New Civilization News: TrollXing - 3    
 TrollXing - 329 comments
6 Jul 2006 @ 22:43, by D



The comments below were removed for their lack of relevance to the topic at hand from the article on which they were originally posted by their authors.


6 Jul 2006 @ 20:55 by b : So what do we know Now

about how humans came to be on Earth, what we are and what happens precisely at point of body death?


6 Jul 2006 @ 21:14 by [name removed] : Whatever we imagine:

re: language: "Like a finger pointing at the moon, once we see the moon, the finger becomes irrelevant."


The bait is the means to get the fish where you want it,
catch the fish and you forget the bait.

The snare is the means to get the rabbit where you want it,
catch the rabbit and forget the snare.

Words are the means to get the idea where you want it,
catch on to the idea and you forget about the words.

Where shall I find a man who forgets about words,
and have a word with him?

- Chuang Tzu


VALIS
Vast Active Living Intelligence System

VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intelligence System from an American film): A perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information. Characterized by quasi-consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and an armillary coherence.

- Great Soviet Dictionary, Sixth Edition 1992

PKD says in VALIS that "We are not individuals. We are stations in the single mind" also........" that Space and Time were revealed as mere mechanisms of separation."

Thanks for that last, i2i, nicely said...


6 Jul 2006 @ 22:12 by i2i : b, *** ?

I like what you guys are doing here. I really do.

But it has no direct relevance to the current post.

What do you want to do about this?

Shall I move these last two comments over on another blog to a post of their own (such as TrollXing) where a new thread dedicated to that topic can be generated, or, would you guys rather launch a new thread yourself on your own blog - which I think would be a superb idea, considering the richness of the topic.

I have little interest in acting like a netcop or a netnannie here.

Unless, of course, this is what the purpose of your posting has come to be about. I think you and I, all can see how this could easily evolve into a futile and boring exercise which would cause my interest in maintaining a blog on NCN dwindle rather rapidly – it wouldn’t be the first time it happens to a member of NCN.

Since both of you are long standing members of NCN, I would assume that you both have a benevolent interest in the well-being of the network and of its members and would not deliberately engage into harassment tactics aimed at driving other bloggers away from NCN.

I am sure both you and I have better things to do with our time, I know I do.




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29 comments

7 Jul 2006 @ 01:53 by scotty : Gosh D !!
I'm glad that you don't have control of the 'edit' button on my log coz maybe I'd end up finding some of my own comments relegated to 'irrelevant' !!!

: )


but more seriously .. there's a wee something that I don't quite understand ...
you remove certain comments because you find them irrelevant .. and yet - the people who wrote them in the first place surely thought that they were worth something to have taken the time to bother writing them in the first place !!

Yes I know that you have said that you'll remove them from here if the 'author requests it' ... but - does that mean that one has to somehow keep within some kind of restricted limits when posting on your log and refrain from any sort of ..; heck - what's it called when one thought leads on to another and then another ...
ah yes !! Free association !!

Your sentence " Since both of you are long standing members of NCN, I would assume that you both have a benevolent interest in the well-being of the network and of its members and would not deliberately engage into harassment tactics aimed at driving other bloggers away from NCN" disturbs me a tiny wee bit because (to my mind ) it seems like you are inferring that anyone not agreeing with your 'assumption' IS in fact using harassment tactics aimed at driving other bloggers away ... now it seems to me - and it is only my humble uneducated opinion that this could be an effort to emotionally blackmail members into posting things that are not boring to you .



I'm sure that I've gotten it all wrong though - so please don't waste your precious time trying to explain something that is obviously over my head .

; )

.  



7 Jul 2006 @ 03:47 by vaxen : .
.  


7 Jul 2006 @ 03:58 by bushman : Personaly
I just think i2i needs to put a disclaimer/visable warning that you will be banished to the troll page. For whatever crime of negativity or irrevelence, anything that is below a set IQ level, etc... I would post in there, but I'm just not exatly clear on the topic. My understanding is Cain and Ables story was more about the original sin, as well as man putting himself above God. Then seperation from God, and brothers fighting, the story is more about seperation. I see governments doing all they can to cause seperation, so as to be the bigger better dog. Still really dont know the topic of the post. :}  


7 Jul 2006 @ 04:22 by Hanae @68.164.68.89 : LOL


The yellow card is a nice touch, D!

