BN: As Mak pointed out, any user can flag a post. You can find out how to do this by Googling something like “discourse how to flag abusive post”. When I do that, the first link takes me to this FAQ page.
RM: I don’t want to waste my time doing that. I’ve seen only about 7 replies so far to my suggestion that Boris be removed and only 2 of those agreed with me that he should. So I’ll accept the majority result, noting only that it was nice to see that my true sentiments on this matter were expressed nicely by the wonderful Dr. Kennaway.
Anyway, CSGNet will be gone by Dec. 1 and the threads are so varied on Discourse that Boris is not much of a problem here.
Once a post is flagged administrators could require the removal of abusive and insulting language and personal attacks before it can be posted.
After abusive insults and personal attacks have been removed, administrators can intervene in how a post is categorized.
Boris alluded to his interest in education and child development in his last exchange with Warren, and he has alluded to the need for more grounding in physiology. If he were to propose ways to carry out or extend research in these areas such a post could appear under an appropriate subcategory. He has claimed to have done such research but to my knowledge has never posted anything of substance about any such research that he has done.
Boris’s posts often fit the description of trolling: hijacking a thread to the troll’s preferred theme, which is usually disputatious or incendiary, insulting and belittling a poster’s intelligence or character, misrepresenting and distorting what they have said, and indulging in opinionated language, e.g. arguing ad hominem and ad verecundiam and exemplifying control of a perception that his beliefs are true and certain to be true and therefore any disagreement is false.
Most of his posts quote statements and diagrams from the writings of Bill Powers, together with claims that what others are writing deviates from this standard and is therefore incorrect and should not be presented in a forum about PCT. Such posts are moved to the subcategory “Dogmatic PCT”. In my view it is important to have examples of this form of scientism available so that we can avoid falling into such traps, as has too often happened over the past 30 years for which we have archives of internet discussions. However, we really don’t need a lot of examples, and Boris’s posts are thoroughly repetitive.
These resources provide a reasonable way to consider continuing to tolerate Boris’s presence.
On the other hand, Boris has demonstrated no capacity for doing science and no evidence of actually applied PCT in education of children, his stated interest, or in any other field. His main preoccupation has been to tell the rest of us that we are wrong (with a few exceptions, but they’d better be careful), and sometimes to suggest that he has enjoyed special insider acceptance by Bill and Mary and by others in the Powers family, an obvious appeal to authority.
After he self-identified as a troll I stopped responding to him. That got me off the hook by not taking the bait. It does not solve the problem of his misleading newcomers and tarnishing the professionalism of IAPCT.
Lacking full administrative powers on Sympa, and given the loosey-goosey character of a listserv, banning him was not a practical option in csgnet. At the annual meeting we will announce a plan to shut down csgnet as of 1 December. Here in discourse we have a wider range of options, including banning him. I have tried to lay out the resources that I see. We do not have clearly established ways of using them for collective control, but perhaps this little survey can help us to discern what perceptions we wish collectively to control.