Why is the Indian community of Quora termed as “self-contained”?

I remember the phrase, I wish I remember where I saw the phrase, but it was very recent!

EDIT: It was Achilleas Vortselas’ answer to To what extent will the internationalization of Quora affect Quora in English?

The Indian community is large enough that it can engage on India-specific topics, without needing to explain itself to non-Indians routinely. Americans and Indians can do that; other national communities on Quora are small enough that they feel they have to provide context.

The now departed Laura Hale did extensive research on In what ways does the Indian Quora differ from the American Quora? One of the clear separations, if you scroll down, is that Indians tend to follow other Indians much more than they do non-Indians. Americans, again, also have that luxury; other national communities do not.

I can’t find where Laura coined the term “the Other Quora”, but it’s a reflection of this: there is a massive amount of activity in the Indian community of Quora, and because that activity tends to be seen only by other Indians (because the community is self-contained), non-Indian Quorans are largely unaware of it.

Why does Quora permit foul language?

To corroborate David Williamson and refute Bill Ness, have some chapter and verse:

What is the guideline on the use of profanity on Quora?

Users should avoid unnecessary profanity.

There are some exceptions where it makes sense to use profanity. One example of this is when the only way to reference something that isn’t profane accurately is to use profanity. Example: What is the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory? The guideline on profanity on Quora is mostly about tone and common sense.

If you scroll down quickly from the answer by Bodnick from 2011, to the exchange between Dan Holliday and Gigi Wolf in 2013, you can get a chuckle.

If you dig, there are some answers saying that profane language will be sanctioned (Tracey Bryan’s answer to Why aren’t rules guiding the use of profanity enforced more on Quora? from 2012), and a lot more answers recently saying “fuck no, hahaha”.

My own impression is that any rules against profanity are currently enforced either selectively or infrequently. I have not seen the 2011 guideline explicitly rescinded however. And “unnecessary profanity” does not only refer to hostile profanity:

Tatiana Estévez’s answer to If one sees a clear BNBR contravention by one Quora user on another (but is not personally involved) should one report it?

Expecting complete strangers to understand when telling someone to ‘f-off’ is an insult or friendly banter doesn’t make sense on a site as big as this. Expecting moderators to read a long thread and try to judge the tone is not reasonable, judging sarcasm online is notoriously difficult without context.

What would be some acceptable reasons, according to you, to use Quora under a name that was not your real name?

I disagree with the insistence on Real Name, which people assume automatically makes people more accountable and civil. I think it’s wrongheaded, and fighting a symptom rather than a disease. But the question doesn’t ask about that; it asks about exceptions.

Tom Ramsay cited “Child discussing abusive parents who monitor their Internet usage. Quora has already removed their anon privileges.” Clarissa Lohr cited people who are “halfway through a gender transition.”

I’ll combine them: minors who are transgender, cannot legally drop their deadname yet, cannot initiate their transition, and are living with unsympathetic parents who will block any attempt to change their deadname—or worst still, from whom the minor is hiding their transgender status. In fact, I’m in touch with one now.

And Quora’s suggested remedy for such teens is what? To write only anonymously? And to stop writing under a name here at all? And that’s better? Well, if you think Quora is only about dry questions and answers, you might think that. I don’t.

I’ll add: women who get stalked here. The annals of Quora are thick with women who switch their surname to their middle name, to preempt or escape unwanted attention, only to be forced to switch back by moderation. I know of three cases of women I happen to follow in the past half year. They should just go anonymous on all their contributions as well?

There’s something incredibly… myopic about the insistence on Real Name. Myopic, and anti-social media. I think it does harm that people blind themselves to.

What are all the Greek star names?

Drawing on:

History of Constellation and Star Names

In Greek astronomy the stars within the constellation figures were usually not given individual names. (There are only a few individual star names from Greece. The most prominent stars in the sky were usually nameless in Greek civilization. If there was a system of Greek star names then it has not come down to us and also would appear unknown to Ptolemy.)

List of proper names of stars – Wikipedia

From the Wikipedia page, clearly the only prolific namers of stars were the Arabs and the Chinese.

EDIT: I am adding data from Κατηγορία:Αντικείμενα Bayer – Βικιπαίδεια and Κατηγορία:Αστέρες ανά φασματικό τύπο – Βικιπαίδεια from the Greek Wikipedia. Additions are asterisked. As it turns out, several Latin names are translations of Classical Greek names.

In this catalogue, Ancient names are in boldface. The provenance of unbolded “traditional” Greek names is not always clear from the sources, but I am assuming they are post-Classical.

