Just 100 users responsible for two-thirds of illegal file sharing


A team at Carlos III University of Madrid examined the behavior of users who published over 55,000 files on the two main portals of BitTorrent, Mininova and The Pirate Bay. They collected the names, ISPs and IP numbers of publishers, and the IP numbers of downloaders.They found that just 100-odd users were responsible for 66 percent of content published and 75 percent of downloads.

TNH on Scalzi’s Whatever about Comment Moderation


I was surprised by how surprised they were when I said no. As I fruitlessly explained to them over and over again, “You own your own words. You don’t own the conversation they’re a part of, and you don’t have the right to deprive it of its sense and context by removing them later.”(The point of owning their own words was that we wouldn’t alter or re-use their comments for some other purpose. We might disemvowel them, but the disemvowelled comments were left in situ, with all their consonants intact.)

Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / SF reading protocols


Jo Walton Monday January 18, 2010 12:38pm EST

Genres are usually defined by their tropes—mysteries have murders and clues, romances have two people finding each other, etc. Science fiction doesn’t work well when you define it like that, because it’s not about robots and rocketships. Samuel Delany suggested that rather than try to define science fiction it’s more interesting to describe it,

The Protocols of Science Fiction


A conversation on a 1996 Internet newsgroup questioned the existence of science-fiction reading protocols. Up to that point I hadn’t thought they needed explanation, since they seemed self-evident when Samuel R. Delany introduced them at a Modern Language Association meeting two decades ago. His remarks, along with others amplifying his insights, have since been reprinted in various journals, including his 1984 collection Starboard Wine. They seemed so illuminating to the processes that I had found myself going through and through which I had guided my students that I adopted them myself, perhaps in ways that Delany might not approve, including an exercise in my SF class in which I lead the students through a line-by-line reading of Philip Jose Farmer’s “Sail On! Sail On!”

What is mobbing? The difference between bullying and mobbing


What is mobbing? The word bullying is used to describe a repeated pattern of negative intrusive violational behaviour against one or more targets and comprises constant trivial nit-picking criticism, refusal to value and acknowledge, undermining, discrediting and a host of other behaviours which are defined on my page What is bullying? The word mobbing is preferred to bullying in continental Europe and in those situations where a target is selected and bullied (mobbed) by a group of people rather than by one individual. However, every group has a ringleader. If this ringleader is an extrovert it will be obvious who is coercing group members into mobbing the selected target. If the ringleader is an introvert type, he or she is likely to be in the background coercing and manipulating group members into mobbing the selected target; introvert ringleaders are much more dangerous than extrovert ringleaders.

The Anosognosic?s Dilemma: Something?s Wrong but You?ll Never Know What It Is


About how Dunning-Kroeger began as a theory
Part 1 By Errol Morris
Web June 20, 2010

As Dunning read through the article, a thought washed over him, an epiphany. If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber — that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity.

Dunning wondered whether it was possible to measure one’s self-assessed level of competence against something a little more objective — say, actual competence. Within weeks, he and his graduate student, Justin Kruger, had organized a program of research. Their paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” was published in 1999.[3] …

Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, “When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”

It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.

Series of articles on related ideas:

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5