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3:14 AM
in Miscellaneous, 6 hours ago, by amWhy
In need of deletion (again) https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/2769810/what-are-the-elements-of-mathbb‌​z-3x
6:03 AM
@amWhy @Did @XanderHenderson @ZacharySelk @MarkMcClure: Bad questions: 1, 2, 3, 4.
2 hours later…
7:56 AM
@JyrkiLahtonen: Something is up with this post. DUDUDU by the author, and then two strange edits.
8:16 AM
@MarkMcClure @ZacharySelk @XanderHenderson @Did @amWhy: PSQs: 5, 6, 7, 8. See also this comment.
8:48 AM
@JyrkiLahtonen: What happened here?
9:06 AM
@XanderHenderson @Did @ZacharySelk @MarkMcClure @amWhy: This post has been analyzed correctly by the mathematician Ittay Weiss.
But I don't think the question deserves deletion. Unfortunately nobody has given the obvious logic-based answer. Mathematics is exact insofar as done within a fixed foundational system. It is not exact if we ever attempt to interpret the theorems beyond being derivable following syntactic rules. And everything else follows from those two.
1 hour later…
10:17 AM
@user21820 Edited
The first part still stands. And P=NP is still irrelevant. Exact ≠ Humanly-solvable.
@user21820 I voted to delete the question, rather than that particular answer.
@MarkMcClure That's fine. It's strictly speaking off-topic, but I'm of the type who closes an eye to sincere soft questions. As I stated above, there is a very clear logic-based answer that probably addresses the underlying inquiry.
@user21820 Mostly PSQs, so fine. I don't see the problem with question 2. In fact, I'd upvote the answer by PBS if I could.
Here's an answer I'd like to see deleted, again.
10:36 AM
@MarkMcClure I'm not sure whether you are away that RF previously posted a lot of posts claiming to prove or have deep insight into Collatz. In this particular case, it is no better at all.
He claims "The reason the Collatz conjecture approximates a random probability of stopping at any given step is given by the effect of the function x→3x+1 upon the number of times 2 appears as a prime factor in that number. This function guarantees to map some number in which 2 is not a factor (i.e. any odd number), to some number in which 2 is guaranteed to appear at least once, but possibly any number of times up to log[2](3x+1)."
@user21820 Yes, I am aware. I'm no expert on the Collatz myself nor do I want to be. (My impression is that no one really is. :) Having only skimmed the post and never thought about the question for a moment, I found the observation that powers of two go straight to one while others don't to be relevant, though certainly not deep.
The answer I pointed out, by contrast, is not only irrelevant, but is a repost of an answer that we already deleted.
@MarkMcClure Well the point is that that observation does nothing to shed light on the question.
@MarkMcClure This should be flagged for moderator attention, as we cannot feasibly keep checking to see whether that user reposts again. @quid, could you help?
11:36 AM
@user21820 Agreed, I've flagged it.
@user21820 I understand. I didn't state my opinion to debate it. If you're going to pink me on deletions, though (which is fine with me), then you I figure you should know what kinds of things I think should be deleted.
@MarkMcClure I realize I typed "away" instead of "aware" lol. Anyway I don't get what "pink me" means. But we probably mostly agree on what should be deleted, so I guess it doesn't matter. =)
11:52 AM
@user21820 Oops, "ping". :)
And yes, we're generally pretty close. I just haven't been as active because I'm not convinced it's a winning cause.
@MarkMcClure Lol! Sure. That one you just saw is kind of rare though.
12:18 PM
@user21820 I deleted it. No problem. (I do not really understand the argument though; it's equally easy or complicated for anyone to check if a new answer appears there, the number of reposts is also visible to everyone.)
@quid I didn't mean the deletion is a problem. I thought the general idea is to get a moderator to warn the user not to keep re-posting deleted answers to circumvent deletion.
12:46 PM
@user21820 The reason this is the crux of the Collatz problem is because if you consider the growth of any binary string by the action of the function $3x+2^{v_2(x)}$, the Collatz conjecture is equivalent to the statement that over the long-run, growth of $2^{v_2(x)}$ is greater than or equal to the growth of $x$, so they're convergent on each other.
In the absence of of insight to the contrary on the matter at hand, I think acting on the basis of who the user is falls into the category of "insufficient scrutiny"
@user21820 I see. I wrote a comment. At this point, more seems too much. New users are also genuinely confused about how things work. It might be a good faith repost.
@ProducerofBS Please note that I wasn't talking to you. And I already threw away time reading your post to confirm that it was useless in addressing the question. I don't do things I cannot justify, unlike what you are (yet again) implying.
@user21820 But note that you were talking about me and I am now talking to you.
@user21820 and the matter of insufficient scrutiny is on-topic for this room so I'm raising it
@ProducerofBS You were not even responding to my point, which is that is is useless to address the question. This is clear to any mathematician, and there is nothing else for me to say. For the record, you are the one who could not even produce a correct proof of uncountability of the reals just a while ago, and now you are accusing me of being unable to scrutinize your post? Really now...