  • θ¹ Eridani: (Arabic) Acamar. “The Greek-Persian astronomer Chrysococca [Georgios Chrysokokkes: Γεώργιος Χρυσοκόκκης – Βικιπαίδεια] called it Aulax in Greek, meaning the Furrow” Αὖλαξ.
  • *α Tauri: (Arabic) Aldebaran. Greek name was (descriptive) “south eye of Taurus”; Ptolemy called it “bright star of the Hyades”; Modern Greek name is Lampadias Λαμπαδίας.
  • α Scorpii: Antares Ἀντάρης
  • α Boötis: Arcturus Ἀρκτοῦρος (already in Homer)
  • ι Carinae: Aspidiske Ἀσπιδίσκη (per Iota Carinae – Wikipedia, Greek translation of Arabic Turais)
  • ξ Puppis: Asmidiske †Ἀσμιδίσκη (Xi Puppis – Wikipedia: “a misplacement and mistransliteration of Aspidiske, the traditional name of ι Carinae; hence the name Asmidiske for Xi Puppis is not currently IAU-approved”)
  • *α Orionis: (Arabic) Betelgeuse. Georgios Chrysokokkes called it Ōmon Didymōn Ὦμον Διδύμων “Shoulder of Gemini”
  • α Carinae: Canopus Κάνωπος
  • *α Aurigae: (Latin) Capella. Greek Aix Αἶξ (Aratus), Olenia Aix Ὠλενία Αἶξ (cf. Ovid: Olenium Astrum), Amaltheia Ἀμάλθεια. Capella “goat” is a translation of Aix; Amaltheia was the goat that brought up Zeus.
  • *α Geminorum: (Latin) Castōr. Presumably also Greek Kastōr Κάστωρ. Also in “late Greek antiquity” Apollo Ἀπόλλων.
  • α Canum Venaticorum: (Latin) Cor Caroli, Asterion Ἀστερίων
  • β Canum Venaticorum: Asterion Ἀστερίων, Chara Χαρά
    • This one is messy. Hevelius created the constellation, and named the Northern Dog Asterion and the Southern Dog Chara. β CVn is now named Chara, and α CVn Cor Caroli. Antonín Bečvář assigned the names Asterion to β CVn and Chara to α CVn.
  • *α Ursae Minor: Polaris. Ancient name: Cynosure Κυνόσουρα (according to Greek Wikipedia, referred in antiquity only to the entire constellation), Phoinikē Φοινίκη.
  • *β Leonis: (Arabic) Denebola. Ancient Greek Alkaia Ἀλκαία “lion tail” (also the origin of Denebola: ðanab al-asad).
  • α Comae Berenices A: Diadem Διάδημα
  • *ζ Aurigae: (Latin) Haedus. Hipparchus, Ptolemy: Eriphos Ἔριφος “kid goat” = Haedus. If Greek Wikipedia’s Protē Eriphos Πρώτη Ἔριφος “first kid goat” is classical, then η Aurigae: Haedus II would be Hetera or Deutera Eriphos Ἑτέρα/Δευτέρα Ἔριφος, “other/second kid goat”
  • ζ Hydrae: Hydrobius Ὑδρόβιος (not official, not mentioned in Zeta Hydrae – Wikipedia)
  • β Herculis: Kornephoros Κορ[υ]νηφόρος (properly in Ancient Greek korynēphoros)
  • ζ Puppis: Naos †Ναός (Zeta Puppis – Wikipedia: intended to be Naus Ναῦς “ship”, over-Hellenised)
  • β Geminorum: Pollux. Presumably also Greek Polydeukēs Πολυδεύκης. Possibly also Heracles Ἡρακλῆς, which was still used in Renaissance.
  • *η Geminorum: Propus Πρόπους (in Hipparchus and Ptolemy)
  • α Canis Minoris: Procyon Προκύων (in Aratus)
  • *α Leonis: (Latin) Regulus. Ancient Greek Basiliskos astēr Βασιλισκὸς Ἀστήρ “royal star”. (Regulus means “little king”); Kardia Leontos Καρδία Λέοντος (? Ancient) corresponding to Latin Cor Leonis and Arabic Al Qalb al Asad.
  • *β Orionis: (Arabic) Rigel. Georgios Chrysokokkes called it Pous Didymōn Ποῦς Διδύμων “Foot of Gemini”
  • α Canis Majoris: Sirius Σείριος (already in Homer)
  • α Virginis: (Latin) Spica (in Aratus: Stachys Στάχυς)
  • ω Sagittarii: Terebellum (Terebellum (astronomy) – Wikipedia: originally Tetrapleuron Τετράπλευρον “quadrangle”, an asterism of four stars identified by Ptolemy, of which ω Sgr is the brightest)
  • *α Lyrae: (Arabic) Vega. Greek Lyra Λύρα, after the constellation.
  • ε Virginis: (Latin) Vindemiatrix (in Aratus: Protrygater Προτρυγετήρ, of which Vindemiatrix is the Latin translation)
  • Pleiades:
    • η Tauri : Alcyone Ἀλκυόνη
    • 21 Tauri: Asterope Ἀστερόπη
    • 27 Tauri: Atlas Ἄτλας
    • 16 Tauri: Celaeno Κελαινώ
    • 17 Tauri: Electra Ἠλέκτρα
    • 20 Tauri: Maia Μαῖα
    • 23 Tauri: Merope Μερόπη
    • 28 Tauri: Pleione Πλειόνη
    • 19 Tauri: Taygeta Ταϋγέτη

