NYC Remote Chat Day 1

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Meredith L. Patterson 10:38 AM I'm trying to take notes on this but it's really hard to hear well, on the hackpad whenever I can hear anything.

I'd put opt-in/opt-out with multicast, fwiw

Willow Brugh so, this next part people are writing polarizing statements polarizing for the folk in the room

Meredith L. Patterson Here's mine. "Our group created a space for ourselves because others don't accommodate us. Why should we be obligated to accommodate the people who drove us to create this space, just because it's 'cool' now?"

OK, how about "Our group created its own space because others reject our norms; we're not obligated to accommodate outsiders."

Sam 10:56 AM "Language and mob sentiment have always been very powerful Its power and danger are uncorrelated with whether it is explicitly crass or hateful"

Willow Brugh I was thinking "~new~ things are happening now, not just amplification~"

Samuel Klein : willow: I like your statement. hard to disagree even if I can't list new things off

Convincing everyone to avoid getting a vaccine for a new plague: viral, social, harmful. Doesn't involve being rude

Meredith L. Patterson 11:05 AM I'm somewhere between disagree and strongly disagree on this one. I'll be a dick right back to people until neither they nor being a dick back to them is interesting anymore.

Samuel Klein [riffing on an anecdote about someone missing a humpback whale while on the phone]

Streaming from your phone while riding a humbpack whale: awesome.

Showing the whale how to communicate via tablet: super awesome

Learning how the whale communicates across thousands of miles, joining the existing ancient sonar social network: bonus awe


Meredith L. Patterson he's talking about Justine Sacco, I think

Sam meh [that example angers me. it's a good one.]

Meredith L. Patterson can we point the mic at whoever's talking? that would probably help with the sound

Consider me and TQ to be a single entity for the purpose of this event

Dan Hirsch 12:25 PM Actually, I couldn't get a word in. I think 300ms of latency is part of the problem.

Samuel Klein Back channels are also very important for social attacks

If you are planning ways to isolate, disempower, or kill off part of your network, private channels help you create factions, add a sense of external opposition (anyone not in the private channel is a risk), and develop subgroup consensus or polarization without any counteraction

Meredith L. Patterson 12:37 Similarly, if you have noticed that a network is factionalising publicly against you, private channels help you organise defences against that.

Samuel Klein once one group adopts a weapon, an arms race often follows, yes

Dan Hirsch Private channels will always exist. That's unavoidable.

Meredith L. Patterson It doesn't even have to be one group adopting a weapon. I'm more thinking of the sort of situation where it's socially acceptable to say "All X are bad!" and all the Xes turn to each other and say "uh-oh."

Samuel Klein yes, then the Xs would be the first to try it

Meredith L. Patterson but, point being, it's part of the landscape

Sam Dan: for any particular definition of 'private' and 'channel', I don't think that's true. It really is an arms-race scenario, you can iterate for a long time I think a fair offline analogy for 'private channel' is 'social/clan/class group identity [channel]' One can claim that this "will always exist" It is very hard to disprove that statement

Dan Hirsch That's not what I mean by private channel

Sam [the concept] is also strongly tied to actual private spaces, conversations, and a sense of shared-future or shared-purpose or shared-risk-of-prejudice Parts of the world have adopted a strategy of "this exists, so we should embrace and focus on it". Deep fragmentation into narrow sub-identities Others have insisted that these divisions don't really mean anything, won't have legal weight, and dedicate massive social effort to finding other norms for social mixing and engagement

Dan Hirsch Sure. We should transition this to voice, so people in meatspace can be part of it

Samuel Klein <we need a way to blink a little light over the camera>

Willow Brugh 1:11 PM Sam and Zeynep, I'm going to plug you into the bigger screen

Willow Brugh "I don't recommend taking concrete output recommendations from the mathematician, but..."

Zeynep Tufekci i have to go soon to a mandatory meeting anyway (part of what derailed my trip) Kinda jealous but I am looking forward to the output!

Willow Brugh 2:09 PM Zeynep, would love overall feedback etc feels on how things are going, what we're missing glad to have your brain as you are able to make it available


Willow Brugh Checklist for making safe space


Meredith L. Patterson 4:20 PM Not to leap in, since the group may well get to it, but one thing that comes to mind for this section: related to "by what channels does communication happen," I'd like to suggest "what kinds of failure modes are the channels of this space likely to fall into" i.e., TQ finds it impossible to get a word in edgewise pretty much anywhere simply because it takes him a little longer to serialise thoughts into words so any "primarily voice" space is going to be one that will have strictly less of his input in it, simply because he can't figure out how to indicate that he has something to say in a way that other people receive as an indication

Willow Brugh you got it I think that falls into the question I brought up of defining paths to critique but you're speaking more socially

Sam on the failure thread: in spaces that can be dominated by investing more time, or more sockpuppets, scripts dominate humans; better and more believable scripts esp. in one-person-one-voice spaces, people with access to person-ID records dominate others If you can take over or spoof accounts because you have control of birth/death/registration records (that's what I meant)

Meredith L. Patterson 4:29 PM So first you're describing a Sibyl attack and the second is just outright stealing credentials

Samuel Klein Yes; these are space-weaknesses that can lead to "Sibyl" or "cred spoofing" failures (but time-dominance is much broader than sibyl attacks. a time-dominatable system offers many ways for unaugmented humans to be overwhelmed by humans with extra computing)

Sam ed: What about duels? Have you heard of fistr?

Meredith L. Patterson 4:34 PM so, re specific individual: my first instinct in any such situation is to figure out why their actions are toxic to people, and then figure out why they're undertaking them. This stems from something TQ and I were talking about on the way to dinner, which is that everyone has reasons for their behaviour that are fundamentally, for the most part, consistent; this does not make the reasons good, but the thing is, if you want someone to change an internally consistent system, you have to construct a proof of why their system doesn't produce consistent results with external input.

+ proof?

in the intuitionistic logic sense, where in order to form a proposition at all, you also have to specify what counts as a proof of the proposition.

Sam: A strong statement! Prove to their satisfaction or to yours?

Meredith L. Patterson Both. This is literally how I do conflict resolution, FWIW. It doesn't work unless both parties agree on what counts as a proof.

And it sometimes really infuriates people to have to tell them, e.g.. "I can demonstrate that this thing you're worried about is not going to be a problem, but we're going to have to do XYZ in order for me to be able to do that." so while it's a useful method, it's also very much a System 2 method.

Willow Brugh you stunned them into silence

Sam 4:45 PM does your space support exile? if so, where do exiles go? if not, what do you do once people exhaust patience?

Dan Hirsch I hope we get there too.Ihad never considered that typography could exclude people,and I'ma typography nerd.

Sam 4:48 PM I'd like to see: splitting into two groups, picking an online social space, one group tries to take it down & the other tries to preserve it using techniques discussed. During break sessions, everyone plays ForumWarz

To properly challenge everyone's sense of what "normal community norms" are, try this with a community that believes the right mode of interaction involves constantly making others feel awkward, keeping them on their toes, pushing their buttons.


I thought that's why openfly was supposed to be coming - we can spoof openfly

 + I can also channel weev, if necessary