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Since several people have been asking me about this, I just want to mention: At Bradley's instigation, I spent a few hours chatting with Chris Poole a few years ago. What I discovered was a man who was quite thoughtful about issues of social dynamics and interactions. 

The things that 4chan became (in)famous for grew rather organically out of the system, out of the people who ended up congregating there and the ways they used the tools. Poole is by no means a troll or a troll-curator, and I actually think that with the rather different crowd of people who hang out here on G+, he's going to make something really exciting.

(When you ignore the people who came and went quickly, there's actually a pretty awesome culture here on the Plus. I've had more good conversations on this site than I've had, cumulatively, on the entire rest of the Internet. This is a good place to build from.)

So I'm looking forward to seeing what he does. And fear not: we aren't about to become a den of infamy. This isn't that kind of place, and we don't intend for it to be.
Chris Poole, the founder of 4chan, one of the world's most infamous websites, has joined Google. Poole announced the news in a blog post today, saying that he was impressed by the "intelligence,...
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142 comments
 
I take it, then, he'll be involved with G+. That seems like a good thing to me.
 
i think this was a very smart business hire ... also concur with the opinion he's very sharp wrt social workings, and will do a lot to enhance buzz positively on G+.

i know i'm staying around ...
 
I hope he learned a lot of lessons at 4Chan that will improve the quality of interactions here on the plus. 
 
No: Google+ shall become a parlor of infamy where we troll with the grace and decorum of the civilized and bored!
 
There is something oddly disconcerting about Bradley announcing this on Twitter, and the fact that @moot is mentioned rather than +mentioning his G+ profile...
 
+Sordatos Cáceres Not directly, since I haven't worked on G+ since last September or so. :) I'm leading our efforts to build an ambient computing platform nowadays.
 
+Steven Flaeck Have you ever listened to the Indelicates' album Songs for Swinging Lovers, by any chance?
 
Oops. Well I'm glad that not working in the platform didn't lower your level of engagement here.

Does Moot acknowledge that 4chan became the face of unchecked social media and am the caveats that brought to 4chan? What would be be doing in G+? 
 
Thanks for posting this, +Yonatan Zunger​. Information about this move has been sparse. I hope whoever is leading G+ development will give us the tools to moderate communities. Otherwise people's fear of 4chan will be justified, Poole or no Poole. 
 
Thank you for allaying my fears. It's tempting to tar him as guilty by association.
 
Well, it sounds like Poole is at least competent, or 4chan wouldn't have been a popular platform for trolls. Better that he applies his powers for good, and well done Google for trying to get that outcome.
 
I am going to remain skeptical until proven wrong. Frankly, that your magnum opus is a message board with little-to-no rules is... not a great accolade. Name recognition will not help here. Especially not given existing and increasing moderation issues. I'm just glad I don't own any communities.
Sushubh
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I am curious about the Google Podium (Google Posts?) launch. Google+ already exists but Google now has a new platform aimed solely at celebrities to share updates with their followers and fans. 

https://www.google.com/posts/

Though I guess Poole is not related to the launch of this platform. 
 
Interesting that you met with him years back +Yonatan Zunger. Does Chris have a G+ account, has he been at all active here? What he's built with 4chan is definitely respectful and I have no doubt, he's got great ideas.. but I'd love to see some people who have used G+ daily from practically Day 1 actually be involved with working on his team. He is somewhat of an unconventional hire and I would be interested in continuing on that same unconventional thinking with shaping G+ moving forward, especially into a space that will not just provide an addictive, entertaining, & fun atmosphere but provide new services that no other social arena has built that will peak interests from even non-Plussers or inactive ones. Thanks and Cheers!
 
+Sushubh The Podium launch is something very different, for very different purposes; it's not a social network of any sort.
 
Google's version of Twitter was Google Buzz, and it didn't last long.
 
The question is... will you become... "curated?"


 
I'm glad that you took the time to post this message. You are a well respected member of our community here and know how much this place means to us. Hopefully he will contribute great things to this platform. 
 
I do hope +Yonatan Zunger​ that G+ is not becoming a Twitter twin with all the shadow banning and control of the free speech that Twitter is implementing recently. 
 
I actually use G+ because it is the anti-facebook, the not-twitter, the un-pinterest and the didn't-reddit. Sure there's plenty of trash talk in the +Ingress​ community (now you know where my nickname is from) but for the most part this is where the people congregate who understand the concept of intelligent conversation and civil discourse. Let's hope Mr. Poole catches on quickly. 
 
+Yonatan Zunger Interesting to see you say that of Podium. I was thinking that one interesting way to develop that would be to start with a high-affinity group (though I'm not sure politicians is that) and grow a user base from that. Some parallels to Facebooks "grow from Harvard" strategy, which, planned or otherwise, worked quite well.
 
I for one welcome our new Gchan overlords.
L Brown
 
I think 4chan is too easily dismissed as a haven for trolls. I've never really browsed the site, but every once in a while I'll see something interesting or entertaining posted elsewhere and I learn that it was created or became popular (to some extent) on 4chan.

That being said, I'll probably never visit because I don't want to shift through all of the other stuff that 4chan is infamous for to get that content. 
 
