Author Topic: Karma points  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline Timo

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Karma points
« on: July 21, 2012, 04:01:13 PM »
I'm really not necessarily trying to put anyone on blast, but I keep finding myself confused about why people are voting down posts.  Or maybe I am trying to call people out.  I don't know.  Really, I just want to use these posts as a jumping off point for a discussion. 

Anyway, here are two recent examples of negative karma votes that had me scratching my head:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?action=karmamessage;u=8140;topic=23249;m=519751

In this post, LoriPinkAngel explains what she thinks about the salvation of heathenly heathens that have lived a good life.  Bertabeats voted this post down, explaining that this is not a Bible-based view.  I'm not even going to say that Mr. Beats is wrong, because I don't think that's relevant.  Supposing she is wrong, why is he voting this down rather than simply quoting her post and posing the question to her in the thread?  Does simply being wrong about something warrant a negative vote?  I don't get it.  Here's another one:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?action=karmamessage;u=6787;topic=22752;m=520443

I think that our man Joe has said a lot of very objectionable, sometimes even negative vote-worthy things in this particular thread, but reading this particular exchange, I have a hard time understanding why HAL would vote this particular post down.  In a discussion, I really see no problem with answering a question with a question if you believe that it will help to clarify the thinking of your interrogator, which seemed to be what Joe was aiming at.

So yeah, what do you guys think?  Am I completely off base here?  What sorts of posts warrant negative votes?
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Offline HAL

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 04:08:29 PM »
So yeah, what do you guys think?  Am I completely off base here?  What sorts of posts warrant negative votes?

It's totally up to the member Timo. There are no rules to the system other than giving your own reason. That's all there is to it. What warrants a negative is in the eye of the beholder. The system we have now is better than SMF basic karma because it requires reasons and shows who gave it. Without the modification we have installed, you wouldn't even know who gave the point or why.

Now I know you're probably going to bitch and whine about it, but there's nothing more to it than what I said. Give me a negative if you want.

Offline Timo

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 04:15:23 PM »
It's totally up to the member Timo. There are no rules to the system other than giving your own reason. That's all there is to it. What warrants a negative is in the eye of the beholder.

Oh, okay, let me clarify.  I'm not asking for hard and fast rules.  I'm asking, what everyone thinks warrants a negative vote.  I want to behold what you are beholding with your eye or something.

The system we have now is better than SMF basic karma because it requires reasons and shows who gave it. Without the modification we have installed, you wouldn't even know who gave the point or why.

I completely agree.  This question probably wouldn't have even occurred to me where it not for this system.

Now I know you're probably going to bitch and whine about it, but there's nothing more to it than what I said. Give me a negative if you want.

Yeah, because I bitch and whine all the time?  Wait, what are you even talking about?
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Offline HAL

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 04:20:51 PM »
Oh, okay, let me clarify.  I'm not asking for hard and fast rules.  I'm asking, what everyone thinks warrants a negative vote.  I want to behold what you are beholding with your eye or something.

I just told you it's in the eye of the beholder. It can be anything. There's thousands and thousands of posts and thousands of karma log entries. You want everybody to explain all the thousands of different reasons they ever gave? That's kinda silly Timo. It can be anything at any given time for thousands of reasons - both for + and -. I just don't understand what you expect given the vast amount of points given out.

Offline Timo

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 04:50:22 PM »
HAL, I'm not asking for you to collect data and run numbers.  I'm asking for your opinion.

You've voted posts down.  Presumably you have had reasons for voting posts down.  What are some of those reasons, in general? 

Am I weird for thinking that this isn't a complicated question?
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 04:56:36 PM »
I very, very rarely give negative karma points. When I do, its usually because I think someone is being hateful or bigoted - for instance, calling someone evil because they're gay or female or striped or something.

I give positive karma for many things. I agree with what they've said, they've made a solid argument, they've made me laugh.

Now I'm going to have to go back and see if and when I've given negatives. I give a lot more karma on IGI where they're anonymous.
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Offline HAL

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 05:00:23 PM »
You've voted posts down.  Presumably you have had reasons for voting posts down.  What are some of those reasons, in general? 

Am I weird for thinking that this isn't a complicated question?

The reasons are in the karma log. That's what the log is for.  :o

Offline jetson

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 05:26:35 PM »
I tend to vote positive.  I don't think voting negative occurs to me as often as writing a reply addressing something specific.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 05:36:22 PM »
I agree it is an odd system.  But it is a sort of an exercise in "pure democracy."  It is the will of the forum members.

Like Traveler and Jetson, I give lots of positive karma, and very rarely smite.  I give karma for everything from smart arguments to things that make me laugh to concepts that I embrace or simple honest voices in the midst of tangled quarrels.  Sometimes I give karma for jokes or images that someone copied and pasted, simply because it brought a smile to my face, rather than because it reflected thoughtful effort on the part of the poster.   

