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[P]
Nationalism Online: A Threat to Diversity

By Signal 11 in Op-Ed
Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 12:47:04 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Quite a few editorial comments have been appearing on kuro5hin stating that something is too "X-centric". It may be too "US-centric", or too "european-centric". Nationalism does not belong online, and I want to remove any doubt about the negative effects of this type of reasoning.


Too many times people have said that an article in the queue doesn't apply to them, therefore they vote it down. Often, the reason provided is that it is "US-centric", and they are not from the US. It's hypocritical in the extreme to do this - they would no doubt vote up articles about their own country simply because it was about their country, and disregarding that other people may not want be affected by it. It's also circular logic and it's resulting in a good number of stories being delayed in the queue for longer than necessary.

In addition, I'm frankly both suprised and shocked that a community which prides itself on its global nature could ignore the fact that we are all tied together and what happens to one affects us all. If the US economy collapses, most of the world would go right with it. If China cut off access to its internet, we would suffer because less information would be available. If an election goes awry in the United States, it could have reprecussions in foreign policy - it could spark protests and demonstrations, and we all know the impact civil unrest has on a country. Likewise, when Princess Diana was killed, the US press covered it, because we are a global community now. These events transcend national boundaries - they affect us all.

What affects one affects us all, and we should not be so quick to dismiss information and news relevant to one country. The California energy crisis is history in the making - it will appear in economic textbooks decades from now. It could just as easily happen in Canada or Russia, or China. Do not silence people who mention this merely because it is happening in their community instead of yours - it could just as easily happen where you live.

Please people, I beg of you - have some perspective. It may not seem relevant to you, but it is. Even if it was not, other people have an equal right to voice their stories and news about their country and their culture. By what other means shall we enjoy the diversity each country and each community brings to the table if we work to silence them because it's "irrelevant" ?

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Display: Sort:
Nationalism Online: A Threat to Diversity | 43 comments (37 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Matter of Perspective, not Subject... (3.72 / 11) (#5)
by Electric Angst on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:53:32 PM EST

When someone talks about the California energy crisis, then that can spark discussion about an event, that while localized, can be discussed by people from all over the globe. When someone talks about not letting in more foreigners with HB-1 visas, that person is speaking from a US-centric point of view, giving no place for the views of both the immigrants with HB-1 visas or citizens of other nations. The subject matter is not what makes something nationalistic, but rather the viewpoint from which it is expressed. If the author is not willing to take a moment to present an argument or situation from a broader viewpoint, than he or she is not doing justice to her argument or subject, and is not providing an optimal forum for community discussion.


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
centricity (3.60 / 5) (#9)
by Signal 11 on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:08:27 PM EST

When someone talks about not letting in more foreigners with HB-1 visas, that person is speaking from a US-centric point of view, giving no place for the views of both the immigrants with HB-1 visas or citizens of other nations.

By that definition, discussing immigration automatically precludes immigrants discussing it. Not logical. H1-B visas deal with allowing immigration for specific groups.. something many countries deal with. Merely because the designation "H1-B" is specific to this country does not mean the idea behind it is!


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Difference... (3.00 / 6) (#12)
by Electric Angst on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:33:00 PM EST

By that definition, discussing immigration automatically precludes immigrants discussing it.

There's a difference between discussing immigration and presenting an argument as to why immigration should be slowed/stopped. The first is the discussion of an action, and the second is a nationalistic (aka, *-centric) viewpoint. The first will promote discussion, while the second will just generate flames and petty debate.

If one argues from a single viewpoint, and does not give a broader view when initiating an intellectual argument, then the argument itself is spoiled by one's bias, and will not promote healthy discussion.


--
"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
But what is... (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by Vulch on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 09:23:24 AM EST

Talking about H1-Bs isn't the problem. To those of us happy living in countries with unarmed police, an H1-B may be the only type of helicopter you are allowed to use to enter the USA. And for that matter, a green card is the 'loyalty' card used by one of the DIY chains here.

Anthony

PS. DIY - Doing your own plumbing, carpentry, building repairs, that sort of thing... :-)

[ Parent ]

moan moan moan ... whine whine whine... (3.25 / 16) (#6)
by radar bunny on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:58:29 PM EST

Some people have nothing better to do than bitch, moan, and whine about things -- so they come here and bitch, moan and whine about how stories are too this or too that or not enough of something or HEY IT SHOULD BE MLP!!!!! Or you mispelled a single lil word there sparkey. Its not some sort of nationalism -- its just petty bitching. Now, we have another story throwing a bitch fit about the bitching.

