[WikiEN-l] "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit?

Ryan Delaney ryan.delaney at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 13:57:06 UTC 2006

On 2/22/06, Greg Sabino Mullane <greg at turnstep.com> wrote:
> > 2) Wikipedia is still an encyclopedia, isn't it? Surely you can have
> > an encyclopedia without an article on Brian Peppers in it. Many other
> > encyclopedias get by without such an article.
> Nice straw man. Let's make that a new CSD while we're at it - "This
> article not covered in other encyclopedias."

I'm sorry, but you are making a straw man here. His point is that Wikipedia
is still an encyclopedia, with or without a Brian Peppers article. That's
patently true.

I know there is a lot of middle stuff in part 3, and the arguments expanded
> well beyond the legal worries raised in 2 (although quite a few people
> calling for deletion continued to cite them), but it is really
> disheartening
> to to note that, in effect, a prankster just succeeded in having an
> article
> removed from Wikipedia.

A cursory review of this case seems to indicate that Jimbo didn't intend for
his deletion to be the final word on the subject.

01:40, 22 February 2006 Jimbo
Wales<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales>deleted "Brian
Peppers <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Peppers>" (We can live without
this until 21 February 2007, and if anyone still cares by then, we can
discuss it)

The page says it should not be recreated "until February 21" at the
earliest. It is now February 22. I think that now is a good time to keep our
[[WP:COOL]] and talk this out rather than run around screaming about how the
sky is falling and how Jimbo is ruining our wiki.

Every controversial issue is going to generate many different views about
how it ought to be dealt with. The important thing for all sides to remember
is that (A) the views held by other people are held in good faith even if
they seem wrong, so they deserve consideration and respect and (B) our own
views might actually be the wrong ones, and the only way to find out whose
idea is best is to discuss it calmly and rationally, without any hightened
emotions or committment to proving others wrong and winning the argument.
Whenever you approach another editor who has a differing view, your attitude
should be "We disagree, so let's talk this out until we find out which of us
is wrong so that we can both be better off".

Practically every major controversy could have been dealt with smoothly had
everyone remembered these principles. I confess that I've forgotten them
myself on more than one occasion. It's easy to view someone with a wrong
idea as basically a vandal who is trying to destroy your precious wiki that
we've worked so hard to improve. But the reality of the situation is that
pretty much everyone here -- including AFD voters, userbox editors,
pedophiles, and Jimbo -- is editing because they want to help make Wikipedia
better. Some of them may be misguided about how to do it, but they have that
fundamental good will at heart, and that means that they don't deserve to be
stomped on or treated like villains. Ever.


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