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12:23 AM
Ki-Musubi by NinjaPenguin: an aikido-inspired ttrpg about connection, and blending for 2 players, in three tweets.
12:46 AM
@Rubiksmoose which is fine, but it just makes things difficult to learn. As a specific example, comments get deleted with a statement about them being not for discussion, so I have to search for FAQ about discussion, comment deletion, etc. But then there is no clear way to understand how FAQ should be used, and there is no clear guidelines on what discussion is and when discussion becomes too much discussion, and although there is an automated system no one knows how it works, etc.
Any simple issue balloons out into a huge mess and raises dozens of new questions. Attempting to find any answers just results in -ve rep or wasted time because there really is no answer. The end being "once you have been here a few years it will make sense, just accept it". I don't enjoy being constantly told I'm wrong when no one can explain what right is. Maybe it's just me but I find it frustrating.
The rules are more like heuristics than an exact science. If comments get deleted/moved with a "no discussions" message, then that means there either had been a discussion going on in comments, or there was a potential discussion and someone wanted to nip it in the bud. I don't think there is an exact threshold for what is or isn't a discussion.
@jgn Not necessarily years, but perhaps more than a week.
By the way, I do thank you for taking the time to put clearly into words what're the sorts of things *causing* your frustration. We (SE/SO established users) know that "the new user experience" is a serious friction-point.
Both in how the interface "treats" newer users--like documentation being sparse and distributed and nebulous and hidden--and in how communities tend to respond to new users--"they'll get the hang of it, and if they don't they're probably not a good fit for the site anyway" is a lamentably-common refrain. (Not around RPGSE, I mean; just around SO/SE.)
1:22 AM
KorvinStarmast told me before that he was very concerned with the new user experience / steep learning curve, so I try to be explicit about the source of the problem. Especially because it's something that you can very quickly lose perspective on. There are a lot of things that troubled me when I first started asking here that no longer do, and I would probably struggle to explain them all.
@jgn And we do know it's tough (even though we often forget the specifics over time). We've all had to learn how to use the site at one point or another. Heck I lurked on here for about a year before I made a single post because I was nervous and unsure of how things worked and was trying to learn. Just know that we aren't out to get you. When you do something wrong we'll do our best to explain what we've learned from experience and to help you experience less friction with the site.
So all that I ask is that you try to receive the feedback that we give you with an open mind and know that it is coming from a place of helpfulness.
1:37 AM
Q: What are the targeting range limitations of Glyph of Warding?

TheVagrantDogGlyph of warding states, in part: When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph.If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. Other questions have addressed the fact that the specifi...

@Rubiksmoose I had a similar experience. Lurked a good while (months, probably, rather than a year) before posting my first. Which got downvoted to hell (rightly, I now believe) and made me retreat for a few more weeks. Then I started answering simple questions, interacting with people, competing with Miniman for check-marks, discovered meta and that was a whole month of late-night reading, got a few privileges, discovered chat....
I know when I first got here I was terrified of commenting for a short time because I was absolutely terrified to get that "comments are not for extended discussion" message, which I took to be a severe scolding at first.
@jgn I just do want to reiterate, though, that I am convinced that everyone you've interacted with is doing so in good faith. I saw that you and @Miniman got into a bit of an argument the other night, and then again you and @BESW more recently. Without passing judgment on either conversation please know that I've seen each of them spend hundreds of hours helping out complete strangers over the years. I have no doubt that both of them were acting in good faith. (Probably thousands of hours, tbf.)
@Rubiksmoose (FYI, it's generally not a severe scolding. Though if you do use comments in ways that are being disruptive, we'll tell you and the "extended discussion" message is a good first sign that things are going too far for comments)
1:54 AM
@Rubiksmoose also note that that message AIUI can come up automatically?
(not just when a mod recommends that something be migrated to chatland)
I rather suspect that "I lurked for a while before deciding to post" is the norm around here.
Also, @jgn, thanks for your patience in teaching us what road bumps you hit as a newer user.
@Shalvenay Yeah, when two users have commented a half-dozen times and nobody else has interjected, the automated "shall we continue this discussion in chat" link will appear.
And I think a couple of messages later the "comment" link will disappear, leaving "continue in chat" as the only option.
2:09 AM
@nitsua60 Sure, and that's why I left the conversation because it would have been easy to misinterpret BESW's intentions despite knowing that they were only trying to help. I don't think it's inherently wrong to argue, and Miniman and I were able to find common ground so I think it was productive.
I think we need to be very aware, though, that none of the policies rest on a single human
I did lurk for a while, but lurking is very different to actually posting haha. I didn't really think to consider what the asker wants when asking a question, I just got the info I needed and get out ;)
And no one person can really...be held accountable for the thing.
(or explain it properly always)
2:34 AM
@V2Blast What? WotC didn't make you the community manager? Arrgh, what were they thinking? grumble
@jgn comments are not the value stream. Answers are the value stream.
Q: Dungeon of the Mad Mage room ceiling height?

