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> Tenacity, Authority, Plausibility, Inquiry, Discussion Thread
Jon Awbrey
post Tue 22nd June 2010, 6:06pm
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Discussion Thread for “Tenacity, Authority, Plausibility, Inquiry

I'm going to try separating the discussion from the main topic — just an experiment to see if it helps me keep my brains from getting too scrambled. Feel free to post on whichever thread you find most convenient — I can always sort things out afterward.

Jon Awbrey
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GlassBeadGame
post Thu 19th August 2010, 1:02am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Wed 18th August 2010, 7:16am) *

Forthcoming …


And he came fifth and lost the job.

(Go ahead and delete this when you are ready to work, Jon)
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Cock-up-over-conspiracy
post Thu 19th August 2010, 3:43am
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Tenacity (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Authority (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Plausibility (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Inquiry (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Belief Fixation (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Grades (T-C-L-K-R-D) & Degradation (T-C-L-K-R-D) ...

I dunno ... whose sockpuppets are they anyway?

Funnily enough, of those juicy names, only User:Authority exists, which surprises me for "User:Degradation", and he writes ...
QUOTE
I have worked on nearly all of the gameshows listed on Wikipedia. I personally know many, many of the individuals that produce, host and announce these shows.

So, Authority on the Wikipedia is about being expert in gameshows.

That is about right.
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 19th August 2010, 2:20pm
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QUOTE(Cock-up-over-conspiracy @ Wed 18th August 2010, 11:43pm) *

Tenacity (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Authority (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Plausibility (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Inquiry (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Belief Fixation (T-C-L-K-R-D) , Grades (T-C-L-K-R-D) & Degradation (T-C-L-K-R-D)

I dunno … whose sockpuppets are they anyway?

Funnily enough, of those juicy names, only User:Authority exists, which surprises me for "User:Degradation", and he writes …

QUOTE

I have worked on nearly all of the gameshows listed on Wikipedia. I personally know many, many of the individuals that produce, host and announce these shows.


So, Authority on the Wikipedia is about being expert in gameshows.

That is about right.


No, WP:AUTHORITY is about pretending to be an expert in gameshows (or anything else) without affording the reader any way of questioning that pretense.

At any rate, I see a digression coming, so I may move the intervening posts and refer the Patient Reader to Da Capo.

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The Joy
post Sun 22nd August 2010, 2:36am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 21st August 2010, 3:28pm) *

Problem. We need to find a way of understanding the regressive trend of crowd-sourcing that reverses the normal advance of inquiry and ultimately leads to the lowest common denominator of the most popular misconceptions in every area where it holds sway.

Jon Awbrey


I think one of the problems is the lack of focus and objectives backed by a strong culture. You can't ask serious questions or engage in inquiries until a supporting culture is developed first. Like the Pilgrims who made the Mayflower Compact before setting foot on land, they created basic rules and objectives for their society. They worked together to create a culture that would fit their vision of a great society. If you can get a group of people together that agree to create a culture that is inquiring and open-minded with clear expectations for behavior, then I don't see why such a project should fail. If newcomers come in against that culture or a rebel emerges, then the culture will expunge the closed-minded or "LOL U SO SUTPID" ones. The downside is that the community itself may go offtrack and become insular, creating a "cultural dictatorship" that ironically rejects inquiries or new ideas in an effort to save their culture. Continuous introspection, external criticism, and open dialogue is necessary to maintain an open-minded and inquiring community.

We're living in a more narcissistic world. Web 2.0, in theory, should allow for calm conversation, the free exchange of new ideas, and the breaking down of prejudices. However, I'm finding that people seem to think their opinions are equal to all others, even when they are flat-out wrong. Web 2.0 has allowed everyone to have an equal position and platform. The physicist and the college sophomore are not equal at understanding physics, but Web 2.0 lets them have the same strength and power. If both are on Wikipedia, they both are equal and the college sophomore won't like the physicist telling him he's wrong about the Theory of Quantum Mechanics. The social dynamics have changed. Traditionally, the wrong and stupid were pushed out by academia and the mainstream. Now all the stupid can gather in their Internet fiefdoms and carry on their campaigns to all Web 2.0 sites. It's like the Visigoths, Vandals, and Mongols roaming around unopposed and burning down the Roman Empire.

Coming back to my original point, the only way to stop the barbarians at the gate is for Web 2.0 sites to establish a culture that rejects the stupidity and prejudice in order to create an inquiring environment. I suppose that means that every member of a successful, welcoming, and knowledgeable Web 2.0 site with high academic standards is like a member of a village militia that must muster when the barbarians come with their stupid ideas and "LOLs." I have seen projects that are the antithesis of the standard Web 2.0 "UZ SO SUTPID" crowd-sourcing, so I know they are out there. Unfortunately, they are solitary islands of sanity in an archipelago of anarchy.

