I'm going to use the term God. If you find yourself dragging your religious preconceptions into this as a consequence of this label, feel free to substitute the word "Reality" where you see the word "God". I do this because, to my mind, they are describing the same thing using different technical languages that come from different knowledge systems, and I hope to provoke others to look at them the same way.
The universe can be understood in terms of the complexity of the arrangement of God's substance.
The singularity is the ultimate victory of Gravity and Entropy
The big bang is the ultimate failure of Gravity and Entropy
The creation of this universe is the eruption of the substance of God into an increasingly complex pattern. The limits of this complexity are imposed by, gravity, entropy and the amount of God. These limits will cause the complexity of the pattern to peak, and the complexity will degenerate back into simplicity, which will be pulled back into a singular state.
These perspectives as I've articulated them are written from the observing position of a living creature within the multiverse and bound by time.
From the position of an imagined observer outside of God, and thus outside of time, this would look very different.
To model this in your mind, it may be helpful to imagine the universe as a soap bubble being blown from a wand. The force of the big bang is like the air being blown at the soap film.
As this force causes the soap film to erupt out of a two dimensional plane into a three dimensional sphere, there are other forces at work that keep the soap film from simply disintegrating.
By acting in opposition to this "creative wind", these forces maintain the coherency of the soap film, allowing it to be a bubble with a beautiful complex pattern rather than simply dust.
However, from a perspective inside the soap film, these forces would look like the forces of entropy and gravity look to us. They drag us back towards the simplicity of death, just as the surface tension in the soap film drags the film back towards the state of being a plane.
This model makes an interesting segue into contemplation of the contrast between the infinite model of the universe and the finite model of the universe.
I believe the evidence does not support the perspective that we live in an infinitely expanding universe, because such a model would look like the soap film being blown into dust by the creative wind rather than assembling itself into the complex patterns that we see around us.
Some other interesting things to consider when looking at this model from the perspective of the outside observer watching the soap bubble of our universe being blown:
Does the ending of the creative wind cause the soap bubble to fall back into a simple plane, and have all it's complexity vanish as though it never was?
Does the creative wind cause the soap bubble to resolve into a sphere and blow off the wand?
Does the soap bubble resolve into a sphere but remain stuck to the wand?
If the observer sees the soap bubble fall back into a simple plane, that would imply that time resides outside the universe. This isn't really consistent with what we've observed about relativity.
If the creative wind causes the soap bubble to resolve into a sphere and blow off the wand, that would imply that the universe either is in the process of being created by some sort of God and cast away, or it already has been. This also implies that time resides outside the universe.
The model in which the soap bubble resolves into a sphere but remains stuck on the wand is the model that is consistent with relativity. It is the model in which the definition of time is permitted to remain relative to this universe.
In this model, the imaginary observer outside of the universe does not see any dynamic action in time because, residing outside the universe, there is no capacity to relate, and thus, they see the soap bubble in its entirety, at all of its "times".
Following this line of reasoning, the universe in its complex state and the universe in its simple state is something that can only be expressed in terms of time,
How can I verify this?
Not the right question
How might I make this a more useful predictive tool to govern behavior than others who have espoused similar views before me and failed to do so?
I might use the model to imply useful and previously unrecognized boundaries between what is local and what is global in scope in terms of the "laws of nature" and thus find new "patterns of reality" by implication or learn how to break "laws of nature" that were previously considered inviolate by moving beyond the scope of their pattern.
I might use the model to help people recognize the difference between knowledge systems derived from experimentation and knowledge systems derived from deduction, allowing people to abandon the false assurance of faulty tools and work towards reconciling the conflict between science and religion.
I wonder if Paul Davies would consider this to be #3 or #5?
I draw comfort from the fact that I am not really a 3 dimensional object transforming and translating. I am actually a 4 dimensional object experiencing becoming. I have a boundary on the top of my head, and on the soles of my feet. I have a boundary at the surface of my chest, and at the surface of my back. I have a boundary on my left side, and on my right. And, finally, I have a boundary at my birth and at my death. I will never cease, but will exist forever within these 4 axis. At the time of my death, I will finally consciously know myself in my entirety. I consider that something to look forward to.
I disagree with neither of those. The point I was trying to make is that the web site owners have the /right/ to do whatever they want - including the posting of obnoxious, gouge-your-eyes-out advertisements. They even have the /right/ to try to force you to view those advertisements - this is their server, and they have control over how they want to run it.
