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

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Tue Jan 26 14:02:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

(Sorry if this turns out to be a reiterated rant)

"Koster, Raph" wrote:

> No, when JCL invited me I was already arrogant and a know-it-all. :) I
> suffered no agony. Then again--saying that I was invited (and thus date from
> back then) is in itself a marker of elitedom, I bet. I bet that who invited
> you is also probably such a marker.

Perhaps, although if JCL invited members for discussing topics that he find
interesting (those related to his own design??) it should be considered more as
an attempt to foster discussions that doesn't end up in diverging flamewars? In
my case, he probably missed quite a bit, as I was invited (I suspect) for a
comment on r.g.m.a. about prototyping a MUD with characters that were present
while the owner is logged of. I don't think I have ever discussed that since
then. I have however created a few flamewars, participated in discussions about
sex, psychotherapy, been kicked off the list for replying to a banning of
psychotherapy, flamed over privacy issues, but more importantly I entered the
list saying something negative about "persistence". Which unfortunately happened
to be the holy grail of the list... I didn't make it a whole lot easier for
myself by jumping at a list member's request for books for a whole lot of
topics, saying something to the extent that it was enough topics for several phd
degrees, which in turn was perceived by some (JCL?) as attempt to downplay
existing list members... Basically, one has to be arrogant to continue to after
something like this. :*) Ah, and I don't think I asked for posting permission
which appeared to me as silly as there would be no way to judge anything before
I actually made a post? Besides, it would downplay my pride :)

I don't think it is bad for a list to view itself as an elite, but that doesn't
mean it is. And even if it is an elite, it needs to have it's paradigms
challenged. Those challengers are more likely to come from the outside, from
people that the elite might consider as ignorant. I don't think the
technological discussions are heavy, but I think they quite often assume a
vocabulary that those with less "formal training" will have trouble with. For
instance, "graphs", "regular expressions", "state machines", are all related
concepts and not particularly complex, but you are pretty much lost if you have
no extra cues. Basically, it would be better to talk about "driving cars between
cities" rather than "traversing a graph".  Or to rephrase: the technical
discussions I have seen are not particularly heavy on theory, so if they are
hard to follow it could be attributed to the problem of expressing oneself in a
less technical language.

I'm sure it is possible to find an elitism that is inclusive rather than
exclusive. It might be a question of the groups ability to set it's own goals,
and stimulate everybody to pursuit the goals... (rather than pursuit each other
or a particular exclusive vocabulary). Personally I think the list does fairly well,

but I guess I am not the one to judge that...

> Is it possible we're too snooty a
> research institution to delve into that just because we see ANSI color as a
> topic beneath us?

ANSI colour is clearly of historical interest only... :^) And so are text MUDs
of course...
Ola Fosheim Groestad,Norway      http://www.stud.ifi.uio.no/~olag/

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