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    <h1 itemprop="name"><a href="/questions/2713/do-we-agree-with-rons-suspension" class="question-hyperlink">Do we agree with Ron's suspension? [closed]</a></h1>
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        <p>Some hours ago, there were some heated discussions in meta and in chat since Ron Maimon was worried about Larian LeQuella probably becoming a moderator of Physics SE. Our site got immediately flooded by moderators and people from other parts of the SE network, as he was trying to express his concerns, who came here attack him and put him down.</p>

<p>Now they have taken Ron Maimon away from our Physics community by banning him, see <a href="http://physics.stackexchange.com/users/4864/ron-maimon">here</a> </p>

<p>In addition, they have covered the tracks that such a heated discussion has taken place by deleting the relevant meta questions and posts.</p>

<p>My question is:</p>

<p>Is it ok that important and knowledgable members of Physics SE are snatched away from us like this (just for trying to express their concerns and opinion) by people outside our community?</p>

<p>People who disagree with Ron being taken away from us can try to bring him back by mailing and complaining to the SE team, but I doubt that this will help.</p>

<p>Note:
I expect this question to be deleted soon too, but it is worth a try since the community has a right to know what has happened to one of their most important and most knowledgale contributors.</p>

<p><strong>By "we" I mean the Physics SE community and NOT the whole SE network ...!</strong></p>

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            <a href="/posts/2713/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-05 11:11:07Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 11:11</span></a>

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                    asked <span title="2012-12-05 10:08:16Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 10:08</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I think Ron is a very valuable member of the community and I suspect a general bias because he is not coming directly from the academia and is challenging many things. He has had many many positive votes in his answers from the community, and he will be missed, though I see it is only for a month.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5527_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 12:05:15Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:05</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav Although I wasn't here when this happened, so I am not sure about what actually happened, I think it's safe to say Ron's suspension didn't depend on his own qualifications. You don't suspend someone because they lack a degree or something.</span> – <a href="/users/8966/alenanno" title="264 reputation" class="comment-user">Alenanno</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5532_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 12:31:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:31</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Alenanno hmm, you might be biased though, and his profile does not help.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5533_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 12:38:38Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:38</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">As a side note, I appreciate wanting to protect the integrity of your community, but you risk driving new users away if you become <i>too</i> insular. Any user, regardless of how long they've been involved with the site, should feel welcome to start participating in the site's governance (i.e. meta).</span> – <a href="/users/7186/anna-lear" title="100 reputation" class="comment-user">Anna Lear<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5595_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 15:33:49Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:33</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Comments suggesting that another user should leave have been and will be deleted. If repeated they will result in suspension.</span> – <a href="/users/520/dmckee" title="24375 reputation" class="comment-user">dmckee<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5600_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 15:38:55Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:38</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I've also deleted some unproductive threads in the comment discussion.</span> – <a href="/users/124/david-z" title="29156 reputation" class="comment-user">David Z<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5607_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 15:49:10Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:49</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">And I'm drawing the line at speculating about suspensions on <i>other</i> sites. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.</span> – <a href="/users/7186/anna-lear" title="100 reputation" class="comment-user">Anna Lear<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5608_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 15:50:10Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:50</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">related: <a href="http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/a-day-in-the-penalty-box/">blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/a-day-in-the-penalty-box</a></span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5712_2713"><span title="2012-12-05 22:57:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:57</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I find it interesting that you are concerned that people would <code>attack him and put him down</code> when dealing with Ron, but if Ron is engaging in that behavior, <i>that's</i> fine?</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5751_2713"><span title="2012-12-06 14:46:03Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 14:46</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Brightblades you just dont get it, what Shog9 has done and what you and all the other non physicists attacking our site are doing, is just brutally harming the whole physics community and you and these other people give a damn about ruining our site.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5757_2713"><span title="2012-12-06 15:08:11Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 15:08</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I wasn't there so I can't say if it was justified or not, but I trust the mods to have made the right descision. However, I find it worrying that they have redacted the discussions leading to this descision. I think one could have removed or XXXed the names and expletives and left the rest there, so that the descision remained transparent for all users.</span> – <a href="/users/825/jdm" title="1090 reputation" class="comment-user">jdm</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5768_2713"><span title="2012-12-06 15:22:03Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 15:22</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Well I don't know anything about Ron's posting history on the other sites which allegedly contributed some background to this, and I didn't see the chat-of-doom before the naughty bits got deleted.  All I can say is that his answers on physics SE are EXCEPTIONAL.  Some of those answers clearly involve a <i>lot</i> of effort on his part, and contribute greatly to making this site a great resource for reference.  Come back soon.</span> – <a href="/users/3099/twistor59" title="8317 reputation" class="comment-user">twistor59</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5849_2713"><span title="2012-12-06 20:46:13Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 20:46</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Another "related": <a href="http://meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/1376/what-violation-caused-this-suspension?lq=1" title="what violation caused this suspension">meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/1376/…</a> Notice the standards that users are supposedly agreeing to.  if someone continues to ignore those standards, and even dares the moderation team to ban them, I suppose banning will eventually result.  I think Ron has only Ron to blame for this kerfuffle, whether Larian gets any votes or not...</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5913_2713"><span title="2012-12-07 14:01:58Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 14:01</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">This question was closed just as the suspension expired, preventing me from answering. I will just keep it brief--- the reason I was suspended is because shog9 told me not to advocate for certain candidates and against others during the election, and I told him to go ahead and suspend me if he didn't like it (or something to that effect--- I didn't swear or do anything any normal person would call uncivil). Yes, I was goading a moderator to get him to abuse his power, because if he can do it and get away with it, I'd rather know early, so I don't help the site with contributions. So I'm outie.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6537_2713"><span title="2013-01-04 03:47:11Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 3:47</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@RonMaimon that's really too bad. I don't know or care very much about what happened a month ago, but I was looking forward to having you back on the site.</span> – <a href="/users/5477/nathaniel" title="7705 reputation" class="comment-user">Nathaniel</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6550_2713"><span title="2013-01-04 13:44:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 13:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <h2><strong>closed</strong> as too localized by <a href="/users/124/david-z">David Z</a><span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span> <span title="2013-01-04 00:20:06Z" class="relativetime">Jan 4 at 0:20</span></h2>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I've been on the receiving end of a couple of personal attacks in my time on this site, and it's surprisingly upsetting. So much so in fact that if it happened with any regularity I'd stop posting. I imagine anyone who posts a lot has experienced the same and, unless they are extraordinarily thick skinned, feels much the same as I do.</p>

<p>I should make it clear at this point that Ron Maimon has never made a personal attack on me. In fact I consider myself amongst his fans. He has (sometimes robustly) criticised some of my answers, but criticising the answer is fine - it's criticising the person that is not.</p>

<p>Anyhow, the point is that if you allow unfettered personal attacks you will quickly rid the site of most of its more active members and you'll be left with the people whose main skill is being nasty. That makes it very important we maintain standards of politeness. This is not some form of political correctness, it's essential to the long term future of the site.</p>

<p>Many of us were in the now notorious chat session, and Ron Maimon's attacks on Larian LeQuella far exceeded acceptable behaviour to the extent that they could not be ignored - there had to be some sanction. I was very surprised to see him suspended for a month, because I'd have thought a few days would be sufficient, and if there is a mechanism to get him reinstated quickly I would participate in it. Nevertheless the path he set out on was only ever going to result in a suspension and I don't see any grounds to complain about it.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:31:17Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:31</span>
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            <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/b4b8607a2cbe409fee52204983a13b09?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie">John Rennie</a><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score 52119" dir="ltr">52.1k</span><span title="3 silver badges"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">3</span></span><span title="11 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">11</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">C'mon John - Like I say, He's somewhat harsh. But, he's a truly open-minded fellow. He has corrected many guys like me. Yes, today he over-reacted somehow (maybe caused by some incident with Larian before) I'm happy that you have come to support Ron. Thank you very much John...</span> – <a href="/users/11062/crazy-buddy" title="5693 reputation" class="comment-user">Crazy Buddy</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5597_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 15:35:18Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:35</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Nice post :) On the main site, I've had a similar experience with Ron--constructive criticism only. I was surprised as well regarding the duration, but you have to remember that he has been suspended before--generally the suspension duration increases for multiple offences.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5599_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 15:38:14Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:38</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">If you look at all the people at the top of the rankings (including Ron) you'll find a uniformly constructive approach to criticism - I'm sure this is part of the reason they rank so high (this doesn't apply to me because I never criticise anyone! :-). I'm not competant to judge other's skill at physics, but their skill as educators, i.e. their ability to pass on information, is first rate. This is an absolutely vital aspect of the site and warrants much effort to preserve.</span> – <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie" title="52119 reputation" class="comment-user">John Rennie</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5616_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 16:03:37Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 16:03</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I think that there's too much tension. The influence of some "owners" of the SE system is a law of physics and it is counterproductive and I would say irrational to protest against this basic fact. Of course that everyone may leave but it's an overreaction. I don't know what was Ron's problem with Larian but I have no problem with Larian at all so far. I wouldn't ban Ron, at least not this long, but I think it's right that the server has regulating mechanisms to calm down tense exchanges.</span> – <a href="/users/1236/lubos-motl" title="79027 reputation" class="comment-user">Luboš Motl</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5687_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 20:27:55Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 20:27</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Once I was suspended for a month - you may have guessed, right? - but on another SE server, probably maths. Or was it here? I feel it was a sensible way to calm down tensions. So please, don't consider extreme steps like "exodus" as a reaction to some events that are, in the grand scheme of things, as mundane as the fact that some supervisors are capable of suspending users for a month. I would also count myself as a fan of Ron of a sort but I disagree that he should be placed above all the rules. It's a big deal to temp. suspend him (or me, for that matter haha), but it's not the Big Crunch.</span> – <a href="/users/1236/lubos-motl" title="79027 reputation" class="comment-user">Luboš Motl</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5688_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 20:30:29Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 20:30</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">We have various tense exchanges sparked by science and it may increase our adrenaline level a lot. But in some sense, I do believe that "battles against the whole system" are more serious. It just doesn't make sense to me when someone tries to deny the implications of the fact that this server belongs to a certain system that belongs to someone etc. And I think it's not easy to sustain this degree of traffic on a similar physics questions-and-answers server so if someone leaves and tries to invent a competition, chances are he or she will fail.</span> – <a href="/users/1236/lubos-motl" title="79027 reputation" class="comment-user">Luboš Motl</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5689_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 20:32:40Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 20:32</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Lumo your funny middle comment is the first thing that made me smile again when looking at physics SE today. But generally it is no fun any more...</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5690_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 20:43:33Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 20:43</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Luboš Motl "I would also count myself as a fan of Ron of a sort"... Perhaps you could use your reputation and contacts to get Ron a teaching or research job at a University. Then you could share an apartment together. I think it could work out, as long as you wrote some kind of roommate agreement beforehand.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user11841</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5705_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 22:23:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:23</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">In all seriousness though, help a brother land a job.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user11841</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5706_2730"><span title="2012-12-05 22:24:07Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:24</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">This is the first time - I'm seeing a 35 vote in <b>meta</b> - and thats to you John :-)</span> – <a href="/users/11062/crazy-buddy" title="5693 reputation" class="comment-user">Crazy Buddy</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5721_2730"><span title="2012-12-06 01:37:45Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 1:37</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Dear bugmenot, even if I wanted now, and I don't, I wouldn't get a decent job at a decent university myself! ;-) Moreover, I don't really believe some totally-outside-the-rule approaches. Ron would clearly need a PhD first. And don't expect a recommendation letter from me for a fusion research job or something like that. I actually don't know what I would write a recommendation letter for. Ron's knowledge is very broad and some of his knowledge is unexpectedly deep but a relatively short time is still needed to figure out he is an amateur.</span> – <a href="/users/1236/lubos-motl" title="79027 reputation" class="comment-user">Luboš Motl</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5734_2730"><span title="2012-12-06 06:49:13Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 6:49</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">"I've been on the receiving end of a couple of personal attacks in my time on this site, and it's surprisingly upsetting"    That's because you live in the land of posh scousers.  (won't mean anything to anyone outside UK!)  But seriously, I agree - Lift the ban now please</span> – <a href="/users/3099/twistor59" title="8317 reputation" class="comment-user">twistor59</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5888_2730"><span title="2012-12-07 07:33:53Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 7:33</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@twistor59 You know Chester? :-)</span> – <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie" title="52119 reputation" class="comment-user">John Rennie</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5889_2730"><span title="2012-12-07 08:10:20Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 8:10</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Any more of this and I'll request you're banned.  Anyway, I always read your answers in a John Bishop accent :-P</span> – <a href="/users/3099/twistor59" title="8317 reputation" class="comment-user">twistor59</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5894_2730"><span title="2012-12-07 09:03:57Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 9:03</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Read <a href="http://meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/2758/how-are-suspension-times-determined#comment5897_2758">this comment</a>. It appears more and more that Ron is intentionally goading mods all over StackExchange into banning him. Perhaps he got the attention he is craving, and as such his suspension is not only richly desreved, but also something Ron desires?</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5914_2730"><span title="2012-12-07 14:12:06Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 14:12</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Accounting for ones behavior has nothing to do with their knowledge in the subject. The point of a temporary suspension is to give a user a bit of time away from the site to address their <strong>behavior</strong>, not to keep them from becoming a useful contributor to the site.</p>

