X-Message-Number: 23975
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 11:53:11 -0400
From: randolfe wicker <>
Subject: Tweaking form and use of ratings system

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Tweaking the form and use of cryonet's rating system is probably necessary.  I 
agree with the objection to overly long numbers as the code to do the ratings.  
However, by minimizing the initial email and then retrieving it worked very 
easily for me this first time.  I also saved it in my "cryonics" folder so I can
retrieve it should I lose my written version.

I don't think it is necessary to devise complicated mathematical divisions to 
decide which category of postings: "interesting" and/or "inflammatory".  
Usually, one can decide which single category best fits the posting in question.

The more important question is what values are put on posting ratings.  For 
instance, I thought Kennita's posting on this new rating system was both 
interesting and inflammatory.  I finally opted for "inflammatory" because, to 
me, "inflammatory" is a term with more positive than negative connotations.  I 
hate complacency and sometimes will make one of my own postings "inflammatory" 
in style just to provoke debate, get people's attention and change minds.  This 
country was born in part because of Tom Paine's "inflammatory" leaflets for 

I don't like the idea of "Big Brother" hiding out in Kevin's apartment and 
engaging in thought control and censorship.  I know many here have gotten angry 
at Kennita and others (me too) from time to time.  However, we shouldn't start 
having an approval process for postings here the way they do at the Calorie 
Restriction site.

The problem of too many postings might arise if cryonics gets good publicity.  
The calorie restriction site gets 50 to 80 postings a day and literally swamps a
subscriber's mailbox.  The number of posters has doubled in the past month due 
to media publicity.  I and others have started deleting many without reading and
are considering unsubscribing or accepting their "digest" option.  The problem 
is that a "digest" puts selection in the hands of an editor and items that might
be of special interest to you would not be included.

Of all the ratings, "off topic" should be the one with the most negative 
connotation.  In the past couple weeks, there were numerous postings about some 
philosopher which were totally beyond my comprehension and/or interest.  
Sometimes, "off-topic" debates (such as long ones about libertarians) might 
actually be of interest to me.  However, they shouldn't take up space here.

I think any censorship should not be based on tone--"inflammatory, interesting, 
informative, etc".  The only postings that should be considered for deletion are
those plainly off topic, those subjects that an overwhelming majority of people
have "rated" as being "off-topic".

We are all very intelligent here.  Nanogirl's posting was, in my opinion, both 
informative and possibly off-topic.  However,  while I know nanotechnology is an
important part of the developing Transhumanist dialogue and has important 
implications for possible revival of cryonics patients, I rated it as 
"informative" because that was the defining tone of that posting and I know 
Nanogril is an active member of Extropy Institute, etc.

On the other hand, in the unlikely event that her posting lead to days of 
cryonets being filled with nothing but technical arguments about aspects of 
nanotechnology that was far beyond my own comprehension, I might reluctantly 
resort to "off topic" ratings.

I better end here.  Otherwise, I might receive Kevin's self-proposed 
"long-winded" rating.

Cloningly yours,
For eternal life,

Randolph Wicker

Founder, Clone Rights United Front, www.clonerights.com 
Spokesperson, Reproductive Cloning Network, www.reproductivecloning.net
Advisor, The Immortality Institute, www.imminst.org
Special Correspondent, www.stemcellsclub.com 
phone: 201-656-3280

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