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12:57 AM
Grace Note has unfrozen this room.
First Comment! :D
Criminy, this really got frozen?
@GraceNote You didn't actually say anything, so chat refreezes after a day or so.
stretches limbs
12:59 AM
Might make sense for that not to happen when an event is scheduled after the room is unfrozen, but that'd make it possible to keep the room open indefinitely, I suppose.
Thank Frigga you thawed the room.
I was beginning to think my face would stay that way.
It was still showing as frozen for me, so I was wondering how you were magically all typing
I think it's thawing slowing, but I'll keep my sweater on for the moment.
Wait, did it just say 15 minutes?
I got 15 seconds.
1:00 AM
It said 15 seconds
Welcome to the English Language & Usage Town Hall Chat
Wheee. :)
We're just here to get to know the candidates and ask questions regarding the candidates views on moderation that may help in voting.
@J.R. You can arrow up and edit your message.
A few notes about the format:
The format is open, feel free to ask your question(s) unprompted, however please be mindful of whether or not candidates have answered the previous questions so that they don't get behind and start missing questions. Other than that, feel free to jump in.
Thanks, KitFox!
1:01 AM
Candidates, be sure to use the reply feature so that questions and their answers are linked together. (Hover your mouse over the left of the message, click the down arrow, click reply)
It's a good idea to bold your questions (use ** or __ around it) to make them easier to see. When a question is asked, I'll star it - please star it yourself also to help! Please save stars for the questions so that candidates can refer to the star list to make sure they haven't missed a question.
@TimStone will be creating a digest version of the town hall chat after it is completed. This digest will take the form of a question on meta, containing all the questions asked as well as their answers for easier reading.
There's a system message up on the site, so we may get some stragglers joining us if they're still up at this hour.
For candidates among us at the moment, I spy: @J.R., @KitFox, @simchona, and @EvanCarroll.
Now, now, we can't have that. :(
Martha is not here...
Well, with formalities out of the way, let the questioning begin!
New users often are not accustomed to the Stack Exchange system, and sometimes struggle to present themselves properly, either in the way they use the site or their attitude. How willing are you to work with "problematic" users, and at what point do you decide that someone isn't worth the effort?
@SonicTheHedgehog She said she couldn't make this hour. But she, as well as the other candidates who can't make it (wow, 5 said they could make it, that's why we went with this hour), are free and able to answer all the questions asked after this event at any time
@Grace Ah. :(
1:05 AM
I'm just going to steal from the old stars list. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
@TimStone I am very willing to work with new users to help them learn the ropes. If they continue to struggle, I would continue to help. I would only give up on a user if they became abusive and caused an issue on the site for other community members. Then I would involve the other mods for help in dealing with the situation.
@KitFox Great!
...Maybe we should ask one question at a time.
@TimStone I've found that there are some "problematic" users like our new troll, who I have taken aside in a private chat (along with Mahnax) in order to try to help them use the site better. This happened after this troll had posted porn, spam, and exact duplicates of his own question under multiple sock puppets. I am willing to go quite far in helping new users, but I stop at the point where they continue to go forward with bad behaviors.
@GraceNote Hmm, should we nuke the existing stars? (Well, "we", I don't have...the power!)
1:06 AM
@TimStone I think there's a difference between new users and "problematic" users. Users don't become problematic until after they've been guided, and subsequently spurned the correction. I'd be very patient with new users, but, eventually a line can be crossed.
You guys are having a pow wow without me?
@EvanCarroll You were sent an email. Start from the pinned message noting the event to catch up
@Evan Eh, it was getting late. So we started.
@J.R. I entirely agree with you.
@GraceNote Reg and I (and others) just had a discussion today over whether to reopen a question about math symbols. It progressed just the way I thought it should. We discussed the pros and cons and we came to an agreement as a community. If it didn't work like that, I would progress to a private chat if I felt strongly about it, then discuss it in mediation with mods in the TL if necessary. But I can't imagine I would ever feel that strongly.
1:07 AM
@GraceNote I have like five or six questions ready and waiting. So I can jump in.
I got few of mine, also.
@RegDwightАΑA Ask as you find and like it
@GraceNote I don't think mods should act alone, nor act without being open to modifying unilateral decisions. I would talk to the other mod and see why they had closed it. There's no reason to get into an open/close/deletion fight.
You've got questions: I've got liberty and freedom. Let's get it on.
@simchona I totally disagree with you.
