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md65536

Why are topics closed so abruptly?

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For example, a post on SR that was moved to speculations was closed recently. The reply immediately before it was closed was from someone asking questions to OP.

The problem is that the topic was closed only due to OP's behavior, but there were other people in the thread. This suggests that OP "owns" a bad topic, even if others are discussing reasonably.

It would be nice to instead see a warning, like "Stop posting what you're posting. You have a chance to answer questions others have asked. If you don't take it, the thread will be closed." Or a warning to others: "Don't bother asking any questions, we're not giving OP more chances to answer."

Even if all indications are that anyone else posting in the thread is having their time wasted, it's still good to know whether our questions or corrections or suggestions made any difference.

 

If closing a topic is justified, the note about its closing could address everyone participating in the discussion.

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5 minutes ago, md65536 said:

The problem is that the topic was closed only due to OP's behavior, but there were other people in the thread. This suggests that OP "owns" a bad topic, even if others are discussing reasonably.

I would say that a thread in Speculations is "owned" by the OP. The purpose of such a thread is for the OP to present, and defend, their idea. It is not a general free-for-all general discussion of related topics. If they are not willing to engage, or they otherwise break the rules, then the thread will be closed.

Quote

It would be nice to instead see a warning, like "Stop posting what you're posting. You have a chance to answer questions others have asked. If you don't take it, the thread will be closed." 

That is usually the case. But in the case of flagrant violations of the rules, we reserve the right to just shut things down. If I am guessing correctly which thread you are talking about, I think sufficient members involved in the discussion had complained about the fact that the OP lecturing, rather than discussing or answering questions that it was reasonable to close it. The OP had had several months, 124 posts and 5 pages in which to answer questions instead of treating the forum like a blog.

13 minutes ago, md65536 said:

Or a warning to others: "Don't bother asking any questions, we're not giving OP more chances to answer."

The only way of enforcing that is to close the thread. It is not always explicitly stated, but there is a general principle that the OP cannot start another thread on the same topic.

14 minutes ago, md65536 said:

Even if all indications are that anyone else posting in the thread is having their time wasted, it's still good to know whether our questions or corrections or suggestions made any difference.

If other people's posts haven't changed the OP's attitude after 5 months, I'm not sure that giving them a couple more days would make much difference.

If people think that there was some aspect of the discussion worth pursuing, they are free to open a new thread to discuss that.

15 minutes ago, md65536 said:

If closing a topic is justified, the note about its closing could address everyone participating in the discussion.

If everyone (or many people) have contributed to the thread being closed (eg. because it has degenerated into an exchange of insults) then the note will address all those people.

In the case of a thread like this, the problem is entirely the OP's behaviour and so the note is addressed to them.

Note that we also get complaints about letting threads go on for too long, even when it is clear they are not going anywhere.

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41 minutes ago, md65536 said:

For example, a post on SR that was moved to speculations was closed recently. The reply immediately before it was closed was from someone asking questions to OP.

You mean the SR thread that was on its sixth page and was started in Nov of last year?

The one where a number of people, including myself, were begging the OP to stop with their delay tactics and get to the point?

 

41 minutes ago, md65536 said:

The problem is that the topic was closed only due to OP's behavior, but there were other people in the thread. This suggests that OP "owns" a bad topic, even if others are discussing reasonably.

As Strange has already noted, that's precisely how threads are treated, and more so in speculations. Going off on a tangent to have a discussion of some other point is hijacking. Tangents that persist more than a post or two are usually split off, or trashed (and possibly a warning issued) if it's egregious.

The way it's supposed to work is that the OP posts something, and you respond to the OP.  You're not supposed to raise questions not directed at the OP, other than clarification of answers already given. In speculations this is especially important, because the OP is typically introducing a new take on some science, and nobody else has insight into their thinking. People butting in to start new discussions will sidetrack things pretty quickly.

 

41 minutes ago, md65536 said:

It would be nice to instead see a warning, like "Stop posting what you're posting. You have a chance to answer questions others have asked. If you don't take it, the thread will be closed." Or a warning to others: "Don't bother asking any questions, we're not giving OP more chances to answer."

A lot of times we do this. People were begging the OP to answer their questions and get to the point for some time. Plus, the OP posted their "last post on this topic" twice.

This would seem to be a Fletch/Mr. Babar definition of sudden.

 

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it's a shame about the thread.
Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To be closed so suddenly like that.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, it was dying for months.
Fletch: Sure, but... the end was really... very sudden.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: It was in intensive care for eight weeks!
Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when it was actually closed. That was extremely sudden!

 

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Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy and others before them

The dustbin of History.

 

Rest assured that thread is now in the right place.

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2 hours ago, swansont said:

This would seem to be a Fletch/Mr. Babar definition of sudden.

 

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it's a shame about the thread.
Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To be closed so suddenly like that.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: Ahh, it was dying for months.
Fletch: Sure, but... the end was really... very sudden.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: It was in intensive care for eight weeks!
Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when it was actually closed. That was extremely sudden!

I think that makes me Dr Jellyfinger. In the future, I'll try not to use the whole fist.

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I agree that shutting it down was justified, but it went from indulging OP's avoidance of simple questions, to brushing off everyone's questions, with no warning and nothing in between. A warning a few pages earlier could have prevented both rambling posts AND people bothering to continue asking serious questions.

Also, the topic was started in Relativity I think, and I was reading it only through notifications of replies. I didn't see any indication that it was moved to Speculations, and that replies were no longer considered worth anything.

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Is it acceptable for someone involved in the thread who wishes to continue, to simply open the same (or a similar) thread?

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7 hours ago, zapatos said:

Is it acceptable for someone involved in the thread who wishes to continue, to simply open the same (or a similar) thread?

I think it depends. If it has been closed because the subject was inappropriate or was of a nature that led to bad behaviour by all participants, then no.

If it was in Speculations, would someone else really want to take over the job of arguing for  a personal theory (given that almost all such theories in Speculations are nonsensical to some degree).

But if the thread was closed just because of the OP's behaviour or if some interesting question warranted further discussion, then quite possibly yes.

 

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12 hours ago, Phi for All said:

I think that makes me Dr Jellyfinger. In the future, I'll try not to use the whole fist.

<sings “Moon River”>

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