Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reputation Conjecture 2

For a given attribute to have a reputation aspect, it must be possible for the entity concerned to, through their own actions, manipulate that attribute.

I can try to change my reputation for cynicism.

I can't try to change my 'reputation' for being 6'.

10 comments:

Pam said...

Seems to me you can change your reputation for being 6 by simply waiting a year.

Can't say as much for your reputation for acting 6 :)

Paul Madsen said...

Helllllo, I said 6 feet! or whatever is the metric equivalent.

And I resemble that immaturity crack

Pam said...

Ohhhhh, I just thought you'd gone a little 'crazy' with the single quotes.

Women commonly attempt to alter their reputed height, either by wearing platform shoes or by slouching. We won't even talk about efforts to influence reputed age...

Superpat said...

May I suggest a few sessions on the rack?

Phil Hunt said...

It seems to me that reputation is the sum of assurance and authoritativeness. In other words, reputation is an assertion made in some context by an authority about an individual with some level of assurance.

If Paul shows his drivers license to prove he is 6', we trust the value because of the reputation or authority of the Ministry of Transportation -- Isn't it the authority of the provider that matters?

Paul Madsen said...

But Phil, "reputation is an assertion made in some context by an authority about an individual with some level of assurance." could be any attribute.

I was trying to tease out why some characteristics/attributes of a User are candidates for being 'reputable'.

Why does it make sense to say 'He has a reputation for being patriotic' but not to say 'She has a reputation for being Canadian'?

In other words, why are patriotism and Canadianness so different? :-)

paul

p.s. Pat, the Brits have a reputation for 'stretching' the truth. 6' is a perfectly sufficient height if you ask me.

Robert said...

Never know how serious you are ;). Do I put my reputation at stake if I make a seriously intended suggestion ?

I think a simple characteristic of a reputation-attribute is that you can "loose it". And very fast, loosing weight doesn't really count. But I guess one can become patriotic overnight. And vv. "Being Canadian", in all but the strictly legal sense, is something that takes years to master and it seems one cam never loose it.

Of course reputation is much about how other's perceive the value(s) of your reputation-attribute(s), and the reliability of those values. This makes it all nicely recursive as you can increase your reputation by having parties with good reputations assert/confirm the values you claim for your reputation-attributes.

Now is "sense-of-humor" a reputation-attribute ?

Bryant Cutler said...

Disagreed. I think a fair number of people base their assessment of your reputation on attributes over which you have no control: you may be trusted because you are tall, or mistrusted because of your race.

I think it's valid to say that an assessment of reputation only rises above the level of prejudice when it incorporates attributes that the subject can change through his/her/its actions.

Paul Madsen said...

bryant, I'm not suggesting that physical attributes don't impact other's opinion of me, rather simply that it makes no sense to talk about me 'having a reputation' for a certain height, or skin colour

paul

Robert said...

Hmm, I'm getting the impression that 2 concepts are slightly mixed here. With the risk of stating the very obvious:

i) "having a reputation for" as in "Paul is known to be cynical" (just an example)

ii) "being trustworthy" as in "I deem Paul sufficiently trustworthy to give him my email address, he won't misuse it and I don't expect him to pass it along to others". I think that "being trustworthy" is often meant when you hear that somebody "has a good reputation".

These two "concepts" connect in particular cases as in: "Paul has a reputation of keeping all confidential information secret, hence I feel I can give him my email address".

I think that the "reputation" (attributes) contribute (but do not determine) to the "trustworthinesss". And those attributes can be (should be?) asserted by others. Of course I weigh those assertions by the trustworthiness ("reputation at large") of the asserters.

And as pointed out, many other, non-reputation, attributes can contribute to an impression of trustworthiness. I'm told that wearing a white lab coat helps.