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Re: blandness is the problem, not plagarism

by blazar (Canon)
on May 03, 2007 at 17:59 UTC ( #613443=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to blandness is the problem, not plagarism
in thread XP whore

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.


Comment on Re: blandness is the problem, not plagarism
Re^2: blandness is the problem, not plagarism
by doom (Deacon) on May 03, 2007 at 18:16 UTC
    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.

      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, it seems that it's like that here too. But of course it depends on the particular discussion: some are supposed to be "everlasting". Others to quickly end. Granted, one can still reply to a years old node. Once I did it, by mistake. In fact in that context what I wrote evaluated to pure crap. To my surprise, it got one or even two upvotes!

      Generally, if you reply to a very old node, and your comment is appropriate, it may get a very small number of upvotes. But commonly, judging from the XP point of view, it gets mostly ignored. However, perhaps in this respect the many "indices" and "tocs" available at the Monastery can give some visibility to posts that would otherwise go unnoticed at all.

      I'm not familiar with Slashdot, but I'm on use Perl; which sports the same engine as the former and is even supposed to be some sort of testbed for it: however up until now I've only used it for my own journal there, in which BTW I've not been writing anything for quite about some time now, although I do have the compelling desire to post at least an entry, that is important for me. (Well, I guess I will do so ASAP, maybe during the weekend.)

      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.

      Yep, you're right. As is oft repeated: it's nothing but a game. That is not to say that we shouldn't care how we score. But it should matter more how we play.

      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".

      Well, if your planned series of articles will come to light and spawn interesting and fruitful discussions (BTW: there have already been others, be sure to Super Search first) then the XP system will have shown to work just fine, at least in your case.

      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?

      Well, I suppose you should care about it, as if you didn't care about it. Or some sort of zen (?) thing like that.

      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?"

      (BTW: I now understand why you changed the subject altogether, since, with reference to use Perl; again, people -including me- do that all the time there. But here it's generally discouraged. In fact I'm surprised no one complained: it is commonly recommended that if you do so, you also keep some track of the previous subject in the new one. This is especially intended for searching purposes.)

      You know, I've heard about karma and noticed the buzzword here and there, but as I said, I really only use the journal, so I don't even really know what it is. To be more precise I've not really understood the dynamics of social relationships there - you know, those icon thingies. I must admit I've not investigated the thing accurately yet.

      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.

      I think this has to do with karma's propagation rules, which as hinted above I completely ignore. So I'm not sure if I understand. No, I'm sure I don't understand, but possibly in a very general and superficial way.

        Oh, okay: "slashdot karma" and "perlmonks xp" are roughly equivalent concepts. Points assigned to a poster by a community of readers.

        Slashdot was one of the first places to experiment with such things, which is why the slashdot experience is somewhat relevant to this sort of discussion.

        Oh, and it appears that "reputation server" is a slightly more obscure term than I thought it was... there's no wikipedia entry for it yet, for example (I'll have to put it on my list). The idea is something like the way ebay works: you vote people you deal with up or down, and other people can use this to decide if they want to deal with them. Note that in the ebay context, "reputation" is a serious business, it's not just points in a game.

        (BTW: I now understand why you changed the subject altogether, since, with reference to use Perl; again, people -including me- do that all the time there. But here it's generally discouraged. In fact I'm surprised no one complained: it is commonly recommended that if you do so, you also keep some track of the previous subject in the new one. This is especially intended for searching purposes.)

        Yes, and I find it absolutely astounding that rather than fix the search feature so that it can deal with subject line changes, the masters of perlmonks prefer to send nag messages to people who dare to change their subject line.

        (My personal opinion is that this makes them seem like a bunch of noobs who just discovered the internet yesterday -- changing the subject line to match the actual subject under discussion has been one of the basic principles of netiquette for about as long as the net has been around.).

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