<p>Suspensions are typically issued only after numerous warnings and a <em>willful disregard</em> for improving those behaviors. At the end of a suspension period, if the user is willing to return as a constructive member of the site, all is forgiven. But if the behavior fails to improve, the length of subsequent suspensions can be increased upward of a month or more.</p>

<p>Your post has a tone of users being snatched up in the night with conspiracies and cover-ups and users never being seen again. That's unfortunate, but I'm not going to recount the history that led to the suspension. Ron is welcome to comment when he returns, but as a matter of policy and respecting users' privacy, suspensions are something we handle privately with the user(s) involved. </p>

<p>After reviewing the posts and discussions around this suspension, I see no sign that there's been a disproportionate or improper response.</p>
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            <a href="/posts/2733/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-05 16:14:04Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 16:14</span></a>

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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:51:32Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:51</span>
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            <a href="/users/67/robert-cartaino"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/acc8b114aaacc5d73fc69babf311cd1f?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/67/robert-cartaino">Robert Cartaino</a><span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score" dir="ltr">99</span><span title="2 silver badges"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">2</span></span><span title="15 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">15</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">The point of a suspension is the shame of it. There's no financial penalty or indeed any penalty outside of this forum. Now that the slap in the face has been delivered is there any reason to continue the suspension until 4th Jan?</span> – <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie" title="52119 reputation" class="comment-user">John Rennie</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5620_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 16:07:55Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 16:07</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I'm sorry, but the <i>point</i> of a suspension <b>absolutely is <i>not</i></b> <quote> "the shame of it." Please read <i>this</i> post again, and <a href="http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/a-day-in-the-penalty-box/">A Day in the Penalty Box</a>. Thanks.</span> – <a href="/users/67/robert-cartaino" title="99 reputation" class="comment-user">Robert Cartaino<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5622_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 16:12:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 16:12</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 5 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Can you put your hand in the fire ( a greek saying)  that the 22 votes I see on your answer belong to people who have been at least a month following Physics.SE> ? If not, which I suspect,  some voting tactics are acceptable, and others not?</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5642_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 17:15:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:15</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Voting records are private, @anna. Even Robert can't see who voted for his answer.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5645_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 17:19:52Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:19</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">True, but I am free to suspect that the bruhaha has attracted a number of people who care little for physics.SE</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5647_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 17:21:12Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:21</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@anna: and you would not be wrong. It's also attracted a fair number of people who care deeply for physics.SE but don't normally participate much here on Meta. And so it goes.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5648_2733"><span title="2012-12-05 17:33:32Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:33</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy"><b><comments removed></b> Please let's stop using comments like your own personal chat room. These on-going back and forth discussions are better suited to chat. Thanks.</span> – <a href="/users/67/robert-cartaino" title="99 reputation" class="comment-user">Robert Cartaino<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5916_2733"><span title="2012-12-07 14:18:46Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 14:18</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Whether justified or not, his ban is a disservice to the physics community.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 11:28:59Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 11:28</span>
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            <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/bead9ff6ddc7c095d18968ec950edb4d?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier">Arnold Neumaier</a><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score 14720" dir="ltr">14.7k</span><span title="3 silver badges"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">3</span></span><span title="13 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">13</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Yes. Meta should be a free opinion place, whatever harsh the opinions may be!</span> – <a href="/users/14182/eduardo-guerras-valera" title="1979 reputation" class="comment-user">Eduardo Guerras Valera</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5526_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 12:04:31Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:04</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">There is a long standing policy to be civil (especially when more then three people point out instances when you are not being civil) and to attack ideas and actions rather than people. No one forces anyone here to throw a temper tantrum - they choose to do so on their own volition. I don't see how asking any member of the community to take a temporary break for clear rule violations is a disservice to the community. Where would <i>you draw the line on attacks against a person</i> by and to any member whether they are rated high or low?</span> – <a href="/users/4182/bmike" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">bmike</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5609_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 15:53:39Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:53</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@bmike: It is a matter of degree. The higher the service of someone to a community, the more should one tolerate occasional deviations from ideal behavior, especially at election times where stakes are perceived higher by some. Rigid rules in these matters are detrimental to the spirit of a community.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5611_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 15:56:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:56</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ArnoldNeumaier Wow, that's a scary thought; a society where the rules of discourse and civility don't apply to equally to all.</span> – <a href="/users/67/robert-cartaino" title="99 reputation" class="comment-user">Robert Cartaino<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5618_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 16:05:27Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 16:05</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 3 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I'm not asking about "ideal behavior" - I'm asking for where you'd draw the line when someone repeatedly and vocally attacks another person (clearly making it about them and not their actions). Also - I'm not saying you are wrong until I hear what you propose. I'd like to know where you would draw the line. Do you vote on who gets to ignore the rules? Do you set it at a certain reputation? Do you give someone a free shot at a different person for each 1k reputation? Make a proposal we can debate if you'd like to change the rules.</span> – <a href="/users/4182/bmike" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">bmike</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5625_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 16:25:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 16:25</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@bmike: I'd draw the line when the aggressive behavior becomes intolerable to the actual contributors of physics.SE. When they themselves begin to complain that the behavior of someone is reducing the quality of the site more than the positive contribution of the person help, it is time to put the formal rules into force, but before that happens, I would leave things in a grey zone. - In any case, no automatic rule fixed at a certain rep or a certain number of offences. This sort of rigidity is detrimental.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5639_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 17:10:48Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:10</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@RobertCartaino: In real life we have just that sort of society that you describe as scary, and we all live very well with it. It takes much more to be taken to court than to be uncivil to someone. In particular, it is followed by a lengthy process in which both sides suffer (before one wins), so that neither side has an incentive to put it to court until it is really serious.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5640_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 17:12:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:12</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">A society where "rules of civility and discourse" both exist and are enforced by banishment strikes me as a lot scarier, especially when enforced by people who are not active members of the community but see fit to moralize to that community's members anyway. Whatever; the loss of Ron is a net loss to <i>our</i> community full stop.</span> – <a href="/users/791/wsc" title="2818 reputation" class="comment-user">wsc</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5673_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 18:49:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:49</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Alternatively, one could ask for 5 people paying a ransom of perhaps 500 reps (or any other reasonable amount) to show that they are serious about the need to have someone back. This would mean that the sin has been paid for, so justice has been done, as in ordinary life.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5700_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 22:12:39Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:12</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Being pedantic: his <i>behaviour</i> is a disservice to this community. His <i>insults</i> are a disservice to this community. His ban is merely a <i>consequence</i> of his disservice to this community.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5703_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 22:18:07Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:18</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Sklivvz: There is a strong mismatch between the disservice done by Ron to the community, and the much greater disservice done by rigid rules enforcing the ban. The rules can easily be improved to minimize damage, and I made two specific suggestions how.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5711_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 22:40:12Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:40</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ArnoldNeumaier you have made very nice and constructive suggestions, I like them. But they will never ever tolerate that a certain number of high rep users is able to lift a ban by any means. If you would try to ask something like this on meta stack overflow, they would spam you with downvotes of up to -60 in the course of an hour and close your question etc. Believe me, I know what I am talking about ... ;-).</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5714_2716"><span title="2012-12-05 23:39:40Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 23:39</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton who is "they"? The moderators? Stack Exchange? The illuminati? ;-) Basically every user out of the millions of registered users we have is able to vote on Meta.SE. If you get to -60 there, <i>maybe</i>, you should put on your humble cap and start considering that you are simply mistaken.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5716_2716"><span title="2012-12-06 00:28:28Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 0:28</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Sklivvz If what you say is true, then maybe real physicists do not belong in the confines of this SE . We are talking of physics content and you are talking of popularity polls in a large community of people playing in the internet.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5732_2716"><span title="2012-12-06 04:48:24Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 4:48</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav on meta.se the specific topic on the origin site is irrelevant. One goes there to discuss the rules for everybody not only their specific site. I think there's plenty of real physicists that understand this subtlety  and understand the "<i>radical</i>" concept of not being a dick.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5736_2716"><span title="2012-12-06 08:07:20Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 8:07</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I think I will gather my comments into this one answer:</p>

