The Cunctator wrote:
Nicholas Carr's criticism, while hyperbolic,
is more right than wrong.
Actually, I think it is completely wrong. It completely misapprehends
what is being discussed here.
Hiding information from users is not good.
Right, but no one is proposing to hide information, merely to present
the most useful information at the most useful time. The template
plastered at the top of the article has been a convenient approach
because we were able to do it ourselves, without asking Brion to change
What we want to do is to be as welcoming of diverse participation as
possible, while at the same time controlling for vandalism. As we learn
and think, we find better ways to do this.
First, we forever had article protection and bans. These are valuable
tools, but we don't like article protection because it keeps people from
editing *at all*. And because it keeps people from editing *at all* we
have to be very very sparing with the use.
So, we thought about it long and hard, had a big discussion and a vote,
and decided to *soften* article protection. With semi-protection. This
has, in general, been a great success. It is a softer tool, so it can
be used a bit more broadly. More people can edit more articles more
often, and less drive by vandalism results. So far, so good.
Now, we are thinking again: how can we extend this? How can we be more
welcoming to editing?
Well, one thing we know is that the big scary message at the top of
articles discourages people from participation. It makes it seem like
we have locked articles when we have not locked articles.
So the idea is to make the user interface better, to give people the
information they need and want, when they need and want it, rather than
thrusting on them something that they find confusing and misleading.
Hence, the proposal: don't do the notification with a template, change
the UI so that people are more encouraged to join the project and start
As with the softening of protection -> semi-protection, the concept here
is to encourage more people to edit, while controlling for problems when
they need to be controlled.
Calling this sort of thoughtful tweak to policy "the death of Wikipedia"
is more than hyberbolic, it is just factually wrong.
Your language is strikingly emotional.
You describe the actions you support as:
"need and want"
"thought long and hard"
The alternatives and alternative viewpoints are presented as:
"confusing and misleading"
It would be interesting to try to edit down your argument into something
that was not so transparently biased. I'm not sure what would be left. But
it would be a start for having an honest discussion about this, rather than
an exercise in emotional pleading.