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Hiring Moderators

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I don't think you are considering the way moderation works from the readers' point of view. I saw quite an abusive post, but never saw if anything was done about it. It was not trashed, was the person warned? How are we supposed to know? Perhaps that level of abuse is acceptable?

Several moderators express great disrespect for me, but I haven't received any warnings, so what is behind that? Who is behind the "Reputation" on profile pages? What are the criteria for that? Did I miss an explanation? There seem to be two currents working on Objectivism Online. I'm trying to understand them.

Mindy

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I don't think you are considering the way moderation works from the readers' point of view. I saw quite an abusive post, but never saw if anything was done about it. It was not trashed, was the person warned? How are we supposed to know? Perhaps that level of abuse is acceptable?
Next to each post is a "Report" button for members to report such posts to moderators. As I mentioned in my previous post, moderators do not read all forum posts, or even all topics. Hopefully, now that there are two more moderators, we'll have wider coverage.

Several moderators express great disrespect for me, but I haven't received any warnings, so what is behind that?
Unless you're including new moderators there were only three active until a few days ago. I know RB posted against your desire to be a moderator. As far as I know, I have not expressed any opinion about you. If David O. did, then I must have missed it, but -- at any rate -- that's not several. Perhaps that's besides the point anyway. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the moderators do not respect your opinion, and -- worse yet -- think your opinions are terrible. I don't see why that would lead them to warn you. Perhaps the forum moderation is more fair than some think ;)
Who is behind the "Reputation" on profile pages? What are the criteria for that? Did I miss an explanation? There seem to be two currents working on Objectivism Online. I'm trying to understand them.
Any user can mark a post with a +ve or -ve. There is some daily quota --- one vote or something like that. (I think there was a thread about it somewhere.) The +ves and -ves get added up into a total "reputation". In addition, any user can go to someone's profile and 'rate" them from 1 to 5. When I first enabled it, I rated a few posts, but I've more or less stopped. I don;t think it works well, unless there is significant volume. Instead, what we have is one guy giving another guy a negative every day, because of some feud, while a third guy gives a fourth guy a positive everyday because of some friendship.

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Just a quick note to say that member Eiuol is now a Chat-Moderator. Thanks for volunteering.

I think two moderators should be more than enough for chat at this stage, but we'll probably be looking for more mods in the future, as current ones are hit by Mod-Fatigitis

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For the sake of argument, let us assume that the moderators do not respect your opinion, and -- worse yet -- think your opinions are terrible. I don't see why that would lead them to warn you.

Thanks for the information.

I certainly know of the conflict of positions between myself and one or more members in mod. or admin. positions. I did not think such disagreement reflected on the "job" of moderating. That's an explanation, not a question, and not in need of an answer.

Mindy

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I'm sorry you're offended, but ...

I agree with the sentiments that Mindy expresses. I, too, am concerned with the advent of the Forum Moderators.

I understand the Admin's position, completely. Admin has an absolute right to do whatever they want. But that is not the issue, certainly not for Objectivists. By analogy, you have a political right to purposely harm yourself, though, of course, it would be immoral to do so.

Furthermore, no one questions the the utility of keeping ads for replica watches off this message board. More to the point, it is perfectly valid for an Objectivist to question tenets and beliefs, in the search for truth, order to gain a better understanding. On the other hand, the Usenet News Groups (Google Groups) for alt.philosophy.objectivism and humanities.­philosophy.­objectivism are loaded with useless junk and frequented by anti-Objectivist trolls. Rational discussion there is difficult to impossible. So, yes, the Administrator benefits us all by doing the hard work of property maintenance.

In the Law subforum under Politics, I posted on "Wrongful Convictions and Miscarriages of Justice." Before I could complete my inital posts, DavidOdden replied to the first that in my next post, I should say what my point is. Last week, that would have been an invitation. Now, it is a threat.

What if I have no "point" or thesis but am only cataloging facts in order to understand them? Others could support or refute the empirical claims or assert their own conceptual explanations. And so on. But now, I read his reply as a hint that if I have no thesis, the posts will be deleted and, ultimately, I could be denied access entirely.

