The following is a "digest" version of the 2012 Moderator Election Town Hall Chat. The format, as described on Meta Stack Overflow, is one answer to this question for every question asked in the Town Hall, containing all the candidate's answers to that question.

To view the digest chronologically, please sort the answers by "oldest".

If you have questions or comments about this, please do not answer this question as the answers are designed to be used for the questions from the Town hall itself. Instead, please ask on the parent question or in the Town Hall Discussion Room.

If you see any corrections which need to be made to this digest, or if you were a candidate who was unable to attend the town hall and would like your answers included, please @GraceNote or @TimStone in the chat room and let us know!

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Whooo... , Tim. That was a lot of work though :-) Thank you... –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Dec 8 '12 at 12:30
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Whew, done! Not too much work, although the rate-limiting of me posting answers makes actually getting it on meta a bit of a hassle. It's all here now though, so if anyone feels like there are any corrections to be made, please let me know. :) –  Tim Stone Dec 8 '12 at 13:00
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29 Answers

Grace Note Grace Note asked: In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to using the privileges available after reaching 10k or 20k rep?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: Simply because I won't reach 10k in a desired time interval.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Moderators don't require privilege because they are the ones who contribute themselves towards community-development. This means they are far more than "trusted users". They've to do the clean-ups

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I think my focus is not so much on answering questions here, but rather giving back to the community by keeping it useful (as opposed to a Yahoo!Ask setting). Thus I doubt that I would get to those point levels. I am a fan of the SE community, and as such want to give back to it.

user1504 user1504 answered: I'm not sure that moderator powers would make me particularly more effective than having earned 20k+ reputation. The moderator diamond conveys a little authority, but not as much as having earned the respect of your community. In any case, the question is moot for me. I'm not going to hit 10k any time soon.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Well, I am rather familiar with SE policy, like I said, so I can help enforce and build upon it as a moderator. I don't have 10/20k tools yet--and if I did,I still wouldn't be that effective with them--there are a lot of restrictions on those tools that make them useful only if used by all the >10ks. I don't think that's happening currently (I hope we can change that)--a lot of the 10k+s have no interest in cleaning up

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Grace Note Grace Note asked: What do you believe is or will be your biggest weakness as a moderator?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: My lack of indepth physics knowledge to the point of most of the questions that are discussed here. My field (in terms of physics) is astronomy/cosmology. That said, I take my cues from the community, not by what I personally think is a right or wrong answer.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: For one, I am only an undergrad student of physics. This means that I may not have the expertise to fully understand all posts. As a moderator, I know that I generally don't have to deal with such things, but if I do have to do with it, I may need the aid of a theory-savvy mod/community member

Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: In deciding when to delete comments and how many to be cleaned up but still preserve the content.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: My weakness - Lets see... One big thing is I'm still an undergrad. Several comments responded to my nomination, Rory's comment is good. Detecting good/bad questions. "I see a question - I like it and vote it up. There's a probability for other users to vote it down

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy continued: How would I detect it? Maybe I have to discuss with someone about it...

user1504 user1504 answered: I'm likely to have a low tolerance for crackpot questions. I've seen other physics discussion forums over the years have their signal to noise ratio degraded by too many crank questions, and I'd like to avoid that here.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked Larian LeQuella: Do you think it is sufficient to listen to a mob to determine what photon rho mixing is? Or should you find out for yourself before moderating such a question?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I would of course research it. While I don't have indepth knowledge on a subject, I know where to find good information, and in this particular case I would discuss with the other mods

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Grace Note Grace Note asked: What is one contribution you feel demonstrates that you can be a good moderator?


  • Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella asked for clarification: Could you clarify: What do you mean by contribution? As in an answer to the site, or a trait that I would bring?

    Grace Note Grace Note clarified: Either way works. Whatever you think you bring to the table that best represents your capability as a great moderator.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: (1) My activity on the mother meta and multiple child metas (Phy, Chem)--I like discussing policy and community building. (2) My moderatorship on Chem.SE -- no hitches till now :)

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: I'll always be around. Rather than cleaning up messes, helping other users, I have just now entered into community-building. Like I say everytime, I'll follow the Etiquette and help with new users. I generally prefer not to vote down new guys

Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: My knowledge of physics and use of rigor in math, coupled to my nit-picking of tags and not having people demand homework solutions.

  • Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky remarked: I like that policy on homework! We get a lot of intro/freshman physics questions, with no thought added too them! No work, no conceptual questions! I've been guilty of answering a few.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: My experience modding Skeptics and Astronomy as far as having familiarity with the tools. Also, I have a laize faire attitude to many types of mod activities as long as actual community standards are not violated.

user1504 user1504 answered: I think you'll see if you look at my comments and contributions to meta that I try to calm down angry discussion while still helping to ensure that unpopular points of view are heard.

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random random asked: How would you handle a user who has a personal grudge against you and runs around with their hands in the air no matter what you do just for the sake of calling you out?


user1504 user1504 answered: In most cases, I would ask the user to take a break. I'd ask other moderators if they saw the same problem I did. In Ron's case, I'd be somewhat more careful. He does control my food supply after all.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: hehe, does this have any specific meaning? In all seriousness, I would need to confer with the other mods on something like that, and perhaps escalate it to the community directors.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Maybe, trying to talk with him. But, a chit chat wouldn't work for a "grudged" guy. Talk with other moderators personally. Then handle him rightfully. Well, I believe moderators do have a lot weapons. They have the utmost power you know... Put him under a timed bin, etc. like that

Manishearth Manishearth answered: I wouldn't. I'd let the other mods handle it, making a statement of my own if necessary. In such cases, I would take off my moderator hat and act like a normal user in the context of that meta discussion.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Which of the mods is willing to buck the other mods on conscience, while being the odd man out? Anyone?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Since I wouldn't be discussing the content of an answer, but rather community standards, I would be more inclined to say that the rules themselves would determine my actions, not me.

user1504 user1504 answered: I'm not sure there's any point in doing this. It's wasted effort if you lose the final vote anyways.

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Manishearth Manishearth asked: As a moderator, what areas of site cleanup/site building do you plan to focus on?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: As stressed already, appropriate (de)tagging and appropriate steps to posting HW questions.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Astronomy and cosmology in terms of content. Otherwise edits for grammar and spelling. Also, if there are references, prevent link rot and quote relevant information, etc.

user1504 user1504 answered: I'd love to see the duplicate questions more quickly closed. We spend a lot of time answering the same questions. I'd also like to deal with a certain set of cranks who've been making a lot of noise lately.

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David Zaslavsky David Zaslavsky asked: Is there something you think the current moderation team is doing wrong, that you would try to get changed if elected?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: The awareness of people simply answering homework-style questions, defeating the purpose of homework.

  • David Zaslavsky David Zaslavsky asked: Do you mean we should allow people to answer homework-like questions? Or are we not as strict about shutting them down as you think we should be?

    Chris Gerig Chris Gerig responded: Latter.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Not really. I would prefer if we were stricter regarding one-liner/link only answers, and maybe mandate that answers should have some concepts involved. (We already sorta do, but there are a lot of tiny answers in the LQ queue. No problem in deleting them, but our current policy disallows it)

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I don't think the current mod team is doing anything wrong. I am surprised they aren't running again (or is there a rule against that, I haven't been a mod that long on Skeptics). As for changes, isn't that handled by the community directors.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: NO. I bet you're still doing the job. Once, I had a negative thought on dmckee. (seen through his harsh comments) the first time I joined (about some 3 months ago), but now - I give respect to his comments. So, No - I think current moderators are a good fit. They are physicists

user1504 user1504 answered: Generally, I think they're doing a fine job. I've indicated elsewhere that I'd be a little more aggressive with some of the crank questions I've spotted, but other than that, I have no real complaints.

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drake drake asked: What do you think about the number of questions which are posted? Too many, too few?


Manishearth Manishearth answered: Too many not-so-conceptual ones, too few really good ones. We nee to improve quality. Our community may not be able to handle more quantity yet. As graduated SE sites go, we're still pretty small, though...

  • drake drake asked: Are you going to do anything to improve the quality? What?