@MarkMcClure I'm sure you will gather that I'm not on user21820's Christmas list this year, but I hope you will continue to judge my posts on their own merit and if on that basis you elect to downvote, delete and close them, I have no problem and indeed thank you for your service to the community.
12:58 PM
And I don't have anyone on my Christmas list. What a way to throw insinuations around.
1:10 PM
@quid: Who removed my factual comment?
@MarkMcClure @Did @amWhy @XanderHenderson @quid: See one previous iteration of a pseudoproof of Collatz.
@PaulWhite It was a factual statement. You cannot justify your stand.
@user21820 I am not going to debate it with you. You need to follow those rules like everyone else, and we tend to hold room owners to a higher standard in any case.
Are you admitting to an iron-fisted approach? Please read:
Pseudomathematics or mathematical crankery is a form of mathematics-like activity that does not work within the framework, definitions, rules, or rigor of formal mathematical practice. Pseudomathematics has equivalents in other scientific fields, such as pseudophysics, and overlaps with these to some extent. Excessive pursuit of pseudomathematics can result in the practitioner being labelled a crank. The topic of mathematical crankery has been extensively studied by mathematician Underwood Dudley, who has written several popular works about mathematical cranks and their ideas. Because it is based...
@JyrkiLahtonen @quid: Perhaps you want to explain that I was told by one of you moderators that I can stick to formal terms such as "pseudomathematician".
If I cannot, then as I predicted this whole issue is devolving into a taboo system, and that will not be good for the mathematical community. We might as well throw in the towel on Math SE.
Nevertheless, you need to follow the rules. It's not always what is literally said, it is how it is said and a pattern of behaviour. Try to make your points without being confrontational or escalating situations that are otherwise calming down.
You may also like to read:
Q: We're more aggressively enforcing self-moderation in chat

Tim PostWhile the timing of this post coincides with us expressing some serious concerns around how we're not doing a good job of helping and guiding Stack Overflow to remain a welcoming place for everyone, this is something that's been weighing heavily on our minds for quite some time, and applicable to...

1:25 PM
@PaulWhite I do not believe there is a 'nice' way of saying "this proof makes absolutely no sense". If you give me a template, I will use it.
@user21820 Well that seems a reasonable way of saying it to me, if indeed it requires saying at all. People here (on Stack Exchange as a whole) will often disagree, the point is to do it constructively and politely. Or to simply not engage.
In any case: "Please note that I wasn't talking to you", "I already threw away time reading your post", "it was useless", "I don't do things I cannot justify, unlike what you are (yet again) implying" ... and so on, are not constructive.
> Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you. If you don't have time to say something politely, just leave it for someone who does.
1:43 PM
@user21820 That's ONE example of ASKING if it was a valid proof of the conjecture, which Barry nicely answered. Now all you need to find is LOTS OF EXAMPLES that I claimed I DID prove the conjecture (which I remember doing at least twice as it happens), and your disparaging claim will be justified.
@PaulWhite Instead of saying explicitly that "this proof makes absolutely no sense" can we use a template like the following, "Sorry, but I don't understand how you claimed $X$ from $Y$. Can you clarify a bit?"
@user170039 Of course :)
@PaulWhite In fact, I think that this type of template also shows that the commentator has read the post carefully and tried to understand the post, but couldn't.
@ProducerofBS :44525406, @PaulWhite I'm sorry but I find this comment and the way it is said, which you (Paul White) pointed out to be important, not nice. Perhaps user170039 can take a stab at paraphrasing that statement is as nice a tone as they transformed the other comment. Two way street, folks.
Removing the ALL CAPS would probably help! And yes all this applies equally to everyone.
1:52 PM
@PaulWhite You beat me by a few seconds.
Yes, @ProducerofBS, in general capitalizing words in comments is considered "rude". So unless it is absolutely necessary to do so, please refrain from doing so in future.
@user170039 Forgive me, but the tone of your last two comments here sound to me to be as though you think you're an authority on nice-ness, as though you are like "preaching", and not merely nicely suggesting. Watch the tone of what you say and how you say it. It doesn't help to speak to others in a rather scolding, holier than thou tone.
I think you'll find I am nicer than all of you put together.
(that is humour by the way)
@amWhy No problem. I forgive you.
@user170039 Me trying to be humble, which I don't see in your messages, and is absent from your scolds and authoritative mandates. You're free to model your future comments in a similar manner, because less conflict or ill will results from comments if one holds in check one's own feelings of superiority.
2:09 PM
And yet we require that people assume good intentions and bring their sense of humour.
@PaulWhite Yes sir!!
So I am sure @user170039 was just trying to be helpful. And @amWhy was gently indicating how the points made could be worded differently. Right?
I am going to remove some stars here because those messages are not great examples of desirable communications and might give the wrong impression of the room to new visitors. The less-appealing alternative being deletion.
@PaulWhite OMGosh!
Paul White, perhaps I don't understand, but your hovering here on CRUDE strikes me as unhelpful though of course, I assume you have good intentions in what you're doing here, even saturating your words candy coating and sugary syrup. But in fact, you are silencing folks here, and hampering the healthy operation of this chat room. Of course, I own those feelings, and cannot attribute to you any ill will, and of course, again, I know you mean well, and I know you are trying to help, and ...