Eternallord66I am playing in the Dungeon of the Mad Mage and in the text for room size there is the text for the rooms on page 11: A room's ceiling is at least as high as the room is wide, often higher. If a room's ceiling isn't specified in the text, assume it's the minimum height. What I am wondering ...

@Shalvenay That prompt can come up such that one of the participants can trigger it, which will open a chat and copy messages into it, but won't delete them.
@Rubiksmoose yeah, that's how I've seen it :)
@jgn The reason I stuck around is that I am stubborn as hell and I like RPGs. And I am glad I did, since this site got me to Christianity SE from which I accrue far more value: by like an order of magnitude or two.
@KorvinStarmast Sadly not, haha
2:40 AM
@V2Blast Arrgh, the universe is AFU!
We must nuke it from orbit: it's the only way to be sure
No beer was involved in that last comment, except the beers I had tonight.
Don't try this at home, leave this to the trained professionals! ;)
Our Tunnels and Trolls game tonight blew up. Two no shows and one tech support problem, discord/mic no workee
And So I made a new game: Beers and Banza (It's a pasta brand I have to use since my wife is on a gluten hate diet)
It is made from chick peas, and cooks up real nice al dente
Chickpea pasta is great. It cooks really quickly, which is a plus if you often experience temporal anomalies
@MikeQ Yes, this is true. It's been our default brand for about a year
And I must go, dinner with Mamma calls ..
@MikeQ that's something I have not tried before
2:50 AM
@MikeQ The downside is immediately after it cooks, it turns to mush.
@KorvinStarmast "comments are not the value stream. Answers are the value stream." I think that is some circular logic :)
Not really. SE is meant as a Question & Answer site, not a Question & Comment site. Generally that's what discussion forums are for.
@jgn Either I'm misunderstanding you (if so, I apologize in advance) or we are having terminology issues here. Comments are the messages left below a question or answer. Answers are left below questions. In no cases are comments equivalent to answers.
In fact, one of the harder rules around here is that leaving answers in comments is not allowed (especially under questions)
Comments are made to be temporary notices that eventually get removed. Comments that stick around are by far the exception here.
Q: Do effects that prevent someone from becoming an undead stop or delay the effect?

Dean CrossnoFor example if a character is killed by a vampire's bite, but then hit with a gentle repose spell or a similar spell before being buried, does the spell prevent them from becoming a spawn or does it only delay them becoming a spawn for the duration?

@Rubiksmoose This one is hard for newer users, I think, because there are so many comments laying around. They just don't see the many, many other comments that have been removed.
2:58 AM
Very true! It's actually by far the most common task we do as diamond moderators (though the community here cleans up a significant portion on their own as well!)
Yeah it's weird cause you can open any question and probably find some comments still on it
But you can't see a list of all the comments that got deleted or moved
For context
Yeah looking at our stats, I alone have deleted hundreds of comments this month alone. And that is not an outlier among the mods here.
No, the outliers are those among us who don't delete comments by the thousand. Looks around... sheepishly.
I don't think I've ever deleted comments
I might only be able to delete my own anyway?
yeah, only mods can delete other peoples' comments, but we can flag comments for mod attention.
Sometimes I go back through a couple pages of my comment history and delete anything of mine that's no longer useful, and flag anything else that I come across.
3:18 AM
@BESW Sort of. It's my understanding that a magic number of flags from users will delete a comment without us ever seeing it.
Yes, that's a thing
I'm not sure if those rules/thresholds are public knowledge, though. I certainly know I don't know where to put my finger on the info =)
I forget the number, but it's happened on Gaming, so I know it
Also the number isn't static. It depends on a variety of factors.
Comments that are flagged by multiple users are deleted automatically. The number of flags needed is usually based on the comment's score. It currently takes "3 + (Score / 3)" flags (rounded up) to delete a comment. Comments containing certain keywords can be deleted with a single flag."
3:20 AM
tyvm =)
(finding stuff on MSE is like my only good google-fu skill, I'm rubbish at most anything else, but MSE was a hyperfocus for long enough I know most of where the rules bits are)
Hyperfocus for the win
It's not a hyperfocus anymore, because I dragged myself away for health reasons, but the bits are still in there :P
3:26 AM
@Rubiksmoose consider an answer with a comment saying "I think that X is wrong because Y". This is almost certainly part of the value stream, any reader would be interested to know any unresolved point of contention.

