Archive - 2005

December 23rd

More news from the front

Mayor DeStefano sends Holiday Wishes to everyone.

Also, hat tip to Semper Gumby for pointing out this holiday message.

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December 22nd

The war on Christmas

For a very interesting perspective on the War on Christmas, please read this post.

It makes me wonder if Santa is ordering secret wiretaps on elves.

December 19th

Pseudonymity and Anonymity online

My online persona grew up in the world of MOOs, and I think that world can provide us some helpful insights in how pseudonymity and anonymity can work online.

Why is this important? Recently, there have been lots of discussions about anonymity and pseudonymity online. How can Craig’s List deal better with trolls and scamsters? How can Wikipedia better deal with people deliberately posting false information? How can we have better discussions in the comment sections of active blog sites? Would requiring some sort of consistent online identity help address these problems? What sort of level of verification should be used?

December 18th

Fiona in her first recital

Fiona in her first recital
Originally uploaded by Aldon.

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December 17th

Rousseau and Rasslin’ hogs

(Originally posted at Greater Democracy)

It has been many years since I read Rousseau’s Social Contract. It was back in college and I didn’t read it as closely as I should have. Yet it often comes to mind as I read discussions about the role government in the age of Internet technology, and how to handle trolls, spam and scamsters.

Recently, Craig Newmark wrote a message to a mailing list that I am on talking about issues that craigslist has had. “Starting in early October 2004, in our discussion boards, we saw a very large surge of disinformation. Specifically, we saw a lot of new people who were posting information that had already been discredited ..., and who also posted highly abusive personal attacks”

He goes on to say, “These folks seem to be organized as a decentralized network and are very persistent, a problem to this very day.

On our site, they're an annoyance; on Wikipedia, they're a societal problem, given the importance of Wikipedia.”

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