Dkos Group Mind

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draft for a diary on cohering dkos into conscious group mentation... hehehe I said mentation.


Consider that the diaries at dkos represent it's stream of consciousness. This is the internal narative of dkos as a group mind (more on the scary side of "groupthink" below).

Just like most internal naratives, it's all over the place, "I like blue... need to buy bread... that's a pretty view... I'm tired... I need to get off at this exit... who should I vote for... I need bread... I like green...." out of such streams patterns rise, and this is the source of consciousness, and also acts of will to act on ideas.

In the dkos example, when a topic starts to dominate the diaries, (and/or these days, it rises to the recommended box), it becomes conscious, and we as individual parts of the dkos mental process realize that it's happening even if we were not a part of it. We see that there is some community consensus on the issue even if we are not a part of that consensus. e.g. I might ignore SBVT diaries because I think it's a non-issue, but eventually I have to realize... oh, there is a dkos sentiment on this issue. Even if I still avoid those diaries and don't investigate the sentiment, I know it's there because of the repetition, and just as the whole body becomes involved with the action of the whole as nascent ideas bubble up to willful action, as a part of dkos I become involved. In fact, this is exactly how I ended up following the stupid antics of the SBVT....


Front Page Posts act as regulation, much like the affects of our various mental faculties... for example, imposing standards and inhibitions. Kos has defined dkos as a place for progressives/liberals/Democrats to discuss, people not fitting that are still allowed to sign on and take part. If they disturb the overall nature of dkos, however, they receive negative feedback or even inhibition (via banning).

There are also those that wish to excercise this inhibiting nature on their own, that request, for example, to "stop dkos from thinking XYZ". A recent example would be some reactions to mcjoan's diary on possibly overzealous GOTV work. To some her question or caution was the sort of thought dkos should not have right now, what with the media and so many people reading our mind all the time. The irony... other's here felt the diary not only was proper to post, but that it was must read, and they recommended it!

Which sentiment wins? Well, in my organic metaphor of dkos as brain, of course, it's survival of the fittest. The recommendation wins, dkos thinks the thought however breifly or deeply, and that state of affairs is actual, but was the thought self destructive?

We often have please to stop a certain type of diary. While I tend to approve of more duplication than some, precisely because it informs one about the nature of the stream of consciousness at dkos, I do have a quickly exceeded tolerance for diaries gloating when old republicans, however vile, break their hips, for example.

This is a part of the process. While this is primarilly a report of my own observations of dkos, which are biased toward the desire of futher cohering our ideas into group conceptions (e.g. via dkosopedia, etc), this is also meant as an active ingredient, a reagent for a few points.

(1) this diary is not about GOTV, rapid response, or where to direct donations. Is it dangerously distracting? I don't think so, for one, the more we can imagine how dkos thinks the more we can harness it.

(2) I don't like the idea that people want to censor the train of thought of dkos based on the idea that it's a "highly visted site" which just may have some influence. Again, mcjoan's diary is a great example (although I started working on this before today, so please consider that just a handy example). Her diary was a thought in the stream. It's not a news report. Surely, if the whole world can read our mind, that's a funny situation, but in the end, we need to remember it's our mind. To edit and censor it for consumption as output, as fully formed ideas and positions, implies the thinking is done when the diary goes up, except for feedback. But no, the diary is part of the process of the thinking itself. I do not like censoring views, not at all, but there are reasonable limits, and handling troll issues is a perfect example --- it calls for hopefully reasonable censoring. I won't lament the hidden nature of a frist psot and I will cheer hidden hate speech. But censoring one's own thoughts is MORE dangerous, much more dangerous, and this is where many requests to delete diaries come from.

Basically we should not be too afraid about what we think in the moment. If one wants to cherry pick diaries to make dkos look bad... that would be easy. Dkos DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE ZERO NOISE! It function only because of the noise. That brownian motion is our energy source.

It's an open process, and the more you close it, and the more you try to assure that every diary (especially by a known user) meets some global vetting standard before posting, or before being left up, the more you remove dkos from that process of vetting. And also, the more prone dkos comes to people trying to destroy it's reputation somehow. Right now... a crazy idea on dkos is like a crazy idea on the internet, it doesn't discredit the service provider. The noise is cover while we have a totally open conversation to find out what we really think, and sometimes down the road a more well formed opinion emerges.


Group Think:

Has a bad reputation doesn't it? But shouldn't a group think? Don't we want our heads together to produce more than the mere sum of individuals collected in the same room by chance?

The problem is not groups having thoughts, the problem is how well they do that, and what they are thinking. If they are thinking, "you must conform 100%" to the groups ideas, then the ideas are a dogma and the through is conformity, and these are problems in individuals. That is, pressure to conform in all things is the problem, not the group.

Are groups prone to that? They have been in the past, but it has been an age of dogmas, three thousand years of dogmas battling for supreme position. Hopefully we are nearing the end of that...

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