Over at WikiPedia we have an interesting newcomer. He refuses to use a name, prefering his IP number so that he can "challenge GroupThink" (the rest of us Wikipedians simply call him "24"). When he writes encyclopedia articles they are extensive, but he willfully disregards all community standards, conventions and mores. In other words, he cares nothing for GuidePosts, PeerPressure and CommunityExpectations (he even refuses to accept any definition of community other than his own, and according to him, no online community qualifies). His goals are zealously political, and it seems he wants to transform the entire project into something radically different. Various people have suggested banning his IP number, but I think that this is a) a blow against the openness of WikiPedia, and b) ineffective, as he could easily get around this. Could you point me to some material here on MeatBall that deals with this sort of problem? Or even some good old-fashioned advice? --StephenGilbert
If he doesn't need or want the social recognition that comes from working on a community project, why does he stay? It's important to be boring. That also means it's important to be patient.
By creating an identity for him and by responding with respect to this identity's writings, you've implicitly pulled him inside your CircleOfEmpathy already, even if to lambaste him. Responding to him rationally is really a bad idea, because it requires that you elevate him to peerhood, which isn't the case. You've given him social recognition.
I haven't read a lot on the case yet, but it's very important to remain patient. Take the view that you'll be here years from now, and he will not. Then the trouble is less severe. DefendAgainstParanoia.
Take constructive steps to limit your liabilities. (It's more effective to limit your liabilities than to fight the threats.) Even if 24 writes highly biased articles, that perhaps isn't a long term problem if his writings are ultimately fixed. Of course, the manner you have attempted to fix them though has given him apparently something of a cause, so he's reverting changes to his text. This is becoming a ConflictCycle?.
It's important to remain unified. Any confusion will allow a dissenter to drive through the middle.
Alternatively, you can immolate his anonymous identity by tracking him down. This is an ultimate step, but always a valid one.
Finally, AssumeGoodFaith. Look for what 24 wants to do and is doing well. If you're going to socially accept him, make sure it's own your terms, not his (as is the case now). Show him how to write clearly in a positive, constructive manner.
Always, though, remember you will be here years after he will have left. Patience. -- SunirShah
Examples would be lovely. It's too painful to search through WikiPedia looking for what you already know. -- SunirShah
[example of a crystal-clear 24 article: http://meta.wikipedia.com/wiki.phtml?title=Simple+View+of+Ethics+and+Morals
example of a much more turgid 24 article: http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/political_economy
24 seemed to be more comprehensible when expanding others' stub or existing articles.]
It's likely this person is involved in some activist group in his local area (Hamilton?), which means he is deeply emotionally bound to his ideas. If so, understand that he can never be neutral. But you can perhaps coax him by treating him as an expert for one side of the issue. Place specific questions for him to answer. Ask for details, research, etc. Not as a stalling technique, but sincerely as part of the legitimate search for depth on WikiPedia. After all, he's likely to have quick access to this information. -- SunirShah
I don't really think 24 is a troll either. That requires a social engineering sophistication that he doesn't seem possess, at least that I've seen. -- SunirShah
[ http://meta.wikipedia.com/wiki.phtml?title=24%27s+contributions seems to indicate there was a guiding ethic of some sort behind the work. By the way, 24 was eventually IP-banned by Jimbo Wales who had objected strongly to 24's ideal of governance (debated in several places). 24 seemed to have a philosophy of this too: http://meta.wikipedia.com/wiki.phtml?title=Governing+Operational+distinction ]
It does appear that some writing was censored only because it was written by 24: http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Internet_troll&diff=yes
The text that was removed made the community distinction StephenGilbert refers to above, describing trolls as seeking a "corrective or patronizing or outraged response by those who mistake an online forum for a "community", where people are actually exposed to some danger of [[bodily harm]] by each other's errors. Customs of discourse, or [[etiquette]], that originated in such physical communities, are often applied naively by newcomers who are not used to the extreme range of views that people are often comfortable expressing online, especially anonymously."
Promoters of online community seem to be accused of "trading on the confusion between real community based on shared risk, and false community based on mere exchange of words and ideas." 24 also seemed to advocate or champion being a troll, and mock his enemies:
"The role of the troll in [[Internet discourse]] is disputed, however, some viewing them as breaking up [[groupthink]], acting as [[devil's advocate]], or providing [[irritainment]] to people who take words way too personally.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." - Anonymous"
This may have been too much for JimboWales?, who banned 24 very shortly afterwards.
