07 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 Advice for Dealing with Trolls

What to do instead So what should we do instead. It's very simple: Ask him what he means. ; interrogate him: "Why do you feel that Python is so bad? What do you find wrong with it?" Agree with him (but use a softer language): "Yes, Perl is a nice language, and I agree that Python has its downsides and/or trade-offs in comparison to Perl." "It's OK to prefer Perl, we'll still accept you here." This will make the troll lose steam and help you find a common ground. And eventually nego...
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An interesting take on the issue, which borrows a page from Wikipedia's suggestions for debate.

08 FEB 2011 by ideonexus

 Good Replicators have Fidelity, Fecundity, and Longevity

Effective memes will be those that cause high fidelity, long-lasting memory. Memes may be successful at spreading largely because they are memorable rather than because they are important or useful. Wrong theories in science may spread simply because they are comprehensible and fit easilty with existing theories, and bad books may sell more copies because you can remember the title when you get to the bookshop -- though, of course, we do have strategies for overcoming these biases. An importa...
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Since memes rely on memory, and memory is not digital, how effective are they as a replicator in our brains?

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Net is a Playground of Entropy

It may be fun to surf the Net and follow things randomly, but there's value in structure. The Net is a playground of entropy--the structurelessness that occurs when energy dissipates from a system. Yes, the Net also fosters self-organization, when individuals apply their energy, selectng and filtering information for others (aided by search and filtering tools). But there's rarely uch internal structure to what's selected; the structures created by links are usually webs of cross-references r...
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The net is information entropy in the way things are associated, without strong semantic connections, but mere relations in links.