# 2012 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

• patient and fair
• leads by example
• shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
• open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

1. Nomination
2. Primary
3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Yearn for the days of your youth, comparing stats on the back of baseball cards? Visit the Moderator Candidate Statistics Extravaganza!

## 7 Candidates

About me: I've been a Phys.SE member for 20 months now, with almost 6000 actions, 3000 edits, and 350 answers. As a theoretical physicist, I have a working knowledge of many branches of physics, astronomy, and mathematics.

Me as a mod: I will try continue the fair and good tradition of our current 3 moderators. The site's main focus should continue to be on physics concepts rather than homework-type problems.

Motto: When posting, please back it up, give context, spell out abbreviations, explain central technical notions, provide links, etc; so that a non-professional, a professional in a different subfield, and preferably even a young aspiring kid, can learn some valuable physics and enjoy reading your post!

One Long-Term Vision: Our site should be more than what happens to be on the "2D" front page at any particular moment. We should improve the "3D memory" of our older posts to avoid duplicates/unnecessary repetition, and to improve quality and increase knowledge.

Oh Qmechanic, thanks so very much for finally nominating yourself, this saves my day :-). And I like what you write above too. –  Dilaton Dec 1 '12 at 19:51
Great stats. :) –  Alenanno Dec 1 '12 at 20:38
Great that you finally decided to nominate. You'll be really effective as a moderator for Physics.SE :) –  Manishearth Dec 2 '12 at 1:08
Nice 2 see you here... –  Curious Dec 2 '12 at 13:44
Excellent, need someone to get more votes than me! –  Larian LeQuella Dec 2 '12 at 17:35
Approve! Obvious fit. –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 3:40
Qmechanic...Best of luck... you are a superb person for this post. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 14:34
i will vote for you.... –  Rorschach Dec 3 '12 at 16:31
-

About Me: I've been on physics.SE for two years, and participating in internet discussion forums since the days of sci.physics.research. I'm deliberately anonymous. I have a little expertise in theoretical and mathematical physics, and a healthy respect for experimental work.

Why Moderate?: I like physics.SE, and I want to see it continue to improve as a resource and as a community. So I'm willing to devote some time to cleaning up messes, encouraging people to write better questions, and generally keeping the signal-to-noise ratio high.