(Although, methinks, perhaps someone has been watching too much soccer on TV of late, lol)

".. there's a wee something that I don't quite understand ...
you remove certain comments because you find them irrelevant .. and yet - the people who wrote them in the first place surely thought that they were worth something to have taken the time to bother writing them in the first place !!"
---7 Jul 2006 @ 01:53 by scotty : Gosh D !!

LOL - I don't know scotty. I think most of this goes way over my head too. But from what I have been able to assess, it seems to me that everyone is responsible for moderating their own blog, here, right?

D is responsible for her own blog. And, well, as it turns out, so are you - for your own blog - eh scotty?

I mean, remember this:

22 Apr 2006 @ 12:04 by scotty : FYI
Certain comments not in keeping with subject of this article have been deleted. link.

Not judging anyone, here. Just keeping things in perspective.

I agree that "free association" is cool, tho! And, well, I don't know, but it seems to me that to that regard "moving" comments (D's choice) might be a step-up from "deleting" a comment.

Or not - who am I to say? To each his or her own, I suppose.

As for people's "benevolent interest," here, lol, I am not sure, scotty, but then again I am not sure either what I would have made of such a comment had someone posted a link like this (link) here (6 Jul 2006 @ 20:07 by darklander : does it follow) on a blog of mine.

I mean Timothy Leary's finger is charming and all, and as "free associations" go, well, it's certainly very graphic and all, still...I am not sure about that.

As I said to each his or her own.  



7 Jul 2006 @ 10:58 by scotty : Hanae

Touché !

: )





( now where are my tweezers so that I can try to get this soddin plank out of my eye ..... )  



7 Jul 2006 @ 13:55 by martha : More LOL
7 Jul 2006 @ 01:53 by scotty : Gosh D !!
I'm glad that you don't have control of the 'edit' button on my log coz maybe I'd end up finding some of my own comments relegated to 'irrelevant' !!!

: )


but more seriously .. there's a wee something that I don't quite understand ...
you remove certain comments because you find them irrelevant .. and yet - the people who wrote them in the first place surely thought that they were worth something to have taken the time to bother writing them in the first place !!
7 Jul 2006 @ 04:22 by Hanae @68.164.68.89 : LOL


The yellow card is a nice touch, D!

(Although, methinks, perhaps someone has been watching too much soccer on TV of late, lol)

".. there's a wee something that I don't quite understand ...
you remove certain comments because you find them irrelevant .. and yet - the people who wrote them in the first place surely thought that they were worth something to have taken the time to bother writing them in the first place !!"
---7 Jul 2006 @ 01:53 by scotty : Gosh D !!

LOL - I don't know scotty. I think most of this goes way over my head too. But from what I have been able to assess, it seems to me that everyone is responsible for moderating their own blog, here, right?

D is responsible for her own blog. And, well, as it turns out, so are you - for your own blog - eh scotty?

I mean, remember this:

22 Apr 2006 @ 12:04 by scotty : FYI
Certain comments not in keeping with subject of this article have been deleted. link.  



7 Jul 2006 @ 14:04 by scotty : LOL !!
yup !

it's worth posting twice I agree !!

So glad it made your day MM : )

I know when to cede gracefully .. and I did : D  



7 Jul 2006 @ 14:16 by vaxen : .
.  


7 Jul 2006 @ 16:31 by Jannie @66.229.195.3 : Good call
darklander was being quite rude and deserved a rollep up paper to the nose!  


7 Jul 2006 @ 16:32 by Jannie @66.229.195.3 :
Hitting doesn't work especially on the nose. It's ususally best to pick up the rolled up paper and swat it against the table or counter for them to understand you mean for them to behave. If they jumps up on you or on company, grab and firmly squeeze their front paws while saying NO or DOWN. Always keep shoes and slippers out of reach. These guidelines have worked well for me.  


7 Jul 2006 @ 16:38 by martha : Now Jannie
darklander has a large sensitive nose. Besides here at NCN we don't encourage violence. Granted he does like slippers to stick his nose into for the smell but no matter, brute force is not reinforced most of the time.
Better yet just blow smoke in his face and watch his nose twitch! Trolls already know this trick. Cigar smokes works the best.  



