# Removal of the down-vote, yes or no?

• Yes
10
• No
26

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I’m not sure we are able to distinguish between fora in that way. I wish it were more versatile, but it is what it is.

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1 hour ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

I’m not sure we are able to distinguish between fora in that way. I wish it were more versatile, but it is what it is.

From programming point of view, it would take few minutes to implement:

Pseudo-code:

if( get_section( $section_id ) != "Politics" ) { add_vote_up_down(); } In other words, if user is in section different than Politics, buttons for voting are generated and sent to forum user. ps. If you want forum developers to implement feature that you need, you just need to send feature-request to them. Without feature-request they have no idea what is needed, and they do what they want by them self. Edited by Sensei #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites 1 hour ago, Sensei said: From programming point of view, it would take few minutes to implement: Pseudo-code: if( get_section($section_id ) != "Politics" )
{
}

In other words, if user is in section different than Politics, buttons for voting are generated and sent to forum user.

ps. If you want forum developers to implement feature that you need, you just need to send feature-request to them. Without feature-request they have no idea what is needed, and they do what they want by them self.

This assumes you can get in and change the code.

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4 minutes ago, swansont said:

This assumes you can get in and change the code.

Not necessarily actually, if somebody would really really need it.

We can generate to temporary buffer (if somebody used e.g. scrambled/obfuscated code) , instead of directly to stdio, and then analyze that buffer, to remove what is not needed.

In PHP it's done using ob_ (...) functions:

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If a high quality post can be rewarded and a low quality post punished in the hard science forums, it would be strange not to be able to do the same in Politics and Religion.

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I was answering from programmer's point of view, about possibility of implementing the feature, without saying it should be done, or should not be done.

The easiest would be of course write feature request to authors of software. Additionally to exclusion of some sections from voting system, there could be added weighting system e.g. each section vote can have different value to overall ranking. Default is 1:1. But we would like to decrease weight of vote in e.g. jokes section for sure.

Edited by Sensei

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I had made a suggestion a while back but IIRC it wasn't feasible because of a software change requirement or something. Basically it would add points over time to anyone with negative rep, since it seemed new members would tend to get it and not have time to adjust, understand the rules (such as speculating in good faith but in the wrong forum type of thing)

They could be potentially solid members but would carry that negative rep for some time. Maybe if a mod would simply clear it after 30 days they could have a fresh start. It is after all a system where we want members to actually care about to some degree about their score, especially if negative and it is much easier to get negative (just start insulting) than positive (well thought out or helpful) rep.

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1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I had made a suggestion a while back but IIRC it wasn't feasible because of a software change requirement or something. Basically it would add points over time to anyone with negative rep, since it seemed new members would tend to get it and not have time to adjust, understand the rules (such as speculating in good faith but in the wrong forum type of thing)

They could be potentially solid members but would carry that negative rep for some time. Maybe if a mod would simply clear it after 30 days they could have a fresh start. It is after all a system where we want members to actually care about to some degree about their score, especially if negative and it is much easier to get negative (just start insulting) than positive (well thought out or helpful) rep.

I think that puts far too much of a burden on staff. Besides, if a new member is genuinely willing to correct their initial misunderstandings of the forum, then the negative rep they garnered during that time would surely be corrected by positive rep gained naturally through the course of posting, would it not?

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If peer popularity is considered an important factor when people decide what opinions they are going to hold then the voting system is important.

If.

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5 hours ago, NortonH said:

If peer popularity is considered an important factor when people decide what opinions they are going to hold then the voting system is important.

If.

OK, Galileo.

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6 hours ago, hypervalent_iodine said:

I think that puts far too much of a burden on staff. Besides, if a new member is genuinely willing to correct their initial misunderstandings of the forum, then the negative rep they garnered during that time would surely be corrected by positive rep gained naturally through the course of posting, would it not?

Over time it might. Let's say a new member who wants to learn has -10 the first month, but after 6 months is a -15. They have actually improved but the reputation system says otherwise. If you want them to care about rep they would be better off opening a new account.

If I see a good question but know the science is incorrect I never down vote it but some do, especially if the poster has asked a similar question before. I tend to not want to up vote it if the science is incorrect.

