Discussion in 'About the Members' started by Michael, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    In your continuing claim that SAM libeled you you your self have libeled her. You made an untrue statement(that she libeled you. what she said was true and without intent to defame you) with the intent to hurt her reputation in the community. You can continue to ignore me as a child would or you can grow up and actually realize maybe your not this fantastic mod you think you are and the complaints against you have merit.
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  3. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    Are you literate? I guess not. given this post. go read the post your replying to. He made two different statements that both cannot be true. therefore he was lying during one of them.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    The more detailed response

    As I noted earlier, I wanted to respond to one of your questions in more detail.

    What you note has long been a problem at Sciforums, and has never been cause for action before.

    Here we come to an interesting conundrum. If this is the way things are to be now, fine. But a couple of problems arise. First, I find it problematic that this, like some other standards, shifts on S.A.M. We've literally had thousands of opportunities to deal with this in the past, but have chosen not to. Indeed, I would note that we are already pulling back on one of the standards invoked against S.A.M. in the present conflict, and I expect we will pull back on this one, as well.

    The second problem is both more complex and substantial. If the discussion is something like math or physical sciences, it's both fairly easy and properly justified to stand on earlier refutations of an idea. It's not that science isn't fluid, but the viscosity therein is much higher than in less stable academic disciplines. Comparatively, for instance, fundamental principles of a social science like psychology will demand revision in the face of new, more accurate data much more frequently than the fundamental principles of a harder science like physics.

    And with certain subjects and disciplines that are not sciences, those revisions can push toward chaotic.

    Compared to physics, politics is extremely unstable, and it is very hard to definitively refute anything. With subjects depending in large part on history and psychology, such as politics, ethics, or religion, how do we establish when an argument is properly refuted? And how can we guarantee that next week a human circumstance won't arise that alters the nature of the principles involved?

    To use an example, Baron Max, in "The Gay Fray", has revived his argument that homosexuals have the same legal rights as heterosexuals. And, to be certain, I disagree. And we've been through this before. By the standard some of my colleagues are attempting to apply to S.A.M., though, that post is actionable. I can simply say that I've addressed this before, and Max has failed to suitably refute that address. Having done that, I can suppress further posts making that argument at the stake of suspension.

    But I won't. I dislike Max's character, consider him dishonest, and have not changed my opinion that he is my least-favorite troll, but I don't see the need to extend that sentiment to such an application of my authority. Really, if I want him suspended, it's only a matter of time before he fucks up.

    Thus, I would like to know which arguments S.A.M. is so improperly promoting, but, alas, none have been presented. I suspect that what people are referring to are, in fact, assertions made within a fairly unstable matrix, such as politics, religion, ethics, or history. In such a case, what many people would consider a definitive refutation is, in fact, little more than an opinion.

    As a side note, I would also acknowledge that it is very much possible to make a very strong case within these contexts, but as we've seen even in this argument about S.A.M., that involves too many big words in posts that are too long to read. Or, at least, so the complaint goes.

    You know, I'm the one who frequently cites judicial precedent to back my assertions regarding the U.S. Constitution, and many people who disagree simply tell me I'm wrong and never really offer anything to support their argument other than abstract principles or slogans. I've long presented an argument for gay marriage that makes the prohibition an issue of sex discrimination, and while I'm aware that plenty of people disagree, nobody has ever really come out and made a proper academic argument to support that disagreement. Should I rule, then, that within EM&J, the question is settled, and take action against anyone who revives the assertion? Is that really fair? Can I legitimately claim that the issue is settled based on my opinion?

    I would ask, then, for people's examples of these definitive refutations, and also to demonstrate that since their establishment, nothing has occurred that changes the sum of the relevant facts. Or, perhaps, that latter is unfair, as it demands negative proof, but therein lies the question: How can we definitively close the book on any of these arguments?

    One of the results of this standard, applied within the less stable disciplines, is that pointing out accruing evidence of an old assertion can be taken as a reiteration of an argument someone thinks is already refuted.

