I didn't agree to this. It depends on what the reader is looking for.
Chrono order (earliest first) -- when you care about the complete list, from first to last
* List of US presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferon, ...
* Lists of states that joined the union
* Nobel prizes
Reverse chrono (latest first) -- when you care about the last few more than the first
* Academy Award (Oscar) winners
* Emmy Awards
* Sports champions -- World Series (baseball), World Cup (soccer), Stanley Cup (hockey)
Some awards like Pulitzer Prizes could go either way. Nobel Peace Prize, which is politically motivated and topical, could also go either way.
From: tarquin [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 12:10 PM
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] on a lighter note: lists
A while back we agreed that most chronological lists should go forward,
from past to present reading down. (prizes, incumbents, lists of works,
and chronologies themselves)
since there are many list pages that go the other way, and reversing by
hand is tedious, I've put up a perl script:
I'll link it to it from the manual of style when I get round to updating
it to mention lists.
To manage your subscription to this list, please go here:
Done by sjc. --Ed
From: Gareth Owen [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 3:00 PM
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Sysop available
Is there a sysop who can ban 18.104.22.168 *right now*
Coninually posting the goatsex image...
To manage your subscription to this list, please go here:
>Vandalism defined as:
>> Deleting significant parts of an article without reasonable cause
>> Inserting unnecessary profanity into an article.
>> Inserting nonsensical text into an article.
>> Purposefully changing an article in order to mislead readers.
>> Modifying the comments of other users in Talk: or Wikipedia: namespace.
>A single purposeful vandalism from an anonymous user is a 1-week ban.
>A single vandalism from a logged in user results in a 24-hour ban, not to
Ick. I suppose the tendency in groups is to bureaucratize as they
grow, but, uh, geez. Next come the jaywalking tickets.
Cunctator wrote, in good conscience:
> I think that ideally we should never have to ban anyone. I
> didn't think we should ban 24. I didn't strongly think we
> should *not* ban 24, either. It was a push, given the
Ward's Wiki is justly proud of having had only a couple of vandalism episodes - ever.
But they are much smaller and much less well known than the pedia. Besides, it's mostly about boring computer programming stuff, precisely the kind of hard-to-learn knowledge that today's Bart Simpson clones can't even understand, let alone have a position on. Their ability to SoftPolice (or whatever you call it when a vigilante posse toses out an anti-social pest) is a thousand times as great as ours.
You can't apply c2.com's rules at wikipedia.org, because community ethics doesn't scale. We're not a tiny village; we're a town becoming a city.
I see Jimmy, Lee, Brion & Magnus as a vigilante group. Nothing wrong with frontier justice, though, and nothing against these men personally or anything they've done. They deserve medals for their dedicated service. Thanks, Jimbo, for pouring so much money into Nupedia, Wikipedia and Larry's salary.
But as we grow ten-fold and a hundred-fold, we will encounter several risks:
* deterioration into an elitist cabal -- many other have pointed this out
* conquest by barbarian hordes (vandals win)
* experts continue to stay away
We have to deal with competing values. We can't codify a set of rules until we do. We also can't continue as we have much longer without a set of rules.
* easy to contribute (Wiki software)
* vandalism minimized (IP ban, History)
* experts encouraged to contribute (?)
* valuable contributors stick around (?)
In my woefully inadequate short list of values, I find that only two are supported by mechanisms. The Wiki software makes it easy to contribute, and IP bans and History pages make it easy to thwart vandalism.
We have not, however, found a way to attract more than two or three subject matter experts: (Axelboldt in math, Larry in philosophy, Julie in history)
We have also not found a way to get valuable contributors to stick around.
I do understand the dangers of creating a police force. I have read the MeatBall links Cunctator suggested. I do hear what Stephen Gilbert is saying. Too much power in the wrong hands will certainly destroy this project.
The problem is that the converse is also true.
Without a police force, without an "armed citizenry", we suffer from having too little power in the right hands. Did you ever live in a bad neighborhood? Do you know what it's like to be at the mercy of roving gangs of boys/young men? Okay, I confess that I've never lived in such a neighborhood. I'm "middle class", and with my good looks and fine education I can get a great job anywhere and pay the rent, etc.
