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XP whore

by blazar (Canon)
on Apr 07, 2007 at 14:14 UTC ( #608824=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

(Posted here for future reference)


XP whore, n.: a common PerlMonks idiom to refer to an individual who is more concerned with Experience Points (XP) than with what they're meant for, and would do anything for them, including undertaking unethical actions like plagiarism. Apparently first showing up in a node (as "XP-whores") shortly after the introduction of the voting system itself.

Also used is the verb "XP whoring", to refer to the act of behaving like an XP whore.

Comment on XP whore
Re: XP whore
by Marza (Vicar) on Apr 07, 2007 at 23:11 UTC
    Ok?
Re: XP whore
by Anomynous Monk (Scribe) on Apr 08, 2007 at 04:51 UTC
    "including undertaking unethical actions"? That's far and away the exceptional case.
Re: XP whore
by Moriarty (Abbot) on Apr 08, 2007 at 11:14 UTC

    I wondered if writing a node about "XP Whoring" would actually constitute XP whoring, but if the reputation of the OPs node is anything to go by, there isn't much XP to be gained from this activity. :)

Re: XP whore
by rodion (Chaplain) on Apr 08, 2007 at 13:00 UTC
    I agree with the anonymous poster that clear cases of plagerism are a different animal, and not included under the usage of "XP whore" that I've seen. Neglecting to give credit, whether from thoughtlessness or a lack of ethics, does come under "XP whoring", and although it is sometimes casually referred to as plagerism, that casual usage doesn't belong in a definition.

    As an example of the difference, a college professor who neglects giving credit for ideas or a turn of phrase gets a jaundiced eye fom his collegues, one who plagerizes may loose his job.

    Also, Marza said it succinctly with his "Ok?", but I need the slightly longer version:

    <grumble> Having this node plunked down in the middle of PerlMonks Discussion, without any context, was a significant puzzle, at least for me. Parv gave me the essential link to figure out what was going on (Much thanks). With that I could figure out that I was wasting my time figuring it out. </grumble>

    A brief comment at the end of the OP saying something like

    (This definition was written for another thread, but is offered here for other's use.)
    would have saved me much confusion.

      I was about to answer several of the previous replies, but since you sum up their points and expand on them to some extent, I'll just reply to you and hopefully address them all.

      I agree with the anonymous poster that clear cases of plagerism are a different animal, and not included under the usage of "XP whore" that I've seen. Neglecting to give credit, whether from thoughtlessness or a lack of ethics, does come under "XP whoring", and although it is sometimes casually referred to as plagerism, that casual usage doesn't belong in a definition.

      Well, for one thing I wrote, literally: "and would do anything for them, including undertaking unethical actions like plagiarism". So that it's clear enough to me that

      1. unethical actions are a possibility in connection to XP whoring, not a necessary cause nor a consequence;
      2. plagiarism itself is just one possibile "unethical" action.

      So I'm somewhat suggesting that the two phenomenona are somewhat correlated but never state that they are exactly the same and not even specify a formal correlation between them.

      Also, I put "unethical" in quotes above: of course this adjective should be taken cum grano salis. That is the ethics of this little virtual community has certainly common principles with that of the real world, but also has different traits and thus that word may be understood in a lighter way. Certainly no animal nor human is harmed or killed in the process of XP whoring, and I doubt you would get totally sympathetic reactions from someone in the "real world", who is not a monk here, if you exposed to him or her your rant that some individual is e.g. copying material without attribution just to earn points...

      OTOH believe it or not I thought of the root node as a general utility one and I'm all open to suggestions for better wording. Indeed I would be happy if it were wiki-like modifiable.

      Also, Marza said it succinctly with his "Ok?", but I need the slightly longer version:

      <grumble> Having this node plunked down in the middle of PerlMonks Discussion, without any context, was a significant puzzle, at least for me. Parv gave me the essential link to figure out what was going on (Much thanks). With that I could figure out that I was wasting my time figuring it out. </grumble>

      Well, I'm sorry you were puzzled, but I think I explained clearly enough the reasons for the post in the post itself with the words: "Posted here for future reference". Indeed I thought of it much like XY problem, although not just as ambitious. Simply there was not such a thing at the Monastery yet, and by a circumstance, I happened to need it at another place, but that was, in fact, just a circumstance. Just like I needed it in this situation, one may need it in another one. So that just like we could already write e.g. "I feel smell of XY problem here", now we can write e.g. "I feel smell of XP whoring here". Admittedly, not just as useful, but... totally useless either? Oh, and of course the former node is a meditation and rightly so, but this one, referring to a PM specific term, was IMO better fit for PMD.

      A brief comment at the end of the OP saying something like

      Last, given the simple dictionary entry like style, I wanted the text to stay as simple as possible.

blandness is the problem, not plagarism
by doom (Deacon) on Apr 22, 2007 at 14:08 UTC
    For myself, I think the problematic part of the XP system is that I can feel it pressuring me to write relatively inane, vapid things. If I recommend the "Perl Cookbook" again, that's almost a guaranteed 20 or 30 XP points. On the other hand, if I say something controversial (say, express skepticism about "inside-out objects"), then that's at best 5 points.