I am not saying they will succeed in this - obviously there are many ways around any restriction in this open playground we call the Internet. But it is undeniably their /right/ - which is the only point I was making.
Conversely, you and I have the /right/ to control how we view those web pages. I use adblock, but will listen to a reasonable request to unblock ads. If a site uses evil ads (flash, java, java-script, animations) and tries to force me to view them, I tend to stop using the web site because a) it's no longer worth the aggravation of trying to circumvent - there is precious little content out there that I simply "must" have. b) if enough people do walk away, the provider has no choice but to reconsider his tactics.
But to reiterate my point - the content providers have the right to control what is on their web site. What we choose to do about it is up to us.
There was once a man who was a Jack-of-all-trades; he had served in the war, and had been brave and bold, but at the end of it he was sent about his business, with three farthings and his discharge.
"I am not going to stand this," said he; "wait till I find the right man to help me, and the king shall give me all the treasures of his kingdom before he has done with me."
Then, full of wrath he went along the road and came to a huntsman who was kneeling on one knee and taking careful aim with his musket.
"Huntsman," said the leader, "what are you aiming at?"
"Two miles from here," answered he, "there sits a fly on the bough of an oak-tree, I mean to put a bullet into its left eye."
"Oh, come along with me," said the leader; "the two of us together can stand against the world."
The huntsman was quite willing to go with him, and so they went on till they came to a man standing on one leg, and the other had been taken off and was lying near him.
"You seem to have got a handy way of resting yourself," said the leader to the man.
"I am a runner," answered he, "and in order to keep myself from going too fast I have taken off a leg, for when I run with both, I go faster than a bird can fly."
"Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "three of us together may well stand against the world."
And to make the long story short, he went and gathered a few more companions, each with a grander claim to some super-ability than the others.
Meanwhile, the old king had tried to persuade his daughter to marry the young and respected son of a duke, for he had no sons and was thinking that the future duke might once make a good king too. Unfortunately the young princess had read a few books too many, and was fond of imagining herself as quite the real Amazon. She demanded of her father that if any man is to win her hand, he must best her in a contest of speed, endurance and military skill, like some ancient queen was said to have chosen her husband. And any man entering the contest must be willing to bet his very life on the outcome.
Now the king was fairly open minded for that age, and more than willing to admit that some women could make fine warriors. His people were still remembering the fierce shieldmaidens of the northmen, for example. But his daughter had always been a sickly bookworm, always short of breath, and also a little on the chubby side. The thought of her besting a trained knight was too much.
Wisely, the king said he'll go to his room to think about it, and laughed himself nearly to death into the pillow.
Still, he figured out that it's simpler than arguing with his daughter. So he agreed to send the town cryer to proclaim the decision. Secretly, he also sent a runner to the duke, urging him to send his son with the swiftest horse to enter the contest he cannot possibly lose.
Unfortunately for the duke's son, the ex-mercenary and his merry band were just entering to city as the cryer proclaimed the news. Thinking that with the help of his marvelous companions he cannot lose, he went straight to the king and asked to be tested against the princess.
The king was taken aback by the audacity of a common man to ask to marry a princess, but he realized that his announcement hadn't actually mentioned any restrictions. Fancying himself a man of great honesty and honour, the king agreed to keep his word and let him try, and sent for the princess to decide the test. She chose a race to a far away well, and the first who would make it back with a pitcher full of water would win.
"Easier than I expected," thought our ex-mercenary. "My runner will surely best any man or woman in the land." And asking for a little time to prepare, he went and asked his man with a detachable leg to dress in his clothes and run the race in his stead.
So the court gathered to watch, and at the blow of a horn the two competitors were off... much to the amusement of everyone present. The princess was soon panting and tripping over her long skirt, and making very poor progress. Unfortunately, her opponent was making even poorer progress, limping and cursing and dragging a leg behind him.
By evening, the race was over, with the princess handing her father the pitcher a good ten minutes before her opponent.
The ex-mercenary was aghast, He went to the man with the detachable leg and started screaming at him, "What was that all about?! What did you think you were doing?! Why didn't you run faster than a bird, like you said you would?!"
"Dude, " said the other man to his defense, "I thought you were kidding and I answered in kind. Haven't you seen a wooden leg before? I lost my real leg to a cannonball at the siege of Altdorf."
The conversation would have continued longer, but a squad of the king's guards showed up and took our depressed ex-mercenary to the king.
