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Revision of forum rules

#1 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:44 PM

View PostJJ, on 12 January 2011 - 11:59 PM, said:

Forum Rules:
1. While this is a place for debate & discussion, please treat others with respect. Getting personal will see you suspended. Continued violation of this rule will see you banned.

2. Racism or sexual discrimination (including against one's gender or sexuality) will be met with an immediate ban.

3. Do not flame others. Strawman arguments will be frowned on and likely result in a suspension.

4. The OP has the right to set the terms of a discussion, however that does not mean they get to play moderator. Please respect the OP's wishes in respect to the framework of discussion. This is a trial rule. If it does not work out well, we will remove it.

5. If you post an excerpt from an article, please also post a link to the source.

6. Please post your topic in an appropriate sub-forum.


Quoted above are the current rules as set down by JJ, the forum Administrator. I would like to open a discussion on the forum rules, to see if any changes are necessary.

Firstly, I think the rules would work better if they were grouped into categories with individual subcategories under each category. We can broadly group the current rules into categories: Respect (1, 2, 3), Posting Rules (3, 4, 5, 6).

Secondly, each rule should have focus on a single topic. Rule 3 is particularly problematic because it addresses two separate topics. When citing Rule 3, it's necessary to clarify.

Thirdly, do we need additional rules? I'm particularly concerned when other posters freely cite statistics without providing a citation. Even if a citation is provided, make sure it's from a reliable source. I would also like more concrete guidelines on quoting external articles. I generally adhere to a 10% rule - quoting up to 10% of an article (by word count in electronic form) is OK because the Copyright Act allows this. Paywalls make things particularly difficult. If an article is behind a paywall, I think the onus is on the individual poster not to quote more of the article than can be seen by the general public, which is generally about one or two paragraphs.

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#2 User is offline   lenxyz 

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:04 PM

View PostBam, on 22 June 2012 - 04:44 PM, said:

Rule 3 is particularly problematic because it addresses two separate topics. When citing Rule 3, it's necessary to clarify.


I am not convinced rule 3 actually covers two separate topics. I see the point of rule 3 as it says “do not flame others”. The easiest way to do that is by making a strawman argument. It is used to deliberately flame.

However during a legitimate debate allegedly strawman arguments are not unusual. Someone will no doubt point this out and if put clearly will show how weak the original argument is.

I would rather that the mods do not have to delete posts on the basis it contains a strawman argument. Let the posters deal with it.
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#3 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:13 PM

I would like a mod ruling on not providing citations when asked for.

Why are people allowed to assert whatever bullshit pops into their head, then deflect the request for proof? Why am I not allowed to remonstrate these people for breaking a fairly fundamental debating rule?
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#4 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

View PostNotFrogman, on 27 September 2012 - 12:13 PM, said:

I would like a mod ruling on not providing citations when asked for.

Why are people allowed to assert whatever bullshit pops into their head, then deflect the request for proof? Why am I not allowed to remonstrate these people for breaking a fairly fundamental debating rule?


I'll reply with this quotation.

Christopher Hitchens said:

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
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#5 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:11 AM

On the forum rules, I think we need a few more:

  • Evading bans prohibited - Do not evade a suspension or ban by creating a new account. Anyone caught doing this will be banned.

  • Multiple accounts prohibited - Do not create multiple accounts. This may also incur a ban at the moderators' discretion.

  • Spam prohibited - (a) Do not post spam. Do not place any links of a commercial nature in your profile. Do not use any other techniques to post spam. (b) Moderators reserve the right to delete all spam wherever it may be found, to ban any account caught doing so, and to take any other action that they deem necessary to remove spam.

  • Handling of double posts - (a) Anyone who makes a double post should: (i) retain the original post; (ii) edit the other posts by replacing the text with "double post" or other similar wording; and (iii) report the double post so that moderators can remove the duplicate. (b) Reporting your own post will not bring any dire consequences for you; doing so simply brings the post to the attention of the moderators that they may deal with it.

  • Reporting suspicious posts - (a) Posters should use the "report post" option if in their opinion the post may be a transgression of the rules. Let the moderators decide. Do not assume that moderators can find the time to read every post. (b) Spam in particular must be reported promptly. Any post from a user that is posting for the first time should be reported on suspicion if the post itself or the user's profile contains any links.
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#6 User is offline   lenxyz 

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

View PostBam, on 02 November 2012 - 07:11 AM, said:

On the forum rules, I think we need a few more:

  • Evading bans prohibited - Do not evade a suspension or ban by creating a new account. Anyone caught doing this will be banned.

  • Multiple accounts prohibited - Do not create multiple accounts. This may also incur a ban at the moderators' discretion.

  • Spam prohibited - (a) Do not post spam. Do not place any links of a commercial nature in your profile. Do not use any other techniques to post spam. (b) Moderators reserve the right to delete all spam wherever it may be found, to ban any account caught doing so, and to take any other action that they deem necessary to remove spam.

