« first day (1327 days earlier)   

12:10 AM
FYI, I just flagged a question (can't remember which one it was now) for mod attention. If you look at the Gravatars, which are calculated based on the user's email address, users user17082, user17083, user17084, and user17103 are all the same person.
Each one has a single, very low quality, simplistic question associated with it, 3 out of 4 of which have been closed for various reasons, and the 4th is on its way. I requested the accounts be merged, the user notified that this is not a good idea, and the email address added to the question ban for a while.
 
 
2 hours later…
2:35 AM
What a strange occurrence. Why would you make four accounts to ask four terrible questions? How could that possibly be worthwhile? What's the angle?
With consecutive user ids, no less
 
 
2 hours later…
4:55 AM
Hover over the links that say "asked XX hours ago" or "asked X days ago" of the first 3 questions on the main page (biology.stackexchange.com/questions?pagesize=50&sort=newest) - the first was posted at 2015-08-02 08:00:15Z, the second at 08:06:59, and the third at 08:13:51. So each was posted 7 minutes after the next - it's not like s/he could have forgotten the login, or lost the cookie on their computer (unless it crashed twice and didn't save it). Definitely intentional.
 
5:49 AM
@MattDMo I deleted all but the latest user. BTW, I didn't know that a gravatar is unique for an email id. I thought it is like a random pattern generator for each instance. Thanks for the info.
 
6:05 AM
@WYSIWYG no problem. You learn these things hanging out on meta.so and meta.se :)
Actually, I lied.
I learned it from configuring WordPress and checking out the Gravatar API. It's explained in one of those two places.
They take the email address and use it as a seed in a random image-generating algorithm.
 
@MattDMo They convert the email to an ascii combination and use that as a seed?
or each email id registered with them increments a counter?
 
@WYSIWYG I don't know that those options have much of a difference.
 
6:29 AM
@WYSIWYG no, it's not counter-based. The full details are here, with lots o' links, but the quick answer is that they create an MD5 hash of the email address (or the IP address if the user is unregistered) and a salt so the email can't be reverse-engineered, and send it off to the Identicon generator.
If you know Python, check this code out, otherwise you can google for a generator in a language you know (if you know any...).
 
Hi guys
 
Howdy.
 
 
3 hours later…
9:56 AM
@MattDMo @Chris @WYSIWYG is here ANY way to make my comment impossible to comment on? I have had people saying the same freaking thing to me OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. I don't want to delete it because another answer points to mine but seriously I feel like people are starting to be flat out rude.
 
@SolarLunix if you think they are rude or nonconstructive then flag them.
 
10:08 AM
I edited my answer a bit so that it's clear that I'm talking about the genetics...
 
@SolarLunix Which comment?
 
Specifically the last one since it's clear they are beating a dead horse @Chris
 
@SolarLunix Providing a link would help. The time stamp on the comment in the link to the comment.
 
@its

I can't link anything from my tablet.
 
10:24 AM
ok, which question?
 
The mitochondria one.
I flagged the comment.
9
A: Are mitochondria dead?

SolarLunixShort answer: According to the definition of life, yes, Mitochondria are "dead". To be considered alive an organism must meet the following criteria: organized structure performing a specific function an ability to sustain existence, e.g. by nourishment an ability to respond to s...

Now the comment is a few up. It's about the people in the coma.
 
10:35 AM
I'm gonna go... I'm kinda really angry and have realised that nobody noticed the fact that I was pointing to the genetics the whole time.... -.- my fault for not bolding underlining and starring the fact that I said GENETICALLY they couldn't survive.
 
 
1 hour later…
11:38 AM
This strikes me a good example of the old Stack Exchange bete noire, namely an opinion-based question.
The "Are mitochondria dead?" question that is. I don't think the terminology alive or dead is either meaningful or useful in this context.
A mitochondria is an an organism.
 