"Son, " said the king, "I figure you've lost fair and square, and it's only fair that you keep your end of the bargain. You have until morning to make your peace with God, assisted by the castle's priest. But since I like your courage, you shall not hang like a common rogue. You shall be beheaded at dawn, by sword, like a knight or noble would."
"No, father, wait!" intervened the princess who, truth be told, was starting to find the man more handsome than the groom her father had chosen for her. "This man has shown great valour in taking the challenge. Should we not give him a second chance?"
The king rolled that thought around in his head for a bit, then spoke, "That is very chivalrous of you, my daughter, and it would hardly be befitting me to stand in the way of such chivalry. Fine. Choose your next challenge, then, and tomorrow he shall face you again for his life."
This time the princess chose a contest of archery. Our hero politely inquired if he may use a gun, saying that it was a more familiar weapon to him. The princess agreed. With that, the king called the meeting over, and asked the guards to lead the man and his companions to a guest room in the palace.
So this time the ex-mercenary asked his hunter companion to dress like him and go in his stead the next day.
The next day, two large targets were set at a hundred paces away. The two contestants were given a dozen arrows and respectively a dozen bullets, and told to start shooting.
Again the princess did rather poorly, only now occuring to her that reading about ancient Scythian archer women didn't actually count as archery training. Only half of her arrows hit the target at all, and none of them went even close to the bullseye.
Unfortunately our hero's sharpshooter did even worse, with barely two of his shots even touching the target. As the court jester remarked, he did at least get one bull's eye. He actually shot the eye of a bull across the road to the right, dropping him dead on the spot. But since it wasn't on his target, it didn't count.
Again, our ex-mercenary was shocked and he went to berate his huntsman, "What in the Lord's name was that all about?! Didn't you say you could hit a fly in the eye from two miles away?! How could you miss a five foot wide target at a hundred paces?! I could have shot a higher score myself than you and that tomboy put together!!"
"To be honest, " the hunter answered, staring at his own shoes, "that was a joke, and it never occured to me that anyone would take it seriously. I mean, really," he continued as he showed his gun, "this is a smoothbore musket. You said you were in the army, for crying out loud. Two miles? It can't even shoot a ball past two hundred paces. Even at one hundred, as my old captain used to say, the only way to hit a man is if you aimed at another man."
And as the guards were taking him first to the king, and then to the place of his execution, it occured to our hero that maybe he should have tested his employees instead of simply believing any wild claim.
Open discussion for The twitter Monologues. Reports of new socks welcome. Whining about how people who shit all over Slashdot are being "unfairly moderated" generally not.
Another entry will be open when this one is archived, or the journal is updated.
So I'm sick, and instead of sleeping like a normal person I'm roaming the web because apparently that's in some way intelligent or something.
And I run across this poll by the economist, and I'd never seen this exact poll before, but I've seen about a thousand like it...It's basically a contrast of the American groupthink vs the European groupthink. In this case, it's the Brits.
First section is "Religion" and the third question is:
"Which explains the origin of the Earth?"
~30% of Americans and ~65% of the Brits said "Evolution"
~40% of Americans and ~10% of the Brits said "The Bible"
~20% of Americans and ~18% of the Brits said "Intelligent Design"
Now, to me there is only one right answer to that question: The fucking Bible.
Intelligent Design is too stupid and intellectually bankrupt to even rate a place on the list, so that leaves only the Bible, which, imho, is wrong, but the question doesn't say anything about accuracy so it remains the only thing on the list that correctly answers the question.
So, on the one hand, we have a bunch of people who think the sky fairy made everything. On the other hand, we have a bunch of people who think Evolution has something to do with the origin of fucking life!
Part of me hopes that the 10% or so who actually knew that the poll was horseshit hung up, or answered "Evolution" as a short-hand way of saying "Whatever scientific theory of abiogenesis has the most evidence behind it today." But in the end, the only thing the poll really says is that the cult of the jewish sheepfarmers is less popular in Britain than the cult of the toaster oven...And that 20% of both population groups believe whatever you tell 'em.
I guess I should take comfort in the fact that at least they're more secular over there, but all it really does is drive home the fact that, of any group of humans, the vast majority are completely ignorant at any given time, and that science can be just as irrationally religious as any religion.
So yesterday this article pops up, a piece of article trolling not-so-subtly designed to appeal to people like yours truly (wordy ego-driven serial karma-whores). So I bang out a reasonably obvious reply. Fine, mission accomplished.
