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Re: Re (tilly) 2: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on

by merlyn (Sage)
on Apr 10, 2001 at 09:50 UTC ( #71272=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re (tilly) 2: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
in thread Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on

The only name I edited from the list was my own, which is obviously excluded because I can't vote on my own posts. {grin}

I wish to eliminate personality voting. I've asked vroom to implement technical solutions, and he hasn't, either for lack of will or time.

So I'm doing it another way. If I post the list of people on each time I get personality downvoted, eventually the culprit can be narrowed down. It's simple logic.

Sure, I could have done all this in private, then posted an article with my conclusions, but I think if I capture the raw data, you can all conclude the same thing.

I fully expect to be downvoted when I'm wrong. But when I've given a brief, factual, correct statement as I did earlier today, to have gotten -3 in 5 minutes is a disservice to the others trying to sort fact from fiction in the Monestary. The XP system fails when personality voting is permitted. I intend to at least reveal the offenders, even if I can't do anything about it.

And to repeat what I've said frequently in the CB:

  • I do not care about my personal total XP!
It's just silly that a posting gets downgraded simply because it says "by merlyn" at the top. That's just completely confusing, and an abuse of the XP system. I want that to stop. And I want to start by identifying the culprits.

I will post an uncensored list from now on, for each posting that gets -XP right away when I can't see a reason. For example, I bet this post will get -XP right away, because I'm stepping on toes (and you know who you are).

I've had time to think this over, and I now believe I'm doing the right thing. vroom has the power to make it stop, and has not. So now I take it into my own hands.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

  • Comment on Re: Re (tilly) 2: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on

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Re: Re: Re (tilly) 2: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Apr 10, 2001 at 10:12 UTC
    Out of curiosity, I voted ++ on the node in question (my fourth vote of the day, which is about all I really spend). It bumped the reputation to 4.

    There are plenty of people who work through Worst Nodes every day or two, voting up nodes that don't deserve to be in negative territory. (And more people should do that -- there are a lot of posts that should stay at zero, in my opinion, instead of -2 or lower.) I suspect that you have very few posts at zero, and maybe a handful at -1.

    It's not a failure of the voting system if, over sufficient time, the aggregate voting patterns of the monastery as a whole will tend to give you more positive votes than negative votes. Many many more.

    I'd say that provoking you into a reaction is reward enough for the few consistent downvoters you describe. Hit the button, watch merlyn hit the ceiling every few weeks.

    I only speak for myself, but I don't consider "personality downvoting" to be a problem. Has it happened to me? I dunno. It doesn't really matter. I'd be perfectly content if I could make the XP nodelet go away altogether, which seems to me to be a better solution than looking for maybe only one bored apple in a whole orchard.

    Update: Oh, and I've posted a couple of poor-quality nodes that have received more upvotes than they deserve. Personality upvoting ain't so bad, and the system permits that too. Free will can suck.

      Whether or not personality voting is a problem depends largely upon what you want the voting system to accomplish. From the time that I first came here I saw the voting system and I saw the potential for it to sort out the wheat from the chaff and long-term accumulate a record of high quality posts. That could be used as a starting point to help solve the huge problems facing these online fora, that great quality is produced but is lost in the noise.

      Wouldn't it be, for instance, nice if Super Search could be filtered on or sorted by XP? But if that ever happened, then the personality votes would all be pollution, useless noise getting in the way of using the XP on a post as a measure of probable quality.

      So I would prefer it if a high quality post by me has exactly the same chances in life as an equivalent post by, say, dkubb. (To non-randomly pick a high-quality poster.) Failing that, I would like people to at least know that that is how I feel...

        Your view of the benefit of the voting system is the same as mine. I think however that the problem of "personality voting" is being somewhat overstated in this thread. Sure it will happen, especially with a forceful personality like that of merlyn, but the reputation points due to the quality of his contributions vastly outweighs those lost due to the actions of a couple of trolls.

        In the specific post that started his thread however, merlyn provided a handy link to an e-mail address that is likely not a secret, and though I haven't looked, I dare say that I could have found it in a few seconds had I been motivated to send in a typo report to O'Reilly. So that node in my opinion is not one of the best on the site, and not one that need be held in high regard for all time. At the time of this writing, I don't know its reputation as I declined to vote on it either way (despite my dislike of merlyn's update). I suspect however that it is hovering around 10 or so, right about where it should be. Had the trolls not hit it, it would be what, 13? This may be noise, but it isn't significantly altering the stability of the voting system.

        I would also love to be able to get Super Search to sort by reputation, and I don't think trolls are numerous or determined enough to thwart the system to the point that reputation would be unreliable, much less useless. I too would prefer that all posts be voted on entirely on their own merits. If this were a serious problem, we could keep all authors anonymous until voted, but that would cause more problems than it would solve.

        Finally I must add that the quality of writing and thinking exhibited in this thread gives me only greater confidence that the Monastery will survive any and all attacks by small minded trolls.

        I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by kal (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2001 at 17:05 UTC

    I'm not going to express an opinion one way or the other here, because I think I can see both sides and haven't made my mind up yet, but there is one pertinent question I think I have to ask:

    merlyn, let's suppose this becomes quite regular, and you generate your list on a regular basis. And let's say it does get whittled down to one or two suspects. (Big ifs, I think, especially since you assume it's the same people doing it regularly, which may or may not be the case).

    What happens then? Do you publish their names on your home node? Do you set up a list of "Merlyn's Most Wanted"? (Although, that would be a giggle :)

    Also, what is going to constitute proof? How many times do you have to see their names? As I see it, you never have anything more than circumstantial evidence, which could inflame opinion (as it obviously is doing) if you ever did publish a list of the culprits.

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