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12:00 AM
On Unix & Linux, we have the question to what extent Mac OS X is on-topic. Is it a Unix-like system or not? If people are using the traditional Unix tools that OSX includes then it's very clearly on-topic. But what about the OSX-specific stuff? Is it on-topic or not?
I really don't understand the urgency about locking in a tagging system. RPG.SE has revised major sections of its tagging system several times over the years and blood didn't run down the streets.
Linux-specific stuff is unambiguously on-topic, FreeBSD-specific stuff is unambiguously on-topic, Solaris-specific stuff is unambiguously on-topic, etc.
So you'd think there should be a clear decision on meta with numerous loud arguments as to whether OSX-specific stuff is on-topic.
The site is >6 years old and has >100,000 questions.
How many questions challenged the oh-so-important, subjective issue of what parts of OSX are on-topic?
0 (ZERO).
So, when you guys all shoot down a proposal to use a tag because it's possible that someone somewhere will argue how many angels can dance on it… No. We don't care.
If we know when to use a tag 99% of the time, that's perfectly fine.
It's tags which are a toss-up most of the time that are bad tags.
See, this is where I could accuse you of strawmanning my arguments.
But I'm just going to walk away and try to get this wood a nicer shade of brown.
I can't give you an objective definition of SF. I can't give you an objective definition of Unix. I can't give you an objective definition of programming. Yet Science Fiction & Fantasy, Unix & Linux, Stack Overflow, etc. work. They occasionally argue whether a specific question is on-topic, but the site didn't close after a week because we couldn't come up with an objective, consensual definition of the boundary of the topic that covered all possible cases.
12:27 AM
@Gilles That's sort of BESW's point, isn't it? The site's not going to close down because we didn't change the tagging system.
Is "how are university departments organized?" really a good way of deciding how to design the tagging system for an SE site?
(I'm not saying it isn't, just posing the question.)
12:41 AM
@Gilles If you're saying that primary genres deserve their own tags and subgenres don't, then surely the distinction between those two things does matter.
@Gilles Like BESW said, let's try to make arguments for why things will or won't work here, rather than just saying "it works on SFF".
(sorry for the late pings, just catching up with the transcript)
12:56 AM
@Mithrandir I didn't realize they were still coming out with those! I was in elementary school when the originals came out, read those and some from the next series, but grew out of the series (serieses?) eventually.
Q: Do Harry Potter wizards wear pants under their robes? (#robegate)

ShokhetThere has been lively discussion about whether or not witches and wizards in the world of Harry Potter wear pants under their robes. Some of this has been on Twitter (#robegate, which used to have a higher percentage of Potter tweets before Sean Spicer...), for example, in this tweet. I have not ...

@Bookworm Why is this getting so heavily downvoted?
@Randal'Thor If I had to guess, people might be finding it tonally inappropriate for Lit.SE, even if on-topic.
But that's just a guess; I'm not really sure.
I hope people aren't trying to discourage all Harry Potter questions because "they belong on SFF".
1:12 AM
@Emrakul I think that's what most of it is. One comment (now deleted) pointed out an ambiguity in the wording of the question that I edited to fix; one DV disappeared
@Randal'Thor I don't think that's it but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
That makes sense. I wouldn't worry too much about it; Lit's going to be one of those sites where every question gets maybe a couple downvotes.
@Emrakul I'm starting to get that sense as well...every question of mine has at least 2 DVs (but then, I've only asked three question, so it's hard to judge from just my questions)
I've also gotten downvotes that are somewhat inexplicable to me on questions that I've believed to be solidly on-topic.
Someone's been doing a lot of VTCing just now too.
Heck, I had folks try to close a question because they didn't understand it.
1:14 AM
The Close Votes review queue has 4 or 5 items in it.
How do you guys feel about self answered questions?
Yeah, I'm gonna use up all my CV reviews on VTLO.
@Emrakul Is there any way you think I could improve the tone of the question? Once we're discussing it already (or you're welcome to edit it yourself)
@Jolenealaska They're definitely welcome. If you can ask and offer knowledge, that's good here.
@Jolenealaska I think they're perfectly fine, but I'm no regular here
1:15 AM
@Jolenealaska SAQs are always awesome, provided they meet the criteria we hold all other Q&A to.
A: Why are we accepting "asked and answered" posts?

