in reply to Front Page with Negative Rep..

Well, as any friar+ knows, I was the one who approved that node. I was particularly incensed that it had been put up for consideration as "Idiotic". I found the attitude of the person who did that repugnant, and now that it's been reaped, I find it doubly so.

I think I concur with bluto's reply on that thread. There are several clear, informative, useful answers to that question on the thread, and the root node is gone. What was so wrong with that question? Are we really at the point where we believe, "Don't come here if you don't know Perl"? "If all you have is the desire to learn, you're not welcome." Is that really the message we're trying to send?

A year ago, when I first signed up for the monastery, a naive question got good answers. There was a great discussion about the topic in Writing answers for newbie questions. I thought, "What a great place, I want to be around these people". They really brought to life the quote from Larry Wall:

You can write baby Perl, and we won't laugh.

I think How do I use Perl deserved to be on the front page, because it showed that people here care more about answering questions than belittling questioners. I think that attitude is best illustrated in 1st monasterians, by one of our most valued members. Read it and remember it, it's a great guideline.

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Re: Re: Front Page with Negative Rep..
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 17, 2002 at 03:14 UTC
    I agree.

    If it were up to me, the power to consider nodes would have been suspended, for a time, from certain monks who seem to have more concern for the "purity of the database" than for helping others.

    Since I have neither the authority nor the inclination to make a hard and fast rule with the technology, I usually just say "Let's all play nicely" and try not to sound patronizing.

      I agree with chromatic that 'itchy trigger fingers' can be a bit of a problem here. Recently I've seen quite a few nodes considered which end up being kept--and rightfully so, because they don't meet the criteria by which nodes should be deleted. Every single one of these nodes has to be manually removed from nodes to consider.

      To quote from What is consideration?: "Request that a node be deleted. Please do this for blatant trolls (egregiously offensive) and true duplicates...For useless, stupid, off-topic, and annoying nodes: if it is a root node, then don't approve it for any section; if it is a reply, just ignore it."

      I think it is becoming neccessary to limit the power to consider nodes. I'm against 'raising the bar' to a higher level because I think that just keeps newer people from participating. In my opinion it would be better to allow a group (power users, perhaps) to be able to prevent a person from using consideration for a period of time in much the same way someone can be kept from the chatterbox temporarily.

      It has been suggested that this be linked to response to the consideration, but I don't really care for duplicate purpose voting. What if someone made a mistake and accidently considered a node when intending to message, or considered the wrong duplicate? It also starts to seem a bit circular with meta consideration for the consideration, will we soon need meta meta consideration? For that reason, I'd rather see a selected group responsible for this (and note that I'm *not* a member of power users, whom I recommend for the task).

      As for the specific node in question that was reaped, I'm of the opinion that it should be reinstated. There were several interesting answers to the question, and it looks as if enough people here would have voted keep if they'd been around at the time it was considered.

      On the subject of not allowing the front-paging of negative nodes, I don't see any need for it. The Gates should contain a spectrum of nodes, and if there is disagreement over the front-paging of a node, the mechanism is already in place to remove it from the front page. However, I admit to not reading the Gates at all, so I'm not sure if front-paging nodes is a widespread problem.

        Quoting the quote from What is consideration?: "For useless, stupid, off-topic, and annoying nodes: if it is a root node, then don't approve it for any section; if it is a reply, just ignore it."

        The real problem is that these rules aren't followed by the majority of monks, even saint ones (i therefore see little use in raising the level barrier to consideration). I saw approved such stupid/homework nodes in SOPW that's easy to be tempted to consider some.
        Even the suggestion of not replying to off-topic nodes isn't followed as it should (maybe thirst for XP is too strong?).

        Said that, i got no easy solution, cause there is none: indeed these kind of problems raise up once every 3 days lately.
        Maybe the Monastery need a bit of revolution...


Re: Re: Front Page with Negative Rep..
by LD2 (Curate) on May 17, 2002 at 04:27 UTC
    I think that you have a good point there. Especially what you said about attitude. I think that at times, programmers with experience forget what it's like - when they first started programming and give attitude. Granted, we all give attitude once in awhile - but we shouldn't forget to share our knowledge with those who are trying to learn. Isn't that why we're here? To learn, to help others, to share knowledge...

