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Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?

by Anonymous Monk
on Feb 04, 2004 at 15:44 UTC ( [id://326503] : monkdiscuss . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This morning I was looking at Coruscate's home node and I was shocked to see that he is now an Initiated with 0 XP.

I am not sure about his previous rank, but I think he was a Pontiff (or at least a Bishop) yesterday.

Can this happen?

Was it a mistake by somebody or some hidden trap in the Monastery Catacombs?

Can this happen to others?

A worried Bishop. :)

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Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Feb 04, 2004 at 15:59 UTC

    He used the method outlined in thepen to remove all but 1XP, which was removed by me per his request. Also, per his request, he no longer recives votes. He wished to live in a world without XP for a time. I suspect he'll be along soonish to represent himself on this matter, so I won't say more.

    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

      Very Zen like response there. Personally, I only wanted XP so I could draw a picture on my home node, and I'm still too lazy to attempt to draw that picture :) I intend to be cast down as a heretic soon, someday, I haven't yet found an insane cause and sufficient clueless minions.

Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by Coruscate (Sexton) on Feb 04, 2004 at 21:20 UTC

    Some may think I went overboard by removing all of my XP, some of these some may think I did it for attention or as an outcry. Some may think I really haven't changed over the years. Some may actually understand my side of things (I know of one person right now). For those who don't have a clue, I give a quick description:

    I've seen far too many monks put too much thought and importance into the voting and experience system here. Some see it as so important that they put this system ahead of what the site's main purpose is: a place to share knowledge about perl. You can tell this is true by all this discussion over what I did. "Oh my god, why'd he do it?! He's not a Pontiff anymore!". What's your point? What is the difference between a Pontiff and an Initiate? As far as my mind's eye can see, there is none whatsoever. There is some change in functionality (home node image, ability to vote on nodes, as well as approving/frontpaging/considering them) and that is about it. User level says nothing about experience as a perl programmer. Much of it is a popularity contest, simple as that.

    I read over my chatterbox logs this morning and was astonished by the amount of talk that spread from my little incident. Suddenly, just because I am sick and tired of running around perlmonks playing a mix between an RPG and a MUD, I am "breaking the rules", "taking away power from the gods", "becoming the bum of the Monastery". Give me a break guys. I just want perlmonks to be closer to what it was when I showed up here back in 2000: a place for sharing knowledge. Back then, we did have user levels and experience, but it wasn't pushed as far as it is now. Nobody really put much into the XP. Nowadays, most users who have been around long enough say that XP isn't worth anything, but they still continue to run around with votes, going "omg, I just made 10000 XP!", etc etc.

    Games are fun, but I'd enjoy having somewhere I can go during the day that doesn't have to be a game. theorbtwo has already set my XP to 0 and removed my ability to vote (all as per my request). He couldn't find the option that he believes exists to stop XP accumulation from upvotes on nodes and for logging in, so my XP will apparently still climb. For the time being, I'll suffer with that much. And to spare everyone the hassle of an additional topic revolving around me, I've removed my home node image, since that goes against the 'rules' here. It's only an image, I can live without that.

    And for what it's worth, should anyone really care, I would have made Saint aeons ago had I chosen to.

      As a saint who recently reached 10,000 XP and made a statement in the CB similar to your "quote", I feel that I should make a comment.

      PerlMonks is not a game. It's nothing like a MUD or an RPG. I come to PerlMonks when I want a break from games. I come to PerlMonks to sharpen my skills and help others to do the same. PerlMonks can take up a significant amount of time and be highly entertaining if you let it.

      Once I made Saint, the realization of what this means started to sink in. What does it mean to be a Saint? It means that Anonymous Monks and Initiates will look up to me as a leader in this community whether I deserve that respect or not. If I choose to come back, I have to be prepared to answer questions about how things work here (and maybe an occasional Perl question too ;-).

      So why do I keep coming back to PerlMonks if I can't advance any more and more "work" is expected of me? There are so many reasons. I really like the people for one. There are always questions that I can answer and even more that I cannot. That I really like helping people when I can.

