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Friday, June 09, 2006

Baxter Bulletin: McCoy: Scientologists and Sabermetricians

Working the Purification Rundown play to perfection…

Bill James and other worshippers at the Sabermetric temple do have valid arguments and some have very interesting theories on the game. But in their vigor to get the next OPS on a Peter Gammons segment on ESPN, quite a few — including James himself — have also wasted paper with convoluted, over-thought.

In chasing fame, unfortunately, Sabermetricians have become baseball’s Scientologists — well, without all the couch-jumping on the Oprah Winfrey show or the pot-shots at Brooke Shields’ handling of her mental health. They started out, innocently enough, as guys just wanting to look at something a little differently, but like all novelty acts, they’ve become a cult-like group of number crunchers who infiltrate positions of high-visibility and present their word as law.

Repoz Posted: June 09, 2006 at 10:43 AM | 306 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: books, reviews, sabermetrics

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   201. Mefisto Posted: June 13, 2006 at 11:44 PM (#2062474)
But there is a definable group that does exhibit the behavior that you discuss. The name that most of the world uses for that group is "sabermetrician"

If somebody did say that about Christians and you knew what they meant, then any complaint about diction is more often than not obfuscating the issue.

This is a side issue, but I think you're wrong two different ways. First, I deny that "sabermetrician" accurately defines a group that exhibits the behavior they (not I) discuss. In particular, I deny that Bill James does it. Thus, even if "sabermetricians" generally did, they are arguing invalidly (that's being polite) by using the implied syllogism:

Sabermetricians believe X
Bill James is a sabermetrician
James therefore believes X

No, I didn't improve it at all. I stated it in a different way. And I also expressly defined the interval. This is a good example. Its quibbling; its worrying about form over substance. Either you understand what they mean and are objecting because you don't like how they express it, or you don't understand what they mean, which usually isn't necessary a positive attribute on your part. You are manufacturing ambiguity with complaints more about someone's writing than someone's ideas and it obscures the point of the ideas.

No, their original formulation was unintelligible; if they failed to express themselves well, it's not my fault for misunderstanding, it's theirs for miswriting. You at least made a plausible and mostly testable proposition.

I still have no idea what they meant. The reference to batters going 0-15 appears meaningless because they failed to supply the context. I'll assume they meant to discuss how the player would perform in the next AB. First, most "sabermetricians" don't accept hot and cold streaks as predictive in any case. Mentioning that fact is thus deceptive in implicitly attributing to "sabermetricians" a belief they do not hold (see above). Second, if a "sabermetrician" wanted to microanalyze a particular AB (doubtful in any case), s/he would want to know much more information about the players, pitcher handedness, GB/FB, runners on or not, etc. They omitted all those considerations, again leaving a deceptive, if not dishonest, impression.
   202. Chris Dial Posted: June 13, 2006 at 11:52 PM (#2062495)
If they make a statement that is untrue, then you can deal with the statement that is untrue. Dealing with irrelevant portions of the statement, or playing definitional games does not make the statement "untrue". And critizing someone who is presenting critical comment because their comment was critical rather than research, tends to just be burden shifting.

If these guys were posting on an internet board, I might agree. They are passing off some poorly researched book.

"Explain to the authors"? Comeon, they skipped basic research before writing on what OPS means and its value. If this were a post, okay, take some time, but a book? Come on.
   203. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:03 AM (#2062534)
(3) There is already the "hero worship" factor playing in. One poster has asserted that you should not "go after" someone because they did good things.
Yes. One poster. Whose handle I, at least, don't recognize, so he probably isn't much of a regular. He was not seconded, and "one poster" immediately criticized this comment.


I've never understood grouping a bunch of people together and then criticizing (or praising) them because they all think the same.

You group schools of thought together to discuss those schools of thought. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

I don't understand why people are critical of this practice. Its like an objection to talking about the impressionists, because the each were a different artist. Its not their differences that are under discussion; its the commonality. Its pretty clear the practices that are being criticized.
I think this misses the point. You can criticize the particular thoughts they hold, but it makes no sense to criticize them for thinking the same thing, which some people keep doing here. If one has inaccurately grouped people -- if they don't all think the same thing -- then one's criticism is without basis. If one has accurately grouped them, then one's criticism is circular.

And in any case, in any field of study, most people will think the same thing about most subjects. One would hope. It wouldn't be much of a field of study if they didn't.
   204. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#2062535)
If somebody did say that about Christians and you knew what they meant, then any complaint about diction is more often than not obfuscating the issue.

I forgot the second part of my response to this. I tend to take what people say at face value. If they intend something different, they need to say so.

Now, obviously we need to make allowances for when people misspeak. I'm willing to do that in conversation or an internet posting, less so in a book. More importantly, I'm most willing to do it when the speaker has demonstrated that s/he does understand the issue and simply overgeneralized. The comments these guys have made don't demonstrate that understanding.
   205. Bizarro ARod Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2062539)
I've been going through James' book on Win Shares trying to figure out how he made Arky Vaughan so good, but without any luck so far. For those who have read the authors book, would you mind giving me a hint or two?
   206. JPWF13 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2062581)
For those who have read the authors book, would you mind giving me a hint or two?

The authors do not discuss James' rationale- tehy simply point out that James rankled Arky 2nd in his historical abstract, and ridicule suvch ranking because AROD has better triple crown numbers and because Cal Ripken is, well Cal Ripken.

