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Proposal for a Science section

By imrdkl in Meta
Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 10:17:23 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

There are currently ten (10) distinct sections for articles posted on K5. These sections are accessible via the persistent menu bar which you find at the top of every page, which has the Kuro5hin logo on the far left. These sections serve as the primary indexing mechanism for K5, and are the basis for categorization of any given story to be found on the site. These are distinguished from topics which provide sub-categorization for sections. There are currently twenty-two distinct topic selections. Several of the topic selections, including Technology, Internet, and News are special, and may be distinguished from the others by the fact that that they also have a specific section with the same name.

This proposal seeks your approval to elevate the topic, Science, to this special status, and create a Science section.

Historically, it has been my impression that when an article is more related to Science than any other topic, the section choice is sometimes difficult, and can lead to what some would call inappropriate sectioning - in Columns for example. Creating a specific Science section will give authors a clear choice for strongly-scientific articles, and an alternative for articles which have a scientific basis, albeit possibly with a different topic-focus.

It is perhaps arguable that many articles on this site will have some basis in Science to begin with, and it is not the intent of this proposal to create a catch-all "bin" for articles which don't fit in other sections. Rather, I believe that the traditional stringency and "unspoken requirements" for section placement will develop for the Science section, as they have for the others. This article also seeks your input in that regard.

This article is being submitted after a preliminary proposal and poll in the authors diary showed a strongly (80%) favorable response.


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Science Section
o Yup 81%
o Nope 5%
o I Don't Care 13%

Votes: 199
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o poll
o Also by imrdkl

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Proposal for a Science section | 48 comments (43 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Whoa (5.00 / 6) (#2)
by Skwirl on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 05:57:06 AM EST

You know, I read this title in the queue and I said to myself, "We don't have a science section?"

I glance up at the headings. "Whoa. There really isn't a science section."

Kinda seems like a no brainer to me. The only other option would be to change "technology" to "science and technology," but since this is a tech centric site, and techies also like science, it seems logical to have two sections.

"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse

sf section? (none / 0) (#10)
by martingale on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:38:09 AM EST

For some reason, when I read your comment I mentally parsed science section as science fiction section. Which begs the question, where would that fit in?

I'm with you on renaming Technology to Science & Technology.

[ Parent ]

fits in here (none / 0) (#38)
by TON on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:21:38 PM EST

Radio Free Tomorrow

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis


[ Parent ]

Megadittos. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by pwhysall on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 07:49:05 AM EST

I parse "technology" as "science, applied" and thus different.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]
I would concur (none / 0) (#27)
by uniball vision micro on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 11:07:35 AM EST

I don't really see why not.
"So far as the record goes, no lover of drinking has yet gone out into the night and shot himself as a gesture of protest" Gilbert Seldes, The Future of Drinking 1930
[ Parent ]
Why (4.66 / 3) (#3)
by anonimouse on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:05:32 AM EST

If it's mechanical or physics, it's Technology
If it's biology, it's (a) Culture ;-)
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
And (none / 0) (#32)
by bjlhct on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 12:52:54 PM EST

Quantum physics and chaos theory could be 'meta'! Yup, everything seems accounted for.
* Beware, gentle knight - the greatest monster of them all is reason. -Cervantes
[ Parent ]
Stats (none / 0) (#33)
by El Volio on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 01:02:52 PM EST

Does that mean that Statistics should be under Media?

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#34)
by anonimouse on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 01:09:54 PM EST

We need a fiction section for Statistics (or maybe even a Lies, Damned Lies section)
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]
ummm... (none / 0) (#36)
by Subtillus on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 04:34:40 PM EST

What about if I wanted to write chemistry articles, or biochemistry?

I was actually thinking of doing a series on the basics so people on k5 would stop getting stuff ass backwards in eugenics arguments...

[ Parent ]

Could always dump the.... (5.00 / 3) (#5)
by kimpton on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:08:46 AM EST

'freedom and politics' section if there's trouble fitting a 'science' section neatly in the menu bar....

Re: (4.83 / 6) (#7)
by kb5 on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:12:36 AM EST

Or they could shorten "Freedom & Politics" to "Tr0ll" section ;)

[ Parent ]
Excellent idea.. (5.00 / 5) (#8)
by ajduk on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:18:41 AM EST

Sub sections -

Gun control
Global warming
Iraq/Israel/Afghanistan/China/North Korea/Combinations Thereof
Why Athiests are like Hitler
Why Christians are like Hitler
Why Communists are like Hitler
Why Libertarians are like Hitler
Why Librarians are like Hitler

You wouldn't need any actual stories - they tend to get in the way..

[ Parent ]

you forgot a subsection (4.66 / 3) (#9)
by martingale on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 06:32:59 AM EST

Why Hitler is like Hitler.

[ Parent ]
Or ... (none / 0) (#29)
by RoOoBo on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 11:36:41 AM EST

Why people don't care about trol.. I mean politics.

