On Thu, 21 Nov 2002, Toby Bartels wrote:
Larry Sanger wrote:
Toby Bartels wrote:
>That's right, we know that you're
talking about us,
>so don't think that we're not going to take your insults personally.
>"offensive political posturing" my eye!
>I care about this project as much as you do,
>whether you can believe it or not.
You're trying to *change* the project, Toby.
I'm trying to *change* the project???
OK, maybe not.
Let's see, there's a discussion on a naming
where I'm in favour of the change,
but that's hardly central to the project.
I agree there.
OTOH, I'm defending the NPOV, a very central
point, to newbies.
This is good, though it shouldn't be necessary at this point.
When you came on with ideas about how we were dying
and you wanted to make us more acceptable to "experts",
I was part of the chorus of scepticism
that led you to take your ideas to the sifter project
(where I think that they can do some good)
and leave Wikipedia itself unaltered.
You apparently never did read my proposal carefully. You could actually
go back and read it. I have *always, always* said that any such project
should leave Wikipedia alone, and the "chorus of scepticism" you joined
was pretty much a chorus of confusion and misunderstanding.
Now I'm opposed both to the voting movement
and to the idea of banning more people
(even though these are coming from opposite groups),
Aha, the latter would be a significant change and would essentially render
Wikipedia an anarchy; we might disagree with that, which is why we might
disagree on the label (wiki-) anarchism.
although at the same time I support continuing to ban
I'm trying to *change* the project???
Not as far as most of those listed items goes.
My point wasn't really about you, Toby.
will not tolerate biased content. The neutral point of view is not
>>open to vote; it's decided. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.
>Other than TMC, we irresponsible anarchists
Except that it seems that at least some of you
don't want it to be
declared as *set policy*. That was my point, Toby.
Sure, I'd want to keep NPOV as a set policy.
Thank you, that was my point.
It's a core value, which I'd like to see on
terms of conditions page. Perhaps I'm to the right
of the other "anarchists" on this, but even Cunc supports NPOV,
even if he has his whole [[m:NPOV is an ideal]] thing.
No, I don't think he does. I think he's really confused (if it matters).
perspective, once Jimbo's last minute dictatorial powers
pass into the hands of
a democratically elected board of trustees,
then even the NPOV might conceivably be changed --
heck, it might *conceivably* be changed *now*
if Jimbo went mad and declared it no longer operational --
but then I would leave, like you, and join the inevitable fork.
>Apologise in the sense of justifying the
Certainly *not*. We should not *constantly* have
to defend long-standing
policies against the objections of new people who happen not to like them.
Then how do you expect the new people to learn about them?
Um, how about by reading the policies and the old talk pages about them?
example, Lir has no business moving [[Christopher Columbus]]
>to [[Cristóbal Colón]] *now*, but it's her business as a Wikipedian
>to discuss changing the policy on the list.
It seems to me she's wasting everyone's
time. If she had asked "Gee, why
is this the policy?" she might have learned something.
Not if everybody refused to defend it to her.
In this particular case, the point she's making is such an obvious
nonstarter that (with thanks and respect to those who actually *are*
spending the time) I think it's a waste of time to argue with her.
As for wasting everybody's time, this seems
when several people, including some old hands,
have come out in agreement with her.
Who, besides you?
We'll probably lose, and that's OK,
but the idea that discussion is over is absurd.
(She could certainly be more diplomatic, however!)
>Gee, even KQ (the potential loss of whom is
>the immediate motivation of this post)
>doesn't want to ban anybody himself anymore.
>AFAICT, this is because of the practical problems with our methods,
>not because of some ideological desire to never ban anybody.
Let him speak for himself.
Like you let Julie, Michael, and Isis speak for themselves?
Those are different things, Toby. Yes, OBVIOUSLY Julie, Michael, and Isis
would agree with at least most if not all of the basic laundry list of
defining principles I gave. The point we're discussing just above,
though, is a totally different kettle of fish.
But he's subscribed to this list, so I hope that
I also help that he'll clarify whether is reasons for leaving
include what you suggested: weariness at having to deal with
Right. Anyway, that's certainly *my* reason, and Isis has told me as much
in e-mail; and you can look at Julie Hoffman Kemp's page:
whatever extent we are or are not, or should be, a democracy, the
>>following is also true. We are a benevolent monarchy ruled by a
>>"constitution" or, anyway, a developing body of common law that is not
>>open to interpretation, but not vote. This has been the case from the
>>beginning, and we aren't going to change that.
>Wait, you mean that the proposers of *voting*
are the *anarchists*?
>Do you still think that Erik is an anarchist or some such thing?
>Get a clue, man!
Uh, no, Toby, that isn't what I meant.
OK, then what do you mean? I thought that your opponents were
anarchists, newbies, and trolls. Which of these is Erik?
