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The question that fascinates me is: If dKos is the Wright Flyer of Internet society, what will the analog to the 747 be? In this diary I would like to speculate on the future of Mojo, one of the key components of the success of the dKos phenomenon, and an under-appreciated element of the revolution in human affairs taking shape on the public internet.

ANKOSS stands for A New Kind Of Social Science. It is a variant of the title of Stephen Wolfram's brilliant and formidable work on a comprehensive computational theory of nature (A New Kind of Science). The ANKOSS premise is that Wolfram's deep insights into the physical world have important corollaries in the developing world of Internet society. Wolfram's crucial understanding that all evolutionary systems are mathematically equivalent sheds considerable light on the future of Mojo. Let's take a look:

Until the epochal work of Newton, most of the world's engineering concerned mass. The weight of things could readily be measured and valued by crude means, but energy, an invisible and elusive phenomenon required mathematical and theoretical sophistication that arose only relatively recently. Indeed, Newton and Leibnitz had to invent calculus to provide the tools for manipulating concepts associated with energy. Physics made a great leap when it learned to measure energy. Economics has not yet made an equivalent leap.

The weakness of modern economics is that it is bogged down in monetary measurement. Economists face increasing criticism of the failure of their tools to account for the true health and welfare of societies. Just as the pre-Newtonian engineers had no means of measuring energy, today's economists have no means of measuring an extremely valuable good: extropic psychic energy. We call it Mojo on dKos, but traditional economists call it "Je ne sais quoi" because they can't measure it.

What is this thing called Mojo?

Mojo is the extropic psychic energy associated with an individual or group. It is not talent; it is not power; it is not wealth. It is merited esteem, the net present value of an individual's  future goodness. When we award Mojo on dKos, we do not do so to honor past peformance. The value of dKos mojo is that it makes good diaries and a good diarist more prominent and accessible. Top diarists become front-pagers and their writing finds a wider audience. Mojo is a classic gestalt phenomenon. When we recognize it on dKos, we don't intellectually deconstruct it, but it is decomposable. Mojo is extropic, because to do good one must be able to generate sound structure. Mojo is psychic energy because it has the capacity to change the physical world without having material properties. Mojo is personal, but it can combine in groups in complex ways. Most importantly, Mojo is contextual. In any subculture, the awarding of Mojo reflects the value system of the group. Pirate Mojo is very different from Bhuddist monk Mojo.

Why is Mojo so hard to handle?

Although people have dealt with Mojo in a crude and instinctive manner since the dawn of society, it has always been an elusive and intractable phenomenon. Mojo is not a transactional entity. You cannot buy and sell units of it, nor can it be transferred easily among individuals or groups. Mojo does not aggregate in a simple manner; a group of people with individually high Mojo does not always result in a high Mojo organization. The domain-specificity of Mojo makes it very difficult to equate Mojo across groups. (Will the Olympic gymnast be a good executor of the will?) Mojo is unstable: men can be corrupted, broken, distracted and otherwise altered so that their Mojo diminishes; conversely, they can be educated, redeemed, and transformed so that their Mojo increases; and some individuals are maddeningly erratic. For all these reasons economists, psychologists, and all manner of academic "ists" have avoided Mojo as a subject of inquiry.

So what is new about Mojo in Internet society?

Mojo is an evolutionary phenomenon on the Internet. Evolution is such a pervasive concept that we use the term casually, but a careful consideration of its implications is highly illuminating when studying Internet phenomena. Wolfram's thesis in ANKOS is that there is a single mathematical mechanism underlying all evolution. Certain patterns, once they acquire the ability to replicate, evolve extropically in rich and unpredictable diversity. It is important to realize that Wolfram's thesis is applicable to the memes of Internet society. Mojo is a critically important meme, and it is evolving. Although eBay and dKos are radically different domains, they both have independently evolved Mojo structures. As Internet Mojo structures proliferate and come to encompass hundreds of millions of individuals, they will become important determinants of people's lives and useful tools for the advancement of society. Mankind will attain long-sought precision in the measurement of personal and organizational merit.

The future of Mojo and Mojonomics

To truly understand something, one must be able to measure it. On the public Internet, Mojo is becoming numerically tractable. There is no mystery about my personal eBay feedback rating. It is there for the world to see. There is some mystery about my dKos Trusted User status, but that is because of the deliberate cloaking of the algorithm that calculated qualification. It will immediately be objected that the incovertibility of domain weighting renders localized Mojo useless for social purposes. But this neglects the likely evolutionary path. We can easily conceptualize mechanisms for multiple-domain composite weighting of Mojo, and the more Mojo/domain sets available for an individual, the greater the probable accuracy of a composite Mojo measure.