He should start by creating his own profile ! Leading by example.
Presently, when you search "Chris Poole", the first name you get is a guy with 180 followers and a motto "no job"...
 
I too am skeptical about this choice. Any environment comes from the top which is where he sat... for years. Regardless of his later "epiphanies", this seems an odd choice for a company that is working towards hiring diversity. 
 
I am.... well, not shocked. Amused and disappointed at the same time.

The commentary is expected, but not really a goodness thing. 

Here, among what is arguably the most prolific social grouping (yonatan's posts) of the progressive and liberal intelligentsia of the internet we have..... distrust because Chris Poole failed to be a proper tyrant and practice firm, absolute control over his social network.
 
+Christof Harper I think the distrust is fair, because 4chan turned into one of the vilest bits of the Internet, which is no mean feat. I certainly was highly suspicious when I first met him; to what extent had he encouraged and enabled that? It took a while of talking before I got the sense that he really had not done this deliberately, and it's entirely to be expected that he'll have to prove himself to a wider audience as well.
 
There are lots of people with well-established insight into social networks. I hope G+ is taking greater strides to cultivate a broader perspective and not putting lots of eggs into one potentially risky basket.
 
Well, I will wait and see what happens.
 
Still hoping for the return of an RSS reader. I predict it will take about three more years encompassing five more massive failures.
 
Well I see two issues mainly on G+: it is possible to have users without a real, confirmed first and last name and people need to be politically correct otherwise they get banned just because of their ideas and questions.
 
However - that Google executives use Twitter to send announcements, that's beyond me.
 
"When you ignore the people who came and went quickly, there's actually a pretty awesome culture here on the Plus."

I doubt there is such a thing as "culture here on the Plus". The culture differs largely based on what communities you interact with.
 
Technically speaking G+ was gutted some time back. I seriously preferred the earlier direction when it was still supposed to become the central identity platform. The only reason I stayed after Google technically messed it up are you, the people here.

Congrats on the new hire. I doubt he can make much difference though, at least not in the direction of restoring the integrated identity approach. Sure, let him give his best shot. We will see soon enough.
 
I'm not sure anymore what any announcement like this means for what's left of G+, but I'm here to the end, knock on wood there is no end. At this point, G+ feels like a carved up post-WW1 Europe to me, and I know I'm not alone with this assessment - but I trust you, +Yonatan Zunger and I know you'll always be straight with us about your assessments...
 
+Yonatan Zunger
It doesn't have to be bad intent that causes problems, it can be a lack of understanding or a naive assumption of how some people will act.  In any case, I hope he has gained some insight and can use it for good at G+
 
"Different crowd". Well, there is definitely a fair share of trolls and trolling also on G+. When traffic increases, so will the trolls, make no mistake. As a woman I am already very much trying to limit what I say and to whom, here on G+. That's one reason many of us are concerned. We are hoping that the choice of Poole doesn't mean Google takes lightly on women avoiding discussing tech to avoid trolls, and I know I speak for many when we worry some of the trolls might follow Poole along. We'd like to understand how G+ plans to tackle this, should it happen. 
 
I'll see what happens -- but I'm still hoping for better moderation tools for G+.
 
While I'm sure he can't be 100% responsible for what 4chan turned into (+Yonatan Zunger put it well, "one of the vilest bits of the Internet"), I'd feel better if there were some evidence out there (past posts) which indicated that moot was, at least a little, disturbed at what 4chan became, and (even better) some evidence that he, at least, attempted to curtail it.
 
Seeing lots of wibbling about G+ being "failing" on twitter. G+ is the least "failed" place on the Internet, if you're talking about the experience of actually using it rather than raw numbers.
 
+Dave Wagner Moot stepped down as a 4chan admin in 2014 and sold out in 2015  http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenorsini/2015/09/21/4chan-sale-2channel-moot-christopher-poole-hiroyuki-nishimura/#12e58b7e35d7 And his statement about the success of DrawQuest with teenage girls illustrates how unhappy he was with 4chan:
"It’s a friendly, happy, inviting community. It’s the polar opposite of 4chan,” Obviously most of us didn't create something with global impact as a 15-year old, as moot did 4chan - so our naivety and poor judgements haven't been similarly exposed.
 
Crawling out from under the digital rock, I have no idea what 4chan is, DrawQuest or Chris Poole. I pretty much keep to what I create and who I meet on G+. It's been a mostly good experience. Looking forward to what the future brings, but until then, enjoying the present G+ for what it is.
 
I was hoping I'd finally get some of all that infamy I've been working so hard to earn.

I mean, I almost had it. I accidentally formed a community that had religious apologists crossing themselves :D
 
When I I was a kid I had this fish tank.  I had some nice fish in there, too.  I'd clean it and try to keep it nice.  But someone told me it didn't look clean so I cleaned it Real Good.  Killed most of the fish in that tank.   

Somewhere along the line, GoogleAlphabetWhatsItToday has to quit tearing up the pea patch with its offerings - and get serious about applying some gradual improvement strategy to what it's got. The Chris Poole hire shows The Goog is continuing along the same trend lines.  

The very idea of hiring on someone who doesn't even have a G+ account, knows nothing of this community or what makes it unique - this is so typically and awfully GoogleAlphabetWhatsItToday. They've messed with G+, too often and too deeply.  G+ will never be Facebook or Twitter.  But, y'know what?  It's G+, which is a rather beautiful thing, in my opinion.  
 