    We pay lip service at Sciforums to the scientific method, but in truth, that kind of integrity is too much for the overwhelming majority of our members, moderators, and administrators. Even basic academic discipline is too much to demand, to the point that it's not so much that people resent the idea that they should include proper citation—our citation standard is ridiculously anemic—but that some apparently resent it when other people write proper citatons.

    The scientific method makes a great club to wield over the membership, but we rarely fulfill even the basic academic requirements for a research paper; speak nothing of genuine field research and peer review.

    One of my colleagues lodged pretty much the same complaint about S.A.M. as yours noted above, and calls it a violation of the scientific method. Yet these examples are not forthcoming, and I've even been told to stay out of the S.A.M. issue. The implication, of course, is that if one does not see what another sees, the one should simply shut up. This, of course, saves the defender of the scientific method any need to actually support his assertions. Indeed, he has gone so far as to accuse S.A.M. of serious crimes, but thus far has felt no need to actually back that accusation.

    I think the reason nobody has been coughing up the examples is because they occur within fluid parameters; they are much more subjective arguments than we encounter in physics, chemistry, &c. Consider that James is now recalling the fight in September, citing an argument supported by several accusations, which I addressed; that response was not refuted, but simply dismissed. Go back though, and look at the accusations. We are given an excerpt, and James' opinion. Things like, "Anti-American hatred, anti-American propaganda, anti-Obama propaganda, loaded question, etc."

    Yet while we're supposed to be scorching S.A.M. for her violations of the scientific method, we're supposed to just take James at his word; his support for an accusation is simply more accusations, and he need not support those.

    So, yes, there is an appearance of gross hypocrisy, but more to the point, I think that episode illustrates why nobody is really trying to make the case for the complaint. The arguments I suspect they, and you, are referring to are considerably more subjective to begin with than something specifically scientific.

    In the end, it seems that she still disagrees with certain people, and those people think that's just not fair.

    And, yes, this has even led to accusations of fairly serious crime. Accusations that, of course, are not being supported.

    Of course, one other possible reason nobody is making the case is sloth. It's a pain in the ass to go digging through the archives to support a point, and I'm one who has spent a lot of time doing that, so yes, I get to say it's a pain in the ass.

    But I find it highly unscientific and of questionable ethics that one's argument in favor of a particular issue should be, "Click the link, read the contents, see exactly what I see, and agree with me." I shouldn't have to browbeat basic academic integrity out of the alleged defenders of the scientific method.

    Lastly, I would suggest that enforcing this and other standards invoked against S.A.M. in the current fracas will be exceptionally difficult, if not impossible. I will not be surprised if, once this S.A.M. issue is settled, these standards are put away on the shelf and only invoked selectively according to our convenience. Indeed, it is my unfortunate expectation.

    And all of this is what comes to mind when you ask my opinion of the proposition listed at the outset. I'm pretty sure I could go on, if I tried, but this is the general overview.
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  7. Gustav Banned Banned


    you are actually giving me permission to infer?
    if you do not, you will sue me for falsely accusing you of said inference?

    you are insane
    you know that, dont you?

  8. Gustav Banned Banned

    i see james having a hard enough time justifying his heinous accusations against sam in sci
    i wonder how he will fare in a court of law
    i shall recommend sam get a internet libel lawyer and sue the guy for defamation of character

    perhaps australia can be her next jaunt
    ja, why cant we all play james's new game
  9. Gustav Banned Banned

    #Show defamation. Prove that there was in fact defamatory language that shows badly on your morality or integrity or questions your credibility in your profession.
    #Explain identification. Show that the libelous statements in question refer to you and show that at least one reader could identify you as the defamed person.
    #Demonstrate publication. Prove the public received--generally that they read--the libelous statements.
    #Prove fault. Show negligence or recklessness, if not intent to defame, on the part of the defendant.
    #Establish falsity. Prove that the published statements were untrue. You only need to prove this in cases involving public concern.

    do you think the death threat incident would satisfy the above requirements?

    since you are unwilling to prove her bigotry, her "Anti-American hatred, anti-American propaganda, anti-Obama propaganda, loaded question, etc." in here, would you prefer to do it in court?
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    What planet are you on? I reproduced her exact post only a few posts prior to this one. Go read it.

