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12:28 AM
@Shog9 unlabelled opinions, that is, opinions masquerading as facts. Will clarify. For example, somebody says "that means Jesus", somebody else says "no it doesn't", and soon you have a knife-fight in the comments -- which could be avoided with "according to X" or "I believe".
@Shog9 Not communication, mod-block. The edit was not permitted until after a discussion with the author; it took him five days to come back and have that discussion. When he did he said (roughly) "yeah sure, didn't mean trouble, please edit it for me".
12:54 AM
@Shog9 The (brief) chat interaction with the author starts here.
1 hour later…
2:02 AM
@MonicaCellio ok; this is kinda what I suspected - it's less about the appropriateness of edits and more about disagreements as to what's appropriate in an answer - edited or otherwise.
@Shog9 well, edits are caused by inappropriate content, so they go together. (Setting aside the benign edit reasons we all agree on, like formatting, grammar, adding links, etc.)
And given the presence of inappropriate content, I am urging edit rather than waiting around for the author, who after all can roll it back if he disagrees.
@MonicaCellio Ok, but here's the thing: editing's a distraction if y'all aren't in agreement first about what, specifically, is and is not appropriate in answers to begin with.
If I drop by The Workplace and start posting otherwise reasonable answers that happen to start off with, "You should quit your job, but if you decide to ignore that advice and stick around..."
...and you go through and edit this out...
...then I would expect there to be a fairly solid consensus on the site that such advice isn't appropriate.
@Shog9 you remember the problems that led to Jack's post and me leaving the site? That was around a post trying to lay out answer guidelines. If you search our meta for "doctrine" you'll find this has come up over and over again, inconclusively, with Jack arguing that everything is doctrine so QED done. I am trying here to attack a narrower slice of that.
How do you recommend we solve the general problem? And must that block dealing with this subset of it, which comes up over and over again because we get lots of new users who think this is a Christian forum and behave accordingly?
Surely we can deal with this category of inappropriate content without biting off the whole thing. We could start a new meta question, I guess, but it was already all over the existing one.
2:22 AM
@MonicaCellio Well, you're putting the cart before the horse. Editing has to follow agreement on what a good answer is - if you don't have a consensus on that yet, then it's premature to discuss anything more than trivial edits.
@Shog9 "What is a good answer" is a very broad question. The problem has existed since the site was launched (or at least since a week or two after launch). What course of action, what specific question, could move us forward so we can address the problem of offensive content covered in the editing question?
@MonicaCellio Well, first off recognize that you're using "offensive" very, very broadly here - to the point where (as in your previous example) what's offensive to one person falls somewhere between an obvious interpretation and... I guess feeling as though they're being honest in their answer.
In other words, attacking this problem as though it is in the same ballpark as calling someone an ass isn't going to get anywhere very quickly; for a fairly large number of people, this simply isn't going to be an obvious line.
@Shog9 He "knows" that it is true in the same way that, say, people several hundred years ago "knew" the earth was flat, or how some "know" that global warming is true while others "know" it is false, and how I "know" that the text says something else. This isn't calling-somebody-an-ass territory (I've never used an offensive flag for this, for instance), but it is a very real problem that is exacerbated by coming from the dominant opinion, [cont]
one shared by the mods, mods who are unwilling to allow edits to turn assertions into characterized opinions, ones who decline flags on these posts, ones who require a chat discussion on every single case to move forward. As you said, that's not scalable. How do we fix it?
To avoid accusations of talking behind people's backs: @JonEricson @JackDouglas @Caleb
(Yeah, maybe not-great examples -- if you prefer, choose any hot issue of the day where people are asserting truth all around -- guns, abortion, war, whatever. The point is the pattern of asserting truth rather than demonstrating it.)
2:42 AM
@MonicaCellio Sure, there are a lot of strongly-held opinions. Taking offense to them rarely does anything to change them though - heck, it's hard enough to convince some folks that terms generally known to be vulgar are actually offensive to anyone.
So... You can provide a reasonable argument that, for the sake of harmony on the site and to avoid distractions, it's worth simply disallowing certain things.
@Shog9 aren't we trying to be more civil than Congress? Isn't it worth a little extra care to not, metaphorically, walk into an NRA meeting with a gun-control petition?
...or you can try to ban them by decree, knowing that some folks will bristle and perhaps leave in protest
...or you can throw up your hands and ignore them, knowing that this will tend to just encourage group-think
@MonicaCellio Is this an NRA meeting?
@Shog9 it shouldn't be, but when people keep telling me that my scripture is all about predicting their savior who, by the way, says my people are wrong, well, it can be hard to tell. And I'm not the only person to point it out.
They are perfectly welcome to source that, or to isay it's their opinion, but when people google for answers to "what does X mean?" don't you think we should help them find answers?
@MonicaCellio well, you're back again to, "what should a good answer look like?"
What's the goal for answers here? A neutral point-of-view for every answer? Competing / complementing answers from different points of view? A single answer that lays out every relevant point of view?
@Shog9 I'm not trying to be a pain here, but I am at a loss on how to proceed. Do you believe that, absent that kind of policy, anybody is free to post but nobody is free to edit, or if they do that mods (acting on their own personal opinion, because after all there's no policy) should be able to roll them back and that's that? How do we get out of the current state?
@Shog9 I made some recommendations along those lines here: (check out the whole question):
A: Why should one participate in the Biblical Hermeneutics site (is it a viable site)?