7 Jul 2006 @ 16:47 by vaxen : .
.  


9 Jul 2006 @ 07:39 by i2i : Constructive criticisms:
Thank you all for your input.

1. Re: free association (Scotty's remark)

Yes, excellent point. Free association is important and the point here is less about "controlling" how people choose to read a post or what they choose to respond to with regard to the content of the post than it is about "protecting" the treads from abusive behavior. It is a delicate balance and your point is well taken.

2. Re: Bushman's comment:
"Personaly I just think i2i needs to put a disclaimer/visable warning that you will be banished to the troll page. For whatever crime of negativity or irrevelence, anything that is below a set IQ level, etc... I would post in there, but I'm just not exatly clear on the topic."

The topic:

"Cain's words have come to symbolize people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows - their "brothers" in the extended sense of the term."

This intro leads to a speech by Barack Obama about "social Darwinism" and the role of government.

I think the topic is pretty clear.

IQ is not the issue here. Nor is "negativity" - one is free to agree or disagree with the content of the post. I am not a stickler for style, I don’t make people use spellcheckers, I enjoy creative writing and humor just as much as the next person. The point is one of some semblance of "relevance" and "basic respect." As this rule is rather commonplace, I don’t believe that there is any real need to put a warning about this on my newslog, for the same reason as there is no need for a sign either in my living room warning visitors that they shouldn’t piss on the floor.

I realize, of course, that not all seemingly irrelevant comments are malicious in nature, so your point about the "Troll page" is well taken. Maybe something called "Tangencies" instead, like this here, would be more appropriate. I am not really trying to give a hard time to anyone. The interest is about encouraging dialogue not about suppressing it. The original idea was also "to offer an avenue for those interested in the topic which might be present in such or such comment independently of the context in which the comment was posted." Like a series of forking paths. An opportunity for a series of new threads independently of their relevance to the original posts from which they were sprung. And a chance for an attempt at a genuine follow-up, assuming such follow up is really what the posters desire. But I can see how doing that on a newslog called TrollXing can be a problem, lol, so maybe Tangencies would be a more suitable name for it.  



9 Jul 2006 @ 16:54 by bushman : Ya
Ok, :} I like Tangencies, I mean not that Trolls are always bad, like those cute Troll dolls, they did show as a good Troll. But as well, world wide persons wouldn't see the Troll thats cute, since it's a Blog, being a BlogTroll sheds negative light on those that get published there. Basicly in my eyes, it's more like a list of trouble makers. I don't know, as diverse as the world still is today, it's pretty hard to tell if someones takeing a piss or doing something else, and sometimes one persons piss is another persons life giving fountain. I just found it better to assume/judge peoples comments in a positive way first, only because it really is extreemly easy to take a comment the wrong way. Was easy for me to misinterpit your intent or policy on your main Blog, now I feel I must wear a suit and tie, to be able to sit at your round table discusions, strait faced and proper. Social darwinisim, is that basicly the same as social evolution? Hmm, what governments/corperations do, is neither, just looks that way, just my oppinion that once any man/gov/corp medals in the free will of a population, its no longer evolution happening, I guess you, or a poster, sort of mentions that nazi eugenics thing. Ive had my share of gov shrinks tell me not to have any more kids , because Im so hyperactive, lol. I see so many things and views within comments and posts, so many ways to read it and apply it to other less visable aspects, it's hard to know what the focus of a dialog is, at least for me. How is a post going to help the masses, if you have to have a dictionary and thasarus for every other word? You almost have to have a PHD, to read most of whats published here on NCN, don't get me wrong, theres nothing wrong with posts that take lots of extra study. Just to me, your Blog is demanding a certine level of education, and should state that, and is just my oppinion. As well, if someone is obviously pissing, with malis, in your house, I'd help you toss them out the door. :}

-----------------------------------------

Hmmm...what a thought. I think you'd look quite fetching in a suit :} Gentlemen attending are welcome to dress in formal attire if they would like, but it is not required. It's not the suit that makes the man, Bushman, lol. So just come as you are, whenever and wherever, my friend, I wouldn't have it any other way.

~D  



9 Jul 2006 @ 16:55 by Hanae @68.164.60.46 : online moderation

Via Boing Boing via Ming the Mechanic:

1. There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden.

2. Once you have a well-established online conversation space, with enough regulars to explain the local mores to newcomers, they’ll do a lot of the policing themselves.