If you were trapped in an elevator with a trans woman who obviously doesn’t pass, would you feel awkward talking to her?

Heavens, a lot of righteousness in this thread.

I’m going to… well, I’m going to answer this the way I would. I saw the answer before OP clarified, and I’m giving the same answer I would before, but maybe with a bit more details.

I am cis het, and present as such. I’m also middle-aged, so I predate the current increased visibility of trans people. Which means, you know. I’m the group OP is likeliest to be worried about, if they meet me in close quarters.

I have just OK liberal credentials with regard to transgender issues, I guess. I have learned a lot in the past year from being on Quora. I number several transgender and genderfluid people among my online friends, and I make a conscious effort to be supportive of them and to respect their boundaries—which I’m only finding out about now. I don’t volunteer with any transgender groups, and I don’t know any transgender people IRL; so yes, I could do more. But I guess ideologically, I’m aligned with most of the people who’ve responded so far.

Would I feel awkward talking to a transwoman at close quarters, who obviously does not pass?


There’s some clear reasons for that, and I’m going to take the time to think them through. OP deserves as much.

First, I don’t actually know any transgender people IRL, so it would be a novelty. Not something to be proud of, but there you go.

Second, I anticipate that, with someone who obviously doesn’t pass, from a group that I have had minimal IRL contact with, I would experience a bit of the Uncanny Valley effect—the freakout people get when they see someone who doesn’t quite match their preconceptions of what normal is.

Of course one’s preconceptions are preconceptions, and nothing to be smug about. Of course preconceptions are battered down by more and more exposure to different images of how people do gender. Of course heteronormativity (cis-normativity?) is a thing.

And people unaccustomed to seeing trans people who obviously don’t pass (can I abbreviate that? TPWODP?) are going to stare a bit more, and feel awkward about the novel encounter, even with all the good will in the world. That’s not an excuse, but it is a thing that you will run into.

But you know, I’ve had that experience of awkwardness before. I’ve had it when I first moved to Melbourne, and saw Asians for the first time. If I stared every time I saw an Asian Australian in Melbourne, I’d never get anything else done; but I did stare at the age of 12. I’ve had that experience when I first met Australian Aboriginals. I’ve had that experience when I first met a butch lesbian.

And I got over it, and in fact I got over it within the time frame it would take me to hypothetically get stuck in an elevator with OP. My best friend for a decade was a butch lesbian. (Well, baby dyke, really, but I didn’t know the distinctions when I first met her; after all, I was unfamiliar.) I was bantering and singing with the first Australian Aboriginal I met within a half hour. The guys I’ve kept in touch with from high school are Asian Australians.

OP, you’re right to be worried about how people will interact with you. Some will not get over their unfamilarity. Some will be assholes. You need to be prepared for that, and you need to seek advice of people who’ve been on the receiving end of it, not just the dishing out side of it. Jae Alexis Lee for example.

But, if this cis het guy can say one positive thing: I stumbled across the transition timeline that my friend Nic posted online. Literally stumbled, actually; she was surprised I found it. (But hey, she did post it publicly, and gave me the address to her blog.)

And what others have said about their transition, well, it was true to see there too. As she transitioned, the light came on behind her eyes. The corner of her lips turned up. The confidence was visible. The joy in experimenting with different kinds of makeup was obvious.

She’s more beautiful now than before: not because there was anything misshapen about her as a boy; not because she is aligning more to heteronormative norms of what a chick looks like. She’s more beautiful now than before, because she’s visibly happier in her own skin than before.

And you know what? Those who do not willingly blind themselves: they’ll see that too.