Again, it is the right of the Admin and Admin's agents to do so, but that is not the issue that Mindy addresses.

Last week, we were peers. This week some animals are more equal.

I do not chat. I understand that Chat had problems with trolls. Thus, Moderators were "hired." However, at the outset, the need for Forum Moderators was never validated, but only arbitrarily asserted, as an extension of Chat Moderators.

Edited by Hermes
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Hermes: some corrections:

1. DavidOdden has been a mod here for a long time. That you didn't notice until now is evidence that your fear is contrived after-the-fact.

2. The original request by GreedyCapitalist was for Forum Mods, not Chat Mods. If you would like him to provide reasons for this request, it makes more sense to ask him, than to accuse him of making "arbitrary assertions".

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I, too, am concerned with the advent of the Forum Moderators.
This forum has had moderators for all of the 6+ years that I have participated here, thus the word "advent" is factually wrong.
Before I could complete my inital posts, DavidOdden replied to the first that in my next post, I should say what my point is. Last week, that would have been an invitation. Now, it is a threat.

What if I have no "point" or thesis but am only cataloging facts in order to understand them?

Then you will have established, for all to see, that you are a conceptual savage, living at a purely concrete level, incapable of concept-formation or any other form of generalization. You are simply wrong, in an embarassing fashion, about the import of my suggestion that your unorganized bullet points should be about something.
But now, I read his reply as a hint that if I have no thesis, the posts will be deleted and, ultimately, I could be denied access entirely.
You ought to work on your reasoning and reading skills. (Note to self: I wonder if he will misinterpret this as another threat against his inalienable right to freedom of pointless speech?).
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I agree with the sentiments that Mindy expresses. I, too, am concerned with the advent of the Forum Moderators.

I understand the Admin's position, completely. Admin has an absolute right to do whatever they want. But that is not the issue, certainly not for Objectivists. By analogy, you have a political right to purposely harm yourself, though, of course, it would be immoral to do so.

Furthermore, no one questions the the utility of keeping ads for replica watches off this message board. More to the point, it is perfectly valid for an Objectivist to question tenets and beliefs, in the search for truth, order to gain a better understanding. On the other hand, the Usenet News Groups (Google Groups) for alt.philosophy.objectivism and humanities.­philosophy.­objectivism are loaded with useless junk and frequented by anti-Objectivist trolls. Rational discussion there is difficult to impossible. So, yes, the Administrator benefits us all by doing the hard work of property maintenance.

In the Law subforum under Politics, I posted on "Wrongful Convictions and Miscarriages of Justice." Before I could complete my inital posts, DavidOdden replied to the first that in my next post, I should say what my point is. Last week, that would have been an invitation. Now, it is a threat.

What if I have no "point" or thesis but am only cataloging facts in order to understand them? Others could support or refute the empirical claims or assert their own conceptual explanations. And so on. But now, I read his reply as a hint that if I have no thesis, the posts will be deleted and, ultimately, I could be denied access entirely.

Again, it is the right of the Admin and Admin's agents to do so, but that is not the issue that Mindy addresses.

Last week, we were peers. This week some animals are more equal.

I do not chat. I understand that Chat had problems with trolls. Thus, Moderators were "hired." However, at the outset, the need for Forum Moderators was never validated, but only arbitrarily asserted, as an extension of Chat Moderators.

Do you have any idea what you are talking about?

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Could I get a promotion on the Objectivism Wiki? I'd really like to go full-steam ahead with it.
I like the way you formatted the front page of the Wiki.

BTW, From some lecture by Dr. Peikoff (probably UO) I got a visual of the 5 branches that looked like an X (see attachment). Not suggesting its use on the Wiki. It is just that the table there reminded me of the "X", and I thought I'd share it...to be filed away fro future reference.