If someone is poor mannered they are more likely to get away with it if their science is correct, so a double standard with regard to that seems to be in place.

So yes, ideally they gain it back over time, but I really don't think it happens readily for those just learning. So they can carry negative rep for some time.

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37 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Over time it might. Let's say a new member who wants to learn has -10 the first month, but after 6 months is a -15. They have actually improved but the reputation system says otherwise.

Maybe we should be able to see a graph of changes over time!

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5 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Over time it might. Let's say a new member who wants to learn has -10 the first month, but after 6 months is a -15. They have actually improved but the reputation system says otherwise. If you want them to care about rep they would be better off opening a new account.

If I see a good question but know the science is incorrect I never down vote it but some do, especially if the poster has asked a similar question before. I tend to not want to up vote it if the science is incorrect.

If someone is poor mannered they are more likely to get away with it if their science is correct, so a double standard with regard to that seems to be in place.

So yes, ideally they gain it back over time, but I really don't think it happens readily for those just learning. So they can carry negative rep for some time.

Theoretically, improved quality means more up votes, so increased quality over time will "get rid of" the negative reputation.

It's not an insurmountable task like it would be were we using the old system where a downvote from somebody with enough positive reputation *cough* swansont *cough* would have such a strong effect that the damage to the reputation would be effectively infinite.

And we have both natural and artificial buffers to reputation abuse. Posters notice abuse and often upvote to counteract the unnecessary downvote. Also, we have a special user group that habitual rep abusers get put into.

That being said, staff don't read all threads, so we don't notice all abuse. If you think somebody is abusing the reputation system, report a post that was abused and tell us about it.

A great way to help with both issues is to be very generous with positive rep. A post doesn't need to win a Pulitzer prize to deserve some rep.

On 2/20/2018 at 1:52 PM, Ten oz said:

I have seen features on other sites that list who up or down voted a post. Perhaps that feature here would be a good idea?

The problem there is that it could lead to feuds of reputation abuse. Iirc, we had that sort of problem when you could leave a comment with your rep. Though, that was before I became a demigod.

Just so you know, staff *can* see who reps what posts, and it's not always who you think. For example, a few posts above, one poster got a negative rep and the immediately following post is replying with a snide comment. One might reasonably think that the poster making the snide comment left the rep, but they didn't (I checked).

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On 2/23/2018 at 7:42 PM, iNow said:

If a high quality post can be rewarded and a low quality post punished in the hard science forums, it would be strange not to be able to do the same in Politics and Religion.

The problem is that most of the times in science, you have a correct view based on observational data and you can have a wrong view based on too much tinfoil around the head.

For topics like Politics and Religion, it's not so clear-cut. Which is the better party? Republican or Democrat?  Neither

What is the the speed of light in a vacuum? It's super fast.

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What if we could still negative a post, but it would not count against the poster unless they are currently positive?

That way for new posters you can attack the post, but not the poster. It would give them some level of amnesty. They would still be subject to following the rules, subject to suspensions etc, which I think is generally pretty fairly regulated, but a little more forgiven otherwise.

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Because I am a philosopher, not a scientist, and this is a science forum, I did not feel any obligation to vote on the issue. Most people, who have read my posts already know my view on the "click-it squad".

I would also like to say that I do not see much value in the vote, as the people who are in the forum are reasonably happy with the way the system works, and the people who are not happy with the system have mostly left. So I predict that the vote will be self-confirming and retain the system.

The one point that was brought up in this thread, about people arguing with accepted Science, makes sense to me. I can see that it would be frustrating to have to repeat over and over something that has been well established in Science. In my recent thread, Consciousness and Evolution, I worked through seven pages, seven full pages, before I could get the other members to understand that all life is conscious. There are different levels of consciousness, sentience, awareness, sensing, perceiving, whatever, but it is all consciousness. Even after repeatedly telling them that Science confirms this, and explaining that a biologist, a micro-biologist, and a neurologist all confirmed this, there were still arguments.

One might wonder why I bothered to work so hard on this. It's simple -- I can not demonstrate the possible connection between consciousness and evolution if the other members do not know WTF consciousness actually is, as they tend to confuse it with the rational aspect of mind. The new ideas don't start until page eight and go through to page ten. A ten page thread that, at most, has only three pages of worth.