<p>Despite his maverick profile, where he puts down main line physicists, physicists at physics.SE have judged Ron from his valuable, clear and to the point comments and physics explanations. Sometimes we disagree, and he may be abrasive, but one accepts such character traits if the physics is good.</p>

<p>Physics is not a QED discipline, it needs mavericks and aggressive researchers. Skepticism and conflict are rife in the physics community, go to some blogs of physicists and you will see them defending their pet theories to the death, characterizing  other physicists with equally offensive language. Nevertheless the blogs are read by real physicists, because we do not care about personalities but about the physics.</p>

<p>Now META discussions should not be censored, imo. If one wants to promote a candidate  for the elections or to speak against another one, why not? The first post of Ron that I can see though it is deleted, is not so bad. . Yes, it would affect elections, but why not? Free elections have conflicts and partisanship, and yes, polite name calling. If Ron had avoided   characterizing the person  it would be more politically correct, but I am not convinced he would not still be banned for talking against a candidate. If this is a place where people want complete control I, together with Dilaton,  will reconsider whether I should follow the site..</p>

<p>This said of course I accept the site has a policy of trying to be civilized and the suspension of people overdoing it is a way of keeping things in line. But in the case of Ron I make the plea that some lenience is shown acknowledging his value for the physics.SE community, who have a higher threshold on what constitutes  "no no" behavior. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:49:38Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:49</span>
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            <a href="/users/1492/anna-v">anna v</a><br>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">To be clear: it's perfectly acceptable to discuss the merits of various candidates during an election. Using this as a pretext to air personal grievances is another matter. Several of us spent a fair bit of time and effort trying to keep that discussion constructive yesterday, but ultimately all of us have other responsibilities; neither SE nor the elected moderators here should have to spend all of their time babysitting such a discussion.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5643_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 17:16:57Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:16</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9: The best (and often only) way to calm down a heated discussion is to stay out of it, and it saves eveyone's time. Putting oil into the flames generates the kindergarden atmosphere in the first place.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5649_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 17:33:45Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:33</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">That is the approach I prefer, @Arnold. If for no other reason than that I am lazy. However, I am also bound to maintain a reasonable level of civility on these sites, and while I might prefer to use as light a touch as possible, sometimes a light touch is not possible.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5655_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 17:41:13Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:41</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9: But election times are different. Just as in real life, civility suffers, but everyone knows it will soon be over, and isn't something permanent. That's enough to have it under control.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5656_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 17:44:35Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Even in real life, @Arnold, there are limits to the sort of conduct allowed during an election.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5660_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 17:51:38Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:51</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9: Yes, but the TV battles show that they are far less stringent than they are presently here.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5662_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 18:02:42Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:02</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Arnold: the ads? Or the debates? Ads are often borderline libelous (although crossing that line can get you sued), but, however ineffectual at times, debates <i>are</i> moderated and no one candidate gets to use them as their personal soapbox.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5665_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 18:11:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:11</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9: both. The debates are moderated, but it happens not so rarely that the candidates are able to overrule the moderation powers. Still, after the election, everything is as if nothing had happened. - I am not for licencing rude behavior, but I am strongly for erring rather on the permissive side in finding the thin line between where taking penalizing action is beneficial and where it is detrimental. There are very good reasons for why in real life many rules of conduct have a very wide grey area in which wisdom and diplomacy is called for, rather than blind action by a rule.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5667_2732"><span title="2012-12-05 18:18:09Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:18</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ArnoldNeumaier: You can have a perfectly civil debate and address all the points just as effectively. Almost <i>any</i> argument can be held constructively. It is never necessary to be outright insulting and libelous in an election; though people like doing that.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5728_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 02:44:55Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 2:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Manishearth Of course you can and of course it is not necessary to be insulting in any interactive situation. We are dealing here with a personality that is special. In the same way that one puts up with a cantankerous uncle concentrating on his good points, the physics community has found sterling points within Ron's responses to the questions. Every rule has exceptions and we are pleading here for an exception, not a new rule, for the good of the site.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5731_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 04:39:28Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 4:39</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Manishearth: I want to keep people who contribute consistently at a high level, and am willing to tolerate <i>occasional</i> emotional noise because some of these people find it difficult to conform to the etiquette. Missing the former weights far more than the presence of the latter.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5739_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 09:48:49Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 9:48</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Manishearth: 1 month ban of Ron = almost 100 answers missing. The ban doesn't penalize Ron as much as it penalizes the physics.SE site. - Ron will not change his personality because of the ban. I wouldn't either, in his case. One changes if one is drawn to something in a positive way, not if something is forced upon one.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5743_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 13:09:33Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 13:09</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9, the point is that Ron's personal grievances with Larian were <b>VERY</b> relevant to the community and the election. If half of those allegations about moderating misconduct were true, it would have been very damaging to the morale of the site, should he become elected. This kind of rudeness is encouraged in real world politics, just as real world candidates know that, sometimes unfairly, they will be under harsh verbal ammo.</span> – <a href="/users/955/lurscher" title="4568 reputation" class="comment-user">lurscher</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5868_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 22:14:24Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 22:14</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@lurscher: Wait, you kinda said two things there. Are you interested in the truth about what happened on Skeptics? <a href="http://meta.skeptics.stackexchange.com/users/6256/ron-maimon">Go read about it on their meta</a>. Are you just interested in drama and mud-slinging for the hell of it? Sorry, not here.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5870_2732"><span title="2012-12-06 22:44:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 22:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@anna: that's because his beef wasn't at all with Larian, but with the rules of the site itself - however hard it may be for him to separate these two things in his mind, the discussions I linked to illustrate at least half a dozen different people attempting to reason with him, with Larian being probably the most conciliatory of the bunch. There's more, now deleted, that went on as well, but what remains serves well enough to illustrate the basic points of contention there. As a self-governed community, Skeptics has as much a right to require references as Physics does to <i>not</i> require them.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5944_2732"><span title="2012-12-07 17:58:11Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 17:58</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Rons occasional violations of etiquette are minor in comparison with the value he consistently brings to the site in terms of his knowledgable answers. physics.SE itself would probably have tolerated it (I guess). </p>

<p>The sad point is that the ban seems to have come from those of SE who are not active on physics.SE and don't care about the value of the content but only about keeping the formal rules. I would have expected a better sense of balance in weighting the pros and cons of a ban.</p>

<p>I'd appreciate if the ban would be undone. This is surely in the power of those in charge of the site, and it would be a healthy sign. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 13:48:52Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 13:48</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Thanks Arnold for this supportive answer, though I fear it will count nothing in the eyes of those in charge of the SE network who have killed Ron. They give a damn about what we physicists think, need, etc :-/</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5563_2722"><span title="2012-12-05 13:52:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:52</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton: They certainly won't change their poor decision if they are confronted with it in the terminology you are using. Instead, we should use inviting language that entices them to reconsider their action. They are ruining their site with such decisions, and if they think about it in a less heated atmosphere, they might realize this and change.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5571_2722"><span title="2012-12-05 14:02:32Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 14:02</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">If you, Anna, Twistor69, Qmechanic, David, and all the other nice people here give their best in trying to achieve that we get Ron back, I could stay out of the business now since I have said what I wanted to say. Would probably be a good idea since I feel to upset and horrified ... You are right.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5572_2722"><span title="2012-12-05 14:07:42Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 14:07</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Apart from being the Devil's Advocate, I wanted to throw light in a different perspective.</p>

<p>It's true that science isn't a popularity contest neither a democracy. But that apart Physics.SE being a community driven portal should enforce certain moral and ethical codes of conduct.</p>

<p>Forums are not run by individuals rather by strong communities, where abuses and harsh words have no stand. Community comes before personal ego.</p>

<p>There's no doubt that Ron was a talented individual and contributor. I had been interacting with him though Physics.SE for the past one year or so. But that doesn't give anyone the license to talk rubbish against anyone for that matter... The only thing being the time of this event was real unfortunate; during the moderator elections.</p>

<p>Let's hope Physics.SE will survive this and the involved parties would come back with their issues settled..</p>
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            <a href="/posts/2724/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-06 05:14:13Z" class="relativetime">Dec 6 '12 at 5:14</span></a>

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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:13:48Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:13</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">But real life communities outside the internet also tolerate occasional heated words, even repeatedly.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5604_2724"><span title="2012-12-05 15:46:54Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:46</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">His words were <i>because</i> of the election, at other times he is much more moderate.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5606_2724"><span title="2012-12-05 15:48:26Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:48</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">The idea that community comes before personal ego is exactly why Ron's suspension is suspect. Some people's feelings might be hurt because Ron insulted them or failed to respect their authority. I say oh well, because his contribution in terms of physics well outweighs those wounded egos.</span> – <a href="/users/791/wsc" title="2818 reputation" class="comment-user">wsc</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5684_2724"><span title="2012-12-05 20:09:22Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 20:09</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I wasn't talking rubbish about anyone. I was asking people to vote for some candidates and not others, precisely because that activity is what distinguishes a free election from an appointment in disguise. It is also what make "elections" different from "rising through the ranks". You don't see posters at promotion time saying "Don't promote Jane, she ate my cookies in the communal fridge!", or "Sam is going to make PHP the standard platform, don't promote Sam!" This type of negative commentary is what makes free politics work, and it is rude, and it is disrespectful, but it is necessary.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6541_2724"><span title="2013-01-04 04:01:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 4:01</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p><strong>I disagree with Ron's suspension, because it is too short.</strong></p>

<p>Ron's actions yesterday were not "abrasive," or "a little rude." They were libelous. A one-month suspension would, in my opinion, be appropriate if there were no previous history. In this case, there is a previous history. Taking that into account, I would have made the suspension 2 or 3 months. </p>

<p>In general, academics are slightly more abrasive than the general population, physicists are more abrasive than other academics, and Ron is more abrasive than other physicists. That really isn't a problem. But his day-to-day activities also include low-level bullying. He brags about this; he calls it "hazing." That isn't okay, but might not warrant a suspension just by itself. He also has occasional large-scale blow-ups like this episode; these warrant suspension. </p>