[ Parent ]
Go for it - and, dump other sections (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by mami on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 07:22:40 AM EST

I would dump the internet and news section.

Almost everything under freedom and politics is news related or at least gets piggy-backed on a news event.

I also don't know why there is a media and an internet section. Internet articles are either related to technology, media or politics and freedom questions, I think. So, I would dump the internet section.

amen to that. (2.00 / 1) (#13)
by dvchaos on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 07:31:50 AM EST

I'm all for the ditch the freedom & politics idea (anything like this can go under news or MLP etc) and replace technology with "science and technology" so that it fits nicely :) definately the way forward :)

RAR.to - anonymous proxy server!
Nope. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 08:58:07 AM EST

Freedom and Politics is not necesarily "News" (although discussions, naturally, tend to go around current issues).
Neither are they MLPs.

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G1v3 us th1s
[ Parent ]
Thoughts (4.00 / 3) (#15)
by El Volio on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 07:54:35 AM EST

We've had a number of excellent science articles on the site, but they have been unfortunately scattered about. A Science section should be a no-brainer.

It might not even be necessary to eliminate one of the sections if the whitespace in each of the boxes were reduced. But if one had to go, my vote would be "Freedom and Politics", which always sounded like a catch-all to me, anyway.

While we're on the subject (so to speak), a few topics within the Science section would be nice. I would suggest Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and maybe a few others (Astronomy? Chemistry? Psychology?).

How about.. (none / 0) (#16)
by ajduk on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 07:58:21 AM EST

Earth Science.  One of the problems with having a degree in this subject is the vast amount of both opinion and ignorance on the subject that can be found on the internet.

Creationism, Global warming and Resource depletion are all covered by this.  The amount of misinformation really can make you weep...

[ Parent ]

Past Articles (none / 0) (#17)
by El Volio on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 08:04:10 AM EST

I was mostly trying to catalog the sort of articles we've had in the past. Although now that you mention it, Earth Science does in fact cover a large enough range that it should probably be there as well.

I also would like to think that the creation of the section (and topics) would encourage the writing of additional articles on these matters, inasmuch as it would then be perfectly clear to everyone that those sorts of articles do, in fact, belong on k5.

[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#37)
by Subtillus on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 04:49:41 PM EST

I know i've been wanting to do some science series for a while but principles of genetics and begginers biology don't fit anywhere so I'd said Fuggit.

[ Parent ]
Help the humans (none / 0) (#19)
by orangecutter on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 08:42:55 AM EST

Freedom & Politics is good because discussing those kind of human-level issue is what makes K5 so interesting. By contrast the Net doesn't need another place to discuss "The Internet". That could be merged with Media. Let's reclaim the Net from the geeks.

Sort out your work problems by talking to others
[ Parent ]
Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by rusty on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 02:10:34 PM EST

A second ago I supported the idea of Sci/Tech. But now you have me thinking that Internet is a dumb section. Some of it is technology, and some of it is media, but why should there be an "Internet" section?


Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#48)
by El Volio on Sun Oct 06, 2002 at 11:48:43 PM EST

Let's reclaim the Net from the geeks.
The ironic part is that you are talking to one of the geekiest humans on the face of the earth... Not that I completely disagree with subsuming Internet into Media, but I don't think the Net can be "reclaimed" from the geeks since it was never taken away from other folks by them. We've been here since it started and aren't really going anywhere, at least not yet.

[ Parent ]
Down with complexity! Up with simplicity! (4.61 / 13) (#18)
by orangecutter on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 08:38:32 AM EST

Great idea, but stop! Science should be in its own section, but that would create more sections and that means more confusion and complexity. I would humbly suggest that we change Technology to "Science and Technology" or just plain "Sci/Tech". This would (a) promote Science, (b) avoid further complexity in K5, and (c) help those difficult decisions about where to place your articles on nanotechnology, bionics, cactus-powered radios, etc.

Sort out your work problems by talking to others
Up your ass [nt] (1.33 / 12) (#39)
by K5 Demon on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 12:24:24 AM EST

no text.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by rusty on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 02:06:06 PM EST

I like that idea too. Add Science to the existing tech section.

To be honest, section/topic layout is pretty ill-thought-out in my opinion. I haven't mucked with it much because I have a feeling that mucking with it would just make it more obvious that it doesn't really make much sense.

I'm perfectly willing to make Technology Sci/Tech though, if that would satisfy most people. A lot of newspapers have that combination.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Another idea (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by theboz on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 02:31:18 PM EST

We need something for Video Games or Entertainment or something.

[ Parent ]

Another vote for renaming "Technology" (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by Elkor on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 09:54:40 AM EST

to "Sci/Tech" or "Science & Technology"

If only from an aesthetics point, "Freedom and Politics" has more than a fair share of space in the top banner, and given the focus on technology for the site, this would let S&T (SaT?) 'compete' with F&P (FaP?) If we use "&" instead of "and" and resize them a little everything should fit.

