This is the bi-weekly visible open thread. There are hidden threads every few days here. Post about anything you want, ask random questions, whatever. Also:
1. I think some named users are posting more controversial comments anonymously. I’d like to request people not do this, because I IP ban anonymous accounts on a hair-trigger, and if I IP ban your anonymous account then your real account also suffers. I think this is why a lot of people’s posts haven’t been showing up lately. I try to take people’s past history of posting interesting things into account before I ban them for a single violation, but if you’re anonymous I can’t do that and you’re kind of out of luck.
2. I’m actually considering banning anonymous commenting on here, because getting rid of the crappy anonymouses sometimes feels like trying to fill a leaky bucket. How angry would this make people?
3. It would also help if I knew how to make Akismet (the anti-spam program) realize that someone with a thousand previous good posts probably isn’t going to start being a spambot today just because they cited a few links. This seems like the absolute basics for a Bayesian spam filter, but I can’t seem to get Akismet to figure it out. I’d be willing to buy a premium account if it had this function. Does anybody know anything about this.
4. Can anyone think of any soft “nudge” style ways to steer open thread conversation here away from specific topics without banning them completely. Right now the best I can do is censor some of the most annoying words and force anyone who wants to discuss annoying things to come up with trivially inconvenient workarounds, but that’s a pretty irritating solution.
5. Comment of the week is by Z, who went through that Romanian study a whole lot more thoroughly than I did, though without any clearer result.