@amWhy Like all network chat moderators, I arrive in rooms most often in response to flags. Once around, I like to ensure rooms are operating in accordance with our code of conduct before I leave.
@amWhy I didn't mean for the caps to appear rude or aggressive, apologies if they did. This chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/44521496#44521496 could be interpreted as an appeal to "moderate the user rather than the content" and it's based on half-truths and disparages me. The caps were simply included to aid understanding of where I was coming from.
2:19 PM
...And, @PaulWhite, I appreciate that, and again, I know you are trying to be helpful here maybe even respectful, and again, I appreciate your good intentions, but unfortunately, I think (and these are merely my thoughts), your stifling fluid normal healthy speech in this room, over compensating to an extent, with all good intentions, that actually inhibits it. Again, I know you mean well. Thanks for your failed efforts to be helpful!
Well I do respect your opinion and point of view, but all chat is moderated here (on the SE network).
@PaulWhite I know that, and if you read my words carefully, I never claimed chats should not be moderated. But when you intervene with comments to and about 50% or more of the chat's content, and others start mimicking you, and wanting praise (as moderator pets, meaning to be helpful, of course) then it's no longer moderation, but intrusion...though of course, I know you intend only to help!
@PaulWhite I, for one, appreciate your input here very much. While amWhy is correct that this room has some legitimate purposes, there is certainly nothing close to universal agreement that the activity in this room is healthy as this topic and this topic both taken from our Meta site attest.
@PaulWhite I didn't flag but I appreciate your presence. I suspect the MSE mods don't want to alienate the regular users of this room, who make a huge and valuable contribution to MSE, which is valued by the vast majority of MSE users - me included. My very presence here is inflammatory because there are users who would drive me from the site but this room is at the heart of content moderation and nobody should be unwelcome.
@amWhy I have been here for many days, reading the transcript and getting a bit of a feel for the room. Nevertheless, network policy and standards always apply, so: When I see a conversation heading in the wrong direction I will do what is required. As soon as things go back to normal, I will be as quiet as a little bird again.
2:28 PM
*flag today
Indeed, no one should feel unwelcome on chat.SE (so long as they play by the rules).
Yay for @Paul White... our helpful savior/hero/model of niceness!! I appreciate, we all appreciate it, but may I kindly suggest, with only the best of good intentions, you're enabling some to dominate, and silencing others through what feels like intimidation. I'm not saying you are not intending to do your job, and I trust you are trying to do it to the best of your abilities, but I simply suggest there are other things you could have said, should not have said, to that end, that there are..
@PaulWhite You're absolutely correct that under no circumstance should we direct insulting names towards users. I do have a question about this response to this comment, though. It's not quite clear to me that you're OK with folks saying "this proof is just wrong". I think we absolutely do need to be able to say that here.
@amWhy Sarcasm is not helping you convey your point persuasively :)
@MarkMcClure Saying "this proof is wrong" is absolutely fine. Calling people names (etc) is not.
Really it's just common courtesy and common sense.
-- or maybe are, better ways to achieve the goal of normalcy and harmony than what seems to be rather demeaning. No sarcasm. That makes me feel really sad. That's not nice to have said to me. Please, may I ask you nicely to refrain from name-calling, or attributing ill will to my attempts to be helpful in expressing that even you need helpful feedback?
2:32 PM
@PaulWhite Excellent - thanks!
@PaulWhite So you understand why it was not nice of you to attribute sarcasm to my good intentions?
@amWhy "... our helpful savior/hero/model of niceness!!" was not sarcastic?
@PaulWhite Of course not; I was merely summarizing all the comments from folks who feel so incredibly supportive of your efforts. Again, please don't attribute ill intentions to my purely nice intentions and good will, and maybe you can also let some of us act on our best of intentions for this site.
@user170039 I think that this might be a good approach for some posts but, sometimes, you just gotta say - "this proof is simply incorrect".
@amWhy Ok fine then I am sorry for misreading. Do go on with your feedback.
Or if you have finished, we can all go back to "feedback/discussion/requests of Close/Reopen/Undelete/Delete/Edit for questions and answers on Math SE".
2:40 PM
@MarkMcClure Now a days I am hesitant to say so without pointing out explicitly what is wrong or incorrect with the proof. It is mainly because I may be missing something. So, unless I have found out an exact mistake, I would refrain myself from saying so. Maybe it is not the optimal approach, but it is just my personal viewpoint.
@user170039 If that works for you, then great!
@user170039 Another issue in this regard is that when the volume of questionable content is too high, the sheer time required to asses the validity of every claimed proof, especially when sometimes long and convoluted, is simply too great for assessment to the point where one can say "sorry this is wrong". Which is where some of the understandable frustration with users like me originates.
3:26 PM
@ProducerofBS Sure. I agree that my viewpoint is not optimal. But it's just my personal take on the situation.
3:53 PM
Hi, @quid!
Hello @amWhy
4:05 PM
@user21820 focus on the content. I asked you to steer clear of anything that could be seen as critical as regards the chat policy.