    Manishearth Manishearth responded: Commenting on new questions, asking that they clarify what concepts they are asking about and emphasize those. Maybe move meta for stricter restrictions on qs. Though my primary focus (in the context of quality) would be on non-conceptual/tiny answers--like I said, current policy allows them.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I have been absent for a while, so I can't fairly answer that question. However, a quick perusal, I find myself in agreement with Manishearth

user1504 user1504 answered: I'd like to see more high quality questions, and about the same number of questions overall at the moment. I want to see questions which attract helpful and knowledgeable users, so that the community becomes stronger as it grows. On the flip side, I'd like to see fewer questions which turn off these users. None of which makes me unique.

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Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky asked Larian LeQuella: Can you explain to us what your background in Astronomy and Cosmology is?


  • Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky added: I think what expertise you DO have will be useful here; we see questions on astronomy, cosmology and orbital mechanics with decent frequency. We see we have a few passionate undergraduates here; I would like to be familiar with what your base knowledge is. I don't mean this as an inflammatory question; I think you can contribute and through this maybe you could answer some people's doubts.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Undergradutae level with some graduate courses along with a storng hobbyist level

  • Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky remarked: that sounds great. I think concerns about your prep may not be valid; you are at a level with many other candidates I would think! I'm satisfied, thanks
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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked Larian LeQuella: Is it sufficient to listen to a cross section of opinion to determine scientific truth, or must you understand it deeply yourself? If you don't understand it yourself, would you butt out completely?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: If I have no understanding of the subject matter, yes I will butt out. If communityy standards are violated (i.e. You're being an unmitigated jerk) then I will take community level standard actions.

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My concern is that Larian seems to be deliberately provoking Ron with "(i.e. You're being an unmitigated jerk)" –  Larry Harson Dec 8 '12 at 18:17
    
Exactly. And that was hardly an isolated incident in that chat. –  user2963 Dec 9 '12 at 18:05
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@LarryHarson Do you know what i.e means? Id est? That is? I was not saying that he was being one, however I was saying that ANYONE (using the collective "you") being an unmitigated jerk (as per the community rules) would come to the attention to any mod. –  Larian LeQuella Dec 9 '12 at 20:27
    
@LarianLeQuella The text in closed brackets doesn't add value to your already precise, clear answer. It therefore looks clear to me that you put it in brackets with "you're" as an aside insult directed towards Ron. Even if it was more generally directed, "jerk" is the kind of language I would expect to be deleted in the comments section by a moderator. –  Larry Harson Dec 9 '12 at 22:37
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zephyr zephyr asked Larian LeQuella: What would your moderatorship bring to the community which would compensate for the potential loss of our 2nd most active member?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I don't intend to do anything to drive Ron away. Again, I never look at his questions or answers unless they are flagged by the community.

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David Zaslavsky David Zaslavsky asked: For candidates who are also moderators of other SE sites, how do you expect your duties on the other site to affect your ability to moderate physics.SE, especially with regard to the time commitments involved?


Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Please excuse me. I'm not discouraging this. But, other moderators - I say, They've already got their chance. Why greedy for more? If they're becoming, what would other users do?

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I figure that it will actually help. It will give me more familiarity with tools and procedures. Also, it will motivate me to check around more often.

  • David Zaslavsky David Zaslavsky remarked: Good point. I was thinking more with respect to time, if you have any comment on that (I edited my post)

    Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella responded: As @Manishearth said, mod actions are much easier than answering questions!

Manishearth Manishearth answered: I doubt it will affect it in any negative manner. Moderating Chem goes like this: Check front page, fix stuff, possibly close stuff, lurk. (And some discussion with other mods in the mod room). It takes very little time, so it won't interfere right now. If it does interfere later, I'll have to balance the two. A positive effect is that (1) I already am used to moderating a science site, (2) I can steal chemistry questions (j/k)

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Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky asked: How will you try to deal with the flow of strictly homework questions from Freshman physics?


Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Like David does always, I'm doing it still... Perhaps, indicate them our homework policy, making them aware of closing questions, explain them how should they ask, etc..

Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: It is immediately closed until they have demonstrated their attempts and confusions. And then the responders must not simply reveal the answer, but should only provide sufficient hints. QED

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Which goes to my Yahoo!Answers comment earlier. I think those should be closed due to the community standards.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Let it pass as long as they are conceptual questions; worry about it only if there are just too many. "Solve this" homework dumps should be commented on and closed (maybe with a time gap, though that's not really necessary since closing is a temporary state for improvement).

user1504 user1504 answered: In most cases, I'd leave a warning that the question will be closed if it is not rewritten to very high standards. Most of those homework questions are indistinguishable from spam.