So much talk of G+ being a failed social network (on other networks). To me, G+ is the only one that hasn't failed (for my needs).
The endless spam gathered from every conceivable source dumped in my thread chased me from fb. That was the first thing I noticed about G+, zero spam.

What I didn't anticipate was the educational potential here. That highlights the fundamental difference - Facebook is people oriented, G+ is interest oriented.
I follow and have learned much from many weapons grade intellects that interact here. That's what I love about this network.(besides no spam!)

G+ gave us this platform, and as has been said - it's up to the users how that tool is used. I have strong faith in the decisions Google makes, and that gentleman made a statement when he dropped 4chan and took a position at Google. A step up. Actions speak.

I think giving the G+ users tools to deal with trolls would greatly enhance the experience and character of G+. Flagging inappropriate behavior so that a cumulative total would automatically ban them would be a viable mechanism. There is an army of users who care about the quality of G+ and would defend it's character.

Gallagher's idea. Issue licensed drivers a dart gun. You see a driver do something dumb, pop his vehicle with a dart with a flag that says "Dumb shit" on it. A cop sees a car go by bristling with darts, he pulls him over and gives him a ticket for being a dumbshit.


 
I thought 4chan was made by the same people who made 2chan
 
Nice idea +David Andrews but it's too easy, on the Interwebz, to build angry mobs. In fact I would argue that half the problem with many of the forums is the Internet angry mob mentality which is often used to shut down ideas and "no platform" people who disagree.

The trouble with automated systems is they can be gamed, especially by people who work out how they operate. I would much rather humans were involved for that reason.

I was a moderator on a popular forum for about 10 years, and now moderate some communities on G+, including one with nearly 45,000 members. I've seen the sort of bad behaviour that a minority of people get up to.

In my experience, some of the worst Internet bullies are those that play the victim, that drag you into a conflict and then try to have your opinion or authority dismissed by claiming you are attacking them. And so, even with human intervention they try to game the system by trying to drag moderators into fights, in an attempt to discredit them or even get them removed by the community.

If there was an automated system, they would definitely game it to get people they disagreed with (or who were standing in their way of taking over the community) banned.

And, also, people's individual judgement and tolerance of various things isn't the same. What (for instance) you might consider relevant content, I might consider spam. I think part of the community aspect is in forming shared values about these things.

I'm largely of the view that there are enough communities on G+ (and the Internet at large) that if you don't like a community, there's plenty of other places to go, and that's the best form of censorship. Just as with TV, you can change channel or use the "off" switch if something offends you.

And the environment should be flexible enough that, if you can't tolerate photos of cats (for instance) you are within your right to create a community where people who post such photos are not welcome, and can be quickly banned from it without affecting their wider reputation.
 
How does he not reconcile his stance with respect to anonymity on-line with the sense of irresponsibility it creates in the vast majority of people who abuse anonymity? He still seems to feel strongly regarding the right to anonymity, which was the accelerant for what 4chan became. We see this time and time again (Yik Yak as the latest example).
 
Anonymity is not the issue, accountability is.
 
Like, the guys who write Penny Arcade get to be unaccountable jerks even without anonymity, because that's their job.
 
Accountability, really? Nobody on 4chan would ever ban me for insisting that dark matter is black holes. But if a 4chan admin doesn't like the fact that I keep pointing out they are doing their math wrong when supporting political candidates who want to send teenagers with guns to fight wars for their arms dealer political patrons, they would be less likely to ban me for that than G+ admins because the ban system on 4chan is so weak.
 
+Peter da Silva I got kicked out of the Science on G+ community for challenging Brian Koberlin to a debate on whether dark matter is black holes, and +Yonatan Zunger still refuses to acknowledge the error I found in his Politifact score aggregation falsely placing Clinton over Sanders. At least he hasn't silently blocked me against his own published policy like some Googlers.
 
+Yonatan Zunger: Whom should we bother with G+'s bugs now that you're hunting the ambient bugs instead?
 
+Andres Soolo The official answer is "Use Feedback". There's also a G+ Help Community.

My answer is "create a G+ issues Collection and post to it" (I submit some of those posts to Feedback). Ping +Danielle Buckley​ or +Luke Wroblewski​ perhaps -- Danielle's the PM, Luke does a good job of reporting on progress.

(Apologies to both Danielle and Luke for the ping, but extracting and inserting your profile page URLs is an absolute PITA on the Mobile app. Just saying'....)
 
Press release: "In its relentless quest to pursue expansion into the realm of digits as well as its current core competency, the letters, Alphabet announces acquisition of 4chan, pending regulatory approval ..."
 
+James Salsman I don't know what you're talking about re: "his own published policy." I don't have a published policy about blocking people. Mostly, I block people who are either systematically disruptive, or who go way the fuck over the line. And there's nothing wrong with blocking people. If you find someone annoying, you're under no obligation to continue to talk to them, or to continue to invite them to your conversations.
 
+Andres Soolo Use the "send feedback" link, please. That was always a far more reliable mechanism than hoping I had free time at the right moment. :)
 
G+ often reminds me of the better parts of Usenet back in the 1990s. 4chan is more like... the OTHER parts of Usenet.
 
