On 9 August 2010 20:45, James Heilman <jmh649(a)gmail.com> wrote:
To address the comments made. The mediation committee
does not have formal
means of enforcement. This is something maybe we should look at creating.
What is needed is a group of people who actively research the topic and come
to a tentative and enforceable conclusion. The mediation committee is
described as the counterpart to ArbCom but seems to be without teeth.
This has been rejected on Wikipedia repeatedly. Not for ideological
reasons, but practical ones.
* articles are in a continous state of having to prove themselves;
* the en:wp arbitration committee expressly avoids content issues, and
their forays into them have always ended up ludicrous failures;
* experts are generally respected, but still have to show their
working, and there is no mechanism to get idiots out of their faces.
The last of these is the real sticking point for a lot of people: you
can hardly move on Wikipedia without bumping into someone with a
string of qualifications who knows much more about the topic at hand
than you ever will. But we have no way to keep idiots out of their
The trouble is that attempts to make something that lures experts but
keeps idiots out of their faces have so far failed and/or attracted no
attention, even from the experts (Citizendium, Scholarpedia). That is,
they sound like a good idea; but in practice, Wikipedia has so far
been the least worst system.
This is less than ideal in all sorts of ways. But a system of content
arbitration requires that the arbitrators be smarter on *all topics*
than *everyone else in the world put together*. This may not be
feasible in practice.
You could fudge it with a system of committees. But a credentialist
system of expert committees is one of the things that killed
CItizendium: pseudoscientists, who have no actual expertise but
understand the social importance of sheepskins, moved in and took