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Old 2019-04-20, 20:31   #56
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1call View Post
I think you still need someone...
You are correct.

The laws of physics should not be forgotten.
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Old 2019-04-25, 10:51   #57
lukerichards
 
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In addition to this thread, the habitual changing of thread titles does not sit easy with me. I'd be interested to know others thoughts.

I'm on an android device right now so copying and pasting links is a bit fiddly but there is a thread where OP thinks s/he has found a formula for the discovery of mersenne prime exponents. Someone has changed the title to read "shmormula" instead of "formula". I believe the reason for doing this is benign - presumably to ensure that anyone reading the thread titles understands that it does not contain a proven formula. I don't believe there was any malice involved.

However as I say, it still sits uneasy with me. It smacks of a word I've used before: belittling. Furthermore, it comes across as undermining. I suggest a better way to achieve the aim would be to add a tag such as [Questionable conjecture] to the thread titles, which handles the problem in a much more tactful way.

Similar happened to me in a thread where I was asking about ECM world records. In amongst the vitriol from a number of people who were admins and since had admin status removed, the title of the thread had been changed from "ECM world records?" to "... merely a question about ECM world records." I don't know who changed it or whether it was done to add clarity to the title or to make a dig about the debate happening inside, but without explanation it seems underhand.

As has been mentioned before: communication is hard especially where attempts at humour are involved. If the forum administration team genuinely wish to develop an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere my proposition is that where administrative level decisions are made to justifiably undermine someone's post (and we do need to accept that this is necessary) that it is done so in a neutral and consistent manner, as suggested above, save to risk coming across as belittling.

Cue: attacks from some people about being a snow flake and fetishes about cotton wool.
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Old 2019-04-25, 13:51   #58
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The thread renaming is mildly troubling but not for those reasons. An unwritten rule of forums and the like is that mods shouldn't come in and misrepresent what a user is saying otherwise communication becomes untrustworthy. Deleting and editing with attribution as necessary to moderate is part of the job description but doing so without a trace would be bad. Thread renaming with humorous intent is fine once you know about it but some new users may think that the unwritten rule may be getting broken on the regular. I was in that position once.
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Old 2019-04-25, 13:53   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukerichards View Post
As has been mentioned before: communication is hard especially where attempts at humour are involved. If the forum administration team genuinely wish to develop an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere my proposition is that where administrative level decisions are made to justifiably undermine someone's post (and we do need to accept that this is necessary) that it is done so in a neutral and consistent manner, as suggested above, save to risk coming across as belittling.

Cue: attacks from some people about being a snow flake and fetishes about cotton wool.
The actions of a single mod don't necessarily represent a "administrative level decision". Moving things like the thread you cited to the Misc Math forum is already a mark akin to the [Questionable conjecture] tag.
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Old 2019-04-25, 13:59   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M344587487 View Post
Thread renaming with humorous intent is fine once you know about it but some new users may think that the unwritten rule may be getting broken on the regular. I was in that position once.
I reversed one not that long ago. While humourous, it had a troubling sexist vibe.

Typically the threads that get renamed are popular ones. One with 3 replies and 10 views generally won't get renamed, save for clarity or for profanity (etc.)
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Old 2019-04-25, 16:05   #61
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Thread renaming is something which has happened here regularly for so long that I guess most of us accept it as part of the culture here. Usually its effect is humorous. Sometimes it makes threads harder to find (after all, the thread title is the main identifier of a thread and is supposed to reflect its content). Occasionally it causes serious irritation. But, like others above, I don't believe the intention is ever to belittle anyone. Gentle poking perhaps, but not belittlement.

People have complained about it many times before. I know I have done too. But whoever does it will carry on doing it, I have no doubt. Hopefully it is something we can all live with.
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Old 2019-04-25, 16:57   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Thread renaming is something which has happened here regularly for so long that I guess most of us accept it as part of the culture here. Usually its effect is humorous. Sometimes it makes threads harder to find (after all, the thread title is the main identifier of a thread and is supposed to reflect its content). Occasionally it causes serious irritation. But, like others above, I don't believe the intention is ever to belittle anyone. Gentle poking perhaps, but not belittlement.

People have complained about it many times before. I know I have done too. But whoever does it will carry on doing it, I have no doubt. Hopefully it is something we can all live with.
Most of the thread-renaming occurs in non-technical areas and is done almost entirely for its humerus* effect. The "Right to Bear Arms" thread in the Soap Box is a particularly well-attested example. I created it and am also one of several who have renamed it off and on. Two of mine were "The Right to Bare Arms" and "The Right to Arm Bears".

* Not a tyop. The term just happens to tickle my funny bone.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2019-04-25 at 19:14 Reason: Fix tyop
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Old 2019-04-25, 17:40   #63
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I find thread renaming funny, too. I know it's (luckily) not a democracy, just my two cents.

It must also be some sort of tradition to get such obvious cranks with wild theories about stuff from time to time, and them being so completely oblivious as to why they aren't taken seriously at all. Is it the Mersenne prime equivalent of flat-earthers?
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Old 2019-04-25, 18:15   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomead View Post
It must also be some sort of tradition to get such obvious cranks with wild theories about stuff from time to time, and them being so completely oblivious as to why they aren't taken seriously at all. Is it the Mersenne prime equivalent of flat-earthers?
Postgraduate and PhD students in Number Theory regularly get passed unsolicited E-mails received by their supervisor claiming to have solved a famous open problem.
The supervisor's request is usually to read as far as the first mistake and draft a suitable reply.
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Old 2019-04-25, 20:23   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Postgraduate and PhD students in Number Theory regularly get passed unsolicited E-mails received by their supervisor claiming to have solved a famous open problem.
The supervisor's request is usually to read as far as the first mistake and draft a suitable reply.
This sounds like the approach attributed to the University of Gottingen WRT Fermat's Last Theorem after the Wolfskehl Prize was offered. They printed form letters,

"Thank you for submitting a proof of Fermat's theorem.

Your first mistake is on page __ line __."

and had graduate students fill in the blanks.
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Old 2019-04-25, 20:27   #66
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Well, I don't see anything funny in changing "tone of debate" to "tomb of debate".
Probably I just don't get the punchline.
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