I had email problems, so this wasnt posted earlier -=
like around 9am PST -- but .here it is anyway
"Wikipedia is a project with a stated
objective--creating an encyclopedia. Its objective is
not to create an ideal >democratic >society a la
Martin's perception of one. Nor is it a dumping
ground, where anyone can put any crap they want in the
name of free speech. It is a place that works best by
consensus and compromise--not by making abrupt
decisions that this must be the policy, come hell or
high water. That is why I was opposed to making a
final decision on the date format and spelling
""The end result of all this is that some of
serious long term contributors have left--Zoe, for
one, was one of the most ?>prolific Wikipedians and a
real defender of the project against vandalism. While
Martin is certainly prolific on the Recent Changes, a
quick look at his past 500 changes show that his work
is over 90 percent focused on users' Talk pages, and
most of the rest on contentious pages, where it is
bound to flame the fires of dispute.""
How does having a democratic and responsive way of
dealing with issues conflict with making an
encyclopedia? -- Do not, Danny, fall victim to the
typical assumptions and presumptions of academics.
That said, your views on the usefulness of
formalization seem to be inline with mine -- in terms
of the nonsense details. In terms of process,
however, and conducting administrative affairs, it
seems the time is ripe to formalize under sunlight the
way things get voted on, etc.
""What I would like to see are some solid
contributions--an article culled out of a Talk page
does not count---before >wasting our time with the
Vandal Liberation Front. Instead I wonder when he was
made a sysop whether it was to police it >over the
rest of us or to further the goal of creating an
You are 'free to wonder, Danny, but not aloud.' Hehe.
Well... rather, if you make comments like the above,
the rest of us might be inclined to point out that
they are not in character for someone of your caliber,
and that they need not be addressed if they are made
as a slant, rather than as a formal complaint. In any
case, your worthy history entitles you to some
As for Zoe (sob!) and others leaving, I might point
out that they by and large left under some stress.
The stress comes from the conflict that their personal
or institutionalized standards are not the absolute
measure here, rather it is consensus that is. If a
disagreement is met, it must be dealt with in ways
(like co-operation and respect) that some academics
seem to avoid learning. Aside from the fact that
academics need to find non-academic hobbies, anyone
who lets themselves get too stressed on the WP will
soon enough have to face a monster of their own
making, namely that same-said stress. This stress
comes via various factors: Severed attachment to areas
of concern, a negated sense of accomplishment when
something is changed, personality issues, and so on.
That academics eventually would call for higher
standards, to "cut out the deadwood," and "weed out
the weaklings," reflects only the fact that these
professionals failed to understand what was Wikipedias
founding spirit in the first place. Such people,
despite their vast areas of rote knowledge, tend to
have some fundamental inefficiencies that may make
them in the end, extinct. Its kind of like the
proverbial health-food junkie who dies if he eats bad
food. Compared to the beefy, eat-anything robustness
of a typically-poor diet, that health nut is an
accident waiting to happen. (In some situations).
The WP wont be obsolete, because it will be what it
is. If Jim decided, say, to rename the WP, "Nupedia"
-- saying "this henceforth a peer-reviewed thing," --
it will make no difference. It will still be the
stagnant and dying Nupedia, regardless of how many
articles it got via Wikipedic means.
Zoe, ironically, seemed to be non-academic enough to
qualify as being among the robust, but then she took
it upon herself to be the top-cop, the Ken Starr
chasing Clinton, and of course, like Starr, some of
the methods, words and tactics Zoe chose tended to
make some skeptical of her intent. And besides, how
do we know she's just not hanging out at the beach
more often? The WP is nice for stay at home dads and
IT dungeon keepers, but for others the appeal of a
topical argument stands short against the realization
that life in front of a screen is a bad habit at best.
So in short, I take issue with you, Danny, when you
confuse the issues you presented, with the altogether
different phenomenon of the changing guard.
Get well soon, all
Do you Yahoo!?
SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!