      Even though PerlMonks is not a game, it does have "experience points". There are XP-related games that I play with myself (and sometimes others). I don't consider myself an XP whore though. I don't go out of my way to gain XP. Sometimes playing XP games, like XP poker, help to relieve stress or liven up an otherwise dull day.

      Just my humble opinion on the matter.

      Mr. Muskrat
      use strict; # bondage and discipline, oh yeah!
      use warnings;
      The best way to handle something you don't like, is not to make a show about it, but rather to ignore it. This is the way the "real world" works best. The proper analogy is unhappiness in the work place. It's better to let things slide than to make a big deal about them. One should only post when he cares to post, and not worry about what he posts. That's a community.

      Your protest has only raised the attention "XP" has. Seriously, I have never looked at anyone's node for XP checking purposes, only to see what cool stuff they put there. If XP showed up beside your name on every post, that might be significant, but really it's not significant at all. I don't know who you are, or the order of any rankings, only that some time, I need to make me a picture :)

      Though I haven't been here as long as you, I believe XP main purpose is to keep new users from front-paging stupid things or becoming annoying. It's a good system of community moderation. Personally, I take note of people I agree with, and that help me with my problems. I remember their handles for making me think, that's all. That's all the personal XP I need, but if we have a moderation system that keeps nodes sorted and runs itself, assume. Cool use of automation. Let the folks that help folks get some credit, and let them become more involved -- that's what it does.

      So, long story short, if you have a problem with XP, don't pay attention to yours. That's all you had to do.

      Methinks thou protesteth too much. Really, this is the best language community on the net, bar none.

        The best way to handle something you don't like, is not to make a show about it, but rather to ignore it. This is the way the "real world" works best. The proper analogy is unhappiness in the work place. It's better to let things slide than to make a big deal about them. One should only post when he cares to post, and not worry about what he posts. That's a community.

        I have to bite, this grates so bad. I'm sure I am misreading what you are saying, but feel like providing some feedback.

        If you don't agree/like/understand something the *WORST* thing to do is ignore it. That is truely the path to destruction. Simply ignoring an issue can lead eventually to extreme apathy and worst case bad decision making, _especially_ in the work place.

        If you don't like something, figure out why you don't like it, and what the proper course of action is. Does it require a change in the way you think or interact with your environment? If so can you deal with the repercussions of altering how you fit in that environment and remain "happy"? If so, make the changes and see how things go. If you don't think you can maintain in the environment post change is there something else you could do, that would make it ok? If so change and see how it goes. If you want something to change, and that change *requires* changes from someone else the approach could be fundamentally flawed, depending on the environment. I.e A change which requires your peergroup to change as well is unreasonable in most cases. This is in comparison to requiring change of people you are responsible for (i.e employees, your children, etc).

        In the case of the topic for this thread, the monk in question didn't like the system, so made a change in their environment, which allows them to maintain, with the smallest impact to the rest. It's not like they went on an anti-XP vandetta, nor simply up and left due to their attatchment to the community.

        I personally feel it takes a far stronger person to stand up and implement a change in their modus operendi, than to simply ignore a situation and maintain. Again personal opinion is if far less people simply ignored what they didn't like/understand the world would be a far better place. But that is just me.

        My 2 cents, for what its worth. Also note this isn't so much directed at you, as it is simply a counterpoint to the apathetic tone I read from the initial paragraph.

        use perl;
        Everyone should spend some time pounding nails with their forehead for a while before they graduate to complicated stuff like hammers. - Dominus

        The best way to handle something you don't like, is not to make a show about it, but rather to ignore it. This is the way the "real world" works best.

        I downvoted flyingmoose's node (parent to this) because I disagree strongly with it. That's how I use downvoting in the Monastery: as feedback from a reader, both to the poster and to other readers. When someone makes a contention I think is wrong (and I think this contention is not only very wrong but also incredibly dangerous in a vast, global sense), I downvote.

        Since I have been vociferously advocating the notion that downvoting w/o posting a reply is undesirable, I wrote this brief reason up. I feel it would have been ok for me to have not done that in this case, but in cases where it is Perl code that is the gist of the node, I feel that giving a downvote w/o posting feedback is almost never the Right Thing to do.