Cool to see you here :-) –  Dilaton Dec 1 '12 at 7:36
Oh, a new candidate! :) Well, first of all, good luck! But here's a serious question. It's about a possible situation mods often find themselves in, so I'd like to know how you'd act on it (typical questions under nominations, don't worry): in the comments below a question, people start to discuss about the topic above. The discussion is polite but the comments go over 20, what do you do? –  Alenanno Dec 1 '12 at 11:50
My default reaction would be to ask them to move to chat. There are clearly cases where some extended comments discussion improves the answer, but it's not guaranteed and it's not the general case. Discussions tend to drift. Better to salvage the best bits from chat, afterwards. I'd be reluctant to forcefully migrate polite on-topic discussion, however. –  user1504 Dec 1 '12 at 15:17
@user1504 Thanks for the answer. True, polite discussions are harder to "forcefully" migrate, and actually you shouldn't perform such actions unless it's the case (see also How do comments work?, there is a mention about when comments should be deleted). But yeah, I agree with the first sentences in your answer. :) –  Alenanno Dec 1 '12 at 15:52
You have given a very bad comment on one of my question(i am physicist not a psychist..do u remember)...and later on it was deleted..my question is after becoming a moderator, will you treat anybody like this if his/her question is not well defined or not a good question or will you encourage him/her to improve the question?? I hope for the person to be a moderator, rudeness nature is not acceptable. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 14:27
@MKB: Yes, I remember. Your question was this one? physics.stackexchange.com/questions/45392/… And I wrote "We're physicists, not psychics. Please don't write as if you expect us to read your mind.", or something similar. I'm not sure who deleted my comment. Perhaps a moderator thought it was over the line? If I end up serving as moderator, I will myself be more polite. But I would not delete that comment if someone else made it. I think you deserved a little snark for putting so little effort into your question. –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 14:59
You Can't be polite then....you should learn behavior first..and you are not eligible for moderator post right now from my side of view...and lastly i will say that"An actual physicist never shouts himself as physicist. " More over,in my question,you have not suggested anything to improve it. don't show rudeness...we are well-mannered people. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 15:12
@MKB: Please consider that when you write a question, you are asking others for their time. The onus is on you to explain yourself well enough that others can at least guess what you are confused about. If you can not understand why your question was a poor one, you probably should not be running for moderator. –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 15:24
You can at least then helpful suggest to modify the question....I am talking about the manner not of the question now. Because, suppose some new user is asking one question which is not good enough and you are putting such type of discouraging comment then what will happen? I hope it will be better to reply positively than showing inhuman manner or rudeness.And for a moderator it is mostly required. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 15:33
@MKB: Yes, of course, I'd be gentle with a kid or someone asking her first question. But you are an adult, you are not new to the site, and you claim to be a researcher in theoretical physics, so I expect more of you. I am sorry this makes you uncomfortable, but I would prefer that to seeing the quality of this site degrade. –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 15:47
@user1504...this site will be degraded if someone will give such type of bad and rude comment...questions can't make a site degrade...and all the users are here to improve,help others,"not to criticize"...always keep it in mind. And you have no right to make comment of my personal life or of my mind. Just be like a gentle man. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 15:54
@MKB: I disagree. Bad questions do make the site worse. They take up space on the front page, and distract attention from better questions. They clutter up search results. And their presence can make experts think that participating in the site is a waste of time. None of these things is desirable. This is why we have downvoting and deletion. –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 15:59
@user1504...one person can't decide a question good or bad. And one thing is that the person who can guide or help one to improve his question/answer is the right person for moderator. –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 16:02
@MKB: I mean that you should put in the effort to make your questions meet basic standards. Right now, no one can tell what it is you were trying to ask. You were clearly told this by Namehere (whose comment got 3 upvotes -- people agree!), and you made no effort to improve the question. Instead, you complained and pretended that you couldn't fix it until someone told you how. This would be poor (but forgiveable) behavior from someone new to the site, or someone who only knows what he has learned from popular science. But you claim to be a professional, and you are running for moderator! –  user1504 Dec 3 '12 at 16:18
@MKB, that is not at all what user1504 meant. He is saying that you need to be more careful to write your questions clearly. I agree with him. –  Colin McFaul Dec 3 '12 at 16:22
-

Okay, I wasn't really going to toss my hat into the ring, but there aren't enough people here to make it interesting.

About me: Well, you can check out my profile. I filled out the bio portion with key highlights. I'm really more of a skeptic than someone who is a physicist. My reputation on this site is really a result of my interest in Astronomy, and my time spent there. So if you don't mind a mod with a very narrow focus, that would be me.

Me as a Mod: Well, I am a mod over at Skeptics.SE So I know about the tools and how to do the moderator thing. Generally I value differing opinions and outlooks as long as they are well supported and have reliable source material. That said, I tend to be a very laize faire type of mod. I think the community is really what makes SE such a great place, and they will be the best judge of what sort of posts require mod action. I have very little tolerance for jerks and wingnuts, so if I see that type of behaviour, I will quickly delete, lock, or use my mod powers. Otherwise, I am a live and let live kind of guy.

