[Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-11-01 12:19pm

Steve wrote:I think everyone overlooked it.
Everyone? Fgalkin saw this coming a mile away for example.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-01 02:39pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Steve wrote:I think everyone overlooked it.
Everyone? Fgalkin saw this coming a mile away for example.
Okay. Not everyone, just a lot of people. It was "Oh, History promoted to main forum? Cool." without a thought of "OMG SHEP WILL GET PROMOTED!!!!". :P

The key is Wilkens' position is apparently that next time we should be more careful about such promotions to make sure we intend for them to happen.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by fgalkin » 2009-11-01 03:34pm

"Intend" for it to happen? What are the alternatives? Promote History and fire Shep as its mod? Promote history, and keep Shep as a minimod? Not promote History because they do not like one of its moderators?

It seems to me that a lot of the "issue" is people's antipathy towards Shep, and not any kind of policy problem.

EDIT: The other alternative is that some people are using Shep as a scapegoat for their own failure to forsee the consequences of their action. You know what we call that when a policymaker does not see the consequences of his own actions? Incompetence. How is it anyone's fault that they voted without thinking? Why should others suffer for it?

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-01 05:20pm

I can honestly say I don't care if Shep got promoted as a full mod as a result of the History Forum becoming a main forum of the board. I didn't necessarily know that would be the result but I can't say that I'm all that shaken up about it, nor would it have colored my support for the reorganization. If Shep misbehaves then I'm sure Mike's punishment will be swift and absolute.

I think this is indeed making a mountain out of a molehill and we have better things to do.


Edit: Fraggin' typoes....
Last edited by Steve on 2009-11-02 03:34am, edited 1 time in total.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-11-01 11:22pm

fgalkin wrote:"Intend" for it to happen? What are the alternatives? Promote History and fire Shep as its mod? Promote history, and keep Shep as a minimod? Not promote History because they do not like one of its moderators?

It seems to me that a lot of the "issue" is people's antipathy towards Shep, and not any kind of policy problem.

EDIT: The other alternative is that some people are using Shep as a scapegoat for their own failure to forsee the consequences of their action. You know what we call that when a policymaker does not see the consequences of his own actions? Incompetence. How is it anyone's fault that they voted without thinking? Why should others suffer for it?

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin
2 things:

- If there is antipathy towards Shep then isn't that in and of itself reason to reconsider whether the Senate would support him as a mod? I'll tell you offhand that if RobW were still running the Senate he'd find a way to ban Mark one way or the other so don't think its just me. There are question marks about Shep and his posting history. When he was put forward originally his expertise in History, which nobody denies, was the reason for supporting him IN SPITE OF that same history

- If you are trying to point a finger my way then I should remind you that I can't vote and there are limitations to how partisan I can be. The reason I've commented as much as I have here is that it involves a membership matter which, in the past before I loosened the rules Rob made, required the equivalent of passing the Chancellor's smell test.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 03:36am

From a poster.
May I anonymously raise a question in the senate ? To being with, I would like to say while I have no objection towards Shep as a Mod, I do have concern in regards to him being a senator. The power of a senator do allow them to make decisions in regards to banning people from the forum, and I do not think Shep is objective enough towards making those kind of decision.

Letting Shep to raise issues about the History is one thing, letting him decide who should be banned is another issue altogether. And that is the issue which I think people are concerned about.
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American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 05:55am

Keep in mind that it is possible to give Moderators posting rights here but prevent them from voting.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 06:11am

How would that extend to, say, letting moderators open discussion for barring a member from the Senate?
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 06:13am

Steve wrote:How would that extend to, say, letting moderators open discussion for barring a member from the Senate?
It wouldn't have any bearing on that, aside from procedural bans, since Moderators would still be allowed to post and discuss. However, it is also possible to prevent groups from starting new topics but being able to discuss in any open ones.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 06:20am

Dalton wrote:
Steve wrote:How would that extend to, say, letting moderators open discussion for barring a member from the Senate?
It wouldn't have any bearing on that, aside from procedural bans, since Moderators would still be allowed to post and discuss. However, it is also possible to prevent groups from starting new topics but being able to discuss in any open ones.
May I also point out that the Senate Rules, as they stand, do not account for the situation by which Shep has gained access to the Senate - namely as a mini-mod promoted due to his subforum being elevated to main forum status - and there are also no rules on whether such a person counts as a member of the Senate and not simply a mod with Senate access. (Which I am not opposed to, as mods should be capable of posting in the Senate to ask for Senate advice on a situation or to defend themselves if accused of misconduct.)
1. Only the Whip, the Chancellor, the Emperor, or an Executor may begin Category A votes or any votes relating to membership. All other votes may be started by any member subject to the remaining provisions of 3.E below.
Dalton, please refresh my memory. Are Executors Super-Mods only or does that category extend to ordinary forum mods?
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American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Surlethe » 2009-11-02 06:25am