1:08 AM
What is your subjective assessment of how ELU's been progressing in terms of popularity and quality? Do we get more questions than a year ago? Better questions? What about answers? Do we attract new great users? Or is it all Eternal September? What is your recency illusion?
@Carlo ...lol?
Is there anything you would want to change about the way the site is being run at present?
I want more tollerance with new user.
@Carlo_R. To be fair, you have a bit of a bias.
@RegDwightАΑA Can't believe we let you become a mod with such poor chat skills...
@SonicTheHedgehog I don't see any particular glaring issue with the site. I'd like to encourage our high rep users to continue their participation in the site, especially with closing/deleting questions, and setting guidelines through the Meta site.
1:10 AM
@Kit lol what was that? :)
@GraceNote I don't expect to agree with the decisions of every moderator. Ideally, we should function as a team with different strengths and weaknesses, not as clones. If a question is closed by another moderator, and I don't agree with that, I might speak with the moderator off-line about it - particularly if this happens frequently - but I'd enter into that conversation ready to learn why I might be mistaken, rather than convinced I'm right.
@Mahnax Please, do not insulting again!
@SonicTheHedgehog I stuck a space in by accident.
@Carlos Orgy, I mean Order in the court!
@J.R. Questions in bold, not replies, eheh
1:10 AM
@TimStone There is no such thing as someone "that is not worth the effort." The platform should modified so that it is self-correcting. All people are worth the effort they're willing to put forward, and shy of that all social problems can be handled with technology.
@Kit I see.
@SonicTheHedgehog I want ELU better. Simchona is a great problem that has to be removed.
@RegDwightАΑA In terms of question quality, it seems as if the balance has shifted towards more "English as a second language" questions. However, there have been new users recently who have provided great answers, so I think that the user base is improving in terms of answers, but there is some work to be done on questions. I think more questions should be closed, and those question-askers should be helped to ask better questions if possible
@Carlos Uh... are you a troll?
@Carlo_R. That's a little bit rich, coming from you. At any rate, this is not the place for petty arguments.
1:12 AM
I mean, Sim was helpful so far...
@RegDwightАΑA I've only been on the site for six months, so my personal history is scant. However, I've noticed a lot of questions coming from non-native speakers, but that problem is already being addressed with the new site in Area 51 for Language Learners.
@SonicTheHedgehog Absolutely NO
@RegDwightАΑA I think the site has been growing in leaps and bounds, which means we will have more questions, both good and bad, and we will have more users, both good and bad. This means we need more moderators and more diligence so that we make sure that the content of the site represents what we want our community to grow into.
I have to leave for a bit, hopefully this will still be going when I get back. Bye!
@TimStone So in essence, I'd advocate for welcoming everyone to the site: unban and expire all suspensions. And, find a way to mitigate any social problems through technological tools that don't involve limiting the ability to participate.
1:12 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog I would want to empower more high-reputation users to take initiative in cleaning up the site. There are a handful of users who vote to close, or edit questions, but I think that there are more who might be encouraged to take part. I think it's less about changing how the site is run, and more about changing the perception of who "runs" the site
@SonicTheHedgehog I'm serious user trolled by simchona.
Do you feel like a representative percentage of the community participates in your site's meta? Based on that, how strongly do you think feedback presented on meta should factor into your decision making as a moderator?
What is your favorite word in the English language?
@SonicTheHedgehog Robusto is the best friend of simchona.
@Sonic: Is that a real question?
1:13 AM
@J.R. It is a legitimate question
@J.R Important one.
@SonicTheHedgehog haha, you can't be serious. (Though I think someone asked that the last time around.)
@SonicTheHedgehog Vexatious. I have a preference for words that start with v. This one also has an x and ends like salacious. It doesn't get much better than that.
@J.R. So long as they're interested in English I see no reason to differentiate on nebulous qualifiers. I speak English naively, and I'm still learning it! That's why I'm here.
@Reg I am channeling Robusto.
1:14 AM
Not every question has to necessarily be one about the campaign. It isn't harmful to add a little lightness
@SonicTheHedgehog proletariat. Easy.
@SonicTheHedgehog I was going to do that. But I have a fresh question or three. Hold on.
@RegDwightАΑA It was, in fact, asked last time around
@ Carlo: There is very little I'd like to change about the way the site is run at present. I'm not coming into this with an agenda.
@GraceNote see, I remember everything. I know what you did last summer!