    Now you're accusing me of narcissism. Ho hum.

    There are obviously quite a few people in those thread who want to burn those bridges and make sure they stay burnt.

    Another person who has gone to live on his own separate planet.
  11. Gustav Banned Banned

    while awaiting sam's ok.......

    zoran's phrasing makes it obvious porfiry still owns sciforums tho the domain is registered to..

    LifeForm Inc.
    60 Windsor Avenue
    London, England SW192RR
    United Kingdom
    2076813264 Fax -- 2076813266

    this is fun!
  12. Gustav Banned Banned


    oh please
    i think sam has a better case for libel against you than the other way around
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You're not doing yourself, or anyone else, any good, James

    Yet strangely, you had to manipulate S.A.M.'s "threat", ignoring in your consideration half of the sentence.

    That's what you call fair? Okay.

    Manipulating her statement in order to focus on only one part of it, and then claiming she made a direct and unconditional threat? I think that makes a pretty strong suggestion of dishonesty.

    Words, not deeds.

    I think your subconscious is so infected with your disdain for S.A.M. that you would have given proper attention to the whole of what any other poster had written.

    And let me pause here, to pre-empt whatever snide dismissal you might attempt, James, and ask that you return your attention to the no confidence thread, on this occasion posts #2-5, in which we argued over what you were judging. In #3, I accused that you presented a contextually-snipped version of the quote. You responded (#4) that you quoted her post in full. I pointed out (#5) that what you responded to or relied on was the contextually-snipped version. Returning, then, to #2 in order to examine what you actually wrote, you tag-quoted the sentence in full, and immediately presented a snipped version, omitting the second half of the sentence. The subsequent paragraph mentions nothing of the second half of the statement, and makes assertions that are only arguable if that portion never existed. Additionally, in that same post, you responded to my comparative example by only referring to the snipped version. Indeed, the difference you cited was the conditional portion of the comparative example, which is the portion of S.A.M.'s statement you snipped and then refused to acknowledge. Additionally, in post #4, you asked what could be clearer than, well, the snipped version. Your assessment of S.A.M.'s statement consistently omitted the second half of the sentence until I put it in boldface (#5) and said, "There's your condition." And then I pointed out the second sentence in the statement, which I feel made her position very clear.

    Would you really have done that to "any other poster"?

    Pent-up? James, you've been rude, childish, and dishonest in this from the outset. Go back and read the second sentence of your initial response (#2) in the no confidence thread. You opened your defense with an attack. And then there's your mischaracterization of my defense of S.A.M. And your note that I posted in at least three different threads about the situation (although, apparently, you didn't actually read those posts, since you had no fucking clue why I sent FellowTraveler).

    And then, in response to my address of these issues (#3), you had the temerity to say (#4) that there was no need to defend myself, and that nobody was attacking me. It's a very curious standard you set in defense of our bastion of science: Whatever you say is apparently true regardless of the facts on record.

    You even tried to demonstrate how magnanimous you were (#2) for your handling of the situation before you saw the no confidence thread.

    And you've gone on in the public argument, apparently ignoring my prior posts because you felt the need to specify what supposed lies I was talking about.

    Bratty? Stupid? What should I call your dishonest attack against me? How about scientific?

    I think it's quite clear that you've lied. Indeed, your inability to offer a remotely reasonable explanation of how you came to repeatedly mischaracterize my actions as a moderator only reinforces that point. Hypocrite? Hey, you're doing some of the same things you condemn S.A.M. for. Including lying about people.

    If that's what you want to call it. Of course, if you were honest, reasonable, and decent, we could have been done with this a while ago. Seems to me you're stringing it out. So don't give us that bullshit about your patience, James.

    Not very well. But, hey, Plazma's got your back. There's no need for you to be honest or consistent.

    Nor I. But I'm more concerned with the fact that, as a moderator here, I'm obliged to strive to be as fair as possible, a duty you seem to have forsaken. Additionally, had you actually paid any attention to my earlier posts, you might have realized that I also have practical concerns about the implications of the standards you've invoked against S.A.M.