<p>I am aware that he is the second-highest rep use on Physics.SE, and I am aware that that fact represents many positive contributions he has made to this community. But those contributions are not so unique that he can't be replaced. He does represent a unique voice, but all of his contributions could be made by someone else. That is the power of a community. At the same time, he creates a genuinely poisonous atmosphere around himself. His positive contributions do not outweigh the negative value of that.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 16:27:36Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 16:27</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">How poisonous an atmosphere is can best be judged by those using the site most. If it were a fact and not just your opinion, he wouldn't get the amount of reputation (''a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you'') that he gets.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5646_2736"><span title="2012-12-05 17:20:18Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:20</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">All of his contributions could be made by WHAAAAT????? Please do a search on the site. Are you sure we are talking about the same person?</span> – <a href="/users/14182/eduardo-guerras-valera" title="1979 reputation" class="comment-user">Eduardo Guerras Valera</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5651_2736"><span title="2012-12-05 17:37:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:37</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I think we're getting a bit carried away by the rhetoric here. A "genuinely poisonous atmosphere"? If anything, Ron Maimon's behaviour reminds me of my ten year old niece and I love her despite the occasional tantrums.</span> – <a href="/users/1325/john-rennie" title="52119 reputation" class="comment-user">John Rennie</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5658_2736"><span title="2012-12-05 17:45:42Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:45</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Colinmcfaul No, you are wrong. If Ron gets miffed and does not participate anymore it will be a loss to physics.SE . In his answers he goes in depth into physics, even in stuff that I know but am too old to remember offhand. Lubos and Arnold might, but they probably wont as it takes time to answer three questions a day and there are more than six serious questions a day.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5659_2736"><span title="2012-12-05 17:48:29Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:48</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Ron, just like everybody else is a unique personality. Saying that he poisons the atmosphere at PhySE is going a bit too far. I have not been here long enough, but from what I have seen, he is a very helpful person, especially to new members. If anything, the idiots who drive away new members with drive-by down votes are the ones who ought to have their sanctimonious asses banned.</span> – <a href="/users/5827/antillar-maximus" title="885 reputation" class="comment-user">Antillar Maximus</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5718_2736"><span title="2012-12-06 01:01:21Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 1:01</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@AntillarMaximus: I rarely drive-by downvote, anywhere, but here's an observation: On SO, one day(actually in two consecutive days), I sat and downvoted ~50 really bad posts. With comments on <i>each one</i>. Out of these, 25 got rebuttal comments and some of my other posts were downvoted just out of spite. There's a reason that people drive by downvote, this is it--people can be vengeful. So I wouldn't call them "sanctimonious idiots", though I dislike the practice myself.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5724_2736"><span title="2012-12-06 02:32:06Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 2:32</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">My comments were not libelous--- I called a person a nincompoop once, and I suggested people don't vote for him. You are echoing the stackexchange party line, and it is this type of politics that makes science impossible.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6538_2736"><span title="2013-01-04 03:50:06Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 3:50</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Yes, it was just that Ron has been banned.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 10:09:19Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 10:09</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">How is is it possible that most people voted for "Yes, it is just" compared to "No, it is unjust"?</span> – <a href="/users/23119/dimension10-abhimanyu-ps" title="2141 reputation" class="comment-user">DImension10  Abhimanyu PS</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment11510_2714"><span title="2013-06-23 07:21:29Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jun 23 at 7:21</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@dimension10 the site was as this happend flooded or even taken over by non physicists mods and people from al over the network who screwed up the voting pattern and the discussion you now can read up. Those people came just here to persecute Ron Maimon, I and some physicists tried to defend him and the former nicecommunity that lived on physics SE before the eleionctins but all was in vaino</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment11518_2714"><span title="2013-06-23 10:20:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jun 23 at 10:20</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">SO in addition to Ron Maimon too many good physicist have been driven away, such as Arnold Neumaier, and the level of the site has decayed to almost exclusively popular level. Seing you getting attackt for writing a technical answer shocked me.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment11521_2714"><span title="2013-06-23 10:44:31Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jun 23 at 10:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">As some moderators clearly prefer the popular, very basic physics here, it will be difficult up to impossible vor the site to recover to what we had before the heavy blow the site had to take last december. Until a powerful group of users forms that consequently tries to improve the level and attract experts again...</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment11522_2714"><span title="2013-06-23 10:48:23Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jun 23 at 10:48</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Everything I know about this situation is from reading the meta posts. Having said that... this is a very complicated situation. The rules have to be followed, no doubt, but Ron was spectacular on this site. His answers were rigorous and very often focussed on things different to the other answers. </p>

<p>He has had a history of being rude/brash/inflammatory, but his contributions were second to none. Perhaps it may be a good idea to reduce the length of the suspension? It would be quite terrible for the quality of the physics in this site if he decided to leave.</p>

<p><em>P.S - I'm not saying everyone else on here is an idiot. There are plenty of other wonderful physicists here with some really nice answers. But I count Ron among them, and I just think it'd be a shame if we lost his contributions.</em></p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 13:34:58Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 13:34</span>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I click on Ron Maimon's profile every day and read his answers. There are usually at least 3 a day. They are invaluable. If Ron is worried about the moderators it is to protect his contributions. They benefit the rest of us.</p>

<p>To lose, or even alienate his presence on this site, would be one of the dumbest most shortsighted moves I've come across in a long time. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:15:38Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:15</span>
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<td class="answercell">
    <div class="post-text"><p>The reasons for suspending a user have generally to do with <em>protecting the community</em>. A user is suspended (typically) when their actions are hurtful to the community.</p>

<p>Ron is very important in this community, but he is not more important than <em>the community itself</em>.</p>

<p>Free and unwarranted insults to other members of the community, especially members who have the will to step up and stand to serve it are not in any way something we want, or should tolerate, by any user.</p>

<p>In fact, Ron is a high rep user and as such his actions should serve as an inspiration to other members!</p>

<p>Ergo:</p>

<ul>
<li><p>Behaving as a great physicist => awesome.</p></li>
<li><p>Behaving like a drunken hooligan => intolerable.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>Ron has to choose which one he wants to be, the hooligan or the physicist.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 21:49:39Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 21:49</span>
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            <a href="/users/66/sklivvz"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/3fd9e5b2c59170ec3d74dde30d233fa4?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/66/sklivvz">Sklivvz</a><span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span><br>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">What insults exactly did he make?</span> – <a href="/users/1382/mbn" title="1109 reputation" class="comment-user">MBN</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5699_2741"><span title="2012-12-05 22:12:37Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:12</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@MBN I am not at liberty to say, however you can dig up some of them in the chat transcripts and other answers here on meta (e.g. in the edit histories of questions)...</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5701_2741"><span title="2012-12-05 22:14:16Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:14</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I understand, it's just that for those of us who haven't seen the conversation all this is a bit abstract.</span> – <a href="/users/1382/mbn" title="1109 reputation" class="comment-user">MBN</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5710_2741"><span title="2012-12-05 22:39:21Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:39</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I am curious to know whether the down votes are by people that think that Ron should be allowed to insult whomever he wants... and if they think there's a minimum limit where insulting behaviour becomes intolerable, and which.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5717_2741"><span title="2012-12-06 00:31:43Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 0:31</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Let us be clear here, you cannot be for the cop and for the thief."protecting" what community? The community at Physics.SE? But it did not hurt by any actions of Ron, it acquired value. If the community  META.Physics is the same community as in Physics.SE, which is what I had assumed, then again no problem . This meta.physics is really metaphysical because it has very little to do with the community at Physics.SE. It seems about 20 non physics  people  jumped in and have been voting on a subject they know little about, except the outer shell of behavior, ignoring physics content.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5741_2741"><span title="2012-12-06 12:16:28Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 12:16</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Protecting the community implies there was a threat to the community to begin with. Being rude $\ne$ threat to the community. I understand that he was unbearably rude, but a suspension for a month was too harsh in my opinion. Even in school one does not get suspended for being obnoxious. And considering that we are (mostly) legal adults on this website, I don't see why the rules need to be any stricter. A cut in rep or a shorter ban may have been in place. One month is draconian.</span> – <a href="/users/14473/kitchi" title="2157 reputation" class="comment-user">Kitchi</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5744_2741"><span title="2012-12-06 13:11:12Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 13:11</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">The fact that <i>you</i> don't consider his actions hurtful is an <i>opinion</i>. I am a 5k rep contributor to physics and I believe my opinion of this community is not superficial. Ron has been suspended and warned many times before. He regularly melts down and insults people and subsequently rationalises by accusing mods of imaginary censorship. He makes completely ridiculous arguments that preventing him from insulting people is preventing him to contribute. He continuously, openly and admittedly provokes people just because he can... Come on people</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5828_2741"><span title="2012-12-06 18:00:14Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 18:00</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Sklivvz - Granted, he is an ass. But he's a <i>really smart</i> one. As someone else pointed out here, physics.SE is taking a hit because of his ban. I'm not condoning his behaviour. What I am saying is that the measures taken were really harsh. We want an open and democratic society here. When a large bunch of people are crying for the upturn of the ban, and that plea is routinely rejected... where is the openness or the democracy?</span> – <a href="/users/14473/kitchi" title="2157 reputation" class="comment-user">Kitchi</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5834_2741"><span title="2012-12-06 18:27:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 18:27</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>No it is unjust that Ron has been banned.</p>
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            <a href="/posts/2715/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-05 10:30:18Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 10:30</span></a>

