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no citations?

 
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I don't know if I should continue this here, pm, or another thread -- but why would permies.com discourage asking for citations?

I can see why if someone says "I planted lots of clover and tons of butterflies showed up" -- then maybe don't ask for a citation of clover planting and butterfly population studies. Or in this case, "I stopped with the sugar and felt better." ->No source needed.

But if someone claims something to be fact that is obviously ludicrous (example) then why should asking for a source be discouraged?

The example provided is egregious, IMO. It's borderline libel.

I have a hard time comprehending why permies.com would rather have mis/wrong information touted as fact to prevent a slight (online)ego incursion?
 
Mother Tree
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We have a few threads that cover this.

permies publishing standards

citation needed

how permies.com works
 
pollinator
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Johnny Niamert wrote:

The example provided is egregious, IMO. It's borderline libel.

I have a hard time comprehending why permies.com would rather have mis/wrong information touted as fact to prevent a slight (online)ego incursion?



I think it's to avoid having combativeness. The guy who recently wanted a link to something I quoted from wikipedia was aggressive, I thought.

Funny about your example. There is something that is sold that is basically sewer sludge, but it's not gypsum. Something that start with "m", I think.
 
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One way to phrase this one might be to say something about the source of gypsum and ask how did they learn about the sewage idea and do they know a brand name.

It's all about the friendly tone of the forums. We know that nobody's perfect and we act as if everyone is.
 
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I think a lot of folks posting "Citation needed" really mean to say "Hmmm, I would like to hear more about this." or "Hmmmm, I think you might be thinking of something else - are you sure?"

I think most folks reading "citation needed" see "that's a fucking lie, which makes you a fucking liar - unless, of course, you can provide proof, which I know, for a fact, that you cannot." So, I'm not really a big fan of publishing that.

 
steward
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Not to toot my own horn or anything but I started a thread back in March on this very subject . Except I was not as succinct as Paul .

https://permies.com/forums/posts/list/33766#264153
 
Johnny Niamert
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Brawndo's got what plant's crave.
Yeah, it's got electrolytes.
 
pollinator
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I can see both sides of this one. It seems like it is almost a matter of degree. I agree that "citation needed" sounds totally dickish - it may as well say "<<<=Idiot". It is totally impersonal and reduces and quells the level of conversation. but I can also understand the frustration of seeing fantastic claims without any explanation of why ones arrived at that conclusion. Ie

"The best thing to do if you come across a tiger is to corner it and scream at it threateningly, this will let it know who's boss and you will never have to worry about it again. This is a known fact"

Perhaps making the question personal without judgement or offense is the more polite path to an answer. "What leads you to believe that?" or "I haven't heard that, any chance you can share some specific examples?" anything which engages the person you are wanting the information from without being antagonistic should help to clear up the issue and allow yourself and others further perspective and a clearer understanding of whatever is being said and leave room for discussion where ultimately people must exercise their own judgement on the veracity of any offered opinion, even when the statement implies fact.

For instance, a hypothetical from me a proponent of and marketer for the great product Brawndo (tm) :

Me: "I like money"

You: "That's interesting, what leads you to that opinion"

Me: "Moneys Good"

You: "Really? I have heard it said that money is the root of all evil and know that many philosophers have argued through the ages about it, do you really believe you can reduce such a powerful instrument to such a simple black and white statement?

Me: "Nah uh. Huh? Shut up"

You: "Personally I have always enjoyed the view of Benjamin Franklin, who was a prolific writer and thinker. Here is what I am sure is a totally accurate internet citation know universally throughout all societies to be utterly without flaw at any point of time ever."

Blue type linked to more type = incontrovertable fact

An poor example, I realize, but I for one recognized and enjoyed your ironic use of humor from the film "Idiocracy" and I think one of the prime flaws of the society portrayed in that film was the loss of civility and tact, which polarizes and stifles discussion. "citation needed" or "got a cite" really does seem to translate in my mind into "There is absolutely no way I will believe you without a citation" and If that is what one is meaning to say, why cloak it in a passive aggressive way, say it I'll either provide my best proofs or agree to disagree.

Or something like that. I could be way off base.

Edited: mostly on a whims and lots of auto-correct errors - slight changes only
 
wayne stephen
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If we feel the need to disagree we do not need to argue or demand proof from another forum member . We can simply state our case and move on . If we are confident in our own position then state it and let it stand . If you speak the truth then others will percieve it too . Then again some will always choose fallacy over fact . That's how it goes . A far better approach if a citation is needed is to provide one yourself as opposed to demanding one be provided to you . For instance :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsum

In my opinion , if anyone makes a post that provokes a visceral response in me that makes me want to scream "That's Bullshit" I try not to post at that time . Come back later when I'm calm or just avert mine eyes .

Also , we are here to promote and learn about permaculture . I personally think Paul Wheatons permies.com , richsoil , Pauls blogs are the best permie resources in the universe . That says alot considering PRI and others are out there . But have you ever been invited to a married couples house for dinner and had to endure their ongoing petty bickering . Life is short . At times our threads devolve into this and no one wants to endure it . No matter who is right .
 
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I tend to agree with the OP. This site is viewed as a major resource for information for many people. When there is clear misinformation I think it needs to be corrected or removed. Politely, if possible.

