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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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Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

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  • #91
    Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Originally posted by dal9 View Post
    If you make an assertion that no evidence could ever disprove/falsify, that is not a scientific assertion.

    (For example, "there is an invisible and undetectable God/Polka-Dot Dragon/Flying Spaghetti Monster that set in motion/"designed" every observable event in the universe's history.)
    Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
    Premise I: The foundation for life is the genetic code, which acts as a programming language for life.
    Premise II: Every known code originates via intelligence.
    Premise III: Nature has never shown anywhere near the capability of creating such a thing.
    Conclusion: An intelligence is the best explanation for life.

    For the record: Every premise in the above argument is falsifiable in theory.

    Also, as I've pointed out before, the assertions that life is designed and that life is not designed are opposing positions on the same question, thus, any test of that question will affect both positions. The relevance of this? You can't test one without testing the other, and you can't falsify one without proving the other. This leaves us with the simple conclusion that either both the design and no-design positions must be science, or neither can be.

    Any test which strengthens a design-free origin of life (abiogenesis) is a test which weakens a designed origin of life.
    Any test to prove a design-free origin of life is a test to falsify a designed origin of life.

    ...and vice versa.

    Comment


    • #92
      Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

      Originally posted by Hicks View Post
      Right, I feel like the universe is awfully damned organized to have merely come from chaos, but that's just me.
      Theism/deism is the only view in which science makes sense. Think about it.

      Atheism pleads to mindlessness, which implies chaos, which is incomprehensible.

      On the other hand, theism pleads to mindfulness, which implies order and intelligibility.

      Which does science rely on? The answer is obviously the latter.

      Science cannot exist in a chaotic universe; chaos is incomprehensible. Science cannot exist in an atheistic world. That science can be done in our universe, and done quite well, because our universe is clearly an orderly, rational, comprehensible structure, makes theism the far more intelligent explanation, in my humble opinion.

      Really, when you get down to it, all science is, is the reverse engineering of the existence.

      Originally posted by Wikipedia
      Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or system through analysis of its structure, function, and operation.
      Rather than disproving God, as atheists love to claim, I'd say the far more reasonable position is that science posits a cosmic engineer, which sure does sound an awful lot like a God to me.

      If positing intelligence/mindfulness as a fundamental force of the universe, rather than the byproduct of chaos, makes me a supernaturalist, then a supernaturalist I be.


      Originally posted by Hicks View Post
      As to whether God is personal or impersonal, God seems at least mostly impersonal to me. I have a theory on why that's not a bad thing, but nonetheless.
      I side towards theism for the simple fact that humans are, and have always been, spiritual in nature and seek a relationship with God. If there is a creator God, then I don't believe this could be a coincidence.

      Comment


      • #93
        Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

        Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
        For the record: Every premise in the above argument is falsifiable in theory.

        Also, as I've pointed out before, the assertions that life is designed and that life is not designed are opposing positions on the same question, thus, any test of that question will affect both positions. The relevance of this? You can't test one without testing the other, and you can't falsify one without proving the other. This leaves us with the simple conclusion that either both the design and no-design positions must be science, or neither can be.

        Any test which strengthens a design-free origin of life (abiogenesis) is a test which weakens a designed origin of life.
        Any test to prove a design-free origin of life is a test to falsify a designed origin of life.

        ...and vice versa.

        Your Premise 1 is a re-statement of an accepted hypothesis, using some flowery language. Premises 2 and 3 (and the "Conclusion") are just re-statements of your belief that life has to be designed.


        On the other point, if you grant the consensus view of evolution, the hypothesis that an undetectable God set it all in motion by snapping His finger, or whatever, is indeed unfalsifiable, and thus a statement of faith.

        Comment


        • #94
          Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

          Originally posted by dal9 View Post
          Your Premise 1 is a re-statement of an accepted hypothesis, using some flowery language. Premises 2 and 3 (and the "Conclusion") are just re-statements of your belief that life has to be designed.


          On the other point, if you grant the consensus view of evolution, the hypothesis that an undetectable God set it all in motion by snapping His finger, or whatever, is indeed unfalsifiable, and thus a statement of faith.
          All three premises are what I believe to be facts based on current knowledge. Every one of them can be falsified.

          Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
          Premise I: The foundation for life is the genetic code, which acts as a programming language for life.
          This premise can be falsified by showing that the genetic code isn't an actual code.


          Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
          Premise II: Every known code originates via intelligence.
          This premise can be falsified by showing a code which did arise via intelligence.

