Skip to main content

Can Rationality Be Enforced?

I live under some unusual circumstances:
  1. I'm a 30-year-old who has been playing computer games for 24 years. Consequently, I've spent a lot of time in isolation, away from being swayed into certain logic by peers.
  2. I've been engaging in an occasional mindfulness meditation, granting me insights into my own flaws that I otherwise could never have found on my own.
  3. I'm a college graduate seeking a bachelors and possibly a doctorate, so a little more educated than average.
So it is that I come to this: the pinnacle of forum evolution. I tear the world a new one in terms of pointing out that here is a simple thing that would do nothing but make the world a better place. Immediately pops up a number of people who simply want to argue.

I realized that, in the grand scheme of thing, there's a problem. It is basically this:
  • Rationality is hard, Irrationality is easy.
  • People will always prefer the path of least resistance.
Once again, Al Gore is concerned. Too many people are conditioned to act on emotion alone, and unfortunately this tends to ruin any attempt of rational discussion.

I have a simple idea to begin reform, and it goes like this:

Better online ranking systems.

We've all seen the "star" mechanisms where the denizens of a forum and rank a poster or a thread from 1 to 5 stars. The trouble with this is that a great deal of said denizens will tend to rank somebody at 1 if they annoy them and 5 if they're excited about what they're saying. Rationality does not enter the picture, because the masses are not rational - it's too much energy for too little incentive.

Here's my idea: We start with the 1 to 5 star ranking system, and call it a "logic meter" or somesuch label that describes just how well argued and concrete the post is. Everybody is allowed to rank it. However, here we have a twist: The poster of the message has the option of calling for a moderator to decide if the rankings leveled against them are correct.

If it is determined that an individual has ranked the poster with poor logic when, in fact, his logic was very good the individual ranker suffers a drop in their ranking. Naturally, the forum's default threshold of visible posts would be at about '2', and in time those who are completely irrational would simply become invisible to everyone who has yet to change their threshold smaller.

The neat thing with this system is subtle, but powerful: it encourages people to be rational. Before ranking down that message, you really have to consider just how rational it is. In time, you might get pretty good at behaving in a logical manner.

Who knows, perhaps this logical thinking will gravitate to the world, making it a better place? That's the goal here. Now the only sticking points are coding a message board to work like this and getting people to use it. Those are very sticky points indeed, but a more rational world is worth it.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Ancient Warfare - What Is It Good For?

The Ancient Warfare mod for Minecraft threw me for a loop.  I was looking for "villagers" that would perform useful tasks while simultaneously resolving the glut of food with a need to eat, thereby turning Minecraft into a bit of 4X game you can play from the inside.  Millenaire wasn't quite there, partly because recent updates to Forge had broken its compatibility with Minecraft 1.7.10, and Minecolony's development is not quite fast enough to keep up with the state of mods in general (they probably need to make a core API).
In comes Ancient Warfare, which does indeed provide workers and soldiers who need to eat, you can even order around a little army of them to defeat your enemies.  It has working waterwheels and windmills, something I thought was awesome in Resonant Induction.  It has a warehouse with a built-in sorting system, as well as courier NPCs that can move things from building to building, and crafting NPCs that can create things for you automatically - w…