(Previewing my edit before posting, I just realized that I just described an inquiring, learning Web 2.0 site as the plot to the movie "300." Go figure.)
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Jon Awbrey
post Sun 22nd August 2010, 3:14am
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A lot of what you say is true, Joy, but there are one or two other factors to consider.
  • In most crowd-sourcing settings, the sophomorons and the long-time scholars do not contend on an equal footing — that is because there are far more of the former than the latter, and the tyros with next to no background eventually drown out and wear down anyone who happened to read more than one book on the subject.
  • When crowd-sourcing does appear to work for a little while, it is always because there is a strong external community already in place that maintains the pre-existing norms of their discipline and steadfastly resists the entropy of crowd opinion. Writing up a list of Cyber House Rules does nothing to create such a community — and may even stymie its local germination — if there is no prior process of socialization to the values of inquiry.
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The Joy
post Sun 22nd August 2010, 7:45am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 21st August 2010, 11:14pm) *

A lot of what you say is true, Joy, but there are one or two other factors to consider.
  • In most crowd-sourcing settings, the sophomorons and the long-time scholars do not contend on an equal footing — that is because there are far more of the former than the latter, and the tyros with next to no background eventually drown out and wear down anyone who happened to read more than one book on the subject.
  • When crowd-sourcing does appear to work for a little while, it is always because there is a strong external community already in place that maintains the pre-existing norms of their discipline and steadfastly resists the entropy of crowd opinion. Writing up a list of Cyber House Rules does nothing to create such a community — and may even stymie its local germination — if there is no prior process of socialization to the values of inquiry.
Jon Awbrey


QUOTE(Mark Twain)
Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mark_Twain


I agree that a strict rules environment rarely works. Culture always outweighs rules and laws.

I'm not sure, though, how to get people to have the skills necessary to properly socialize or engage in inquiry unless you go to a wider problem of education in our society. Are you thinking that society at large, particularly its educational institutions, is to blame for the lack of skills necessary to inquire? I know that it was not until college that I got into research and learned basic information literacy skills.
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Avirosa
post Mon 23rd August 2010, 9:45am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 21st August 2010, 3:28pm) *

Problem. We need to find a way of understanding the regressive trend of crowd-sourcing that reverses the normal advance of inquiry and ultimately leads to the lowest common denominator of the most popular misconceptions in every area where it holds sway. Jon Awbrey



QUOTE(The Joy @ Sun 22nd August 2010, 3:36am) *
We're living in a more narcissistic world. Web 2.0, in theory, should allow for calm conversation, the free exchange of new ideas, and the breaking down of prejudices. However, I'm finding that people seem to think their opinions are equal to all others, even when they are flat-out wrong. Web 2.0 has allowed everyone to have an equal position and platform. The physicist and the college sophomore are not equal at understanding physics, but Web 2.0 lets them have the same strength and power. If both are on Wikipedia, they both are equal and the college sophomore won't like the physicist telling him he's wrong about the Theory of Quantum Mechanics.


That’s a valuable observation, and the supporting beliefs that justify the sophomore’s intellectual ‘aggrandisement’ demand investigation – however your analysis fails with your choice of historical analogy:

QUOTE(The Joy @ Sun 22nd August 2010, 3:36am) *
The social dynamics have changed. Traditionally, the wrong and stupid were pushed out by academia and the mainstream. Now all the stupid can gather in their Internet fiefdoms and carry on their campaigns to all Web 2.0 sites. It's like the Visigoths, Vandals, and Mongols roaming around unopposed and burning down the Roman Empire.

Coming back to my original point, the only way to stop the barbarians at the gate is for Web 2.0 sites to establish a culture that rejects the stupidity and prejudice in order to create an inquiring environment. I suppose that means that every member of a successful, welcoming, and knowledgeable Web 2.0 site with high academic standards is like a member of a village militia that must muster when the barbarians come with their stupid ideas and "LOLs." I have seen projects that are the antithesis of the standard Web 2.0 "UZ SO SUTPID" crowd-sourcing, so I know they are out there. Unfortunately, they are solitary islands of sanity in an archipelago of anarchy.


By Mongols, perhaps you meant Huns, but that aside the whole notion of “Barbarians at the Gates” is a false depiction of Europe in the early Medieval period. Once the misnomer of ‘Dark Age’ has been disposed of it becomes possible to proceed to remove the 19thC fiction of the ‘Fall of Rome’ and the ‘uncivilisation’ of non Roman peoples. The Roman Empire didn’t fall – it split in two, East and West, because of internal dynamics, the Eastern part continuing as a distinct culture for hundreds of years as Byzantium. The Western Empire was simply not strong enough to continue the oppressive management of the peoples on its borders and having failed to develop any substantive non militaristic basis for negotiation between cultures eventually succumbed to a more effective military culture led by a Byzantine educated elite which actually reinvigorated Western Roman culture rather than destroying it.

The ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ meme has a long and disreputable usage, justifying prejudice on multiple grounds, and even if it were an accurate depiction of a social condition, its elitist conclusion provides a self fulfilling prophecy with the ‘great unwashed’ telling the ‘Patronae’ to go screw themselves.