In the historical abstract James rests his case, essentially on win shares, win shares has Arky better than all otehr candidates over a three or five year peak. He also compares Arky Defensivly to Marty Marion-

he does not definitively state that Arky is absolutely the right choice for #2 (which confuses the hell out of the authors btw), it's more a Jamesian, "this is who my system puts at #2 and when you really look at it, it's reasonable")
   207. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#2062595)
If they make a statement that is untrue, then you can deal with the statement that is untrue. Dealing with irrelevant portions of the statement, or playing definitional games does not make the statement "untrue". And critizing someone who is presenting critical comment because their comment was critical rather than research, tends to just be burden shifting.
You seem a lot more tolerant of people criticizing "sabermetrics" than you do of people criticizing the anti-steroid movement, BL. When someone new jumps into a thread and says "What about Lasik?" or "What about spitballs?" or whatever, you don't seem to be quite as accepting as you do here. You immediately go all meta rather than "dealing with the statement." (I know your response: that you've dealt with these statements before. Well,...)
   208. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#2062599)
Sabermetricians believe X
Bill James is a sabermetrician
James therefore believes X


What's wrong w/this syllogism? Is there an implied "some" rather than "all" qualifying sabermetricians?
   209. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2062648)
You seem a lot more tolerant of people criticizing "sabermetrics" than you do of people criticizing the anti-steroid movement, BL. When someone new jumps into a thread and says "What about Lasik?" or "What about spitballs?" or whatever, you don't seem to be quite as accepting as you do here. You immediately go all meta rather than "dealing with the statement." (I know your response: that you've dealt with these statements before. Well,...)


BL won't be replying, DMN, as he's been temporarily banned by Jim for calling him "Nelly." Anyway, this is a fair point, I think. But it's one that applies to all of our treatment of each other's povs, don't you think?
   210. Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#2062649)
Since we have a few newcomers..
Thanks to just about everyone for participating in this debate in a way which represents the best conversation this site has to offer.

Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to point out that the comments of Backlasher are gross misrepresentations of my thoughts on this issue. His need to drag me into this thread is such a way is an matter for trained professionals and, I hope, won't become a distraction to this particular conversation.
   211. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:51 AM (#2062673)
Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to point out that the comments of Backlasher are gross misrepresentations of my thoughts on this issue. His need to drag me into this thread is such a way is an matter for trained professionals and, I hope, won't become a distraction to this particular conversation.


It's absurd that you post this AFTER banning him, and w/o challenging his characterizations of you and your positions directly. Many people at this site are subject to what they would consider "misrepresentations" of their position, and they usually handle it by re-representing their positions in the thread. Your action was heavy-handed and imbalanced. Lately BL has been nothing but civil, and I guarantee you you'll find that opinion shared by the people w/whom he's argued the most: Mefisto and DMN.
   212. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2062831)
What's wrong w/this syllogism? Is there an implied "some" rather than "all" qualifying sabermetricians?

The authors were implying "all" and my point was that this was factually inaccurate as to James (and probably others as well) -- the premise was false. It was equivalent to saying:

Christians believe in predestination
JC is a Christian
Therefore JC believes in predestination

As I said, this is mostly a side issue. It bugged me because the passage I criticized referred to sabermetricians as equivalent to Scientologists. That's as close as you can get to Godwining a point without actually mentioning Steve Garvey.

Lately BL has been nothing but civil, and I guarantee you you'll find that opinion shared by the people w/whom he's argued the most: Mefisto and DMN.

I generally don't comment on these kinds of issues, but I will say that I have no problem with BL's posts to me.
   213. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#2062861)
The authors were implying "all" and my point was that this was factually inaccurate as to James (and probably others as well) -- the premise was false. It was equivalent to saying:

Christians believe in predestination
JC is a Christian
Therefore JC believes in predestination

As I said, this is mostly a side issue. It bugged me because the passage I criticized referred to sabermetricians as equivalent to Scientologists. That's as close as you can get to Godwining a point without actually mentioning Steve Garvey.


I figured that was what you meant; that the premise #2 was wrong.
   214. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:37 AM (#2062874)
Lately BL has been nothing but civil, and I guarantee you you'll find that opinion shared by the people w/whom he's argued the most: Mefisto and DMN.
I haven't had a problem with BL's arguments directed at me in a long time, but he's been taunting Jim, virtually saying, "Ban me? I dare him!" for an extended period of time. (I don't necessarily think it was necessary for Jim to close the threads he has closed in recent weeks, but I certainly don't think it was necessary for BL to bring it up in every thread, either.)
   215. Fay Vincent Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#2062897)
In the best interests of Baseball Think Factory...
   216. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2062899)
I haven't had a problem with BL's arguments directed at me in a long time, but he's been taunting Jim, virtually saying, "Ban me? I dare him!" for an extended period of time. (I don't necessarily think it was necessary for Jim to close the threads he has closed in recent weeks, but I certainly don't think it was necessary for BL to bring it up in every thread, either.)


LOL. I'm sorry I called you in as a character witness. I should have known better.
   217. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:53 AM (#2062928)
It bugged me because the passage I criticized referred to sabermetricians as equivalent to Scientologists.

To be fair, that was from the review, not the book, I think.
   218. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:13 AM (#2062997)
It bugged me because the passage I criticized referred to sabermetricians as equivalent to Scientologists.

To be fair, that was from the review, not the book, I think.


Regardless, it's a ridiculous comparison. Very few sabermatricians are rich enough to be Scientologists.

As to the authors, there are plenty of people here with no particular candle for Bill James. If your book is reviewed here, I'll certainly look at that, and consider buying it. But, if your intention is to persuade rather than harangue, I suggest you change the tone of some of your posts.
   219. the "authors" Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#2063116)
Travis here. I am logged on (obviously) and attempting to rummage through the staggering backlog of posts. If you have a question/comment go ahead and post it, but please be patient as there is a lot of material here for me to deal with. Thanks to all.
   220. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2063126)
eh
   221. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:56 AM (#2063131)
LOL. I'm sorry I called you in as a character witness. I should have known better.
I'm not saying I would have banned him if I were Jim. And I do think he's a lot tamer than he used to be. Indeed, to respond precisely to your specific point, I don't think he was "uncivil" to Jim. But I think he kept poking Jim, for some reason, just to see what would happen.


And "throw him under a bus"? I think you're confused about the meaning of that phrase. I didn't complain about him or call for him to be banned, publicly or privately.
   222. HCO Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:59 AM (#2063135)
(I don't necessarily think it was necessary for Jim to close the threads he has closed in recent weeks, but I certainly don't think it was necessary for BL to bring it up in every thread, either.


