META: personal server-side filtering

Eugene Leitl (
Sun, 27 Jun 1999 16:05:04 -0700 (PDT)

Here's an interesting new filtering variant we've cooked up with Cris Rasch today.

To recapitulate: my original proposal was to establish a pair of lists: extropians moderated/unmoderated. Everything rejected from extropians moderated would go to extropians unmoderated that anybody who subscribed to both lists would get the full feed, if so inclined.

This scheme is simple to implement, but has obvious flaws. To avoid pressing anybody in a single quality metric it should be possible to associate each subscriber with a ranking matrix against the other participants (which could be inquirable remotely). With 1 k subscribers this means keeping track of 1 M short integers, which is tolerable nowadays (besides, this can be implemented as sparse matrix). Each mail will be attached a pair of urls/listserv commands to increment/decrement your individual ranking of the poster this mail came from. The matrix gets initialized with zero. All positive values including zero mean no filtering. -1 means every second post gets through, -2 every third, etc.

This doesn't include topic filtering, but this can be addressed separately. To address this, we can agree on an initial keyword pool (META:SPACE:GUNS: etc.) and make the listserv let through only properly classified messages. If a message is unclassified it gets send back with a list of current keywords. There should be a mechanism of creating new keywords, and discarding obsolete ones (e.g. by aging).

I'm fairly certain it would be possible to hack mailman into supporting this. Does anybody see any obvious flaws in the scheme?