After IP banning 24, Wikipedia experienced another inconsiderate and disruptive author from the 142.177.xxx.xxx range of IP address, the dynamic IP range of Bell Sympatico's servers in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Consequently, this author has now come to be known as 142. Eventually, Wikipedia chose to ban the entire city in order to prevent this person from causing any more trouble. Many suspected that he was indeed the same person as 24, writing in the same style and on the same topics. The person has also issued threats of violence against the members of Wikipedia, and is now threatening "regime change" by the end of 2004.
In February 2003, this person arrived at MeatballWiki to try the same tactics.
Below is the content this author has written collected in one place. It's better to keep disruptions centralized than spread throughout the entire site.
Speculative and some personal banter regarding other projects and characters, moved from RiseOfMartinets? to avoid polluting the concept of a Martinet with examples of specific people who may or may not be acting that way sometimes. These comments begin with what SunirShah evidently considers a FairOuting?, or inquiry that is intended to force anon1 to UseRealNames:
I think, though, that evidence will determine it wasn't martinets who were the source of your conflict in your case. - SunirShah
Already you have started to create a situation here that will no doubt cause you to call me a "martinet" when I eventually have to edit everything you've written. DeclineOfCivility? indeed. - SunirShah
This could get pretty boring very quickly. We're pretty easy going here. You might consider joining in on the BarnRaising here. We're not them. I have a feeling we've already had this discussion with you once though. -- SunirShah
I think you are mistaking MeatballWiki and WikiPedia for places that have FreeSpeech. We don't. If you're a free speech absolutist, you'd be better off an http://infoanarchy.org. Their wiki is more amenable to these kinds of discussions. -- SunirShah
Mr. Anonymous: While many of your points are interesting and some of them I even agree with, I request that you desist in making insulting comments like indirectly calling SunirShah a liar and a blamer and claiming that he does not "think" at all, but merely quack.
I think if you'll think it over for a minute you'll find that these statements are (blatently) false. This is so obvious that I feel that they don't even deserve a response, but I'll respond anyway in the off-chance that you don't see that. A liar is not merely someone who is incorrect but rather someone who says things that they don't believe (when has Sunir ever done that?).
As for a blamer, I don't see blaming (just criticism of text). As for not thinking, how in the world do you think he wrote all the great essays that he's contributed to MeatBall over the years?
Would you say these things in person to someone whom who have just met? If not, why should it be any different here? If so, I ask you to reflect on if insulting people is making the world a better place. I think it's clear that you want to help MeatBall. If you are altruistic, why are you insulting people?
Also, I assume you aren't willing to do this (and it's not required), but it would make things easier for everyone if you would be willing to divulge your real name and start posting under a user handle. That would build some needed trust.
If you continue to insult us personally, we will probably respond the same as if we were having a conference in person and someone walked in, didn't introduce themselves by name, and started calling some other participants liars who don't think. -- BayleShanks
Fair Outing is a process for "outing" (involuntarily revealing) the real name or bio-metric identifiers of a person presumed to be consistently using an AnonymousIdentity.
Some say no such process can exist and are in favor of absolute anonymity.
Others say that to UseRealNames is the fairest means of outing: effectively each statement is outed and attached to the body of an individual as soon as it is made.
Some say that such a process must at least exist to track down creators of weapons of mass destruction, e.g. as part of the U.S. project, "War on Terrorism". Some would also allow more questionable social purposes, e.g. the similar American "War on Drugs", to justify some "outing" procedures.
This has nothing do with FairProcess. -- SunirShah
B/c FairProcess is about a fair method for setting up the rules; it is one level of meta higher than the question of "is this rule fair?" -- BayleShanks
Shanks more correct but Shah is all wet here (not surprising, as he engages in casual outing and prefers all UseRealNames). Without knowing what rules of "outing" and standing of anonymous or pseudonymous entities apply, there can be no FairProcess - thus fair outing is itself one meta step higher. As example, consider the status of anonymous witnesses in court procedures, or intelligence in diplomacy. Without some means of outing the sources, there can be no fair process applied at all.
