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Comment Re:Reducing the abuse of anonymity (Score 1) 369

Unfortunately, other than mandating an @[username/intended recipient] as is customary on some forums, or a Clippy-style,

"You seem to be using a lot of indefinite pronouns. This could be confusing. Do you want to:
A) clarify them;
B) leave them etc....",

I can't think of anything simple, short of reforming the language. Hazards of written English, I guess.

I actually considered something along the lines of your suggestion, but it seems to be too much of a can of worms.

Yeah--thinking about it, it seems like something that would hamper those of goodwill and not deter those who are out to disrupt.
And it would be an extra step in posting. :[

I would like to see your suggestions implemented, just to see how they would function in real life (along with xkcd's Listen to Yourself)--maybe as part of an April 1 theme.

Comment Re:Reducing the abuse of anonymity (Score 1) 369

I saw your suggestions as three separate recommendations rather than a package and was replying to 3) specifically.

the new reply could be attached to the parent of the comment that was written by the person who wouldn't see it.

I was assuming that the reply to the person would not be viewed by him if it was below his threshold, and also assumed that that person, like me, seldom revisits the thread unless a comment I have made is replied to or moderated, and thus wouldn't see it if I posted it elsewhere in the thread.

Of course, now that I think on it (having received notification of your reply), If I understand correctly, the system would tell him I replied and allow him to view it even if it was below his threshold. So there's that part of it pointless and dusted.

The part about the average threshold might still be useful, though--Consider if your warning said,
"Not only will the person to whom you are replying not see your comment, neither will [50% (or 75% or whatever)] of current readers."
"You are posting at [-1]. [60%] of our readers will not see your comment."
It might make the trolls think--or not.

-of course, I'm interested in stats like that, so I wouldn't mind seeing that posted at the top of each thread page, just to satisfy my idle curiosity...

Comment As a suggestion (Score 1) 369

Rather than eliminating AC, how about user filters that can hide posts that contain a list of entered phrases for a single session?

The single session rule would make it necessary to create a new list (or re-enter it) each time the user logs in, thus preventing self-siloing, but allowing the user to avoid certain things on days when "I just don't wanna deal with it..."


I swear, I'd be tempted to use it for this whole election season... :(

Comment Re:Reducing the abuse of anonymity (Score 1) 369

(3) The deterrence step: A sincerity warning, as measured by the intention of having a dialog. When someone replies to a post, the slashdot server would do a simple check from the other side to see if the reply will be visible to that person. If so, no problem, reply away, but if not, then there is a warning: "The author of the comment to which you are replying will never see your reply. You may reply anyway, but your reply will be flagged with a warning that it does not appear sincere." If the person is sincere and actually has something to say, then he can go say it elsewhere, but if he insists on saying it there, then first there will be a notice such as: "The following reply will NOT be seen by the author of the comment to which it claims to be a reply. Whatever the following reply is, it cannot be taken as part of a sincere dialog or discussion."

I like this--I'd even take it if it was an individual account setting

I'd suggest modifying the the notice to indicate the viewing threshold (maybe compared to an average threshold), so that I would not waste time on a fruitless reply to the individual specifically, but could reply generally if i chose.


Anything to make me think before posting. :)

Comment Re:Small Government? (Score 1) 186

Does the implied warranty of merchantability even apply to services? My understanding was that it applied to goods. (A blood test would be a service; a blood test kit would be a good).

Fitness might be arguable, though again, it seems only apply to goods. Maybe workmanlike quality--I am assuming that applies under US common law, but I am not sure how one would apply it to a medical service.

Comment Re:Let's see how it works out (Score 3, Interesting) 106

Anecdotally as well, I have had the opposite experience.

Admittedly, I don't see complex spreadsheets or macro-heavy documents in my library, but patrons bring in old doc, docx, MS Works or WordPerfect documents, as well as a variety of simple spreadsheets and presentations--LibreOffice opens them all, with only minor formatting problems. Libreoffice will even open a large number of Office templates.

The only persistent problem I have is that whenever I do a LibreOffice upgrade, Windows switches all the open/save preferences from Libreoffice back to MS Office.

Comment The Lone Gunmen could have been good... (Score 2) 166

...if they had respected the characters and the world.

It should have been a darkly comic thriller with a team that only managed to hold together because of the importance of what they were doing. Instead, "they" derailed the cast with Jimmy Bond (and also with Yves Harlow--what, they couldn't find a woman ANYWHERE who could become a functioning part the team?) and turned The Lone Gunmen into a shallow, slapstick-ridden mockery of its X-files version.

Still disappointed after all these years.

Comment Re:In school: BAN EVERYTHING outside public domain (Score 1) 410

I wish the one here inspired kids to read. I get boys from the remedial class with letter jackets boasting that they haven't read a book since junior high, and who check out the same books on which they have been writing reports since grade school (Gary Paulsen). The girls check out either A Child Called "It" or Ellen Hopkins' poem-novels. Every year. Apparently the teachers don't compare notes or just are there to keep them eligible to play.

I am of the opinion that if you can find the right book, you can get a reader for life, but I must confess that, while I can generally match adults with "their" books, I often have trouble with engaging younger readers, and in maintaining their interest on the rare occasion that a book happens to catch them unawares. It's a problem.

Comment Re:His Dark Materials? (Score 1) 410

Thanks! Of the above, I've only ever read Shibumi and Vampire Hunter D, and I'm always looking for new materials. Of my recommendations, KJ Parker writes intricately plotted, low-magic fantasy that usually ends with the fall or destruction of society, while Kay writes fantasy based on real-world cultures.

Comment Re:His Dark Materials? (Score 1) 410

Mack Reynolds was a sci-fi author who, among other things, wrote a series of novels based around the concept of a Universal Basic stipend. As far as I am aware, the books are long out of print, but they were the first sc-fi I remember reading that used economic theory as the basis for the societies depicted, and looked at the effect it had on various individuals. The series started with Looking Backward from the Year 2000, an updating and examination of Bellamy's utopia of the same title.

He wrote quite a bit around the areas of social, economic or utopian theory. I haven't read him in years, and I don't know how well his books have held up, but I enjoyed reading them at the time.

Incidentally, he also wrote the first licensed Star Trek novel, though I.m not certain if that's to his credit or not. :)

Comment Re:In school: BAN EVERYTHING outside public domain (Score 1) 410

Sorry I'm so late replying...

I'm torn. On the one hand, 20+ years later, I'm glad they made me read The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice and Men, Cry the Beloved Country, etc., and tried to get me to see the point of them. On the other hand, I'm not so sure I benefited at the time, given my level of maturity and lack of interest. On the gripping hand, OH YE GODS--Grapes of Wrath and Return of the Native WERE MIND-NUMBING!


Sometimes I think a good teacher makes all the difference--some of them can make any book, no matter how boring or irrelevant, into a magical experience; while others could could turn reading The Scarlet Pimpernell into weeks of slogging through Russian mud.

Sometimes I think it would be interesting to take those classics again, with a group of adults and a reasonably good teacher, and see how we would react now.

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