I can't tell if that's Nieporent or a Retardo parody of Nieporent.
   223. the "authors" Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2063181)
is the fellow (or fellows) who runs www.firejoemorgan.com a poster here? if yes PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE e-mail me a walsh_mcfall@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to send you a picture of THE GUYS WHO WROTE THE BOOK so you can leave a good man alone and bash us two (insert your foul word here) instead. thanks
   224. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2063207)
is the fellow (or fellows) who runs www.firejoemorgan.com a poster here?

No, they're not. One of them is a very occasional lurker.
   225. deb Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2063227)
is the fellow (or fellows) who runs www.firejoemorgan.com a poster here?

You can find their email addy on their site. It is under "contact us". But they might not change the photo since part of the joke is how little the picture enlarges when you click on it.
   226. the "authors" Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:31 AM (#2063320)
Did i mention we kinda miss BL?

Guys (and gals) it has been a little slice of heaven. However, 225 posts is a lot to handle all at once. We would love to discuss one on one or in a closed forum with a pre-selected number of members. However, we really stand nothing to gain or lose here. The onslaught has been enormous. We have truly enjoyed the thoughts (agreeable or otherwise) of many of the posters here. We would love to answer questions or began a discussion via our e-mail (walsh_mcfall@yahoo.com) however, no one has used this avenue as of yet. Simply put, I (travis) will probably be around from time to time so that you all can get to know me and my views. However, logging on and having 75 comments a night to read is overwhelming. If you truly have something interesting to say as opposed to bashing a work you know nothing about, please e-mail us. If the tone of any of my posts was snide it was unintentional, and I apologize. Sometimes fighting fire with fire is not the best way to stop an inferno. The problem I am having here is seeing a work that consumed more than a year of our lives being trashed by individuals who have never read a word of it. As I have said, if you choose to read it and hate it, by all means bash away. It seems that most are inclined to dislike it for other reasons (title, Gene-o's review, etc) and for them I am truly sorry. You are missing a work that, read with an open mind, may make you think and look at the game in a different light and it seems like thought and the search for alternative forms of analysis is what brought you all here in the first place (not to mention a love of the game). However, I did not come here to push the book. If one of you buys it and procedes to mail it like a chain letter from member to member than so be it. The sales are irrelevant. This is about pursuing a dream for us and we will continue doing that whether this book sells 100,000 copies or 100. Again, thanks to all who joined in. I will be online for a while longer and checking back in periodically. Please feel free to e-mail us. We have no problem answering questions and giving supporting evidence whether it be statistical or otherwise. Again, it has been a pleasure. Looking forward to reading your e-mails. Travis

By the way, we are interested in having BTF review the book. However, there has been little to no reason for us to believe that we will recieve a fair and impartial review. If the ed. can help persuade us on this score than we shall see.

And for my final snide comment of the evening:
the WS ring count still stands at
Bill James 1
Ben Affleck 1
the authors 0
Billy Beane 0
   227. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2063330)
Ben Affleck 1

Keep posting that and 'Ich bin ein Backlasher.'

Billy Beane 0

He should have one for that other calamitous year when LaRussa won a second-round post-season series.
   228. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2063331)
Well that was anticlimactic.

Any thread that results in a ban of BL should have a better ending.
   229. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:00 AM (#2063334)
the WS ring count still stands at
Bill James 1
Ben Affleck 1
the authors 0
Billy Beane 0


Beane was on the '87 Twins and '89 A's.
   230. JJ1986 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2063336)
As far as I can tell Billy Beane has a ring, won for playing on the 1987 Minnesota Twins.
   231. the "authors" Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:16 AM (#2063341)
according to bb reference Beane never swung a bat in the post season. however, that does not mean that he did not receive a ring. He played for the 87 twins from 9-4-87 until the end of the season (12 games), so yes, he was either on the playoff roster or the team probably voted him a ring. He logged 37 games for the 89 A's between opening day and the end of the year. So, possibly 2 rings for mr. beane. i stand corrected but am still p'd off about affleck.
   232. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: June 14, 2006 at 05:58 AM (#2063354)
Since "the authors" are reading this:

We don't have any particular biases or axes to grind, and I assume that you don't either. As a BTF site editor, therefore, I offer you this opportunity:

Baseball Think Factory publishes book reviews (under the umbrella title "Boys of Summer Reading"). Send Will Young (our book review coordinator) a copy of your book for review (or have your publisher send Will one), and one of the site editors will write a review and post it as a featured link.

-- MWE


Has the site finally figured out the bugs with this? Last I heard all e-mails and IMs sent from Will to Szym got lost in cyberspace and were never replied to. At least two book reviews were written, submitted, and never made it to btf. The only one that has been published contained some garbled e-mails and a 7-week lag time before publication.
   233. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:17 AM (#2063363)
Has the site finally figured out the bugs with this? Last I heard all e-mails and IMs sent from Will to Szym got lost in cyberspace and were never replied to. At least two book reviews were written, submitted, and never made it to btf. The only one that has been published contained some garbled e-mails and a 7-week lag time before publication.

Don't ruin the optimism of this thread by posting the actual nature of the way things work.
   234. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:57 AM (#2063368)
<strike>
Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to point out that the comments of Backlasher are gross misrepresentations of my thoughts on this issue. His need to drag me into this thread is such a way is an matter for trained professionals and, I hope, won't become a distraction to this particular conversation.
</strike>

Let me fix that:

Now that I have banned BL, please take notice of the weaselly way in which I related this news to the site -- which is part and parcel of my general theme as administrator; I'm Comrade Arbitrary and Capricious to you, mishka. By pure accident I have managed to remove, under the most specious reasoning, the main opposition to the ideological beliefs nearest to my heart. Now I, Commissar Furtado, do joyfully proclaim the menace expelled, so that we may return to the politburo's "free discussion" circle-jerk in which saber inevitably roolz and traditional inevitably droolz, posthaste, all under the exalted banner of Comrade James, Hero of the Saber Revolution!

PS - Thanks for the assist, Commissar Nieporent. Extra vodka rations for you, my friend. Swoboda swoboda!
   235. DCW3 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 06:57 AM (#2063369)
i stand corrected but am still p'd off about affleck.

I like to think that, despite all the disagreements here, this is one statement from the "authors" that everyone here can get behind.

