Consensus
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13-07-2017, 11:21 AM (This post was last modified: 13-07-2017 11:27 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Consensus
(13-07-2017 11:13 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(13-07-2017 09:47 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Consensus systems can't avoid positive feedback loops. There, I answered your question. Now keep your word and just shut the fuck up already.

Actually, if I really wanted him to shut the fuck up, I'd just put him on ignore. Tongue If Moms really wanted him to shut up, she wields the power of the ban hammer. The forum and the forum individuals have the power to silence this moron, and his active participation in the matter need not be gained.

Don't misunderstand me, this forum provides a valuable community service by allowing for sustained individual expression no matter how tedious or ridiculous (I miss my little psikeyhackrs and Borgsters and poopyheadedboulders), I just don't think it's all that healthy when curiosity turns into obsession. ... unless you're getting a PhD. ... still not healthy.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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13-07-2017, 01:13 PM
RE: Consensus
(13-07-2017 11:21 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I just don't think it's all that healthy when curiosity turns into obsession. ... unless you're getting a PhD. ... still not healthy.


"Obsession--it's such a terrible shame.
Obsession--you don't know what you're sayin'." Angel

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(Might or might not have had a crushlet on lead singer as a teen Rolleyes )

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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13-07-2017, 01:18 PM
RE: Consensus
Trust me if you've managed to piss off Aliza this bad you ain't doing well at all Mr. B No
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13-07-2017, 04:13 PM
RE: Consensus
(13-07-2017 06:54 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  I don't think I can order anyone to do anything...

...If you all want me to shut up all it requires is one person addressing how consensus systems avoid positive feedback loops. Thats it. Just answer that one question.

Pick a side, any side.

You are still trying to direct the members here.

That nearly guarantees you won't get what you want.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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13-07-2017, 08:08 PM
RE: Consensus
(13-07-2017 06:54 AM)BlkFnx Wrote:  Arguments from consensus are a logical fallacy. Consensus systems are fundamentally flawed for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the problem of positive feedback. Until the problem with positive feedback and how it is handled has been addressed I will continue to redirect people to the original topic.

If you all want me to shut up all it requires is one person addressing how consensus systems avoid positive feedback loops. Thats it. Just answer that one question.

Why in the world should "consensus systems" -- really social groups -- avoid positive feedback loops? That is part of what they do, and for good reasons.

What you call "arguments from consensus" are not a logical fallacy when the members have good reasons for their consensus. We don't agree with your diagnosis.

If your assumptions are condescending, what else can you expect?
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13-07-2017, 08:57 PM
RE: Consensus
(12-07-2017 06:49 PM)outtathereligioncloset Wrote:  [Image: horse2.gif]

Damn! I'm sorry; did someone kill your horse? Ohmy

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13-07-2017, 09:36 PM
RE: Consensus
(12-07-2017 06:44 PM)Dr H Wrote:  I'm not a big fan of "rep" systems, being an old veteran of Usenet newsgroups, and inclined to let everyone have their say for as long as they have a thick enough hide to handle the responding flames.

(12-07-2017 11:10 PM)BlkFnx Wrote:  BlkFnx: Agreed.

Quote:Dr H: That said, some systems are better than others.

Quote:BlkFnx: I address this elsewhere in the thread and I am right there with you. Some rep systems are better than others, I in no way deny that. Its one reason why I tried to not make this about TTA's rep system in particular until pressed to.

I should make it clear that while I'm not a fan of rep systems, if I join a community that uses one, I accept that system for the duration of my association with that community. Social anarchy depends on the free formation of social contracts, and all contracts involve some degree of compromise. If one encounters a situation in which they feel they cannot compromise, then one is free to leave that society and join another, or form their own.

So, I no more expect TTA to change their system on my account -- or yours -- than I expected Amazon to do it. I made my feelings known there, and they were on public display. Perhaps someday, if enough kindred souls come along at one time and find them to their liking, the system will be changed.
Until then it's a small matter, in view of the many positive factors which, to me, greatly outweigh it. To insist on a change would be rather like telling a friend, who loaned you their house for a party, to replace their carpet before the fête, because you don't like their choice of pattern.

[...]
I agree that you have a point, as regards positive feedback.

Quote:BlkFnx: This brings me back to a point I made previously of "what is the purpose of a rep system?". If it's to provide feedback to the user then why is it public?
It also provides some feedback to the public as to how a poster is perceived by the community. Is that important? Well, not to me, but I can understand that it may be to some. Some people are more comfortable making certain kinds of judgments when they feel they're not a "lone wolf",
as it were.