The only reason why comments are not part of the value stream is because they are deleted because people believe they are not part of the value stream. If unresolved comments are not deleted/hidden then they are valuable.
@jgn Generally we actually don't find comments only saying "this is wrong" that useful. The preferred methods are to either suggest a way for OP to fix the error and/or to write a correct answer and let votes sort it out. In some cases where pointing out a serious flaw is highly upvoted, we will leave it especially in cases of old and abandoned answers.
Comments were never designed to be part of the value stream and have been treated accordingly here (to our net benefit IMO).
Other sites do it differently and that's their prerogative.
There are lots of reasons for that too. Comments have no quality control, so in the case of bad/erroneous comments pointing out non-existent or irrelevant errors, there's really no way to get those removed or corrected unless you get a bunch of community flags. No way to vote on them or indicate their quality.
On several site in the network they have even removed the "comment" notation from them and it says "suggest an improvement" instead.
@Rubiksmoose Importantly, comments can only be upvoted, not downvoted, so a +10 comment looks unanimous and not at all contentious, but there could have been 20 or 30 people who disagreed but had no way to show it.
So for example if there was an answer saying "Apples aren't a vegetable, they are a fruit" and then someone commented "actually fruits are a kind of vegetable" you would just delete the comment?
@jgn Eventually, yes. Either because the author declined to fix that error or because they did fix it.
3:39 AM
Not necessarily. In that case, the comment is offering a correction.
Although if the thing gets corrected, then yeah, the comment isn't useful anymore
@Rubiksmoose Or because the commenter was successfully encouraged to make that comment an answer!
Honestly though, if you find an answer that is fundamentally incorrect, that is a great opportunity to make your own answer.
cough best case scenario cough
There is no consideration that the only reason you are deleting it is because you have arbitrarily decided that all comments are not part of the value stream and therefore bad?
@Miniman ^
3:41 AM
It's not arbitrarily decided.
It's not as if, in the past, the site considered answers and comments equally, and suddenly the userbase decided that comments weren't good anymore. The site (the mainsite, anyway) was designed for Q&A. Comments exist on top of that, to serve the Q&A, but ultimately comments aren't part of the site goals.
@jgn I've just spent the last 10 minutes describing why we don't consider comments valuable, starting with the fact that they were designed not to be.
It's not at all arbitrary.
It's also worth pointing out that these are SE policies that no-one here has any real ability to change.
@Rubiksmoose thank you for finding/remembering that dupe target. I was just starting to dig around in archive.org's copies of the old design articles from when Cook and Mearls were working on Next to answer the "natural language" question... but I should be going to bed.
Rubiksmoose I think you kind of gloss over "it was designed that way". That was an arbitrary decision and things like "lack of downvoting for comments" are a consequence of that decision.
If you want comments to be treated better, it's something you'd have to take up on MSE.
3:44 AM
@jgn Well read the official help text if you don't believe me:
> Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be upvoted (but not downvoted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision history, and when they are deleted they're gone for good.
Temporary being the key word there.
> When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:

Request clarification from the author;
Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
A: Moderator Cheat Sheet

user149432Moderating comments How should I handle comments? Comments are—for the most part—intended to be ephemeral bits of information used to improve the quality of the post they're found on. If they aren't contributing to that, they generally don't belong. If you see an ongoing discussion or argument...

@Miniman Yeah and honestly the fact that comments are so thoroughly misused across the network is IMHO a case of bad design.
@nitsua60 It helps that I asked the other question so it was easy for me to recall :)
A: How do comments work?

Justin StandardHow do comments work? Comments exist so that users can talk about questions and answers without posting new answers that do not make an attempt to answer the question asked. Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to, and provide meta-information about posts. The...