So I do sympathize with the arguing problem. On the other hand, in Philosophy, it is necessary to know how to make an argument. Telling a philosopher that they must work Philosophy without making an argument is like telling a scientist that they must work Science without using experiments. Absurd. A lot of people in this forum know how to argue, but few know how to make an argument -- with the exception of mathematical arguments.

Would it help to post some instructions on how to make a philosophical argument?

You did ask for opinions, and philosophers always have lots of opinions, so please consider.

There are a lot of posts about new members having problems in the forum. The perception seems to be that new members do not know enough about Science, so they make mistakes until they learn, then their problems with down votes cease. Nonsense. This thinking assumes that new members are uneducated, that they are not professors, scientists, teachers, philosophers, or other educated people. It assumes that new members have nothing to contribute. It also assumes that the old members know more than the new members. I am pretty certain that I know more about consciousness than most members and did when I joined. There may be a few members, who know as much as I do, but I have seen no one who knows more. Of course, you could say that consciousness is not studied in Science as that topic is covered by Philosophy, but there are a surprising number of titles in the Science section with the word "consciousness" in them.

It hasn't been that long since I was a  new member, so I will tell you what I remember.

Notes To Gee:

1. It is OK to insult Religion, Philosophy is just fluff, but do not say anything against Science or you get a down vote.

2. It is always important to be respectful, well mannered and proof your work, but in this forum be very careful how you word things because if it is possible to twist your meaning, someone will and you get a down vote.

3. Tell everyone that you are a scientist, not a philosopher, and deny any belief in "God". (I couldn't do this and got a lot of flack for being a philosopher.)

4. Never complain to a Moderator about a member who has a high rep -- no matter how they are acting. It will backfire.

5. Always agree with the popular opinion -- or DON'T POST. Posting opinions that are unpopular will earn you a down vote.

6. If you ever get three down votes on a post -- GET OUT OF THE THREAD. Tar never learned this one, got about 40 down votes in one thread and left the forum. I will miss him.

7. Avoid the Religion forum as they are all fanatics. Some hate religion, some love religion -- but they are all fanatical about it.

8. Avoid Ethics as that forum can be summed up as "If you would just think like me, act like me, or be like me, you would be ethical." (chuckle) I don't know what maggot in my brain caused me to recently write a thread there, but it didn't work out. I wrote a thread about power and entitled it Powerful Men, Beautiful Women, and Sex. Apparently I did not know that the Powerful Men were being mean to the Beautiful Women Sexually, so it was a thread about sexual harassment. By the bottom of the second page, I apparently was the cause of this harassment. Who knew?

9. Stay away from Politics unless you can think of it as a newspaper and not post.

10. If you ever need a few up votes, go to the Science section, look around for something that interests you, and then profusely thank whoever answered your questions. Sucking up in Science is always good for an up vote.

11. If you found Swansont in a thread in Philosophy, you could often be more open and honest in that thread because people tended to behave when he was around. In this thread, I learned why they behaved. (chuckle) One thing I will say is that Swansont apparently had a lot of power, but I never saw him abuse it and believe he possesses integrity. He is not the only one, and I don't mean to single him out as I see integrity in many members. I just noted early on that people behaved themselves around him.

12. Do not start your own thread. It is suicidal. It is OK to question, but if you start a thread with an idea in mind, you are going to be attacked. For some reason, members in this forum take an original idea as an assault on their authority, so they attack.

If I followed these rules, my rep points went up. It did not have a damned thing to do with learning Science.

Gee

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10 minutes ago, Gees said:

12. Do not start your own thread. It is suicidal. It is OK to question, but if you start a thread with an idea in mind, you are going to be attacked. For some reason, members in this forum take an original idea as an assault on their authority, so they attack.

It is not the function of science to help people to fame, fortune and glory... you've got to earn it by your own efforts or with those who choose to work with you. More realistically, if I present an idea, it is with the desire to have it  tested under adverse questioning to see if it stands up to peer scrutiny... it's called 'peer review'.

