[WikiEN-l] Can sweet reason still work on en:wp? Occasionally.

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 00:09:40 UTC 2009

2009/10/21 Ryan Delaney <ryan.delaney at gmail.com>:
> You're right-- we don't live in an ideal world, and people often do insist
> on inappropriately citing policy as a response to a reasoned argument. You
> might notice that usually the people who do this do it on the basis of
> arguments rather like the ones you are making in this thread.

I don't see the connection between blindly applying policy and
observing that things don't always work the way we would like them

We have policies for a reason - they tend to work well and it helps us
be consistent, which is usually desirable. There is no point having
those policies if we don't consider them the default way to make
decisions, so it makes perfect sense to me that a person deciding to
go against policy should have a duty to explain why (at least if
somebody asks them to - if there are no objections then obviously no
explanation is needed, but there usually are objections so many people
choose to pre-empt them). That explanation could take many forms, but
the simplest way would usually be to explain why the situation in
question is substantially different from the situations the people
that wrote the policy had in mind. Then, once you've established that
existing policy should be disregarded, you can explain why a
particular course of action in the best idea. If you try and explain
that before establishing that the policy shouldn't apply then you are
essentially contesting the policy and that requires a much bigger
discussion than is required to just decide what to do in a specific

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list