@Rubiksmoose It's not that I don't believe you, it's like I say, that's arbitrary. Besides, I don't see anywhere that implies that comments that are still relevant are deleted.
@Rubiksmoose That's where many of my dupe-links come from, too =)
3:50 AM
For example constructive criticism should remain until the answer is updated or there is a reason not to.
Transient information should remain until no longer relevant.
@jgn And generally that is exactly what we do.
I'm not sure why there is an insistence to disagree when I suggest that then ://////
After a certain amount of time it is going to become very clear from time (or through other interactions) that the user is not going to update their answer in response to the criticism. At that point, they get removed because they are no longer useful.
One of the reasons not to being: "that comment's been there a few days, the post author has been active but hasn't done what the comment suggests, looks like they're not intending to."
Moderation by mind reading?
3:52 AM
@Rubiksmoose Or the user flags it for deletion, indicating that they aren't going to change their answer.
Usually the mods wait a few days (or weeks) before deleting a comment.
Why not allow users to indicate their intent and when that isn't there, don't assume it?
@jgn Nope, that is you misunderstanding the SE/SO model. Took me a while to "grok" that when I first began dealing with SE sites
@jgn Hardly.
@jgn For me, because you routinely phrase things in very absolutist terms:
11 mins ago, by jgn
There is no consideration that the only reason you are deleting it is because you have arbitrarily decided that all comments are not part of the value stream and therefore bad?
3:54 AM
@jgn Well I'd say a good amount of time when we delete something it is because of explicit signals from the author that they are not going to do the thing suggested. Either they flag it or they comment rejecting the edit.
@KorvinStarmast I believe on other SE sites it is normal to leave comments so long as they are relevant
@BESW me too,
@jgn Some.
Almost every site argues about how to handle comments, best as I can tell. No matter where on the spectrum of "kill them all" to "every comment is precious, don't touch a single one" that site lies.
@nitsua60 Please note I was specifically replying to Korvin saying it is an SE model.
@jgn You are reminded to go back and read the RPGSE meta bout comments. SF&F is a cesspool of too many comments.
The Signal to Noise Ration there is appalling. SE objectives are High Signal, Low Noise.
3:55 AM
I have read it many times now Korvin, I just disagree.
@jgn Then I suggest that you stop treating your opinions as facts.
Given that comments aren't part of the core SE model, each SE site has its own moderation approach for handling comments. RPG.SE is definitely on the stricter end of the spectrum.
I have even offered alternate solutions such as prioritizing objective answers over subjective, thus reducing noise.
@jgn That's a different kind of noise though.
Night, all!
3:56 AM
@jgn And strangely enough, nobody before you has ever had a similar suggestion. Wait, sorry, yeah they did.
If we can't even agree what the SE model is, then it's kind of hard to base an argument on "SE does it like that so we do", especially when sites have latitude to do it their own way.......
@jgn Where? Because if it's here in chat, it's pretty much pointless. If you want people to see your suggestions, you need to write them on meta.
@jgn We don't have to agree to a unanimous SE model.
@jgn Then why do you spend your time here if you like other SE sites better? Care to share?
@KorvinStarmast and I think I have said before that I disagree with that because it increases noise, and this one of the consequences of that decision
3:57 AM
Korvin, this seems to be getting a bit unfriendly to me.
Hey folks, remember Be Nice, even if you disagree
@Rubiksmoose OK, noted, and I'll step aside.
@KorvinStarmast They banned me for asking about dnd on stack overflow of course mate, why do you think?
Let's all step back a couple of notches here. There's no need to get heated about this.
@Rubiksmoose Good call. I've got work to do in another room =)
4:00 AM
Here's another way to look at it: The SE model assigns value to questions and answers. Comments exist, but they don't have value in the same way. The SE model assumes that comments can be deleted without loss of value.
(Whether or not anyone thinks that should be the model, it is the model.)
@jgn Our core disagreement here appears to be when a comment becomes "irrelevant". Largely, we are in agreement. A significant portion of the time we remove comments at the request of the answer-poster. Roughly next in magnitude is removing comments due to the answerer explicitly saying that they will not act on the comment and/or disagree with it. Many times this is in conjunction with a long argument.
At the point that OP rejects a comment and says they won't act on it, the comment becomes irrelevant.
@MikeQ Thanks for speaking up. :thumbsup:
If a user provides a constructive comment, whether for clarification or correction or some helpful insight, that's okay. But, as per the model, the user gets no value for writing that comment, and suffers no lost value if the comment is removed.
"Gets no value" seems a little off. The economist would argue "of course they derive value from the activity, or they wouldn't do it." Perhaps, rather, "the user is not incentivized by the rep-system" to write the comment?
4:05 AM
Well, no value, in the sense that users don't get some kinda "assist" reputation for providing a helpful comment that ends up improving an answer.
I mean, SE does try to have it both ways, too. Comments are second-class, liable to deletion, temporary... but we'll give you a badge if people like them!
Whatever--I'm tired. Off to count... cousins =D
The real value is the rep badges stars friends we made along the way.
Resist it, people. Don't star that ^^ message!
I'm not really clear what "the model" is, where I can find info on it, and why there should not be made any attempts to improve/change it. For example people have said other sites handle comments differently, are they breaking SE law or something?
(But do become friends with Miniman--that's a high-value proposition.)
4:09 AM
Arguments like "the model says X therefore we do things" seem to me like they were formed in reverse.
@jgn Some other sites are considerably more lax about enforcing SE policy in general and wrt comments specifically.
@jgn It's more like: The model (of how SE sites are structured) doesn't really value comments. But comments exist, and in the absence of a network-wide comment-handling law, each SE site must derive its own policies for handling comments.
It's not something they're likely to get in trouble for or anything, since mods are given a great deal of latitude in running things.
@jgn I mean, maybe they were. But from the POV of this specific site, the model existed before we did, and a lot of the text people have been quoting at you was written before rpg.se was ever conceived.
@jgn Not all of us are making those arguments though. We've created the guidelines and rules that we have because its what we've found that works best for us.
Best as in best for the site and community as a whole.
@nitsua60 Night!
I've been spending a lot of time on MSE lately (do not recommend BTW) and the comments there and the way they are handled.... leave much to be desired say.
4:27 AM
I guess the question is whether "fruits are a kind of vegetable" increases the quality of a Q&A database? Or is the quality of the db secondary to the model?
I guess that is 2 questions :)
Generally, anything not in the question/answer on this site doesn't substantively contribute to the functioning of this site as a QA resource as we maintain it.
With a few exceptions.
@jgn In this case, following the way we handle comments increases the DB quality.
Having been around for a lot of those comment-policy discussions, I remember that a major reason for cracking down on them was that leaving comments around was enabling argumentative behaviors imported from RPG forums that were not only out of line with the whole Stack's focus on Q&A over conversation, but were actively creating a toxic atmosphere for RPG.SE.
Many of our policies are that way: not directly related to the way the rest of the Stack functions, but derived from the challenges which face online RPG communities.
That makes sense. I've seen the sort of flamewars that erupt in the comment sections on other stacks with more lax policies.

