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An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics, 3nd Ed.
07-15-2010, 07:50 PM
Post: #1
An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics, 3nd Ed.
Preface
October 2010

It's been over a year since I've posted An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics and it's sequel, The Greatest Enemy of Liberty. Outside of the spelling and grammatical errors, I think it's a perfect system when it comes to internet message boards. It allows the people to pick and choose what they want to talk about, not an over sized cocky moderation team that considers themselves shepherds of a forum of sheep.

I always wanted to end it with a third chapter but felt like it was unnecessary as it should be a bit obvious considering the principles expressed in these two texts. Alas, recent times have shown that this last chapter is quite important to fully understand how this system works outside of the forums. Maybe it won't make sense to you after your initially read, but hopefully it'll be something stuck in your head when an incident occurs outside of the forums.

- RS

An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics
April 12, 2009

For the past few months, The 'Soup has turned into a cesspool of drama and staged monologues such as this one. Many have pointed fingers to put the blame on others: moderator elections, an increase in the size of the central administration, Econs new found administratory powers during my leave, the abuse of moderators, the increased regulations on posts, new members who have joined... however while some of these may have, at the very least, thrown fuel on the fire of internal conflict, we are forgetting something.

Let me give you an example to work with. I am not a racist. Racism is an anti individualistic concept that puts people into groups and ignores the fact that each and every single one of us is completely different. I am quite sure that if you picked someone of Indian ethnicity from the street right now they would be completely fucking different from me in numerous ways. I can continue on about this, but the thing to keep in mind is that I am against it. Yet I respect the right of a racist to convey their message--including here on The 'Soup.

Let's say a racist registers on The 'Soup and makes a topic conveying their view. I have several options, as a member of the forum, to do. I can...
1) Debate the person.
2) Rage and make a post revealing this.
There is another option that The 'Soup has forgotten:
3) Ignore it.

Very frequently I am asked to regulate trolls. I have always declined to do so, no matter how obvious the troll or trolling effort may be. The reasoning behind this is very similar--I respect their right to speech, I believe in the possibility that they might actually not be trolling but rather be speaking their minds... and I believe that we can, and should, ignore them. In fact, doing anything BUT ignoring trolls is only going to help the troll out, as trolling is usually done to invoke a response, usually an emotional one.

Consider the economics of forums where topics are products and wealth is essentially responses. If the example racist makes a topic, what keeps it alive? Replies. By ignoring the topic, you are essentially killing it. It will be shot down and forgotten by all if nobody makes a reply. Since our rules prohibits bumping, the author of the topic cannot bring his or her dead topic back to life unless they don't mind getting a warning issued or break another rule to register a duplicate account. By replying you are keeping the topic alive as it will be bumped up and increase demand and possibly supply of posts.

Recent trends show that everyone seems to want to respond to something. It's natural, especially on the internet, but ultimately if you are responding to a topic you hate you are not doing yourself a favor. If a troll is trolling you, you are helping him or her succeed by responding. If someone has insulted you and you get a reaction you have allowed yourself to get hurt by his or her words... something that might have been their goal.

Essentially, trolls are already regulated--by individuals like you. Whereas rules would create an issue for the administration to figure out a way to determine wither or not one is a troll or trolling--potentially allowing for abuse and suppression of freedom of speech--individuals can utilize the free market by choosing to respond or ignore. What worse punishment for someone who desires an emotional response than to be ignored? A trip to ban-town? Please.

The Greatest Enemy of Liberty
April 19, 2009

When I started The Snake Soup back in 2003, the internet was a very different place. For starters, the site's forums' biggest criticisms was that we allowed "flamers," "colorful language," and in general, had "lazy mods" although in actuality, our mods were told to promote a lasseiz-faire philosophy on the forums and thus were actively enforcing the only rules we had to begin with. After being in so many forums and being subdued to rules I found restrictive I tried to establish a haven of sorts that promotes freedom of speech; this includes speech I personally disagree with.

This has, for the most part, worked perfectly well until recently, perhaps around 2008. So what has happened in five years? Most seem to believe that the problems are in the fact that we don't have too many rules and enough moderators. Or perhaps the moderators are badly chosen.

No, actually. The less rules and less moderators we have, the more freedom is given to members and the more discussions we will be having. In actuality, the biggest enemy of liberty on The 'Soup is drama.

Drama is why people want more rules--rules that will specifically target members they have drama with. Why on Earth do we need a rule to make sure members are English majors? Why is "flaming" all of a sudden a concern? Drama is why we allegedly need more moderators--mods that will babysit everyone and take down members they have drama with.

Interestingly enough, I might have contributed to this. The moderator elections? European Extreme mode? Fury Friday? However lets not also forget some of the other members. Anything that's an "experiment" is essentially asking for drama.

