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There seems to be a lot of off-topic commenting on the thread How do we revive PhysicsOverflow; please continue your discussions here. This includes discussions about the accuracy of Vladimir Kalitvianski's papers on renormalisation alternatives, and also those about moderator actions.

asked Feb 1, 2015 in Chat
edited Mar 5, 2015

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Vladimir, you refuse to see that your posts contain glaring scientific errors, for example, the replacement of the vector potential A(x) by A(0) through a mode-expansion, outside of the dipole approximation, and the claim that it is valid at high-energies. I think all your posts have been treated fairly by users (not moderators), and when the errors disappear, so will the downvotes. But we can disagree on that, no problem, time will sort out everything. On moderation, we are in complete agreement.
answered Feb 1, 2015 by (7,535 points)
edited Feb 1, 2015

@RonMaimon: I never claimed that my dipole approximation was valid at high energies. I considered a non relativistic case with the photon spectrum truncated. It was sufficient to demonstrate the main idea since the contributions of high-energy excitations are obviously small. I do not have a full-fledged relativistic theory yet.

And I meant downvotes of administrators, not yours. By the way, you first thought I wrote a complete bullshit, but later on you started to understand it better, agree. (But this is already off-topic here.)

@VladimirKalitvianski: My opinion about it hasn't changed at all, except that I understand your mathematical idea now. I don't like your criticism of renormalization, same as everyone else, but I understand what you are doing now, and there is potentially something interesting, just nothing to do with relativistic renormalization. It deserves a critical scientific review, not administrative harrassment.

It deserves a critical scientific review, not administrative harrassment.

Exactly. Review and a discussion preceding it to have a reasonable review in the end. I have to have a possibility to explain what brings me to think the way I think.

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Leave comments alone, and move them to chat if off topic. If they are really off topic, say "I propose to hide these or move to chat" (and ask the posters which). Let the authors and participants decide, not the moderator. Comment deletion happened on stackexchange and it bugged the hell out of me, as the moderators are not always aware of the subtext in a comment. My preference is to leave most things alone, and only move obviously and completely off-topic stuff that even the posters agree is off-topic

answered Feb 1, 2015 by (7,535 points)

@RonMaimon re:deleting-comments I agree with that. My point was about how the community moderation threads should be used for clearly deletable comments, meaning worthless ones.

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I personally don't think that the "censorship problem" is the reason why the site's activity is low. There has been exactly one case of censorship, and it was publicly apologised for. On most other forums, such cases of censorship happen dozens of times, daily. I find it far-fetched that anyone would silently leave the site, without any comments whatsoever, because of one mistake, albeit a blunderous one. Also, the low activity predates the "censorship problem".
answered Feb 1, 2015 by (1,955 points)
@dimension10: Apparently you did not learn the lesson. Why somebody would step in if he was seeing how helpless were my complaints? Did you forget what a reputation you created for me personally? A lier, a dishonest person, a crackpot, a spammer, etc. I am sure nobody wanted to share such a reputation with me (but Ron).

It was not one case, but a perpetual fight against me, with your active participation.

My account is not completely restored. I have no right to vote your comments, for example. Etc.
@VladimirKalitvianski You never were able to vote on comments, etc.; you had a negative reputation, now it's zero. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your account not being completely restored, as you requested account deletion.
@dimension10: I see. This is how you help revive PO.

@dimension10: The claim made for this site was that moderation here would be different. That it would not be censorious. This was simply not my experience. It takes a long time for bias to turn into actual abuse, and the bias is apparent long before the abuse starts. I stopped contributing science exactly when I sensed the potential for abuse starting, and this was the same time that Arnold left, and so on. None of us saw explicit abuse, so none of us would say this is why we stopped contributing, but it was definitely the reason for me. PhysicsNewbie also states he is disappointed with the moderators, and I had wall messages of disappointment starting three months ago. I myself was disappointed, but waited it out, to see how the moderators dealt with Vladimir. You all get an F, including you Dimension10. You should have noticed the problem, and you should not have joined in. Also you should stop blaming VK for his deletion, but restore the account properly, reattaching the posts (another reason not to be administrator--- you broke it, you fix it). He unfortunately will still not be able to vote, because of the negative rep, but that's a scientific issue caused by users voting, and has nothing to do with administration.

