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

stevertigo stvrtg at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 16:19:22 UTC 2009

Carcharoth <carcharothwp at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Indeed. There is a bot that can help index talk page archives. I'll
> give details below.

Well, while I see the value in raising indexing as a process, I still
have to point out that we aren't talking about talk pages and
organizing them topically for later ease of reference (ie. WP:OBT) ,
but the "refactoring" of actual "vote" discussions wherein we have to
make collective qualitative discernments about the merit of individual

In that context we of course realize that IAR is not an actual
solution, and we are now starting to talk about process methods for
dealing with discussions in a meta way. At this point it requires
mentioning that what we are really talking about is in part a rating
system for comments integrated into talk pages, similar to a Scoop or
Slash system. I'm not certain this is a current or even planned
functionality in Liquid Threads, but in any case it seems that the LT
project (or some better-thought out derivation) should be regarded as
a high-priority ("usability") project that we need to put more coders
to work on. AIUI, keeping things still "wiki" - such that discussions
still have basic wiki re-factoring capability seems (typically enough)
to be both a high principle, and an obstruction.

Aside from the rating component, we should consider comment length as
a factor in how sub-comments are nested - some comments are just short
votes of support for an above argument. Nesting those beneath a main
argument seems necessary. In the wild, typically see four basic
dimensions within a discussion:
1) long posts with lots of substance
2) short posts with lots of substance
3) long posts with little substance
4) short posts with little substance

Simplistic, true, and its often hard to atomize long posts -
substantive or not  (which is why I like line-by-line replies). But
ranking helps get rid of the bottom two kinds of posts. Proper nesting
can deal with how the first two interrelate. After that, its possible
to use the tool improperly, where ranking *can indicate which of the
substantive arguments are dominant, but reliance on this can raise the
voting fallacy issue all over again. But what of it? At least 3 and 4
are disposed of, and 1 and 2 are put in place.


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