Recently Math.SE has had a spate of questions by Dr. Terry Allen. These questions involve topics like music topology and manifolds formed by sums of functions. So far, the "new" Dr. Terry Allen has had every single one of his questions closed. I don't mean to be offensive but can the moderators just delete such questions outright? This guy seems nothing more than a troll/crackpot and is not welcomed here.

"This guy seems nothing more than a troll/crackpot and is not welcomed here." While I appreciate your opinion and your concern, orbit-fold theory have had legitimate applications to music theory. I would not be so quick to dismiss poorly written/motivated posts directly as crackpottery. –  Willie Wong Apr 10 '12 at 11:52
@Willie: Regardless of whether or not he's a crackpot, I think this has all gone far past the point where he's earned a suspension, if nothing else to force him to take the time to listen to your advice in the comments. Do you disagree? –  Zev Chonoles Apr 10 '12 at 12:20
@Zev I agree. If a user keeps posting poor questions (large numbers of which downvoted/closed), that itself warrants a suspension. (BTW, the only reason I didn't suspended him myself was because I expect the user will probably soon hit the automatic posting ban due to repeated posting of closed/downvoted questions. Once that kicks in, it is a bit more effective than us mods playing cat and mouse with him.) –  Willie Wong Apr 10 '12 at 12:29
@WillieWong The automatic ban is not enabled on most sites, I don't think it is enabled here. –  Mad Scientist Apr 10 '12 at 12:35
@Fabian: oh crud. There goes that plan. :-( –  Willie Wong Apr 10 '12 at 12:39
I don't see why posting many downvoted questions poses a problem at all. People downvote for all sorts of reasons, and so what if the majority of people don't like your questions? Plenty of people probably would have "downvoted" questions from new mathematical areas when they first arose... set theory and calculus among them. Please try and live (online) with those who you find annoying instead of cavalierly shunning them. Questions that get closed, on the other hand, I think make for another story. –  Doug Spoonwood Apr 10 '12 at 14:02
For background see this paper: Terry Allen, Camille Goudeseune, Topological Considerations for Tuning and Fingering Stringed Instruments. –  Bill Dubuque Apr 10 '12 at 14:10
Note that the coauthor Camille Goudeseune has an (applied?) math background: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2001, Dissertation: Composing with Parameters for Synthetic Instruments, Mathematics Subject Classification: 68—Computer science, Advisor 1: Herbert Edelsbrunner. So anyone interested in pursuing such might wish to contact the coauthor. –  Bill Dubuque Apr 10 '12 at 18:33
Only 6 days suspension?! I say suspend for 6 months. –  user2468 Apr 11 '12 at 3:50
Just a reminder to all users that despite the fact that each posting reflects only the point-of-view of the user posting and editing them (and not necessarily that of the entire site), here on meta we do prefer to make "policy discussions in general" rather than "specific accusations and name-calling" when it comes to undesirable behaviour: while the motivation of the meta question may be to prod moderators into action and/or formulate a site policy, having individual users named in these circumstances may cause the discussion to focus too much on the individual. –  Willie Wong Apr 11 '12 at 8:09

1 Answer 1

My bad. I should've suspended the user earlier, but I was counting on an "automatic" feature to kick-in, which turns out to likely not be available here.

The user has been temporarily suspended, which will for the time being stop the flood of questions. I personally don't feel the need to actively go in and delete those questions unilaterally. High rep users (and other mods) can vote for deletion if they feel differently.

Also, a side note about flags (since flags are anonymous I don't know if you flagged or not): if you feel strongly that the content is not welcome in our community, there actually is an option under "flag" for literally "It is not welcome in our community." Like "spam" flags, sufficient number of those from users will automatically close and delete a question. That tool I think is the most effective countermeasure against floods of bad questions in the short term.

I'd caution against using the offensive flags that way, the description of those flags is "This answer contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.". Besides automatically deleting a post with 6 flags they also carry a -100 reputation penalty for a successful flag. They shouldn't be used for merely bad questions, but for really offensive ones. –  Mad Scientist Apr 10 '12 at 14:26

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