That Other Mark
Everything2 is this website, see, where people write stuff called 'writeups' that other people can then vote on. You can vote up or down, yea or nay, plus or minus. You can abstain, withold, and ignore. You can vote without reading, vote after reading, or vote during reading. If you really like the work, or really like the author, or really need to throw your extra meaningful super-vote away, you can ching the damn thing. Doing so marks that writeup with your name, forever. Eternally. Everyone will, forever more, see your name attached to that writeup. It's like you sat down with the writer and said, "Hey, nice job," and then turned around to the masses, saying, "HEY EVERYONE THIS IS AWESOME READ IT NOW READ NOW PLEASE READ NOW!"
That's the way this website works, see. Lopsided, ain't it?
We can Ching!. We cannot unChing. There is no yang to our yin. There lacks a balance. The Force has the Jedi and the Sith. American politics has Republicrats and Dempublicans. Everything2 has upvotes and downvotes. You may register your love, but not your hate. Counselor Deanna Troi of Betazed once said that emotions are not good or bad, but how we act on those emotions that makes a positive or negative outcome. She works on a starship. Where do you work, McDonald's? STARSHIP. Think it over.
Everything2 is just this website, see, where things are all out of balance. Ever sat on a see-saw alone? Not fun.
The unChing works like the Ching. You read a writeup. You're okay with that anonymous minus sign next to the writeup's title, but when the page refreshes, and you see that +10/-3, and that bizarre 1C!, and you feel like it's not gonna disappear from the nodegel. That writeup is gonna stay. And that upsets you. You want to make some noise. You look for the uC? link (presumably this should be next to the C? link) but it just doesn't exist. No, apparently you're only allowed to passively dislike something.
Not because it's poorly written, of course. The poorly-written writeups eventually get shuffled off to node heaven. No, you want to vent. You don't want to be the creepy guy who runs to the catbox, interrupting conversation, to say that Writeup X's multi-ching is something you cannot fathom, that its reputation likely has more to do with the writer's fan club and less to do with real quality. No, that noder, see, is annoying. You don't wanna be that guy. That guy complains about his table at the restaurant because it's too close to the kitchen (why don't you people just eat at home?) and there are babies nearby and his waiter smoked a cigarette a week ago and he can smell it still. That guy got picked last for all the games at recess because he could never step up to the plate and register his emotions when it was appropriate and then act on them like a grown-up.
This new mark does not exist to sow the seeds of acrimony. No, dear sir/madame, this mark would ensure that the bipolar nature of this website (Everything2, see) be fixed. The binary core of up/down revealed, finally, with glitter and fanfare and drums and peace and harmony. Not contention. Harmony. It's also a girl's name.
Nature of the Beast
The unChing would act much like a Ching. It is stamping a writeup. Presently, the C! stamps the writeup with your name, next to the writer's. We all know that. The unChing must act the same way as its opposite. A mark, a grade, a subjectively given sign that some other writer has an opinion about this piece of work.
There are two (3) ways to go about implementing this new mark.
- Keep the Ching! public. You want to mark something as a piece you thoroughly enjoyed enough to permanently put your name next to it. Sure. Fine. The unChing must also be public. Your name, attached to that writeup. You know what you're saying. Maybe a writeup has 4xC! and 3xuC!. Butterfinger McFlurry is just as contentious. And the presence of that writeup has spawned numerous other writeups, conversations, &c. It's a healthy debate. If the C! is marked by name, so must the uC!. The user still gets hir XP from the C!s, and loses none from the uC!. It's just another mark. The reputation, as we all know, is what is truly important. Those other decorations? They're just public opinions.
- Make the C! private, anonymous--unseen. If it is just a mark, passed by someone, no one can get happy, no one can get sad. Balance, remember. This prevents retribution from uC!s being arbitrarily passed by cliques of that writer who has written a piece that is now publicly unliked. This also keeps from C!-swapping (hey, man, you ching my stuff, I'll get yours back!) and the possible uC!-swapping (You don't like my work, huh? I hate yours more!).
- The final option is to recognize that C!, uC!, upvoting, and downvoting are all contentious. You want to shield yourself from all bad feelings, get rid of all of these devices. I do not support this. My skin is thick enough that I want to know when someone wants to beat me with a stick or if someone wants to rub me down with cocoa butter. If your skin ain't that thick, cobber, maybe you don't belong on this site. Maybe Wikipedia is more to your liking. Ain't no democracy there.
Whichever way it is implemented, this new mark will engender more discussion about a writeup. It's not saying to Everything2, "Hey, would you kindly delete this drek from the nodegel?" No, it's saying, "Hey, this has created serious issues in my soul. This is un-cool." Bones wrote that a C! is a way to reward a noder for "a particularly good writeup whether it be factual, humorous or artistic." This uC! is the balance on the see-saw. This makes the game more fun.
Special thanks to gitm for encouraging me to flesh out what is really his idea, bewilderbeast and grundoon for help in the scratch pad phase and for saying things like 'plz to post unching' in messages.
Now, who wishes they had an unChing! to go along with the downvotes? :) Since there isn't one, feel free to message me with concerns, questions, gripes, insults, etc. My skin is oh-so thick.