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2:11 AM
@JonEricson I know you prefer that (and I think Jack does too), but I think answers need to be evaluated in isolation at least to a fair degree. Just because there's a good answer doesn't mean that we shouldn't act on this bad 0-score answer; that sends the message (to its author, for example) that that answer isn't bad so much as bad by comparison. If it's bad, we need to say so.
I'm far less concerned about answers that are down at -3 or -4; 0 says "eh, community hasn't spoken yet", while a significant negative score says "yeah, actually, the community has spoken, and it said 'don't do this'".
Of course comments should still be used too; I think we're doing ok with that these days.
The use of annotations is unclear, but I think the existence of an "unsourced" annotation that says "unsupported answers can be challenged and removed" means that SE supports, at some level, the notion of challenging and removing unsupported answers. We don't need to set hard rules about that (I hope we have too little data to base them on!), but we do need to discuss in principle the removal of such answers, including things like timeframes.
I don't want a lot of nit-picky rules, but I also don't want the "sorry, we don't have a rule so we can't act" response that I'm sometimes seeing. We don't need hard rules, but we need a way of saying "this is a case where this should happen". What is that mechanism?
Perhaps we should revisit this:
Q: Are questions about commentaries on-topic?

KazarkIn the process of doing exegesis, many potential resources can be helpful. Is it on-topic for me to make a specific question like: What are your top (n) commentaries for studying such-and-such a book? What do you like about each? Or: What are the merits/problems with Karl Barth's commen...

2:38 AM
@DanO'Day nice find!
@MonicaCellio I would think we might take the opposite conclusion these days
@DanO'Day from the question title I thought it was going to be more along the lines of "how does Luther get from (text) to (conclusion)?" or "why does Rashi say this word means X here but it doesn't mean that here, here, and here?". (I'm making these examples up, obviously.)
I don't know what the answer is or should be today, but maybe you want to propose an alternate answer
2:56 AM
@MonicaCellio not sure, i think i may have read it wrong
3:09 AM
A: A roadmap to Biblical Studies

Monica CellioI don't think that changing our name depends on the others, though I understand Jon's point (made in chat) that rolling out a name change might -- because it's an opportunity to promote our site more widely (as part of making an announcement), and when we do a publicity campaign we should have ou...

15 hours later…
6:05 PM
A: How is consensus determined on Meta sites?

Jon EricsonConstruct meta-questions for the purpose of gaining consensus. Sometime a per-site meta "looks like a place to go with problems." Many questions are useful for allowing folks to vent their frustration. But meta (especially on beta sites) is supposed to be where participants shape the future of...

@MonicaCellio It seems like we need to construct some consensus-building questions. I'd like to see one that lays out the possible options for what to do with unsupported answers.
6:24 PM
@JonEricson we need that question, yes (would you like me to ask it now?). I'm not sure the MSO post has provided guidance for actually resolving questions like the definition of show your work, though. What am I missing?
@MonicaCellio Sorry for being obscure. I mean, if we have a meta question, we should probably set it up so that we can have clear votes.
I'm kinda irritated today and not (it seems) making much sense to anyone. :(
@JonEricson ok, not following you I'm afraid. Sorry to be part of the problem. :-(
@JonEricson @MonicaCellio sometimes I think a simple poll would be simpler than meta. Too often meta makes me go tl;dr
@MonicaCellio No it's not you at all.
@DanO'Day true, and that's bascially what we do sometimes in chat -- somebody brings a question and says "close?" or an answer and says "edit? delete?" and discussion ensues and sometimes something happens. That's not really scalable, though, and in the specific area of unsupported and low-quality answers, it's less likely to lead to a resolution because it's more complicated.
6:38 PM
@MonicaCellio yup, not sure how to address it
@MonicaCellio I'm thinking that the "What should we do about answers that don't show your work?" question could be structured so that the sensible options are pre-filled-in. That way, we can vote them up and down.
6:50 PM
@JonEricson ah, that could work. Of course, whoever posts them doesn't get to vote... (maybe we can divide them up so that they all get posted but people only have to post the ones they agree with?)
7:00 PM
@MonicaCellio I've been thinking about that. I'll post the question and answers, since I'm willing to follow whatever the consensus is. The options seem to be:
1) Votes and comments are good enough.
2) Besides votes, we should add a post notice (maybe a custom one?).
3) Delete if the OP refuses to fix the problem. (Maybe with warnings.)
Did I miss anything?
I can't say enough good things about:
A: What language did Jesus commonly speak?