    Frankly, there's not much we can do to get out of the hole you've dug without looking pretty filthy.

    With your complaint about S.A.M.'s "lie", you have opened any assessment of the implications of a member's assertion to disciplinary for lying about someone. Take a look around Politics sometime. There's a lot of argument that revolves around implications. All of that is now subject to disciplinary action, and if we're going to be fair about this standard, you've just dumped a mountain of new work on the WE&P team. And if you think that won't make us look bad in the long run, have Madanthonywayne write you a new prescription against myopia.

    With your assessment of S.A.M.'s threat, you have created a situation in which we are applying ridiculous scrutiny to posts, again inflating the workload by orders of magnitude. At least, if we intend to be fair.

    Do you actually care about that? Because especially in high-traffic subfora like Politics and Religion, some—and possibly many—of those offenses will be missed. Moderators are human. There's only so much they can catch. And the result is going to be a flurry of complaints about people's "lies" or "threats", or about a moderator's "bias". You opened a major artery with this one, and if that's how it's going to go, that's how it's going to go. But I sincerely doubt that's how it's going to go.

    I put a very simple example in front of the moderators, and while I won't fault Ben for doing so, his response was an effective scaling back of the standard. I don't fault him for that scaling back because I agree that we simply cannot maintain, with the current staff and such vague guidelines for these new standards, consistent enforcement.

    But you got to suspend S.A.M. for a month, so maybe it's worth it to you.

    There's more to it than that. We'll come back to that in due course.

    I don't think so. I feel, given the paucity of your permaban proposal, that the second action was retaliatory.

    What is trolling, asked Jesting Pilate, and this time he stays for the answer. Because—

    —I would very much appreciate it if you could explain the scientific, academic, or even basic and simple merits of an argument that goes, "Just read her posts. See what I see."

    Besides, you've already decided that I can't review her posts objectively. You did that back in September, when I responded to your accusations against S.A.M., and you ducked.

    Of course we disagree. You have no obligation to objectivity or fairness. It's not that I want you to treat S.A.M. with kid gloves. Rather, I would prefer that you act like a literate adult.

    And it's not just a peg or two, James. I have no confidence whatsoever in you as an administrator at this website.

    Not very well, as your performance in September reminds. Additionally, your case in the back room proposal was pathetic. Again: Telling people to simply see what you see does not make a useful argument. Telling people why you see what you see is much more helpful.

    It's a start.

    I would say you made a pretty strong effort to substantiate FT's complaint when you insistently manipulated S.A.M.'s quote.

    But lying is a productive use of your time?

    Your highlighting of some examples is unlikely to sway me because of how you present your argument. You present a link or a quote and say it's bigoted, dishonest, or whatever. How you reach those conclusions, however, is something of a mystery.

    I already have. (To hazard a guess according to the time stamps, you were probably writing your post when mine went up.)

    Yes, I would like the entire thread copied verbatim.

    Yes, I understand the need for the consent of our fellows. (See next section for more comment on that.)

    If the best we can do is you and me, I suppose that's the best we can manage.

    I'm of the opinion that regardless of utility, your dishonesty has made it essential.

    As I said earlier, in due course. We have reached that marker. And also in terms of moderator consent, we have arrived at that consideration: Certainly, the other moderators can speak for themselves, but are they willing to? At present, they certainly don't have to.

    I can understand in one case why a moderator would withhold consent to have those remarks made publicly available. Like I said, compared to the Avatar riot ....

    Nearly any cost. I haven't decided on my upper limit for this one.

    You, however, are quite clearly out to cover your ass. At any cost.

    I'm sure if you are decent and honest, James, you can come up with something better than that.