I mean, our comment handling policies aren't perfect, and could definitely be friendlier. But I see the point.
@BESW That's a very good point as well. So many times comments even still devolve into arguing. Though these days they are usually good-natured.
And it doesn't help that the Stack's choice of "comment" terminology implies a more discussion-oriented purpose than it was intended for, and the lack of fine-tuned sorting options exacerbates the problem when they're used for discussion.
Like, a major reason not to put an answer in a comment is that you can't search or sort comments so the answer isn't findable by other people with the same question. This violates the core Stack value that answers are for everyone who might ever face that problem, not just for the one person who happened to ask about it first.
(As always, I will be the first in line to point out that the Stack's values are often laughably disconnected from human reality, but so long as we're working in their sandbox we have to understand their epistemology even if we're trying to subvert it.)
4:36 AM
@BESW Yeah like not expecting people to use comments to argue/chat/answer but giving us laughably bad tools to handle it and no better way to do some of those things (arguably by design)
I was just talking with a friend earlier today about how the system is designed around the assumption people will behave at best under the principles of enlightened self-interest. Which means they're designed to squeeze the wisdom of consultation out of a bunch of selfish h*ckholes by appeasing their egos while not actually giving them any influence.
This is part of why the moderator and management tools are primed toward reacting to individual actions rather than making choices that will curate the community as a whole, and why chat functionality is an afterthought and meta just copies main-site infrastructure: the community is an accidental by-product of the Stack ethos.
@Rubiksmoose I appreciate that you want to be consistent, but I don't see how "Apple is a fruit, not a vegetable" is improved by deleting the comment that "fruits are a kind of vegetable". Cleaner? Sure. Less arguments? Sure. Higher quality? I don't see it.
@jgn The way the db quality is increased is by the submission of the correct answer in this case, which is really the thing that you should be doing in response to bad answers.
That's fair. Deleting one constructive comment does not necessarily improve the site. However, the general policy is that comments can be deleted; if you really want to express the corrected information, then you may as well post it as an answer, rather than a comment.
@jgn Because the real improvement is to, one way or another, get an answer that says that which people can vote on properly.
4:41 AM
Frame challenges huh?
@jgn Depends on the question.
If an answer is 100s of words long it maybe isn't practical to rewrite the entire thing with a single change and have it buried just to avoid leaving a comment.
@jgn Either I'm misunderstanding your hypothetical situation, or this is not a frame challenge situation.
@Rubiksmoose The choice was to delete the comment or not
Ah. Well there's also the option of editing the answer, so that it has the corrected info. And then the comment isn't necessary anymore, viola, it can be deleted.
4:42 AM
Saying that a new answer should be made is outside the question
@jgn It's not though. That is part of the reason why we delete comments like that.
If the question wasn't about fruit/vegetable dichotomy, and it's just a minor detail in one of the answers, then the comment isn't really adding significant value anyway.
It's core to the behavioral assumptions at work
Sure, you can try edit it, another option. How well it works, again, depends on the exact situation.
@Miniman Sure, thats true. Doesn't really answer the question but it's true.
@jgn Which question?
4:44 AM
Or, you leave a comment with correct info, and wait for another user to check the info and edit the answer. That happens somewhat often. Then the comment has served its purpose, and can be deleted.
"So for example if there was an answer saying "Apples aren't a vegetable, they are a fruit" and then someone commented "actually fruits are a kind of vegetable" you would just delete the comment?"
"The choice was to delete the comment or not"
in the context of would this increase the quality of the Q&A DB
From everyone's answers it seems that the consensus is to make a comment, if it expires make an edit, if it isn't accepted then make another answer?
And the answer would be that if the comment is no longer useful it will get deleted. To preserve that information it should be edited into the current question or offered as an additional answer.
Whether you edit or make a new answer depends on how major the edit is.
I already stated why I think that's a bad idea, namely that it goes to the bottom of the pile and is unlikely to be read and it hinders collaboration.
@jgn That's one way to approach it. Not really a "consensus" though. Some folks skip the comment, or skip the edit.
@jgn I wouldn't say "if it expires make an edit" so much as "if it seems like the author is okay with it make an edit".
4:47 AM
@jgn Comments have very little value as answers. If they don't go into an answer, they are adding very little to the site.
@jgn It starts at the bottom, but we're going for timeless here. I've seen plenty of late answers slowly accumulate votes until they overtake a highly voted answer that was given when the question was fresh.
@Rubiksmoose is that by your opinion or by site doctrine?

