Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby refracta » 2009-12-29 16:34

Maybe they could split the forum and have a nice area and a mean area.......that would be interesting......
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby jheaton5 » 2009-12-29 18:15

refracta wrote:well....I'm too pretty to be ugly so I will just have to be the bad... :wink:

I was going to say that jheaton would be the ugly and I would be the bad but since I am being nice I won't say that. :shock: oops...

Well, what can I say? My Avitar is proof that you are correct.
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Postby llivv » 2009-12-29 21:46

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Last edited by llivv on 2019-02-21 03:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby saulgoode » 2009-12-30 08:42

I would submit my own proposal for "stimulating prosocial behavior" on these forums. Unlike the position presented in this thread's original post, my observation has been that the vast majority of issues raised in these forums are promptly addressed with suggestions and discussions which quickly result in resolution of the matter. While the OP suggests that it is the unanswered posts which fall by the wayside, I would contend that it is the promptly resolved threads which are most often unrecognized as they quickly fall out of the domain of "recent posts".

There are exceptions to this, and indeed some questions do receive little attention, though I would disagree with the reasoning provided for this being so. My observance is that issues which are most unlikely to receive attention or attain resolution fall into one of the following categories:

    Involve proprietary applications or modules
    Involve Free Software applications or modules which strive to implement proprietary protocols or formats
    Involve specialized circumstances for which particular knowledge is not generally available


Addressing the last of these first, while unfortunate that not every field of interest is fully and expertly represented by the membership of this forum, it also should not be construed as "anti-social" for a member to lack expertise in a particular area. As to whether it is more helpful to express ignorance on a subject, or to say nothing in hopes that others with more familiarity should come along, I can only judge the matter a personal opinion and thus not to be considered "anti-social" in either instance. (For what it's worth, I consider these forums to behave quite admirably in responding to this category of issues.)

The first two categories, which both involve non-Free elements of software or hardware, to my mind constitute the vast majority of unresolved issues on these forums (as well as those of most distros). They may properly be considered a special case of the last category -- with the special condition that it is by design that the knowledge of the forum membership (and the public at large) is limited and unavailable -- but they also inhere an overarching element of their own "stimulating anti-social behavior" such that even those members of the forum who are knowledgeable of the issue should be vindicated for not wishing to promote the anti-social efforts of these self-proclaimed high priests of the information cargo cult. There is a reason these proprietary components have issues which the Free Software community doesn't completely resolve: the companies behind them want you to rely upon them to provide the answers.

Admittedly, not everyone in the Free Software community (and certainly not those who consider themselves members of the Open Source community) fully accepts the "proprietary is anti-social" argument as presented in the GNU Manifesto a quarter-century ago; but the fact is that most of those most technically qualified to resolve issues with GNU/Linux DO ascribe to this viewpoint. GNU/Linux was created, and continues to be developed, by those who want to provide an alternative to such proprietary software, and it should not be in the least surprising that those most intimately familiar with the design and operation of a Free operating system are not especially motivated to assist in improving the functionality of non-Free components on that system.

It should be expected that the Debian Project, given its foundation in the Free Software movement and its community-based governance structure, even more so than any other GNU/Linux distro, has a majority of contributors who have a basal concern for the "pro-social" aspects of the Free Software philosophy. And it should not be surprising that such contributors are disinclined to investigate proprietary solutions, or to suborn the anti-social behavior inherent to such proprietary endeavors.

So based upon my observances and the above characterization of the problem, I propose that in order to "stimulate prosocial behavior" within these forums, there be a separate subforum created in which should reside all postings addressing issues with anti-social, proprietary software (NVidia, Skype, Adobe Flash player, etc) and with otherwise free software implementations of anti-social, proprietary protocols and formats (NDISwrapper, WINE, Samba, etc). While this will in no way increase the likelihood of these particular issues being addressed, it should help to establish the message that the reason they are not being addressed is owing to the anti-social behavior of those who have created the proprietary incumbrances.

I submit my proposition under no prejudice either for or against those who would or would not respond to posts of others. I generally reluct to comment on the posting behavior of others and should not be so presumptuous as to wish to direct the administration of these forums. I mainly offer my proposal as a contrast to the proposals offered in the original post and to share my view as to the potential causes of any perceived deficiencies in the help provided in these forums.
Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian Kernighan
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby refracta » 2009-12-30 17:05

I was just about to say the exact same thing :shock:
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby Rolling Stone » 2010-01-04 05:27

scraze wrote:enthusiastic newbies are great at helping eachother

That's probably the worst thing that could happen to this forum. We don't need another Ubuntu forum* where huge masses of newbies eagerly offer each other horrible advice. Talk about blind leading the blind.

It's an interesting topic however.

*Note I didn't say anything about the moderation there! :lol:
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby jheaton5 » 2010-01-04 13:26

Rolling Stone wrote:
scraze wrote:enthusiastic newbies are great at helping eachother

That's probably the worst thing that could happen to this forum. We don't need another Ubuntu forum* where huge masses of newbies eagerly offer each other horrible advice. Talk about blind leading the blind.

It's an interesting topic however.

*Note I didn't say anything about the moderation there! :lol:

What can you say about the moderation. Posts fly by so fast it's impossible to keep up. There are a few active moderators and a few active members with enough experience to really help but most of the "help" is as you say, newbies helping newbies giving wrong, bad, even dangerous, advice.
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Re: Stimulating Prosocial Behavior

Postby Rolling Stone » 2010-01-04 13:52

jheaton5 wrote:What can you say about the moderation.

Let's just say it doesn't quite live up to their code of conduct.
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