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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Fixing the Internet: some thoughts.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Fixing the Internet: some thoughts.

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mucha mosaic
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.
  • That's hysterical!! Can I quote you on metaquotes?
  • nice try, but your idea would lead to immense profits for hat and scarf manufacturers.

    stab wounds aren't so easily concealed.
    • Re:

      Hmmmn, good point. Perhaps across the face then? It's hard to cover your entire damn face; foreheads are too easy, you're right.
    • Re:

      That'd be the case for a WHILE, but then the act of wearing hats over your forehead would develop a stigma itself, and then hat and scarf companies would go bankrupt except in the midwest and Antarctica.
  • But that's still my favorite bash quote ever. :)
  • All I can think of right now is George Carlin's (at least, I think it's Carlin's) Idiot Gun, for use when driving. Someone cuts you off, drives badly or is otherwise an idiot? Shoot them with the gun, which puts a small rubber arrow or othersuch marker on their car. If a cop sees you have 5+ arrows on your car, he pulls you over and gives you a ticket for being an idiot while driving....
  • I know I'm probbaly taking this a bit too seriously (especially seeing as how nobody has any plans for actual implementation...), but I do see some problems. Like, how do you stop idiots from misusing it? How do you stop someone from just loser-tagging anyone who disagrees with them in an online forum? Or hell, just tagging people at random if it's anonymous...

    Maybe allow people only so many tags per standard time-period (week, month, whatever)? Or only give people the ability to use this tagger if they pass some kind of non-moron test beforehand? But even that might be prone to trouble: just because someone isn't a moron doesn't necessarily mean they'll use power responsibly.

    If most people aren't given the ability to put a "loser" tag on people's faces, will it come to be seen simply as an unaccountable elite? Maybe having such a tag would come to be a badge of pride, as "ah, I see you pissed of one of those high-and-mighty wankers who thinks they're such hot shit because they've got ink blasters" rather than than as anything negative.

    Argh. I can see the appeal of wanting to "name and shame" those who behave poorly. I just can't see how to get it to work. Especially in a culture that seems to have abandoned shame as completely as ours has.
    • Hence the whuffie.

      The Whuffie model deals with this problem: when your whuffie gets whacked with 1/5thX for every X you pass out, you're at the same standing as anyone you've whacked, after 5 people you've whacked.
      • Re: Hence the whuffie.

        Say, you added that whole paragraph about Whuffie after I commented, didn't you? If so, would it be too much to ask that you mark it as an edit, so that I don't look like a blind imbecile who can't read (and who hence posts comments detailing problems that have already been answered)?

        If, of course, that bit about Whuffie actually was in your original post, then by all means leave this post of mine intact, so that I can take the full-frontal pratfall for being blind and imbecilic.

        (See, I don't mind looking like a blind imbecile if I actually have been one.)
        • Re: Hence the whuffie.

          The whuffie stuff went up sometime before your post, I'm pretty sure: I edited it shortly after receiving notice of lordjulius' post, then replied him. The chronology went like this (in whatever godawful timezone my page is showing in):

          7:23: lordjulius posts about the ink being hideable.
          Somewhere between preceding and following times: colubra edits post slightly to accomodate that point. I do know I hit submit on that modified post before replying to that comment.
          7:33: colubra replies to lordjulius
          8:04: digitalsidhe replies to initial post.

          HOWEVER! You may well have opened your friends page- or post on my journal- more than 40 minutes before you went to reply. Had you done so without refreshing, then you wouldn't have seen any of the edits.
          • Re: Hence the whuffie.

            Ah, very likely. I'm posting from work, snatching the odd moment here and there between tasks to type into web windows. So I think it may have taken nearly 40 minutes just for me to actually type all the stuff I posted.
    • Re:

      (I'm here via metaquotes, of course.)

      Here's a thought. Maybe only forums (and/or their moderators, if any) should have the power to stamp someone, and it takes a majority vote of (other) forum users to inflict a stamp. (Moderators have the power to unilaterally stamp someone, or to unilaterally veto a majority-approved stamping. If a forum has three or more moderators, a majority vote among them can override a veto by one.) Also, their stamp has to include the forum name.

      Admittedly, this doesn't get around the abuse of stamping, but if a forum becomes known as having a low threshold of stampage, the loss of deterrent quality to its stamps would hopefully not reflect on any other forum.
  • This already exists, to some extent.

    I think today people just remove you from their friends list of you do nothing but post irritating and or whiny things all the time.

    Someone with no friends is a big loser.

    In any case, I thought I would try this out... Please to be printing this out and sticking it to your forehead, k thx, buh bye.


    • (no subject) -
      • Re: This already exists, to some extent.

        Dude. Breathe.

        It was me. I was making a joke.

        Joke is not funny now.

        That is all.

        Just delete it if it bothers you.

        (Note: I normally post via my text based browser, ssh'd in to home so that I leave no bit trails at work, but my ip at home is too easy to trace to me by anyone who even remotly knows me. I thought you would find this somewhat amusing, and not take it so seriously, and would not associate this ip with me, as you do not know where I work, lately. Had I really wanted to be anonymous, I would have used an ip from my list of known open proxies.)

        • Re: This already exists, to some extent.

          Okay, I figured it was someone else, who's down in that neck of the woods.
          Well, then. I've not demonstrated the point I was aiming at (which was: anonymous? Er no.); I've instead demonstrated that I'm fallible. Pfui!

          The person I thought it was is someone who's been apparently badmouthing me to a great extent, and by whom I'd just like to be left alone.

          For those reading along, the post that immediately follows this one is the text of the one preceding, with the information that actually identifies the person I thought it was struck.
    • Re: This already exists, to some extent.

      That neck of the woods? I am in SF. There is little reason for an ip reg to really relate to where the ip is used.

      Would you mind deleting the post that lists contact info for someone I sometimes work with?

      Also, not association with the military, nor would they care. Only secondary DNS services. Something people used to give pretty freely to each other back in the day, and some still do (self included). They do not own the ip block, just help keep it resolving.

      • Gladly:

        contact info and IP deleted: thank you for letting me know I was off-base in my assumptions!
    • Re: This already exists, to some extent.


      I think the point you were aiming at was:


  • Names-removed version of post between anon. & kerminator's

    nota bene: this is the post that went between Anonymous and fxl, above. I struck the original because I don't want to deal with melodramatics out of this person if I don't have to. I'm reposting because well, I did fly the hell off the handle, and it'd be wrong to leave fxl w/o any context whatsoever as to what he responded to.

    below is the deleted post, w/ serial #'s filed off:

    Psst, (dummy's name removed):

    You may want to use an anonymous redirect when posting insulting things in an LJ you've been banned from posting in. It really would do better for making you not demonstrably in need of having your face stamped.

    For those of you reading along from the planet of people who understand that LJ is not the real world, this would be an 'anonymous' post posted by one (dummy's LJ name removed)- at least, I assume so based on the IP address logged when he posted, (which I've deleted at fxl's request)--
    and which resolves to
    (swhois deleted at fxl
  • I think my favorite IRC quote of all time is this one:

    <weDge> So I had a girlfriend for all of 9 months. She dropped by one
    afternoon when I was sick with a pan of brownies and a video tape with
    the simpsons on it (my favorite show). so I start eating the brownies
    and turn on the tape. midway through it, it cuts to her sucking off
    some dude. he nuts in her mouth, she looks at the camera, and says
    "you're dumped. enjoy the brownies" - and spits the mouthful of cum
    into a bowl of brownie mix. fucked up huh? I want to die.

    You gotta wonder what he did to earn that fate.
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