musings about everything upon becoming level 2

For the last week or so I have been addicted to E2. I mean, sort of obsessed in a concentrated way. This sort of thing doesn't happen too often to me anymore. It used to, but one thing you learn is how to moderate obsession, i think, as you get older.

It's really a fascinating place. Definitely one of the most interesting online communities I've ever participated in. It has really got me thinking about a lot of things. Here's a few:

  • I feel old here. I'm 32. that's not that old. But it seems most of the people here are still in college. In their early 20s, on average. That is pretty strange.
  • Related to the the age thing is the fact that a lot of these people are higher level. So I'm being hazeed, basically, and "taught" and sometimes even condescended to, by these people who sometimes are 10 years or more younger than me. It's really an interesting blow to the ego. This is really nothing new, of course. All over the Net and for years, and even in other places besides the Net, but especially so on the Net because it's so much easier to do, people have constructed their own environments, places where they are comfortable, in fact where they are kings. Heck, I've done that myself, with And people probably get really frustrated with me on the detritus mailing list when I say, "go look at the archives, we talked about that 2 years ago." That's how it goes, I guess.
  • I've realized that I don't mind that I'm a newbie here. It sort of feels good to exercise the restraint needed to play by the rules of this place, and slowly, hopefully, start to earn the respect of some "oldtimers". I guess I respect the general point of the place enough to jump through the hoops.
  • Also I realize that the time I could have spent in the last 3 years becoming an E2 level 9 god, or whatever, was time well spent doing other things. Things I value. I'm happy and proud of who I am and the things I've accomplished. I have a CD out that's in stores all over the world. I've performed my music in Europe. I've lived comfortably in one of the most beautiful cities in the world working an average of about 20 hours a month, thanx to my programming skills. I've helped to found an annual music festival. I've won an award for my etc etc, preen, brag. :-) But the point is, I wouldn't give anything up to be an Avatar or Pedant or whatever. Which is not to put those things down. It's just that everyone has their own priorities. I'm just happy to have found this place and be able to contribute to it now, in a small way.
Speaking of contibuting, today I updated my intertextuality node. This is a sore spot because I screwed up the first time I wrote it, and got majorly downvoted -- because i wrote a really short writeup that basically said that i would finish it later -- and it's finally inching its way back up but I feel like if I had just put what's there now up the first time, it might have been C!ed, or at least voted pretty high...

Also, I attained level 2 today, and got the right to vote. A strange realization from that is the way that this changes your standards. Once you are able to vote you suddenly become all judgemental. Which makes sense, I suppose. When you're given the power to judge, you will. You'll ask far more of people when you see yourself as their evaluator, rather than just a... a powerless serf, I guess. There's something that disturbs me about this, but I'm not sure to what extent or why. The whole E2 power structure is disturbing, and yet, I'm sure it is the result of much arguing and handwringing and trial and error. It's an attempt to order the chaos of a brand-new society. Like all societies, resources must be allocated. There are strange resources here, though - attention, mainly, and then time and effort, and then of course, the actual system resources that make all this technically happen. So, it's a solution. I'm just not sure there couldn't be a better one. And I don't have the experience (literally, and as in XP) to come up with a better one yet.

Anyway, to sum up, it's been a pretty interesting week....