Tales from the moderating garage

Everything about this website and its content. Here you will find update announcements or requests for feedback. Questions about layout, functionality, content, and your suggestions are welcome.
xpensive
xpensive
378
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:06 pm
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

WhiteBlue wrote:Criticising someone for "pulling calculations out of someone's posterior" should be legitimate language where it applies IMO. Mathematics, quantifying or calculus may be the preferred way of putting points across on this forum, but it isn't a guarantee for objectivity or physically correct results in forum contributions.
...
I can fully understand that this can be seen as an appropriate position to take for those posters who never ever bothered to pull any calculations from wherever and whatsoever. Things are a little different for us engineers however, calculations is the natural way for us to xplain a certain phenomena, why we resent having our posts commented in such a derogatory fashion.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"

User avatar
WhiteBlue
124
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

I will give an example of a bogus calculation:

Someone calculates the energy that goes out of the tail pipe of an F1 car. Let's assume he did all his reckoning correctly. Now he plugs the energy figure he arrives at into the equation of the sound energy and comes up with an horrendous sound level.

His calculation will be correct but his physical model is not correct because he forgot the other energies that are included in the exhaust stream.

I can politely point out that I think he made a mistake in his physical model. But what can I do if he doesn't understand the physics and how to do an energy balance? If he continues to be pig headed about it I may have to be a bit more robust I think.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

xpensive
xpensive
378
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:06 pm
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

That is a very good point WB, but let me give you a counter xample, one of the forum's more ambitious young posters once claimed that thermal xpansion of metal could be physically constrained in one direction and simply xpanded in the other, without bothering or realizing the gargantuan stress this practice would cause.

It was easy to prove him wrong with basic stress-elongation calculations showing that the component would yield directly.

I can assure you it was rather frustrating to read said member's arrogant comments, along the lines xamplified by strad,
to simple and accepted calculations which should be obvious to anyone on a technical forum.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"

User avatar
WhiteBlue
124
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

I think you just reinforced the point I was making. It is laudable to attempt quantifying engineering phenomena. But doing that isn't sufficient to guarantee your objectivity or your correctness, neither is the support of other members. Engineering has nothing to do with democratic decision making or politeness. The bloody thing will break or bite you in the ass some other way if you got it wrong. :lol:

Edited for a grammar faults
Last edited by WhiteBlue on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

xpensive
xpensive
378
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:06 pm
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

WhiteBlue wrote: ...
Engineering has nothing to do with democratic decision making or politeness.
...
This is incidentally one of my favorite xpressions WB, my American confreres hated it, but my Austrian such loved it!
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"

Pup
Pup
119
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

Tomba wrote:strad, Pup, interesting that you remove who that quote is from, but fortunately I know :) Since I am Mr Mod-Dude in this case, just a minor clarification.

Mr Post-Dude was warned for his behaviour towards other posters in his post, not for the particular use of "posterior". In fact he said "at least I'm not pulling calculations out of my posterior". Well, poeple who invest the time to calculate things for verification should be applauded, and not be patronized like this. It's just basic decency.
Well, I just pulled the quote from strad's.

Post - not posterior.

Just to be clear.

And decent, basically.

But I did look to find where it came from, and in this case I have to say that pulled-from-the-posterior is about as accurate a description as can be found. The person in question has been parading that specious number about for a week now as if it were God's Own Truth, and no amount of civil discussion nor evidence to the contrary has had any effect on his devotion to it. A common problem here, you might note.

Satire and ridicule are long accepted tools in debate. And when dealing with stubbornness, they're often the only effective tool you have.

In fact, I think this wiki entry, and most of the works found in it (by authors who, I assume, would never be allowed to post here), should be required reading for any moderator here...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire

And if you're going to start pulling posts for not being decent toward other's ideas, then may I suggest that you could effectively ban at least one member here just by pulling any post that begins and ends with an insult.