I disagree with getting rid of FaP, as it provides a good forum for discussion around election time. Otherwise these articles will end up in the "Culture" section. As it stands, if you don't like politics, avoid that section.

So, to recap, we would then have: "Science & Technology" and "Freedom & Politics"


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
Disagree. Revise both Topics and Sections. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
by jabber on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 10:06:23 AM EST

Technology and Science are too different to be combined. Technology is applied Science, same as Engineering. Tech/Engineering, yes. Sci/Tech, no.

Frankly, I think the Topic and Section sets need overhaul for better orthogonality. Culture/Culture, News/News, Politics/Freedom & Politics and Freedom/Freedom & Politics couplings of Topic/Section should not be possible. Instances like these, that are meaningful, are "Meta".

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by imrdkl on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 10:14:41 AM EST

you, Skwirl and Peter among others are correct. I think, in spite of the limited support for a combination section, Science should stand alone.

Btw, there's no Culture topic. Only News, Internet, and Technology have the dual status.

[ Parent ]

No, I think I'm right.. (none / 0) (#25)
by jabber on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 10:26:34 AM EST

At least, in the "submit story" page, I can choose Culture for both a Topic and a Section.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 0) (#26)
by imrdkl on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 10:34:39 AM EST

I stand corrected.

[ Parent ]
Backwards compatability? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by Elkor on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 11:26:26 AM EST

The problem with your suggestions is one of implementation. Renaming a section to give it expanded functionality is easy, as it is only a cosmetic change. Nothing on the back end (database) needs to change.

But, if you revamp the sections, then the article database will need to be overhauled as well. If you get rid of certain combinations (Culture/Culture) then any existing articles in that section either need to be reassigned, either automatically in which case things will get missectioned, or by hand, which is time consuming. The alternative is to make them no longer available after the update.

Plus, if you change the configurations you have a learning curve as people try to relearn what sections they like/want to use.

Now, I admit that I am not a programmer, but if I had to choose between an easy change and a difficult one, I know which I would pick.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
I vote for Heirarchical Sectioning (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by HidingMyName on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 12:06:59 PM EST

I've given it a bit of thought and heirarchical sectioning might help. Currently we have 12 top level items on the menubar at the top of the page. If we made a combined science/technology section, we could then split it into science and technology. For politics, we could subdivide it into U.S., European, Asian, Latin American, African and International for example. This would allow grouping. Much like the "Everything" page, the top level sections could then show all recent articles in their heirarchy.

Sections and Topics always confused me (4.66 / 3) (#31)
by khedron on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 12:36:21 PM EST

I never did grok them. When I went to design my scoop site I ended up using Sections to indicate the type and style of article (OpEd, Column, Review, News, etc..) and the Topic to indicate the subject of the story.

I think that makes more sense, but without a lot of recategorizing, I don't think it would make sense for K5.

Math & Science section would be good (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 01:41:55 PM EST

We've had a few pure math stories lately. Although it would probably be implied that science is the appropriate section for Math.

I think a philosophy section might be nice, but I don't know if many others would want that.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Proposal (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by rusty on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 02:20:01 PM EST

I know several people are against it, but I think a combined sci/tech makes a lot of sense. No, they're not the same thing, but neither are freedom and politics. Sometimes you have to compromise, and I think this is a compromise that makes sense. It's also a well-established pairing in other media, and thinking about article volume, I don't think science has enough articles to fully stand alone as a necessary section.

The other thing I agree with is that "Internet" is a dumb section. It's way too specific, and already covered by either technology or media, depending on the gist of the article.

What I'd like to do is remove Internet, probably moving all its current articles to Media. When deleting a section you choose what section to recategorize its articles into, so while this will lead to some old asrticles being probably miscategorized, it's better than doing it by hand by a long shot. And secondly add Science to Technology, to create a combined Sci-Tech section.

Please comment. :-)

Not the real rusty

Perhaps a new poll (none / 0) (#43)
by imrdkl on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 05:57:04 AM EST

on the front page? I think your preference will lose to mine, as it clearly did here. But, otoh, you also have a lower uid than I do. heh.

Internet can go. And please, do something with the articles in limbo in digId.

[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#46)
by rusty on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 02:32:41 PM EST

The poll is up. Please go vote on it. Er. I think that link should work.

And I moved the Digital ID stories to Technology, and nuked the section. I couldn't think of any more sensible way to get them back into the generally available story pool.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#47)
by imrdkl on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 02:42:42 PM EST

Seems like there were more leaning your way than I thought, from the early results. We'll see how it goes.

[ Parent ]
agree with rusty (none / 0) (#44)
by Niha on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 02:19:57 PM EST

i find his suggestion very reasonable. I would prefer science in a section of its own, but still, rusty´s one is a good solution, keeping on mind kuro5hin idiosyncrasy

[ Parent ]
Proposal for a Science section | 48 comments (43 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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