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3:02 AM
Hi everybody! I've continued the process @msh210 started of synonimizing a lot of tags with alternative spellings/transliterations. I have only been doing the special case of alternatives whose diff comes up in the first 3 letters or so.
My logic is that since the purpose is findability by searching and there is the built-in autocomplete for tags, anyone expecting an alternate spelling of some non-English word is extremely likely to recognize the version that pops up in autocomplete as a result of this effort after (maximum) 3 letters.
1 hour later…
4:14 AM
@WAF, make sure you set your chat's parent account so you get your mod access on chat (:
12 hours later…
4:12 PM
Q: Books on the Significance of of the months in the Jewish Calendar

Yaakov EllisI am looking for books/sefarim (Hebrew or English) that discuss the different months of the Jewish year, and their overall significance in relation to: Zodiac Signs Tribes Chagim Animals Tanach/Chazal Jewish Philosophy/Machshava Anything else Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Q: Essential Jewish Websites

YoelWhat websites are essential bookmarks on a Jew's internet browser? I am thinking broadly of resources like a place to get online texts or a particularly good blog etc... Please include links as well as a description of the particular value of each website to the Jewish bookmark collection.

Why does the former naturally get answers that include thoughtful prose recommendations, while the latter naturally gets lists of links?

(Note that the "Please include ..." line at the bottom of the latter was added by me after the first few answers had already been posted.)
(If you see this question hours from now, feel free to answer anyway. Chat doesn't have to be synchronous.)
4:26 PM
@IsaacMoses Perhaps because each respondent to the former can think of several equally good answers, while each respondent to the latter can think of one good one?
5:23 PM
@IsaacMoses Anyway, most of the answers even to the former don't include "thoughtful prose recommendations" really: just names of books and "I've heard good things" or "I've heard a dvar torah or two... quoting this book". Some do, though, include "thoughtful prose recommendations", viz (to date) WAF's and Alex's.
@msh210 Not a bad hypothesis. Can you think of any way to induce that sort of behavior even when people can think of more than one? Perhaps when one of these comes up, we immediately edit in a boldfaced "Show your work" notice?
@IsaacMoses You're obviously talking to the wrong guy: I thought of but one answer to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7987 but still just wrote the book title with no prose. :-/
@msh210 Then I'm talking to the right guy. How would you have behaved if Yaakov's question had "Please explain why" or something at the bottom? What if it was boldfaced? What if it was a stern mod note saying anything without justification will be deleted?
@msh210 That said, a notice (in the body of the question, not a comment) should help, yes, I'd think. Not so much "Show your work" as "Answers should detail reasons" or the like.
Does anyone know what happened to all our commitments on area51? I noticed we only have 49% who signed up for the beta (area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/22435/…)
5:31 PM
@IsaacMoses Right, I think it'd 'a' helped.
@yydl Any idea how that compares to other Area51 sites?
@yydl They must have had "beli neder" in mind.
@IsaacMoses Of course, this all depends on meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/170 -- if the result there is "we don't want 'em" then this discussion is moot.
@msh210 I see most have around 80-90%
Were they notified in any way that we went to beta?
By the way, @IsaacMoses, your comments on the question at meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/170 ("How much good do these lists of links do..."), which you've now moved to the answer where they belonged, could be deleted... I've deleted my intervening comment there. Shall I delete yours (save you the trouble)?
@msh210 Done
5:36 PM
@yydl I got an e-mail on May 10, subject: Public beta for Jewish Life and Learning Q&A site - Area 51 - Stack Exchange
@yydl An email went out. We can only guess at why some people follow through and some don't
@msh210 I think I'm going to post an answer saying that they can be OK but must clearly solicit explanation of people's recommendations rather than just lists.
@yydl Note that an overwhelming majority of our committers only committed to our proposal, meaning that they likely came in from outside the SE network, many in response to Joel's blog post and tweets. Non-SE people are probably less likely to care to hang out on an SE site.
On more technical SE sites, lots of the people came in from SO/SF/SU
@IsaacMoses What about Skeptics or Cooking or English or Physics or Math? (Or did those not go through Area51? I have no idea.)
@msh210 Physics, 87%. Math, 76%.
@msh210 Skeptics 70% signed up, 50% only this
"only this" rates for P and M much lower: 36%, 16%
Our only-this rate is 3/4.
Cooking: 87% signed up, 24% only this
I think the correlation is pretty strong.
(Causation could well be both ways: People who use this site are more likely to then go on to commit to others.)
5:49 PM
