The Chain and its Discontents

in blurt •  2 months ago 

I posted this as a comment, but even during the time it took me to write it, that comment thread kept expanding! So here it is as a short post.


Let me add some thoughts to this particular thread.

I personally dislike muting users as it means I can become ignorant of the true environment. The few levers of control that a user has, should be used to create their preferred environment; a judicious use of the "follow" and "mute" features are designed to facilitate this. The additional "lever" of one's own psychology and state of mind is not something a chain can encode - that is everyone's personal responsibility.

The new extended mute feature is no different to the powers a "community moderator" would have, if we had the community-feature such as on Steem and Hive. Such a mod can block a user from their community for whatever reason. I have been pressing for many months to reinstall Communities, and it is now back on the list of future features, but is not a simple add-on, so will require some time.

However, moderating one's personal space is not identical to moderating a defined group of users - a community. It can be used in that way, and I wonder if some community-centred-accounts may wish to investigate how that can be done. The main difference is that a user can step into and then out of a particular community; they can choose to post within such a moderated environment, or not. But once you create your own environment, you then have to think carefully about the consequences - you cannot then "step outside" the environment you yourself created, apart from having an alt account. Much of the current discussions are about articulating those consequences.

Also note that such "personal environments" are dependent upon the front-end chosen. It would be better if such moderating parameters could be coded as levers of control by an individual user, but the choice still remains as to which platform one wishes to use. That is, in itself, a parameter. I do hope that there will remain one minimalist platform, just to see how that experiment would progress. Although not designed for posting, the Blurt blockexplorer is always there as a record of every action.

I dislike talking about "rights", though I sense most people feel they have some. The whole UDHR could easily have been written from the opposite point of view: a declaration of government obligations. Look around at how such "obligations" are being totally ignored and abused. This isn't the place for a long rant on rights, but let me focus on two Articles that contradict each other.

Article 19 states,"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Article 12 then limits the above rights with,"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

See the dilemma? You have "the right" to do both. So, freedom of speech goes hand in hand with the freedom to protect oneself. Indeed, this includes the freedom of silence. We also see this throughout the world; the promotion of the freedom of ignorance by the removal of all dissenting voices. But on this chain, you still have freedom of choice.

The "law", in the case of a blockchain, is the code, or more precisely, the functions given to users. My own aim is to ultimately create a set of functions that are both universal and reactive. We remain very far away from this goal. By universal, I mean that every user is subject to the same rules and functions - everybody has the same rights, if you wish to define it in those terms. The obligation of the chain is merely to process those actions. This is not a static environment, so as we bump up against limits, be they social or financial, then either the chain is reactive by design, or the design needs to be upgraded.

The consequences that arise from financial changes are often easier to predict, whereas those from social changes can open up new avenues of discontent. This doesn't mean the changes were wrong, it just means monitoring the resulting behaviour. This takes time.


Let me add a video not in the original comment.

Focus on what Peterson says in the last minute: "The incentive structures on the social media platforms, the social communication platforms, are wrong because the anti-social, psychopathic, Machiavellian, narcissistic types who use reputation derogation are privileged in their communications and not punished - and that's a very bad idea!

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I personally dislike muting users as it means I can become ignorant of the true environment.

I partially agree with this because I know what you intend. At a certain level of maturity, muting is not necessary because you simply ignore the troll, while remaining informed as to what they write. I am, however, more concerned about Authors protecting their reputation with their followers. This is why I have always pushed for a Block feature; not for me, but rather for my audience. This is especially significant for someone like Megadrive, who would be wise to have the ability to limit his followers from being abused by these contrarian rogues. But this applies to anyone. I would certainly not want those who follow me and leave comments to be rudely offended on my posts.

By the way, Peterson is truly a master at what he does and knows. I always appreciate his insights, and his ability to immediately get to the heart of the matter. And that blue suit is adsolutely divine! 🤣

The tyranny of bullies is that they can also wait for you outside the sanctuary of the school gates.

There is a growing literature on how disgusting many humans are online. This seems to be made worse by the naive openness of many others.

I'm currently reading The Rape of the Mind - the author claims to have coined the term "menticide" - and being so proximate to so many horrors (1956) has some insights often missing from the blindness of distance. The kovid-klimate-kult are menticidal maniacs.

The kovid-klimate-kult are menticidal maniacs.

baah (2).jpg
....best line I've seen all day !


Posted from https://blurtlatam.com

The tyranny of bullies is that they can also wait for you outside the sanctuary of the school gates.

At that point, we're dealing with stalkers; which hopefully it does not get that bad on Blurt. Only an emotionally disturbed individual would spend his/her day on the explorer and alt frontends trying to harass you!

This is why I have always pushed for a Block feature; not for me, but rather for my audience.

How would that work?

Megadrive has confirmed that the current Mute feature also prevents the muted individual from commenting on your supporter's comments.

https://blurt.blog/blurt/@megadrive/rfy9dp

Very close to the Block feature that I had suggested.

