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Re^7: Having our anonymous cake and eating it too (impolite)

by pemungkah (Priest)
on Feb 09, 2014 at 00:22 UTC ( #1074069=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^6: Having our anonymous cake and eating it too (impolite)
in thread Having our anonymous cake and eating it too

Succinctly put, because there is a social problem for a minority, and the majority does not see it as a problem, none of the existing social mechanisms can fix it.

If a social problem is to be solved socially, but the society in question does not see value in solving it, then either the minority having the problem put up with it, leave the society, or attempt to disrupt the social milieu.

To be cynical about it, the only social tools that always work are bribery, threats, and flattery. None of those work well directly on Perlmonks - no one's exchanging money, and karma points have no real intrinsic value. Threats are pointless and laughable. Flattery is the weakest of the tools, and most monks aren't very susceptible to it. The only remaining option is disruption - restructuring the societal interactions by changing the way they are mediated or perceived - specifically, either changing the way the Anonymous Monk works for everyone, or allowing individual users control over their interactions with other members of the site.

To show a parallel - not that I think that Perlmonks is anywhere even in the same category of importance - when workers we striving for better hours, better treatment, and better pay in the early 20th century, the employers looked at the societal situation and said, effectively, "I'm not having the problems you are; I don't see any reason to change anything." It was necessary for the workers to strike - threat and indirect bribery - to get improved conditions, thereby restructuring the paradigm to "we won't work for you, and neither will anyone else, until you address these problems". Similarly, the civil rights movement was about changing the way that Black people were treated - upending not only social assumptions, but actual law - that the majority felt no need to change because Jim Crow laws and "separate but equal" didn't affect them - perceived threat of disruption and cost of suppression were deemed greater than the threats of making changes.

Again, I am in no way equivalencing Perlmonks to either of these movements; it's just another social website. But the parallels do exist, and they're the reason that a minority of the users keep coming around to the question of how anonymity is implemented, and how the Perlmonks society views the actions of the Anonymous Monk: as an unquestionable privilege, whose negative aspects must be put up with because the concept is sacrosanct. If you happen to be on the bad end of that stick, then there's no option for you. The larger Internet culture seems to have achieved a more nuanced balance in acknowledging that the downside exists. We haven't - at least not enough that we at least concede that the downside exists, it happens to people, and it's very painful, off-putting, and enraging when it does.

I do understand about a shortage of tuits to get even the critical infrastructure problems addressed (the password-lengthening code still hasn't happened as far as I know), and when you can't put the fires out, it is hard to commit to picking the right shade of paint for the fire engine. The Anon #N code, or blocking, or...are all in that same work queue of too much to do and too few to do it.

  • Comment on Re^7: Having our anonymous cake and eating it too (impolite)

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Re^8: Having our anonymous cake and eating it too (impolite)
by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on Feb 09, 2014 at 11:44 UTC

    Downvoted.

    1. You say "not that I think that Perlmonks is anywhere even in the same category of importance", but go on to labour the labour comparison anyway.

      Two (huge) differences:

      1. Workers were the substantial majority being overridden by an empowered minority -- the bosses.
      2. It wasn't just their delicate opinions being overridden; but their livelihoods.

        Ie. Their ability to provide the basic necessities of life -- food, warmth and shelter -- for themselves and their families.

      You and your ilk are a tiny minority trying to impose your opinion upon the majority who actively and vocally disagree with you.

    2. You attempt to imply that this might get done if the tuits were available.

      That's a false premise given that there has been nothing like any consensus that what your minority is asking for, is desired to be implemented.

      Neither by a majority of the users here; nor by those who would be charged with its implementation.


    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      I strongly agree with all of your post, specially with

      You and your ilk are a tiny minority trying to impose your opinion upon the majority who actively and vocally disagree with you.

      and with the title of your follow-up node:

      Let's drop this long belaboured, never pertinent, pointless subject once and for all.

      Thank you. Now, back to work or any other more interesting subject.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
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