(The only person I've ever flipped off was Jimmy Fallon after Game 4 of the World Series, and if I'd seen Affleck there, then ####### it, I'd have given him both hands.)
   236. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2063372)
####### PATHETIC. grow the #### up. you have no clue what makes your site work. you wanna ban one of the best posters here and you think it will improve things? I'm not surprised.

You've totally missed the point, even though you posted it yourself. It's HIS site. If he doesn't think the site works with Backlasher calling him names and misrepresenting his viewpoint, then the site doesn't work. He's the one who created the site, he's the one who runs the site -- at a considerable cost to himself. It's HIS site. You just get to enjoy it. If you've got a problem with Backlasher getting temporarily banned, make a rational argument why he shouldn't have been.
   237. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:06 AM (#2063374)
Why don't you Union guys go form your own site if you're so pissed off about Jim running the site like it's his?
   238. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:49 AM (#2063380)
You just get to enjoy it. If you've got a problem with Backlasher getting temporarily banned, make a rational argument why he shouldn't have been.


Because he didn't break any rule other than "Furtado doesn't like it".

A site with this many members and contributors, run by whim, is something that needs to be stated upfront -- with none of this faux-objective crap that Furtado has peddled. If he'd just admit that he does what he likes to whom he wishes, without any sort of standard or consistency, then that at least would be honest advertising.

No one is questioning his right to do what he wants. As you say, it's his site to be as capricious as he wishes. What I do say "F.O.D." to is the idea that he's a fair administrator. Anyone who claims such is a liar and fraud who poops in their pants.

But hey your bubble's integrity is preserved now, which was the real object of the exercise. It's DIPS-ahoy! and Danny can google sim stats and Dial and Treder can deify Barry Bonds and you can all soil yourselves in bashing Joe Morgan! I'm sure the circle-jerk will be great for a while, but like all circle-jerks, the returns will begin to diminish; you'll be arguing who's more saber, who got the most puerile cutdown for Joe Morgan, which BP writer most deserves fellated for his number-crunching, how Barry Bonds is the epitome of rectitude (it's sportswriters who are worse than Nazi child molestors!) and is plainly better than Aaron, Ruth, Mays, and Williams put together, etc etc. And without BL to keep you honest you'll turn into the full-blown buffoons that your ideological zeal makes inevitable. I'm sure a number of you are too stupid to realize that you'll miss him; but some of you know better.
   239. mike f Posted: June 14, 2006 at 07:50 AM (#2063381)
Who didn't see the authors ending up not answering any questions? After the first "we'll answer this stuff later" I was positive they'd just weasel out of it.
   240. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 08:08 AM (#2063384)
Because he didn't break any rule other than "Furtado doesn't like it".

A site with this many members and contributors, run by whim, is something that needs to be stated upfront -- with none of this faux-objective crap that Furtado has peddled.


From the TOS:

Comments will not be deleted for disagreeing with other members. They may be removed for the above reasons or if the comment is hurtful, spiteful, libelous, slanderous and really does nothing to move the conversation forward.

...

The site administrator is the ultimate arbiter of what speech constitutes a violation of the TOS. While the site administrator is a strong free speech supporter, this site is not an exercise in the limits of the expression of that speech. Instead it is a private forum which, although free wheeling for the most part, does place limits on the manner and subject of that speech. Ultimately, BBTF reserves the right to remove, edit, or move any messages for any reason.

...

BBTF reserves the right to immediately invoke any consequences, related to the use of this site(s), we deem appropriate at any time. This includes, but is not limited to having your posts removed, your posting rights revoked, and/or your account permanently suspended.

...

BBTF reserves the right to refuse service to anyone and to cancel an account at any time.


I'm sure Backlasher calling Jim names was just a good joshing, not intended to be hurtful or spiteful. Even if it wasn't a TOS violation, Jim makes it explicity clear that he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants and he doesn't need to justify it to you. It is, as you say, "stated upfront".
   241. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: June 14, 2006 at 08:21 AM (#2063385)
I just want to point out that saying that BL did poke at Furtado on numerous occasions (as Nieporent says) does not at all preclude the conclusion that his banning was baseless and counterproductive.
   242. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 08:30 AM (#2063386)
I just want to point out that saying that BL did poke at Furtado on numerous occasions (as Nieporent says) does not at all preclude the conclusion that his banning was baseless and counterproductive.

Counterproductive, perhaps, but certainly not baseless.
   243. Ron Johnson Posted: June 14, 2006 at 09:54 AM (#2063391)
Why don't you Union guys go form your own site if you're so pissed off about Jim running the site like it's his?


I can think of a lot of reasons.

Not everybody has the time, inclination or skills to set up something like primer. Being unsatisfied with aspects of the site admin doesn't mean that you think it's easy to set up a site.

The union seems to be largely satisfied with Primer outside of some site admin policies. No guarantees that moving to a new site would be a change for the better.

Further, they seem to be genuinely uninterested in running a "Union" site.

Who knows how it'll all play out with the latest development. It'd be a pity if Lasher and company opt to leave for good.
   244. Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2006 at 10:15 AM (#2063392)
If anyone has questions or comments feel free to contact me directly.
   245. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 10:17 AM (#2063393)
I can't tell if that's Nieporent or a Retardo parody of Nieporent.
Well, post 240 was the real Retardo, not my parody of him. I couldn't be that incoherent if I tried.
   246. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: June 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM (#2063394)
I couldn't be that incoherent if I tried.

*ahem*

Comments will not be deleted for disagreeing with other members. They may be removed for the above reasons or if the comment is hurtful, spiteful, libelous, slanderous and really does nothing to move the conversation forward.
   247. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: June 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM (#2063395)
I can't tell if that's Nieporent or a Retardo parody of Nieporent.


It was Nieporent. I can't begin to fake the weasel-coward schtick that he uses so naturally.
   248. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: June 14, 2006 at 10:44 AM (#2063396)
hurtful, spiteful, libelous, slanderous and really does nothing to move the conversation forward.


