February 12th, 2004


Break from MUSHing

Until further notice? I'm not there, don't expect that I will be. I'll probably pop on here and there, once a week or so (at least one place I've got an alt has policies which demand that), but I don't intend to waste anyone's time with my presence.

In other news, I bought a copy of The Sims for myself. Fun Fun Fun.
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mucha mosaic

Fixing the Internet: some thoughts.

Because yes, I am smug and arrogant enough of a prick that I think I could come up with something that would fix the internet, ha ha ha.

Over on bash.org, there's this marvellous compendium of quotes from Internet Relayed Chat. My favorite of them has always been the following:

<&Zybl0re/> get up
<&Zybl0re/> get on up
<&Zybl0re/> get up
<&Zybl0re/> get on up
<@phxl|paper> and DANCE
* nmp3bot dances :D\-<
* nmp3bot dances :D|-<
* nmp3bot dances :D/-<
<[SA]HatfulOfHollow> i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

I've realized that I don't want HatfulOfHollow to become rich and famous.
I don't want a device that enables you to stab people in the face over the internet. I want a device that enables me (or any other internet user) to stamp 'LOSER!' on someone's forehead via the internet with ink that doesn't wash off for 1 week.


Perhaps with an email attached that says why the stamp was applied, which the stamper can choose to apply, or no.

Because if the stigma of walking around with a sign of rejection from the internet publically existed, and was as unavoidable as the stigma of being the guy who dipped his wang into the punchbowl at the party, maybe people would be less inclined to be rejects via the internet. Can you imagine the shame? Businessman on his way to work, on the 1 California bus, with a bright purple 'LOSER!!' printed on his face and nose and eyelids and stuff (edited from 'forehead', at the suggestion of lordjulius), and a high-school kid across the aisle laughing at him, pointing, and asking 'What, did you try to post to somethingawful.com's forums? Looooserrrrrr'.
Maybe this needs to be combined with Cory Doctorow's 'whuffie'. In his novel 'Down & Out In the Magic Kingdom', he proposes that there will be in the future a system of numerically tracking social standing; the number is known as one's whuffie number. When one does something that is impressive or valuable or cool, others can give that person whuffie- I could take 5 points off my Whuffie number, and add it onto David Bowie's Whuffie, because he wrote a particularly enjoyable song. Whuffie doesn't seem to have a currency-like value: there's no way to trade it for goods and services. It does, however, serve as a good indicator of who's cool and who sucks. It should perhaps cost a whuffie to pass out a -5 whuffie debit on your Loooooooserrrrrrr. Identifying the occasional asshole or troll or gibbering fucktard is good. When all you're doing is identifying asshat and fucktards and trolls (oh my!), you're pretty much guaranteed to be an asshat or a fucktard or a troll.

Would this stop the gibbering gibbons of Libertarian armchair activism? probably not, they never leave the house for someone to see that they got stamped LOSER! anyways. But it would at least make those of us with some vague social skills remember to apply them in a textual medium. Adding the whuffie model, you could read the person's post, see that their whuffie is astronomically low, and just avoid them without ever involving yourself in their own little Comedy of Fucktards.

And the Clue Fairy seems the appropriate icon to these thoughts.
Maybe it should be a button you press that has Eddie Izzard turn up at the door with the rubber stamp and yell 'LOSER!' as he marks you.
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