USENET didn't have nearly as many corporate marketeers trying to pass themselves off as serious journalists. The first time I got banned from G+ it was because I got mass-reported by Newt Gingrich fans for posting the analysis of his tax plan incidence compared to Mitt Romney's on their threads. It was like seven threads, too, which seems like a lot less than the number of reports you would want someone to have against them for being silently blocked from everyone by a robot. But I don't even remove overt racism and insults from my own threads because I believe when people are so vile, my followers will correctly adjust the amount of esteem in which they hold the perpetrators.

I remember getting blocked by one of Google's tax lawyers for pointing out the irony of his complaints that his mother, a public school teacher in a district neighboring the Shoreline Park Community Tax District, got laid off. Sure, it's "fine" to have a robot censor people for you in a case like that. How could anyone ever have an ethical problem with it? 
 
+Yonatan Zunger As mentioned many times previously: Google's Feedback mechanism (which is used far beyond just G+) leaves a great deal to be desired from a user perspective. I really wish Google would address that/those.
 
+Yonatan Zunger​ Damnit! When is Google going to recognise the obvious needs of the alt. binaries.pictures.erotica.hamster.electrical-tape community?
 
Actually, having now read a bit about 4chan, I find my earlier comment about my own runaway community strangly fitting.

Strangly was a typo, but it's strangely fitting.
 
Interesting. I would've never imagined Moot working for Google at any point in his life.

Good for him, though. Working there is a great learning and building opportunity. :)

 
+Peter da Silva On G+ success/failure, I'm of decidedly mixed minds. Raw engagement numbers are poor, as I've demonstrated and others (Stone Temple Consulting) have validated. For discussion there are vastly more active areas, notably reddit. On G+, you have salons, as I'd observed early on. People such as Yonatan who gather an active follower community. I've managed a small but satisfactory one myself.

On content and s/n, the surprise and overwhelming winner is MetaFIlter, based on other research I've done. Which is interesting in its own way.

For capabilities in posting, an own-blog remains among your best options (full HTML, lists, bullets, headers, tables, inline images). Reddit, Ello, and Medium approach this.

If Google hadn't pushed full-and-forced integration with its other properties so hard, G+ might have proven a useful adjuct to blogs (Blogspot/Blogger). And still might. As it is, a lot of violated trust and missed opportunity.

And yet, with modest expectations, it performs modestly well.

Though I've got a very strong sense Google themselves really never quite knew what they had on their hands, or how to drive it. Pity.
 
I feel like G+ is a strong base for social networking as long as it keeps getting refinements.

Complain as I may about lack of fine grained moderation and filtering tools, the in-stream commenting and decent mobile client simply makes it easier to use and converse in than more full featured communities like DW/LJ. The basic featureset contains good sharing, discussion (yes, even with flat threads), privacy (circles), and ultra important: easy commenting. That last is really important for discussion to take place.

Notifications and commenting are very important, and notifications are a little fragile for that importance, but function pretty well with care.

I'd add filtering, better moderation, and even though Photos has been separated I think it's a very important adjunct; I'd start by returning it to the feature set that Picasa had (album sorting and being able to add to existing albums from a G+ post are a must) and then refine from there.

As far as community management and spam reduction goes, the featureset is not well fleshed but decent in the circles but profoundly lacking in communities, so I'd focus on that, too. Google generally does well at filtering and responding to outright spammers, but is still lacks tools for handling abuse/harassment.
 
+James Salsman I figured it was something like that but I am still not seeing the relevance to my comment.
 
+Edward Morbius I have recently started engaging in reddit and do not find it any better for extended discussion than G+, and significantly worse for anything but 1 on 1. I don't actually care what your statistics show, because people are not metrics.
 
4chan is good at doing what 4chan is for.
If he can ensure G+ is good at doing what G+ is for, then I'm happy.

My circles and interactions have (over the years) become a beautiful thing, full of science and debate, craft and culture.

My 65,000+ member debate group is generally well behaved, despite the controversial topics that arise.

I'm proud of Plus - viva la Plus! :)
 
Appalling decision.

My last time using Google+.

 
+Peter da Silva I actually agree: G+ has better long-term discussion capabilities. The Notifications mechanism is the secret sauce.

What Reddit offers is more a Slashdot-type discussion capability, with a large number of individual forums, some of which offer highly specific engagement with specific communities.

If I'm interested in energy, renewables, ecological, historical, or scientific questions, I'll hit Reddit.

My own subreddit is useful largely as a filing cabinet, with some engagement, though it's limited. I've got a few fans there though.

Larger subreddits are too noisy for real discussion, though there's often interesting information posted. Some are tremendously large.
 