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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 10:10:26Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 10:10</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">how can  we tell about justice if we have no record of what the transgression is supposed to be? I vote unjust because of the censorship.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5525_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:00:42Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:00</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav the horrible thing is that they have deleted all of the relevant posts, answers, comments, etc. This is really a violant and horribly brutal blow to our community and Physics.SE. Reasonable people like Twistor69, Arnold Neumaier, etc allready expressed their disagreement ... Ron just tried to warn us to not vote LarianLaquella (I personally had rather a nice discussion with him recently) and for that he got killed.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5528_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:08:13Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:08</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Well, he will be resurrected in a month, lets keep our perspective. But I am really against this type of censorship in META and chat. I can understand cleaning the main physics site from aggressive comments since it can be considered as a reference site, but comments should be freely expressed  here, and not be erased unless they touch on the law.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5529_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:11:53Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:11</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav: Unfortunately, the reasons for a suspension aren't publicized to protect the user's privacy. If Ron allows it, I guess the reasons can be made public. I'm not too sure though.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5530_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:12:43Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:12</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav: Well, there were uncivil personal attacks on meta, as well as him telling people who to vote for. These posts were repeated in various manners, so they were deleted. Regarding chat, it was a similar issue. He was warned, he didn't listen. You can still have free speech and be civil. :/</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5531_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:15:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:15</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Ron will claim that he is banned for his opinions, while it is quite clear that he is banned for the way he expressed them. That is something complete different. He also got warned explicitly multiple times, but ignored this.</span> – <a href="/users/6982/bernhard" title="2303 reputation" class="comment-user">Bernhard</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5534_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 12:39:19Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 12:39</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Bernhard I have commented to another answer below, that physicists are lenient to abrasive behavior, i.e. accept abrasive expressions, sweeping them aside if the physics is good. We do not care if Ron called someone names, we care for his contributions to the physics of the physics.SE community, which is excellent as his reputation shows ( and also it shows that the reputation system works).</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5589_2715"><span title="2012-12-05 15:20:04Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:20</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@RonMaimon's attitude towards people is like day and night.  He is extremely helpful and considerate to newbies and to people he thinks have a constructive attitude.  He is harsh with people whose attitudes he finds wanting.  I would not want to be on the receiving end of his criticisms, but over the past year I have found him to be an extremely constructive and beneficial presence here.  His being suspended was hamhanded in my opinion.</span> – <a href="/users/6713/eric-walker" title="151 reputation" class="comment-user">Eric Walker</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5735_2715"><span title="2012-12-06 06:57:03Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 6:57</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 2 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ Manishearth:  A suspended user has no way to tell explicitly that          he wants the reasons to be public .</span> – <a href="/users/23119/dimension10-abhimanyu-ps" title="2141 reputation" class="comment-user">DImension10  Abhimanyu PS</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment13464_2715"><span title="2013-08-21 13:59:33Z" class="relativetime-clean">Aug 21 at 13:59</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>This is the first time i am posting on Meta; for i think it was necessary. </p>

<p><strong>I completely disagree with Ron's suspension. This at least should not have been for one month  (~ 100 answers by Ron)</strong>.</p>

<p>This would be a great loss to physics SE, and most of good physicists on this site would agree with me. It should be clear from the posts here. Sum of reputation of Physics SE members who are against Ron's suspension is much much higher than those who favor it. Can skeptics or programmers answer physics questions ? If they can not then they have no right to take such a decision against such a reputable member of physics community ! </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 18:06:39Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 18:06</span>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I'm confident that Ron was fairly suspended for a month, although I'm annoyed with him in a selfish way because I love reading his contributions via his answers and comments. Thankfully, there are many others that make as great a contribution collectively, depsite their lower reputation scores.</p>

<p>This isn't the first time Ron's come to the attention of external moderators over his <a href="http://meta.physics.stackexchange.com/questions/1282/david-zaslavsky-moved-comments-no-good">personal attacks</a>: on community members.</p>

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  <p>@RonMaimon That all said: this site has ceased being something I wish to contribute to. Even ONE person in a community who is unable to differentiate between personal attacks and professional discourse is enough to make the community no good. This is a Q and A web site, for goodness' sake, not a journal or a tenure board. I suggest, sir, that your obvious talents may be better served in the journals or the labs than on an interesting web community. So, you win.I am not only deleting my answer but my physics account. I believe this gives both you and I something we value, so it's a win-win. – Mark Beadles  </p>
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<p>One of the problems with a community of people familiar with the negative behaviour of someone, is they become desensitized to the effects of that behaviour through familiarity. As the status of that person increases within a community, their behaviour gradually becomes worse because the community thinks their contribution balances things out. But the effect is very damaging for the development of the community because newcomers, no matter how talented, will be intimidated by this negative behaviour.</p>

<p>It therefore takes people outside the community to see things from the point of view of newcomers, and to exercise their moderating powers in the form of suspensions on the most well known members where necessary.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 22:07:56Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 22:07</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Mark Beadles, last seen on physics.SE 57 minutes ago.  This is an example of bad behavior from Ron, but less strong than it might seen.</span> – <a href="/users/1504/user1504" title="5073 reputation" class="comment-user">user1504</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5713_2742"><span title="2012-12-05 23:19:50Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 23:19</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@user1504, check Mark Beadles's activity.</span> – <a href="/users/9719/colin-mcfaul" title="1811 reputation" class="comment-user">Colin McFaul</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5730_2742"><span title="2012-12-06 04:24:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 4:24</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ColinMcFaul:  I see.  Not deleted and still around, but certainly less active.  Too bad.  Some of his answers are good.</span> – <a href="/users/1504/user1504" title="5073 reputation" class="comment-user">user1504</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5745_2742"><span title="2012-12-06 13:17:50Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 13:17</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I think here you express clearly the dichotomy: " But the effect is very damaging for the development of the community because newcomers, no matter how talented, will be intimidated by this negative behaviour."  You see physicists contributing at physics.SE do not care about community and "nice_nice", they care about physics. All my consideration goes into welcoming new users gently, and treating them gently until they get their feet on the ground , and I have clashed with moderators hastily closing newbie questions, which imo is a much worse sin than calling a spade a spade in physics.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5925_2742"><span title="2012-12-07 15:36:04Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 15:36</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">continued: Once a contributor has some reputation he/she should be able to fence in the physics game and take the ups and downs as they come and certainly some are not nice downs.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5926_2742"><span title="2012-12-07 15:37:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 15:37</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I'm glad to see him gone. He is one of the reasons I've been contributing less lately. He has stated explicitly that he believes himself to be an expert on all things, and insists upon his own correctness even when he is wrong. I therefore doubt his correctness in most cases, and view his many answers on complex topics as untrustworthy. I generally assume he is good at sounding knowledgeable, nothing more. </p>

<p>In addition to his antagonist attitude, his profile in which he essentially identifies himself as a troll and his habit of claiming that science demands antagonism, I see him as a great harm to the community. Science demands honesty and debate, not insults for insults sake. </p>

<p>He is intentionally and consistently mean to people, and not an authority on anything. He adds no value to the community. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-21 06:47:59Z" class="relativetime">Dec 21 '12 at 6:47</span>
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            <a href="/users/869/colin-k">Colin K</a><br>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">If you feel insulted because someone demonstrates that you are wrong, that is entirely on you, no matter what language they used to do it.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user2963</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6224_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 19:21:58Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 19:21</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I've never been insulted by being shown to be incorrect. But the assertion that one may, or even <i>must</i> be abusive while demonstrating incorrectness is absurd. This image of physicists as terse misanthropes is a fabrication for Ron to justify his own failures. The cult of personality that claims he is "the real deal" is no justification nor qualification of Rons intelligence or behavior. He has no qualification and I don't trust a word he says.</span> – <a href="/users/869/colin-k" title="4878 reputation" class="comment-user">Colin K</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6227_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 19:37:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 19:37</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">This answer is just offensive hate speech against a person who is at present not even able to defend himself.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6229_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 20:08:19Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 20:08</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Bravo Colin. I am 100% in agreement with you.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6231_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 20:26:11Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 20:26</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">(This comment is not directed specifically to anyone, just to everyone participating in this discussion) Please let's keep this civil.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6232_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 20:37:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 20:37</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton: I am <i>not</i> deleting this post, though it comes close to a personal attack. Why? Because, on this question, <i>any</i> post that says "What Ron did was unacceptable" and <i>explains it</i> will pretty much invariably come close to a personal attack/hate speech (IMO it's not a personal attack/hate speech though, just close to being one). Not allowing such answers is biased--"What Ron did was acceptable"-type answers have no such restrictions. The question wants opinions on Ron's behavior and the consequences of it, the question gets them.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6233_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 20:38:51Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 20:38</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Colin, if you could phrase this answer in a more constructive manner, it would be better. (I can't think of how this can be managed myself)</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6234_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 20:40:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 20:40</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@UnbanRonMaimon, <a href="http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/32212/direction-of-rotation-of-a-celing-fan/32235#comment71344_32212" title="direction of rotation of a celing fan">physics.stackexchange.com/questions/32212/…</a> is an example of Ron being dismissive of a question, while being <i>completely wrong</i> about the technical content.</span> – <a href="/users/9719/colin-mcfaul" title="1811 reputation" class="comment-user">Colin McFaul</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6236_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 21:02:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 21:02</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ColinK: K, no prob. I can't come up with any way to improve it myself (I feel that this is the best it can get given the question and your opinions), as I already mentioned, but if I come up with something, I'll be sure to edit it :)</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6240_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 21:24:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 21:24</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton: Of course they will be protected. Regarding Joe Fitzsimmons, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that's not a personal attack. Just an example of a case where the comment discussion got too lengthy. <i>How</i> is that a personal attack?</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6241_2874"><span title="2012-12-22 21:39:13Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 22 '12 at 21:39</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Ron, I agree that your suspension was wrong, and it actually makes me wary of contributing any more to this site, but you are just wrong about the above.  Even the Fresnel propagator is an approximation, it really is a Fourier transform relationship for each plane wave (in linear media).</span> – <a href="/users/16843/daaxix" title="913 reputation" class="comment-user">daaxix</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6553_2874"><span title="2013-01-04 19:41:22Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 19:41</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@daaxix: I worked it out before answering: it was a specific effect--- why does placing an object at the focal point of a lens produce a sharp image on a screen at the focal point on the other side, of the Fourier transform of the transmittance. The small angle approximation was ok here, that wasn't the issue. The issue is that it is only true at the focal point that you get a Fourier transform image. Everywhere else, you get the quadratic piece enforcing geometric optics. I said this in my answer (not in the standard way, I don't know the jargon), and Colin didn't believe it.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6554_2874"><span title="2013-01-05 07:16:49Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 5 at 7:16</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Generally, saying "it's all FT's" is not so great--- it's more correct in this case to say "it's all geometrical optics", because it is all geometric optics, except for the diffraction around the teeny tiny object at the focal point, which takes the incoming plane wave into a Fourier transform of the trasmittivity in different directions away from the diffracting object, which still look like they come from infinity. The lens than takes these things and focuses them onto a screen on the other side at the focal point to make an image of the Fourier transform of the transmittence. It's neat.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6555_2874"><span title="2013-01-05 07:19:05Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 5 at 7:19</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">The point is, I worked it out for myself, and said it in a nonstandard way, and a person who knows something about the field (but who didn't work out this specific problem) thought it sounded all wrong. Well, he's right! It does sound all wrong. But it's not all wrong, it's just said a little differently that's all. I didn't mind the dispute so much, Colin's way taught me what optics people do, I learned the standard methods from him, but I didn't try to shut him up.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6556_2874"><span title="2013-01-05 07:22:07Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 5 at 7:22</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I deleted a short inappropriate comment thread.</span> – <a href="/users/124/david-z" title="29156 reputation" class="comment-user">David Z<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6583_2874"><span title="2013-01-07 02:12:08Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 7 at 2:12</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Wow, what drama!  Are we sure this isn't an SCA Baronial meeting?  </p>