Actually, anarchist theory has a strong presumption
that voting is a suspect and corruptible method of democracy
(although certainly better than anything undemocratic to begin with).
I don't know how you get ANY of that out of the part above that follows
the *. If you read it, you'll see what I meant. That's what I meant.
let's decide before the discussion that we will change policy,
>and only leave the discussion open to *how*.
>I support a discussion about policy for banning what you call "trolls"
>(not that Helga, much less Lir, is *actually* a troll),
>but let's not a priori rule out the views of a sizable group.
Yes, I'm asking Jimbo to take a controversial
stand that might offend a
group of anarchists. What amazing gall I have.
I don't think that it requires gall to ask him to take such a stand.
I *do* think that it requires gall to suggest that
we make a change in policy that isn't widely agreed upon,
and move to discussion only about *how* to make that change.
Except that it has already been decided--in the case of 24, Helga, and now
Lir. And you'll even see in his reply to me that Jimbo is skeptical that
there is anyone who actually opposes it!
assume that Jimbo will agree with you about everything.
>Well, we'll see.
No, I certainly do not, Toby. In fact, I'm
very worried that he might
disagree on some point that I personally regard as key.
OK, good, I misinterpreted your suggestion that
"these things shouldn't need saying".
You only said that he *might* think that,
and then that he "might not want to say all of them".
just saying that,
>>IMO, Wikipedia is really suffering, and even losing people.
>We're losing people and gaining people,
and I don't just mean gaining Lir.
>If you think that nobody will or should ever leave Wikipedia
>(except people that you don't like and so banned, of course),
>then you're terribly naïve.
Toby, please--I founded this project and have
watched it from the
beginning. I know that people leave all the time. You obviously did not
understand my point in your desire to poke holes in whatever I had to say.
I obviously didn't understand your point,
but it wasn't through any desire to poke holes in whatever you say.
You'll forgive me for continuing to be very skeptical about that.
My only desire is to do what's best for
I'm sorry that you and I don't agree on what that is,
but both of our hearts are in the right place.
That's a good thing, I agree.
The point is
that there are a lot of people who just will not work in an
environment when trolls can wander around and wreak havoc with no public
By "trolls", you mean people like TMC and Lir?
I like to distinguish trolls from trollish behavior. And there are of
course different kinds of trolls. I think TMC acted quite trollishly in
choosing his user name. Other than that, I'm not familiar with much
trollishness on his part. As for Lir, of course Adam [name omitted for privacy reasons]
is a troll.
As far as I can tell, at least half of what he does is specifically
calculated to whip up controversy and upset people, even though he knows
(and obviously doesn't care) that most people working on Wikipedia want to
do so without having to deal with childish nonsense.
While they both (damnedly) enjoy upsetting people,
that's not why they're here; they're both trying to contribute.
That's highly debatable in the case of Lir.
As Wikipedia grows, we'll get more annoying but
You're not the first one to make *that* observation.
and unless we become a police state (in an appropriate
we won't be able to get by with only users with thin skins.
You blame people who have a problem with Lir and his ilk on "users with
thin skins," and I think *that attitude* is a problem. Plenty of users
(and potential users) have plenty thick skins but zero tolerance for
Wikipedia needs to reduce its tolerance for bullshit. This doesn't
require being a police state; it *does* require ultimate, clear sanctions
enforced as and when needed. This will then rebuild something we once had
more of: mutual respect and moral authority on the basis of our engaging
in a project the principles upon which we agree and will defend.
This is what I think Jimbo can help us regain.
If you agree, I'm sure he'd appreciate your support.
Luckily, we don't have to; trolls or no trolls,
we still get more and more users all the time.
And they will leave faster and faster if the place is infested with
trolls and in the hands of the crowd that thinks there *really are* no
>>"We have now sunk to a depth at which the re-statement of the obvious is
>>the first duty of intelligent men." --George Orwell
>Ah, the voice of arrogance. I mean, isn't
Larry always *obviously* right?
>Anybody that disagrees with him is either an ideologue or an idiot,
>and that's how it'll always be.
Boy, have a look in the mirror, dude.
Well, let's see. I don't merely insist that my opinions are obvious
when they're challenged, and I don't accuse those that disagree with me
of being blinded by ideology or being idiots.
If you want to return my insults with insults,
then I'm sure that you can find some that actually fit.
But it wasn't fair to bring your sig into the discussion.
I'm letting my personal feelings slip in here again.
It wasn't an insult, anyway. When someone insults you and you tell him to
"look in the mirror," it can mean, "takes one to know one," which
an insult, but it can and probably more often means, as the song says,
"Afore you 'cuze me, take a look at yoursel'," which isn't to make
Anyway, let's stop this mutual insulting.
You may have the last word if you want it--I really have to get back to