I can't describe how petty it is to delete a post over strongly worded condemnation.

The damage dealt to students by garbage explanations far, far outweighs the hurt feelings from an insult. The real insult is being forced to pay for this garbage, with years of work. And I don't even get to complain?

It's not my fault teachers don't care about teaching, or were brainwashed into complacency with superficial knowledge. If you're homeless, it doesn't matter, you're only paid for competence - and there's zero competence in the answers I received.

Why does it happen? Because I'm disrespected.

Reading comprehension deficit, toward me

My writing is being downvoted and disputed in comments without being read. At least that's the kindest interpretation - here's case by case.

Case 1

In Do symmetric signals have zero phase?, I write,

  • Even-sampled zero phase: attained by symmetry about $N / 2$, ignoring sample $n=0$. This amounts to two "don't care" points, one at $n=N/2$ and other at $n=0$.
  • Odd-sampled zero phase: same, but only one don't-care. Visually this is a flatline as opposed to a spike in even case.

and provide visuals. Hilmar writes,

$$ \begin{align} \text{even: }&& x[-n] &= x[n] \\ \text{odd: }&&x[-n] &= -x[n] \end{align} $$

With minimal thought, one sees, we're saying the exact same thing. Yet Hilmar sits at +7, while I at -4, and I didn't get a single upvote. Why?

Because Hilmar's "your boy" or whatever, and opens his answer as if contradicting the point in the question, or contradicting my answer. Meanwhile, my Q&A is meant to address the obviously misleading choice of terminology "symmetric", as noone outside of or new to SP would consider this "symmetric":

Then there's Marcus saying scipy, MATLAB and Wiki are "just tools" for acknowledging the concept of DFT-symmetry, and one of those comments is upvoted and there's zero disputes.

Case 2

In DFT coefficients meaning?, I originally wrote that DFT gives phases and amplitudes of sines that sum to the original signal. Firstly, that's equivalently true in the real case, but I admit it's flawed, and was quick to fix it. Despite that, nobody who downvoted bothered to retract it, there's still -3. Unless they think that the central claim, that it's amps & phases of complex sinusoids, is wrong, I have the right to my intuitive interpretation in the rest of the answer, and I don't see such downvotes toward other posts of this kind.

Case 3

It's harder to argue this one definitively, but I'll include it. MBaz at +5,

That one "can approach theory as closely as one wants on a computer" (at least in many practical cases) is not new. The real engineering question is, what is the cost?

First sentence literally agrees with the thesis of my question (-3), second makes a point I make in the question.

Then Dan in comments also agrees it's doable - exact exchange - then in answer still writes 'not realizable', and "Here is a simple example to demonstrate why there is no physically realizable "brickwall" filter.", followed with plots, where the argument being made is on accuracy not practicality. And of course no downvote or comment from MBaz.

Case *

I don't recall the history of this one, but I'd love to hear how it deserves -4 and +0 in its last form. Not counting this as official "case" because it's not as blatant.

"Rudeness" bad, not for all

Case 4

Here, Dilip Sarwate's response to my (genuine, non-inflammatory) Latex edits is "More nonsense", sitting at +3. And here, I'd like to introduce the concept of - Would you say it to Matt L? No, I reckon it'd look more like "Matt, a lil' typo in brackets there".

There's more examples, I won't dig up everything. Point is, it wasn't just one user (+3), it'd not be said toward a respected member, and it'd sure as hell not be +3 if coming from me to Dilip's question.

Reading comprehension deficit (cont'd)

Case 5

In the deleted post, I

  • acknowledge there's signals for which $|x(t)|^2$ is meaningfully instantaneous energy, and contrast against cases for which it's power instead. Despite that, RBJ provides a different but conceptually identical example - +4. Why?
  • acknowledge $P = IV$ argument from electronics, with units and everything. Despite that, Dan recites the exact same information, followed by irrelevant tangents on "power vs energy signals" - +2.

Why I called it garbage

I want to be clear, I'm not particularly ticked at Dan and RBJ - I'm ticked at the combined community response. Anyone has right to write lazy answers, or lazily interpret the question - but that's not all that's happening.

What's happening is history repeating, and again, people refusing to actually read what I wrote, or outright denying it as if religiously or politically - and approving of responses that completely ignore the ideas I carefully presented. It's disrespect. And I have to put in extra work, re-explaining myself in bits and pieces - and even if I do, odds are good, the network just moves on and refuses to retract their disapproval.