<p>To be honest, I was sad to see Ron get a suspension.  I honestly don't have anything against him.  As many have noted and commented here, he is an amazing contributor to the site, and his inputs will be missed.  If this is the sort of reaction just my presence will cause, I hope that others will actually step up to the plate and take action to get themselves into a position to be a mod, so that there are more viable candidates to choose from.  I still feel I have a lot to offer the community, and as I have repeatedly said, I love the whole idea of StakExchange, and feel it is a worthwhile investment of my time.</p>

<p>However, as others have pointed out, this <em>is</em> a community.  Not the personal blog of one individual to attempt to dictate their view of how everyone else ought to behave.  We arrive at non-negotiable social contracts by virtue of being such a community.  If one chooses to repeatedly violate norms of descent behaviour, and then claim one should be immune to reprimands because of a persecution complex, things will not go smoothly.</p>

<p>Now, I value Ron's contributions, and I understand that he (by virtue of his words and actions, which may be misconstrued in interpretation through the internet) thinks I don't like him.  He is mistaken in that.  I really have no feelings towards him one way or another, never having met him, and really having very little interaction with him.  As such, I am happy to leave it to any other mod to handle his questions and answers totally without me intervening (just to preserve his presence here).</p>

<p>And yes, the whole crank thing was a joke and poke.  Again, divining intent and emotion through text is very, very difficult. It was probably not in the best taste for a joke, but at that point in the chat, Ron hadn't really gotten into stride where I thought it would be taken as poorly as it did.</p>

<p>A note for the community, suspensions generally are not discussed outside of mod only venues, or with the affected individual directly.  It's not something that should be aired outside those restricted channels (at least in every moderation type of function I have ever held).</p>

<p>And if anyone wants to know who this "Larian" fellow is, my real name is Jan Stephan Lundquist.  You can find me on LinkedIn as Steve Lundquist (Greater Boston Area).  As an atheist, and someone who is probably more socially liberal than others who are or were associated with the DoD, I tend to try to keep my personal views and opinions separate from my professional life.  But I figure you guys can know.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-06 04:28:22Z" class="relativetime">Dec 6 '12 at 4:28</span>
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            <a href="/users/2715/larian-lequella"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/08f2eeded9d67d89d14a1939b11a9557?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/2715/larian-lequella">Larian LeQuella</a><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score" dir="ltr">5,536</span><span title="1 gold badge"><span class="badge1"></span><span class="badgecount">1</span></span><span title="3 silver badges"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">3</span></span><span title="7 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">7</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Thanks Larian thanks for your thoughts. My concern here is not about the SE network as a whole (it will always thrive and can as Shog9 correctly said dispense with a physics site) but about the specific cummunity of physicists and physics friends of our site. Shog9 has dealt a heavy blow to us by depriving us of one of our most important physics experts. He should have left the decision if Physics SE wants to tolerate Ron's pecularities to our own mods and our own community instead of needlessly brutal stepping in like this. For that reason I just wanted to know the gather the opinion and</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5737_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 08:54:27Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 8:54</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">... thoughts of the physics community instead of the whole network. I knew in advance that people from outside physics SE agree with what Shog9 has done. Of corse this did not hinter many people who are neither interested in physics nor in its community to jump in and cast their votes (which go exactly the other way as the ones of people from our community of course) which, as @annav correctly noted, distorts and biases the final vote count each question ends up with. I think I understand Ron quite well and I bet he will never come back to our site, not sure if physics SE will survive this ...</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5738_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 08:59:27Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 8:59</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton, I thinbk Larian really handled himself admirably in the whole exchange, and I respect him for saying that he was actually disapointed by Ron's vacation. However, do you really think that <code>I bet he will never come back to our site, not sure if physics SE will survive this</code> is accurate? If a site based on community is dependent on ONE person, doesn't that mean the community has a problem? I hope not.</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5748_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 14:26:11Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 14:26</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Larian, the question is not whether you will make a good mod or not. I would like to believe that you will (although we have never interacted before). The question I have is if Ron's ban was a bit too harsh or not? I feel it was a bit too harsh, and so do many others.</span> – <a href="/users/5827/antillar-maximus" title="885 reputation" class="comment-user">Antillar Maximus</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5753_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 15:00:57Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 15:00</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Larian/Steve why haven't you withdrawn your nomination already? You claimed to be running just to prod better-qualified candidates to appear. One better qualified candidate did appear, so with your purpose accomplished you should have withdrawn. I note that you specifically confirmed to me in Town Hall chat that you will not serve if elected. Which means that people voting for you are throwing their votes away.</span> – <a href="/users/8143/eugene-seidel" title="228 reputation" class="comment-user">Eugene Seidel</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5772_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 15:31:50Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 15:31</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Brightblades: If Ron leaves, quite a number of others (perhaps including me) will leave because of the manner he was chased away. Of course, the site may recover, but it will take time, and unnecessarily diminish its quality. The politest sites are usually not the most interesting ones.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5803_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 16:46:43Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 16:46</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ArnoldNeumaier those are decisions that Ron and yourself will make, not the mods, Larian, or me.  I am not in the business of trying to control what people do, even if they have recieved some sort of action as a <i>result</i> of their behavior.  I would think that Ron's ability to contribute isn't affected by a <i>temporary</i> suspension, and your actions shouldn't be affected either.  What you do is entirely your decision.  You can act like an adult, or we can go out into the grammar school playyard.</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5804_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 16:53:16Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 16:53</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Brightblades: Well, all real adults have motivations and emotions, and these determine their actions. You can't control what people do anyway. But you can ruin the atmosphere in which they like to contribute. I and many others have many other choices to spend our time well, and we don't have to support unduly rigid environments.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5805_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 16:58:39Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 16:58</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Brightblades the only people who behave as grammar school kids art the once responsile for that horrible sitution we have, the people who have shoot down Ron and now dont want to admit that they have made a mistake by dishing out too draconic punishments which potentially will destroy a whol site. Good reasonale leaders of the SE network would show some ... well ... reason and fair judgement when needed and appropriate and take their too canonical actions back or alleviate them if they note bad site effects (such as destroying a thriving site and community) and all would be well again.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5807_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 17:13:59Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 17:13</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Even better would it be if somebody could soon implement the feature Arnold suggests. As things are now I can not get rid of the suspicion that the SE network wants to destroy our site on purpose by the responsible people keeping that stubbornly adamant in view of the horrible situation they have triggered. With Anna v, Arnold Neumaier, Ron, (I dont know what Lumo would do), and many others gone, this will be the death penalty of this site. But maybe this is exactly what people who have a say on the SE network exactly are up to and want to do.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5809_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 17:19:58Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 17:19</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton The owners and staff of Stackexchange are not beginners at what they do. They don't care about your feelings, they care about the bottom line. They have no interest in destroying physics.SE, it is a small but important part -- as a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader" rel="nofollow">loss leader</a> -- of their highly profitable business model. They already know that most of the people now threatening to leave will stay. You are a player in this <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMORPG" rel="nofollow">MMORPG</a> and are heavily addicted already. So was Ron.</span> – <a href="/users/8143/eugene-seidel" title="228 reputation" class="comment-user">Eugene Seidel</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5813_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 17:33:16Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 17:33</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton, so saying "Screw you guys, I'm taking my ball and going home" isn't acting like a grammar school kid?  Interesting...  Despite all your posts here, I don't think the sky will fall, nor that the site will go under because of one person getting a slap on the wrist for acting like a flaming a-hole.  Consider it a learning opportunity and move on.  Seriously, I like Larian's "SCA" joke, this has all the worst elements of that type of drama.</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5843_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 20:05:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 20:05</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@ArnoldNeumaier you say <code>all real adults have motivations and emotions, and these determine their actions</code> and you say that should apply to the mods (or potential mods), but the actions of Ron should be immune to that?  I don't think that's what you meant to say, but that's how this entire brohaha is comining accross as...</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5853_2745"><span title="2012-12-06 21:31:55Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 21:31</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Brightblades: It applies to everyone, and good rules should be flexible enough to accommodate that.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5891_2745"><span title="2012-12-07 08:52:12Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 8:52</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Moreover, penalties should take into account both the offences and the damage done to the site by applying them. There is a strong mismatch in the particular case under discussion.</span> – <a href="/users/7924/arnold-neumaier" title="14720 reputation" class="comment-user">Arnold Neumaier</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5892_2745"><span title="2012-12-07 08:52:32Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 8:52</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>Freedom have sometimes some drawbacks, which are almost nothing, when compared with its advantages.</p>

<p>And so, although it is not nice to read insults or whatever Ron wrote in the Meta site discussion (I cannot judge by myself because it all has been erased, like it happens in dictatorial regimes where google itself is banned) it is MUCH WORSE to see that a user can be so easily banned and silenced and punished, because we are sacrificing FREEDOM of speech. Additionally, we are not talking about a normal user, but about somebody whose answers are EXTREMELY BRILLIANT AND ENLIGHTENING AND VALUABLE.</p>

<p>I am thankful to the moderators for keeping Physics.SE main site clean from anything that is not strictly physics. But the Meta site is another different thing. To have so easily silenced Ron is an INSULT to all us, as it is an insult to the highly reputed users that clearly are today posting comments against this BANANA REPUBLIC censorship on Ron.</p>

<p>I am lazy to type www.physics.SE.whatever... in my navigator. I simply write "Ron Maimon Physics" in google every day to enter this site, because Ron's contribution are for me (and I think I am not the only one) one of the most important reasons to enter this site. Please undo the ban as soon as possible, showing us that you live, and consequently act, as in free modern countries, where freedom of speech sometimes brings some minor disadvantages.</p>

<p>Moderators are meant to keep Physics.SE a site about physics, not to act as elementary school teachers punishing a user for the use of rude language, at least not in the Meta site.</p>
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            <a href="/posts/2731/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-05 20:29:39Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 20:29</span></a>

