Joined: 09 May 2006
Location: Everywhere, all at once
In the situation of a private meeting, Mr. Laxman was surprisingly cordial and talkative. It was a stark contrast to the difficulties of crowded and often chaotic public meetings. Perhaps for this reason, he seeemed more relaxed, friendly and familiar. I think it helped get something done. I felt he was being perfectly straight with me and had respect for what I was trying to do, as I did for him. It was a pleasant and satisfying experience.
My KI mail and chatlog follow. Before you believe a KI mail is all it takes to get a meeting with a member of the DRC, know that there are nearly two months of effort behind the meeting today, getting public opinion, cooperation, and making efforts to get hoods and individuals noticed for their cooperative spirit. I would like to make special mention of Marck, Mucol and others in the German community for their original idea of the Pellet Challenge and my Revelations' hoodmates for following through and continuing their efforts at maintaining interest in the lake project through fun events like the Pellet Challenge while the Germans cheer us on.
To summarize: Mr. Laxman has agreed to try an experiment with the release of more information than just a monthly recap. It's not everything I asked for, but it's something. And if we do well, it will continue and I'd like to think a trust would build up enough to get more. Mr. Laxman says he is not interested in artificially high participation and is pleased with current pellet contributions. I was a bit surprised, considering the downward trend of last month's graph, but I'd like to think some of the cooperative activities lately have helped to improve things. And I know from my research that many other hoods have some very conscientious pellet efforts going. In other news, it looks like the lake light meter is history and Mr. Laxman discusses the nature of the points he is tracking.
On to the KI mail and the chatlog:
JWPlatt & Pellet Points In A KI mail wrote:
Dear Mr. Laxman and DRC members,
We have been out talking with explorers specifically about their pellet progress and Lighting the Cavern. We found the majority either don't care or feel they will not make a difference. Some do feel a loyalty to their hood and earn points for that, but it is not inspiring them to compete and produce pellets for the purpose of Lighting the Cavern, the way you would imagine or intend.
The community needs incentive, feedback and inspiration. Your graph won't do that alone. We are certain from our research that what you are doing will never be enough. We understand you might not have the resources to support what you are asking of the community. But the lack of support dooms the project to failure.
We need the daily numbers for both pellet and lake point community totals every day of the year. For that reason, we offer our services to accept those numbers from you and disseminate them for community analysis. We are sure we can find fantastic ways of looking at the data. We offer this with the greatest of confidence that we can once again inspire the community into action when we have the ability to measure individual, hood and community progress.
Finally, we would stress to you that we do not need to know how long this will take or what the goal would be. Biological systems are often unpredictable and there should be no expectation of being able to predict when our efforts will be rewarded with a brighter Cavern, if ever. We only seek to inspire the community to make the effort, and only you can provide us with the information we need to do that.
Mr. Laxman Chatlog (11/4/07) wrote:
(11/04 18:38:26) Victor Laxman: Good afternoon.
(11/04 18:38:41) JWPlatt: I apologize for the delay. Good afternoon to you.
(11/04 18:38:56) JWPlatt: Thank you for seeing me.
(11/04 18:38:57) Victor Laxman: Quite all right.
(11/04 18:39:07) Victor Laxman: You're welcome.
(11/04 18:39:14) JWPlatt: How are you doing in the midst of all this?
(11/04 18:39:52) Victor Laxman chuckles.
(11/04 18:40:05) Victor Laxman: About as well as one could expect.
(11/04 18:40:25) JWPlatt: I would expect you to be keeping a cool head, actually.
(11/04 18:40:38) Victor Laxman laughs.
(11/04 18:40:51) JWPlatt: I hope your efforts will be rewarded down the road...
(11/04 18:41:00) Victor Laxman: I hope to live up to your expectations of me, then.
(11/04 18:41:12) Victor Laxman: As do I.
(11/04 18:41:14) JWPlatt: Do you know why I have been interested in discussing some matters with you?
(11/04 18:41:44) Victor Laxman: I have read your KI mail about the pellets, if that's what you're referring to.
(11/04 18:42:26) JWPlatt: Yes indeed. After our discussion during your last visit to one of the hoods, I began to think about how we could help you and get what we need at the same time.
(11/04 18:42:44) JWPlatt: How are you feeling about the lake project?
(11/04 18:43:40) Victor Laxman: I'm actually very pleased with the current levels of contributions. It would be marginally better if they were less sporadic, but the algae are doing fine the way things are.
(11/04 18:44:38) JWPlatt: That's good to hear. The graph produced last month concerned me about the declining efforts.
(11/04 18:45:01) Victor Laxman: The speed is not nearly as important as the spikes
(11/04 18:45:43) JWPlatt: Yes, consistency. It's one of the ideas I have heard about and wish to convey to you.