There has been a motion for page deletion:
Why this page should not be deleted:
Why this page should be deleted:
This isn't a good faith attempt to barn raise a collective discussion of this topic. While the concept indeed does merit discussion, the author has prevented a discussion from forming by immediately turning this into a severe personality conflict, a flame war. Personally, judging from his writings here and on Wikipedia, I do not trust this person to be capable of interacting in good faith, to barn raise, which is the fundamental that we at Meatball centre our collaboration. Currently the author is building a bullwark from which to launch a many fingered, wormed invasion of the site. He has already tested the waters and signalled his intent by altering the MeatballMission. It's an effective technique to spread a flame war over many pages on a wiki, thereby making it much harder to confront. I think it's important that we now reduce this person's interaction to the site to, if not zero, to the narrowest range possible so we can deal with him succinctly without having to extricate the flamewar from existing content on the site, possibly destroying those pages in the process.
In our past dealings with FairOuting?, as this author calls it, you might have noticed that it's only been necessary when the individuals were taking specific and violent issue with the UseRealNames policy. That they would put so much effort in changing the policy meant that they really did want to join in the work here, which is a positive point that shouldn't be ignored. However, universally, these people failed to understand that the most important thing here is the community, not the ideas. Even if this page weren't shallow, it wouldn't matter much if it destroys our collective sentiment. I wouldn't see much point in running a site that was all flame wars, and I doubt you would see much point in contributing to one. BarnRaising is our founding motto here, a concept that encompasses only partly the work and mostly the community. -- SunirShah
This isn't a good faith attempt to barn raise a collective discussion of this topic. - SunirShah
While the concept indeed does merit discussion, the author has prevented a discussion from forming by immediately turning this into a severe personality conflict, a flame war. - SunirShah
Personally, judging from his writings here and on Wikipedia, I do not trust this person to be capable of interacting in good faith, to barn raise, which is the fundamental that we at Meatball centre our collaboration. - SunirShah
Currently the author is building a bullwark from which to launch a many fingered, wormed invasion of the site. He has already tested the waters and signalled his intent by altering the MeatballMission. It's an effective technique to spread a flame war over many pages on a wiki, thereby making it much harder to confront.
I think it's important that we now reduce this person's interaction to the site to, if not zero, to the narrowest range possible so we can deal with him succinctly without having to extricate the flamewar from existing content on the site, possibly destroying those pages in the process.
In our past dealings with FairOuting?, as this author calls it, you might have noticed that it's only been necessary when the individuals were taking specific and violent issue with the UseRealNames policy. That they would put so much effort in changing the policy meant that they really did want to join in the work here, which is a positive point that shouldn't be ignored.
However, universally, these people failed to understand that the most important thing here is the community, not the ideas.
Even if this page weren't shallow, it wouldn't matter much if it destroys our collective sentiment. I wouldn't see much point in running a site that was all flame wars, and I doubt you would see much point in contributing to one. BarnRaising is our founding motto here, a concept that encompasses only partly the work and mostly the community. -- SunirShah
A Rise of Martinets (Dictionary:Martinet) is the phenomena of visible figures using etiquette as an excuse to trump ethics. Pettiness and small points of order are permitted to justify DuckSpeaking and mask deep GroupThink, e.g. a comment containing facts and pointing out lies or misleading statements is deleted due to a claim that it is somehow "rude". Vital information fails to reach responsible community leaders. Etiquette itself loses its ethical ground. Shallow SelfClaims? overcome and swamp deep ones.
Usually a consequence of a DeclineOfCivility? that permits the Martinets to rise and make themselves, often, a de facto PoliceForce. If the Martinets achieve formal power, i.e. to IP ban or censor talk pages in a wiki, this will usually accelerate the decline.