Monica CellioThank you for asking this important question. I share your concern about viability, but for reasons almost opposite of yours. I am one of those on record as believing that the only way a site that wants to be religiously-diverse can succeed is to avoid assertions of Truth while providing inform...

Summary: wikipedia-style guidelines, think of the site as Consumer Reports not your clergy or source of Truth, show your work.
2:59 AM
NPOV then
That's not feasible unless most of you - I suspect all of you who are active - agree on it and actively work together toward making it happen. People who disagree will leave. You must all be willing to accept that (or leave). NPOV is something you can either strive for in your own answers, or achieve together as a group - it's not something one person can enforce for an entire site.
@Shog9 yes, except we don't require a single author to cover all angles proportionally (because who's going to do that kind of research project?).
Given this, which seemed to more or less settle on "doctrine ok but be explicit" (but was also the source of some angst afterward), how do I move forward?
Q: Are doctrinal answers ok?

Monica CellioThis question asked about doctrine-based questions (and remains unresolved). My question is about answers. Are answers that assume a particular doctrinal stance acceptable here? If someone asks a Tanakh question, is "that means Jesus" or "that's a reference to Mary's perpetual virginity" valid...

@MonicaCellio correct me if I'm misinterpreting this - you're not suggesting that answerers should identify the perspective from which they're answering, you're suggesting that answerers should write as though they had no perspective, no belief, but rather dispassionately identifying and citing the origins of each interpretation they include... right?
I'm fine with explicit, to be clear -- that's the "label it rather than asserting it" part of the discussion.
@Shog9 yes, that is my preference.
And IMO the only way the site can meet its FAQ charter.
That explains a lot that has had me confused about these editing discussions then ;-)
@Shog9 err, ok. What could I have done more clearly, for future reference? (If you're confused, others might be too.)
3:07 AM
@MonicaCellio Well, first off: state that, that simply, as your motivation.
@Shog9 which part? FAQ/viability?
@MonicaCellio Your NPOV goal.
@Shog9 ok, where? Do you mean as part of the editing post? A new "should we aim for NPOV?" question?
@MonicaCellio Whereever it's relevant, whenever it's relevant.
Lemme explain...
I don't think any of these discussions will go anywhere until y'all come to some understanding as to what an answer should look like - so if @Jon and @Jack think it's enough to just have different interpretations, while you believe it's essential to not only identify them but do so without appearing to prefer any of them... Then this is going to influence every single discussion, whether it be about voting, editing, which questions are on- / off-topic...
And if y'all aren't up-front about these differences, it will be a stumbling block at every turn.
The latter half of this answer made no sense to me whatsoever without that information.
Why would you want to edit opinions you disagreed with? Why would you even think that was a good idea, or that it could lead to anything but arguments?
...unless your goal for the site - no, rather your hope for a shared goal for the site - was as a host for carefully groomed, neutral answers
Perhaps for you this is such an obvious, necessary direction to take that you don't feel it needs to even be stated - yet, over and over again in these discussion I see clear evidence that this ideal isn't shared.
That's helpful. Thank you. I (obviously?) didn't realize my answer was that confusing. I guess because the principals here have gone around on this so many times (with no resolution), I forgot that not everybody has seen that. I will edit this answer, but as you note there is a broader question and I still don't know what to do about that, given all the false starts thus far.
3:20 AM
The first question has to be: "what should a good answer look like?"
Everything else follows from that
Including, "how bad does an answer have to be to be completely useless?"
just popped in to say ... "wow BH has gone to the birds"
random downvotes without explanation (which i know i'm not owed, but it's a courtesy that i try to extend)
@Shog9 ok, I will ask that cleanly (and of course supply an answer).
Editing, voting, post notices, deletion... You're never gonna be able to agree on any of this if you can't first agree on what's allowable, what's ideal, in answering. If you think NPOV is the ultimate goal and no one else agrees, it's just going to be frustrating for everyone. It has been frustrating for everyone.
@Shog9 and a mod who holds that everything is doctrine is, equally, a source of that frustration.
@MonicaCellio And this isn't your decision, or @Jack's decision, or @Jon's decision or @Sarah's or @swasheck's... This is something y'all have to be willing to work together on and come to a consensus - even if that's "steady as she goes".
3:25 AM
@MonicaCellio everything is theology ... but not everything is doctrine
@Shog9 hiya ... i'm going to flag a bunch of stuff in here too ... cool?
@swasheck I got a timeout button here too, buddy
@Shog9 :)
@Shog9 I agree. I think, so far, some opinions count more than others, and that has been a major source of frustration. It does not feel like a level playing field.
@MonicaCellio i applaud the way you've re-engaged and interacted here. i'm sorry that things are unsatisfactory. i'm less inclined to participate here these days. it is what it is.
@swasheck what kind of answers do you think we should be aiming for?
3:30 AM
@MonicaCellio i've honestly stopped caring
@MonicaCellio i like the mod in question ... i like most of the people who participate in here
I've invested too much in this site to be driven off by (up to) three people who act like the burden of proof is only on me and not on them. This is my site too, and @swasheck s, and @Dan 's, and @Sarah 's, and @FrankLuke 's, and everyone else's.