Then along comes some AC who decides that I need some kind of affirmational literary blowjob which basically throws my trite and whorish soul into sharp relief, provoking a fit of cleansing-through-self-loathing which is immediately moderated to +5 insightful, and adorned with yet still more affirmation.
Truly, I am the king of whores. I don't do it on purpose, I just can't seem to stfu. I used to write a column in my college newspaper; at least those led to free beer and sex.
One day an Ass put on a Lion's skin and proceeded to amuse himself by taking a stroll through the woods, trying to scare all animals he encountered. He brayed at a Wolf in what he thought to be a good enough imitation of a lion's roar, and the Wolf ran away into the bush. He did the same to a Monkey, and the monkey too ran up into a tree. The Ass was proud of himself. At long last he saw a Fox, and proceeded to do his best imitation of a lion's roar at him too.
The Fox however was a lot less than impressed, and answered, "Ho ho ho, if it isn't an ass trying to look important. Congratulations, though, I almost took you seriously until you opened your mouth."
Not minding the Ass's dejected looks much, the Fox continued, "But seriously, don't you have something else to do or someone else to bother? I've worked 60 hours this week so far, and it's only Friday _morning_, and, frankly, I have neither the time nor the mood to entertain you guys." And the Fox trotted along, ignoring the Ass.
The Ass was now depressed and he went to the side to munch on some leaves, and he started drawing doodles in the dirt with a hoof to pass the time and take his mind off the brutal rejection he had just received. He ate and he doodled, but somehow he just couldn't take his mind off it.
Suddenly he heard a voice nearby, "Ah, finally someone with some fashion sense. I was starting to think it's a lost cause..." As the startled Ass rose his eyes, he saw an impressively tall Lion in front of him, eyeing him and his doodles in the dirt.
"I'm toast," thought the Ass, "there's no way a Lion would mistake me for the real thing."
So, in desperation, the Ass started to bray at him. "Syyynergy!" He brayed. "Leverage! TCO! Customer-centric! Industry best-practices!"
"Ah, " brayed the new 'Lion' right back, in the best donkey language, "so you speak management too. This day is looking brighter already. Between you and me, the other candidates are a joke. Have you seen what they wear to an interview? By the way, you _are_ here about the job opening, right?"
"Huh? What job?," replied the bewildered Ass.
"Well, to keep the story short," brayed the 'Lion', "I used to be the manager of this forest clearing, but they promoted me, so now I have to find a replacement. And Tim here," said the 'Lion' pointing to yet another Ass dressed in a lion skin, "is our HR representative. He'll help me pick a good candidate. I guess you haven't sent in a CV either, since you're not here for the interview, but I guess we could bend the rules a bit if you want to take part anyway."
"Uh, ok..." answered the Ass, still not entirely sure what he's walked into.
"I see you brought a sample of your work too," continued the 'Lion', pointing a hoof at the doodles in the dirt. "Nice flowchart. What is it of?"
"Oh, that," grinned the Ass, "nothing in particular. I was just thinking of food, mostly."
"And you drew a good hundred square metres of flowchart just about that? I'm impressed. Reminds me of some of my best work: the corporate regulation and flowchart of how to piss. Admittedly, it was mostly to annoy the Wolf, but I digress. Well, I can't make a definitive commitment yet, so this is strictly off record and non-binding, but I think your chances are good. We'll call you later if we decide to hire you."
The lists are now kept here: http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/
Don't let the socks bite!
The following is the complete list of twitter sockpuppets (    ) as of the last update date of this journal. This person currently has sixteen known accounts on Slashdot, most of which are actively used to shill his own posts to game the moderation system. His reputation has now transcended Slashdot (    ), and he's become pretty much the running joke around here (                 ), mostly bringing everyone else on Slashdot down by association, including honest FOSS advocates who usually don't want anything to do with him or his lies, extremism and paranoia.
Not content to disrupt and pollute Slashdot, our dear troll has now devolved into the role of a serial stalker, to boot. (     ). Of course, he's just protecting Slashdot from the "trolls".
This is the first (UIN under 1.2M) sockpuppet. It was created the first time twitter hit negative karma.
     (and his reply here);    (that entire thread is just him pretty much);  
Name troll of Macthorpe.
    (thread started with the twitter account, name troll replies)   (whole thread is gnutoo and Mactrope)
Now thoroughly ruined, the account is used mainly to troll Macthorpe without much success.
