New Forum layout April 2018

Prodigal Son

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
There is certainly some truth to it, but the feature itself is really neutral if you think about it. It depends on how it is used. The usage here can differ from the usage on Facebook or other platforms: It depends on the persons. If we all use it intelligently, it will be an intelligent feature. If we all use it stupidly, it will be a stupid feature. In any case, it does provide a feedback mechanism to the author, and helps prevent cluttering threads with "Thanks!", "Me too!", "Ditto!", "+1" etc. messages.

Personally, here, I hit "Like" when I appreciate the effort that has been put into a post, and/or if it expresses thoughts that I could/would/should have written myself. Thus, each "like" a post receives will have a slightly different meaning, depending on the person.
I tend to feel the same way, but we'll see.

Now there is an extra level of pressure. -If, for instance, a person disagrees with a popular post, they have to overcome the fear of inciting disapproval from the list of names tagged next to the "Thumbs Up" symbol.
Where does the extra level of pressure come from - only from yourself - I tend to read the post itself, and not the number of likes appended to it, if I agree with the post and have nothing extra to add, then I will 'like' it. It saves on otherwise cluttering up the thread, by just saying something like 'I agree'.

I am generally inclined to perk up and pay attention when somebody is going against the flow. -It is often the brave soul who sees something amiss and who has the courage to speak up that forwards learning, risking very real (fair or unfair) punishment at a variety of levels. Will that happen less frequently? Will it simply require more courage?
If there is something important to say regarding the post, itself, even if it goes against the flow, then it is important to say it. This is how new learning evolves.

Because when changing course or adding a new feature, I think it's probably smart to *really* think it through before fully embracing it. Even if it turns out to be a net positive, (and it may very well be so), then knowing why has value.
There are times when it is quicker to go with the gut and see what happens, especially when 'the feature itself is really neutral'. Often this will prove to produce results, opinions, quicker than when the feature has been '*really* thought through before fully embracing it'.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Wasn't part of networking that you offer up what you have to say if you have a different view of something? That's a bit of conscious suffering, and we've all had a bit of 'posting anxiety' before. Sure there's social proof coming into play with the like function, but isn't it easier to offer a counter viewpoint if there are just 10 likes as opposed to 10 posts that say, "Nice post, thanks for sharing!" The likes seems less intimidating than actual posts in that sense. By the way, I could be proving your point Woodsman, because I'm thinking this through more than usual and I may be overthinking it. :-P
 

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
In a pure game-theory sense, is there a net benefit from a stack of "Likes" or a net setback? I bet you anything that there's some hard science behind it, and I wonder if anybody here knows the details. I certainly don't; I'd be interested in reading some papers done behind the doors of the silicone valley marketing and social science divisions on this subject. While game-theory is the province of psychopaths and monsters, it is fully applicable to mechanical beings, -which we are most of the time.

Because when changing course or adding a new feature, I think it's probably smart to *really* think it through before fully embracing it. Even if it turns out to be a net positive, (and it may very well be so), then knowing why has value.
I think this is overcomplicating it a bit. As Collingwood said, we need to be careful not to confuse scientific theories with objective reality: each and every "fact on the ground" is connected in a myriad of ways, and we need to be careful not to "cut through them" in broad, theoretical strokes.

For example, when considering the like feature and its usefulness, you would have to look in detail at the psychological make-up of different people, the interplay between those, the history of this place and its evolvement, all kinds of different aims and motivations and issues and situations and dynamics etc. In other words, it can't be done, really. So why not just try it, see how it goes concretely, and learn/adjust as we go along?

I think this is a general problem of game theory BTW - it has its useful applications in narrowly defined circumstances/frameworks, such as, uhm, games. It can also be useful I guess to think about evolution and so on in terms of game theory, just to stimulate new ways of thinking. But even then, there's Collingwood's trap to confuse the theory with reality.