    Give it a try.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    In case you haven't noticed, this is not a court of law.
  15. Gustav Banned Banned


    here is how james read the above according to tiassa's account

    he had to be convinced to read on....

    he alleges the fault is sam's wording
    "will" should be "would" and the confusion would magically dissapear

    the original:

    the revised:

    /cracks up

    both "would" and "will" indicate intent
    what on earth has changed?

    you and mad are smoking crack in the back room or what?

    here james clearly blames fellow. it appears that james is saying he took his word for it that there was a death threat, saw what he wanted to see in the offending post and hit the ban button

    "fellow said so and that is good enough for me"

    i think this is a perfect illustration on how eager james is to get rid of sam and the level of disingenuity he will stoop to in order to achieve that goal
  16. Gustav Banned Banned


    that can easily change
    i am sick and tired of you slandering sam
    perhaps she is too
    we shall find out if or when she returns
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Perhaps more important is the practical implication. If we're truly to be fair, as one of my colleagues suggested this action against S.A.M. is, we're going to have to apply this sort of scrutiny to everyone.

    One of the problems with this should be quite clear: Not everyone writes to the same degree of literacy.

    There are plenty of times, in reading people's posts—either as a participant or a moderator—that I shrug and say, "Huh? Oh, right, I know what you mean." There's a word omitted, or the syntax is a wreck, or whatever.

    To the one, I might be thankful that I don't have to do that anymore. To the other, it was certainly less work to give that benefit of the doubt, especially when the mistake is pretty clear, than to sanction them according to the formal rules of grammar.

    I mean, I'm just sayin' ....

    But think about it. We argued over "will" and "would". And "for". I seriously don't look forward to giving such inflexible, nitpicking scrutiny with no human compassion on such a broad scale. This is going to be a disaster.

    Thus, as I noted earlier, this is a dangerous precedent:

    I would ask the Sciforums membership to consider very carefully where this is going. Yes, we are arguing over the use of conjunctions at this point. Of course, we could have skipped that part if an administrator simply acknowledged that the word existed, and what it meant.

    People get ready. My only question is, "Are you?"​
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Here's the distinction.

    Would is the subjunctive mood of will.
    The subjunctive mood is used when the content of the clause is being doubted, supposed, or feared true, rather than being asserted.

    Will is an assertion, Would is a supposition, and it's that subtle distinction that makes the difference (In fact in older forms of english, the use of the word 'would' was the expression of a wish 'would that I could' 'would that the lord gave me just one more day' etc).
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  19. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    For the record, because of the above, and because of independently coming to some of the same conclusions as Tiassa regarding being in a multicultural/multilingual environment, my single post on the issue (which James is free to move over) was to aknowledge the point made by another moderator on the issue that it was borderline, and that I could see how both Tiassa and James were correct in their interpretations.

    Also, for the record, my vote on permabanning S.A.M was abstention, because I have very little to do with her on a general basis (but if I had voted in consideration of the conversation I was having with her here at the time, starting with Post #53 I would probably have voted in favour of permadanning her, because some of the comments (don't ask me to explain why) directed at me, in my opinion, came across as Trolling.

    Therein, I suppose, lies another rub - something that CheskiChips might consider offensive and trolling because of his heritage, I might be indifferent towards because of mine.
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Your wish is granted. I have copied your "No confidence" thread from the Moderators forum to the public forums for reference of anybody who gives a damn.

    The thread is here:

    [thread=98792]No confidence in James R as administrator [public copy][/thread]

    The thread is closed because it is a copy. Also, I have only included posts by you and myself and have omitted posts by other moderators, because they have not given their permission that their posts in the private forum be made public.

    Gustav will have a field day, no doubt. Congratulations, Tiassa. Well done.


    I invite anybody who is interested to read the posts in the thread linked above. I think the record speaks clearly for itself, and I'm content to stand on what I wrote there.

    I have had no contact with Plazma about any of these matters apart from in threads that you have access to. There's no grand conspiracy here.

    While I greatly appreciate Plazma's confidence in me, I would hope that he doesn't regard this whole SAM episode as a particularly important issue, let alone your determined attacks on my character.

    Disciplinary action has always been an option for those who troll repeatedly. Lying can be one form of trolling. Nothing new here.

    I think you're blowing this out of all proportion. Nobody is asking you to take on a greater workload.

    So what's new? I get about 10 of those a day from pjdude alone.

    Get over it. She'll be back in about two weeks.

    I've posted that particular definition many times:

    troll (n.): someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.​

    I take some pains to be clear in such explanations, when I offer them. Maybe the problem is at your end.

