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The Journal of Laura Doom

Flora - the antidote to fora?
05/07/2009 06:23 p.m.

the green zone

Last summer. Doesn't matter how hard you try to manufacture a natural environment, there's always a plastic artefact presuming to degrade the scene.

brown site renovation

Early construction phase -- a time when the pond was still visible. Heron visits were not only enchanting, but also beneficial. As this image demonstrates, waders are capable of excreting surprisingly deep piles of topsoil.

I am currently wondering who I am.

I am listening to Sail to the Moon -- Radiohead



Comments (2)


Taking tedium to its limits
05/06/2009 11:26 p.m.

OCD; it will pass eventually, I doubt.

Unrelated beta scenario:
Zee posts a poem, garners votes, appears on front page.
Why sees listing, appreciates poetry, comments generously & votes accordingly.
Post-observation, ex views comment, votes low; poem disappears.
Zee muses, "Yeah, thanks Why, yew hypocritical bitch".

Of course, this would never happen in [virtual] reality; no-one takes amateur poets/poetry that seriously, and I really should get over myself.

I am currently lifeless and unimaginative.

I am listening to This City Never Sleeps -- Eurythmics
-------------------------------------------

Anne:

The rating system has never influenced what I write, or prevented me writing what I will. I've long been aware of the inherent flaws, and the potential for it to be exploited in various ways; that people find it worthwhile or rewarding to manipulate it is a source of both amusement and bemusement for me
This is a temporary immersion in an aspect of the site that fascinates me, at least while I've nothing creative taking place in a literary context :>)

Clara

Thanks Clara -- I guess this series of restrained diatribes could be construed as a guide, or an alternative, if limited, FAQ to give neophytes an idea of stuff that may have ocurred when seemingly bizarre events transpire within the confines of their libraries and generally in the site listings.
As for conspiracy theorists addressing the conspiracy theories of others, I guess there are people who a) don't know; b) don't want to know; or c) don't need to know, that these hypothetical scenarios have been, and are still, played out sporadically across the site. I have no idea how many terminations have resulted from administrative interventions, but I imagine that the figure is relatively modest in comparison with the number of actual instances. As mentioned above, only those involving complaints to the staff are, to my lack of knowledge, investigated. My feeling is that it would be disastrous to introduce more vigorous 'surveillance' of member behaviour -- would we really wish to be deprived of such a rich source of entertainment?

Daniel

Indeed -- does anyone know? I'm certainly not familiar with any 'Zee', 'Why' or 'Ex' on this site or any other. I guess that accounts for the hypothetical nature of the scenarios :>)

jill

I clicked all three at once, because they always are...thank-you-02(362x302).jpg. It is what it is, and always will be :>)
----------------------------------------

Thank you all for your comments -- I am aware that they are merely elements of a thinly veiled plot designed to attenuate my tenuous grip on reality, but it is nice to be communing with someone other than myself for a while <*|*>



Comments (4)


How clever is that?
05/05/2009 07:32 p.m.

More unoriginal unamusings:

the framework...I can see that the category elements were [aguably] designed to offer writers practical assistance in identifying those areas (if any -- ha!) in which a poem needs 'work'; but once a 'top-rated poetry' table is introduced, these 'labels' become largely irrelevant, reduced to numerical significance.
In most areas of life, a comment such as "That's clever" would probably elicit a reaction such as "Hey! Thanks. Do you want to count my scars?" (I won't go down the classic 'Would you like to suck my tits' route because, well, for some of us in the slight-of-stature sorority, that might not constitute a reward worthy of lip-licking, although it should not be regarded as sexist in any way. Recent Dept. of Health statistics indicate that the majority of males are equally capable of bestowing this form of positive reinforcement)
In the context of Poetry Ratings, 'Clever' infers that a piece is neither memorable nor well-written.
What about 'Needs Work'? In view of the amount of retrospective editing I perform on my stuff, I'd say that most, if not all of it needs work just to render it acceptable to me. And yeh, all of it could be improved, though some of it may be beyond redemption.
In the PR context, 'Needs Work' implies that the poem does not have potential.
So, perhaps these labels are euphemisms? Lifeless? Hmm, can't imagine it getting much worse than that.
'Original'? Wow! That must be something exceptional...but no, it doesn't even make the 'Imaginative' grade.
If the labels are not meaningful or of practical help, why not just have numbers? 1-5 is easy enough to understand and accurately reflects the nature of the rating system, where numbers are food for the formulae that determine the 'best' (and by implication, the 'worst') poetry on the site -- if that's what the Top Poetry pages are intended to display (or not).
Comments seem to be a more appropriate medium for meaningful expression regarding the specifics of readers' impressions. Some members here indicate, on their home/library pages, the extent to which they will welcome constructive criticism. I think it's time for emulation...
mabye we could have numerical icons adjacent to our names on posted poetry pages?
5: Bring it on.
4: Say what you feel, but I'll set the admins on you if you're really nasty.
3: Please be gentle.
2: Comment if you wish, but be aware my poetry is beyond criticism.
1: All compliments welcome.

