[CAI-committee] Re: [Computerbank] Dec Agenda
wlanger at bigpond.net.au
Tue Dec 24 06:11:01 UTC 2002
Hiya all, did the IRC meeting end up being yesterday night (mon 23rd) or is
it still to come tonight(tue 24th)?
Is 'adl' time adelaide time? australian daylight-savings time? australian
desert longitudinal time? (hehe sorry justy made that up.) Just wondering as
I don't think I've ever seen tha particular TLA before!
If it is tonight I may try to listen in, maybe even contribute, however I
might be very busy!
One thing which would probably help in future would be some earlier and
*very clear* warning. The cb list is an obvious choice, hopefully with "Time
and Date for next IRC meeting in ENORMOUS capital letters in the subject
line, or some such, for those like me who are organisationally challenged
and don't get to read every email in their inbox in depth :)
Warning: this email got longer than I expected; it is about some ways of
making cb processes more 'transparent' and the underlying theories of human
psychology which could help with this. All a bit Heady and Serious for the
xmas period! Read and Reply at leisure...
I had a vague idea there was a meeting coming up, simply bcs there had been
so much recent debate, however no idea when or in what format (ie IRC,
I think that I have at least skimmed all cb emails. This lack-of-awareness
could also be bcos I am a newbie (two months old I believe), however really
it could still be pretty clear to even newbies when the important meetings
&so on are.
It may be good to advertise such things one week or so before hand, and then
DAILY to the list for the last three days, at the risk of annoying those who
already know. If the subject line is standard and in capitals, it is fairly
easy to just hit delete. If there is later on a change in plans, then you
can put this in as a first word in the subject ie "IMPORTANT NOTE CHANGE TO
THE MEETING TIME: re: MEETING TIME etc etc"
Of course this is a bit long but I'm sure some very clever person can figure
out a good way to convey the desired effect both effectively and briefly.
CAPITAL LETTERS, at the risk of sounding like one is SHOUTING, are actually
one of the best and easiest low tech ways of making a particular message
stand out. Annoying but TRUE!
Or we could call together a committee of marketers, psychologists,
anthropologists, computer scientists, and professors of English to decide
upon what would be the bestest way to convey the information. It might be
good if we could decide what *color* it is meant to be (heheh stupid
reference to hitchhikers guide, am in silly mood due to the monty python
email earlier :)
I think that this is actually a serious issue, as I think that many of the
problems of 'transparencey' that people have been complaining about are
actually almost purely practical issues, rather than policy and/or
And thus can be worked out, although it still requires effort. People often
don't realise how much effort this purely organisational level of things
requires, assuming that if policy and personality are sorted then rest will
follow; but 'taint necesarily so.
This is usually either becasue they are either too *close* or too *far*
from the practicalities.
Those who are totally caught up in organising practical issues get
resentful and annoyed at the amount of work they have to do, especially if
they feel they are being 'carped at' by others. However they can also lose
sight of the forest for the trees, and in particular, it is *very* difficult
often to work out just how much other people know, dependant upon their
level of involvement. This has been shown by psychologists (sorry can't find
To keep track of such things, involves a concept invented by psychologists
called "theory of mind", which is basically our ability to classify and
recall what information *other people* have access to regarding a situation.
The basic point is that our brains are not designed to keep track of a small
amount of information about a large number of peoples 'mental state'. They
are designed to keep track of a large amount of information about a small
number of peoples' mental state.
'Mental State' in this case refers to a very specific thing - it doesn't
mean 'general psychological state', 'emotional situation', ' love life
issues' or 'degree of drug-f***dness', it means 'what information does this
person currently have access to'. It can usefully be compared to a computer
or a computer programs 'state'. What resources/data does it currently have
Anyway, our brains are not set up to do this on a large scale, what they are
designed to do is to keep track of a *detailed* mental state (including
data, emotions, past reactions to similar events, lovelife, current hair
style, &so on) for a much smaller number of people - ie immediate family and
co-workers/tribe. At the risk of reducing human behaviour in all of it's
wonderful richness to a few formulas, I still find this to be a very useful
thing to remember.
Thus it is very lucky for us monkeys-with-opposable-thumbs that we have such
things as pens, paper, books, computers, telephones, and email lists.
However of course like any tool, they are most effective when a lot of
thought is put into planning their use. Time spent talking about, say, what
format to put the subject line of an email in, can easily seem like a waste
of time, however it can be incredible how much of a 'payoff' such an initial
investment in design can have, so it is actually time well spent. Just ask
any profiessional marketing consultant(!). Hehehehe thus the subcomittee!
This brings me to the other extreme, those who are a 'long way' from the
practicalities, who get annoyed that they are not receiving basic
information in a timely fashion.
Anyway this email has become way longer than I intended, I was only going to
ask to clarify the times/date, however then i realised that i had been taken
by surprise and hadn't even known that this meeting was coming up, *in Spite
of* being on many of the various cb lists, and having at least skimmed all
emails.So I thought that perhaps the advertising of it could be improved,
particularly since many people who don't attend Rosslyn street regularly
have complained recently.
lmkwyt (let me know what you think)
Wendy Langer :)
From: computerbank-admin at lists.linux.org.au
[mailto:computerbank-admin at lists.linux.org.au]On Behalf Of Romana
Sent: Monday, 23 December 2002 11:19
To: cai-committee at lists.linux.org.au; David Lloyd;
computerbank at lists.linux.org.au
Cc: moose at artificial-stupidity.net
Subject: Re: [CAI-committee] Re: [Computerbank] Dec Agenda
On Mon, 23 Dec 2002 07:29 am, David Lloyd shared thusly:
> Stupid question but when and where is this meeting?
> [and can you specify what time zone you're talking in]
committee meetings always held on #cbmeta, usual server
or variants thereof;) )
ALL are welcome to input afaik (and sodding should be if not) , but only
committee members can vote.
you'll enjoy it:)
just awaiting time and date confirmation myself - usually between 6:30 and 7
adl time, it will be either tonight or tomorrow night.
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