in reply to Chapter 714: The Long Chapter

A very thorough and long post, but I what I have disagreed with, from the beginning, is that the perlmonks are represented by their voting systems and experience points. Sure, when I get advice, I read it differently if the person has 3 XP or 300 XP, but inarguably, this shouldn't matter. I, princepawn, merlyn, and everyone else started with zero XP- even though merlyn wrote a book about Perl. To me, XP is fun game, but otherwise meaningless. If everyone is obsessed with XP ("XP whoring"), then, of course, there will be angry people demanding that their points were wrongfully taken away. But, honestly, your XP, whether -18 or a million, has no bearing on your person. Not everyone has spectacular social skills (especially in the field of computer science :), so a few annoying people can be expected. When these people get the feeling that XP is important in the upkeep of their character here (which I believe is wrong but emanates obviously from some unknown source), then, of course, they will become defensive with it, which I hold to be rather irrational. If you know about XP, then you know that it is about as interesting as the date that the monk was created, since XP increases "naturally" with time (over 48 hour periods). Dominus, a very new monk, has rapidly accelerated the hierarchy with his valuable insights into perl internals, regexes, and more. Is it all that interesting how many points he has? I don't think so. The end result is that XP reflects very little about the character, but I doubt that the newbies catch on since some are quick to becomes "XP whores". I know, because I was one and I worried until my stomach cramped whether or not I would get voted up. I've made several casual friends since and I even met a monk and hope to meet more! It is simply not worth even fighting over points- no matter how many.

Your article focuses alot on this voting issue connected with a monk, and I would like to bring it to your attention that at least one monk, namely AgentM, is not so subjective as to think that this holds anything against the person. bravismore was almost certainly not a bad person- just a monk who became a sort of joke after he copied his homework into a node verbatim. I imagine he's wandering around under a different alias now- perhaps as tye, or Petruchio, or any other monk of arbitrary name. I believe that above all, the votes are irrelevant and I'm sure that you would at agree that one should consider the person (as opposed to XP). Sure, it's exciting to become abbott or saint, but what I'm really here for is to learn more about Perl while at the same time helping others (did anyone else come for a different reason?). I myself, as was mentioned in previous nodes, was the obvious target of similar attacks. I was confronted via /msg by several people telling me they voted my nodes up simply because it was voted down for no particularly obvious reason. While I consider that friendly and I'm certainly not unthankful to these people, I really wouldn't have cared if no one came to me and said that there was a problem- because I didn't see a problem. If someone wants to waste his time downvoting my nodes- then feel free to- because I realize that it has NO impact on me (yes- NO impact).

But I also realize that i did not make friends by condemning Perl, using name-calling, and other annoyances. If a monk cannot conform to a level of decency where he can be respected, then it's fine with me if he leaves or is even removed. I consider the loss princepawn no biggie, even though he left with a big fireworks display. However cult-like we may be, nothing any monk says to me will have such a profound impact on me. princepawn was quick to take everything very personally and it seemed to drop like a hammer on him. Why? Insecurity, I imagine, but I certainly don't know. The preservation of my anonymity is one of the most valued things I hold at PM. When I'm bored, I'm guaranteed some wasteful space in the CB and possibly some responses. I come to PM to be with other folks that I could not normally be with. I find it an excellent medium for learning. There is no school that would hesitate to punish one for bad behavior.

In short, I'd really like to keep PM as friendly as can be, but realistically, this will change as the influx of new monks changes the tide and culture of PM- maybe even in the future, some rules. But am I not afraid of change. I guess my final question is: what's the big deal? Why even bother to respond to stupid comments obviously aimed to provoke? While I think it's important to discuss, most of the attacks from princepawn warranted little attention- certainly less attention than he has received- like this enormous node above.

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