At the time that was written, both supermods and ordinary forum mods would be considered "Governors". Admins were "Executors". Since supermods can now ban people, their description might have changed.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 06:29am

But still not normal forum mods. This would mean, among other things, that Shep has no standing in his thread to call for Stark's expulsion. Unless both mods and supermods are considered Executors.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 06:30am

Admins are Executors, something which really should be clarified. Supermods can ban people, true, but their ban powers are limited. I don't see a reason for changing the rule, aside from clarifying the wording.

In any case, because of all of these questions, I think we need a comprehensive and clear accounting of membership rules and roles.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Surlethe » 2009-11-02 06:31am

(Edit: To Steve.) No, the rule says he can't start an actual vote to expel Stark. It says nothing about starting [Discussion] threads.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 06:32am

Steve wrote:But still not normal forum mods. This would mean, among other things, that Shep has no standing in his thread to call for Stark's expulsion. Unless both mods and supermods are considered Executors.
Shep can open a discussion. He is not opening a vote.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Steve » 2009-11-02 06:39am

Ah, point. Anyway, I agree with Dalton that we must clarify the rules for membership in the Senate and the position of non-Senator mods here, what they can or cannot do, etc.
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Stuart » 2009-11-02 09:53am

I do think that, even if the rules are clarified, it would be unjust to apply the clarified rules retrospectively. Rightly or wrongly, Mark is in now, he got in legitimately by the rules as understood at the time and that shouldn't be changed because it was a (mostly) unforseen consequence.

I would also like to point out that Mark is, by a wide margin, the best data researcher I have seen in thirty five years working experience. He's found open source references to things I thought were classified or buried and long-forgotten. I believe that, properly handled, that expertise could be of great value to the Senate.

It might be worth considering whether the Senate should have an investigative arm. That is a small group of internet researchers who can be assigned to dig up factual information to resolve debates on points of fact. If such a suggestion is considered worthwhile, then I would suggest that Mark would make a very good candidate for heading up such a group.
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 11:12am

Stuart wrote:It might be worth considering whether the Senate should have an investigative arm. That is a small group of internet researchers who can be assigned to dig up factual information to resolve debates on points of fact. If such a suggestion is considered worthwhile, then I would suggest that Mark would make a very good candidate for heading up such a group.
The irony in that is that the first thing many people would want to do is "investigate" Shep himself! :lol:

Although I believe you mean "investigative" in this context as merely a cadre of dedicated data-miners. Out of curiosity, what could a Senate branch do that most SDN posters don't already do on a regular basis? :wink:



As to the subject of restricting the vote from Mods, and leaving it solely in the hands of Senators, that might be worth looking into. Would it be ALL mods, from minimods on up, or would there be a cutoff at some level of "modship"? There are a lot of Minimods in the Senate, and they may have to choose which hat they want to keep.

Or to really complicate things, we could become a bi-cameral Legislature and have a Senate and a Congress of Mods for maximum bureaucracy! :lol:
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In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by fgalkin » 2009-11-02 11:18am

CmdrWilkens wrote:
2 things:

- If there is antipathy towards Shep then isn't that in and of itself reason to reconsider whether the Senate would support him as a mod? I'll tell you offhand that if RobW were still running the Senate he'd find a way to ban Mark one way or the other so don't think its just me. There are question marks about Shep and his posting history. When he was put forward originally his expertise in History, which nobody denies, was the reason for supporting him IN SPITE OF that same history
Why? Personal antipathy should have no bearing on the decision of one's ability to be a moderator. I point you to the case of Englightenment- an odious git, but a capable moderator.

