MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: ethics discussion

GRAEME SMITH                         email:
2536 138A ave Edmonton             

On Mon, 26 Feb 1996, Karl Boyken wrote:

> First of all, I'd like to thank yduJ for opening this up to moo-cows.  I had
> been thinking about posting to moo-cows, but she's done my work for me.
> Second, I'm not a member of this list, so if you respond to my post, please also
> copy me.  Thanks.
> A bit about where I'm coming from:  I'm a system administrator.  I have to
> abide by the policies and guidelines laid down by my employer, and I also am
> compelled to conform to the ethical standards set forth by my professional
> peers.  I am proud to be a computer professional, and I do not want to see my
> status as a computer professional devalued by the unethical conduct of other
> computer professionals.
> The state of "serious" moos has caused me much concern in this regard.  

AH..... Define a "serious" MOO....

While the PEOPLE who are working on MOO's might be serious professionals
the MOO is a much more complex thing. Currently, Few MOO's last long enough
to become mature enough to support such a high level of ethics. Don't get
me wrong, but the whole current MOO thing, is while not always actively
antiprofessional, (ref HPA's contributions to the server).

Based on an openness that is difficult to reconcile with the type of thinking
that goes into the document you allowed Judy to present for you.

> People
> involved with these moos conduct themselves in ways which suggest that they wish
> to be considered some type of computer-related professional.  For example, Pavel
> Curtis presented a paper about MOOs to a conference of UNIX professionals a
> couple of years ago.  I've seen some of you present your MOO experience in your
> on-line resumes.
Like I said Professionals can work on MOO's but the MOO thing, is different.
What your document, aimed at Wizzes would do, is change the environment 
inside the MOO, in ways that the MOO players might not agree with. Because
MOO's are either benevolent dictatorships, or democracies, only because that
is what the MOO players wizzards have demanded, someone like Judy, cannot 
change the nature of what constitutes a Wizzard in the present GAME 
aspect of MOO.

If you had aimed your Professionalism towards the ARCHWIZARDS or OWNERS of
the MOO, that would be something else. Certainly, there might be room for
a few PRIVATE MOO administrators to take on such a "OATH OF OFFICE", but
in general MOOing as it exhists today, is a break from professional 
stuffyness inside a private environment.

As long as you are talking Archwizards in their roles as MOO Administrators
which is NOT their role as wizards in all cases, they might be willing to
take such a professional stance. The Minute you include the Wizzards, you
are changing the nature of the Environment, and that is what everyone is
up in arms about. The Environment is an Artwork, and there is the question
as to how much professionalism should enter into the expression of the 
Artwork, and how much the Artists should be protected from the stuffyness
of Professionals.

There are good parrallels in the present laws on what constitutes ART and
what constitutes pornography in the Graphic Arts. Should Artists making 
statements about pornography, be exempted from the same rules as the crass
artist that creates it, just for effect?

Before you get too stuffy, remember a lot of art is based on the NUDE
because until you can get the Muscles right, the People look wrong.

> Professionalism carries with it certain responsibilities.  The SAGE code of
> conduct is a statement of system administrator responsibilities, and I think
> many of its guidelines might apply equally well to those of you who wish to be
> considered more than amateurs.

I think you are correct, just that you have shot yourself in the foot, by
trying to project a statement oriented towards System Admins (Who do not all
have that oath) onto a group of Artists.
> The fact that many--if not all--of you seem to be opposed to any idea that you
> have any responsibility about the conduct of wizards in general indicates to me
> that _no_ wizard should be able to wrap emself in the mantle of professionalism.
> This attitude common to your community is not simply negligent, it is explicitly
> anti-professional.
Hmmm.... Does this mean, that because there are places like, that
System Admins should be unable to consider themselves as professionals?

Get it straight, some Admins might be willing to accept the level of 
responsibility, for some limited MOO's, but the nature of the MOO as an 
Artform precludes someone like Judy, who is stuck with the MOO she has,
from changing its nature, because of some misconception on your part.

Actually Judy is being VERY Proffessional, by not attempting to jump into
something for her own gain, that would destroy the project she is working on,
and responsible to hundreds of users for.

> I realize I am preaching to an unreceptive audience.  Be that as it may, I do
> feel compelled to make the attempt.  I also feel compelled to do what I can to
> alert my fellow system administrators to the fact that even "serious" moos, and
> their wizards, pose a threat to their profession.
HMM..... that is YOUR interpretation.

Of course then, by contacting Judy, who is the Archwizard of a Major MOO
Artwork, and CANNOT do as you ask, and therefore suggesting that ALL MOO's
are suspect, you have essentially shown your ignorance of the MOO Community
and what the difference is between a MOO Professional, and a MOO Wizard.

I believe that Judy has as much as said that she personally is a MOO 
Professional, but that she can't see a way of imposing her values on the
Wizards even on her own MOO let alone the hundreds of other ones in the
MOO Community.

If you had suggested we form a MOO Professionals Association, instead of
attempting to push Wizards into being professionals when many of them are
not ready for that role, being more Artists and Amateurs than Serious
MOO Professionals, you would have recieved a slightly less cold shoulder.

But Since you want to push even junior wizzards into this mold, I think that
Judy is quite correct in pointing out, that most, apprentices do not take on
their professional Oaths so early. (That does not stop them from putting 
their experience in their resumes).

By Painting the MOO, with the Wizards Brush. You show only your own
ignorance of the nature of the program.

> That's about it.  I'd appreciate any comments--please remember to copy me on
> any posts to this list.
> Thanks for your attention.
> -- 
> Karl Boyken, sys. prog., Dept. of CS, 303A MLH, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
> email:              WWW:
> voice: 319-335-2730                                           fax: 319-335-3017


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