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The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:

http://www.linktothearticlegoeshere.com/article
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on NBA.com.

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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The Origin of Life/Evolution?

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  • #16
    Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

    I think Sagan defined what he meant by "extraordinary" as being contrary to established laws of science.

    Thus if I claim to have built a perpetual motion machine, my evidence better be pretty good to warrant anyone paying me even a moment of attention.

    If I claim that it rained a whole lot last week then my assertion is pretty much obvious (or not) to anyone in a position to have shared that experience, and I need not have much data to support that assertion.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!).

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    • #17
      Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

      Originally posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
      I think Sagan defined what he meant by "extraordinary" as being contrary to established laws of science.

      Thus if I claim to have built a perpetual motion machine, my evidence better be pretty good to warrant anyone paying me even a moment of attention.

      If I claim that it rained a whole lot last week then my assertion is pretty much obvious (or not) to anyone in a position to have shared that experience, and I need not have much data to support that assertion.
      I see your point, but this concept still falls prey to subjectivity with regards to how much or what kind of evidence does it take to be seen as 'extraordinary' and again who gets to make that call? The one making the claim? The one denying the claim? Someone else? It's subjective to try to label it as 'extraordinary' or even 'pretty good'.

      And what if the claim has to do with something difficult to capture? I mean 'we all thought' giant squids were a myth for however many centuries... until they finally documented one. You know? It's one thing if the claim is based in newtonian physics (in terms of how easy or difficult it is to replicate the claim), but what if it isn't?

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

        I'm a passionate Christian and a young minister (though not yet ordained), so I have an opinion on this. I will not shove it down anyones throat so if anyone has any questions about the truth of creation, message me or email me. Though, if you message me to argue you are not going to get a response so do not bother.

        As it says in Romans 14:

        Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions.
        Last edited by BearBugs; 04-26-2013, 06:28 PM.

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        • #19
          Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

          Originally posted by Thingfish View Post
          This is a passionate subject to me as one who is a proud member of Team Science. I highly recommend you read this whole article if you are at all interested in learning the way evolution really works. I just pasted a snippet.
          http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...-observations/

          Evolution: A Game of Chance | Observations

          By Christie Wilcox | January 11, 2012
          One of the toughest concepts to grasp about evolution is its lack of direction. Take the classic image of the evolution of man, from knuckle-walking ape to strong, smart hunter: We view this as the natural progression of life. Truth is, there was no guarantee that some big brained primates in Africa would end up like we are now. It wasnít inevitable that we grew taller, less hairy, and smarter than our relatives. And it certainly wasnít guaranteed that single celled bacteria-like critters ended up joining forces into multicellular organisms, eventually leading to big brained primates! Evolution isnít predictable, and randomness is key in determining how things change. But thatís not the same as saying life evolves by chance. Thatís because while the cause of evolution is random (mutations in our genes) the processes of evolution (selection) is not. Itís kind of like playing poker Ė the hand you receive is random, but the odds of you winning with it arenít. And like poker, itís about much more than just what youíre dealt. Outside factors Ė your friendís ability to bluff you in your poker game, or changing environmental conditions in the game of life Ė also come into play. So while evolution isnít random, it is a game of chance, and given how many species go extinct, itís one where the house almost always wins.

          99.99% of all the species that have ever existed are now extinct.
          Someone needs to put down the 1960's textbooks and read some 21st-century peer-reviewed literature. The notion that random mutation is the driving creative force behind evolution is a relic of a past ignorance; it has no basis in reality.

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          • #20
            Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

            Hicks is 100% correct. All claims require sufficient evidence; nothing more, nothing less. What Sagan really means by "extraordinary" is claims which challenge his metaphysical presuppositions, thus, it becomes a statement of dogmatism, not skepticism.

            For example, Sagan accepted both abiogenesis and the notion that random mutation could, and did, engineer life -- two seemingly extraordinary claims -- while never observing either. He accepted them because they gelled with his worldview, thus, his standards for what qualifies as evidence were significantly lowered. Sagan was as dogmatic as any Christian zealot, and in some ways even worse, as he masqueraded his dogmatism as proven science.