3. You own the space. You host the conversation. You don’t own the community. Respect their needs. For instance, if you’re going away for a while, don’t shut down your comment area. Give them an open thread to play with, so they’ll still be there when you get back.

4. Message persistence rewards people who write good comments.

5. Over-specific rules are an invitation to people who get off on gaming the system.

6. Civil speech and impassioned speech are not opposed and mutually exclusive sets. Being interesting trumps any amount of conventional politeness.

7. Things to cherish: Your regulars. A sense of community. Real expertise. Genuine engagement with the subject under discussion. Outstanding performances. Helping others. Cooperation in maintenance of a good conversation. Taking the time to teach newbies the ropes.

8. Grant more lenience to participants who are only part-time jerks, as long as they’re valuable the rest of the time.

9. If you judge that a post is offensive, upsetting, or just plain unpleasant, it’s important to get rid of it, or at least make it hard to read. Do it as quickly as possible. There’s no more useless advice than to tell people to just ignore such things. We can’t. We automatically read what falls under our eyes.

10. Another important rule: You can let one jeering, unpleasant jerk hang around for a while, but the minute you get two or more of them egging each other on, they both have to go, and all their recent messages with them. There are others like them prowling the net, looking for just that kind of situation. More of them will turn up, and they’ll encourage each other to behave more and more outrageously. Kill them quickly and have no regrets.

11. You can’t automate intelligence. In theory, systems like Slashdot’s ought to work better than they do. Maintaining a conversation is a task for human beings.

12. Disemvowelling works. Consider it.

13. If someone you’ve disemvowelled comes back and behaves, forgive and forget their earlier gaffes. You’re acting in the service of civility, not abstract justice.  



9 Jul 2006 @ 23:00 by bushman : :}
lol, I look alot and sometimes act, like Captian Jack Sparrow, if I dont shave, but ya, I would look pretty cool in that getup, I kind of like that Lionel Luthor look too. :} When I ran my chat room , I would have it G rated from 6am to 10pm, then PG between 10pm and 12am, after midnight it was 18 or older and rated R, but anything X and above was deleted and the persons booted, of course this was realtime chat, and was usualy concensus vote, when someone needed the boot. Those are pretty common rules, I like to say, "just be civilized".

-----------------------------------------

Captain Jack Sparrow, uh? That will do by me, matey! I figure you must be a pirate for the Pirate's Code to apply :} The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Jack!

~D  



10 Jul 2006 @ 04:57 by vaxen : .
.  


10 Jul 2006 @ 05:53 by bushman : Hmm
Just to keep the record strait, I tryed to kill my brother a few times, the first time he was maybe a little over a year old, I was almost 3, and I knew exacly what I was doing, I had to get rid of the interloper, my chance came one sunny day, mom left him near a hill in the back yard, the train tracks down at the bottom far below, I heard the train comming, he was in his stroller, he was almost off on his way to catch the train, but right then, as it was starting to roll on its own, mom grabs the thing away, and says no way, your not going to kill your brother. I was too small to argue, lol. But I'm glad I didn't kill him now. :}  


10 Jul 2006 @ 20:02 by martha : Let's not be so quick
to jump to conclusions i2i. It might an imposter trying to confuse the issue. One never really knows what can happen here at NCN. There are several here that claim to read code quite well so they might be tinkering with names. While I'm not implying THIS HAS HAPPENED, never the less it is a possibility!

"10 Jul 2006 @ 19:53 by i2i : Darklander
Technically, Vaxen, that request would have to come from darklander. Furthermore the material quoted (a quote by Chuang Tzu and a quote from the Great Soviet Dictionary, Sixth Edition 1992) is not proprietary to you or to darklander.

I'll take your word for it that you are darklander however and will remove the name "darklander" from the above if you feel it is prejudiciable to you as some people may identify you as darklander. "

The internet is a new frontier, though I think not the final frontier! So in this new frontier all sorts or anomilies can happen like time warps and lets say...hmmm name changes for example.  



10 Jul 2006 @ 20:35 by i2i : Online Moderation
"Things to cherish: Your regulars. A sense of community. Real expertise. Genuine engagement with the subject under discussion. Outstanding performances. Helping others. Cooperation in maintenance of a good conversation..."

via Teresa Nielsen Hayden via Boing Boing via Ming the Mechanic via Hanae...lol

Isn't the internet grand? Thank you, Hanae.

