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> Perceiving Perception, The Moat Around The Fly's Eye
Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Wed 3rd November 2010, 10:28am
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Has this been discussed? A rough sketch only. Perceiving perception ... Looking thru Wikipedian's eyes. How does and how can your average Wikipedian see the world they are in?


Every now and again, I stop and ask myself what on earth is such and such Wikipedian thinking. Their actions, on the rare ocassion when they are not just completely dishonest and connivingly in support of whatever POV or territory they are fighting over, make me ask, "how on earth could anyone see/think/do that?".

This quickly brings me to ask how do we in general perceive the world, or our community, around us?

Human limitations

Human beings have limited capacities. Some moreso than others. Sometimes greater at one time in our lives than others. But our genes (nature) and our societal conditioning (nurture) limit us into seeing the world in one way or another, e.g. youth sees the world one way, age another; those under stress one way, those experiencing comfort and security another.

How many people are aware of their limits or way of perceiving the world?

Bona fide publishing and academia has procedure, checks and balances in place to try as much as possible to avoid blind spots, prejudices, personal limitations. The Wikipedia has mob conflict and admin persecution. Academia, at least in the old days, attempts to encourage a broadening of perceptions.

Ability to perceive scale

Most people are conditioned to think on a family/tribal scale. They can feel and understand the loss of an individual, e.g. child, or even a village, e.g. a bus/plane crash, but when the scale of loss rises above a certain point, e.g. 100,000 versus 600,000 Iraqis during the US led campaign, the Holocaust, really the individual loses the ability to conceive of what the scale of suffering is. There are not 'bad'. It is literally beyond them/us. Perhaps they switch and conceive in another simple binary mode, my tribe/another tribe, the Nazis/the Jews etc. The number returns to a 1 again. I have never studied this but it seems to be bigger numbers are not perceived. A 100,000 or a million also becomes a 1 again. 2.4 million versus 6 becomes 2.4 versus 6. Most individuals cannot conceive of such big numbers.

Tendency to fixate

We all have a tendency to fixate whether we realise it or not. It arises as confirmation bias, a tendency to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or prejudices and applies not just to facts but also people. We also have a tendency, attached to the above, to fixate on a certain or a certain amount of other individuals and their work.

To this we could also add psychological tendencies like projection and other defense mechanisms.

Psychopaths

Obviously, we all also exist on the 'psychopathic scale' to some extent or another, defining psychopath as someone completely incapable of empathizing with others feelings, a way of inter-relating hugely increased by the faceless medium of the internet. I can trash your hours of work because it is just one click for me. And I can. I don't see or feel your efforts.

A situation made even worse by all the ADHD, compulsive-obsessives and bi-polar individuals allowed to roam free in Jimbo's "care in the community" community. Tendencies which would exclude individuals from influence in the real world but which are masked in the virtual world of Wiki.

* Imagine if the software could calculate how long the edit took to make and took as long to delete it, telling you so.

On the Wikipedia there really is no monitoring or filtering of individuals. There are very few checks and balances beyond mob rule. This means that topics that require greater or the greatest capacity of awareness are flooded by individuals who obviously have amongst the least of it and would have normally been filtered out earlier ... anything to do with WWII, foreign cultures or religion being typical examples.

------
NB: normally, I loath to step into the Kingdom of Jon ... so please Jon, if for any reason this post does not suit you, just ask for it to be moved and not dick around with it. Thank you.

This post has been edited by Cock-up-over-conspiracy: Wed 3rd November 2010, 10:30am
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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 3rd November 2010, 1:28pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 3rd November 2010, 6:28am) *

Has this been discussed? A rough sketch only. Perceiving perception … Looking thru Wikipedian's eyes. How does and how can your average Wikipedian see the world they are in?


The Picture In Context (PIC) begs us to ask —
  • How does a human being become a Wikipediot?
In other words —
  • What are the forces of human nature that lead to the species of conduct in question?
And, yes, it's been discussed once or thrice.

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Zoloft
post Wed 3rd November 2010, 1:41pm
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(insert basic misunderstanding of Abraham Maslow's work here)
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Wed 3rd November 2010, 5:33pm
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I have no expertise whatsoever. I am merely trying to put a voice to my feelings.

I was noting how certain admins so very obviously become become obsessed with certain editors, how people get on other people's case.

I suppose they they they are doing the right thing but I suspect they are just obsessing. You know, as in when you notice something for the first time and then keep seeing it where ever you go.

