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Vitenka argues that being a member of a group (in the case of this discussion, being a respected user of some specific /AmiCog) confers an advantage.  And that if enough people 'join' a 'group' purely for the benefit of having joined then that changes the nature of the group, to the detriment of the original members, thus ensuring a lack of long term stabiility/utility.

I'm not sure this behaviour does apply to /AmiCog , so am here trying to depict a specific example, in the hope he can show me how it would work on a concrete basis.

Suppose the toothycat.net Wiki were turned into an /AmiCog.  The /ToothyCog.

The interface could remain very Wiki like.  But in addition to the normal "Edit text of this page" there would be some other options.

Categorise Page - lets the AmiCog? record in its database a statement of the form UserX? believes that the current revision of PageY? belongs in CategoryZ?.
Review Edit - lets the AmiCog? record in its database a statement of the form UserX? found TextY? written by UserZ? to be HELPFUL|TRUE|FUNNY|INSIGHTFUL or possibly COMPLETE_BUNK

In practice each main page (eg Wiki.pl?PinkCats?) would have a shadow page (eg Review.pl?PinkCats?) containing the reviews.  The shadow pages would be of CategoryReview?, and would themsleves be reviewable.

When displaying the /ToothyCog, you could set it to, for instance, not show edits from users whose edits have been reviewed as being COMPLETE_BUNK by users who reviews you have judged as being generally ACCURATE on pages of all category.  Or possibly by some more complicated metric taking into account a weighted average from all reviewers whose reviewing accuracy within that category you have judged (and perhaps also by the reviewers of whom they have reviewed the reviewing accuracy).

Now, going back to Vitenka's hypothesis.

Anyone can read /ToothyCog.  You don't need to be a 'member' for that.

Indeed anyone can contribute to it, just like the wiki.

So I would argue, being a member actually means in this case that you have posted some stuff that has been reviewed positively, or perhaps you have made some reviews that have themselves been reviewed as accurate by existing respected members.  You now have power!

I'm not sure what advantage this gives anyone.  But let's suppose it does.  Let us suppose that the anime discussion pages (or possibly the OsGirl?) are read and highly respected around the world.  Thousands of fans make 100 dollar purchasing decisions when deciding which DVD sets to get, based to the /ToothyCog reviews.

Supposing you are an anime music video author, who wants to game the system to get your latest AMV a good review.  You spend a few weeks participating on the /ToothyCog, writing loads of incisive reviews of all the other AMVs out there (that you make sure agree with the prejudices of the resident already respected /ToothyCog reviewers).  And finally you pull off your coup.  You publish your sucky AMV and simultaneously writing a glowing review of it on the /ToothyCog, sending thoughtless hoards off to download it.

What now?

Has the entire /AmiCog been destabilised?  Is it no longer an enjoyable place for its original residents?

Since everyone gets to choose what trust metric they use to view the wiki (including the default, "I trust everyone equally on everything") it is quite possible to have seperate grouping within the trust web, where all of A like the others in A and disbelive everyone in B, while B does the reverse.


I'm not sure why this merits a whole page to debate, but whatever.  You've misunderstood what I am saying.

The problem as stated by you above is not a problem.  The problem is that the trust expands beyond its original bounds.  You don't even need your random additions.  ToothyWiki as it stands is an AmiCog? - just one with a less intrusive level of reputation enforcement.  It might perhaps be better merely to term it a 'society'.

now the break.

Because I post in a reasonable argumentative fashion on ToothyWiki and appear to enjoy anime, I get someones home address.  Because of that sort of value, there will be people attempting to exploit the system.  Some will succeed.  Some of those will be burglars who happen to wish to steal rare anime videos.  (Ok, contrived example)

And if (as people do) you talk of tying reputation directly to more obviously useful things like credit - then it will happen faster.

Further - we have already succeeded in twisting ToothyWiki.  It is a different place from that which it was before we arrived here.  Now, MoonShadow obviously doesn't mind - but imagine that MoonShadow can no longer host this (as happens to many communities)  Now say that those with highest reputations here get hosting rights (as seems likely - they host, and people follow the highest) - again, ClassBreak.  It is worth being nice here and now because in the future I might be able to steal all (or at least some) of your data.

Contrived examples, but I moot that yours was as well.  ToothyWiki works as an anarchy because it is small.  Make it larger and things start to break.  --Vitenka

(And by the way, thank you very much to taking the time to reply here - I am finding it tremendously useful --DR)

Hmm, so if I understand you right
Objection 1 - people might decide to trust you in RL, because they trust the persona you portray online.
Doesn't that apply to all online stuff?
Objection 2 - people might contribute to the /ToothyCog in order to gain eventual ownership of the data.
Again, I'm not sure how this works in practice.  The data from the /ToothyCog is publically available at all times.  Anyone could copy it all, and start hosting a duplicate or altered duplicate, just like the Wiki.
Uh - not quite what I meant.  Once I have the server I have your passwords.  And most peopla are bad with passwords :)  --Vitenka

The question remains: What could one person (or a group of incoming people) do to alter the character of the wiki, given that existing members could just set their metric to be "show me only posts of members created before time X".

The character of a wiki is more than that which is currently there.  They could easily prevent, for example, any new anime fans arriving.  New members are the lifeblood of a community.  --Vitenka
I think you'd get an osmosis effect.  You'd only not get any new lifeblood if ALL the original members set their metric that way.  As long as some proportion of the original membership spends time reading newcomers and rating them, that provides a way for the more reclusive original members to expand their circle without greatly changing the nature of what they see. --DR

And more particularly, why do you seem to believe that it is inevitable that all /AmiCog will be destabilised in this way?
Because I've seen it happen.  Over and over again.  Any large guild structure appears to be unstable.  It can only work if it is HARD to get outside the community (so a big loss if you get hunted out) or all the other communities share the information.  I think a single worldwide reputation server might work - but it's hard to test, a one way trip and has huge potential pitfalls.  Anything smaller falls over time and time again.  --Vitenka
What properties do you think such a worldwide-in-scope reputation server would need?  Would it have to tie people to a single ID each or would it still work if throwaway IDs are allowed?  Is non-repudiability required?  I assume non forgability is a must. --DR

See also: /TheFuture /DistributedComputing /LivingApplications /KnowledgeStructures /MediatedTrust /SocialConsequences /AmiCog /ToothyCog

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Last edited February 18, 2005 1:15 pm (viewing revision 7, which is the newest) (diff)