Our hypothetical composite Mojo measure is not likely to abolish the SAT exam and Medical Certification boards, but the gradual emergence of powerful individual Mojo-metrics on the public Internet will slowly change the way individuals are selected for responsible positions. Several profound consequences can be forseen in the future of Mojo:

1. The de-monetization of esteem. Because wealth is the only social attribute we can measure with precision, and because it has a crude correlation with ability, we use it to award power and responsibility. The current US president has been awarded esteem incorrectly throughout his life because of wealth-derived power. Mojonomics will gradually end this highly defective practice.

2. Mojonomics will reorder society by weeding out vast numbers of frauds, charlatans, confidence men, quacks, tricksters, hype artists, sychophants, and assorted savants of personal misrepresentation. Conversely, it will advance into responsible roles many heretofore undervalued individuals. This reordering will result in vast productivity gains as levels of incompetence and mischief are dramatically reduced throughout society.

3. Politics will be transformed by the elimination of the propaganda megaphone as the primary tool for awarding power to wealth. Mojonomics will align candidates with offices on the basis of highly accurate measures of merit.

4. Gangsterism will decline sharply as a social organizing principle. Whether in the boardroom or in the Federal government, the influence of gangs centered on personality cults will wane as the superiority of high-Mojo individuals and organizations is increasingly recognized.


With regard to money and all it measures, modern society is slick and sophisticated; with regard to Mojo, we are still stumbling ignorantly like witch doctors and alchemists. That is why the American president is a man who would be troll-rated and bounced out of dKos in 48 hours. That is why "Brownie" contributed to the destruction of New Orleans. That is why the Iraq war is the greatest American fiasco since Vietnam. (Douglas Feith probably holds the 21st century record for negative Mojo.) We simply lack a reliable means of measuring the ability of individuals to benefit society. This will change as Mojonomics gives us the tools to rightly measure human potential. Walter Wriston once said that "Nobody stood on a balcony in Florence in 1400 and said, today is the start of the Renaissance." Few people on dKos view this powerful, quirky, and protean blog community as a harbinger of revolutionary social change. But it is. When Mojonomics makes its tardy entry into the halls of academia with a suitably dignified name and an impressive panoply of taxonomy and theory, perhaps someone will note that its ancient origin was the dKos blog.

Originally posted to ANKOSS on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 09:40 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well... (5+ / 0-)

    I've always said that morality, goodness if you will, was not dependent on adherence to 'absolute' standards; but instead derived from the perception of society as a whole.

    The thing about being an invisible thief is you start to act like one and people can see that in you even if they don't quite know why.

    •  I am intrigued with my own (6+ / 0-)

      perception that mojo is awarded by others but acquired by the acts of the individual in isolation.  For example, I write alone.  Acceptance, rejections or, that bane of the poster being totally ignored, is awarded after the fact.  To what extent is my writing tailord by a search for mojo?  Can the bright sociopath decode the mojo formula and acquire public mojo while adhering to unacceptable or unsocial internal systems?

      This is a great diary!  Thanks.

      •  Yes, I did. Thanks for noticing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can't believe the variance in perceptions between one diary and another.

        All my children are beautiful, but some are seen as ugly.

        Seriously, there is definitely a shaping of writing for normal people. When I'm feeling normal, I remember what  sells around here.

        Then I realize what I've done!

        Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

        by ormondotvos on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 11:55:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  For a time. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kraant, ormondotvos, Granny Doc

        Look at Jayson Blair.  The ultimate problem for the bright sociopath is that reality is very complex, in all practical terms impossible to duplicate on a large scale.  When the fall from grace comes the landing is very hard, in part because the sense of betrayal is deep.

    •  Detection of free-riders is one of our most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      essential tools. Otherwise, altruism, the basis of trust and social exchange, couldn't work.

      Of course, like here, and as with parasites, there's always an arms race.

      Virus, anyone? NO?

      Trying to quit?

      Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

      by ormondotvos on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 11:52:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I enjoyed reading that (5+ / 0-)

    But the question must be:  how to measure mojo in an organic society-based fashion?

    'I can't wait to eat that monkey!' - Abraham Simpson

    by TruthOfAngels on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 09:39:28 AM PDT

  •  Please post tip jar ... (8+ / 0-)

    So that we can give you some Mojo juice for this very interesting meta discussion ...