I suspect the software with it page watching and other functions encourage this and add to the chemical rush of it all that makes it so addictive to certain types.

Unlike a proper charity or institution, there is no one to keep a check on such things an keep an eye on individuals who ten to obsess.

Myopic individuals, obsessed with details, who are incapable of seeing the big picture or hole. I imagine there are more than a few of them ... but yet still few copy editors.
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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 3rd November 2010, 7:10pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 3rd November 2010, 1:33pm) *

I have no expertise whatsoever. I am merely trying to put a voice to my feelings.

I was noting how certain admins so very obviously become become obsessed with certain editors, how people get on other people's case.

I suppose they they they are doing the right thing but I suspect they are just obsessing. You know, as in when you notice something for the first time and then keep seeing it where ever you go.

I suspect the software with it page watching and other functions encourage this and add to the chemical rush of it all that makes it so addictive to certain types.

Unlike a proper charity or institution, there is no one to keep a check on such things an keep an eye on individuals who ten to obsess.

Myopic individuals, obsessed with details, who are incapable of seeing the big picture or hole. I imagine there are more than a few of them … but yet still few copy editors.


People become myopic for a reason.

Because of what they wish to ignore.

Jon wtf.gif
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powercorrupts
post Fri 5th November 2010, 2:18pm
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Wikipedia is certainly less of a 'new experience for humanity' than a vast magnification of market life. In my experience people tend to do what they get away with, especially younger people. There is certainly a prevailing Machiavellian 'type' who is attracted to adminship (the reality and not the sell, that is), but I suspect that the bedded-in editor demographic is quite broad, with a considerable amount of the more sensitive and 'serious' types running away in horror after a brief editing spell. The almost-replenishing pool of such people are very-much the exploited foreign oil reserves of Wikipedia I think: they keep so-much usefully ticking over - which is partly why non-signed-up (or 'ISP') edits and editing will never be stopped.

WP is a mass of individuals rather than any kind of genuine collective, and time and again we see how the genuinely altruistic are thin on the ground (although still heavily relied upon, if often treated paradoxically as "well-meaning trolls" when they inevitably bump into the grain), and how most people will only find the time to contribute if they have a genuine interest in the subject, or benefit some other way from contributing (social networking, career ambition, financial gain, dissemination, lulz). Does anyone out there really work for the 'project'? I'd love to see a breakdown of reasons given for donations: how many are for the "convenience" (and its upkeep), and how many are genuinely born out of perceived idealism.

I also think that Wikipedia and Wikipedia Review are not so different in many respects, and that empathy (or putting your feet in other people's shoes) is something everyone has to learn in life, and learn to keep in mind too (how's that for PC?!).

Wikipedia is intentionally anarchic, and it's management is a juggling act to get what it wants*, as any anarchy would no-doubt be. So people bahave like they do (and like the can) because they are allowed to do so, and effectively encouraged to also, by flexible 'guidelines' that make it easy for them do it. The profit is carefully siphoned from behind all the turmoil.

*profit and power

This post has been edited by powercorrupts: Fri 5th November 2010, 2:31pm
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Avirosa
post Fri 5th November 2010, 6:39pm
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QUOTE(powercorrupts @ Fri 5th November 2010, 2:18pm) *

Wikipedia is intentionally anarchic, and it's management is a juggling act to get what it wants*, as any anarchy would no-doubt be. *profit and power


It isn't at all anarchic, it's a nested series of clan oligarchies under which various levels of non regulation are left to fester as a pretence of 'leaderlessness'. Anarchy does not (at least axiomatically) require that its players are divested of dignity, Wikipedia is wholly dependent upon both its authors and its readers suborning all integrity to the vacuity of 'the pedia'.

A.virosa
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powercorrupts
post Fri 5th November 2010, 8:18pm
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QUOTE(Avirosa @ Fri 5th November 2010, 6:39pm) *

QUOTE(powercorrupts @ Fri 5th November 2010, 2:18pm) *

Wikipedia is intentionally anarchic, and it's management is a juggling act to get what it wants*, as any anarchy would no-doubt be. *profit and power


It isn't at all anarchic, it's a nested series of clan oligarchies under which various levels of non regulation are left to fester as a pretence of 'leaderlessness'. Anarchy does not (at least axiomatically) require that its players are divested of dignity, Wikipedia is wholly dependent upon both its authors and its readers suborning all integrity to the vacuity of 'the pedia'.