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            • #21
              Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

              Originally posted by Hicks View Post
              This is such a complicated subject. I find that while it can be interesting and rewarding to research and read about it, it can also be a huge turn off. The former for the obvious reasons, the latter because I tend to wrinkle my nose when people get arrogant. "It must be God." "There can't be a God." "That is impossible." In my opinion those kinds of quotes get said a lot and I usually find it arrogant and presumptive.

              For me, I think there are things that sound 'magical' to me that may nonetheless be part of reality. I also think our culture is saturated in nonsense, and I think science goes a long way in removing the garbage, but I sometimes fear it throws the baby out with all of the bathwater, too.

              I don't know what the answers are. I like science, I think it's a super important, super powerful tool/method, but I don't like how some people get dogmatic about it and treat it like a belief system. I also think there might be a God, there might be an afterlife, we may be more than our physical bodies, time might be more of an illusion than we think it is. But I don't know. I wish I did. I feel like I won't ever know for sure.

              Frankly, it gets hard to even read up on certain topics like this because there's usually a strong bias injected into the research and analysis. A lot of people make assumptions and treat them as facts and then attack, ridicule, and discredit anything that might suggest their assumptions are wrong. And I find that very unscientific, and I find that extremely unproductive at best, destructive at worst.

              Speaking of what I find unscientific, the popular Saganism, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," fits that bill in my opinion. Why? Because who gets to rule on or to decide what qualifies as 'extraordinary'? I think the answer is nobody. I think an adjective like 'extraordinary' has no place in science. What might seem ordinary to you may seem extraordinary to someone else, and vice versa.

              Claims require evidence in order to be proven as fact. Whether or not anyone does or does not find those claims 'extraordinary' is completely irrelevant.
              I would think the definition of what is an extraordinary claim is fairly obvious. I could tell you 2+2=4 and you could count your fingers and reach the same conclusion. If I told you that I was born from a virgin, well that is an extraordinary claim. The lack of evidence also would contribute to how extraordinary a claim is. I am pretty surprised you would argue this of all things in regards to scientific thinking.

              I agree there are things that can't be explained, but the skeptical mind would naturally require more evidence as proof and be on the side of caution rather than belief in regards to outrageous claims such as miracles clairvoyance and magic or whatever.
              Last edited by PaceBalls; 04-27-2013, 12:04 AM.

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              • #22
                Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
                Someone needs to put down the 1960's textbooks and read some 21st-century peer-reviewed literature. The notion that random mutation is the driving creative force behind evolution is a relic of a past ignorance; it has no basis in reality.
                Did you read the article?

                The whole point of this article is that mutation plays a part but selection is the guiding force. How can you dispute that?

                What is this new fangled 21st century evolution you so highly tote then? Are you going to tell me something about Intelligent Design?
                Last edited by PaceBalls; 04-27-2013, 12:16 AM.

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                • #23
                  Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                  Originally posted by Thingfish View Post
                  I would think the definition of what is an extraordinary claim is fairly obvious. I could tell you 2+2=4 and you could count your fingers and reach the same conclusion. If I told you that I was born from a virgin, well that is an extraordinary claim. The lack of evidence also would contribute to how extraordinary a claim is. I am pretty surprised you would argue this of all things in regards to scientific thinking.

                  I agree there are things that can't be explained, but the skeptical mind would naturally require more evidence as proof and be on the side of caution rather than belief in regards to outrageous claims such as miracles clairvoyance and magic or whatever.
                  Obviously there are going to be cases where the vast majority would agree that it is probably an extraordinary claim, but it is still a subjective adjective that has no place in science, and it's especially ridiculous to try to objectively describe evidence as extraordinary or not extraordinary. Evidence is evidence. How 'extraordinary' it allegedly is or is not is subjective.

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                  • #24
                    Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                    Originally posted by Thingfish View Post
                    Did you read the article?

                    The whole point of this article is that mutation plays a part but selection is the guiding force. How can you dispute that?