  • Handling of double posts - (a) Anyone who makes a double post should: (i) retain the original post; (ii) edit the other posts by replacing the text with "double post" or other similar wording; and (iii) report the double post so that moderators can remove the duplicate. (b) Reporting your own post will not bring any dire consequences for you; doing so simply brings the post to the attention of the moderators that they may deal with it.

  • Reporting suspicious posts - (a) Posters should use the "report post" option if in their opinion the post may be a transgression of the rules. Let the moderators decide. Do not assume that moderators can find the time to read every post. (b) Spam in particular must be reported promptly. Any post from a user that is posting for the first time should be reported on suspicion if the post itself or the user's profile contains any links.



Bam,

I suport the new rules wholeheartedly.
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#7 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:45 PM

Welcome back, lenxyz. I hope you enjoyed your trip.

The latest rules are not really new rules. These are more of a codification of the rules that we have already applied in the past, but weren't actually listed anywhere. The rules regarding spam are particularly important.

I deal with spammers with a similar thoroughness to how the ancient Romans dealt with the Carthaginians. The Roman list was a bit like this: (1) Kill the men. (2) Take the women and children as slaves. (3) Loot and pillage. (4) Burn the city to the ground. (5) Sow the fields with salt so that nothing can grow there again. For spammers, I prefer not to disclose the full list in an open forum, but I deal with them with a similar thoroughness.

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#8 User is offline   dumbcluck 

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

These rules seem fine to me. However please keep in mind that these are opinion forums and opinions by definition can be erroneous. So for instance do not take what is perceived as an incorrect opinion as not being proven (this is not a court of law where only evidence not opinions are counted). You are entitled to your opinion whether right or wrong and I am presuming that these forums are for that purpose.
Another question is that of posting "articles" from newspapers, magazines etc. as support Many of you do not realize that these articles are only the opinion of the writer. They can also be incorrect. It's not the first time that newspaper and/or magazine articles were shown to be incorrect or just plain wrong on many issues
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#9 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:16 PM

View Postdumbcluck, on 07 November 2012 - 07:54 PM, said:

These rules seem fine to me. However please keep in mind that these are opinion forums and opinions by definition can be erroneous. So for instance do not take what is perceived as an incorrect opinion as not being proven (this is not a court of law where only evidence not opinions are counted). You are entitled to your opinion whether right or wrong and I am presuming that these forums are for that purpose.
Another question is that of posting "articles" from newspapers, magazines etc. as support Many of you do not realize that these articles are only the opinion of the writer. They can also be incorrect. It's not the first time that newspaper and/or magazine articles were shown to be incorrect or just plain wrong on many issues

These are fair points and we should give this due consideration. On the matter of assertions without citation - which are likely to be opinions - in applicable cases we should apply Hitchens' Law:

Christopher Hitchens said:

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

What should not be tolerated is people asserting an opinion as if it was a fact. We are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts. I am especially dark on anyone making up numbers and inserting them into their post without citation as if they were collated statistics from a reliable source. Such numbers are often incorrect: at best they could have been misremembered and at worst they are just made up out of whole cloth and inserted into the post to convey an air of false legitimacy. As a poster I will often ask for citations for any numbers because such numbers are often bogus.
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#10 User is offline   dumbcluck 

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:17 AM

That is quite reasonable...applying Hitchens law where it states quote "that which can be asserted in the absence of evidence can also be dismissed in the absence of evidence"(this statement in itself is analytical thinking) However ironically Christopher Hitchens failed to take into account that same analytical argument which can be used on many issues to at the very least create suspicion to the inquisitive mind. Many issues on planet Earth cannot be ever proven conclusively.And this the reason the human being has been created with....analytical argument.....argument/s which at the very least can show...circumstantial evidence.
Getting back to the issues at hand...all I am saying is that nothing on this planet can be substantiated, except the physical....what we see and what we feel and touch. The rest has to be either professionally investigated (e.g as in crime by the police) to be proven or by analytical argument in order to create at the very least thinking to the inquisitive mind
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#11 User is offline   longweekend58 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

View Postdumbcluck, on 08 November 2012 - 08:17 AM, said:

That is quite reasonable...applying Hitchens law where it states quote "that which can be asserted in the absence of evidence can also be dismissed in the absence of evidence"(this statement in itself is analytical thinking) However ironically Christopher Hitchens failed to take into account that same analytical argument which can be used on many issues to at the very least create suspicion to the inquisitive mind. Many issues on planet Earth cannot be ever proven conclusively.And this the reason the human being has been created with....analytical argument.....argument/s which at the very least can show...circumstantial evidence.
Getting back to the issues at hand...all I am saying is that nothing on this planet can be substantiated, except the physical....what we see and what we feel and touch. The rest has to be either professionally investigated (e.g as in crime by the police) to be proven or by analytical argument in order to create at the very least thinking to the inquisitive mind


It is a very good point about Hitchins comment. It sounds all nice and pithy but it is however, fundamentally inaccurate. Much of our world and our interaction with it is not based on evidence or proven fact but rather by assumption. It might sound good in a court of law (which is where it is useful) but in real life it is an impediment to any form of rational debate. This forum has an unbelievably unhealthy obsession with citations and proof of any fact or statement. While of grat value in a thesis or a court of law or other such dry and boring process, on a forum - an OPINION forum - it is both out of place and contrary to the objective. It has clearly driven many posters away based on the mere handful that post here. Having to provide citations for any fact will simply prevent most people from posting. And just because 'you' (anyone) may be ignorant of a well known fact does not make it the poster's job to inform you. Also, it would be helpful to not be considered a lying twat for not providing a citation.