If not for the ad-value of this network, I'd leave.

So, what can be done? Hell if I know. I'll change this ridiculous username soon enough, for one, don't worry. Besides that I figure I'll stop martyring for education and ignore content I find problematic. But not completely, I won't be allowed to.

I ain't flawless

Yeah, I also have a history of talking sharp and not fully 'professionally'. But I never treated anyone like this.

  • $\begingroup$ I'll return tomorrow, if this is deleted, I doubt it'll benefit DSP.SE. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ While I hadn't groked O's thing about power and energy, I most certainly agree that the question (and my answer in it) should not have been deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ And, while I disagree with the conclusion "You're scammers", I upvoted this because I agree that the question (and the answers that came after it) should not have been deleted. There was another SE that I briefly participated in where my input was not welcome (but still completely accurate) and my questions were deleted and eventually I was banned from it. SE higher-ups did nothing. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ What was deleted?? And @robertbristow-johnson do you mean to say "should not have been deleted"? What is this all about? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ yes, i meant "should not". i can't edit the comment anymore. (have you ever heard of the Wicked Bible?) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ok I figured it out. I think comments that don't meet SE guidelines toward a positive productive forum should indeed be deleted. There is way too much flaming elsewhere online. Disagreements with an answer should be downvoted with a respectful and short explanation for the downvote, nothing more. Statements that are inflammatory, disrespectful, unhelpful, and opinionated / inviting of long winded disputes are toxic and do not improve the site. This is a matter of respect and decency towards others, realizing that everyone has different opinions and backgrounds. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 1:10
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    $\begingroup$ Two wrongs don't make a right. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ Ok heard and absorbed- not ignored. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ What @OverLordGoldDragon is complaining about is essentially what I complained about a few years ago and what made me stop contributing beyond the occasional comment. There's a lot of intellectual bullying going on, which you might not notice if you're not the one subjected to it. And it's the same gang every time. $\endgroup$
    – Jazzmaniac
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @DanBoschen , you said "I really think content drives votes, not the person." Can you explain this? Let me break it down. I provide an objectively correct answer with a full validating example and code. The second-highest voted answer is wrong or incomplete. The highest voted answer, double my upvotes, is utterly and completely wrong. Neither of other answers provide validating code one could check. So, by what quality metric is my answer worse than theirs? And please do not upvote my answer or downvote theirs. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2023 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ @OlliNiemitalo Don't miss out either. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2023 at 20:02

5 Answers 5


I'm reading the question as welcoming advise, so I dare to give you the following suggestions on how to gain respect. Hopefully you will find something useful:

  • Don't tactically downvote answers ("competing answers") other than yours in order to improve the ranking of your answer. There are people behind the other answers and the downvoting is a message to those people and to others who see the downvotes, saying: "Do not write an answer to a question that this person has answered or is likely to answer." I acknowledge that you don't always downvote competing answers. The other answers may complement your answer or may express the same thing in a better way, and others should not be discouraged from writing such answers. It can be that while you think that your answer is the most useful available answer to a general reader, it is actually not. The consensus of users expressed by votes is likely to be more accurate than the judgement of an individual contributor, you.

  • Do not manipulate votes by deleting a downvoted post and reposting it. Gaming the system is unlikely to be perceived positively. If you write a new answer then there is no problem.

  • When editing an answer, especially if you previously made an erroneous statement in the answer, do not as a rule write a new part into the answer but instead edit the whole answer so that at no part you make an erroneous statement. It is fine to give commentary on what erroneous train of thought is possible. This way when someone is reading a part of the answer there is no danger that they disregard a co-dependent part of the answer that cancels the mistake. And it makes the answer shorter. A lengthy and convoluted post may not get read and absorbed thoroughly, with the result of other users likely concentrating more on apparent mistakes in the post. Admittedly it is more work to edit the whole answer, but consider also the time others would need to spend reading the answer. To be clear, there should be no honor code in place that prevents changing an erroneous statement made in one's post. If you still don't feel like editing your post rather than just appending to it, make it clear that you welcome others to do it for you. They might do it to help you in the least by giving you an example.

  • When getting critique or downvotes with commentary, try to make use of the critique and review your post instead of turning against the person who gave the critique or downvoted. Doing that would be easier to you if there was always also a comment with a downvote. But some people are afraid of commenting to your posts in fear of a negative response and grudge from you, directed at their person. If you would behave in a way that does not elicit such fears I think you would get more comments together with any downvotes.