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4 hours ago, Gees said:

The perception seems to be that new members do not know enough about Science, so they make mistakes until they learn, then their problems with down votes cease. Nonsense. This thinking assumes that new members are uneducated, that they are not professors, scientists, teachers, philosophers, or other educated people. It assumes that new members have nothing to contribute. It also assumes that the old members know more than the new members.

I do not believe that what was being implied was that all members suffered the types of misunderstandings that led them to gain negative reputation, just that some were.

4 hours ago, Gees said:

It is OK to insult Religion, Philosophy is just fluff, but do not say anything against Science or you get a down vote.

This is distinctly not okay, and is prohibited by our forum rules. If people are being insulting (note: not simply critical), then staff want to know about that so that it may be dealt with. We try to be as objective as possible in these matters, and have closed threads down in the past that we felt were written to incite those of religious persuasion (for example).

I will not deny that this forum has a lot of people who share the same or similar opinions on a lot of things, and that it can occasionally produce some bias in the way rep points are given out. I am not sure that is that pervasive of an issue, but I accept your viewpoint.

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StringJunky;;

Hi.

4 hours ago, StringJunky said:

It is not the function of science to help people to fame, fortune and glory... you've got to earn it by your own efforts or with those who choose to work with you. More realistically, if I present an idea, it is with the desire to have it  tested under adverse questioning to see if it stands up to peer scrutiny... it's called 'peer review'.

That's OK. I wouldn't know what to do with "fame, fortune and glory". (chuckle)  I have met other people who have that ambition in assorted forums, but it does not bother me to help them. Some have asked to use my ideas and words in their various books or blogs or whatever, and I tell them to go ahead and use it if it will help, just try to not corrupt it. When I put an idea in a forum, I see it as being public knowledge from that point on.

As far as "peer review" is concerned, do I even have peers in this forum? There are not many philosophers here. There used to be, because I remember reading older threads when I first started here, but I do not see much concerning Philosophy recently. Most threads are a comparison between Science and Philosophy, not actually working threads that are the subject matter of Philosophy.

I would welcome some "peer review" as it regards consciousness, as I still have a great deal to learn. The problem that I am running into is that people want to critique my ideas, but they do not have the background to do so, and they also want to down vote anything that they do not understand. I only have 30 points, which is the most I have ever had, so if I write a thread and people down vote it, then I write another and people down vote it, I could very quickly find myself in the red with no credibility.

I have already walked away from some of my own threads and left them incomplete. It is not "peer review" that makes me walk away, because I can argue my points and eventually people will see what I am talking about, or I will learn something -- but I can not make the down votes disappear after I have finally made the members understand my position. I tend to have complex ideas that are multi-layered and hard to follow, especially if the other parties do not have the background that I do. This is no one's fault, but it does make the up-down voting system a problem.

I can write threads that are fun and very interesting, lots of them, but the trade off is losing my credibility. Or I can not write threads and retain my credibility. Not much of a choice.

Gee

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3 hours ago, Gees said:

As far as "peer review" is concerned, do I even have peers in this forum? There are not many philosophers here. There used to be, because I remember reading older threads when I first started here, but I do not see much concerning Philosophy recently. Most threads are a comparison between Science and Philosophy, not actually working threads that are the subject matter of Philosophy.

I would welcome some "peer review" as it regards consciousness, as I still have a great deal to learn.

I never had an interest in Philosophy and actually all the subjects I loved in school were because the teachers of said subject was cool rational and patient.

After reading some of your posts and this peer review part it made me want to include philosophy and subjects related to it in my short reading time. Give me a few years  and I will come back and try to peer review.

About "Notes to Gee" I agree with some but I have also seen people being against the grain and thinking and airing their own independent ideas. Even if maybe they are not correct, the members were explaining them in a logical polite manner and they were getting support with the additional corrections if needed.(this is a unicorn scenario but it happens.)

Don't loose faith. This forum is gaining traction. I'm sure there will be people you will be able to have a fruitful conversation with  in the Philosophy section.

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Truth be told, I never had much use for philosophy or philosophers, but I have managed to learn a few things on this forum.
Eise managed to teach me the purpose of philosophy and earned a great deal of my respect. He knows his physics as well as philosophy.
You don't post nearly as much, Gees, but I do agree with a lot of your ideas, including the above list, but maybe not so much the severity of the problems.
YDon't be discouraged, your opinions are appreciated, and the rest of us may actually learn something.

