X-Message-Number: 23989
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 20:49:50 -0400
From: "Kevin Q. Brown" <>
Subject: Ratings, Spam, and Politics

First, thanks to everyone who has used the message rating
system and offered feedback.  It's still maturing, but,
thanks to your suggestions, it already is significantly
more stream-lined and user-friendly than when first announced.
In particular, the Prev/Next hyperlinks greatly improve
navigation through the messages, you now can assign
multiple categories to a rating, and the "rater code"
is much shorter.  I'll continue making enhancements,
but won't announce every little detail on CryoNet.

In Message #23980 Randy <> suggested
that political bias may have motivated creation of the
CryoNet message ratings (and upcoming poster reputations).
I rated his message both Insightful and Flamebait for
(1) raising an interesting issue and then (2) ignoring
obvious counterarguments.

Randy is correct that previous Libertarian-oriented postings
did _not_ inspire a message rating system, but this recent
case distinguishes itself by the extent of the poster's robotic,
spammer-like behavior:

   (1) Normal people respond to complaints.  He never does.

   (2) Normal people usually write their own messages,
       or explain the relevance of a message they are
       forwarding if the relevance is not obvious.
       He just repeatedly forwards offtopic material.

   (3) Normal people engage in conversation.  He just keeps
       spewing.  The "conversation" is one-way.

   (4) Normal people eventually tire of their offtopic
       conversations.  Their effect is like random noise.
       His persistence in promoting an agenda unrelated to
       the purpose of the mailing list, despite many private
       and public complaints, has become a systemic problem,
       no longer random noise.  It also confirms his lack
       of regard for the mailing list and the people who
       contribute to it.

Here is another way to understand the situation.

Suppose that an adult human had just been cryopreserved
("frozen") and then 100% successfully restored to normal life,
thereby proving that cryonics really works.  Suppose also
that you started sending email about that wonderful success
to everyone on the Internet, not just once, but many times.
Many people complain about all that unsolicited email,
but you realize that this news is so important that you keep
sending your message to everyone you can.  After all,
it can save lives!

Is that spam?  I say "Yes!".

     Kevin Q. Brown

PS: I just noticed a side-effect of the rating system.
     By not posting my reply quickly enough, some of my
     points duplicate those of an earlier message in the
     same digest, making this message somewhat Redundant. :-(

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