Re: A plea for restraint

From: Alex Future Bokov (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 06:37:42 MDT


On Wed, 11 Oct 2000, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> For discussions you need to be able to see the set of ideas and the
> variations that have arisen and how they evolved over time and to
> cross-cut any particular rigid organization of the information like the
> slash response-trees to work toward clarification and resolution. A
> rigid hiearchical structure on the offerings to the "discussion" simply
> has the effect of enabling the conversation to dribble off into ever
> smaller streamlets of increasingly less conclusive or inclusive remarks
> more often than not. It is structurally counter-productive to good
> discussion.

I agree, if I actually understood your point correctly. The ideal would
be messages connected to each other in any way the reader chooses, and
presented in whatever format the reader chooses. Some of the best minds
in the industry are working on stuff that can do this. In the meantime,
there's Slash and there's email, neither of which are 100% perfect, but
at least we have the code to Slash and the knowhow to change it to
accomodate the needs/desires of the participants.

The following features are available for the discussion attached to an

Sort by:
        Oldest First
        Newest First
        Highest Scores First
        Oldest First (Ignore Threads)
        Newest First (Ignore Threads)

If you can recommend an additional sorting scheme, certain individuals can
start wrapping their brains around how to implement that.

Organize as:
        Flat [one message after another]
        Threaded [top level messages and clickable headers for threads]
        Nested [all messages shown, threads indented]


        Allows you to set the lowest score that you will see. I.e., if I don't
        want to see any posting that was voted by others a score of less than
        "2" I would select 2 as my threshold.


The following features are available for viewing the articles themselves--

Default (in the order they were posted)

By topic. Click on the Topics link in the left box of the front page
and then click on the topic you want. All articles ever posted on that
topic will be listed. You can also narrow the listing to a particular section
and/or a particular author.
You can also just go to

Finally, if you create an account for yourself and the log in as that
account, you can customize your settings in too many different ways to
list here by going to...
...or clicking User Prefs in the left-hand box on any Extrodot page.

> > I welcome specific suggestions, though. Even if it's just one thing the
> > mailing list does that the Extropy Institute slash site
> > ( doesn't currently do. You may be surprised
> > by what sorts of suggestions we *could* incorporate, and just haven't
> > thought of or haven't realized they could be useful to somebody.
> > Frankly I'm surprised to see resistance to innovation on *this* list.
> I have little resistance to something actually better. I have a lot of
> resistance to things that are new but keep me from being able to do
> things I already knew how to do (although often clumsily) before. As an
> extropian I am interested in innovations that increase my capabilities
> and understanding. I am not interested in innovation simply for
> innovation's sake. I have been around long enough to see all too many
> "innovations" that were actually less capable than what was done before
> in crical areas while providing some welcome newness in others.

Yes, yes, I understand that.

- --

bomb CIA Octopus
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