Posts Tagged ‘writing’

motivations: karma

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

[written for Media Economics & Participation at ITP]

Slashdot users are seeking karma. However, gaining positive karma at Slashdot is just a means to an end; Slashdot users are seeking (limited) power and status among their peers in the form of fleeting moderator access for the vibrant comments component of the highly active, technology-focused news aggregation site. Moderators are chosen from among the registered users using a somewhat obscure algorithm which incorporates each user’s karma rating (a scale of Terrible, Bad, Neutral, Positive, Good, and Excellent), length of membership and randomness. Selected moderators are given special status and 5 mod{eration} points with an expiration window of three days. The moderation status ends when the points have been used in the act of moderating comments or have expired.

The moderation system has been borne out of necessity as the Slashdot community has grown large, bringing the signal-to-noise ratio down and decreasing the satisfaction in reading the raw comment threads. “Flamebait” and “trolls” contribute little more than instigation for starting arguments and fights among the users with typically strong opinions on matters which usually appear on Slashdot. Rob Malda, founder of Slashdot, explains this phenomenon on the Slashdot FAQ: (more…)

Driving Forces

Friday, September 18th, 2009

[assignment in the syllabus]
A driving force is a trend or factor, operating in the world today, which will influence the way the future evolves over the next 5-15 years. We were asked to identify a driving force, and it’s associated predetermined elements and critical uncertainties.

Driving Force:
There is a desire for immediate knowledge of trends and events in the physical world.

Predetermined Element:
The physical world will be entirely digitized, and monitored in real-time with a network of sensors. A comprehensive network of various sensors, and software to aggregate and analyze the gathered data will inform wide-ranging areas. These sensors may be built into other devices, such as mobile handsets and vehicles or may be standalone. Sensors need not only be inanimate; sentient beings may gather and provide rich sets of data.

Critical Uncertainty:
Rate of technological evolution for inexpensive, low/self-powered sensors. Also, the time frame of deployment of these sensors once available. Proliferation of ubiquitous wireless network access to enable constant connectivity with the sensors. Contingent on public acceptance of near-constant reporting of data.