Done.
Just had a thought: a link from the forum to the Wiki (rather than from the home-page) might bring more traffic to the Wiki. Probably a little more difficult, perhaps one could have a little panel somewhere that listed the most recently-added Wiki-page, or something similar.

post-1227-059629400 1283092044_thumb.png

Edited by softwareNerd
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Then you will have established, for all to see, that you are a conceptual savage, living at a purely concrete level, incapable of concept-formation or any other form of generalization.

The "conceptual savage" talk is so amusing. "Context-dropping, whim-worshipping social metaphysical muscle mystic" has a nice ring to it, too. These absolutist cults follow the same formats -- which you may call the "error of equivalency" according to your snappy patter. Under Mao Zedong, Chinese governnmet propaganda was given to condemning the "lackeys and running dogs of monstrous U.S. imperialism." Ideological errors to the right of the Party line were "revisionism" and errors to the left were "deviationism." The paradigm was Lenin's essay "Left-wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder."

Admin did not say that they were inundated with ads and spam and needed help across time zones because this maintnenance was draining resources.

Yes, the original call was for more Forum Moderators, but the immediate response from the users was for Chat Moderators, which was acknowledged.

Yes, Forum Moderators were part of the operations before this, but they were always in the background. Now, this comes to the front. So, yes, now we notice. I am not alone here in valuing my latitude, liberties and privileges.

I have my own website, www.washtenawjustice.com and I am the webmaster for the Michigan State Numismatic Society at www.michigancoinclub.org. I know the work that goes into Objectivism Online and I appreciate it.

I visited here once a year or so ago. David Veksler responded to a post of mine on "Money as a Crusoe Concept." I told him that if I publish this formally, the ideas he presented in his post will be cited formally, as his due. We were on good terms at that point. I intend to maintain that sense of benevolence.

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Yes, the original call was for more Forum Moderators, but the immediate response from the users was for Chat Moderators, which was acknowledged.

I am glad to see you acknowledge that your original statement - that the need for forum mods was asserted "as an extension of Chat Moderators" was incorrect.

Yes, Forum Moderators were part of the operations before this

I am glad to see you acknowledge that your characterization of the start of this thread as "the advent of the Forum Moderators" was incorrect.

If anything, I think this thread has been beneficial, by highlighting valid concerns such as the situation in which a moderator takes action in a debate in which he was involved. The addition of more mods will help to minimize this, and provide users with more outlets for appeal.

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The "conceptual savage" talk is so amusing. "Context-dropping, whim-worshipping social metaphysical muscle mystic" has a nice ring to it, too.
Perhaps, but not accurate. The question really is, are you actually saying that you have no point in your law post and that you were simply emoting?
Admin did not say that they were inundated with ads and spam and needed help across time zones because this maintnenance was draining resources.
True, but why would it be necessary for them to do so? What is such a statement a prerequisite for?
Yes, Forum Moderators were part of the operations before this, but they were always in the background. Now, this comes to the front.
That is, again, factually false. Moderators have always been active participants. They should be active participants, not merely clerks.

Do not assume that moderators are your enemy. Is it your position that anyone who disagrees with you is your enemy?

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Then you will have established, for all to see, that you are a conceptual savage, living at a purely concrete level, incapable of concept-formation or any other form of generalization.

This is abuse, pure and simple. It is an effort to intimidate, and this is not the first time David has treated people this way.

You are simply wrong, in an embarassing fashion, about the import of my suggestion that your unorganized bullet points should be about something.

If he is wrong, it would be natural to say what your comment did intend to communicate.

You ought to work on your reasoning and reading skills. (Note to self: I wonder if he will misinterpret this as another threat against his inalienable right to freedom of pointless speech?).

Again, this is pure abuse, personal attack, and attempt to intimidate. I suggest that posts like this prove that DavidOdden ought not be a moderator at all.

Mindy

Edited by softwareNerd
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In the Law subforum under Politics, I posted on "Wrongful Convictions and Miscarriages of Justice." Before I could complete my inital posts, DavidOdden replied to the first that in my next post, I should say what my point is. Last week, that would have been an invitation. Now, it is a threat.