    We all live with intangible "mojo" scores -- who is the "life of the party" (social mojo), who is called by friends to help out (e.g., reliability / capability mojo -- which, of course, varies tremendously based on type of aid/etc...), etc ... And, these "mojo" scores seriously matter in our lives every single day, with little 'measurable' aspects to them (for us) and only limited ability to shift (e.g., slow change to reputation possible based on changed actions / behavior, but hard to do ... ) ...

    What you are suggesting (recognizing) is that there are ways / environments in which 'intangibles' become tangible ... and that that measurability can become a more important factor in social (and other -- e.g., EBay and commerce) interaction.  Hmmm ... interesting.

    4 July 2006, Independence Day ... Day 1757, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 09:41:08 AM PDT

  •  Go read some Doctorow (8+ / 0-)

    Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom in particular, it's SF in which a reputation management system has replaced money.

    "The power to dominate rests on the differential possession of knowledge" -Foucault

    by Jett on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 09:43:50 AM PDT

  •  Mojo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, kraant, ormondotvos

    I'm not sure how anyone can speak of "mojo" and not acknowledge that Stephen Colbert currently possesses the vast majority of America's mojotic resources.

    9 counties, 70 towns, 200 miles, and one monstrous and unnecessary project. Stop NYRI.

    by NYCO on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 10:11:53 AM PDT

  •  So, we are the King makers? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos, possum
  •  I think you can already see here (6+ / 0-)

    that mojo (derived from Slashdot's karma btw) isn't always as merit-based as your utopian predictions require it to be.

    Revenue remains the most honest form of acclaim. Daily Kos's mojo system doesn't involve giving up your own mojo to assign it to someone else, while paying someone does.

    I'm not sure that if it was restructured to work that way that it would result in anything more than "old boy" networks, circle-jerking themselves to better mojo just passing it around to each other. And this very effect is what many decry as the result of a monetary system.

    Ignorance never got anyone killed.

    by peeder on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 10:32:04 AM PDT

  •  Fame, honor, prestige, reputation ... (5+ / 0-)

    all close corollaries to Mojo, and celebrated by the poets for millenia.

    However, there is one other functional equivalent that I for one find very disturbing:  ratings.  

    Mojonomics will reorder society by weeding out vast numbers of frauds, charlatans, confidence men, quacks, tricksters, hype artists, sychophants, and assorted savants of personal misrepresentation. Conversely, it will advance into responsible roles many heretofore undervalued individuals.

    Alas, not so.  O'Reilly's ratings are through the roof.  

    It would be nice if there were truly merit-based point systems that were not corrupted by mindless group-think, but I don't see how.  How can we truly differentiate mojo, no matter how composite and aggregated, from a plain old popularity contest?  Popularity can coexist with merit, but is not necessarily a predictor.  

    The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

    by lgmcp on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 11:24:56 AM PDT

  •  Towards a comparative historical study of Mojo (5+ / 0-)

    Would you consider "face" playing the role of Mojo in Confucian cultures, and "arete" as Mojo in Greek/Hellenistic society? Or is Mojo more than this?

    •  Mojo is much more than reputation (5+ / 0-)

      Think of the transition from barter to money. Money is like a traded good, but it is much more versatile and powerful. Internet Mojo resembles "face," or vertu, or hipness, but because it will be accurate, reliable, and quantifiable, it will be vastly more useful.

      Another analogy is collateralized mortgages. An individual mortgage isn't a very useful investment vehicle, but a huge, well-structured portfolio of mortgages is very useful, because it is predictable and tractable. An entire industry has sprung up around mortgage-backed securities.

      We can only manage what we can measure. Some day, we will be able to measure the merit of individuals and organizations far more accurately.

      •  These are useful clarifications, thanks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, kraant, ormondotvos

        and help me understand the diary better. I can see the argument  

        Though merit, or at any rate the appearance thereof, can be obtained on false pretenses, just as money can be obtained illegally.  Examples: successfully getting credit for someone else's writing, finding a way to hack or sockpuppet a ratings system ...

        OK, perfection is unattainable, even in a brave new world.  But I think you're onto something.  Enough difference in degree CREATES a difference in kind.

        The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

        by lgmcp on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 12:27:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The diarist's point, (7+ / 0-)

          at least to me, is that with the larger community tracking and rating behaviors (writing, thoughts, honest dealings), it becomes impossible to game the system.