          Note: I've actually seen people try to refute this claim by using the genetic code -- the very thing in question -- as an example of a naturally-arising code.


          Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
          Premise III: Nature has never shown anywhere near the capability of creating such a thing.
          This is very closely tied to premise II and could be falsified via the same observation.

          Falsify any of these premises, and you will have falsified the conclusion reached from them:

          Originally posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
          Conclusion: An intelligence is the best explanation for life.
          Show that nature can do what I.D. proponents say only intelligence can do, and a designer becomes superfluous to the origin of life.

          I don't see how that claim's not falsifiable in theory.

          Look, let's not kid ourselves here: The "I.D. is not falsifiable" claim is just a cheap, flimsy excuse used to discredit the I.D. position, and, thus, protect their own position. It has no merit, as it's clearly false.
          Last edited by Lance George; 02-08-2014, 10:11 PM.

          Comment


          • #95
            Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

            Originally posted by Major Cold View Post
            If this was the Super Bowl of creationism/evolution debates. Then we just watched two junior high football teams on the biggest stage.

            Hamm has a bachelors degree in Applied Science
            Nye has a bachelors degree in Engineering.

            There are more qualified people to debate these topics.
            I agree. My stance is that, as fascinating as they can be, debates are only truly meaningful if they involve the strongest views and the best-versed proponents of each side of an argument. Once we've heard the best arguments from each side, then -- and only then -- can we make a reasonable conclusion about which side is stronger.

            A much better debate:

            Comment


            • #96
              Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

              Pat Robertson chimes in: he implores creationist Ken Ham to just shut up: ‘Let’s not make a joke of ourselves’

              “Let’s face it,” Robertson said, “there was a Bishop [Ussher] who added up the dates listed in Genesis and he came up with the world had been around for 6,000 years.”

              “There ain’t no way that’s possible,” he continued. “To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.”


              “Let’s be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”


              “We’ve got to be realistic,” he concluded, and admit “that the dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that is found in science and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there.”

              When a nutjob like Robertson in essence calls you a nutjob, meaning you're nutjob-squared, it might be wise to listen.

              http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/0...-of-ourselves/
              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!).

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                A couple of fascinating Cambrian-related news tidbits this month:

                In the Canadian Rockies, a Major Fossil Find Intensifies the Object of Darwin's Doubt

                Jerry Coyne Notwithstanding, as an "Explanation" for the Rise of Complex Animal Life, Oxygen Is Now Eliminated from the Running

                It's amazing just how much complexity appears early in the fossil record, with nary a precursor in sight. That would deeply upset me if I were a Darwinist. The fossil record looks exactly like we'd expect it to look if Darwin was wrong.
                Last edited by Lance George; 02-22-2014, 11:17 PM.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                  Saw this today; made me think of this thread:

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                    ^well, if an obscure former relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds can't figure it all out, I have to agree, science is doomed.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                      So you'll make an ad hominem comment, but you won't explain why he's mistaken?

                      Comment


                      • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                        ^I'm still busy trying to write up an explanation of why these guys are wrong:

                        Comment


                        • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                          “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
                          ― Albert Einstein

                          I think Mr. Einstein had a point. Either all of existence is a miracle (a divine act by an uncreated First Cause), or it's all just happenstance; matter, natural laws, etc., which exist for no reason or purpose, behaving in ways they just so happen to behave. Everything just exists, and in a way which just so happens to make our own existence an inevitability.

                          I know which side I find more credible, but I understand some people have a deep-rooted, irrational disdain for it.

                          Comment


                          • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                            Originally posted by dal9 View Post
                            ^I'm still busy trying to write up an explanation of why these guys are wrong:

                            So you don't have a real, on-point response, then?

                            Comment


                            • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                              Originally posted by Hicks View Post
                              So you don't have a real, on-point response, then?
                              Fine.

                              1st and 2nd "Big Bangs:" OK, scientists don't know everything about this yet. At some point they probably will.
                              "3rd Big Bang:" There is a widely accepted explanation that a few people ignore. It's not a "big bang."
                              "4th Big Bang:" This is an update of the "animals don't have souls" idea. In fact, self-consciousness, introspection, "the pressing existential drive to ask why" is a function of intelligence, and:
                              a) people vary w/r/t the extent they possess these features
                              b) some animals may well possess rudimentary versions of these features
                              It's not a "big bang."

                              Comment


                              • Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

                                Regarding the 1st and 2nd ones, is the assumption then that it can't be a creator? Would you agree that if by some miracle it is a creator, science will eventually learn more about It?

                                Comment

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