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Grace Note Grace Note asked: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: Meaningless, and hence don't care.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I tend to be someone that is more lighthearted than most. I figure it will at least make things more fun. :)

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Maybe the old-time moral - you'll get every thing for what you have done :-)

user1504 user1504 answered: I've certainly said some less temperate things in my time here. If someone asked about them, I'd point out that the moderators would have been within their rights to close the egregious ones.

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Somehow missed this one: I've got some wrongish answers in the past. These were addressed in the comments, and subsequently fixed. I also have naïve comments on meta(and some on main). If these got a diamond attached, I'd probably get a kick out of it, that's all :) –  Manishearth Dec 8 '12 at 15:51
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random random asked: How do you educate users who use the site as their own blog when they cling to a notion of freedom of speech to justify posting anything and everything regardless of scope and topic based on having a registered account?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: This is a stupid question. He by definition gets kicked off for not adhering to the scope and topic-based structure.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Try to advice them - through chat or somewhere - even a private message... Warn them of their activity. If not - WEAPONS away

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: It would be time for using moderator tools (i.e. the mod chat) to make sure that I am not misconstruing some community action. I keep saying that I am liaze fiare (i.e. I leave things alone) unless there are flags. In that case, I would probably defer to a community manager on grievous violations. I don't do or take anything personally, but there could be appearances of that on anyone who has a persecution complex.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Discuss, notify via chat, notify via mod message, suspend if it continues. It's completely OK if the content is on topic, though...

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David Zaslavsky David Zaslavsky asked Crazy Buddy: If I remember correctly, you've said that you are not (yet!) a fluent English speaker. Do you think there is a chance of you misunderstanding people's comments while moderating, and if so, how would you prevent this from causing problems?


Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: Yes, David. sometimes, I'd definitely get a misunderstanding. Just Maybe - I could ask help from other mods privately like you or dmckee.

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Art Brown Art Brown asked: Any thoughts on linking questions to relevant previous questions?


  • Art Brown Art Brown added: I have a terrible time finding old stuff here. I've noticed qmechanic does a lot of linking. I suppose it requires wide domain knowledge.

Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: Just takes patience, and is obviously a good idea for those interested/willing.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: we'd just need to follow flags and do cleanups. Linking is perhaps not necessary. Many would flag for us. If we have got some knowledge in the field, we'd be happy to do the relating job. Even the SE engine shows related questions in side bar. Moreover - who are we? we are the members. We should've read several related questions already...

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I wish that SE had a function like the old (old) Digg site did when you submitted stories. That would make it easier to do that. In the case that I could find the linked question, I would allow that, however it may need a refresh on an answer, so keeping repeats open could be beneficial. Again, community standards would drive the action.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Well, there's always the "linked" and "related" sidebars that do most of the work for you. I sometimes get some deja vu, and then do a search to find related questions to link/CV-dupe. But it';s a great idea that we should focus on crosslinking more, I may look into that the next time I check out new questions here

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: How important is it to you that people with absolutely no social skills are heard and protected from mob harassment?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Irrelevant. The answers should stand for themselves.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Well, it depends on the "mob harassment" in question. Generally, these things ought to be locked and discussed on meta, calling a community team member in if necessary. In the end, it depends on which party is breaking the rules. If it is a content dispute (I'm right! No, I am!), then the dispute ought to be migrated to chat with possible post locking. Escalate to meta if it gets worse.

user1504 user1504 answered: I think it's important that they are heard when there's real content in their rantings. There are some participants who add nothing though.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Suppose every other moderator agrees a question should be closed, but you think it should be reopened. Will you reopen after they all tell you not to?


Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: I doubt that would ever happen. But the desired answer is 'no', as I am probably misunderstanding the legitimate reason.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Discuss with them in chat, if I haven't done that already. Maybe ask the community via chat/meta. We will have 5/4 mods on this site--enough to be able to hash out a resolution. If I still disagree, I would ask meta, like I said, but I wouldn't go directly against their collective decision. That being said, I have reverted mod actions on Chem a few times--but that was after leaving a note to the other mod (and asking him/her to discuss it with me if necessary)

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: No. We don't because we have meta, a private discussion zone (for moderators only) like that. What's that for? Maybe we'd discuss there and try not to reopen...