but i dont care for the direction of the site
@swasheck can you say more about that? (Is there a place on meta where you can say more about that?) Site direction, I mean.
@MonicaCellio i dont know what else there is to be said
@swasheck one thing I've been getting from my conversation with @Shog9 is that this stuff is scattered all over meta, not at all obvious. If I ask a "what kind of answers do we want?" question tomorrow, will you answer it?
3:36 AM
@MonicaCellio i dontfault the mod team ... i fault the influx of a majority of people who thing that every answer must be necessarily Christological and any challenge to that is met with some sort of guffawing
@MonicaCellio i'll answer from my perspective. sure.
you'll probably need to global ping me, though
@swasheck I'm not faulting the mod team, except to the extent that we disagree on how to handle that influx of bad answers. That's where the editing discussion came from -- ok, new users don't get that this isn't an online church, that's fine if we can edit the posts into some semblence of reasonable and then engage them in the discussion -- but the "leave it alone, comment, wait to see if they ever come back to discuss it" approach is degrading site quality.
And people like you are leaving, and that sucks.
For reference:
Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been . All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view. NPOV is a and of . This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it. "Neutral point of view" is one of Wikipedia's three core content policies. The other two are "" and "". These three core policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles. Because ...
@Shog9 yup, I've raided that before for my answers. I think the last point is too much to ask for an individual answer here, but the rest is not only needed for viability IMO but common sense. Prefer nonjudgmental language? Avoid stating contested assertions as facts? Why is that even a question?
@MonicaCellio Same reason that page exists - because it's not how folks naturally think or write.
@Shog9 plus, some people want to use wikipedia as a "pulpit" -- same here.
3:47 AM
It's a process, a constant struggle against the natural tendency toward conflict.
I'm going to have to drop off now (have a minyan to lead in <8 hours). I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks for the discussion; it's been helpful. We're not done, of course, but tomorrow I intend to ask the "what's a good answer" question, answer based on NPOV, hope @swasheck answers, and see what happens.
4 hours later…
8:02 AM
@swasheck Hey there. Nice to see you pop in. I'm sure you have some legitimate complaints with the way things are, and I'd love to actually hear them. I would like to challenge the one on you dropped into chat above though.
@swasheck A few random downvotes cannot be the metric by which an SE site is said to go to the birds. In fact those come with some level of success. Given that there is no way to vet the expertness of people voting or mandate the rules for when they do so, there will always be some percentage of noise in the votes.
The question is, are experts who can actually make decent judgments on posts voting enough to make those votes statistical noise or does one downvote spill the whole kettle of fish?
I would hold the same principle as true for upvotes. Sometimes bad posts are going to get upvoted. Often the fact that they are bad is what they are being upvoted on. I've seen it a thousand times on C.SE, there always a couple folks floating around ready to upvote every piece of junk (and mostly not anything higher quality) that comes along.
@MonicaCellio I was going to bring this up the other day but got distracted. The principle applies to the one upvote on the "bad" post that was worrying you. One or two stray votes the opposite direction our real experts would vote cannot be the measure of whether things are going well or not. I think the 17 vote spread between the best answer and the worst one should speak volumes about what we consider "good" even though the bad answer got an upvote (or if the the good answer got a downvote).
@Monica reading through this thread has been enlightening: I should have realised that we need to agree on NPOV/whatever before we have any chance of agreeing on post notices, edits etc. I'm sorry for being so dumb not to see and address the real issue here and that has contributed to wasted time, stress and conflict between us.
I'm looking forward to your post on meta!
2 hours later…
10:06 AM
I'm starting to work on how I think post notices should be used in order to re-formulate my post on that meta issue. In the mean time here is an example of when I think it's appropriate:
A: What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

Mike BullIt may have reference to Jesus' use of the days of Noah, the "marrying and giving in marriage" with idolaters. The three level world was corrupted by Adam's sin in the sanctuary, theft from the Father; Cain's sin against the son, murder of the brother; and, I guess, the blasphemy against the Spir...

See flag and comment history. The OP has been prompted and done nothing. I'd be quite happy to see a few high rep community folks step in and delete it, but am not comfortable nuking it as a mod without a second round trying to convince the OP of the issues. I have downvoted, but think it's time to pull a little more clout.
The banner serves as A) something we can lookup and find later to see if it's been dealt with and B) a relatively severe/official warning that something is wrong. This isn't primarily to cause shame, but we do want to clearly identify that the answer is not representative of what is acceptable. I think it also serves as fair warning so that if they come back and again do nothing about the post, I will feel more comfortable mod-deleting it.
10:26 AM
Here is a second example:
A: Why was Jesus going to walk past the disciples as they were rowing on the Sea of Galilee?