            Soren A / somian / perlspinr / Intrepid
        P.S. Don't forget: I am expecting all the people the people who say I am posting to Perlmonks for the XP to automatically downvote this posting w/o explanation, thanks.

        Cynicism is not "cool" or "hip" or "intelligent". It's like Saddam Hussein's piss mixed
        with 004 grit and nitric acid. It's corrosive to everything it touches, destructive to
        human endeavors, foul and disgusting. And ultimately will eat away the insides of the
        person who nurtures it.
      ++, Coruscate. I applaud what you did. I have been here for almost 3 years, and have yet to make level 7. It's not that I don't like to participate, because I do. It's just that, in these 3 years, I have not had a single problem that I couldn't use Super Search to find an answer to, and I haven't seen a single problem posted here that someone didn't provide a better answer for than what I would have come up with.

      All of my xp has come from voting. I'm like the janitor of PM, trying to keep the trash hidden and the fancy stuff on the shelf while I stay out of everyone's way. This is how I support the well-being of the site, and I have always been satisfied that the site rewards me by giving me a few more votes to spend every now and then. Along the way I have gained special superpowers like the ability to consider and frontpage nodes.

      Lately, though, some people have tried to devise methods to keep people like me, who just want to help out quietly, from advancing to their level (giving fewer xp for voting, more xp for higher-rated nodes, etc.). It upsets me, because xp means something to me: it's a chance to do more for a site that has helped me out. What is a game to me seems to be a war for some people. So I'm making my own game, partly in support of Coruscate and partly for my own entertainment:

      • For every day that I'm not able to use all of my votes, I push the button and lose 5 xp.
      • Every time I ++ a post by Abigail (I chose Abigail because Abigail's comp.lang.perl posts are the reason I decided to learn Perl and I give almost every Abigail post a ++), I push the button twice.
      • Every time someone starts a Discussion complaining about the xp system's inadequacies, I push the button 3 times.

      When I reach zero, I start over. I started by pushing the button a few times tonight. I'm hoping that this will keep things in perspective for me and at the same time encourage me to keep contributing. As time goes by, I'm sure I'll feel comfortable enough to post more here, and maybe someday I'll even have a good solution to someone's problem. Until then, I'll keep doing what I do, you guys keep doing what you do, and everything is going to be fine.

      To put my comment about "denying the gods their power" a bit into perspective, I mostly offered this as an interpretation to placate Intrepids view of the world (and the gods). If you perceive XP and reputation as an addiction/detractive to you, all respect to you for recognizing it and taking the steps to eliminate that influence !

      I thought that your step was somewhat of an outcry to be noticed in general, but as you say, if you want to remove the game aspect from your posts and your presence on this site, your steps are most certainly steps in the right direction, although I would have simply taken the approach of petitioning the gods directly.

      I hope you'll stay with the monastery and still find it a place to share knowledge.

        I hope you'll stay with the monastery and still find it a place to share knowledge.

        Oh, no need to worry about that. I've taken the route (twice, unfortunately) of saying I was leaving and then found it so very difficult to not come back. There is a lot to be learned here, regardless of those elements which any particular person could find unpleasant. As for my method of doing what I did, I agree I could probably have turned to the gods and outright asked for it to be done. Would have had the same functional outcome, but may have sidestepped such heavy discussion over it (and saved the site a good number of http hits).

      I like it. To stretch the metaphor of the "Monastary" a bit it's kinda like breaking dogma and boldly declaring that your fellow monks aren't as pious as they thought they were. There are a number of examples of the truly devout breaking away from traditional teachings after they've become "corrupted."

      XP down to zero. No XP gained or loss. You have definitely achieved the status of "Zen PerlMonk." (Heck, if this becomes a trend maybe the site can be altered to make that an official title for those who follow your path.)

      Repeat after me: There is no XP. :-)

      Gary Blackburn
      Trained Killer

      I guess it's none of my business how you feel about XP. I feel much the same as you, but I do think that having XP on invidual nodes is useful. We appear to be able up-/downvote your nodes, so I'm happy. I'm glad you've decided to stick around despite your disagreements with "the system"---but perhaps leaving was something you never really considered, anyway.