I'm amazed sometimes at the posts that people give me positive karma on.  Often, the posts of which I am most proud go ignored, and random comments get praise.  I'm sure I'm not alone in that experience.  That shows us that we often do not see ourselves (and our words) as other see us (and our words.)

And I am completely baffled and bemused by the fact that every smite that I have ever received had to do with my comments against pedophilia and child abuse.  I think that says volumes. 

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 05:39:49 PM »
Am I weird for thinking that this isn't a complicated question?

No, you're not weird.  Not at all, but just as it's an uncomplicated question so too is the answer... uncomplicated.

I think what you've discovered is that because on this particular forum people make a habit of responding to posts rather than clicking a thumbs up/down icon it's become rare and therefore has a tendency to be more valuable. [1]

Hal has the right of it.  The system forces a person to put a note in about their point variance.
Ultimately though, it only has some kind of intellectual value because we choose for it to.
Originally it wasn't even activated for the off topic sections to prevent exactly that sort of devaluation ~  'ooh, cat picture' >five people give points<.

If you think the system is being abused then the mods can probably remove specific up/down points.  I dunno, I never messed with it.
 1. From a personal standpoint, I like it this way.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 06:01:32 PM »
I rarely give out -karma. I looked through my points and my main reason seems to be when someone is being overly obtuse, trolling, insulting, or attacking other members. Mostly like a slap on the wrist, "hey that was out of line" kinda thing.

I also use the +karma system for various reasons. I use it similarly to how I use the like button on facebook. It's just to let that person know that I appreciated whatever post they made, to compliment posts, or to let others know that I liked it. Sometimes I + posts that I agree with but don't reply to because there's nothing valuable I can add to the topic.

I used to have a system where if I was going to give someone a -karma I would explain why in the thread. But that tended to start more flame wars and thread derailments. So unless it pertains to the topic at hand I don't explain myself in the thread.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline HAL

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 06:13:07 PM »
Truthfully, and I've said this before, the points mean nothing at all to me. I could care less if I have 10 or 10,000 negatives. I don't care.

Once on the old ATT forum I had, I was going to give out karma "bonuses" to certain people like a prize based on some ideas they might submit, I forget exactly what is was now. Like I'd give out +100 karmas to your account (the Admin can do that). You'd have thought I was going to start WW3. They did not want their karmas messed with in any way! I was like - who fucking cares anyway? So I dropped the idea.

But, I do know other people seem to value them so I give them out to make them realize what I think of what they said. It's sortof like a Jedi light saber I hold, none of the points you shoot at me hurt me, but it can be used against others to great effect.

Kinda neat in a way.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 06:23:24 PM »
When you think of them as reputation points they can really matter! People get really sensitive about their Karma! I admit to being one of those people at one point in time. Get in to a karma war once or twice and you start to realize how meaningless they truly are. I think I had like the 2nd highest - karma at ATT. If I remember correctly I was only beat out by Nam. People always messaged me and asked because apparently to them my posting style didn't match my karma. They always thought I was a troll or something upon first meeting me. Just goes to show you how much people use it as a tool to judge each other.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline HAL

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 06:31:13 PM »
Just goes to show you how much people use it as a tool to judge each other.

I wanted to get rid of it but was always over-ruled. So, reap what you sow I say.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 06:33:20 PM »
I still think it's a valuable tool worth keeping around.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2012, 09:19:31 PM »
Just goes to show you how much people use it as a tool to judge each other.

I wanted to get rid of it but was always over-ruled. So, reap what you sow I say.

So was I Hal, so was I.
Well, we weren't really overruled so much as that everybody seemed to think it was a much bigger deal than we did.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2012, 09:31:48 PM »
I know, let's make it only positive!  ha ha ha ha ha... :o

Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2012, 09:45:44 PM »
I obviously like to receive +1's just like the average person does, but I don't mind that -1's are allowed. The "Reason" part is what makes it good, as someone already stated above. It's a good tool to make a comment without necessarily having to follow up if you're not in the mood.

Offline Death over Life

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2012, 11:18:07 PM »
Well, lemme throw in my .02.

Although I don't have many karma points (+16/-4 and I've never witnessed anybody -1 me after the points systems change. The -4 was given to me by default), I personally don't see the point of it.

There are those very few posts where I don't wish to waste space just to post "agreed" so I use the karma, because that was how great the post was, but what I notice a lot goes back to what Kimberly said: they are used as tools to judge people. For that reason, I would actually agree with HAL and wish for the removal of the karma system altogether. In a way, I see it as a distraction from the point of the posts to begin with.

I have very rarely seen an atheist +1 a theist here for their arguments despite disagreeing with them, and I have never witnessed in general, a theist not get butt hurt and just -1 everybody because they were offended.

In a way, it is a voting system, but in a way, it's a distraction. If one is a great poster, they don't need karma points to show it. If one is a crappy poster, you don't need -1s to get the message. They won't be around much anyways because our moderators step in, do their job, and moderate the problem at hand.