This account was largely dedicated to RIAA and "teh freedom is under attaks" posts, but it eventually devolved into the usual fare.
 (That thread involves almost all of the accounts)        (that was the account's second post and he was already linking to his journal)     (I have to thank all of you nutballs who have called me Twitter. I'd never have known who twitter was much less bother to read his journal otherwise.)
Another "the RIAA is after meh" account at first, eventually deteriorated into the usual "M$ Windozes LOLOL" tripe and shilling.
         (pretty much everyone jumped in on that one)  
Name troll of willyhill.
          
Name troll of westlake.
  (those two threads have multiple sockpuppets as well)             (classic twitter) 
This account is currently being used to troll westlake, complete with "I am a name troll of westlake" sig and everything.
Name troll of Otter.
 (more links to twitter journal)   and  (Odder is used to complain about moderation because it has a +2 posting default);         (That's funny)  (tries to be clever)
Created probably to try and fly under the radar, eventually he ends up burning them up trying to bring the other accounts out of negative karma. With a grand total of 7 posts as of June 2008, his second post with the account immediately garnered a bizarre shill reply, probably because twitter realized that he had made a mistake by pasting a link he had added to one of his journal entries the same day. The next seven posts are just more of the same complaining about the moderation on the other accounts, shilling his own posts (and the subsequent moderation bitch with the Odder account, my head hurts) and the usual twitter fare once he's decided he can't pretend he's someone else to save his life. ibane also knows where twitter does not work, which is impressive.
   (shilling a GNUChop comment)  (No, I am not Twitter)  (classic)
Born as a name troll of dedazo, deadzero's first action was to complain about this post. The second was to post a comment in twitter's journal. He then tried trolling some more, asking for a reply to a westbake post (ROFL). This was followed with some more moderation bitching, and the latest fun thing the account seems to be dedicated to is to troll some more and promote twitter's psychotic "everybody is after me" ramblings. He really likes to link to twitter's journal, too. The account seems to be currently used just to troll dedazo without much success. Still, for someone who is not twitter, he sure likes him a lot.
Identified but not added to the list in the hopes that it wouldn't be used for shilling. That didn't last long. freenix is very excited about what twitter has to say.
  
Flew under the radar for about a week or so until someone found it. It was used as a sockpuppet first in this thread. To put context into that "MOD PARENT DOWN" reply, myCopyWrong at that point had less than 25 comments and the account had existed for less than three weeks, but he was already appearing in sockpuppet threads and had intimate knowledge of the twitter saga. Impressive, no?
13) right handed
Created specifically to shill this thread; also used as a sockpuppet here.
  
This sock was created initially to shill this thread started with the Odder account, where the right handed account also jumped in.
 (Vista, which you mention)
But this account is important because it provides the first piece of actual hard evidence of active sockpuppetry outside of the admittedly circumstantial shilling activity and style similarities presented here. twitter has apparently joined forces with a guy that runs a rather badly designed anti-Microsoft blog (that's a fresh idea). Someone on here (predictably) figured out that the owner of those blogs runs an IRC channel on freenode, whose logs are archived daily on the blog itself. Being the smart cookie that he is, twitter obviously never realized this. In this thread, an AC posted links and quotes from the chat log that are reproduced here in bash.org format for maximum comedic value:
<twitter> I'm back.
<twitter> Want to see a nice piece of net stalking?
<schestowitz> Yes, definitely. I want o document such phenomena too.
<twitter> This one is personal and not one I'd like to call attention to.
<twitter> my trolls on Slashdot like to out me as BRLUG member Will Hill. That's not something I will confirm or deny.
<twitter> They also identify my accounts on the first few posts. They got my GNUChop today and replied to it by cut and pasting a brlug comment.
<twitter> compare http://mail.brlug.net/pipermail/general_brlug.net/2008-August/018582.html
<twitter> to http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=647417&cid=24621437
<twitter> Nasty, isn't it?
<twitter> If what they say is true they can only know it by monitoring all of my traffic.
In that same thread, the AC posted a Google site search link
that brings up just about every IRC log on the blog, just in case someone thinks this is some spur-of-the-moment impersonator. Also linked from there,
in this part of one of the logs someone asks twitter if he's the same
troll from Slashdot with multiple sockpuppets, and he confirms it in the usual yes but I am justified because I am being targeted by a massive Microsoft conspiracy fashion.