What if I have no "point" or thesis but am only cataloging facts in order to understand them? Others could support or refute the empirical claims or assert their own conceptual explanations.

I went and read your post and David's reply to it and I have no idea what you are talking about here (I am referring to your statement in bold).

Your stated conclusion does not follow from David's reply but also it does not fit with David's long history on this forum.

It is reasonable to ask for someone's point when that is not clear and I appreciate David's effort (and other moderator's here) to keep reasonable standards of communication on this forum. If you have not formed an opinion yet - voice your questions. If you want to debate something - form an argument. If you want others to address some of your empirical claims - say so. You have done none.

Don't assume that people can read your mind.

It is not just your time but also others who happen to read your post. They start reading because it is posted on this forum with certain kind of reputation both in terms of content and communication standards. You posted here rather than elsewhere because you wanted certain exposure and certain audience - but the reason you can get that exposure here - the reason why people frequent this forum and may start reading your post - is precisely because of the standards being upheld here - the VERY standards which you are now criticizing.

Edited by ~Sophia~
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Mindy,

Wow... you have managed in a very short time stir an incredible amount of drama here and with people with whom many of us have been interacting for years and greatly respect.

If you want to defend what DavidOdden said, please do so. If you wish his actions weren't open to reasonable criticism, your complaint is with him.

Which posts and which arguments should I not have made? What was wrong with them?

Mindy

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So much has been written about this moderation thing, I'm getting curious. So ...

1. David O. writes:

"I think you've accepted at least two false premises (I'll let you mull over what those premises might be). My question for you, though, is why popularity matters to you? "

I'm confused. Mindy simply wrote that she was unpopular. That is a statement of fact. Where did she say that it mattered to her? Can David O. explain?

2. When Mindy asks for an explanation (a perfectly reasonable act, I should think), David O says: I'll let you mull over what those premises might be. She is also told by RationalBiker that she will not receive an answer as to why she is considered unsuitable. As a matter of fact, RB states, in effect, that she has a lot of nerve to think she is owed an explanation. Really? Wanting to know answers is bad? I must be very confused

So ... moderators do not answer reasonable questions? Why the secrecy? When a person is on the witness stand, he/she has the legal option of not answering, but that surely poses the question of what that person is hiding. So, the question on my mind is, what are the moderators who refuse to answer Mindy's simple questions hiding?

I'm sure my asking some reasonable questions will be considered unsuitable. That, by itself, is an indication of a problem. BTW, I don't know Mindy from Adam. I just hate to see bullying.

Edited by claire
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2. When Mindy asks for an explanation (a perfectly reasonable act, I should think), David O says: I'll let you mull over what those premises might be. She is also told by RationalBiker that she will not receive an answer as to why she is considered unsuitable. As a matter of fact, RB states, in effect, that she has a lot of nerve to think she is owed an explanation. Really? Wanting to know answers is bad? I must be very confused

So ... moderators do not answer reasonable questions? Why the secrecy? When a person is on the witness stand, he/she has the legal option of not answering, but that surely poses the question of what that person is hiding. So, the question on my mind is, what are the moderators who refuse to answer Mindy's simple questions hiding?

RB did answer her questions. After he made it clear that he did not owe her an explanation, he said:

That said, I will share with you my reservations. There's an appearance by your participation in that book thread that you believe it is morally sound to misrepresent ones true intentions as long as its legalistically okay even when the other party is being honest and upfront with you. In that vein, I do not think I could trust you or your intentions in the capacity of a moderator.

You may disagree with that of course.

Post #44

Edited by Dante
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I'm confused. Mindy simply wrote that she was unpopular. That is a statement of fact. Where did she say that it mattered to her?
She said "I'm winning the unpopularity contest hands-down, I think I'm a shoe-in". So she did not merely offer the topically-unconnected judgment that she is unpopular. She stated that there is an unpopularity contest (false), and that the results of said contest would be material (in a positive way!) to some decision about moderators (false). Hopefully, it is not necessary for me to go into a long explanation that show how her actual statement has these presuppositions. The defense "I did not utter the sentence 'Admins are running a contest to determine who is the most unpopular'" is an empty defense. Her claim isn't even expressed as a hypothetical like "If this were based on unpopularity, I would be a shoe-in".