@FaheemMitha I agree.. I am tempted to close the question
 
Disclaimer: I'm not a biologist. On the other hand, I do think I know the difference between alive and dead.
@WYSIWYG I don't have enough rep, if I did, I would VTC. Are there currently any close votes? I don't think I have the rep to see that either.
The old hands at being mods tend to let the community decide on these things, only stepping in occasionally, when really necessary. But you could ask them yourself.
I also can't see if there are any downvotes. I don't like downvoting, but I would definitely VTC if I could.
 
@FaheemMitha there are 2 votes
My other concern is to prevent these kind of questions to hit the popularity index
The perfect popcorn topic for everyone (esp non-biologists). This kind of an issue has been discussed several times before. We need an authoritative answer.
 
@WYSIWYG ok
BTW, I think there is nothing stopping you from having a separate non-mod account where you can vote on such things as a non-mod. If you wanted to. But you could check with the mods about that.
 
12:10 PM
@FaheemMitha No.. I Don't need to do that.. It is up to the community to decide if the post is worthy or not.. I have no problem casting the 5th vote.
 
 
3 hours later…
3:02 PM
@WYSIWYG Fair enough.
 
3:56 PM
@FaheemMitha actually, there is. Users are only supposed to have one account.
@WYSIWYG What did you think of my answer? Is there anything I should add to it to make it more "authoritative"?
 
@MattDMo Not w.r.t this post. IMO we should create a CW post that would answer the life-death issue exhaustively. Any new questions on this topic should be closed as its duplicate.
People actually do not know what an "organism" really is.
We still have not really drawn boundaries on what "independence" really is.
Are humans independent? Perhaps more than a cow, which needs plants to survive.
But cows are not confined by any boundary.. And though being components of a self sustaining system, they can be exchanged.
But then organs can also be transplanted.. Would organs be considered living.. Of course they carry out metabolism but they cannot survive outside the boundaries of the body.
There is philosophical ambiguity everywhere..
So I would say that though mitochondria cannot be considered as living organisms, they can also not be called dead. Because dead essentially means a permanently non-responsive biological system.
 
4:14 PM
@MattDMo I see. I didn't know that. Is this stated anywhere as policy?
 
@FaheemMitha It is.. people can otherwise promote themselves.
 
@WYSIWYG So, where is it stated?
 
It is considered spam
 
I think that's Ok as long as people don't vote on their own posts.
@WYSIWYG What is?
Also, one might one more than one account for reasons of confidentiality/anonymity.
Like if you wanted to ask on a sensitive topic.
 
@FaheemMitha Having multiple accounts (one can actually promote themselves).
54
Q: How should sockpuppets be handled on Stack Exchange?

Won'tSo a high-reputation, highly-active user has already been dinged once for a sockpuppet, and I just dinged him again. He probably has another sockpuppet as well. What are the guidelines for handling users who game the system in this fashion? Specifically, How can I be sure I'm looking at a soc...

 
4:18 PM
@WYSIWYG They can. But they have a choice not to.
 
19
Q: What's the SO policy about having multiple user accounts?

BalusCTake this example: all SO user accounts of user known as "icepax". I can imagine of any human reasons to create a new user account at SO, e.g. willing to restart with a clean (reputation) history. But particular this one is extreme. The user known as "icepax" currently already has 10 accounts, e...

 
@WYSIWYG Thanks.
 
@FaheemMitha But how would you control
 
@WYSIWYG True, you can't.
"I can imagine of any human reasons to create a new user account at SO". This sentence is not clear.
I think one "legitimate reason" for using an alternate account would be if there is a question you want to ask that you would find particularly embarrassing to have on your "official" accounts records. I never let the two accounts cross each other, so I think that's acceptable use. — AgentConundrum Jan 14 '10 at 16:05
Point.
 
@FaheemMitha People can create multiple accounts but it can be found out. If they are using the same mail id then they get the same gravatar as @MattDMo mentioned. Multiple accounts can be misused and is therefore discouraged.
 
4:24 PM
@WYSIWYG Yes, I got that.
 

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