[WikiEN-l] Defeat: Notability is Policy

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Sat Feb 2 00:28:37 UTC 2008

Steven Walling wrote:
> Get over it.


> Nobility has been being used as (effective) policy for many
> months, if not years. Of course deleting any article is going to get
> emotional, people are invested in article's they write. But that level of
> emotion doesn't negate the fact that we just simply can't include every
> possible topic under the sun and still produce an accurate and reliable
> encyclopedia.  Space is not the issue, quality is. The breadth has to stop
> somewhere, so we can get to depth.

This argument gets made over and over and the rebuttal remains the same. 
If you stop volunteers from working on the topics that interest them, 
they're not going to spend that effort instead on topics that interest 
you. They're just going to _leave._

And frankly, more power to them. For years I've felt that Wikipedia 
should be trying to encompass as much encyclopedic content within itself 
as possible, that this would improve the general availability of 
knowledge to the world by organizing it all in a standardized licence 
and structure with policies like NPOV keeping it reliable. I'd been 
hoping that the introduction of flagged revisions would help to allay 
the concerns of the "quality now!" crowd. But of late Wikipedia's 
climate has turned to deletionism and it's now actively destroying much 
of the information that was aggregated into it. If this trend doesn't 
stop I think it might be better to start fragmenting Wikipedia into more 
special-interest subgroups, as was done with Comixpedia, Wookieepedia, 
and so forth. If we can at least keep them with the same licensing and 
wiki code then perhaps someday it can all be brought back into the same 
fold again by some other aggregator.

> And the WP:V addition is a fabulous idea. I've always operated that way, and
> it is (to me) the core reason we need notability: we can't be accurate on a
> subject if there aren't reliable sources available. If accuracy is literally
> impossible, then we shouldn't have an article on it.

The key problem for me is the "third party" requirement. I can write an 
accurate article on an episode of a TV series by using the DVD and its 
commentary track as a source, for example, and anyone else with a few 
dollars to spare can get their own copy and verify my work, but for some 
reason even if I'm perfectly willing to spend hours and hours crafting 
this article to whatever standards of quality are desired it's just not 
acceptable to have it on Wikipedia.

There's _baby_ in that bathwater.

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