Re: META: To my fellow Extropians, calc your ERA

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Thu May 03 2001 - 22:44:03 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> I wonder how resistent it is to societies for mutual admiration? ...
> I guess this is part of the problem Natasha pointed out: how much we
> like each other has little to say how much good stuff we actually
> contribute, and is far too one-dimensional. Clique formation can
> certainly happen when we deal with actual content...

I realized after reading Natasha and Anders' responses that my
ERA proposal was heading in the wrong direction. Its value as
a tool would be severely limited if we base it upon a chess-like
Elo rating. The purpose of an Elo rating is to match up opponents
in a tournament, for it is no fun for either player if one stomps
the other like a cockroach.

What we are looking for is a tool that rates posts. We tend
to jump to rating authors, for that is exactly how we choose
books, art and music. But there may be a better way to create
filters for chat groups. The first thing that comes to mind is
the perennial topic of subject line discipline. Brian pointed
out the subject lines from 3 yrs ago vs now, but note that
two of the subject lines which contained my name, along
with "head throb" and "body" were actually about caloric
restriction {along with plenty of silliness, I admit}. So part
of the problem there is subject line discipline. Robert
Bradbury will perhaps offer some guidance on that.

A forum such as this one would benefit greatly from having
some sort of feedback mechanism. When one is cutting up
at a party, one looks around to see if the others are enjoying
themselves and egging one on, or alternately if people are
squirmy, one knows to cut it out. On a chat group, that kind
of feedback is mostly absent. What we need instead of a
ERA (which would devolve into a mere beauty contest) is
a table somewhere in which anonymous volunteers could rate
individual posts with a simple number between 0 and 5 for
their extropy value. A running average could be calculated.
Then the time challenged could download only the
4 and 5 star posts. spike

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