Even in your thread 'Powerful men, Beautiful women and Sex', I agreed with a lot of your opinions,
But I do understand your frustration, and you're right, it seems to happen much more in the 'opinion' oriented fora like politics and religion.
Recently two well respected members, Zapatos and Arete, earned down-votes for their opinions about gun ownership, because others disagreed with their opinions and 'ganged up' on them.
I would think, Hyper, that the reason we have so many members who think alike is because the ones who have different opinions are made to feel unwelcome, and eventually leave.
And maybe not always, but sometimes it is our loss.

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42 minutes ago, MigL said:

Truth be told, I never had much use for philosophy or philosophers, but I have managed to learn a few things on this forum.
Eise managed to teach me the purpose of philosophy and earned a great deal of my respect. He knows his physics as well as philosophy.
You don't post nearly as much, Gees, but I do agree with a lot of your ideas, including the above list, but maybe not so much the severity of the problems.
YDon't be discouraged, your opinions are appreciated, and the rest of us may actually learn something.

Even in your thread 'Powerful men, Beautiful women and Sex', I agreed with a lot of your opinions,
But I do understand your frustration, and you're right, it seems to happen much more in the 'opinion' oriented fora like politics and religion.
Recently two well respected members, Zapatos and Arete, earned down-votes for their opinions about gun ownership, because others disagreed with their opinions and 'ganged up' on them.
I would think, Hyper, that the reason we have so many members who think alike is because the ones who have different opinions are made to feel unwelcome, and eventually leave.
And maybe not always, but sometimes it is our loss.

I feel the most unwelcome posts often have a few features in common, including strong assertion of opinions or badly sourced information as fact and  being combative without providing sources. Quite frequently folks jump the gun when e.e. well-rehashed conspiracy or crackpot theories are mentioned, though most back off when the poster indicates that they are genuinely misinformed and are willing to take another look at things.  What I also noticed is that seemingly the forum is also not very welcoming to female posters.

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50 minutes ago, MigL said:

Truth be told, I never had much use for philosophy or philosophers, but I have managed to learn a few things on this forum.
Eise managed to teach me the purpose of philosophy and earned a great deal of my respect. He knows his physics as well as philosophy.
You don't post nearly as much, Gees, but I do agree with a lot of your ideas, including the above list, but maybe not so much the severity of the problems.
YDon't be discouraged, your opinions are appreciated, and the rest of us may actually learn something.

Even in your thread 'Powerful men, Beautiful women and Sex', I agreed with a lot of your opinions,
But I do understand your frustration, and you're right, it seems to happen much more in the 'opinion' oriented fora like politics and religion.
Recently two well respected members, Zapatos and Arete, earned down-votes for their opinions about gun ownership, because others disagreed with their opinions and 'ganged up' on them.
I would think, Hyper, that the reason we have so many members who think alike is because the ones who have different opinions are made to feel unwelcome, and eventually leave.
And maybe not always, but sometimes it is our loss.

I’ve known people here who left on their own while having virtually only up votes to their account with a ratio of posts to upvotes 2:1. They leave mainly because of politics being a big part of scienceforums and not because they got a lot of downvotes. On the other hand, the ones who left or got thrown out with a lot of downvotes were not the people I would like to learn anything from. What Im saying is, the downvotes are not an issue in this case.

Edited by koti

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4 minutes ago, koti said:

I’ve known people here who left on their own while having virtually only up votes to their account with a ratio of posts to upvotes 2:1. They leave mainly because of politics being a big part of scienceforums and not because they got a lot of downvotes.

Isn't that like saying you're going to stop listening to radio because there's a station you don't like?

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9 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Isn't that like saying you're going to stop listening to radio because there's a station you don't like?

Yep, that's why I added: "On the other hand, the ones who left or got thrown out with a lot of downvotes were not the people I would like to learn anything from"
Still, this whole downvote thing is not not something I would defend with my life...I'd be just concerned that if we get rid of them, Janus's posts or yours for that matter would get lost in a sea of idiots who would feel more encouraged.

Edited by koti

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