          Like your example of claiming credit for someone else's writing. Look how fast Anne Coulter got nailed for plagiarism. Look how fast any number of politicos have been caught out on this site.

          Same idea as Wikipedia. When there are lots of eyes, mistakes become shallow and quickly adjustable, not deep and irreparable. Or something like that.

          You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. -- Abbie Hoffman

          by frostyinPA on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 08:45:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Mortgage-backed securities? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I wonder what LondonYank and Sterling Newberry and Paul Krugman would have to say to that?

        Apparently false value in the bubble housing market is holding up the economy, but its legs are starting to quiver...

        Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

        by ormondotvos on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 12:10:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kraant, ormondotvos

        Some day, we will be able to measure the merit of individuals and organizations far more accurately.

        I think you are wrong here.  Mojo ratings will not change human nature.  There is no way to create an external system that can measure the worth of a person in real time.  We will always have to rely on the community and a system of checks and balances.  The example (given downthread) of using an ebay rating to determine trustworthiness does not show that the rating system itself is especially useful or more important than the  human mind in making the determination about an individual's reliability.  Without the ebay rating system, in another society, a person might rely on another system of recommendation to make the determination.  In other words, the community is still important in determining reputation and the human mind is still important for decision-making.  Rating systems are only good if they are tied in with a community and the minds of the human beings who use them.  A mojo rating machine that is divorced from the community in which it is used becomes just another measuring stick like the one that tells me how tall I am or how big around I am or how much gas I need to put into my car each week.  Without the constant feedback of human assessment and meaning, a mojo "score" is just a decoration and subject to trick or trade.

      •  Mojoflow may be hard to quantify, though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kraant, ormondotvos

        Not only because it's constantly shifting for every actor, but because one's mojo is also a product of the shifting mojos of other actors rendering one mojo. (O'Reilly's mojo, accumulated from 25 million admiring trogs lacking in mojo, may be inferior to Chomsky's mojo, accumulated from 1 million admirers who are more discerning thinkers endowed with greater mojo.)  

  •  If I could, I would give this ... (9+ / 0-)

    ...piece mega-Mojo based on its being the most original meta-Diary I think I've ever read here. Not that I agree (or even understand) with all of it.


  •  Google invented internet mojo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos

    if you will, or discovered it. Furthermore, their ranking algorithm depends not only on the number of incoming links, but also on their "importance" (to oversimplify it greatly), and that was the key to success.

    If extended to DKos mojo, it would mean that being mojonized from a highly enmojonated Kossian would impart more mojo than a mojonizing from a newbie. (For various reasons, that might not be a good idea.)

  •  Remember, pure Meritocracy is bad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos

    ...because it creates a definite under class of people.

    Also like to point out that Robert Jordan's Age of Legends was based on this: esteem came from service to the community so money was largely pointless.

  •  Thanks for the original and thought-provoking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos

    look at this aspect of the Internet culture and where it might go.
    I do think that the Internet has fostered (and will continue to do so) a variety of status systems; and dKos, eBAy, Google, various hit tracking sites are all examples. I will say that I am not nearly as sanguine as you that these newly evolving status systems will:

    1. coalesce (though there may be some "big winners" - such as money currently is)
    1. deprecate current systems - especially money (they may make some inroads)
    1. necessarily heal many of the ills of current systems.

    Mojo/status has been with us from the start - it is a significant component of all social animals and their behavior - who gets resources, access to mates, protection, gets to make the decisions, gets followed, gets abandoned - all related to some element of status - in us, wolves, gorillas, horse, sea lions, chickens etc. It is deeply engrained in us and it is no real surprise that we have brought it with us to the digital extensions of ourselves.

    I will grant that some of the unique characteristics (including flexibility and easy mutability) of digital network extensions of mankind in contrast to the constraints of our physical selves and prior "more physical" extensions (tools, social institutions etc.) will undoubtedly lead to many much more fluid, dynamic and complex status assignment systems than we have had in the past. dKos is an interesting example. The opportunity for systems to develop which have effects less injurious to our physical environment than many of our current status systems (especially monetary/material goods ones) is certainly heartening. Maybe they can help facilitate a broad recognition that we have deep evolution-based patterns of behavior associated with many current status systems that might be hurting us where they once helped.  But we are talking about deep, deep, powerful elements of human nature here. I think the best status systems channel these urges into helpful rather than destructive behavior (think scientific acclaim for instance) - and we can all work to those ends - but I do not see the 'net Mojo systems inevitably moving in those directions.

