[WikiEN-l] RFA has gone weird

Steve Summit scs at eskimo.com
Fri Oct 6 12:31:58 UTC 2006

David Gerard wrote:
> As I said, it'd be nice if most editors could get it without
> ever-increasing requirements on RFA...
> (Now, that's an interesting question: how voting pages of this
> sort get ever-increasing requirements, and what to do about it.
> FAC is another.)

It's an interesting aspect of human nature.  Those requirements
*always* tend to creep.  When you have people whose job it is to
set and enforce policy, and once they've set and enforced a given
level of policy, they *have* to raise the bar or invent new
policies, to give themselves something to do.  It's what they do.

If everything's humming along smoothly with the bar at a given
level, and everyone is so used to it that there's hardly any
enforcement to do, it's remarkably difficult to sit back and say,
"Wow, everything's working so well, I guess we can go home early."
It's hard to let a system just "sit there and work".  There's an
overwhelming urge to say, "Okay, what more can we do?"

Somehow, these proclivities are no less present when the
regulators and monitors are volunteers whose available time
for the task is limited and precious.  And if anything, it's
the self-appointed regulators and monitors who have the greatest
tendency to get overly passionate about the job and go overboard
with the requirements.

As I believe H.G. Wells once wrote, "The lawgiver, of all beings,
most owes the law allegiance.  He of all men should behave as
though the law compelled him.  But it is the universal weakness
of mankind that what we are given to administer we presently
imagine we own."

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list