Oh the irony.

I'd have rated this one a 2 or 3, except... (2.20 / 5) (#10)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:14:19 PM EST

I wanted to cancel out a certain karma whore's petty vengeance. So that's why a 5.

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
[ Parent ]
gee willey.... (3.00 / 6) (#11)
by radar bunny on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:20:18 PM EST

You mean Signal 11 modded down a comment simply because it disagreed with one of his grand visions? Oh come on now. That's not happened 1000 times already. <be>
Sighs
He complains about so much and seems so unable to deal with people complaining about his complaining about people complaining.

[ Parent ]
ooh ooh ooh! (1.33 / 3) (#19)
by regeya on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 05:13:07 PM EST

You almost forgot:

It's a #@!$ obituary! I don't want to see them!
I'm sick of MLP!

I have to disagree on misspellings, though--some people would like to see kuro5hin taken seriously, and if you want it to be taken seriously by, say, journalists, misspelled words aren't the way to go.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

I hope to be taken seriosly regardless of spelling (none / 0) (#30)
by DeHans on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 05:00:45 AM EST

Since I'm not natively English speaking I'm hoping that people will take me seriously even though there are grammar and/or spelling errors. I don't mind criticism, as it will improve my writing capabilities, but please don't dismiss something I write, just because it was misspelled

[ Parent ]
We are the world, we are the future... (2.84 / 13) (#7)
by marlowe on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:05:00 PM EST

Everybody sing along now! And then we'll do some arts and crafts!

-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
Baloney (3.28 / 7) (#8)
by handle on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:05:18 PM EST

I mod something up if I find it interesting or well-written. If it's an article that I find uninteresting, I don't mod up. Simple. There are many, many reasons that I might be uninterested in some subject, and geographic relevance is only one of them. Sometimes I'll find some other reason that I'm interested in the article despite the fact that it's about gerbil-training in Upper Slobovia, and I'll mod it up. Furthermore, I can't even pretend to guess what other people are interested in, so why even bother to try.



Close but no prize... (4.43 / 16) (#14)
by ScottBrady on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:53:53 PM EST

I don't have a problem with geographically centric stories. I don't have a problem with stories centric to one person. If they are interesting and well formed. What I do have a problem with is stories that are improperly written so that they thrust the perspective of the author onto the reader.

Example:

The DMCA, UCITA and CIPA are eroding all of our constitutionally protected rights to free speech.

Wrong! Should be:

The DMCA, UCITA and CIPA are eroding US citizens constitutionally protected rights to free speech.

I had a conversation about this the other evening. I was sitting with a couple at an annual dinner for the local chamber of commerce and we got on the subject of politics. The man (MANY years my senior) got on a rant about a topic of global importance and the way he was speaking reminded me of many authors on K5. Everything he said was centric to his little world.

I took issue with his carelessness (politely) by iterating how his perspective was centric to his experiences living in the United States and how someone from from Australia or the UK would likely see things differently. Yee Gawds, it was like I had handed them the Oracle of All Knowledge. Neither of them had ever taken the time to think about what they were saying in that manner.

I think that is what causes this problem: lack of perspective.

But enough of that. I'd go on forever...

--
Scott Brady
"We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed."
YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Ideas in context and silence is not golden (none / 0) (#43)
by turtleshadow on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 01:14:02 AM EST

Help me buy into the example you put forth.
The movements that are behind DMCA, UCITA, CIPA encompass ideas and principles that in fact know no political or geographic boundries, there was no context offered to decipher the "our" in the example, to me it read as "humanity".

And its in such environmental contexts that the people of the world are constantly locked in ideological struggles and debates that manifest themselves in political, legislative and economic agreements. When these effort go beyond the orginal context such agreements spill over and impact someone else's backyard.
A localized decision on cloning in Italy impacts the U.S. A reactionary economic decision in Asia may impact more than the Pacific Rim. A change in power in Russia impacts more than Russia. California going bust due to deregulation is an example to the world.

Each of these may be centric to that region and covered extensively in a centric way. But I think the K5 community really works diligently to see beyond the overt facts and 99% of the time interprets the context correctly.
Listening and trying to understand a persons or people's internal struggles gives insight into the deeper "current" of that population or individual. Filtering that leads to being blind sided when major events occur or decisions are made.

