[MUD-Dev] Re: META: List "peerage"

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon Jan 25 20:41:45 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Thu 21 Jan, Koster, Raph wrote:

> Please forgive the extra layer of attribution, it arose from Caliban having
> to repost. Also please forgive the extremely "meta" nature of the post.

*laugh* you are forgiven ;)

> > From: Caliban Tiresias Darklock [mailto:caliban at darklock.com]
> > >From: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>

> > >>At the danger of treading into meta territory, considering MUD-Dev
> > >>as a MUD, what of the same danger and problem with the more
> > >>established (well known, reputations, etc) posters in MUD-Dev, or
> > >>even of myself here?  There is a definate peerage (nod to Lambert)
> > >>in the older posters in MUD-Dev.  I find it worrisome.  It also acts
> > >>as a significant barrier to entry for new posters.

> > >I would think the *biggest* barrier is the need to ask 
> > >permission to post.

> Yet at the same time, this is what keeps the signal high... 

But like Caliban (I think) said there is a huge difference between
having to ask for permission and being asked to contribute. I know
that I would not have asked to post if I had not been invited back

> This is an excellent point. It had the feeling of being invited to join the
> elite--actually, given how little publicized the list, a feeling of being
> invited to join a secret society. Perhaps that minimized the gradual
> realization that there was an elite within the elite. Which I think is
> fairly apparent, though it took a while for me to realize that many
> listmembers considered me to be in said group! (I was somewhat horrified,
> albeit gratified, by your "goal of getting into Koster's Laws" remark, you
> see).

I think that  being involved in well known and mostly successfull
projects  automatically elevates other people's estimation of you
to dizzying heights.  Do not worry about it, it can happy to any-
one :)

> See now, this peerage, these deputy Ozzes... (Hey JCL, I didn't realize you
> were so short, and that you liked green so much...!) it'd be worth analyzing
> why they are peers in the first place. Posting volume (a very powerful
> factor in this case, IMHO)? Insight? And if insight, insight judged by who?
> Number of concepts/approaches/solutions/opinions that evolve into orthodoxy?
> Number of times they get cited by others as knowing their shit? Number of
> muds they have in the FAQ as "touchstones"?

> Little things like saying, "I was trading offlist emails with soNso last
> night &..." reinforce the sense of elite (particularly if the soNso is JCL).
> Working for a commercial endeavor seems to. If I had to build a peerage
> list, I'd pretty quickly dump in names like Chris Gray, Dr Cat, Nathan
> Yospe, Jon Lambert, you, Marian Griffith, Ola--and more, but I will stop
> now--and I imagine that anyone else building such a list would probably
> arrive at a similar list. It's worth asking, how much of the nature of the
> list is said people sitting in a room and a lot of people eavesdropping? And
> is that the list we want it to be?

Erik (my husband) said I blushed charmingly scarlet when I read this.
I truly never considered myself anything of the elite  you mentioned.
For one thing  because I know next to nothing about coding,  and only
know about muds as a player.  Most of the time  I work hard at making
sense of what others say here,  and try to respond to the limit of my
understanding. I do feel gratefull for the little encouragements I do
get from time to time to continue posting. Yes from time to time this
list is daunting,  and I sometimes feel inadequate here.  Worse there
are many threads that are well beyond me, but I try not to let it in-
timidate me.  Maybe  it comes from being a female in a male dominated
society and job  and from having three older brothers,  but I wil try
to hold my own. I think that if people think that I'm contributing to
this list and the discussions here, with what little I know, then no-
body else should feel inadequate or intimidated.

> > >Can you imagine the agony you'd go through if you were a reasonably young
> > >and inexperienced MUD developer with some new ideas who had to compose a
> > >post "worthy" of this list?

*grin*  just take a deep breath and plunge in, although if I remember
correctly I did apologise for my first post, just to be certain.  But
as has been said, being invited to speak up is a great help.

> More frightening: how many list members never post, because they feel that
> they cannot compose a mail such as that? It also gets as the issue of what
> the nature of the list is.

It may be that we should make it more clear that this particular list
is not meant for the 'how to' questions, but for the 'supppose we do'
type. It is easier to be on equal footing if everybody is speculating
as opposed to lecturing how to do things.  Still, it is hard to argue
with experience.

> > >Perhaps the best thing to do is to encourage people reading the
> > >archives not to be afraid of the list.

> One problem about reading the archives is that they seem to be a) infallible
> b) totally comprehensive and c) easily traced back to the peerage. How many
> times have we seen threads die with a "The answer to is in the archives at
> this link: http://...."? Now, this is an illusion, because the archives are
> not any of those things except (c), usually. Plenty of topics could easily
> be taken in new directions, if the stone tablets of the archives weren't
> presented as a definitive answer quite so readily.

I can not remember that happening often. In some ways I think it is a
good thing to make people aware of the archives, but only as a way to
avoid  the same arguments being repeated again.  Not many of the dis-
cussions here *resolve* anything (or much). That may be in the nature
of the discussions I am involved in though. There is no definite ans-
wer  to the discussion about allowing players to fight each other  to
name one.  If such topic crops up then it is good if people read what
has been said before. Not as a way to stop discussion but as a way to
ensure new insights or interpretations are presented. And also every-
body must remember that even if some of us have heard that particular
topic discussed before, for many of the list members it is a new one,
and they might be interesting in rehashing it regardless.  Talking a-
bout something  often helps you understand it more deeply. Personally
I think that we need more, and perhaps better, summaries of past sub-
jects discussed on this list.  A single summary is less daunting than
the entire discussion and I think most of the time all that is needed
to allow people to talk about a subject without repeating what was
said before.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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