terriko: (Default)
[personal profile] terriko
I wrote for the New York Times yesterday. Not making this up:

Where Are the Women in Wikipedia?: Trolls and Other Nuisances

Okay, so it's "just" their online opinion page, but I was still pretty stunned to be contacted by an actual NYT editor looking for a comment on the wikipedia numbers. I was expecting she'd take some little quote out of what I said, but instead she nicely edited down my piece and there I am, voicing my opinion right under Jane Margolis' statement! (She's the person who wrote "Unlocking the Clubhouse") So Darned Cool.

Date: February 4th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
unregisteredpseudonymspls: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
Congratulations on making it into the big leagues and becoming famous in the Paper of Record(tm), if only online. :)

If there's one thing I'd disagree with you about---and it really is a "nitpick"---it's your use of the word "trolling". As you know, I self-identify as one sometimes. The word used to mean something different and a lot narrower when I decided I was one: it was merely someone who deliberately created conflict on USENET, as I recall. And, IMO, that provided a useful function.

So I get that there are websites that do not want to be confined to discussing first principles over and over again. I have participated in these and agreed with the policy, up to a point. But in a lot of the internet, particularly blogs, they have accidentally and in some cases deliberately conflated the two ideas of trolling and harrassing behaviour. This has turned much of the blogosphere into what I call tall opinion silos, and I think this actually covers some of the pathologies of Wikipedia---which for similar reasons as the site to which you linked, I stopped contributing after a brief stint quite a long time ago.

Date: February 4th, 2011 12:44 pm (UTC)
unregisteredpseudonymspls: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
But now that you are an NYT blogger alongside the likes of Paul Krugman, you are presumably too posh to respond to mere mortals now. Here, let me bring your limo for you. Champaign, madame? Have some endangeredspeciesberries---they should be extra tasty this season after the adorable mythical animal hunt.

Now THAT is trolling :)

Date: February 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
unregisteredpseudonymspls: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
Ah. Yes. You got a disingenuous MRA by the sound of it. I'd classify that as a "first principles" kind of discussion.

So, I dislike false nuance, but this issue is one of those cases where it's a fine balance, I guess. We've discovered that public nature of the Internet has created a paradoxical conflict between inclusiveness and openness, rather than one contributing to the other. I know I'm saying this from a position of supreme and opprobrious privilege (in some dimensions at least), but I guess in cases of conflict I would tend---not universally---to support the latter rather than the former. I reserve some distaste for models of safety such as that practiced by, e.g., Shakesville, where certain discussions are off the table no matter what as a matter not only of community coherence but abstract principle...

The biggest problem for me---at least I think it is a problem---is that there are comparatively few spaces left on the Internet where people of diametrically opposing viewpoints argue respectfully or even disrespectfully at anything more than an introductory or juvenile level. Didn't used to be the case.

Date: February 8th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
unregisteredpseudonymspls: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unregisteredpseudonymspls
Shorter me: the whole world NEEDS me to point out the errors in their reasoning.


EVERYONE is wrong on the Internet!


terriko: (Default)

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