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[Zonpower versus the Robo-Moderator: A tale of bots, Net-Kooks, and the cryptographic cutting edge]

[T]he NeoTechs released their "takeover manifesto" on March 19 to the Usenet newsgroup alt.philosophy.objectivism. No longer would the "ersatz" Objectivists who lorded it over "a.p.o" be allowed to sabotage the glorious heritage of Ayn Rand -- the greatest philosopher since Aristotle. Instead, the extension of Neo-Tech into Zonpower would "pave the way for the application of Objectivism to all areas of conscious life." As a consequence, "commercial biological immortality" would be waiting for us just around the corner.

World Wide Live:Activating the Internet - July 16

Meanwhile, the denizens of alt.sex.plushies, a normally gentle group of people devoted to discussing their love of furry creatures, became fed up with spam and assorted hardcore alt.sex.trolls. So they proposed setting up a cancelbot retro-moderator that would automatically eliminate non-plushie suitable postings -- after they had already infiltrated the general Usenet news feed.

But the keepers of Usenet, the so-called Cabal, pooh-poohed the idea. If you want bot-moderation, they said, go with a robo-moderator -- a bot that checks posts against a filter before propagating them across the network. Retro-bad, robo-good.

And in still another corner of the spaghetti labyrinth that is Usenet, habitues of the soc.culture.russian newsgroup, driven to distraction by an alliance of Net-kooks, forged postings, and cross- posting insanity, decided to take the whole concept of bot-moderation to the next level. As of three weeks ago, soc.culture.russian.moderated has joined the Usenet fraternity, complete with PGP encryption, robo-human moderation cooperation, and assurance of anonymity, should it be desirable.

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