In my opinion I will often read the comments under the top answer, which may give more info or raise concerns. From my perspective it is valuable.
Not to mention that new answers bump the question, so they generally get a fair amount of attention anyway.
@jgn Both? We've already listed many reasons why comments make very poor answer-subsititutes. They can't be searched at all for one thing.
@Miniman I think you have to be a little pragmatic about it. The best answers won't necessarily float to the top, especially if the top answer is wrong but convincing.
4:50 AM
@jgn Given time we find they generally do actually.
@Rubiksmoose You seem to be presenting a false representation of what comments are. I never suggested they be answer substitutes.
@jgn That falls under RPG.SE policy. And I can understand that yes, in practice, sometimes there's insight in comments. But then we ask - If that information is valuable, then why isn't it in an answer?
@MikeQ perhaps it is
If the comment serves to answer the question, then it should be posted as an answer. Or added to an existing answer. Why? For quality and database reasons (discussed above).
Listen, it is often not very helpful to talk in hypotheticals. Let us know if there is a real scenario that pops up and ask us about that. It will be much easier for us to have a sense of what the issues are when we have a real problem at hand.
Not that this discussion can't continue of course, but it is beginning to go in circles. And part of that is due to the fact that nobody but you has a perfect idea of what this hypothetical situation is and a lot of what indicates the appropriate behavior is in context that is easily found in an actual question, but very hard to manufacture.
4:56 AM
Ok sure, let me go find an instance, it's pretty common I think.
(I just prefer not to discuss specifics because it is very easy for the discussion to get off track)
@jgn If you really want to be pragmatic, then I'll point out again that talking about this here can't ever achieve anything meaningful. If you want to change anything, you need to write on meta, and persuade people there. Whether that's rpg meta or whole site meta is up to you, but the scope of what you're suggesting would require whole site change to really come about.
^True and a very good point.
@Miniman there is always some reason to avoid talking huh
Take a look at this thread @Rubiksmoose rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/130537/…
@jgn That's not nice and not fair.
You can see the top answer has concerns raised by multiple users
4:59 AM
It's not to avoid talking. The point is that things discussed in chat aren't actionable, whereas things discussed in meta may lead to policy changes.
The user who posted the answer has not addressed them or approved edits
@jgn It's not a reason to avoid talking, but I get the impression you'd like things to change, that you're not just talking about abstract theory.
Thus the other answers have focused on this problem.
And? Where's the issue?
@Rubiksmoose ...
Remember our discussion and you asked me for an example?
5:00 AM
@jgn Are we looking at the comments on your answer? Comments on the question? Something else?
I'm asking because the comments haven't been deleted. There doesn't seem to be an issue then.
@Rubiksmoose from your perspective the existence of problems is a problem to be solved by deletion, but remember what I argued?
Something about deleting comments that offer criticism making answers lower quality?
@jgn Do you remember where I said that not every such comment is deleted and that it depends on context?
Is this how the discussion will progress? Feinting ignorance then refusing to even discuss the example you asked for? Could you at least indulge me?
Those comments are less than 24 hours old; that is generally much sooner than we'd delete non-flagged comments not causing any issues.
OP hasn't flagged them or indicated that they won't.
5:03 AM
Please, let's stick on topic
I'm confused. Is the concern asking why these comments have not been deleted? Do you want them deleted?
this is why I didnt want to link a thread
Suddenly it's about flags and comment age -_-;;;;;;;;;;
@jgn I guess I'm very confused about what you are asking with this example. Could you ask me plainly?
Isn't the question, as you originally posed it, delete the comments or not?
That is the question, but I don't remember saying anything about flags or comment age
Those are factors that greatly play into comment deletion though.
5:07 AM
I understand, but please put them aside and address the question please :/
They've been mentioned several times already. By me and others.
Yes, I understood the other times too.
@jgn What is the question? I see the example here, but I'm unsure what it's an example of.
So you're asking me to determine whether to delete the comments, but ignore many of the signals that we use to determine that. Why?
You 2 are killing me. Would the quality of the answer be improved by deleting the comments discussing the problems with the answer?
5:09 AM
No. Not measurably so.
Not measurably so but so none the less?
@jgn I'll give you a hint: I deleted 11 comments from that post earlier today and left those for the time being.
The state of the comments does not affect the quality of that one answer.
@Rubiksmoose I find it frustrating that you do everything you can to not agree
Agree to what? Do you want the comments deleted? So far all this discussion has been very hypothetical - Is that what this is all about?
5:11 AM