From what I understand about economics and the social sciences, I think we can see the limits of game theory and Collingwood's trap quite clearly there: they came up with their Rational Choice Theory, which posits that every actor makes rational choices in his best interest. Then they figured, duh, not everyone has the same amount of information to base their choices on, so we need to adjust our equations. Then there was the "Paradox of voting" - why on earth should anyone bother voting if it's clear that their single vote can never, ever tilt the elections? This opened the door to more psychological considerations, i.e. group dynamics and so on. (Read the wiki article about the Paradox of voting for some really clumsy attempts to "explain" it away and save their precious theory.) Then they figured, uhm, people have emotions, and heck, they are often unconscious of their own motives and on it goes - until the equations become totally useless. You need to look at concrete situations, concrete individuals, concrete facts - unless you would possess the world formula. Maybe that's a dream for some, but it's complete wishful thinking. Just some thoughts.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think this is overcomplicating it a bit. As Collingwood said, we need to be careful not to confuse scientific theories with objective reality: each and every "fact on the ground" is connected in a myriad of ways, and we need to be careful not to "cut through them" in broad, theoretical strokes.

For example, when considering the like feature and its usefulness, you would have to look in detail at the psychological make-up of different people, the interplay between those, the history of this place and its evolvement, all kinds of different aims and motivations and issues and situations and dynamics etc. In other words, it can't be done, really. So why not just try it, see how it goes concretely, and learn/adjust as we go along?

I think this is a general problem of game theory BTW - it has its useful applications in narrowly defined circumstances/frameworks, such as, uhm, games. It can also be useful I guess to think about evolution and so on in terms of game theory, just to stimulate new ways of thinking. But even then, there's Collingwood's trap to confuse the theory with reality.

From what I understand about economics and the social sciences, I think we can see the limits of game theory and Collingwood's trap quite clearly there: they came up with their Rational Choice Theory, which posits that every actor makes rational choices in his best interest. Then they figured, duh, not everyone has the same amount of information to base their choices on, so we need to adjust our equations. Then there was the "Paradox of voting" - why on earth should anyone bother voting if it's clear that their single vote can never, ever tilt the elections? This opened the door to more psychological considerations, i.e. group dynamics and so on. (Read the wiki article about the Paradox of voting for some really clumsy attempts to "explain" it away and save their precious theory.) Then they figured, uhm, people have emotions, and heck, they are often unconscious of their own motives and on it goes - until the equations become totally useless. You need to look at concrete situations, concrete individuals, concrete facts - unless you would possess the world formula. Maybe that's a dream for some, but it's complete wishful thinking. Just some thoughts.

Nah, you're right.

Curious, I did some deep digging into the 'anxious' lump I was feeling and it turns out it's just an old bit of programming acting up.

-Back when I was a kid, any time any sort of informal social voting system cropped up, I was severely punished by my peers. No sob stories to share, but it was pretty terrible; I'm sure many here can relate. Anyway, it left a lot auto-reactions and resentment which took years to rinse out. I'm surprised, frankly, because I thought I was pretty much totally clear of it all at this point, but you know how it is. There's always a hard to reach corner or two.

I think it was just easy for a long time here; no social rating system meant not having to even think about it one way or the other. -Anyway, I'm probably over-stating things. It's not as if it's a, "Don't Like" button.

The SJW types use that kind of pressure as their primary tool, so you need to be emotionally adept at recognizing and responding appropriately (and with the correct volume control settings). I think sometimes early school trials are a kind of toughening-up and tactical playbook learning system.