  • Do not assume, state or imply that any individual community member or the whole community is stuck with a technical view that prevents them from understanding a problem from a better technical view that you believe that you have. Someone who is well experienced in the subject matter may take such a statement as disrespect, and showing disrespect is likely not helping you gain their respect. I think the best point of view to take is that people have tools in their toolset (for example periodicity assumptions when working with the discrete Fourier transform) that they can use in order to solve a problem, and more tools is always better; for any given problem you'd use the tools that best work for you, and having the other tools back there in your arsenal is never a problem. Admittedly, sometimes people assign to mathematical entities properties that are not expressible or verifiable mathematically, to fluidify their intuition. Anyway, everyone can always learn something new, and you have already demonstrated being capable of bringing something new (and useful) to the table.

  • When using established subject matter terminology to describe something else than what the established meaning of the terminology is, make it clear what you mean by the terms that you use. This is difficult to do if you are not familiar with the established terminology, but comments from others can help. You could also make it clear that others can edit your post to make the distinction clear.

  • Don't be rude or verbally abusive. Issues can be raised without resorting to unacceptable behavior. While some may be immune, rudeness, verbal abuse, or other unacceptable behavior will lower respect towards you from many community members. It is not acceptable to make dismissing statements of perceived negative qualities of others. If you have a frustration, try to find a way to vent it that does not hurt anyone. Recognize that your conclusions are based on just your experiences with the person, which always gives a narrow, possibly incorrect picture. If you have had previous negative experiences, you may be projecting those onto your present interactions in a misguided way. Case in point, my suggestions here result from interactions with multiple users who have had friction with the community, and I cannot know which of my suggestions applies or are helpful to you. Other's behavioral responses may be triggered by a pattern that is common in their previous bad experiences and your current behavior.

  • Overall, it helps to concentrate on the subject matter rather than the persons. It may be useful to think of other people's undesired responses to your posts from a Bayesian or utilitarian point of view. They may respond in a way that maximizes the utility of their response based on the evidence available to them. This way of thinking may help you to disassociate and keep your cool.

  • Don't take as insult if an answer spells out things known to you. Stack Exchange is a knowledge base and an answer to a question by you may not be addressed at you personally but to any reader. Even if it was in some way addressed at you and you feel insulted by the assumption made that you don't know those things, overall for the site it is still better if things are spelled out. Readers who don't know those things will come by. You could also do the spelling out yourself in the question to explain your current understanding.

  • Respect that users post and interact here on a fully voluntary basis, that is, when and in whatever way they please. They may be motivated by entirely different things than those that interest you and that you post about. They might not engage with you, and that's alright. People may avoid chatting in comments in order to do the right thing.

  • Use comments primarily to comment on a post. If the post is edited to address your concern, delete the comment. There should be no honor code or such against deleting comments, and comments should not be retained just to keep some sort of proof of merit. Comments that are no longer helpful become noise.

  • Appreciate that if you write a more clear answer, then the answer is more likely to get upvotes. Writing a more clear answer may involve clarifying terms that are likely to be foreign to the average audience. You have no obligation to improve your post, but if you want a good response, it will help if you do. People do try to understand your posts, and may have used a lot of their time trying to do so.

  • If you believe that the community cannot improve, then you by definition also believe that it is useless, for the purposes of improving the community, to vent about it. Try to have a bit of hope, as this will improve the usefulness of your possible complaints.

  • Assume good faith.

Here are also suggestions to the rest of the community, in order to make some contributors feel more respected:

  • Embrace alternative notation and terminology. It is not too critical what symbols or terms are used if they are clearly defined in the post. While signal processing is a subfield of electrical engineering, not everyone has that background, or they may be working in a different field that makes use of signal processing with different symbols or terminology. When notation or terminology is unclear it is of course correct to work towards making the post clear, by commenting, or editing as long as it does not change the meaning of the post. For example, deconvolution has a different meaning in signal processing and in machine learning, but the difference is very easy to clarify.

  • Don't bully or harass. What can be bullying? Certainly downvoting just to discourage a poster from posting counts as bullying when it is not based on the content of each individual post. It is less clear if it is bullying if one checks more carefully the posts of a user when the posts of that user have previously warranted downvotes based on their content. I don't think that is bullying if one also upvotes whenever a check shows that the post is deserving of an upvote.