@jgn Those comments don't add anything to the answer. Correct.
@MikeQ Have you been interpreting my comments as me advocating for even more comments being deleted?
Once it is clear that they are no longer needed (eg Naut has seen them and decided not to act) someone will likely remove them.
It appears I have mispoken at some point
Because they add nothing to the answer.
I think that answers increase in quality of comments pointing out problems with them ARE ALLOWED TO REMAIN
Regardless of their age, regardless of flags, and regardless of the answerer's opinion
(unless the comments are resolved)
5:12 AM
So ultimately, you find those comments valuable, and you'd prefer they not be deleted?
Even if there is already an answer to that affect
@MikeQ As of now there has been no edit and the comments have not been addressed, so yes
Sorry if it wasn't clear that I think comments are valuable
No wonder you 2 were so confused haha
It is possible that those comments won't get deleted. It is also possible that a mod, or the original commenter, will delete them.
Currently there is no "protect comment" feature on the site. You could go to SE meta and propose a change, although note that many users have tried so before.
Anyways, I've given my opinion as to what I'd do. We generally don't allow comments to be signposts saying "this answer is wrong". Those comments are not valuable and are generally removed (unless highly upvoted or special in some other way).
So in the end you do not believe that comments can ever improve an answer?
@jgn Can you please stop misinterpreting what people say?
5:17 AM
@jgn Temporarily, yes. Once the comment serves its purpose, it is no longer improving the answer.
I'll be honest: it's getting tiring.
@V2Blast I have not done so
@MikeQ this
"Would the quality of the answer be improved by deleting the comments discussing the problems with the answer?" "No. Not measurably so."
"Not measurably so but so none the less?" ""
The state of the comments does not affect the quality of that one answer."
@V2Blast I don't think I misinterpreted anything
@jgn What Mike said.
5:18 AM
It seems to me clear that MikeQ does not think that comments improve an answer
Reread those first two words in my above message
They have a distinct way to improve an answer: by getting that answer to be edite and improved (and a couple of edge cases).
But the comments themselves do not improve it..........
That was the whole discussion
I'm sorry if this was not clear
@jgn Correct. Generally speaking they do not.
This seems like it's skipped over several levels of abstraction, and plunged into the murky depths of semantics and philosophy
Comments can be useful temporarily, yes, so that users can improve existing questions and answers. But in the long run, no, comments do not contribute to the knowledge database, at least according to StackExchange format. And that's it. Those are the upper and lower bounds of a comment's potential value to the site.
5:22 AM
It is very tiring that when asking a question I first have to force people to explain their position, then clarify it, then forced to defend my understanding of their position, and even when I try to be as clear as possible I am told that people thought my position was the opposite or accuse me of being a bad actor.
I think I said this before, sometimes frame challenges are useful but they shouldn't be the default.
@jgn The fact that you still don't see those responses as useful means that you still are not quite understanding why I was responding that way.
Communication is hard, yes. Few people can convey their points as clearly as they think they do.
There are many points in this conversation where I had no idea what you were asking, yes.
@Rubiksmoose I don't see them as useful because I don't think they are well supported.
I've not seen a lot of evidence that all the support we've given has even been considered.
5:26 AM
@jgn If you want that kind of response, ask on meta, where long responses and supportive links work a lot better than in chat.
@Rubiksmoose For example often "the model" is used as a supporting argument, but when I asked about it no one could even tell me what it is or where to find info
@jgn These conversations we have feel extremely one-sided. You ask us something and it feels like no matter how we try to explain something you never even hear what we're saying. That's how it feels.
If an argument is supposed by something undefined and without a readily available source, it's not useful to me.
@Rubiksmoose I feel like no matter what I ask I don't get an answer haha
@jgn The "model" is that StackExchange is a Q&A site. For asking and answering questions. That's the model.
@jgn You were given support. In the help files. That is where SE defines how their system works and the rules for it. And I'm not sure why you are completely ignoring all the other arguments made to focus on that particular one.
5:29 AM
@MikeQ and I am familiar with it. What I am not familiar with is the idea that comments are not valuable because, as we discussed, other sites are OK with keeping them
This has been presented as "other sites ignore the model"
which is very confusing, so what is the model?
Is it just "the way rpg.se is run"?
If so, isn't that circular?
And seriously, if you want well supported, formal argument, meta is a vastly more suitable place for it than here.
Other sites are indeed okay with untidy comment sections. That does not mean the comments are valuable, or are answering the questions any more than the answers do.