KateCould walking on water, doing the impossible or miraculous, suggest something further perhaps? A process perhaps, treading lightly, with faith, trusting the spirit to lead. Does this mean one must remain open to that movement, not holding on too tightly to particular beliefs or interpretations...

How do those handlings strike you all? Should I try to write up the thought process that led me to handle those answers+flags that way? Does this usage A) instinctively make some sense to folks and I just need to articulate it to get confirmation on meta or B) strike you as odd and I need to work up an extensive defense of the concept or C) strike you as wrong and I might be barking up the wrong tree?
10:51 AM
Note the feedback I'm looking for here is what sort of meta post I need to write to replace my original, not the actual post notice issue (which I think should be discussed primarily on meta).
2 hours later…
12:54 PM
@Shog9 That makes a lot of sense. Can you tell me what you think of this comment though? I'm thinking it is in a different category as there isn't an obvious way to improve the answer? — Jack Douglas 1 min ago
@Monica I'd like to try and explain what I think is ideal in a case like this, but it does depend on some assumptions that I am pretty sure you don't hold so I'll list them first:
1) The answer is doing no harm with a 7 vote differential between it and Amichai's
2) It is a genuine attempt at an answer
3) There is some hope that the poster will respond to my comment and eventually contribute good answers!
ideal for me on an answer this bad is immediate downvotes and a comment to try and get some engagement. If there is no response for (let's say) a fortnight, I then don't care either way if the answer is deleted. If someone wants to keep a list of these and post them in here for 'review' after time has passed, that's fine by me, equally I don't mind if we forget about them and let them languish.
(all as long as there are answers with contrasting quality and votes)
1:17 PM
A: "Back in ships to Egypt" in Deut. 28

Emmanuel L BarthelemySlavery in America...... Egypt means slavery

This is a very very short answer, I downvoted it immediately. @Monica has suggested it is tangential to the question (in which case converting to a comment would be an option) but I think it is directly addressing the question:
> What is meant by being brought "back in ships to Egypt"? Did this happen historically?
I'd like to know what others think!
1:43 PM
I disagree with that being an answer and should simply be converted to a comment and the OP pinged with something like "That's an interesting idea for part of this question, would you be interested in explaining in a full answer how the pieces go together starting from the text?"
#1 is true as far as it goes, but I also don't think it serves any purpose, even for the OP's learning curve.
#2 I just disagree with, at best it is a tangential comment on 1/3 of the question. The question is pretty direct and not even a full sentence is given that targets the main issue(s).
@Caleb What is your definition of 'an answer' then? Does it include a concept that it has to be a certain length?
Hi @Dan :)
Hi @JackDouglas
@DanO'Day how is life treating you?
2:02 PM
@Caleb Nice job Caleb! I think you used it well. These are cases that require added citation which an editor cannot provide. The comments preceded; the posts demonstrate you value the contributions rather than wanting to just discard them. I do wish some deadline could accompany these posts though.
@JackDouglas so far so good, just busy
@JackDouglas u?
@DanO'Day good thanks :) worried about my comprehension skills though!
@JackDouglas @swasheck @Caleb @Shog9 - here's the meta question. Please weigh in (answering, and also if you think I've missed something in the framing of it):
Q: What are we looking for in answers?

Monica CellioThere have been a lot of meta discussions in the last 18 months about specific aspects of, or handling of, answers (annotations, voting, editing, doctrine, etc). It was pointed out by the Community team that all of that kind of hinges on the question of what a good answer is (and isn't), so this...

@MonicaCellio thanks!
that is going to be our most upvoted meta question ever :)
@JackDouglas I agree with Caleb; I think it is a comment, not an answer.
An answer has substance backing it up, from Scripture, from history, from scholarly interaction. This was just an opinion, a reaction, a thought.
2:08 PM
@JackDouglas I'm sorry we collectively didn't see it. Let's see if we can address it now.
@JackDouglas I went for sparse, not laying out issues specific to this site. I figure people can bring that up in answers. Does that make sense to you?
@Sarah is 'no' an answer?
@Sarah yeah, this. (As @JackDouglas knows, because I'm the one who flagged it as not an answer. Too bad Caleb wasn't the one to handle the flag -- dinged my flag weight. :-) )
@JackDouglas Aw you got me there!
But is it an answer on this forum? I don't think so.
@Sarah my point is that no one thinks it is a good answer: we all think it is a bad answer
Correct. It is a down vote
2:12 PM
@Sarah Mine was the first :)
@Caleb I agree with this annotation. I had already downvoted and voted to delete; need two more for the latter (or fewer, if we reach consensus here).
@JackDouglas So this will be addressed in Monica's new post on Meta. Good job @MonicaCellio
I think this might even deserve another meta question! Unless @Shog9 can make it all simple for us :)
@Caleb I also agree with this one, and one factor there is the age of the post. If this had been posted yesterday I'd say hold off, but it's been there, unaddressed, since November.
@Caleb We agree so I think it's "obvious". :-) But if you can write up the thought process on meta, for the broader input and also so we have something to refer to later, that'd be good.
@JackDouglas which one is that?
2:15 PM
@JackDouglas I'm not following (comprehension skills?)
@MonicaCellio What do you speak of Monica?
Q: What are we looking for in answers?

