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Site organisation and "view posts" lists
#1
Would it be possible to offer those who are primarily interested in psi the option of viewing new/today's/unread posts only in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum (and maybe the Forum Guidelines forum too)? At the moment, "Alternative Views" is looming quite large. (Admittedly I have occasionally dipped into these, but I do find them a bit depressing at times.)

Also, regarding site organisation, could I suggest the following?
(1) Skeptic v. Proponent discussions are mostly about psi, so would be better in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum, and
(2) It might be useful to divide "Alternative Views" into those that involve psi/consciousness (e.g. evolution) and those that don't (e.g. vaccination, electric universe).
"There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth."
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#2
(12-18-2017, 07:18 PM)Chris Wrote: Would it be possible to offer those who are primarily interested in psi the option of viewing new/today's/unread posts only in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum (and maybe the Forum Guidelines forum too)? At the moment, "Alternative Views" is looming quite large. (Admittedly I have occasionally dipped into these, but I do find them a bit depressing at times.)
You mean that you don't even wanna see if a post, or a thread, is created in the Alternative Views-subforum? Hmm, I don't know if you can block parts of the forum so they don't show up in Today's Post. Isn't it just easier to ignore those posts/threads if you don't wanna read them?


(12-18-2017, 07:18 PM)Chris Wrote: Also, regarding site organisation, could I suggest the following?
(1) Skeptic v. Proponent discussions are mostly about psi, so would be better in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum, and
(2) It might be useful to divide "Alternative Views" into those that involve psi/consciousness (e.g. evolution) and those that don't (e.g. vaccination, electric universe).

1) I think it would be better to create a PSI-Discussions subforum under Skeptic v. Proponent if people feel it necessary to categorize it further.
2) What are the main-topics discussed there? If there is a clear distinction between topics we can maybe create some subforums on popular subjects.
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#3
(12-18-2017, 10:56 PM)Pollux Wrote: You mean that you don't even wanna see if a post, or a thread, is created in the Alternative Views-subforum? Hmm, I don't know if you can block parts of the forum so they don't show up in Today's Post. Isn't it just easier to ignore those posts/threads if you don't wanna read them?

Well, when we were discussing whether and where conspiracy theories and the like should be discussed a few months ago, some people (including some "Founders") seemed to think it would be good for the site to be identified with psi, rather than displaying to visitors a lot of stuff about conspiracy theories. In fact most people voted for a tougher line than I did - to hide the conspiracy theory stuff completely. But now we have conspiracy theory stuff about vaccines on the main page. Really, I think what I'm suggesting is a milder version of what most people voted for then.
"There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth."
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#4
(12-18-2017, 11:53 PM)Chris Wrote: Well, when we were discussing whether and where conspiracy theories and the like should be discussed a few months ago, some people (including some "Founders") seemed to think it would be good for the site to be identified with psi, rather than displaying to visitors a lot of stuff about conspiracy theories. In fact most people voted for a tougher line than I did - to hide the conspiracy theory stuff completely. But now we have conspiracy theory stuff about vaccines on the main page. Really, I think what I'm suggesting is a milder version of what most people voted for then.

It would be interesting to hear what other members think of these proposals. And also hear from the fellow-admins.
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#5
(12-18-2017, 07:18 PM)Chris Wrote: Would it be possible to offer those who are primarily interested in psi the option of viewing new/today's/unread posts only in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum (and maybe the Forum Guidelines forum too)? At the moment, "Alternative Views" is looming quite large. (Admittedly I have occasionally dipped into these, but I do find them a bit depressing at times.)

All of this is possible given enough motivation to hack the forum's source code, but without going to that extreme, it seems - based on my limited knowledge - that the best we can achieve is to set a global list of forums which will not show up when clicking "View Unread Posts". I don't see any similar configuration options for "View [New/Today's] Posts", but I may just be missing them.

I think we would need a general consensus before making such a global (as opposed to per-user) change.

(12-18-2017, 07:18 PM)Chris Wrote: Also, regarding site organisation, could I suggest the following?
(1) Skeptic v. Proponent discussions are mostly about psi, so would be better in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena forum, and

I think we could certainly discuss this. You present a reasonable argument in favour. One argument against is that threads in this debating forum needn't be solely about psi - they could also be about such related topics such as materialism vs. dualism/idealism, etc.

(12-18-2017, 07:18 PM)Chris Wrote: (2) It might be useful to divide "Alternative Views" into those that involve psi/consciousness (e.g. evolution) and those that don't (e.g. vaccination, electric universe).

Ian drafted some guidelines on this, which so far have received no objection: How to navigate creating threads about science and scientific controversies on PQ

In particular, regarding the vaccination thread, this seems to apply:

Quote:A new hidden subforum has been created in Other Topics, "Non-Psi-Related Scientific Controversies", following a proposal of Vortex's. This subforum has been created to discuss scientific controversies that aren't directly or indirectly related to psi, and that are also sociopolitically-related and tendentious.

[...]

d) Threads about non-psi-related science topics that are or easily become sociopolitically-related or sociopolitically controversial can and should go into this new, hidden subforum (E.g. global warming.) (If you are unsure, ask yourself if the forum members who are not interested in non-psi political discussions or conspiracy theories would like to view these threads, and post accordingly. Global warming and other such non-psi topics can quickly descend into political battlegrounds and that should be the guiding principle here.)