  • Do comment when downvoting. Otherwise it cannot be assumed that the poster will know what exactly in the post warranted the downvote and may even think the downvote was not based on the merits of the question, which could be bullying. If you fear or anticipate a confrontation from engaging with the poster with your username visible, then yes, it may be best to just downvote instead of engaging. I admit I'm torn between conflict avoidance and engagement with OverLordGoldDragon — let this post act as a probe.

  • Don't be rude or unwelcoming. That mode of behavior is unacceptable.

  • Flag rude or unwelcoming behavior from anyone. A snarky comment from a veteran of the field? Flag it. I have started flagging rude and dismissing comments with a low threshold, in order to give a signal that such behavior is unacceptable and in order to reduce examples of such behavior that other users might copy thinking the behavior is acceptable. I may leave a comment addressing the user and explaining why the behavior is not acceptable.

  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate the effort in this post. My feedback is to disclaim the list to not imply every part of "do this" means I do opposite - unless you believe it so, which rolls over "assume good faith" among others. Now, my problem is, it overlooks a lot of nuance that motivates the "no-no"s. Respect goes both ways, and this post could read as "our way or highway". But mainly, it assumes if I followed this advice, the effect would be drastic. Let's agree to strongly disagree. Believe or not, "assume good faith" is my mantra, and it's permanent toward substance but not social exchanges. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ I could go on, but most importantly, I believe this answer overtly assumes things work as they should, and what really matters lies elsewhere. Yeah, it's good advice, but pretentious and condescending to imply it's sufficient. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon thanks for the feedback and for providing your perspective. I agree that not every suggestion I gave is necessarily applicable to you; I wanted purge all I had in mind in a neutral way and did not intend to be condescending. Did any of my "suggestions to the rest of the community" get close to addressing what you think really matters? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon I toned down the answer a bit and added a last bullet point encouraging flagging. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 6:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'd like to revisit this, but for now: I don't agree censorship is the solution and should be reserved only for severe offenses. Then, my feedback to you personally: I'm aware all these (pre-community) bullets trace to my specific acts. Big part of AGF is "refrain judgment in absence of full context", and in my case, "context" can span months and years - and clearly, it also does to you (downvote+comment avoidance). Without explaining, many of these bullets are strongly mistaken in describing why I did what I did, I can explain a few if you'd like. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ I think this post best reads as "how to maintain respect", and much less as "how to clear unwarranted disrespect". You'd get a very different impression reading my Github, StackExchange brings out the worst in me, and I wish more benefit of doubt was given in judging specific instances. I wish to stress that I'm not critique-phobic, though it may look like it. A part of 'real explanation' I think are the lasting early impressions of me on this network, when I've come from StackOverflow and other places, which were lot more hammerish. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon When a Stack Exchange user whose behavior I often got annoyed with, acted in a productive way for a change, I started to respect them more and started hoping to see them more on the site doing further productive stuff. This experience gave me hope that it is possible to get over prolonged friction if there is a change in behavior. I have also learned to live with the continuing potentially annoying behavior by another Stack Exchange user, after learning that perhaps I should not be annoyed by it. There is hope! Yes, it would be useful to hear your side. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ Great post and helpful to many - I had a lengthy comment that I put as an additional answer $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ I'll get back to you later concerning that comment. It's not sarcastic though. -- I do think the last part is subject to misinterpretation by others though, so I deleted it. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Unpopular take: Olli is elitist. Maximizing substance and avoiding conflict isn't always good. To treat any form of engagement as bad, is to say you're above it, hence others are beneath you for bothering. Well, they aren't. In fact they're very normal, and it's simply real life outside a controlled environment. It's also more productive: avoiding means leaving things unresolved. It means fearing delivering valid criticism, and putting ego before progress. The solution isn't self-censorship, it's learning to not take offense. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'd mostly leave it there, except the kind of elitist I'd take real issue with wouldn't write this answer with followups, or this post. There's fair chance of purely unintentional elitism, instead a misaligned perspective. Note, you are focused on one network that itself is very inactive relative to SO or multi-network, and your activity's low even relative to DSP.SE. Could you maintain your approach with x10 the activity? x100? "x" also in number of users. Maybe you could, but I think you'd be far less adamant on others' pacifism. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ A good perspective is "in-person collaboration" vs "random internet exchanges". In former I'm like, 80% like you. There's established good faith, mutual need for collaboration, and lack of permanent need to prove one's claims to a wider audience. The latter case is flipped, and compounded with grudges with little resolving incentive. Even if not - maybe you're a natural guru, but - it sure takes me significant energy to mask a strong disagreement with politeness, that both feels totally undeserved toward specific users and isn't sustainable on scale of x100 activity. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Hilmar is a good example, not that I'm a fan of his. I strongly disagreed with him many times - he just keeps on posting answers and comments to my questions like nothing happened. We need to stop writing a war history and treat each case independently. Yes, there are limits - but this network draws the line waaaay to early. Lastly, some things are unsolvable with decorum alone - there's a strong lack of technical diversity on this network that feeds a cycle of intellectual gatekeeping. Differing perspectives appear objectively false like 1+1=2. More on that in a future post. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon Attacking my character is the kind of unfortunate response I anticipated when writing "let this post act as a probe". I disagree with the direction you'd like to develop social norms. It runs against cultivating psychological safety. What drains people of their energy is very much personal. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ Your post pushed against my sentiment, as I said. The sentiment was there for years. My attack is on all who focus on the superficial over the real; I take a bigger issue with Dan than with you overall, despite him minding getting hands dirty less. And I'm not developing it, I'm informing that it's how the world works outside your institutional bubbles. Try Meta SE, StackOverflow, academic-oriented social media. My issue is all of you demonizing me over adult language then doing nothing when hours of my work are provably unfairly trashed. Among other things. Superficial over real. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 11:47