No no. Don't gotcha him. I have always assumed that those who toe the ideological line here get free reign to break the TOS; and Nieporent goes farther than that -- he is an apparatchik who badgers others to toe the saber/yaysteroids line, so he's doubly protected. Hell, he's probably the snitch who sends all those complaints that Furtado always references.

Anyway, the playing field isnt level. You might say that Furtado has provided posting-enhancing-drugs in the form of carte blanc to the stathead bloc while BL is forced to pee in the TOS cup for Furtado's "objective" inspection and judgement.

But everyone knows all that.

I don't need any rules to protect me against malevolent idiots like Nieporent anyway. I can slap him around with one hand tied behind my back. Besides, I actually possess those free speech principles he always plays lip service to. I wouldn't want Nieporent singled-out and shut up by Furtado or anyone else. Pity he can't support BL but then he's a "libertarian" who supports Gonzales and Ashcroft so one gets used to his displays of spineless servility.
   249. BDC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:07 AM (#2063397)
So does this mean that Arky Vaughan was better than Cal Ripken?
   250. Fridas Boss Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:24 AM (#2063400)
Jim Furtado, you wrote:

"Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to point out that the comments of Backlasher are gross misrepresentations of my thoughts on this issue"

Why not join the thread and accurately describe your thoughts in rebuutal, then? How has banning BL yet not clarifyng what he was wrong about, 'fixed' the problem?
   251. JPWF13 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:24 AM (#2063401)
Who didn't see the authors ending up not answering any questions? After the first "we'll answer this stuff later" I was positive they'd just weasel out of it.

1. well they didn't acrtually get any questions...

2. based on the portions of the book I read they don't actually have any answers.

The book has a defintite format, they take something from Bill James out of context, or simply mistate it, declare it to be self evidently ludicrous (with little attempt at explaining why), interpose a counter example using RBI+RUN-HR or AVG/HR/RBI, attack James' integrity and motives, and then move on.

For a change of pace they attack Billy Beane, alternatively praise and attack Theo Epstein (Who made good moves that put an already winning team over the top- but it took no sabremetric insight to go get Ortiz/Schilling/Mueller/Millar...) and then go back to attacking James.


Then at the end they introduce an OLD stat (% of time a player puts himself in scoring position) discuss an old statistical concpt (&#xof; time a player scores when on base) falsely declare to have invented such stats and concepts

they then simply state that their stats (which aren't even theirs) ae superior to OBP, because OBP is useless, which they prove by giving a top ten OBP list and say you can just look at the names and realize that OBP has nothing to do with production.

You could counter stuff like this by mentioning that Bill James (their target, not tehir subject, their target) did in fact compute times in scoring position etc, that current active sabregeeks are looking at the scoring rate of guys like Reyes and asking whether or not traditional OBP truly reflects the ability of someone like Reyes to score, but
what's the point, the authors simply create strawmen to ridicule
their writing style is similar to much of the left and rightwing crap that passes for popular political writing these days.
   252. JPWF13 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 11:27 AM (#2063402)
OH, and BL can be a pompous contrarian a$$, but he shouldn't have been banned
   253. Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:00 PM (#2063409)
Some of the posts at the end of this thread are the exact issue I'm trying to address. I don't care what your point of view is: I don't want petty disagreements dominating threads on the site. If you have personal issues with people, keep them personal. If you can't, don't be surprised to find a *personal* email from me asking you to tone down your behavior. If I send you repeated *personal* emails asking you to tone down your behavior and you either ignore them or redirect your rancor toward me, don't be shocked when your posting privileges get revoked.

As I've mentioned on a few occasions I have no intention of frittering away my time looking for every slight or transgression. I also have no intention of hunting for, deleting, moderating, or refereeing every offending comment or argument.

As I've also mentioned, I appreciate the way 99.9% of the members conduct themselves on the site. I thank them for their participation. I apologize for the distraction of the behavior of the other 0.1%.
   254. glitch Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:05 PM (#2063411)
Who didn't see the authors ending up not answering any questions? After the first "we'll answer this stuff later" I was positive they'd just weasel out of it.


I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that dissenting opinions on this site seem to receive the "Get out of my yard!" treatment. Way to move the conversation forward. Administator Furtado spoon fed "the authors" an excuse to avoid any legitimate criticism of their work on this site.

I'm sure we've all been needled into a bad decision or two, but this came at a really bad time, and could, it seems to me, have been easily avoided.
   255. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM (#2063412)
And since BL has contributed a significant amount of money to subsidize the site, he has every right to complain about how it is being run, and the arbitrary and discriminatory way in which the TOS is being enforced.

Really, teasing is not a serious basis for banning.


Well, no, he doesn't. But it isn't the complaining itself - it is the *way* BL conducts his complaining (IMO).

Look, I work in a large company. We have site meetings with 400 people at them. there is a Q&A session. It is perfectly acceptable for me to asks pointed difficult questions of management. It is NOT okay for me to ask them in an offensive manner - most importantly in a manner in which the sole purpose is to make management look like an ass, and really has no response.

Most people felt the introduction of Treder in every post for about a year, regardless of Steve's presence was ridiculous and hugely jerk-like behavior. It took a while, but BL stopped.

But he didn't do the same wrt Jim. It was well beyond "teasing". It was mean-spirited - not an attempt at honest debate.

Jim Rome used to call Jim Everett "Chrissy". Everett got on his show and roughed him up. If you throw enough rocks at a man with a gun, sooner or later he's going to shoot you. For the rock-throwers friends to say "Hey, rock-throwing doesn't warrant shooting!", well, have a whole bunch of rocks thrown at you.

On-air personalities get suspended *all the time* for saying simply insensitive things. We usually call for them to have their children taken away.

BL was asked to either criticize constructively or less so privately, but he opted not to. He's in 'time out'. All of us with children know that a rule has no value unless you enforce it.

I don't see any inherent inconsistencies in the enforcement. NO ONE else has done what BL was doing, and it wasn't the first time BL was doing it.
   256. Fridas Boss Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:18 PM (#2063413)
Wow. All I can say is wow. Too bad this thread had to die this way, I was really looking forward to its continuance.
   257. Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:26 PM (#2063416)

Why not join the thread and accurately describe your thoughts in rebuutal, then? How has banning BL yet not clarifyng what he was wrong about, 'fixed' the problem?

