• SophistiCat
    1.7k
    I mean, look at it. It's completely overwhelmed by crackpottery and idiocy. 10 threads by this "Hachem" character just on the first page, and many of the rest aren't a whole lot better.

    What the fuck happened? This forum (or at least its former incarnation) used to have some standards.
  • Baden
    12.1k


    If you read the discussion just before yours, you'll see we've also been accused of being too strict in our standards for the science category and therefore suppressing free debate on scientific topics. As well as that, the mod team are largely the same as the previous forum and the moderation standards for science haven't been changed in any explicit way. So, nothing happened except we maybe need to keep a closer eye on things there, so fair criticism, but maybe @Hachem and others would like to defend themselves against the charge of idiocy/crackpottery.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    It may just mean that this forum, and web forums like this, are dying. Perhaps they really are past due, like the BBS or Usenet of old (anyone still remember those?)
  • Baden
    12.1k


    We're growing not dying and have been doing a good job of that since the start. In any case, this is largely irrelevant to your complaint. And as I said in another discussion, our job is not to please any one individual but the community as a whole. There will always be complaints. We take them on board in the larger context.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Nobody forces you to participate in what you take to be idiocy. Leave the idiots alone, and they will leave you alone too. There's many people on these forums that have been here for a long time and I almost never interacted with, simply because we don't have the same interests. Not saying that these people are therefore idiots.
  • Hachem
    384
    but maybe Hachem and others would like to defend themselves against the charge of idiocy/crackpottery.Baden

    Science thrives through criticism and heretics. Giordano Bruno was burned alive, Galileo had to recant. Einstein doubted the Newtonian time and space, etc.

    I will certainly not claim to belong in this illustrious company, but I think that the way many people look at science is indeed religious (pace Vagabondspecter).

    What is now considered as truth can become obsolete tomorrow. And that is only possible through discussion and criticism.

    It is good to defend extant theories. The burden of proof should always lie by the challengers or contenders. But ridiculing people because their views do not stroke with what science now says is true is unworthy of a scientific mind.

    I do not claim that I am in possession of the truth either. But I do have doubts and questions. That is what I attempt to argue in my threads.

    Referring to the scientific status quo is in itself not enough. It that were the case, there would never be any progress or so-called scientific revolutions.

    It is very possible, maybe even probable, that my views and analyses will simply be discarded in time and proven utterly wrong. In the process, something might be learned, at least by me and other lost readers, and there might be even positive consequences because even wrong critique can lead to rightful questions.

    If we knew how the future of science looked like, we wouldn't need science anymore.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    By "dying" I mostly mean degrading. There is a large and thriving community in Youtube comments, for what that is worth. Yes, messages are still being posted, but the intellectual life seems to be seeping out little by little.
  • Baden
    12.1k


    An odd comment. This is the most strictly moderated popular philosophy forum out there. Anyway, I've started a discussion on general moderation standards. Feel free to make your case.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    So then interact with only the "intelligent" members whoever you deem that to be. There are groups and cliques anyway. I find myself always conversing with the same few people...
  • MikeL
    644
    You single out one member, Hachem, and try to embarrass him? Who the hell died and made you emperor, mate? One year member, non-subscribed, 227 comments, two Discussions including this one. The other discussion entitled:

    PopSci: The secret of how life on Earth began

    Wherein all you write in its entirely is:

    A large and comprehensive popular-level article on BBC, outlining the history and the state of the art of origin of life research (OOL, abiogenesis):

    And then link it to:
    The secret of how life on Earth began

    Yeah, that's real high standards there. Go blog on YouTube.
  • Michael
    9.8k
    I agree with you @SophistiCat, but I'm not sure if you do. ;)
  • MikeL
    644
    You don't have to defend yourself Hachem. The censors thought your OPs were OK. Tell anyone else to bugger off.
  • Hachem
    384

    Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it.

    I was in fact defending science against bigotry.
  • MikeL
    644
    Good on you. You've got a few of them right here.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    I agree with myself :) What made you think I wouldn't? I still think that one or two subforums where "non-standard" posts could be moved would be preferable to deletion. I dislike heavy-handed moderation, but I have come to believe that some kind of curation is necessary for a forum like this.
  • Michael
    9.8k
    The problem with that is that all discussions appear on the main page, irrespective of category (unless you manually turn them off here). So moving bad discussions into a "Rubbish" category wouldn't really make much difference for most people.
  • Hachem
    384
    I still think that one or two subforums where "non-standard" posts could be moved would be preferable to deletion.SophistiCat

    You are advocating a Kiss of Death policy.