    Once again - a very interesting Meta-diary. However, I will also say that I am not with you at all on Wolfram and A New Kind of Science. It is intriguing - yes, thought-provoking - yes, but in the end is nothing more than a massive "vanity" book from an admittedly brilliant and wealthy individual. In particular, Wolfram's utter disdain for any other work or thinker in his field, and his shameful trampling in the book of the recognition norms of one of the better current status systems (the scientific community) make it an ironic choice as a beacon for the evolution of more honorable recognition systems.

    Just another sucker with low self-esteem.

    by JP Stormcrow on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 10:35:44 PM PDT

    •  Ah, yes, the Wolfram controversy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant, Granny Doc

      I subscribed to the book before it came out, and followed the controversy pretty closely. It's been a while since I read through it, and it ain't easy, but I really think the insights in it, and the way it affects one's later thought about evolution and top-down study are pretty important.

      It seems that vanity projects, however useful offend some hidden false modesty among scientists, which I noticed even fifty years ago when I was beginning the study of physics in academia.

      It would be good for scientists to study a little cognitive science themselves, which is why I love the ANKOSS thing.

      Pascal Boyer, in "Religion Explained" finishes with a comment I find fascinating: Religion is easier for humans to believe than scienctific thought.

      Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

      by ormondotvos on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 11:48:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Socrates had problems too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant, ormondotvos

      I am still pissed at Socrates for not giving us a direct record of his thoughts. How unpardonably sloppy! Wolfram's work is probably overambitious and academically impolite. But he has got the juice: a comprehensive and elegant unified theory of all evolutionary systems. Whoa!

  •  Fascinating diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos

    You're on to something.

    And thanks again to Susan for the diary rescues!

    In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
    Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

    by Jerome a Paris on Wed Aug 30, 2006 at 10:53:52 PM PDT

  •  To comment on the ANKOS aspect of mojo assignment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JP Stormcrow, kraant

    A classic example of the downsides of automatic reputation tracking is UltimaOnline?. Every player-character has an alignment (ranging from demonic to saintly) and a fame (ranging from nobody to world-famous), both of which are tracked automatically. One gets an evil alignment by attacking people without provocation, for example. The system is pretty complicated, with some non-obvious consequences. For example, you're in the middle of the wilderness, practicing your area-effect spells. A nasty player deliberately moves into the area-effect - this means that the game believes you've launched an unprovoked attack on them. The nasty player then kills you, which the game believes is legitimate revenge. Consequences: your alignment becomes more evil, while the opposing player's alignment is unaffected, but they become more famous.

    Meatball Wiki Reward Reputation...

    Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

    by ormondotvos on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 12:23:14 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the link to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant, ormondotvos, Granny Doc

      Meatball Wiki - had not heard of it - very interesting framing of this stuff. I like their discussion of "SerialIdentity" and some of the nuances of the linkage to the "real world" such as a single online identity actually representing a group or changing individuals.

      And I know the game reward system is mentioned as a particular negative example - but I do think online gaming (and MMOPRG's in particular) are at the forefront of these developments. The reputation-mediated activity of individuals and groups (guilds and clans) dynamically coalescing to attempt to acheive specific tasks is an interesting model for what a future true Internet-based work/reward system might look like.

      Just another sucker with low self-esteem.

      by JP Stormcrow on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 04:32:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the gaming world reference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kraant, ormondotvos

      With Mojo busting out all over, can Mojonomics be far behind? The widespread parallel evolution of independent Mojo systems confirms that this is a significant burst of evolutionary structure formation on the Internet.

      The potent thing about evolution is its breadth. Not being single-threaded makes it hard for our minds to grasp (Where is the intelligent design?). But we, ourselves, are the irrefutable proof of the tremendous power of evolution. Thus, we should be more confident and optimistic about the future manifestations of Internet evolution.

      •  Teleolgy strikes again! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You have committed the great error of evolution: assigning purpose and direction to a chaotic process. Understandable, since our society tries to make God out of science by doing so.

        Not to say that your idea of grabbing hold of some local elements of evolution and trying to make ourselves work better isn't a great idea! It is, and I'm all for working toward our ineffable and possible disastrous (from our point of view) goal.

        Gaia may, of course, think differently about us...