A.virosa


I used "intentionally anarchic" to describe the lawless and chaotic way people behave on Wikipedia - the following comment on "an anarchy" was a just aside, really. I may have crossed definitions to a degree, but I wasn't suggesting Wikipedia follows Chomsky or anything! It's more like Ayn Rand if anything (in a typically cynical way).

This post has been edited by powercorrupts: Fri 5th November 2010, 8:52pm
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Peter Damian
post Sat 6th November 2010, 1:45pm
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Theory 1: Wikipedians are monsters, and a different form of human life than we have hitherto known.

Theory 2: Wikipedians are not dissimilar to ordinary people, and much of the behaviour they exhibit you can find in any workplace. But the conditions in which they work, and the strange governance structure, magnify the problems that are usually well-controlled in normal life.

I favour theory 2. In any company, there is a natural state of war between those specialists and experts who bring in the revenue or value (journalists, professors, traders, surgeons, and so on) and those whose job it is to apply controls, checks and balances, ensure generally honest and professional conduct, and so on (auditors, accountants, risk managers, health and safety officers, librarians, adminstrators and so on).

The former group, the specialists, can easily get out of control. They are generally clever, arrogant, often obnoxious c-nts, who walk over all and sundry to get value for the company and for themselves. They generally hate each other. The latter group are generally talentless. Their natural instinct is to say 'no' to anything, for they are not rewarded for saying 'yes'. Their motivation is to climb the career ladder by successive promotions. They achieve this by saying 'yes' to their boss without hesitation, and by being generally greasy and slimy and obnoxious.

If either side gains to much control, the business will fail. When the Gordon Gekko types rule the roost, you get disasters like Lehmann bros. When the talentless control freaks rule, the company loses all direction, sticks rigidly to what seemed to work 10 years ago, and is ultimately crushed.

The job of good management is to balance the two forces carefully. You need consistent and continuous innovation coming from your specialists and business experts. You need strong chcks and balances from the control freaks.

My impression from Wikipedia is that there was a similar conflict between the 'business people' (the content creators) and the control freaks (the admins). But the control freaks won. Result, the project has stagnated and is sticking to a model that worked well at the beginning, but has totally failed under different operating conditions.
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Jon Awbrey
post Tue 9th November 2010, 2:30pm
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QUOTE

◄ WIKIPEDIA ►

The Moral Equivalent of Macular Degeneration

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Milton Roe
post Wed 10th November 2010, 1:54am
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QUOTE(Avirosa @ Fri 5th November 2010, 11:39am) *

QUOTE(powercorrupts @ Fri 5th November 2010, 2:18pm) *

Wikipedia is intentionally anarchic, and it's management is a juggling act to get what it wants*, as any anarchy would no-doubt be. *profit and power


It isn't at all anarchic, it's a nested series of clan oligarchies under which various levels of non regulation are left to fester as a pretence of 'leaderlessness'. Anarchy does not (at least axiomatically) require that its players are divested of dignity, Wikipedia is wholly dependent upon both its authors and its readers suborning all integrity to the vacuity of 'the pedia'.

A.virosa

Ummmm. hrmph.gif "Clan oligarchies" are the natural way that human beings self-organize over the long term, if nobody organaizes them from the outside, by shear force. It's the way humans have lived though most of history! The modern nation-state with all the paperwork and (later) the Nazi punchcards and (even later) the computer data retrieval systems, are all rather new. And unnatural.

Don't get me started on anarchists. They simply don't like the giant monolithic nation-state, and fail to realize that the default is the way we all lived before these things, and we slip back to it very, very fast. Have we not just been talking about the Romani and the FDLS? That's it.

Wikipedia exists in a virtual computerized world, which has blinded everybody to a basic fact that in most ways, its politics are neolithic or perhaps warlordlish. The only difference is that the villiage oligarchs on WP have much better record-keeping and perfect (if selective) memories. That's the computer influence, but otherwise, it's just tribal politics as usual. It's NOT EVEN up to the Nazi level. It's computerized feudalism, which is very bizarre, but that's the best metaphor anybody at WR has been able to come up with.
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Kelly Martin
post Wed 10th November 2010, 4:11am
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QUOTE(Avirosa @ Fri 5th November 2010, 12:39pm) *
Wikipedia is wholly dependent upon both its authors and its readers suborning all integrity to the vacuity of 'the pedia'.
Clearly this is untrue. Wikipedia depends not on its authors and readers suborning anything to Wikipedia, but instead simply on its authors and readers not caring about its lack of integrity to give a shit. Only a small (albeit important) fraction of Wikipedia's userbase is actively suborned by the Cult of Wikipedia; most of the people who are making Wikipedia go contribute (or use and donate) to Wikipedia not because they buy into the weird Wikipedia ideology, but because Wikipedia serves some private need of theirs. With the possible exception of the odd reader-donor, who is blithely ignorant of the real situation, most all of Wikipedia's contributors had no integrity to suborn; they came to Wikipedia with their integrity already defunct, seeking to further selfish interests with no concern for any broader interests (or, in many cases, even their own long-term interest).

