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Jonnan comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: Jonnan 23 April 2009 03:20:50AM 13 points [-]

I think I fundamentally disagree with your premise. I concede, I have seen communities where this happened . . . but by and large, they have been the exception rather than the rule.

The fundamental standard I have seen in communities that survived such things, versus those that didn't fall under two broad patterns.

A) Communities that survived were those where politeness was expected - a minimal standard that dropping below simply meant people had no desire to be seen with you.

B) Communities where the cultural context was that of (And I've never quite worded this correctly in my own mind) acknowledging that you were, in effect, not at home but at a friendly party at a friends house, and had no desire to embarrass yourself or your host by getting drunk and passing out on the porch - {G}.

Either of these attitude seems to be very nearly sufficient to prevent the entire issue (and seem to hasten recovery even on the occasion when it fails), combined they (in my experience) act as a near invulnerable bulwark against party crashers.

Now exactly how these attitudes are nurtured and maintained, I have never quite explained to my own satisfaction - it's definitely an "I know it when I see it" phenomena, however unsatisfying that may be.

But given an expectation of politeness and a sense of being in a friendly venue, but one where there will be a group memory among people whose opinions have some meaning to you, the rest of this problem seems to be self-limiting.

Again, at least in my experience - {G}. Jonnan

Comment author: Relsqui 20 September 2010 06:05:44AM 13 points [-]

I agree with you, and I also agree with Eliezer, and therefore I don't think you're contradicting him. The catch is here:

they act as a near invulnerable bulwark against party crashers

This implies that the party crashers, upon seeing that everyone else is acting polite and courteous, will begin acting polite and courteous too. In a closer model of an internet community, what happens is that they act rough and rowdy ... and then the host kicks them out. Hence, moderators.

Unless you really mean that the social norms themselves are sufficient to ward off people who made the community less fun, in which case your experience on the internet is very different from mine.

Comment author: Strange7 24 December 2010 10:42:24AM 2 points [-]

If everyone is accustomed to a norm of politeness, a wandering troll seeking to stir up arguments 'for the lulz' will find few bitter arguments, and no willing collaborators.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 07 September 2011 07:51:59PM 4 points [-]

Still, if a few impolite people happen to come at the same time, start arguing with each other, and persist long enough to attract more impolite people from outside, the community is ruined.

Also the norm violators do not need to be consistent. For example they may be polite most of the time towards most members of community, but impolite towards a few selected 'enemies'. If the rest of community does not punish them for this, then their 'enemies' may decide to leave.