1:15 AM
@TimStone I think that there are the same few users who use Meta, but I would encourage more users to do so. However, whatever the representative percentage on Meta, I think feedback is extremely important. I have seen mods pay attention to users on both Meta.SO and Meta.ELU, and I think that's a good approach to take
@TimStone Representative? It's hard to say, but there is a core of users who I respect who put their opinions out on the Meta questions. I would look to Meta first if I were trying to make a decision based on what I thought the community wanted.
@SonicTheHedgehog Bubble.
A very popular reason for flagging is "very low quality". Everyone seems to have their own notion of what that's supposed to mean; what is yours? How will you handle such flags?
@sim I wish I could upvote. I wish...
Apparently, I'm not leaving just yet.
1:16 AM
@TimStone No, because meta's on StackExchange all suffer from aura of extreme elitism. If I'm elected moderator, I'll propound a request to Jeff Atwood to make a splash page for EL&U that informs those that our meta is different. It's for the users, and not merely a playground for StackExchange employees.
@simchona No bubble.
@SonicTheHedgehog I didn't mean to imply the question wasn't legitimate. Hmmm... one word? Out of so many? Perhaps pin. (I like multi-use words).
@Carlo You are not even a candidate. -_-
@RegDwightАΑA In general, I ignore these flags if the question is answered. I let the community handle it through downvoting or ignoring poor answers. If it's not spam or abuse, I'd let it ride.
@Carlo_R. Please stop talking about things you know nothing about.
1:17 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Who am I to decide what is "very low quality"? We have algorithms and users that can do that -- no one should have an amplified voice. This isn't chaos, it's discourse: no one needs a megaphone.
Carlo, this is an event for asking candidates questions, not to campaign for or against any of the candidates.
You strongly disagree with an action taken by a fellow moderator. How do you proceed?
Sorry, it is unclear. Who ask the question here?
What is your favorite book(or rather, Author)?
This is not worthy my time. I'm out.
1:18 AM
@Robusto Noo... :(
@TimStone I'd talk to the moderator in private chat. If that didn't resolve the issue, I would bring it to the Teacher's Lounge.
@RegDwightАΑA I think some VLQ questions can be expanded on, if the user is willing to do so. My definition of low quality is a question which has little effort, and little effort to change. If there were good answers, like with some NS questions as current mods have done, I would leave it. However, poor questions which detract from the site may need to be removed
@Carlo_R. Anyone can ask questions. Candidates can even ask each other if they have something they feel they should ask
@RegDwightАΑA It depends on several factors. Is the question truly of low quality? And can it be improved? If possible, I'd try to salvage the question before deleting or closing it.
We have displeased our greatest elder. D:
1:19 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog Diana Wynne Jones
@TimStone I prod him to reveal whatever information I think I can get out of him -- keeping in the back of my mind that my allegiance is to the users. When he has revealed all he's willing to reveal, I turn it over to Wikileaks and make it available on a third party site, and welcome all users to review that moderator's actions.
@SonicTheHedgehog I like so many, but Umberto Eco is my standard answer.
Ah, I have to be more precise, then. Stupid me.
How do you decide if an answer is "very low quality", and what do you do with it?
@TimStone I think I kind of alluded to this before - I don't expect to agree with every decision made by other moderators, and I certainly woudn't rock the boat.
Alright, reminder: lets give candidates time to finish questions.
1:20 AM
@TimStone I would start by talking to them about it. I've seen several good discussions in chat, and so I would definitely feel comfortable bringing it up there and working through it. It can be escalated, if need be, to talk to more mods. However, I think most issues could be solved easily between ELU mods.
@RegDwightАΑA I vote it down, just like any other user. Why would I abuse my status to handle something that, we're told, the platform handles find natively?
@SonicTheHedgehog This is actually a bit of a light load for our time progress thus far, I wouldn't worry too much on it.
@RegDwightАΑA pretty much the same thing, first try to salvage it, if possible. If not possible, then delete it. I might just downvote it, too, if I feel like it's bad, but not so bad that it needs to be removed.
@Grace I see... But if I were a candidate right now, shudders I would be a bit overwhelmed.
@RegDwightАΑA If the answer doesn't actually answer the question, it gets moved to a comment or deleted. If it's spam or abusive, it gets deleted. Otherwise, what I said before: In general, I ignore these flags if the question is answered. I let the community handle it through downvoting or ignoring poor answers. If it's not spam or abuse, I'd let it ride.