Example:

Person A: "cornering a tiger is a good idea"

Person B: "Person A - that is interesting. I would like to read more about it, but can't find any decent sources. Can you suggest some?"

...hopefully Person A provides some good sources or personal experience (and give them a chance to respond). Otherwise, I think it is appropriate to respond that you were unable to find decent sources, and therefore disagree with their statement of fact. I think that maintaining good information is worth sacrificing some niceness.
 
Cj Sloane
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wayne stephen wrote:A far better approach if a citation is needed is to provide one yourself as opposed to demanding one be provided to you . For instance :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsum



Yes, well, the reason d'etre of this thread is that I did exactly what you suggest! The response? Got a link for that? Any idiot can edit a wikipage you know! I did post the official cite but mentioned how that was discouraged at permies.

The OP of this thread then asked why?

My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin,
I work in a lumbermill there.
The people I meet when I walk down the street,
They say, "What's your name?"
And I say,
"My name is Yon Yonson,
I work in Wisconsin..."
 
Burra Maluca
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Cj Verde wrote:
Yes, well, the reason d'etre of this thread is that I did exactly what you suggest! The response? Got a link for that? Any idiot can edit a wikipage you know! I did post the official cite but mentioned how that was discouraged at permies.



I think this illustrates very well the problem we have here with asking for citations.

And I think the best way to deal with it is that if a request for a citation is made and it makes any member feel in any way uncomfortable, they should hit the report button to draw the attention of the moderators to that post. Don't respond to it, let us decide if it is an appropriate request or not. If not, then we can delete it and explain to the poster the problems that citation demands can create.

For those that want citations, please remember that other members may feel offended or challenged by your request and be prepared to do your own homework.

For those who don't like to be asked, please remember that most people are genuinely interested in finding out more, and others may have come from a background where it is considered 'correct' to back everything up with published evidence.

For everyone, please remember that we strongly discourage demands for citations and are likely to remove them. We don't want anyone who has anything they feel may be of value to be dissuaded from sharing that information with us. But it is hard to get the balance right. If we jump in too soon with the moderation we put people off talking, if we jump in too late things have already deteriorated by the time we do anything and members have started arguing and falling out with each other instead of sharing information and furthering everyone's knowledge.

 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton
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"The best thing to do if you come across a tiger is to corner it and scream at it threateningly, this will let it know who's boss and you will never have to worry about it again. This is a known fact"



If this comes up on permies, click on "report to moderator" and we will remove it. We prefer that people state their position instead of "the truth".

 
paul wheaton
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Me: "I like money"

You: "That's interesting, what leads you to that opinion"

Me: "Moneys Good"

You: "Really? I have heard it said that money is the root of all evil and know that many philosophers have argued through the ages about it, do you really believe you can reduce such a powerful instrument to such a simple black and white statement?

Me: "Nah uh. Huh? Shut up"




In this scenarion, I need to point out that "I like money/cheese/pie/boobies/oatmeal/flowers/etc." is ALWAYS a true statement. Irrefutable. Because the author used the very powerful technique of qualifying their statement. This statement is an utter fact for which there is no possible way to contest it. Any attempt to contest it is the act of a troll.

What a person likes is relative and subjective. The only way to contest it would be to make the claim of having the ability to read minds.

Now the statement "Moneys Good" (it is impressive how many grammatical errors there can be in such a short thing) is another story. This statement is stating "the truth" and rather than creating a shit storm of stupid argument, I would like to ask that folks click on "report to moderator" and we will remove it.

"Nah uh. Huh? Shut up" --- for the greater point, this is a bit too straw man.

Really? I have heard it said that money is the root of all evil and know that many philosophers have argued through the ages about it, do you really believe you can reduce such a powerful instrument to such a simple black and white statement?



It is actually "the love of money ..."

I think if the statement "Moneys Good" were changed to "I think money is good." - then this would all be fixed. This statement shifts from something stupid to being absolute fact.


 
Johnny Niamert
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Some people actually learn by hearing new things, asking about them, and then researching further into the newly presented idea on their own. Sometimes only a tad bit of clarification is needed. Granted 'citation needed' is rude, as is the wikipedia comment in the original candida thread. Obviously I can use google (thanks for the wiki link), but when I ask for more information about a fabulous claim it shouldn't be too off putting to whoever made it.
I don't question other people on their thoughts, experiences, or observations; but when a new 'fact' is presented to me, I like to ask for clarification.
I still can't fathom why this would be discouraged. That's how people learn on their own, instead of learning how to follow what somebody else does or says.
If people get that bent out of shape by using the internets, they should probably not use it.
 
Burra Maluca
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when I ask for more information about a fabulous claim it shouldn't be too off putting to whoever made it.



In our experience, it often is.

If people get that bent out of shape by using the internets, they should probably not use it.



Permies.com is a very special place on the internet where we like to protect all those people that get easily 'bent out of shape' but still have good information and experiences to share. We would rather hammer some manners into the hardened web-users and protect the more delicate, gentle souls.
 
paul wheaton
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but when a new 'fact' is presented to me, I like to ask for clarification.



If somebody presents "the truth" instead of "my position", please click on "report to moderator".
 
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