Frank LukeJon gives a good answer as to why Jesus would have been able to speak Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. He also asked for more information regarding the existence of Hebrew in the Land at the time of Jesus. Mishnaic Hebrew was very well known in the first century and was distinguished from Aramaic in s...

@JonEricson wow, he deserves a bounty or three for that one
@JonEricson in thinking about this, I wonder if we're going to get hung up in timing and sequencing. For example, what counts as OP refusing to fix? Explicit only, wait a week, wait a day...? Can we lay out an approach without those details -- would that still be meaningful? Also, the number of downvotes might affect the outome (what I said earlier, and Shog9 and Jack have said, about the value of heavily-downvoted answers); how do we factor that into a set of options? Sigh
@JonEricson yes, I was just reading that -- excellent!
@JonEricson maybe: 1a) votes and comments are good enough if score is -3 or lower (that's the value at which answers start to gray out); 1b) votes and comments are good enough, period. Then a vote for 1a) also includes a vote for a later answer for non-downvoted answers. Confusing?
@MonicaCellio sounds like J48 decision tree :P
(I guess swap my 1a & 1b, since it's a progression.)
@DanO'Day ? (J48, I mean -- I know what a decision tree is.)
@FrankLukeL You're on fire! I just read three of your recent answers and they are exceptional!
7:15 PM
@JonEricson Thank you. Ironically, I stopped in this morning to say that my participation would be light for a few weeks as I am working on editing a book for publication. Next thing I know, I've answered three questions...
@FrankLuke bwahahahaha... you cannot escape. :-) (Yay book!)
@MonicaCellio I wonder if it would make sense to ask about the desired endstate. If you find an answer a year few weeks later, what would you hope to see?
@FrankLuke Please let us know when the book goes on sale. (Do you have other books published already?)
@JonEricson I will. Three of my short stories are available here: "Sunset Over Gunther," "The Contest," and "Pursuit." The upcoming book will be three fantasies set in the same world but 100 years earlier.
@JonEricson ah, that could work -- presume in the question that the sequence is: comment (and vote), wait, resolve, and then just ask about the final state? In which case, the options are:
1. Intact, with comments and votes.
2. Annotated.
3. Deleted.
4. 1 or 2 if score -3 or lower, else 3.
Did I miss any? Too complicated?
@DanO'Day Thanks for finishing up your answer. I deleted my comments on there and marked it as accepted.
7:25 PM
@FrankLuke Yay for the Kindle option! (Do you get the same profit either way?)
@MonicaCellio I actually thought of you doing yesterday's read through of "New Life" (the opening story in the new collection). The POV character, an apostate Christian, mentions how much he distrusts mystic works like Sefer Yetzirah.
@MonicaCellio Is your preference answer 4?
@JonEricson I'd rather people buy the Kindle than not at all :). I actually haven't seen any money from that book yet. It's coming through a small press and it has to first "print out" (meet fixed expenses). Then the profits are split between the publisher and the ezine that birthed that collection. After it meets the zine's expenses, we authors will start getting cuts based on how much we contributed. And the Kindle version make more profit for the publisher, so it meets those expenses faster.
@FrankLuke giggle I'm looking forward to reading it. (Did somebody say Kindle? Yay.)
@JonEricson yes. (And I recognize that "1 or 2" is still ambiguous, but let's sort out whether others think score is relevant...) 3 also has merit, but I'm keeping Shog's advice in mind here.
The new collection will be coming through a different publisher (the zine formed a press for longer stories). I should start seeing money for it sooner.
@MonicaCellio I'd love for anyone to read the current collection, but the Sefer statement comes in the new collection (just to be sure you don't order the current and are disappointed).
7:34 PM
@FrankLuke right, caught that. :-)
The MC's mentor trusts Sefer in that scene and it causes a whole host of problems for the MC.
BTW, while I tend to still prefer paper books (for the tactile experience), I'm finding paperback print size to sometimes be challenging. But is the current one regular PB or trade? Any estimate on the printed font size?
@FrankLuke mysticism is tricky stuff and should (IMO) be an advanced layer, an additional nuance after you understand the foundational stuff. When people jump straight there it comes out sounding woo-woo to my ear. :-)
@MonicaCellio I couldn't tell you on the font size. IIRC the book is taller and wider than a standard paperback.
@MonicaCellio Yep. That's pretty much what the mentor does; jump straight to the mystical and let the chips fall where they may.
@MonicaCellio It sounds like: either some indication that the answer is no good besides just languishing at the bottom of a pile of answers or deleted altogether. I'll start writing the meta post. (We're making progress!)
@JonEricson yes. Languishing at the bottom is ok too but we shouldn't be making relative judgments like "well, if there's a better answer it's ok but if not, not". Hence the DVs/annotation to indicate lack of support.
Thanks for writing the post!
7:48 PM
@MonicaCellio Let's just say that even Rabbi Loeb would fear to tread where Derke and Xandara go.
@FrankLuke ooh. :-)
If I may bring up a different topic... I'm unhappy with the edit to this question, which changed the focus of the question. (It really adds a second question, which should be separate. See the comments.) I'd rather the OP fix it, but should we either roll it back or close pending an edit, so we don't end up with schizophrenic answers?
Q: Why is God called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