(11/04 18:46:28) Victor Laxman: I'm listening.
(11/04 18:46:55) JWPlatt: Are you aware of the Pellet Points hood? Mr. Pellet Points and I have organized something with which we want to demonstrate the community enthusiasm for the project while at the same time showing you what we could really use to inspire us.
(11/04 18:47:58) JWPlatt: The graph itself was good to show that we needed to do something, yet the feedback the community needs could still be increased to help interest in the project.
(11/04 18:48:01) Victor Laxman: I should be clear again that even the current contributions are fine as they are. If the spikes were jumping exponentially, we might have a problem, but even the largest spikes now are within reasonable limits.
(11/04 18:49:35) Victor Laxman: Frankly, I'm not interested in trying to get larger numbers to participate artificially. If they aren't interested in contributing for the sake of contributing, then it's only more likely to encourage even larger spikes as they gain and lose interest
(11/04 18:50:46) Victor Laxman: Does that make sense?
(11/04 18:51:16) JWPlatt: The Pellet Points hood has collected over 3 million points in the last month from people who aren't even members of the hood to show you that there is still interest in maintaining that effort. They set aside their hood interests to do this. One of the requests we are making is to get the actual numbers for pellet and lake points. In that way we could throttle our efforts to what you have determined in the best level of consistency...
(11/04 18:52:05) JWPlatt: Yes, it does make sense. Besides the request made by the Pellet Points hood, there is another idea which has great merit to your concerns...
(11/04 18:53:18) JWPlatt: And that is to reinstall the lake light meter in a working condition, but with a percentage indicator for the daily requirements of the algae.
(11/04 18:53:51) Victor Laxman: A real-time meter is not possible at this time.
(11/04 18:54:22) JWPlatt: We understand that the final contributions to the lake perhaps are not yet known and that it could take months or years to complete...
(11/04 18:54:33) Victor Laxman: Indeed.
(11/04 18:54:51) JWPlatt: Yes, I have heard that a real time indicator is not feasible...
(11/04 18:55:18) Victor Laxman: I would be willing to try an experiment, though.
(11/04 18:55:27) JWPlatt: Is there any good interval which is possible for you to implement?
(11/04 18:55:42) JWPlatt: I would be very willing to hear what you suggest.
(11/04 18:55:55) Victor Laxman: Currently, I check the pellet contributions daily.
(11/04 18:56:54) Victor Laxman: Any more frequently than that would not be realistic over the long term.
(11/04 18:57:03) Victor Laxman: Since I have to check them by hand.
(11/04 18:57:10) JWPlatt: Understood.
(11/04 18:57:41) JWPlatt: What is your experiment?
(11/04 18:58:15) Victor Laxman: What if for one week, I give you the level for the previous day every day, and see if it makes the fluctuations worse (over-compensation) or better.
(11/04 18:59:14) Victor Laxman: If it makes it better, we can consider continuing, if it makes it worse, we'll go back to the current system with a monthly recap graph.
(11/04 19:00:17) JWPlatt: One of the reasons I requested this meeting is to offer you, as I wrote, my services to distribute that kind of information. So that sounds good. I was asking for both lake and pellet points to keep us fully informed about how we are doing...
(11/04 19:00:59) JWPlatt: I think we can do a great job, with the information we need, in making the project a success for you.
(11/04 19:02:25) JWPlatt: I would hope for a somewhat longer test. I think the community would need more time to respond. A week might not be long enough for a proper sample. A month might be better because it better approximates the life cycle here.
(11/04 19:03:55) Victor Laxman: I think a week will be enough to know if releasing the numbers causes exponential spikes, which is my main concern.
(11/04 19:04:41) Victor Laxman: Like I said, if it doesn't cause an exponential spike, then we can consider extending it longer.
(11/04 19:05:31) JWPlatt: Ok. I hope there would be some range of tolerance to continue on even if it doesn't go perfectly after such a short time. Can you give us both lake and pellet points?
(11/04 19:07:59) JWPlatt: And by exponential spike, I gather you mean we have to be careful about not getting too hyped up about it, too. Understood.
(11/04 19:08:38) Victor Laxman: I can only give the same number as is currently on the graph. It's an arbitrary number (as opposed to "calories" or something similar).
(11/04 19:09:04) JWPlatt: Currently it is pellet points, right?
(11/04 19:09:35) JWPlatt: Or are you speaking in terms of the same percentage on the graph?
(11/04 19:10:26) Victor Laxman: Technically, it's not "pellet points", but is related to them.
(11/04 19:10:42) JWPlatt: Is it a measure of the effect on the lake?
(11/04 19:10:57) Victor Laxman: Pellet points, for example are never negative.
