For those who don't know, the Director of Community Development at the Stack Exchange company, Mr Robert Cartaino, is no longer employed by Stack Exchange. Tributes are already flowing in on main meta (Thank you, Robert Cartaino), but I wanted to drop a brief note of appreciation on behalf of our little community at Puzzling.

I don't know how many people still remember or care about this ancient history, but back in 2014 the pro-tem moderators made an ill-fated decree to ban questions that are only puzzles and just allow questions about puzzles. My intent is not to dig up old drama, but suffice to say that the community was deeply divided on this, with many people very angry and heated.

In this time of discord, Robert Cartaino saved the day. His answer got our meta site's first Reversal badge, as well as respect from the entire community, on both sides of the debate, for his calm, reasoned, and sensible intervention, recognising the same problems that the mods were seeing but also recognising the issues others were seeing with their solution. I think it's fair to say that without this intervention, Puzzling SE as it is today wouldn't exist. Maybe without Robert someone else would have written it, but our community should always be grateful to him.

I don't know if it's completely accurate to call him "the man who saved Puzzling SE", but that's certainly how many of us thought of him back then. If you came here in 2015, or 2016, or 2017, or 2018, or 2019, or recently, to participate in creating and solving puzzle challenges, then give thanks to Robert Cartaino, even if you never met him, for making this vision of the site possible.

Let me end, as he did, on an optimistic and community-building note:

Enjoy what you've built here. Puzzling is supposed to be fun. But keep it light… and most of all, have fun, and keep talking in threads like this.


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    $\begingroup$ Something about that quote makes me feel very happy. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2020 at 21:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ These days are indeed very dark days for SE. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2020 at 3:06
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    $\begingroup$ This comment is gold. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2020 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton You saw it too :) $\endgroup$
    – Avi
    Jan 16, 2020 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ I'm just guessing, but the author of the 2014 post referenced here seems to have been Emrakul. I think I came across the name back around the time I joined Puzzling.SE, and I'm a little sad that he/she has left the community. $\endgroup$
    – Lawrence
    Jan 21, 2020 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Lawrence Yes exactly. Probably no longer the longest serving mod on Puzzling, but the only pro-tem who was still bothering with the site enough to run for election when it graduated. Moderator 2014-2017, respected user 2014-2019, respectfully remembered even after account deletion. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2020 at 20:41


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