@user170039 and @ProducerofBS while the form in which things are presented is also important, the main goal of the site is to have useful content. Take mathematical criticism seriously. The scientific integrity of the site is non-negotiable.
@quid So stating that one's answer is wrong, e.g., because it might be seen as critical by the wrong-doer, is wrong? So a mod accosting another user in chat is wrong, because it might be seen as critical by the user accosted is wrong? So telling another user anything unpleasant (e.g., a user asks: Is my answer correct? Answer: no, you forgot xyz) is wrong, if that user considers it critical.? @quid I know that this is NOT what you're saying. But some users have been suggesting that...
anything they don't want to hear is flaggable, and it seems that a do-gooder, be-nice mod from another site is humoring such flaggers, because they clearly lack the context of this site's issues and also the context of this chat. Spending say one to two days, only, reading the transcripts of a chat room does not an educated moderator make.
@quid Thank you for making your stand clear on both the content and form. I still wish to ask you for an approved template (both the syntax and vocabulary) which we can use to label things accurately.
@amWhy That is not an accurate description of what happened here at all.
@amWhy the problem is the combination of the three or so comments that preceded the deleted one.
@user21820 what's wrong with flagging, downvoting, closing, deleting etc? Why label anything to begin with?
for flagging the custom label is just an option if the pre labeled flags don't fit
4:18 PM
@PaulWhite I think it is more accurate than you care to believe, but then again, that's my thoughts, and I might be wrong, and I believe and credit you with believing that your intent is good, that you want to be helpful, even if maybe you aren't being helpful...but again, respecting that your intentions are the finest and admirable?
The intent was to belittle another user (at least this is the impression I get).
To whom are you speaking quid, because I think that applies to many today.
@amWhy it was a follow up to my first comment.
The comments by @user21820 are problematic because they seem to have the intent to belittle another user.
And the argument that something is/may be factually correct only goes that far.
I honestly fear that much of the current controversy regarding CRUDE stems from a small number of actors who have been repeatedly told that the content they are producing for MSE is not up to snuff.
When politely called on it, they react poorly, and start lashing out at the commenters.
When the commenters attempt to discuss the low quality content, they are flagged as being "not nice."
For the record, user170039 wants his kind of template precisely because it would let those (let's call them Cs) who produce what cannot be classified as mathematical work get away with their posts; by preventing people from calling Cs out explicitly, but instead asking for clarification, it is effectively allowing Cs to appear superior when they answer and say they are correct because such and such. There will be no end to this kind of back-and-forth, because Cs always respond.
4:23 PM
And we end up in the current situation.
If the only defense of these folk producing this low-quality content is that we are not "being nice", then perhaps they are not making a very strong case?
This has happened not only with Cs, but with their supporters. They also use the censorship card in almost all cases. They call the current state of mathematics as muddleheaded or deluded, and nobody besides a few logicians have the guts to call them out.
@quid agreed. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of using this site is that I often find users claiming that I'm not taking comments and feedback on board when in reality I pore over feedback for hours.
This is because I'm really stretching myself with most stuff I do, so when users say you need to be on the other side of the Atlantic, I sometimes reply like "ok I've done doggypaddle against the tide to the coast of Ireland... what next?" Meantime I'm trying to build a boat or at least learn front crawl.
And then we have star deletions today, to try to rewrite history, and make one intervener look like he has more support than he actually has... This is sad. I just want this site to do, and for users here to do, and to deal with, the topic of this site, but two users have successfully taken the site off course for a few days now, because of the reasons @Xander gives.
By and large I agree with this @XanderHenderson The solution I propose is that we all make an effort to be extra polite. (I don't claim that I am especially good at that.) If there are specific issues you (abstractly) feel cannot be communicated in a polite form, you can contact me and I'll give you a non-public place to explain.
@quid Perhaps it may be unclear to you why I responded the way I did, which then was criticized by a non-site moderator. I will just say that it is because Cs always say that those who in any way support them are doing a service to the community, but say that those who do not are behaving like in a witchhunt. Why is it acceptable for users to use the term "witchhunt" while we cannot use the term "crank"? Why don't anyone flag all the comments insinuating a witchhunt?
They are effectively given free rein to make false associations of us with murderers, while we cannot make true associations of them with cranks. I may be too logical, but I see an inconsistency brewing.
Why don't we clean up everything of this nature? I wouldn't mind.
4:40 PM
@user21820 that's actually an interesting question. I do not have a definite answer. I think in part it is some kind of solidarity with those that seem weaker or outsiders. (To be sure, it can also be misguided.)
What is your objection to the term "witchhunt"? (For one thing, "witchhunt" refers to an action, and not a person. They are absurdly different from that alone)
@AloizioMacedo So you wouldn't object to "cranky answering" or cranky questioning, because both refer to ways of being, ways of acting, not a person. They are then not at all absurdly different than witchhunt (which is a noun, by the way, not a verb.) It names an actual entity, even when non-existent.
