@vzn, I agree that some of the issues happened can be best handled behind the scenes, but what you are seeing here is a continuation of a rightfully exposed issue, people have the right to know what is happening, so your comment is not particular well suited to this thread, so -1. To me, openness is the one thing that sets us apart from stackexchange, if they think it's laughable, so be it.
Hi @vzn, if you tried to vote on answers, this does not yet work for you as it needs 50 rep. If you have specific suggestions about how to improve the interface, it is best to ask a new feature request in the corresponding meta subcategory.
@vzn regarding comments bumping the post to the top, yes, there is a reason for this - on SE, they consider comments to be "second - class citizens", but here they are treated just in par with questions or answers.
think any time anyone refers to themselves in 3rd person as in title of this post, its a slightly weird phrasing. also "openness" & "airing dirty laudry" are different & the distinction is quite worth preserving/ respecting.

other topic: am unable to vote on the below answers. clicking on buttons nothing happens. is there a reason for that or is it a bug? if it is by design, it would be better if it were more obvious why. this site software needs some attn to detail, is anyone changing the code/ configuration? also is there a rationale for mere comments pushing posts to the top of the queue, in strong contrast to stackexchange where they have no effect on queue reordering?
@vzn: The third-person reference to myself in the title is respectful toward people like you who want to read an unambiguous title and know what it means. There is no difference between the type of openness required on public sites like this and "airing dirty laundry", they are pretty much the same thing--- refusal to air dirty laundry in this case would mean hiding behavior that needs to be public. It also is the case that administrators and users have a difference in power and knowledge, and the users need to know everything to make an informed vote. Regarding the comments bumping posts, in a site with few eyeballs, you can't have comments posted unnoticed, the site will fill up with spam. Stackexchange has more eyeballs per-post at present, and when PO has equally many eyeballs per post, this behavior presumably can be changed.

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

Maybe in a year the other moderators and owner will appreciate the decisions I made more than they currently do, as they were really for the best interest of the site.

I already do. Yes you caused quite some unease on the meta section, but what you have done is objectively correct, when it comes to site management at least(i.e. modulo the capitalized cursing I personally don't endorse), so why should you step down? I very very strongly oppose this. Ok, it seems you are pretty determined, and I kinda see where you are coming from. But I sincerely hope to see you active on the site soon.

answered Jan 30, 2015 by (2,640 points)
edited Jan 30, 2015
To set an example, as Dilaton thinks I was trying to take the site away for my own personal power. I can't demonstrate that this is not so without renouncing moderatorship, and I don't want the site to die under any circumstances. I'll be an ordinary user, and I can come back in 2016. Please do a good job, Jia, you're already in.
Don't be ridiculous, nobody made me do this. It's a good idea to have rotating mods, and it's your turn now. Really. Otherwise this nonsense can become a cult of personality, and I won't get any physics done here. The policies are good, and probably uncorruptible, at least for the next 12 months, and even if they are corruptible, your turn to fix it.
@RonMaimon, you misunderstood me, I'm not saying other moderators are doing it to you. I'm just saying "because...thinks...is seeking power" shall not be a reason or even a contributing factor at all for a moderator to leave, that's too easy and too cheap a reason. Only Actions Matter！

You don't get it I THINK ALL MODS SHOULD STEP DOWN AFTER A YEAR not just me. I am setting a good example.

@ron maimon Well as long as the current mods get to volunteer themselves again, so that we don't end up in the embarrassing situation where there's no nominations!
@ron maimon a moderator just moderates the content; I don't see why they can't remain on for more than a year as long as they do a good job.
@physicsnewbie: Every member that gets to be moderator becomes ten times more committed to the success of the site, the more the merrier.
+ 0 like - 0 dislike
After reading this post, your email, and everything many times, I still don't get why you're stepping down. Not having enough votes in the nomination doesn't matter after you're elected. If someone has a problem with your moderation, they'll submit a moderator review for you. There's no need to step down.
answered Jan 30, 2015 by (1,975 points)

I am stepping down, the decision is final, I except to be stripped of my mod buttons immediately, and do it already. It's not a punishment, it's a relief. I trust the remaining mods. Also, I trust Dilaton better now that I sorted out my pronoun trouble (not trust to administrate, but trust as a person). We don't have a "moderator review"--- I expect a moderator to resign voluntarily when the votes on the moderatorship have been retracted to the point where they are net negative, and I am not waiting for that, I am going to step down while I am at 0, not -1. We all wanted rotating modship anyway, let's implement it now. It will also help heal the bad blood, and let me do something other than get headaches about moderation issues.

@dimension10: It's stable enough, Jia will be great, whoever you add on will be great, and if you make more mods, you get more traffic, as the people who trust the new mods join and feel comfortable.
+1000!
@RonMaimon Done.
@RonMaimon Yes, it's normal. "Moderate" can be accessed by anyone (it's for 100+ rep users), certain tabs on "Admin" are accessible to registered users with enough rep, but anyway, all the links are present, for everyone.
@polarkernel: Please, unmod me. I look really stupid now, doing administrative stuff (I just unhid a comment).
@polarkernel: Nothing changed in my user-experience--- I still see "moderate" and "admin tools". Is that normal? (Ok, I see I can't hide others' comments-- good. Thanks)
+ 2 like - 2 dislike
Ron, yes I think you should step down as moderator because the position currently undermines your integrity, values, honesty and way of expressing yourself that's currently causing too much conflict within the trio of Polarkernel, Dimension10, Dilaton.

Without these three guys there would be no physicsoverflow.org and it's important that no one here causes any of them to leave, until they can be replaced which isn't currently an option.

Like you, I'm disappointed with the way the politics of the site has changed over the past year, and I don't blame you for stepping down as moderator; just so long as you don't leave because some of us are relying on you to keep up the criticism so that the site doesn't steer too much off its original course.

Because of the low level of traffic; two moderators should be enough.
answered Jan 30, 2015 by (-20 points)
Now that the administration is honest, the traffic won't be low. Yet another reason to let someone else do the administration.
@Ron Maimon the traffic will always be low here because it's physics, and at a level graduate and above. If anything, the traffic has probably increased slightly over the past two weeks or so because of the conflict that some will find entertaining and strangely addictive ;)
@physicsnewbie: They come for the conflict, they stay for the physics. Hasn't this also been your experience these past few years?
@Ron maimon I come for mainly the physics, but the politics that goes on here can be just as fascinating to watch; especially since it's sincere and honest and not generated for the sake of generating it. If not much seems to be going on, I'll click on the activity page of interesting users such as you, VK, Arnold etc to see what you've been up to here.

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