                    What is this new fangled 21st century evolution you so highly tote then? Are you going to tell me something about Intelligent Design?
                    Selection is a culling process; it eliminates the absolute weakest of organisms, nothing more. If it's the primary "guiding force" for Darwinian evolution, then I say it's time we give Darwinian evolution a nice burial in the pseudoscience cemetery, right next to astrology. As the saying goes, natural selection can explain the survival of the fittest, but it can't explain the arrival of the fittest, and that's where the heart of the controversy lies.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                      Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
                      As the saying goes, natural selection can explain the survival of the fittest, but it can't explain the arrival of the fittest, and that's where the heart of the controversy lies.
                      Wait for it....wait for it.....


                      Well, I guess we're waiting for it.

                      Hey GRH, what can explain the arrival of the fittest??

                      And what does that mean?


                      [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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                      • #26
                        Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                        Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
                        Selection is a culling process; it eliminates the absolute weakest of organisms, nothing more. If it's the primary "guiding force" for Darwinian evolution, then I say it's time we give Darwinian evolution a nice burial in the pseudoscience cemetery, right next to astrology. As the saying goes, natural selection can explain the survival of the fittest, but it can't explain the arrival of the fittest, and that's where the heart of the controversy lies.
                        lol, what controversy? You say it can't explain the arrival of the fittest? Is that where we bring in an intelligent designer? Please stop being cryptic and just say it already.

                        Plus your idea of what evolutionary selection is is completely wrong. Selection isn't the culling of the weak, it's the culling of those who don't reproduce. See birds of paradise.

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                        • #27
                          Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                          What is the current majority theory among atheist materialists regarding the cause of random mutation? I mean we aren't seriously just going to chalk it up to '**** happens', are we?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                            Originally posted by Hicks View Post
                            What is the current majority theory among atheist materialists regarding the cause of random mutation? I mean we aren't seriously just going to chalk it up to '**** happens', are we?
                            It's viruses writing their code into our DNA. The viral group mind is the ruling life form on the planet.

                            http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...61I00F20100219

                            http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog...cient-vir.html

                            But seriously seriously, let us not pose this as evolutionary atheists vs non-evolutionary believers. I'm a Christian and also believe in science. If there is post-Darwinian thinking out there, I'd love to hear it.


                            [~]) ... Cheers! Go Pacers!

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                            • #29
                              Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                              Originally posted by Hicks View Post
                              What is the current majority theory among atheist materialists regarding the cause of random mutation? I mean we aren't seriously just going to chalk it up to '**** happens', are we?
                              I'm no expert. So I googled. Here's one page's simplified explanation:

                              http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosit...C3Causes.shtml

                              Mutations happen for several reasons.

                              1. DNA fails to copy accurately.
                              Most of the mutations that we think matter to evolution are “naturally-occurring.” For example, when a cell divides, it makes a copy of its DNA—and sometimes the copy is not quite perfect. That small difference from the original DNA sequence is a mutation.

                              2. External influences can create mutations.
                              Mutations can also be caused by exposure to specific chemicals or radiation. These agents cause the DNA to break down. This is not necessarily unnatural—even in the most isolated and pristine environments, DNA breaks down. Nevertheless, when the cell repairs the DNA, it might not do a perfect job of the repair. So the cell would end up with DNA slightly different than the original DNA and hence, a mutation.

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                              • #30
                                Re: The Origin of Life/Evolution?

                                Originally posted by kester99 View Post
                                It's viruses writing their code into our DNA. The viral group mind is the ruling life form on the planet.

                                http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...61I00F20100219

                                http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog...cient-vir.html

                                But seriously seriously, let us not pose this as evolutionary atheists vs non-evolutionary believers. I'm a Christian and also believe in science. If there is post-Darwinian thinking out there, I'd love to hear it.
                                I love this post. Kester starts off by posting a link to what is clearly a non-Darwinian attempted explanation, before ending the post by asking where the post-Darwinian thinking is at.

                                I wish I was making this up, I really do.

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