@AloizioMacedo Not only what amWhy said, please read this carefully:
A witch-hunt is a search for people labelled "witches" or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic or mass hysteria. The classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America took place in the Early Modern period or about 1450 to 1750, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War, resulting in an estimated 35,000 to 100,000 executions. Including illegal and summary executions it is estimated 200,000 or more "witches" were tortured, burnt or hanged in the Western world from 1500 until around 1800. The last executions of people convicted...
@quid: See above; I do not think it is nice to use any term that is associated with murder.
Unless, of course, there is evidence.
Then it is morally obligatory to use the term "murder" to describe it when it is beyond reasonable doubt established.
@amWhy Referring to an action is not the same as being an action. I think the proper analogy would be "So you wouldn't object to cranky answer (...)". It would be less rude, yes. I honestly don't see how that effectively serves a purpose, however. If someone understands that it is cranky, they understand it from the question/answer alone. If not, then telling it without further elaboration is useless. So the only purpose is to adjectivize.
Note re: stars... Don't be deceived as to actually what is being supported here, in comments etc., because Paul White admittedly deleted stars when those stars were to points that didn't support the folks he was "saving"; hence, at any point along the way, today, stars are likely again being manipulated.
4:49 PM
3 hours ago, by Paul White
I am going to remove some stars here because those messages are not great examples of desirable communications and might give the wrong impression of the room to new visitors. The less-appealing alternative being deletion.
@AloizioMacedo Well of course, I know you always act from the best of intentions, as do I, so perhaps you'll understand why I don't care to continue your manipulation of facts, under the best of intentions, mind you, I'm sure. Cheers!.
@user21820 "Witchhunts", when used metaphorically (which I am sure the usage as such is clear), are intended to mean trials which do not undergo proper and unbiased justification and instead are subject to what labels are in effect.
@PaulWhite Come on now. When is anyone going to admit that using the word "witchhunt" is undesirable in communication.
@AloizioMacedo "I'm voting to close this because I think it's a cranky question" if said in all sincerity I can take on the chin much better than "you are a producer of BS" in a chatroom I'm not visiting. It makes me feel like... ahh dear, I messed up again. Rather than "this person is spreading the message that I'm fundamentally flawed, behind my back."
@AloizioMacedo Yes, it's a well-used metaphor for a trial in which the accused is destined to be found guilty irrespective of the evidence.
@user21820 Depends on the context. Words like "crank" seem much more direct and obvious rude/belittling/name-calling.
4:53 PM
@AloizioMacedo You should know me well enough to know that I only act in a way that I think is necessary, and I never go beyond what I think is needful. So what does that say about the times when I am harsh with my words?
@PaulWhite Don't be silly. It is precisely the Cs who are going on a 'witchhunt' then. They have attempted to hunt down all those who oppose them.
Maybe Paul will help us by going back to dealing with "witchhunts" by going back and deleting posts using the term, and maybe even going on site to flag actual site mods to delete the term, because certainly, calling the work of CRUDE nothing more than "witchhunts" is "not nice". My next post will repeat the text of "Be Nice" from SE... Paul may need a refresher.
@ProducerofBS It is completely false when it comes to professional mathematicians here who call some poster a crank. They look at the evidence in the eye and found it disturbingly not mathematics.
@user21820 My objections with respect to you, if this is not yet clear, are not regarding the actions you partake. As I said before on meta (and in the answer I am writing to the question about CRUDE), I believe that the results of activities here are positive at large. My objections are to the way you sometimes communicate(d?) them.
@user21820 But I disagree that to do so is within the site's policies. I think people should be moderating the content and not the user whenever possible
@user21820 Do you really think it is necessary to adjectivize users in order to maintain the quality of the site?
4:57 PM
@ProducerofBS That is simply false according to what SE has already been doing. Did you not notice our helpful little chatbot called SmokeDetector who actively tracks users that post spam and swear words?
Did you also not notice that when a user posts too many bad questions, they get question-banned?
SmokeDetector moderates content, not users.
@ArtOfCode You are wrong; I've seen SD post about blacklisted users' newest actions.
@user21820 I run the thing. Yes, it tracks spammers, but it tracks them so that it can check on the content they post.
@ArtOfCode Please add "witchhunt" to SmokeDetector's vocabulary:
@ArtOfCode And that is exactly what we do with Cs.
We read every post. We don't just look at the username.
@AloizioMacedo I think that it is ridiculous to expect me to waste time typing "what cannot be classified as mathematical work" every time as compared to "crank post". Still, I can do it, but I would do it so consistently that it would merely be a code-phrase.
5:00 PM
@amWhy SmokeDetector is there to detect spam, not $InsertOtherPostTypeHere
@user21820 Then you should be fine there
@ArtOfCode Theoretically, but just take a look at all the numerous rants by those whose posts have been classified by professional mathematicians contrary to their liking.
Smoke Detector Detects black listed words. Hence please train it by teaching it that witchhunt is a blacklisted word, as much as any other word.
@user21820 Welcome to moderation. That's... kinda what you sign up for when you get into moderating things, unfortunately.
@amWhy Okay, let me put that another way: No. That's not what it's there for.