The solution is to once again utilize the free market. Ignore people you dislike. Ignore topics you dislike. The forums work in a way in that the more posts and attention you give someone, the more popular they are. Thus, drama helps fuel things that are generally disliked.

The answer is NOT in the admin such as me let alone the moderators or new rules. Remember, an administration big enough to give you everything you want is an administration big enough to take everything away.

The Free Market of Topics Outside of the Topics
October 11, 2010

With the advancing technologies behind social networking, it's a given that many members of The 'Soup will socialize outside of the forums. In a way, The 'Soup then is exported to other venues that may not be under my control. I am okay with that.

However, sometimes, someone sends me either a screen capture or a text copy of what a member has posted outside of the forums. Maybe it's something bad about another member. Maybe they think this site blows ass. Maybe they plotting to drive me fucking insane. All of this could even be said in a PM. Either way, I refuse to issue warnings for actions committed outside of The 'Soup. Who am I to do so?

Now anything related to The 'Soup and me is brushed off by me, but the problem is when someone is talking about you. What will the forum administrator and moderators do to prevent something like that from happening? I'll tell you what we'll do: nothing. It's none of our business.

Recall the reason why the free market works for forums (threads which are ignored are not bumped) and how to deal with alleged "trolling" as a result (ignore them). Remember, "trolling" is done to create a reaction. By ignoring them, you are deterring them from continuing. So how does this work outside of the forums?

If a reaction is what they want, then ignoring them outside of The 'Soup is exactly what they do not want. If you are finding yourself bombarded with messages, ban them. If you find yourselves engaged in a childish rivalry, grow up and let the child continue to play with their action figures. Don't sit down, pick up an action figure, and play with them!

You see, while the free market system might not work on social networking sites (or even our wiki) the general principle of why it works on the forums does. This is the internet. Nobody is going to slash your car tires. Nobody is going to smear dog shit on your door knob. Nobody is going to punch you in the face. If they will and actually have the means to do so, that's real life and you should probably call your local law enforcement.

Everything they can really do is in the form of pixels behind a screen. Let it go, my son.

(05-22-2016 02:42 PM)Canucklehead Wrote:  The actual hero of Metal Gear is the player for putting up with all of its bullshit over the years.
QUOTE
07-15-2010, 08:02 PM
Post: #2
 
This should be one of those topics you need to be required to read before posting.

*Fine print: I am no longer admin, so disregard that part.

Quote:
PUNISHED ECONS
An apathetic alcoholic with an appetite for alliteration.
QUOTE
07-15-2010, 08:22 PM
Post: #3
Re: An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics, 2nd Ed.
Ravi Singh Wrote:This has, for the most part, worked perfectly well until recently, perhaps around 2008.

Mercury,,,you came to the Soup in 08'.... Tongue

it is what it is
QUOTE
08-21-2010, 11:33 PM
Post: #4
 
Quote: the biggest enemy of liberty on The 'Soup is drama.

As a frequent proponent AND partaker of forum drama, I would like to state for the record that I never feel like my liberty is being infringed upon; most of the time, drama simply provokes me to be even more forthright and assertive.

In reality, the only possible enemy of liberty on a forum is moderation itself, since every post is simply a block of text with no inherent power. Every time moderator power is used, however, it sets a precedent -- that a line has been crossed, and so it's natural for people to compare the "level" of offences, and complain that a double-post is enforced, while a racist hate speech is ignored. Tough shit, I say, read the rules or GTFO.

Only weak minds who can't handle freedom create problems (ie. drama). "Trolling" should never even be used as a term as far as I'm concerned, because it means nothing and it infinitely elastic, leading to huge generalizations and subjective bullshit. A better term would be "provoking". But even this is stupid, because people have gotten provoked ("trolled", in their eyes) at perfecly normal conflicts of opinions... and who is to blame if you get provoked? Only yourself.

Perhaps this is what you mean by drama. People who want to be sheltered and protected from reality, and kept in a safe happy bubble where nothing bad ever happens. If you don't have the mental confidence to laugh at a "troll" or carry on your normal ways while they're trying to provoke, you are doomed to drama.

Also I want to say that when you ignore somebody who's trying to provoke you, you're indirectly acknowledging the danger of responding, which itself is funny to them. And then it becomes a game of seeing how much it takes to get recognition -- such as this thread.

I would also like to say that I have no problem with banning, limiting or moderating shit users who contribute nothing and try to provoke people. Like any good citizen, I like to see the police brutalize the bad guys.

edit: I want to clarify that I am talking to the general forum here, and only partially to Ravi

[Image: patriot2.png]
QUOTE
10-04-2010, 03:46 PM
Post: #5
 
I have made this topic a global announcement, as I feel it is necessary reading for all members.