hannesJesus termed God as mentioned in the title. On what account did he do that specifically regarding these three fathers? Why did he not say: The God of Noah? Or the God of Joseph? Or the God of Moses? Or the God of David? Is there any specific textual support for an exclusiveness attributed to th...

(I don't feel like I should have to go back and rewrite my answer for the new question scope, which anyway is unclear and Frank is better-equipped to do in its own question anyway.)
After this fiction piece, I intend to put together some of my nonfiction (Biblical studies). No reason that it shouldn't help others.
@MonicaCellio FYI: I looked at that question and I think it should be rolledback. But I'd like to give the OP some time to respond to the comments. I really wish we had a "remind me about this question in a few days" review queue.
@JonEricson I wish we had "remind me" too. Should we close pending an edit? Or perhaps edit in a note saying don't answer the second part yet? (But close might be better there.) Remember that we can't move individual answers, so if he spawns the new question but somebody answers that part here, all we can do is delete it and ask the author to post it again there.
@FrankLuke That would be well worth doing!
@MonicaCellio A close for now seems like a good plan. We can reopen at any time.
8:03 PM
@JonEricson sounds good. (I was about to vote so you wouldn't be alone -- missed.)
9:00 PM
@JonEricson The biggest answer, the one you've put a bounty on, was mainly copied from a prior answer which I received bounty for.
@FrankLuke No big deal. (But it just goes to show I didn't read the other answer. ;)
1 hour later…
10:17 PM
@MonicaCellio: I know the automated feed will show this eventually, but before too many people vote, does this seem fair:
Q: What is the ideal end-state for exegesis answers that don't show their work?

Jon EricsonLet's suppose we know what it looks like to "show your work" in an exegesis answer and let's suppose you read an answer that fails to meet the minimum standard. If you come back to that answer a few weeks later and it hasn't been improved, what would you hope the answer would look like? I'm i...

10:34 PM
@JonEricson yes, thanks. One possible tweak (feel free to delete my comment after you decide):
Do we have voting guidelines for this question, e.g. up-vote one option and don't down-vote the other? — Monica Cellio 2 mins ago
(I also understand why you said "a few weeks", though in practice I think we'll need to deal with bad answers in "a few days" because of not having that "remind me later" feature.)
Gotta run (conducting a shiva minyan, then dinner); I expect to be back in a couple hours.
@MonicaCellio Just be glad I didn't say "6-8 weeks"!
11:12 PM
Q: What is the ideal end-state for exegesis answers that don't show their work?

Jon EricsonLet's suppose we know what it looks like to "show your work" in an exegesis answer and let's suppose you read an answer that fails to meet the minimum standard. If you come back to that answer a few weeks later and it hasn't been improved, what would you hope the answer would look like? I'm i...


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