The goal of the optional alpha rules is to allow posters to have a discussion with less rough and tumble than usual. This thread is to maintain the authoritative version of the Alpha rules, and discuss specific objections to them. Suggestions and objections to the rules themselves should be posted to the [thread=61746]Alpha rules - An idea for improving the quality of discussions[/thread] thread. About the Alpha Rules Alpha rules may be engaged when making a new thread, by putting "(Alpha)" before the main thread title. Alpha threads should be interesting, original, and appropriate for Physics and Maths. In addition to the Alpha rules, all ordinary posting rules apply. The Alpha rules have precedence if there is a conflict. The interpretation of the rules is at the discretion of the moderator. Suggestions regarding interpretation may be made, and the moderator will consider those suggestions, but the final say is the moderator's alone. Violations Please use the !report button to notify myself and James if you think a post in an Alpha thread violates Alpha rules. Posts to a labeled Alpha rules thread that violate the rules will be deleted, edited, or moved to this thread at the moderators' discretion. Only trivial posts that clearly violate the rules will be deleted. Edits to posts will be footnoted by the moderator. For major edits, a copy of the unedited post may be PMed to the author. Rulings can be discussed in this thread. Alpha rules also apply to this thread. Violations in this thread will be moved if another suitable thread exists otherwise deleted or edited. Alpha Rules No hijacking. The thread may be sidetracked, but only within reason and as long as the sidetrack is about some point in the main thread. Be Polite. No insults, profanity, threats, abuse, demeaning or fight provoking behavior. Attacking claims and arguments is OK. Attacking people is not. Defend your statements. Direct questions regarding your statements must be clearly addressed in a timely manner (within reason... sometimes too many questions are asked at once). "I don't know" is a valid answer. The relevance of a question must be demonstrated on request. Questions that lead to extensive sidetracks might be considered hijacking in some cases. If faced with multiple independent questions that require significant responses, you need only address one at a time. The others may be deferred until later. Be clear Say what you mean. Try not to be coy, or overly subtle. Most importantly, request for clarification must be answered. Politely. No plagiarism. If you copy anything (words, pictures, even an idea) from anywhere else, you should say so. Try to be rational. This one is more a guideline than a rule. Breaches of this rule might only be addressed by a PM. What I'm aiming at is: Try to avoid logical fallacies When your argument is challenged, seriously consider the possibility that you were wrong, in whole or in part. When someone demonstrates a point you made is wrong (it happens to everyone!), acknowledge that it was shown to be wrong and don’t keep repeating it. If you've made a mistake, thank people for pointing it out. Have fun! If you're not enjoying yourself, then what's the point?