@ArtOfCode @PaulWhite @quid: Let me just make it clear that it seems rather obvious to me that one or more of you are retroactively rationalizing the non-rejection of the word "witchhunt" among others just because nice people like us did not criticize them before the Cs got onto us.
It's a matter of who cried wolf first.
For what it's worth, one of the three definitions that the Wiktionary gives to "witch-hunt" is "A public smear-campaign against an individual."
5:05 PM
I think I've explained reasonably enough why the term "witchhunt" is completely different from "crank,nut" etc. What is the further objection?
@Pierre-GuyPlamondon Pray tell me why not call it a "smear-campaign"? Don't be silly. I know a bit of psychology. The use of a loaded word like "witch" is key in achieving a greater emotional response.
@user21820 I agree that this word is problematic. Do not hesitate to bring it to my attention.
Okay, look. Rooms like this that bring users together to moderate are generally good things. But, if the users in them succumb to the endless pressure and stress of moderation and start treating people without the respect they would if they were dealing with it for the first time... that's when they start being a problem.
@AloizioMacedo No, you havent, though you honestly intended to.
IOW, if you're getting tired of moderating or of some type of content, take a break.
5:06 PM
@amWhy That is fair. Would you mind explaining why?
@user21820 Exactly. Some users are more protected than others. Some users are far far more protected. And some users hare left to hang. Moderators (real moderators) have a heck of a lot more protection than reg users.
@user21820 If you have a specific problematic instance in mind, as always, bring it to a moderator's attention, or flag it.
Let's be specific: one of the differences I mentioned is the fact that one is a noun, and the other is an adjectivization of a person. Do you think that this is irrelevant?
I haven't even looked at the specific instance that caused whatever this is, but as always: everyone needs to treat everyone with respect, and I will enforce that.
@PaulWhite For example:
in Math Mods' Office, May 4 at 6:43, by Producer of BS
and I don't support the culture in CRUDE of calling users nuts, cranks etc., knowing that it falls under the radar, and this in particular betrays the sentiment as one intent on driving certain users from the site which reminds me of a medieval witch hunt.
5:08 PM
@user21820 I just thought it interesting. I don't like strong language either. I did not feel I was being silly, though.
Look look it even says "medieval"!
Nostalgic, isn't it?
@ArtOfCode Great. Start doing so now!
@user21820 Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!
@Pierre-GuyPlamondon That "don't be silly" was just an expression. Sorry if you were offended.
@user21820 No offence taken.
5:10 PM
@amWhy If there are specific instances of things being disrespectful, throw me links. As always if there's something ongoing and problematic in front of you, flag it.
Everyone has tools to make chat better:
Q: A guide to moderating chat

TarynChat is an offshoot of the main site, and using it is a privilege users earn early on during their time here. Chat is our place: for real-time collaboration to meet fellow members of the community for less structured, casual (but still roughly on-topic) conversation Our chat syst...

@PaulWhite: So if we flag that specific example that I brought up, is it valid to you?
Full of info for everyone else, aren't we, @PaulWhite? Please read your own advice. Of course, in handing out advice for everyone else, I'm sure you have only the best of intentions, and I respect that.
@amWhy Did you make a typo?
@user21820 I pity the fool who makes typos like that.
5:14 PM
Lol making typos does not a fool make.
...I definitely didn't laugh way too hard at that
@user21820 You may flag as you feel you should, and it will be reviewed. I am primarily interested in this room right now.
@user21820 handled
@user21820 Yikes, yes, and thanks @Asaf, for the kind consideration.
@amWhy It's not me. It's hours upon hours of watching The A-Team through my childhood, teenage years and early 20s.
5:15 PM
@ArtOfCode Thank you! I am glad our standards seem to be reaching some consistent common ground.
@amWhy I could probably also MacGyver you a solution, but I need duct tape, strike anywhere matches, and a Swiss army knife. None of which are available for the SE chat system... :(
@ArtOfCode: Here is another:
A: Is CRUDE healthy?

Dan BrumleveNo, it's not. Cranks, nuts, newbies, PSQ-askers, PSQ-answerers, rep-farmers, donut-eaters, people making wrong assertions. How can we make them stop doing those things, or get them to leave? A self-appointed panel of inquisitors should do the trick. If you are unjustly mentioned as a person o...

"self-appointed panel of inquisitors"
See the medieval terminology?
How apt.
@user21820 that needs a Math mod to deal with, since it's on the meta site. I'm not a mod there.
@user21820 Nobody expects the CRUDE Inquisition!
@ArtOfCode I understand if you cannot deal with it. What I want is the confidence that words that are so much worse than ours is labelled right.
If not, we would be afraid of even speaking.
5:20 PM
@AsafKaragila Sometimes you aint all that funny, but I know when you try to be funny, you only have the best of intentions, and since humor at the expense of another is tolerated here, I'll simply assume the best of intentions. Now, I hope you have some intentions of also being useful here?
Calling people a self-appointed panel of inquisitors isn't exactly nice. That said... calling people cranks or nuts isn't either. Not doing that might help with not getting called the former.
@amWhy I need to procrastinate writing a paper. I somehow found myself here, and there is a lot of commotion going around. (Yes, the intentions were best, nothing personal.)