1:21 AM
BTW, I think I have answered everyone's questions thus far. If I haven't you're welcome to give me a call personally at 281.901.0011. I'm on call for my people, just don't give the number to Jeff. He makes boring conversation.
Excluding dupes, our number one close reason is "general reference"; a reason most other SE sites don't even have. 3% of all questions — and 35% of closed questions — are closed as gen-ref. Are we too strict? Too lax? Isn't every question too basic if you know the answer, or where to look? Where do you personally draw the line?
@RegDwightАΑA If the issue can be edited, I would do so. I would also downvote. I would reserve deletion for answers which were possibly just "yes" or "no", without anything else to support it.
English vs American; how do you feel about it?
@SonicTheHedgehog Americans are cool. Brits are posh.
Tyre is right out.
1:22 AM
@Kit I heavily disagree.
IMO, British have class.
Oi oi
waits to hear answers to Reg’s preguntacita
@GraceNote You trying to mimic Rebecca?
@RegDwightАΑA Gen ref is dictionary reference to me. Or basic grammar (which should be migrated to ELL). I think it is necessary to go on a case by case basis, and some days I think we are a little trigger happy with the gen ref reason. There are so many other happy reasons for closing, after all.
@RegDwightАΑA If the answer is in a dictionary (phrasal verbs, definitions) that is easily accessible, I would consider it general reference. For most etymology, I think it's hard to say "I'll look in a dictionary" unless you happen to have the OED. I think my bottom line is that General Reference questions are those found in a dictionary, or occasionally in a quick Google search if it seems like no research has been done.
1:24 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Rebecca does singular "oy"s
@GraceNote I did say "trying". (-:
@RegDwightАΑA Closing questions is a horrible idea anyway: if people want to answer questions that are of "general reference" let them. If we get a good answer, the platform has served to move valuable content into the CC-BY-SA domain, that's a great thing in and of itself!
@SonicTheHedgehog English is a language, and American isn't.
@SonicTheHedgehog I heard Alex Trebek once say, "My favorite book is often the one I'm currently reading." I've read so many good books that I'd have trouble narrowing it down to 5 much less one. I prefer non-fiction for my pleasure reading. I'm currently reading Blue Moon Rising to my teenage daughters (best adventure novel you've probably never heard of). One non-fiction book I've read recently that I very much enjoyed was GO TO by Steve Lohr.
(The story of the math majors, bridge players, engineers, chess wizards, maverick scientists and iconoclasts - the programmers who created the software revolution - that's the subtitle - please forgive the sentence case).
Why do you want to be a moderator (i.e., as opposed to a user with privs via high rep?)
1:25 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Touche, with a little dash atop the e 'twere I more inclined to do so
What is the one thing you'd like to be remembered for during your time here?
I'm collecting stars like in Super Mario Bros.
Could I post a question to candidate?
@Carlo provided it is not stupid.
Yes, but try not to be confrontational
@TimStone So I'm privy to that which goes on in the upper closed echelons of the managing junta, and so I can empower all of the people, democratically, with the powers of a moderator.
1:26 AM
@TimStone I've been doing a lot of work recently in rooting out our newest persistent troll. Being a mod would help me do that work better, taking care of the problem more quickly--5 heads are better than one. I can delete the user's questions if they're closed, but I can't deduce whether the user is a new one, or just a sock.
Bah, the porn spammer is on the main site again. BRB.
There is a lot of confusion here.
@TimStone We need more mods, and I think I am a good candidate for it. I would like to be able to help keep abuse off the site, help new users get comfy, and set the tone for the community here.
Do you adhere to Marxism?
I don't undarstand who is asking the question?
1:27 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog Although I'd very much like members to remember what a wonderful and funny person I am, I would rather be known for being judicious and fair.
@RegDwightАΑA If I can find the answer in less than two minutes using standard search tools (Google, dictionary, thesaurus), then my opinion is it's general ref. However, that's a tricky one ~ sometimes what seems like general ref actually has some pretty deep conversation underneath it (good example lately is the 'adj form of primate' question), so I wouldn't want to pull the close trigger prematurely
@Cerberus Adhere to it? It's a system that certainly makes for a better world.
@Carlo_R. Anyone can ask a question,
@Cerberus ...???
@SonicTheHedgehog I would like to be remembered for my wonderful coffee cake, biting wit, and ability to spot a troll at 100 paces.
