1994-02-27 - Re: <8c> VIRTUAL MEETING at BAYMOO

Header Data

From: “strick – strick AT versant DOT com – henry strickland” <strick@osc.versant.com>
To: arthurc@crl.com
Message Hash: 365016a321a8ffa4fec1acb52580993d9c1dc49886df9f21bc691002ee43b975
Message ID: <9402270912.AA23126@osc.versant.com>
Reply To: <Pine.3.87.9402261817.A4405-0100000@crl.crl.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-27 09:10:21 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 01:10:21 PST

Raw message

From: "strick -- strick AT versant DOT com -- henry strickland" <strick@osc.versant.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 94 01:10:21 PST
To: arthurc@crl.com
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.87.9402261817.A4405-0100000@crl.crl.com>
Message-ID: <9402270912.AA23126@osc.versant.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

		conch  n.  any of a group of large spiral-
		shelled marine mullusks, or the shell or animal
		individually.  [fr. L. concha, shell fr. Gk]

I've thought some about the prior meeting and what I would do
differently.  At the previous meeting, I had the dubious fortune of
being designated a speaker -- which did give me a chance to introduce
my pet topics, but had some disadvantages as well -- I lost the ability
to chat quietly with people in my row, and I felt compelled to say
something even when I had nothing to say.  I also noticed that others
who were not speakers did not feel like full participants in the event.

Now don't take these criticisms too strongly.  I was very impressed
on the whole with how well it went in spite of a few problems, and it
was really cool having far-flung punks join us.    I stayed for nearly 
two hours, when really I had thought it could last 30 minutes at most.

As for IRC, I'm attracted to the idea of a free-for-all, but I honestly
was not able to follow anything when everyone had gathered together
but before the speach controls were imposed -- there were just too many  
threads at once, and I couldn't find the ones I was following.

Anyway, some brainstorms follow.  I think these are not too different 
from what we were trying before, and could be easily implemented.
(I wish I had already put some time into mud programming, and could
offer some implementations, but alas i haven't.)

Sitting in rows:  this was good.  having random people on your row
was interesting.  At times, the discussion in the row was better than the 
official discussion, partly because of the intimacy -- like
you didn't have to be shy about asking stupid questions or making
sneid remarks.

Gurus:  It would be good to distribute the BayMOO regulars
throughout the rows, so they can answer questions about how to use the
moo.  If a few others on the row overhear the question/answers, it
doesn't hurt and may educate them, too.  Wouldn't hurt if someone on
each row had some semi-wizardly powers as well, so they could fix
inequities and problems they perceive.

Conch:  Remember the Conch shell in the Lord of the Flies -- in order to
talk you had to have the conch.  A protocol might be to have eight
conchs, and you enqueue when you ask for the conch, and you release
it when you are done, and the next person in line gets it.  If I 
say "drop conch" and Julf is next in line (he had typed "wait conch"), 
the mud could announce
	strick9 passes a conch to Julf
and these messages would be easy to ignore or to follow.  Anyway, this
would limit the number of speakers at any one time, but allow a rotation
of everyone to be able to speak.   Improvement:
	wait conch with "what is this PGP you keep talking about?"
lets you type ahead one message while you're waiting in queue.
Then "wait conch" alone kills your typeahead message, but doesn't change
your status in line, in case someone already made your comment.
Build some limits into the conch -- you automatically drop if after
five broadcasts or after 3 minutes.  Wizards should be able to tweak
things like this in realtime.

Priorities:  I had thought about handing everyone a dozen digitickets
as they walked into the door.  It would cost you one ticket every time
you spoke.  This would cause you to ration your comments.  But a more
general way of achieving the same effect, yet adjusting gently to
actual conditions (how did I know 12 was the right number of tickets?),
is to imitate an operating system's prioritized wait queue.  Give top
priority to people who have never spoken before.  They get the next
conch available.  A generalization is to use "priority aging", like
UNIX nice(1), so that the longer it's been since you spoke, the better
your advantage over others waiting.  BIG MACS and MEDUSA'S SISTERS could 
be given extra advantage, nice -10, and SUSPECTED PSYCHOWONX and
Unreal Persons could be nice'd +10 if a wizard deemed them disruptive.
The nice thing is that if there are eight conchs and there are only eight
people who want to talk, they get the eight conchs, regardless of their
priorities.  The algorithm adapts to the circumstances.

Practice:  24 hours before the appointed meeting, there should be a 
practice meeting, a dress rehersal, but with bogus topics and a silly
attitude, to try out the software and for everyone to become familiar with
the process.  Topics should be like
	which is better, cats or dogs?
	why i hate unix
	Stegospeakers Anonymous
	which mud restaurant we will crash when this meeting is over?
and of course
	the wit and wisdom of L.Detweiler
and any other space-filling curves we don't want to waste time on
at the real meeting.

				<strick9 at BayMoo>