@ArtOfCode And/or the other way around? Stop placing the responsibility on only half the participants.
@ArtOfCode As I said, one associates with murders, while the other does not. "might help with not getting" sounds like an evasion game with ever changing rules...
Just imagine if the homeopaths won a court case against everyone who called them pseudoscientific!!!
Okay, to be clear: I'm not trying to put all the blame on you. I'm going to explicitly say that the terminology used there is not nice, and that's not your fault.
5:23 PM
@user21820 That would require diluting the judges to a ratio of 1:100,000,000
@ArtOfCode I understand. So to be clear, everyone who uses the term "pseudoscience" or "quantum woo" must share some blame? Hmmmmmm.
However, that does not mean that they don't have a point. While there is some moderation action that should be done around that post, you can help the moderators with that moderation by addressing the point they have (namely, that calling people cranks or nuts is not nice).
@user21820 "Inquisitors" is almost (I say almost because it is technically a noun - I think - , but an underlying adjectivization) of someone. I dislike this as well, on the same grounds. Do you understand my point?
No need for tv tonight
@AloizioMacedo That's an interesting distinction, and now I get your point, but as a native speaker they make no difference to me.
5:25 PM
@user21820 Homeopaths lose court cases because their research is unscientific.
IOW, both sides need to tone it down some. That's not putting all the blame on you - it's an explicit both.
@ArtOfCode I know that. I take full responsibility for my words. If I am incorrect, I always admit it. However, you still haven't answered my question.
> So to be clear, everyone who uses the term "pseudoscience" or "quantum woo" must share some blame?
@user21820 You might want to report my user name while you're at it.
@user21820 I... don't see how that's relevant
@ArtOfCode I don't see why you cannot give a straight answer. It is relevant because you are saying that people who use accurate terms are partly at fault for being accurate. I applied your faulty reasoning to what actually happens in the real world out there, and you can't answer.
5:30 PM
I need to know how it links in to be able to answer :P
So now do you know?
Surely one can criticize a post for containing "pseudoscience" or whatnot without descending into calling each other names or the like.
TL;DR: Being accurate and being offensive are orthogonal. You can be accurate and still be offensive.
@ArtOfCode Every criticism is offensive to Cs. You don't have a proper basis. You use your ruler to judge "offensive". What makes your ruler better than mine?
5:33 PM
Okay, objectively offensive.
Wow such a bold claim, that there exists objectivity in offensiveness.
Calling someone a crank is objectively offensive. Saying "I don't think this post applies the relevant mathematical theories correctly", while it may be offensive to the post's author, is not.
Let me tell you that in the real world today Cs are having a field day, and people are dying, because people in general have no guts to stand against them.
Deepak Chopra (born October 22, 1946) is an American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate, and a prominent figure in the New Age movement. Through his books and videos, he has become one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in alternative medicine. Chopra studied medicine in India before emigrating to the United States in 1970 where he completed residencies in internal medicine and endocrinology. As a licensed physician, he became chief of staff at the New England Memorial Hospital (NEMH) in 1980. He met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1985 and became involved with the Transcendental...
This is just one of uncountably many.
No matter how you enumerate them, another one will pop up to evade you.
Pseudoscience and pseudomath are objectively offensive to every genuine scientist and mathematician. How about that?
It belittles their actual work.
@user21820 I think not only cranks are sensitive to criticism
@quid Sure. But the question is: What is the current community standard on "useful contents" so far as MSE is concrened?
5:43 PM
@user21820 The site provides all the tools you need to stand up to them without being abusive.
That's a good point. Pseudoscience/math IRL is a different issue to here on MSE. IRL, do what you like - I'm not responsible for keeping the peace there. Here on MSE, there are tools to help you within the code of conduct.
The site provides all the tools anyone needs to stand up to them without being abusive.
:44531683 waffles
@ArtOfCode Who needs to stop? The one who started the insinuation?
@user21820 I believe you misread the intent. That was not a constructive way to respond.
5:51 PM
@ProducerofBS The site provides help to anyone to learn mathematics without being stubborn and without stalking others.
@PaulWhite Fine. I can learn to copy.
@user21820 That's a completely false accusation because I never said that I want that kind of template. I only asked whether it could be a possible template.
@user170039 I didn't say you said you wanted it.
1 hour ago, by user21820
For the record, user170039 wants his kind of template precisely because it would let those (let's call them Cs) who produce what cannot be classified as mathematical work get away with their posts; by preventing people from calling Cs out explicitly, but instead asking for clarification, it is effectively allowing Cs to appear superior when they answer and say they are correct because such and such. There will be no end to this kind of back-and-forth, because Cs always respond.
@user170039 So what? You cannot prove that you didn't want it. It's your word against mine.
"You can't prove it" or "he said she said" is not a constructive way to run a moderation chatroom.
5:54 PM
@ArtOfCode He/she started it. You don't know the history of this user.
@user21820 Neither's that
@ArtOfCode Did you mean my next-to-last comment?
@ArtOfCode Sorry. I misunderstood.