The gentleman you spoke of has like all of us failed to discern the context properly. You gave him some feedback and he adjusted his context -- if only it were that easy all the time.
True, I agree there is concen regarding the "signal to noise ratio" and I accept that part of your analysis of centrism to ones world, thats were the voting system tries to work a compromise.


I'd rather hear the neighbors squabble constantly and learn to deal with it than rather randomly hear a shriek -- a crash -- then silence.

Turtleshadow
P.S. or perhaps worse, silence -- a shriek -- and a crash.

[ Parent ]
buning down an argument of straw (4.73 / 15) (#15)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:58:38 PM EST

There will always be a few people from here and there that proclaim, even X does not have any interest to me because I don't live in country Y where event X has happened. I believe that individuals of this sort, the individuals that Signal 11's rant seems to be aimed at, are few and far between.

Most of the complaints I have seen on K5 about being US centric aren't due to the event X happening in the US, but because the slant of the story is US specific. As an example, during the recent US election day that lasted two months, submission upon submission implicitly assumed that all K5 readers lived in the US or were US citizens. Pronouns such as we, ours, us were used with no qualification. Most of these article submissions could quite easily have been rewritten to use more qualified (and hence more inclusive) descriptors. Instead of using a mere 'us,' an author can use 'those of us who live in the US.' Instead of 'our rights,' an author can use 'the rights of citizens of the US.'

I don't think very many folks from other countries get pissed off because a North American weblog has many stories about the US. I do think the many folks from other countries get pissed off because those of us that live in the US often act like the US is the world. I suspect some of this comes from geography. People living in Ohio or Misourri can't drive a mere hour or so to visit another country like the residents of the majority of other countries. Geography combined with arrogance has given those of us born and raised in the US something of tunnel vision.



china? (2.63 / 11) (#16)
by MicroBerto on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 04:01:46 PM EST

"If China cut off access to its internet, we would suffer because less information would be available."
Since when has China provided us with any information? :)

Less information available to THEM though!

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

true true (3.25 / 4) (#17)
by rebelcool on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 04:11:57 PM EST

the situation in california is a classic example of how price restrictions are bad. Economists have said this for 100 years... apparently they werent heeded when the deregulation legislation happened?

In my posts that have a decidely american flavor (that is, relating to events unlikely to be known or cared of outside the US), i always mark it as americentric, because there are a number of people who will vote down based on the fact that it doesnt figure in the global world.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Overgeneralised hogwash! (3.63 / 11) (#18)
by _cbj on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 04:18:19 PM EST

American economics may affect everyone (boring and inappropriate as the subject, for most, undoubtedly is), but American radio station specifics?

And you know damn well China could disappear from the net tomorrow and most of us would only know from the spate of hastily wrought MLP submissions linking to CNN, so that addition was humbug. (Princess Diana, meanwhile, can suck my cock as far as relevance goes: she was a sap magnet, her news followed the saps.)

A lot of the complaints are not about geographical parochialism, but rather about standards of writing. Even submissions on US presidents are useless (and, to me, offensive) when the slant is strongly "So who will you vote for?"

I suppose I'm saying that, yes, doesn't-affect-me-ism isn't healthy in an online community, but neither are stories that have been written to exclude me. In both cases--before submitting and before voting--one must consider the whole of the audience.

I don't see why... (3.60 / 5) (#20)
by kaitian on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:05:45 PM EST

I don't see why all stories must be applicable to everyone. There are things that effect a large portion of the k5 community that don't effect other portions. If someone from Mexico submits a story about their presidential race, I would expect that the people who this concerns should vote for it, and those who it doesn't should vote 0. Stories that are tageted at people living in some other country do not offend me. They should be encouraged because it would make k5 more deverse in the type of stories that it has now.

[ Parent ]
Missed point (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by _cbj on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:39:08 PM EST

I'm all for stories about Mexicans or vegetarians or Martians, what I request is that the writeup is not implicitly for that same group. This only requires some consideration in phrasing the article, not any change in theme. The assumption that I'm part of an author's we offends me, not whatever esoteric subject that author finds fascinating.

[ Parent ]
I know the Brits just approved human cloning... (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by fossilcode on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:42:14 PM EST

but isn't Diana still dead? If so, she's done sucking anything.
--
"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?
[ Parent ]
It's the writeup, not the topic (4.45 / 11) (#21)
by jesterzog on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:10:47 PM EST

I think you're misunderstanding the issue for most of us who don't live in the US. It's not the topic that's the problem, it's the writeup.