Quote:
PUNISHED ECONS
An apathetic alcoholic with an appetite for alliteration.
QUOTE
10-11-2010, 01:26 AM
Post: #6
 
New chapter.
Mr. Wolfe Wrote:As a frequent proponent AND partaker of forum drama, I would like to state for the record that I never feel like my liberty is being infringed upon; most of the time, drama simply provokes me to be even more forthright and assertive.
What I really mean is that drama leads to a call for more moderating powers. I guess it's like how teenage suicides in the face of bullying doesn't necessarily hinder free speech, but it does create a huge momentum towards restricting speech. Recently people are telling me that we "need" more forum rules (no we don't) and that it's "good" that the wiki now has rules (not really; look how dead it is now) all because of drama.

(05-22-2016 02:42 PM)Canucklehead Wrote:  The actual hero of Metal Gear is the player for putting up with all of its bullshit over the years.
QUOTE
10-11-2010, 02:55 AM
Post: #7
 
For me the wiki died, not of drama but more it's no longer fun for me. I used to change it off and on, but it wasn't something I needed to express how I felt, I did that on my own. Drama comes into play when people start it, for one reason or another, like posting private PM's on the wiki. One would think it would be known not to. But they were posted to cause drama. Too bad too.

it is what it is
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 01:57 AM
Post: #8
 
Julia Wrote:Drama comes into play when people start it, for one reason or another, like posting private PM's on the wiki. One would think it would be known not to. But they were posted to cause drama. Too bad too.
Right but drama is then inflated by a reaction. For example, if someone from here starts a group called "End The Soup" outside of the forums, will it increase or decrease drama for me to start a thread on these forums about it? It will increase it. I'm guilty of this too--I should have just imposed simple privacy rules on the wiki and left it at that.

(05-22-2016 02:42 PM)Canucklehead Wrote:  The actual hero of Metal Gear is the player for putting up with all of its bullshit over the years.
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 02:07 AM
Post: #9
 
Oh sure it is inflated... and one does not have to publicly react either. It can be done behind the scenes...either or., it should just not be started at all.

Also depends on the person. Me? I'm quite outspoken, so if someone is going to flame my ass anywhere,,,on the net or IRL, depending on the circumstances, I may react. Usually it's civil though, a simple question, my trying to work things out in PRIVATE, but that doesnt always work out. I do try other means before it gets to be the childish shit that just happened...however I can fight fire with fire too. Thats just me. I'm not speaking for another. As much as I dislike to stoop down to another's level...sometimes that just has to be when the rule states to go to an admin or mod, and there is nobody to found or who is here refuses to read my PM's, which I think is a violation in itself, let alone, childish, and at the very least .... drama by it's own right.

It's like anything else for me, I will do what is considered 'right'/and acceptable first try to settle in private on my own.... go to an upper power, but even IRL you can't count on that...as there is the game of favorites ....and just bad power at hand... whats left?

Either - or.... I'm not one to back down/give in/ be chased away/ etc. It's just not who I am. If I were, I'd not have lasted this long on the forum, or the net in general.

EDIT: It would also help if a mod could seperate his feelings ... ill ones or not to use his mod *power to lock threads and such* and be a grown up about it. But sometimes I expect too much from people... but I'm learning.

it is what it is
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 02:15 AM
Post: #10
 
My entire point with the new chapter that essentially covers this is that while you see it as a sort of defense of an attack, to everyone else it's simply a second act to a new TNT drama series. You people aren't using bullets. You people are using words. Thus the only way it'll stop is if one of you lets it go and stops typing.

(05-22-2016 02:42 PM)Canucklehead Wrote:  The actual hero of Metal Gear is the player for putting up with all of its bullshit over the years.
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 02:23 AM
Post: #11
 
I understand your entire point. It was simply my reply to your post. I wasn't aware a reply was not needed after you quoted me. My apologies. But look at my post count..asking me to not type is like asking me to not breathe. Also, I don't know what TNT series is.

it is what it is
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 03:34 AM
Post: #12
 
TNT is a television channel. You were better off not knowing.

[Image: Turner_Network_Television.png]
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 03:44 AM
Post: #13
 
Oh, much like Lifetime I suppose. Big Grin

I thought it was a show. Blush

it is what it is
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 02:06 PM
Post: #14
 
I think this should be renamed from "An Introduction to the Free Market of Topics" to "Shut the fuck up or I'm going to delete the forums"

[Image: patriot2.png]
QUOTE
10-12-2010, 02:20 PM
Post: #15
 
Why do that? If you don't want to say anything or discuss things ... maybe you should shut the fuck up?

*sarcasm*

Please don't take that seriously, thank you.

it is what it is
QUOTE
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