Author Topic: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?  (Read 20662 times)

drnihili

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2011, 04:25:15 AM »

I would like to propose a compromise:  Perhaps an improved way to reduce antagonism and hostility is to have those who cannot behave themselves be banned quicker and for a longer period of time.

There are many forums that do not permit public commentary on specific moderator actions, and for good reason.

It is, of course, always possible to run a forum by unquestioned force rather than reason.  I've never been much impressed by the result, but it does keep things quieter.  I would just add that if this is the direction taken, it is crucial to ban the subtle antagonists just as quickly and lengthily as the more overt ones.  Otherwise they'll just stir up trouble with someone else.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 02:22:49 PM by drnihili »

drnihili

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2011, 02:31:47 PM »
One other consideration:

Why is it important to move the bowline discussion to the theory section, what is gained by doing so?

Moving threads typically serves one of two purposes on a forum.  Either it reduces clutter or it puts a thread where it is more likely to get a helpful response.

This board doesn't have a clutter problem.  It takes a month for a thread to work it's way off the front page of the Practical forum, longer in others.  I can't see a credible argument that having the bowline thread in the practical forum in any way undermined anyone's ability to find threads they were interested in.

The thread was receiving lots of responses while in the practical forum.  It didn't suffer at all from not being in the technical forum as near as I can see.

This board as a whole gets sufficiently little traffic that I'm not at all sure it's worth trying to segregate out conceptual discussion.  Sure, you may want a separate forum for mathy talk, nobody wants to see that out in public (kidding).  But why the insistence on putting anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper off in their own corner, what purpose does that serve, how does it improve the forum?

SS369

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2011, 03:17:42 PM »
Had the "theory" board been named "Knotting Concepts and Explorations", I think that it would have been so much nicer and maybe even self generating logically, to move the insulting  OP's thread.

I personally enjoyed the discussion's wider range, and these are discussions only (till it became nasty), but I do think there comes a time to track back to the intent of the thread.

Better it would have been for member input to steer this to happen than to demand movement and derail the intelligent inputs, by a few, and manifest a totally off knot discussion of epic proportions.
I'd say that if you aren't contributing to the betterment of the thread then you are indeed part of the challenge.
Silence can be golden indeed.

The moderators are here for some things, but imho, the members hold the key to better relationships/discussions.

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roo

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2011, 04:30:18 PM »
Why is it important to move the bowline discussion to the theory section, what is gained by doing so?

Moving threads typically serves one of two purposes on a forum.  Either it reduces clutter or it puts a thread where it is more likely to get a helpful response.

This board doesn't have a clutter problem.  It takes a month for a thread to work it's way off the front page of the Practical forum, longer in others.  I can't see a credible argument that having the bowline thread in the practical forum in any way undermined anyone's ability to find threads they were interested in.

The thread was receiving lots of responses while in the practical forum.  It didn't suffer at all from not being in the technical forum as near as I can see.

This board as a whole gets sufficiently little traffic that I'm not at all sure it's worth trying to segregate out conceptual discussion.  Sure, you may want a separate forum for mathy talk, nobody wants to see that out in public (kidding).  But why the insistence on putting anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper off in their own corner, what purpose does that serve, how does it improve the forum?
Some people are only interested in practical knotting solutions and are not interested in theory, or fighting over definitions, or decorative knots, or computer code (yes, we've had that).  They use the forum categories as filters.  The practical-minded folks expect to get practical discussions when they click on the latest reply.  And if the misplaced topic gets numerous responses, the situation rapidly becomes worse.  With every trip to the forum you'll have all the latest replies in your category of interest having nothing to do with that category.

It's just rude and completely avoidable.
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knot4u

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2011, 08:47:20 PM »
Why is it important to move the bowline discussion to the theory section, what is gained by doing so?

The gain is an organized forum having threads in their proper subject classification.  This forum is not the center of the world.  It's not the duty of the public to spend hours here just to understand the actual intention of each sub-forum.  The sub-forums should deliver as advertised so people can go where they want quickly and efficiently like normal, logical people.

I imagine someone who wants to study Knot Theory would want to read the Bowline thread at issue here.  Meanwhile, the Bowline thread is less suited for somebody who specifically wants to study the practical use of knots in real world applications.  Misplacing the Bowline thread is a disservice to both of these people.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 09:04:12 PM by knot4u »

Sweeney

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2011, 09:37:04 PM »
I imagine someone who wants to study Knot Theory would want to read the Bowline thread at issue here.  Meanwhile, the Bowline thread is less suited for somebody who specifically wants to study the practical use of knots in real world applications.  Misplacing the Bowline thread is a disservice to both of these people.