This is pretty much the "smoking gun", if anyone was looking for it. For an even more brazen example of how twitter operates (thanks to this same weird website), see here.
If you're not convinced yet:
<twitter> After some thought, I've decided to keep using multiple accounts on Slashdot. Trolls have gamed the system to strip me of my rights and disrupt conversation. I will use the tools I have available to keep my rights and continue to share.
<twitter> Let's not talk about that any more, it is a waste of time.
<twitter> It is better to talk about how evil it is to cooperate with M$.
<schestowitz> twitter: you make the
/. zoo more of a zoo.
<schestowitz> You put a show on both sides and make it a mockery of the site.
<twitter> You are going in circles.
<twitter> Others made a mockery of the site when they censored me.
Remember kids, other people are making a mockery of Slashdot. Other people have censored twitter.
There is evidence to tie this account to the others, as detailed here. It wasn't used as a sockpuppet per se, but rather as a sort of lame reverse troll. Is your head starting to throb now?
This is actually one of 26 additional accounts (I am not shitting you here) colloquially known as "trollpuppets". These were used as a stupid attempt to associate people who were actively trying to warn others of the sockpuppet gaming with rather vile racist bullshit normally seen in GNAA and such creatures. It was however the most widely used and it's the easiest to actually tie to him. You'll notice it must be enclosed in <tt> tags, because it's a type of misspelling troll that relies on font display (see here). A separate Journal entry with additional evidence about these accounts will be posted soon.
Hopefully without much repetition from the links above, here are a few threads where more than three or four socks make an appearance. It's easier to just post the root of the thread than to link to each account's individual post(s) in it:
 - twitter, Odder, ibane, deadzero, willeyhill, Mactrope. An AC posted a comment (which shot up to +5) about how that article was submitted by twitter, which is very probably not true. twitter then jumped on the whole thing, unfortunately. Of special interest is ibane's intimate knowledge of twitter's employment status, and some "silly troll, phear my excellent karma" tripe.
 - twitter, Odder, freenix, willeyhill, Mactrope, ibane. Started with a hilarious segue from the freenix account to bring attention to twitter's -1 post, which backfired quickly. twitter replied to willyhill and Mactrope with their respective name trolls, and ibane made a late appearance to discuss how Microsoft is actively engaged in modding twitter down, in response to a very good post by someone else pleading with him to stop all this. No surprises here.
 - Thread started with the Erris account, and then the myCopyWrong one used to "MOD PARENT UP" shill because it's the only one not posting at -1. As for the rest of that thread, the only two people who are not twitter are tepples and willyhill.
 - In this bizarre thread, twitter seems to have discovered lolcats, posts with 4 different accounts, shills his -1 posts with an AC comment and brings out dedazo's name troll when asked if there is any self-esteem left back there. This also seems to mark the first time an AC comment was used by twitter to bring attention to his negative karma posts, something that he's done a few times since.
 - This is not a "thread" in that it's just one account, but it's hilarious, painfully embarassing and a good example of how impossible it is to manage so many accounts. "Hush, we are at war!" would make a great sig.
 - The usual twitter+Erris with Mactrope making an appearance because Macthorpe dared post.
 - Hilarious thread, mostly with the ibane account. The piece de resistance is this AC comment, which, despite twitter allegedly being nowhere in that thread, is promptly included in the "death threats" (!) section of his cute "teh evil M$ defenders" list.
 - The shill thread to end all shill threads. In this fun-filled fest, twitter posts with 13 out of 14 accounts, with the only one missing being "deadzero", probably because the target of that particular name troll didn't post there. There is even an epic subthread with the socks bemoaning the fact that Microsoft is involved the negative moderation he receives (as opposed to, say, shilling your own comments with 13 different accounts). At the same time, twitter even gets on IRC with his friends and asks for mod points to game the system even more.
 - This is actually a reply to himself, one of those rare posts that are actually informative. He of course predictably mucks it up by replying again with four more of his accounts. It's all in the name of fighting evil and exercising his "free speech", of course.
 - In the lonely confines of an empty Firehose submission, twitter has a rather trascendental conversation with himself.
 - In the finest "they are making a mockery of Slashdot" tradition, we engage in some scatological humour.
 - Odder + right handed like, totally agree.
 - inTheLoo of course has "more information" about what his good friend gnutoo has to say.
 - Weird thread started with the GNUChop account, including a lame attempt at an AC shill and some other weird stuff.
