What is your personal view of the role of CSTheory: in particular, please post an answer to Gil Kalai's question here.
As a graduate student, I find that in my studies and research I am only exposed to a certain small part of theoretical computer science. This website allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of other subfields and see what sort of questions are interesting others and how they think about certain problems. As such, I think cstheory is primarily a great way to bring the community together.
In the longer term, my hope is to use the algorithmic lens as a viewpoint on other sciences and I hope others do so as well. If non-computer scientists start using tools from cstheory then this website (and its placement among other science and math websites in the SE network) could provide a great way for us to engage with them, and share our knowledge while figuring out what problems they want to use our tools to address.
How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
I would address the specific flags through comments, discuss with the other moderators, and if the behavior persists contact the user over chat. If direct communication with the user does not resolve the issue then I would consider a suspension for some amount of time and contact over email (if such means are available).
How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I would contact the mod in private. If after a discussion we are still unsure of the decision then I would raise the question in meta for input from the community. However, I doubt this would come up since in my experience so far I have not seen closed questions for which I disagreed with closing.
What is your personal view of the role that CSTheory should/will/does play in the greater TCS community?
In my answer to the first question, I described my views for this site in cstheory and the larger scientific community. I think we are already moving toward this organically, but it might help to show more clearly why cstheory is a worthwhile part of a researcher's workflow by generating more answers to lists like:
*References to cstheory in the literature
Practically, one of the most important roles of a moderator, is to decide which questions to close, if at all. There are several attitudes toward this problem. Do you think that referring specifically to the user who asks the question and his or her perceived capabilities (e.g., "lack of mathematical maturity", as expressed by some moderators) is a legitimate reason (or part of a reason) for closing a question? Or should you judge a question only by its own merits?
I think it is important to judge questions by their own merit. The only time I would let my knowledge of the users previous activity affect my decision is if I am unsure about the questions. However, in these cases of being unsure, I will never act before the community voices their opinion.
There is a special case of questions that accidentally capture a deeper issue, and are simple when read at a surface level but significant at a deeper level. In this case, I think it is important to engage with the user through comments to see if this deeper exploration will serve the user, or if they were just looking for the easy answer. This is often a judgement of the users "mathematical maturity". If they were not looking for a deeper discussion, and the question is fine otherwise, I would consider migration to CS.SE.
In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators should interfere as little as possible with community self-governance, and act decisively only in clear cut cases where the community guidelines are already set. Moderators should also act as unbiased intermediaries in case of heated discussions and encourage good behavior by example.
A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
It will not change how I ask or answer questions. However, I will actively take note to make sure my comments are always unbiased, constructive, and within community norms.
In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
The only differences I know is the binding vote and diamond (I guess there are also some drastic actions like suspension, but I will hopefully never have to use those). As someone that spends an unreasonable amount of time on the internet, the binding vote will allow me to act decisively and quickly in clear cut cases. Since "close" now means "on hold", this will hopefully improve questions. The diamond will allow me to set a good example in my actions on the site.
We often get low quality or obsolete or chatty flags. Based on early discussions the moderators normally don't take any action and dismiss them as not requiring moderator intervention. Do you think we should continue this way or change the policy?
I would encourage use of our third space (i.e. the chat room) to avoid some of the chatty discussions. However, otherwise I would leave the decision on this policy to more experienced moderators or the community (maybe we should raise a meta discussion on this?).
This is one of my concerns about long term health of the site. Do you consider the primary goal of this Q&A site to be helping researchers in theoretical computer science and related fields to get help with their research?
As I mentioned in my first answer, I see helping researchers with their research as only part of the goals of this site. I think it is also a way to communicate with other disciplines, and a way to build community. Further, it is a way for future researchers to keep an idea of what the community is interested in, and learn from reading others questions and answers.
If you do how should we deal with persistent trouble making users who try to abuse the site for their own wishes? E.g. users who are not researchers in theoretical computer science or any related field and insist on posting questions/answers/comments that are off-topic by the site's policies, e.g. cranks that want to use the site to verify or draw attention to their attempts on famous open problems?
We already have a policy on crank-friendly preprints and topics, I will enforce this policy. I don't think we have gotten too many problems with cranky users, especially compared to other SE sites. We have a great community that already deals with this well.
How can we make sure the site will not be overridden by users who are not researchers so cstheory does not suffer the faith of other online open resources for researchers like Usenet groups? (Keep in mind that with the current amount of community participation in closing we are going to have very serious trouble if the number of such users with 3k+ reputation reaches 5).
We can make sure of this by continuing to ask great research-level questions and providing amazing answers. However, I do agree that the reputation mechanism on the site is broken and it is easy for a persistent user to accumulate reputation. These sort of users are unavoidable, and in most cases they don't cause much trouble. However, if a specific user continually upsets the community then I will proceed as in the "large number of arguments/flags" question: discuss with the user and community and suspend if necessary.