I have no problem with voting up a story that talks about events happening in the US. I often comment on them and to be honest, the majority of what happens in the US has an effect on the rest of the world in one form or another, anyway. It's such a big part of the world that it's difficult to ignore.

I do have a problem with voting up a story that talks about events happening in the US in such a way as if nowhere else even existed.

For example, if a story talks about "our government" as if we all live in the same country, it's factually incorrect for anyone who doesn't live there. Why shouldn't I vote down a story that has the facts wrong?


jesterzog Fight the light


It's the way it's presented (4.84 / 13) (#22)
by goonie on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 06:37:52 PM EST

Many, perhaps most stories, can be made interesting to an international audience, if presented in the right way.

To take a very simple example (though not in an area that K5 is really interested in) - the top story in Australian sport at the moment is whether Mark Waugh will testify before the ICC. I doubt there's an American on k5 that has a clue who Mark Waugh is or what the ICC is. However, if I explained that Mark Waugh is a highly paid professional cricketer who plays for Australia, that he has admitted in the past to taking money from a bookmaker for information on ground conditions, team selection, and injuries, that additional allegations have been made, and that he is refusing to talk to the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption commission despite being ordered to by the Australian Cricket Board (his employer), the story becomes interesting on a couple of counts. Firstly, can an employer order you to go before an inquiry like this? Secondly, what are some international experiences with sportspeople receiving money from bookmakers? I believe, for instance, that in the history of baseball that there have been fixed matches. What happened to the individuals involved, and what changes did the baseball organisers make to reduce the chances of it happening again?

So, with just a little bit of context and the right take on an issue, it becomes accessible and relevant to an international audience.

And most importantly (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by kovacsp on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 12:11:14 AM EST

Won't somebody explain the bloody rules to cricket! I once watched a game for an hour and for the life of me, I could not figure it out!

[ Parent ]
Here you go: (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by pw201 on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 05:02:14 AM EST

Rule 1

Grow at least three extra legs. You won't need them, but it
leeps the crowd amused.

Rule 2

Find one good Brockian Ultra-Cricket player. Clone him off a few
times. This saves an enormous amount of team selection and
training.

Rule 3

Put your team and the opposing team in a large field and build
a high wall around them. The reason for this is that, though the
game is a major spectator sport, the frustration experienced by
the audience at not actually being able to see what's going on
leads them to imagine that it's a lot more exciting than it
really is.A crowd that has just watched a rather hum-drum game
experiences far less life-affirmation than a crowd that believes
it's just missed the most dramatic event in sporting history.

Rule 4

Throw lots of assorted items of sprting equipment over the wall
for the players. Anything will do - cricket bats, basecube bats,
tennis guns, skis, anything you can get a good swing with.

Rule 5

The players should now lay about themselves for all they are
worth with whatever they find to hand. Whenever a player scores
'hit' on another player, he should immediately run away and
apologize from a safe distance. Apologies should be concise,
sincere and, for maximum points, delivered through a megaphone.

Rule 6

The winning team shall be the first team that wins.

(This is from Douglas Adams, in case that's not obvious :-)


[ Parent ]
serious explanations of cricket (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by goonie on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 04:15:42 PM EST

can be found here.

However, the traditional explanation of cricket to Americans goes a little something like this:

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

(Author Unknown)

I dunno how much it explains about cricket, but it sure is a salutary lesson in the dangers of overloading keywords . . . :)

[ Parent ]
If I'm not interested ... (4.00 / 4) (#25)
by misterluke on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 07:19:09 PM EST

... then I'm just not interested. If I feel a story does not apply to me, then I vote 0 and let those who care decide. It's only when I am involved enough in the topic to have an opinion that I vote it up or down. Unless I'm in a bad mood, of course. Then those filthy imperialist pigdogs are going to see their "boo hoo ... we have no more electricity" stories go down so hard their heads will spin.

intl news "affecting" people (3.60 / 5) (#26)
by jbridge21 on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 07:23:04 PM EST

I don't know about you, but all the Princess Diana news didn't really "affect" me, besides giving me more crap to hear other people blabber on about.

"whoa! this don't apply to ME!" (3.40 / 5) (#27)
by xah on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 07:59:55 PM EST

Whoa, pardner! This don't apply to ME! I'm highly eye-n-tuh-lek-chu'l. Most of yew Kyuro5hin 1337 haXORs are just not edumacated enough.