As a quick follow-through, I’d like to add that comments which relevancy to a given post is unclear do occur now and then (it’s not necessarily a bad thing - note that "lack of relevance" to a given topic on a post is in no way intended to mean "lack of interest" intrinsic to the comment itself), and when it happens there are many ways in which this can be followed through - or not.

It greatly depends on the motives of the author of the comment, of course.

Like, for example: Is the author posting out of relevance intentionally or unintentionally? Is the author’s aim to contribute to the thread or is he/she simply trying to annoy, or disrupt the thread? Is the author off the mark because he/she just missed the point or is he/she deliberately dense? Is the author too witty for the rest of us (causing us to miss the relevance of his/her comment) or is the author, in fact, too witty for his/her own self, just trying to impress and look smarter than his/her brothers/sisters?

It is a murky territory and it is prudent to proceed in those things with caution.

Case in point - loosely related to the present post (I am just using it – without specificity - as an example because it’s here and it’s easy):

Someone launches a post which main theme is essentially "Am I my brother's keeper?" and features on this post an article that basically asks more or less the same question in a socio-political context of our government.

Now, a commenter comes along and post something on that thread about the nature of the soul as "that which leaves the body at point of body death."

The moderator joins the thread and enter a comment that brings back the thread to the topic.

The commenter comes back and asks "So what do we know Now about how humans came to be on Earth, what we are and what happens precisely at point of body death?"

And then another commenter comes along responding to the first commenter: "Whatever we imagine," and launches into a comment of its own that take us even further from the topic at hand.

As a moderator one usually tries not to jump to conclusions and prejudge what's really going on there. The two commenters might be sincere. The first commenter is very interested in the subject he/she has chosen to talk about. Possibly he/she might have missed the point of the article on which he/she posted (after all Cain and Abel are characters who do take us back to “Genesis” and the question of the origin of man and woman.) The second commenter might be animated by the same kind of passion and eagerness about the things of which he likes to talk about (especially if the said commenter had been noted to be posting the same kind of comments all over the place on many newslogs regardless of their content.)

As a moderator one doesn't want to kill the diversity either. The moderator might think, "well, this is not really what the article I posted was about, but, hey, this sub-thread might lead us somewhere else entirely that might be just equally interesting. On the other hand, the moderator doesn't want others to kill the diversity either. A commenter who just use other's newslog as his/her personal soapbox regardless of the content of any given newslog does have a tendency to get tiresome very fast.

The moderator must also be vigilant to the fact that the intention of the commenters might possibly not be what they seem - point 10 in Hanae's commnent (above)

The moderator must also consider whether the comment just “happens” to be off topic or whether there is possibly there a deliberate effort to kill the thread or the topic.

The way situations like this have been handled varies:

1. The moderator can acknowledge politely the commenters's participation, and then try to bring the thread back to the topic.

(This won't work if the commenters are particularly obtuse, or obsessive, or in situation 10 described in Hanae's comment above.)

2. The moderator can chose to ignore what's going on, and let the thread go any which way it will go.

3. The moderator might even join in the thread and play along in a free-flow sort of a thing (which can be, at times, a desired evolution depending on the topic and the moderator’s purpose – it doesn’t work for every post, and neither should it be a desired evolution that every post, no matter their topic, be treated in that way.)

4. The moderator can ask the commenter for an explanation.

5. The moderator can “warn” the commenter

(the problem with these last two is covered in point 5 of Hanae's comment above.)

6. The moderator can delete comments

And, in extreme cases, the owner of the newslog can:

7. block the commenters themselves

8. turn the comment option off altogether.

All of this is of course extremely delicate.

Some moderators do all of the above.

TrollXing and then Tangencies (an evolution of TrollXing) has been an experiment in trying to explore what would happen if comments with a potential to branch out into a new unrelated topic were transplanted to a ground of their own and just see what would come off them, if anything.  



10 Jul 2006 @ 23:01 by martha : Juxtaposition
Just to further clairify the above and above and so forth, one must also consider the case of ...

"Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc.
In logic, juxtaposition is a logical fallacy on the part of the observer, where two items placed next to each other imply a correlation, when none is actually claimed. For example, an illustration of a politician and Adolf Hitler on the same page would imply that the politician had a common ideology with Hitler. Similarly, saying "Hitler was in favor of gun control, and so are you" would have the same effect. (see Reductio ad Hitlerum)" [link]

And to further complicate the Issue(s) is the idea of ...(sigh)

"Political correctness (also politically correct, P.C. or PC) is a term used to describe language that appears calculated to provide a minimum of offense, particularly to the racial, cultural, or other identity groups being described. The term is normally used in a pejorative or ironic sense. The concept typically refers to the English language, but is not exclusive to it. A text that conforms to the ideals of political correctness is said to be politically correct." [link]

So you see if you keep digging, there is always more logic (of a sort) to mix into the cauldron...(sigh, sigh) One man's logis is....oh never mind.

Oh and one more thing...
Doublespeak is language deliberately constructed to disguise or distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a "communication bypass". Such language is associated with governmental, military, and corporate institutions. Doublespeak may be in the form of bald euphemisms ("downsizing" for "firing of many employees") or deliberately ambiguous phrases ("wet work" for "assassination"). Doublespeak is distinguished from other euphemisms through its deliberate usage by governmental, military, or corporate institutions. [link]

So in conclusion (of a sort) I'm going to scrub out the cauldron and make some stew (don't ask) to serve the trolls with some fresh french bread, english pudding, and good old american beer (from the keg of course)..Now wait now i am certainly not trying to bribe anyone. It's just that in this day and age this sort of...(sigh).  



11 Jul 2006 @ 00:18 by i2i : Words of wisdom, martha...
"Double, double, toil and trouble; fire, burn; and caldron, bubble."

"There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood, the nearer bloody..."

Everything you say is very perceptive of you, Martha, I can tell you have been a long time member of NCN and you obviously know what you're talking about.

All your points are well taken - I couldn't agree more - actually we went over all that with Bushman already (kind of.) I like Bushman's style (I don't always agree with him on everything - nor do I need to in order to get along with him - but I like his style.) In so far as I can tell, he is not the kind of man who encumbers himself with such things as doublespeak, and although his style is not always that of Shakespeare, the man does make sense...to me....well, sometimes. And, to his credit, the creation of Tangencies, and evolution from TrollXing (about which one might complain - rightly so - that too much room is left for unfair "juxtaposition"), was directly inspired by his comment (I always read all comments very carefully, or try to, anyway, especially the ones that contain an element of "constructive criticism." link)

All right, I think I'll have that beer now - I'd rather pass on the troll stew though, if you don't mind :}

(And I believe that Bushman would probably rather have a bottle of rum!)  



11 Jul 2006 @ 01:49 by bushman : Arr, back in the day,
I would, but alass, I can't partake in the spirits, "any longer", grape juice or sparkling cider, is as far as I go these days. Drunken pirates are one thing, a sober one is something else. :} Hmm, I thought Juxtaposition was a new rock band. But found out just now it is a new CD by Radian, an Australian band. I like what I heard so far, so maybe I might buy it.  


25 Jul 2007 @ 09:54 by jazzolog : Gadzooks!
I just was changed into a Troll by a wild wizard named Ozzie! I thought I'd better turn myself in to this Group Log. Is this the right spot to surrender?  


28 Dec 2007 @ 04:29 by i2i : Gadzooks! ...Well, it wasn't me. LOL
Thank you for the chukle, jazzolog. The World Wide Web is, well, "WIDE," and being as it is that one of the qualities of NCN is that it has been intent in keeping "simple, explicit and redundant," I just don't find it necessary to come and visit here as often as I used to, so I only just saw this comment today.

I am not sure who that "wild wizard named Ozzie" is, but using the date I have referenced this back to a couple of comments on an old entry about Emergence and Democracy:

"Jazzolog, ...you half the time act as a troll in places such as this."
---24 Jul 2007 @ 12:09 by ming

and

"Just back from trolling recovery therapy (they didn't think I have such a bad case apparently)."
---30 Jul 2007 @ 12:11 by jazzolog

For what it's worth, jazzolog is (IMO, of course) one of the few ongoing active blogs on this network, whose writeup and range of interests attest to the commitment and caring participation of its author to NCN. So, that his input could be dismissed as trolling, by the web administrator of this network, even as casually and inconsequentially as it was done, is a very unfortunate thing, indeed.

I can't say that the intent of TrollXing was ever to offer "trolling recovery therapy," LOL, but it did generate a valuable thread worthy of interest to anyone who is interested in online grass-roots democracy.

Who gets to speak?
Who gets to set the topic?

