OK, I can see your point on how this is the place. In my mind, after reading the article, my internal framing was “We need to scale empathy, and here’s a one way to do it”, and I had scoped the thread to the one way to do it, not the motivation itself. And I had been thinking of the facilitator for contention as being orthogonal to (or at least able to be implemented first independent of) a facilitator that helps people be (and feel) acknowledged. But you make a good point about them being intertwined.
Ideally we’d able to keep them represented without needing a unique comment per person involved. I.e. we the motivation for not commenting to be because they feel like their potential input has already been adequately addressed. I think if we can keep that in mind, we’ll end up with good solutions, at least from a community side.
To add to this, the solution to the scaling problem of n-to-n discussions growing out of hand is not to reduce n (that’s temporary), it’s to linearize them.
I mean, that’s part of my original proposal, isn’t it? If there are decent summary comments and other such attempts to linearize the conversation, this isn’t really necessary.
I’m not arguing for closing off the discussions. I’m arguing for raising the bar and also making it easier for individuals to have constructive discussions. I think getting rid of the noise is necessary. I think these are the same goals you and @Manishearth are also arguing for, right?
Yup. I only brought it up because as stuff gets rehashed it gets lost easily.
I consider the noise to be a symptom; a policy that directly cuts the noise out is treating a symptom not the problem.
So yes, I am advocating for getting rid of the noise, but not directly, rather by introducing systemic changes that make the noise no longer necessary.
You say that “the volume of comments (especially unhelpful ones) makes it far harder to scale” – I’m arguing that scaling involves a holistic solution that makes these comments unnecessary – you’ve got cause and effect mixed up.
Another way to reduce the number of comments on excessively long threads might be to just ask people to comment less, say with a sticky post on popular threads. I think a lot of commenters don’t feel very strongly about a given RFC, but just want to help out and if ask would dial back if asked