Monica CellioThere have been a lot of meta discussions in the last 18 months about specific aspects of, or handling of, answers (annotations, voting, editing, doctrine, etc). It was pointed out by the Community team that all of that kind of hinges on the question of what a good answer is (and isn't), so this...

@JackDouglas I did notice some interaction about the down-voting. Is it not possible for the down vote to automatically be routed to the comment box for reason before it is accepted?
ok, just to be clear, we're talking about that "back in ships" answer.
(1) measuring "harm" by vote count always makes me a little uneasy because we're looking at a snapshot in time. Votes change. If a post is *really* downvoted, say -5 or more, then ok, that's a pretty big clue. But -2, not so much.
(2) It doesn't sound like an attempt at an answer to me; it sounds like an aside. We disagree on that. But even if it *is* an attempt, it's a really *bad* one. Does that matter?
(3) yes there's hope; it's a new answer. Many people don't come back (like the ones Caleb brought), but some do.
@JackDouglas I think a fortnight is way too long to leave bad content hanging, and it's too much of a burden on the community to remember to come back to them. Annotation alleviates that because, as Caleb said, mods have an entry point to review those, but digging through one's vote/comment histories, or maintaining an external list, is a big hassle. And I don't think we want the "shaming" of, say, a shared list on meta.
@Caleb has expressed my objections to that post well. "Answers, not quips", indeed.
Shameless plug (because I want to see this community come to life), but if anyone would care to join and vote on questions with less than 10 upvotes for this proposal, it would make me smile :)
Amateur Radio

Proposed Q&A site for amateur radio enthusiasts

Currently in definition.

