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The psychology of forum and online dynamics

mippus

you are right
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Jennifer, you killed a fascinating thread that might need reviving.
Now that it has been removed for a while, is there any chance for a ressurection of the repsystem?
 

kuranes

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I just think it's funny how it's the overly warm-fuzzy posts that consistently get the most vocal criticism as dangerous for forum life. I think that points to an NT bias in the forum and also the view that warm-fuzzies are fake and therefore sinister -- whereas the nature of bashing posts are open in their hostility or irreverence (not to mention more natural for an NT than a warm fuzzy one) and destructive nature. Though I also argue that a lot of bashing posts are actually not that open and are usually thinly veiled.

Agreed. It's silly to think that all sympathetic posts are just mindless "quid pro quo" backscratching, even though some may be, or may contain elements of that, and thus be of at least dual motivation.
 

Bella

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I didn't realize there was so much politics......I shouldn't have read this thread.
 

Geoff

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I didn't realize there was so much politics......I shouldn't have read this thread.

Well.. politics are a natural part of life. Understanding how they operate gives room to maneuvre around them :)
 

Mole

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Modern Politics

Well.. politics are a natural part of life. Understanding how they operate gives room to maneuvre around them :)

If you get the politics right, everything else follows.

Look at the successful countries in the world and look at the failed countries. The essential difference is that the successful countries have got their politics right.

But what is a successful politics?

Successful politics is simply the limitation of power.

This is difficult to achieve as each politician and party wants to maximise their power.

Intuitively each politician and party want to win.

But liberal democracy limits power. It doesn't abolish power, but limits it.

The limitation of power is counter-intuitive and first and foremost requires counter-intuitive habits of thought.

And we learn counter-intuitive habits of thought through literacy.

In fact their is no liberal democracy without universal literacy. Just as their is no science or modern economics without universal literacy.

Modernity is based on universal literacy.

And Modernity is entirely counter-intuitive.
 

Bella

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Well.. politics are a natural part of life. Understanding how they operate gives room to maneuvre around them :)

These kinds of interpersonal politics freak me out.
 

INTJMom

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I would like the rep points returned, too.
I still write reps, but it feels sort of empty since there are no points attached.
 

mippus

you are right
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Or just the possibility to click for agreemment or appreciation without having to write a text about that...
 

Jack Flak

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Jul 17, 2008
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Oh! I thought the balance was a little typewriter icon. I've been doing typing speed tests in the rep forms.

What's my wpm, you guys? "asdfjkl;"
 

Salomé

meh
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I don't want to be graded on what I write, this isn't school. Also, seems like an opportunity for vindictiveness to find an outlet. Just call me glass half-empty.

What's the point of it anyway - is it to give people that don't know you some idea of your credibility? If so, it's not going to be useful because people don't evaluate these things rationally. Keep it switched off, I say.

Actually, I don't really care - I just wanted to get my 500th post out of the way.

Yay!
 

INTJMom

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Congrats on your 500th post.
 

Fuulie

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Notice- people say things online that they could never say face-to-face without wetting their pants.
 

Kiche

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Dec 6, 2009
Messages
2
Gender is oddly persistent.. perhaps it is the ultimate distinguishing factor between people that is the last to disappear. So, with the exception of expressed (doesn't have to be real) gender, it is a level playing field.

This has probably been said before (i'm sure it has), but I think it has to do with language, that the English language defines a "he", and a "she", there would be no other way to refer individually to a person using a pronoun otherwise. It isn't necessarily the ultimate distinguishing factor...
 

purplesunset

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I could wax more eloquently on this and write an entire screed because I have thought very, very deeply about forums as entities. For now, though, I will keep it short and let it suffice it to say that I have reached a point where I am just tired of forum culture. I don't fit in cyberspace any more than I fit in real life (which is almost not at all).

While on the surface, forums might feel more open, or more accepting, I know from countless experience that you basically play the online version of the real-life social dancing and games in order to gain acceptance on a forum. There is the lingo you have to adopt, there is a preference for a certain type of communication. There is comfort in what you're familiar with so regulars always get the benefit of the doubt compared to newbies. (For example, it is possible that the same thread started by a newbie would garner the complete opposite reaction if it were started by a regular)

Then there are the initiation ceremonies. Instead of meeting in a graveyard at midnight over a boiling cauldron, the initiation ceremonies online involve saying things like "+1 to you!" or "enchantment!" depending on what the forum is.

I think cultural background and socio-economic class plays a rather significant role and it seems like forums do an excellent job of self-selecting their regulars based upon similar background. It's not something that happens deliberately, the self-selection just works out that way (like how a movie called "Britney Spears eating her boogers" would self-select a certain audience). In the rare occasions where there is a significant difference in background between the regulars unforeseen misunderstandings can occur.
 

Mole

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Mar 20, 2008
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Taboo

Gender is oddly persistent..

If we perceive by making distinctions, then gender is a basic distinction, for the first question they ask when we are born is, "Is it a boy or a girl?".

An even more basic distinction than gender is inner and outer.

For instance, drink from a clear glass of water and you feel refreshed. Now spit into the same glass of water and drink and you feel disgust. And yet both are exactly the same. But in the second we feel disgust.

And disgust is a sign a taboo has been broken. In this case the taboo of mixing the inner and the outer.

And although it is politically incorrect to say so, we also feel disgust when we break the taboo of confusing a boy with a girl. If you say the wrong gender, the mother will instantly correct you.

This is because we perceive by making distinctions and each distinction has its own taboo.

So gender is oddly persistent because it is a light by which we see. And being able to see is so important we surround it with taboo.
 

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
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So gender is oddly persistent because it is a light by which we see. And being able to see is so important we surround it with taboo.

Interesting point.
What do you think the gender distinction is allowing us to see?

I'm not the drinking water thing is necessarily an "inner/outer" dichotomy, however. It seems more reminiscent of the reality that two lovers can sit around and french-kiss for an hour right after dinner, yet if one asks the other to borrow their toothbrush, they'll screw up their face and say, "Yuck, that's disgusting -- use your own!" Context in some way is coming into play.
 

Mole

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Interesting point.
What do you think the gender distinction is allowing us to see?

I'm not the drinking water thing is necessarily an "inner/outer" dichotomy, however. It seems more reminiscent of the reality that two lovers can sit around and french-kiss for an hour right after dinner, yet if one asks the other to borrow their toothbrush, they'll screw up their face and say, "Yuck, that's disgusting -- use your own!" Context in some way is coming into play.

When we turn on a lightbulb, we get pure information.

And when we turn on a distinction such as boy/girl or inner/outer, we also get information.

So it is not so much 'what' a distinction allows us to see, but that it enables us to see.

Distinctions are our eyes, or a lightbulb in a dark room - we need both to see.

For we perceive by making distinctions.
 
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