+Keith Milner I agree with much of what you say, however there is one really big problem here:
You say that there are " (...)enough communities on G+ (and the Internet at large) that if you don't like a community, there's plenty of other places to go, and that's the best form of censorship. Just as with TV, you can change channel or use the "off" switch if something offends you." 
+Yonatan Zunger also points out that "you're under no obligation to continue to talk to them, or to continue to invite them to your conversations". 
All this is true and well, however it's not always quite that easy. Just blocking and leaving forums - and trust me, I have done that - creates a very narrow world, where in the end only male middle class between 25 and 40 is heard. Can we, the western world, afford that?  
When it comes to trolls there are things that we shouldn't have to hear in the first place, and the mere RISK of hearing some of the things you hear especially as a woman, is preventing many women from expressing an opinion, give advice or ask questions in the first place. That is true not the least in tech forums, which is what at least I use G+ for.  That is my main concern here. Where does Google want G+ to go? Is it meant to be a male playground or is it for everyone? I said it in another forum; Getting more traffic on G+ shouldn't be much of a challenge. Getting quality traffic might be. At the same time, it doesn't stand of fall with one man, and I hope there will be a clear strategy and a team working together making sure that it isn't the bullied who have to keep the guard up, but the bully. 

And I really hope G+ will continue to be more about quality than quantity. 
 
+Ann-Katrin B How about we make a brand of communities moderated to ensure an equal playing field, to avoid "domain loss"?
It should be simple enough: first of all, we need some recruiters to get the target audience in there. Then we need some moderators to make sure undesireable behavior is minimized or eliminated entirely.

By "brand" I mean that the same basic method can be applied to several specialized communities (like tech, science, mathematics, engineering, etc.)
 
So, what you are suggesting +Ann-Katrin B is that, if we are not careful the world will polarize into cat people and dog people unless we actively legislate against it?

IMHO this is rubbish: a great example of the slippery-slope logical fallacy.

There are plenty of people between these two extremes including many people who love both dogs and cats equally. In my view they make up the majority. It should be possible to build communities around those people, set rules accordingly, and put in place moderation to put off pet extremists of all kinds and to deal with them swiftly if they do infiltrate the community.

Note I say extremists of all kinds. IMO pro-cat extremists are just as bad as, if not worse for the cat community, than anti-cat extremists; extreme points of view polarise people and cause arguments and distrust more than anything else.

There will always be communities where people who disagree with your point of view hang out. Some of these will tolerate childish and disrespectful arguments. Many of these will be run by bigots and thugs. You can't stop that and legislating against it will just make the problem worse IMO.

(Obviously, there are limits: a community of white supremacist terrorists advocating violence should be shut down and the members reported to the authorities)

What we can do is make sure we have the tools and support to build and grow communities which are more balanced and where adults can thrive and have mature, respectful conversations. You can't force that. There is no algorithm for it. All you can do is put the conditions in place to allow that to happen.

And I believe we mostly have the tools, and people, available to do that. How we use them is up to us!
 
OK, in that case I apologize for misunderstanding +Ann-Katrin B but the crux of my comment stands: the only way to do this is for like-minded people to build these communities.

There is no magic bullet (legal, technical, or otherwise).
 
Just as long as the man invents a cat picture filter...
 
+Keith Milner No problem. 
And I agree with what you are saying. There is no magic bullet - if there was, I am sure it would have been used already.
It takes constant work to create a creative environment  where community members encourage each other to discuss and learn from each other.  I hope Google will continue to send the signals that this is the kind of environment they want G+ to be. 
 
Following on from that, I think there is tendency for us to want to take on people we disagree with, as per the XKCD strip http://xkcd.com/386/

I'm increasingly thinking this can be unhealthy behaviour, and yet some people will purposefully enter an ailurophobic community to criticise it's members opinions on cats (and may even then take offence when they are treated with contempt).

There are things Google (and any social network) can do: shut down clearly illegal activity, ban people who consistently violate the ToS, provide tools and support to deal with stalkers and persistent harassers, etc.

However, in the latter case all they can do here is help, the primary onus must always be on the victim to take action, e.g. by reporting to the authorities. And I am aware that the law is often lacking in this area.

But I'm not sure what else Google (or any other social network) can do. It's unreasonable to expect them to actively moderate content. And, even if they did, I'm not sure I would want Google to be the "thought police" on this platform.

Additionally, any technical tools they put in place are just as useful to the criminals, bigots and extremists. You can't limit moderation tools to the "good guys". And such tools can often be abused to attack those they were trying to protect (see my comments above about gaming the system).

EDIT: They can, of course, make sure the tools they put in place don't actively encourage bad behaviour. This, IMO is where Peeple is looking like a failure.

At the end of the day, it's up to us to build great communities and to avoid the nasty ones. Google can only help so much with that.
 
Hello, please listen to the users of the G +, enable the ability to post images in comments (many want this option) and responses become linked in the original post. I love the G +, but is much frozen in time while the FB always has fun news. Hugs and good luck at work.
 
Maybe Chris can start by creating his own G+ account... ;)
 
+Peter da Silva I chose to comment on accountability as a topic, and not your comment about it in particular, and to indicate my choice I specifically did not include your name in my response. What is this fetishization of topic scope on G+? Nobody owes anyone else a point-by-point response to everything they say. I chose to directly address the central topic of discussion instead of your particulars. If there is something specific that you would like me to address, I would be happy to do so if you let me know what it is.
 
Uh, ok. I brought up accountability and your message was right after my two messages on the topic, but I'm supposed to understand that you're making an unrelated aside. Seriously, I thought there must be something obvious I was missing in what I'd posted.

Instead of getting huffy about details of attribution, how about putting something like 'as an aside' to separate your comment from its context?
 
