Things I’ve learned from Slashdot

slashdot2When you finally have positive karma and a “Spent all my mod points” achievement badge on Slashdot you know you might have picked up a few things here and there…

1. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Wikipedia has the scientific sounding definition of the phenomenon but here’s the simple summary. The more you know, the less you think you know and vice versa. Now, does this explain the last design review meeting you attended? Knowing about this effect helps me think better before offering my opinion. I speak up more when I’m more hesitant and I’m learning to shut up and listen when solutions seem obvious.

2. Poe’s Law

Essentially, you need those emojis and [/sarcasm] tags to be able tell the trolls from the truly sarcastic. For instance, since I’m usually clueless about Bollywood gossip, I figured Kamaal R Khan was trolling when he said this:

A female professor of Germany refused to accept Indian student coz of rape cases in India. I want to say – Madam so many rapes don’t happen in Germany coz girls don’t refuse to have sex.

He’d actually meant it. Who would have thought? So the next time you’re so angry that you’re sarcastic, don’t forget that little emoji (now less racist though still speciesist)

3. Blackstone’s Ratio (and the history of n)?

Law enforcement should be happier with false negatives than false positives.

4. The difference between “free as in speech” and “free as in beer”

Oh, just google it. Or in Slashdot parlance, lmgtfy.

5. The difference between a libertarian and an anarchist

It appears to me that Anarchist is to Libertarian what Arnab Goswami is to… I cannot find a way to end that sentence. You could try reading this little piece, though. It proposes the nudist is to naked people analogy.

6. The terms astroturfing and fanboy

Ever since The Hero chose a MacBook for his work laptop, the fanboy’s regretted introducing me to Slashdot. Being aware of astroturfing is good too because you learn to be more skeptical of 5 star (and 1 star) product reviews online. Not a bad deal, overall.

7. The importance of Science Fiction

Let’s just say nothing drives home the importance of Net Neutrality, tor and everything in between more than a few dystopian futures.

8. A data driven rebuttal beats ad hominem any day

I frequently find myself thinking “citation needed” in real life. But let’s face it, sometimes, rationality is just not as satisfactory.

9. It doesn’t have to be “your field” for you to learn something about it

No knowledge is ever useless. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself…

10. Differentiating between “Interesting” “Insightful” and “Informative”

Oh, all right, I’m just showing off how many mod points I’ve spent.
And now, with that confession, I shall slowly slink away and come up with an insanely fluffy post tomorrow.

Bonus: Some people are really, truly, actually clueless about women. My mind refuses to revisit some of the misogynistic sh*t I’ve read there over the years but meh! We do need to pick our battles.


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8 thoughts on “Things I’ve learned from Slashdot”

    1. For purposes of meditation: I’m the Goddess who resides in not in the Kadamba Vana but in a slightly cramped cubicle or very cramped apartment. Not one of radiant skin but one with the slightly tinged pallor acquired from overexposure to fluorescent lights. Not sari clad with dark, lustrous hair parted down the middle but a wavy, short cut with a side part. My beauty, however, can only ever be appreciated by my lord and master for he is obliged to do so…

      I accept paypal donations and amazon wishlist fulfillment. 😉

    1. Thanks Kavs! I survived the week all right! This was a post I had written last week and I moved it to draft to make room for the one on marital rape. Lack of blogging time aside, I think the first week was pretty good. And it’s helps that I have an awesome boss 🙂

  1. Slashdot follower? I had to click on pretty much every link on this blog and now I am suffering from Dunning-Kruger Effect. No Poe’s Law working here.

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