Rand al'ThorWhat's wrong with that? I'm not sure what you mean by obvious "forced" posts, but self-answered questions are explicitly encouraged on Stack Exchange. From the help centre: Can I answer my own question? Yes! Stack Exchange has always explicitly encouraged users to answer their own quest...

Jeff Atwood on July 1, 2011
The FAQ has contained one key bit of advice from the very beginning:
Also, hi @Jolene! Welcome to Lit :-)
@Jolenealaska Also hi!
@Shokhet I think that a lot of the tonal issue potentially comes from the use of Twitter as a primary cause for speculation. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but it gives the surface impression of not being a very deep question.
1:16 AM
@Jolenealaska Love 'em.
(poor @Jolene is getting swamped with pings now)
(Here, @Jolenealaska, have another!)
I went on a Les Miserables kick a few years ago. I read three translations in a couple of months. I have a unique knowledge of the differences. It would make for a good Q&A
@Jolenealaska Oh, absolutely, share this! This sounds fascinating!
@Jolenealaska That sounds great. I say go for it!
1:18 AM
@BESW I've seen quite a few iffy VTCs here, including since the rep thresholds went up.
I had a debate with DForck about it the other day.
I'm debating asking a PSA-style meta question asking people to be far more reserved with primarily opinion-based close votes, given that, you know, we're a site centered on opinion.
> Hark how they ping
Sweet Stackening
All seem to say
Please Q&A!
@Jolenealaska The only caveat I have to give is to make sure that the question stands on its own, and isn't only a set-up for an answer. ....that's only common sense, but I've run afoul of that once or twice in different places around the network
@Randal'Thor 10 pings.
@Randal'Thor I checked it out and I think I said all, but one were to stay open.
1:21 AM
@BESW Replying to a message in the future? Clever.
@Benjamin Yeah, me too. (The exception being the Thomas Pynchon one.)
@Emrakul Okay. I can see how that makes sense. ...I'll try to see if I can fill out the background with other sources.
@HDE226868 BESW is a Time Lord.
@Randal'Thor Same.
@Randal'Thor You might say that, but I couldn't possibly comment.
1:21 AM
@Randal'Thor As apparently were @Mithrandir and I in regards to the HNQ feed.
@Emrakul ...do you think this question would be better off with no background at all, just the question in bold?
@Emrakul I could also copy over my "a close vote is not a super-downvote" meta post from Puzzling.
@Randal'Thor Sounds useful.
@Shokhet My Q&As on the cooking chat have been very well received; I'm sure I'll be fine on that score. I just wanted to be sure that this hasn't come up in any ugly way here that I don't know about.
@Shokhet I think context for why you asked the question at all is important information. Maybe removing the references to twitter and just leaving it at "[X] said [Y]" could work. But these are surface-level cosmetic changes more than anything.
1:24 AM
Ahhhh ... speaking of meta, I still need to write this up:
2 days ago, by Rand al'Thor
Ahhh, I've finally come up with (what I think is) a sensible plan for the and tags. Just trying to work out how to propose it on meta ... post a question and self-answer it? Post a proposal question?
@Jolenealaska Okay.
@Randal'Thor It could be useful, but as far as I've seen, this doesn't seem to be a misconception people have here.
Q: Why are we accepting "asked and answered" posts?

user59One of the things driving me away from this forum are the obvious "forced" posts. Typical is this, a question accompanied by an immediate answer. garnering 62 (and counting) rep points (spread across post and answer) for the poster. Is this where we are going?

^ There was widespread defense of self-answering.
9 mins ago, by Rand al'Thor
A: Why are we accepting "asked and answered" posts?

Rand al'ThorWhat's wrong with that? I'm not sure what you mean by obvious "forced" posts, but self-answered questions are explicitly encouraged on Stack Exchange. From the help centre: Can I answer my own question? Yes! Stack Exchange has always explicitly encouraged users to answer their own quest...