No worries
@ArtOfCode In my opinion, there is no constructive way to run anything, much less a constructive chatroom, when two Cs are allowed to say what they like and turn others to their cause.
5:57 PM
@ArtOfCode Do you think I need to provide a link for my response regarding the template of which @user21820 was talking?
@ArtOfCode: I think you and Paul White simply do not understand the mentality and tactics of Cs.
@user21820 See... you're treating this like a political or ideological race. It's not. Treating it like one is only going to get unconstructive and outside Be Nice very fast.
@user21820 Oh I understand them alright. I've moderated more than my fair share of them.
@user170039 no, don't worry
@ArtOfCode We shall just have to disagree on who is correct about this. I stand by my claim that the general public are incapable of judging for themselves if left to their own devices. This includes moderators who do not have have the necessary background knowledge in the field.
@user21820 So you're saying "cranks" (whoever they might be) could come in here and persuade people to their way of thinking without violating our Be Nice policy? What is to stop those of more mainstream opinion also being persuasive while staying within the rules?
I will happily take the word of a professional mathematician that something is not correct mathematics, if it's stated constructively.
6:01 PM
Can anyone tell me what are C's?
@PaulWhite Because of the way they act. As I said earlier, they will never fail to respond, until the critic gets tired. That is just one tactic. They also bait others.
@user170039 I believe it is "code" for the word "cranks".
They also stalk and harass others.
@PaulWhite I defined it very precisely, since people object to me even using that word.
@user21820 Defined where?
@user21820 I'm well aware of all this, and I don't dispute it. I'm simply saying that being unconstructive back is not the way to deal with it.
6:02 PM
@PaulWhite Exactly what user170039 claimed was a false accusation without apparently reading the whole of it.
@user21820 As a current room owner, you have tools to deal with that should it occur here.
2 hours ago, by user21820
For the record, user170039 wants his kind of template precisely because it would let those (let's call them Cs) who produce what cannot be classified as mathematical work get away with their posts; by preventing people from calling Cs out explicitly, but instead asking for clarification, it is effectively allowing Cs to appear superior when they answer and say they are correct because such and such. There will be no end to this kind of back-and-forth, because Cs always respond.
@PaulWhite I have the tools to deal with it in this room. I do not have the tools to deal with it on the main site. That is why I publicly call attention to Cs here, so that others can be aware and take action as they see fit.
@user21820 Main site issues should be taken up on your meta/mods/contact form. I am concerned with chat.
@PaulWhite I know you keep saying over and over again that you are concerned with chat. What you don't seem to realize is that you cannot just focus narrowly on one part of the issue and ignore the huge chunk beneath the apparently calm surface.
@user21820 I absolutely can; that is my role as a network chat mod.
6:06 PM
@user21820 You cannot know user170039's intentions, only (s)he can know that. The be nice policy requires you to assume good intent meta.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice
There may be local context, but that only goes so far.
You've gotta be constructive about this issue everywhere, including here. Math mods are responsible for enforcing that on the main site, but Paul and I are responsible for enforcing it here.
Surely I am missing something. But I don't see any explicit statement here which would justify @PaulWhite's comment here. Where does it say so explicitly @user21820?
@ProducerofBS You cannot know that I cannot know. Don't start this again.
@user170039 I told you already I did not say that word because people like you and Producer of BS have tried to taboo it.
@user21820 Crank is not taboo to me. Just don't call users it.
6:08 PM
@ProducerofBS Apparently, you do not know what taboo means.
This room was placed in timeout for 5 minutes; This isn't going anywhere productive. Everyone take a break. Come back when you can be constructive.
6:27 PM
@user21820 Not much in the review queue at the moment
Sorry; not aimed at you. Your user number was left in my chat box from when I left
@ProducerofBS No problem. I already assumed it was accidental.
6:55 PM
This answer just came across the low-quality queue. It seems to be in a state of flux, but it strikes me as pretty low quality.
Other answers in that thread seem to miss the point of using induction.
7:14 PM
@user21820 You have a stronger background in logic and foundations than I; care to take a look at this?
@XanderHenderson seems like a legit question, likely even a dupe.
@XanderHenderson Done.
@XanderHenderson Lol I at first wrote "without" instead of "within". What a typo.
2 hours later…
9:04 PM
@user21820 Thanks. I was hoping that you could easily produce a good answer. I am not dissapoint.
(Yes, "disappoint")
("ed" is too many extra letters)
9:21 PM
@XanderHenderson Agreed.
9:46 PM
One might want to consider evaluating this PSQ.
10:00 PM
@PaulWhite For mods (diamond that is) only.
@amWhy what do you mean
"This is an exercise my friend asked, not from any an ongoing contest."? I find that highly dubious. I can believe that it is not from an ongoing contest, but the "I have a friend who asked me this" does not seem plausible to me.
I mean, I have friends that ask hard problems, but we work them out over beers after grading...
@XanderHenderson silly me!!
@amWhy This is in regards to the question you linked; I'm googling for ongoing contests
well, I'm not finding anything, but the question looks like it is on it's way to deletion, so I'm not going to spend any more time on it
10:38 PM
I miss @DanielFischer's presence!

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