(11/04 19:11:29) JWPlatt: Yes, I do understamd that. Some people are curious about how much the lake is affected by the bad pellets.
(11/04 19:11:40) Victor Laxman: Where the number I'm keeping track of reflects both the positive and negative contributions.
(11/04 19:12:01) JWPlatt: That's what we call the lake points then.
(11/04 19:12:41) Victor Laxman: OK. Then yes, they're probably what you're calling "Lake points", then.
(11/04 19:14:13) JWPlatt: Part of what the community is concerned about, I believe, is feedback of the actual pellet points we get on our KI. That's what we see. It would mean a lot to the inspiration of those trying to help the lake project by also being able to judge our contributions based on community totals. The grand total of points. Can you also provide that...
(11/04 19:14:45) JWPlatt: It would be two numbers that we could then disseminate and use to keep the community interested enough to maintain the levels you need.
(11/04 19:15:08) Victor Laxman: I'll look into that, but off the top of my head, no that number is not easily accessible.
(11/04 19:16:05) JWPlatt: I see. I was not aware of that. It's unfortunate, but if you could look into it and let me know, that would be greatly appreciated. I think most people assumed that's what was on the graph.
(11/04 19:16:37) Victor Laxman: That number is not as useful to me, as it does not take the negative pellets into account.
(11/04 19:17:03) JWPlatt: Understood. And I think almost everybody in the community understands that too...
(11/04 19:17:34) Victor Laxman: So the KIs keep track of them and the various places people can contribute them keep track of them, but I don't have anything that's totalling them up in one place.
(11/04 19:17:41) JWPlatt: But there are many things those points can do to inspire our efforts, and there are already some good examples of that going on now.
(11/04 19:19:29) JWPlatt: Regarding the "lake points," can you give us the actual net number instead of the percentage? It could be helpful, and we can still produce the the kind of graph for everyone that you were kind enough to provide last month.
(11/04 19:21:56) Victor Laxman: Is it possible to, yes. Am I willing to, I'll have to think about it.
(11/04 19:22:33) JWPlatt: Thank you! Again, I appreciate your lattitude with this.
(11/04 19:22:56) Victor Laxman: The problem is that giving the actual numbers implies some things that the percentages do not, and since they're arbitrary numbers, those implications can complicate things.
(11/04 19:23:33) Victor Laxman: Does that make sense?
(11/04 19:25:13) JWPlatt: Yes it does. Ok. If you have an optimum level, we can produce the graph based upon the number in the same way you did. The actual number which you might provide can be instead listed on imagers, or in some other more limited way for specific requests if it concerns you. ... Regarding the lake meter. Any chance of getting that functional in some capacity?
(11/04 19:25:54) Victor Laxman: Or, more accurately, people will infer things from the numbers that they won't from the percentages.
(11/04 19:27:07) Victor Laxman: I don't have an "optimal level", I'm just using the averages, and the flatter the averages stay, the better.
(11/04 19:27:27) JWPlatt: Yes, I think we understood your reason for listing the percentages. But there are more human considerations in feeling that we are getting honest information, and that can really help morale, if you understand.
(11/04 19:28:18) Victor Laxman: Well, frankly, if they don't trust that I'm providing accurate numbers, then giving them the numbers will not help anyway.
(11/04 19:28:50) JWPlatt: It will make a good test, no? I think we have an understanding about the numbers and graph?
(11/04 19:29:15) Victor Laxman: It will make a good test. I'm looking forward to it.
(11/04 19:29:33) Victor Laxman: I'm afraid I need to be going. Thank you for your time and efforts with the pellets.
(11/04 19:29:40) JWPlatt: Regarding the light meter? Any chance of getting something in a functional capacity?
(11/04 19:29:56) Victor Laxman: Ah, I'm afraid not.
(11/04 19:30:14) JWPlatt: I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out for you. If I could have just a couple more minutes, there are two thing I wanted to mention?
(11/04 19:30:31) Victor Laxman: All right.
(11/04 19:31:12) JWPlatt: In my travels around doing some interviews of community concerns about all this, some people would like the process to be less of a grind somehow. I don't know how to solve it, but I just wanted to pass that on to you...
(11/04 19:31:41) Victor Laxman laughs.
(11/04 19:32:14) JWPlatt: Also, if you would like to visit the Pellet Points hood sometime, you'll see what a motivated community can do for you.
(11/04 19:32:38) Victor Laxman: Thank you. I'll take a look sometime.
(11/04 19:33:05) JWPlatt: I'll show you around and explain a few more things when you have the time. I wish you well and hope you remain with us during these times.
(11/04 19:33:31) Victor Laxman: Thank you again. Cheers.
(11/04 19:33:43) JWPlatt: It means a lot to me, and the community I'm sure, that you've taken the time to listen. Thank you.