1:28 AM
@Carlo_R. Matthew 7:7
@Cerberus You can't be a Marxist in the closet.. BTW, that is an excellent question. Thanks for asking.
@EvanCarroll I'll take that as a yes.
@Cerberus No.
Marxism is like a status that cannot be reached.
@sim send me one sometimes. I want to taste it.
You receive multiple complaints about an active user, alleging he is waging a personal vendetta against those who've disagreed with him by indiscriminately down-voting their posts, going so far as to create sockpuppet accounts to amplify his voting power. Upon examining the user's history, this suspicion appears plausible. What do you do?
1:28 AM
@Cerberus No
@tchrist You know: I entirely ignore you.
@TimStone For the same reason I visit this site daily - to help make it a better place. Truth be told, the privs aren't a motivational factor for me.
@KitFox @simchona I'll take that as a no.
@SonicTheHedgehog Who told you that, Atwood? He would, he's sitting pretty good now in retirement.
@Shog9 I ask an experienced mod to look at the evidence I've assembled, ask if there is anything else I should look for, and then ask what to do next.
1:29 AM
Do you have any hopes, ideas or plans for improving, involving, or enlarging the EL&U community?
@SonicTheHedgehog That I was helpful and courteous; that I helped make ELU more interesting, informative, and enjoyable.
@Shog9 If there is an active user who is making trouble, the first thing I would do is come to him with facts. If there is a plausible explanation for the results, I would listen. However, if it seems like there is still some doubt I would go to the other current mods. No suspension should be a unilateral decision
Stop starring non-questions, please
@Shog9 Wow, great question. I would turn over all of user history immediately to a third party for examination to make sure that wasn't just a frame up by Stack Exchange. But, if all pans out I would request a meeting with the user to discuss his behavior. If, that was not satisfactory I would defer the decision to the community at large, assuming his behavior posed no immediate threat.
1:31 AM
@Cerberus Groucho Marxism, yes. (Those are my principles, and if you don't like 'em, well, I have others.)
@SonicTheHedgehog Yes, I do. I think we could potentially expand to take on other vernaculars and dialects, like Creole.
@J.R. You're very principled.
@SonicTheHedgehog I would love to see the blog grow. I think that, if it were updated regularly, it could bring in a new audience of users. This could, however, be difficult as it is hard to find new writers. A more attainable goal would be to enrich the current community by encouraging users to come back. Asking one question, then leaving, does not a community make.
There have been repeated complaints that our front page is chock-full of closed questions. Obviously we can't control what kinds of questions we get. Or can we? Do you have any strategy for making the front page more tidy and welcoming?
@Shog9 To be honest, I'd first confer with other mods who have been doing this for a long time. I'd let them train me on standard procedures for handling such abuses in the system. After I felt sufficiently trained, I'd be able to take some of the load off their shoulders.
1:32 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog I would like to see EL&U grow. I think keeping the site tidy and having a welcoming atmosphere and accessible mods will do that.
We're past the halfway mark, just as a reminder
@RegDwightАΑA Stop electing moderators that close questions, especially for stupid things like being "general references." The more material on EL&U the better, and perhaps if General References are fun, it'll engage more people.
@RegDwightАΑA If we had some method of helping new users find the FAQ before posting questions...but aside from that, I think responding to new users and helping them frame their questions appropriately as soon as possible will help keep questions from being closed (or staying closed).
@RegDwightАΑA I've thought about doing something like that for some time, maybe creating a web page that says something along the lines of "So, your question got closed...." But I wouldn't do anything unilaterally. I might propose something, but it would have to be adopted by others.
I have a question to candidates. Why did this question close (english.stackexchange.com/questions/76578/…) It seems to me a vandetta against Barrie, due to his idea on this other question english.stackexchange.com/questions/76550/…
1:35 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Questions are often closed as General Reference or Exact Duplicates. I think improving the quality of questions by helping users (in chat, in comments, etc) will reduce the number of closed questions. In addition, having an actual list of common questions might help reduce the duplicates. I think there is a misconception that all closed questions are bad, however--they may simply be a less eloquent way of asking a previously asked question.
What do you think?
What is your native language?
@RegDwightАΑA I do think some more guidance could be offered, but it's a difficult balance to strike. Too little guidance doesn't convey enough information, but too much is overwhelming, and unlikely to be studied thoroughly by the average new users.
@Carlo too localized.