LOL

Kevin Marks, here, almost five years ago, summarized the issue quite succinctly. He spoke of the recurring phenomenon of Emergent Aristocracy, an issue which has been plaguing all forms of governance, or attempts at self-governance, with which man has been experimenting, so far:

--------------quote-----------

The history of democracy can be seen as successive (and expanding) answers to the questions:
Who gets to vote?
Who gets to speak?
Who gets to set the topic?
(...)
In a deliberative body, elaborate rules are adopted to ensure only one person speaks at a time.

There is an inherent funneling of debate because of these procedures.

Conversely, online there are millions of conversations happening in parallel, topics are introduced daily, and votes are largely spurious.

The challenge is help these conversations to focus, converge and produce action.

-------------endquote--------------------

I would say that ideally, the best system would consist of an autosorting, self-organizing structure that would allow such convergences to occur automatically without any human intervention, and in which spam would become obsolete simply as a result of its irrelevance.

Here is Technorati's last April State of the Live Web report.

A few highlights:

- 70 million weblogs tracked at the time
- At a rate (ever increasing) of about 120,000 new weblogs each day, or…
- 1.4 new blogs every second
- 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day (with a peak of 11,000 splogs per day on December 2006.)
- 1.5 million posts per day, or…
- 17 posts per second
- Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
- Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%
- English second at 33%
- Chinese third at 8%
- Italian fourth at 3%
- Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
- English the most even in postings around-the-clock
- Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories

More recently Technocrati has been tracking some 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

Anyway, such reports are not without controversy. There are some disagreements over whether or not "31% of the blogs were written in Japanese," and there are those who claim that the Blogosphere Report has been more of a PR-tool and money maker for Technorati than a reliable source of information. To me, the whole point is that the report is touching at the extraordinary multiplicity and complexity of the World Wide Web and at how little anyone really knows about it.

Cyberspace is a medium which is literally revolutionizing the way in which people can communicate and exchange ideas with one another. More than that, it is becoming an extension of our senses.

In a recent entry on his blog, ming, the web administrator and founder of NCN, who apparently shares in the current Zeitgeist in this renewed interest about multiple dimensions, reflected that "the space of information we now live in has a great many dimensions to it, many more dimensions than we've lived in before, many more degrees of freedom. Yet all our tools have only a very small number of dimensions to them, and many limits and restrictions."

The way comments are handled on most blogs and networks, is one good example.The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs, and, although we like to speak of "multi-dimensionality," it is an unfortunate thing that the comments section, most blog providers make available to their users, is, well, usually pretty linear. Pretty much unfolding like a Lineland dimension from out of Flatland.

One of the things I liked about the Tangencies extension, was the ability it offered to extend the comments on a thread HORIZONTALLY as well as VERTICALLY, making it possible to take the thread - very literally so - in any new direction of anyone's choosing.

Tangencies is too cumbersome a way to go about it, of course. Ideally, instead of being left at the discretion (and time-consuming demanding active participation) of a blog owner, this option could be a feature that would be matter-of-factly integrated in the comments section for anyone to use. As, virtually, there is no limit to the number of horizontal tangents one could create on such a thread (or "tree"), whether one chooses to navigate vertically or horizontally would be a very grass-roots kind of a thing and pretty much left to the discretion of the participants, based on their interest, and their mood (and whimsy) and what they are inspired to contribute.

Other dimensions could be easily added, like a dimension of time (a "time thread"): how often (where and when) has this topic come up in the past. Admittedly more difficult to implement, of course, it could be useful in assessing the progress of a network. Is the network moving forward? Or is it going in circles?

Comments management is an aspect of blogging on the internet that has been much neglected. Perhaps, because there is not much of a market for it. There is a bit of an offer-and-demand kind of a thing in this. To that regard, many blogs are just like so many points of Flatland (sole inhabitant, monarch, and universe in one), and in Pointlands - except for the token sycophantic praise - comments can be of a limited interest to their self-absorbed monarchs. And on the other side of the equation, developers often are less concerned about developing tools for complex and effective communication than they are about the potential for the commercial exploitation of their users. And maybe this is the way it's meant to be; there are tools (like Google) that make it easier and easier for people to find one another and to collaborate where such collaboration is desired, and I am sure that in such instances e-mails and the various existing forms of blogs and other media available on the web are perfectly adequate to their needs.  



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