BAM: you must be a law student, correct?
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#12 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Hahahahahahah Ah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah Hahahahahahah

Facts that are proven and cited are an impediment to rational debate.

This is the most I have laughed in a while. I mean, everyone knows that the truth has a known liberal bias.

Keep on keeping in duder. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so depressing.
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#13 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

If someone else answers a question that I feel is directed at me, am I allowed to mock the questioner?
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#14 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:28 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 14 November 2012 - 06:32 PM, said:

Having to provide citations for any fact will simply prevent most people from posting.

No, it prevents people from posting rubbish. Do you have any problem with people doing a little fact-checking to ensure accuracy?

Quote

And just because 'you' (anyone) may be ignorant of a well known fact does not make it the poster's job to inform you.

One person's "well known fact" may not actually be known to everyone. A study in an obscure location is hardly going to be "well known". If a citation is asked for, it is helpful to provide it.

Quote

Also, it would be helpful to not be considered a lying twat for not providing a citation.

Lying is a harsh accusation that would do well to have a high standard of proof - that applies equally to everyone, even the politicians that we often discuss. Yet a problem may occur if someone else does the checking and finds the purported fact to be in error. It's good manners for the person who posted the error to acknowledge it.

However, refusing to provide evidence when it is needed is lazy, discourteous and disrespectful. Furthermore, a well-argued post with evidence to back it up will be more persuasive than numerous posts without proof.

While the burden of proof can be relaxed a little, I am firm on the policy that new statistics should not be quoted without citing a source. What I mean by this is that a poster who posts something new, such as the latest Newspoll, some statistics from the ABS or the like should provide a link to the source. After that, the same numbers can be discussed freely within the same thread without additional citation. It's a bit murkier if a new thread discussing the same statistics is created; here, it's good form to provide a link anyway, either to the original statistics or the old thread.

On another similar matter, many sources of data require proper attribution as a condition for using the data. This is why I take the trouble to cite "Newspoll" and "The Australian" as sources whenever I cite Newspoll findings because Newspoll requires it. The legal rights of the owners of the data need to be respected because they probably paid real money to accumulate their data. This is another reason why I am very firm on citations containing any numbers - it may constitute a violation of the rights of a third party and I do not wish to expose the Forum to legal liability. For similar reasons, I enforce a 10% rule by word count whenever someone quotes copyrighted text that is in electronic form because that is the fair use limit under the Copyright Act 1968.
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#15 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

View PostNotFrogman, on 14 November 2012 - 06:48 PM, said:

If someone else answers a question that I feel is directed at me, am I allowed to mock the questioner?

IMO I would prefer this did not happen on the grounds of personal attacks being against the rules.
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#16 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:37 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 14 November 2012 - 06:32 PM, said:

It is a very good point about Hitchins comment. It sounds all nice and pithy but it is however, fundamentally inaccurate. Much of our world and our interaction with it is not based on evidence or proven fact but rather by assumption. It might sound good in a court of law (which is where it is useful) but in real life it is an impediment to any form of rational debate.

Rational debate that rests on the firm foundations of evidence is more productive than discussion built on the shifting foundations of assumption.
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#17 User is offline   southern man 

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

Frogman definitely showing his youth and naivety in the posts here in his mocking of Long Weekend.

He who continually requests Citations goes missing in action when required to provide any to support his own thought bubbles.

Time to wipe the mask and get rid of the spittle Frogman.
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#18 User is offline   NotFrogman 

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:35 AM

Personal attacks aren't allowed in here. Can someone deal with this appropriately?
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#19 User is offline   dumbcluck 

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:57 AM

What can one say if you are personally attacked? I have been on the internet since 1999 and have been on numerous forums like this one....and on many I was personally attacked. You cannot do anything about it....you have to develop a "thick skin". However I do think that persons engaged in this sort of behaviour do have a problem. In the past they used to call it....bad nature or bad character of a person and this is the way they were born so therefore they cannot help it. However I do not think that neither a bad character nor bad natured person/s exist.....only bad mental disorders
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#20 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

View PostNotFrogman, on 16 November 2012 - 07:35 AM, said:

Personal attacks aren't allowed in here. Can someone deal with this appropriately?


I tried to vote this post up, but the little action failed box kept popping up.

Still +1, for irony :D
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Self-defence is not only a Right, it is an Obligation.
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