@Emrakul Okay, thanks. I'll consider changing that. Thank you for the advice :)
1:25 AM
Ninja'd :-)
@Randal'Thor Ack.
@Shokhet No problem! I'm not 100% sure it's what's going on, but it could help.
@Randal'Thor Please do, because I am currently implementing a patchwork solution, but it really doesn't work given the 5-tag limit.
@Emrakul It's a misconception at least a few people have here. I've already had to link to that meta post a couple of times on Lit, when people seemed to be VTCing questions just because they didn't like them (or, worse, because those kinds of questions would be considered off-topic on M&TV).
Then it may be worth posting.
1:29 AM
@Randal'Thor It has been getting really annoying!
@Emrakul It definitely would be.
OK, OK ... makes to-do list of meta posts
It'll take me a while because I don't have the books. One is free on the Kindle, the other two might be out of my price range. I might need to go to a brick and mortar library.
1. Close-votes are not super-downvotes.
2. Proposal for [poetry] and [short-stories] tag usage.
Is there a meta post discussing whether there's significant value in [short-stories] at all?
@Emrakul Yes, that has been debated.
@Randal'Thor Could you rearrange your priorities, we at least have some meta post for one, but none for the other.
1:33 AM
Q: How should we use [short-stories]?

BenjaminWhat questions should we use short-stories for? Most questions about short stories currently lack it so should we burninate it? If not, should we add it to all questions about all short stories?

That's fair. That's roughly what I was thinking.
I still want to make a new meta post for my proposed usage, because:
2 days ago, by Rand al'Thor
@Mithrandir One of the problems with fragmenting the discussion into lots of different related meta posts is that it's hard later on to point to a definite consensus.
@Randal'Thor Unless after a month or two of public beta the pro-tem mods put together a canonical post including all of the important discussions so far in beta.
@Mithrandir ^^^
@Benjamin That could be a great idea, actually.
@Emrakul Please do create that meta discussion. I know what I consider too opinion based, but the closing is not about my opinion ;)
1:36 AM
@Randal'Thor I'd be careful in making that post, because there are times when a definite consensus is necessary, and others when an emergent consensus is fine, too.
I think there's value in seeing the discussions happen organically, and a curated index is a good solution to the "can't find anything" problem.
@Randal'Thor @BESW Yeah, if the pro-tems don't want to do it, I would also be willing to put it together if someone could give me some tips on organizing that sort of self-answer.
@Benjamin @BESW @Randal'Thor This is why some sites have an FAQ Index question.
@Benjamin Check out the Meta Stack Exchange [faq] tag and its overarching list.
@BESW I don't think that is what you meant to link to.
1:39 AM
...much better.
@Emrakul But not even just FAQs, but just any important discussion or issue settled even if only brought up once.
@Benjamin That could also be stored in an FAQ index, too. Probably under headings of "Tag Usage" and "Topicality Discussions"
@Emrakul Yep! After I became a mod on SFF, I had a good look at the tag there. Turned out nobody had really been updating it since about 2011, so I untagged a bunch of no-longer-relevant questions and gathered consensus on some new ones to tag.
RPG.SE recently did a much-needed overhaul of its [faq] tag.
@Randal'Thor We should try and stay on top of this, so no one ever has to do that.
1:42 AM
I'd ask "How can sites make best use of the tag on meta?" on Meta.SE, but it'd be closed instantly.
Now, off to watch the documentary I meant to watch before getting side tracked with Lit.SE
@Emrakul Why would it be closed? You could ask it here as, "How should WE use the tag?"
@Benjamin We don't even have a tag here yet, or any mods to curate it. Better to wait a while before opening that discussion, IMO.
@Randal'Thor Okay, but we could plan ahead.
@Emrakul I'm not sure that it would be closed so quickly on MSE...if you want, it's probably on topic on Community Building (though I've never used it, there are a good number of SE questions there)
I can try posting it on MSE, but I'm 96% sure it's going to be closed as primarily opinion-based.
1:48 AM
@Shokhet I already have low rep on MSE and I don't care about losing more and I don't have a CB.SE account, but I would be willing to ask the question, if you don't want to. @Emrakul
@Emrakul No harm in trying.
@Benjamin Fair point. I can do it, if you'd like, or you can do it, up to you.
Emrakul has over 20k rep on main meta - more than on any 'real' site.
What that says about them, I'm not sure ;-)
@Emrakul I don't care, if you post the question here, but not there, I'll post it in 15 minutes, but your choice.
@Randal'Thor WOW! I bow down to you, @Emrakul!
@Randal'Thor I don't want to know ;)
Whoops, typo.
1:52 AM
@MatrimCauthon Thank you for the help with the HP question, and your answer. I'm pretty sure there is no problem with summarizing an answer from another site; I've seen that done before
Your answer does provide sufficient information to answer the question (and a link to more info), but I'll hold off on accepting for a little while, to see what else comes in
I've even done that before.
@Shokhet @MatrimCauthon If I haven't accepted the answer within a couple of days, do not hesitate to remind me :)
Ironically, I'm going to ask this as an [faq-proposed] question on Meta.SE
Q: Are there best practices for individual sites to use their meta [faq] tag?