Sure, but etiquette is the embodiment of ethics in a practical framework for normal interactions. - SunirShah
Robert's Rules of Order, for instance, is a set of etiquette to manage ethically the problem of orderly debate, which otherwise would not allow parties to fairly engage each other. Marquis of Queensbury's Rules are another set of etiquette that embody ethics. The deep GroupThink you allude to are called community values are are hardly masked as they are clear to everyone who belongs to that society. - SunirShah
When indeed martinets hold power, it does degrade the purpose of etiquette, which in fact degrades people's ability to deal with each other. If you look over time, it's not difficult to see that martinets cannot hold significant power now that society is comfortable with liberalism. It's an old joke that senior citizens decry the continued decay in community values, not their reification. - SunirShah
It's not really important to concern ourselves with martinets. We have other names here for those who are malfeasant with their power, like GodKings, and we work to understand ways to prevent their catastrophic destruction of the community, such as the power the RightToLeave has on a volunteer organization, liberalism, or even the digital concept of the RightToFork. - SunirShah
Self Claims are claims an entity makes about itself. They are ontologically distinct from those other entities make about it, or those that it makes about other entities. Without this distinction one cannot tell ordinary reference from self-reference--nor easily determine how the entity forms its SelfImage.
Self-Reference is usually considered the key to self-image and self awareness and ultimately any form of individual, group or CollectiveIntelligence. Without it, there can only be GroupThink - the unexamined adherence to a prior list of SelfClaims? made by interest groups, without a capacity to evolve these, or obsolete those claims that prevent the entity from achieving its destiny.
Self-reference can at time be an annoyance or a distraction, but it is necessary in order to combat GroupThink. If no examination of SelfClaims? is allowed, discourse about current policies can devolve into DuckSpeak?.
Those self claims made very early in, or before, the entity's formation, are usually reflected in its FoundingAssumptions?, e.g. in a state constitution, a city charter, or a party ethic, which explicitly state such assumptions, and are usually key to the self-image.
Sometimes self-claims are primarily or wholly negative, e.g. WikiPedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not, which serves as a charter for that project. In this case they serve as an excuse for various kinds of eloision, censorship, and perhaps ultimately a DeclineOfCivility? as the original self-claims are obsoleted by events or evolution.
The study of GroupThink has shown repeatedly that the self claims of a group are best challenged anonymously, but with some means of limited accountability, e.g. known selection of the critic from a trusted group, or online, the availability of IP address information which provides some insight or traceability in case of genuine abuses. Accordingly this page should be an exception to the requirement to UseRealNames. If you disagree, of course, you may delete it. But that in itself indicates a strong risk of forming, or losing defense against, a GroupThink.
I've spent several hours reading the above text trying to understand it for something other than a libertarian troll. I recognize that I may be missing something, so at least I will be charitable unlike the above author. Can someone else distill any meaningful or sensical statements from the above? He isn't even stating his definitions correctly, such as for GroupThink, let alone characterizing well understood values and strategies. I gather that he opposes BarnRaising from his fear of TheCollective's desire to form a consensus, and I don't think he's being very amenable to the very real task of BarnRaising MeatballWiki itself. It even feels like a PhonyFlood of disinformation and misarguments in preparation for an attack on UseRealNames. I think that has made the essay particularly illogical, as he is mixing an individual's sense of self with TheCollective's sense of self, requiring on one hand the individual to stand up and be counted and yet on the other hand remain anonymous, which is the problem in the first place as we all melt into TheCollective. As I said, I spent several hours trying to understand this. Later... even after discovering the Wikipedia connection, I still have no idea what's going on. -- SunirShah
A group charter or definition which espouses any limits on social behavior will be taken as a personal affront by those who have bought into their own hype and believe themselves superior to the common intellectual rabble. -- JerryMuelver
I'd like to encourage the author to work with the other people here at Meatball, rather than attempt to enlighten us. After only a day, you have created a Wiki:WalledGarden of pages that no one else is able to contribute to because of what seems to be linguistic revisionism combined with snap judgements. Despite my old comments on CaseOfaWikipediaTroll, I really don't think you're a troll anymore, nor do I believe you are attempting to create a PhonyFlood. However, you are establishing a pattern of coming into online communities (I realize you don't like that word in this context; feel free to think "group" if you like), judging them based on a shallow first impression, and starting to work away on your own agenda without regard for the goals and etiquette of the site. I've also noticed that you tend to grab hold of other people's ideas and run with them in a different direction, not taking into account what the originators were attempting (the Wikipedia board and History of Wikipedia spring to mind). All in all, I think you could be a valuable contributor to various wikis (including WikiPedia), but your ability to work with others is hampered by an over-developed fear of GroupThink, your unilaterial reshaping of language, and a distrubing tendency to apply insulting judgements on people who are not responding in the way you would like. -- StephenGilbert
And yet you do "contribute" to this wiki, such as modifying our MeatballMission. I'm not sure what to make of you. Well, whatever. I'll be here longer than you will. If you aren't happy here, why bother? We're not going to change. It's a big Internet. Go find an environment that appreciates your individuality, and let us suffer from our own faults. -- SunirShah
So, are you staying or going? -- SunirShah
I said it before, but it looks like it could appropriately be said again, so I will -- A group charter or definition which espouses any limits on social behavior will be taken as a personal affront by those who have bought into their own hype and believe themselves superior to the common intellectual rabble. -- JerryMuelver
Duck-Speaking refers to DuckSpeak?, a term defined by GeorgeOrwell? in his novel NineteenEightyFour?. Duckspeaking is the repetition and invocation of prior formulas, e.g. UseRealNames, as an excuse for activity (censorship for instance) which actually violates prior norms or SelfClaims?.