A Dual Mute: when I mute you, I no longer see your posts or comments, but also you no longer see my posts or comments. You do not exist for me nor my supporters, and I do not exist for you. Yes, everything appears on the explorer, but at least on the frontend, you can't see nor interfere with my posts.

You do not exist for me nor my supporters, and I do not exist for you.

That raises the question if this scenario is not actually a paradise for the powers in play?
If big players, organizations, government official channels use a similar muting function, then we have a perfect separation between opposing views, don't we?

If everyone who dislikes each other becomes invisible to each other, isn't that exactly what happens that is warned against on a platform like blurt or other so-called free media? But aren't the splits in MSM and their counter-media already the perfect echo chambers?

Who is the lucky third party?

If big players, organizations, government official channels use a similar muting function, then we have a perfect separation between opposing views, don't we?

My friend, we are just a small a platform of bloggers. It makes no sense to compare Blurt to these entities.

hmm ... not sure about it. Everything starts small, does it not?
Asking questions and staying critical is not the worst, I think.

You're absolutely correct! Things always start small, and we should always be critical of what deserves to be criticized, but we should also be constructive in our criticism, and not just for the sake of being contrarian. It is very easy to point out problems, but it is more productive to find solutions.

You do not exist for me nor my supporters

That part is tricky as it makes a huge assumption about your "supporters" - they need to make that judgment themselves IMO.
What would facilitate more of an enclosure it to separate followers from friends - friends being bidirectional, as on some other sites. THEN can have friends-only posts.

I've changed my opinion about the new Mute feature:

https://blurt.blog/blurt/@famigliacurione/rfzzsh

In this case the muted party can still see you, they can decide to mute you if they like.

That's an interesting way to look at! In the past, I would mute someone, and they would continue to comment on my posts and comments, because they did not know they were on mute. With this current approach, however, the party involved knows they have been muted, knows they cannot comment under my posts and can also decide to mute me. After some reflection, I'm convinced that the present upgrades to the Mute feature are better than my idea of a "Block" feature, because this way it is clear to the person who I want to moderate, that they have been muted, and should leave me alone. My compliments; this was a well thought out solution! 💯 Thank you! 🙏

2nd part of my comment

From my professional experience I can say, that looking at the official law can be a step too quickly taken. When I talked to divorcing couples, when they wanted to know about the legalities, I asked them "Before we talk about laws, can you tell me, what you really want? What is it you seek from your emotional point of view?" "What are you economically capable and willing to put in?" (if, for example, children were involved).

Seriousness, in the sense of being sincere, towards another one is a method to open up a process instead of closing it down (forcibly).

I mean that every user is subject to the same rules and functions

you also added that this is not static and I find this is a very important addition.

From a systemic point of view, the message which presents itself from folks who overstep rules, they actually help the process in progress. As a matter of fact, there are always some who stretch and bend rules and they serve as examples to open up debate, whether if you ignore or mute them too soon, they will become even more of a nuisance somewhere else (for instance, show off in this or other social media realms).

It requires high skills to negotiate or talk to someone perceived as a psychopathic, narcissistic type and nobody can demand it to be easy. Wanting it the quick and easy way is actually the problem those types are held responsible for. Now, acting in the same manner as those whom I despise, will deepen the conflict. I must be smarter than that.

There is no easy way out and in some stances I even think there is no solution at all. Nevertheless I would ask myself if people who run businesses and online platforms are even educated or trained enough to deal with those conflicts.

When I expect more responsibility from my counterpart than from myself, this is the gate for never ending dispute, I think.

I should add that I also shall be able to distinct between cases where openness is signaled by the other side and where I must realize that the counterpart is not interested in communication and solution. As easy as this may sound, I think it's truly difficult to practice.

There is no easy way out and in some stances I even think there is no solution at all. Nevertheless I would ask myself if people who run businesses and online platforms are even educated or trained enough to deal with those conflicts.

I suspect NOT.
Just as I see very few economists involved in constructing crypto economies, I also don't see many (any?) psychologists on crypto teams.

I assume you're using blurt.blog - I dunno, they keep tweaking the code and CSS, often need to do a hard refresh and remove all cached files.

I suspect NOT.

My personal impression (I may be wrong) is that a few guys with programming skills and some ideas of getting rich quick and falling on positive ears have built a "decentralised crypto-blockchain" (Steemit, Hive) with sounding PR and advertising, but I assume that very few of those who have done the building have ever run a company in practical life with real employees, partner companies, service providers, etc.

To run a company, you need very trained people skills (I think that makes up the lion's share in a company) besides what is technically and production- or service-wise offered on the market.

I messed with one of the whales on Steemit for a while, who got extremely annoyed at my "technical incomprehension" and kept stressing what a waste of time it was to explain certain functions to me. This gives a deep insight into the arrogance of some programmers and witnesses who seem to assume that the common user, because he has no idea about the technology, is an idiot. The boundless underestimation of the interpersonal is nevertheless obvious to me.

We know, power goes to the head and the affirmation of those who support the powerful with flattery is grist to the mill of those who think everyone else is a moron.