EmrakulA question arose in Literature chat recently about the use of the meta FAQ tag, what goes in there, and how best to curate it. After looking into this, we realized that there doesn't really exist any centralized resource or guidance on how people have used this in the past, what sites have found ...

@Emrakul There you go, have some more juicy main meta rep :-P
1:59 AM
@Emrakul Good question.
That being said, I think I have an idea for how to organize Lit's meta FAQ.
@Emrakul You could propose that on our meta.
@Emrakul Enjoy your +5 rep from me too
@Shokhet I do have given you 5 rep, o' meta god.
2:01 AM
That said, if you use , you need to give up all rep from that question:
> Flag for a moderator to mark community wiki. Any FAQ post not yet community wiki should be made into a community wiki.
@Emrakul Getting your Lit mod hat on already? ;-)
@Shokhet Only if it actually becomes , right?
@Benjamin Thank you. I like it much better when my questions have a positive score :)
@Randal'Thor Shrugs! It'd be good to have a plan in place regardless of who implements it ;)
2:02 AM
@Shokhet Why>
@Randal'Thor That's not the implication of the tag info page meta.stackexchange.com/tags/faq-proposed/info
@Emrakul Yes, this is the thing. I am happy to help the mods and do mod work, but I can;t commit the time to be a mod.
@Shokhet Well, it says "Any FAQ post not yet community wiki should be made into a community wiki." Not necessarily any proposed FAQ post.
@Shokhet Thanks!
2:04 AM
Yeah, usually FAQ proposals on main meta aren't turned CW until they're actually made into an Official FAQ (TM).
@Randal'Thor Maybe. The wording there is a little ambiguous... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
(Did chat just flake out for anyone else?)
@Randal'Thor Yes
@Shokhet That could be another good meta question for you, @Emrakul.
Meta.SE tends to take an "if it's not actively breaking things, then whatever works" attitude. MSE's answer is going to be, "shrug."
...except about some stuff. MSE's a real stickler for some little things.
2:10 AM
@Emrakul Like insisting on not calling SE a forum?
Yeah, like that. Mess up CW, everyone shrugs. But how DARE you call SE a FORUM.
@Randal'Thor But, isn't it a forum?
A forum is a "a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged"
Q: Is Stack Overflow a forum?

amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM AI was under the impression that Stack Overflow was a forum, or a forum-like object. And if it is not a forum: Why isn't it? What defines a forum?

