See for example: Was the golden ratio deliberately used for aesthetics in ancient or Renaissance times?

Also: https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/221/what-medical-treatment-advances-have-cited-the-theory-of-evolution-as-being-neces

There are other cases in which I just gave up on commenting because it was pointless.

The question itself is good, but the OP has already an opinion on the "correct" answer and basically has shot down or heavily commented any and all posts that don't agree with it.

I don't believe that this is an appropriate behaviour for the site. Comments are not the place for extended discussion or for mere opinion. The overall quality of the page is diminished by lengthy threads on the answers.

I flagged the post for moderator attention - at least to clean up the comment threads.

What else can be done to prevent or at least discourage this? Should be simply accept it as desired behaviour?

To be more specific:

If the above behaviour is accepted, then why should I spend 1h of my personal time to research an answer just to see it shot down by the OP because he doesn't agree? In my not-so-humble opinion this kind of behaviours tend to kill the community.



If an OP has many objections in the form of "I already knew that but I didn't that persuasive" to your answer, then, clearly, he didn't put all the relevant information in his question.

He should update his question to explain all that he has found so far.

To answer your question more directly, if you encounter someone who has many objections to your answer, then invite him to update his question to properly reflect his views and more clearly explain what he is asking. Comments, as you said so yourself, are not the best medium for exchange on Stack Exchange.

Finally, if he just disagrees, invite him to just downvote your answer. That's what we do with bad or wrong answers here: we downvote them. He already left a comment why he disagreed, anyhow.

  • Updating the question is the right thing to do; thanks. I already did that earlier in response to another answerer's comments about Adolph Zeising. – mattdm Mar 6 '11 at 18:38

Sometimes the OP will like your answer, sometimes they won't. That's life. Try not to take it too personally. See if your answer can be improved - it'll rarely be perfect.

As for whether any abuse has occurred, none of the remaining comments appear objectionable, but a number seem to have been deleted. Without a greater understanding of what was said, it is hard to really comment on this aspect.

"If the above behaviour is accepted, then why should I spend 1h of my personal time to research an answer just to see it shot down by the OP because he doesn't agree?" - The whole point of this site is to be skeptical and so trying to shoot down answers should be encouraged.

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    I'm fine with that. I'm not fine with people that don't accept the complementary view ("sometimes the answers are not what you are hoping for"). – Sklivvz Jul 3 '15 at 14:23
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    @Skliwz On this site, I'm hoping for well-researched answers that provide credible references. Your answer to my question is incredibly shaky on every single point. I strongly object to your characterization of my comments noting this as "mere opinion" — amazingly ironic as your answer leads with "I think that..." and "I find way more believable". – mattdm Jul 3 '15 at 15:24

I have an opinion on the answer since I've done my homework before asking the question. That doesn't mean I'm presupposing that I know everything: to the contrary, I'm hoping to find something I don't. (That's the point of asking, after all.)

I'm not "shooting down" your answer for disagreeing with me. I agree, that should be discouraged. I'm noting, with sources, where your answer has weaknesses based on research I've already done.

I could just leave it unresponded to, or vote it down without comment, but that doesn't seem helpful to anyone.

So, to answer the meta question here: I think we should accept it as desired behavior, because I'm still hoping to find useful information from the question.

  • Your whole comment thread can be reduced to the following action: add a comment saying "your sources are weak, please find better sources". If you think you have anything more significant to say, answer the question yourself. You are allowed to do so :-) – Sklivvz Mar 6 '11 at 18:03
  • @Sklivvz: it could be reduced to that, but then you can just come back with "they look good to me!" and nothing is gained. Are you really upset that I followed the references you gave and responded specifically to my concerns with them? – mattdm Mar 6 '11 at 18:07
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    Not at all, I am not "upset". I am saying that you are abusing the comment system. – Sklivvz Mar 6 '11 at 18:09
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    mattdm: You need to accept that not all answers you get is the answer you were hoping for. Also, you don't need to comment on everything. You get to choose the best answer. That's all that counts. It's easy to start treating SE sites like discussion forums (I do that mistake all the time) but they aren't. Let the voting do the talking. :-) – Lennart Regebro Mar 7 '11 at 9:54
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    @Lennart: Voting down without comment is a poor reaction, imho. Mattdm is doing well in commenting why. – user unknown Mar 7 '11 at 20:45
  • @user unknown: I agree. – Lennart Regebro Mar 8 '11 at 5:52

In my opinion your answer as follows was much stronger than the evidence supports.

The measurements of the Parthenon are quite objectively due to phi. As you can notice in the image below, all major measurements are strictly related to the golden ratio.

I'm surprised you posted it, and surprised it was upvoted, and not surprised if the OP was dissatisfied.

To handle that, you could perhaps simply do nothing. If the OP posts a comment which disagrees with your answer, let that comment stay (in case it's useful to someone else), and detach from feeling the need to reply to it.

Alternatively (if you don't understand their criticism) then ask them about it (e.g. ask them to be more specific, until you do understand it), and then decide how to handle it.

And don't feel the need to answer "yes" or "no" to every question. Instead IMO a good answer is an answer which says, "Here is the evidence we have on that subject."

If the above behaviour is accepted, then why should I spend 1h of my personal time to research an answer just to see it shot down by the OP because he doesn't agree? In my not-so-humble opinion this kind of behaviours tend to kill the community.

I don't know what your motive was for spending 1h of your personal time to research an answer; but I think you ought to tolerate dissent or people having opinions which aren't the same as yours, without calling them community-killers.

  • I tolerate dissent, not clearly pointless discussion. This is not a forum. My post is about people who don't move on. If one disagrees, fine, let them comment, downvote, etc. What I am talking about here is people that present a dissenting opinion, and then want to suppress my answer, or change it until it matches their expectation or preconceived notion. – Sklivvz Jul 3 '15 at 14:19

I realize, this is an abuse (to some degree) of this medium, but I can't figure out how to message you directly.

It is my view that you may also include me in those you see as abusing the comment system. At the same time I see you as being also potentially one of the people covered in your question.

Not to answer a question with a question, but please allow me to turn this around. Rather than saying "How can I stop this thing I don't like", let me ask this:

When someone disagrees with a comment you make, how would you like them to respond? What would a "good" response look like? Feel free to make up an example. I think most of us certainly don't want to be antagonistic, and I'd like to know what you would like to see.

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    You can contact me in chat (leave a message @sklivvz in the room and I'll receive it) :-) – Sklivvz Mar 7 '11 at 23:11
  • Cool, thank you! – Russell Steen Mar 7 '11 at 23:12
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    A good comment is either a comment to a vote or a comment I can act upon to improve the answer. To give you an example - if you think my statistics are bonkers, tell me how to correct them or post a link to the relevant mathematics. Just saying, "there are better ways" (but I won't tell you which), adds exactly zero to the quality of the page. – Sklivvz Mar 7 '11 at 23:14

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