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The Theory of Bert's List

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Bert Posted: Sat, Mar 17 2012 9:56 AM

I had recently made a list, that John James coined as "Bert's list."  Though, since this is the Mises forum one cannot be building and contemplating these lists without a legitimate theory behind it, so here is the theory of Bert's list.

A simple summary and starting point will be as follows:

"Action without useful utility to other individuals, or that of utility who's use contrasts that of the original intentions of said poster.  Thus action minus substance and unintended outcomes, with a posting trend that proves itself to correlate in an unintended "troll effect," and where correlation may imply causation due to poster's substance/post count."

Thus, substance* divided by post count is the percentage of utility to the forum (substance/posts x 100%).  *Substance is the general usefulness of posts to the forum, and is "decided" on average by regular forum users who rate said poster's post on their own value preferences (the forum price of poster's post).  High substance is a high value, as where low substance is a low value.  A low value divided by a high post count leads to very low utility to the forum, and in turn leads to a "troll effect" of posts; as where a high substance divided by a high or low post count leads to a higher or level post/forum utility (substance cannot exceed a 100 percentile range to post count).

Though realistically one does not have to physically calculate a potential list, it's through their own uneasiness by posts, and the contrasting and unintended affects by the poster which brings these value preferences into being.  It becomes a forum consensus with shared "face palm" and "wtf" moments that leads to forum utility, or in other words dis-utility (as well as unintended "lulz" moments).  The difference in contrast with traditional subjective value and marginal utility theories is this list does not rate value preferences from the most satisfaction to the least, but on the other hand lists the most unsatisfactory first to create such a list.  A list of such disapproval, embarrassment, uselessness, and flat out unsatisfaction based on the most wildly exaggerated, illogical, and useless posts.

The difference between those on this list and that of a troll is that the intentions of a troll are obvious, it's obvious to the troll as well as the forum, but this list targets those who are not intentionally trolling.  They in their mind may be making serious and contributional posts, but to all other individuals on the forum (essentially, "the forum") the posts are highly irrelevant and without substance.  It could be said they are unintentionally trolling themselves, that even though the posts are without substance it also creates a small amount of amusement, which may be akin to the saying "pleasure from pain" by the mere fact they are trying to be taken seriously.

Thus we have a list of least satisfaction or contributional/worthy post material, and in turn creating a list of said posters who have posted the most least satisfactory or least contributional and useful material to the forum.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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gotlucky replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 10:01 AM

Let's see the list here!  

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John James replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 10:04 AM

 

If only we had a "rep" feature with which to give and subtract points to individual posts, it would be even easier to quantify substance.

 

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Bert replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 10:08 AM

I'm not going to post a definite list at the moment, but I would like to add another factor into the list.  This is something I've seen come into the realm of forum/board culture and ethics that is not pushed so heavily here, and if so might lead to less people getting on the list.  One thing is redundant topic posts, or new threads for topics who's threads already exist in numbers.  For example, every once in a while you see a thread pop up on abortion or nuclear power/weapons (at one point I believed this happened 3 times in a few week or month range), or something or the other and an entire "debate" over that and the NAP, and generally the OP already has in mind their view or bias, and it turns into a thread of mental/post masturbation and spouting a "might makes right" forum post.  The forum may forgive their ignorance in not using the search function for new users, but prestige and arrogance with such audacity will get you put on the list quick.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 4:18 PM

One thing is redundant topic posts, or new threads for topics who's threads already exist in numbers.  For example, every once in a while you see a thread pop up on abortion or nuclear power/weapons

Haha. I read the first sentence and I'm like "yep, like nuclear weapons", only to be confirmed later.

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Marko replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 7:29 PM

It is about posting messages that are worthy of embarrassment in the belief of making a contribution? So you're saying it's kinda like when you were explaining how you were skeptical about the Holocaust (or should that be the "Holocaust"?) and how there weren't gas chambers? Yepp, I'll say the name Bert's list is *very* appropriate.

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Bert replied on Sat, Mar 17 2012 9:47 PM

Marko, the difference in bringing up the Holocaust is that there's already enough debate around it, and it's already a controversial topic.  It's completely different than making the 50th thread on abortion (while the OP is pro-regulation, and only wants to confirm his views) or about living a primitive lifestyle that's irrelevant to everyone here.  I don't see how my views on a particular subject that only appear to be taboo would reflect what this list is about, but since you brought up the Holocaust, how about when someone cites evidence there's immediate negative backlash instead of actual discussion?  The times I've got into discussions with the Holocaust I had sources, and I didn't just make statements without a reason as to why.  Thing is there's already scholars associated with the LvMI who get labeled as neo-Confederates for views on the Civil War (and Thomas Woods was on the AlternativeRight talkshow who is as well associated with the LvMI), so I don't see how my views are in anyway taboo (or that they should be) on a forum such as this were the views of a lot of the people here are already fringe.  Difference is that of those who really have nothing worth posting or cannot grasp the concept of constructive or abstract thought and making sensible posts.  What I have to say on the Holocaust has substance.

Anything else to add?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Malachi replied on Tue, Mar 27 2012 8:33 PM
I rated this topic five stars because Bert has identified a problem that needs to be addressed, namely the lack of accurate feedback with regard to post utility. I think that the ability to monologue and the lack of true facial expressions is a problem in online discourse, yet I dont know what wold solve this. Personally, I think a post rating system would be kind of awkward and not very helpful, but what do I know about online community design? I know that interaction is frequently suboptimal.

I havent been posting much because I have been doing actual capitalism, instead of fetishizing it on message boards. So save your venomous slander.

@everyone, your vainglorious and pathetic attempts to silence me will not be acquiesced to, nor will they be tolerated. Those attempts will be met with silence.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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gotlucky replied on Tue, Mar 27 2012 10:08 PM

Malachi:

@everyone, your vainglorious and pathetic attempts to silence me will not be acquiesced to, nor will they be tolerated. Those attempts will be met with silence.

I'm not entirely sure why you were put on the list.  I know we had quite a spirited debate a few months back, but I don't think your posts are generally trollish.  I'm curious as to what you posted that got you onto the list.  I don't think I would put you on a list along side Eugene or Freedom4Me.

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Malachi replied on Tue, Mar 27 2012 10:28 PM
I think it is mostly based on the tide thread. Where I was basically trolling myself. And, I spent thousands of words debating Centinel about Iraq. That debate was worthless for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was Centinel's refusal to read my posts, so I had to repeat myself. Basically, a waste of time.

Thanks for the kind words.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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