They should be past definition but too many ppl voted on questions that already had 10 votes
2:26 PM
@JackDouglas by itself, no -- it's just an unsupported opinion. With sources, logic, evidence, anything of that sort, yes it's an answer -- but then it's not just "no" any more, is it? (Note that the quality filter wouldn't even let you just answer "no".)
@Sarah thanks.
@JackDouglas what deserves another meta question? (Sorry, trying to follow all the threads here.)
@Sarah sorry? That was a reply to Caleb's second annotation link here.
@DanO'Day good luck! I don't know anything at all about the topic, but I wish you the best in moving it forward as there's obviously a target community there.
@MonicaCellio I would like to see BobJones' comment on Amachai's answer worked up to a full answer. If he could support it, that would be a great POV.
@MonicaCellio what is a 'bad answer' and what is 'not an answer' :)
@MonicaCellio thx
@DanO'Day I can't comprehend what the definition of an 'answer' is: I always thought 'no' was an 'answer'
without commenting on correctness or quality
If the question is "Is 2*2=5" then the answer is "no"
even "yes" is an answer (it just happens to be wrong)
what do you think?
@JackDouglas I'm looking forward to reading everyone's meta responses, I'm debating writing one up myself :P
2:36 PM
@DanO'Day This is kb1ego listening
@FrankLuke yes, if he could support that (not sure off hand what word he has in mind, haven't looked closely), that would be a good addition.
@Caleb i know. and yes, i know. i agree with everything you're saying. unlike @MonicaCellio (whose position as a minority voice offers her another perspective), my contention for less theologically charged answers is based on my understanding of hermeneutics and how this site is differentiated from christianity.se. i had hopes that this would be a place for more scholarly interaction but the more [name1], and [name2], and [name3] that we have,
@Sarah HI 59, 73 K
@DanO'Day ah, but that is a different question, not "what is an answer", but "what constitutes a good answer", isn't it?
2:37 PM
the less inclined the more critical thinkers (who are willing to engage without bias) will be to engage the site
@DanO'Day Grand daughter of w1mdc, the call sign now taken on b my mother uon his passing
@JackDouglas ah. Yes, let's do that one separately, unless you can think of a way to work it in without overload?
@DanO'Day married to kb1ego
@MonicaCellio I actually think we need to do it first!
@Sarah outstanding, be sure to follow the proposal and vote for questions that do not yet have 10 votes (voting for anything that already has 10 is a wasted vote at this stage)
2:39 PM
IMO it's becoming a "more thoughtful Christianity.SE" and that's fine - but it's not necessarily what I want. Having said that ... it's not just about me which is why i pop in every now and then but my interaction has been measured.
@JackDouglas good point
@MonicaCellio can we lock your question!
@JackDouglas I think it may arise out of "bad". But you know how to ask meta questions too. :-)
@Sarah and of course I almost forgot (I was in BH.SE mode, not ham mode): 88
@swasheck if we're to be "a more thoughtful Christianity.SE" we should label it as such. The current claims do not match the current reality. I want to fix the reality, but if necessary will accept fixing the claims. (And I'll have a lot of posts to edit for new context before I leave.)
@JackDouglas what? Locked questions can't be answered; how does that help?
2:42 PM
@MonicaCellio on the way
@Caleb and yes, my point is that i'm not willing to anonymously downvote crap answers here. i want to encourage other people toward a more thoughtful interaction and answer and not to just regurge what their sunday school teach told them. it's necessarily limiting which is why my perspective could be found to be at odds with the "membership welcome drive" perspective (and i mean no disrespect by that - it's a valid approach)
@DanO'Day Kb1eju clear
@MonicaCellio just so the other question could be answered first
@Sarah @DanO'Day i used to be KD4VTO ... but ... it lapsed
it isn't a better question but it is in a sense a 'prior' question
2:43 PM
@swasheck ic that
@swasheck gotta do something about that one!
@JackDouglas at the linguistic level, "no" is an answer -- after all, it's a response that asserts a position. But in terms of Stack Exchange norms it's not an answer, because this isn't coming from an authority (with respect to the reader) but a random person on the internet.
@DanO'Day @Sarah it was a high school project. now i just wish i could drop in and listen to North Korea :)
@swasheck @Sarah I was originally an RTO in the Army, but never actually got certified in the civilian realm. I'm changing that now, I plan on testing soon.
@swasheck but I got a lot of experience on HF bands (including civilian) with the PRC-150 and some other bands also
@DanO'Day CQ, homey.
2:46 PM
@swasheck @Sarah we'd get bored and contest for DX
debating if i should be the brave one to answer the meta ? first :P
@DanO'Day i'd answer but i have a meeting in a few minutes
and i'm always late to this (team) meeting
citing DBA privelege
@swasheck haha nice
@swasheck I would rather this be a community that is honest and scholarly that I can expect true scholarly feedback from than to be welcome to post ignorant or unsupported answers.
@DanO'Day Same here. There are some obvious bads and obvious goods. But it's that middle area that will require a lot of thought to address in the meta question.
@FrankLuke indeed
2:52 PM
@DanO'Day yeah. got an email this morning saying, "this is a meeting you can't be late to"
point taken.
@Sarah I agree. We want the signal to noise ratio to be high.
@FrankLuke right
@DanO'Day Dan, I pray you well on your test.
@Sarah thx
@Sarah @FrankLuke but to the point that @JackDouglas makes --- we also have to figure out how to navigate the noise ... how to filter/(eliminate?) the noise in a way that does no dishonor to the person
@Sarah I agree, but that would also mean downvoting newcomers who don't quite understand our rules at first
@FrankLuke that's what FM is for! :P
2:54 PM
@DanO'Day i dont downvote ... i comment with the threat of future downvote :)
@swasheck or that
@DanO'Day but, i'll be honest here, random downvotes without explanation piss me off be they on my answers or anyone else's.
@swasheck a downvote should be associated with a comment, and a promise to reverse it and upvote if the issue is corrected
@DanO'Day I received such graceful feedback when I first came on the forum. The edits, the comments I found most helpful and graceful. These never discouraged me and prompted me to do better. The downvoting was always hard to figure.
@DanO'Day I'm planning to answer but probably won't be able to do so for a few hours (meetings and stuff). So please don't wait for me, y'all.
2:56 PM
@swasheck I think that is best! . . . .at first
@DanO'Day i'm fine if it's not reversed ever ...
@MonicaCellio you may find my answer when you return :P
@swasheck what do you mean not reversed?
Maybe this is wrong, but I prefer to downvote immediately along with a comment (unless I think this is someone's first or second time ever posting, but after that it's fair game). I comment, though. That way, if they fix it, I actually get to bump them up two points (reverse my downvote and vote up), so it's like a bonus :P
@DanO'Day @swasheck I strive to accompany my DV with a comment, either one I write myself or up-voting one that's already there and covers the territory. I will admit that with long-time repeat offenders, with whom it would be the "same old thing" over and over again, I don't always comment. But that's rare and I try to do better. And to my perception, too, DVs are way worse than critical comments, especially to newcomers.
3:00 PM
@DanO'Day I had several down votes and never knew where they were coming from. I did not know if it was doctrinal disagreement or poorly supported in the readers mind or offensive for some reason. It was discouraging. Even now, I am more apt to post an answer as a comment rather than an answer.
@MonicaCellio yes, if someone else has already commented I let that be and also usually upvote that comment
@MonicaCellio I agree, down votes are way worse than critical comments!
@Sarah please resist that temptation!
@Sarah Is that why you left a comment on the blasphemy question? That comment would make a nice answer with a little more expansion.
@JackDouglas My main motivation is always to help people. On this site, I do not perceive myself to be a scholar. I think often of the verse in Psalms, Psalm 131:1 "LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me."
@FrankLuke yes, that is why.
That is an excellent question--the one on blasphemy.
I actually attempted to develop it into an answer, but thought all the relevant information I had to offer was there and that a simple comment would be more helpful and yes, less vulnerable.
3:12 PM
I see it now:
Q: What is 'not an answer'?

