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Re: Reputation and Accountability

by sauoq (Abbot)
on Jun 12, 2003 at 20:15 UTC ( #265478=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Reputation and Accountability


I've read all of the posts in this thread (that existed prior to me writing this at any rate) and I do understand your point. I don't, however, entirely agree with it.

While accountability is generally a good thing, human societies, this one included, are flexible enough to survive some measure of imperfection. Even an imperfection that undermines accountability.

In real life, accountability doesn't always exist. If it did, we'd have no need for criminal trials. We'd just have sentencing hearings. So, I don't believe you will sway me into believing it is an absolute necessity.

That said, I'd actually like to know what you were /borg'd for. If you were really "punished" for the use of profanity, I'd like to complain about that. I think we all have a responsibility to the community to speak maturely, but I don't think anyone should police us. If we use language that others don't like we'll experience the repercussions directly, in the way others listen to us. I'm a parent as well, and my take on the children-may-be-listening argument is that, if they are old enough to spell they've probably already heard (and perhaps used) most "bad words" anyway and trying to shield them from it isn't a worthwhile endeavor. In the long run, they'll learn to use language appropriate to their social environment.

Just the other night on the CB, I was verbally assaulted by a saint with a very high rep who actually sunk so low as to use words like "fuckhead" and "asshole" (the latter in all caps, too.)¹ Although his abuse was base and childish, I would never have censored him even if I were able nor would I have wished him to be censored. So, if this is some sort of "policy" I hereby announce my dissent.

1. In a fit of paranoia, he also went on to accuse me of being, first, Tom Christiansen and then gnat. Go figure. Whether his XP was affected or not, I don't know. But I'm pretty sure that he lost some real respect in the eyes of a small handful of people who witnessed his lunatic raving.

"My two cents aren't worth a dime.";

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Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability
by meredith (Friar) on Jun 12, 2003 at 23:41 UTC
    sauoq, I witnessed parts of the conversation on the CB, and I also looked over the transcript. The discussion was getting very heated (cough), and possibly abrasive to other monks, I don't feel anyone should have been censored either. That would probably have made it worse. I do feel, OTOH, that the conversants should have been smacked fairly hard (all of them), and made to think about what they were saying and doing. I don't know the context of chip's situation, so I can't pass judgement, but maybe a better solution would have been one where chip would have been pulled into a private conversation with the person who silenced him (now known at this time). e.g.: slap a '/msg tye ' to the start of all his CB input. This way, the person can be 'talked down' as a more stern warning. Maybe this is a better idea than just silencing a person. But anyway, what do I know, IANAS

    (saint) ;)

    P.S. Yes, sauoq, I had previously overlooked some very pugnacious posts from the person in question the other night, but that was just insane! You are right in the assumption that the observers have lost some amount of respect for him. (Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't bitched me out in a reply to one of my posts yet ;)

    mhoward - at -
Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability
by chip (Curate) on Jun 12, 2003 at 20:21 UTC
    I find much to agree with in your comment, and little to disagree with. I think we agree that anonymity warps reputation. Your response that many such warps exist and must be compensated for (e.g. with courts) is well-taken. But I would simply argue that, all things being equal, less warping is a Good Thing that's worth striving for.

    update: Forgot to say: Yes, it was just profanity, that's all. OTOH, I realize that community standards differ, and so I didn't want to mix the two issues in one thread. OTGH, I agree also with you that profanity isn't always trolling and shouldn't be automatic borg bait.

        -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

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