"The model" is a red herring. Seriously.
We have our policy because that is the way that this site works best.
And it is supported by the overall SE policy.
So it is just a circle "its the way it is because its the way it is"
No, it is the way it is because this community has been around a long time and we've fine tuned things to work well.
5:31 AM
You can understand why I come to this conclusion correct?
Don't discount experience as baseless.
And we've given you many other objective reasons to support that experience.
@jgn Honestly, I cannot.
More of a line than a circle. It's the way it is, because the site was designed with certain goals. I realize that's vague, but it really is that straightforward.
@jgn That's often a far better reason than people give it credit for.
@jgn It is the way it is because no meta proposal to change it has received much support.
@jgn To summarize:
Comments saying "this is wrong" are deleted because they often cause fights, they don't add anything to the post, they clog up space for other improvement suggestions, they discourage making actual answers that fix the errors, they can't be searched so harm the DB if that information isn't in an answer, they can't be downvoted or removed easily by the community so wrong corrections are hard to remove, etc.
We've mentioned some other good reasons as well.
Anyways, I'm going to bed.
Night y'all!
5:43 AM
So what's everybody been leisure reading lately? I could use some recommendations.
Ooh well since you asked, I've been reading the Witchlands books, and I also just started "The Cloud Roads" today
The Witchlands author is Susan Denard
And the cloud roads is Martha Wells
The Witchlands books are SO GOOD.
They are both interesting Fantasy
@MikeQ Funny you should ask, I'm just carrying a bag full of my SO's latest reads back to the library... let's see
Witchlands good
Cloud roads is riveting so far but I'm only 45 pages in yet
5:48 AM
I'm reading Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I recently finished The REvanche Cycle by Craig Schaefer which was EXCELLENT political fantasy.
Ooh Paladin of Souls
Very good stuff
Sand by Hugh Howey, The Handmaid's Tale my Margaret Atwood and a couple of Finnish non-fiction books about tough life
Oof Handmaid's Tale
@MikeQ I haven't read anything in ages... I just got a free advance copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower's 20th-anniversary rerelease from Goodreads, though. So that'll probably sit on my shelf unread for a while :P
Oops, sorry, mobile keyboard tricksies
5:57 AM
I've scribbled some of these down, thanks. Went to the earth bookstore today and realized that my reading list is dominated by 2 authors with specialized writing styles. Tried browsing some random books but was unsure.
I've been reading Kurt Vonnegut's essays, and listening to an audiobook of Uncle Fedya, his cat and his dog, and I have the collected works of Aleksis Kivi still unfinished (he's this very prominent 19th century Finnish author but I haven't quite seen the literary value yet --- it might be just that he was one of the first serious fiction authors to write in Finnish)
The first work in the collection set the tone well. It's called "Koto ja kahleet", meaning "Home and shackles", and it tells the story of a virtuous farmer who, while visit the town to sell produce, notices and chides a cheater in a card game. The cheat takes revenge by framing the farmer by hiding his pocket watch in the farmer's pocket and reporting it as theft. The farmer is taken to jail and everyone is very sad.
Then the farmer is abruptly released because the cheat has a crisis of conscience and confesses. He is imprisoned and the farmer gets home. The end.
@trogdor There's a prequel to Paladin of Souls. Do you suggest reading that first?
I'm reading Arthur Machen's The White People to gear myself up for Ursula Vernon's The Twisted Ones.
@MikeQ I read it after as I recall
I think it's probably fine either way
6:12 AM
I don't know why so much of my reading list right now is emotionally harrowing, I need to fix that.
[glares at Storm of Locusts]
@MikeQ I never read it and I am enjoying Paladin of Souls so far.
@BESW oh yes that is not a light read at all.
Is good but is also a lot.
@BESW I want to read THE twisted ones but I am also scared of how scared I will be.
@Ash Ok. Wanted to make sure this wasn't a New Spring situation, where reading the prequel spoils much of the early plot of the main series.
I am also reading Lights of Guidance but that's not likely to be of interest to many of you, being basically like idk a Baha'i encyclopedia reference sort of thing.
@MikeQ I don't think so?
@BESW if you want non scary Vernon, I will always recommend Hamster Princess :)
Any other horror recommendations? As in the kind that makes the reader question their own reality, and not just an action story with spooky monsters or haunted household devices. Maybe with a splash of dark fantasy, but not too heroic.
6:30 AM
I don't really do horror at all so I don't have anything.
@MikeQ Um so
Children of Time and Children of Ruin
Not strictly horror but had a definite horror element
Also, arachnaphobia warning
Like big Time
6:55 AM
But it's not going for horror in particular, the second book was just surprisingly scary
@MikeQ If you're open to the reality being questioned as a starting premise, rather as an eventual revelation, and if fantasy is an optional element (because it's absent), I would like to suggest Madness Dossier.

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