Habra, karma, ad hominem, egalitarianism and the heavy legacy of developed socialism


    This article encouraged me to write: habrahabr.ru/post/233895

    Direct appeal: Habra admins, please do not break us a high machine by tightening the nuts! Let it shake.

    And now theses:
    - material assessment instead of personality assessment;
    - a problem with participation in the active life of the community;
    - fear and unwillingness to write articles;
    - fun factor;
    - karma and scoop in the heads, incorrect leveling;
    - kill the state in yourself.

    Before moving on to them, I want to remind an instructive story about the great outcome from one well-known resource to another. This story is perfectly illustrated by the following picture:


    Material assessment instead of personality assessment

    There is one important thing that combines mailing lists (lkml, freebsd, apache, etc.), users, slashdot, reddit, freecode and other similar resources. It consists in the fact that not a person is evaluated, but his contribution. Somewhere it is evaluated by magically useless Internet points, in other places they do without it, but the essence is the same: the contribution is evaluated separately from the personality of the person who made it.

    In contrast to the leveling described below, this leveling is correct: writing something in a thematic community matters and only what the person wrote. His gender, race, nationality, religious beliefs, social status, etc. don't matter. Nothing. At all. Even if you are a weirdo from Nizhny Tagil (sorry Tagilchany, I mentioned your city only for rhyme) walking in a skirt and living on my wife’s neck, if you sent a good patch, then they will consider it, if you asked a competent question, they will answer it if You answered the question well - they will say thank you.

    This is such a global principle, very, very important - it is not the personality that is evaluated, but what is done. And that’s all.

    The problem of active participation in the community

    As a rule, anyone can write to the newsletter. In yuznet it was similar. On slashdot registration is simple and you can immediately comment. On reddit for registration, even mail is not needed, you enter a username and password and that's all, you can write. Freinoda is generally accessible through webchat, you do not even need to register.

    This leads to an interesting observation that even developers of large and complex pieces do without a known enclosure. Let us ask ourselves a question: why such an enclosure may be necessary at all? Why do it, in principle? Offhand, considerations may be as follows:
    1. Screening out unwanted participants.
    2. Improving the quality of materials due to the fact that only those who have earned such a right in some way participate. For example, in the sandbox.

    Why are these considerations wrong?
    1. Screening is excellently done by moderators recruited from the community itself. Competent moderators with huge banhammers but without a prisoner syndrome - and as experience shows, there are many - the key to success, self-regulation in the issue of admission to the community does not work well.

    Why, well, why does it work poorly? And here is why.

    Suppose I am a mega-specialist, I know my area like no other. Lazily while drinking beer and reading the mailing list, I simultaneously watch the Internet and see an article from my field. I go into it, I understand that I have something to say on the topic, and I’m even ready to trouble myself by climbing through regwall, the only question is in its height. I’ll come up with a login, enter an email ... And then HOP! This is not enough! Realizing that the regwall is very, very high, I spit and go on to drink beer and fuss about my topic on the mailing list.

    2. Again, from the specialist from the previous example he will spit and go write on a more free resource, to his blog or somewhere else. The fence does not work, no matter where you spit.

    As a result:
    - good specialists are lost who could say something important and interesting on the case
    - the problem of bad participants in other communities is being solved, and moreover, is being well resolved by moderators.

    Fear and unwillingness to write articles and comments

    Again, introduce our mega-specialist. He can write an article on an English resource or on his blog. But he is Russian and wants to write in Russian, and he also wants to write in a large community. I went to the hub, looked at the registration system, spat and left. Or even wrote a controversial article, or simply did not like someone, and he was leaked karma. He can't write anymore. Or he doesn’t want, it’s a shame anyway, although they voted for his article 50 for, 60 against, and yes, again, only negative. Or, in general, he wrote a contradictory commentary in another article, again not even everyone was against, 50 for 60 against, and again they leaked karma. Evaluation, therefore, of the individual and not of her merits. He spat and left. Forever and ever.

    Is the loss small? Nothing like this. Great.

    He is not alone, there are many of them. And Habr lost all these people.

    Fun factor

    There is only one thing: to take part in the community should be nice. Mistakes must be forgiven. There shouldn't be wild pain in a famous place simply because someone didn't like you. Reinforced concrete frames should not be. Better a little offtopic than a lot gone forever.

    The picture at the very beginning of the article is just about this and about what happens when what is written in this section is forgotten.

    Karma and a scoop in the heads, wrong leveling

    As I told you, there are two types of leveling. Equalization is correct when only the contribution is evaluated, and equalization is incorrect when the personality is evaluated. I’ll just quote my comment on the article that encouraged me to write this one:
    Here's the thing. For example, I almost don’t read the hub just because interesting technical articles like these gain 40 plus points and that’s all. And this is also why there are few such articles here. I'm not talking about the fact that the same amarao was blocked in ridonli, and for a long time I could not understand where his topics had gone, at first I thought that they were rubbed at all. And there are many such cases. Habr, let's say, is fenced. It is a fact. And further. So at one time I filled my karma with stupid translations of news, entered the then top 15 habrahabr by rating for the month. Friends who wrote a sufficient number of interesting technical articles were not particularly noticed.

    Think about it: there should be more than a hundred thousand people on Habré. Views from each of these articles are tens of thousands. And in the end, a quality article has 40 advantages. O RLY? Something is wrong here. And I even have an answer to the question “what exactly”. He’s like this: the official is really sitting in our heads, so they came up with this stupid system with karma that affects the ability to write articles and now *********** on it.


    Karma as a number in my opinion is nothing bad, but BUT is bad due to the presence of stupid restrictions associated with this number. This actually turns it into an analogue of the argument “ad hominem”: “Well, you didn’t come out with a mug, and you wrote an incomprehensible article to me, now you are a minusan and you won’t be able to write anymore.”

    In the application of this number, the main problem, and not in itself. I speak as a person who is not interested in karma, who did not write for many years in the habr and had at the time of writing this comment a hundred karmaplyusov, i.e. I know well how to get this number, and I also know that it has nothing to do with the quality of the content.

    Kill the state in yourself

    As a result, with the current system of karma, fear is obtained. Fear of the community, fear of not saying that. Freedom of speech? What are you talking about, what freedom of speech. Everything is arranged so that it turns out: Everyone to stand. Everyone is standing. All equal to the left. All turn left. To do everything twice. They do everything twice. Write to everyone about the android. Everyone writes about android. Well and so on.

    Exaggerate, of course, but the trend is obvious.

    A normal state has a division. Citizens have freedom of speech. And freedom of action. Complete. While you do not break laws. For violators - the police. And it turns out on Habré that these two are completely different, I would even say the opposite, they are trying to assign functions to citizens. And everyone has such a small state in their head, hence the headline.


    1. For a good community, restrictions on writing articles and commenting are harmful, I tried to illustrate why.
    2. Moderators are well versed with people doing something cardinally wrong.
    3. Not people need to be evaluated. Only their contribution needs to be evaluated. Assessing the people themselves is not just unprofitable, but harmful.
    4. A huge number of successful communities working on the above principles show that they are true.

    PS I have a LOT of anecdotal evidence for everything written above.

    PPS Forgot important. When evaluating comments and articles, only the total score is shown. This is fundamentally wrong. There is a huge difference between (+ 90, -100 = -10) and (+ 0, -10 = -10). This is especially noticeable in the comments. And yes, I know that you can move the mouse and show how much specifically voted for and against, but this is not noticeable. Controversial comments must at least be flagged in some way.

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