>> I'm not really supportive of the idea, either. Maybe there should be a
moderated list for announcements or what have you, or someone could put
together and offer an edited digest of this list, but I prefer the
vibrancy and speed we have here, and that's hard to replicate in a
moderated list. <<
I thought you'd have this reaction, and I agreed with you when we first
set up Wikipedia-l that it should be unmoderated.
We have a lot of things we *need* to talk about and moreover to *do* on
Wikipedia. There are people who are constantly disrupting this work in
various ways that have made me and a lot of other people want to stay off.
But, like moths to the flame, we come back--because we rightly don't want
to abandon the project to the disruptors. Of course, some amount of
disruption (depending on exactly what we mean by this) is healthy. You
could say that I think we are way too robust in this regard.
I'm guessing your concern is that moderation would make the project less
open. And who can deny that moderating the list makes the project
slightly less open, and that indeed that is a bad thing. I totally agree
with that. But alas it also appears to be a necessary thing, or so I
think, which is why I call it a "necessary evil." If we keep our
moderators properly reined in (by making sure they have a set of rules
that they are to follow), I think we can minimize the damage in this
Remember, you were a great moderator of a list in the distant past, Jimbo,
and it's safe to say that it was your moderatorship that made it the great
list it was.
>> Mostly, I think people should just relax a notch or two. :-) Before
each post, ask yourself if you are on the path to slack. If not, don't
Wise advice but giving such advice is a solution only as long as people
are inclined take it. Surely the last many months have made it clear that
they're not. Would that we were all as relaxed as you, KQ, Magnus, and
many others sitting in embarrassed silence while the more tightly-wound
among us make fools of ourselves.
You are a very relaxed person (he really is, folks!), and you to your
credit can often not see what all the fuss is in our flame wars or
debates. But this doesn't really help those of us who are in the middle
of flame wars that you would, again to your credit, never get involved in.
I think we need a better solution.
"We have now sunk to a depth at which the re-statement of the
obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." --George Orwell
This quotation may or may not apply to the contents of this e-mail.
Could someone please translate the following? It seems important.
(S'il vous plait, traduisez le text prochain; c'est tres important.)
Ne vous inquiétez pas pour ça Edmond. Ce n'est que mon
impression, et elle apparait ultra-minoritaire, au vu
du bon travail que vous faites sur la wiki anglaise.
Après avoir lu le mail de notre futur (?) modérateur
et des règles de modération proposées, j'étais
moi-même en train d'envisager de quitter la main
liste. Après tout, elle va un peu redevenir la liste
anglaise à ce qu'il semble.
From: Anthere [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 2:11 PM
Subject: RE: [Wikipedia-l] Moderation of the main list (not the english
> > And of course while I feel compelled to abstain from
> > self-nomination, I'm willing to take a crack at it:
> > I think I'd make an excellent moderator :-)
> En toute honneteté, permettez moi de ne pas être
> *entièrement* d'accord Edmond...
Je ne me nomine que la liste anglaise.
Edmond Le Pauvre
I agree with Larry's proposal for a moderated Wikipedia mailing list.
Two issues arise therefrom:
* which lists should be moderated?
* who should moderate?
I will support any of following as moderators for either of the the above lists:
* Larry Sanger
* Daniel (mav)
Larry would be the best, although he also participates. But I trust him not to abuse his role. I only worry that he'd be too soft-hearted on the eedjits and let them rant on too long.
Daniel could also do an equally good job, although I doubt he has the time what with school and all. I bet he'd be quicker to pounce on eedjicy.
Jimbo simply doesn't have the time, so I don't think he'd agree to do this.
And of course while I feel compelled to abstain from self-nomination, I'm willing to take a crack at it: I think I'd make an excellent moderator :-)
Any decent moderator would have cut out:
(A) Julie's attack on Erik
(B) Erik's attack on Julie
(C) Jonathan's attack on RK
If Uncle Ed ever became moderator, the first person he'd probably
squelch would proabably be Clutch.
(My goodness, I'm even starting to talk like him! "Holy 3rd person,
> > * A sysop should only use his administrative privileges as a "time
> > out" to direct discussions in case of conflicts to the talk page,
> > but he should not do that if he states a position in the
> > matter. Otherwise he is no longer a sysop or a moderator but an
> > editor, which is not the function assigned to him.
