Wonking in the Agoras

Framers Wonk and Polish.

Hunting & Gathering
i find it difficult to imagine being able to Wonk alone although many might be
drawn to it. since Credibility is established by the Weight of Arguments, one
would expect some slick purveyor to be able to spin something nebulous into
getting lots of approval.

but the way the voting process works, things should be weighted in favor of
Partisans working in cooperation, thus Wonking should favor those able to
deliver votes and those able to respond to disagreement with their
Arguments. this drama should play itself out in the Agoras.

the concepts that stick in my head are the PeanutGallery and the YakPool.
these are roughly equivalent - hell they are equivalent i just can't tell which
name i like better. the point is that they would be the equivalent of what all
webchat is today - unmoderated, free-for-all flame-baiting masses of blather
trying unsuccessfully to gain concensus.

however, it is often in the fray where provocation works best. an original idea
will stand out every once in a while and people will say 'hey - what he said'.
so it is this grass roots thrash (MoshPit - that's the other name i had for it)
where consensus starts. WarpandWoof. OK how about if we have several
free-for-all Agoras (WarpAndWoof, MoshPit, YakPool, PeanutGallery). There
any thread may generate Gravity (yeah) and Citizens, especially those
unattached to any Partisan group, can generate Facts & Premises, construct
Arguments and have them attached to Issues.

But in order to attach an Argument to an Issue there must be some level of
consensus. so let's set an arbitrary threshold of 5 for Attachment. i think
that the threshold for Attachment should be relatively low, or it should vary
depending on how many Arguments are already Attached to an Issue -either
Pro or Con. (let's not forget TalkingPoints/amicus briefs).

OK so Arguments generated from the GrassRoots (the collective free-for-all
Agoras) are Floated by individual Citizens. I'm in the YakPool talking current
events and the subject of discussion is Clinton's sexuality, I post something
and an option on my Reply Message Form is a checkbox to Float this as an
Argument/Premise/Fact. I can Float any previous comment I own.

In come the Citizens who are a-Wonking. Thread by thread they can take a
quick survey of Floated comments. A comment floats for a week. It can Fly
or it can Sink. These are then constructed and Attached to Issues. That's
(part of) Wonking.


The other part of Wonking (beside the Hunting and Gathering described in
post 7) is Polishing. it seems to me that an Argument must have its own
integrity before it can be Attached, because once Attached to an Issue it is
subject to WeighIn. There may certainly be some gems which just work
straight outta beta, but most would probably need some spell-checking etc.

So the well supported Argument should stand to be Polished a bit all at the
behest of the Citizen who originally Floated it. certain Premises and Facts
should be associated with the Argument, or they can be considered
'axiomatic' - a kind of take it or leave it Argument. Onced Polished, an
Argument still belongs to the originator, but there may be some quid pro quo
negotiated in the Polishing.

So the Polished Argument is given an official number and Version and
submitted for Attachment to an Issue. It is likely that all those who show an
interest in the Issue will have a say in Argument Attachment. the trick is that
with non-controversial Issues how the unpopular Pro or Con might get
attached (oh wait, there's a lower threshold if there are few significant

The Attached (Polished) Argument is then ready for WeighIn and announced
somehow. Citizens may then WeighIn on the Argument and its relative
Significance to the Issue is calculated relative to the
Weight(Agreement,Reputation,Intensity) it receives from Citizens as
compared to other Attached Arguments.