@SonicTheHedgehog American English
1:35 AM
@J.R. Why not ask the users what they want, rather than the moderators. The users are the community that elects you. You serve them!
@SonicTheHedgehog English and Basic. (I don't think it is relevant though.)
@SonicTheHedgehog No it is not too localized.
@Carlo_R. I don't think candidates have time to answer that here.
@SonicTheHedgehog Unfortunately, I only speak one language. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to be bilingual.
How comfortable are you with using the tools for moderation made available to normal (non-diamond-moderator) users? (such as editing, closing, re-opening, flagging, and brass knuckles)
1:36 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog English.
@J.R. I am bilingual. Its hard. Don't even try it.
@EvanCarroll: Who said I was talking about moderators at the exclusion of other users? I don't think that's what I said or meant.
@Shog9 Brass knuckles? Damn. I didn't know we had those.
@Cerberus OK
@Carlo_R. The close reason is "not constructive", which means the question seems like it's asking for a poll or discussion. It was interesting, but it touched on topics that were far too numerous for one question. However, on your point that it's a vendetta: if you truly believed that, I would hope you posted on Meta or flagged it, to bring it to the attention of the acting mods
1:37 AM
@KitFox That's why I gotta ask. Amazing how many folks don't know what they have...
@Shog9 Comfortable? As in, you are OK with their having them? Or familiar with using them yourself?
@Cerberus The latter. Clarified.
@Cerberus I'd assume the latter
@Carlo_R. Without looking through it, the question title sounds like peeving. We close that sort of question quickly.
1:38 AM
@Sonic: I've had some many friends from other countries, it would be worth the hardship to talk with them in their mother tongue, more than the handful of words they have taught me.
There are ongoing efforts to create a spin-off site targeted specifically at English language learners. Regardless of the fate of that proposal, is it a step in the right direction at all? Can such a split help make ELU a better place? Or would it mean our demise?
@Shog9 I feel pretty comfortable with these tools. I have used what has been accessible to me for as long as it has been accessible to me.
@Shog9 I've been using the normal mod tools quite a bit, especially to delete unanswered questions by trolls. It is simply another part of the community voting system.
@RegDwightАΑA Friendly forking is great
1:39 AM
@RegDwightАΑA ("And would a SWR proposal be a good idea too?")
@Carlo_R. I have a hard time believing this community has a vendetta against Barrie. I think he's one of the more esteemed users on the site.
What would you do if you found out that StackExchange was involved in a massive cover up and conspiracy, and you had the smoking gun?
@Cerberus you are allowed to ask questions here.
What do you plan to do to assist the site outside of responding to flags and standard close/delete maintenance?
@J.R. I agree with you.
1:40 AM
@Evan a star for "smoking gun".
@RegDwightАΑA I'm trying to use editing tools on you, but apparently I'm not comfortable enough.
@RegDwightАΑA I understand trepidation about the ELL site, but I think it could be very beneficial to EL&U. Moving basic questions there would give some users the answers they need and help maintain a pleasant atmosphere. I think the two sites would complement each other.
@RegDwightАΑA I personally support the proposal, as it will hopefully encourage English learners to ask their questions but also carve out a space for "English enthusiasts" to ask more questions.
@RegDwightАΑA I'm completely in favor of that proposal. I think non-natives should have a place to ask basic questions without fear of retribution or closure.
@EvanCarroll It depends on the nature of what I uncovered.
1:41 AM
@J.R. but tchrist, Mitch, Robusto, Jez, cornbread ninja are just the people that will kill this community with the support of simchona
@EvanCarroll where I'm from we only have mushroom clouds.
@SonicTheHedgehog I would continue to hang out in chat daily in order to be available for help. I would spend extra time leaving comments on new questions and answers to help new people feel more welcomed. I would also increase my involvement in Meta, to help make that a more helpful and welcoming complement to our main site.
@EvanCarroll I thought that, as candidates, we were supposed to be answering the questions, not asking them. Are you withdrawing from the race?
1:41 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog I would continue to be available in chat in case users had questions about how to use the site. Recently, some users have been coming to chat with more basic questions, and I think helping them will cultivate a strong community.
@J.R. Candidates are allowed to ask
@J.R. Candidates are allowed to ask questions as well. No harm.
They should probably answer their own question, too
@J.R. And, here I thought as a candidate I was the only one that could answer them, but as user first and foremost I was equally entitled to ask them..
@J.R. There you go, candidates are allowed to ask questions too -- so stop trying to oppress me.
