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RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries

by Anonymous Monk
on Jan 23, 2011 at 18:56 UTC ( #883784=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

An Explanation of Anonymous Monk's Role in PerlMonks

Many have called themselves Anonymous Monk. More will continue to do so. While we each wear the same robes gathering for the purpose of Perl enlightenment, a significant number of us also come here to socialize and express ourselves through user pages, posts and interactions in the Chatterbox. At my best I can encourage, enhance and inform many of these benefits that we each enjoy.

There was a discussion recently regarding my purpose here in the Monastery. Some of you who have been here a long time feel I am a necessity. It has even been argued that I am the purist form of Monk. Yet I have clearly caused some of you grief in numerous ways. There are some of you who feel I lower the value of PerlMonks and would have me banished alltogether. I fear those sentiments are just as much a result of being misinformed as they are from past abuses of the Anonymous Monk robe.

Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to invite each of you to clarify who I am and what my role is here in the Monastery. If well received and successful I would suggest that maybe we could use this as a guideline where questions and grievances regarding my presence here can be directed.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by moritz (Cardinal) on Jan 23, 2011 at 19:10 UTC

    At our monastery, Anonymous Monk is everybody who doesn't wear robes. Those fine folks are either visitors, or monks who chose not to wear robes, for whatever reasons.

    Our monastery does not exist in isolation, and neither should it. It lives from trade, and many monks first came here as visitors - it's not like parents send their youngest sons or daughters to our keep :-).

      At our monastery, Anonymous Monk is everybody who doesn't wear robes.

      The anonymous posters are all naked? That doesn't sound like the behavior of somebody with above-average privacy concerns. Though we do occasionally get anonymous visitors who behave a bit like streakers. But they are a distinct minority, IMHO.

      Robes that convey identity rather than conceal it? Perhaps monogrammed robes? This place never struck me as a spa or over-the-top hotel.

      A bunch of faceless volunteers dressed in identical robes calling each other by the same generic name ("Brother") while transcribing wisdom without signing their names. I just don't see how anonymity is antithetical to monkly attire. Nor to monkly ethos (to touch on a previous subject).

      The root of this thread said "past abuses of the Anonymous Monk robe". So I'm not the only one who finds your use of "robes" reversed.

      But the whole Monasterial theme is just for amusement. The analogy falls over quickly.

      Whether anonymity matches monkly ethos seems completely irrelevant to me. My concerns tend to be more on the practical side. I think they mostly boil down to encouraging constructive contribution and discouraging disruptive contribution.

      - tye        

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by ELISHEVA (Prior) on Jan 23, 2011 at 19:28 UTC

    Sometimes Anonymous Monk is also the monk whose face is so deeply buried in his (or her) robes, that no one can see just who it is that silently sweeps by and sows a good deed.

    Recently, my greatest frustration with Anonymous Monk is the inability to say "thumbs up" or "thank you" in a private message when the anonymous monk offers up a good post or well spoken word.

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by CountZero (Bishop) on Jan 24, 2011 at 07:58 UTC
    I have no problem with the Anonymous Monk and I think he can be whatever he likes to be: hidden guru, silly newbie, a shy one, someone afraid to be negatively censured, a brass troll, ...

    The only definition of his role is that it is and remains undefined.

    Like the court jester he can say earnest things in jest when others dare not to speak, but he can as easily make mountains out of molehills.


    A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

      The stache is strong with this one
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by JavaFan (Canon) on Jan 23, 2011 at 19:25 UTC
    I can't tell why I'm an anonymous monk. I can tell why I'm not one. Having a login name makes that I get informed if there's a reply to my post.

    That's about the only benefit I see from having a login name. It's just lazyness on my part that I haven't changed my loginname in a while.

      I can see lots of uses of having a login name. To name a few:

      • It makes socializing with other monks much easier
      • It allows you to tailor your answers to other monk's background, where applicable
      • It allows usage of the CB
      • It allows participation in the voting/XP system
      • It allows you to put a face to your statements
      • It allows participation in certain groups (like Janitors, pmdev etc.)
      • It allows customization of settings, layout, nodelets etc.
      • It enables taking up responsibility via the consideration system
      • It makes it possible to follow threads of opinions through threads of nodes. It's not so easy to discuss with three different anonymous monks with different opinions in the same thread
        For you, maybe. For me, not so. I don't socialize here (or on any Perlmonks related social event (picture, lunch with big Perl name, BOF) on YAPCs), I very seldom use the CB (and if I do, it's to answer a question), I seldomly vote (and if I vote, it's usually negative, so people don't really mind if I don't vote), I don't understand the face statement, I've no interest in the various groups, I've only a little customization, and I can live without, I haven't even bothered to learn what the entire consideration system is about, and I don't care about unraveling opinions by studying posts grouped by name.

        So, while undoubtedly all those things are important to you, I'm just here to answer questions and correct answers.

      Having a login name makes that I get informed if there's a reply to my post.

      That's about the only benefit I see from having a login name.

      Having a login name lets me use the chatterbox.

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by rowdog (Curate) on Jan 24, 2011 at 04:19 UTC

    I completely completely support Anonymous Monk++ because the pros are so much more important than the cons.