Rather than revisiting the SelfClaims? and current SelfImage to determine if they need revision, the duckspeaker simply deletes or engages in QuackOver?, which drowns the truth in more repeated copies of the formula.
As for your example of UseRealNames, I must say I haven't seen it used in the manner you describe. On the contrary, most people who come to Meatball and take issue with UseRealNames have not examined, or do not counter, the arguments for it More importantly, they are unable to provide a reason for using a pseudonym. -- StephenGilbert
A Self Image is the view an entity takes of itself. Depending on the nature of the entity, this may be of many different characters. For instance, an entity defined wholly in or by text transactions, e.g. a wiki, or a BodyOfJurisprudence?, will have a self-image composed wholly of written SelfClaims?.
Nations, organizations, families, and persons can have self-images in this very general sense. For persons self-image is often tied to BodyImage?. For families, to Family Values or other shared MoralCore? beliefs. In organizations of cells or beings related by some means other than biological relatedness, the idea of a self-image is controversial, as it has no self-perception and no real biological reason to evolve one. Such an entity should be called a GroupEntity denoting its lack of biological shared interest.
One way for a GroupEntity to evolve a self-image is to start with SelfClaims? that are undisputed within that group. For instance a religious group may make a statement that "we are all Muslims" or that "we all wish to help the poor living nearby". Statements that define a certain scope of "we" are very important. If there is a disciplined way to ensure that the word "we" is not used when there is a chance to imply wider agreement or commitment than really exists, then "we" itself can reflect the self-image.
Perhaps the best known means of creating such a self image is the authoring of a charter or constitution, which contain the many or few FoundingAssumptions? by which power or interest groups come together to commit to some common defense of land or community. In fact the word "nation" seems to have no clear meaning other than that of "a group of people who has done great things in the past, and continues to choose to do so." A positive self-image is implied in this definition.
But, any GroupEntity that has a self-image but no genetic or bodily identity, can cease to exist without an obvious or measurable way in which to determine it has ceased to exist. Use of "we" can be one way to determine if a GroupEntity still exists - if people act as if they agree, it's fair to say they do agree.
Dissolution of a GroupEntity can be messy, and can lead to such events as CivilWar? or ClassWar?. The USSR devolved in the 1990s with some degree of both. It had lost much of its self-image as a Vanguard Of Revolution or Peoples Democratic Republic in previous decades. The USA may be going through a similar devolution now as self-image ideas like RuleOfConstitutionalLaw?, Fortress America, Champion Of Freedom and Protector Of Democracy are challenged, and as new anti-privacy are passed.
I disagree that the USA is ceasing to exist as a group entity. Perhaps its nature is changing, though. -- BayleShanks
I define "nation" as something like: "a country which is also a culture". -- BayleShanks
A group-entity is any entity composed of multiple beings with no inherent biological identity, e.g. one body, one germline, one genome. Individuals, families, and species may not be group-entities, although anything beyond a single sexually reproducing being may well be called one. It is a very abstract term and is an alternative to such terms as OnlineCommunity that does not imply any common behaviors or traits between physical human or other animal communities, and organizational behaviors.
This term is from anarchist discourse and may be controversial to some. See http://wikipedia.org/wiki/group-entity for a fuller explanation of the term, its origins, and some examples.
Also, we're open to the idea that there might be no such thing as an online community, or that the culture of online services might be inherently pathological. So even to say this is a community might itself be controversial to some of us - some just call it abstractly a GroupEntity - is that too nerdy?