[WikiEN-l] Re: Why has everything gone to hell?

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 13:47:07 UTC 2006

>Consensus doesn't scale.

We've recently seen the numbers from Gmaxwell and Kim Bruning that
show that this is not at all the case with articles - except a couple
of hundred articles (out of 900k+) which appear to be pathological.
*Mostly*, people leave articles to others who know about the area, and
those who know about an area mostly manage to thrash out a consensus.
The failures of consensus in article editing get a lot of attention
but they are the *exception*.

>With policy, this hinders change greatly, but it's unlikely to be a
>major problem in the near future. With wheel warring or serious edit
>wars, however, the fact that consensus doesn't scale is wasting a lot of
>our time here. It takes being hauled in front of the arbcom to get any

Yeah. It's getting policy consensus to scale that's tricky. Continuous
reference to basic principles - "we're here to write an encyclopedia",
"NPOV", "don't be a dick", etc - may be a useful touchstone for either
deriving a lot of the crufted policy from first principles or getting
rid of it.

- d.

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