    • Anon knows more than any of us. (Many knowledgeable people > you.)
    • Freedom: anon fears no social repercussions and thus will speak with a freer tongue in politically charged situations.
    • Anon is the gateway drug to the crack of PerlMonks. (Easy for new lusers.)
    • It can be hard to make sense of threads with 5 instances of anon responding. (It helps if you add least add some kind of handle, but whatever.)
    • Easy to confuse with AnomalousMonk because I'm old and my eyes are bad.
    • Spam
    • Sniping
      • Easy to confuse with AnomalousMonk because I'm old and my eyes are bad.

      Putting the following snippet in your On-Site CSS Markup (Display Settings) may help distinguish:

      a[href="?node_id=961"], a[href="?node=Anonymous%20Monk"] { color: #c000a0; }

      (Feel free to use a different color, if you don't like pink :)

      Caveat: Attribute Selectors may not work with older browsers.

        Thanks for the tip, I didn't even know you were here before!

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 23, 2011 at 21:34 UTC

    The Robe of Anonymous Monk is here to provide master and novice alike the fair and unbiased consideration of their words.

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 24, 2011 at 14:38 UTC

    I'd love to see Anonymous Monk continue to be anonymous. :)

    I'd also like to see people remember that the words you chose when addressing others will have the same effect whether you sign your 'name' or not. Please reconsider responses that don't add to the discussion, distracts from the discussion, attack or bait users into an overheated argument.

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by petecm99 (Pilgrim) on Jan 26, 2011 at 18:40 UTC
    I am glad for Anonymous Monks - the non-trolls have given some great responses.

    I am also annoyed at Anonymous Monks - some offer nasty blogs, or otherwise detract from great discussions, since hiding behind the curtain with a cask of whiskey loosens the inhibitions and sharpens the tongue.

    However, the same negative observations can be said for registered users as well...

    So where do I stand, other than in an irritatingly neutral position? Keep the Anonymous - over 50% of the time I believe they offer good advice and meaningful dialogue. If someone wants to remain in the shadows, yet shout out to the packed monastery that the Bishop wears Spiderman Underoos, the rest of the monks will no doubt get a chuckle when the Bishop's face turns red...and this certainly outweighs the occasional ne'er do well proclaiming that the church is a scam.

    As far as clarifying their role, why bother? It is what it is. Its lack of boundaries offers interesting possibilities, and it will probably morph into something unintended as soon as limits are enacted.
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 24, 2011 at 18:01 UTC
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by ack (Deacon) on Feb 07, 2011 at 16:59 UTC

    I can't say that I've ever had any problem with Anonymous Monks. Most often, for me, their posts have been good and helpful; sometimes, of course, they're not. But I mostly just ignore the bad ones; just as I do with the non-Anonymous Monks' posts.

    My thought is that it is a good institution and I have benefited too often from the good wisdom offered by Anonymous Monk to want to give it up. If annonymity helps or seems useful, no matter what the reasons or rationale, then so be it...IMHO.

    I would like to see Anonymous Monk stay around and don't have any reason to change the annonymity.

    ack Albuquerque, NM
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by kejohm (Hermit) on Jan 24, 2011 at 04:18 UTC

    Perhaps Anonymous Monks could be granted a unique name tag upon entry to the Monastery to distinguish them from other Anonymous Monks. Something like 'Anonymous Monk 12345', or the like (Not sure how easy this would be to implement, though).

      Trivial to do. And easy to create this name in your mind as well. Just tag the node id (which has to be unique) to "Anonymous Monk".

      I'm not sure what problem that's going to solve though.

Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by GotToBTru (Prior) on Jan 25, 2011 at 22:01 UTC
    The institution (?) of Anonymous Monk is an interesting one and I don't see any reason for abandoning it. If an irresponsible or churlish person wants to try to make trouble or disrupt the conversation, under a cloak of anonymity, it is relatively easy to avoid him here (unlike another internet context such as IRC). I support the use of anonymity for those who feel they need it to gain a fair hearing for their posts, and also for those fellow travelers who haven't taken vows yet.
      Nun take vows here
        Force of habit, I guess.

        The Monks don't, but do the Nuns?

        Enjoy, Have FUN! H.Merijn
Re: RFC: Purpose of Robes in Monasteries
by luis.roca (Deacon) on Jan 24, 2011 at 12:21 UTC

    A couple of thoughts:

    I had the idea of separating new monks as Guest User and only signed in members would have an option of posting as Anonymous Monk.

    We could then award a certain number of Anonymous Monk posts to members based on their XP level on a per day/week basis. So for example, if you're at level 5 you would have five Anonymous Monk posts available to you per day/week.

    As for Guest posts we could limit those to a certain number per visit (maybe 3). To prevent users from working around this system, if they post those three times as a Guest the number would be deducted from their available Anonymous Monk posts the next time they login.

    I don't think this would "fix" Anonymous Monk but maybe by putting a limit on how many times we can post as Anonymous Monk, the handful who abuse it may think more carefully about throwing away a post.

    I've argued against Anonymous Monk (although not 'banishing' him/her altogether). I do think it plays a valuable part here but maybe with some adjustments it could be made better.

    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

      Which problem(s) with Anonymous Monk are you trying to solve? And why do you think separating guest account and AnonMonk would do anything except adding confusion?

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