Jack DouglasThis is one of the options we have for flagging answers: But, what is 'not an answer'? What qualifies as an 'attempt to answer the question'. Is "not true" an answer (leaving aside questions about whether is good/useful/supported/correct/thoughtful/helpful, which we are addressing elsewhere)

and the subsequent
Q: What are we looking for in answers?

Monica CellioThere have been a lot of meta discussions in the last 18 months about specific aspects of, or handling of, answers (annotations, voting, editing, doctrine, etc). It was pointed out by the Community team that all of that kind of hinges on the question of what a good answer is (and isn't), so this...

@Sarah I would encourage you to expand it a little and add it as an answer. I'd like to upvote it.
3:32 PM
@Sarah I know and I'm not faulting that in any way :)
but a good answer can help many people, a comment probably won't help more than one. I think you have a lot to offer to the site, including answers :)
@JackDouglas Thank you.
Q: What is 'not an answer'?

Jack DouglasThis is one of the options we have for flagging answers: But, what is 'not an answer'? What qualifies as an 'attempt to answer the question'. Is "not true" an answer (leaving aside questions about whether is good/useful/supported/correct/thoughtful/helpful, which we are addressing elsewhere)

3:51 PM
@Caleb Personally, I go with option A, but I think enough people will disagree to make B worthwhile. (To summarize: post-notices are what mods can do when they can't vote to delete since their vote is binding.)
@Sarah meaning: they can keep the downvote on the answer, if they wish ... i would just like to see explanation
@swasheck Thanks for clarifying. I think that is a good point.
@Sarah Exactly. When my boss yells down the hall at me to ask if something is done, "No!" is a fine answer. When he sends me an email, "No" must be accompanied by something else. Fundamentally, our expectation is that answers are intended to help people learn about our topic. If "No" is a good answer, the question must have been a poor one.
@JonEricson Well said.
@JonEricson "no" is never a good answer here: I'm contending that it is always a bad answer (but an answer nonetheless)
I don't want the two issues confused
@JonEricson if a mod wants to delete he should!
4:08 PM
@DanO'Day Does that cover shortwave? I guess so since one of the upvoted questions is on DXing.
(well, perhaps he should ask another mod first)
A: What is 'not an answer'?

Shog9Strictly-speaking, this flag is intended for things posted as answers which do not clearly address the question at all - as the description states, answers which do "not attempt to answer the question". This includes: Bare requests for clarification from the author which should be comments (if ...

@Monica I take Shog9's point in the last paragraph: I'll try and follow that advice from now on
@JackDouglas (Still haven't read the meta posts...) I think it some answers are more than bad. The "Slavery in America...... Egypt means slavery" answer harms learning because it is so far from seriously engaging the question. It's not even a comment since it adds so very little and what it does add is nonsensical.
@JonEricson I'd be happy for it to be deleted, particularly in view of Shog9's answer I just linked to. Just VLQ not NAA!
I'm worried about confusion on Monica's vitally important question if we can't even agree on terms ;)
@JonEricson I tend to agree with this; it is a distraction at best, and should be removed.
@JonEricson yes, hams can get on quite a few frequencies in the HF band spectrum (3-30 MHz)
As I'm answering the meta question, I'm starting to see the problem more clearly
What if our scope is too big?
4:23 PM
@Sarah Theoretically doctrinal disagreement should not be an issue. But new users can't know that and it makes sense to assume it. "Here's why I'm downvoting..." comments seem to help, but the potential for misunderstanding remains huge!
@Sarah Thank you!
@DanO'Day we'd get too many users? ;)
@JackDouglas no, i mean in the sense of overlap and perhaps a logical fallacy undergirding the entire site's approach
I'm looking forward to your post even more now :)
@JackDouglas I'm thinking it is actually an answer to a different meta question at this point
4:29 PM
@DanO'Day interesting, what is the question?
Q: Hermeneutics vs Exegesis

RayIs "Biblical Hermeneutics" the best name for this site? So far, it seems few of the questions asked (similar with earlier phases) have much to do with hermeneutics directly, and are more exegetical. For example, I would expect questions about hermeneutics to relate to, say, horizons of understand...