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user1504 user1504 asked Larian LeQuella: I can see from your history that your activity in physics pretty much stopped after May 5. Where have you been?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Astronomy SE closed back then, and it broke my heart. I have been weeping quietly in a small celestial corner. ;) (In all seriousness, I actually was just taking a break for a while)

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Grace Note Grace Note asked: Of the other candidates, who is the one user you think would be most qualified for the position of moderator, and why?


user1504 user1504 answered: Qmechanic.

Crazy Buddy Crazy Buddy answered: OK.. QMechanic (or Manish)... After seeing many comments - I wouldn't stand a chance

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: EASY: Manishearth!

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Qmechanic, he is an active theoretical physicist, and has already been doing a lot of janitorial work in the past. A lot. After that, Larian, due to his experience on Skeptics.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked Manishearth: What do you think of a hands off policy, where you do nothing unless absolutely required?


Manishearth Manishearth answered: Depends on what you mean by "absolutely required". If a comment discussion gets heated, there's nothing that bad about migrating to chat. If people are concerned about the voting till the dispute is resolved ("The wrong answer may get upvoted!"), I'd be happy to templock the post. I would only voluntarily (without being asked) lock a post in the context of a content dispute if absolutely required--if the participants in the dispute aren't willing to move to chat.

  • Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Why move them to chat at all? Why not ignore them?

    Manishearth Manishearth responded: Well, SE policy dictates that comments are not for discussion (the medium is anyway inadequate). Chat manages this better. And keeps it off the main question. Remember, we still have to hold up SE policy, unless we are allowed to use a different site-only policy (ask meta for that)

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Do you agree that rules are bullshit, and that you need judgment and bending over backwards to make sure people aren't silenced?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Ron, rules exist for a reason. You can't arbitrarily disregard or dismiss them for one person's sake. However, i understand that you and I have a "history" and am totally fine with not touching any of your questions or answers, no matter how many flags pop up... http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

  • Chris Gerig Chris Gerig remarked: That is a bad decision, a wrong decision, a stupid decision, and a decision that implies you should not be a moderator. QED

    Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella responded: While not a discussion it's something I cleared with Grace earlier. I don't want to drive Ron away, and he is displaying a "I'll take my ball and go home attitude towards me personally. I have no feelings one way ort another towards Ron, but he appears to display a persecution complex in regards to anything I do

    Chris Gerig Chris Gerig replied: No, you could never have cleared this with Grace because it goes against the flow and purpose of SE. No one gets off.

    Shog9 Shog9 noted: That's why there's more than one moderator per site...And also us.

    dmckee dmckee added: Moderators often agree to lay off users for a while in order to avoid the appearance of a personal grudge...

    dmckee dmckee continued: We are trying to moderate and letting things get personal is counter productive.

    Chris Gerig Chris Gerig replied: Which is precisely why it is your duty to be objective and don't ignore a problem.

  • zephyr zephyr asked: Does that not bother you? Doesn't it seem like the judgement of such a prominent community member should be given some weight?

    Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella responded: No it doesn't really bother me because I have no stake in this. There are rules and standards, and we are supposedly civilized human beings. If someone has a personal problem with me, it is on their conscience, not mine.

  • user1504 user1504 remarked: This is totally unacceptable. You're calling Ron a crackpot because gets a few points on a list that John Baez wrote for laughs? Do you really think his physics answers are incorrect? If so, you have no business moderating.

user1504 user1504 answered: I think rules are very useful tools. Some level of judgement is always required in applying them. In the case of one user, a question probably deserves closure as "not a real question". In the case of another user, we may have a newbie struggling to ask a good question.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: Well, as moderators we have to uphold the rules, so we can't really do that... If by "people being silenced", you mean suspensions--then I must say I don't like suspending a user unless absolutely necessary. That being said, I do think that a few rules aren't that good (as you said, bullshit). I still will uphold these, though I will probably try to get a policy change via meta/MSO.