    I'd advise them not to engage in this somewhat tawdry thread.

    Just kidding.
  21. Bells Staff Member

    I disagree.

    For myself, you have my permission to post what I said in that thread.

    I think you should have posted it in full. The behaviour in that thread is shameful in the extreme. Quite honestly, I felt sick reading some of what was said in that thread. The extremes that one has gone to.. the insults and accusations made.. The complete and utter lack of respect for others and the sheer hatred exposed. It is an utter disgrace.

    For myself, you have my permission to post what I said in that thread.

    How can I put this. Never, EVER, have I ever felt so disgusted in this forum.

    The hypocrisy.. it's fucking sickening. Yes, that's right, I swore. I swore because I am so sick and tired of this.

    I have never, in all of my time on this forum, and I've been here a long time, seen such a god damn fucking display of childishness and obsessive hatred as I have seen about this issue. And I have seen many, many wars on this forum. Any new member who even looked at this thread would leave immediately. I know I want to leave and never return after the last 2 weeks.

    Now.. onto what I find really galling..

    Really? You're going down that route? You?

    Refer to above what I said about hypocrisy.

    He's stringing this out?

    You're joking, right? Read back through all 20+ pages and actually open your eyes and start counting who exactly has been stringing this out.. who has posted the most in this thread.. who has kept making the same accusations over and over again..

    He might be keeping his patience, but I for one have lost it entirely.

    Grow the fuck up. Jesus fucking christ. GROW UP! Act like the responsible and reasonable adult you are. Read her posts objectively. Read his posts objectively. Go back through the last year or so and read what she has been fucking writing in this forum. Understand that not everyone agrees with you. Understand that not everyone will look at what is between the lines like you do.

    Do you think she isn't aware of the impact of her words on this forum?

    And here is something I think you should keep in mind when you continuously call James a liar:

  22. mordea Registered Senior Member

    I have to be honest. When I read S.A.M's original comment in the thread, I did a double-take. As written, it sounded like a death threat. I read it over and over again, thinking "S.A.M's family was bombed with white phosphorus?! Holy shit!"

    But eventually I gave her the benefit of the doubt and concluded that she must have just been sloppy with her phrasing. Why? Because she's Indian, and therefore her family likely lives in India, not the Middle-East. So how could they have been bombed with white phosphorus?

    I don't know why Tiassa keeps bringing up this issue as though it's some sort of strike against James, when it's quite the opposite. S.A.M's statement was grammatically incorrect and as such could easily be perceived as a threat. Furthermore, when an alternative interpretation was provided to James, he admitted wrong-doing and reversed the ban. There is no dishonesty there.

    Arguably he jumped the gun a little, but S.A.M does have a long history as a provocateur, so it's easy to conclude the worst. Such bias shouldn't really exist (each infringement should be judged independently of the poster's past history imho, although I know many would disagree), but at least James R was willing to admit he was in the wrong (understable given S.A.M's poor phrasing) and rectify his error. That's the sort of behaviour that needs to be encouraged, not deplored.

    I can be a real bastard. However, if someone admits that they are wrong, I drop the issue and allow them to save face, instead of bringing it up over and over again.

    Please note that I still don't agree with his treatment of S.A.M is regards to coercing her into apologising, but since I've already explained my rationale, I'm not going into that again.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    This is what I find so annoying. It could have been taken either way. That James took it one way upon first glance and Tiassa took it another way after a lot of glances, has resulted in insults to not just James, but to others as well in that thread. That the misunderstanding, once realised was immediately rectified has been completely ignored. We have had accusations of lying and utter dishonesty from that thread and it has carried on and on and on and into this thread, where it has bred like a red headed step child.

    When I brought up the simple fact that James' perceptions were different and once realised, the whole issue was rectified, I was accused of lying, amongst other things.

    What has been left out in that thread shows just how low some have stooped about this whole topic.

    I've had enough.

    I have the greatest respect for Tiassa, but in what has gone on in the last two weeks on this issue, I cannot support him. He was and is wrong. I completely disagree with him, not just for what he has said in this and other threads, but also what has transpired since all this started.
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