The difference between finding one thread or another is but one mouse click at the end of the day. I started knotting by accident in 1981. I was in my local library looking for a book on textiles for my daughter who was doing a school project and found "Knots, Splices and Fancy Work " by C L Spencer classified as a textile reference book (I understand ropemaking would have been properly placed in this section hence the error). Having borrowed the book (and subsequently bought it and many others) I developed my current interest. So pure luck led to my being here now and I can hardly blame Stockport library for doing me a disservice. Had there been PCs back then I could have found anything in seconds via Google without leaving my chair so although I think the bowline thread could have been better placed the scale of the argument about where it (or any other thread) should go leaves me cold I'm afraid. If I had to walk about a mile in the rain then I would feel aggrieved if somebody had put a book back in the wrong place - it's all too easy these days!

Barry
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 09:38:44 PM by Sweeney »

knot4u

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2011, 10:42:07 PM »
....although I think the bowline thread could have been better placed...

That really is the bottom line.  Either the Bowline thread belongs in the Practical Knots Forum or it doesn't.  If the thread can be better placed (as you admit), then it should be moved, right?  It's not the job of the forum to play God and force people to stumble upon a thread on which all lowly earthlings should be educated.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 10:52:09 PM by knot4u »

DDK

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2011, 04:08:07 AM »
. . . Why is it important to move the bowline discussion to the theory section, what is gained by doing so? . . .

Thought experiment: Move all of the existing threads to random boards and then ask what would be gained by moving them to a specific board based on their content.  I can think of a number of important things which would be gained.  I would like to again urge that we not try to reinvent the wheel, asking such questions, apparently, as why do forums have subcategories and why are they useful.

By the way, where does one place the next thread of the sort "What defines a Clove Hitch (or whatever)?" ?  It seems to me that placing it in the same board with "What defines a Bowline?" would be reasonable.  The (im)proper placement of threads is self-perpetuating - less we forget.  And the forum members can even learn where to place threads which have "fuzzy" topics if they are willing to take heed of the wise, impartial and considered decisions of their moderators.

DDK
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 04:50:00 AM by DDK »

Sweeney

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2011, 11:10:22 AM »
It's not the job of the forum to play God and force people to stumble upon a thread on which all lowly earthlings should be educated.

The placement of a thread is basically irrelevant in an electronic system.  We have a forum search engine and Google. But far more important is that the title accurately reflects the (intended) discussion otherwise the substance will be lost wherever it is. I would like to see moderators taking a much more active interest in thread (re)naming rather than what is fast becoming an obsession among posters about moving threads. That is where people will miss out on useful discussions.

Barry

SS369

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2011, 02:50:22 PM »
I would recommend that we as knot enthusiasts carry on with discussions of knots, etc.  Let the threads develop and potentially terminate by natural order, then, if not placed correctly, then move it should it need to be moved.
Unless it is blatantly in the wrong place at the start.

It is far worse to kill a thread by arguing about its placement than it being in the wrong place.

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roo

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2011, 04:35:11 PM »
The placement of a thread is basically irrelevant in an electronic system.
I strongly disagree.  When someone clicks on the Practical Knot forum, they should get practicality.  We have categories for a reason, even in this electronic system.

Quote
We have a forum search engine and Google.
This makes up a small minority of traffic, and is certainly not the preferred method of navigation.  

Quote
I would like to see moderators taking a much more active interest in thread (re)naming
Since category placement says a lot about the content of the thread, one could see the act of moving a thread as equivalent to renaming a thread, at least in part.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 04:36:52 PM by roo »
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drnihili

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2011, 11:35:39 PM »
I have to say that not only do I disagree with roo, knot4u and DDK regarding their response to my previous post, but I think they all missed the gist of what I was asking.

Yes, it's important for a forum to be well organized.  Members should be able to find what they're looking for in as straightforward a fashion as is reasonably possible.  But that doesn't say much of anything about whether that thread should be moved.  The fact is that this board is small enough that it's not hard to find anything.  No matter where threads land, it does not take hours (as knot4u suggests) to search through the subforums.  Some reasonable organization is a good thing, but that doesn't mean it is critical that every thread be optimally placed, adequate placement is sufficient.  knot4u's dichotomy that the bowline thread either belonged in the practical forum or it didn't is false.  Belonging in a forum isn't nearly so black and white, nor should our response be.

roo is quite correct that some people are only interested in practical knotting and nothing else, but so what?  Similarly, some people don't want to read threads about climbing knots.  That doesn't mean we are obligated to oblige them by creating a separate climbing forum and moving every thread that so much as mentions a climbing knot to that forum so they don't have to see it.  People are just going to have to deal with occasionally seeing threads that don't interest them.  This only becomes an issue of forum management when it becomes difficult for people to find what they are interested in.  This forum isn't anywhere near that threshold.

DDK's thought experiment is interesting and does show why some adherence to topicality in subforums is important.  We certainly don't want the vast majority of threads randomly place.  But it's also irrelevant to the current discussion.  The question isn't whether threads should be placed randomly but whether they should be always be moved when their original placement is less than optimal. 

