On 04/05/06, Jimmy Wales <jwales(a)wikia.com> wrote:
1. Consensus works when there are a small number of
people who have
reputations with each other who are willing to work for compromise and
positive progress. The importance of social capital in the process
(earning it and spending it) can not be overemphasized.
2. As we get to be a larger community, consensus still works well on
individual articles and areas of interest, because there are
subcommunities in negotiation there who know each other.
3. Certain global processes, though, have turned quite bitter and sour,
likely because it is increasingly hard to have a process of reputation
and social capital when you have tons of people who don't know each other.
4. The solution to this may well be to attempt to move the "locus of
control" for deletion decisions into subcommunities.
It's funny that you see the problem with AfD and RfA as being their
"globalness". With RfA at least, I see the reverse: the fact that a
subcommunity ("regular RfA participants") has formed, with its own
norms, culture, convetions and so forth. If you randomly selected any
Wikipedian, pointed them at the policy for selecting admins, and asked
them to vote on a given candidate, you would get a result very
different to what happens at RfA.
I've heard similar stories about AfD - that there is a small group
that frequently votes, occasionally interrupted by vote stacking or
interest from outside parties.
Perhaps the real problem is that "locus of control" should not be
self-selecting. The trouble is that the people who vote on RfA the
most are the ones who *enjoy* voting on RfA, apparently because they
(or some of them) enjoy exerting power over candidates, by making them
jump through hoops.
I don't want to propose an elected committee to do RfA's or AfD's. But
do you agree that a) there exists a "locus of control" already, and
that b) it is self-selecting?