Jump to content

Highest Reputation Content

#125387 Science Forums Etiquette

Posted by Cap'n Refsmmat on 30 January 2005 - 10:18 PM

This is intended to be a thread that is a guide for folks on how to act and post on SFN.

i. General Information
ii. Replying to Threads
iii. Posting New Threads

I. General Information

Know the Rules
Read the rules before you post.

Grammar and Punctuation
Please try to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation when you post. It is much easier to understand a post when it is not full of run-on sentences and such. Sure, this may add a few seconds to the time it takes to post, but are you in that much of a hurry?
If English is not your native language, and you don't have good grammar, that's fine; we don't bite. Just try to do your best.

Spell Check
Eloquence can be severely hampered by words that don't exist. If you are on the Internet, use spell-checkers or reread your posts to make sure you don't have errors. You can also use the Preview Post function to see what your post will look like, before you submit it.

Emphasis Features
The different fonts, sizes, colors, bold, italic, underline and CAPITALIZATION features are there for EMPHASIS. Please avoid using them for entire posts. Let your ideas make you stand out instead of these features. Whole posts using different fonts and colors are very annoying and may decrease the likelihood of it being read. The Emphasis Features can also imply emotions you may not want, such as angry shouting from ALL CAPS. Remember that emphasis is best when used sparingly.

Don't know how to use the features? There's a tutorial.

Contact Information
Need to talk to a moderator? Private message them if it is something important. If you want to report a post that is against the forum rules, use the Report This Post function, which is visible as "Report" with a small warning icon in the bottom left of each post.

II. Replying to Threads

Don't Flame
Just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean you need to insult them. They may be ignorant, but try not to flame them out of the forum. If they're intentionally insulting people, don't reply--just use the Report Post function to let the moderators know about it. They can deal with insult wars and rule-breakers more efficiently than regular users.

Be Coherent
When you reply, try to make as much sense as possible. Organize your post into paragraphs or sections as to make it easier to understand. If nobody knows what you're saying, they aren't going to learn anything from it, or try to reply to it.
If you are going to say "it" or "one" or "they" then make sure we know what you are talking about. "It" is not a very descriptive word and people may get confused as to what you are trying to say.

Don't Spam
Make your replies relevant to the topic. If there is a side conversation going on that is not related to the original post, don't reply to it. Keep everything spam-free.
If you see someone spamming, don't try to deal with it yourself: you can't. Instead, click the "Report This Post" icon (an exclamation mark in a triangle) in the bottom left of their post and let the moderators know what the problem is.

Give Sources
If you're telling us about a study or a theory that you've heard of, try to give links to a web site about it. If you're the only person saying it, not many people are going to believe you (many scientists are skeptics). Try to provide good links which support your point, and remember, dictionary.com is not a technical resource.

When you link to another website, don't do the "Click Here" gimmick. It gives people no idea what you're linking to. Rather, you should make the link text descriptive of what the link actually is about.

Use Quotes
If you want to reply to a specific post, press the "Quote" button on that post. This will make your reply include the quoted text, so users will know who you are replying to.

Don't Strawman
Don't strawman. It is quite annoying and you will lose your credibility, and seriously undermines any argument.

Read Links
If a user provides a link for more information, and you don't believe them, read the link. It may provide better information for you; if you ignore it, you may be missing vital information that supports their point. Purposefully ignoring it is strawmanning, and nobody likes that.

Don't be Mean
If you don't agree with someone, don't attack them. Tell them politely why you think they're wrong, and give them evidence. Insulting people won't get you anywhere but suspended.

I Hate You
Not everyone will agree with you, no matter how supergreat you are. Understand this, plus the difficulties involved in altering someone's deep-felt views over a text-only forum, and accept it. Don't try to force them into other beliefs.

One Source Arguments
If you can't provide more than one source, don't try to argue that position. Substantiating an event/opinion/theory requires more than just one source, even if the source happens to be the President/Prime Minister.

Me So Great
You may be intending to become a moderator by impressing the forum staff your superb skills, impressive vocabulary, witty sense of humor and ability to make derogatory comments to newbies. That's all fine and good, but do it quietly and don't annoy the rest of the forum members.