    But, a side note on this main post - I think Moonie is talking in general and that they just brought up that post as an example (course, that's my impression). I personally think that if there is knowledge to be shared in a node - it should be on the front page. At times, one who is new here has a tuff time knowing how to phrase a question right - and will get a --, but usually even those posts get some great answers and the new monk learns how to post (usually a monk will comment or tip the new monk in the right direction on how to post here). So, not all is lost - not even on a parent node that receives a -- from time to time.
Re: Re: Front Page with Negative Rep..
by jlongino (Parson) on May 17, 2002 at 04:53 UTC
    Whew! I was beginning to think that nobody else felt this way. I fessed up a week or so ago to having once frontpaged 2 nodes with negative reps on the same day. At the time I frontpaged them, I had no idea what the reps were, I just knew that there were many thoughful, useful replies in the threads. This was before the "fink" tags were added.

    I imagine that most people can surmise that an apparently "dumb" question that was frontpaged with a negative or low rep must have some awfully good responses to it. If not, then it should be considered.


Re: Re: Front Page with Negative Rep..
by BazB (Priest) on May 17, 2002 at 08:03 UTC

    As the monk that considered that node with the rather terse reason of "idiotic", I'd like to at least explain. I'm also surprised that I didn't get some sort of /msg.

    I'm very surprised that a non-specific question "How do I use Perl?" was not considered before even I got to it. If it was such a great node, it wouldn't have been reaped - plenty other monks would vote "keep" and/or ++ the node.

    I'm not trying to make a big thing of it - it just looked like a troll.

    If the question had been "How do I use Perl to do $foo", or "How do I run the perl interpreter when I want to achieve $bar", I probably would have replied to the node, rather than put it up for consideration.

    I find it rather insulting that my attitude is considered repugnant - I might not be the most experienced of Monks, but I at least expected my previous contributions would show that's not how I normally behave.

    Update: Sigh. More personality voting now?

      Thank you for the explanation: I can see your logic. Perhaps I'd make a difference between dumb but potentially honest questions and malicious questions. Examples: How do I run a Perl program in my browser?

      from vr00m: how do u write a web site, b!0Tch3zzzzzzzzz!! suck it down Unfortunately, they're not always that obvious.

      In my opinion, dumb questions don't deserve reaping. Questions from a poster who may not have read the manual don't deserve reaping. Questions that may potentially be homework don't deserve reaping. Questions that produce good discussion don't deserve reaping.

      Granted, in this case several other people agreed with the delete vote, but I suspect there's less of a mental hurdle needed to decide to reap a node after it's already been considered.

        In my opinion, dumb questions don't deserve reaping. Questions from a poster who may not have read the manual don't deserve reaping. Questions that may potentially be homework don't deserve reaping. Questions that produce good discussion don't deserve reaping.

        Absulutely 100% right. I'm of the no-such-thing-as-a-dumb-question school. God knows I've asked enough dumb questions in my life. Even if the original poster was being facetious, what could be more relevant than a thread on 'What is Perl, where can I get it, and how do I write my first script?' ?.

        IMHO there's some very itchy trigger fingers around. If some monks are annoyed by basic questions, why can't they just ignore them? Perhaps we could raise the bar on the ratio of votes needed for deletion.


      There were actually 14 "keep" votes. This should mean that it couldn't have been automatically reaped. I asked a few gods if they had reaped the node by hand and was not surprised to hear only "no" responses. There still may be a member of gods that did the reaping that I didn't talk with. Or there might be a security problem that allowed a non-god to reap the node. Or there might be a bug that caused the auto-reaping to happen despite the "keep" votes.

      But my best guess is that one of the gods reaped the node by accident. In any case, it will be unreaped soon (no, I won't go into the details of why I can't just unreap it now).

      And I'll keep my eyes open for evidence of the other possible explanations.

              - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
        While at it, what exactly are the criteria for auto-reaping (like ratio between keep/delete), and what other rules are there, programatically enforced or not, for reaping/editing?

        Apparently, gods can do pretty much what they please with a node, which is ok - they are trusted with this power for a reason, I'm sure. :) But I am just curious as to what things happen automatically, and when, or when for instance editors are allowed to do this or that?

        Unless that is on a need-to-know-basis as the cool guys in sunglasses and dark costumes always say on film... ;-)

        You have moved into a dark place.
        It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

      Thanks for the calm and clear reply, BazB. I do realize you've been around the monastery a while, but I didn't refer to you specifically in my note (I knew you'd put it on NTC) because I didn't think it was appropriate to single you out. Frankly, I wrote that note when I was angry, which I tell people not to do. I apologize for insulting you. That wasn't my intent.

      What I did intend is to tell everyone that I think consideration is being abused. I think people are using the power to perpetuate elitism, rather than to get rid of abusive nodes. Some cases are grayer than others, but I agree with chromatic and kudra: it's better to err on the side of caution.

      In any case, the community has acted. Let's move on.