+Peter da Silva perhaps I should use "as an aside" as my G+ nickname to remove any doubt. I'm sorry if I come off as brash. Clearly G+ is simply not ready for my ungrammatical beat prose poems on the relationship between H1-B salary statistics and double Dutch Irish sandwiches for corporate perpetual travelers as a method of subpoena compliance cost control when implemented through the BIOS-JTAG interface on email spam detection machine learning clusters.
 
+James Salsman That said, your tendency to get into fights with people about how they did or didn't respond to you is the thing most likely to end with blocking.
 
+Yonatan Zunger +James Salsman​ Exactly this. It's the principle reason I've blocked Salsman under my primary account. The fact that he persists in doing same only reinforces my initial decision.

Well ... actually, not my initial decision as I've rescinded it a few times and always come to regret doing so.

I'd normally not discuss this publicly except that Salsman seems so utterly bent on doing so. I'll also not be revisiting this particular thread under this profile as, well, it's just going to get really annoying now, isn't it.

Muting out.
 
+Yonatan Zunger how do you recommend handling the situation with black hole dark matter in the Science on G+ community? Also, would you be comfortable if you were experiencing what I've been through with Newt and all the deletions here, and then you were accused of "getting into fights" when trying to understand why they happened?
 
+James Salsman I would suggest, by accepting that not everyone feels like having every conversation, and it's OK for them to do that.
 
+James Salsman​, allow me offer a piece of advice - study the Buddhist idea of non-attachment. For example, never get back to disagreements "to get justice" etc. Especially not when you are actually right. It is better to walk away or just block them. If they blocked you, thank them for you no longer having to deal with them.

Focus on developing productive thoughts with people where it kind of just happens with the flow, naturally. This approach, not swimming against the current, but going with the flow, gives you higher return (intellectual, emotional, or otherwise) at a lower cost.

Some people are likely to stage fights with you and blame you for it, because of your political views. Block them, without giving them those fights.

When I detect a situation with any intentional unfairness, dishonesty, etc. that is not just innocent humour, I block everyone who does it on purpose, systematically, with no exceptions based on how long I have known them etc. - if I determine it is intentional, malevolent. The justice of blocking is non-attachment. If people want to fight, I do not give a fuck. I block them just like that. Intellectually honest debates are of course another matter, as well as well-intentioned humour, etc. As you know, I really like those.

So, if you are now feeling you have been treated unfairly, it is probably true. So what. Just forget it.

One more thing, you don't have to block anyone, but then you will get more of the experiences that may consume your energy. It requires more active "letting go". Blocking is a more relaxed approach that works for a lazy person like myself.
 
+James Salsman​, it depends on context. Dialectical analysis requires intellectual honesty, like I say in my above comment, I do prefer that. When another party intentionally fails that, or is otherwise clearly incapable, unwilling, etc. to have such debate, then I recommend walking away, and/or blocking if they keep pestering you. Let's save the dialectics between people who can appreciate it.

This has nothing to do with whether you agree with the person. It has more to do with are they playing fair or capable of it, interested in it at all.

I didn't read every link in your reddit link above, but I did read some. I would certainly not go back to seek fairness, like you did there. I think you got unfairly downvoted there, but so what. Happens all the time even in more important contexts. Anything from petty disputes to world wars. People are generally fucked up, so focus on spending time with those who are less so.

+Edward Morbius​, works online on any forums. In face-to-face situations, you don't need to "block" as much. Letting go of toxic people is still good advice. IRL, if you 1) cannot get rid of them AND 2) they do not play fair, do not communicate fair, then you have to emotionally confront them, but that is the last resort. Why emotionally? Because they do not listen to reason.
 
If blocking someone is detachment, why do I feel a surge of stress when I do it?
 
+Andreas Geisler I used to feel awful about blocking/muting people, at first.  I don't, anymore.  Reasonable people disagree, we tell ourselves - I believe I've disagreed with you, at turns.  But have these encounters been respectful, is there some sense wherein that disagreement might lead to some further insight on my part?  Furthermore, it's boring and fruitless to only converse with those who agree with us.

But I'm not here to fight with anyone.  I must resign myself to the fact I won't change anyone's mind - I often forget this.  I have been unfair and caustic with people, dismissive of their arguments, I am not an entirely wonderful person.  And because of these tendencies, I often sense blocking people who've been nasty to me - and others - has been unfair.

But past a few hundred followers, and too much time wasted out here on G+, I've learned to add fewer people and block/mute more people. Relationships can survive almost anything except for the death of respect.  Like a dead tree, it might continue to stand for many years, but it's dead.  And once respect is gone, there's no hope of regaining it.  So I block, more for my own self-respect, knowing I will respond in kind - than for any other reason.
 
+Dan Weese Then the detachment is not in the blocking, but in the person doing it.

And somehow, I think a true Buddhist solution would not involve blocking, because avoiding suffering is to be attached to suffering.
 
+Andreas Geisler Buddhism calls upon us to renounce illusion.  The chiefest and wickedest of all illusions and deceptions is Wonderful Dan Weese.    Face it, once we've all gotten over our own wonderfulness, the world will be a paradise of our own making.  But until then, I have to periodically remind myself that the Someone On the Internet Who's Wrong is me.  
 