I also (still) opt to believe that there is some kind of purposiveness to her actions, so that there must be a reason for her to make otherwise pointless comments about her popularity. If there is some rational and self-evident alternative besides my premise that "it matters to her", please feel free to enlighten me. She herself had nothing to offer on that front.

2. When Mindy asks for an explanation (a perfectly reasonable act, I should think), David O says: I'll let you mull over what those premises might be.
My evaluation of that statement is that it is fundamentally dishonest. It is plainly untrue that I suggested that she mull over the false premises in response to a request for an explanation. I refer you to my post here, which is in response to her post here. It is not possible to look at what I said and conclude that my suggestion that she should check her premises is in response to any request for information by her. It is clearly an amplification of my statement about false premises. I cannot understand how you could possibly believe or imply that I said, in effect, "check your premises" in response to her request for information. Since we moderators are not allowed to keep secrets, I am compelled to reveal that I'm annoyed at what you just said, though it's a passing annoyance. Although since it also constitutes bullying for a moderator to express a contrary opinion, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
So ... moderators do not answer reasonable questions?
Moderators do answer reasonable questions, by people who in turn give reasonable responses to the answers that they get. Generally speaking: people get the responses that they have earned.
Why the secrecy?
I assume that you are speaking of her question here, where she asserts that 'at least two of our "objective" moderators judge me, in strong terms, to be unfit to be a moderator'. At this point, it is true that one moderator, RB, seconded Grames' negative evaluation. RB did then provide an explanation. Now, insofar as I had not previously offered a judgment of Mindy's suitability as a moderator, the implication that I'm "keeping secrets" is a misinterpretation. I simply did not and do not believe that it would be useful for me to provide a public evaluation of her character, especially when not directly requested to do so by the object of evaluation.
I'm sure my asking some reasonable questions will be considered unsuitable.
No, asking reasonable question is not unsuitable, though if you had directly asked me to provide an evaluation of Mindy's character, I would simply not do it (on the other hand, I would be willing to evaluate her statements, and have done so). But your questions contain two significant falsehoods, and those falsehoods are unsuitable.
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"I also (still) opt to believe that there is some kind of purposiveness to her actions, so that there must be a reason for her to make otherwise pointless comments about her popularity. If there is some rational and self-evident alternative besides my premise that "it matters to her", please feel free to enlighten me."

Seriously, I think it was just a joke that you didn't catch. The point was that she had expressed some interests and it didn't look like there was much support for the idea of her getting a mod position, so she can tell she in fact probably does not stand a very good chance of getting a position, but she still has an interest of knowing when the decisions are going to be made about moderators for sure even if it is already pretty clear she probably won't be one.

Edited by bluecherry
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She is also told by RationalBiker that she will not receive an answer as to why she is considered unsuitable. As a matter of fact, RB states, in effect, that she has a lot of nerve to think she is owed an explanation. Really? Wanting to know answers is bad? I must be very confused

Yes, you may be confused. I did provide her answer, after pointing out that I did not owe her one. No one said wanting to know answers was bad... what can be bad is thinking one is owed something that they are not owed.

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Seriously, I think it was just a joke that you didn't catch. The point was that she had expressed some interests and it didn't look like there was much support for the idea of her getting a mod position, so she can tell she in fact probably does not stand a very good chance of getting a position, but she still has an interest of knowing when the decisions are going to be made about moderators for sure even if it is already pretty clear she probably won't be one.

Don't you think that if a joke it leans towards the passive-agressive though?

Tolerance of some passive aggresive behaviors on a forum is practically a given. Encouragement of same not so much.

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I don't know about if it was passive aggressive or not, all I was trying to say was that I thought it was pretty clearly a joke and what it meant and that it was not seriously saying that unpopularity was a positive factor in making it to being made a moderator as DavidOdden seemed to think she may seriously have been saying. ^^;

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