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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 15:33:47Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 15:33</span>
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            <a href="/users/14182/eduardo-guerras-valera">Eduardo Guerras Valera</a><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score" dir="ltr">1,979</span><span title="1 silver badge"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">1</span></span><span title="8 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">8</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Thank you to you too Eduardo for supporting Ron :-)</span> – <a href="/users/11062/crazy-buddy" title="5693 reputation" class="comment-user">Crazy Buddy</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5601_2731"><span title="2012-12-05 15:42:20Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:42</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Well, this is nonsense :) Why do you think there are libel laws, hate-speech laws? If someone started abusing "free speech" to smear your character, I think you'd change your tune pretty quickly.</span> – <a href="/users/2146/larry-harson" title="1337 reputation" class="comment-user">Larry Harson</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5719_2731"><span title="2012-12-06 01:08:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 1:08</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I'd only like to say that freedom is not a one-way thing.  You cannot remove limits on one person's behavior without imposing limits on what behavior another person does not have to be exposed to, and vice versa.  Allowing any sort of negative behavior or speech causes a negative impact on the people exposed to it and a negative impact on their ability to be free from it.  Where the balance should be is a complicated question, but I think promoting one side at all costs is a quick route to lesser aggregate freedom.</span> – <a href="/users/1137/matthew-read" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Matthew Read</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5949_2731"><span title="2012-12-07 21:36:12Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 7 '12 at 21:36</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@LarryHarson: Your comment is pplain trolling .</span> – <a href="/users/23119/dimension10-abhimanyu-ps" title="2141 reputation" class="comment-user">DImension10  Abhimanyu PS</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment13012_2731"><span title="2013-08-11 14:52:19Z" class="relativetime-clean">Aug 11 at 14:52</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dimension10 your comment is libelous</span> – <a href="/users/2146/larry-harson" title="1337 reputation" class="comment-user">Larry Harson</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment13038_2731"><span title="2013-08-11 17:17:06Z" class="relativetime-clean">Aug 11 at 17:17</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dimension10 Don't pay much attention to Larry Harson's random trolling. I think he is not a normal user interested in physics, but rather he is part of the StackExchange staff. He randomly trolls here and there, to enliven controversy. That explains his erratically trolling, his apparent hatred for Ron, how he gives wrong physical answers to promote user corrections (which he ignores in order to favour more comments), to filter out possible future moderators that are not patient with trolls, etc.</span> – <a href="/users/14182/eduardo-guerras-valera" title="1979 reputation" class="comment-user">Eduardo Guerras Valera</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment13079_2731"><span title="2013-08-12 15:21:53Z" class="relativetime-clean">Aug 12 at 15:21</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 6 times"></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>This is an absolute travesty. Especially in light of it happening during an election. </p>

<p>If this was happening in the real world it would be a sign we were living in a banana republic.</p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 13:36:47Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 13:36</span>
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            user2963<br>
            
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Yea, I think physics would benefit for an independently run community, ala mathoverflow, this site is run by amateurs with no insight in science. This entire election thing and banning over disagreeing is like kindergarden.</span> – <a href="/users/11805/hobo" title="146 reputation" class="comment-user">Hobo</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5552_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:42:02Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:42</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 4 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">It is bound to fail in long run. Science, unfortunately, isnt a popularity contest, or a democracy.</span> – <a href="/users/11805/hobo" title="146 reputation" class="comment-user">Hobo</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5557_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:47:58Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:47</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Hobo:  The site is community run.  Some of us would like to see the community have a little more independence, but this is hardly the end of all things.</span> – <a href="/users/1504/user1504" title="5073 reputation" class="comment-user">user1504</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5564_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:53:29Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:53</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@user1504 it easily could become it. Ron is one of the most prolific and interesting contributors here. If he is driven away, the appeal of the site drops significantly to me at least. Once the actual physics experts leave, the site will degenerate into homework spam.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user2963</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5565_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:55:14Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:55</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Hobo: The ban was not over disagreeing. Ron was warned about personal attacks and offensive posts, and he continued. Not sure of the details, but it sure looked like that is what happened..</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5566_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:56:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:56</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Clearly this was done by outsiders who are biased against Ron - go and look at the comments by shog9 when people questioned his suspension earlier this year.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user2963</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5569_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 13:57:59Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:57</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@zephyr How do you define outsiders? Shog9 is a Stack Exchange employee, hardly an outsider to any SE site.</span> – <a href="/users/16181/yannis" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Yannis</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5573_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 14:09:04Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 14:09</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@YannisRizos you are an outsider, Shog9 is an outsider, anyone without substantial reputation earned on THIS SE SITE is an outsider here.</span> – <span class="comment-user">user2963</span> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5574_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 14:18:48Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 14:18</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@YannisRizos Do not take the "outsider" at heart, it is easy to become insider, stick around and vote and comment and ask a question or two and your become an insider. The problem is that physics is not like mathematics or computer science. The latter are  quod erat demonstrandum (QED) disciplines, right and wrong can be clearly defined. In the frontier physics there is no right or wrong, there is research which can go either way. Character traits like the ones Ron has displayed are advantageous to research, because a researcher has to be continually and aggressively skeptical. Aggressive</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5579_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 14:57:39Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 14:57</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@YannisRizos characteristics in a personality lead sometimes to abrasive behavior; which is accepted by physicists, because we learn by confronting our ideas, if the ideas are good. When it spills over to something like elections and meta I would be lenient, if the physics is good,which it is in the case of Ron.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5581_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 15:00:23Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:00</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav I like Ron. We've clashed a couple of times (on other sites), but that doesn't mean I don't like him. But that's irrelevant really, I was only asking for clarification on what zephyr meant by outsiders, clarification was given, and in no way am I going to hold one user's opinion against (or for) the wider community. I don't even think Ron himself would endorse such opinions, from the (limited) interaction I had with him in the past, he might have been overly abrasive at times, but from what I gathered he's especially proud of being an "outsider" himself.</span> – <a href="/users/16181/yannis" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Yannis</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5584_2721"><span title="2012-12-05 15:06:34Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:06</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>I don't know what happened, but perhaps the physics.stackexchange moderators can shed some light on this? </p>

<h2>Edit:</h2>

<p>So all this hoopla is about somebody named Larian? Pardon my newbness, but I have never heard or seen an answer posted by this gentleman. </p>

<p><strong>I have however, seen Ron help many many new people (including myself) to this site.</strong></p>
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            <a href="/posts/2719/revisions" title="show all edits to this post">edited <span title="2012-12-06 01:06:31Z" class="relativetime">Dec 6 '12 at 1:06</span></a>

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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 13:06:29Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 13:06</span>
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            <a href="/users/5827/antillar-maximus"><div class=""><img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/1b4c20fa6cd8c2c3e697500d0f51cafa?s=32&d=identicon&r=PG" alt="" height="32" width="32"></div></a>
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            <a href="/users/5827/antillar-maximus">Antillar Maximus</a><br>
            <span class="reputation-score" title="reputation score" dir="ltr">885</span><span title="1 silver badge"><span class="badge2"></span><span class="badgecount">1</span></span><span title="7 bronze badges"><span class="badge3"></span><span class="badgecount">7</span></span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">No, moderators are not allowed to discuss suspension details publicly.</span> – <a href="/users/16181/yannis" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Yannis</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5537_2719"><span title="2012-12-05 13:09:00Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 13:09</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">You can read why any user is suspended by following the links at the top of the <a href="http://physics.stackexchange.com/users/4864/ron-maimon">user page</a>. Follow the linked text and it will explain they why suspensions exist and what happens when a particular time out ends.</span> – <a href="/users/4182/bmike" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">bmike</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5613_2719"><span title="2012-12-05 15:59:51Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 15:59</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">If anything, Ron speaks his mind and I like that. Seems a bit harsh to ban someone for stating their opinion.</span> – <a href="/users/5827/antillar-maximus" title="885 reputation" class="comment-user">Antillar Maximus</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5638_2719"><span title="2012-12-05 17:08:36Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:08</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@AntillarMaximus: You can always state your opinion in a constructive manner. If Ron had put a single, well-worded, post on meta questioning Larian's candidacy, and he had not repeatedly spammed chat/THC, there probably would be no ban :/</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5723_2719"><span title="2012-12-06 02:21:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 2:21</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Larian was one of the Astronomy mods and that may be why you have not seen him much here.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6534_2719"><span title="2013-01-04 02:26:32Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 2:26</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Manishearth Ron was suspended also for defacing his own posts.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6548_2719"><span title="2013-01-04 12:30:44Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 12:30</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>No, I do not agree.</p>

<p>If nothing else, I do not agree with a decision, supposedly made within a community, which actively suppresses the grounds for the decision. The only actual fact I know is the admission by Larian LeQuella that he implied that Ron Maimon is a crank, and that this caused Ron to engage in a questionable dialogue. In my opinion it is highly inappropriate to call Ron a crank. </p>

<p>Primarily though, this is simply an infantile controversy, making a large matter out of a single heated discussion. The fact of the matter is that Ron is a brilliant physicist, who has contributed immensely to the development of Physics.SE. He is furthermore someone who has a rare potential to make important contributions to physics in general. It is a great shame that no one seems to have made a real attempt at bringing Ron inside a productive physics research institution, and if the outcome of this is that Ron stops his activities here, that would be a further shame on the community.</p>

<p>In this case, even without knowing the details, I think it is clear that the punitive measure was inappropriate and excessive. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2013-01-03 23:31:46Z" class="relativetime">Jan 3 at 23:31</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Thanks for this answer, I agree with you. Sadly we have lost Ron together with other valuable experts, such as Arnold Neumaier for example, because of this injustice. People who are actually active here would not let reterun Ron here either, even if he wanted to, at least not for a longer time. The result of this disastrous happenings you can see considering looking at the new questions since about a month ago. The incoming of new good, say graduate level or technical questions has largely decreased, and certain more theoretical or fundamental topics are fading away from physics SE :-(</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6529_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 00:10:57Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 0:10</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">"In this case, even without knowing the details, I think it is clear that the punitive measure was inappropriate and excessive". Well, you don't know the details do you? For the sake of Ron's privacy, I won't say what I know about the incident. I just hope when the suspension is shortly lifted, Ron apologises to the right people and admit he was fortunate to get just a 1 month suspension, if he thinks this is appropriate.</span> – <a href="/users/2146/larry-harson" title="1337 reputation" class="comment-user">Larry Harson</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6532_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 01:38:48Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 1:38</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">"[Larian's 'crank' comment] caused Ron to engage in a questionable dialogue." That comment was <i>caused</i> by Ron's behaviour and not the other way round. What caused Ron's behaviour was that he was convinced that Larian, if elected, would go around the site and censor answers he didn't like.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6533_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 02:24:23Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 2:24</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton And people interested, if you go to resurected Ron's profile you will see that he will keep a distance, not remove himself completely, which is good for the site, because most of the time his answers are very enlightening and rest on solid physics thinking.</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6546_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 11:01:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 11:01</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav his old answers are <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/" rel="nofollow">community property</a> and he can't remove them even if he wants to... so don't worry about that.</span> – <a href="/users/66/sklivvz" title="5771 reputation" class="comment-user">Sklivvz<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6547_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 12:29:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 12:29</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav I see, but not sure how to interpret these comments. As I read it, Ron will give no new answers to questions and only respond to comments below already existing posts (?).</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6549_2951"><span title="2013-01-04 12:41:51Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 4 at 12:41</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Dilaton: Yeah, that's basically it. I think I should answer people's questions about old stuff, and defend the old stuff, but I don't want to contribute any more to this project, I don't think it has succeeded the way it could have, and the way it should have. One must try again elsewhere to realize the promise of usenet, and make a truly open sciene communication, but this site will not allow it, as it is scary to have open communication. It exposes the truth too easily. I have ideas for this, but I haven't yet bought hosting. I am also very busy programming now, the work is endless.</span> – <a href="/users/4864/ron-maimon" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user">Ron Maimon</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6557_2951"><span title="2013-01-05 07:26:10Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 5 at 7:26</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited 3 times"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@RonMaimon I perfectly understand you, after what people have done and some are still doing to you and to the site. It would be really cool, if you or other former TP people could start a new (theoretical) physics site outside SE :-). As you certainly have noted too, the level here has dramatically dropped and many theoretical topics they were interested in on TP.SE are fading away from here. I guess my last slightly technical question will never get an answer for example ... :-/.</span> – <a href="/users/2751/dilaton" title="1 reputation" class="comment-user owner">Dilaton</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment6558_2951"><span title="2013-01-05 09:51:28Z" class="relativetime-clean">Jan 5 at 9:51</span></a></span></div></td>
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    <div class="post-text"><p>(moved from comments to Answer at another user's request)</p>