Strictly, then, it seems that the vaccination thread should be moved to the hidden Non-Psi-Related Scientific Controversies forum. My main concern about doing so this late is that the thread probably has several{*} participants who may not have joined those hidden forums, so this would effectively remove them from the conversation (unless they chose to join the hidden forums). I'm not sure though that this concern should prevent us from taking the action we implied that we would in these cases ("Moderators & admins reserve the right to move threads on these topics if they feel they are misplaced" - again, from Ian's guideline post linked above).

{*} Edited to add: skimming through the thread and comparing with the hidden forums' membership list, I find that there are seven such participants.
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#6
Unfortunately I didn't pay attention when the Vaccines thread got posted, but yes it doesn't belong there, as Laird has stated. There is this point too, defining what the Alt Views on Science sub-forum should contain, in the thread mentioned by Laird:


Quote:b) Threads about science topics that relate indirectly to psi, spirituality and metaphysics (cosmology, evolution, possibly others) can and should go into Alternative Views on Science. (E.g. threads about intelligent design.)

Also, that subforum already has similar wording in its description. Non-psi medical topics like vaccines clearly don't belong there.

I'm in favour of moving that thread to the relevant forum, and having the members who've posted in it join the hidden forum if they wish to continue in that discussion. (If judged to be non-controversial, it should have been posted in Other Topics, not Alt Views on Science, as the relevant thread explains.)

I've been busy and not always as present as I could here recently, but I'll try to be more vigilant about what gets posted where.

I'm also in favour of keeping the Skeptics vs. Proponents subforum outside of the ECP, for reasons already stated, and also because it would screw up the philosophy behind setting up the ECP forum as separate from such debates in the first place.
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#7
(12-19-2017, 02:55 AM)Ninshub Wrote: I'm also in favour of keeping the Skeptics vs. Proponents subforum outside of the ECP, for reasons already stated, and also because it would screw up the philosophy behind setting up the ECP forum as separate from such debates in the first place.

Right, I'd temporarily forgotten that ECP is supposed to be a space where general arguments against (debunking of) psi, etc, are not permitted, only arguments against the specific paper/scenario under discussion in any given thread. As it's put in the rules:

Quote:The skeptic/proponent divide question. This forum is open to both proponents and those who are traditionally called "skeptics". Said skeptics are allowed to participate on all the forums and sub-forums. However, when an individual does not accept the anomalous nature of any of the various phenomena in the Extended Consciousness Phenomena (ECP) forum, and when the intent is strictly to "debunk", that type of post should be reserved for the Skeptic vs Proponent Discussions sub-forum (or at least kept out of the ECP forum), so that proponents can have space to have discussions that extend beyond the "is it real or not real?" variety without unwanted and derailing interventions.

To be a bit more specific: in general, if a skeptic wants to engage a discussion at a “proponent vs. skeptic level”, then it would be better to do so in the Skeptic vs. Proponent Discussions sub-forum. Again, that does not mean "skeptics" cannot post on the ECP forum, for example to discuss a specific case or article, but not if the discussion's objective - let's say it's about NDEs - is to argue from there that extended consciousness is not involved in NDEs in the first place. That kind of post would best be suited to the Skeptic vs. Proponent Discussions sub-forum.
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#8
(12-19-2017, 02:01 AM)Laird Wrote: In particular, regarding the vaccination thread, this seems to apply:


Strictly, then, it seems that the vaccination thread should be moved to the hidden Non-Psi-Related Scientific Controversies forum. My main concern about doing so this late is that the thread probably has several{*} participants who may not have joined those hidden forums, so this would effectively remove them from the conversation (unless they chose to join the hidden forums). I'm not sure though that this concern should prevent us from taking the action we implied that we would in these cases ("Moderators & admins reserve the right to move threads on these topics if they feel they are misplaced" - again, from Ian's guideline post linked above).

{*} Edited to add: skimming through the thread and comparing with the hidden forums' membership list, I find that there are seven such participants.

If I remember correctly, the option I voted for previously was not to have conspiracy theories/politics hidden altogether, but just not to have the new posts displayed on the main page. So I wasn't trying to suggest the vaccination thread should be hidden, just that it and similar discussions shouldn't be so prominent on the site. However, if it involves a significant amount of work I can see that's a problem. Anyway, it was just a thought.
"There are more things in philosophy than are dreamt of in heaven and earth."
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#9
I thought the distinction between what got hidden or not was based on whether the discussion was "heavily sociopolitical" rather than scientific. That is, "the influenza vaccine is a eugenics program and you are a pharma shill" is hidden, and "changes in baseline rates of ILI between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations do not affect VE" is not. Instead, it seems that there are subjects which the mods regard as "heavily sociopolitical" regardless.

Cold fusion and Intelligent Design are okay, vaccines are not? I find that I cannot guess as to which subjects are on the naughty list. Would it be possible for you guys to share the list with us? That seems like the easiest solution. 

Linda
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#10
(12-19-2017, 08:16 AM)Chris Wrote: If I remember correctly, the option I voted for previously was not to have conspiracy theories/politics hidden altogether, but just not to have the new posts displayed on the main page. So I wasn't trying to suggest the vaccination thread should be hidden, just that it and similar discussions shouldn't be so prominent on the site. However, if it involves a significant amount of work I can see that's a problem. Anyway, it was just a thought.

Fair enough. I think you're happy though that discussion of HIV/AIDS has been moved into the hidden "Non-Psi-Related Scientific Controversies" forum?

In any case, I'll keep in mind this feature request of yours and if motivation allows will see if I can hack it into the MyBB core/plugin code. And of course if anybody else wants to do that in the meantime, then please go ahead.
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