I don't know if we have already reached the point at which SoftSecurity is insufficient. I have enough patience to outlast anyone. I don't lose sleep if one of the article I "own" (i.e., it's on my Watchlist) is being "attacked" by my "opponents". Some topics are simply works in progress: genocide, global warming, et al. I don't have to have the last word.
But a lot of fine people can't take it. It's really quite a pain to have one's "baby" splattered with mud. Sure, you can give her a bath, but after the 20th or 1000th time you just want to move to a quieter neighborhood.
Imran Ghory's detailed list of laws is good. But laws require a constitution, and a constitution is created to support values.
What are Wikipedia's core values? Is my 4-point list the core?
>>22.214.171.124 has been off the ban list for quite
>>some time. (Certainly since the July upgrade wiped
>>the slate, I'm not sure about before.)
>>-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
>Hm, if I weren't attending classes full time &
>working 30 hrs a week, I would have known that.
>Still, though, I bet mav knew it. ;-)
Actually I carried over this and only this ban to the
new banned list when the software was upgraded and
then I asked Jimbo about it. He never intended the ban
to be permanent so I lifted it myself.
I see there is a lot of constructive talk related to
my unfortunate emotional outburst... I will have to go
over the dozens of posts Saturday morning UTC.
-- Daniel Mayer (aka mav)
PS. Only 30 hours a week with full time school. What,
are you some type of slacker kq? ;-)
Do you Yahoo!?
Y! Web Hosting - Let the expert host your web site
--- tarquin <tarquin(a)planetunreal.com> wrote:
> Whenever non-english 'pedias have asked "how come
> we're still on UseMod
> and you guys are on phase III" we reply "because we
> tried cloning Brion
> and it failed".
> Then they ask "so in the meantime, how about at
> least having equal URLs,
> as a sign of goodwill", and we say "sorry, the
> mailing list is populated
> by Golgafrinchams who are still discussing what
> colour the wheel should be."
> Note that word: goodwill.
I want it on the record that I am neither a telephone
sanitizer nor a hair-dresser. ;-)
Also on the record: I am firmly against a static
"portal" page at www.wikipedia.org. I think it's a
very bad idea.
That does not mean:
a) I'm advocating English as the most important
b) I'm trying to insult people who think it is a good
c) I'm trying to stall progress on interlanguage
d) I don't care about the other languages.
e) I don't care about goodwill.
f) I'm secretly in love with the Cunctator.
It simply means I'm against the static front page
idea. I don't think it solves any fundamental
problems, but that's not the point; even if it was
*only* a symbolic gesture of goodwill I would support
it. However, I believe it would be harmful to the
project as a whole, not just the English language part
of the project.
I, along with others, have stated my reasons, and I'll
state them again if requested. I (again, with others)
have proposed an alternate solution that I believe
would extend the same goodwill, be more functional,
and avoid the pitfalls of a static front page of
links. I will state this again too upon request.
In summary, I couldn't care less what colour the wheel
is. I just don't want it to be square.
Do you Yahoo!?
Y! Web Hosting - Let the expert host your web site
Many times folks simply don't understand something and can eventually be
brought along. Trying several times would seem to be better than just once.
Some of the other suggestions like revert after two weeks are very good and
It's a good rule in personal relations to assume people do not change, but
perhaps a better practice to have faith that they can provided not too much
is risked on the effort.
Date: 25 Oct 2002 11:48:33 +0200
From: elian <elian(a)gmx.li>
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] how to deal with uncooperative users
I followed the ongoing debate about how to deal with uncooperative users
with some astonishment. Some people seem to forget the first rule of
online-communities: Don't feed the trolls!
Precisely, it depends largely on each one's personal attitude how to deal
First, try to discuss only once. If your adversary does not answer in a
way you regard as serious, is insulting or refuses to substantiate claims
with arguments, immediately stop discussion - forever or until you see
somewhere else that he has changed his attitude. Don't try to educate
people except you specially like to do this. Don't feel responsible for
a jerk's metal health!
Second, take your time. Let him have his way, put the article on your
watchlist and silently revert the changes two weeks later without further
discussion. Time is on the side of the regulars, not the jerks.