Except where the evidence is quite clear (i.e., GNUChop), the posts and threads linked to here are really circumstantial evidence of the ownership of each account and the relationship among them. More will be added as necessary. Obviously no one has access to the Slashdot IP logs, but if you read the threads linked to you'll see why they're not needed them anyway. Some of them are long discussions and it may not be clear why they are linked to. Some of them are shill replies and it might be necessary to look at the parent post for context. Further, not all of them necessarily show relationships to posts with the "primary" account, but rather to some of the others. But it doesn't take a degree in theoretical physics to figure out that this is all the work of a single disturbed person.
So aside from trying to manipulate the moderation system, what are these accounts good for? One of our devoted readers kindly sent us this analysis of the blatant gaming of the Firehose system he's been actively engaged in, which no one noticed until Slashdot changed the default page view to display all of a user's activity, rather than just the comments. This is actually hilarious, since there's proof of his hypocritical claims that the system is gamed:
<twitter> Slashdot's firehose is gamed.
<kentma> twitter: I really didn't understand that phrase - what is "gamed"?
<twitter> I mean people who want to manipulate it have signed up enough accounts to fake popular interest.
Waiter - a medium chuckle with fries, to go.
If you are for some reason not convinced about what this person is doing, just play the What Are The Chances? game for a second. What are chances that so many accounts (not including twitter and Erris) with +1.2M UINs would spend large amounts of time posting to the same threads, replying to each other with "I agree" one-liners and complaining about negative moderation that the other accounts receive? The odds are very small indeed. Currently Slashdot has over 1,300,000 registered users. Assuming that just 10,000 of those people are actively posting at any point, the odds are still not good. This person is actively gaming the moderation system because he can't get it through his head that his opinions are less than attractive to the overall community, whom he brings down by association pretty much every time he posts. For all the love that he claims to have for this community, he definitely makes sure he's turning it into a circus by becoming the butt of most jokes.
A recent AC reply to one of his annoying posts where he reacts to someone voicing the suspicion that he is a troll sent by Microsoft to ridicule Free Software summarizes this whole joke quite well:
If the theory is correct, then it's just another failure for Microsoft. It takes a special kind of special to successfully put 14 accounts through the karma grinder and achieve absolutely nothing other than to become another joke meme on Slashdot.
In the last few weeks, I've seen this error several times when I try to get to a slashdot article via RSS feed:
From what I've been able to see, when Google Analytics has an issue, it is actually preventing viewers from seeing the Slashdot site. I've been considering using it on a couple of my sites, but I have to say - this makes me nervous. Would I really be handing this much control over my readers' experience to Google if I started to use Analytics? Or is this 'feature' something that must specifically be enabled?
First off, sockpuppet log updated. I have to hand it to the guy that runs that weird boycott site, he operates wide in the open. And it's just too funny to see him repeatedly asking twitter to stop.
Anyway, in the next few days the log will be transferred to a separate account dedicated only to maintaining that journal entry. Its purpose will be made clear in the profile area, and it will not be used to post. The account will be passed around as needed when the current maintainer finds he has no time (like me!). If not, then I guess it will just wither and die, but I hope by then it would have served a good purpose.
I am now actually in the process of moving to another city so I have no time for anything. I enjoyed my semi-retirement and 100% virtual telecommuting way too much it seems, and all good things must come to an end. The company I'm working for is actually finding strength in the general economic weakness, and I think they have very good products that deserve a chance to make it in the market. From a 3-man boutique software shop project to a fully-funded privately held corporation in three years flat (with no debt), along with an impressive client portfolio and almost 100 employees worldwide now. Nothing to sneeze at, and hopefully exciting times ahead for us. In any case, I was starting to get bored. My kids say I'm a workaholic, and they are absolutely right *grin*
Funny how this Slashdot thing has served as a sort of blog for me in the past few months. One of the nice things about the new company is that they provide a public-facing blog for the management team and most employees. I hope to take advantage of that, if only to speak about the drab technical details of managing IT infrastructure and reassure clients that we have our eyes on the prize. Probably no mentions of twitter (hah!) but my time here has certainly helped me better understand the power behind the software I've been using for the last 10 years or so. Zealotry aside, I believe free software is going to grow even more, especially in the server space, and will eventually occupy the one half of the IT sphere of operations that Microsoft will simply never be able to provide because their products are simply targeted at other things.
Anyway, I'll post a final journal entry in the next few days to let everyone know where the log is being kept. Take care everyone!