<p>I was here last night and watched it unfold. Some of what I'm about to say, I've said before and it's been deleted, so we'll see how long it stays up this time. Certainly Ron behaved no worse in chat than the candidate whom he criticized; in chat, this individual actually linked to John Baez's web page on physics crackpots in a clear attempt to smear Ron as one! Ron may be wrong about cold fusion -- indeed, he very likely is wrong -- but to call him a crackpot in public is despicable. This candidate should do the right thing and withdraw his nomination immediately. </p>

<p>The other thing is, this is not a democracy. StackExchange is a highly valuable money machine that generates many millions of dollars for its owners. They need an unimpeded stream of traffic from users and they will go to any length to protect their corporate brand, no different from what McDonald's or Toys 'R' Us would do in similar circumstances. Despite all the hearts and flowers talk, this is not a grassroots community. Employees of StackExchange (be they called "community managers" or whatever) are loyal to who pays their salary. Users are welcome only so long as they don't rock the boat.    </p>

<p>Understand, I am not criticizing anyone here on moral grounds. The owners and employees of SE have a perfect right to protect their economic interest and to transmit their will down the line. All the more so as a sizable portion, probably even the majority, of registered users place such a high premium on "civility". It is my personal opinion that many people should grow thicker skin, but my opinion is worth a bucket of warm spit. Ron knew the risks he was taking and paid the price. In my opinion he would be better off operating his personal weblog and at least collect a little $ from ads. </p>
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                        answered <span title="2012-12-05 16:46:23Z" class="relativetime">Dec 5 '12 at 16:46</span>
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            <a href="/users/8143/eugene-seidel">Eugene Seidel</a><br>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">Hm, actually the first time I read Ron's profile, I thought the text he has in his about box is a direct and pretty much intentional reference to the crackpot index (in a humorous way). Are you sure you are not misreading the exchange? For all you know it might have been a quirky in-joke.</span> – <a href="/users/16181/yannis" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Yannis</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5635_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:03:40Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:03</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I don't see how Ron "behaved no worse". Larian linked to a page about crackpots in a reply--that doesn't make it a "clear" attempt to smear Ron. I think it was a more general reply the his question--"use this to determine if people should be silenced or not".  On the other hand, Ron was all over meta and chat, saying that we shouldn't vote for Larian. Re:blog: he has already been told that multiple times.</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5637_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:05:30Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:05</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Manishearth Why should one  not say "do not vote for such and such, in my opinion he/she will not be a good moderator"? This is done continuously in free democratic countries and elections. Even all over the place. Have you never voted for elections at county and country level?</span> – <a href="/users/1492/anna-v" title="29793 reputation" class="comment-user">anna v</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5641_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:13:42Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:13</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@annav: Hmm, that is fine--part and parcel of the elections. But saying it in ALL CAPS? Multiple times? Spamming meta with it? Yeah, in real world elections you do get some pretty horrible things being said about candidates. But SE rules about civility are not dropped during an election. All arguments can be had in a constructive manner, Ron chose not to. Re:voted--check my age on my profile. I missed the recent US Presidential election because it takes too long to get an overseas voter's card.) But I <i>do</i> follow elections, so I know what you're talking about ;-)</span> – <a href="/users/7433/manishearth" title="9239 reputation" class="comment-user">Manishearth<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5644_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:17:18Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:17</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@YannisRizos I'm not the only one who saw it like that, another user during chat said, <code>"This is totally unacceptable. You're calling Ron a crackpot because gets a few points on a list that John Baez wrote for laughs? Do you really think his physics answers are incorrect? If so, you have no business moderating."</code> Furthermore, Ron himself was persoanlly attacked during chat by yet another user (albeit without mentioning his name).</span> – <a href="/users/8143/eugene-seidel" title="228 reputation" class="comment-user">Eugene Seidel</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5650_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:35:09Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:35</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@EugeneSeidel I've read the exchange, and I'm afraid I'll have to disagree, I don't see Ron being attacked in any way. But that's just my opinion.</span> – <a href="/users/16181/yannis" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Yannis</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5653_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:38:07Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:38</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I hesitate to point this out, @Eugene, since it probably won't matter... But, look around. Do you see any ads? Do you see a job board? Paid promotional answers? We don't make any money off of this site. It is, at best, a loss leader, but even that implies a level of calculation that really doesn't exist. The site exists because there were physicists using other sites on the network who wanted their own site.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5657_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 17:44:41Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 17:44</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Shog9 <i>"It is, at best, a loss leader, but even that implies a level of calculation that really doesn't exist. "</i> You will excuse me if I flat out tell you that I do not believe that.</span> – <a href="/users/8143/eugene-seidel" title="228 reputation" class="comment-user">Eugene Seidel</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5661_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 18:00:19Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:00</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I don't really expect you to, @Eugene. Nevertheless, it's true. We're getting better over time at identifying ideas that <i>won't</i> work for a site, but "lots of folks asking for it in a short time" is still the only good indicator of a site that <i>will</i> work. It'd be kinda cool if we could figure out something akin to Careers on Stack Overflow (a sort of match-making service for programmers) that would work on a site like this, but in all honesty I don't see us making a dime off of Physics any time soon. For now, it's an opportunity to help smart people learn from each other, and nothing more.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5663_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 18:06:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:06</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="warm">13</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I've seen precious little evidence of that statement this week, @Eugene. Regardless, no one is stopping anyone here from setting up their own site on their own equipment with their own funding at any time. If you're interested, contact me and I'll even provide you with information on tools that might help. But I'll warn you up-front: it takes an awful lot of work.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5666_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 18:15:35Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:15</span></a></span></div></td>
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<td class="comment-score">
<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="cool">3</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@EugeneSeidel:  I think Shog9 is speaking the truth here.  Physics.SE is not easily monetizable.  In particular, no one is making millions of dollars of it.  That's entirely the wrong order of magnitude.  The hosting and telecoms are probably making a few $1000 a year providing servers and bandwidth, and that's it.</span> – <a href="/users/1504/user1504" title="5073 reputation" class="comment-user">user1504</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5669_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 18:25:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 18:25</span></a></span><span class="edited-yes" title="this comment was edited"></span></div></td>
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<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="warm">14</span>
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@user1504: exactly. We want a reputation for hosting sites where folks are free to share knowledge in a healthy, professional environment, <i>regardless</i> of topic. If folks can ask and answer questions on topics as diverse and often controversial as Mathematics and Islam, there should be no reason why they can't feel comfortable jumping in to participate on <i>any</i> site that matches their interests and expertise.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5674_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 19:06:05Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 19:06</span></a></span></div></td>
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<td class="comment-score">
<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="cool">3</span>
</td>
<td>
 
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        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">(And by the way: Who <i>is</i> this "Larian" fellow? As in: Is he a real person or not? I'm sorry, I just don't believe in posting very impressive resumes under false names. It makes me wonder about every item on said resume.) Anyway, Ron Maimon: This site is posted as a service, absolutely free of cost, with an open license on contents. The powers that be (hi @Shog9, whoever you are in real life) provided some pretty reasonable rules of discourse and a system of warnings. So, um... what is the issue here again? You break their rules on <i>their</i> site, they issues warnings & bans. This is surprising?</span> – <a href="/users/7670/terry-bollinger" title="6071 reputation" class="comment-user">Terry Bollinger</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5697_2737"><span title="2012-12-05 22:06:47Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 5 '12 at 22:06</span></a></span></div></td>
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        <td class="comment-actions"><table><tbody><tr>
<td class="comment-score">
<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="cool">4</span>
</td>
<td>
 
</td></tr>
</tbody></table></td>
        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">I can state with certianty that Larian (or Steve, or Jan Stephan) is the person in the picture, and that those accomplishments he lists are real.  I have known him for nearly 20 years now (and served with him on active duty).  I think he uses that name because of the real discrimination against atheists in the US, and it's a persona name he has used since 1979 (according to his web page).  I don't think there is any attempt at "misdirection" given how open he is about who he really is...</span> – <a href="/users/5076/brightblades" title="391 reputation" class="comment-user">Brightblades</a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5801_2737"><span title="2012-12-06 16:32:33Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 16:32</span></a></span></div></td>
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<span title="number of 'useful comment' votes received" class="cool">3</span>
</td>
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</td></tr>
</tbody></table></td>
        <td class="comment-text"><div><span class="comment-copy">@Terry: no, that's not quite correct - the statement he made was that, given Ron felt that Larian was somehow biased against him, he would refrain from moderating Ron's posts and defer to other moderators should he be elected (the Town Hall Chat transcript is linked around here somewhere if you're interested in details). He <i>does</i> state in his nomination that he stood up primarily to motivate other qualified candidates to do likewise, but I haven't seen any indication that he would shirk his responsibility if selected.</span> – <a href="/users/2911/shog9" title="101 reputation" class="comment-user">Shog9<span class="mod-flair" title="moderator">?</span></a> <span class="comment-date" dir="ltr"><a class="comment-link" href="#comment5818_2737"><span title="2012-12-06 17:40:56Z" class="relativetime-clean">Dec 6 '12 at 17:40</span></a></span></div></td>
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