Third, just an idea: to feel not so alone, you could put up a page
[[Wikipedia:Annoying users]] where you could state your feelings. If
enough votes come up on one person, this person could _ eventually_ be
Just my experiences from the German wikipedia where we had almost no edit
wars at all up to now. We have questionable contributions, some are
silently moved to talk pages, some are rewritten. Discussion is tried
once, after this fails the person is simply ignored.
just my two cents,
Computers are like Airconditioners - they stop working properly when
you open windows
Get faster connections -- switch to MSN Internet Access!
After being called a racist/fascist several times in the Famous Canadians discussion, I too have
seriously considered leaving Wikipedia, losing fun in contributing and being unable to do anything
against that without marking myself as a "mad blocker" or anything. If I encounter something like
that again, I will probably decide to leave - even though I'd rather stay. So I'd be in favor of a
system which could help dealing with contributors when they behave badly, as the current system is
apparently not suitable for that.
As has been mentioned before, most bad behaviour focuses around a few rules, which also happen to be
the few real rules we have around here (IMO):
* Wikipedia is an encyclopedia
* Treat the "rules to consider" respectfully (this one is arguably part of wikipetiquette, but not
If pointed to these rules by another contributor, most newbies - or other contributors - will read
the pages on these rules and either comply with them, or leave, as most people are reasonable people
and they see what the use is of such rules, or see that they can't live with such rules and leave.
Some may also want to discuss these rules, as they think they are (partially) incorrect.
However, if people are being unreasonable (even for a short while) and don't follow the rules after
being pointed to them (or even don't read them, which we can't be sure of), there's nothing I, or
other Wikipedians can do. You can block the ID, but that will be called bad behaviour as well; you
can block the page from editing, but that will be called bad behaviour as well, and there are enough
other pages to continue. You can send a mail to the list, but that does not result in anything
quickly, it only serves as a notification to the other readers of the list.
Therefore, in my opinion, there needs to be a way that we can "force" the badly behaving editors to
at least read the rule(s) he/she is violating. After that the person can either a) comply with that
rule b) disagree with the rule but decide to discuss it (even though most of the rules are likely
not to be changed) c) disagree and continue with his behaviour d) disagree and leave. a), b) and d)
are all good situations (of course, we prefer d) not to happen), and would be the reactions of
reasonable people (yes, most people are still reasonable even if they've been unreasonable before,
and realize they have been when they are told to be unreasonable). Of course, c) is not a good
situation as, at that point, the contributor is _willingly_ ignoring rules that are held essential
to Wikipedia. In that case, I think there's ground for "hard measures", such as banning, banning
from editing, banning from editing anything but talk pages, etc, depending on the case.
I'm not sure whether the right to "invoke" such a "reminder of rules" should be available to all
logged in users, or only to sysops - in the any case, it seems to keep a log of issued reminders and
also let the invoker specify why it was done. Also, there needs to be some measures if the same
contributor is reminded more than once of the same rule.
However, all in all, I think this is a good way to deal with bad behaviour. The "offenders" are
first reminded of the rule(s) in question nicely, in talk, or on their user page/talk. If they
continue to ignore those rules, we can remind them of the rules in a more forceful way. If then they
still fail to behave reasonably, there's are reasonably objective "proof" that the person is being
unreasonable, and that we can be "unreasonable" as well, by banning the person in some way. This
also means it is not necessary to involve a whole bunch of sysops.
As for a way to "force" somebody to read rules, I return to the proposal I made earlier this week -
let the first page the contributor sees after getting a "reminder" be a page with the rule(s) in
question displayed. I can't think of any other ways, but there probably are some.
The "rules to consider" are a different question, of course, even though there are a few which are
very close to being actual rules (I consider the use of English names and language to be one of
them, for example). If a contributor is "violating" such a rule, we should encourage him/her to read
that policy and the related talk, and then formulate his objections in talk there so the discussion
there can be re-opened, if necessary. However, most debates "gone wrong" on rules to consider
usually evolve to violation of some of the actual rules, so I think there's no need for anything new
mechanisms for "rules to consider".
Be it with some similar to my proposal, or something completely different, I really believe
something needs to change to deal with bad behaviour. Otherwise, the trend will continue, and more
and more people will get sick of bending over backwards, and leave.