There is a great irony in using Rome as a metaphor when dealing with questions about ‘crowd sourcing’; Rome was the ultimate ‘crow sourced’ system, fundamentally reliant on the will of ‘the mob’ to define direction of the culture, it was ‘crowd sourcing’ that led to the central ‘purposing’ of “bread and circuses” around which the whole central economy of the Empire came to revolve. Additionally a paradox arises from the use of the ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ (BATG) metaphor in relation to ‘crowd sourcing and issues of inquiry, scepticism and authority. At base BATG invokes the idea of ultimate questioning, scepticism and rejection of existing authority, of course BATG is usually invoked to show how such questioning, scepticism and rejection was wrong, or at least wrongly applied, but it can’t be argued the ‘Barbarians’ are lacking a capacity to question, unless there is resort to the elitist position that the ‘Barbarians’ are essential ‘Unter mensch’.

And, I would locate part of the difficulty in answering “a way of understanding the regressive trend of crowd-sourcing that reverses the normal advance of inquiry ……..”. is the failure of the ‘inquiry’ disciplines, Sciences, Philosphy etc to engage with audiences outside of academic Institutions. Of course schools could better equip students to engage in and with ‘enquiry’ but if the professional ‘enquirers’ want to have their authority in enquiry accepted by ‘the crowd’ they are going to have to better engage with ‘the crowd’. There is something of a cultural division which should give us some hope that change is possible, France for instance has a greater ‘tolerance’ for intellectualism in public life, something which is consistently rejected in English speaking cultures (well maybe excluding New Zealand). But change will require ‘outspeakers’. Richard Dawkins, although muddled in his God obsession, is the only current ‘poster boy’ of note for scientific ‘outspeaking’ in the English language, realistically we need many more if the forces of anti intellectualism (Fox News et al) are not going to control the mob for decades to come.

A.virosa

This post has been edited by Avirosa: Mon 23rd August 2010, 11:39am
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 23rd August 2010, 1:04pm
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QUOTE(The Joy @ Sun 22nd August 2010, 3:45am) *

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 21st August 2010, 11:14pm) *

A lot of what you say is true, Joy, but there are one or two other factors to consider.
  • In most crowd-sourcing settings, the sophomorons and the long-time scholars do not contend on an equal footing — that is because there are far more of the former than the latter, and the tyros with next to no background eventually drown out and wear down anyone who happened to read more than one book on the subject.
  • When crowd-sourcing does appear to work for a little while, it is always because there is a strong external community already in place that maintains the pre-existing norms of their discipline and steadfastly resists the entropy of crowd opinion. Writing up a list of Cyber House Rules does nothing to create such a community — and may even stymie its local germination — if there is no prior process of socialization to the values of inquiry.
Jon Awbrey


QUOTE(Mark Twain)

Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.

Mark Twain


I agree that a strict rules environment rarely works. Culture always outweighs rules and laws.

I'm not sure, though, how to get people to have the skills necessary to properly socialize or engage in inquiry unless you go to a wider problem of education in our society. Are you thinking that society at large, particularly its educational institutions, is to blame for the lack of skills necessary to inquire? I know that it was not until college that I got into research and learned basic information literacy skills.


All the resources, resistances, and regressions that we are talking about here derive from the existential and social matrices that people find themselves inhabiting in the world at large. That is what socializes we savage beasties to the real communities we commune with. Real communities are not the sorts of things you can fake with much chance of success, due to the long histories of evolution and gradual, if halting, backtracking progress that go into their design and development. But of course you can criticize them, try to improve the way they work — we all spend our whole lives doing that — and so we're always hopeful that the next mutation in cultural genetics will really turn the tide or trick. On the other hand, you got to know when to fold 'em.

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 14th February 2011, 7:32pm
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Excerpts from the Facebook discussion —

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 11 Feb 2011, 12:18 pm)

Once you puncture the hyper-balloons of hype about “augmented social cognition” and “collective intelligence” that naive e-thusiasts and self-serving x-ploiters are floating all around us these days, you can't help but notice the preveiling d-generation of critical thinking and genuine dialogue that is actually taking place. So we have to inquire, “Why Is That?”

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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 14th February 2011, 7:52pm
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Excerpts from the Facebook discussion —

One participant commented on the initial problem statement:

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sat 21st August 2010, 2:28pm) *

Problem. We need to find a way of understanding the regressive trend of crowd-sourcing that reverses the normal advance of inquiry and ultimately leads to the lowest common denominator of the most popular misconceptions in every area where it holds sway.


This prompted me to add the following explanation:

QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ 12 Feb 2011, 5:28 pm)

That question arose from my participant-observation in-&-of various “social media” sites, most flagrantly in-my-face with Wikipedia, but once I noticed the phenomenon I began to see it happening more and more in other niches of the web, and even to retrospect on the fact that I had probably been looking at larval instances of the same species for many years. Flying in the face of all the hype we hear about “collective intelligence”, there appears to be an even more pervasive and powerful retrograde tendency. The “normal advance of inquiry” that I mean here is the natural tendency to progress through the series of less than satisfactory forms of inquiry — tenacity, authority, plausibility — and on to the properly scientific form of inquiry. But I think we are seeing less and less of that all the time in “crowd-sourcing”. So why is that? And is there anything that we can do about it?

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