Chaos Patch (#1)
A blog closely models a patchwork-embedded neocameral micro-state, which is to say that its governance is dictatorial, controlled by external competition. Internally, it’s God-king stuff: zero-democracy, undivided power without constitutional constraint, absolute discretion tilting into sorcerous extremities. The sole counter-balance comes from outside, sustained by a freedom of exit no less highly realized than the administrative power it evaluates. If people don’t like what’s happening, they leave.
As in the (virtual) neocameral state it models, a blog stages a dramatic collision between administrative authority and radical liberty. Admin and commentators coordinate tacitly to make things work, already conjoined in the production of value.
Commentators speak for themselves. That is their work and investment, which the blog exploits, to develop. Necessarily, therefore, from the side of the sim-neocameral Admin, there are inescapable but obscure responsibilities. Undoubtedly, among the first of these, is the maintenance of order.
Three aspects of order are especially relevant at this point (although there are others).
(1) Troll eradication. This responsibility has been very undemanding at Outside in so far. The prospect of prompt and certain liquidation, coupled with a minimally-efficient comment processing system, deters troll invasion to a truly remarkable extent.
(2) Ensuring civility. This is a far hazier and potentially more challenging task, involving cooperative interaction between multiple parties. There are sure to be micro-ethnographic theories that relate to it, because a blog ecology is a small, artificial culture, and reasonable differences exist as to how these can be propagated, nudged, incentivized, and / or directed. These are questions for another time.
(3) Entropy suppression — finally, our topic. How does a blog climb backwards along the incline into chaos, perpetually restoring the order of things in their place, or on-topic commentary? How to maintain a micro-culture that, in its balance of creative liberty and efficient order, is more Singaporean than Somalian?
The emergent policy of Outside in is to be troll-free and civil, but beyond this it aims to be minimally suppressive. It does, however, aspire to the perpetuation and development of order. Its model comment thread is coherent, even in its diversity and controversy, which is to say that on-topic commentary is its ideal. Departures from this are registered as error, and in fact as classical entropy, or disordered distribution. The solution presently entertained is zoned liberty.
Flagrantly off-topic commentary will be increasingly discouraged, but regular ‘chaos patches’ (or open threads) will ensure that any civil remark has a place. If your comment would be obviously out of place on any given thread — and thus effectively entropic (I’m looking at you Fotrkd and Northanger) — it would be to our mutual advantage if it were directed towards the most recent Chaos Patch. In exchange for cooperation in this respect, Outside in neocameral Admin proposes the following deal:
Use Chaos Patches (CPs) neatly, like a good pseudo-Singaporean, and Admin commits to:
(a) Read all CP contents (and avoid all temptation to treat them as black-hole entropy-bins).
(b) Introduce new CPs on request (request to be made in latest CP).
(c) Thematically direct each CP according to the content unfolding within it, by providing — at least minimally — an ADDED directory function, plus discussion where possible.
(d) Modify the CP concept in response to feedback, with open-ended flexibility, given only the understanding that entropy regulation is an indispensable Admin responsibility.
Let’s see how it goes …
ADDED: CP#1 Topic Summary:
— Thoughts on blog commentary
— What (the hell) does Continental Philosophy contribute to Dark Enlightenment?
— Web search systems, social media, and soft Cathedralism
— Handle’s ‘Darkest Enlightenment’ (as glimpsed here)
— ‘How about you and him fight?’
— Phallic leftism
— Sodomite abomination
— Did Turing screw up computer science?
— Streaming reaction
Discussion diffuses, so the order listed here is only an inexact approximation.
‘Meta’ (or ‘admin’) questions predominate at this stage — how is commentary most effectively handled? Since no one has yet staked a claim to the lead CP#2 topic, I’ll begin from there. Current assumption: once the number of comments exceeds 100, it’s time to make more space. Does this seem reasonable?