Four-hour waits between posts

I wasn’t the one who chose 4 hours nor implemented the delay on that specific thread. However, I did suggest that the moderators use this feature to make certain discussions (not all) less chatty, on-topic, and featuring a higher quality of posts, instead of a bunch of single or double-liners. (My preference for such threads is actually a longer delay, something like 12 hours.)

I was not aware, however, that you would not be able to edit old posts quickly. It seems that some other people have asked Discourse for this feature, but haven’t yet gotten a reply:

Maybe we should make the delays shorter until they fix this.

However, my thinking was that in a topic with slow mode, you will only choose to respond to people with the most substantial arguments, instead of trying to chase every sub-thread and answer every question. You would also combine your response to multiple people in a single post.

One problem I see with this forum right now is that it’s not very user-friendly to new visitors and lurkers who just want to get an overview of the good arguments about an issue or article they found and which we happened to have discussed. A thread with more than 100 posts (some of which are short, some of which are digressions which lead to nowhere) is frustrating because you will have to go through all of it from the beginning to understand the context of the arguments. You may end up wasting a lot of time wading through lower-quality responses to get what you need. Yet, that is the case for the majority of the threads here. Instead, if we had a thread with no more than about 50 posts, each of which are substantial (e.g. at least 300 words and containing coherent arguments), then that could be a real resource. This Office Hours thread is a good example.

I can take a quick skim through that thread and notice that each post seems to be written pretty thoughtfully. I’d happily spend an hour of my time reading through the whole thing, since I know there’s a good probability I’ll learn something about Francis Bacon.

Now compare that with this thread, which is the one currently with the 4-hours slow mode:

Can you honestly say that if someone wanted to know about whether The Design of Life is worth reading, or what are the book’s strong and weak points, they should go to this thread? In my honest opinion, no. The thread went downhill pretty quickly, with many posts just consisting of Eddie and others challenging each other to say something good about the book, without actually saying much of substance. Even as a moderator I’ve given up reading that thread.

The above is what I hope slow mode could remedy. Imagine if in the Design of Life thread you could only post once every 12 hours…now I think it’s more likely one wouldn’t waste that on personal accusations, challenges, or digressions.

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