I take G+ as regular medication against <other social network>-induced loss of faith in humanity. 
 
+Andreas Geisler​, the suffering in this case is in the attachment to stressful communication. Letting it go is detachment. Blocking is a perfectly effective way of doing that, assuming you don't get stuck with that idea either. It doesn't really work, if you stress about the blocking. :-)
 
I stress out over blocking people, unless they're spammers, who get a block and report, so instead tend to only read people who curate civil threads. I suppose that the practical effect there is that I'm distributing my block list settings among my friends, who block or not as they prefer, but I benefit from their blocking. It's not as much disagreement that bothers me as much as whether or not it stays above the belt.
 
+James Salsman​, I do agree that automated blocking without appeal would be wrong. On the other hand spammers use automation and if there are reliable ways to automatically detect automated spamming, then I can certainly understand that.
 
+Sakari Maaranen Sigh.. I was once part of a site which had elected moderators, I have concluded an appeals process is no remedy.  We'd throw angry people off the site for a day or two, sometimes we'd block them permanently.  When elections would come round, every six months, being elected was viewed as an onerous duty.  L'enfer, c'est les autres == hell is other people.  I much prefer the G+ modus vivendi,  mute, then block if necessary. 

Now I will tell you what I fear from Chris Poole's appearance hereabouts:  he will change this process and Much Drama will result.  Should any of his previous incarnations prove any guide to those changes, I will simply leave.  I'm sick of drama.  I haven't seen another human being in three days now.  I'm working in total isolation, babysitting one of my client's businesses and will be all this week.  This is my outlet and I have no patience for any more stirring of the G+ pot.
 
+Dan Weese​, needless drama is certainly one of my pet peeves. It sometimes works for comical effect; for example, further exaggerating already extreme American politics. Other times it can be honest; for example, reporting on Arctic ice loss - that is dramatic. But then - we have people who are "outraged" because others drink tequila wearing little sombreros as party hats - because "ethnic stereotyping"... Come on. That sort of drama is just plain stupid. I suppose next they want ethnic restaurants closed for similar reasons.
"Italians baking pizza" - ethnic stereotyping!
"Finns going to sauna, eating makkara and drinking beer" - ethnic stereotyping!
"Men donning white robes and pointed hats, burning crosses" ... okay - that may be worth complaining.
 
+Sakari Maaranen Years ago, when I was doing refugee work and was burning out, I remember calling my mother, from 11 time zones away, basically ready to quit in defeat.  She'd done much the same sort of work and this is what she said:  do emotional triage.

1.  Can anything be done right away?  If yes, do it.  If not, go to question 2.

2.  When can anything be done about it?  If a definite answer emerges, schedule it.  If not, proceed to question 3.

3.  Can anything ever be done about it?  

Here it gets tricky, because as an aid worker, you don't always know.  But if the answer comes back No, you pull back emotionally - for your own well-being.  If you allow yourself to be wrapped around the axle of problems you can't fix, you're already defeated and you won't be able to solve the multitude of problems you can solve.

I burned out, eventually.  I came to realise, no matter how many problems I solved, I wasn't really attenuating the underlying causes of those problems.  Nor could I.  So it all became a Question 3.  And I withdrew.  And yes, I suppose in the ultimate analysis, I failed.  But I didn't go crazy over it all.  I'd done what I could and that would have to be enough.

I block people because I can't deal with the drama anymore.  I have a saviour complex as big as the Statue of Liberty.  I'm arrogant and pedantic and a goddamn know-it-all.  So I stop putting fuel on these fires, knowing I'm most of the problem.  
 
+Dan Weese​​​, you can do the same with much less stress, or no stress at all, if you know all the time the world is what it is. The idea is not to fix it. Build your castle in the sand. Make it beautiful. Break it or let it wash away. Make new ones. Let them go. Make the most beautiful, perfect castle, best of them all. See how others make them even bigger and more beautiful. Some smaller, equally beautiful. Then step on them. Break them. Wash them away. And make a new one.
 
+Sakari Maaranen Ecch... I used to have this Buddhist roshi who used to scold me about my saviour complex.  There's this buddha, the Japanese call him Amida Butsu, the Buddha of Light.  https://goo.gl/owBcHD

When Japanese people get old, they turn to Buddhism and to this particular buddha.  Just saying his name is enough to bring about salvation.  They say namu amida butsu , but it's repeated endlessly, until it becomes all slurred together, nembutsu .

There's a kotowaza , a Japanese proverb:  _uma no mimi ni nembutsu_ , literally to whisper "nembutsu" in a horse's ear.  Rather like that proverb pearls before swine.  The Buddha of Light stands before the gates of paradise, illuminating the universe.  When every sentient being has achieved salvation, then he will enter paradise himself, but not before.  Thus, the horse will in time, through reincarnation, eventually be released from the Wheel.  But not this time round, eh?  He doesn't understand Buddhist doctrine, does this horse.    
 
It cannot be helped, +Dan Weese​. Various soteriologies are another of my pet peeves. In my thinking, "enlightenment" (silly word :-) is just a kind of not giving a shit - in a humorous sense, in a relaxed, friendly way, not cynical, not indifferent, rather than any kind of salvation. Perhaps the horse likes the whisper, or the soft voice. He does not need to understand. He is just a horse.
 