Try not to hijack a thread and bend the topic to your will. Nobody likes a megalomaniac. Try to stay on topic and keep to what the original poster said.

Converting the Heathens
Don't try to convert people to your religion. Leave them alone. If you try, you'll find yourself banned.

Pointing Out the Obvious
If you don't think anyone will care, why not keep it to yourself? Posting just for the postcount and not for actual content annoys people.

Try not to use too many acronyms in your posts. Not all of us know what they mean, so be sure to provide the full text the first time, to avoid confusing people.
Also, you can use BBCode tags such as the following
[acr=Laughing Out Loud]LOL[/acr]
to get
[acr=Laughing Out Loud]LOL[/acr]
Hover your mouse over it to see the effect.
There is also a list of common acronyms pinned in the general discussion forum.

III. Posting New Threads

Use the Search Function
Before you post a thread, use the search function to see if anyone else has posted the same topic. It's better to post in an existing thread than to start a new one.

Give Sources
If you are asking a question or making a point, give references and links so users can see what you are talking about. If they have context, they can better understand you.

Give Details
When you're asking a question, give plenty of details. Don't just say "my computer crashed, what do I do?" Give use details about what you're asking that will help us answer the question well.

Use a Descriptive Title
When you title your thread, give it a good title that will catch users' eyes and give them an idea of what it is about.
Bad title:
Good title:
"Computer virus. Help!"

Allow Comment
If you're posting an idea, be receptive to comments. If someone criticizes you, don't get mad at them. Take the comment well and, if necessary, reply to them to defend yourself (without being mean or nasty).

We will not do it for you. If you have someone else do it for you, you're not learning anything, and it's not fair that a lazy person with an Internet connection gets a better mark than someone who put the effort in himself.
Disguising your homework as a curiosity-based question doesn't work. We will probably figure it out, and we don't like people trying to fool us into doing their work.
Of course, we'd be glad to help you to finish your homework. Just not do it entirely.

Einstein is Wrong!
If you're going to try to disprove a major theory, or at least propose something that most people would never believe (there are a lot of sceptics on this forum), try to provide large amounts of evidence. Just because it "makes sense" doesn't mean it has to be right--much of science doesn't "make sense" to some people, but it has proved accurate.

I'm welcome to suggestions as to what else to add.
  • 20

#829155 Why the Prevalence of Crackpots in Physics?

Posted by CaptainPanic on 2 October 2014 - 06:55 AM

Crackpots focus on physics.

Religious people focus on biology (and sometimes physics but most now accept that we go around the sun, not the other way around).

Terrorists and drug dealers focus on chemistry (but you don't see those here since that is against our rules). I guess that the alchemists are out of fashion nowadays.


What these poorly chosen examples are supposed to show is that all fields have their nut cases.


Anyway, it could be worse: in Economics, the nut cases are in charge!

  • 15

#825679 The Almighty ydoaPs Jr

Posted by ydoaPs on 10 September 2014 - 08:38 PM

As many of you know, it was the case that I was going to be a daddy. Well, that time has come! It's time to show off your kids.


My son is now two days old. He was born on September 8 at 4:48pm and he weighs in at 1lb 13oz. He made it to one day before 28 weeks before he had to come out.












If you've got kids, how many do you have? Any advice/tips/tricks?

  • 13

#804227 Banned/Suspended Users

Posted by hypervalent_iodine on 1 May 2014 - 06:48 AM

vampares` has been banned as a sockpuppet of vampares. I don't know how we figured it out, but we did.

  • 13

#777654 How to become mod?

