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Not reputation again! (Was: The Nature of the Cypherpunks List)

I know, I said I was through arguing "reputation theory" and I really
thought I was, but this latest impelled me to say more.
[email protected] (Timothy C. May) writes:
> --Tim May, whose reputation is, like the list, whatever it is, for whatever
> reasons, and who thus needs no defenders
Indeed, your reputation needs no defenders among those of us who know
you directly (if electronically)
But here's something for you to think over: If there are such things as
negative reputations, why hasn't your reputation zoomed to godlike
status upon the ... let us say unreserved... condemnations of the
Poster With Nothing Better To Do, if s/he has a negative reputation (I
presume you would say so)
You could contend that his/her reputation is positive, but if that's
positive, what isn't? This would appear to concede my point.
You could contend that the Poster With Nothing Better To Do's reputation
is balanced precariously at exactly 0. I would find that a big stretch,
and as above, if that's 0, what's negative?
Or you could contend that there's no such thing as collective
reputation, but I think there are two major flaws: His/her 1-to-1
"reputations" clearly add up to a collective consensus among us annoyed
cpunk readers. Even if you contend that reputations in general do not
behave collectively, it is no defense in this case at least. And I think
if "reputation theory" predicts no collective behavior, it must be
pretty weak.
> But there comes a point where I need to speak up. (By the way, somebody
> even sent me a bizarre message, saying: "I am not quite sure why you have
> not shot back at Dr Virmin and his cause. Maybe that is the best way? Or
> are you guilty as charged?" So, to some, my silence means I might be
> guilty. Jeesh.)
Because s/he can *never spend reputation down to zero*.
BTW, your example is reflected in politics too. A charge that goes
unanswered is assumed true by many. Just ask Michael Dukakis.
Frankly, I think you should just admit that your reputation theory is
flawed and rethink it. I would be interested in hearing it, but what you
have now is IMHO badly flawed.
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