Site Rules

A few things to consider for visitors of this site:

Comment moderation is on. There's a basic rule that will maximize the probability that your comment will be approved for publication: imagine you're speaking to me and other commenters face to face. Indeed, imagine you are a guest in my home. The basic rules of civility you would use in that situation apply here as well. Profanity has its place, if used judiciously as a form of enhanced punctuation or rhetoric. No comment will be deleted as a result of the mere prescence of a particular word, but rather in how it is used.  When in doubt, find another way to word your ideas. Also, use the best grammar and punctuation that you can. Lastly, remember we may be on wildly different time zones and I have to sleep sometimes or get work done, so it may be a while before I get to your beautiful, insightful comment and approve it.

The Internet provides both anonimity and insulation.  Some people are trolls, and some people are sincere; some are beginners, and some are idiots; some people are actual experts, and some are crackpots; I'm afraid there is no quick, sure way to tell the difference between these categories and many others.  Also, take into account that some young people may find the site and may be new to the topics, or that English is not their first language. We were all noobs and idiots at some point about all kinds of things, and the last thing I would want is to scare curious and/or young people away from what I love, and what I would think they could love too, if not at least appreciate. So I will try to err on the side of being charitable.

Any corrections or constructive criticism are welcome: if I'm wrong about something, I want to know, so that I can fix it. It doesn't matter if it's a typo or a major mistake. If you're civil, I will listen to you. If you're right, I'll also thank you and act accordingly.  Remember I'm in the middle of learning a lot of stuff, too!

However, in the role of curator of the site, there are certain things I reserve the right not to put up with at all. These include, but are not limited to, the following: conspiracy theories, crackpot theories, science denial, racism, misogyny, and obvious douchebaggery.  If you compare yourself to Galileo or Einstein, you're done. If you engage in an ad hominem attack, you're done.  If your argument revolves around a quote or a statistic, but you don't provide a reference, you're done.  Extrapolate from these examples and you will get the idea. If you don't like it, you can set up your own website and be an idiot and a douche over there (it's your right, and it's free!). Again, if you stick to basic common decency and honest argument you should be fine.

If you write to me privately by e-mail, you may use English or Spanish.  I'm learning German as well, but I'm only a beginner as of right now (2015), so use it only as a last resort. As for the comment section, use English whenever you can. The site uses MathJax, so you can type LaTeX if you wish in the comments. For in-line math, include your comment between characters like these \ ( latex \ ), just without the spaces. For display-style math (i.e., an equation on its own separate line of text), use \ [ latex \ ], also omitting spaces.

One last thing: I will not personally help you with your homework problems—remember, I have plenty problems of my own!  There are a number of websites dedicated specifically to helping people with their homework assignments (try Physics Forums or Physics Stack Exchange).  More general questions will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis, such as career advice or an opinion on some news item. Always be prepared for me to answer "Gee, I don't know," or perhaps "That looks interesting, but I'm really busy."