Emotion On Wiki

In PlainEnglish it says:

"Do not use ChatMode or usenet slang such as lol, rofl, etc. These may be appropriate when the text is scrolling by as in chat rooms, but seem trite when the text remains for others to read and re-read."

So how does one show emotion on wiki?

People generally express emotions with words, or the occasional emoticon such as ;-) or links such as PissTake or IronyWarning. In general, though, Wiki is not about emotions, but programming ideas, and so the emoticons are just used to let readers know the comment was meant jokingly.

Written English has a remarkable ability to express ideas and emotions without the aid of emoticons or special links. If your English needs to be carried with an emoticon or a link, consider restructuring it so that it needs no crutches. While we aren't all Keats or Shakespeares, learning to write clearly is part of the Wiki experience.

But then clear pages are insightful, useful, and thought-provoking, but not informally emotional. When people use Wiki to vent or cheer, the signal-to-noise ratio drops very fast. If you want to give someone a pat on the back or let them know you're ticked, try WikiMail or even regular email.

Of course, feelings are real. All of us have them. True communication suffers greatly when the person writing attempts to hide their feelings behind "objectivity". A statement like "I despise foobar, and here's why" is far more communicative than something like "Here are four reasons why foobar is worse than zeetix".

This leads up to a distinction which should be made where feelings express personal opinion while emotions are stronger, more personal and less technically founded.

1. strong generalized feeling; psychical excitement. 2. any specific feeling; any of various complex reactions with both psychical and physical manifestations, as love, hate, fear, anger, etc.

[...] 3. an awareness; consciousness; sensation; as in a feeling of pain. 4. an emotion. [...] 7. (a) an opinion or sentiment [...] 8. what is attributed to something as a result of one's own impression or emotion [...]

It is really easy to express ones emotions or feelings and no distinction should be made between them. They are just different words to express the same psychical state. The one thing the entire human race shares is 'Emotions'. However much we differ in our culture, religious beliefs, our creeds, politics, colour sex or age, our emotions are the same. What cause ones grief may differ from that which causes someone else's grief or how intense we choose to express it, but grief is something we can all personally experience and subsequently empathise with everyone who is suffering from it. It is the one aspect of human nature we all share and can understand it and acknowledge it when we witness its expression by someone else, even a stranger. In fact the sharing of emotions bring strangers together more than any intellectual opinion. We all know what love, anger, frustration etc etc is. What is different is that the cause of ones emotional experience may differ, but the love or anger or despondency or whatever, that I feel, is the same as the love etc everyone else feels. The intensity may differ but no one should be under any illusion that others 'Don't understand how they feel' Emotions must be distinguished from those feelings that are physiological sensory experiences such as feeling hot or cold or in pain after an injury or illness etc ie - our somatic sensations. These may give rise to a variety of emotional states in the same way that any other cause can, but only in that sense. To say that feelings are the expression of "an opinion or sentiment" is erroneous. These are intellectual reactions to incidents and are the thoughts of the individual and as such may be unique to any one individual as much as they may be shared 'intellectually' by the rest of humanity. But they are not 'feelings' and are certainly not 'emotions'

The reason why I say it is easy to express ones emotions is in realising that other people understand what it is we are trying to say. So be honest when talking about how and what you feel. You might struggle a little in the emphasis of your emotional state but the words are all there,just learn to use them. While pondering the above might I say how imperative it is to avoid 'Telling' someone else how they feel. Something we often do during arguments etc The most common eg being 'Why are you so angry' Nothing riles people more than being told they are angry!!

From Webster's Unabridged Dictionary 1983. (ISBN 067141819X ).
"A statement like 'I despise foobar, and here's why' is far more communicative than something like 'Here are four reasons why foobar is worse than zeetix.'"

Okay, but I thought the idea was to separate ourselves from our baggage when making such presentations? Now you tell me to bring this stuff back in? Uh, okay...
It's interesting to see the community, many of which are master programmers, managers and engineers, who every day solve complex problems with machines and systems, struggle with behaviours driven by emotion. Both those of individuals perceived to be a problem, and their own dealing with the situation ... "we've tried everything...this is really taxing our patience... police it... don't police it... etc". As machines really begin to be pervasive and surround us with AmbientIntelligence, emotion is something programmers working with such systems will have to be expert in. Even if people become highly unpredictable and unreasonable, systems will have to accommodate. That is why I think attempts to model emotional interaction in machines is valuable, both to understand it as a phenomena and create systems that are flexible. EmotionalIntelligence will need to be an integral part of ArtificialIntelligence.

Others making suggestions are far more qualified than I so I won't try add to the particular issues being worked through (and I'm sure it will be resolved in time). But I think it is important to look at the dynamics of what is happening as something that can be modelled, analysed and consensual solutions created for. Similar to other complex problems many deal with every day, though these issues have the added "fuzziness" of human behaviour plus still evolving WikiNature where normal HR policy doesn't apply.

WebOfTrust is a good start other formalisms are GAAM http://chiron.valdosta.edu/mawhatley/9710/gaam.htm. See also EmotionsVersusLogic.

I trust DougMerritt, whose web site I lifted this from, doesn't mind the copying.

In article <> @ (J. Random) writes:
 >I was wondering how you could express emotion other than the 
 >usual smileys.[...]
 >So how do YOU express your emotions in messages?

Frustrating, isn't it? These black and white letters tumble together on our screens, dry dead leaves of soul scattered on the winds of the net, hiding our inner essence as it screams silently to the world, in vain hope that no man is an island, that perhaps a bridge may be built over the empty abyss that separates us all.

Sometimes, I have been touched by a message from a warm heart, full of love, blowing kisses on a light spring day. Or from a friend, newly made, with enthusiasm and much to say, in discussions that come to span the globe and many years. I recall days when these things brought me a smile where I had none, a reminder that I was not alone, that I had friends, that love was not dead in the world.

Expressing emotions in words, yes, a problem quite original to the net. Someone should really study this issue.


See also WhatStrongEmotionsShow

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