    So the XP system appears to want me to repeat myself, cranking out mindless little things I can write in my sleep that most of us have heard already, but the things that are hard to write and actually require some thought, those would appear to be a waste of time.

      You know what'd cheer you up? Have a read up on Template::Toolkit or had a another skim through the llama. </sarcasm>

      I think that telling someone "the problem has been solved" needs to happen each time someone goes to solve the problem, or you end up with oodles of modules that do the same thing, and folks suffering from NIH or other Anti-patterns

      Even if you have given the same good adivce in the past to someone else (and are just re-hashing to someone new) it doesn't make the advice a less valuable part of learning perl for the newbie asking the question this time. Let's face it, the same question is asked on IRC over and over, and yet the person asking is always amazed by the answer, and generally keen to know learn more about which ever sensible or silly solution that is suggested.

      Had merlyn, ovid or any of the fantastic folks on #perl gotten sick of telling newbies things, I'd have not stood a chance. You can only learn so much from reading a fantastic perl book, website, column, article or documentation and after that, you've got to learn ideas and mindsets from folks that know, and I feel that the community (like here) has taught me as much perl as the books have.

      I'm quite young in the ways of perl, and so am happy to offer the "new" things I've learn to folks who will also find these things new and exciting. I know that chromatic or any of the Saints in our Book would find my praise of Latest::Module::I've::Found boring, and would find nothing new or interesting in a sig line like:

      @_=qw; ask f00li5h to appear and remain for a moment of pretend better than a lifetime;;s;;@_[map hex,split'',B204316D8C2A4516DE];;y/05/os/&print;
        I know that chromatic or any of the Saints in our Book would find my praise of Latest::Module::I've::Found boring...

        If it's a module I've never used before (especially if it solves a problem I've had or never knew I had until you mentioned it), then please do praise it! That's not boring at all.

      For myself, I think the problematic part of the XP system is that I can feel it pressuring me to write relatively inane, vapid things. If I recommend the "Perl Cookbook" again, that's almost a guaranteed 20 or 30 XP points. On the other hand, if I say something controversial (say, express skepticism about "inside-out objects"), then that's at best 5 points.

      Sorry for replying so late, but you did too, in the first place! ;-)

      Well, my point of view is that you shouldn't care anyway. At some point I did care, like most involved people here. I suppose that those who really didn't, ever, are the ones who come here for quick spoon-feed-me help. But I don't care much anymore. If I feel like posting something that I know in advance to be at risk of getting downvoted, I still do. A number of experienced hackers whom I greatly admire and respect also say something controversial occasionally, which undergoes a similar fate, so although I'm not at their level, I feel in good company.

      My most upvoted nodes are relatively dumb questions. So I may invent all sorts of dumb questions just to get many votes. OTOH quite a lot of well thought and accurate answers of mine went fundamentally ignored or received little or no attention at all. I don't care. I care supplying them if I feel I can contribute something to the person I'm replying to, and to the whole community as well. Perhaps I also care to brag and boast, but for what I write, not for the points it can earn.

      So the XP system appears to want me to repeat myself, cranking out mindless little things I can write in my sleep that most of us have heard already, but the things that are hard to write and actually require some thought, those would appear to be a waste of time.

      Well, for one thing they say that repetita iuvant, and if we were all to only reveal grand new truths, world would either be a shockingly different place, or this would be a much more boring place. OTOH when you say the same old things over and over again to newbies, you do help them. You can point them to prior art. Increase your ability to address the issue. If you feel like doing it, just do it. Think of the XP system as a mostly orthogonal thing and you'll be happy! At most let it influence the quality and the thought you put in each and every thing you write, however trivial it is, as of its barely technical content.

        Sorry for replying so late, but you did too, in the first place!
        It's one of the thing that perlmonks got right, I would say, is that everything is always open for further discussion (and XP votes, for that matter). Compare to slashdot where there's an incredible amount of time-pressure: speak now, or no one will ever read it; try to have an extended discussion, if you like, but slashdot will lower the boom on it in a few days anyway.

        Well, my point of view is that you shouldn't care anyway. At some point I did care, like most involved people here.
        I wouldn't say that I care a lot, but I would venture to guess that anyone that claims they don't care at all is, shall we say, exaggerating for effect.

        For example, I noticed the other day that a friend of mine who signed on a few years later than I did is already up a couple of levels above me. Feel free to calmly assert that you are above such petty concerns, but myself, that makes me feel like I need to quit slacking, and go to work on my planned series of articles about Conway's "Best Practices".

        And as for the notion that we're not supposed to care about the XP system... well then, what good is it? Why do we have it?

        To compare this to slashdot again: it annoyed me quite a bit when those guys adopted a party-line that went something like "oh, hey, why are you guys getting so bent out of shape about karma? It's just funny money. Lighten up, who cares?"

        They had an army of geeks at their disposal, willing to jump through hoops to get something from them that doesn't cost them anything, and they essentially flinched, and shrugged off the problem of becoming an actual reputation server.

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