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I like it old-school!
Topic: Technology 9:36 am EST, Feb 15, 2007

I clicked a link for hot judicial action and I got 0wn3d. I'd like to thank the academy, my parents for warping me, Tom and Nick for letting me do this, and my hero Acidus.

RE: The Republican Party is mentally ill. Yes, I mean it.
Topic: Current Events 1:01 am EST, Nov  2, 2006

Good grief... I honestly don't care how he intended the remark, whether it was a snipe at the President or a snide remark concerning lowbrow military service I think the mere voicing of such a statement shows poor leadership and even poorer taste.

By the way, to later claim it was a botched joke, does anyone honestly buy this? Just because Kerry did serve in the military doesn't automatically exempt him from prejudicial feelings concerning our current soldiers. (However I highly doubt that this is the case)

I am not condoning the response of right wing pundits but I'm not giving Kerry a pass here either. I don't have my feelings hurt at all, I'm just disappointed (mind you not surprised).

Decius wrote:
Have you ever had an argument with someone because they misinterpreted something you said about them. You tell a joke, and they read it the wrong way and get hurt. I'm sure this has happened to everyone. Its human.

Usually, if the person is reasonable, and you explain to them that they misinterpreted you and that you didn't mean what they thought you meant, you can work things out, and everything will be OK.

Sometimes, however, those people will insist that you did mean things the way that they chose to interpret them. They will refuse to accept your clarification and they will continue to be hurt. This sort of behavior is often associated with clinical depression. People who want to feel hurt will insist on an interpretation of events that allows them to feel that way, even if that interpretation isn't rational. Sometimes this is simply a matter of maturity.

I live in Atlanta. I listen to right wing talk radio. I don't really like right wing talk radio. I wish that I could turn on the radio while driving home from work and listen to a sane person tell me the news. I don't have that choice. Its either bad pop music, art music that I'm usually not in the mood for after work, sports, or right wing talk radio. There used to be a left wing talk radio station, but they were just as bad as the right wing talk radio stations, and they don't seem to be on the air anymore. I really ought to start downloading podcasts onto my ipod, but I've been too lazy.

I almost never agree with anything I hear on talk radio, be it right or left. Talk radio usually consists of angry people making bad arguments for bad ideas, and often they are downright hateful to boot.

Today's installment of right wing talk radio consisted of a riot over the following statement made by John Kerry:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

It seems obvious to me that this is a snipe at the Bush Administration's Iraq Policy. Kerry is calling the administration's Iraq policy stupid. I think its funny. I actually laughed out loud when I heard t... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]

RE: The Republican Party is mentally ill. Yes, I mean it.

An important privacy question
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:50 am EDT, Oct 23, 2006

Please read and rerecommend. I want this to get as much coverage on the site as possible, and I want feedback.

Currently the privacy policy says that your reputation tables are private. This reflects the fact that I think what you read ought to be your own business.

However, what you recommend is not exactly the same as what you read, and this is reflected in the reputation data. When you recommend something you are telling the site that you like it. Telling the site implies that you don't mind the site knowing. In fact, you want the site to know. If I do a little digging I can see who you got an article from, directly. This is a bit of an oversite. Something that can be "matured" out of the code. Thats one direction to go in from here. Keep the reputation data as private as possible.

However, if I monitor the site, and I see a certain person recommend an article, and then you rerecommend it, I'll know where you got it from. I do this often enough, in an automated fashion, for long enough, and I'll get a pretty good understanding of who you are reading. The site can't protect you from this. By recommending articles you are making them public. By making them public, you are giving up some of your privacy.

The only way to truely protect the fact that you are reading someone's recommendations is to never recommend their recommendations. They will still show up in the agent, but this information, I think, is private and ought to stay that way.

However, and as I've hopefully illustrated, the recommendations are public in a very real way. What I want to ask the site is if the recommendation DATA ought to be public too.

The reason I want to ask you this is because Rattle has assembled another visualization. This visualization is interactive. You can see a graph of the people who are highly connected to you, click on their names, and see a graph of the people who are highly connected to them, and so on.

Right now this data is amusing but not all that rich. There are about 15 people who regularily post to the site, and they hold all the reputation capital. Everyone's graphs look pretty similar, because we are all really recommending content from the same 15 people, even those of us who don't often recommend content and who aren't often read.

This is going to change.

As this site scales, clusters are going to form. I think the one that currently exists will always exist, but there will be others. People will begin to have different perspectives on the data, based on their interests. Thats what this site is designed to do.

And as those different communities of interest begin to form, the maps of the reputation data rattle is developing will become richer, and you will be able to surf through MemeStreams via the reputation system, hopping from person to person in search of interesting ideas.

I think this is a very compelling feature set, and I want to enable it. But, I've promised to keep your reputation data private. All of it. This promise may not have been very well thought out, but I did make it. So I can only break it with your permission, and that is what I am asking for.

I want to publish your recommendation related reputation data. Your clickthrough related reputation data will stay private. What is published is the number of times you have rerecommended articles from another person on the site, in the form of a graph.

Its similar to the graph on the "Visualizing Memestreams" page, but it is labelled, and interactive.

An important privacy question

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