Why Did I nominate myself: Simply put, there are not enough people committing to the SE community. Hopefully such a narrow focused nominee and out of his depth individual will motivate the better suited individuals here to thrown their hat in the ring just to prevent me from actually getting this position. :) –  Larian LeQuella Nov 28 '12 at 0:59
Thanks Larian for nominating yourself, to me it seems you would be a reasonable, relaxed, and fair moderator. In particular I appreciate that you would listen to the community and take its needs serious and that you would not tolerat trolling and flamewaring etc –  Dilaton Nov 28 '12 at 10:02
I have two questions. In a dispute about the on/off topicness of a question would you listen to the arguments of community members too if they can show you that the topic the question is about, is researched by well respected mainstream phyicists, even if you personally do not know much about it? And what do you think about fundamental physics research that can at the moment not yet be directly probed with the technical means we have today (because the effects are expected to happen at a too large energy scale for example)? Would say such research has its value nevertheless ... –  Dilaton Nov 28 '12 at 10:11
... or would you rather agree with people who say such things have nothing to do with the real world and should not belong to the set of valid and legitimate physics? –  Dilaton Nov 28 '12 at 10:13
@Dilaton: sounds like you're talking about something rather specific without... actually mentioning it... –  Shog9 Nov 28 '12 at 19:45
FWIW: from what I've seen on Skeptics, Larian is a careful, diligent, and conscientious moderator. –  Shog9 Nov 28 '12 at 19:48
@Shog9 Outside the protected space of Physics SE there are vigorous and ugly discussions and fights going on about if physics beyond the standard model (of particle physics) is legitimate since it is not guaranted that its effects can directly be observed at the energy scale we can reach with the colliders we have now. There are very loud and vocal people out there who claim that such research should be abandonned immediately because it is not real world physics etc even though there could be indirect hints to it. It sometimes happens that such people penetrate our site too to leave scornful –  Dilaton Nov 28 '12 at 20:43
and nonconstrucive comments below the respective questions on physics SE etc. Up to now we have David who knows a lot about theoretical physics and can defend it and say what is legitimate and what is really too fringe. Now it seems we will not get any new mod who is very knowledgable about it (Qmechanic seems not want to nominate himself, and Anna v as a formar high energy physicist seems not want to nominate herself either). So after David is gone we will most probably not have any theoretical physicist mod who can reasonably decide about the on/off topicness certain kinds of questions. –  Dilaton Nov 28 '12 at 20:49
Thank you, that's the sort of useful commentary we need on these. BTW, don't forget there's a Town Hall Chat coming up where you can direct more questions at the candidates as a group! –  Shog9 Nov 28 '12 at 20:54
@Dilaton you ask And what do you think about fundamental physics research that can at the moment not yet be directly probed with the technical means we have today Actually, this is an area I have a lot of interest in, but not a lot of knowledge. Again, case by case evaluation would be the best course of action, but at the very least it would be grounds for interesting (as long as polite) discussions. –  Larian LeQuella Nov 29 '12 at 2:50
@Dilaton: Again, please note the definition of esoteric. It is not a derogatory term (it can be, but we both are not using that definition. See merriam-webster.com/dictionary/esoteric, definitions 1(b) or 2(a) to a stretch. We're using it to identify topics which few people are proficient in. We are not using it to put down those topics in any way--our use of the word shouldn't be worrisome. –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 9:43
@Dilaton: Ah, English has both meanings of the word--it can be used to talk of cult practices and crazy things. You have to see the context to figure out which it means :) –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 15:24
@Dilaton yes, I was using the positive meaning of esoteric. :) I personally am a proponent for M-theory over others that are out there, but my weight in the matter is negligible since I really don't understand it at the level of someone active in the mathematical pursuits of it. ;) –  Larian LeQuella Nov 29 '12 at 22:51
@Dilaton oh, well now I see some of your comments in a whole new light :-) The negative meaning of "esoteric" as "nonsense" or "garbage" is not all that common in English, and especially not among physicists. –  David Z Nov 30 '12 at 22:33
@Larian it occurs to me that right now we have no mods with expertise in observational astronomy, so that is something useful you could bring to the table. –  David Z Dec 3 '12 at 17:32
-

## Intro

I've been a member of the Physics Stack Exchange for nearly a year now. I was inactive for the past few months due to academics, but now I'm eager to get started again. I'm an undergrad student in Physics*, and I love the subject, though I'm not proficient in most of the areas which I've explored myself.

