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

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 20:36:16 UTC 2009

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 10:34 AM, stevertigo <stvrtg at gmail.com> wrote:
> Note: Please excise quotes properly - the below quote looked as if it
> belonged to Charcaroth.
> Stevertigo wrote:
>>> In that context we of course realize that IAR is not an actual
>>> solution,
>>Ryan Delaney <ryan.delaney at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I can't understand this. In principle, IAR itself cannot be a solution to
>> anything. Do you mean to say that you don't think that administrators should
>> be using their own judgment when making qualitative judgments in closing
>> deletion discussions?
> Its not IAR that helps "administrators" 'use their own judgment' - its
> BRAINS. And resting an idea of proper action on IAR alone is doing
> nothing else other than saying BRAINS is a policy called "IAR."  Which
> isn't true. We may not like the idea that RULES > BRAINS, but we
> already know that the BRAINS > RULES conjecture doesn't fly. Even
> Einstein, aside from the being-off-planet thing, could not post any
> new insights into a Wikipedia article without violating NOR. NOR is
> one of those rules we are suppose to 'not ignore.'

I have to say, I kind of love this thread. So old-school Wikipedia!

In my own head, I've always sorted out Wikipedia guidelines, rules,
and policies into two types: principles and procedures.

Principles are things like: we're an encyclopedia and therefore don't
publish original research; we're open to new contributors and are
therefore nice to them; we want to give people correct, unbiased
information therefore content should be neutral and factual. There are
not many principles. They are pretty basic and intrinsic to what the
site is.

Procedures are things like: when you nominate an article for AfD, you
should apply the right template, take a look around for sources and
past AfDs, notify the lead author(s), give a good reason for deletion,
and expect that if several people agree with you, the article will get
deleted, and if they don't, it won't. There are a zillion procedures.
They are responsible for most of the traffic of this mailing list,
most of the Wikipedia: namespace pages, and a whole lot of our
collective time.

If there's confusion about IAR, I think it helps a lot to think of it
as Ignore All Procedures. IAR doesn't get you off the hook for a
non-NPOV article; it does mean that you can ignore whatever crazy
procedures there are to fix this problem if they are unhelpful to you.
(But if they are helpful, or you're not sure what to do, then by all
means use them).

My favorite version of IAR is the earliest one on en:
"If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of
participating in the Wiki, then ignore them and go about your

-- phoebe

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