Where are all the bickering gods of the past?

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Jasper

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Apr 27, 2021, 10:23:59 AM4/27/21
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Hey,

Professor Bass, Breen, Cormier, TT, cindy, Jacobs, Bremner, myaw, Robson, Webster, W, Matsuda, the Onion, gary, cumminsky, Raynolds, Takabayashi And the rest of you! Are you alive? (I don't think so.)

Please respond if you are still breathing.

P.S.
Professor, now that we have a good translator, you can speak Japanese like a native Japanese speaker.

Band Beyond You

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Apr 27, 2021, 6:52:26 PM4/27/21
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Last man/men/women (?) standing…
<breathe, breathe in the air…don’t be afraid to dare…>

Jim Breen

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Apr 27, 2021, 7:17:38 PM4/27/21
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On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 at 00:23:59 UTC+10, Jasper wrote:

> Professor Bass, Breen, Cormier, TT, cindy, Jacobs, Bremner, myaw, Robson, Webster, W, Matsuda, the Onion, gary, cumminsky, Raynolds, Takabayashi And the rest of you! Are you alive? (I don't think so.)

I was alive, last time I looked. The good old HP (now) at http://nihongo.monash.edu/index.html and the Japanese page at http://nihongo.monash.edu/japanese.html still work.

Jim

shannon...@gmail.com

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May 1, 2021, 4:38:41 AM5/1/21
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Wow, I'm not sure what to make of this coincidence, but I don't visit Google Groups very often these years. Probably several years since my last visit, but I only missed this post and the replies by a couple of days.

Pure coincidence? A weird fluke? (I just read "Fluke" by Joseph Mazur.) I can't imagine what kind of external provocation could have reminded several of y'all to drop by. In my case I can say that a few minutes ago I noticed an odd bookmark in my browser ("p-r") and decided to see what it was, and it eventually led me here. (My best guess is p = predicate and r = response, suggesting a Lisp-based function meaning "Is there a response?")

I do miss the old days when usenet was so lively. I would like to be missing the annoying trolls, but there seem to be more of them than ever and pretty much everywhere you look on the Web. So in this comment I'll throw in my favorite theoretical solution approach for the troll problem, and I'll start a new and separate conversation about a language learning app I've been seeking for some years.

So the reason I'm starting with the troll part is because I think they killed usenet more than any other factor. The problem remains that it's hard to define "troll" in any meaningful way. Therefore what I've been looking for these years is a discussion website where the trolls discredit themselves. Maybe too much of a free-speech approach, but I don't really care what they say as long as I don't have to waste my time by seeing it.

For my thought experiment, I imagine a metric that I call MEPR for Multidimensional Earned Public Reputation. I could use MEPR to filter out the noise and favor the people who are likely to write comments that are worth reading. A couple of sample dimensions may help clarify the idea. One dimension might be "funny", and I would give that dimension heavy weight so I would be more likely to see comments from people who write funny stuff. That's a dimension that also allows for negative ratings, so in some cases a MEPR might have negative humor and I'd be unlikely to see comments from such people. However "polite" is a better example of a dimension with clear positive and negative sides, but one that isn't too important to me, so I'd give that one a low weight. Various other dimensions are possible, but the main idea is to keep them orthogonal so they measure different characteristics. One that I'd weigh heavily is age, with young identities being disfavored in my case. My theory is that most trolls and sock puppets don't last too long (but the long-lived annoyances are best dealt with using the traditional block list).

Going one step farther, but I can even imagine one possible user interface. It would have a pair of icons, one from the identity that would link to whatever the identity wants to say about itself, while the second icon would link to the MEPR and would link to a page of statistics and links to the actual data that defines the MEPR. I think the MEPR icon could be a standardized little radar diagram showing a few of the most important dimensions. That part should probably be handled with a symmetric condition: Basically you shouldn't be able to look at the details of my MEPR unless I can (and might want to) look at yours.

Jim Breen

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May 2, 2021, 3:05:19 AM5/2/21
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On Saturday, 1 May 2021 at 18:38:41 UTC+10, shannon...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 8:17:38 AM UTC+9, jimb...@gmail.com wrote:
> > On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 at 00:23:59 UTC+10, Jasper wrote:
> >
> > > Professor Bass, Breen, Cormier, TT, cindy, Jacobs, Bremner, myaw, Robson, Webster, W, Matsuda, the Onion, gary, cumminsky, Raynolds, Takabayashi And the rest of you! Are you alive? (I don't think so.)
> > I was alive, last time I looked. The good old HP (now) at http://nihongo.monash.edu/index.html and the Japanese page at http://nihongo.monash.edu/japanese.html still work.

> Wow, I'm not sure what to make of this coincidence, but I don't visit Google Groups very often these years. Probably several years since my last visit, but I only missed this post and the replies by a couple of days.
[...]
> I do miss the old days when usenet was so lively. I would like to be missing the annoying trolls, but there seem to be more of them than ever and pretty much everywhere you look on the Web. So in this comment I'll throw in my favorite theoretical solution approach for the troll problem, and I'll start a new and separate conversation about a language learning app I've been seeking for some years.
>
> So the reason I'm starting with the troll part is because I think they killed usenet more than any other factor. [...]

I think Usenet died with the arrival of the WWW, which provided many other platforms for interaction and discussion. Sure there was a troll problem, especially with soc.culture.japan, but you can get trolls everywhere. Usenet was a bit geeky and newcomers found it easier to go elsewhere. I remember a lot of sci.lang.japan people went to The Japanese Page, but it went and collapsed.

Another WWW victim was email lists. Some of the ones that were very busy in the 90s and early 2000s, such as Honyaku, are now only used by a handful of diehards. A Facebook page (shudder) has taken much of the action. I'm in a few Slack communities, which seem to work fairly well.

Jim



shannon...@gmail.com

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May 2, 2021, 3:31:55 PM5/2/21
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On Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 4:05:19 PM UTC+9, jimb...@gmail.com wrote:
[snip]
>
> Another WWW victim was email lists. Some of the ones that were very busy in the 90s and early 2000s, such as Honyaku, are now only used by a handful of diehards. A Facebook page (shudder) has taken much of the action. I'm in a few Slack communities, which seem to work fairly well.
>
> Jim

I've been following Discord and WT.Social a bit, but they don't seem too promising. I thought LessWrong looking interesting, but right now feel it's too elitist and censorious. I try to look at several new ones each year, but mostly I cling to ye olde Slashdot. Not for the discussions. I mostly like the feel of the editing software. Some of the rejects i can recall include WordPress, MeWe, and Ello. Twitter is a total loss, but sometimes I vent there. (Recently ranting against the filibuster. How about population-based cloture?) I resolved the Facebook problem with a 100-yen timer. Five minutes/day killed the engagement, and most days I don't even look at it.

shannon...@gmail.com

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May 2, 2021, 3:38:58 PM5/2/21
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Forgot to say that I should certainly not be regarded as any sort of gawd, but my unfortunate guess would be that some of them are no longer with us. Most of them have probably wandered elsewhere on the Web.

Most interesting Japanese language topic of the day would probably be Izumi Kyoka. Reading a new translation, but I also got an annotated version of the Japanese. Turns out my wife studied him in her salad days, but he's a serious challenge to the translator. "...my finances have gone south" turned out to come from an obscure Japanese idiom about a northern mountain.
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