Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

JesseE suggested that we should have rules on #joiito. He's started a list of ideas on the wiki. I'll give everyone a day or so to add to the list and call a real-time summit on the channel to discuss the rules.


I don't believe in rules in general, and arbitrary rules in particular (context always matters). You are welcome. You are welcome to be annoyed. You are more than welcome to use /ignore if you are seriously annoyed. If /ignore isn't good enough for you, you are welcome to leave. The original "license agreement" (Due to the international nature of this channel, your social rules may not apply.) is an example of elegant, universal, inclusive and functional "rule making." Joi has managed to gather an amazing collection of intelligent, generally courteous, well-behaved and culturally diverse people in this channel. Why make trouble? Why waste these people's time debating "should we allow colors?" I've been in the channel, with various states of "attention" and I've seen nothing so egregious to warrant the convening of a law-making-and-enforcement congress. This proposal is, to me, an example of "emergent bureaucracy" and I vote "nay"

Here's what I put on the wiki page....

Have to say I'm with Roj on this, at least on the need for rules in this context. The idea of needing written "thou shalt not" rules, and administrators to enforce them, is quite distressing to me. I'm reminded of David Weinberger's essay on leeway (and the quote from him in the wiki page seems appropriate here, as well). This is a small, informal group. Joi's compared it to his "living room." I have yet to visit someone's home and see "rules for behavior" posted on their wall. Let the community be emergent and self-reflexive. If you find something annoying, say so. Maybe it will stop. Maybe you'll have to ignore it or avoid it. But don't create a bureaucratic structure to deal with petty annoyances. *Please.*

Why not have a rule that if joi thinks it's ok, you can do it, and if joi isn't happy with it, you can't. After all, it is joi's channel, and joi should leave himself the discretion to decide subjectively.

That makes the most sense. The only thing a channel like this needs is a channel for members to communicate their concerns when something egregious happens, or when problems persist for a significant time period.

I must disagree though, with the philosophy of "If you don't like it, go home."

Poor or uncivil behavior should not be simply ignored. People should always attempt to raise the level of behavior, understanding, tolerance, wit, and intelligence of those around them, not by being pedantic, but by being a good example, and by being intolerant of that which prevents useful communication.

It seems I have been misunderstood. It's not that I want a ton of strict rules that will hinder the inviting environment, it's just that I can see that the channel is growing, and usually when things start to get bigger, they start to attract people who want to crash the party, so to speak. Most of the things that I listed as ideas for discussion are already being abided by, so I don't understand what the big deal is. It's not like they are terribly restrictive. Not spamming the channel is not too much to ask, is it?

True, some of the issues have not arisen yet, but isn't the point to avoid the problem *before* it happens?

I hope this clears things up. Something else to note is that I myself to do bot believe in every single topic of discussion listed. Please understand that they *were* merely suggestions as to the types of things we might talk about.

Thank you very much.