Thursday, April 21, 2005

My first visit to this forum

Please post anonymously

Friends,

I thought that you might be interested to know that there has been quite a bit of research done on this form of communication. My first visit to this forum, but what I see fits the findings.

The research is actually scattered across many disciplines (communications, social networks, complexity theory, cognition, organizational behavior, information management, etc.), dates back to the usenet days, and has been recently expanded to evaluate blogs and other similar form for potential information content mining.

The conclusions are that, after a period of time, blogs generally contain little in the way of facts and the emotional opinions posted are not representational of a population set form which the posters originate because of the progression in the self-selection process that occurs over time.

This is NOT an attack, but it may feel uncomfortable because it IS a mirror grounded in science.

Run a little experiment yourself. Review the posts (words, patterns, and time stamps) in this blog and then answer the following questions and see what hypotheses you reach about posters and where they fit on the spectrum of humans and personalities:
Are posters more likely to live in the moment, or to live in the past? More likely to see a future with possibilities or with threats?
Are posters likely to be good at processing their feelings, or more likely filled with feelings of anger, resentment, anxiety, and blame that they cannot rid themselves of?
Are posters more likely to have many close friends and many interpersonal communication channels, or to be more isolated in their lives and the information that they have access to?
Are posters likely to be people who accept responsibility for their life, or rather people who are more victim-like, blaming others for what they feel and experience?
Are posters more likely to sleep well at night, or not, with the concurrent physical and mental health problems that sleeplessness produces?
Are posters more likely to be black versus white people, or full spectrum people? Half-full or Half-empty? Happy-fulfilled, or sad-angry?
Are posters more likely to have rational expectations for the behavior of others, or irrational ones, filled with absolutes that no one can meet and that are guaranteed to lead to harsh judgements?
Are posters more prone to statements of a grandiose nature, or to be more measured?
Are posters likely to be more grateful for the good things that life has given them, or resentful about what it has not given them?
Are posters more likely to be comfortable with who they are, or more likely to routinely attack or put down others to prop up their self-image?
Are poster more likely to first seek to understand, or to judge?
Are posters more likely to be clear thinkers, or suffer from stress-induced cognitive impairment because of all the above?
I think you get the point. It turns out these things don't start out tilted as the above might suggest, but rather progress there. Generally, they start with someone honestly wanting to share information about a common experience or perceived threat to their personal security, a community identity thing.

Things change over time because the medium turns out to be most attractive to a certain set of personality types. Anyone can get drawn in, because we all want to have information about things that affect us, and we all exhibit the full spectrum illustrated in the questions above from time to time. Its just that most of us don't get stuck there. In their latter stages, blogs are sort of reality internet.

Let me suggest that we might have reached that point.

If you want to feel better, then quit reading this blog. Take a vacation. Get a puppy. Love your wife and kids. Research a new topic. Live your life anywhere but here.

If you like suffering, then keep doing what you are doing to ensure that you will keep feeling the way that you are feeling.

Just my two cents worth. Take care of yourselves.



Comments:
...soooo I should quit reading/posting to the blog and get a puppy? I think my dog might not like that idea too much!
 
"two cents"? Are you a plant from the 4th floor? There is often new information here. There is little or no honest communication from the Lab upper management. The news from lower management is mostly stay low and survive.
 
Thank you. To the point and very well said. All the best to you my friend.
 
Hey, nearly 1/2 millon hits and counting. Everybody can't be wrong in visiting this blog, can they?

What is the point of telling people to stay away, anyhow? It's the one place where uncensored information about LANL is available. Would you rather rely on "Baghdad Bob" and "Comical Ali" of the LANL PR machine as your one true source of news about the lab??
 
Maybe you're right. I'll just give up seeking information (hoping for a positive sign), and make my preparations for the end. Hop off "the cusp" and get over to HR and arrange for retirement. Yesterday, I was talking with several of my Lab colleagues of similar age (early to late 50's, all technical with work experience of around 25 years) yesterday and all are about to make the decision to start the retirement process out of self protection. None really want to leave their projects and experiments here at the Lab. But the general feeling was that time was running out to save the situation. Another colleague, a brillant engineer, is extremely discouraged and ready to pull the plug on his career here. He says it's just not Nanos and his cronies and UC but also DOE with all their stupid rules and regulations. There are no backups to these guys; the Lab is one deep in what they do. If there are very many more thinking this way the Lab will lose "critical mass" and the light will go out. Time to clean out the files, finish up the reports and publications and look for something else to do. I don't want to among the "ten" feral Nanos dogs roaming the ruins of Los Alamos. Times up DOE and UC.
 
Dear Poster, if you are a social science major/graduate I do not believe that you were an "A" student.
 
Gee, if there is so much research done on blogs, why don't you credit your sources? Those of us who actually do research are required to provide evidence of some sort or another for our statements. You make a lot of statements but you don't mention a single article or experiment or supporting text.
Actually, I haven't done any research on blogs but I have noticed that they have become valuable news sources in a world where news is "cooked" as in the sense that corporate books are "cooked", much to Dan Rather's regret. And also much to the regret of that "reporter" who was allowed into the President's news briefs who turned out to be less reporter, more ideological plant and part time sex worker.
So whatever research you purport to have found, it doesn't explain recent events and seems to be -- surely this could never happen at LANL -- disinformation.
I will believe this is research when you quote a reputable scientific citation and not before. I will watch for your reply.
 
If anything, reading this blog has made me become more optimistic with time.
I (and it appears many others) have now become more accepting of the idea
that LM/UT may take over the LANL contract, and if this happens, it could
actually result in some improvements for LANL. When the blog first started,
it was all about hatred for Nanos. Now, many of the posts have moved beyond
this level. If you, sir, find the blog to be an emotionally draining
"sink-hole" of despair, then, by all means, avoid any further postings. I
don't see it that way. I think this blog is quite remarkable.
 
Speaking from my personal experience as a supervisor in the Lab, I believe the blog is representative of the attitudes and experiences of most of the rank and file. Many of these attitudes preceded Nanos by many years, especially growing contempt towards the dysfunctional bureaucracy and decreasing tolerance for incompetent management. Most people have tried very hard to maintain productivity within a deteriorating system. The peasants have done their best to keep the Lab productive as the bureaucratic dragon has grown and devoured more and more resources. Unfortunately, when the white knight Nanos rode into battle, rather than having the courage to slay the dragon, he chose to feed the peasants to the dragon. This ignited these explosive attitudes among the peasants you see in the blog today.
 
I think the original poster had an interesting, heartfelt comment. The responses to him here seem to validate what he was trying to get across. I for one am taking what he said to heart. Summer is here and there's a lot more to do than to sit inside at a keyboard with a pinched pasty face banging away at things that I have no control over. It's time to get some sun, some exercise, and, yes, maybe even a puppy. So long, blog, it's been good knowing you ...
 
I have come to agree with both sides of the argument.. Nanos is the wrong person to lead the lab, and many of the people here are the wrong people to be here. I am moving on myself because I am tired of the dysfunction here. When as a manager I tried to make things better, people berated me for changing things that before I became said manager they would come and tell me they hated.

Its like watching one of those cop shows where the police are called in by the abused wife when getting beaten by the husband. The police grab the guy and then she pulls a gun on the cops. Personally I think that whoever takes over this place will be better served if everyone retires before hand.
 
Wow, can the original poster help me to understand why I butter my toast from left to right. Am degenerating into something already?
 
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