Also, as Stuart pointed out, Shep's expertise goes beyond that of History.
- If you are trying to point a finger my way then I should remind you that I can't vote and there are limitations to how partisan I can be. The reason I've commented as much as I have here is that it involves a membership matter which, in the past before I loosened the rules Rob made, required the equivalent of passing the Chancellor's smell test.
That wasn't directed at you personally, but rather at all those who tried to claim that they did not realize that Shep would be promoted, when they were voting for the change. I have no complaints with your work as Chancellor.
Dalton wrote:Keep in mind that it is possible to give Moderators posting rights here but prevent them from voting.
Just to be clear- this rule will apply to all Forum Moderators, even those who were Senators, right? So, Thanas, Stas, Simplicius, Surlethe, Beowulf and Keevan would also lose their right to vote in the Senate.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Dalton » 2009-11-02 11:22am

fgalkin wrote:
Dalton wrote:Keep in mind that it is possible to give Moderators posting rights here but prevent them from voting.
Just to be clear- this rule will apply to all Forum Moderators, even those who were Senators, right? So, Thanas, Stas, Simplicius, Surlethe, Beowulf and Keevan would also lose their right to vote in the Senate.
No, not if they are in the Senate group - "yes" permissions override "no" permissions, unless they're set to "never". Which raises another question: if a Senator is elevated to modhood, should they lose their Senate vote?
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by The Yosemite Bear » 2009-11-02 11:27am

Sorry to open up another can of worm...
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 11:36am

fgalkin wrote:Why? Personal antipathy should have no bearing on the decision of one's ability to be a moderator. [...]

That wasn't directed at you personally, but rather at all those who tried to claim that they did not realize that Shep would be promoted, when they were voting for the change.
I seem to recall --I may be wrong-- that the notion of "are Mods automatically Senators?" has come up before, but never really looked into much because (let's face it) there were no, um, particularly polarizing figures involved.

But overall this situation hasn't come up because there have not been many board reorganizations like this, where staff members were elevated, part & parcel, with forums. The whole notion of "Senators = Mods?" in voting is worth discussion on it's own regardless of whether Shep were involved or not.

I agree, though, personal dislike should have no bearing, and people who can't stand Shep probably should have been paying attention to what this means, and voiced concerns, beforehand. But it was a legal move at the time. Shep has been a mod before, too, and while it was as Horseman I don't recall any complaints-- and bear in mind that the job of Horseman is/was, specifically, to harass the fuck out of chosen targets... he stayed his hand against doubtlessly tempting targets, though.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Stuart » 2009-11-02 12:08pm

Coyote wrote:Although I believe you mean "investigative" in this context as merely a cadre of dedicated data-miners. Out of curiosity, what could a Senate branch do that most SDN posters don't already do on a regular basis? :wink:
That's right; a small group of people who had the ability to do very high-quality searches for data. The idea being that if there is a question of fundamental fact that keeps coming up at regular intervals, it could be referred to them who would then dig out the information available and present a report that would act as a reference document. They'd present their report to the Senate who would then vote on its acceptance. If accepted, it would be entered as a reference for the future.

I know that some checking is done already but the number of people who can do comprehensive searches is limited. Put bluntly, not everybody can do good searches and those that can have a tendancy to cherry-pick their results. So, if we have our own research team eho can do a better job, everybody benefits. As I said, Mark is the best researcher I have seen and he's ideally suited to be in charge of such a section. I don't know what we would call such a section "The Hounds of Hell" perhaps? Does the SW Imperial Fleet have an intelligence section?
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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Coyote » 2009-11-02 12:10pm

Stuart wrote:I don't know what we would call such a section "The Hounds of Hell" perhaps? Does the SW Imperial Fleet have an intelligence section?
The Empire had a "Ubiqtorate", but I think that name is taken.
Something about Libertarianism always bothered me. Then one day, I realized what it was:
Libertarian philosophy can be boiled down to the phrase, "Work Will Make You Free."


In Libertarianism, there is no Government, so the Bosses are free to exploit the Workers.
In Communism, there is no Government, so the Workers are free to exploit the Bosses.
So in Libertarianism, man exploits man, but in Communism, its the other way around!

If all you want to do is have some harmless, mindless fun, go H3RE INST3ADZ0RZ!!
Grrr! Fight my Brute, you pansy!

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Re: [Discussion] Senatorial Status of Moderators

Post by Simplicius » 2009-11-02 12:21pm

Dalton wrote:No, not if they are in the Senate group - "yes" permissions override "no" permissions, unless they're set to "never". Which raises another question: if a Senator is elevated to modhood, should they lose their Senate vote?
I'm inclined to say they should. The issues of redundancy and keeping the roles separate applies to them as much as to mods who were never Senators, so an exception in this case would be a useless double standard. Best to grant them Senator Emeritus status if they want it and retire them, in my opinion.

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