Comments: "if he didn't speak fluent geek ..."

Our technology evolves very quickly.
Our brains don't.

Every individual has to determine how much effort they'll dedicate in their brief lifetime to keep a check on those pesky instincts.

Never forget we're the most dangerous animal on the planet... especially to each other.

Tribalism will take a few eons to iron out - unless it truly is a useful survival trait.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 1, 2006 05:27 AM

The discussion on your Talk page is making me mad. I saw this, by administrator Matt_Crypto:

"So are you saying that we don't have the right to make a decision that could (potentially) harm you, even if we believe that an encyclopedia should have an article on you? I think we do have that right."

After determining that Matt_Crypto did not use his real surname anywhere on Wikipedia, I added this comment under his on your Talk page, as an "anon" (they saw my IP address only). That's because if I signed it, the comment would be deleted on the grounds that I'm a banned user:

"This just in: 'Anonymous Wikipedia editor claims the right to hurt innocent people, and also expects to escape all accountability by remaining anonymous.'"

Well, they killed that comment anyway, twice, because they disagree with it.

So I got mad and clicked around the web for an hour or so and found Matt's real name. Then I added this to Matt's User_talk page:

"Welcome to the hive. Your socially-irresponsible comments on Seth's talk page have caused you to be identified as a potential threat to others. Consequently, your real name and mugshot have been placed on"

At least my anger subsided, and I was able to avoid kicking in my monitor after reading your Talk page.

Posted by Daniel Brandt at October 1, 2006 09:52 AM

They need to introduce a reputation system into Wikipedia.

Then it may be possible to keep unsupported slander and libel on obscure gossip/graffiti pages. Then at least people will know the difference between authoritative text and scurrilous text - however well crafted the text appears.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 1, 2006 12:34 PM

:D I love the "with a decided received high USENET tone" part. (Ah, usenet...)

Posted by Sour Duck at October 1, 2006 01:35 PM

Crosbie: What bothes me is the way the hype about "community" doesn't take into account the very retrograde aspects, of arguably taking steps backwards from fairness, to patronage-type systems.

Daniel: Sadly, speaking geek often involves having a high threshold for such interactions. Couple of tips: "Rights" are a big thing, repeated endlessly, and "handles" are considered as if they were the real name for that context.

Sour Duck: And he's right there too! :-) I was an active Usenet participant for many years.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 1, 2006 04:42 PM

Two pretty different perspectives.

1) Economic meddlers striving for fairness who think they can introduce a fairer marketplace by legal coercion, e.g. no-one can reproduce/derive works for a limited time.

2) Libertarians who think liberty trumps misguided albeit well meaning introduction of social contracts

People think the GPL is splitting into pragmatists vs idealists, but it's not. It's splitting into gift economists vs libertarians.

Those who champion fairness think the GPL is about tit-for-tat/quid pro quo. Those who champion liberty think it's about nullifying coercion of social contracts (copyright, patents, DMCA, etc.).

And what's wrong with patronage? We're just moving from "I'll give you what I've written if you pay me" to "I'll give you some of my money, if you write something". It's still a bargain.

Those espousing fairness at the moment are saying "Because we aren't charging for our writing, nor can you - whatever you write you must immediately publish, for as we know, private property is theft"

Truth, Privacy, and Liberty.
Bargains are to be made in a free market, not by the government on behalf of the people.
No-one has a right to equity for their work, they only have a right that any bargains they make are upheld. It's up to each person to seek out the most equitable deals they can.

If I've missed your point, please elaborate precisely how community-hype is impairing fairness.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 2, 2006 08:32 AM