Stack Exchange confusingly defines "forum" differently than most of the world defines "forum," and the refutes that we're a forum based on a counterintuitive definition that takes forever to explain.
@Emrakul Well, that's just false.
2:14 AM
@Benjamin According to the Assorted Pedants of Meta, no.
But even I'm not pedantic enough to care if someone calls SE a forum.
To be quite honest? "We're not a forum" is the sort of pedantry that emerged out of a desire to shut down ideas that were perceived as trivial or bad.
@Emrakul In other words, we aren't a forum, because we use a special definition of forum, that you can only find out about on our completely not-forum.
@Emrakul Really? How do those things connect?
(Don't let anyone tell you SE doesn't have an elitist streak at its heart.)
@Randal'Thor Good, because true pedants such as us, do not take that position.
@Emrakul Sarcasm, anyone?
@Emrakul I thought it more came from the desire to avoid discussion as opposed to straight Q&A?
2:17 AM
@Benjamin On Meta Stack Overflow, back in ye olden dayes when MSO was MSE, new users, and even sometimes experienced users, would post feature requests and discussions that inadvertently called SE a "forum." People would complain because new users are annoying and there wasn't a whole lot of motivation to help every user.
@Benjamin Not really, no. A lot of people care a lot about "site for experts" and "expert questions." (Not all people, and not all sites, but there's definitely a streak)
So the approach that emerged was to make it implicitly difficult for anyone to actually get help, unless they'd mastered the form of asking for help on Stack Exchange.
And shut them down if they got it wrong.
@Emrakul So, in other words they needed a special code to distinguish 'good' users.
Which is a fair goal, but I tend to think of "forum" in the internet sense as ... pretty much what @Benjamin said, rather than an open discussion-oriented place like, say, The Student Room.
2:18 AM
"We're not a forum" was a tool to that end, used most frequently against users who really have no way of knowing better.
@Shokhet A site for experts, sound like a forum to me.
@Benjamin Yeah, basically.
@Randal'Thor I realized you're right, cast the last vote to close my thomas pynchon Q
@Emrakul As I thought.
@Randal'Thor Not even just the internet sense, but in the real world, I attend fora that are SE-Q&A like
@Benjamin Not according to the MSE definition. This is a "question and answer site"
2:19 AM
@Emrakul That's what I've observed on main meta, and it bugs me.
@Shokhet Q&A is a forum in my book.
@Randal'Thor I had never known about this, but now this makes me mad.
"Just help this poor guy understand SE better, instead of jumping down his throat because he used the wrong word to describe it!"
@Randal'Thor Basically, yeah.
@Emrakul Incidentally, that post is a , and not CW. So.
2:21 AM
It emerges out of a sense that, when a site grows too large and too popular, new users are the problem. It's a tendency that's virulent and has plagued Stack Overflow for a while.
@Benjamin That's fine. I don't have a particular definition for "forum" in my head, but I was describing the MSE sense of the word
@Emrakul That sounds really awful.
hm why is it fora not fori
@Shokhet In my book, MSE has it down right wrong.
fori sounds cooler
(for the plural of forum)
2:22 AM
@Benjamin It's problematic.
@Riker us -> i, um -> a?
@Riker Because it is a 2nd declension neuter noun as opposed to a 2nd declension masculine noun, in which case it would be forus, instead of fori. However, the genetive singular of forum is fori.
rhetorical question mostly
@Riker Four eyes sound cooler?
I was very lucky in that the first SE site I used is very very welcoming. I don't know if I would have stuck around if I would have started at another site, and been received differently
2:23 AM
@Randal'Thor For nominative singular to nominative plural for second declension only, that works, but if you add the other declensions things get harder.
@Shokhet The religion-oriented SE sites tend to be some of the friendliest around. They really practice the notion that questions asked in good faith should be received in good faith. (So to speak.)
@Shokhet I'm not on any of the 'professional' SE sites, but those are probably much less welcoming on average.