So back to the gist of my question, as expressed in the last line.  "why the insistence on putting anyone who wants to dig a bit deeper off in their own corner, what purpose does that serve, how does it improve the forum?"  Given the low traffic level in this forum, I don't see any gain in segregating conceptual discussion.  Quite to the contrary, I think the forums would be enriched by not doing so. 


agent_smith

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2011, 02:11:27 AM »
Quote
NB:  the OP --viz., Agent_Smith-- has not been active since posting
early, and is not part of the Where...? debate.  But, in any case,
we should want some better guidelines on where things belong,
and only be moving threads that pretty clearly are misplaced.

I haven't been active due to two main factors:
1. Work commitments; and
2. Once discussions start to degenerate - I tend to shy away.

I do think that this forum could use better naming conventions.
If the 'theory' sub-forum had been named something like; < Technical Discussion on Knots:- structure, topology, loading characteristics, and exploring concepts >  I would have posted the Bowline topic there and then in an instant!

The term 'Knot theory and computing' - is too wide (and nebulous)- and implies a mathematical, programmatic discussion.

Thats why I originally posted the Bowline thread where I did - because that was the best 'fit' I could surmise at the time.

In any case, there was some real genius being revealed in that thread - and I still want to try to piece all the knowledge together and find a unified and coherent description of what constitutes a Bowline.

Look, xarax is a passionate man - and passion drives innovation. Sometimes however, passion can evolve into raw emotion. When this forum renames its sub-forum categories with more logical and well defined titles - all of these problems will disappear. I think xarax will make a return and then Dan Lehman and Derek Smith and others will continue their marvelous work and contribution to world knowledge.

[ ] Technical Discussion on Knots:- Structure, topology, loading characteristics and exploration of concepts
[ ] Practical Applications of Knots:- Real world solutions to everyday problems
[ ] Computational theory of Knots:- Programming, math, ?
[ ] Chit Chat (you can talk about anything in here):- Hmmmmmmmm, never did like this title and the fact that you could talk about "anything" - needs to be re-titled to better underscore what is really intended in this category
[ ] Decorative and artistic knots (self explanatory)

Mark

Dan_Lehman

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2011, 04:58:57 AM »
The placement of a thread is basically irrelevant in an electronic system.
We have a forum search engine and Google.

I, too, quite disagree : e.g., take a look at www.supertopo.com forum (no plurality!)
and contrast it with www.rockclinbing.com forumS (Beginners, Gearheads, TheLab,
Trad, Sport ...).  One doesn't always have success even if using a Search (there
are frequent remarks about this on RC.com, when folks are flamed for having
asked an oft'-asked question), and there are times when one isn't looking for
some specific topic but just browsing --and it's a bother browsing both with
many unrelated subjects AND few-listings-per-page (though e.g. www.ukclimbing
has long pages so that's less an issue).

Elsewhere (Fancy knots), Drnihili wonders about a list of ABOK  errors;
I think that a Search for that, under Chit-Chat (only ... at the time), will find
my postings (my list in 3 installments, was it?).  (To the particular knot
at question, though, I don't recall that being among what I found or
found that others had found --just don't recall it.)


As for What is gained by moving the classifying-a-*bowline* thread? ,
again, I say that strength/vitality is given rightfully to the other,
to-be-renamed forum; it can provide some motivation to get more
active in that exploration of fundamental ideas.  (And we know that
some pure research can lead to applications; theory can feed praxis.)

Meanwhile, I hope we can quickly dispense of the now vogue act
of questioning every thread's placement, which was at first done
provocatively.  Let's not play the game If it's not perfect, then it
can't be right!


 - - - - - - -

Maybe (for want of better, yet?) "Knotting Concepts & Explorations"
is a satisfactory new title for the "Theory..." forum.  (I don't like
Xarax's "Study ..." because I think that there is room for study
in "Practical" (too).  "Philosophical..." has merit but needs an
"and/&" and thereby becomes excessive of characters if not also
awkward.  I see in "concepts" the immediate issue of the contentious
thread; and in "explorations" some of the *new* knots topics,
esp. where some structural idea is given a series of manifestations.
(And I hope to take that splayed-eye knot and *run* with it in such
an exploratory fashion!)  "Concepts" also covers nomenclature,
which goes hand-&-hand with conceptualization.  AND I think that
this title doesn't otherwise (overly) confuse, esp. in standing WITH
"Practical...".


Now, "Computing", as I suggested elsewhere (in this or another thread?),
belongs on its own, IMO : there should be some activity here, and
even if infrequent, there will be benefit to finding all such threads
together.  And I think it's a general topic that can well accept
contributions from both Fancy & Practical knotters.  (For that
matter, so too Knotting Concepts & Explorations.)


--dl*
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Sweeney

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Re: What is the most appropriate board for the Bowline discussion?
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2011, 08:56:52 AM »

Meanwhile, I hope we can quickly dispense of the now vogue act
of questioning every thread's placement, which was at first done
provocatively.  Let's not play the game If it's not perfect, then it
can't be right!



Hear! Hear! Enough is enough.

Barry