Crocker's Rules: How far to take it?

by lsparrish1 min read20th Jan 201228 comments

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Recently I've been considering declaring Crocker's Rules. The wiki page and source document don't suggest any particular time limit or training period, and also don't provide any empirical results of testing it, positive or negative. It sounds good in theory, but how does it affect people in the real world?

  • If you operate under the Rules for an extended period, does your social status diminish due to behaving like a pushover when insulted?
  • Does it usually become unbearable after a particular period of time? Or is there a temporary discomfort that you get over quickly?
  • Is there a list of signatories who have declared Crocker's Rules on an indefinite or time-limited basis?
  • Where can I find examples of dialogue that has benefited (or suffered) from this?

It seems like an "obviously cool" idea but the risk to one's reputation is worth taking into consideration. If it is clear that the risk is low, and if the value to be gained is clearly very high, we should probably be doing more to encourage it as an explicit norm.

On the other hand, if it is just one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than it is in practice (because the theory does not correctly model reality), or is just yet another signaling game with a net negative value, that is worth knowing as well.

I haven't seen anyone argue against Crocker's Rules or claim it ruined their life, so my estimation is that the risk is low (although there is a small sample size to start with). Also, I have seen at least one statement from lukeprog implying that it has been instrumental in triggering updates during live conversations he has observed, indicating that the value is high (though its causal role is not firmly established in that example).

Does anyone have further data points to add?

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