## What I bring to the table

I've been a moderator on the Chemistry Stack Exchange for five months now, so I already know my way around the tools. In addition, I've been pretty active on MSO, so I'm quite familiar with the SE policies as well as the "spirit" behind them.

I'm more of a meta person—while I love providing content, I prefer participating in meta and cleaning up. A moderator's activities are focused in those areas, so I feel I would be much more helpful to the site as a moderator. I'm also in IST, so I can help moderate a completely different timezone.

## Goal

As a moderator, I shall continue doing cleanup/community building the normal way. I shall also do my best to intervene when things get uncivil.

*Engineering Physics actually; but it's mostly pure physics..

I was thinking of asking you some questions, but nothing came to my mind. Congratulations for your Meta stats; to me so far, you're the most appropriate to cover a moderator position. Pity I can't vote. :P –  Alenanno Nov 27 '12 at 11:50
Dear @Alenanno, why can't you vote? –  Eugene Seidel Nov 27 '12 at 12:41
@EugeneSeidel: You need 150 rep on the site to vote in an election. Or something like that. –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 12:46
@EugeneSeidel Like Manishearth says, you need at least 150 in order to vote. I'm stuck at 106 for the time being. :) –  Alenanno Nov 27 '12 at 12:50
@Manishearth Oh. Didn't know that. May I suggest that readers of this page be informed of this restriction? –  Eugene Seidel Nov 27 '12 at 12:52
@EugeneSeidel: It's already there. When the election progresses, it'll go into the "primary" and "election" phases (this is wen the actual voting happens). Then, on the sidebar, the rep restrictions will be displayed s3.amazonaws.com/awesome_screenshot/… –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 12:56
@EugeneSeidel Hi Eugene :-D –  Dilaton Nov 27 '12 at 13:04
Dear Manish, That link - what's in there anyway? (I cant view it right now...) –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 13:22
@CrazyBuddy: this. The image expired I guess. –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 13:39
How do I check the number of helpful flags in people's profiles? –  Larry Harson Nov 27 '12 at 17:51
@Dilaton: First, get your facts right: (1) I don't call them that "often", I did that once and twice later after you referred to it. (2) The definition of esoteric is Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.. (3) I wasn't talking about all theoretical/fundamental physics--I was talking about those niche topics out there that very few people are knowledgeable in. These are the ones which can cause disputes that are rather hard to resolve--and you cannot expect any mod to be good in these topics [cont'd] –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 9:18
@Dilaton: Remember, I'm not going to "scare off" people by closing theoretical qs. Generally, theoretical qs can be left alone--it is obvious that they are physics, a quick discussion (as well as some searching) can let you check if they are sufficiently mainstream. The other close reasons are even easier to check for, and I haven't seen too many NARQ/NC/localized theoretical qs. Nearly none. The only issue with moderation arises when there is a content dispute I remember David [contd] –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 9:29
talking about it in chat once -- even he was unsure about some of these (again, niche topics--very few people know these well enough to resolve a dispute). In this case, like I said, it's better if you involve the rest of the community. –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 9:30
(Looks like we lost sync in the comments. Where are those realtime updates when you need them! :P) –  Manishearth Nov 29 '12 at 9:36
@Dilaton - you don't need to be completely au-fait with a subject. If there's a content dispute all the moderator has to do is lock the post for a couple of hours and send the interested parties to chat or meta to resolve it. If they can't come to an agreement then the post gets locked for longer. Moderators aren't arbiters of what's correct or not - they're more like janitors cleaning up after the food fight in the canteen. –  ChrisF Nov 29 '12 at 9:54
-

My interests have led me to a B.S. (magna cum laude) in Applied & Engineering Physics while doing experimental physics research, then to begin a PhD in experimental cold-atom physics (which I have decided to turn to the theoretical side and have successfully switched to the PhD math program). My theoretical understanding peaks in Electrodynamics/QED and Gravity, and intersects QFT and String Theory (mostly due to its mathematical nature).
I typically visit this website briefly every day, and I prefer to answer some innocent questions, especially from beginners. I am more of a neat-freak, and have definitely seen mis-usage of tags and posting un-researched questions (those that can be answered by a single quick google search) and people essentially asking for homework answers without portraying their attempts; this what I feel moderation predominantly focuses on. I actively participate in MathOverflow and Math-SE as well, and if elected I can assure that I will adhere to everything required as a moderator (even if this hasn't been justly so in the past).