I am currently between moods.

I am listening to S1 O46 Grieg



Comments (0)


wearing anonimity on one's sleeve
05/01/2009 11:48 p.m.

Morg's recent post of 'smoke singles' was doing ok, and I guess someone took exception to that for whatever reason. I usually warn people that writing with me is to be regarded as a suicide pact. Was it that bad? I doubt it, but I've become accustomed to adotping the 'indifference' approach where strategic low voting is concerned; somehow it's different when doing these collaborations -- am I alone in feeling a sense of responsibility for my brothers and sisters in poetic arms when engaging in a joint writing venture? So, I feel I should be offering apologies to morg for this somewhat pathetic, if not malevolent, gesture perpetrated by person or persons unknown. Morg seems like one of the good guys, so I imagine this comes down to me and my propensity for indiscriminate alienation.
Somebody's feeling good out there, so who am I to complain? Shame the effect rippled out in morg's direction.

Update.

Obviousy Ava and I disagree about this. For me, the attribution relating to motive is context dependent.
Ok -- the math is not complicated.
When viewing a poem in a library/folder, the 'votes' column indicated the number of people who have rated a poem (suggesting a poem as POTD doesn't apply here). The ratings displayed in the library/folder represent an average of all ratings applied in each category. Although the FAQ page doesn't cover this point, I don't believe that the averaging process includes a rounding element.
A hypothetical scenario follows:
If a poem enjoys 4 votes, and has ratings of Brilliant, Outstanding Flow, Vivid, Memorable (5s), everyone who voted has given it those same ratings.
If, after a fifth vote, the poem has ratings of Imaginative, Competent, Descriptive, Clever (3s), then the fifth voter rated it as One Dimensional /Flat, Awkward, Lifeless, Needs Work (1s).
The ratings applied by the fifth voter diverged significantly from those applied by the previous voters, and suggests the poem (in the mind of this voter) was not worth the screen it was pixellated upon.
It may be that the first four high ratings for the poem would not have been justified if assessed objectively, although it must be fairly obvious to everyone that voting is rarely conducted on a detached basis, at least by the majority of those who apply ratings.
In the above scenario, my interpretation is that voting was either strategic or malicious, particularly when viewed in the light of consistently favourable ratings for the other poems in that same library/folder.
The alternative explanation is that this poet had produced an abysmal piece of writing which was entirely inconsistent with their normal standard of poetic output. This might, of course, be plausible if the hypothetical poet had decided to collaborate with an egocentric conspiracy theorist whose name escapes me [lame irony].
Another typical feature of this situation is a consistency in comments. It's not unusual for there to be an absence of comments offering reasons for low voting together with constructive criticism. I guess it's the prerogative of writers to disagree with the substance of such comments, and to respond accordingly. No worries. However, some people have reported instances where unfavourable remarks or constructive criticism resulted in abusive responses, so I guess it's not unreasonable for those people to be apprehensive about leaving anything but unqualified praise if they comment at all. The worst case scenario is that in which low voting is accompanied by high praise. I don't want to go there, and I'm not inclined to believe this applies to the theoretical circumstances described above :>)

Finally [conditional], it should be self-evident that this site is technically, if not essentially, a large database. Every action -- poem/journal entry posted, comment made, forum post submitted, message sent, vote and rating applied -- is stored in a table, together with an ID and cross-reference(s), and can be accessed at any time by any member of the administrative staff. Auto-analysis of member behaviour would be impractical, so I imagine instances of so-called 'trolling'/conflict with community culture are invariably investigated as a result of someone making a complaint to a member of pathetic.org staff. So, choose your targets carefully :>)

Ava
I too rarely rate or comment for much the same reasons, but I don't rate without commenting. I certainly wouldn't deliver low votes without leaving an appropriate comment. That's a principle easy for me to deliver -- if I can't give something a high rating and/or a positive comment, I don't give anything -- unless someone specifically asks for feedback/an objective critique.
Some of the poetry in my library undoubtedly has a rating higher than it deserves, but that's true of much poetry on this site; the reverse is also true in some cases. Anyone who allows voting implicity accepts that people are free to vote as they wish, though it would be good to believe that ratings reflect the merit, or lack of it, in the poetry. I don't have much faith in that proposition; human nature determines that people don't operate in that way, at least not all of the time. But it's something to aim for, I guess.
I haven't read your journal entry.
I don't appreciate being left ignorant about the general and/or specific flaws identified by low voters. I would like to improve the quality of my writing; if I ever thought I'd reached the point where I couldn't, then I'd give it up -- but that will never happen, so I will never automatically dismiss constructive criticism, though I won't neccesarily agree with it. However, for future reference, I would never offer abuse as a response.
If you vote according to the perceived quality of the poetry, then you should have no concerns about commenting accordingly -- theoretically.
I notice you've removed the ability of others to rate your poetry. If this was done on principle -- because comments are more meaningful to you; because the voting system is a farce; because you're not interested in having your poetry rated -- don't you consider it anomalous to be voting on the poetry of others, however high or low the rating?
The vote on Morgan's piece was very low. I assume that can be justified by the high poetic standards demanded by the voter from both the work of others and their own output. If that's the case, and the low vote was yours, then I retract everything I've written here relating to that specific scenario, and unreservedly apologise for having suggested that the low voting was anything other than objective i.e. based on the (lack of) quality in the poetry.

