On Sun, Apr 17, 2005 at 02:10:33PM -0400, Steve Lefevre wrote:
OK, I think I understand. And, I don't think that our differences are
very far apart.
Currently, the NPOV model is to try to have competing ideas under the
same article title. My proposal is to have some kind of separation of
conflicting points of view. In my original proposal, I suggested
concurrent article titles, but it doesn't have to be that. Perhaps
different points can be presented side-by-side. My thought is that in an
NPOV, someone claiming to be neutral may not do the best job of
presenting any side's point of view. Why not let the proponents present
their case, and then make some kind of interface where the end-user can
compare the different points of view? Also, this proposal does not
prevent, in any way, a summary article that attempts to synthesize
It's a question of where should we put differing points of view. If I'm
a proponent of the idea that space aliens run the government, I may feel
jilted by someone else's summary of my position. However, the original
author sees my work as crazy and extreme, so they go and 'fix' it. I
'fix' it back, and so on. What results is a wasteful revision process.
Instead, let people build up their sides of the story without destroying
Upon further reflection, I've come to the conclusion that this technical
proposal is a solution to a different problem than that of "fixing" some
of the difficulties of Wikipedia. An encyclopedia should definitely
work toward an NPOV consensus, whereas what has been proposed here
strikes me as more working toward a balance of points of view with the
most popular points of view taking top honors. That being the case, I
might have exactly the project in mind for such a thing:
We already have Wikipedia and Wikinews. Do we have a Wikipinion?
Perhaps this is the technical solution to the idea of a community-driven
open-contribution collection of opinion columns. Where a given
topic/heading exists, op/ed articles can be written by different people
and the best-regarded among them for their clear and popularly agreeable
presentations can rise to the top as the cream of the crop, as 'twere,
by way of a voting/rating system. Then, perhaps, the top-rated article
would be the first thing presented with explicit links to the next five
(or however many) highly rated version and a catch-all link where a list
of all of the versions might be located. These versions might be
"owned" with an open-edit page for people to contribute editing comments
so that constructive input is made easy (owned by their authors, that
is). In fact, if such a thing doesn't appear in the Wikimedia family at
some point, I'll probably create it elsewhere as a separate endeavor.
It seems to me like too good an idea to pass up, really, and if this
community doesn't like it enough to implement it, I'm sure a community
for such can be generated from the luminiferous ethere of the Internet.
Of course, I'm so busy as it is that if I end up having to create it
myself it'll probably take three years to get around to it.
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