I've been deleting your posts because several high-rep users have been flagging your posts as Rude and Unkind.

I really don't get what you are so upset about that you degenerate into name-calling. And, frankly, once a person starts name-calling, they've lost me and I find little enthusiasm for even trying to understand their point.

You are a valued member of the site. Please try to explain what the problem was without personal abuse.

Based on your recent edit, you obviously have a large number of issues that make you feel disrespected. That sucks.

My deletions of your abuse (and it was abuse, not just disrespect) were done because high reputation users flagged your comments as rude and unkind.

That has been my general approach to such flags: delete the offending comment.

I admit I probably overstepped the line when deleting your question, but your addition of that amount of bile is unacceptable behavior on this site and you need to be sanctioned for it.

I've reinstated the questions, but removed the abusive words.

In the future, I suggest you flag any comments you feel as disrespecting as Rude or unkind and I'll deal with them by deletion.

  • $\begingroup$ I have never flagged O's posts as Rude or Unkind. I am not sure I have ever flagged any of his/her posts. I don't think I have. I have been both skeptical and frank with my answers and comments to some of O's posts or comments. But I think he/she is legit as far as tone, but pushing it to the edge a little. Content-wise, sometimes I am thinking the posts are a little goofy or unorthodox. (I am a wild and crazy guy, but mathematically, i insist that my t's are dotted and my i's are crossed. I find myself sometimes taking on the role of enforcer of dotting the t's and crossing the i's. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ And I liked my answer to the question you recently deleted. That ended up deleting my answer. And Dan's answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ @robertbristow-johnson ㅤ $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ The posts themselves haven’t been “rude or unkind” but the comment in that post certainly was. It would make sense to delete such comments but I don’t think the entire post needs to be deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ @robertbristow-johnson Question is redacted from the bile that OLGD had injected into it and undeleted. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 17:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ...thank you... $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterK., there are many ways to be rude without using rude words. I've flagged a number of posts that were incredibly insulting and nothing ever happened. $\endgroup$
    – Jazzmaniac
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 10:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jazzmaniac Interesting. I agree that one can be extremely rude without using rude words. All I can say is that I read most submissions; some are borderline. Those I tend to edit if they make a point, but I’m willing to admit I may have missed some. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Jazzmaniac This is key. It's a recurring theme I see everywhere - apparent vs true malice. Like YT on swear words or schools on dress code, petty but obvious/'loud' violations being lot more enforced than heavy but complex ones. (Not best examples nor saying it describes my recent case.) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon All I can ask of all of us is patience. I am trying to moderate appropriately. Clearly, you don't think that's happening. I, mostly, think I am moderating appropriately. Swear words and abusive terms are clear; the complex / sharpened insults are harder to deal with and, I suspect, sometimes go over my head. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterK. I don't have a problem with you, the moderation of this case was good to me, considering all interests. My problem's with the community, which is to be addressed within the community. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ @DanBoschen well there is this chat that concerned Jazzmaniac's answer. I won't start necroflagging, but I think Fat32 behaves in an unacceptable way there. This was also an example that not just unclear intuitive answers but also mathy answers unclear to non-math people can be poorly received on the site, at least when not using standard electrical engineering DSP notation. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 11:13
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    $\begingroup$ But as for that chat, more timely flagging of comments getting out of hand and away from civility would be helpful I believe. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ @DanBoschen I agree that we should edit more to improve posts without changing the meaning, but I wouldn't want to have a site standard on notation. It could be "exclusive" and a "barrier of entry" if pushed. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon Sorry! Didn't realize it was directed at me. I don't recall editing that, but I certainly can (now, it gives me the option). I can't see any edit history, either. $\endgroup$
    – Peter K. Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 16:36