What matters is the posts, and not how we interpret them. Members like kcrady are the greatest posters this board has ever seen. A karma points system doesn't speak for him, his posts stand up on their own. The typical theists that come here and preach and troll, they don't need 5 billion -1s to know that they are causing trouble, their posts speak for them. With that being said, a theist dealing with karma points here is at a strong disadvantage because they are a minority member and not because they have necessarily bad arguments (and yes, we know 99.99% of them are bad). The only theist I've really seen respected here was Old Church Guy, and Magic Miles was starting to get something before I hadn't seen him again.

Overall, my feeling is the karma system is great for giving pats on the back, but I think anybody who would use the karma system to judge a post or a poster is a pretty shallow person, and probably needs to back away from the computer. Let the posts speak for themselves, not the karma points.

Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 01:10:38 AM »
My method:

Give +1 to a poster who makes a very good point and does so eloquently.  Usually that member nearly always makes good points and does so with style, so I do not repeat the +1's too often.  I suppose a length of time would have to pass before awarding another for the same reason.

Give -1 to persistent dodgers, obfuscators and trolls.  Again, I try not to repeat it for the same individual.  By the time I've assigned a -1, I'm through reading anything that poster writes.

What I do not do is give -1 for differing opinions, points-of-view or honest arguments.  Content, agreeable or not, should not, IMO, warrant negative karma.   If I have issue with content, I post a rebuttal.

I roll thusly

Offline jetson

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 08:24:09 AM »

I roll thusly

If this is the new "that's how I roll", then I will +1 you.  Get back to me when you can.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2012, 09:31:12 AM »
I think another function of the karma points is that the list of recent karma changes gives readers an indication of what other participants have found especially interesting or irritating over a period of time.

I've gotten into the bad habit of keeping this forum open at work way too often, and I peek at it as a distraction.  Or I keep it open while I'm hosting a playdate with a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds, and I peek in for some intelligent adult thoughts, but I can't really pay a lot of attention.   Or while I am supervising one of my daughter's projects. 

So a quick glance at the karma list enables me to see how people on the forum view the recent activity, and this helps me select which threads to read.

Offline jetson

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »

So a quick glance at the karma list enables me to see how people on the forum view the recent activity, and this helps me select which threads to read.

Cheater!  You're supposed to read laboriously through all of the new threads and replies, like the rest of us.  Right folks?  Hello?

 ;D

Offline Quesi

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2012, 10:04:22 AM »

So a quick glance at the karma list enables me to see how people on the forum view the recent activity, and this helps me select which threads to read.

Cheater!  You're supposed to read laboriously through all of the new threads and replies, like the rest of us.  Right folks?  Hello?

 ;D

I'm sorry.  I promise I will try harder in the future. 

Offline shnozzola

Re: Karma points
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2012, 10:34:42 AM »
I haven't given any negative karma for the same reason that I don't like banning people from this site.  Maybe not logical, but just me.  The karma thing is......well.............  I even think I lost a bunch last winter or sometime from a glitch when a bunch of people lost karma.  I'm starting to think everyone should give me negative karma for everyone of my posts so I can negatively win.
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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2012, 12:15:58 AM »

I roll thusly

If this is the new "that's how I roll", then I will +1 you.  Get back to me when you can.

Yep.  that's how i roll.  Please give me my undeserved +1, or... a -1 for karma begging.  Either is o'tay  :)

Offline DumpsterFire

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2012, 01:55:49 AM »
I'm amazed sometimes at the posts that people give me positive karma on.  Often, the posts of which I am most proud go ignored, and random comments get praise.  I'm sure I'm not alone in that experience.

You are most definitely not alone. I have found that the timing of a comment is as important as what is said. My job and family schedule only allow me sporadic forays into forum participation, and frequently threads may have dozens or even hundreds of responses by the time I get to them. I start reading from the beginning and will find an early post to which I feel compelled to reply, only to find later that the point of that post had been abandoned as the thread took a new tangent. I'm not just talking about getting karma points, per se, but about crafting a (to me, at least) well reasoned response intended to add to the discussion that seemingly receives no acknowledgement at all. This is not a complaint, btw, just an observation.

When you think of them as reputation points they can really matter! People get really sensitive about their Karma! I admit to being one of those people at one point in time. Get in to a karma war once or twice and you start to realize how meaningless they truly are. I think I had like the 2nd highest - karma at ATT. If I remember correctly I was only beat out by Nam.

It is hard for me to believe you ever had high neg's in forum karma, Kimberly. Thus far, you seem to be a great poster and I always appreciate what you bring to the table. Is a karma war where two members go back and forth giving each other -1's for days?
Also, I hate to be a total noob, but wtf is/was ATT? I've read several references to it here and there, but (unlike IGI) it has never been explained. I assume it is some sort of predecessor to WWGHA, but then why did it (presumably, apparently) end? Keep it concise, please, I don't want this thread to take a new tangent!
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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2012, 02:05:39 AM »
^
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Offline none

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Re: Karma points
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2012, 02:10:27 AM »