Re: META: traffic-limited list idea

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 20:11:13 -0700 (PDT)

> While I agree with Robin on the base point that time has an economic
> value and that it represents a resource that must be carefully managed
> within a group, I fail to understand how rendering that into coinage of
> any sort will solve the problems that plague group discussions,
> because those problems usually stem from factors other than the amount
> of time someone speaks.

If there's a specific claim in there, please name it. I don't know
what problems you have in mind, so I can't solve them. The fact
that reader attention is valuable and posting is free leads to an
obovious tragedy of the commons that the proposal helps solve. If
you have other problems, be specific.

> From a design standpoint, for any facilitation process to be fully
> effective, it must make accomodations for what is known as 'minority'
> viewpoints, the word 'minority' referring both to the social standing
> of the speaker and the popularity of a viewpoint. I could predict
> a situation in which a few people are highly 'paid' to silence someone
> else, akin to holding a filibuster. Or a situation in which the
> economic incentive to garner more 'coins' leads to the development of
> opposing factions that stall collaborative discussion.

Read the specific proposal again: coins are issued to /all/ participants
regularly, and once spent, coins get reissued randomly. The only way
someone can be "silenced" is by his own choice, and even then, his
comments appear on the unpaid list. In fact, it is likely that some
people will refrain from making minor comments on the paid list so that
they can save up for those times when they really want to let fly. But
that's exactly what we want--the paid list having the discussions the
authors found most important, and the unpaid list having everything else.