What is your opinion about argumentums ad hominem in physics? –  drake Nov 27 '12 at 9:18
Do you feel that you know the SE model and the policies well enough to moderate? –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 9:20
@drake: This isn't really an opinion, because in the end it all comes down to whether the mathematics supports the argument. –  Chris Gerig Nov 27 '12 at 9:52
@Manishearth: When I first stumbled across these forums I thought there was nothing to it, but through experience over the year in SE and MO I have become accustomed to the outlook/interaction of its visitors. Any moderation-matters that I am unsure about I will subsequently learn as anyone else could, through the use of the faq/meta/guidelines and general good sense (of course while speaking with other moderators). –  Chris Gerig Nov 27 '12 at 9:53
@ChrisGerig: Ah, fair enough :) Didn't see your MO profile.. Note that MO rules/policies are radically different from ours. –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 9:57
"which I have decided to turn to the theoretical side" How's it go ... if once you turn to the ... eh, something or another ... forever will it dominate your ... uh, something else ... academic career, maybe. –  dmckee Nov 29 '12 at 0:51
Geometry is the path to the theoretical side. Geometry leads to compactification. Compactification leads to strings. Strings lead to ..... the need for careful moderation. –  twistor59 Nov 29 '12 at 8:12
Chris GO !!! You have to finally make it. As it seems, you are the only candidate quite knowledgable in theoretical physics and you should hold the fort for more theoretical questions as soon as David is gone ... –  Dilaton Nov 29 '12 at 9:22
Best of luck... –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 14:29
-

I am presently working as a theoretical researcher in the field of high energy physics.I found this physics.stackexchange is very helpful and interesting and I am very much benefited through this. Therefore I want to nominate my name as a moderator in this election to give up my contribution to this physics stack exchange and want to make this page more more interesting, helpful and the most knowledgeable website. So, please accept my nomination for the "moderator" and I believe that I can do the best as a moderator.

As a Moderator, how will you make this "page" more interesting, helpful and the most knowledgeable website? –  Sathya Nov 27 '12 at 9:08
by the support of the users of this blog.. –  Curious Nov 27 '12 at 9:56
Stack Exchange sites are not really blogs. –  ThiefMaster Nov 27 '12 at 11:45
–  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 12:09
Dear @Manikanta Borah, in a Question that you answered last month (and for which you collected 14 upvotes), it appears that you copied wholesale text from another website. You only put in a "reference" crediting the source an hour ago after being prompted about this by another user. Do you consider yourself qualified as a Moderator in light of your apparent ignorance of copyright law? –  Eugene Seidel Nov 27 '12 at 12:34
@Eugene Seidel...At that time,I was a new user of physics stack exchange. and didn't know all the terms and condition. By the time,i came to know all about this things. It was a mistake as a new user. –  Curious Nov 27 '12 at 12:41
My heartiest welcome to all the nominators and wish them a very best of luck for the election.... –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 14:21
-

I provide an utmost importance to Physics. My English language skills are very low but, I'm a self-learner and I'm improving my art of speech with the help of SE by talking to several professionals. As I'm an undergrad BTW, I am (will be) free-of-course for now. I can thereby prove my interests towards this site by helping some guys, cleaning up the garbage of those who're messing around and more specifically - learning with others. I must agree that I too have got too many downvotes for my posts. Despite of this, I believe that my moderation would bring some revolution regarding this comment-less downvoting tradition.

If not, I'll follow the Etiquette atleast which most guys don't think of it at all. Also, I'd definitely increase my regular participation in meta and thereby help the community.