1:43 AM
Wouldn't one who has a smoking gun be fairly motivated to hide it? ;)
@Carlo I would be more careful if I were you. There is 5 Moderators in this room.
@mootinator Not necessarily, which is probably the intent behind the question
No. It wouldn't be his smoking gun. He just stumbled upon it -- as the detectives always do in the movies.
Are you aware of the Summer of Love? If yes, have you noticed any changes in your behavior or that of others?
(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just say "no", "um", or a custom combination thereof.)
@SonicTheHedgehog I would like to remain an active user. I would like to spend more time explaining why I closed questions, if I closed them - that seems to be something that is perceived as callous sometimes. But, as I've answered in other questions, I don't have an agenda, and I'm not looking to make big changes. I believe the community does a good job policing itself overall, and I'd like to moderate in a delicate fashion.
1:44 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Yes. No.
@EvanCarroll It depends on the "conspiracy". Stack Exchange is a private company, and to some extent they have the rights to govern what goes on within the site. If it were, however, along the lines of the mafia, I would act.
You see a very poor question posted. No evidence of research, vague criteria for what answers should address, some evidence that it was passed through Google Translate at least once prior to posting... Obviously it needs attention; what sort of attention do you give it?
goes back to quietly not pretending to not understand figures of speech.
1:45 AM
We're at the 45 minute mark, might want to consider slowing the pace a bit as we draw nearer to a close.
@Shog9 You answer the question if you can, and tag it "probable-homework" so others looking for homework answers can find it.
@Shog9 I leave a comment specifying what needs to be fixed. I allow the community to close it if they wish.
@SonicTheHedgehog you had a stray leading blank line there :)
@SonicTheHedgehog I already asked this
@anna Thanks.
@Grace you did?
1:46 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog a very slow jinx.
It was the very first question I asked
@RegDwightАΑA I knew that the Summer of Love was going on, and I have noticed a change in my own behavior. I've seen more changes on Stack Overflow, seeing as the Summer of Love has been posted on MSO. I've tried to be more patient and understanding, but I haven't noticed a marked change on ELU. I think ELU tends to be pretty helpful, for the most part.
@Grace sorry about that...
@Carlo You are the only troll I see here.
Second warning, @Carlo_R.
@Carlo_R. I kinda asked that we please not campaign for or against candidates here.
1:47 AM
Does anyone have an interesting, controversial question that might give us some insight into where our candidates have very different opinions?
@Cerberus No.
@KitFox That's pretty controversial...
@Shog9 If the user really cannot speak English, I would first direct him to support the proposal for English Language Learners. I would try to edit the question so it were in a more readable form, and leave comments to tease out the true purpose. If the user is unable to understand the comments, then I might close the question as Very Low Quality as it is unlikely to help future users.
@Shog9 As a new moderator, I'd want to spend some time learning about how such situations are best handled.
Never in my life have I seen Shog say "oooh".
1:48 AM
@Cerberus I ran out of stars.
I think with regard to the Summer of Love problem, that can be solved with a Reputation Reset, or a Reputation Decay algorithm. That's how Ubuntu solved this anyway. Reputation there is constantly decaying. And, personally I think giving your StackExchange character a lifespan of five years and just resetting his EXP is probably an easy system to implement and quite effective. Just strip him of his reputation and require a name change.
@KitFox Haha OK.
@Cerberus how about this:
Does it even make sense for us to have a blog anymore?
@EvanCarroll Reputation decay could actually be interesting.
@RegDwightАΑA Better.
@Shog9 I'm very comfortable with those tools – so much so, that I think I might miss them in the unlikely event that I get elected.
1:50 AM
@Cerberus Do you think a Democracy online where every user had the ability to vote on everything by way of referendum could be more successful than a representative democracy that required us to form a hierarchy and classes?
@RegDwightАΑA It doesn't seem like we have a strong enough core group of people to maintain the blog. Good idea, but not feasible right now. So no, the blog has pretty much been abandoned and I don't see any motivation from the membership to get it going again.
@RegDwightАΑA I think that, as a tool to get more people into the site, it might be worth another shot. There are also some questions, like Barrie's, which might be better answered within the blog. However, if the community isn't interested in the idea, I wouldn't push very hard at reviving it.
@EvanCarroll I don't know: populism is a very serious danger. The only experiment in history that I am aware of damaged society in bad ways, in ancient Athens.
