[WikiEN-l] CSD T1

Peter Mackay peter.mackay at bigpond.com
Thu May 18 11:01:18 UTC 2006

> From: wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org 
> [mailto:wikien-l-bounces at Wikipedia.org] On Behalf Of Nick Boalch
> Peter Mackay wrote:
> >> Accordingly on other articles, different points of view need
> >> to be included based on their prominence and level of support 
> >> in the real world, not just on which happens to be most 
> >> popular among the Wikipedia editing community.
> > 
> > That's the problem. In theory, theory and practice are 
> identical. In 
> > practice, they aren't.
> > 
> > WP articles are not written by the general community, they 
> are written 
> > by editors, usually a handful of core contributors. NPOV 
> works out to 
> > what these editors agree it is, simply because nobody else has any 
> > significant input.
> Indeed. The point is that those editors
> >> Writing consistently with NPOV is not 'inflicting your 
> opinion on an 
> >> article'.
> >> Biasing an article towards your own opinions *is* 
> inflicting your opinion on 
> >> an article, is obviously not consistent with NPOV.
> > 
> > Beg pardon, but it is. If (say) a Republican and a Democrat 
> write an 
> > article, each one only writing material that supports and 
> reinforces 
> > their partisan views, but the end result is balanced and consistent 
> > with community support, then that is NPOV.
> That is entirely dependent on where you draw the line on what 
> the 'end result' is. I am perfectly happy with the idea of 
> Wikipedia articles gradually improving over long amounts of 
> time towards some future goal, but NPOV is non-negotiable 
> and, regardless of how eventualist your philosophy is, an 
> article must always be NPOV. Now. Not at some time in the 
> future. Now. Therefore I'm not happy with the editing process 
> you suggest above, which implies one editor biasing the 
> article towards one particular viewpoint then another editor 
> coming along later and biasing it in a different direction. 
> Every version should always be NPOV.

As noted, there is a difference between what WP *should* be and what it
actually is. You may talk theory all you like, and I will agree with your
ideals 100%, but that doesn't change what actually happens out in

> >> With all due respect to you, I think you're slightly
> >> misinterpreting what Jimbo (and I) actually mean. I don't 
> >> think either of us are suggesting that editors should be 
> >> 'opinionless automatons', just that they shouldn't let their 
> >> opinions influence the way they write articles.
> > 
> > That's plain bizarre. There's absolutely nothing wrong with editors 
> > inserting their own opinions into articles. It happens 
> every day. So 
> > long as it is done with NPOV in mind it works fine.
> Now I think you're deliberately misinterpreting what I mean 
> in order to throw up an irrelevant straw man (note that this 
> is a discussion tactic that I have absolutely no 'due respect' for).

I'm sorry you think that. You are wrong.
> Obviously writing an NPOV-compliant article isn't a problem. 
> Unduly biasing an article towards your own opinions is not 
> compliant with NPOV.

I don't think you understand NPOV. NPOV allows for multiple points of view,
not one. We present the facts and let the reader decide.

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