[WikiEN-l] We need a policy to deal with new policies

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat May 13 19:00:51 UTC 2006

geni wrote:

>On 5/5/06, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
>>4. If a process exists, it must be followed because it's a process.
>However much of wikipedia process exists for a reason. Please respect
>that reason and understand the people who came up with probably put a
>fair bit of thought into its desighn
This sounds like respect for intelligent design.  Quantity of thought 
should not be viewed as superior to quality of thought.  Imputing 
reasons as a foundation for a process is not enough.

>>2. Process is good, but more process is *BAD*. Process grows like
>>bindweed and must be culled regularly. Anyone who says "process is
>>important" must read and understand [[m:Instruction creep]].
>Since m:Instruction creep relates to process they probably have. The
>broad principle is correct (although I quite like our overgrown and
>contradictory guidelines it means it is almost imposible to produce a
>solid case based on them to stop me doing what I want to do) the
>anicdote doesn't tend to apply wikipedia (It is generaly less complex
>to remove someone from wikipedia rather than get a new policy
In a backhanded way I would agree.  Generating enough policies and 
processes can result in "everything being permitted", and in allowing 
the Grand Inquistor to have free reign.

>>3. Grey areas exist; the human brain exists to deal with them. You
>>can't Taylorise clue.
>However you can produce rigidly defined areas of doubt and
>uncertainty. It is possible to define where the grey areas are.
Oh the antinomious faith of the software student as he bows before the 
graven image of HAL9000!

For those of us with less faith:  when you define a grey area it is no 
longer grey, but out of self-defence it begets new grey areas

>>4. Processes are frequently written up to try to win at wikinomic.
>>This is part of how process grows like bindweed.
>I find they are generaly writen by well meaning people. The trick is
>squashing the idea without squashing the person.
Does this imply that nomic players are no well-meaning?  To be sure we 
don't want to squash the person, but even with an idea if you approach 
it with the preconception that it must be squashed it leaves little room 
for change.

>>Process is important. It is also dangerous, and must be kept strictly
>>under control and rebuilt regularly. AND NO I'M NOT GOING TO WRITE UP
>So would you support protecting all policy pages (have you seen the
>edit rate on CSD?)?
Unprotecting them all would be a better option.  Process should reflect 
the stone in David's sling rather than the spike in Goliath's club.


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