Ollie’s post shows immense kindness and willingness to help others, understanding the work and effort it must have been to put that together. It is helpful advise applicable to everyone, and illuminates why I have so much respect for Olli.

I want to add that anyone that followed all of those points (I agree heartily with all), regardless of past actions, when combined with posting truly helpful questions and/or knowledgeable, accurate and helpful responses, would earn my highest respect.

I would like to add the following important items:

Avoid being defensive when receiving advise or feedback. (I continue to try to improve on this myself in my most personal relationships)— when someone is defensive and pointing to all the other reasons other than themselves, you have no confidence that they get your point of view or could ever improve. Best response doesn’t rush to judgement but that you appreciate the feedback and are considering its merits.

If downvoting, keep up with the post so that if items are resolved, remove the downvote. Downvotes should also be based on issues with the posting itself and not because the post has only zero votes (this last point is being routinely done and without explanation which I find annoying).


I'll just say I'm content with the overall response to this meta post, other networks would likely shut it down.

I admit editing that comment into the question was perhaps excessive escalation. I'd not have done it if my comment was deleted after 24 hrs, but given I care about its message, can't say it was really wrong either. Passive only goes so far, unless expending way more energy than this network is due.


Here I respond to Olli and provide my own version of "guidelines".ㅤ

Re: Olli

In overview,

  • A) I agree with most points, and am actually already following them
  • B) Many points mis-explain or omit context behind my acts; some are accurate but I stand by them
  • C) I think the points are more about maintaining respect than clearing unwarranted respect
  • D) A-C aren't to say I'm 0% receptive to said points.

To not repeat some things, here's relevant comments.

Main response

First, more broadly:

  1. I'm not interested in artificial safe spaces. This isn't college, work, or some other regulated environment with bottom-line incentives. SE to me is a platform where ideas can be exchanged honestly and openly, with limited moderation for civility. Moderation or attitude that shuts down any notion of offense just promotes walking on eggshells and, is frankly, "snowflake" stuff. Yes, niceness is important, but forced smiles is different.
  2. I don't work here. Some points are merely "nice to have" post improvements that I've no obligation for, nor should concern "respect". Plenty or most of StackExchange users don't follow such "textbook guidelines", and such motivations are understood.
  3. For emphasis, assume good faith is my mantra.

Now by points, somewhat in order of priority:

  1. "Respect that users post and interact here on a fully voluntary basis" - I'm extremely aware of this, and will reference it throughout. I already restated it in (2).
  2. Some points are actually one-time offenses - the most recent case.
  3. "Don't be rude or verbally abusive." - yes, that's usually breakdown of communication. To the extent the wording implies, I think it was a one-timer with me. More generally, I indeed "concentrate on the subject matter". However it has its place. As Jazzmaniac pointed, one can very much offend without resorting to "bad words", and said offense can easily exceed those of bad words, or be their equivalent.
  4. "Do not assume, state or imply that any individual community member or the whole community is stuck with a technical view that prevents them from understanding a problem from a better technical view that you believe that you have. Someone who is well experienced in the subject matter may take such a statement as disrespect." The problem is when my view is asserted and insisted invalid; that's them saying I'm stuck with a flawed view, no? I agree this'll lower respect, but respect goes both ways. That aside, there's a real epidemic of experts being "stuck in a view", and it's unscientific and disrespectful to learners to not acknowledge it. Even so, if you dig into specifics, you should find my use reserved or blatantly provoked.