+Sakari Maaranen Enlightenment isn't bullshit. But it may not be what you think it is either.


First: there's a quite curious symmetry in the definitions of the words enlightenment, apocalypse, revelation, and catastrophe. All have the sense of an unveiling or revealing, if you dig to their etymological roots.

There's a quote from an ancient eastern a recent Cupertino mystic, "Adyashanti", which caught my eye:

Make no mistake about it -- enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or becoming happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It's seeing through the facade of pretense. It's the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.

It's sitting in a drafts post of mine tentative titled "Santa Claus" for reasons which should be reasonably surmiseable.


I've also been interested in how responses to major disasters have evolved. One of the more interesting ones I'd found was of the Japanese response to the bombing of Hiroshima. It took hours for awareness of what had happened to sink in, and it wasn't until the US government cabled the Japanese with a statement the next day that the true cause was revealed. I found parallels between that and the events detailed in the documentary Inside Job, with multiple independent whistleblowers being independently aware (but not aware of each other) that something was wrong. Most significantly, "Numbers weren't adding up." That's quite similar to my own experience in systems administration -- it's not that your monitoring tells you what is wrong, but the story they tell is inconsistent and doesn't make sense (or the site's just plain down). More: http://redd.it/1wf9yc

"Not giving a shit" doesn't come from enlightenment, but acceptance of the inevitable.
 
Hmm. I think I have some slightly salted, cold-smoked horse meat in my fridge. I enjoy my slightly Buddhist philosophy as much as that horse enjoyed life before he ended on my plate. The horse was a vegetarian. I have no way of telling for sure whether he was more enlightened than I have ever been, no matter how much horseshit both of us produced.
 
+Sakari Maaranen This has precious little to do with enlightenment of any sort.  This is about dumb people who say dumb things out here and me reaching the point where I no longer try to un-dumbify them.  I just block them and I feel okay about it.  I am all through thinking rude people have a point worth considering.  That is all.
 
The last two weeks have been super busy with human interactions. I haven't had any time to check in on my media feeds. Surprised to grab this off the news feed instead of on G+. So of course I rushed here to my second favorite Googler's profile (you're close to #1 sir!) to see for myself. Hilariously awesome and exciting to see your team grow in this direction. Also glad to see Mr. Poole emerge from his past life into something that has even more of a potential for impact than the information clearinghouse he created.

Pool's open.
 
+Yonatan Zunger "the vilest bits of the Internet, which is no mean feat" - is this about Fox News?  Oh.  4-chan... as you were :D
 
+Sakari Maaranen Re "needless drama ... sometimes works for comical effect; for example, further exaggerating already extreme American politics"

I admit I try to use irony when discussing American politics because I often feel powerless to communicate my sentiments about them any other way. I don't mean it to come off as hurtful, or even funny. I am trying to balance some kind of a "would be funny if it wasn't sad" vibe which may or may not help. The extent to which the school-to-prison-to-military pipeline has resulted in generations of injured veterans and nothing but blow-back to show for it makes me sad. It occurs to me this vibe, which I have found relatively successful in transmitting sentiment accurately (far better than sarcasm; please see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/08/18/inside-the-surprisingly-high-stakes-quest-to-design-a-computer-program-that-gets-sarcasm-online/ by +Caitlin Dewey) makes me less attractive as a participant in any company's social media showcase, but on the other hand I'm valuable because I try to be such a stickler for accuracy. How many hours have I spent answering people's questions for free, on G+, Wikipedia, Twitter, Reddit, USENET? Probably way above average. 

So of course I think it's absurd that people should not discuss dark matter or H1-B salaries or tax incidence. When a company is offering a social media platform and a less than optimal form of corporate citizenship, it's a good idea to bring up the latter on the former simply for the information value of the resulting organizational dynamics. It matters because http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0143611
 
Humour gets us through the difficult times, +James Salsman​​. Irony is a form of humour, caricature, very common in politics. I like the Monty Python style, singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" - while hanging on the cross, waiting for death, whistling happily. I also like deadpan humour, which may appear unempathetic... It's actually quite popular here. That reminds me of the Finnish saying: "Aikansa kutakin." It is a shorthand for "there is time for everyone, said a ram (or a stubborn person) when taken to be decapitated".
 
+Sakari Maaranen gallows humor is funny, but does it encourage problem solving? I want to figure out how to encourage problem solving without being accused of fighting.
 
+James Salsman: It seems likely, in that gallows humour should reduce the acute stress reaction, and acute stress reaction is a known factor in poor problem solving.
 
I'm not sure, +James Salsman​. I trust people can solve anything by just listening and proposing agreements or code. The listening part must be the best way to encourage new proposals.
 
+Sakari Maaranen I think the world would be much better off if children were taught proper listening, comprehension and analysis techniques as soon as they are able to understand the basics.  That would depend on those doing the teaching having the skills themselves, which may be the case in more advanced parts of the world, but not where I am from.  I like the problem solving aspect of code, that's why I do it for fun and (small) profit ;)
 
+Sakari Maaranen when encountering a stress reaction from pertinent topics of discussion, some people would rather not listen. "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil," is not just incompatible with "don't be evil," it's completely opposed to it.
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