As a user (not administrator), I felt the intervention of moderators constantly, of myself (I know it sounds paradoxical, but moderator-me would constantly get on the nerves of user-me), you, and Dilaton, constantly poking our noses into scientific disputes instead of letting them develop. Scientists secretly don't mind squabbling with ignorant people, they say it's a punishment, but they keep coming back for more. It's much easier than squabbling with someone who is not ignorant.

When I was moderator, when I called someone's argument ridiculous, it carried absurd potential for administrative bias, for example, when I was arguing with Marco Frasca. Now, I can say whatever I want.

Please stop blaming Vladimir for this. Go home and write "None of this was his fault" 100 times on a chalkboard or something.

+1000!

He unfortunately will still not be able to vote, because of the negative rep, but that's a scientific issue caused by users voting, and has nothing to do with administration.

I do not think I must have a negative reputation. This reputation is highly artificial and unfair giving lack of the corresponding reviews. The "open reviewing system" needs perfection badly. (Don't want a number, I have got a name.)

Also, I would like to explain my position (reasoning) on several questions, but I really hesitate whether it is worth doing, seeing how fast my posts get negative scores with no discussions. Voting down is not doing physics. Discussions are more appropriate for that.

@Ron: I didn't leave, I just had a period with very little time. (Contributing significantly to PO is very time-consuming.) Concerning my views on the issue of censorship see my answer here.

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I agree with @RonMaimon and with dimension10. Could you, please move my post to Chat so that I could give my answer to this question? You have already given your opinions and closed the question without letting me express myself.

I do not see any yellow mark when my comments are answered. I also want to have a minimum positive reputation. Please, give me some credit for that.

answered Feb 1, 2015 by (32 points)

As for reputation, sorry, you don't ask for reputation points, your original account had a greatly negative reputation, now it's zero. Your negative reputation is because of voting. Voting is not a moderator action, but a user action.
I will not write in the category "Closed questions". Nobody visits this category and I even did not know that it existed.
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(Referring to the downvote on this answer)

A downvote? What the hell? It seems that people are more interested in kicking out Dilaton, which is still an active thread, than actually doing something to save the site. In fact, the downvoter seems to be actively against doing anything to save the site. Now don't tell me this is related to my reply to VK above, or something silly like that. @downvoters Please explain yourselves.

answered Feb 1, 2015 by (1,955 points)
@dimension10: Dilaton should have stepped down the moment the wrongdoing was uncovered. If Dilaton truly cared about the site, not just being in total control, Dilaton would have stepped down already, and we would have no moderation issues. You can't enshrine administrator impunity.

I don't know which comment was downvoted, but my only downvote is to the comment I am responding to. The downvote was probably over denying Vladimir the right to vote in the moderation thread.

@dimension10: Oh, that was me, downvoting your first statement "the only mistake that occured was the editing out of 'a' comment(s)". The deletion and harrassment has been continuously happening in many threads over many months, and it is an outrageous lie to claim that it happened exactly once, a lie that you are repeating here. Vladimir gave you another example of a deleted comment on the Weinberg thread, and it should be an easy matter to check which comments were edited by Dilaton--- comment edits are probably logged too. Dilaton should have told you exactly how many of these there were, but Dilaton didn't. Because Dilaton is a dishonest person who is seeking to minimize political fallout. That is simply not acceptable, this is not a politician site, this is a physics site, and people are expected to operate in complete honesty.

The deletion was not the only, or even the main, mistake, as the person affected asked, pleaded and begged for it to stop or even just for the actual fact of deletion to be acknowledged, (Dilaton: please say what you have done ... etc, etc) and Dilaton deliberately refused to even acknowledge it had been done, and used you as a puppet to lie about it constantly, and say it was not done, to make the person affected look crazy. All deliberately.

The main mistake is Dilaton's deliberate, unconsciounable, lying, not the action itself. An honest discussion (even without me, just among yourselves) would have sorted out the action and resolved it in 10 minutes. But there was no discussion, because Dilaton simply lied to you and still continues to try to lie and minimize this.