    All ideas are equal, but some ideas are better than others.

    edit: All ideas are equal, but some ideas are more equal than others.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3k
    My problem with a number of posts around here is that they're not philosophy of science at all; they're science. Philosophy of science deals with the nature of theory, of evidence, of confirmation, the nature of induction, of confidence and certainty. It is a branch of the theory of knowledge. Making sense of what scientists say or presenting alternative interpretations of their data should be done elsewhere on the interwebs, especially as you are more likely to find a higher level of expertise than you can assume here. If you don't understand something, go to StackExchange or Quora or Google it.
  • Hachem
    384

    With all due respect, your view shows a very narrow interpretation of philosophy of science. There is certainly a technical aspect to all the questions I pose, but they also concern the way science looks at the world, and what is considered as proof.

    Interpreting my posts as technical questions which are in need of technical answers is ignoring the epistemological and even metaphysical underpinnings of many scientific issues.

    Some people have taken offense at my view of Cosmology as "metaphysics for scientists", or "metaphysics with mathematical formulas", I suppose you would agree with them.
  • Michael
    9.8k
    My problem with a number of posts around here is that they're not philosophy of science at all; they're science.Srap Tasmaner

    Some of them aren't even science.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3k
    Some of them aren't even science.Michael

    I think philosophy has been helpful in sorting science from non-science, but that's mostly foundational work that's long since done. These days, I think scientists are the best judges of what is and isn't science, and that judgment like everything else they do, will be provisional. String theory looked like non-science to a lot of physicists and they said so. They can deal. They don't need us.

    But there are questions about how they do what they do, why it works when it does and fails when it does, what the enterprise as a whole amounts to. That looks like philosophy to me.
  • Baden
    12.1k
    The only certain result of whatever approach we take to this is that someone will hate it. We are listening though.
  • jorndoe
    1.4k
    Yeah, I hear ya' @SophistiCat, though it's kind of a gray area.
    There are definitely lots of psychoceramics out there, and some (are bound to) seep into here as well.
    My first thought is to have a sub-forum where fringe, questionable posts and such could go.
    But of course moderators are humans too; having experts in every area around isn't feasible.
  • Hachem
    384
    Some of them aren't even scienceMichael

    @VagabondSpectre criticized amply and thoroughly my approach. One of his main arguments concerns the photons that are radiated sideways through a (collimated) beam. I must admit that I am curious about where he gets his conviction from.

    What I know of light going in one direction, is that electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to this direction, in which the photons are propagated.

    These side waves, or fields, are usually depicted the way a water wave is: particles going up and down a very limited distance, and a disturbance moving along the axis of direction.

    I would be very much obliged if somebody gave me some links or references for VagabondSpectre's interpretation.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    Philosophy of science deals with the nature of theory, of evidence, of confirmation, the nature of induction, of confidence and certainty. It is a branch of the theory of knowledge.Srap Tasmaner

    I understand that that's where your interests lie, but I wouldn't be so restrictive. Science informs metaphysics, and conversely, metaphysical underpinnings can be seen in scientific theories and scientific debates. There are also what may be seen as strictly scientific issues that nonetheless can benefit from the attention of philosophers, simply because philosophers have dealt with such issues before (e.g. observer selection issues in cosmology).
  • Hachem
    384

    Where is the guy that wanted my head and what did you do to him?
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    The problem with that is that all discussions appear on the main page, irrespective of category (unless you manually turn them off here). So moving bad discussions into a "Rubbish" category wouldn't really make much difference for most people.Michael

    That can be seen as giving more options to people. Those who prefer a more curated experience could either browse specific subforums or filter out what they don't want to see on the front page. On the other hand, casual visitors may be turned off by what they see.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    It was not my intention to debate crackpots. Quite the opposite, in fact.
  • Hachem
    384

    You are demeaning yourself. That will make it that much easier for me to ignore you completely.
  • Hachem
    384
    I would be very much obliged if somebody gave me some links or references for VagabondSpectre's interpretation.Hachem

    Here is the captain speaking. To all Friends of Make Science Great Again! Do not! I repeat, Do Not engage the enemy! Evasive maneuver Alpha
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3k

    Fair enough.

    I'm just tired of threads where people say that television, as it has been explained to us by the Establishment, is actually impossible.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.