[textop] Common assumptions; governance.

  • From: "Matthew Elvey" <elvey+lists.textop@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: textop@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 21:20:43 -0700

Thanks for the invitation.  Following up on some recent discussion:

>>> Administrators can not be [editors] and vice versa. 

I like this idea; the separation of powers is potentially a good source
of checks and balances; some examples: the US gov't:
legislative(bicameral), executive and judicial; federal, state and
local.  Domestic and foreign intelligence,  Italy: polizia, carabineri,
and military (with several branches).  The benefit of this split is is
that decision making and decision enforcement are separate.  Consider an
enforcer who also makes editorial decisions; his decisions and actions
would often result in a far-from transparent situation, and be difficult
to monitor for abuse.  

A couple wild ideas I'd like to throw out:

1)Perhaps this would increase collegiality/make it easier to be an
editor: have the software force editors/moderators to reject some posts
that they would have otherwise accepted. So, say 1 of 20 good
contributions has to be rejected. Thus a rejecter may be more
comfortable/accustomed to rejecting, and an otherwise touchy rejectee
will have to expect some rejection.  

2)Since we aren't allowing anonymity or pseudonymity, we will also need
to verify to some extent that alleged Real Names are indeed real.  For
example, Thawte web-of-trust
(http://www.thawte.com/secure-email/web-of-trust-wot/index.html) could
be used for this; claimed university affiliation is generally

I'm not confident that "scientific background will be respected by the
people."  Perhaps the project should have a set of basic axioms that
contributors are required to agree with, e.g. the scientific method, the
illogic of a list of arguments, such as ad hominem (partly mentioned in
the manifesto).... Is this a good idea, or is it needlessly divisive? 
We don't want to go too far - there's a continuum between objective
reality and opinion.  Consider a few points along this line: I exist. 
You exist. Earth exists.  The Holocaust occurred.  Alien abductions
aren't frequent. humans evolved.  Astrology, Homeopathy are invalid. 
Abortion is ____...  At what point (if any) do we say: here's the point
beyond which there are multiple valid opinions, but before that, we
agree to agree that the dominant opinion is correct.

Also, if we work hard and create "a meritocracy with enforceable rules"
that proves to work very well, we could see the sincerest form of

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  • » [textop] Common assumptions; governance.