ah yes
and the related follow-up questions!
@JackDouglas yup, but I don't think the answers to that question are satisfactory
at the same time, I'm prob gonna start a crap storm haha
@DanO'Day not at all: we need great answers on meta as much as we need them on main!
@JackDouglas Sure. But if an answer looks like random word association, it's a bit hard to say that it is an attempt to answer the question. I mean, when the quality is so low that all we get is a couple of sentence fragments, the difference between VLQ and NAA really is negligible.
4:37 PM
@JonEricson I understood it
I don't agree with it, but I understood it
'Egypt' is indeed a Biblical symbol for slavery
the leap to slavery in America is wrong but comprehensible
@JackDouglas Does the answer represent the perspective of a particular religion/group?
@JonEricson I don't like my own answer, but I'm letting logic connect the dots
@Soldarnal not sure, but maybe (see last paragraph)
at least one person has made the link that is for sure!
It would be some sore of liberation theology if it exists
@JackDouglas Okay, I know early LDS views on the issue of slavery in America are complicated, wasn't sure if it was from that perspective.
@JackDouglas Sure. And I can see that it might be an answer too. But with no context, we can't expect flaggers to accurately triage the answer.
4:44 PM
@Soldarnal have you seen Monica's question on meta? If you have time I'd love to see an answer from you…
@JonEricson that's true and I agree, I'm more focused on the site-direction question on meta than on flag-handling at this point so we are kind of talking at cross purposes I think?
I just want us to agree terms to avoid confusion
If someone flags as NAA, are you able to delete as VLQ?
@Soldarnal We can decline as helpful and reflag or delete on our own.
@JackDouglas Yeah, I'll see if I can put together something worth posting. Although, I haven't had a lot of time lately.
Thanks (both of you)
4:54 PM
@JonEricson actually we can't decline as helpful
Anyway, I would not hesitate to delete that answer as VLQ. It's the kind of thing you'd find on Yahoo Answers, and not the kind of thing I'd want as a broken window here.
@JackDouglas Sorry. "No action needed..." (I haven't handled as many flags as those of you who mod other sites. ;)
1 hour later…
6:12 PM
@JackDouglas thanks. And I'll use VLQ for cases like this now that I know the difference.
@MonicaCellio Thinking about it, when the answer is a couple of sentence fragments or reads like random musings or whatnot, it's obviously VLQ. It might also be NAA, but that takes a bit longer to determine and is more error-prone.
@Soldarnal VLQ == looks like a Yahoo Answer. That works for me. ;)
generally, "not answers" should be really obvious - if you have to think about it, there's probably a different issue. If you recoil in disgust upon finding an answer (such as you might upon reaching into a bag of chips and pulling out a cowpie) then VLQ is in order.
If you're not sure... Leave a custom flag. There's no harm in just telling the mods exactly what's bugging you about a given post!
6:33 PM
@Soldarnal thanks for the feedback - i didnt see it the same way but deleted the answer nonetheless since i dont really feel up to revising the answer with something that meanders around
the point.
even the accepted answer is speculation because as you noted (in the self-answer within the question) ... it's only a theory. categorizing Q as "something" is silly.
@swasheck What question are we talking about now?
Q: Should Q be considered a Gospel?

SoldarnalAccording to Wikipedia Q source is sometimes called the Q Gospel. My understanding of Q though is that it is proposed mostly as a collection of sayings. Is it proper to call it a "Gospel"? Why or why not?

@JonEricson i'm the VtC since it's not a good question (voted as "not constructive" because "this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion) as it forces speculation and a decision on something that's not currently "decidable"
@swasheck If we had a manuscript for Q would you make the same call? What if the question about the genre of one of the canonical gospels?
6:49 PM
@JonEricson no
@swasheck Understood.
7:15 PM
@swasheck I seconded that as the question is asking for opinion on a theory. Thus it will have answers, but no answer.
7:25 PM
Moreover, Soldarnal is an active and seemingly leading member. His questions seem generally exemplary. He himself said this is not one of his best.
eh. it is what it is
@swasheck In other words, no personal offense to the contributor. He is above his question.
@Sarah isee
@swasheck Yeah, sorry again I wasn't so forthcoming with my feedback yesterday.
Here we go:
A: What are we looking for in answers?

Monica CellioThe basics: a good answer: actually answers the question shows the work, so that people don't just have to take your word for it. This can be sources, a logical explanation, or any other path from the text to the answer. This is not a rigorous requirement, but "random user on the internet say...

7:40 PM
I can't even remember the total impetus for that question, except that I've been reading way too much about the Jesus Seminar lately, and they're seemingly treating Q as if it were an early gospel that circulated, rather than say someone's notes or something.
@Soldarnal academia can be like that ... they do place a good deal of weight on a theory and then run with it to see where it can take them
@swasheck Sure, non-Euclidean mathematics started off the same way.
@MonicaCellio You really don't do short answers, do you?
@Soldarnal it's pretty common. it's also a tension that is felt when those outside of the academy peer into its machinations
@Shog9 TRUE ... FALSE ... NULL
...and sometimes 0
7:48 PM
@Shog9 (1) Show your work. (2) Especially on meta, explaining why is important. (3) I learned from @JonEricson . :-)
@Shog9 Here, try this one -- happy now? :-)
@MonicaCellio I think you meant to write, "After a year of this, I think a merge with C.SE is appropriate if we're going to continue to welcome doctrinal answers"
(and yes, I'm a terrible hypocrite to ever chide someone else for rambling on!)
@Shog9 well, I'm still hoping to fend that off (it'd suck to lose all those quality contributions and rep down a black hole), but we can't just keep assuming everything's ok when it's not, y'know? Declared scope and reality don't match; there are two ways to address that and I'm hoping for the other one.
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