Posted by Phi for All on 15 November 2013 - 03:45 PM

The number one rule for mod selection is we never ask someone who is asking to be a mod. This keeps those with an agenda out. For years we thought ydoaPs was a mole from the Creationist Museum because he kept yammering at us about being a mod while vehemently denying any affiliation, yet his Outlook calendar only goes back 6000 years. Very suspicious.
We've learned that great diversity makes for a well-rounded staff. CaptainPanic is your typical engineer, with mirrors on the toes of his shoes and a well-folded map in his glove-box. He's writing a book on razor-blade origami, which has taken him longer than expected with all the transfusions.
Our buddy imatfaal runs a one-man legal office/brothel/courier service from the back of his bicycle. When he's not juggling between gigoling and jurispruding, he literally pedals his services to most of London's most desperate housewives.
Hypervalent_iodine is finishing her Empress of Everything training, earning money on the side working as a guard in one of those women's bikini prisons you should hear so much about these days. Her perspective is captivating, as always. DON'T DRINK ANYTHING SHE GIVES YOU. Just sayin'.
swansont is, of course, who the movie character Doctor Evil is based on. He invented the frikkin' laser and helped develop techniques to minimize burst pressure in whoopee cushion teleportation. There's an enormous red button on the wall behind his desk with an equally enormous sign that reads, "Don't PUSH me!". We don't.
We asked mooeypoo to leave her job running Collections for some Israeli mental institution (Mysaab? Mosshead? Mossad?) and she was secretly overjoyed. She's extremely thorough and while some of the staff find her a bit over the top, I don't think frisking can ever be "excessive".
Klaynos is a member of The Rolling Stones, but I'm not allowed to say which one. A concert tour went to Cern and Mi Klaynos was hooked on the physics. He came for the concert but stayed for the collisions. Klaynos (wink.png ) continues to petition the scientific community to change the name "Big Bang" to "Jumpin' Jack Flash". I signed, what the hell.


I was asked to be a mod by blike, a plastic surgeon who makes more money selling celebrity fat on Ebay than he does with implants and facelifts. He told me he needed a "patsy" who could sign "some papers" and not be able to "figure out what he was really up to". I was flattered and said yes. It's been one long, drawn-out court battle after another ever since. I have no idea if blike is in the country anymore, or if that's even his real name.

  • 13

#612639 Who here is a global warming skeptic?

Posted by Ophiolite on 15 June 2011 - 11:25 AM

I am a global warming skeptic. I think it is not only plausible to have doubts, but essential, especially if we wish to honour the memories of Bacon and Galileo and Newton. We should doubt the data gathering techniques, we should doubt the analytical processes, we should doubt the conclusions. We should doubt the researchers, we should doubt their motives, we should doubt the peer review process.

Doubt is a cornerstone of good science. Skepticism is an essential part of the scientific method.

Having doubted all of these things in relation to global warming I am left with the distinct impression that global warming is very real and very serious. However, as a good skeptic, there is one area in which I have no doubt. I do not doubt the possibility that new research could turn our current understanding on its head - its just that that possibility is, on the balance of the evidence, extremely remote. In the meantime we should proceed on the basis that global warming is a real and present danger.

Oh, and have a look in your dictionary. You will likely find that skepticism and denial are not synonyms. Skeptical? Just go ahead and check.
  • 13

#786161 Banned/Suspended Users

Posted by hypervalent_iodine on 10 January 2014 - 08:34 AM

Earlier today, while I was in between making sandwiches, doing the dishes and pining over strong males that might make my abdomen swell and save me from predators,* I found myself here to observe the proud displays of the mighty SFN males in all of their glory. One particular post really caught my eye, but my poor, feeble female brain was too concerned with squawking at my fellow sandwich-makers to be able to make any sense of it. I reported it to some men to do the real thinking and basically, Dekan, oh dominant one, we think your attitude sucks and you're going on a forced holiday for a week.


tl;dr: Dekan just got himself suspended for a week by a girl. 



*Actually, I hate doing the dishes and I was much too busy doing science to bother with them anyway. 

  • 12

#703083 Proof of God

Posted by Phi for All on 18 September 2012 - 02:42 PM

When you see blind eyes open, you see the cripples walk, you see the leprosy cleansed, and you see them with your own eyes, then it doesn't take a rocket science to figure out that Bible is true.

When you see hundreds of thousands of amputee's prayers go unanswered, and not a single limb is miraculously regrown, then it doesn't take a Christian Scientist to figure out that God isn't healing anybody.
  • 11

#689515 Banned/Suspended Users

Posted by swansont on 9 July 2012 - 10:03 AM

Staff consensus is that the week of July 9 be deemed to be abuse-from-Aethelwulf free. Suspended.
  • 9

#801887 many "senior members" have 4 to 5 sock puppets.

Posted by hypervalent_iodine on 16 April 2014 - 12:11 AM

...I could never imagine one of them using both accounts in the same thread.  




Plot twist: everyone in this thread is the same person.

  • 9