Well, I haven't had this much fun since suicide was decriminalized, or was it the abolition of slavery? An indication that I should stay in more, if that's possible.

I am currently profoundly pissed off, but expecting torpidity to kick in real soon. spent -- having bought into the detail experience

I am currently listening to She fuckin hates me - Puddle of Mudd Rooftops -- Lost Prophets [help]



Comments (3)


Non-event horizon
04/29/2009 10:27 p.m.

Black Hole Son

What an arsehole! No sense of propriety; maybe I should wipe this...

I have recently been withdrawn.

I am currently introverted.

I will presently be preoccupied.

I am listening to Dark Therapy -- Echobelly



Comments (0)


prove yourself
04/06/2009 10:21 p.m.



If anyone wants my comments removed from their poetry, just ask. I'm not sure if the admin staff will do this on request without advising me first; I guess they can, in theory, do as they will, but if my permission is required, I have no objection.


I don't intend to use the forum pages, so admins won't have to remove anyone's posts on my account.


Thank you j & K for reminding me that something good survived the pit of parental despond.







I am currently no one.



I am listening to
Don't give up - Peter Gabriel, Pure Morning - Placebo, Prove Yourself - Radiohead




Comments (1)


What goes on during unsupervised periods of withdrawal
12/28/2008 07:15 p.m.

Mostly crap...

Meditation is beyond me - transcendental meditation some way further off. The closest I can get to it is through physical exercise, primarily swimming. Repetitive behaviour, and, eventually (20 minutes +), complete concentration on bodily functions - limb movements, breathing & other physiological processes, sensations associated with contact with water...I lose any meaningful relationship with time, and immerse myself in rhythms and patterns, until the distinction between me and the environment is, well, indistinguishable. I lose any meaningful relationship with 'mind'.

It's been a while since I swam indoors - my skin has developed a sensitivity to chlorine - and swimming in open water makes agoraphobes like me feel excessively vulnerable. So now I lie out on the floor and imagine myself swimming. It's addictive, but unlike other addictions, makes returning to the 'real' world a more manageable experience.

Some sport psycho/physio trainers believe that 'vicarious' exercise has a positive effect upon fitness levels and performance in competition, and there is (somewhere, though I can't quote the sources) research data that supports this hypothesis.

However, as the distance between the 'real' experience and the present vicarious regime increases, so the benefits (to my mental health) diminish. This inverse correlation is similar to that relating to the 'forgetting' of familiar faces by family members seperated over extended periods.

Most research into somatic memory deals with victims of trauma (somatic dissociation), where body and mind conspire (in the victim's best interests?) to introduce 'reflex' behaviours designed as self-protective measures. No-one really knows to what degree our bodies are instrumental in the mundane processes of registration, storage and retrieval of memories, but it's evidently not 'all in the mind'.

This entry requires euthanasic treatment to prevent it wandering off into a yawning chasm of trivial pursuits...

I am currently dissolving.

I am listening to more of the same - the stuff that makes silence unattainable.



Comments (2)


Chasing afterthoughts
12/28/2008 02:50 p.m.

Those who believe in 'fate' should be a 'dying breed', according to the principle of natural selection - there again, if everything is pre-determined, how long before 'evolution' is rendered obsolete?

I am currently uncertain - but that may change.

I am listening to the stuff I can't hear when music fills the air.



Comments (0)


excuse me while I sit....possibly
01/11/2008 12:13 a.m.

In the hope that her poem would scan
laura pushed for an assonance ban
but the sound of her howls
as she shifted her vowels
sent the rhyming scheme straight down the pan.

Explicit for the mess I'm in...yeh, it's come to this

I am currently straining to purge

I have been listening to Minerva - Deftones [sheltering behind a wall of noise]



Comments (0)


manic impression
05/29/2007 03:47 p.m.

Passive Manic

Manic multitasking - attending to an invisible floating distraction whilst dealing with outstanding paperwork.

RSS

A (very) basic feed of recently posted poetry which can be subscribed to. It works in FeedReader3, and hopefuly others.



Comments (1)


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