Ah am voting NO! This artikel is too foreign-centric.

I think you are misreading the situation (4.44 / 9) (#32)
by seb on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 06:08:07 AM EST

First, I agree with you entirely. Nationalism has no place online, and that which affects any nation affects us all. But I believe you are misreading the situation on k5, and presuming to understand my motives.

Signal 11 submitted an article a while back, entitled What about me?. It was about H1-B visas and NAFTA. Having never heard of either, I posted an editorial comment, Stop! I'm not American!, asking for a repost with an explanation for those of us outside the US. I also put in a stupidly glib comment about US-centrism which inevitably undermined my serious point. Sig11 replied with a short version of the above. I thought I'd re-post my reply, since it's more relevant here:

Calm down, there's no need to get all cross about it. I'm not bitching (ok, the comment about US-centrism was a bit provocative - it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek in spirit - nonetheless, it was unecessary and I apologise for that.)

I'm very interested in the stuff that goes on in the US. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be asking you to repost. I'm not "starting affirmative action, ignoring every issue that doesn't effect [me]." I'm saying, why not make your article more inclusive by adding an introduction or a link?

I'm sorry if my hasty posting gave you the impression I was voting your submission down because you're American, or I'm trying to deny your right to free speech. Far from it. I voted it down precisely because I *am* interested in it, and I'd like to know more.

Neither do I believe that all articles should be 'overly-general'. I *like* opinionated articles, even if I don't agree with them. I just want to have enough information to understand them.

Finally, I must disagree with the suggestion that I'm in an insignificant minority. I note that 5 out of 13 currently cast votes on my original editorial were 4 or 5; 8 were 1 or 2. Therefore 38% of these people fairly strongly agree with me. Would it really be such an affront to your feelings on your freedom to post, to repost with a couple of introductory sentences for that 38%? Isn't that the democratic spirit of k5, where we are all editors?

Looking forward to your reply.

*cough* (2.66 / 3) (#37)
by Signal 11 on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 03:28:23 PM EST

Therefore 38% of these people fairly strongly agree with me.

Yes, but it could also be said that 62% of the people disagreed with you then.

Finally, I must disagree with the suggestion that I'm in an insignificant minority.

Minority, definition: "The smaller in number of two groups forming a whole."

Me thinks you are mistaken. This does not necessarily mean you are not right, however you are definately not the majority opinion if we use your own metric.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

let's have a discussion then! (5.00 / 5) (#40)
by seb on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 08:07:35 PM EST

I feel that your post is at least in part levelled at me, so I'd really like to have a proper discussion about the issue. I should probably have emphasised my words thus, to avoid ambiguity:
Finally, I must disagree with the suggestion that I'm in an insignificant minority.
My point being, if I were the only reader of k5 who didn't know what a Gubbin was, you could hardly be expected to bother explaining Gubbins to me, and me alone. On the other hand, if 38% of your readers didn't know what a Gubbin was, perhaps a short explanation would be in order. (My 38% is, of course, an entirely unauthoratitive statistic, but I believe my point still holds).

What I want to know is, now that I have retracted my totally unecessary 'US-centric' throw-away line, do you see the validity of my points? In summary one more time:

1) To ask an author to consider a short explanation of the background of a national story on an international website is fairly reasonable
2) To mod them down in the spirit of an editorial, with a request for a short rewrite, does not amount to censorship of beliefs, opinions, or nationality.

[ Parent ]
reply... (2.66 / 3) (#42)
by Signal 11 on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 01:20:01 PM EST

1) To ask an author to consider a short explanation of the background of a national story on an international website is fairly reasonable

But is K5 an international website?

2) To mod them down in the spirit of an editorial, with a request for a short rewrite, does not amount to censorship of beliefs, opinions, or nationality.

Yes, but is seeking perfection a way to improvement, or does it unnecessarily hinder would-be authors? If you agree with the majority of the post, but disagree with the presentation, why did you vote -1 - the idea was sound. That's my contention.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

I don't think this is to do with nationalism (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by seb on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 07:39:10 AM EST

Thanks for the reply...

But is K5 an international website?

Of course it is. I guess in this context, you are suggesting perhaps that it is overwhelmingly an American site? Perhaps so. It would be interesting to run a poll on the subject. I don't think I like what I think you're implying, though, which could be construed as:
To ask an author to consider a short explanation of the background of a story on a national website is unreasonable.
Now, to quote you:
By what ... means shall we enjoy the diversity each country and each community brings to the table if we work to silence them because it's "irrelevant" ?
Well, we won't enjoy diversity online if no-one makes any concessions to international comprehension.