> I'm not even really comfortable with that, unless things have gotten
> way out of hand or something. Most importantly, we should ALL exert
> social pressure for co-operation rather than Usenet-style argument. It's
> hard, but it has worked wonders for us so far.
For an example of "exerting social pressure for co-operation",
see [[Talk:Book_of_Mormon]]. In apparent response to a comment
I made, parties to a dispute began editing their previous
comments <<patting self on back>>. You'll have to dig through
the "older versions" now, to find any of the mean-spirited
comments I was objecting to.
This is somewhat in response to Eloquence's last, but I'd like to use
it to point out something that has to do with Lir, Ark, and Helga as
1) Historians are trained to try to put aside their own personal
prejudices before writing. We assume this when we talk about NPOV
--that writers will try to write objectively. Historians also try to
explain things in term of the temporal context. It's something else we
are trained to do. What historians of the late 20th and 21st centuries
consider to be the best way to approach something is different than the
approach followed by people a hundred years ago. Historians are
expected to be reasonably conversant in the different schools of thought
and what's acceptable. Finally (on this point), a recent NPR interview
pointed out that History is the academic discipline that offers students
the best opportunity to learn expository, analytical writing -- and that
it is being neglected in US K-12 courses.
2) all of the stuff initially written on NPOV and similar policies
points out that not all theories are equally valid, and that those that
aren't should receive proportionately less space than the predominant
theories. When theories are crank theories, or when they have fallen
into disrepute, we don't need to put them in -- or should mentions this.
3) Most Medievalists (and many historians focusing on later periods),
these days reject the notion of the Dark Ages (except in Greece between
about 1100 BC and 800 BC), because we now know that a lot was going on,
much of it having to do with learning. Moreover, we can now speak of
the Northumbrian, Carolingian, Ottonian, and 12th century renaissances
-- to a certain degree, this has made the Renaissance a bit less unique.
4) Just because much of the modern world view began in the Enlightenment
doesn't mean it's the best view.
5) Not all people accept that religion is a destructive force in society
6) Erik, who comes at the world believing that religion is by nature (or
application) socially destructive, that post-Enlightenment thought is in
some way, more correct, and that the world before the Renaissance was
somehow a lesser thing to be judged by modern standards, seems unable
to keep these views from influencing many of his contributions. What
makes it seem more reasonable in Erik's case is that he assumes that his
views are both correct and universally accepted as sensible. This is
about as neutral as, for example, Helga with her anachronistic
nationalist backwards projections or Ark with his dogmatic acceptance of
deMause's marginal theories. If bans were imposed on Helga and Lir
(with his own prejudicial notions) and Ark (if he didn't just leave),
then I don't understand why we don't hold Eloquence to the same standard
-- He is equally incapable of neutrality and equally anti-social -- one
has only to read the Galileo talk to see that his inability to work with
others and his lack of respect for people who disagree with him is
Y'all might at some point notice that you've lost most of the people who
actually are specialists in History and who actually work in that field
as a profession. And you might ask why -- except, I think, that you
don't really care. It's funny, when you realize just how much of the
stuff in the 'pedia falls under the stuff historians do for a living.
Thanks, Larry -- and to those of you who feel I've spoken to you
unfairly, my apologies. I'm just sick and tired of dealing with
patronizing attitudes like Erik's and people who ask me to defending
myself by proving negatives. I've read through all of Erik's websites,
and there is an agenda. I had hoped that most people here know me and
my work well enough to know that I don't have an agenda, except to put
out articles that are encyclopedic in the truest sense and to take
advantage of the immediacy of the technology to make sure those articles
are up-to-date in the presentation of generally accepted thought,
although perhaps reflecting newer trends than some people are
comfortable with. The last sentence aside, I also try to make articles
readable ;-) I don't by any means claim to be an expert in everything,
but I can generally tell you when something is basically false from a
historical perspective. That was once thought to be a valuable asset.
Sorry, I left out the referent of my pronoun. I wrote: "...if you want to
know what they are..."
They = my views about expertise, which Erik simply hasn't a clue about.
"We have now sunk to a depth at which the re-statement of the obvious is
the first duty of intelligent men." --George Orwell