His direct insults (current favorite: 'you obviously didn't read...') remain here for perpetuity, by my own light hearted rebuttals are often pulled, simply because they employ satire and sharp humor (in this case, a 'delightful little jig' danced upon his thesis' grave.)

And delightful it was, I assure you.

User avatar
strad
270
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

I've been told there is no place for humor here. :roll:
To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.”
Sir Stirling Moss

Richard
Richard
Moderator
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: UK

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

I've replied to pup in PM as members need to know that reporting posts is a confidential process.

Pup
Pup
119
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

And in Richard's defense, he pointed out that he had moderated one of the instances I referred to. Though it was but one of many, he did do his best.

To paraphrase what I told Richard, I think he's getting caught in the line of fire a bit, which isn't entirely fair as I think he's doing the best he can in a difficult job. My issue isn't with specific instances of moderating, but rather with the philosophy of how the moderating should be done. I only provided an example to make a point.

And as for my difference of philosophy, I feel like it's worth voicing and I do think things would be better with a different approach. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't be posting here at all if I thought it was all that terrible. Perspective, and all that, as I like to say.

User avatar
Steven
Owner
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 5:32 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

If I may make one final comment on the posterior. I am convinced that any kind of argument cannot be won by accusing someone of pulling calculations out of his posterior. Pointing out why the calculations are wrong or inacurate would be the way to go (as xpensive just explained).

Every single poster who has been here long enough knows that this would never have been acceptable. It's nothing new, and it's unlikely it will be accepted a year from now.

User avatar
WhiteBlue
124
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:58 pm
Location: WhiteBlue Country

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

You obviously have not read the document.... :shock: would be objectionable

It appears that you have missed some relevant information which might have caused you to come to inaccurate conclusions... [-o< would be the way to put it nicely

I'm taking notice and will endeavour to bring my points across as politely and courtly as manageable. :wink:
Formula One's fundamental ethos is about success coming to those with the most ingenious engineering and best .............................. organization, not to those with the biggest budget. (Dave Richards)

Pup
Pup
119
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

On the issue of splitting topics, I think the main problem is that discussion ends up continuing in the forum from which it was split. The f-duct discussion is probably the best example of that at the moment, where we've got maybe a quarter of the discussion happening in the 'proper' thread, and three quarters in the Merc thread. I think that's probably inevitable which means that the mods will always be fighting against human nature.

Pup
Pup
119
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

So, in one thread, we've got someone trolling about Jackie Stewart, calling him every name in the book and going after anyone who disagrees. (dealt with, only after the moderator joined in the fray for a bit)

In another, we've got people debating about how heat-resistant black people are. (complaints ignored)

In a third, we're discussing which drivers are secretly gay. (ignored)

And throughout, we've got more spam threads than I can count. (dealt with)

And what do we get from our moderator of the day?
Giblet wrote:People have lives, and this is a lot of work...
Nice, Giblet. Sure, the job is thankless, but you took it.

Consistency is sort of key in moderating, and we don't got it.
Last edited by Pup on Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
hollus
Moderator
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:21 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

But it is thankless, and I suspect that pay-less as well.

Thanks, moderators. Sisyphus work, but actually appreciated by many.

By the way, I think I have detected a drop in moderator/admin activity the last days. Any chance it has anything to do with the final touches in the voting system? I was very skeptic of it, but now I think we really need it. The number of users has increased a lot (50%?), the number of new users has gone through the roof (200%?) and the number of moderators has only increased by 25%. It must be almost impossible to keep up.
¡Puxa Esportin!

Pup
Pup
119
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Tales from the moderating garage

Post

hollus wrote:But it is thankless, and I suspect that pay-less as well.
Sure, but the problem is that one day we're being treated like 5-year olds, and the next, the first thing the moderator does when he shows up is to bitch to the person who reported the posts.

It's no big deal if it takes a while to clear out the junk - people do have lives - just be consistent about it is all.