Anyway, cheers, and thank-you all for inadvertently providing me with the opportunity to recognize a small system bug.
 

anka

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I noticed people are using smileys from the old forum's extended set but I donẗ see where they are. Can anyone chime in on it?
 

truth seeker

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Well done on the new design, the forum looks really slick! :cool:
I also noticed that by quoting your post above, the quote in your own post from lainey doesn't appear. Is there a way to include the full post (with the quotes inside it) when quoting someone or is that feature not available?
I just checked and that's the default behavior. They don't like nested quotes... Too much clutter I guess. But you can always Multi-Quote to just include the important parts, which is prolly better anyway for readability. Personally, I hate it when people quote entire posts and don't trim!
This may or may not be relevant, but I've been trying out nesting quotes and what you can do is just trim the quotes to include the important parts and when using the multi-quote feature, move all the closing quote tags to the end. The result should look like the above.
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hey there, I was wondering whether someone could confirm if the new forum has a 'print' function allowing us to convert threads to text? I like to read them on my e-reader when I'm on my way to work. I think I've clicked on everything 'clickable' and I can't see it. :umm:
 
I guess you would use the browsers print function, though when i try it here (Firefox, Ubuntu), it only shows part of the page. Maybe you can also save the page and move the html file (plus the directory with the same name) onto the other device. There also exists virtual printers you can install that 'print' into a PDF file.
Just some ideas in case you didn't know, maybe the admins reaveal a neater way.

<edit>
The Firefox 'Reader View' also only shows a single post of the thread.
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I guess you would use the browsers print function, though when i try it here (Firefox, Ubuntu), it only shows part of the page. Maybe you can also save the page and move the html file (plus the directory with the same name) onto the other device. There also exists virtual printers you can install that 'print' into a PDF file.
Just some ideas in case you didn't know, maybe the admins reaveal a neater way.

<edit>
The Firefox 'Reader View' also only shows a single post of the thread.

Thanks mrtn, it didn't occur to me there may be external tools that could do it, I'll look into it. I'd be interested in something that prints the whole thread as copying it page by page would take loads of time. For example, I read the iodine and Syria threads printed into one document and they were massive. The iodine thread added up to over 2000 pages in Word. The Syria thread wasn't much shorter.

Most of my journey to work is on the underground without internet connection so being able to print threads is really handy.
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks mrtn, it didn't occur to me there may be external tools that could do it, I'll look into it. I'd be interested in something that prints the whole thread as copying it page by page would take loads of time. For example, I read the iodine and Syria threads printed into one document and they were massive. The iodine thread added up to over 2000 pages in Word. The Syria thread wasn't much shorter.

Most of my journey to work is on the underground without internet connection so being able to print threads is really handy.
Hi Ant22, there are some tools that can print into PDF, but they might keep all the layout, images, etc... which will make it longer than if it is a function that converts the forum into a more printable layout. In Chrome, if you go to settings (or actually, the three dots on the top right corner) you'll see the option to print. And you can either print or save it as a PDF and read it offline on a tablet or phone. For that you have to choose a different printer when the window for the print setting pops up, you'll have the option to "print to PDF" or something like that. I'm not sure if you need a particular program installed for that to appear. I think it comes by default. You have the same option in Firefox, clicking on the three lines you see on the top right corner as well.
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi Ant22, there are some tools that can print into PDF, but they might keep all the layout, images, etc... which will make it longer than if it is a function that converts the forum into a more printable layout. In Chrome, if you go to settings (or actually, the three dots on the top right corner) you'll see the option to print. And you can either print or save it as a PDF and read it offline on a tablet or phone. For that you have to choose a different printer when the window for the print setting pops up, you'll have the option to "print to PDF" or something like that. I'm not sure if you need a particular program installed for that to appear. I think it comes by default. You have the same option in Firefox, clicking on the three lines you see on the top right corner as well.

Hey Yas! I don't think I ever needed to print a page like that so thanks for pointing me in the direction of a short cut! However, that option allows me to print each page separately, longer threads will take a long time to print that way. The closest solution I've found so far is installing an extension called Page Zipper (PageZipper Chrome Extension). It allows me to open the entire thread on one page (I only tried it with this thread, I'm not sure how it will perform with 100+ pages). Although it does require scrolling through the entire thread so the pages can load. Then I can hit print the way you described above.

I'll report back if I find a more efficient way :-)
 
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