And moreover, the reason I need to become a moderator is basically, Curiosity. In the midst of this, I must also add that I have only a basic knowledge from HIGH SCHOOL and not a professional in any fields of physics. But, I know something atleast :-)

Could you clarify your statement on commentless downvoting? What exactly do you want to change there? –  Mad Scientist Nov 27 '12 at 9:06
and how exactly will your Moderation bring about some revolution in this comment-less downvoting tradition.? –  Sathya Nov 27 '12 at 9:06
"Hello" to both Sathya & Mad Scientist: Guys, You might have seen many posts (both Q&A) being downvoted unnecessarily in SE. The SE engine also displays a pop-up for users to leave comments. But, most SE guys wont follow it (most). Even I (myself) have experienced many. Without a comment for downvote, the post authors don't know for what they've been downvoted. I believe it's a great discouragement for them. So, I'll try to comment for their downvote or atleast upvote those posts if it looks good. I also prefer not to downvote new users which guys don't think of it. –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 10:43
By doing so, atleast some users would try to leave comments. (They are hating to leave comments). I had edited my profile (once before) to say about this tradition which was of no use. But as a moderator, we would get a lot of profile visits and I strongly believe some good guys would actually read it :-) –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 10:47
@Crazy - why would you plan to comment on someone else's downvote? Are you telepathic? We can encourage users to vote, certainly, but if they don't then that is their call. –  Rory Alsop Nov 27 '12 at 11:00
@Sathya: Thank you Sathya (for pointing that out). I thought guys would've experienced it in SE and it's not necessary to explain. Am I right? Perhaps, you would've known it. And, Oh, I must give respect to a moderator :-) –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 11:01
@RoryAlsop: Hello Rory, I just meant for good questions only. Not for each & every question appearing around Physics.SE (I have a lot of things to worry). Maybe, some comments would help with their problem. Once you get a downvote, you would surely get low attention, unreasonable following downvotes. Maybe, I'm just trying to decrease that effect. First thing - "We must try not to punish new users and those who lack in language skills (especially me). What do you mean by "encourage"? Did you actually meant, "encourage them to downvote" ? Because, we're talking only about downs :-) –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 11:09
But who defines good questions? Your view may be different to someone else's. As a mod, you will have to see the communities views and respect them all - this is not easy! –  Rory Alsop Nov 27 '12 at 11:13
@RoryAlsop: Yeah... That's a nice thought. I definitely agree with that (I didn't think that I'll walk into a trap so early). We cant surely judge at the first sight. If we have some thought in that field, "maybe we can". But, I cant. I think, we could identify atleast some posts (not all) if I have a grip on it. Or, I could wait for a while or learn more about these situations. I'm not mature enough but, I think I could help some atleast. Thanks a lot Rory. Perhaps, your comment is the most useful of all. My response, "I'll definitely try my best to help others. :-) Any advice? –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 11:31
Wanting to help the community is key here. As a mod you don't get the option to vote on things like everyone else - your vote is an instant close/delete/open etc so in order to help, you must be patient, listen to the community, clean up the exceptions etc - these skills are actually more important than deep knowledge of Physics. –  Rory Alsop Nov 27 '12 at 11:41
@RoryAlsop: Thank you very much Rory. For community, I'll keep that in mind and definitely follow it. But, I'm sure I'll also follow the Etiquette (in faq) for new users. –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 11:47
Dear @Crazy, will you agree to suspend the laws of physics on every Friday the 13th if elected Moderator? –  Eugene Seidel Nov 27 '12 at 12:38
@EugeneSeidel: Hello Eugene, Pardon me for my language skills. "I cant really understand what you mean..!" –  Waffle's Crazy Peanut Nov 27 '12 at 12:47
@CrazyBuddy: Naah, I hadn't seen all those comments. Websockets don't work on my uni proxy, so I had an old version of the post in front of me.. Sorry :S –  Manishearth Nov 27 '12 at 13:07
best of luck... –  Curious Dec 3 '12 at 14:29
-