      Don't your miss your much-coveted user image on your home node? ;)


      I tend to agree with you about XP. Sometimes it's useful and fun, but mostly it'd be nice if it just went away altogether. I find myself getting caught up in it occasionally, but talking and reading about Perl is what I'm really here for. I applaud your willingness to actually do something about it. You took an action which many would (and, based on the reaction, do) consider extreme. To me, as long as you keep posting questions and answers, we're no better or worse off than before. The irony is that you will probably end up getting upvotes for doing this. 8^)

      Thanks for this very thoughtful note. I am a realitive newbie to the system and to perl and I was already getting caught up in the XP/Voting game. You reminded me that I am here to learn Perl and that is it. Thanks!

      To honor what you have done (in my own twisted way), I have --ed two of your nodes in this thread. HTH.HAND.
Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by duff (Parson) on Feb 04, 2004 at 15:54 UTC

    Maybe he upset one of the gods enough to be smited

    What are you worried about anyway? XP doesn't mean anything ;-)

Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by boo_radley (Parson) on Feb 04, 2004 at 17:26 UTC
    One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble.
Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by robobunny (Friar) on Feb 05, 2004 at 18:05 UTC
    I'd like to say that I agree with Coruscate completely, and I have made a decision of my own. I'd like to request to be promoted immediately to Saint, so that I can avoid the distraction of trying to level up. No need to thank me or praise me for my sacrifice, I'm just in it for the humbleness.
Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by iamnothing (Friar) on Feb 04, 2004 at 22:06 UTC
    If I posted more rather than lurking AND actually used my votes, I'd be a lot further along the XP field than I am. But I have trouble finding time to visit and lurk, let alone make good use of the voting system. Hence the reason I tend to avoid XP topics.

    It's been interesting to watch the growing pains of Perlmonks from a distance. I'm sure I'll continue to lurk for quite some time.

    As for the experience system, I rarely think about it. If I were more active rather than a simple lurker, then I might get a bit more interested in keeping my XP up.

      Wow. Just looked at my "home node." Been here off and on for FOUR years; I am but a lowly scribe. More OFF than ON, and I rarely vote... and I don't think I've ever voted down a post...

      There was a period, years ago (literally) that I thought it would be cool to get a lot of XP. But then I found myself NOT adding to threads, fearing that I would be voted down for writing something that was "wrong."

      This kills the point of web-as-collaborative-medium.

      Seems to me that a good brainstorming session is full of "right" answers. But a great one is full of wrong answers with convincing counters.

      If too many monks fall into the same trap I did early on and stick with it, then we all lose, as a community.

      In many fields the veterans recognize some problems as unsolvable... the rookies, who don't know any better, poke around... and whaddayaknow? They solve them.

        I just lost an XP point! I can't remember the name of the D&D XP draining creature, but it must not have forgotten me! Heh!

        Anyway, when I started, I thought it was an interesting system, and actually had a lot of my tool questions answered by reading and lurking. Unfortunately, for most of the new topics, I either had no experience with that aspect of Perl (such as cg services since my Perl experience has been as a tool language to get things done and make it easier for me and not on te web side other than the random programming example) or they'd been answered by the usual suspects that know MUCH more than me about Perl. It wasn't a matter of being right, it was a lack of experience in the things that people were asking about or else the time that I happened to log in.

        The longer I've been here, the less I've noticed XP other than the random "You've gained 1 point" or today's "ack! You'lost 1 point". But I've also noticed that a lot more people have ideas about the XP system than they did back in the day.

        It seems that the monks have become very good at filtering the requests that would help the few, though the odd topic sometimes continues to plague us.

        But, one of the reasons that I like coming here is that the troll base is low and usually killed off rather quickly. And the information is top-notch. Which is the reason I'm still around.
Re: Can a Pontiff become an initiate in one night?
by TomDLux (Vicar) on Feb 08, 2004 at 15:01 UTC

    However high a monk may rise, it is sometimes good to take a break and focus on keeping the walkways clear of sand and dirt.