As I've mentioned more than a few times I'm more than happy to reply to people when I can. I simply don't have the time to get involved in threads, though. With an email I can answer at my convenience and address the contained points. In a thread there might be 5-25+ people asking questions, then follow-up questions, then follow-up to follow-up questions, etc. If I only have time to address one or two people at a time, the other people sometimes get all freaked out. If I don't perfectly word my response, I then must try to explain myself to the multiple resulting threads. If I perfectly word my response, I must still clarify my thoughts for the people who project their own fears, biases, and insanity. If one of our voluminous posters gets involved, things simply get out of hand.

As for clariying my reasons for *suspending* BL's posting privileges, he knows what issues I have with his posting "style". I've made myself quite clear with him on numerous occasions.

It is my belief, and not mine alone, that you directly deal with people on personal matters. That's why, when I have an issue with someone, I take the issue up with them personally and directly. It's a policy I plan on continuing as I find the policy works out quite well for most people.
   258. BDC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:31 PM (#2063418)
dissenting opinions on this site seem to receive the "Get out of my yard!" treatment

I haven't seen that at all. Primer seems to me a model of energetic and sustainable dissent over very nearly everything. Aside from Steve Garvey and Ben Affleck, people around here disagree on everything continuously.

I have enjoyed Backlasher's contributions and hope that he can return. That said, I have had to ban or restrain posters to academic e-lists over the years, always because they became nasty, sometimes off-list nasty to me personally. (There's a point at which you say, I don't have to absorb someone's venom in the interests of the conversation.) I have no idea what went on in this case, and for that very reason I wouldn't criticize Jim's decision. I certainly haven't observed Jim censoring anyone on the basis of what they think about greenies or Jeter or the sacrifice bunt.
   259. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:36 PM (#2063422)
What Bob said.
   260. Daryn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 12:44 PM (#2063427)
I like Ben Affleck. Those who disagree with me are wrong about his inherent greatness.
   261. Dizzypaco Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#2063437)
Three points:

1. BL, with the name calling and arrogance, has taken the fun out of many threads. I generally do not enjoy his posts, and I find that the tone of a thread (from all sides) goes south when he gets involved.
2. BTF is much better off without BL posting
3. This does not mean I necessarily support his banishment.
   262. glitch Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:22 PM (#2063444)
I haven't seen that at all.


I was trying to present that as from "the authors" (presumably not regulars to the site) point of view, not mine.

And it's true that I don't know what went on privately between the two, and no doubt, it is easier for me to skim over some "Nelly" barbs than for the person they are directed at, but, given the topic at hand, the timing of the "time out" strikes me as slightly Chris Webberian.

As a Michigan fan, "Boo!" I say.
   263. Boots Day Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2063462)
I don't see any inherent inconsistencies in the enforcement. NO ONE else has done what BL was doing, and it wasn't the first time BL was doing it.

I agree with this. Some posters (including, no doubt, the Backlasher persona itself) would like to pretend that the problem is his contrarian views, but he was far and away the most consistently inflammatory and insulting poster on the site. If you didn't see that, you weren't paying attention. People like Kevin and DMN can fly off the handle and get obnoxious in the steroids threads, but they're both normal, valued contributors the rest of the time. With TBP, every thread was a steroids thread.

That said, I agree with everything Dizzypaco wrote in 264.
   264. the "authors" Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2063466)
mike f finally makes a comment without reading the other 250. we never "weaseled out" we offered a different forum where we would not be subject to semi-educated posters like mike f. apparently, he, nor no one else, noticed the numerous posts where i offered up an e-mail address... it also appears that JPWF13 read the wrong book, or maybe listened to Bronson Arroyo's CD. At least he bought the thing and said something about it. Thank you all for reminding us why we wrote the book in the first place, travis.
   265. JPWF13 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#2063468)
2. BTF is much better off without BL posting

I'm not sure, he does make childish and gratuitous insults, but when he wants he can offer some rational thoughts on why the emerging concensus on some topics may be wrong, personally I rarely agree with him.... but he does post some worthwhile comments in the midst of some of the crap he spews

If you want to see posts and posters who shoudl be abnned go look at some of the Yahoo bulletin boards, many have become pure cesspools
   266. Fridas Boss Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2063471)
I think #2 from Dizzypaco in 264 is patently false.
   267. JPWF13 Posted: June 14, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2063473)
it also appears that JPWF13 read the wrong book

Ok- tell me where I've mischaracterized it.
   268. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2063482)
Most people felt the introduction of Treder in every post for about a year, regardless of Steve's presence was ridiculous and hugely jerk-like behavior. It took a while, but BL stopped.

But he didn't do the same wrt Jim. It was well beyond "teasing". It was mean-spirited - not an attempt at honest debate.

Jim Rome used to call Jim Everett "Chrissy". Everett got on his show and roughed him up. If you throw enough rocks at a man with a gun, sooner or later he's going to shoot you. For the rock-throwers friends to say "Hey, rock-throwing doesn't warrant shooting!", well, have a whole bunch of rocks thrown at you.


Chris: You're a ####### hypocrite for this post. How dare you lecture anyone on civility and tone, when for over 6 months, maybe a year or longer, you've been calling us the VBB, the Van Buren Boys, and any number of other insults. Go #### yourself you spineless ####.

And your next attempt at "honest debate" will be your first.
   269. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:12 PM (#2063484)
Chris: You're a ####### hypocrite for this post. How dare you lecture anyone on civility and tone, when for over 6 months, maybe a year or longer, you've been calling us the VBB, the Van Buren Boys, and any number of other insults. Go #### yourself you spineless ####.

And your next attempt at "honest debate" will be your first.


Ha! Sweet.
   270. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2063486)
What Bob said.