Explaining my motivations

Now separately, to address specific cases likely behind Olli's points:

  1. "Respect that users post and interact here on a fully voluntary basis" - this happened once, and refers to comments to RBJ. It's a misunderstanding of our relationship: RBJ often made comments on my posts that asked for a response, with long term intent of convincing, in an intellectual-interest manner. My comment, with explicit request for response, was my way of elevating the topic's importance in same spirit, nothing else.

  2. "try to make use of the critique" ... "concentrate on the subject matter". This is about exchanges with AlexTP and TimWescott, and thinking hard, I couldn't find others (if there are any, very few) - and neither could Olli in now-deleted comments. So, each:

    • TimWescott: they've made a comment the day before that's since been mod-edited, that's basically "you don't know your basics". Combined with answers from Dan and Robert, I concluded Tim's comments were either not reading what I wrote or were nitpicking; upon closer inspection, I was mistaken and apologized, and edited the answer.
    • AlexTP - relevant excerpt: firstly, I have the right to disagree, criticism or not. My last comment however has greater context... the greater context. How would it be received if I, (supposing) not knowing calculus, complained about an answer using integrals being "unnecessary kinds of stuff" and "incomprehensible"? Point is, it's "socially" acceptable to give intuition second-class treatment, and to make statements that the author is responsible for the reader's lack of understanding - in ways that's not done toward incomprehensible mathy answers. If said mathy content was just as criticized, I'd take no issue at all - I have no issue with AlexTP telling me my writing doesn't cut it for him, I welcome it. However, with this context, it's as insulting to me to say those things as it is to say someone's correct math proof is incorrect. Developing intuition involves lots of time and skill, and so is understanding it - it's its own field. I'm not playing professional here so I'll just go ahead and say it - AlexTP is stuck with an overly narrow technical viewpoint, and it is their problem, not mine. It was the same with my renowned 80-year old EM-fields professor who said there's no intuition to Stokes' Theorem beyond textbook derivations, and I paid him thousands of dollars for this garbage.
  3. "Don't tactically downvote answers ("competing answers") other than yours in order to improve the ranking of your answer." I mostly agree, and as framed, I sort of never did. It's true that, on questions I did or did not answer, I'd downvote answers for no reason other than I believed they were overrated relative to others - but it wasn't to improve my own ranking specifically. It was also motivated by unfair downvoting toward me (as described in OP). Regardless, the number of such instances in grand total is 5 or less, and never toward posts with <=2 net score.

  4. "Do not manipulate votes by deleting a downvoted post and reposting it." This happened once, for reasons I described in OP. If this was a "thing I do", there'd be at least 3 other reposts. And as I commented, the downvoters were free to re-downvote; them never checking the page again after I made improvements isn't on me (it's in fact a cause).

    • For full context: it had a major edit, not just repost. To restate some things: 1) Case 2 is where I fixed flaws but downvotes were never retracted, and I didn't want hours of work trashed again, especially as I consider it an important post I'll refer to in the future, and it's a disservice to viewers; 2) -4 was because of my "garbage" comment, not substance of the post.

What I've been doing

Here's what you may not know I've done:

  • Fat32 called for my ban over my challenging of some Fourier theory; I've said nothing to warrant this - here's the full thread up to it. There's never been an apology from anyone to me, nor scolding of Fat32 by anyone. Despite this a year later, as Fat32 can affirm, I've put this behind and engaged in friendly discourse. I'll add, this wasn't Fat32's only serious offense, but none others were as bad.
  • Also do it with other offenders.
  • Refused to downvote answers or questions I believed were flawed, simply because they were at 0 votes, and net-negative was too harsh. This has always been my policy. (Not that I never do it, just the threshold's higher).
  • Upvoted flawed answers simply because the votes were too net-negative.

My guidelines

Posted separately.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 Thanks for your response. I've read it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ One feedback I've received is that my post is just being defensive. Do you agree? I'm surprised and don't agree with it, but whether fair or not, it helps to lower the odds. I'm thinking of adding a paragraph early on to clarify my intentions. @OlliNiemitalo $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 12:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Not "just", but it is possible that you have in some points (1, 2, 6, 10 pop out) taken, consciously or subconsciously, a particular stance in order to validate your actions even when another stance that is incompatible with your actions would improve the experience for everyone. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 14:31

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