(Note also that readers who do not donate are not included in this condemnation, as they do fairly little to aid Wikipedia.)

Note also that Wikipedia wasn't designed to do this; it merely happened as a (fairly inevitable) consequence of how Wikipedia was conceptualized. However, once it happened, nobody who could possibly have done so took steps to stop the further decline into 'clan oligarchy', because it served their personal interests not to.

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powercorrupts
post Wed 10th November 2010, 9:22am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Wed 10th November 2010, 1:54am) *

QUOTE(Avirosa @ Fri 5th November 2010, 11:39am) *

QUOTE(powercorrupts @ Fri 5th November 2010, 2:18pm) *

Wikipedia is intentionally anarchic, and it's management is a juggling act to get what it wants*, as any anarchy would no-doubt be. *profit and power


It isn't at all anarchic, it's a nested series of clan oligarchies under which various levels of non regulation are left to fester as a pretence of 'leaderlessness'. Anarchy does not (at least axiomatically) require that its players are divested of dignity, Wikipedia is wholly dependent upon both its authors and its readers suborning all integrity to the vacuity of 'the pedia'.

A.virosa

Ummmm. hrmph.gif "Clan oligarchies" are the natural way that human being self-organize over the long term if nobody organaizes them from the outside, by shear force. It's the way humans have lived though most of history! The modern nation-state with all the paperwork and (later) the Nazi punchcards and (even later) the computer data retrieval systems, are all rather new. And unnatural.

Don't get me started on anarchists. They simply don't like the giant monolithic nation-state, and fail to realize that the default is the way we all lived before these things, and we slip back to it very, very fast. Have we not just been talking about the Romani and the FDLS? That's it.

Wikipedia exists in a virtual computerized world, which has blinded everybody to a basic fact that in most ways, its politics are neolithic or perhaps warlordlish. The only difference is that the villiage oligarchs on WP have much better record-keeping and perfect (if selective) memories. That's the computer influence, but otherwise, it's just tribal politics as usual. It's NOT EVEN up to the Nazi level. It's computerized feudalism, which is very bizarre, but that's the best metaphor anybody at WR has been able to come up with.


Just to explain myself again - I said "anarchic", not "anarchy"TM.

Wikipedia is a controlled environment - controlled chaos. Never to be too good, never to be so bad, spun daily by the media dept, it is about profiting from controlled chaos (hence "anarchic", though I wish I didn't use that use the word - it's too close to anarchy, and I really should have known what was coming).

I suppose WP can be compared to a feudal society in a way, providing the analogy includes a dominating state that is happy for the peasants to fight each other, so long as they don't attack them (and come down hard when they do).

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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 10th November 2010, 12:37pm
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There appears to be very little attempt so far to rise to the challenge of the lead-off question, which I thought was potentially Big Pic enough to belong here. What we see is what we usually see among the Wikiasphyxiated Wikiphrenetics — the Victims Of Metaphorically Induced Trauma (WP:VOMIT) continue to emit the very metaphors that benighten their ggooggles, like the idea that accounts are people or that websites are societies.

Of course, it could be instructive to see that they do that, but only if you take up a vantage point outside the stream of WP:VOMIT. Which is what the Meta*Forum is all about, and indeed The Wikipedia Review should be about.

I will think about it a little while longer before I decide whether and where to split the thread …

Jon tongue.gif
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powercorrupts
post Wed 10th November 2010, 1:47pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Wed 10th November 2010, 12:37pm) *

There appears to be very little attempt so far to rise to the challenge of the lead-off question, which I thought was potentially Big Pic enough to belong here. What we see is what we usually see among the Wikiasphyxiated Wikiphrenetics — the Victims Of Metaphorically Induced Trauma (WP:VOMIT) continue to emit the very metaphors that benighten their ggooggles, like the idea that accounts are people or that websites are societies.

Of course, it could be instructive to see that they do that, but only if you take up a vantage point outside the stream of WP:VOMIT. Which is what the Meta*Forum is all about, and indeed The Wikipedia Review should be about.

