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Since I have a reputation for talking about reputations....

You are already engaged in a positive reputation system.  Which email
lists are you on?  Which newsGroups do you bother with?  what TV shows
do you watch?  New instances of all of these pop up and succeed all
the time.

Negative reputation systems work very poorly.  Right now I receive
cypherpunks.  I used to receive Extropians (and will do so again
soon).  The volume can get horrific at times.  Consider all the stuff
that I'm not receiving (that I filtered out).  I don't see
sci.nanotech, sci.crypt, alt.pgp (?), libernet, alt.politics,
alt.sex.bondage, etc. because I haven't the bandwidth.

Ah, but if I could pick and choose among the entire available feed
rather than ignoring most of it just so I have a hope of filtering
down to a manageable mail load....

That's what positive filters are for.  There are lots of gems buried
in the crap of net-news (and remember that my gems may be your crap),
and I want a system that will find them for me.

I think the approach of reputation filtered mailing lists is a bad
one.  That reputation filtering process is simply a poor mechanism to
avail us all of the moderator's taste in email.  If we had a better
mechanism, then such a list is just alt.extropy or sci.crypt where
things are prioritized (using the positive prioritixing information of
such people who would otherwise be moderators) such that I see the
good stuff and ignore the bozoz (whomever they are).  Or in the more
likely case, I just see the creme de la creme of the good stuff
because that's all I have time for.

In such a system, one can think of a magazine as simply purchasing the
editor's priority information.

Paul Baclace built a genetic algorithm thing that would present
netnews from all groups in prioritized order.  As you gave it feedback
on how glad you were to receive each message, it didi pattern matching
on features of the messages to make better sorters.  This ends up
correlating author (anonymous or otherwise), subjet, topic, reply
chain, time of day, whatever seems relevant into the prioritization of
mail.  If those weight could be spread, combined with manually entered
filters ("I'm tired of politics..."), etc. you might actually be able
to spend less time on email/news getting more value from it.