fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sun Aug 16 10:52:26 EDT 2009
Good Morning, Thomas
I've been doing my best to follow the discussion here. It is largely
technical, so much of it is beyond me. Even so, I felt your concern
about multiple versions of an issue was valid.
When Joe Doaks stops at the local pub on the way home, has a few beers
while engaging in a heated discussion about the wisdom of Green Roofs,
goes home, logs on to Votorola and decides the current version of the
proposed legislation is inadequate, improper, or insane, the chance
that his contribution will be valuable is somewhere between slim and
It seems to me we are overlooking the fact that the percentage of the
population that can write clear text is quite small. As programmers,
a field where logic is paramount, we (well, I used to be one) may be
attributing greater lucidity to the public than actually exists.
Writers of marginal rationality are bad enough, when they are impaired
or unduly emotional, clarity will suffer.
It is likely the system will need a method of monitoring issue
submissions; a mechanism for merging similar points, honing dissimilar
points for clarity, and deleting obnoxious material ... all with
emails to the authors, explaining the reason for the change.
But that is a non-trivial exercise. InvestorsHub.com, a site I'm
familiar with, has a staff to monitor posts. It is (in my opinion)
the best-managed site on the internet, but the amount of trash the
staff must handle, just to insure that posts avoid personal attacks
and are on-topic, is appalling.
The difference between InvestorsHub and Votorola is that those who use
Votorola are not anonymous. Anonymity certainly begets
irresponsibility, but I doubt that Votorola will be free of it. I
think you were right to raise the question of how it will be handled.
re: [from David Hilvert's message of Fri, 14 Aug 2009] "Making a
trust network encyclopedia might be an interesting idea.
Like Wikipedia, but without edit wars."
If David is suggesting a Wikipedia-like directory of issues, but where
alternative versions are maintained, that might answer this question,
but I'm not sure how the 'edit wars' will be avoided.
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