@Emrakul I wonder why>
@Emrakul faith ... heh.
@Emrakul That makes sense
2:26 AM
Got to go for now, but leaving a waypoint to return to. Ping me if anything I would be interested in comes up.
I was part of a new SE site once, and tried leaving comments in the spirit of meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/190/5323, and was told to stop by a CM
(that wasn't during private beta, actually, and wouldn't make sense in that context anyway)
@Shokhet What site?
@Benjamin Lifehacks.
I was pretty active during the early days (not so much now), even got the pro-tem mod email (turned it down because I didn't have time anymore)
@Shokhet Yeah, I can see both sides of it. On the one hand, SE is supposed to be high signal, low noise - to the readers who come after both asker and answerer. On the other, Remember the Human is important, too.
@Shokhet What is the "pro-tem mod email?
2:28 AM
No other SE site I've seen quite matches TeX - LaTeX for positivity towards new users:
> Please don't downvote below a score of -1, even if the question in its current form needs some improvement. A score of -1 is enough to show that the question needs work, anything below that is of no use. Also, if you downvote or vote to close, please leave a comment explaining why you did so, but wait at least 24 hours after asking the OP for improvements to the question before voting to close.
I can't even imagine what would happen if someone proposed that policy on SO.
@Benjamin When a CM (community manager) asks if you want to be a temporary moderator during public beta
@Randal'Thor We should adopt the second part of that policy, but not the first.
@Randal'Thor Might need an alt for that.
@Shokhet Oh, so someone nominated you.
Now, I really need to go.
@Randal'Thor Is that official policy? I disagree -- you vote based on your perception of the quality of the question, not on the total score. I totally agree with the second half, though
@Randal'Thor This just confirms my theory that SE is the Vault-Tec of website experimentation.
@Benjamin Pro tems aren't always appointed due to meta nominations.
@Shokhet On Tex SE, yes.
2:30 AM
@Randal'Thor It's based in greater part (I think) on rep, activity, and if the CMs think you're good for the job
@Shokhet Wait at least 24 hours between leaving a comment and voting to close?
@Randal'Thor I don't know about literally 24 hours...but yeah, a while. Give the poor guy a chance to fix the question before closing it
@Randal'Thor I disagree, but I'm not a part of their site so...whatever works for them.
What happens when a post is DV'ed to -1, you leave it alone, and then someone upvotes it? Then the total score will not reflect the quality of the question like at all
@Shokhet If a question is edited after being put on hold, it automatically enters the queue for reopening anyway.
But it feels bad. (This seems like a silly thing to say, but it's still true.)
@Randal'Thor That's true, but there's a finality that users associate with a closed question. You're SE savvy, and realize that your question can be reopened simply enough (and you're probably able to contribute a reopen vote to your own question)
2:35 AM
Again, it's hard to say exactly what actually works in practice.
@Emrakul Exactly
@Emrakul Fair
@Shokhet @Randal'Thor If you had a question that was currently closable, but still fixable, wouldn't you like the chance to fix it before it got closed? Having to deal with closure is annoying, and delays answers
I'm generally less quick to VTC a question if it looks easily fixable and the OP seems amenable.
Okay, that sounds fair
3 mins ago, by Emrakul
Again, it's hard to say exactly what actually works in practice.
Prices have gone down, I can get all of the Les Mis versions I need for $10.
Hey, neat!
3:18 AM
"Our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo," says Department of Energy, in statement correcting typo.
3:30 AM
...do we need both and ? ...is there anything included in one tag that isn't in the other?
In the context of literature, isn't every constructed language a fictional one?
@Emrakul that's the Department of Education
@Shokhet Unless we anticipate questions about works of literature written in a constructed language?
3 hours later…
6:16 AM
Q: Should we have a sandbox?

