[Foundation-l] NPOV as common value? (was Re: Board statement regarding biographies of living people)

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 16:37:04 UTC 2009

On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> And if you want to force any kind of neutrality there, you would get
>> the same kind of scientific production which existed in East European
>> countries during 50s and 60s: A (very good) book about ancient Greek
>> literature starts with 20-30 pages of Preface in which author explains
>> relations between ancient Greek literature and Marxism. But, there
>> were a lot of not so good books which had a lot of grotesque
>> connections between Marxism and its content not just inside of their
>> prefaces.>
> I'm not clear on the connection between neutrality and Marxism ...
> could you explain the logical steps between the two clauses of your
> first sentence?

I wanted to say that if neutrality is forced in a field which is not
possible to present neutrally, you'll get bizarre explanations why
some course or book is neutral. (As young revolutionary authorities
demanded connection between any field of knowledge and Marxism.)

Even further... Book in elementary algebra may be written well
according to the NPOV (but, not by following neutrality!) because NPOV
has clause which is related to the "common knowledge". But, if you try
to make a book with a specific approach to a number of micro and macro
dimensions in the Universe, by using NPOV or neutrality, you would get
a book which is not useful:

If A, B, C and D are some logical structures, statement "A x B = C" is
not a neutral statement. If there is some other approach which has
statement that "A x B = D", the author of the book will have to
mention and explain that as well. And this is a kind of a recursive

We may rationally say that we won't demand from contributors to do
that. But, then, the approach is not according to NPOV or neutrality.

There are other important principles, too, like verifiability and NOR.
Both of them may be applied fully to Wikibooks if we say that we
really don't want OR in books. At Wikiversity, NOR may be applied for
sources. It is not reasonable to apply those principles for didactic
methods because didactics of teaching and learning on Internet is not
well developed. And it is not possible to implement those principles
for the process of teaching and learning: course in any applied
science must have OR during the process (and OR is not verifiable).

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