  • Ron Maimon Ron Maimon replied: By people being silenced, I mean, some crazy guy asking a -11 voted question which asks "does regge theory of linear trajectories explain why space time is curved?" who has 20 knowledgable people saying that he is a crackpot. This is Joel Scherk. I want to know if you will you make sure the theory is protected from deletion, and the comments and answers preserved, no matter how stupid and crazy it sounds?

    Manishearth Manishearth responded: In such cases, I'd ask for the help of the other mods and act after a group discussions. Remember, posting your own theories can be considered off topic (see the "mainstream physics" part of the faq). Such things ought to be locked, moved to chat for the time being, and unlocked when they get resolved. Maybe closed if they aren't mainstream

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Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky asked: What can we expect new candidates to bring to our community in terms of answers?


  • Dylan Sabulsky Dylan Sabulsky added: I'm interested in what the candidates will bring to our community. They will be on more and will hopefully also answer more questions along with their mod duties. I think @LarianLeQuella will add answers to astro and cosmo, @ChrisGerig to mathematical phys questions and perhaps heavy math quantum stuff.

Manishearth Manishearth answered: I doubt it matters much--my answers will be on basic undergrad physics. As a moderator, I personally would keep at my current pace of answering, maybe improve it to what it used to be. Remember that on the main site, the diamond means nothing on an answer.

Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Astronomy answers, like I did before my precious site was eaten. ;)

user1504 user1504 answered: I think our moderator duties are largely separate from answering questions. But since you didn't include me in the list: I know quite a bit about QM, QFT, stat mech, particle physics, and string theory. I'm particularly interested in the mathematical details of these subjects.

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Grace Note Grace Note asked: Parting thoughts from the candidates?


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: I love the whole SE concept and community! I am here to give back. That is my only stated purpose.

user1504 user1504 answered: If elected I will serve. But you should consider voting for Chris Gerig or Manishearth. I've been impressed by their answers tonight. Chris, in particular, seems to have put a good deal of thought into how to deal with unconstructive questions.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked Manishearth: Would you disallow non-mainstream thoughts from the site?


Manishearth Manishearth answered: Not sure... I probably would disallow such thoughts if it becomes a big issue (too many comment wars, etc). Otherwise, the community already handles these pretty well.

  • Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Would you censor cold fusion?

    Manishearth Manishearth responded: Since I am not too knowledgeable about it, I have not expressed any views upon it on meta yet--they have too little weight in this case. These decisions are best left to those mods/community members who know the topic well. My own opinion on the matter (which I haven't voiced yet, since it has little weight) is that these should be handled on a per-case basis. If the community objects OR if there is heated discussion, then worry about them, otherwise just keep a watch.

    Manishearth Manishearth continued: If the community comes to a clear consensus on this, I shall follow the new policy.

    Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella added: I know not meant for me, but I don't censor answers or questions based on the subject. Remember, community standards. Topics aren't really dictated by community standards as long as ON TOPIC.

    Ron Maimon Ron Maimon replied: If there is consensus that all cold fusion should be deleted from the site, and everyone agrees, will you buck them all and say "no way"?

    Manishearth Manishearth responded: Nope. Unless there are arguments for keeping the specific case.

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Ron Maimon Ron Maimon asked: Are any of you willing to say "I will allow all thoughts, mainstream or not mainstream, to be heard without prejudice, determined only by technical accuracy inasmuch as I can determine for myself?"


Larian LeQuella Larian LeQuella answered: Ron, you don't dictate community standards. I cannot state that unequivocally. I take it you have read the FAQ here, and there will be instances where rudeness and threats (and the like) will not be tolerated.

Chris Gerig Chris Gerig answered: Another stupid question. The point is, if there is no math there to back it up, then it is likely (and justified) to be prejudiced.

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Chris Gerig said: "another stupid question". I don't think it was, and your remark was disrespectul towards a member of the community that politely asked you a question. –  Larry Harson Dec 9 '12 at 22:45
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random random asked user1504: As Ron Maimon's pet hamster, is there any collusion with his running around hammering another candidate again and again? Simply put, is he your Super PAC?


user1504 user1504 answered: No, I do not collude with Ron. My biography is meant to indicate my respect for him and in particular for the anti-authority, judge-for-yourself principles he espouses. However, you should not believe anyone's claims about their identity on the internet. I might well be a dog.

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