Nah, what Bob said, while fair, is simply factually wrong. There has been an uneven pressure placed on certain people at this site, and a large part of it is b/c one administrator sees fit to take his personal issues out on Kevin at every turn. Thus I find it hypocritical and ironic that Jim asks people to deal w/this stuff one on one and offline, when Kevin's been asking this administrator to do the same, only to have him reply he had no reason to go offline. Additionally, Mark S (I think that's the poster's name) and DMN have trailed Kevin around calling him a liar OVER AND OVER and dredging up old issues to cloud any debate Kevin is in. Are they in time out?

Of course not. Bob, it's understandable you've missed this. Chris: It's not understandable that you have. You know this, have benefitted from it, and thus to pretend the facts are otherwise is further evidence of the extraordinary schmuck that you are. Really, I'm shocked by your take on all this.
   271. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2063496)
JC,
one issue is that you are completely unaware of how often Jim may have chastised me privately or Dan or DMN or anyone else. You just know about BL - given that, how can you comment on "uneven" treatment?
   272. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#2063509)
JC,
one issue is that you are completely unaware of how often Jim may have chastised me privately or Dan or DMN or anyone else. You just know about BL - given that, how can you comment on "uneven" treatment?


Very easily. I've seen threads where Jim chastises BL, where he insults BL's legal acumen, where he singles out Kevin, where Zim insults Kevin. Never anything remotely like that for you when you've called us VBB, or whatever else you call us. Is this more of your good faith arguing, Chris, or did you genuinely forget that stuff?
   273. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:02 PM (#2063511)
Never anything remotely like that for you when you've called us VBB, or whatever else you call us.

How many times have you been spoken to about what you've called me? (see above).
   274. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2063516)
Ok, 251 was RDF. And HCO -- very clever new name.
   275. rr Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2063518)
2. BTF is much better off without BL posting


I have to disagree strongly with this. He does, as I think Field said, have "sharp elbows" sometimes, but his overall contributions in terms of interest, entertainment, and most importantly, content, are enormous.
   276. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:10 PM (#2063520)
He does, as I think Field said, have "sharp elbows"

It's a good line and I'd like to take credit, but that wasn't me.
   277. rr Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:13 PM (#2063522)
Posted 279 before I caught up. I have to disagree with the banning BL decision, and wished to say so.
   278. rr Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#2063524)
He does, as I think Field said, have "sharp elbows"

Then maybe it was Itza.

I was a little surprised when I read this whole thing; I thought the meta stiff was on the downswing.
   279. rr Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:16 PM (#2063525)
meta stiff

classic typo
   280. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#2063529)
Since it seems like this is getting gotten into, and since I missed the bus for my first class, let me say this:

I resent the fact that the direction of comments on the site is seemingly being decided by how many people complain.
   281. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2063537)
FWIW I have been banned twice.

I figure a third time I get a set of steak knives.........
   282. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2063538)
I resent the fact that the direction of comments on the site is seemingly being decided by how many people complain.

I resent the intrusion by two trolls who self-publish a no-content "book," then waltz in here to stir up stuff in a pathetic attempt to publicize their "work." Of course, some of us could have handled the intrusion better, but that's secondary.
   283. Gaelan Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2063541)
I'm not a big poster but I don't have a problem with BL's posts. I used to think he was a jerk but now that I've "gotten to know him a little better" I just think it's his style. He sometimes beats a dead horse but he does provide the interesting commentary people come to this site for.

The guy who wrote this however should be banned. Every single post he makes is a deliberate and unnecessary attack.

####### PATHETIC. grow the #### up. you have no clue what makes your site work. you wanna ban one of the best posters here and you think it will improve things? I'm not surprised.


Now I don't actually think he should be banned. Everybody hates somebody and then pretty soon there wouldn't be anyone left.
   284. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:53 PM (#2063543)
Too bad this thread had to die this way, I was really looking forward to its continuance.

I think it's a shame that BL got himself in hot water while a reliever thread was ongoing. DMN was right, this book sounds like the Lasik-spouting newbies in a steroids thread. Unless JPFW is grossly misrepresenting the excerpts -- and I have little reason to think he is and little incentive to investigate -- attacks on sabermetrics and sabermetricians have been much more stringent than what has been presented.
   285. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#2063544)
FWIW I have been banned twice.

It's like basketball -- if you're not committing a few fouls, you're not trying hard enough.
   286. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2063558)
Some of the posts at the end of this thread are the exact issue I'm trying to address. I don't care what your point of view is: I don't want petty disagreements dominating threads on the site. If you have personal issues with people, keep them personal. If you can't, don't be surprised to find a *personal* email from me asking you to tone down your behavior. If I send you repeated *personal* emails asking you to tone down your behavior and you either ignore them or redirect your rancor toward me, don't be shocked when your posting privileges get revoked.

This seems fair to me.

My problem is that:

(a) Backlasher is by far not the only poster on the site to level personal attacks -- if that's the standard, then many, many other posters should be banned, including several keyholders;

(b) IMO, Backlasher is not the worst offender, though he may be one of the more persistent.

Nevertheless, except for Harvey's confession in #285, I'm not aware of any other legitimate poster who has been banned for these reasons.

The only perceivable difference I know of why Backlasher has been banned and several others have not is the fact that he directed his personal attacks to Jim. I'm not sure at all that if he had attacked anyone else instead, he'd still be here.
   287. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2063561)
P.S. I do like the fact that the posts are now numbered (as in "290." rather than simply "90."). That's a nice improvement.
   288. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#2063569)
Here’s the ultimate problem:

Let’s say that starting tomorrow, I go insane and start making multiple posts a day questioning Jim’s heritage in the most foul-mouthed manner possible. Jim sends me a few emails and then decides to ban me. I decide that I’m not going to be banned.

I use other accounts that are already registered. Jim shuts those down.
I register new accounts. Jim shuts those down and bans me by IP.
Guess what? Dynamic IP. I keep posting. Jim bans by IP block.
I post from the University. Jim has to ban the entire University of Texas to stop me.
I post from free wireless networks (of which there are literally dozens within 50 feet of my front door.) Jim has to ban all of South Austin.
I ssh to my server in New York City. What are we doing now, banning parts of Manhattan?
I use open proxies. Now I’m uncatchable.