fi12(See Worldbuilding's sandbox for an example of how this might look.) Essentially, a question sandbox is a large, community-edited meta question that will allow users to post prospective questions they have in mind (to ask on the main site) as answers to the meta question. Other users can then gi...

@Shokhet I like closing new users' questions when they can be fixed with a quick edit. It gives them an easy, rewarding first experience with the close process because it gets resolved so painlessly.
@Shokhet Look at how tags are used, not how they might be used, to determine duplication.
2 hours later…
8:14 AM
@Librarian no, dont think there is a need
is @Mithrandir awake already? :)
@RaisingAgent Already? It's after 10:00 AM :P
8:30 AM
ik :)
8:41 AM
tho I'm GMT +1
also: Good Morningz
Morning. :P
9:19 AM
I've started Radiance by Valente, and while I'm not sure what I think of the story yet (I'm not fond of the "keep the reader more in the dark than the characters" attitude toward mystery-writing) the writing itself is more than worth the price of admission.
It's deeply self-aware in a way that would be unbearably pretentious if it weren't simultaneously an ode to storytelling and a bitter tell-all exposé on storytelling.
Q: How did the writing of Ibsen influence James Joyce?

MikeRogerIn particular, in what ways would works like "A Doll's House" have reflections, in strong and well portrayed female characters like Molly Bloom?

> The prologue is patient. She has been told often that she is wholly unnecessary, a growth upon the story that the wise doctor must cut off. She has time and again found the doors to more fashionable establishments closed to her, while tables are set with candles and crystal for a top-hatted in medias res, a pedigreed murder at midnight, a well-heeled musical number. This does not trouble the prologue. -"Radiance" by Catherynne M. Valente
1 hour later…
10:54 AM
@Jolenealaska Wow! Maybe we should have a price watch for each tag.
@Emrakul Wow!
@Shokhet Yes, some constructed languages are not fictional.
1 hour later…
12:16 PM
@Randal'Thor Not automatically, but it is a point to take into account. And I didn't say that anyway — I used the organization of university departments to illustrate how literature subdivides into expertise topics.
Tags denote areas of expertise. So to choose tags, we should determine what areas of expertise are within literature.
Literature academics are one of the main categories of experts. So how do literature academics subdivide their expertise?
One such level is how they categorize themselves into separate departments.
You don't shout biology questions in the math department. You don't shout Chinese literature questions in the Arabic department.
(And yes of course there are cross-topic questions. Which is why questions can have multiple tags.)
Q: How do we feel about using other peoples answers on a different site as a source?

Matrim CauthonI gave this answer yesterday that basically summarizes Valorums answer from Sci-Fi to the same question. There has also been Cheese's answer to a question about the readings order for Sanderson's Cosmere. Both answers have been well received. I know that we have determined to allow the same ques...

