... and I don't mean conservative vs democratic or whatever - I mean more about the balance of power as a means of defining the social body (or alternatively, the social body as a means of defining the balance of power). There seems to be a constantly resurfacing dialogue within sci about what the site "should" be as opposed to what it "is" in terms of practical experience. For instance in the latest offering("Zero tolerance week"), there is the suggestion that sci shouldn't be a constant report/infraction-fest (and that a week long session of "high ideals and low patience" will move things towards a change for the better ... needless to say, I would like to take a gander at the pro-forma learning outcome planner that came out from that think tank). Other versions are statements to the effect of "this is a site dedicated to the discussion of scientific topics so therefore its prohibited to (yada yada yada )" vs the reality of a new posts table with a ratio of scientifically titled threads in the vicinity of about 1:12 (and a ratio of scientifically titled threads with a scientifically grounded dialogue within it at about 1:50). In short - obviously the powers that be don't have the gusto to take to the killing fields with its clientele (long live the daily number of hits ) and the clientele doesn't have the ability to impress the powers that be on the validity of its social conglomerate. IOW there is always this striking social tension for defining what sci "is". I think that is the attractive element of sci. Its kind of the middle ground between a forum sanitized to death and an all out flame fest ..... and I think that is why mod and clientele alike choose to stay (or alternatively, leave and come back some time later).