@IsaacMoses Assuming all the not-only-this committers signed up for beta (a huge assumption which, actually, can't be true for Mathematics), Physics had 64% of only-this committers sign up for beta, Cooking had 46%, Skeptics 40%, and Judaism 32%.
@msh210 Clearly, there are other factors at work. In a mostly techie base population, Judaism is more of a niche topic than, e.g. cooking or math. There are probably many SE or Joel-fan Jews who committed because they think it'd be cool to have a Jewish SE, but who interact with Judaism much less frequently than the average techie interacts with, e.g. cooking or math.
@IsaacMoses True. Techieness goes with mathiness and physicsics, I think. And for some odd reason mathiness seems to go with linguisticsics. Cooking, I don't know. But you're probably quite right about "There are probably... cool to have a Jewish SE".
Being a human goes with cooking.
I thought SO people drink caffeine and eat whatever's around. :-)
6:02 PM
heheh, "Apparently common sense is our policy. Use with caution." (from another site)
6:27 PM
6:47 PM
@jake, You list yourself as a math major. Can I ask what school and year you're in? I was a math major, myself.
7:03 PM
@msh210, that'd be a good question for the mod room. Have you popped in there?
Well, I suggest you do. (: Very useful room!
I'm there. Thanks.
@msh210, I was in University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) while I attended Ner Israel, but have since graduated. I never updated my profile on math.SE. I will iy"h be attending grad school this fall.
@jake In math? A PhD program, or master's? Where? I got my PhD in math from Washington U in '09 and am a postdoc (not in math, in statistical genetics)
7:16 PM
@msh210, Will be attending NYU for master's in Scientific Computing.
@jake Sounds good. הצלחה
@jake I lived in Baltimore until a year ago. Do I know you? (Probably not if you lived on the Ner campus.) I davened primarily at R' Teichman's
@msh210, thanks.
@IsaacMoses, probably not. Don't think I ever went to R' Teichman's.
@jake OK. What I probably meant was "Do you know me?" since my full name is out there.
@IsaacMoses, Oh. Then no.
7:25 PM
@OutThere, nice to meet you.
@msh210 "OutThere"?
@IsaacMoses "my full name is out there."
@msh210 8^P
8:08 PM
I'm more used to IRC, specifically channels (that is, chat rooms) where someone greets and is greeted when he enters and bids and is bade farewell when he leaves. Those don't seem to be the case in the Teacher's Lounge or AFAICT here, at least.
@msh210 Here's up to us. I think behavior here is more drifty
... and the chat format is designed to enable one to pick up a conversation that one wasn't around for (with logs, linked replies, etc.), more so than IRC
@IsaacMoses Quite true.
if you're used to irc /command style, check out rchern.github.com/StackExchangeScripts
/me is used to it; thanks.
@RebeccaChernoff Some of the function supplied by the scripts listed there are now, I see, default behavior.
8:25 PM
@msh210 you have to refresh the page after loading the userscript
@msh210 hm?
Hi @WAF!
Just decided to pop in for a minute.
@RebeccaChernoff "SEChatFaviconNotifier.user.js - Uses the chatroom favicon to notify you of new unread messages and @-mentions" - this is now default behavior, no?
WAF, hi
16 hours ago, by Rebecca Chernoff
@WAF, make sure you set your chat's parent account so you get your mod access on chat (:
and then you can join the mod room too (:
@IsaacMoses I like it -- but it seems to go against SE practice.
8:32 PM
@RebeccaChernoff I actually think the list that came out of the corresponding SO question, organized as the answer was, is quite useful as a reference.
If all answers were to be compiled in an organization that itself was informative as to what to expect by clicking on a given link it would render explanations unnecessary (though potentially beneficial).
@WAF You replied to the wrong line.
@RebeccaChernoff Why are "Please generate a list for me" questions frowned upon?
@IsaacMoses My mistake. But I must run. I will try to rectify all this later.
8:56 PM
@IsaacMoses Are all such questions frowned upon, or only subjective ones? (An example of an objective one: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7854/… )
@msh210 lo yodeya
9:17 PM
Q: Why do people outside Eretz Yisroel keep 2 days Yom Tov for Shavuos?

Gershon Gold Possible Duplicate: Second day of Shavous Shavuos is one Yom Tov that has nothing to do with the day of the month. It is 50 days after the first day of Pesach. Even in the times of making Rosh Chodesh via the sight of the new moon, by the time Shavuos rolled around everyone knew defina...

@msh210 I closed this as duplicate. Was that too forceful an action for a moderator: should I have instead commented that it's a duplicate and waited for at least a coupla non-moderators to close it before doing so myself?
@msh210 IMO, if you're sure that a closure is appropriate, you should do it. You're a mod because the community (or in this pro tem case, the company) trusts you to make such decisions on your own.
... if you're not sure, leave a comment or start a meta/chat discussion
@IsaacMoses Okay. Anyway, it's always undoable.
@msh210 Right. Almost everything is. Also, for this one in particular, I think the match is pretty clear.
9:33 PM
@msh210 I wish there were a way to refer to a previous post (like this one does) without the "@username" at the start. "@msh210" looks a little silly in my own post.

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