Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Regulation or self-regulation - codes of ethics for Evoke?

As some may know, I've been playing devil's advocate in Jen Shaffer's conversation provoking blog, Conflict in my Evoke?. I've shared some of my views on why I think regulating away "gaming the system" or competition doesn't work for me in the comments of that blog; however, at Amos Meeks' suggestion, I'm going to spin off one of my thoughts into a new blog - creating codes of ethics for Evoke.

While I think that calling for amending the rules or focus of Evoke to preference one view of it over another would stifle a healthy ferment of ideas, I also think that it is perfectly fine to self-regulate and create communities around self-regulation with Evoke. (In comic book terms, some of us would be Fantastic Four while others are X-Men.) I'm including a copy of the principles I'm trying to live by within the Evoke context as a starting point for discussion.

Mark's Code of Ethics in Evoke 1.0

1 - Post only blogs, pictures, and videos that I believe will promote
the awareness, knowledge, or pleasure of other members of this
community.

2 - Before posting a video or blog, do a quick search to see what has
already been done on that topic and avoid posting something that
someone else already contributed.

3 - Make sure I know what I'm putting up. Never posted something that I haven't read or watched all the way to the end.

4 - Reciprocate in kind. To the best of my ability (and time) respond
with thought and honesty to the evidence of others who have commented
on mine with thought and honesty.

5 - As in improv, say "YES". I will seek out new relationships and say yes to any invites to be friends.

6 - Assume the misunderstanding is mine. When I encounter a post or
comment that rankles me, I will first assume that I don't have all the
facts or am misunderstanding something and will ask for clarification
rather than torches and kindling.

7 - Avoid second guessing. I won't spend a lot of time wondering if
this game is really a front for some intelligence agency or marketing
service. I will engage with it as it promotes itself unless evidence
says otherwise.

8 - I will keep my eyes on the prizes. No, not that prize. Or that prize. This is my oldest daughter, Katie, and the world she sees (the oldest of my three prizes) and I want whoever "wins" to make her world a little less dire.

Perhaps, we can come up with some core principles or ethics that most will agree to? Perhaps not? But shouldn't we at least give it go before asking Alchemy to step in and fix things for us?

While I welcome comments or questions about my ethics version 1.0, I'd much rather hear what principles govern your gameplay/collaboration.

Best regards, Mark

PS Thanks Amos for calling me out on this.

Views: 55

Comment by Paddy Hare on March 24, 2010 at 3:55pm
good shout mark. while i don't feel there's a need to make this an official code, its a very good one to operate on when dealing with almost anything online, evoke included
Comment by Amos Meeks on March 24, 2010 at 4:00pm
I think that 2 is very important and not practiced enough.

I'm not sure than anyone who hasn't had training with improv will really understand 5. Perhaps it should be spelled out?

6 is extremely important.

My offer for 9: Always cite my sources and my inspiration.
Comment by Ebert Rassenmussen on March 24, 2010 at 4:25pm
Good rules of thumb. As far #2 goes, don't you think it's interesting to see different people's takes on some subjects? It seems to open up new kinds of dialogue.
Comment by Amos Meeks on March 24, 2010 at 4:39pm
Yes, it is interesting, and it's beneficial even to give the same take on the same thing but to spread word of it. However, it would be even better to give your take and to reference/link to everyone else's take on the same subject. Also, it would probably make your take more interesting and well informed to read what others have said on the same subject before you. I don't think that #2 is saying not to post on something someone has said before, but simply to be aware of what people have said before, as this knowledge leads to a much better dialogue.
Comment by Ebert Rassenmussen on March 24, 2010 at 5:37pm
hmmm... Marks post was pretty clear!

Amos Meeks said:
"I don't think that #2 is saying not to post on something someone has said before"

Marks point #2 says:
"...avoid posting something that someone else already contributed."

Seriously though, great job Mark! =D I'll probably try to follow this myself except for number 2.
Comment by Mark Mulkerin on March 24, 2010 at 9:40pm
With #2, I'm just trying get at moving conversations forward. Twelve people posting the same permaculture design priniciples or pointing out the same website without adding their ideas to the mix isn't productive, so I'm inclined to not engage in it myself. But make the #2 fit your needs.
Comment by Ebert Rassenmussen on March 25, 2010 at 12:56am
Ok, you and I have the same goal of moving a conversation forward, but different ways of doing it. In this format, I don't believe it is realistic for agents to read 25 posts on permaculture to make sure they aren't repeating anything. I said earlier that I think it's people personal take that is important. My thinking is that people can offer their personal opinions without checking for repetition. You believe conversations move forward by avoiding repetition. Fair enough.
Comment by Mark Mulkerin on March 25, 2010 at 1:08am
Hi Geoff,

I did suggest a quick search - and it is probably more relevant with videos - plug in the title or creator of a vid, if it doesn't come up in the search, post yours, but there are 8 or 10 that I opted not to post because someone had already done them and my post would have diluted their earlier contribution.
Comment by Shane M. Wheeler on March 31, 2010 at 7:20pm
I think a code of ethics in most internet cultures becomes necessary as time and again, internet culture devolves due to being a limited communication medium- tone, body language, facial expression, all are lost over the internet and this causes a great deal of conflict between people.

"I have this theory about words. There's a thousand ways to say `Pass the salt.'It could mean, you know, `Can I have some salt?'; or it could mean, `I love you.'; It could mean `I'm very annoyed with you'; really, the list could go on and on.; Words are little bombs, and they have a lot of energy inside them." -Christopher Walken

On that same token, we'll find people on the internet assuming 'pass the salt' meaning 'I hate you'.

So, back to the topic at hand:

I think an ethics code could curb certain bad behavior that could happen in the community. This is one part real, one part game.

The gamer in me says that what this MMO lacks is 'raids'- there should be more missions about teaming up for projects. Yes, teaming up for projects is something you can do of your own volition, probably the wisest idea if trying to win the scholarship or trip, but the game itself promotes certain behaviors via points.

1. Post early, post often, it gets you the most points.
2. Make a lot of friends so more people vote on your stuff.
3. Produce something tangible that is impressive enough to get the attention of the developers and owners of the game.

Number 3 is the main reason to make something worth the time. I'll admit it's hard to not be inspired by doing the research on most of these projects, but if you're here more for the game then the reality, then phoning it in becomes more attractive than making good posts.

There's also an issue of handling time. I wanted to get into this game as fast as possible- that's the goal of any good media, capture attention early. Putting in an ethics code to read before getting into the game would probably turn people off- however, putting it in game as a mission to gain some collaboration points? That could work.
Comment by Jen Shaffer on March 31, 2010 at 7:33pm
So that's what you were up to? LOL No, I think it is good when we can have a polite disagreement and discussion because what it moves us towards is consensus. :) I appreciate your playing devil's advocate. The point of my original post was to get people talking about a problem I was seeing in development that would ultimately need to be addressed - like lancing a boil to help the body heal. I think a creation of a code of ethics is a good outcome - there may be more. Thanks for carrying the discussion forward. +1 collaboration

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