Let’s say he now goes another route and gets rid of auto-registration. He has to personally approve each and every new member via email. I can be anybody I want to via email. That doesn’t work. Jim decides that he has to physically speak on the phone to every new member. I get multiple friends to register accounts and talk to him.

The point is, short of completely closing registration and doing a CV on each potential new member, there is no way Jim can stop me! The only way to stop me is to get full and complete community buy-in and assistance.

And I don’t mean snivelly little email complaints. I mean real, true community support. And that’s just to keep up with banning me.

Unless and until the majority of people decide that they are going to do real work in enforcing the TOS (and I don’t mean Larry and Dial making comments after a ban happens, I mean Larry and Dial being proactive each and every time they see something that violates the TOS), banning will never, ever work.

And in the meantime, we all have to operate in fear of those people who complain. Because we don’t know what their agenda is, or even who they are. We know that they’re arbitrary, because not one word has been said about Ska’s post to Base(#6) in the Milledge thread, which is markedly worse than the worst thing Backlasher has ever posted.

So what’s the solution? Ban, ban, ban until things go right? If you don’t ban, and you don’t have widespread community support for the underlying policies, then where’s your stick? How do you ensure compliance with anything?

This is a no-win situation unless and until the community itself takes action. And it’s not doing that. Even in this thread, you don’t find a single instance (as of my writing this, which is offline) of someone flatly supporting the suspension. What does that say?
   289. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2063576)
dJf/kevin:

In the interests of full disclosure I don't know the exact circumstances of my expulsion(s). I know I received a note of my "status" and that when I tried to post I couldn't. I did not try and create an alternative account as some kind of end run. I am not that computer savvy.

As to the series of events that led to that point well, you folks know my posting style. I work diligently to avoid personal attacks focussing on the argument and not the poster. But maybe I crossed the line. I do know that most folks here do not read well. And what causes more issues then ANYTHING ELSE on this site is misunderstandings due to poor reading comprehension.

I know I weary of stating a point multiple times over because the responder simply didn't bother to read carefully. I find myself posting in almost bullet point to provide a visual cue to the reader that this EACH item has its own value. Please read.

Whatchyagonnado?
   290. JC in DC Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2063580)
I find your banning remarkable, Harvey. There must be some other explanation. I mean, I'm not questioning the experience you describe, but I've never seen anything from you that was ban-worthy.
   291. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2063581)
And in the meantime, we all have to operate in fear of those people who complain. Because we don’t know what their agenda is, or even who they are. We know that they’re arbitrary, because not one word has been said about Ska’s post to Base(#6) in the Milledge thread, which is markedly worse than the worst thing Backlasher has ever posted.


I was not notified of this until this morning, when it was promptly deleted.
   292. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2063586)

Let’s say he now goes another route and gets rid of auto-registration. He has to personally approve each and every new member via email. I can be anybody I want to via email. That doesn’t work. Jim decides that he has to physically speak on the phone to every new member. I get multiple friends to register accounts and talk to him.


Jim may not be able to stop a determine person from re-registering and posting, but if the behavior is repeated, he can keep deleting the person.
   293. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2063590)
Well, it's still there because I just checked. Base quoted it (now #6) in a response so the reader is left to wonder why Base is quoting something that isn't in the thread.

Good point - just excising the comment looks odd here since it makes Rob look like he's quoting something that didn't exist. I'm inserting a note.
   294. _ Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2063592)
I think it's possible that when somebody uses a dynamic IP it could happen to share the IP of some other banned poster (I don't think there have beeen many), and thus make it look like an innocent poster has been banned as well. Are you sure that isn't what happened to you, Harvey?
   295. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#2063594)
I was not notified of this until this morning, when it was promptly deleted.

Right. I'm not asking you to delete it, I'm just wondering who these people are that are complaining about other posts, but find nothing wrong with that one? It's very hard to deal with an invisible judge.

Jim may not be able to stop a determine person from re-registering and posting, but if the behavior is repeated, he can keep deleting the person.

He can keep deleting the person, but what good does that do? That's my point. Banning is not a feasible solution.
   296. Mefisto Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2063601)
Unless and until the majority of people decide that they are going to do real work in enforcing the TOS (and I don’t mean Larry and Dial making comments after a ban happens, I mean Larry and Dial being proactive each and every time they see something that violates the TOS), banning will never, ever work.

There is a much easier solution, you know: just ignore the posts. Don't respond to them, don't make them. Respond to substantive arguments, not meta issues. This is far more effective than top-down enforcement.
   297. Jeff K. Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:54 PM (#2063603)
There is a much easier solution, you know: just ignore the posts. Don't respond to them, don't make them.

Exactly! Don't send complaining emails to Jim, don't whine about discourse, just ignore them.

That's precisely what I would like to see happen.
   298. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:54 PM (#2063604)
JC:

Well, once upon a time I did call you a walking contradiction, a Yankee fan who can read. Did you rat me out?

HSF:

How the heck would I know? It's not like someone dropped me a line that said, "Hey, I called so and so a *********. We happen to have the same IP. Sorry for the inconvenience."

I didn't think this was that unusual based on the fact that I never really considered myself at the forefront of flame. And if I was getting the heave-ho figured it was just something that happened to keep folks semi-civilized.

I will now give a holler out to the man now in solitary. Hang in there. We will save you some of the lime jello!
   299. _ Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2063611)
Backlasher getting himself banned is a prime example of asymmetric warfare. Now he's been made a martyr and is winning the PR battle. I hope he's enjoying his virgins.
   300. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 14, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#2063613)
Right. I'm not asking you to delete it, I'm just wondering who these people are that are complaining about other posts, but find nothing wrong with that one? It's very hard to deal with an invisible judge.


Complaints may point out something that needs to be looked at, but nobody's ever been disciplined just for people complaining about them.

He can keep deleting the person, but what good does that do? That's my point. Banning is not a feasible solution.

Sure it is. Going through the trouble of filling out all the obnoxious forms for a new free e-mail, finding a proxy you haven't used, registering for the site, waiting for confirmation, logging in, posting, takes time. Moving that account to the banned list, on the other hand, takes 15 seconds.
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