@RegDwightАΑA !
Are you crazy?
1:52 AM
@Evan: If every user was a responsible user, that would work just fine.
@Cerberus I'm talking at Grace. And yes.
@Cerberus That was never populism, Athens was notoriously restrictive in who got voting rights.
@EvanCarroll No. It is difficult to rule by committee, and nearly impossible to rule by simple majority. Of course, if you are talking about answering questions on SE, then sure.
You opt to close a poor question, and at 3AM the next morning get a phone call from the author, who has tracked you down and is now loudly damning your terrorist soul to hades. How do you respond?
@J.R. So you assume all users are not responsible?
1:53 AM
@Shog9 I hang up. I notify SE administration.
@Shog9 Roll over and go back to sleep. A rested mod is a patient mod.
@Evan: You gave a hypothetical question, I gave a hypothetical answer :^)
@Shog I will be using "loudly damning your terrorist soul to hades" line from now on. I'm still chortling.
@Shog9 call Cerberus, duh. Hades is his specialty.
@EvanCarroll But it was direct democracy. Even with 1/4 of the population voting, the effects were at times disastrous. It was strong populism.
1:53 AM
@KitFox Who said anything about committee? And, why can't people rule by simple majority? That's who rules on what questions appear on the front page. And, everything on Reddit is decided the way.
@EvanCarroll No--I feel that there are some users who won't know what they're voting on. StackExchange has very low voting restrictions, and I feel that it isn't as hierarchical as one might think
What's the most recent book you've read, and how long ago did you read it?
@Cerberus So you believe in a ruling class? That's a prime difference between me and you.
@Shog9 I'd tell him Cerberus doesn't not consider this "damning" in the technical sense and there'd be nothing to worry about. But I am no candidate.
We're approaching the close, so as to that end, final thoughts from candidates?
1:55 AM
@RegDwightАΑA Conversations through Consensus. About 2 days at a bar.
(You're still able to ask up until the end of the designated hour)
@RegDwightАΑA I'm currently in the middle of Freakonomics, and I just finished Talent is Overrated
@RegDwightАΑA I Will Surprise My Friend by Mo Willems. About 3 hours ago.
Do you have "Fanatic" Badge?
@SonicTheHedgehog gen-ref.
1:55 AM
@SonicTheHedgehog Yes.
@Reg Eh. :( Every mod I feel should have that badge.
@GraceNote If you don't vote for Evan Carroll, you're going to get another elitist crony who will treat you like a subject to his rule. Vote freedom, vote Evan Carroll!
@RegDwightАΑA Leaving the Ivory Tower by Lovitts. Finished it earlier this year.
I think my vegetable stock is done cooking. I've never made it before, party at my place and everyone is invited.
@EvanCarroll I don't believe in anything, I just want what works. I think some form of democracy is the lesser evil, but it shouldn't become too democratic, or you will get populism. Each of those systems has its problems (and they are serious), but the middle ground seems to perform best based on history.
1:56 AM
@GraceNote I would gladly serve as moderator. I will continue to support the community and be friendly, kind, accessible, and just.
@SonicTheHedgehog I think I have some 60-odd of those. Not that hard to visit once a day. What you do with your time on the site is a different question entirely.
I do have the Fanatic badge, but I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I got it on my 100th day.
@reg true.
@Cerberus Right, you know what's better than a system that ensures a majority is happy with a decision? A system that doesn't! Good job thinking that one through.
@RegDwightАΑA For my personal reading, it was Pale Fire by Nabokov and I finished it last week.
1:57 AM
@GraceNote I am not perfect, but I think that I would be a good candidate for mod because I am willing to listen to others. Even when one user called me a "terrorist", "this person totally insane mind" and said that I wasn't "tollerant [sic]", I took a step back and tried not to react right away. I am open to change--I am willing to look at my own actions in order to improve. In addition, whatever the results, I will remain active on ELU. My first priority is to helping the site, mod or not.
@EvanCarroll Indeed: the majority of people does not possess the majority of wisdom.
@SonicTheHedgehog Yes
BTW, anyone can friend add me on FB too, facebook.com/theevancarroll or message on twitter too @TheEvanCarroll
Too little democracy and you will have too much corruption (in the broadest sense). Too much, and you will have instability leading to tyranny. Is it not so?
@Cerberus you have to phrase it as a question.
1:59 AM
@RegDwightАΑA There.
@RegDwightАΑA What is "corruption"?
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