I will think about it a little while longer before I decide whether and where to split the thread …

Jon tongue.gif



Spoken like a genuine control freak! (perhaps mercifully I just can't do smilies).

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Milton Roe
post Wed 10th November 2010, 9:30pm
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QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Sat 6th November 2010, 6:45am) *

Theory 1: Wikipedians are monsters, and a different form of human life than we have hitherto known.

Theory 2: Wikipedians are not dissimilar to ordinary people, and much of the behaviour they exhibit you can find in any workplace. But the conditions in which they work, and the strange governance structure, magnify the problems that are usually well-controlled in normal life.

I favour theory 2. In any company, there is a natural state of war between those specialists and experts who bring in the revenue or value (journalists, professors, traders, surgeons, and so on) and those whose job it is to apply controls, checks and balances, ensure generally honest and professional conduct, and so on (auditors, accountants, risk managers, health and safety officers, librarians, adminstrators and so on).

The former group, the specialists, can easily get out of control. They are generally clever, arrogant, often obnoxious c-nts, who walk over all and sundry to get value for the company and for themselves. They generally hate each other. The latter group are generally talentless. Their natural instinct is to say 'no' to anything, for they are not rewarded for saying 'yes'. Their motivation is to climb the career ladder by successive promotions. They achieve this by saying 'yes' to their boss without hesitation, and by being generally greasy and slimy and obnoxious.

If either side gains to much control, the business will fail. When the Gordon Gekko types rule the roost, you get disasters like Lehmann bros. When the talentless control freaks rule, the company loses all direction, sticks rigidly to what seemed to work 10 years ago, and is ultimately crushed.

The job of good management is to balance the two forces carefully. You need consistent and continuous innovation coming from your specialists and business experts. You need strong chcks and balances from the control freaks.

My impression from Wikipedia is that there was a similar conflict between the 'business people' (the content creators) and the control freaks (the admins). But the control freaks won. Result, the project has stagnated and is sticking to a model that worked well at the beginning, but has totally failed under different operating conditions.

This is too thoughtful a post to just let pass. I agree with your comments about business, and also with the idea that the key is that neither side win. It's rather like a good domestic or political marriage-- the point is that either side can veto the worst ideas and excesses of the other, but in the middle, there needs to be compromise. You've got to give a little, take a little, let your poor heart BREAK a little... Anyway, I've seen the disasters when either side wins. The geeks spend all the money on some new techno-thingie they don't need, just to satisfy their curiosity, or else the beancounters run roughshod on the experts and creative types, to the point that the primary product of the place never improves.

It's a tremendously hard balancing act. It's a rare company that can pull it off for more than a generation. Look how long IBM did it, and then look what finally happened to IBM. Look how long Ford did it, then what happened to Ford.

I'm almost convinced that the process requires both creative geniuses AND management geniuses, at the same time. And of course the supply of one or the other is limited, and having them both be in power of their respective spheres at the same time in the same institution (Oppenheimer and Groves, say) never happens for long. But when it does, and while it does--- magic!

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Jon Awbrey
post Wed 10th November 2010, 10:08pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Wed 3rd November 2010, 2:10pm) *

QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 3rd November 2010, 1:33pm) *

I have no expertise whatsoever. I am merely trying to put a voice to my feelings.

I was noting how certain admins so very obviously become become obsessed with certain editors, how people get on other people's case.

I suppose they they they are doing the right thing but I suspect they are just obsessing. You know, as in when you notice something for the first time and then keep seeing it where ever you go.

I suspect the software with it page watching and other functions encourage this and add to the chemical rush of it all that makes it so addictive to certain types.

Unlike a proper charity or institution, there is no one to keep a check on such things an keep an eye on individuals who ten to obsess.

Myopic individuals, obsessed with details, who are incapable of seeing the big picture or hole. I imagine there are more than a few of them … but yet still few copy editors.


People become myopic for a reason.

Because of what they wish to ignore.

Jon wtf.gif


It begins small, almost imperceptibly.

You see a small injustice, a minor outrage, a mini-atrocity, taking place within your view. You are tempted to protest … maybe you do … the first 2 or 3 or 4 times … but soon it becomes clear that you risk your personal ticket-to-edit by doing so … there are those who take that risk and you see what happens to them … but you are not that sort … so you form a habit of ignoring small injustices, minor outrages, mini-atrocities, taking place within your view.

Next thing you know —

Yer Blind As A Fuckin' Mole Rat !!!

Jon wtf.gif
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