When a mistake is lied about, it stops being a mistake. It becomes deliberate, in this case, sadistic, abuse of moderation power. I have never seen anything like it on other sites, even when they are doing crappy things, they at least make an attempt to give a semblence of being even-handed. There is no sincere apology for either the action or the lying, there is not even a sincere acknowledgement of wrongdoing, as Dilaton minimizes it, and still lies about it, mostly to Dilaton's own self, so there is no forgiveness.

I initially upvoted this because I didn't read the first half of the first sentence properly. Your gullibility is a total disease that you need to get rid of. Without the second half of the first sentence, I +1'd.

@RonMaimon Oh, so you seriously want to continue to divert even this discussion towards the squabble. Alright, I removed that first sentence, it was tuned to the original phrasing of the question.

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(Referring to the title of the original question)

I request that the title of the question be changed to something with a more positive outlook, now that the squabble has died out, to something like How do we revive PhysicsOverflow?. This will also help focus answers to the real intent of the question, as opposed to repeating issues about the squabble.

answered Feb 1, 2015 by (1,955 points)
@dimension10 I have changed the title of my question. The revival of PhysicsOverflow was really my major concern. Thank you for this suggestion.
I have removed the threat to close the site from my question. It was an overreaction, as I have been very frustrated at the time I posted this question. I apologize for this. I will not close the site and have no intention to do it in the future. I know this threat is poison to the site, any suspicion that it will not survive will hinder the users to come back. The moderators my feel free to hide or remove any trace of it, including this comment.

@RonMaimon The content of PhysicsOverflow is owned by the site and by the users. Our license would oblige me to provide a data dump of the content publicly available, similar to what has been done (to the fortune of our site) for SE.TP.
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You must know that I vote against Dilaton with all my heart. Please, count my vote. @Dilaton, step down.
answered Feb 1, 2015 by (32 points)
@VladimirKalitvianski You need to 500 rep to vote on that thread, because it's in the "Community Moderation" section.
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I agree with Ron about everything. In fact, Ron did his best to save the site. It is too early to judge.

Of course, regular intervention of Dilaton in my conversations with other users distracted us and hindered the very discussions. I have suspended my participation several times - to than extent I was disappointed with Dilaton and dimension10. Now, I hope, the atmosphere became healthier and more attractive to participants. Now we may advertise the site without shame.

@polarkernel: We all are grateful to you, really. Do not give up. Soon, everything will be much better.

(By the way, the anonymity of Dilaton is a myth. Even I found his name on internet. Besides, anonymity of an elected ruler does not look democratic.)
answered Feb 1, 2015 by (32 points)

The anonymity of an elected ruler does not look democratic - Firstly, administrator, not ruler. Secondly, how is this related to democracy at all?

@dimension10: Indeed, an administrator is not a ruler and election has nothing to do with democracy. And if seriously, I thought we had already sorted this matter out.
@VladimirKalitvianski I was asking, what does anonymity have to do with democracy? Democracy means "the will of the people", anonymity means "you don't know who this person is". Exactly, I too thought this matter was sorted out, which is why bringing it up again is quite silly.
@dimension10: If you have the ability to decide which posts to hide, move, delete, or edit, you are de-facto ruler of the text. For any academic contributor you have the sacred obligation to act in good-faith, with complete honesty, and without favoring any author, regardless of your opinions. Anonimity is good for the referees, not the editors, because the editor judgements are not supposed to be judgements of the type of a scientific review, but only neutral considerations regarding what to do with text. The moderators need to stop doing both jobs, or at least, do the administration while wearing an "administrator" hat, and the scientific refereeing with a "common user" hat. It's not an easy feat to do, and I overstepped the bounds a couple of times early on, alienating two users. I recognized my mistake, and apologized to both of them.
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when you host some real, actual, content they can't get elsewhere. That means a new result, actual physics.

Exactly! It means allowing to discuss research ideas and results. That's what I hoped on when I came here.

answered Feb 1, 2015 by (32 points)

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