Phil 2.25.16

7:00 – 5:00 VTX

  • Thinking more about the economics of contributing trustworthy information. Recently, I’ve discovered the PBS Idea Channel, which is a show that explores pop culture with a philosophical bent (LA Times review here). For example, Deadpool is explored from a phenomenology perspective. But what’s really interesting and seems unique to me is the relationship of the show with its commenters. For each show, there is a follow-on show where the most interesting comments are discussed by the host, Mike Rugnetta. And the comments are surprisingly cogent and good. I think that this is because Rugnetta is acting like the anchor of an interactive news program where the commenters are the reporters. He sets up the topic, gets the ball rolling, and then incorporates the best comments (stories) to wrap up the story. Interestingly, in a recent comment section on aesthetic (which I can’t find now?), he brings up a comment that about science and philosophy and invites the commenter into a deeper discussion and also discusses the potential of an episode about that.
  • To get a flavor, here’s one of the longer comments (with 25 replies on its own) from the Deadpool show:
    I could actually buy that DeadPool’s ability to understand the medium he’s in if it weren’t for one thing he does very often: references to our world. If his fourth wall breaks were limited to interacting with the panels, making quips and nods about the idea of “readers”, and joking about general comic book (or video game or movie) tropes, then I’d be on board with the idea that he is hyper-aware due to his constant physical torment and knowledge of his own perceptions. however, he somehow has knowledge of things that do not seem to exist in the world he inhabits, such as memes, pop culture references, and things like “Leeroy Jenkins”. His hypersensitivity can explain his knowledge of the medium he’s in (an integral part of the reality he inhabits), but I don’t see a way that it could explain him knowing about things that, as far as I’m aware, do not exist in his reality.
  • Compare that to the comments for the MIT opencourseware intro to MIT 6.034, which I ‘took’ and found well presented and deeply interesting, though not as flashy. Here’s a rough equivalent (with 21 replies):
    wow ..it’s such an overwhelming feeling for a guy like me ..who had no chance in hell of ever getting into MIT or any other ivy’s to be able to listen and learn from this lectures online and that too free. :’)
  • To me, it seems like the Deadpool post is deeply involved with the subject matter of the episode, while the MIT comment is more typical of a YouTube comment in that it is more about the commenter and less about the content. This does imply that working on providing value to good commenting through inclusion in the content of the show can improve the quality and relevance of the comments.
  • To continue the ‘News Anchor’ thought from above, it might be possible to structure a news entity of some kind where different areas (sports, entertainment, local/regional, etc) could have their own anchors that produce interactive content with their commenters. Some additional capability to handle multimedia uploads from commenters should probably be supported and better navigation, but this sounds more to me like a 21st century news product than many other things that I’ve seen. It’s certainly the opposite of the Sweden paper.
  • And speaking of papers, here’s one on YouTube comments: Commenting on YouTube Videos: From Guatemalan Rock to El Big Bang
  • Starting on Incentivizing High-quality User-Generated Content.
    • References look really good. Only 8? For a WWW paper?
    • This is starting to look like what I was trying to find. Nash Equilibrium. Huh. The model predicts, as observed in practice, that if exposure is independent of quality, there will be a flood of low quality contributions in equilibrium. An ideal mechanism in this context would elicit both high quality and high participation in equilibrium.
  • Need to add ‘change password’ option. Done. And now that I know my way around JPA, I like it a lot
  • Added role-based enabling of menu choices
  • The code base could really use a cleanup. We have the classic research->production problem…
  • Adding match/nomatch and blacklist queries. Note that blacklist needs to be by search engine
    • Finished match
    • Finished nomatch
    • Working on Blacklist
    • Create a loop that changes all the QueryObjects so that qo.getUnquotedName() is used and persist.
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