Bear with me. I am a logical-mathematical thinker.
I have been around almost since the inception of these boards, way back before they were "MDC." I moderated for four or five years. I was one of two people considered for the position of Administrator many years ago, back in the days when there was only one Admin position. I helped write the web statement of purpose and parts of the user agreement. I feel I contribute and receive a lot from being here.
That being said, I have no idea if I have points and how many. I have been asked to edit at least once for something minor. Have never been clear if that counts as a warning. Having been a moderator, and having really (I think) helped create the foundation for this place, I am pretty confident I have a very good feel for what is appropriate. It doesn't mean I am perfect, but I do know what is okay and what isn't.
The moderators have to use their discretion in issuing alerts and warnings, which means the system will always involve some bias. In the case of the edit request I remember receiving, though I disagreed with the requested edit (I felt it was a poor use of human discretion), out of a deep sense of respect for our mods, I went ahead and did it rather than pleaing my case.
All that to illustrate the following point:
With an automated system, even though the same number of alerts and warnings would cause a person to be banned as prior to automation (overall rules haven't changed), now the human element of discretion is not available through the whole process. It is only available through the time of issuance of alerts and warnings. After that, the system taks over. Thus, at least for me, alerts and warnings seem more frightening.
I could see the automated system saving mods time. On the other hand, I can imagine that more folks will be seeking recourse when they get alerts or warnings because the fear of being knocked out of the system (without human consideration) is there. Doesn't this also take the precious time of volunteers?
I think the notion of being able to disolve points over time is an important one because it reduces fear, thus reduces the number of people who will be inclined to take minor disagreements to "the Kitchen Table."
I do understand that not all points accumulation is alike. That's the argument that is being made toward not having points disolved over time. But that's also an argument for not having an automated system at all-- that not all points accumulation is alike, and that there is always a need for discretion throughout the system.
So as long as we *do* have an automated system, shouldn't it be balanced in automation? If points automatically accumulate toward a banning, shouldn't they also automatically disolve?
I'm assuming that *someone* can override the system on either end. That if someone is banned, an admin could theoretically say, "hey wait a minute, that doesn't make sense in *this* case." Soooooo...then, if a person's points are disolving, but the rate of disolution doesn't make sense for the particular type of accumulation of points, then theoretically an admin could suspend disolution because it doesn't make sense in a *particular* case.
I'm willing to bet that for the vast majority, time *does* heal and people do outgrow many difficult behaviors. It seems like most of us should have the opportunity to come back into the good graces of the "parents" of this board.
I respectfully ask that the decision not to disolve points over time is revisited.
So what I am asking is, am I getting in trouble from Abbimommy, or some big brother Orwellian surveillance system?