Of course, we're veering way off course here. I really only started this thread to convince you that I am interested in the world about me. I'm not an online nationalist. On the contrary, I modded down your story because I was interested.

If you agree with the majority of the post, but disagree with the presentation, why did you vote -1 - the idea was sound. That's my contention.

Well, why didn't you say so in the first place :p

This is a valid point, but I think I disagree. You were frustrated because your story, which was well written and interesting, spent ages in the moderation queue partly because of my nit-picking 'perfectionism'. You're asking that old k5 meta-question, how moderation should work. Some people ask for a resubmit because of bad grammar, others because an article's not long enough. Personally, if I see a first-time submission, if it's interesting, I'll probably always vote it up, despite any less significant misgivings, in order to encourage more writing. However, if a seasoned poster such as yourself could, in my opinion, improve their posts further, then I don't view a little longer spent in the moderation queue as much of a crime. To answer your question, I voted -1 because (as I said at the time) I needed for information. I couldn't vote +1 for the story because I didn't understand it. It wasn't just about presentation.



[ Parent ]
Community-centric ? (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by dorsai on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 06:50:09 AM EST

While some subjects might leave me pretty uninterested because they are FOO-centric, I don't usually vote them down - basically because they reflect the concearns of a good portion of the k5 community.

I come to k5 for the news, the discussion, the humour... and ultimately the people who post here - their opinion matters to me.

I guess the FOO-centric approach is infinitly arguable, it could perhaps be made a wee bit better with something like k5 clubs but, ultimately, I don't think it's that horrible .

I guess it all boils down to how you view the "culture" bit of "technology and culture". For me, people's concearns are a significant part of it


Dorsai the sigless


California Power & International ramifications (3.75 / 4) (#34)
by DeHans on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 07:45:44 AM EST

I couldn't agree more with the article.
I'd like to explain that using the Californian power problems. While a discussion could take place about how crappy it is when you're confronted with black-outs / brown-outs, or what countermeasures one can take as an individual, it could also spawn a discussion about the ramifications of privatising utility companies (which is as far as I understood the reason for the problems). While the power outages in California have no direct influences on me (I live in the Netherlands), the experience of the whole process is very relevant since the privatising of utility companies is being discussed at this moment.

Thus the article *itself* and not the topic is the basis for discussion. By being XXX-centric, the discussion is almost automatically limited to XXX.

Centricism (4.66 / 9) (#36)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 12:42:30 PM EST

I have accused a few articles of being US centric and voted them down for that reason, however, I did not do so simply because those articles were about the US. I did so because the author phrased the thing in such a way that unless you were an American, you could not usefully discuss it.

My career, my interest in world affairs, and my desire to live mandate that I have almost as much interest in what happens in the USA as I do in what happens in my own country, so I like to see stories about the US just as much as I like to see stories about Europe. Indeed, moreso, as stories about the UK just now tend to be depressing tales of eroded civil liberties.

What I do object to though is stuff like trailers with "So, how did you vote ?", or the assumption that the US consistution and US code of law are somehow the last word on all ethical issues. Its like those forms I keep getting from American firms that ask for my zip code and social secutiry number. Its as if I posted an article asking whether people think Peter Mandelson (a former British cabinet minister with the distinction of resigning twice over apparent financial irregularities) was fit to represent them, or told you that the doctrine of the supremacy of parliament makes constitutional law impossible. Its roughly equivalent to the British yobs who go to France and try to communicate by shouting in English. Its just plain rude, OK ?

As to nationalism, I quite agree that its a bad thing. However the recognition of diversity is the essential accompaniement of a connected world. In our context, that certianly means never voting down a story merely because its not relevant to you (I don'r care, would seem appropriate), but it also means not posting stories that assume all their readers are American or all their readers are European.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Nationalism has a place... (none / 0) (#41)
by Mantrid on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 08:40:42 AM EST

Nationalism still has a place; it helps to provide variety in the world. It allows for enough different styles of government and culture that someone could find a place that suits them.

Extreme nationalism and xenophobia, however are undeniably negative and any country not willing to participate in the world would definitely be working with a handicap. Though if they are willing to deal with that, I guess it's there business.

Nationalism Online: A Threat to Diversity | 43 comments (37 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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