        Humanity's niche is it's own culture. We change our world as it changes us. Evolution or devolution?

        by ormondotvos on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 10:16:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is the outcome that matters (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kraant, ormondotvos

          If I thought that the path of the likely evolution of Mojonomics was irrelevant to our future welfare, I wouldn't have bothered to write the diary. Of course, evolution is not directed or guided to a purpose, but that doesn't mean that it isn't extropic. Evolution runs counter to the law of thermodynamics. As the universe is cooling off and slowly suffering energy death, evolution is creating progressively more complex and valuable structures. This is enormously important, and in the context of Mojo probably greatly beneficial to all of us.

    •  Look Everyone! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Extelligence strikes again! ;)

      The Illuminati Says: There Is No Sekrit Troll-Hunting Cabal... And to: Not Feed Trolls.

      by kraant on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 05:47:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  troll-rating is just as important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kraant, ormondotvos

    Thank you for this entertaining, thought-provoking piece.  I think you may be on to something.  It sounds like what you are talking about is what John Adams called fame.  I'm not sure you can put so much faith in mojo to remake the world however, and there is a reason why it makes sense for kos to keep the path to TU status secret in an effort to keep people from gaming the system.  Because people will game the system.  People will try to trick others, and take short cuts.  What I think is new is that dKos allows for mojo building or esteem rating at all, as well as its opposite, troll-rating.  The ability to troll-rate is as important as the ability to recommend, in the making of this human community online.   Both tap into an essential element of  community-building that is ancient.  Dkos has found a way to bring this basic human element into a new technology, and this is noteworthy.  And the proof is in the pudding.  Of course there are well-documented problems with human beings and human societies over time, and online communities may be no different, subject to group-think and lynch-mobs, etc.  Also secrecy can lead to its own abuses.  But when communication is open and free, I think these potential problems can be ameliorated.

  •  Very late comment.... (0+ / 0-)

    But I just had to mention...

    The question that fascinates me is: If dKos is the Wright Flyer of Internet society, what will the analog to the 747 be?

    A more apt analogy would be the DC3 than the Wright Flyer...

    There's been over 25 years of "evolution" of online communities prior to scoop and dkos...

    The Illuminati Says: There Is No Sekrit Troll-Hunting Cabal... And to: Not Feed Trolls.

    by kraant on Thu Aug 31, 2006 at 09:51:56 PM PDT

    •  There is more on the other side too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      How about the SR71 and the Saturn 5? As moveable type was to democratic nationalism, the Internet will be to  a neo-anarchist world of unprecedented personal freedom and accomplishment. We are privileged to participate in the creation of this world and will enjoy some of the early benefits (assuming we survive the Fox/Jazeera nuclear war).

  •  re mojo (0+ / 0-)

    Mojo is ... merited esteem, the net present value of an individual's  future goodness. .... The value of dKos mojo is that it makes good diaries and a good diarist more prominent and accessible.

    Hmm.  Mojo (as defined here at dkos) has nothing at all to do with making good diaries and diarists more visible.  

    Mojo, as others have noted, and I do so again for completeness, is defined locally as the system of awarding the ability to view hidden comments, and to hide comments by zero rating a comment, to users who themselves comment often enough and whose comments are rated sufficiently highly often enough.  See Scoop source code or comments elsewhere in this thread for the details: they aren't really that secret, its only the results of the calculation that are held back.  I'm pretty sure this system is largely responsible for the relatively low level of trolling at daily kos.

    What you are talking about, this "merited esteem" that makes good diaries and good diarists more visible, has more to do with recommendations, which can only be rewarded or withheld, and perhaps even more with "impact" a combined measure of recommendations awarded and comments attached to a users diaries, especially cumulative impact.

    Diaries achieve the front page recommended list only by virtue of frequent recommendation.  Mojo has nothing to do with that.

    In one of dmsilev's diaries on modeling commenting, plf515, dmsilev, and I had a discussion that resulted in a practical definition of current impact that I think is likely to be closest to your "merited esteem"; see this comment for details.  Using this measure, I calculated a value for all users at daily kos, and produced a sorted list.  I asked myself and one other experienced kosmopolitan to examine three lists of 100 names each, corresponding to the top 100, the 2nd 100, and the 5th 100 names on the list, and report how many names were familiar in each.  The results were striking: names from the top 100 were recognized very often, and substantially  more often than those from the 2nd 100.  Names from the 5th 100 were much less familiar than those from the 2nd 100.  It seems likely that this name recognition is important in future success in attracting recommendations and comments.

    If a measure of "merited esteem" is needed, here at Daily Kos I think we have at least a promising candidate for one.

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