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Tribal Meta-Guidelines

March 28th, 2010 · Posted by Hugo · No Comments

This is a rerun of Community Meta-Guidelines with one word replaced — which do you prefer? Which word should I run with, or should I simply use both at once?


In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category). For example, metadata are data about data (who has produced them, when, what format the data are in and so on). Similarly, metamemory in psychology means an individual’s knowledge about whether or not they would remember something if they concentrated on recalling it.

Thus here follows some “guidelines” about the tribal guidelines. Yes, there aren’t guidelines yet, other than those floating around in my head, but I’ll start sharing them this week.

Firstly, they are guidelines, not rules: I’m finding it very difficult to stick to them myself, but it’s the commitment to the principles that’s important to me.

Writing them out and explaining them will help me to stick to them, because they will be more clear in my mind when I’m done, but also because others can then hold me to my commitments. Anyone can point out to me where I fail, even if you’re not committed to the guidelines yourself. This will not be hypocritical precisely because it comes from my own commitments, not from you expecting of me what you’re not practicing yourself.

Furthermore, this “tribe” I’m now referring to is completely voluntary, by which I mean you’re still welcome to participate on this site even if you choose to shun the guidelines. In some ways, I’m defining a new tribe that is orthogonal to any tribe we already have.

In short, if the guidelines make sense to you, you can strive to keep them. Those that strive to keep them will be considered to be a part of the tribe of people that strive to keep the guidelines. Heh. 😉

*Orthogonal: independent of, distinct. Just because you’re not in the guidelines-tribe, doesn’t mean you’re any less a part of this site’s tribe.

Categories: Humanity & Community

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