Quote:I don't think it's unfair to think that there is an attempt to create bias pro and con.
Of course.

But so what? There are many ways to do that, with or without a rep system.
It could be argued that a rep system makes it too easy, I suppose -- a simple reflex that can easily replace a moment of well-considered thought.
But there are always going to be things like that, and if they're around, better to have them in the open, and know that they're there.


Quote:BlkFnx: If that were how it was used then I would absolutely agree with you. Not that I wouldn't still have a problem with the fact that the rep system exists but I would be less critical of it.
As I see it, you or I -- or anyone -- can participate, or not participate in the system to the extent desired.
As to critiquing it, well, there is this thread, and I don't see anyone removing it, or locking it, thus far.

Quote:BlkFnx: Thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm can only hope that hearing my concerns voiced by someone else will motivate others to actually participate in the conversation.
Da nada. It's an issue that I feel the need to get off my chest now and then, and here was the opportunity. Wink
Thanks for responding.

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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13-07-2017, 10:37 PM
RE: Consensus
(13-07-2017 12:13 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  "Massive open online courses (MOOCs) rely primarily on discussion forums for interaction among students. We investigate how forum design affects student activity and learning outcomes through a field experiment with 1101 participants on the edX platform. We introduce a reputation system, which gives students points for making useful posts. We show that, as in other settings, use of forums in MOOCs is correlated with better grades and higher retention. Reputation systems additionally produce faster response times and larger numbers of responses per post, as well as differences in how students ask questions. However, reputation systems have no significant impact on grades, retention, or the students' subjective sense of community. This suggests that forums are essential for MOOCs, and reputation systems can improve the forum experience, but other techniques are needed to improve student outcomes and community formation. We also contribute a set of guidelines for running field experiments on MOOCs."

Are we done here?
I think not. Smile

My first question, just based on the abstract, is: who determines what constitutes a "useful post", and by what criteria?

Looking at the article itself -- fascinating, by the way -- some other points arise.

One group began with 5985 participants, and ended with 532 passing students; another began with 1572 and ended with 442 -- dropout rates of 91% and 72%, respectively. While there is a clear improvement in the second group, with such enormous attrition in both, one has to wonder about self-selection factors outside the parameters of the study, which raises the question of the randomness of the populations samples used.

The "full featured forums" had additional features besides the rep system; it's not entirely clear what the interaction among these features was.

This study looks at a situation it which there is an extrinsic reward, independent of the forums and their features: earning a better grade in a college course. It is questionable how much that context models a forum like TTA, where one might argue that any rewards are intrinsic to the forum itself.

"Fisher’s exact test shows that users on the full-featured forum
are less likely to post (p ~0:036)—it has more posts overall
but less users posting questions and answers."

Indeed, the full featured forum seems to have been more dominated by a few posters (10 posters/54% of posts) than the basic forum (10 posters/32% of posts).

This raises the question (or it should) asked at the top, concerning the usefulness of posts. With both fewer participants, and fewer Q&As, the main thing the "full features" seem to contribute is a sense of community -- among a small groups of posters, at least. Arguably that could make (some) people feel more comfortable, allowing them to be more relaxed and therefore better able to make efficient use of their personal study efforts. But a community based on a rating system necessarily marginalizes those with a low rating. One wonders how they fared? I didn't see this broken out.

Interestingly, that notion is not supported by their quantitative data (Table 3). They found that "rep" features did not improve grades, retention, or sense of community. One wonders, then, what the value was of "improving forum experience", if improving that experience had negligible effect on improving the outcomes which were the whole raison dêtre for having the forums in the first place?

What they seem to have shown is that forum participation correlates with better course performance, and that having a rep system (in combination with other features) correlates with higher forum participation. But it is a stretch, I think, to draw a causal connection between these correlates. There were just too many uncontrolled variables. Their conclusion is, correctly, I think, rather cautious:

"Reputation systems provide concrete, yet limited benefits for MOOC forums."

For example, the rep systems resulted in faster response time. But what is the benefit of a faster response time if people weren't asking or answering course related questions (which activity was lower in the "full featured" forums)?

Still, as I said, it's an interesting study.
It's main relevance to this discussion, IMO, is that it shows that someone had actually made an attempt to study the effects of rep systems formally.

Ah, science! Smile

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