Yes, I use blurt.blog. Thanks for the advice.

mmm... the "skills" are in the background, I think - just look at the fathers of both Dan and Ned, and the DARPA contract that kickstarted the creation of Steem. ;-) It remains a social experiment, but governed by a somewhat military structure of control. Think of it as a cell and it won't be far wrong.

I had an opposite, yet similar (lol), experience in that I studied and understood the economic construct of Steem, but was told a few times to "shut up" and not explain it to the pleb users! My analysis of HF21 was bang on, yet few cared, or even understood it. So, propaganda and ignorance won, and misplaced greed from users led most of them to be poorer.

I had an opposite, yet similar (lol), experience in that I studied and understood the economic construct of Steem, but was told a few times to "shut up" and not explain it to the pleb users!

HaHa! :D

I suspect it is because those who want to achieve a "mass influx" trust the average user to distinguish between advertising and reality, but at the same time assume that the common man likes to be deluded.

The litany of "decentralisation" also caught my attention and because the advertising on this topic on all these platforms was extremely focused on this point, I made some provocative and even false statements about it. Whereupon the said witness (had to) correct me and finally said publicly that we are of course dealing with a different form of centrality and that there is no safe place.
Which, of course, he was right about. However, it pissed him off.

Actually, everyone knows that advertising always exaggerates, embellishes and leaves out essentials.

I think I may have deliberately played dumb in parts, just to provoke responses from those who actually used the ad-speak on other comment threads, while in communicating with me they then said how it really was and is. LOL

Basically, you can't blame them because there is such a thing as common sense within what we are all very well trained in: how we market ourselves and the products we want to see marketed.

Sausage packs say: "Exquisite and made with love" - skin creams claim: "Dermatologically tested". If you want, you can mentally turn it into a handmade sausage and an absolutely harmless day cream.

Think of it as a cell and it won't be far wrong.

Please explain.

I personally dislike muting users as it means I can become ignorant of the true environment.

That is a very good point!

I am a trained systemic family and social counsellor. One of the things I learned is that when "breaking contact" happens, it often marks the beginning of a conflict.

"Avoidance", "ignoring each other" etc. remains unsuccessful if what is at the root of the conflict remains unaddressed or unanswered. Compensation of a contact broken off "here" will then be reflected "there". So everywhere else, to exaggerate.

The contradiction I often perceive relates to "difficult cases", a positive view of such very difficult and provocative cases is that it is precisely these that help one to develop oneself and to learn a great deal in the challenge, by not cancelling or or discrediting the other person, but precisely the opposite: to make use of this opportunity, a really difficult matter, as a training ground, if possible.

To do this, I have to put myself in a position to be able to ask questions that go beyond an allegedly felt but a genuine interest. If I ask myself what kind of interest there is from my side towards someones expression and I cannot honestly tell myself that I feel genuine interest but must fake it in order to not damage my business, I will probably fail greatly.

The raging, angry and mocking ones are often a source, where I can put myself to the test: Am I able to talk to the difficult ones? If I succeed in communicating with them, I will have achieved something valuable.

Excellent publication; it can even be expanded to about 10 more topics because of its breadth. When I mention that I live in Venezuela there are multiple opinions about it, one of them is that economically we are bad and the other that we have a country in which around 6 million people or more have emigrated, and all this happens under a false democracy. It may seem that it has nothing to do with its publication, but the truth is that according to experts our constitution is one of the most humanistic on the planet but instead we have many citizens imprisoned for expressing an opinion contrary to the government of the day. Which shows us that it is a fine line that can be distorted.

To contrast a little with your publication I am going to place some articles of our constitution to see how they are similar:

Everyone has the right to freely express their thoughts, ideas or opinions orally, in writing or by any other means of expression and to make use of any means of communication and dissemination, without censorship. Whoever makes use of this right assumes full responsibility for everything expressed. Anonymity, war propaganda, discriminatory messages and those promoting religious intolerance are not allowed. Censorship of public officials when reporting on matters of their responsibility is prohibited.

Everyone has the right to the protection of his or her honor, private life, privacy, self-image, confidentiality and reputation. The law shall limit the use of information technologies to guarantee the honor and personal and family privacy of citizens and the full exercise of their rights.

Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience and to manifest it, unless its practice affects his personality or constitutes a crime.

With respect to the articles of the constitution, we can notice how despite having the freedom of expression guaranteed for all citizens, we cannot simply defame another by digital means, or violate their human rights by those technological means; so it can clearly be considered a crime. Summarizing we can say the following: Where do my rights end, where do yours begin?.

Additionally we are told that everyone is responsible for their opinions and can not simply say I am not to blame. So many times we can find people who want to dissociate their responsibility for all the damage that can cause an opinion that clearly violates the rights of another person.

On the other extreme I can say that in my country there are few media left through which opinions can be issued without fear of being censored, so it is important to always keep an open and different channel for all those who feel they think differently or want something else that is not what we want, they can even create these media if they do not exist.


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Good article and points to consider moving forward.

#NowPlaying

That is quite the write up. Thank you for putting the time into that. What you say makes a lot of sense. Again, I think this mute thing is blown out of proportion.

this is a productive direction.

GAB is pumping, Blurt is groveling...why is that?

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