@Randal'Thor Probably because it's an exact dupe of an SE question. The user who asked it has rep on Sci Fi, so he should have known to search there.
@Randal'Thor No, but I discourage duplicate questions. And I know I've asked such a dup question too, and I can understand if it gets downvoted.
@BESW Oh great, actual moderation theory opinions.
Good to hear those in chat too.
@Shokhet No, I don't think so. Esperanto isn't a fictional language, it's a real one, and there's some literature written in Esperanto.
@Shokhet Oh, welcoming new users? Sometimes that can work, although I've seen it carried to extremes when it definitely didn't work.
@Randal'Thor I use "forum" in a very wide sense, so SE sites certainly count as forums for me, even if they're question and answer sites.
If I want a narrow sense, I can say "web-based message board" or something.
But if they need a shiboleth to recognize insiders, and it's not calling the site a "forum", sure, let them do that.
12:46 PM
@Gilles It's worth noting that a good deal of literature academics hate the way that literature academia is subdivided.
This may in fact be one of the more virulent structural topics one could dare to bring up in a literature department at a university.
Luckily I have no idea how literature academia is subdivided.
And it's probably not even easy to find out. I could look up the names of departments etc in universities, but I know in many case the names of organizational units are very misleading.
Some places have departments randomly divided to two parallel units.
If you're pessimistic, it's because this way they can have two bosses who can be king of their own department; if you're optimistic, it's A-B testing to figure out what teaching techniques work better.
That's also true. I more mean, I'd put "how should literature be organized?" with "what counts as literature?" for questions I shouldn't ask in a lit department unless I'd like my day to start with arson.
Sometimes the parallel structure is obvious, when the departments are called Department of Foo I and Department of Foo II, but sometimes they use fancy synonyms instead.
@Emrakul Maybe the more practical question is, how should literature works be organized on library bookshelves.
But even that has some painful parts.
Like putting all the pseudoscience and esoteric books under the heading "Lifestyle", because if they would label it "pseudoscience", some people could get insulted for why a particular book is put there, or the book sales would be less.
When we're talking about a tag system, we're really talking about searchability.
12:55 PM
And... when it comes down to it, for literature? No matter what system you look at is deeply flawed and takes skill to use.
I'd rather we have a system that's as free from political and societo-cultural connotation as we can make it.
@Emrakul Dear everyone who tries to discuss how tags should be used, could you please accept that there are two or three valid uses for tags, both or all three of them are valid, should be taken into account for such discussions, and you shouldn't argue against a tag because it's only useful for just one of those two or three purposes?
Searchability (finding specific questions later), signposting (attracting experts of the area who might be able to answer), and I dunno what the third one was.
Well, signposting falls under searchability. Signposting is the ability of relevant people to find questions they're interested in, which is definitionally searchability.
Maybe "discoverability" is a better blanket term.
And searchability is usually the less important, as because of the way SE works, searchability sucks no matter what you do (it can't search in comments, so you have to edit additional keywords into the text of the question).
@Emrakul Maybe, but it's not the same kind of searchability, and it isn't always served by the same sort of keywords and tags.
1:16 PM
@b_jonas [grin] I'm frequently mistaken for a moderator.
1:38 PM
Wow, the voting on the sandbox meta post changed a lot overnight.
1:49 PM
@Randal'Thor - I number things like 1.) with the). Just for future edits.
And I don't really see the need to stick it in a list if the whole thing is gonna be in it.
@Mithrandir But SE's list formatting requires you to leave out the bracket.
If you put 1. and 2. and so on, you get nice list formatting with indentations and everything.
If you put 1.) and 2.) and so on, it just looks like another paragraph.
3 mins ago, by Mithrandir
And I don't really see the need to stick it in a list if the whole thing is gonna be in it.
@Mithrandir You mean if pretty much the whole answer is a list, you don't want to bother with list formatting?
I mean it already looks like a list. Why bother putting it with a little indent and mess up my preferred numbering method?
It's like it's vs it is ;)
Because it looks nicer that way?
It's your choice, of course, but "improve formatting" is one of the standard reasons for editing :-)
1:57 PM
@Randal'Thor everyone has their options on what looks better...
Anyway I upvoted your answer.
Thanks :) I did yours too.
How about those first two headers? I mean, all four are basically "no point, because X Y and Z". Could you make them more specific than just "no point" and "no point (2)"?
Is that new?
Problem is, those links are only showing up in chat, which is the only place that doesn't have badges/privileges pages :-/
2:07 PM
Yes. It was implemented with the new so topbar afaik
Open a bug on meta.se
@Randal'Thor chat and SO
Q: Why was Welsh nationalist poet RS Thomas so critical of the Welsh people?

Matt ThrowerWelsh poet RS Thomas was an ardent Welsh nationalist and advocate for independence. Although a native English speaker he learned and conversed in Welsh, although he never felt fluent enough to use it for his poetry. Yet in spite of his nationalist beliefs, his poems often painted bleak and highly...

Q: "Privileges" / "badges" links in achievements dropdown only appear in chat

rand al'thorI just noticed these very handy links on my achievements dropdown: Yay! I thought. This looks really useful! It's always a pain to get to the privileges page by going via the help centre. Only problem is, this screenshot was taken in chat, the only part of SE where there aren't "privileges" a...

Also, woo - Literature is finally my #3 site by rep! :-D
2:22 PM
:) gz
What was the thought process while implementing these links?
This is so ridiculous, it's funny
@RaisingAgent it's new on SO
A: Help test the new Top Nav: phase 3 testing runs this week

pgmannfeature-requeststatus-completed I'd just like to request the addition of a Privileges link since it looks like there'd be room for it beside Badges. I actually use the privileges link more than I do badges because it has a greater influence over my use of the site - where I can review, edit, etc....

This question has been edited. People may wish to consider retracting their DVs/VTCs.
Oops. Fixing it. ...at least it was DRY coded? — Nick Craver ♦ 1 min ago
That was quick.
13 mins after the initial post :0
2:45 PM
Q: What is the meaning of the rescue of Tashtego?

mattiav27In Moby Dick, Tashtego falls into the sinking head of a sperm whale from which the crew was extracting the spermaceti; he is saved by Queequeg who cuts the head and extracts Tashtego as if the head was giving birth to him. This rescue seems symbolic, but I cannot fully understand it, so I wonder...

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