[Theforum] IRC Bot - thepfy

John Corry john at neoncowboy.com
Fri Dec 28 02:33:09 CST 2001

Hi #evolt IRC users.

> | first of all, i don't feel that this message should have been sent to a
> | public forum as it's a personal issue between you and martin.  however,
> | since you've brought it up, i have some things to say about the topic.
> I've had conversations with Martin on this subject in private in the past.
> They have obviously not been taken into consideration.  I would
> like to give
> the other users of IRC the opportunity to weigh in with their
> thoughts/concerns on the issue as well.

Please remember, I'm real new at a) theforum, b) #evolt & c) IRC in general.
Weigh my response according to my obvious newbieness...

I didn't realize upon first participating in the IRC channel that thebot was
logging everything, but it's OK...with a name like thebot, what can you
expect him to do? As a user, I'm not bothered by that at all.

> |
> | ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
> | > From: Michele Foster
> | >
> | > I was doing some testing in IRC earlier, and discovered
> | > that one cannot tell thepfy bot to leave.
> | ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
> |
> | that's really no different than a human user, is it?

No, but that sounds like a sort of silly argument. I mean, maybe it makes
sense to *you* to allow thebot all of the priveleges and rights as a human
user, but *I* happen to prefer my machines on a slightly shorter leash. I
happen to really like seeing machines obey me when I tell them to do
something...like 'leave'. I guess if I felt like I had to, I could make a
pretty persuasive case for getting a human user to 'leave' too (god forbid),
but machines I pretty much expect to be subordinate to me.

Then again...

There is that weird concept of 'the god in the machine', which I'm kind of
keen to honor. thebot logs stuff...OK, that's cool, I can adjust my use
habits around that particular reality (I'm constantly adjusting my habits to
accommodate the reality posed by the presence/operation of machines, how is
this any different?).

It seems like even with a perfectly subordinate 'bot, there still would
exist an issue of privacy vs. publicness. An IRC channel is a public forum,
whether there are bots there or not. If you have privacy concerns due to the
presence of someone's 'bot, you can do several things: a) don't go to
channels where 'bots are allowed/present (this is sort of dumb though, since
'bots don't threaten your privacy any more or less than people do). b)
complain to that channels ops and get them to enforce a 'no 'bots' rule, if
you fail at b, go back to a. c) start your own channel and make 'bots

I guess instigating this discussion falls in option 'b' from my example.

> To a certain degree .. if user A, B, C and D are in the room at the time,
> and I'm not close to user D, I may not say what I'd like to to
> user's A, B,
> and C.  For whatever reason.  It's the same if I'm out with friends.  Some
> I'm closer to, some I'm not.  Some will understand my personal situation,
> etc., while others won't.  Case in point, if I go out with my g/f Dianne
> I'll openly talk to her about anything, while if her friend Sue is there,
> I'll be more inclined not to discuss more personal stuff at that time.  It
> boils down to knowing who one is talking to and without the fear that
> someone else is recording/logging all of the information.

I wonder if you can't get to know/trust a machine, like thebot? In my
limited experience, thebot seems pretty cool. You can tell him to go fuck
himself and he has a reply, lol...thats great! It's a machine under martin's
control right? So, do you trust the machine any less than you trust Martin?
Whats' the machine going to do to harm/violate you? If I'm in the channel,
would that mean that you might not say certain things? Probably so. So,
isnt' it reasonable to ask all users to just assign certain 'rights' to
thebot (concerning their own information sharing preferences) and treat
thebot like any other user...you can decide how comfortable you are with
thebot and what you will/won't divulge in thebot's presence, right?

I happen to not give a shit what thebot thinks about what I say there. If
the FBI/DEA/CIA/MARTIN has nothing better to do than to target me, then
they're dumber than I thought. For the record: I am not a valid intelligence
target...I don't know anything important and can't lead you to anyone of any
significance at all. Lol, and I don't think Martin or hisbot care anyway. I
bet thebot is just a way for Martin to screw around with some programming,
if I didn't support that I wouldn't be here in the first place.

> |
> | ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
> | > If I want to have a conversation ONLY with those in the
> | > room at the time, then I want to be assured that ONLY
> | > those in the room at the time know what I say.
> | ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><
> |
> | can you be guaranteed that level of privacy even if the room is entirely
> | human users?

Yeah? And besides, you are always guaranteed the right (or are you) to speak
with *only* the users of the room, just have to ackowledge that one of those
users is a bot. Are there ever any users in a room whom you aren't aware of?
Like, their names don't show up in a list of channel users? Are you sure?

> Like I said, it's a matter of knowing an individual and trusting them that
> they have your best interests at heart.  Random logging of a conversation
> greatly reduces what I feel comfortable discussing.


So your (and everyone else's discussion) is logged. I ain't afraid anyone is
parsing the log to reveal information about *me*. And even if they did, all
that's there is shit that I said *in a public forum* anyway, what are they
going to reveal about me except shit that I willingly disclosed to an IRC
channel anyway?

What is it you're specifically worried about?

This is fun! I was noting to my wife ladt night that I pretty much suck at
community...but here, look at me! I'm PARTICIPATING! WHEEEE!

John Corry

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