• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


PO is now at the Physics Department of Bielefeld University!

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

205 submissions , 163 unreviewed
5,075 questions , 2,226 unanswered
5,347 answers , 22,743 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
818 active unimported users
More ...

  Decaying votes?

+ 0 like - 1 dislike

There is an issue of frozen voting, which comes up when a site is running for ten years or more. After a while, the initial consensus is frozen, even if new information comes to light. This is a standard problem on websites--- the first round is great, then with time, it is clear the site is frozen at the point of creation, and cannot respond to new things.

For example, in 1998, the "Large Extra Dimension" papers had an enormously huge citation count, and would get a lot of positive upvotes (some negative ones too). But then, over time, you have more votes, and consensus on them shifts.

Perhaps it would be useful to have a time-limit on votes, so that they expire after, say, 4 years?

It's an idea, I am not sure I support it, but there needs to be a way to make a fluid consensus process, which allows automatic response to new information and doesn't ossify old consensus permanently.

asked Mar 7, 2014 in Discussion by Ron Maimon (7,730 points) [ no revision ]

I don't agree with this idea, because then users, at least people like me, would set an alarm for 4 years, to re-vote on all the posts, again. What I mean to say is, people care about their votes too much, that they will continue to hold the beliefs after 4 years, and they wouldn't like it if the votes got erased. There would also be havoc in users' reputations.          

Is it not enough when new information/knowledge gets continuously upvoted in accordance with the understanding people have when it gets posted, and work considered good once keeps its votes but naturally is no longer discussed too much when proven wrong today? I personally dont see a need to remove votes or even downvote papers on phenomenological models that have been excluded by the LHC now. Their being excluded today does not chance the fact that they have been fair good honest workwhen discussed the first time.

The large extra dimensions were not "fair good honest work", any theorist, even a beginning student, could see they were completely idiotic in <20 seconds, and was browbeaten by other theorists into shutting up about it. This was the single most shameful political event in physics since atoms were rejected in the 1880s. Before this happened, I thought this kind of nonsense couldn't happen in physics anymore.

I should say, this is probably not necessary, since if this site were up in 1998, the models could have been killed in about three days, this is how long it took me to convince myself they were total crap.

Ok, then, how about 4 years after the users death or leaving the site?

@RonMaimon, It doesn't make sense, the user still has his opinions! And how are you going to make sure that the user has really left, or really died (left, according to Erdos : ) ... ) anyways ?  

I thought maybe that 4 years after a vote is placed, the user could recieve alerts asking him to review the vote, and see if he still likes to keep it, or change it, but I  realised that would mean hundreds of alerts a day for each user, also it will be probably too difficult to do technically.      

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
Please complete the anti-spam verification

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights